It should be evident and apparent by now. There should be no question about it. Nobody should ever call it into question. Music was simply better in the 1980s. While the 1970s disco provided a good warmup act and the grunge and pop of the 1990s were a decent follow up, there’s just no beating the music of the 80s. The sound was better, the costumes were flashier and the whole scene was just brimming with talent and drama. Whilst there have been a number of different things to have significantly improved since the 80s, including TV shows and the online options here available for individuals who like to wager on the musical-themed slots that can be played, here’s why music was (much) better in the 80s!
One of the best things about music in the 80s is how distinctive and particular the sounds of the era were. This is due to two (and a half) main reasons. For once, music technology was moving out of its infancy, where synthesizers and other electronic devices were room-sized apparatus that required a whole army to move around into more portable, practical and most importantly cheaper gadgets, which made it possible for more people to access them and work with them. This in turn made the market more competitive as it was just enough to have access to said electronics to make new music, you had to actually be creative and courageous with it, which leads us to…
The artists. Yeah, that simple. While I don’t mean to underestimate the artists of today, the truth is during the 80s we had some of the best there have ever been. Creative, brave, smart people fighting fiercely to make the best of these new sounds at their disposal to put their vision out there and create something truly great. With independent labels (the half reason) peaking in the 1980s, there was an open ground for the best to create the best they could without having to pander to any currently successful trends.
Have we even had any truly iconic music videos since the 1980s? I mean, there have been a few. But nowhere near as many as during the 80s. Every great song had to have a video, and with the television music video living at an all time high, this wasn’t some afterthought someone put out there to get views on video platforms, but a whole different creative endeavor meant to expand the original vision through another medium. Yes’ Owner of a Lonely Heart, A-ha’s Take on Me and, well, basically every Michael Jackson hit had a video that explored the meaning and themes of the song, which in turn made the song even more iconic.
Admit it. Like with every time that has come before, there’s some rose tinted glasses while looking back. The 1980s were a great time for music. Quite possibly there has never been such an abundance of talented artists exploring so many genres in some many parts of the world, and doing so with such bravery and complexity. But there were also some trends we’d rather forget and some hit songs that we wish we never hear again.
When push comes to shove, the 1980s, as great as they were, were only as good (or as bad) as we chose to remember them. A groundbreaking era that may just be music’s best, but one which we also judge rather favorably when comparing.