There are two kinds of people. Those that loved the 80s for its colourful exuberance, relished in flamboyant fashion and got hooked on pop culture with the explosion of MTV, and those that despised the 80s and tried to hide away from it because it was all just a bit too bright and way too tacky. One camp defines 80s music and the beginnings of electronic music through big synth electronica and gated reverb as a breakthrough era, the other camp calls it the death of rock and roll.
No matter which side you take, it is undeniable that the 80s is back in a big way right now. Here are 5 reasons that reinforce that theory.
1. In 2019, vinyl is poised to outsell CDs for the first time since 1986. Revenue from vinyl sales has been steadily increasing since the humble vinyl record became somewhat of a collector item and the music vessel of choice for hipsters. Rolling Stone reported this month that CD sales are declining three times as fast as vinyl sales are growing. It is now quite common for new artists to bypass manufacturing CDs altogether and opt for digital releases with a limited edition vinyl set for the superfans.
2. Bands and artists like a-ha, Spandau Ballet, New Order, Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, Tina Turner and more are all reissuing their iconic 80s albums with deluxe editions, unveiling forgotten gems and studio relics in the form of never-before-heard demos and live cuts. Many on limited edition coloured vinyl featuring bonus tracks, photo booklets and further insight from the artist in attempt to appeal to fans that love the tangible experience of placing a record on the turntable and reading through the liner notes. An opportunity now exists to re-purchase the albums we lent to ex-girlfriends and never saw again.
3. Bands like a-ha, Rick Astley and Alice Cooper are all touring successfully and heading to Australia soon. Peter Hook just played a handful of shows in Australia. The Cure are selling out in record time globally playing Disintegration in full for its 30th Anniversary. Nostalgia is king and these 80s bands are still putting on a great show for the oldies. A Day On The Green is literally the Big Day Out for adults, and there is no shortage of ticket sales.
4. 80s one hit wonders like “Never Ending Story” by Limahl have resurfaced in global charts and are streaming in the millions. Thanks to its epic inclusion in 80s influenced Netflix phenomenon Stranger Things and on the official soundtrack that reads like and 80s hit list, the kids are obsessed.
5. Crop tops and bodysuits are back in fast fashion stores and the kids are into it. It’s impossible to walk past any retail outlet aimed at under 25s right now and not see something we were wearing in 1984. Not so in a hurry these days to show off the midriff.
If you loaned out your precious 80s albums to an ex-girlfriend or neighbour and never saw them again, you can get your hands on these great titles again now;
a-ha's Hunting High And Low as a new 4CD-version of 2015’s Hunting High And Low: 30th Anniversary Edition includes the original album plus dozens of rare tracks and demo recordings previously unreleased will be released on November 15th. Pre-order it here.
Spandau Ballet's Parade has been fully remasted at AIR Studios in London by award-winning engineer John Webber. It will be released on October 25th, available to pre-order here.
Madonna's 80s albums True Blue, Like A Virgin and Who's That Girl have just been reissued on limited edition clear blue vinyl, set for release on November 8. Pre-order here.
Tina Turner's greatest hits collection, Simply The Best, celebrating the 30th Anniversary of "The Best" (1989) is available now as a stunning blue vinyl 2LP set to be released on November 22nd. Pre-order it here.
Listen to Hits of the 80s on Spotify
Listen to Hits of the 80s on Apple Music