My Guest Post about the 80s

Last month, the wonderful Shouting At Cows website ask me, via Twitter, if I wouldn’t mind contributing a guest post to their blog. I replied that it would be a pleasure. As they had asked me via my 80sNostalgia twitter account, I wrote a quick piece for them on an 80s theme. It has been on display on their site for a few weeks now and just recently fallen onto page two.

They were kind enough to add a few pictures too, to break up the monotony of my text. (They were also kind enough to correct my grammar and spelling, as I wrote it in a bit of a rush!) If you’d like to read it in its original form, please click here – Why the 80s were better than the “nows”. Do have a look around too, for it is a very witty site. Otherwise, read on…

Why the 80s were better than the “nows”.

The 80s were better than nowadays for so many different reasons. One such reason is because they had a proper decadey-ness to their title. What do people call this current decade? The 10s? Thats rubbish! Another reason that the 80s were better was that beer was cheaper. I was 16 at the end of the 80s, and so I obviously hadn’t experienced beer, but rumour has it that beer was great AND cheaper than nowadays.

Films were better.

Modern day films are all fake. They look great but virtually all the special effects are CGI and most of the sets don’t actually exist; the actors are just filmed against a green screen and are superimposed onto vast computer-generated backdrops. Despite there being no real locations and no real effects nowadays, films now cost 30 times more than in the 80s when all the elements actually existed.

You knew that in Gremlins, for example, the Gremlins were actually there. You knew that they were just puppets, but that didn’t stop them being scary. And in Ghostbusters, you knew Mr. Stay Puft was just a man in a costume, filmed walking in slow motion against an elaborate miniature recreation of New York. (Please tell me you knew that, I’d hate to have
spoilt it for you…) and you knew that in Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford was really being chased by a huge (albeit polystyrene) boulder.

I am a huge fan of modern day movies, but they just don’t seem real.

TV theme tunes were epic.

The 80s were filled with so many great theme tunes. Knight Rider, The A Team, Airwolf, Around The World With Willy Fog, Grange Hill, Blind Date, Bullseye… and you could sing them all. (With the exception of Grange Hill; if you were to try to sing that to someone, you’d sound like you were having a bout of singing-tourettes.) Any of you could name an 80s programme and I guarantee I could sing the theme tune to it. With a couple of exceptions, programmes nowadays have much less memorable theme tunes.

Lost is a great example. It was a great programme watched by millions worldwide, which did have a theme tune, but who out of us is able to sing it?

Adverts were memorable

I could talk about 80s TV adverts for hours. 80s ads were catchy, memorable, and almost as good as the programmes they punctuated. You’ll be surprised how many 80s ad jingles you will know. I’ll start a few off for you, you just carry on singing:

Kia-ora – too orangy for crows, it’s just for me and my dog…

Birds Eye Steakhouse Grills – Will it be chips or jacket spuds, will it be salad or frozen peas, will it be mushrooms…

Fudge – A finger of fudge is just enough to…

Um Bongo – They drink it in…

Country Life Butter – Oh we are the lads from Country life, and you’ll….

The jingles from 80s adverts will stick with you for years.

Music was performed

Music was better in the 80s when people used real musical instruments to make it. Sitting at a computer nowadays, recording recurring loops of someone elses music, does not (in my entirely unqualified and entirely biased opinion,) make you a musician. When synthesisers became popular in the early 80s, the music world experienced a new type of sound to their tunes. It still required people to PLAY the synthesiser, unlike today, and so band members had a purpose.

If a member of an 80s band left, the band either had to get a replacement member to fill the musical gap, or split up. Nowadays band members leave and the band carries on regardless. How?!? How are they able to carry on without a fundamental band member missing? It can only be because the leaver didn’t have ANY musical input whatsoever.

Being “IN” Take That, for example, and having no musical instrument experience seems to qualify you as a band member nowadays.

Also music today doesn’t physically “exist.” I can go onto my PC and click to “buy” an album in iTunes. My bank account goes down by the price advertised and I can listen to the music I’ve bought, but I have nothing to show for it because it doesn’t “exist.” If I want it to exist I’ve got to buy another separate thing to copy it on to. Madness!

Fashion was better.

80s fashion was… well, okay, I concede. But 4 out of 5 ain’t bad…

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