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Subject: Decade "comebacks" every 25 years?

Written By: Marty McFly on 06/24/05 at 5:34 am

I was torn on whether or not to put this here or in the 2000's board, but since it talks about the 80's on both ends, I put it here.

Anyway, you know how it's been a theory that the culture and styles of a particular decade come back 20 years later? Well I've been thinking recently that it usually seems closer to 25.

The mid 1950's (beginning of the rock era) seemed to start resurfacing toward the end of the 70's and early 80's with the very early new wavers (Nick Lowe, etc). Happy Days took place around then too.

Now, the mid 80's seemed to bring back the late 50's and early 60's (1960-63 was the same as the 50's pop culture-wise IMO). The Stray Cats, Billy Joel's Innocent Man album, even Huey Lewis' "Heart of Rock & Roll" seemed to evoke the spirit of this era. Movies like 'The Outsiders' and - yes, the 1955 scenes in BTTF helped too. ;)

In the very late 80's and early 90's, the mid 1960's styles seemed to be making a comeback. The grunge years seemed to be an updated (for the worse) Hippie era. They both draw alot of comparisons IMO - two pop culture revolutions in a sense. They even had Woodstock '94 - 25 years after 1969's original!

In the late 90's and early part of this decade, the mid 70's was in vogue - That 70s Show comes to mind. I think here in 2005 we're seeing some splashes of an 80's comeback (flashier clothing styles, and "nu wave" indie rockers witk synthesizers), but it's not in full force yet. A quarter century ago is 1980 so it's split between the 70s and 80s now.

I predict in about 2008-13 is when the 80's might make a full-on comeback. 8)

Theoretically you could say there were traces of 80's comebacks as early as 1997/98 when alot of movies - like the Wedding Singer, and Romy & Michelle's High School reunion - took place in the mid 80's. I'd basically call those the occasional splashes though, just like now.

PS: That also means around 2017 (25 years after grunge) is when the 90's will likely start being retro cool. I'm NOT looking forward to that, LOL!  ;)

Subject: Re: Decade "comebacks" every 25 years?

Written By: JamieMcBain on 06/24/05 at 5:30 pm

Sounds about right.

Subject: Re: Decade "comebacks" every 25 years?

Written By: Dukefan on 06/24/05 at 10:57 pm

Yea, I think that's about right.  They do say history repeats itself. ;)

One thing I have noticed is now the 1970s now seem to be considered "cool".  When I was younger, it seems most people wanted to forget that the decade ever happened, but now it seems that the 1970s have become more novel than hated. 

In addition, several television networks are profitting on past decades...Fox has That 70s Show, (like the Happy Days of now) VH1 has I Love the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and NBC had American Dreams.  Not only those specifically, but the VH1 Classic channel has pulled the old music videos back, and shows like American Idol and Hit Me Baby One More Time pretty much live on older music.

To sum it all up, I feel that television has really helped to pull the past back into the mainstream.   

On a side note, I think it's funny how current Japanese culture seems to have a little bit of what looks like American '60s in it.  Their hairstyles and clothes kind of look like modernized versions of what we had 40 years ago. 

Subject: Re: Decade "comebacks" every 25 years?

Written By: Marty McFly on 06/25/05 at 5:57 am

^ Good points.

Another cool thing I realized after typing my first post up - if my 25 year theory is correct, that means the cycle is about to hit double.

In other words, the "rock era" which ushered pretty much every kind of pop culture in, started around 1955. 2005 is 50 years later - I think we're starting to bring back the late 70s and early 80s now, which is just about when the mid 50's started resurfacing. 8)

I wonder if we're gonna start bringing the earlier periods back too, LOL! Like in 2015 will circa 1990 make a comeback AND circa 1965, since that "came back" in 1990? ;)

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