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Subject: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: HazelBlue99 on 11/03/17 at 9:14 am

I was reading an old thread based on the pop culture of 1990 and one person mentioned that in a sense, 1990 was almost "treated like it was the new millennium". I thought that comment was really interesting, and to be honest, I can understand the point they were trying to get across. Now, before I get into this more, i'm not suggesting that 1990 had the same type of pop culture as the Y2K Era. I realise that they share very little in common in regards to that.

However, I do believe that the one thing they did have in common, was that the pop culture of both eras were a reflection of the same "optimistic" vibe of the retrospective times. There's actually quite a few parallels between the two. Hair metal and house were to 1990, what teen-pop and nu-metal were to the Y2k Era; they were popular genres which polarised listeners, due to their "cheesy" nature. 1990 was quite unique in that it had an overall "positive" and "cheesy" attitude, unlike the starts of other 20th Century decades. 1970 and 1980 certainly weren't cheesy years for pop culture. Many aspects of 1990 pop culture, however, would have even been viewed as being cheesy at the time, especially considering that '80s culture was on it's way out.

In my opinion, 1990 was a precursor of the type of pop-culture that would become in the Y2K era.


Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: TheEarly90sFan on 11/03/17 at 10:32 am


I was reading an old thread based on the pop culture of 1990 and one person mentioned that in a sense, 1990 was almost "treated like it was the new millennium". I thought that comment was really interesting, and to be honest, I can understand the point they were trying to get across. Now, before I get into this more, i'm not suggesting that 1990 had the same type of pop culture as the Y2K Era. I realise that they share very little in common in regards to that.

However, I do believe that the one thing they did have in common, was that the pop culture of both eras were a reflection of the same "optimistic" vibe of the retrospective times. There's actually quite a few parallels between the two. Hair metal and house were to 1990, what teen-pop and nu-metal were to the Y2k Era; they were popular genres which polarised listeners, due to their "cheesy" nature. 1990 was quite unique in that it had an overall "positive" and "cheesy" attitude, unlike the starts of other 20th Century decades. 1970 and 1980 certainly weren't cheesy years for pop culture. Many aspects of 1990 pop culture, however, would have even been viewed as being cheesy at the time, especially considering that '80s culture was on it's way out.

In my opinion, 1990 was a precursor of the type of pop-culture that would become in the Y2K era.


'80s culture was already gone by the time our 1990 calendars went up. I don't remember anyone playing with an Atari 2600 or the original Star Wars action figures by Kenner in 1990. We had moved on to the Nintendo Entertainment System and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles memorabilia by then.I know both of those came out of the '80s, but no one I knew thought of them as "80s culture" back then. 1990 was a very '90s year.



Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: bchris02 on 11/04/17 at 12:33 pm


I was reading an old thread based on the pop culture of 1990 and one person mentioned that in a sense, 1990 was almost "treated like it was the new millennium". I thought that comment was really interesting, and to be honest, I can understand the point they were trying to get across. Now, before I get into this more, i'm not suggesting that 1990 had the same type of pop culture as the Y2K Era. I realise that they share very little in common in regards to that.

However, I do believe that the one thing they did have in common, was that the pop culture of both eras were a reflection of the same "optimistic" vibe of the retrospective times. There's actually quite a few parallels between the two. Hair metal and house were to 1990, what teen-pop and nu-metal were to the Y2k Era; they were popular genres which polarised listeners, due to their "cheesy" nature. 1990 was quite unique in that it had an overall "positive" and "cheesy" attitude, unlike the starts of other 20th Century decades. 1970 and 1980 certainly weren't cheesy years for pop culture. Many aspects of 1990 pop culture, however, would have even been viewed as being cheesy at the time, especially considering that '80s culture was on it's way out.

In my opinion, 1990 was a precursor of the type of pop-culture that would become in the Y2K era.


The past three decade changes have had similar shifts to a more upbeat, optimistic culture.  We saw it again in the 2009-2012 era.  It's possible we might experience it again as we head into the 2020s.  Things are noticeably becoming more upbeat.

I have always percieved the early '90s (1989-1991) has being more similar to 1985 than they were 1995.

Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 11/04/17 at 2:35 pm

Having lived through 1990 as an adult, I don't recall recall it being treated "almost like it was the new millennium". Nor would I use the term "upbeat". I'd cautiously say it might have been "optimistic", but only in the sense that there is always a hopeful optimism at the beginning of a new calendar decade, whether it it warranted or not. If anything, 1990 saw a certain seriousness or earthiness return, as we were finally seeing the end of all that cheeesy 80s synth-new wave, cartoonish fashions and general vacuousness that characterized the 80s. This new (and welcome) seriousness was taking hold, as exemplified by the emergence of grunge. Not that grunge was without it's own pretensions.

Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: TheEarly90sFan on 11/05/17 at 12:06 am


The past three decade changes have had similar shifts to a more upbeat, optimistic culture.  We saw it again in the 2009-2012 era.  It's possible we might experience it again as we head into the 2020s.  Things are noticeably becoming more upbeat.

I have always perceived the early '90s (1989-1991) has being more similar to 1985 than they were 1995.


The early '90s were from 1990 to 1992. '92 was the last full year when George HW Bush was president, jams shorts were sold in stores, and Michael Keaton was Batman. '93 was the first year of the mid '90s.

Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: HazelBlue99 on 11/05/17 at 8:28 am


The past three decade changes have had similar shifts to a more upbeat, optimistic culture.  We saw it again in the 2009-2012 era.  It's possible we might experience it again as we head into the 2020s.  Things are noticeably becoming more upbeat.

I have always percieved the early '90s (1989-1991) has being more similar to 1985 than they were 1995.


I agree, although I personally don't think that the 2009-2012 era was cheesy or as upbeat as 1990 was. Most of the songs from 2009-2012 have aged quite well, in my opinion. I think that's a key difference between 1990 (and the Y2K era) and other decade shifts which had upbeat, optimistic culture. Many of the songs from 1990 and the Y2K Era sound intentionally cheesy (e.g "U Can't Touch This", "Blue"), while other upbeat, optimistic cultural eras (e.g 2009-2012) seem more like a natural progression of time and don't come across in the same way. I think another reason why 1990 comes across as being more cheesy, is because '90s culture had yet to fully establish itself and there were still a lot of '80s influences lingering around.

This is completely subjective, but 1990 really could have been the turning point where the music industry would have become over-commercialised, much like how it did in the Y2K era (through teen-pop stars and boy bands). For instance, "Cherry Pie" by Warrant was very much a "record company" product. Columbia Records had wanted a "rock record" and the song was penned in just 15 minutes by the band. I think that's the direction music was heading in. There were already indications of this at the time. The hip-hop/house music at the time was essential the "teen-pop" and "nu-metal" of the Early '90s. They were easy to produce and that's why we ended up with songs like "Sucker DJ", "U Can't Touch This" and "Ice Ice Baby". In addition to those songs, there was also "Do the Bartman" and bands/artists like New Kids on the Block, Milli Vanilli, Vanilla Ice and Pet Shop Boys. Music was beginning to become over-commercialised and record companies were beginning to exploit talent.

That's why I think there are parallels between 1990 and the Y2K Era. 1990 was essentially a precursor to what would come and how the music industry would become over-commercialised.


Having lived through 1990 as an adult, I don't recall recall it being treated "almost like it was the new millennium". Nor would I use the term "upbeat". I'd cautiously say it might have been "optimistic", but only in the sense that there is always a hopeful optimism at the beginning of a new calendar decade, whether it it warranted or not. If anything, 1990 saw a certain seriousness or earthiness return, as we were finally seeing the end of all that cheeesy 80s synth-new wave, cartoonish fashions and general vacuousness that characterized the 80s. This new (and welcome) seriousness was taking hold, as exemplified by the emergence of grunge. Not that grunge was without it's own pretensions.


That's true, although i'm not sure if 1990 was the year which saw the return of earthiness in pop culture. I would personally reserve that for 1991, considering that alternative rock became a genuine force in the mainstream in the second half of the year and "grunge" fashion was brought to the forefront of the public eye. You're right that 80s-synth new wave was beginning to fade by 1990, although the general "80s aesthetic" was still present in a lot of releases that year. The pop music of the time had much more in common with 1985 than it did with with 1995, in my opinion. Although, I wasn't alive at that time, so I could be completely wrong. :P

Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: yelimsexa on 11/06/17 at 9:10 am


'80s culture was already gone by the time our 1990 calendars went up. I don't remember anyone playing with an Atari 2600 or the original Star Wars action figures by Kenner in 1990. We had moved on to the Nintendo Entertainment System and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles memorabilia by then.I know both of those came out of the '80s, but no one I knew thought of them as "80s culture" back then. 1990 was a very '90s year.


And of course like you said in another thread, the "Spirit of 1990" was finito in 1999, meaning that this may have been the last year to have no connections to the forthcoming Y2K era. And most people didn't even hear of this phenomenon until 1998 when it went into the mainstream. And yes, although they were a bit behind the times, I did play Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns at a friend's house that year despite playing an NES for over a year, and felt that the joystick was cool compared to the four button NES controller, even if the graphics weren't that great (though not drastic like after the SNES came out).  Of course, this was TMNT's biggest year with sales of over $400 million in toys and merchandise (not counting the movie), and I was a fan!

Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: Lizardmatum on 11/20/17 at 1:31 pm


The past three decade changes have had similar shifts to a more upbeat, optimistic culture.  We saw it again in the 2009-2012 era.  It's possible we might experience it again as we head into the 2020s.  Things are noticeably becoming more upbeat.


I do hope so. I have noticed that I do enjoy the tail ends of a decade more than the middle

Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: 2001 on 11/20/17 at 1:43 pm

1990 was a very dark year in Canada with the start of that recession. Yuppie culture was dead once and for all, there was maybe some trace of it in 1989 but not in 1990. I wouldn't call it optimistic, but "1990" does sound rather futuristic. :D

Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: batfan2005 on 11/29/17 at 3:08 pm

Actually 1989 was the beginning of the Y2K culture. It was the year that the Internet was created and the Simpsons premiered.

Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: Howard on 11/30/17 at 7:00 am


Actually 1989 was the beginning of the Y2K culture. It was the year that the Internet was created and the Simpsons premiered.


How was 1989 the beginning? ???

Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: HazelBlue99 on 11/30/17 at 8:29 am


Actually 1989 was the beginning of the Y2K culture. It was the year that the Internet was created and the Simpsons premiered.


Ha, great joke...that's not what this thread is about.  >:(

Subject: Re: 1990: A Precursor to the Y2K Era?

Written By: TheEarly90sFan on 11/30/17 at 12:01 pm


Actually 1989 was the beginning of the Y2K culture. It was the year that the Internet was created and the Simpsons premiered.


Actually,The Simpsons premiered in 1990, not '89. The Christmas Special was a stand-alone special, not the first episode.

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