Take on this: ’80s rocks the decades

Karen Schubert

Do you remember the Chips Ahoy! cookie ad with the people trying to take a bite without biting a chip? How about the coolest alien creature, A.L.F.? Do you know all the words to A-Ha’s “Take On Me?” Girls, do you ever wish you could wear your hair in a side pony-tail or use a crimping iron? Or guys, do you wish that ripping your jeans was still in fashion? For all of these reasons, I pose this question: where did the ’80s go?

It is impossible to deny that the ’80s were the best 10 years of all time. It seems like everything was much more laid back. Today everyone appears to be rushing around, over-stressed and concerned with too many superficial issues. If I could be a teenager in any decade, it would be the ’80s. Today everyone is trying to clone one another. While there is a classic style that people attribute to the ’80s, originality was much more appreciated. It takes a creative decade to come up with these excellent styles:

1. Over-accessorizing (i.e. 20 jelly bracelets on one arm)2. “Frankie Says Relax” t-shirts3. Shirts with collars turned up4. T-shirts tied at one side5. Off-the-shoulder, ripped up sweats6. Denim jackets with lots of buttons/gemstones7. Leather coats with fringes8. Striped miniskirts with legwarmers (like Pat Benatar)9. Parachute pants10. Jeans with high heels11. Unlaced Adidas high-tops with the tongues hanging out12. Lace socks worn with high heels13. Bandanas tied around knee area14. Banana clips15. Slap bracelets16. Michael Jackson glove17. Big bangs 18. Feathered/crimped hair19. Mullets20. Those little tails of hair (rat tails, duck tails)

In addition to the obscure and imaginative fashion sense of the ’80s, I always think of the music. Today’s music can’t hold a candle to the phenomenal tunes of that decade. What other time could produce such great music? Let me take you back for a moment. Remember these top hits of the ’80s?

1. A-Ha “Take On Me,” 19852. AC/DC “You Shook Me All Night Long,” 19803. Aerosmith “Janie’s Got a Gun,” 19894. B-52 “Love Shack,” 19895. Bangles “Walk Like an Egyptian,” 19866. Bon Jovi “Livin’ on a Prayer,” 19867. Culture Club “Karma Chameleon,” 19838. Marvin Gaye “Sexual Healing,” 19829. Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” 198710. Michael Jackson “Thriller,” 198211. Billy Joel “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” 198912. Cyndi Lauper “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” 198313. Madonna “Like a Virgin,” 198414. George Michael “Faith,” 198715. Milli Vanilli “Girl You Know It’s True,” 198816. New Kids on the Block “The Right Stuff,” 198817. Tom Petty “Free Falling,” 198918. Prince “1999,” 198319. Bruce Springsteen “Born in the U.S.A.,” 198420. Tiffany, “I Think We’re Alone Now,” 1987

This list does not begin to encompass the entirety of the quality music inspired by the decade, but I guarantee most Villanovans have at least one of these songs on a playlist on their computer. This just proves that the ’80s will never die.

Another proof of the superiority of the decade is that movies just aren’t the same anymore either. The dance sequences in movies like “She’s All That” are pathetic attempts to recreate the upbeat, fun-loving dance-based movies of the ’80s. No other decade could have produced classics like:

1. “Airplane!” 19802. “Back to the Future,” 19853. “Big,” 19884. “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” 19895. “The Breakfast Club,” 19856. “Caddyshack,” 19807. “Dirty Dancing,” 19878. “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” 19829. “Fast Times At Ridgemont High,” 198210. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” 198611. “Flashdance,” 198312. “Footloose,” 198413. “Ghost Busters,” 198414. “Karate Kid,” 198415. “The Princess Bride,” 198716. “Risky Business,” 198317. “Stand by Me,” 198618. “Terminator,” 198419. “Top Gun,” 198620. “When Harry Met Sally,” 1989

In the next 20 years, I might look back and think fondly about the ’90s and even this decade, but I don’t think any era can match the high quality of the ’80s. No other decade has created style, music or movies with such lasting impressions on so many people. No party is complete without hearing a rousing ’80s classic and no sleepover with friends is quite as good without an ’80s movie marathon. Some may say I’m living in the past, but when the past was so cool, I’m fine living there.