When Did The Eighties Start?
There was a thread about this on the eighties newsgroup, and I received the following in email, so I figured this would be a good topic for it's own page.

1980 or when does a dream begin?

The 80s did not begin on January 1, 1980. They did not begin at any one time. I ask several people what their favorite 80's song is and sometimes I get replies like, "I don't know any songs from the 80s." That is, of course, patently absurd. But what happens when I get the response "My Sharona," by the Knack. A great song! A kick-ass song! The number one song of 1979.

What? People think that "My Sharona" is from the 80s?

Of course they do! It sounds so 80s. It was produced by Mark Chapman of the songwriting duo Chapman/Chinn. This is the same that produced "Heart of Glass" (also a #1 in '79) and the duo wrote "Mickey." Is it any wonder that "My Sharona" is confused as 80s music?

Of course not! The 80s began musically when "Heart of Glass" topped the charts. Pop/Rock/Disco fusion. We called it "New Wave." The same Happy Meal in a different bag. This does not mean that 70s music had ended. Look at late 79! Look at early 80! Four words: "The Captain and Tennille." That is not to say that they are bad or not 80s; they are not bad and they are 80s. The stream of music was turning, however. It probably wasn't until Pat Benatar had a top ten at the end of 80 with "Hit With Your Best Shot" that the 70s music was gone, either that or Gary Numan. (If you don't count Stars on 45 or "Endless Love.")

Politically, the 80s didn't really begin until 1981 when Reagan took office and ushered in 12 years of Republicans in the White House. 12 years! I firmly believe that no president has ever been loved more than Ronald Reagan. Republican deregulation of microwaves, cellular phones, savings and loans, the stock market, big business and computers led to many changes and costs to our modern society.

Television probably began when the General Lee first sounded its horn or when the "Facts of Life" theme was first played. But Cable Television began on August 1, 1981. Film didn't really change in the 80s except that John Hughes guy.

January 1, 1980 was nowhere near the beginning of the 80s. In fact, the 80s are still alive today. No they are not the Spice Girls. No they are not MTV. No they are not NYPD Blue. The 80s still live inside Pat Sajak. They still live in "Every Breath You Take: The Singles." They still live on late night infomercials for products you wouldn't want if you could afford them. The 80s are still here, but you gotta look. And look hard.

For me one of my strongest memories of the 1980's UK was the inflation of the early 80's which was around 20%. I couldn't do my weekly shopping without at least a couple of items going up, it really made you wonder what was going to happen. Luckily, Maggie Thatcher had the answer and inflation had fallen to 5% by 1983 - The "price worth paying" for this reduction was another two million unemployed. On telly in 1980 was the "Hammer House of Horror" - a series of one-hour tales from the British company that had brought you the fifties and sixties remakes of Dracula and Frankenstein. These tales were very different though; obviously influenced by "The Omen" and "The Exorcist" they were set in contemporary time and had endings where the hero or heroine often died! In 1982 we had a war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands and most of us Brits had to look them up in an atlas to work out where they were. The economy was gradually getting better and by 1983 the "real 80s" as I know them had taken off. My strongest memories of the "real eighties" include: A "wannabe Yuppie" girlfriend complete with red-framed glasses and a penchant for those high collar blouses (like the Sloane Rangers). A computer awareness course where I was shown "Prestel" - a computer system that you could dial-up by modem and view news, weather, bulletin boards and book theatre tickets - Heady stuff for 1985. All White sports cars - I remember when the Ford Escort was restyled in late 85. I saw an all-white XR3i parked illegally and very conspicuously outside a supermarket. I must have looked round this car for twenty minutes. At the time it might it summed up what I wanted - a taste of the good life. My downers of the 80's include: Being a student during the height of the boom and only being able to look on at the Eighties excesses - any money earned went on paying bills. At least I didn't have any debts when the 80s bubble burst. Hype - As Public Enemy said, Don't believe the hype!
From: Barty Crouch

I was very much a child of the 80's- being born in 1968... I was pretty much sucked into the whole Hair Metal/Arena Rock thing...Styx REO Speedwagon,Journey,Foreigner...Ozzy.. I was really into the whole hair metal/arena rock scene in a big way- especially once I got exposed to Def Leppard when they released "Photograph". I also liked a few other artists that weren't hair metal...especially Julian Lennon, and Crowded House,and The Clash.It was fun revisiting my childhood when the Monkees had their big come back in 1986-87... Musically for me the 80's were a very good time- most of the music was outstanding- and alot of it still stands the test of time, compared to the trash that came out in the mid 90's on out...I'd have to say the only newer artist that's worth the CD would have to be Nickelback... 80's fashion was ok...but got better towards the end of the decade.I especially liked the big mall hair (even though it took me nearly two hours to do my hair!),the heavier glammed out make up, the silver bangles, and having rings on nearly every finger, as well as having my ears pierced all the way up my ear.... Some of the stuff on 80's tv was ok..."The Young Ones"(brit comedy on MTV Sunday nights.), Head bangers ball with Adam Curry, "The Dukes of Hazzard", "Square Pegs"... Movies of the 80's? "Nightmare on Elm Street", "The Outsiders","Tex"... Politics? I never was too impressed with Reagan or Dubya's Daddy...I still think that Reagan was too old to be in office, if he couldn't remember important contraversial things he did to get his butt in hock over the Iran Contra stuff with Oliver North...The only thing George H. Bush did half way right was the Gulf war..other than that...what a nightmare! I don't think anyone will ever forget Princess Diana's wedding with Prince Charles.. The saddest part of the 80's? AIDS claiming so many lives..the untimely murder of John Lennon, and Rick Allen, Def Leppard's drummer loosing his arm New Years Eve 1984... I don't think there's anyway that the 1990's could ever come close to being what the 1980's were...musically,TV,Movies...culturally...doesn't even coming close to touching what the 80's represented to so many, including myself- a child of the 80s...
From: Genita

I was born in 1966. Aged 14 in 1980, I could taste and appreciate all the 80's very well. The decade of my life! 1983 and 1984 the best years of my life, in friends, movies, music, disco fever, fashion, everything! The form of understanding live, politics, feel music, everything, was better in the 80's. I feel even nostalgia of the Cold War, when good and evil was clear in the world. It's difficult to say what the best movies, the best songs, the best books an so on, of the 80's have been. I just like all the 80's, the decade of my live!!!!!!
From: Ralph

December 8, 1980 John Lennon was killed and my reality shattered (I was 13)'81-82 My first year of high school, U2 "New Years Day, "I ran" "Our Lips are Sealed. The whole Cold War feeling and the music and atmosphere it produced. Solidarity in Poland. High School and just trying to figure out who the h*** you are. The late 80's More U2! I think the 80's ended politically when the Berlin Wall came down(what a night!) and musically when Nirvana's Nevermind was released.
From: Frank

Well i was born in 1965 about 10 years before you which means you were 6 when the 1980s started and I was in highschool already. The first time I heard about new wave was janurary 1980. 20/20 Barbara Walters and Hugh Dow did a special on the new decade and a mixture of Punk and Disco and they called it New Wave which the "Alternative" of the 1980s spawned out of. the old new York underground bands like those that played at CBGBs like Blondie and Talking Heads started the 1980s with a huge bang. Although it may not have become corporate mainstream until 1982-83 the 80s started out big. The 1990s started in 1992 with Grunge and I have to be honest and say the Zero Decade hasnt happened yet. 2003 is almost hear and the 90s genre is still going strong. anyways thats my input.. you can email me at editman2003@hotmail.com if you have to disagree with what im saying but you would be wrong Bahahahahhaah
From: Thomas Dou

I am afraid I have to break it to all you youngsters and wannabe historians that the 80s actually began in the summer of 1968. Since you seem so keen on distinguishing between the "actual 80s" (Jan 1, 1980 - Dec 31, 1989), the "political 80s" (the Reagan years) and the "80s from a stylistic point of view" (there are varying opinions as to the specific dates of this period), I might as well inform you that, much to your shock and possible dismay, the 80s actually started in 1968, a year which I shall from now on refer to as 1980. In 1980, the film Bullitt (starring the late Steve McQueen) was released. As the title itself suggests, this movie is the pinnacle of true 80s style, and the music, though erroneously thought of as "60s", is quasi-actually very 80s. The very famous year of 1969 was actually, believe it or not, the peak of the 80s, and should be thought of as 1981. The 80s were then interrupted by part of the 70s (June 21, 1970 - Dec 31, 1977), and picked up again in 1978 (1982) and continued into 1985 (1989), after which began the late 70s (1990-1993). We are currently living in the 60s. I hope this clears up any confusion and ends the debate. Signed, Grandmaster P, phD, 20th Century True Sciences
From: Professor P

I was born in 1969 in Cambridge UK and for me the "eighties" really began with songs like "Hit me with your rhythm stick" by Ian Dury and the Blockheads(great groove funk band way ahead of their time)and "Ratrap" by the Boomtown Rats.... I suppose I reached adolescence, copped off with a member of the opposite sex for the first time and came of age during the eighties so it is obviously a time I look back on fondly and the music of course is linked with that. So much innovation and good music came out of the Uk in this decade - The Smiths, The Police, Undertones, The Jam, Kate Bush (wooooaaarr) (well seventies really)- so many bands now take more influence than they would dare admit from this period. It did all begin to change around 1990 with the "Madchester" sound bands and all the new dance music (which was new and innovative) but for me the eighties really ended when Cliff Richard no longer appeared in the UK christmas charts - there is a god after all!! What a t*sser!! It was a great decade for music - ok it could be tacky, downright embarrassing, but at least people still played bona fide musical instruments....
From: tom

i was born in 1973,so i was the perfect age when the 80's came about, i remember my sharona in the summer of 79(i was 5 and living in ireland-i still do)and it kicked off something that i have never been able to recover from. all the way through gary neuman to the buggles to blondie and then in 1980 it happened - David bowie's ashes to ashes. from then on i was caught up in a wave of change. as i grew up music and fashion and cinema and basically everything seemed to grow with me. we went through new wave to new romantic. we feared for our lives when every single plane we saw made us think it was world war three(watch the bbc movie threads and u will know what i mean-i didnt sleep for days after)and all the songs.we relaxed with frankie,danced with tears in our eyes with ultravox and hit them with our best shot like pat benetar. as the 80's came to an end our journey took a different turn as we became aware of our own revolution-the berlin wall, the end of the cold war,there was true hope and songs like right here right now and the stone roses fools gold brought on the end of the 80's,no more cynicism,no more fear,just hope and partys. well, if u are in ur late 20s u will know what i mean. i have a radio show like todd and he's right the 80's will never go away. i hope not. it was a unique time and i for one am glad i was part of it.
From: John Mulligan,CRCfm Castlebar

I kinda got carried away on my last posting. I think that the 1980s actually started in 1985. Music started to take a large turn in the pop category. In 1986, we began to get a lot of teen pop singers. Debbie Gibson got popular in 1986, and Tiffany came onto the scene in 1987. New Kids on the Block made their debut around 1988-89. A lot of people today compare Debbie Gibson to her evil clone of the late 90s-today: Britney Spears. Let me clear this up: Debbie and Britney are nothing alike! They are like hot and cold; sharp and dull; day and night, paper and plastic,...etc. I find that not only insulting to me, but insulting to Debbie. No matter how old Debbie is in 2002 (31 years) or what name she goes by (she changed her name from Debbie to Deborah in 1997), she'll always be The Ultimate Pop Princess. Britney can take a long walk off a short pier. Debbie Forever!! :) Larry
From: Larry Larry Griffin

I was born in 1983, so I don't remember a lot from the 80s. I do remember hearing the theme song from "The A-Team" when I was still a baby. A few years ago (early 1998), I only listened to oldies until mid-1999. I only listen to 80s music now. I just can't believe that I missed 10 years of fantastic music! I have albums from The Police, Sting, Rick Springfield, Duran Duran, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Madonna (from the 80s), Genesis, Phil Collins, Debbie Gibson, The Bangles, and several others. I never get tired of listening to it. I only watch reruns of Magnum, p.i., Simon & Simon, (the aformentioned) The A-Team, Miami Vice, Hunter, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Knots Landing, Growing Pains, The Golden Girls, Matlock, MacGyver, Diff'rent Strokes, Falcon Crest, The Facts of Life, Murder She Wrote, Knight Rider, Cheers, Family Ties, The Cosby Show, and many, many more! I would have loved to wear some of the clothes when that were in style. I'll always love the 80s! :) Larry
From: Larry Larry Griffin

I'm only a youngy, born in 1983, England, but I think that being born and raised in the 80's gives me a interesting view point. For me, it ended in 91, when bands and stuff started to matter to me. Any other music was old and didn't matter, it was stuff my parents liked and that was that. at 18, I'm going to clubs and stuff playing this very music-and appreciating it to great shock, I really like some of the old stuff, and am starting to get annoyed at some of these terrible remixes. yay to the 80's, even if the naughties seem more fun...
From: Candy Penfold

Being born in 1984 I can't really comment on when the 80s began, but I'm pretty sure I know when they ENDED On January 1, 1991 the world was still deeply in the 80s; then (not in that order) throughout the course of the year: -Pee Wee Herman gets arrested -Nirvana releases its first album -USSR breaks up -Persian Gulf War ends -Sega comes out with Sonic the Hedgehog and Nintendo comes out with the SNES -Economic recession After all those events, by December 31, 1991 it was obvious that we had entered the nineties! Although there were still some elements of 90s in 1990 or even 1989 and similarly some elements of 80s in 1992 (Crystal clear pepsi) or even 1993, it's pretty clear that the 80s ended in 1991.
From: William

Even though i was only born in early 1985, i can still remember loads of things that went on. I was a huuuuuge fan of Madonna, iloved bannarama and i had an amazing crush on Simon Le Bon!I used to love Saturday superstore and Going live!Gordon the gopher+Roland rat!!The clothes were wicked and my cousins and i used to go around with huuuuuge ponytail on top of our heads with it all back-combed-we thought we looked cool!My sister and I used to know all the dances to the Madonna songs and we were wicked at 'Vogue'! I remember band aid and Kylie and Jason-aww!i had a huge crush on him too! See so to all the people who dont think we remember are childhood in the 80's we do!!!!
From: Thaila

In my opinion, the 80s started sometime around late 1980/early 1981. A lot of stuff happened at this time that did really define the 80s and represent a change: First of all, music changed around this time. Sure, new wave was around already, but New Romantics didn't become really huge until 1981. In early 1981, "Vienna" by Ultravox was riding high in the UK charts. Later that year, Soft Cell and Human League had both had UK #1s (later to become major US hits) while bands like Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, and ABC did also enter the charts for the first time. There were also other things happening at about the same time that were important in defining the 80s. One this is Reagan's president elect. I absolutely despised the man and everything he stood for but there was no doubt he kind of defined the 80s. Sure, the cold war had had its worst crisis since the 60s already in late 1979, when the Soviet invaded Afghanistan and NATO responded by withdrawing from Salt 1. Yet, Reagan was very much a symbol of this era. Another thing that should not be forgotten is that, about the same time Reagan was elected and New Romantics kicked in, John Lennon was shot dead. Definitely a turning point in the story of popular music. Anyway, I am usually more preoccupied with when the 80s did actually end. In my opinion, they ended early. Probably around 1986-87. Why? Because a lot of the musical trends that defined the 90s started by then. You had house music, hip-hop and metal. Sure hair metal may be seen by some as a typical 80s thing, but not for me. After all it lasted into the 90s and was then replaced by grunge, which was really just another sort of metal. Also important, around the mid-to-late 80s, the old analog synth sounds became unfashionable and increasingly replaced with "harder" digital sounds. Plus the synthpop bands of the early 80s suddenly started using a lot of guitars and toning down the "futurist" sound of their music. Actually, around 1986-87, the only ones still faithful to the old analog synth sounds were Italo disco producers plus a few house music pioneers. Analog synths eventually returned in the 90s, but they sounded differently than they had in the early 80s. Thus, when synthpop/new romantics died, the 80s died too.
From: Geir Hongro

The eighties? Im class of 82. A beautiful time to really appreciate the music.. I will never forget the boom boxes belting out gap band and prince on the school bus, while we were on our way to out of town Ball games. CADDY SHACK..Thats it,that is what useherd in the 80s. But Alas,i think they died when Platoon came out..However i think some of the best music was made in the 85 to 90 period.
From: buzz

80's had to start in the Late 70's. I think the 80's ended somewhere in 1991. I'm only 22 but alot of 80's TV shows were really cool back then(Its A Different World, Hogan Family, Growing Pains, and Different Strokes). Now you see TV shows go on and off the air and there's no life span for TV shows anymore. . Anyway, I like both 80's and 90's music. I guess I have a little of both 80's and 90's in me. I liked 90's Grunge , I liked 80's Pop/R&B and New Wave.
From: tv

I was born July 1981 so I missed a year and a half but I loved the 80's and wish I could go back. It was a special time for me and americans everywhere. I'm just glad "that 80's Show" is around so I can almost hold on to that awesome time!
From: Brent

I'm an eighties child and must say that good music definitely ended by the mid nineties and music that we have today, like trance,rave and techno SUCK BIG TIME!Everytime I hear it it makes me throw up!!And then i always remember the good old eighties..aaaaah!I think the problem of today's music performers is that everyone wants to be so damn fancy!!!!And certainly too much technology is involved!But, we can't do anything now...the story of the eighties has ended...by the early nineties!
From: Mikey

With Madonna's debut album, Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" and U2's "War" albums, and hit movies like Flashdance and the Return Of The Jedi, the 80's for me really began in 1983. New Wave was popular from the late 70's up until 1986 or something like that. That didn't really stop the 80's. By the late 80's, Hair Metal bands and Club Dance were very popular, so the 80's contineud to move on. For me, the 80's ended in the summer of 92 when gangster rap hit mainstream. The 80's New Wavers, Hair Metal bands and Pop stars introduced colorful clothes. These 90's gangster rappers introduced the dark, baggy clothing that took over the world for the rest of the decade. The "Dark Ages" 90's were nothing compared to the "Bright" 80's decade. 80's rule!
From: Lorenzo

To me the 80's started in 1979.. I remember the single by, almost afraid to mention them, The Village People called "Ready For The 80's". I started high school that year as well. I was always one to listen to older music, the Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, Led Zeppelin, etc stuff, but also loved Blondie, The Ramones, Duran Duran, and yes, Michael Jackson.. toss in a little David Lee Roth era-Van Halen and Sammy Hagars "Three Lock Box" album and I was set. Oh.. Night Ranger, Ozzy (solo), and Zebra!! All That HAIR! I do remember the first day of MTV, when HBO didnt come on until 5pm and ended around midnight, when our microwave and tv were about the same size and weight, when one piece clothing was cool, tube socks...with stripes...up to your knees. When wearing white tennis shoes made you seem "gay", gym shorts that barely made it to your thigh (on guys no less). Having long hair and lots of it. I could go on and on... the 80's was something else. For sure! I was born in the 60's, raised in the 70's, grew up in the 80's and matured in the 90's.. what a ride it has been!
From: Nick B.

For me, the '80s began around 1983, when it shook off the cardboard and brown corduroy of the '70s. That was Infant primary for me (in the UK) And everyone remembers Knight Rider, the A-Team and the Dukes Of Hazzard. -sounding minor-key electronic music, Sharp-edged, wedge-shaped cars and evil-sounding rock music.For me, the '80s looked very American, and looked best that way. Too bad for us Brits who were lumbered with Maggie Thatcher, the poll tax and mass unemployment. Every time I think of the '80s I think of neon lights in the dark, genuinely enjoyable Christmases and nothing wrong with just letting yourself go. It was much sunnier back then, I think. The '90s destroyed all this with too much white and dull colours, flourescent green mountain bikes (as opposed to the '80s ones in black), Boring, smoothed-off cars looking identical, and an obssession with recycling tipping a bucket of ice-cold water over the dream that was the '80s
From: Sam

The 80s started the summer of '80, when Rolling Stone gave the Clash's 3 album set "Sandinista" five stars, I was 19. Radio in Dallas sucked really bad then (still does). I got a tape from a friend who'd moved to LA, and discovered that in other metropolitan areas there was actually something worth listening to on the radio-- Suburban Lawns, the Cure, the Go-Go's, Devo, Teardrop Explodes, the Specials, the Judys, the Jam, The The, Lene Lovich, Missing Persons, Icehouse, Split Enz, Kate Bush, Adam Ant, Grace Jones, Laurie Anderson...the list goes on and on. What a great time to be a young, angst-ridden art student. Thank god for George Gimarck and the Rock and Roll Alternative, a lifeline to hang on to in a sea of really really bad music.
From: Tammy

The early 80's were, for me, very disjointed. All this stuff was going on - I watched (and later became one of) those kids spinning on their backs outside C&A, enjoyed experimental hair designs/colours and annoyed the hell out of my parents with my brand new monophonic Roland SH101 synthsizer trying in vain to recreate those spooky early 80's sounds. I could not walk past an arcade machine without spending my last 10p wiping out as many waves of alien pixels as possible, I mean, what else were chip shops for - bring 'em on!!!! Then I saw "Pretty in Pink", "The Breakfast Club" and "Back to the future" at the cinema and the 80's came together for me. All of a sudden it all made sense... Since then I've never left those halcyon days, despite regularly attending therapy :o) - long live the 80's!
From: Steve Burns

After the kick up the ass that punk injected in the late seventies I was looking forward to some really interesting and innovative stuff from the eighties. Unfortunately I was disappointed with the whole decade at the time. But looking back from a distance I recall some really good stuff. Also some of the old timers like Paul McCartney, Bowie & The Stones had a resurgance of creativity. For me the best stuff frm the eighties came from the likes of Scritti Politti, Blondie, Bowie, Devo and Prefab Sprout.
From: jc

For me the eighties was pretty damn clear, the only thing that kept me interested was the amazing cartoons. Transformers, He-man, Ceantaurians, Zoids, Go-bots, Visionaries, Thundercats (which did come a bit later than the rest of these fantastic shows), dare I say it even the Wuzzles kept me entertained. Let us not forget the ever popular M.A.S.K. and Action Force (or G.I. Joe depending where you watched it), Sport Billy. I thank you all for the chance to let me reminisce, Ste.
From: Ste

I was born in 1970 and the 80s didn't start for me until 1982 when I started high school. Australia winning the Americas Cup, the Space Shuttle blowing up and Reagan getting shot at are all triggers of when this excellent decade started. I loved it, and I still love the 80s.
From: Kellie

I remember shows like Punky Brewster and Saturday cartoons like Gem and The Smurfs.
From: Jennifer Disse

80's started when guitars started having more of that "hard rock/metal" sound in them back in the 1982.
From: Jay Cavallaro

For me, the eighties started in 1986. For one simple reason... That's when I was born. I remember only little snippits of the eighties, but since we're supposeds to do a project in french class, I decided to drop in here, and see what damage I could do. The eighties for me were learning years...Learning how to walk, learning how to talk, then learning how to sit down and shut up (Still having trouble with those ones...) But I do remember the T.V. shows of the eighties. Teddy Ruxpin, Astro Boy, G.I.Joe, My little Pony, Transformers, Ninja Turtles and other things. Barbie's were cool, but looked much better with a flame afro to me, so the whole G.I. Joe thing appealed. To me, the sounds of the oldies my Mama loved, and the country my Daddy adored drowned out the sounds I would have usually looked for in the pop culture. In the eighties, I accuired a little brother, which I was not too fond of at the time, and I moved around a lot. By the time I was four the eighties were watered out by the on-rushing nineties. But I do remember some things about the eighties, and how I wish I could remember more. There are some things I think stayed with me, though, because even if I don't remember it all too well, There are some parts of the ninties that people say are VERY eighties, and I just say, "I love this stuff!" With the world's widest grin. (Don't mind the braces!) Ashlynn Baldwin Oshawa, Ontario. P.S. Robert, my generation is loving the breakdancing thing up here in the land of eternal ice, too. Always have, pretty much.
From: Starlight Wolf

For me, the 80's started too late and ended too soon. I was born in 1985, so the 80's started for me when I could interact in the world, which was 1988, and ended at 12 midnight on January 1, 1990. I was a pretty smart 3-year-old, and already liked to watch MTV. My fave artist was and still is Debbie Gibson. I do wish I could have lived to see the rest of the 80's, but I was alive to see the turning point of the Cold War.(fall of the Berlin Wall) Anyways, now that I'm older, it's like the 80's never died, cause I still wear the clothes once in a great while and still listen to the music. I even still have one of my sister's old Cabbage Patch Kid dolls up in my closet! *L*
From: NickP

I believe the 80's started in 1979, when America experienced profound political, economic, and cultural changes. The mix of things neat and clean, light-hearted and carefree, lean and mean, and being strong and respected marked an upward surge still being witnessed even today. The contagious and lasting effects of the powerful optimism characteristic of the 80's helped turned things around such as the economy, democracy, capitalism, and the American mood. Rationing was out, abundance was in, Soviet dominance was out, democracy was in, bureaucracy was out, privatization was in, inflation was out, growth was in, anti-military hostility was out, patriotism was in. The fashions, styles, and entertainment of the 80's was a vibrant expression of the positive changes that were taking place in the world. Children of the 80's were fortunate to live their years of youth in that decade. We didn't need offensive or nihilistic entertainment, radical demonstrations or V-chips to make things better. We had opportunity, inspiration, confidence, and hope to bring about positive change. Ours was a uniquely blessed decade. There might never be another decade quite as good.
From: Tom Manion

For me the 1980's started in the Fall of 1980. I was just starting seventh grade. I played basketball all the way through high school (and yes the shorts were short and the socks were long). The music was Gary Numan-Cars, Pat Benetar-Love is a Battlefield, John Cougar-Jack and Diane, Blonde-Rapture and too many more to count. The most significant events for me was Ronald Reagan coming to the White House in 1980 and again in 1984. The attempt on his life by Hinckley was inconceivable, if you haven't seen it watch any historical docuement on Reagan. We watched the events unfold and it was very tense. The cold war raged in the 80's and because of President Reagan's commitment to the Stategic Defense Initiative (SDI), incorrectly called Star Wars by the liberal press, lead to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall. The other signifcant event would have to be the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. I was a Sr. and was in lunch at the time one of my teachers told us what happened. All the great movies of the 80's from Stripes, to Ferris Bueller, Jedi to Back to the Future. The 80's was the best time I ever had in my life and I try to stay as much in tune with the 80's as I can.
From: Jim

I would have to say that for me, the 80's began in the *fall* of 1980, when I entered high school, and probably started the end (in my eyes) in about 1985 or so. When someone mentions the 80's to me, my mind immedately goes back to my high school days
From: David L.Packham

I was born in 1981 so the 80s began w/o me! :-( Needless to say I really think that ALL of the music was really good! My brother (born in '86) and I still have "Sweet dreams [that] are made of this" we really enjoyed much of what happened in the 80s I only wish I could have been a little older when they started, but "who am I to dissagree" I'm sure that those things that I do remember were the BEST that has ever happened! (All quotes are from the song "Sweet Dreams (are made of this) by Eurythmics in 1981!!) :-)
From: Christy

The 80s really began when Reagan got shot AND LIVED. All of a sudden it seemed like all the evil crap this country had been through from Dallas to Saigon to Watergate to Oil Shocks to Inflation to Tehran had come to an end. From that point on the economy picked up, the country re-established itself internationally, the Soviets backed down and America was reinvigorated. Whether you liked or hated the guy, you have to admit that his surviving that shooting did set the tone for the decade to come.
From: micahel

I think the 80's began with the election of Regan in November of 80, or his swearing in January of 1981. I remeber being in grade school when we where allowed to watch his swearing on TV. I remember watching, and for some reason, being that young and still realizing that things where going to change.... But then again, I don't think the 60's really began until 1963 with the death of Kennedy
From: A. Trent Phillips

I don't know when the 80s began for anyone else, but for me they began in 1978. I know that sounds bizzarre but it's true...that's when most electronic music started (Kraftwerk) and men were still wearing makeup left over from the 70s. Gary Numan making music in 1979, and then in 1980 suddenly everyone loved electronica. Which was great. My 80s ended in 1985, with some hangovers to 1986. And then rap appeared, and...the rest is history.
From: Kheldara

last night i went dancing and i heard the song "funky town". i was with a kid from my martial arts school and he talked about how he likes 80s music. i tried to remember when the song came out and i thought it was 79. i asked the kid when he was born and he said 79. i told him that i think thats when the song came out. so we went and asked the dj and found that it was 79. we laughed and joked about it cause it was 80s night at the club we were in. i personally believe that 80s music ranges from a sound that lasted from 78 to the summer of 1990. from the death of disco to the death of the 80s sound, but its coming back trust me. breakdancing has made its return in new york and california and texas. clubs are having 80s nights and the music of today is beginning to sound like 80s music. ITS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!! ROBERT BARNES 31YRS WACO TEXAS
From: robert barnes

I think the eighties started later rather than earlier, and ended before the nineties hit. If you were to look at fashion, movies, TV, music, culture and lifestyle, the era between 1983 and 1988 would sum it up best. Ronald Reagan represented the confidence of the times, as Carter in '80 and Bush in '89 were either finishing up or starting their respective decades. Only in 1982 did the decade even begin to start defining itself. Thriller came out, as did E.T., along with Cheers, Family Ties, and Knight Rider. Before that, pop culture was still a holdover of the seventies. Blondie, The Clash, Adam Ant -- these are more remnants of the disco and punk era of the late seventies. Just like Paula Abdul, New Kids on the Block, and Milli Vanilli are precursors of the pop/dance music trend of the early nineties. Eighties music is Madonna, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, Wham !, Prince, Culture Club etc. Does Batman really stack up in terms of style to movies like Back to the Future ? Eighties movies were bright, colorful, and fun. Batman represented the dark, edgy way of filmmaking that would soon take over in America. Just like Roseanne on television and shows of the like began to distance themselves away from the happy, well adjusted family shows of the mid eighties. Basically, a rich, glossy, colorful, plastic, worry free atmosphere made the eighties what it is. And if you look at examples from the early eighties (1980,'81, even most if not all of '82) as well as ('89) you'll notice that they don't fit the bill.
From: Nick

i was born in '79. To me, the 80s lasted from 1981 with some good duran duran, through 83 and 84 with kajagoogoo and the fixx, through 86 with phil collins and genesis, and sort of started falling in 87 with u2 and inxs. It finally died in 89 and was dead in 1990 when modern rock finally took effect. I can't wait till the current modern rock dies and a new form of modern rock appears in the early 2000's. Maybe they can bring back the keyboards. Maybe Duran Duran or Limahl can bring it back.
From: john

I was born in 1970 and now host a retro radio show in Illinois. Musically, the love of the 80's hasn't gone anywhere. Nor for the 70's for that matter. Every S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night, I get calls from everywhere requesting everything from Sugarloaf to Planet P to your more recognizable Cyndi Laupers and Duran Durans. When people say there wasn't any good music in the 80's, I have them tune in my show. Surprising how many excellent records came out. You just need to dig past the mascara to find it. ;) So, I guess the 80's will never die partly because of those tunes... Todd Chance - WBNQ
From: Todd

I remember the 80's very well. I was born in 1976 so I had started JK which was a bad experience to say the least. Mr. T was one of my fondest memories of the 80's. My brother and I would watch him all the time on such shows as the A-Team, his cartoon show and T&T. Now when I look back on it it's funny how so many people my age, 20 and up, used to idolize him. My brother and I would watch WWF Wrestling together, that is, before Vince McMahon got his hands on it. Who here has hurt themselves trying to immitate one of Jesse Ventura's moves. I tried to immitate one of Jesse Ventura's moves on my father's bed and I ended up hurting my ear because at the time I didn't know that it was fake. Centurians are another one of my favourite memories of the 80's along with Go Bots, My Little Ponies and other stuff that made the 80's so grand. A fractured wrist one year left me in a cast for 3 weeks so I couldn't do anything else except watch the Transformers because I couldn't go swiming. What can I say? It made perfect sense to me since I was a kid and I didn't care anyways. Now that I look back on it I was a REALLY depressed child. :) J/K!
From: Celeste Keenan

Hmm...I suppose that, for me, the Eighties began when Heavy Metal started getting truly (truly truly) outrageous...when all of us kids born in the late Sixties and early Seventies (I was born in 1970) started seeing all the weird rock and roll introduced to us by long-haired uncles and cousins--e.g. Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Kiss, et cetera--turn into memorable ass-kicking metal from the likes of Metallica and W.A.S.P., as well as the softer stuff: Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Judas Priest, et al. Not to mention classics such as Van Halen and Rush. For me, the Eighties is a weird synergy (my second "Jem" reference!) of the intermix between Duran Duran's Eurotrash hairdos and Blackie Lawless' sawblade codpiece. Odd but true. ;) Strangely enough, everyone I knew back then (myself included) enjoyed both with the same fervor. I'm still scratching my head over that. So for the record, let me state that for me, the Eighties started in about 1984, when I was first introduced to black leather and screeching lyrics. It ended about mid-1990, when heavy metal started becoming a franchise, giving us such groaners as Kip Winger and House of Lords. Blech. Rock on, kids... ;)
From: Indigo Shift

I don't really think any new decade begins on January 1, (any decade). I was really disappointed to see the 80's go, at least in my hometown they were pretty strong until 91 or 92. What reminds me of the 80's are old movies with simple plots (Breakfast Club comes to mind). Nothing twisted and very entertaining. Music actually sounded GOOD. They used more than 3 chords. Old 2D video games that were very basic, but kept us entertained for hours. There are so many things that I see that remind me of the 1980's. Whenever I see an old computer, video game, box body car, or any combination of catchy music, I remember the 80's. The 80's got started about 81/82 for me, and carried over about the same into the 1990's. I am VERY glad I have no part of the 90's with me. I really think that most of what we had will be coming back. Maybe not in the same form, but the sounds, colors, games, shows, and the like will return. Look at how many 80's movies have been out of production for years, yet now with DVD, even though DVD is 90's, a LOT of old movies are being re-released. We're not alone.
From: aaron

i was born in 1973 in singapore.i think for me, the 80s in here could be divided into 1980-82, 1983-85, 1986-88 and then 1989. the 1st period was a transition period. u still see people wearing flares and bruce lee style hairstyle, n ladies still sport the charlie's angels look. then in 1983, we got the far east (name of shopping ctr) kids in their gloomy black or grey oversized shirts n punk hairstyles. the breakdance scene of 1984 lightened up the mood a bit. more pastel colours. that's when wham,duran2 n prince influenced the look. in 1985 we got the centrepoint(another mall) kids who were dressed in really loud fluorescent clothes, influenced by the japanese harajuku kids.from 1986-87, the look was sober. by 1988, there were a lot of hardcore kids, skaters n kids influenced by the cleancut looks of British boybands like BROS. only in 1989, did the 80s end with the demise of communism in europe, new sounds like acid house n techno n manchester indie signalling the 90s to come.
From: fried

The 80s kind of started in 79 but really picked up in 82 for me and the majority ended in 87 for me... with a trickle the last 2 years. By 1988 the whole punk thing with funky clothes were out and it was just mushroom hair and boring clothes.... then came the awful 90s fashion... gag me!
From: Nicole KObrowski

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