From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Margaret Thatcher (1979) and Ronald Reagan (1980) came to power ending the Trente Glorieuses. Major civil discontent and violence occurred in the Middle East, including the Iran–Iraq War, the Soviet–Afghan War, the 1982 Lebanon War, the Nagorno-Karabakh War, the Bombing of Libya in 1986, and the First Intifada in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Islamism became a powerful political force in the 1980s and many terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda started."--Sholem Stein
--"Computer Love" (1981) by Kraftwerk
|<< 1970s||1990s >>|
The 1980s refers to the period of and between 1980 and 1989. In the United Kingdom particularly, this decade is often referred to as "the Me decade" and "the Greed decade", reflecting the economic and social climate. In the United States and UK, "yuppie" entered the lexicon, referring to the well-publicized rise of a new middle class within the upper economic strata. College graduates in their late 20s/30s were entering the workplace in prestigious office professions, holding more purchasing power in trendy, luxurious goods.
The Autumn of Nations led towards the withdrawal of Soviet troops at the conclusion of the Soviet-Afghan War, fall of the Berlin Wall, the Revolutions of 1989 and the end of Cold War. The era was characterized by the blend of conservative family values alongside a period of increased telecommunications, shift towards liberal market economies and the new openness of perestroika and glasnost. This transitional passage also saw massive democratic revolutions such as the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in China, the Czechoslovak velvet revolution, and the overthrow of the dictatorial regime in Romania and other communist Warsaw Pact states in Central and Eastern Europe. These changes continued to be felt in the 1990s and on into the 21st century.
The 1980s was also an era of tremendous population growth around the world, comparable only to the 1970s or 1990s to being among the largest in human history. This growth occurred not only in developing regions but also developed western nations, where many newborns were the offspring of the largely populated baby boomers.
- 1980 Dressed to Kill by Brian De Palma
- 1981 first cases of AIDS
- 1982 Ranx 1: Ranx à New-york by Stefano Tamburini/Tanino Liberatore
- 1983 Videodrome by David Cronenberg
- 1984 Apple Macintosh introduced
- 1985 House music: "Mysteries of Love" by Fingers, Inc.
- 1986 Incredibly Strange Films by V. Vale, Andrea Juno
- 1987 The Way Things Go by Peter Fischli & David Weiss
- 1988 Morris worm
- 1989 Europe: Berlin wall falls
The most prominent events and trends in popular culture of the decade include:
With releases such as Computer World (1981) by Kraftwerk, the decade saw the emergence of new wave, electronic music (e.g., synthpop) the use of the synthesizer, and the introduction of hip hop and sampling.
The decade began with a backlash against disco music and a movement away from the orchestral arrangements that had characterized much of the music of the 1970s. Music in the 1980s was characterized by electronic sounds accomplished through the use of synthesizers and keyboards, along with drum machines. The music channel MTV began the trend of the music video. The first video to be aired on MTV was Buggles's "Video Killed The Radio Star".
By the late 1970s many major US cities had thriving disco club scenes which were centered around discothèques, nightclubs, and private loft parties where DJs would play disco hits through powerful PA systems for the dancers. Some of the most prestigious clubs had elaborate lighting systems that throbbed to the beat of the music.
The largest world cities like New York (Paradise Garage, The Loft), Manchester (The Haçienda), Paris (Les Bains Douches), Ibiza (Pacha), Antwerp (Ancienne Belgique) played a significant role in the evolution of clubbing, DJ culture and nightlife.
From the Jahsonic 1000
- 1980#Singles, 1981#Singles, 1982#Singles, 1983#Singles, 1984#Singles, 1985#Singles, 1986#Singles, 1987#Singles, 1988#Singles, 1989#Singles
- Paradise Garage classics
- Ancienne Belgique (Antwerp)
- Liaisons Dangereuses (radio program)
- Towards a Balearic playlist
- Loft classics
- 1980#Film, 1981#Film, 1982#Film, 1983#Film, 1984#Film, 1985#Film, 1986#Film, 1987#Film, 1988#Film, 1989#Film
- Dressed to Kill (1980) by Brian De Palma
- Coup de Torchon (1981) by Bertrand Tavernier
- Eating Raoul by Paul Bartel
- Videodrome (1983) by David Cronenberg
- Blood Simple (1984) by Coen Brothers
- Tampopo (1985) by Juzo Itami
- Blue Velvet (1986) by David Lynch
- Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) by Carl Gottlieb, John Landis
- Drowning by Numbers (1988) by Peter Greenaway
- Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) by Shinya Tsukamoto
During the 1980s, audiences began increasingly watching films on their home VCRs. In the early part of that decade, the film studios tried legal action to ban home ownership of VCRs as a violation of copyright, which proved unsuccessful. Eventually, the sale and rental of films on home video became a significant "second venue" for exhibition of films, and an additional source of revenue for the film industries. Direct-to-video (niche) markets usually offered lower quality, cheap productions that were not deemed very suitable for the general audiences of television and theatrical releases.
The Lucas–Spielberg combine would dominate "Hollywood" cinema for much of the 1980s, and lead to much imitation. Two follow-ups to Star Wars, three to Jaws, and three Indiana Jones films helped to make sequels of successful films more of an expectation than ever before. Lucas also launched THX Ltd, a division of Lucasfilm in 1982, while Spielberg enjoyed one of the decade's greatest successes in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial the same year. 1982 also saw the release of Disney's Tron which was one of the first films from a major studio to use computer graphics extensively. American independent cinema struggled more during the decade, although Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980), After Hours (1985), and The King of Comedy (1983) helped to establish him as one of the most critically acclaimed American film makers of the era. Also during 1983 Scarface was released, which was very profitable and resulted in even greater fame for its leading actor Al Pacino. Probably the most successful film commercially was Tim Burton's 1989 version of Bob Kane's creation, Batman, which broke box-office records. Jack Nicholson's portrayal of the demented Joker earned him a total of $60,000,000 after figuring in his percentage of the gross.
British cinema was given a boost during the early 1980s by the arrival of David Puttnam's company Goldcrest Films. The films Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, The Killing Fields and A Room with a View appealed to a "middlebrow" audience which was increasingly being ignored by the major Hollywood studios. While the films of the 1970s had helped to define modern blockbuster motion pictures, the way "Hollywood" released its films would now change. Films, for the most part, would premiere in a wider number of theatres, although, to this day, some films still premiere using the route of the limited/roadshow release system. Against some expectations, the rise of the multiplex cinema did not allow less mainstream films to be shown, but simply allowed the major blockbusters to be given an even greater number of screenings. However, films that had been overlooked in cinemas were increasingly being given a second chance on home video.
During the 1980s, Japanese cinema experienced a revival, largely due to the success of anime films. The most famous anime film of this decade was Katsuhiro Otomo's cyberpunk film Akira (1988), which although initially unsuccessful at Japanese theaters, went on to become an international success.
Hong Kong action cinema, which was in a state of decline due to endless Bruceploitation films after the death of Bruce Lee, also experienced a revival in the 1980s, largely due to the reinvention of the action film genre by Jackie Chan. He had previously combined the comedy film and martial arts film genres successfully in the 1978 films Snake in the Eagle's Shadow and Drunken Master.
The 1980s was the decade of transformation in television. Cable television became more accessible and therefore, more popular. By the middle of the decade, almost 70% of the American population had cable television and over 85% were paying for cable services such as HBO or Showtime.
The popular animated sitcom The Simpsons debuted in 1989. There were also the TV talk shows that were increasing in popularity and some of the most viewed were the ones hosted by Geraldo Rivera or David Letterman.
- The kitsch of the 1970s, while itself rejected, influenced the fashion of the 1980s – in the beginning of the decade marked by the New Romantic movement and later by fashion inspired by heavy metal bands, including teased hair, ripped jeans and neon clothing.
Significant fashion trends of the 1980s include:
- Perm, Mullet and Hair gel
- Leggings, Leg warmers
- Shoulder Pads
- Pastel colors
- Ray-Ban sunglasses
- Jean jackets
- BMX bicycles gained popularity amongst the youth in the early 1980s.
- The Yo-yo gained popularity amongst the youth in the beginning of the decade as well.
- Fast food chain restaurants such as McDonald's and Burger King experienced a strong increase circulation.
- Rubik's cube became a popular fad throughout the decade.
- 1980 in literature
- The Brave Little Toaster by Thomas M. Disch
- A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole first published
- The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
- The Third Wave by Alvin Toffler
- The Shock of the New by Robert Hughes
- A Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari
- The Dictionary of Imaginary Places by Alberto Manguel
- Powers of Horror by Julia Kristeva
- The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan
- Cities of the Red Night by William Burroughs
- Lanark: A Life in Four Books by Alasdair Gray
- Cult Movies by Danny Peary
- The Celluloid Closet by Vito Russo
- Danse Macabre by Stephen King
- Literary Machines by Ted Nelson
- Thy Neighbor's Wife by Gay Talese
- Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard
- Le capitalisme de la séduction by Michel Clouscard
- The End of the Road by John Margolies
- Memphis: The New International Style by Barbara Radice
- RanXerox in New York by Tanino Liberatore and Tamburini
- Virginie, Her Two Lives by John Hawkes
- Spanking the Maid by Robert Coover
- Before She Met Me by Julian Barnes
- Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago
- Midnight Movies by Jeffrey Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum
- Critique of Cynical Reason by Sloterdijk
- The Style of the Century by Bevis Hillier
- The Tears of the White Man by Pascal Bruckner
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
- The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
- Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavić
- Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes
- The Hot House by Andrea Branzi
- Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism by Frederic Jameson
- Ninety-nine Novels by Anthony Burgess
- Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions by John Michell
- The Great Cat Massacre by Robert Darnton
- Perfume by Patrick Süskind
- The Voyeur by Alberto Moravia
- White Noise by Don DeLillo
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
- The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver W. Sacks
- Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
- The Originality of the Avant-Garde by Rosalind E. Krauss
- Reflexivity in Film and Literature by Robert Stam
- A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway
- Fous à lire, fous à lier by Gérard Oberlé
- 1986 in literature
- Nothing Natural by Jenny Diski
- Mirrorshades by Bruce Sterling
- La plus belle paire de seins du monde, a collection of stories by Roland Topor
- Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- Incredibly Strange Films by V. Vale and Andrea Juno
- Lequeu : An Architectural Enigma by Philippe Duboÿ
- Idols of Perversity by Bram Dijkstra
- 1988 in literature
- The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
- Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill
- Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
- non fiction
- The Misfits: A Study of Sexual Outsiders by Colin Wilson
- Lipstick Traces, a Secret History of 20th Century by Greil Marcus
- No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture by Andrew Ross
- Hard Core: Power, Pleasure by Linda Williams
- Rants and Incendiary Tracts by Bob Black and Adam Parfrey
- Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity by Richard Rorty
- Codex Seraphinianus (1981) by Luigi Serafini