The Glory of the 80’s

The Glory of the 80’s is a really cool song by Tori Amos. The only thing wrong with it is that the 80’s, in a lot of important ways, sucked.

I say this as I listen to my iTunes, to which I recently added a bunch of songs I found on an abandoned hard drive at my office. (Someone said the cable guy was backing up his songs and copied them to it for some reason.) I had iTunes set to shuffle, and along came Rick Springfield. The song sounded like all the rest of his songs, so I deleted it. Maybe, I decided, I should see if any of the other Rick Springfield songs need to be escorted to the trash. One by one, as I listened to the first 90 or so seconds of each song, they landed in the trash. Before long, no more Rick. They were just breathtaking in their awfulness; derivative, puerile, annoying.

Okay, there were some pearls in the 1980’s. But for the most part, it was a decade of unpolished commercialism, artistic copycatery, and, in effect, waiting for grunge bands to come along and cleanse our musical pallets of the unsavory synthesizers and drum machines that talentless hacks like Springfield, Bananarama, Rick Astley, The Human League, The Thompson Twins, A-Ha, Lionel Richie, Spandau Ballet, Cyndi Lauper, The Firm, etc., etc., etc., brought us.

  1. Okay, it’s one thing to disagree on the moral issues, but come on Richard! What’s not to love about Rick Springfield?? He was a huge commercial success who made top forty pop music. He wasn’t in the heavy metal genre. His music appealed to young girls rather than cool guys like you. But he had and still has talent. His skills as a musician weren’t manufactured. He most likely had no control over the way he was marketed. The same thing happened to the Osmonds. That family had and still has extraordinary talant but they certainly had no control over their marketing. That’s all I’m going to say. I have to go watch General Hospital now.

  2. “…He was a huge commercial success…”

    This is actually usually an indicator that the music is NOT good. So I’ll have to go with Mr. Barron on this one. :-)

  3. Right, Will. I get your point. I wasn’t saying that being a huge commercial success was proof that he had talent. I only meant that that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a good musician. He’s underrated and it’s not because he doesn’t have talent but because of the way he was marketed. Too bad he will never overcome that.

Leave a Reply