Postcards from the Past

Had you asked me about this even just a year ago, I would have told you I wouldn’t be caught dead re-living any part of the 80’s. For me, it was the decade of my teenage years which were about as disastrous as teenagehood gets. As I think back and see a mini-movie version of those years playing in my head, I can say with absolute certainty that there is nothing, nothing I feel nostalgic about when it comes to the 80’s. I once met a guy who listened to nothing but 80’s music. I took it as a sign to stay well away when I realized there was no intended irony in his music choices and that he had never figured out there’d been all kinds of things happening on the music scene since then.

For me, musically speaking, between ‘80 & 89 there was a hard rock phase, a heavy metal phase, a New Wave phase, ska/Mod phase, a pop (i.e. Madonna) phase, a 60’s & 70’s rock phase, and probably a few others I’m forgetting… I switched musical genres depending on my fast-changing moods, hoping to find that one perfect fit. Back then, answering the question so what kind of music do you like? was a loaded proposition because you knew the right or wrong answer could mean acceptance or rejection by any one group of your peers. Back then I thought there was something really wrong with me if I couldn’t answer that simple question “correctly”. Now I think: Screw it—there is no such thing as right or wrong when it comes to music, I never did well in group situation anyway, and anyone my age who still goes around asking that question clearly still has some growing up to do.

Of course now that I’ve reacquainted myself with some of my favourites from that era, I’ve been having a ball tracking down more of the golden oldies I’ve ignored for so long. As I listen to many of those songs again for the first time in 20+ years, I’m amazed at how well some of them have stood up to the test of time. Others are like postcards from the past—a past that I am very glad to leave behind—and it’s a relief to find that the music stands on it’s own, has taken on another dimension than being just a memory of a time best left behind.

Fade to Grey – Visage

Cars – Gary Numan (Actually from 1979 but who’s counting?)

Genius of Love – Tom Tom Club

Call Me – Blondie (I’m guessing she’s high as a kite on this video)

The Ghost In You – Psychedelic Furs

I know they weren’t intended to be funny but most of these videos crack me up!


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