Rediscover The 80s – The 80s were perhaps one of the most influential decades of the modern era. The shift in culture and society that took place 40 years ago is still being felt to this day and this means that, rightfully, people are finding themselves pining after a decade that was remembered as one of the greatest in recent memory.
There’s no better way to scratch that nostalgia itch than to revisit some of the greatest hits in 80s films, TV or music.
Here are a few of the greatest hits that’ll instantly transport you back to the decade of pop culture:
The 80s was one of the greatest decades of cinema that we’ve ever seen. As well as spawning some of the greatest film franchises of all time, the 80s were no stranger to smaller cult classics that every film student still includes in their repertoire. Let’s start with the obvious: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The highly anticipated second film in the original Star Wars trilogy was released at the beginning of the decade in 1980 and was an instant hit with fans around the world. For those looking to transport themselves back to sitting down in an early 1980s cinema, waiting with anticipation for those infamous opening credits and theme tune, there are very few better places to look. If you weren’t a Star Wars fan back in the day – but let’s be honest, who wasn’t? – then you were surely a fan of the famous Indiana Jones. Played by a younger Harrison Ford, there is scarcely a human being alive who wouldn’t immediately recognise that distinctive theme tune or the cracking sound of his trusty bullwhip. If cult classics were more your style, then the 80s really were the decade for you! Stanley Kubrick directed some of his best work through the 1980s, including horror classic The Shining and the criminally underrated Full Metal Jacket.
Despite being marginally overshadowed by the golden era of 80s cinema, TV shows were far from lagging behind their silver screen counterparts. Any self-respecting UK adult will have at least heard of, if not actively watched Rik Mayall’s classic show The Young Ones. Its surreal nature and slapstick humour raised a generation of young teens to appreciate everything weird and wacky about growing up in the UK, as well as changing TV comedy as we knew it. M*A*S*H was another classic comedy that created humour from its desperate premise. Set during the Korean war, M*A*S*H followed the lives of army doctors as they struggled to deal with their hilariously morbid situations and was an absolute staple of early 80s TV. If cartoons were more your thing, the 80s saw the birth of shows such as Tom and Jerry as well as the continuations of previously beloved cartoons such as The Muppets or the long-running titan of TV that was Sesame Street.
The 80s also saw the adoption of new digital ways to create music, most notably the synthesiser. The sound of the synth has become synonymous with hit 80s tracks and bands such as A-ha. The 80s also saw a huge diversification of music, with some of the most famous classic rock records and pop jingles being reaching the top of the charts alongside one another. AC/DC’s Back in Black was released in 1980 and quickly cemented itself as one of the greatest rock albums of all time, and even today remains one of the most-streamed rock albums on Spotify. Other nostalgia-filled albums include Colour by Numbers by Culture Club or the ethereal Who’s Zoomin’ Who? by Aretha Franklin.
Finally, it wouldn’t be 80s nostalgia without talking about the videogame boom. The Nintendo Entertainment System was first released in 1986 and brought about a new era of at-home gaming. Previously, gaming had been largely confined to arcades in big cities, but this was all about to change. Some of the most well-recognised characters of the past 50 years were developed in this era including Mario from Super Mario Bros. or even Link from the Legend of Zelda in his iconic green elf outfit. Tetris, Battletoads, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Duck Hunt were all created in this era and all of whom have modern iterations on current consoles for the nostalgic gamer to sit back and enjoy. Although it took place more than 40 years ago, the 80s don’t have to remain in the past! Indulging in nostalgia is one of life’s greatest joys and with the films, TV shows, music and more mentioned here, there’s more than enough nostalgia to keep you going!
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