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music in the 1980s - film in the 1980s

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Computer World (1981) - Kraftwerk [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

An East German security guard faces off with West Berliners sitting atop the Soviets' infamous Berlin Wall. Within hours after the photograph was taken Nov. 10, 1989, West and East Berliners joined in tearing down the 28-year-old barrier.

Culture of the 1980s

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980s#Culture [Apr 2005]

Events and trends
The 1980s marked an abrupt shift towards more conservative lifestyles after the momentous cultural revolutions which took place in the 1960s and 1970s and the definition of the AIDS virus in 1981. This decade has been somewhat derided since its closing for its perceived "greed" among Yuppies, certain clothes/music/hairstyles which seem outlandish by modern standards, overall high crime rates in many countries, and of course the onset of the AIDS virus in the early part of the decade. While true to some extent, events and trends of the 1980s contributed greatly towards toppling the Soviet Union and European communism in the last months of the decade, and the 1980s saw very rapid developments in numerous sectors of technology which have defined the 20th century as a whole. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980s [May 2005]

1980s music [...]

Musical genres popular during the 1980s include hip hop, old school rap, heavy metal music, twee pop, hair metal, New Wave music, New Romantic, shoegazing, jangle pop, alternative rock, dream pop, techno, house, acid house, two-tone. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980s#Music [Apr 2005]

Chicago house music

Chicago's greatest influence on electronic dance music is as the birthplace of house music. The name house music is said to come from the Chicago dance club, the Warehouse, where the legendary Frankie Knuckles DJed. The classic house record label Trax Records was based in Chicago, and put out seminal house records like Jamie Principle & Frankie Knuckles's "Your Love" and Marshall Jefferson's "Move Your Body". Other influential house artists to come out of Chicago include Adonis, Larry Heard, Ron Hardy, Phuture, Robert Owens, and Farley Jackmaster Funk. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Illinois#Electronic_music [Apr 2005]

Chicago house is a style of house music. House music originated in a Chicago, Illinois nightclub called the WareHouse, and this is where the style of music derives its name from. DJ Frankie Knuckles originally popularized house music while working at the WareHouse.

House music grew out of the post-disco dance club culture of the early 1980s. After disco became popular, certain urban DJs, particularly those in gay communities, altered the music to make it less pop-oriented. The beat became more mechanical and the bass grooves became deeper, while elements of electronic synth pop, Latin soul, dub reggae, rap, and jazz were grafted over the music's insistent, unvarying 4/4 beat. Frequently, the music was purely instrumental and when there were vocalists, they were faceless female divas that often sang wordless melodies.

By the late 1980s, house had broken out of underground clubs in cities like Chicago, New York, and London, and had begun making inroads on the pop charts, particularly in England and Europe but later in America under the guise of artists like C+C Music Factory and Madonna. At the same time, house was breaking into the pop charts; it fragmented into a number of subgenres, including hip-house, ambient house, and most significantly, acid house (a subgenre of house with the instantly recognizable squelch of the Roland TB-303 bassline generator). During the '90s, house ceased to be cutting-edge music, yet it remained popular in clubs throughout Europe and America. At the end of the decade, a new wave of progressive house artists including Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, and House of 909 brought the music back to critical quarters with praised full-length works. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_house [Apr 2005]

Subcultures of the 1980s

At the beginning of the 1980s some of the followers of punk rock began to be bored with it and wanted to make it more stylish and introduce elements of glam. By 1981 this trend had become New Romantics and the music was synthesiser electro-pop.

New Romantics tended to be slightly camp and fay of behaviour regardless of whether they were gay or not. There was a bisexual vibe generally, regardless of the individual's actual sexuality. The clothes style was a return to the freak scene's roleplay of fashions from previous eras or imagined future ones. It was like using fashion to create a time warp. According to the music press at the time there were some alternative names New Romantics wanted to call themselves. One was Futurists and another was the cult with no name.

There was an unsuccessful attempt to manufacture an artificial subculture around the pop group Adam and the Ants. Supposed to be called Antpeople this remained merely a fictional subculture and didn't catch on in reality.

Post punk and post hippie elements continued and a particular type of anarchist-pacifist subculture centred around the records being put out on the independent Crass label by Crass themselves and other bands including The Poison Girls. Crass records was a very independent operation enabling bands with an extremely raw sound to put out records when the major labels might not have bothered with them. Crass also organised gigs around the country for themselves and other bands and campaigned politically for the anti-nuclear movement and lots of other causes they believed in.

In American urban environments a form of street culture using freeform and semi-stacatto poetry combined with athletic break dancing was developing as the Hip hop and Rap subculture. In jazz jargon the word rap had always meant speech and conversation. The new meaning signified a change in the status of poetry from an elitist artform to a community sport. Rappers could attempt to outdo each other with their skillful rhymes. Rapping is also known as MCing, which is one of the four main elements of Hip hop: MCing, DJing, graffiti art, and breakdancing. From the early to mid 1980s poetry culture in a broader sense caught the same kind of energy as rap and so began the first of the Poetry slams. Poetry slamming became an irregular focus for the latest wave of poetry aficionados.

After the New Romantic fashion broke and had been around for a lot less than the five years they talked about the trend moved on. There was a brief abortive fashion which was called Urban vagrants but which failed to become a true subculture. Urban vagrants was too artificially manufactured by the media. One thing which actually became a real subculture was Goth. Gothic culture developed naturally enough, without too much media forcing. The goths are a culture of fetishism and gloomy romanticism with sado-masochistic tendencies. They have continued from the mid-80s to the 21st century with their roots reaching backward to the gothic-romantic movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

A subculture relishing free enterprise capitalism sprang up in the mid 80s and were branded by the tabloid press with the name of Yuppies (the first two or three letters intended to mean either Young Urban Professional or Young and Upwardly mobile and the remainder to sound like hippies).

Wine bars gained popularity over the traditional pub as a meeting place in Britain of the 80s. Wine bars in fact gained such popularity that many pubs converted part of their premises to a wine bar style. Along with this trend was a resurgence of jazz, especially in the forms of Jazz funk and Smooth jazz.

The free festival movement was still going in the 80s and, in fact, expanded to create different types of events. free parties and raves began from the mid-80s and became a flourishing subculture. The music was electronic dance music which was a development of electronic music pioneered by Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage and others, taken by way of progressive rock bands like Hawkwind, filtered through the sounds of dub-reggae and the electro-pop bands like Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode and given a different twist via The Art of Noise and early hip hop and recycled psychedelia. Towards the end of the 80s rave culture had diversified into different forms connected to music such as Acid House and Acid Jazz and would continue to diversify into the 90s. Rave culture thrived from the mid-80s to the end of the century and beyond.

The Usenet and BBS subculture had developed an element called Slashdot subculture which involved its own forms of ettiquette and behaviour patterns both social and anti-social and the phenomena of trolling, spamming, flaming etc. The computer subculture was also influenced by fictional subcultures of the future to be read about in cyberpunk literature. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_subcultures_in_the_20th_century#The_1980s [Dec 2004]


  • 1980 Dressed to Kill (1980) - Brian De Palma
  • 1981 first cases of AIDS
  • 1982 Ranx 1: Ranx ŕ New-york (1982) - Stefano Tamburini/Tanino Liberatore
  • 1983 Videodrome (1983) - David Cronenberg
  • 1984 Apple Macintosh introduced
  • 1985 House music: Mysteries of Love (1985) - Fingers, Inc.
  • 1986 Incredibly Strange Films (1986) - V. Vale, Andrea Juno
  • 1987 A Thousand Plateaus : Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1987) - Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari
  • 1988 Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios/Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) - Pedro Almodóvar
  • 1989 Europe: Berlin wall falls


    "Yuppie," short for "Young Urban Professional," describes a demographic of people generally between their late twenties and early thirties, and with graduate degrees. Yuppies tend to hold jobs in the professional sector, with incomes that place them in the upper-middle economic class. The term "Yuppie" emerged in the 1980s as an echo of the earlier "hippies" and "yippies" who had rejected the materialistically-oriented values of the business community.

    The yuppie stereotype
    The term "yuppies" has come to refers to more than just a demographic profile: it is also a psychographic profile. It describes a set of behavioural and psychographic attributes that have come to constitute a commonly believed stereotype. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_urban_professionals [Apr 2005]


    The Face magazine runs the first in-depth article on MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine), which is the basis for the party drug Ecstasy. It was first synthesised and patented before World War I by German company Merck as a diet aid. In the 60s it was rediscovered by Alexander Shulgin, a US biochemist, who used it for theraputic purposes. It was banned in the USA in 1985.


    On 5 June 1981, an obscure medical journal reported a mysterious illness that had killed five young gay men in Los Angeles. It was the first mention of what later became known as Aids. [...]


    When the drugs change, the music changes, too. Throughout the late seventies and into the eighties, as club culture spread globally, cocaine use became correspondingly widespread and this was reflected in music made for the dance floor [...]. Gradually, the disc jockeys who spun the records in the clubs began to become more important than the musicians who made them. [...]

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