Thought I would keep it light this evening.
During my birthday dinner, my friend Alex we were talking about music and he brought up the point that music from the 1980’s is still very popular even when you go to a bar with relatively young people. I initially had thoughts about demographics that would be of the age to have listened to that music but then forgot the math didn’t work. My next theory was that the music from the 1980’s rose during the MTV era and lived in an era where mass media and commerce were exploding.
The 1980’s were the kick-off of the consumer credit era. We had malls, we had time, and we had suburbs. That connected with MTV and GREAT music creates a convergence where the music becomes memorable. I mean, think about 1984… you had Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna at their peaks. There was so much great, transcendent pop music. It was unreal.
So we have a great era of music that a lot of America knows. Great. But why are young people drawn to it?
1. Their parents would have raved about it… they might have been the right age to have lived through the 1980’s.
2. The way music is consumed allows for learning a whole era of music in a heartbeat! If you want to listen the whole catalog of Guns and Roses or Michael Jackson, you go to Youtube or Spotify and listen to every song they ever made. That was impossible in prior generations. If you heard a song you had to go to record store, find the record it was on, then DECIDE if you wanted to BUY it…. (you could record it off the radio?)
3. Music from the 1980’s had consensus AND it was good. We all shared in the experience of certain records or songs, as country. While that era did carry on thru the 1990’s and early 2000’s it seems the 1980’s held on a touch longer, was a bit more iconic. That is appealing, that makes the music appealing. By being iconic, young people want to belong to that narrative.
Anyway, thats why I think 1980’s music has stuck around.