Google+
Social Links

« These songs by women of the 90s | Main | Two of the biggest toy crazes EVER! »
Wednesday
Nov252009

1980 -1989 Fads that changed everything.

Hard to pick but here is the list.

1. The Walkman
Though the technology looks ancient to us today, we wouldn't have the beloved iPod if it wasn't for the Walkman. In 1979, Sony introduced their first portable music player in Japan. By 1980, America had jumped on the bandwagon, and there were dozens of portable cassette players on the market. They were heavy, didn't deliver great sound quality, and initially cost upwards of $150, but it didn't matter -- they were delivering tunes to the masses, one tape at a time.

_______

2. Atari
The name of the gaming system that started them all loosely translates from Japanese to mean "prepare to be attacked." Thus, it's fitting that the first video games were simple UFO shooting games or games such as Frogger, which required players to move a frog across a busy road without getting squished. Atari, Inc., was formed in 1972, and five years later one of the most successful gaming consoles of all time -- the Atari 2600 -- was released. Millions of consumers bought the devices and spent hours (and days) glued to the TV set, playing Q*Bert, Pac-Man, and Space Invaders. The Atari company consolidated a few years ago but still has a hand in shaping today's much more advanced gaming world.

________

3. Break Dancing
When DJ Kool Herc took the dance break sections off vinyl records and remixed them into one another to create a longer, funkier song, break dancing was born. These extended breaks gave NYC street dancers all the time in the world to showcase their gravity-defying moves, including the pop and lock, the windmill, the freeze, the moonwalk, the worm, and the closing "suicide." It's believed that the first break-dancing trend occurred among rival gang members who used the dance style to settle disputes. As the media attention grew for this competitive, visually exhilarating dance style, so did its popularity. The fashion, the music, and the dance moves themselves became hallmarks of '80s youth culture.

_______


4. Parachute Pants

If you're thinking about break dancing, you'd be wise to consider your outfit -- not only do you need to look "fresh" and "fly," you need to be able to slide, slip, and spin on a dance floor and regular pants just won't do. Baggy in the thigh and narrow at the ankle, parachute pants increased mobility for dancers who needed more flexible clothing. The pants were often made of synthetic materials (you can backspin way better in a poly-blend than you can in cotton) and usually came in bright colors. As break dancing became cooler, the clothes of these street dancers became the "in" fashion trend and even kids in the suburbs were donning parachute pants.

_______

5. Swatch Watches
In 1983, the Swatch Group, Ltd., of Switzerland had an idea. They thought that watches could be less of a financial investment for the stuffy and time-conscious and more of a disposable, funky accessory. Their idea was a big hit. Swatch watches came in hundreds of different colors and styles, and some were even scented! Many people chose to wear several styles at once, loading up two, three, even six Swatches on their wrists at the same time. If you wanted to know what time it was in the 1980s, you probably got your information from a Swatch watch. Swatch Group is still the largest watch company in the world, although it is hard to find someone using a Swatch as a ponytail holder these days.

_______



 

6. Preppies
While some kids were break-dancing, and others were coiffing their hair sky-high with hair spray and mousse, preppies were busy wearing chinos and loafers, talking about sailboat races, and working with their financial advisors. Preppie was a word used to describe the clean-cut teens, twenty and thirty-somethings of the '80s who could usually be spotted wearing pink and playing tennis. With the release of the tongue-in-cheek (but frighteningly accurate) Official Preppy Handbook in 1980, it was easy to spot a preppie -- or a preppie wannabe -- anywhere.

_______


7. Hair Bands
The heavy-metal music of the 1980s was typified by a heavy, guitar-and-drums-centered sound with highly amplified distortion, fairly raunchy lyrics (for the time), and plenty of dramatic builds. The heavy-metal lifestyle was typified by beer, girls, leather, and really big hair. As the music got louder and bolder from groups like Warrant, Motley Crue, and Poison, the hair got bigger and fluffier -- and we're not just talking about the girls. These "hair bands" were so named because of the impossible-to-ignore hair swung around by the guitar-playing men onstage.

_________________________________

 

Viewer Question: What were your favorite 80's fads?

 

References (3)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (3)

I had a walkman, I listened to Motley Crue, I played Atari, I had a swatch watch. I didnt break dance, wear parachute pants, or dress as a prep.

Well I owned one pair of parachute pants.
February 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYlllwFvr
Thats nice YIIIwFvr. Can you give me your walkman, I'm collecting 1980-1985 model of walkman or I'll just buy it from you.
You realize the picture you have is of Hammer pants, not parachute pants right? fix yourself. not sure when people decided to try and change fashion history but there are some people who still live today who were there. fix yourself, thanks
May 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertotally 80s

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.