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Subject: The Pre-80s

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/26/06 at 11:07 pm

I sort of think that I'd classify the mid-1979-1981 period as more the pre-80s than anything else. It was definitely not the 1970s, but it was before the "Eighties" took off in mid-1982. By 1979, most of the classic '70s TV shows had been cancelled, and TV was in a limbo stage where the "sitcom was dead." The top musical artists of 1979 included Blondie, The Knack, M, Styx, Pink Floyd, The Police, and Gary Numan. Definitely, if you look at the charts, in early 1979 disco was still pretty big, albeit more rockish disco like Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" and a bit more forward-looking, pared-down songs like "Ring my Bell" by Anita Ward and "Le Freak" by Chic. The only really traditional disco that hit it big that year was "I Will Survive" by Donna Summer. In late 1979, there was a "Disco Sux" party in Chicago that is considered the final note in the end of disco. Also, in 1979, with the success of Blondie, the underground CBGB scene like The Talking Heads and Television started becoming more popular on a national scale. Also, by 1979 I perceive there was growing cynicism towards the "free sex" aesthetic.

1980 was sort of a year looking back at the '70s: the top hits included "Magic" by Olivia Newton-John and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen, along with "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd, all songs that sounded very cutting-edge at the time but were surpassed when the real 1980s came "roaring along" in 1982. On the other side of the Atlantic, new wave like Blondie and the Pretenders was reaching more popularity. Stuff like Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, Squeeze, Adam and the Ants, and the Clash was also popular that year, in a very proto-80s sort of way.

1981 looked forward a bit more towards the '80s, though the real '80s atmosphere certainly wasn't off the ground yet. The Police, Blondie, Soft Cell, Adam and the Ants, The Cars, The Clash, The Cure, Duran Duran, Modern Romance, Missing Persons, Madness, New Order, the Talking Heads, Spandau Ballet, Squeeze, and other groups in the punk/new wave/new romantic vein were popular, but the most popular artists on the charts were Kool & The Gang, John Lennon, Diana Ross, Kim Carnes, Olivia Newton-John, Darryl Hall & John Oates. The '80s was coming up from underneath, but still wasn't quite there yet. Reagan came into office this year, but it usually takes about a year for a new president to change the mood of the country...the things produced in 1981 and released in 1982 reflected the change in mood, certainly, though.

When you get to 1982, the '80s was definitely bubbling ove, and the real '80s beganr. Synth pop/new wave like the Human League, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Adam Ant, The Go-Gos, Duran Duran, Wham!, Madness, and Culture Club was topping the charts. Also, in 1982, the first single from Thriller came out, the beginning of the triad of the 80s' most significant artists' prominence. Also, by 1982, MTV was becoming popular and widely known.

Of course, 1983 was the beginning of the classic "Eighties", perhaps, when that concentrated '80s mood came to the forefront. A "pre" period is classified by a tired decade running over and new, original forms of music with great influence in the coming cultural decade bubbling under. 


Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: Marty McFly on 02/26/06 at 11:22 pm


I sort of think that I'd classify the mid-1979-1981 period as more the pre-80s than anything else. It was definitely not the 1970s, but it was before the "Eighties" took off in mid-1982.



Of course, 1983 was the beginning of the classic "Eighties", perhaps, when that concentrated '80s mood came to the forefront. A "pre" period is classified by a tired decade running over and new, original forms of music with great influence in the coming cultural decade bubbling under. 


Very well said - pretty much I've always felt this way, too.

1978 was still basically 100% 70s, and 1984 was the peak of the '80s, though it was close by the end of 1982 - "mall" culture, Valley Girls, Reagan's influence on the country, etc.

You know what, though? I think 1982 and even a very slight bit 1983 too, had some "lingering '70s" left. Look at the pop charts in both those years - Air Supply's "Making Love Out of Nothing at all" wouldn't have been that popular a couple years later.

Also, didn't "Billie Jean" come out in early '83 (or perhaps it was late '82)? I think that was when MTV became a household name. Certainly after "Thriller" it was. I know MTV was introduced in smaller markets for its first few months, so it might've been as late as 1984 before basically everyone knew about it. Perhaps that's why 1984 feels so "peak" '80s.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/26/06 at 11:28 pm


Very well said - pretty much I've always felt this way, too.

1978 was still basically 100% 70s, and 1984 was the peak of the '80s, though it was close by the end of 1982 - "mall" culture, Valley Girls, Reagan's influence on the country, etc.

You know what, though? I think 1982 and even a very slight bit 1983 too, had some "lingering '70s" left. Look at the pop charts in both those years - Air Supply's "Making Love Out of Nothing at all" wouldn't have been that popular a couple years later.

Also, didn't "Billie Jean" come out in early '83 (or perhaps it was late '82)? I think that was when MTV became a household name. Certainly after "Thriller" it was. I know MTV was introduced in smaller markets for its first few months, so it might've been as late as 1984 before basically everyone knew about it. Perhaps that's why 1984 feels so "peak" '80s.


Late 1982 was really when the first big "video" songs came out, like Toni Basil's "Mickey" and Culture Club's stuff. "Billie Jean" in March 1983 was the first huge video hit, and Madonna and Cyndi Lauper came out that year too. Yep, you're right-1982 had some last lingering seventies still hanging around in the form of Olivia Newton-John ("Physical" still had a '70sish sound to it), Chicago, the J. Geils Band, and Joe Cocker. But by late 1982 it was basically the beginning of the "Eighties" as we know them.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: bbigd04 on 02/26/06 at 11:30 pm


Late 1982 was really when the first big "video" songs came out, like Toni Basil's "Mickey" and Culture Club's stuff. "Billie Jean" in March 1983 was the first huge video hit, and Madonna and Cyndi Lauper came out that year too. Yep, you're right-1982 had some last lingering seventies still hanging around in the form of Olivia Newton-John ("Physical" still had a '70sish sound to it), Chicago, the J. Geils Band, and Joe Cocker. But by late 1982 it was basically the beginning of the "Eighties" as we know them.


I've always though Physical sounded '80s. Celebration though sounds '70s.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: Marty McFly on 02/26/06 at 11:32 pm


I've always though Physical sounded '80s. Celebration though sounds '70s.


Yeah. Not full blown '70s, more "70s looking forward to the '80s", but '70s nonetheless - very disco-styled beat.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/26/06 at 11:34 pm


Yeah. Not full blown '70s, more "70s looking forward to the '80s", but '70s nonetheless - very disco-styled beat.


Most early '80s dance music still had heavy disco influences, though they'd kill themselves before admitting it.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: bbigd04 on 02/26/06 at 11:35 pm


Most early '80s dance music still had heavy disco influences, though they'd kill themselves before admitting it.


Yeah, definitely.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/27/06 at 12:02 am

The year 1980 was a transitional time for music, especially dance music, which lost its disco sound, as complex melodic structures and plush elements of the symphony orchestra gave way to a diminutive, street sound. In the early-1980s, George Benson, Rick James, Patrice Rushen, The Brothers Johnson, The Weather Girls, Madonna, Kool & the Gang, Miquel Brown, Teena Marie, The Commodores, The S.O.S. Band, and other artists continued to create many disco-influenced dance hits. At the same time new styles emerged - Italo Disco and Euro Disco.

The gradual change that occurred in the late-1970s pop-disco sound can be evidenced in such titles as

    * Donna Summers' I Feel Love (1977) and Hot Stuff (1978)
    * Amii Stewart's Knock On Wood (1979)
    * The Bee Gees' Tragedy (1979)
    * Blondie's Heart of Glass (1979)

which foreboded the events of the next decade. Faster tempos and synthesized affects during the early-1980s dance sound, accompanied by simplified backgrounds and rock guitars, directed dance music toward the pop-rock genre. Songs such as

    * Olivia Newton-John's Xanadu (1980)
    * Lime's Your Love (1981)
    * Boystown Gang's Can't Take My Eyes off of You (1981)
    * Roni Griffith's (The Best Part of) Breaking Up (1981)
    * Patrick Cowley's Do You Wanna Funk (1982)
    * The Pointer Sisters' Jump (1982)
    * The Weather Girls' It's Raining Men (1982)

exemplified the emerging dance-music form that rebuked the complicated melodic structures of the disco style, as woodwinds, horns, and strings were replaced by synthesizers, which mimicked their sound. Here, one can readily experience the drastic changes, from the musical arrangements - missing all signs of symphony-orchestration, including orchestral builds and breaks - to the melody - missing all signs of the complicated structures of the typical disco sound, including multiple bridges and fanciful refrains.

An article by wikipedia on the disco transition...I definitely think the lush combination of electronica, horns, and strings to a dance beat had gone out by 1979 totally, stuff like "Bad Girls" is more rock-influenced. Disco was more a "long-form" 1970s sound, while the dance sounds of the 1980s were by definition "short-form." 1970s disco songs could probably have gone on for 20 minutes with constantly increasing orchestral builds and breaks and slight melodic changes. In that way, it took alot from jazz, putting it within a dance pop and classical context, and influenced the direction that rap has taken since disco. People really do underestimate the importance of disco, and even how much it has influenced contemporary hip-hop and R&B. This is obvious when you listen to Mariah Carey's new song, the disco influence is pretty easy to see.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/27/06 at 12:20 am

I would say the Eighties existed in underground form from 1979 to early 1982.  In 1979, the post-punk bands, such as Devo went from herky-jerky guitar rock to synth pop.  Also, acts like Gary Numan and Blondie popped up around then, which are generally associated with the Eighties.  But, the radio stations still played leftovers from the '70s, even as late as 1983 (i.e. Air Supply, Weather Girls, Rick James), and even as late as 1984 people were still wearing that awful Three's Company-style hair, like some people still have that straight '90s hippie hair today.  Big hair is more a late '80s thing, like 1984/'85-early 1989.

But late 1982 is when Thriller and the New Wave culture came off, and is also when Family Ties started, so it was definitely the beginning of the "real eighties".  1979-early 1982 was more the "looking forward" era, late 1982 to 1987 was the honest-to-God eighties. Mid-1989 to the summer or fall of 1991 was the "post-eighties" or "pre-nineties".

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: mach!ne_he@d on 02/27/06 at 12:19 pm


Very well said - pretty much I've always felt this way, too.

1978 was still basically 100% 70s, and 1984 was the peak of the '80s, though it was close by the end of 1982 - "mall" culture, Valley Girls, Reagan's influence on the country, etc.

You know what, though? I think 1982 and even a very slight bit 1983 too, had some "lingering '70s" left. Look at the pop charts in both those years - Air Supply's "Making Love Out of Nothing at all" wouldn't have been that popular a couple years later.

Also, didn't "Billie Jean" come out in early '83 (or perhaps it was late '82)? I think that was when MTV became a household name. Certainly after "Thriller" it was. I know MTV was introduced in smaller markets for its first few months, so it might've been as late as 1984 before basically everyone knew about it. Perhaps that's why 1984 feels so "peak" '80s.



Yeah I've always felt that 1984 was the peak of 80's culture. 1984 was kind of what 2004 was for this decade. I think the 70's started to die down when disco started to die down which I believe was 1979. That year I think was the begining of the "pre-80's" with 1982/'83 being the years that any remains of 70's culture was killed off. After that it was pure 80's.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/27/06 at 12:42 pm

1983-1986 was the extended peak of '80s culture, but yeah, '80s culture most definitely peaked in 1984. You could still find most peak '80s stuff through '86, though. To find the real '70s you had to go back to mid-1979, I think.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: mach!ne_he@d on 02/27/06 at 1:08 pm


1983-1986 was the extended peak of '80s culture, but yeah, '80s culture most definitely peaked in 1984. You could still find most peak '80s stuff through '86, though. To find the real '70s you had to go back to mid-1979, I think.



Agreed. The peak of 80's culture lasted to at least '86 maybe even '87 but '88+ was the begining of a transitional period. As far as the 70's do think that the disco era was the peak of 70's culture or do you think it came earilier or later?

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 02/28/06 at 3:53 am

Maybe because I was born in 1982, I tend to defend the fact that 1982 was still a part of the late 70's transitional period.

A major amount of 70's artists still soaked the 1982 charts:

Electric Light Orchestra
Billy Joel
Journey
Earth, Wind & Fire
Dan Fogelberg
Anne Murray
Rick James
Kiss
The Carpenters
Neil Young
John Denver
Little River Band
Kenny Rodgers
Barry Manilow

Plus, also consider some of the films that came out then with very big 70's looks to them:

Tootsie
E.T. (Quite possibly more 80's than 70's)
Annie (based in the 30's, but they sure did look like they were coming straight from the 70's - lol)
Rambo - First Blood

But, I still adhere to the fact that the 1982 was more 70's than full-force 80's

Percentage wise - I'd go like this:
(Percentage stands for 1970's influence)

1980 - 95 %
1981 - 85%
1982 - 75%
1983 - 50%
1984 - 30%
1985 - 20-15%
1986 - 15-5%
1987 - 5%
1988 - 0%

Okay, so now that I've completely analyzed this to death - I'm going on my way..

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/28/06 at 12:47 pm


Maybe because I was born in 1982, I tend to defend the fact that 1982 was still a part of the late 70's transitional period.

A major amount of 70's artists still soaked the 1982 charts:

Electric Light Orchestra
Billy Joel
Journey
Earth, Wind & Fire
Dan Fogelberg
Anne Murray
Rick James
Kiss
The Carpenters
Neil Young
John Denver
Little River Band
Kenny Rodgers
Barry Manilow

Plus, also consider some of the films that came out then with very big 70's looks to them:

Tootsie
E.T. (Quite possibly more 80's than 70's)
Annie (based in the 30's, but they sure did look like they were coming straight from the 70's - lol)
Rambo - First Blood

But, I still adhere to the fact that the 1982 was more 70's than full-force 80's

Percentage wise - I'd go like this:
(Percentage stands for 1970's influence)

1980 - 95 %
1981 - 85%
1982 - 75%
1983 - 50%
1984 - 30%
1985 - 20-15%
1986 - 15-5%
1987 - 5%
1988 - 0%

Okay, so now that I've completely analyzed this to death - I'm going on my way..


Yeah, I think of 1982 as the last year that still had ALOT of '80s stuff there, the percent jumped downwards enormously starting in early 1983 when Thriller came out and then dropped as much nearly, as you said, '83-'84. I still think '82 was the year when the "'80s" started to bubble over, though, like 1991 was the beginning of the true '90s though it really exploded full force in early '92 or so.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/28/06 at 2:25 pm

^^Being a 1990er (if I'm right about when I was born, I'm pretty sure it was '90), I tend to defend that 1990 was pop-culturally part of the '80s, along with the first half of 1991 as well.  However, a lot of people who were actually around for the '80s agree with this sentiment, so I don't think it's purely wishful thinking.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/28/06 at 5:48 pm

I think it was sort of a transitional period, alot of the luster of the '80s was lost and the '90s was starting underground and in certain other things. I sort of see mid-1991 to mid-1992 as the year the '80s finally jumped the shark with increasingly dark/non-80s work by Madonna, Prince, and Michael Jackson and the final fall of hair metal with Nevermind's appearance, the debut of the first singles and major albums of Nine Inch Nails and Tori Amos and other big '90s people, and the growing criticism of the Republicans. Also, this period had a very dark feel as opposed to the '80s as a whole...the early '90s seemed very dark alot, with the Gulf War, teen homelessness, the crack epidemic, the recession, etc. It was sort of the '80s getting so fat and excessive it got diabetes.

Subject: Re: The Pre-80s

Written By: mach!ne_he@d on 02/28/06 at 6:34 pm


^^Being a 1990er (if I'm right about when I was born, I'm pretty sure it was '90), I tend to defend that 1990 was pop-culturally part of the '80s, along with the first half of 1991 as well.  However, a lot of people who were actually around for the '80s agree with this sentiment, so I don't think it's purely wishful thinking.



1990 was defidently part of the 80's pop culturally. Just like 1980 was pop culturally part of the 70's.

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