5 Things I Miss From The ’80s And ’90s
Most people who know me know I’m not the biggest fan of modern life. As Blur so elegantly put it; “Modern life is rubbish” and I have to say I somewhat agree. Whilst from 2000 onwards, the world has welcomed smartphones, streaming music and social media, for me it’s all missing something, that personal touch. And with that, I decided to delve back into the far recesses of my mind and ponder on all the things that are no more, simply because we were told there were better ways of doing things and most of us listened;
1. The CD and cassette
As a child of the ’80s and teenager of the ’90s, for me, it was all about the CD and cassette. I still to this day can remember the first cassette I ever bought; Bluetones – Slight Return (definitely one to check out!). That feeling of going into town, walking into HMV and unable to wait until you get home and take the shiny wrapper off the CD or cassette to read the minuscule lyrics and check out the album artwork and pictures of your favourite artist. That feeling of playing the music for the first time, provided a rush which Spotify simply can’t contend with. As well as the fact songs would stay at number one for unprecedented amounts of time, highlighting the quality of the music back then, as opposed to today where there seems to be a different number one every week.
2. Real musical icons
In a world where Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift are the hottest artists around, there seem to be more and more artists coming through every week through YouTube, TV talent shows and various online forums. While this is great for the unsigned artist, it’s not so great in terms of creating a timeless music star. Today, anyone can break through the record industry and that has resulted in more artists than ever before, including some that aren’t necessarily very good. Artists also aren’t developed the way they once were and given the time to hone their talent. Instead, stars are granted almost immediate success through a talent show, hit number one and then are dropped by their record label when unable to maintain this standard of hits. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, you could name the biggest stars in the world on one hand and if one album didn’t sell too well, the next one would. Examples include Mariah Carey and George Michael’s second albums. Plus celebrities weren’t as overexposed as they are currently, with their daily ramblings posted on their various social media accounts. Back then, you had to buy Smash Hits magazine or watch Top of The Pops in order to find out the latest on your favourite artist.
3. A sense of mystery
Social media has bought us many things, from keeping in touch with long lost contacts to knowing what everyone else is doing, every single second of the day. When Facebook first came out, it was an exciting time. I jumped on the bandwagon after putting up an initial resistance. You actually interacted with people on your friends lists and the information people shared was interesting and appreciated, but it’s all changed in the last few years with more and more people growing tired of a world of oversharing and in turn, deactivating their accounts. Before social media hit the mainstream, there was a certain little thing to people you’d struggle to find nowadays, a little thing called ‘mystery’. People were private and when you met up with friends, you were able to find out their latest news, rather than already knowing (along with their other 482 online ‘friends’). And don’t even get me started on the selfie trend!
4. Supermodels were actual supermodels
In the late ’80s and ’90s, supermodels were discovered in shopping malls and your normal, everyday unglamorous places and then steered to the top catwalks and magazine covers. Back then, there were the likes of Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer. Today, in a world where nepotism is the flavour of the decade, all you need is a presence on a reality show, famous parents or – better still – both! This has led to a new definition of ‘supermodel’ where it’s not so much about how you look, but rather, who you know.
5. There was nothing smart about a phone
Ah, the times when the only phone someone had was called a landline. Those days of going to school and waiting for a phone call from a friend and then spending hours on the same call with your parents screaming for you to “GET OFF THE PHONE!” Back then, you would arrange to meet someone and guess what, people actually met. No cancelling at the last minute, plans actually stood for something. People seemed a little less flaky or maybe that’s just what my memory recalls. Plus, when you actually did meet a friend, they weren’t sat glued to their phone as though waiting for a better offer of communication.
So there’s a few things I miss from the golden era, of course not forgetting to mention: the fashion, the tv shows and so much more. So for now, while I reminisce of days gone by and dig out my old record collection, I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs from the ’80s A Different Corner and I applaud you if you’re able to listen to it without almost shedding a tear.