Don’t stop believin’ in ’80s music


Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Many of these artists, propelled by incomparable stardom, continued touring throughout the 2010s.

Kevin Hutchinson, Staff Writer

In an incoherent tangle of soulless synths and vague, indecipherable lyrics, modern audiophiles are left with little to enjoy on the airwaves. 

Despite their climbs to the top of music charts, songs like “Circles,” “Don’t Start Now,” and “Adore You” lack strong lyrics, authentic instrumentals, and emotional plots. Like innumerable contemporaries, these songs often entail excessive repetition of blather that can only be understood with the assistance of Genius Lyrics. 

As they grow in frequency, those songs, which are too weak to stand alone, are partnered with atrocious TikTok dances. This music, though popular for a few days or weeks, quickly fades into forgotten obscurity. 

When confused, frustrated, and bored by these unacceptable standards, devotees of music can turn to the time-honored classics of America’s greatest decade. 

Despite its flaws — the Cold War, parachute pants, and bad action movies — the ’80s decade yielded some of the best music to ever mount the charts. 

Righteous bands like Hall and Oates, Wham!, Journey, REO Speedwagon, and the Beastie Boys accompanied legendary solo artists Billy Joel, Elton John, Prince, Michael Jackson and Phil Collins, enjoying weeks of airtime and millions of adoring fans. 

Many of these artists, propelled by incomparable stardom, continued touring throughout the 2010s. Given the nature of modern radio “hits,” it is doubtful that this lifelong recognition will be enjoyed by today’s artists 30 years in the future.

In the 2050s, will pre-pubescents know the throbbing whines of “Watermelon Sugar” or the unendurable vulgarity of “WAP”? Will Gen-Zers, then well within adulthood, not be somewhat embarrassed to recognize Ed Sheeran, correctly spell Roddy Ricch, or know the abundance of Lil’s — Jon, Wayne, and Pump chief among them? 

It may be no surprise, then, if posthumous Night Ranger and .38 Special albums dominate future airwaves. There is simply no contest between “I said my face bomb, (expletive deleted),” and “I’m forever yours, faithfully.” The former is mindless physical description — the latter has soul and humanity.

When in doubt, turn to the heartrending ballads, the pounding pop, and the tubular alternative of America’s golden decade. When in need of relatable lyrics and authentic instrumentals, drop Harry Styles, DaBaby, and Lil Nas X for David Lee Roth, Tina Turner, and Phil Collins. When times are tough, turn to the ’80s.