Friday, 22 March 2013


The 1980s decade was the period of time between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1989. 

The time period saw great social, economic, and general change as wealth and production migrated to newlyindustrializing economies. As economic liberalization increased in the developed world, multiplemultinational corporations associated with the manufacturing industry relocated into Thailand, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. Japan and West Germany are the most notable developed countries that continued to enjoy rapid economic growth during the decade while other developed nations, particularly theUnited Kingdom and the United States, re-adopted laissez-faire economic policies.

Developing countries across the world faced economic and social difficulties as they suffered from multiple debt crises in the 1980s, requiring many of these countries to apply for financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Ethiopia witnessed widespread famine in the mid-1980s during the corrupt rule of Mengistu Haile Mariam, resulting in the country having to depend on foreign aid to provide food to its population and worldwide efforts to address and raise money to help Ethiopians, such as the famous Live Aid concert in 1985.

Tim Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989; it would be released to the public in 1991 and roughly four years afterwards became widely known, beginning the ongoing worldwide boom of Internet use.

The role of women in the workplace increased greatly. Continuing the 1970s' trend, more women in the English-speaking world took to calling themselves "Ms.", rather than "Mrs." or "Miss." A similar change occurred in Germany, with women choosing "Frau" instead of "Fräulein" in an effort to disassociate marital status from title. In most Western countries, women began to exercise the option of keeping their maiden names after marriage; in Canada, legislation was enacted to end the practice of automatically changing a woman's last name upon marriage.

In the United States, MTV was launched and music videos began to have a larger effect on the record industry. Pop artists such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Duran Duran, Prince, Madonna, and Queen mastered the format and helped turn this new product into a profitable business. New Wave and Synthpop were developed by many British and American artists, and became popular phenomena throughout the decade, especially in the early and mid-eighties.
Michael Jackson was the definitive icon of the 1980s and his leather jacket, glove and Moonwalk dance were often imitated. Jackson's 1982 album Thriller became—and currently remains—the best-selling album of all time, with sales estimated by various sources as somewhere between 65 and 110 million copies worldwide.
Madonna and Whitney Houston were regarded as the most ground breaking female artists of the decade. Thekeyboard synthesizer and drum machine were among the most popular instruments in music during the 1980s, especially in New Wave music. After the 1980s electronic instruments were no longer popular in rock but continued to be the main component of mainstream pop.
Hard rock, heavy metal, and glam metal became some of the most dominant music genres of the decade, peaking with the arrival of such bands as Mötley Crüe, Hanoi Rocks, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Poison, Europe, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, and virtuoso guitarists such as Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen. The scene also helped 1970s hard rock artists such as AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, KISS,Ronnie James Dio, and Judas Priest reach a new generation of fans.
By 1989, the hip hop scene had evolved, gaining recognition and exhibiting a stronger influence on the music industry. This time period is also considered part of the golden age of hip hop. The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Run-D.M.C., Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five,Boogie Down Productions, N.W.A, LL Cool J, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, EPMD, Eric B. & Rakim, Ice-T, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, 2 Live Crew, Tone Lōc, Biz Markie, the Jungle Brothers and others experienced success in this genre.
The Techno style of electronic dance music emerged in Detroit, Michigan during the mid- to late 1980s. The House music style, another form of electronic dance music, emerged in Chicago, Illinois in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in mid-1980s discothèques catering to the African-American, Latino and gay communities, first in Chicago, then in New York City and Detroit. It eventually reached Europe before becoming infused in mainstream pop and dance music worldwide.
Punk rock continued to make strides in the musical community; it gave birth to many sub-genres like hardcore, which has continued to be moderately successful, giving birth in turn to a few counterculture movements, most notably the Straight Edge movement which began in the early era of this decade. College rock caught on in the underground scene of the 1980s in a nationwide movement with a distinct D.I.Yapproach. Bands like the Pixies, R.E.M., The Replacements, Sonic Youth, XTC, The Smiths, etc. experienced success in this genre. The 1980s also saw the birth of the grunge genre, with the arrival of such bands as Soundgarden, Green River, U2, Melvins, Screaming Trees,Malfunkshun, Skin Yard, The U-Men, Blood Circus, Nirvana, Tad, Mudhoney, Mother Love Bone and Alice in Chains (who formed in 1987, but did not release their first album until three years later).
Several notable music artists died of unnatural causes in the 1980s. Bon Scott, at the time lead singer of rock band AC/DC died of acute alcohol poisoning on February 19, 1980. John Lennon was shot outside of his home in New York City on the night of December 8, 1980.Tim Hardin died of a heroin overdose on December 29, 1980. Bob Marley died from a lentiginous skin melanoma on May 11, 1981. Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father at his home in Los Angeles on April 1, 1984, one day before what would have been his 45th birthday. Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist Randy Rhoads died in an airplane crash on March 19, 1982.Metallica bassist Cliff Burton was killed in a bus accident in Sweden on September 27, 1986. Andy Gibb died in 1988 as a result of myocarditis.

  • Oscar winners: Ordinary People (1980), Chariots of Fire (1981), Gandhi (1982), Terms of Endearment (1983), Amadeus (1984), Out of Africa (1985), Platoon (1986), The Last Emperor (1987), Rain Man (1988), Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
  • The 15 highest-grossing films of the decade are (in order from highest to lowest domestic grossing): E.T. the Extra-TerrestrialStar Wars Episode VI: Return of the JediStar Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes BackIndiana Jones and the Last CrusadeBatmanRain ManRaiders of the Lost ArkBack to the FutureWho Framed Roger RabbitTop GunIndiana Jones and the Temple of DoomBack to the Future Part IICrocodile DundeeFatal Attraction and Beverly Hills Cop.

This was the period when the 'high concept' films were introduced. The movies were supposed to be easily marketable and understandable, and, therefore, they had short cinematic plots that could be summarized in one or two sentences. The modern Hollywood blockbuster is the most popular film format from the 1980s. Producer Don Simpson is usually credited with the creation of the high-concept picture of the modern Hollywood blockbuster.
The 80s also spawned the Brat Pack films, many of which were directed by John Hughes. Films such as Class (film), The Breakfast Club,Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Mannequin (1987 film), Porky's, Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, St. Elmo's Fire (film), Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science and Valley Girl were popular teen comedies of the era and launched the careers of several major celebrities such as:Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Sean Pennand Nicolas Cage. Other popular films included About Last Night...Bill & Ted's Excellent AdventureDirty DancingFlashdance,FootlooseRaging Bull and St. Elmo's Fire which also launched the careers of high profile celebrities like Demi Moore, Joe Pesci, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Bacon, Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze.
Horror films were a popular genre during the decade, with several notable horror franchises being born during the 1980s. Among the most popular were the Child's PlayA Nightmare on Elm StreetFriday the 13thHellraiser and Poltergeist franchises. Aside from these films, the concept of the B horror film gave rise to a plethora of horror films that went on to earn a cult status. An example of such is the 1981 film The Evil Dead, which marked the directorial debut of Sam Raimi.
Several action film franchises were also launched during the 1980s. The most popular of these were the Beverly Hills Cop, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and Rambo franchises. Other action films from the decade which are of notable status include The Terminator and Predator. These films propelled the careers of modern celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Eddie Murphy, Mel Gibson and Sylvester Stallone to international recognition.

The beginning of the decade was marked by the New Romantic movement and later by fashion inspired by heavy metalbands, including teased hair, ripped jeans and neon clothing. Some clothing and mens hairstyles had influences from the 1950s, especially in the first part of the decade.
Significant hairstyle trends of the 1980s include the Perm (started popularity in the late 1970s), the Mullet (evolved from the 1970s to a cleaner look using hair gel), the Jheri curl, the Flattop, the Hi-top fade and Big hair.
Significant clothing trends of the 1980s include Shoulder pads, Jean jackets, Leather pants, Aviator jackets, Jumpsuits,Diane von Fürstenberg Wrap Dress, Members Only Jackets, Skin-tight acid-washed jeans, Miniskirts, Leggings and Leg warmers (popularized in the film "Flashdance"), Off-the-Shoulder Shirts and Cut Sweatshirts (popularized in the film "Flashdance").
Additional significant trends of the 1980s include Headbands, Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses (popularized in the film "Top Gun"),Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses (popularized in the films "Risky Business" and "The Blues Brothers"), Swatch watches, Slap bracelets (popular fad among children, pre-teens and teenagers in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was available in a wide variety of patterns and colors), and the Rubik's Cube (became a popular fad throughout the decade). Girls also wore Jelly Shoes, large crucifix neclaces, and braissers all inspired by Madonna's "Like a Virgin" video.
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New Romanticism:
New Romanticism (also called blitz kids and a variety of other names) was a pop culture movement in the United Kingdom that began around 1979 and peaked around 1981. Developing in London nightclubs such as Billy's and The Blitz and spreading to other major cities in the UK, it was based around flamboyant, eccentric fashion and New Wave music. Several music acts from the era adopted the style of the movement and became known to epitomise it within the music and mainstream press, including UltravoxVisageDuran DuranSpandau BalletABC and Boy George (of Culture Club). Japan and Adam and the Ants were also labelled as New Romantic artists by the press, although they had no direct connection to the original scene. A number of these bands adopted synthesizers and helped to develop synthpop in the early 1980s, which, combined with the distinctive New Romantic visuals, helped them first to national success in the UK and, with help of MTV to play a major part in the Second British Invasion of the U.S. charts. By the mid-1980s, the original movement had largely dissipated and, although some of the artists associated with the scene continued their careers, they had largely abandoned the aesthetics of the movement and the synthpop sound. There were attempts to revive the movement from the 1990s, including the short-lived romo movement.
New Romanticism can be seen as a reaction to punk, and was heavily influenced by David Bowie and Roxy Music. In terms of style it rejected the austerity and anti-fashion stance of punk. Both sexes often dressed in counter-sexual or androgynous clothing and wore cosmetics such as eyeliner and lipstick, partly derived from earlier punk fashions. This "gender bending" was particularly evident in figures such as Boy George of Culture Club and Marilyn (Peter Robinson). Fashion was based on varied looks based on romantic themes, including frilly fop shirts in the style of the English Romantic period, Russian constructivism, Bonny Prince Charlie, FrenchIncroyables and 1930s Cabaret, Hollywood starlets, Puritans and clowns, with any look being possible if it was adapted to be unusual and striking. Common hairstyles included quiffs, mullets and wedges. Soon after they began to gain mainstream attention, however, many New Romantic bands dropped the eclectic clothes and makeup in favour of sharp suits that echoed Bowie's Thin White Dukeimage.
New Romantic looks were propagated from fashion designer Helen Robinson's Covent Garden shop PX, began to influence major collections and were spread, with a delay, through reviews of what was being worn in clubs via magazines including i-D and The Face. The emergence of the New Romantic movement into the mainstream coincided with Vivienne Westwood's unveiling of her "pirate collection", which was promoted by Bow Wow Wow and Adam and the Ants, who were managed by her then partner Malcolm McLaren. However, the post-punk Adam Ant himself has always denied being a New Romantic, and reiterated this in 2012. The band Japan also refuted any connection with the New Romantic movement and had adopted an androgynous look and worn make-up ever since their inception in the mid-1970s at the tail end of the glam rock era, many years before the New Romantic movement had begun. In an October 1981 interview, vocalist David Sylvian commented "There's a period going past at the moment that may make us look as though we're in fashion."
While some contemporary bands, particularly those of the 2 Tone ska revival, dealt with issues of unemployment and urban decay, New Romantics adopted an escapist and aspirational stance. With its interest in design, marketing and image, has been seen an acceptance of Thatcherism and style commentator Peter York even suggested that it was aligned with the New Right.
New Romantic Fashion