I feel like the '80s often don't get anywhere near enough credit for what an amazing decade it really was. Having grown up in the latter half of the '80s, but mostly in the '90s, I've always wished the '90s were more like the decade prior.
The '90s were a decade dominated by darkness. It was the decade that took away our innocence. From the constant fear and reminders of razor blades in our Halloween candy or being kidnapped from the playground to music borne out of depression and lack of acceptance by ones peers and, perhaps most prevalent, the HIV / AIDS epidemic (yes, this began in the 80's but it became the leading cause of death for all Americans age 25 - 44 in 1994); it was a 10-year long emotional depression.
The '80s, on the other hand, were just fun. Yes, there may be a case made for another decade to top this list, but I don't see any of them topping the '80s. The only two other options would be the '20s and the '50s but neither one takes the top spot. And here's your proof:
1. The Movies
The Goonies, Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, Indiana Jones, Empire and Jedi, The Princess Bride, The Breakfast Club, Dirty Dancing, Back to the Future, Top Gun, Vacation (and Christmas Vacation), Ferris Bueller, The NeverEnding Story, A Christmas Story, Stand By Me, Big, Sixteen Candles, The Terminator, Die Hard, Say Anything, Pretty in Pink, Dead Poets Society, ET ... the list literally goes on and on because we've barely even scratched the surface here. Tell me there was a better decade for movies EVER. I dare you.
2. The Music
MTV hit the airwaves on August 1st 1981 and changed the face of music forever. Granted, the station has become nothing more than a place to watch some of the most awful people ever do things nobody should ever care about, but in the '80s it was epic. Not only was the music awesome and completely identifiable to the decade, but the musicians were iconic. Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar, Billy Idol, Heart, Run-D.M.C., Van Halen, Guns n' Roses, Def Leppard, Wham!, Dire Straits, Public Enemy, AC/DC, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Genesis, the Go-Go's, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Huey Lewis, Culture Club ... and I just have to stop there because enough said.
3. The Fashion
Big hair, leg warmers, and stone-washed jeans ... need I say more?
4. The Electronics
The '80s brought us Nintendo and the proliferation of the personal computer, along with affordable calculators, VCRs in (almost) every home, the Walkman, Game Boy, etc. Tell me anything you know of from popular culture that was more iconic to a generation than Super Mario Bros., Zelda, The Oregon Trail, or Tetris?
5. The People
The '80s was full of characters that are arguably the most memorable cast of characters as a whole than emerged from any other single generation. Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy, Hulk Hogan, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Mel Gibson, Michael J. Fox, Mr. T, Mike Tyson, Oprah Winfrey, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, and even sports icons (pre-PED era) like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Wayne Gretzky. No other decade produced more icons (I CHALLENGE YOU!!!).
Disagree? Missing something that should be here? Share in the comments below!
BONUS: Madonna's "Like a Prayer" Turns 25 #tbt