Shoulder pads: are a type of fabric-covered padding used in men's and women's clothing to give the wearer the illusion of having broader and less sloping shoulders.
In men's styles, shoulder pads are often used in suits, jackets and overcoats, usually sewn at the top of the shoulder and fastened between the lining and the outer fabric layer.
In women's clothing, their inclusion depends by the fashion taste of the day. Their use is particularly associated with clothing of the early 1940s and the 1980s.
Although from a non-fashion point of view they are generally for people with narrow or sloping shoulders, there are also quite a few cases in which shoulder pads will be necessary for a suit or blazer in order to compensate for certain fabrics' natural properties, most notably suede blazers, due to the weight of the material.
Shoulder pads originally became popular for women in the 1930s when fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli included them in her designs of 1931, and the following year Joan Crawford wore them in the film "Letty Lynton". In the beginning, they were shaped as a semicircle or small triangle, and were stuffed with wool, cotton or sawdust. They were positioned at the top of the sleeve, to extend the shoulder line. A good example of this is their use in "leg o' mutton" sleeves, or the smaller puffed sleeves which were revived at this time, and were based on styles from the 1890s.1930 to 1945
After World War II began in 1939, women's fashions became increasingly militarised. Jackets, coats, and even dresses in particular were influenced by masculine styles and shoulder pads became bulkier and were positioned at the top of the shoulder to create a solid look. Soon the style was universal, found in all garments excepting lingerie but tapering off later in the decade after the war was over and women yearned for a softer, more feminine look.
1945 to 1970
During the late 1940s to about 1951, some dresses featured a soft, smaller shoulder pad with so little padding as to be barely noticeable. Its function seems to have been to slightly shape the shoulder line.
By the 1950s and 1960s, small padded shoulder pads appeared only in women's jackets and coats—not in dresses, knitwear or blouses as they had previously during the heyday of the early 1940s.
Shoulder pads made their next appearance in women's clothing in the early 1970s, through the influence of British fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki and her label Biba. Biba produced designs influenced by the styles of the 1930s and 1940s, and so a soft version of the shoulder pad was revived. Ossie Clark was another London designer using shoulder pads at the time. These styles did not, however, reach mainstream acceptance, and so the popularity was relatively short lived.
During the early 1980s there was a resurgence of interest in the ladies' evening wear styles of the early 1940s: peplums, batwing sleeves and other design elements of the times were re-interpreted for a new market. The shoulder pad helped define the silhouette and was reintroduced in cut foam versions, especially in well-cut suits reminiscent of the World War II era. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was internationally noted for her adoption of these fashions. Before too long, these masculinized shapes were adopted by women seeking success in the corporate world and became an icon of women's attempts to smash the glass ceiling, a mission that was also added by their notable appearance in the TV series Dynasty.
As the decade wore on, shoulder pads became the defining fashion statement of the era, known as power dressing and bestowing the perception of status and position onto those who wore them. They became both larger and more ubiquitous—every garment from thebrassiere upwards would come with its own set of shoulder pads. To prevent excessive shoulder padding, velcro was sewn onto the pads so that the wearer could choose how many sets to wear. By the end of the era, some shoulder pads were the size of dinner plates. It was inevitable that as the cycle of fashion turned, they would lose favour in the early 1990s.
The shoulder pad fashion carried over from the late 1980s with some popularity in the early 1990s, but the wearer's tastes were changing due to the backlash against 1980s culture. Some designers continued to produce ranges featuring shoulder pads into the mid-1990s, as shoulder pads were prominent in women's formal suits, and matching top-bottom attire, highly exampled in The Nanny. But as the decade wore on, the styles were outdated and were shunned by young and fashion-conscious wearers. Appearances were reduced to smaller, subtler versions augmenting the shoulder lines of jackets and coats.
2000s and 2010s
In the late 2000s (decade), a resurgence of shoulder pads appeared on many runways, fashion designer collections and a revival of 1980s trends became mainstream among many people who were interested in them. By the 2009-2010 seasons, shoulder pads had made their way back into the mainstream market. In 2010 many retailers like Wal-Mart had shoulder pads on at least half of all women's tops and blouses.
The early 2010s have also seen the resurgence of shoulder pads. Many young women had imitated artists such as Lady Gaga and Rihanna, who are known for their 1980s style jackets with shoulder pads, and the new wave styles of the 1980s have continued resurgence in mainstream fashion in the 2010s.
Many styles from the late 1970s remain fashionable in the early 1980s. In the 1970s, the silhouette of fashion tended to be characterized by close fitting clothes on top with wider, looser clothes on the bottom. This trend completely reversed itself in the early 1980s as both men and women began to wear looser shirts and tight, close-fitting trousers..
Men also grew mustaches due to the influence of television shows like Magnum, P.I.. Medium-length hair was common for men, while the longer haircuts of the 1970s went out of fashion. However, very long hair for men became fashionable in the late 1980s due to the influence of Heavy Metal music.
Brand names became increasingly important in this decade, making Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein household names, among others.
After the release of her single "Like a Virgin" in late 1984, Madonna became a fashion icon for many young women around the world who copied her "street urchin" look with short skirts worn over leggings, brassieres worn as outer clothing, untidy hair, crucifix jewellery, and fishnet gloves.
The 1983 movie Flashdance made ripped sweatshirts popular. The television shows Dallas and, in particular, Dynasty also had a similar impact, especially in the area of the increasingly oversized shoulder pads .
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the New Romantic music and fashion movement exerted a strong influence over the clothing worn by both males and females in the early years of the decade.
Other influences on fashion came from films starring Brat Pack members like Judd Nelson and Rob Lowe. By the late 1980s, the influence of an emerging, materialistic, Yuppie-influenced subculture was chronicled by writers like Bret Easton Ellis. Hip hop culture and Rap music also began influencing wider fashion trends, such as track suits (worn when not exercising), Kangol hats, including oversized gold jewelry on men and women.
New Romantic look
New Romantic was a New Wave and fashion movement that occurred primarily in British and Irish nightclubs. New Wave, New Romantic, and gothic (Goth) fashion at this time was heavily influenced by punk fashion: the streaky eyeliner, the spiked hair, the outrageous clothing, some of which derived from bondage wear (goth) and some of which (New Romantic) was a nod to long-gone eras. New Romantics emerged in the UK music scene in the early 1980s as a direct backlash council estates, the New Romantics celebrated glamour and partied regularly at local nightclubs. The make-up was streaky and bold. The notoriously outlandish designer/club hostLeigh Bowery, known for his exuberant designs, became a muse for artists such as Boy George and Duran Duran and had grown a huge status in the early 1980s underground club scene. The early designer of the punk look was Vivienne Westwood. Her early career was closely linked to the Sex Pistols. She also designed clothing specifically for bands, such as Adam and the Ants, and later developed the "pirate look." The piratelook featured full-sleeved, frilled "buccaneer" shirts often made of expensive fabrics. Hussar-style jackets with gold-braiding were worn with the shirts as well as high-waisted, baggy trousers which tapered at the ankle.Colin Swift, Stevie Stewart and David Holah were also influential NewRo designers.One element of this trend that went mainstream and remained popular for most of the decade were short shirt collars worn unfolded against the neck (popped collars) with the top one or two buttons unfastened. Some people believed that, with the exception of business suits, to wear one's collar folded appeared awkward or stuffy.
Headbands became fashionable in the early 1980s. The trend started in California and spread across the United States. Other associated trends were leg warmers and miniskirts, especially "ra-ra" skirts, modeled after the short, flared skirts worn by American cheerleaders. Leg warmers, which had been long staple gear for professional dancers during rehearsals, became a teen trend at about the same time; their popularity, and that of sweatshirts with their collars cut off, exploded following the 1983 release of Flashdance. Miniskirts returned for the first time since the early 1970s. These styles became associated with the Valley Girl trend that was popular at the time, based on the movieValley Girl (1983) and popular song by Frank Zappa and Moon Unit Zappa. The mid-1980s continued the craze for designer jeans and saw leather become popular. Girls and women also fueled the lace trend. As the decade closed the various other fads soon spent themselves, but miniskirts remained in style and became an option for women's business suits throughout the 1980s and early 1990s with dolly shoes. Frequently, these mini skirts were worn with leggings. These styles are shown in today's fashion with stores such as American Apparel, whose main look is solid colors and simple patterns and the same shapes and silhouettes of the 1980s. In Britain and Ireland, leg warmers were often worn with tight jeans, long jumpers or sweaters, and high heeled court shoes.
Shoulder pads, popularized by Joan Collins and Linda Evans from the soap opera Dynasty, remained popular throughout the 1980s and even the first three years of the 1990s. The reason behind the sudden popularity of shoulder pads for women in the 1980s may be that women in the workplace were no longer unusual, and wanted to "power dress" to show that they were the equals of men at the office. Many women's outfits hadVelcro on the inside of the shoulder where various sized shoulder pads could be attached.
The television show Dynasty, watched by over 250 million viewers around the world in the 1980s, influenced fashion in mainstream America and perhaps most of the Western world. The show influenced women to wear glitzy jewelry as a way of flaunting wealth. Synthetic fabrics went out of style in the 1980s. Wool, cotton, and silk returned to popularity for their perceived quality.
Men's business attire saw a return of pinstripes for the first time since the 1970s. The new pinstripes were much wider than in 1930s and 1940s suits but were similar to the 1970s styles. Three-piece suits gradually went out of fashion in the early 1980s and lapels on suits became very narrow (similar to 1950s styles). While vests in the 1970s had commonly been worn high with six or five buttons, those made in the early 1980s often had only four buttons and were made to be worn low. Neckties also became narrower in the 1980s and skinny versions, some made of leather, briefly were stylish among men interested in New Wave music. Button-down collars made a return, for both business and casual wear.
Meanwhile women's fashion and business shoes revisited the pointed toes and spiked heels that were popular in the 1950s and early 1960s. Some stores stocked canvas or satin covered fashion shoes in white and dyed them to the customer's preferred color. While the most popular shoes amongst young women were bright colored high heels, a trend started to emerge which saw 'Jellies'—colorful, transparent plastic heels—become popular. The top fashion models of the 1980s were Brooke Shields, Christie Brinkley, Joan Severance, Kim Alexis, Carol Alt, Renée Simonsen, Kelly Emberg, Ines de la Fressange, Tatjana Patitz, Elle Macpherson andPaulina Porizkova.
Leotards and dancewear
Leotards had been a fashion trend since the early 1970s, when they were first used to add color and texture under the "layered look" popular in the middle of that decade. By the end of the decade, leotards made from shiny spandex had become the standard feminine fashion of the "disco era", partly for their form-fitting quality and the fact that they allowed flexibility and ease of movement. With the arrival of the aerobics craze of the early 1980s the classic leotard moved from the dance floor to the gym, accompanied by matching tights, legwarmers, and elastic headbands. Leotards of the early 1980s boasted bright stripes, polka dots, and even elastic belts. The popularity of aerobics and of dance-themed television shows and movies, such as Fame and Staying Alive created a dancewear fashion craze, and leotards, legwarmers, and headbands were soon being worn as street wear. The 1983 film Flashdance popularized ripped sweatshirts that exposed one bare shoulder. Celebrity dancewear inspirations of the era included Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" video and Jane Fonda's line of aerobic videos.
Miami Vice look
The 1980s brought an explosion of colorful styles in men's clothing. The look of several popular TV stars helped to set fashion trends among young and middle-aged men.
Miami Vice was one such series, whose leading men donned casual t-shirts underneath expensive suit jackets—often in bright or pastel colors. The t-shirt-with-designer-jacket look was often accompanied by jackets with broad, padded shoulders, and a few days' growth of facial hair, dubbed "designer stubble", a look popularized by the series' leading man Don Johnson.
Similarly, another popular look for men beginning in the early 1980s was the Hawaiian shirt, as worn by Tom Selleck, star of television's enormously popular detective series Magnum, P.I.
Thanks to Magnum, P.I., Hawaiian shirts sales soared (as did the numbers of men, of all walks of life, sporting mustaches), complemented with sport coats, often with top-stitched lapels for a "custom-tailored" look). In counterpoint to the bright shirt, jackets were often gray, tan, rust or white, donned casually and in sunny locales doubled even as business attire, in which case they could be seen worn with a tie.Easy-care micro-suede and corduroy jackets became popular choices, especially those with a Western style. Cowboy boots, in the early 1980s, became popular even among non-cowboys. Some boots were remarkably expensive, such as those made by Lucchese, which could cost $500 a pair. Also in vogue—and also expensive—were Gucci loafers, as worn by Tom Selleck in a famous cologne advertisement.
Another off-the-charts look for young men that emerged in the early 1980s was the "Members Only" jacket, its brand name conspicuously displayed on the front left breast pocket. It was a golf style windbreaker, with a slim mandarin-style collar.
Contemporaneously, there was a resurgence of another look, a throwback to the earlier 1950s collegiate look or Ivy League look. Its wearers and advocates rallied against the more trendy styles cited above. This revival style held great snob appeal, and came to be definitively summarized in an enormously popular paperback: The Official Preppy Handbook. This "preppy" cultural backlash spread like wildfire, inspiring a deep-seated social sensibility that extended to and included all manner of consumables and socialization. Preppies eschewed micro-suede jackets, instead favoring a classic single or double-breasted blazer in navy blue or midnight blue seasonal weight wool or linen. The truly privileged favored an English bespoke shouldered pattern, double vented. All styles boosted gold-tone or actual gold buttons; ideally, for total snob appeal, the buttons were engraved with the owner’s initials or an alma mater’s insignia. Beneath the blue jacket, Preppies donned a variety of shirts; prized were candy-stripes and solid colors; flashy Hawaiian patterns or designs were to be avoided, at all costs, to protect one’s perceived upper-class status.
Significantly, then, it can be said that the 1980s men’s fashion scene was transfigured by a social class consciousness, whereto, expressing this tacit and exclusionary “code” for a man’s dress were parameters that determined his social status, as codified aptly in the Lisa Birnbach’s et al., The Official Preppy Handbook. Purportedly, such “in the know” standards came to be indicative of one’s background, education and upper class. Some sociologists would avoid or attempt discounting that pivotal, authoritative and tacit but insidious and fully dichotomous aspect of that American period in men’s fashion, which quickly came to far exceed in importance mere fashion statement.
However, that all said, by the mid-1980s European and US designers' popularity and re-focus on classical mens styles had captured yet another segment of the mens fashion market, which in a manner of speaking attracted a following from both the preppy and non-preppy haberdashery mindsets.
Michael Jackson had many iconic looks. The Thriller look was inspired by Jackson's record breaking album Thriller. Teenagers would attempt to replicate the look of Jackson, which included matching red/black leather pants and jackets, one glove, sunglasses, and jheri curl. Michael Jackson's Thriller jacket and similar clothing seen in films like The Lost Boys were often studded and left undone to create a messier look. Oversized, slouch shouldered faded leather jackets with puffy sleeves from Europe caught on. Gloves, sometimes fingerless, would also accompany the jacket. Late in the decade plain brown aviator jackets made a comeback, styled after World War II fighter pilot jackets. Already popular aviators were joined by other forms of sunglasses. It was not unusual for sunglasses or shades as they were known, to be worn at night. Jackson frequently wore a fedora in during concerts and other public appearances.
In the 1980s, rising pop star Madonna proved to be very influential to female fashions. She first emerged on the dance music scene with her "street urchin" look consisting of short skirts worn over leggings, necklaces, rubber bracelets, fishnet gloves, hairbows, long layered strings of beads, bleached, untidy hair with dark roots, head bands, and lace ribbons. In her Like a Virgin phase, millions of young girls around the world emulated her fashion example that included brassieres worn as outerwear, huge crucifix jewelry, lace gloves, tulle skirts, and boytoy belts.
Gloves, sometimes lace and/or fingerless, were popularized by Madonna, as well as fishnet stockings and layers of beaded necklaces. Short, tight Lycra orleather miniskirts and tubular dresses were also worn, as were cropped,bolero-style jackets. Black was the preferred colour. Another club fashion for women was lingerie as outerwear. Prior to the mid-1980s it had been taboo to show a slip or a bra strap in public. A visible undergarment had been a sign of social ineptness. In the new fad's most extreme forms, young women would forego conventional outer-garments for vintage-style bustiers with lacy slips and several large crucifixes. This was both an assertion of sexual freedom and a conscious rejection of prevailing androgynous fashions.
In the 1980s and continuing through the mid-1990s, casual wear became a fashion trend. Leggings were a big part of this trend. They were usually worn with oversized sweaters and sweatshirts in the cooler months and with oversized tee shirts in the warmers months. It was also popular to wear slouch socks and sneakers especially Keds with leggings. Plaid skirts with leggings were also worn with sneakers especiallyKeds and slouch socks or with flats or Boat shoes as part of the preppy look. Also bike shorts were popular under baby doll dresses and short dresses with sneakers and no socks or sneakers with slouch socks. Many girls in every Grade K through 12 for gym class would wear black leggings with white slouch socks, athletic sneakers or sneakers also Keds and oversized tee shirts. Many women also wore this style as exercise wear. Many college girls wore the leggings and slouch socks with sneakers or Keds a lot and the dresses with shorts to classes and around campus. It was also not uncommon to see mothers dressed along with their daughters in the slouch socks worn over leggings or sweatpants, an oversized shirt or sweater, and sports shoes with Keds seen a lot.
Soccer shorts were popular with children and teenagers in the mid-1980s to mid-1990s.
From the late 1980s to the late 1990s, shortalls, a version of overalls in which the legs of the garment resemble those of shorts, were popular.
Champion sweatshirts became popular for guys and girls to wear in the late 1980s through 1997. In colder weather the sweatshirts were worn over a colourful turtle-neck.
Leotards, bodysuits, and body shirts also became popular in the late 1980s to late 1990s. They were worn as tops with jeans and skirts.
Opaque tights were very popular in the late 1980s to mid-1990s and could be worn as part of casual wear or formal wear. A common outfit was a skirt, baby doll dress, or short dress with black opaque tights, white slouch socks, and white sneakers with Keds being worn a lot. Others colors of opaque tights, such as all shades of blue from sky blue to navy and purple, were popular with all females from children and teenagers to adults. Opaque were also popular worn under dress shorts.
United Kingdom and Europe
London night clubs started to change their format from Friday and Saturday nights as being the only important music nights. The club 'Gossips' in Soho began to do David Bowie nights on Tuesdays and then more one night specials for niche tastes. That set the scene for special one night club evenings throughout London. Narrow tastes could be catered for. Dresses in slinky satins and foulard silks or polyesters were often batwing or with set in sleeves. Both styles had shoulder pads and frequently swathes of fabric were gathered and ruched onto hip bands, with falling silk, crepe de chine or chiffon asymmetric draped swirling skirts. Lace was popular for evening, especially cream lace bound with cream satin collars. Lace collars made an appearance after being worn by Diana, Princess of Wales. Mohair sweaters were over-sized, but covered with lavish beading and satin appliqué they could be worn for evening too. Highly styled intarsia knit jumpers became fashionable. Glamorous occasion wear was a reaction and an alternative to the dressing down that was emerging from the wearing of sport and fitness wear as casual wear, due to the fitness craze inspired byFlashdance and Olivia Newton-John's popular single "Physical".
In the 1980s, tracksuits became popular as leisure clothing and Jogpants would become a general trend in the decades to come.
Fleece tracksuits were at first mostly worn by athletes, in the 1980s tracksuits became increasingly fashionable as leisurewear, though jackets and trousers tended to be worn separately rather than as a suit. Nylon Shell suits became particularly popular in the United Kingdom by the early 1990s.
The shell suit became a commonly-worn item, especially in the United Kingdom. In Britain and Ireland as well as most of Europe, Italy in particular, black was the preferred colour for teenage girls and young women. In Continental Europe, expensive, designer jeans were the preferred choice of casual attire for both boys and girls.
Doc Martens shoes were worn by both sexes in the 1980s. They were an essential fashion accessory for the skinhead and punk subculturesin the United Kingdom. Sometimes Doc. Martens were paired with miniskirts or full, Laura Ashley- style dresses. They were an important feature of the post-punk 1980s gothic look which featured long, back-combed hair, pale skin, dark eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lipstick, black nail varnish, spiked bracelets and dog-collars, black clothing, often made of gabardine, leather or velvet trimmed in lace or fishnet material. Corsets were often worn by girls. British bands which inspired the gothic trend include The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Cult. This trend would resurge in the 1990s and 2000s (decade).
Earrings became a mainstream fashion for male teenagers. Jelly or thin metal bracelets (also known as bangles) were very popular in the 1980s, and would be worn in mass quantities on one's wrist. Designer jewelry, such asdiamonds and pearls were popular among many women, not only for beauty, but as symbols of wealth and power.
At the beginning of the decade, digital watches with metal bands were the dominant fashion. They remained popular but lost some of their status in later years. Newer digital watches with built-in calculators and primitive data organizers were strictly for gadget geeks. Adult professionals returned to dial watches by mid-decade. Leather straps returned as an option. By late in the decade some watch faces had returned to Roman numerals. In contrast, one ultramodern status symbol was the Movado museum watch. It featured a sleek design with a single large dot at twelve o'clock. The Tank watch by Cartier was a fashion icon that was revived and frequently seen on Cartier advertisements in print. Rolex watches were prominently seen on the television show Miami Vice. Teen culture preferred vibrant plastic Swatch watches. These first appeared in Europe and reached North America by the middle of the decade. Young people would often wear two or three of these watches on the same arm.
In the early to mid-1980s, glasses with large, plastic frames were in fashion for both men and women. Small metal framed eyeglasses made a return to fashion in 1984 and 1985, and in the late 1980s, glasses with tortoise-shell coloring became popular. These were smaller and rounder than the type that was popular earlier in the decade. Throughout the 1980s, Ray-Ban Wayfarer were extremely popular, as worn by Tom Cruise in the 1983 movie Risky Business. Sales of Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses jumped 40%, following the release of the 1986 film Top Gun, in which they were worn prominently by Maverick and Iceman, played byTom Cruise and Val Kilmer respectively.
Miami Vice, in particular Sonny Crockett played by Don Johnson, boosted Ray-Ban's popularity by wearing a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer (Model L2052, Mock Tortoise), which increased sales of Ray Ban's to 720,000 units in 1984.
Underwear became a more important fashion accessory for both men and women. Women's looks tended to be in a wide array of pastel colors, with lacy trimmings. Camisoles with built in bras became popular for women, especially visible in the neckline of jackets worn for work. Men became more fashion conscious as well. Underwear was also colorful for men, and boxer shorts were "tapered", or styled after the side-vent running shorts, with a trimmer cut.
Both sexes were wearing stylish undies such as those modeled by celebrities and on television. Women began to favor polyester satin fabrics for lingerie, and the Jocks company, long known for its men's line, began manufacturing lace-trimmed, French-cut styles of g-bangers aimed at more conservative men. The teddy, or all-in-one camisole and tap pants, was often worn on television, by stars such as Cybill Shepherd in Moonlighting, and was very popular as a more modest garment that nearly eliminated the need for a slip. Bright jewel tones to match the silk charmeuse and satin blouses shown on Dallas and Dynasty were the rage. With baseball star Jim Palmerthe new Jockey pitchman, focus on skimpy bikinis and bold prints worn by the athlete in print ads became popular. Fashion underwear was influenced by Michael J. Fox's lilac Calvin Klein briefs in Back to the Future, and Oakland Raiders star Howie Long in colorful Hanes bikini and colored brief ads. Colored, patterned, and figured men's bikinis or low-rise briefs, for the trim pant silhouettes, were available and widely popular with men of all ages.
Happy pants were worn mostly by teenagers, especially teenage girls, in the 1980s. Fun kids fabrics were used to make the happy pants. This meant those who wore them had their own unique pair of happy pants. In Australia, happy pants were a basic, elasticized pair of shorts, made from children's range of bright and bold designs in cotton fabric. The shorts were not too tight, not too baggy, and finished in length just above the knee. In 1986, Dolly Magazine released an 1980s happy pants pattern for the basic elastic shorts. As most teenage girls had done Home Economics, they made their own shorts for happy pants.
Parachute pants are a style of trousers characterised by the use of ripstop nylon and/or extremely baggy cuts. In the original tight-fitting, extraneously zippered style of the late 1970s/early 1980s, "parachute" referred to the pants' synthetic nylon material. In the later 1980s, "parachute" may have referred to the extreme bagginess of the pant. These are also referred to as "Hammer" pants, due to rapper MC Hammer's signature style. Hammer pants differ from the parachute pants of the 1970s and early 1980s. They are typically worn as menswear and are often brightly colored. Parachute pants became a fad in US culture in the 1980s as part of an increased cultural appropriation ofbreakdancing.
Subcultures of the 1980s
Heavy Metal style
In the first half of the 1980s, long hair, leather rocker jackets (biker jackets) or cut-off denim jackets, tight worn-out jeans, and white, high trainers (sneakers) and badges with logos of favourite metal bands were popular among metalheads, and musicians of heavy metal and speed metal bands. In second half of the 1980s, this clothing style was popular among musicians and fans of more extreme and niche (often underground) metal bands - thrash metal, crossover thrash, early black metal, and early death metal bands. It was popular particularly in European nations, but it was also popular in the USA, Canada, and Brazil.
By the late 1980s, acid-washed jeans and denim jackets had become popular with both sexes. Acid washing is the process of chemically bleaching the denim, breaking down the fiber of material and forcing the dye to fade, thus leaving undertones of the original dye evidenced by pale white streaks or spots on the material. This became associated with the heavy metal trend (called "hair metal" in later decades for the large frizzy coiffures worn by both male and female enthusiasts).
Severely bleached and ripped jeans, either manufactured purposely or done by hand, become a popular fashion trend, being a main component of glam metal music acts such as Poison. Tattooing and piercing began to enter the mainstream.
Throughout the 1980s, although especially apparent in the first half, the punk style was popular. Characterized by multi-colored mohawks, ripped skinny jeans, worn band tee-shirts, and jean or leather jackets, it was practiced by people who listened to punk music such as The Sex Pistolsand later, (despite the band's self-pro-claimed rock'n'roll image) Guns N' Roses. Usually the jean jackets (which became an identity of the group) were adorned by safety pins, buttons, patches, and several other pieces of music or cultural memorabilia. Often people of the punk style would take random bits of fabric and attach them with safety pins. This soon became a popular way of attaching clothing, and now in young women it is known as "pin shirts". The shirts are essentially rectangular pieces of fabric that are pinned on one side with safety pins.
In the early 1980s, the Teddy Boy look was popular in the UK among fans of groups like the Stray Cats, Crazy Cavan, Levi and the Rockats, or Shakin Stevens. Common items of clothing includeddrape jackets (generally in darker shades than those of the 1970s), drainpipe trousers, brothel creepers, bolo ties, white T-shirts, baseball jackets, hawaiian shirts, and black leather jackets like the Schott Perfecto. Common hairstyles included the quiff, pompadour, flat top, andducktail.
Rap and hip-hop
Athletic shoes had been worn as casual wear before, but for the first time they became a high-priced fashion item. Converse shoes were popular in the first half of the 1980s. Air Jordan basketball shoes (named for basketball player Michael Jordan) made their debut in 1984. TheNBA banned these shoes from games when they first debuted, which increased their cachet. Soon other manufacturers introduced premium athletic shoes. Kaepa tennis shoes, sporting double laces and white leather, became a popular fad. Adidas sneakers took the decade by storm, popular amongst teenagers and young men; the Adidas sneaker was popularized by the Run-D.M.C. song My Adidas. Nike had a similar share of the market with Air Max and similar shoes. High-tops, especially of white or black leather, became popular. In the early 1980s, long white athletic socks, often calf-high or knee-high, were worn with sneakers. As the decade progressed, socks trended shorter, eventually topping out just above the height of the shoe.
Ensembles featuring the colors of Africa (green, yellow and red) became wildly popular among African Americans, as did kente cloth. In the urban hip-hop communities, sneakers were usually worn unlaced and with a large amount of gold jewelry as well as headwraps.
Conservative teenagers, especially in the United States wore a style that came to be known as "preppy." Preppy fashions are associated with classic and conservative style of dressing and clothing brands such as Izod Lacoste, Brooks Brothers, Polo Ralph Lauren and clothing from The Gap. An example of preppy attire would be a button-down Oxford cloth shirt, cuffed khakis, and loafers or Boat shoes. Also popular were argyle sweaters and vests. It was also considered "preppy" to wear a sweater tied loosely around the shoulders.In the 1980s, preppy fashions featured a lot of pastels and polo shirts with designer logos. Keds were also worn by the preppy group.
Sideburns of the 1960s and 1970s saw a massive decline in fashion in 1980, while big and eccentric hair styles were popularized by film and music stars, in particular amongst teenagers. There was generally an excessive amount of mousse used in styling an individual's hair which resulted in a desired shiny look and greater volume, some mousse even contained glitter. Hairsprays such as AquaNet were also used in excess such as hard rock band Poison. The Mullet existed in several different styles, all characterized by hair short on the sides and long in the back. Mullets were popular in suburban and rural areas among working class men. This contrasted with a conservative look favored by business professionals, with neatly groomed short hair for men and sleekly straight hair for women.
New Romanticism (also called blitz kids and a variety of other names) was a pop culture movement in the United Kingdom that began as a nightclub scene around 1979 and peaked around 1981. Developing in London nightclubs such as Billy's and The Blitz and spreading to other major cities in the UK, it was based around flamboyant, eccentric fashion and New Wave music.
Several music acts at the start of the 1980s adopted the style of the movement and became known to epitomise it within the music and mainstream press, including Ultravox, Visage, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, ABC and Boy George (of Culture Club). Japan and Adam and the Ants were also labelled as New Romantic artists by the press, although they had no direct connection to the original scene. A number of these bands adopted synthesizers and helped to develop synthpop in the early 1980s, which, combined with the distinctive New Romantic visuals, helped them first to national success in the UK and, with help of MTV to play a major part in the Second British Invasion of the U.S. charts.
By the mid-1980s, the original movement had largely dissipated and, although some of the artists associated with the scene continued their careers, they had largely abandoned the aesthetics of the movement and the synthpop sound. There were attempts to revive the movement from the 1990s, including the short-lived romo movement.
New Romanticism can be seen as a reaction to punk, and was heavily influenced by David Bowie and Roxy Music. In terms of style it rejected the austerity and anti-fashion stance of punk. Both sexes often dressed in counter-sexual or androgynous clothing and wore cosmetics such as eyeliner and lipstick, partly derived from earlier punk fashions. This "gender bending" was particularly evident in figures such as Boy George of Culture Club and Marilyn (Peter Robinson).
Fashion was based on varied looks based on romantic themes, including frilly fop shirts in the style of the English Romantic period, Russian constructivism, Bonny Prince Charlie, FrenchIncroyables and 1930s Cabaret, Hollywood starlets, Puritans and clowns, with any look being possible if it was adapted to be unusual and striking. Common hairstyles included quiffs,mullets and wedges. Soon after they began to gain mainstream attention, however, many New Romantic bands dropped the eclectic clothes and makeup in favour of sharp suits.
New Romantic looks were propagated from fashion designer Helen Robinson's Covent Garden shop PX, began to influence major collections and were spread, with a delay, through reviews of what was being worn in clubs via magazines including i-D and The Face. The emergence of the New Romantic movement into the mainstream coincided with Vivienne Westwood's unveiling of her "pirate collection", which was promoted by Bow Wow Wow and Adam and the Ants, who were managed by her then partner Malcolm McLaren. However, the post-punk Adam Ant himself has always denied being a New Romantic, and reiterated this in 2012.
The band Japan also refuted any connection with the New Romantic movement and had adopted an androgynous look and worn make-up ever since their inception in the mid-1970s at the tail end of the glam rock era, many years before the New Romantic movement had begun. In an October 1981 interview, vocalist David Sylvian commented "There's a period going past at the moment that may make us look as though we're in fashion."
While some contemporary bands, particularly those of the 2 Tone ska revival, dealt with issues of unemployment and urban decay, New Romantics adopted an escapist and aspirational stance. With its interest in design, marketing and image, the movemement has been seen by some as an acceptance of Thatcherism and style commentator Peter York even suggested that it was aligned with the New Right.
In its early stages the movement was known by a large number of names, including "new dandies", "romantic rebels", "peacock punk", "the now crowd", "the futurists", "the cult with no name" and eventually as the "Blitz Kids". As the scene moved beyond a single club the press settled on the name New Romantics.
The movement developed out of David Bowie and Roxy Music nights, run during 1978 in the nightclub Billy's in Dean Street, London. In 1979, the growing popularity of the club forced organisers Steve Strange and Rusty Egan to relocate to a larger venue in the Blitz, a wine bar in Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, where they ran a Tuesday night "Club for Heroes". Its patrons dressed as uniquely as they could in an attempt to draw the most attention.
Steve Strange worked as the club's doorman and Egan was the DJ at the Blitz. The club became known for its exclusive door policy and strict dress code. Strange would frequently deny potential patrons admittance because he felt that they were not costumed creatively or subversively enough to blend in with those inside the club. In a highly publicised incident, Mick Jagger tried to enter the club while under the influence of alcohol, but was denied entry by Strange. The club spawned several spin-offs and there were soon clubs elsewhere in London and in other major British cities, including London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.
While still at Billy's, Strange and Egan joined Billy Currie and Midge Ure of Ultravox to form the bandVisage. Before forming Culture Club, Boy George and Marilyn worked as cloakroom attendants at the Blitz. The video for David Bowie's 1980 UK number one single "Ashes to Ashes" included appearances by Strange with three other Blitz Kids and propelled the New Romantic movement into the mainstream.
Styles of music
Many bands that emerged from the New Romantic movement became closely associated with the use of synthesizers to create rock and pop music. This synthpop was prefigured in the 1960s and 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic art rock, disco, the "Kraut rock" of bands like Kraftwerk, the three albums made by Bowie with Brian Eno in his "Berlin period", and Yellow Magic Orchestra's early albums.
After the breakthrough of Tubeway Army and Gary Numan in the British Singles Chart in 1979, large numbers of artists began to enjoy success with a synthesizer-based sound and they came to dominate the pop music of the early 1980s. Key New Romantic bands that adopted synthpop included Duran Duran, Ultravox, Visage, Spandau Ballet and ABC.
Early synthpop has been described as "eerie, sterile, and vaguely menacing", using droning electronics with little change in inflection. Later the introduction of dance beats made the music warmer and catchier and contained within the conventions of three-minute pop. Duran Duran, who emerged from the Birmingham scene, have been credited with incorporating a dance-orientated rhythm section into synthpop to produce a catchier and warmer sound, which provided them with a series of hit singles. They would soon be followed onto the British charts by a series of bands utilising synthesisers to create catchy three-minute pop songs.
Of groups associated with the New Romantic movement, Culture Club avoided a total reliance on synthesizers, producing a sound that combined elements of Motown, the Philly sound and lovers rock. Adam and the Ants utilised the African influenced rhythms of the "Burundi beat".
The second British invasion
In the US the cable music channel MTV reached the media capitals of New York City and Los Angeles in 1982. Style conscious New Romantic synthpop acts became a major staple of MTV programming. They would be followed by a large number of acts, many of them employing synthpop sounds, over the next three years, with Duran Duran's glossy videos symbolising the power of MTV and this Second British Invasion. The switch to a "New Music" format in US radio stations was also significant in the success of British bands.
During 1983, 30% of the record sales were from British acts. On 18 July, 18 of the top 40, and 6 of the top 10 singles, were by British artists. Newsweek magazine ran an issue which featured Annie Lennox and Boy George on the cover of one of its issues, with the caption "Britain Rocks America – Again", while Rolling Stone would release an "England Swings" issue with Boy George on the cover. In April 1984, 40 of the top 100 singles, and in a May 1985 survey 8 of the top 10 singles, were by acts of British origin.
Decline and revivals
Music journalist Dave Rimmer considered the peak of the movement was the Live Aid concert of July 1985, after which "everyone seemed to take hubristic tumbles", and Simon Reynolds also notes the "Do They Know Its Christmas" single in late 1984 and Live Aid in 1985 as a turning points, with the movement seen as having become decadent, with "overripe arrangements and bloated videos" for songs like Duran Duran's "The Wild Boys" and Culture Club's "War Song".The proliferation of acts had led to an anti-synth backlash, with groups including Spandau Ballet, Soft Cell and ABC incorporating more conventional influences and instruments into their sounds.
An American reaction against European synthpop and "haircut bands" has been seen as beginning in the mid-1980s with the rise of heartland rock and roots rock. In the UK, the arrival of indie rock bands, particularly The Smiths, has been seen as marking the end of synth-driven New Wave and the beginning of the guitar rock that would come to dominate rock into the 1990s. By the end of the 1980s many acts had been dropped by their labels and the solo careers of many New Romantic stars gradually faded.
In the mid-1990s, New Romanticism was the subject of nostalgia-oriented club nights — such as the Human League inspired "Don't You Want Me", and "Planet Earth", a Duran Duran-themed night club whose promoter told The Sunday Times "It's more of a celebration than a revival". In the same period New Romanticism was also an inspiration for the short-lived romomusical movement. It was championed by Melody Maker, who proclaimed on its front cover in 1995 that it was a "future pop explosion" that had "executed" Britpop, and including bands Orlando, Plastic Fantastic, Minty, Viva, Sexus, Hollywood, Dex Dexter. None made the British top 75 and after an unsuccessful Melody Maker organised tour most of the bands soon broke up.
The 1980s decade was the period between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1989. The time period saw great social, economic, and general change as wealth and production migrated to newly industrializing economies. As economic liberalization increased in the developed world, multiple multinational corporations associated with the manufacturing industry relocated into Thailand, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. Japan and West Germany are the most notable developed countries that continued to enjoy rapid economic growth during the decade while other developed nations, particularly the United Kingdom and the United States, re-adopted laissez-faire economic policies.
Developing countries across the world faced economic and social difficulties as they suffered from multiple debt crises in the 1980s, requiring many of these countries to apply for financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Ethiopia witnessed widespread famine in the mid-1980s during the corrupt rule of Mengistu Haile Mariam, resulting in the country having to depend on foreign aid to provide food to its population and worldwide efforts to address and raise money to help Ethiopians, such as the famous Live Aid concert in 1985.
Major civil discontent and violence occurred in the Middle East, including the Iran-Iraq War, the Soviet-Afghan War, the 1982 Lebanon War, the Nagorno-Karabakh War, the Bombing of Libya in 1986, and the First Intifada in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
In the eastern world, hostility to authoritarianism and the failing command economies of communist states resulted in a wave of reformist policies by communist regimes such as the policies of perestroika and glasnost in the Soviet Union, along with the overthrows and attempted overthrows of a number of communist regimes, such as in Hungary, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in China, the Czechoslovak "Velvet Revolution", Poland and the overthrow of the Nicolae Ceauşescu regime in Romania and other communist Warsaw Pact states in Central and Eastern Europe including the Fall of the Berlin Wall. It came to be called the late 1980s' "purple passage of the autumn of nations". By 1989, with the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet Union announced the abandonment of political hostility toward the Western world and, thus, the Cold War ended. These changes continued to be felt in the 1990s and into the 21st century.
Tim Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989; it would be released to the public in 1991 and roughly four years afterwards became widely known, beginning the ongoing worldwide boom of Internet use.
People born in the 1980s are usually classified along with those born in the 1990s as part of the Millennial generation.
Global warming first came to the attention of the public in late 1980s, largely due to the Yellowstone fires of 1988.
1 Politics and wars
1.1 Terrorist attacks
1.2.1 International wars
1.2.2 Civil wars and guerrilla wars
1.4 Nuclear threats
1.5 Decolonization and independence
1.6 Prominent political events
2.1 Natural disasters
2.2 Non-natural disasters
4.1 Electronics and computers
4.2 Space exploration
7 Additional significant world-wide events
8 Popular culture
8.5 Video gaming
10.1 World leaders
10.5 Sports figures
10.6 Film makers
11 See also
13 External links
Politics and wars
Main article: List of terrorist incidents#1970s–2000s
The most notable terrorist attacks of the decade include:
• El Mozote massacre in El Salvador on December 11, 1981 against civilians, committed by government forces supported by the United States during their anti-guerrilla campaign against Marxist-Leninist rebels.
• The Rome and Vienna airport attacks take place on December 27, 1985 against the Israeli El Al airline. The attack was done by militants loyal to Abu Nidal, backed by the government of Libya.
• The 1983 Beirut barracks bombing - during the Lebanese Civil War two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces killing 299 American and French servicemen. The organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing.ok, 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India, committed by Hindu militants against Sikhs in response to the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by a Sikh militant. Thousands of people are killed and tens of thousands of Sikhs became displaced persons.
• Air India Flight 182 was destroyed on June 23, 1985 by Sikh-Canadian militants. It was the biggest mass murder involving Canadians in Canada's history.
• On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over the village of Lockerbie, Scotland while en route from London's Heathrow Airport to New York's JFK. The bombing killed all 243 passengers, 16 crew members and 11 people on the ground, totaling 270 fatalities who were citizens of 21 nationalities. The bombing was and remains the worst terrorist attack on UK soil.
Main article: List of wars 1945–1989#1980–1989
The most prominent armed conflicts of the decade include:
Invasion of Grenada, 1983.
Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, 1988.
The most notable wars of the decade include:
• The Cold War (1945–1991)
• Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–1989) - a war fought between the Soviet Union and the Islamist Mujahideen Resistance in Afghanistan. The mujahideen found other support from a variety of sources including the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States (see Operation Cyclone), as well as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and other Muslim nations through the context of the Cold War and the regional India-Pakistan conflict.
• Invasion of Grenada (1983) - a 1983 U.S.-led invasion of Grenada, triggered by a military coup which ousted a brief revolutionary government. The successful invasion led to a change of government but was controversial due to charges of American imperialism, Cold War politics, the involvement of Cuba, the unstable state of the Grenadian government, and Grenada's status as a Commonwealth realm.
• Salvadoran Civil War 1980-1992, part of the cold war conflicts, reached its peak in the 1980s, 70,000 Salvadorans died.
• Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands (or Islas Malvinas, as they are known in Spanish-speaking countries), sparking the Falklands War. It occurred from 2 April 1982–14 July 1982 between the United Kingdom and Argentina as British forces fought to recover the islands. Britain emerged victorious and its stance in international affairs and its long decaying reputation as a colonial power received an unexpected boost. The military junta of Argentina, on the other hand, was left humiliated by the defeat; and its leader Leopoldo Galtieri was deposed three days after the end of the war. A military investigation known as the Rattenbach report even recommended his execution.
• Arab–Israeli conflict (Early 20th century-present)
• 1982 Lebanon War - The Government of Israel ordered the invasion as a response to the assassination attempt against Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov by the Abu Nidal Organization and due to the constant terror attacks on northern Israel made by the terrorist organizations which resided in Lebanon. After attacking the PLO, as well as Syrian, leftist and Muslim Lebanese forces, Israel occupied southern Lebanon and eventually surrounded the PLO in west Beirut and subjected to heavy bombardment, they negotiated passage from Lebanon.
• The Iran-Iraq war took place from 1980 to 1988. Iraq was accused of using illegal chemical weapons to kill Iranian forces and against its own dissident Kurdish populations. Both sides suffered enormous casualties, but the poorly equipped Iranian armies suffered worse for it, being forced to use soldiers as young as 15 in human-wave attacks. Iran finally agreed to an armistice in 1988.
• The United States launched an aerial bombardment of Libya in 1986 in retaliation for Libyan support of terrorism and attacks on US personnel in Germany and Turkey.
• The South African Border War between South Africa and the alliance of Angola, Namibia, and Zambia ended in 1989, ending over thirty years of conflict.
• The United States engaged in significant direct and indirect conflict in the decade via alliances with various groups in a number of Central and South American countries claiming that the U.S. was acting to oppose the spread of communism and end illicit drug trade. The U.S. government supported the government of Colombia's attempts to destroy its large illicit cocaine-trafficking industry and provided support for right-wing military government in the Salvadoran civil war which became controversial after the El Mozote massacre on December 11, 1981 in which U.S.-trained Salvadoran paramilitaries killed 1000 Salvadoran civilians. The United States, along with members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, invaded Grenada in 1983. The Iran-Contra affair erupted which involved U.S. interventionism in Nicaragua, resulting in members of the U.S. government being indicted in 1986. U.S. military action began against Panama in December 1989 to overthrow its dictator, Manuel Noriega resulting in 3,500 civilian casualties and the restoration of democratic rule.
• Battle of Cuito Cuanavale took place as part of the Angolan civil war and South African Border War from 1987 to 1988. The battle involved the largest fighting in Africa since World War II between military forces from Angola, Cuba (expeditionary forces), and Namibia versus military forces from South Africa and the dissident Angolan UNITA organization.
Civil wars and guerrilla wars
The most notable Internal conflicts of the decade include:
• The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 occurred in the People's Republic of China in 1989, in which pro-democracy protestors demanded political reform. The protests were crushed by the People's Liberation Army.
• The First Intifada (First Uprising) in the Gaza Strip and West Bank began in 1987 when Palestinian Arabs mounted large-scale protests against the Israeli military presence in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, which the Palestinians claim as their own. The Intifada soon became violent as the Israeli army and Palestinian militants fought for control over the disputed territories. The First Intifada would continue until peace negotiations began between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israeli government in 1993.
• Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) - Throughout the decade, Lebanon was engulfed in civil war between Islamic and Christian factions.
• The Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front began a violent campaign for independence in New Caledonia.
• Greenpeace's attempts to monitor French nuclear testing on Mururoa were halted by the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.
• The Second Sudanese Civil War erupts in 1983 between the Muslim government of Sudan in the north and non-Muslim rebel secessionists in Southern Sudan. The conflict continues through the present day Darfur genocide.
• Internal conflict in Peru: The communist Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement starts its fight against the Peruvian state in 1980, that would continue until the end of the 1990s.
Main article: List of coups d'état and coup attempts#1980 - 1989
The most prominent coups d'état of the decade include:
• Sitiveni Rabuka staged two military coups in Fiji in 1987, and declared the country a republic the same year.
• The "Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution" - a series of interconnected coups d'états - take place in Yugoslavia from 1988 to 1989 through mass protests organized and committed by supporters of Serbian politician Slobodan Milošević overthrow the governments of Serbia's autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina, and the government of Montenegro, and finally the main government of Serbia with Milošević becoming President of Serbia.
The Israeli Air Force F-16A Netz '243' which was flown by Colonel Ilan Ramon during Operation Opera.
• Operation Opera - a 1981 surprise Israeli air strike that destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor being constructed in Osirak. Israeli military intelligence assumed this was for the purpose of plutonium production to further an Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Israeli intelligence also believed that the summer of 1981 would be the last chance to destroy the reactor before it would be loaded with nuclear fuel.
• President Reagan's decision to station intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe provoked mass protests involving more than one million people.
Decolonization and independence
• Canada gained official independence from the United Kingdom with a new Constitution on 17 April 1982, authorized by the signature by Elizabeth II. This act severed all political dependencies of the United Kingdom in Canada (although the Queen remained the titular head of state).
• In 1986, Australia and the United Kingdom fully separated Australia's governments from the influence of the British Parliament, resulting in Australia's full independence that had been granted a century before.
• In 1986, New Zealand and the United Kingdom fully separated New Zealand's governments from the influence of the British Parliament, resulting in New Zealand's full independence with the Constitution Act 1986 which also reorganised the government of New Zealand.
• Independence was granted to Vanuatu from the British/French condonimum (1980), Kiribati from joint US-British government (1981) and Palau from the United States (1986).
• Zimbabwe becomes independent from official colonial rule of the United Kingdom in 1980.
• Independence was given to Antigua and Barbuda, Belize (both 1981), and Saint Kitts and Nevis (1983) of the Caribbean; and Brunei of Southeast Asia in 1984
Prominent political events
U.S. President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty, 1987.
• Ronald Reagan was elected U.S. President in 1980. In international affairs, Reagan pursued a hardline policy towards preventing the spread of communism, initiating a considerable buildup of U.S. military power to challenge the Soviet Union. He further directly challenges the Iron Curtain by demanding that the Soviet Union dismantle the Berlin Wall.
• The Reagan Administration accelerated the War on Drugs, publicized through anti-drug campaigns including the Just Say No campaign of First Lady Nancy Reagan. Drugs became a serious problem in the '80s. Cocaine was popular among celebrities and the young, sophisticated "yuppies", while crack, a cheaper and more potent offshoot of the drug, turned the inner cities into war zones.
• Political unrest in the province of Quebec, which, due to the many differences between the dominant francophone population and the anglophone minority, and also to francophone rights in the predominantly English-speaking Canada, came to a head in 1980 when the provincial government called a public referendum on partial separation from the rest of Canada. The referendum ended with the "no" side winning majority (59.56% no, 40.44% yes).
• Military dictatorships give way to democracy in Argentina (1983), Uruguay (1984–5), Brazil (1985–8) and Chile (1988–9).
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the beginning of German reunification.
• The European Community's enlargement continued with the accession of Greece in 1981 and Spain and Portugal in 1986.
• Significant political reforms occurred in a number of communist countries in eastern Europe as the populations of these countries grew increasingly hostile and politically active in opposing communist governments. These reforms included attempts to increase individual liberties and market liberalization, and promises of democratic renewal. The collapse of communism in eastern Europe was generally peaceful, the exception being Romania, who's leader Nicolae Ceaucescu tried to keep the people isolated from the events happening outside the country. While making a speech in Bucharest in December 1989, he was booed and shouted down by the crowd, and then tried to flee the city with his wife Elena. Two days later, they were captured, charged with genocide, and shot on Christmas.
• In Yugoslavia, following the death of communist leader Josip Broz Tito in May 1980, the trend of political reform of the communist system occurred along with a trend towards ethnic nationalism and inter-ethnic hostility, especially in Serbia, beginning with the 1986 Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts followed by the agenda of Serbian communist leader Slobodan Milošević who aggressively pushed for increased political influence of Serbs in the late 1980s, condemning non-Serb Yugoslav politicians who challenged his agenda as being enemies of Serbs.
• There was continuing civil strife in Northern Ireland, including the adoption of hunger strikes by Irish Republican Army prisoners seeking the reintroduction of political status.
• Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, and initiated major reforms to the Soviet Union's government through increasing the rights of expressing political dissent and allowing some democratic elections (though maintaining Communist dominance). Gorbachev pursued negotiation with the United States to decrease tensions and eventually end the Cold War.
• At the end of the decade, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 would be followed in 1990 by the German reunification. During the course of 1989, most of the communist governments in Eastern Europe collapsed.
• The United Kingdom was governed by the Conservative Party under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the first female leader of a Western country. Under her Premiership, the party introduced widespread economic reforms including the privatisation of industries and the de-regulation of stock markets echoing similar reforms of U.S. President Ronald Reagan. She was also a staunch opponent of communism earning her the nickname 'The Iron Lady'.
• In November 1982, Leonid Brezhnev, who had led the Soviet Union since 1964, died. He was followed in quick succession by Yuri Andropov, the former KGB chief, and Konstantin Chernenko, both of whom were in poor health during their short tenures in office.
• South Korean president Chun Doo Hwan came to power at the end of 1979 and ruled as a dictator until his presidential term expired in 1987. He was responsible for the Kwangju Massacre in May 1980 when police and soldiers battled armed protesters. Relations with North Korea showed little sign of improvement during the 1980s. In 1983, when Chun was in Burma, a bomb apparently planted by North Korean agents killed a number of South Korean government officials. After leaving office, he was succeeded by Roh Tae Woo, the first democratic ruler of the country, which saw its international prestige greatly rise with hosting the Olympics in 1988. Roh pursued a policy of normalizing relations with China and the Soviet Union, but had to face militant left-wing student groups who demanded reunification with North Korea and the withdrawal of US troops.
• In the Philippines, after almost 20 years of dictatorship, Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos left the presidency and was replaced by Corazon Aquino through the "People Power Revolution" from February 22 to 26, 1986. This has been considered by some a peaceful revolution despite the fact that the Armed Forces of the Philippines issued an order to disperse the crowds on EDSA (the main thoroughfare in Metro Manila).
• On October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area during Game 3 of the 1989 World Series, gaining worldwide attention. Sixty-five people were killed and thousands injured, with major structural damage on freeways and buildings and broken gas-line fires in San Francisco, California. The cost of the damage totaled $13 billion (1989 USD).
• The US Drought of 1988 decimated the US with many parts of the country affected. This was the worst drought to hit the United States in many years. The drought caused $60 billion in damage (between $80 billion and $120 billion for 2008 USD). The concurrent heat waves killed 5,800 to 17,000 people in the United States.
• Hurricane Allen (1980), Hurricane Alicia (1983), Hurricane Gilbert (1988), Hurricane Joan (1988), and Hurricane Hugo (1989) were some notably destructive Atlantic hurricanes of the 1980s.
• Other natural disasters of the 1980s include the 1982–1983 El Niño which brought destructive weather to most of the world; the 1985 Mexico earthquake, which registered 8.1 on the Richter scale and devastated Mexico City and other areas throughout central Mexico; the 1985 Nevado del Ruiz lahar in Colombia; the 1986 Lake Nyos limnic eruption in Cameroon; and the 1988 Armenian earthquake, which rocked the Caucasus region of the USSR.
The space shuttle Challenger disintegrates on January 28, 1986.
• On April 25, 1980, Dan-Air Flight 1008 crashed on approach to Tenerife in the Canary Islands. All 146 people on board were killed.
• On August 19, 1980, Saudia Flight 163 caught fire moments after takeoff from the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. The flight quickly returned to the airport, but evacuation of the plane was delayed and all 301 people aboard died.
• On July 9, 1982, Pan Am Flight 759 was forced down by a wind shear microburst, killing 153 people.
• In 1984, the Bhopal disaster resulted from a toxic MIC gas leak at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, killing 3,000 immediately and ultimately claiming 15,000–20,000 lives.
• On September 1, 1983, Soviet Union fighter jets shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, which was carrying 269 people, none of whom survived.
• On August 2, 1985, Delta Air Lines Flight 191 crashed on approach to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas. 137 people were killed while 27 survived.
• Japan Airlines Flight 123, carrying 524 people, crashed on August 12, 1985 while on a flight from Tokyo to Osaka killing 520 of the people on board. This was, and still is, the worst single-plane crash ever.
• On December 12, 1985, Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashed seconds after lifting off from Gander, Newfoundland. All 256 people on board, many of them U.S. servicemen returning home from duty overseas, perished.
• On January 28, 1986, the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after launch, killing all of the crew on board. This was the first disaster involving the destruction of a NASA space shuttle. A faulty O-ring was the cause of the accident.
• On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl disaster, a large-scale nuclear meltdown in the Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, spread a large amount of radioactive material across Europe, killing 47 people, dooming countless others to future radiation-related cancer, and causing the displacement of 300,000 people.
• On August 31, 1986, Aeroméxico Flight 498 crashed after colliding with a private Piper Cherokee over Cerritos, California, killing everyone on both airplanes and several others on the ground. On the same day, the Soviet passenger ship Admiral Nakhimov sank after colliding with the bulk carrier Pyotr Vasev in the Black Sea, killing 423 people.
• On May 9, 1987, an uncontained engine failure on LOT Flight 5055 caused an in-flight fire on board the airliner, which subsequently crashed, killing all 183 passengers and crew.
• On August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashed almost immediately after takeoff from Detroit Wayne Airport in Michigan, killing 156 people.
• On November 28, 1987, a fire broke out on South African Airways Flight 295, eventually causing the aircraft to crash into the Indian Ocean. All 159 aboard were killed.
• On December 7, 1987, 43 people were killed when an irate former USAir employee went on a rampage aboard PSA Flight 1771.
• On December 20, 1987, the Philippine passenger ferry MV Doña Paz burned and sank after colliding with the oil tanker MT Vector. With an estimated death toll of over 4,000, this was and remains the world's deadliest peacetime maritime disaster.
• On July 3, 1988, Iran Air Flight 655 was shot down by the U.S. missile cruiser USS Vincennes over the Strait of Hormuz, killing all 290 people on the plane. The event is one of the most controversial aviation occurrences of all time, with the true cause disputed between the Americans and the Iranians.
• On March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound spilling an estimated equivalent of 260,000 to 750,000 barrels of crude oil. Although not among the largest oil spills in history, its remote and sensitive location made it one of the most devastating ecological disasters ever. The after effects of the spill continue to be felt to this day.
• On July 19, 1989, United Airlines Flight 232, carrying 296 people, suffered an in-flight engine failure and was forced to crash-land at Sioux City, Iowa. 185 survived, while 111 were killed when the plane burst into flames upon touchdown.
The 1980s were marked by several notable assassinations and assassination attempts:
• Musician and former member of The Beatles John Lennon was assassinated in New York City on December 8, 1980.
• Ronald Reagan was shot in Washington, D.C. on March 30, 1981 by John Hinckley, a mentally disturbed young man who also stalked actress Jodie Foster. Reagan's press secretary James Brady was also shot, along with a police officer and a U.S. Secret Service agent. The latter two recovered, along with Reagan himself, but Brady used a wheelchair as a result of brain damage thereafter and would become an advocate of gun control.
• Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984 by her own bodyguards in response to the Indian Army's attack on Golden Temple to destroy Sikh Militant stronghold in Amritsar earlier in the decade.
• American singer-songwriter and musician Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father at his home in Los Angeles on April 1, 1984.
• In 1984, there was an assassination attempt on the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Government by the IRA.
• Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated in February 1986. The assassin has never been identified.
• In May 1981, there was an assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter's Square. The assassin was a Turkish man named Mehmet Ali Agca, who was subsequently sentenced to life in prison, but would be pardoned in 2000. At the time, it was widely believed that he was an agent of the Soviet Union or Bulgaria, due to the Pope's vocal anti-communist stance. Agca himself told dozens of conflicting stories over the years, and his motive remains unclear.
Electronics and computers
Arcade games and video games had been growing in popularity since the late 1970s, and by 1982 were a major industry. But a variety of factors, including a glut of low-quality games and the rise of home computers, caused a tremendous crash in late 1983. For the next three years, the video game market practically ceased to exist in the US. But in the second half of the decade, it would be revived by Nintendo, whose Famicom console had been enjoying considerable success in Japan since 1983. Renamed the Nintendo Entertainment System, it would claim 90% of the American video game market by 1989.
Personal computers experienced explosive growth in the '80s, going from being a toy for electronics hobbyists to a full-fledged industry. The IBM PC, launched in 1981, became the dominant computer for professional users. Commodore created the most popular home computers of both 8-bit and 16-bit generations. MSX standard was the dominant computer platform in Japan. Apple phased out it's Apple II and Lisa models, and introduced the first Macintosh computer in 1984. It was the first commercially successful personal computer to use a graphical user interface and mouse, which started to become general features in computers after the middle of the decade.
• IBM 5150, the first model of the IBM PC, was released in 1981. The IBM PCs and compatible models from other vendors would become the most widely used computer systems in the world.
• Commodore 64, with sales estimated at more than 17 million units in 1982–1994 became the best-selling computer model of all time.
• The Macintosh 128K, the first commercially successful personal computer to use a graphical user interface, was introduced to the public in 1984.
Walkman and Boomboxs, introduced during the late 1970s, became very popular and had a profound impact on the Music industry and youth culture. Consumer VCRs and video rental stores became commonplace as VHS won out over the competing betamax standard. In addition, in the early 1980s various companies began selling compact, modestly priced synthesizers to the public. This, along with the development of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), made it easier to integrate and synchronize synthesizers and other electronic instruments, like drum machines, for use in musical composition.
• Walkman WM-D6C Pro (1984)
• 1980s Boombox
The Space Shuttle Challenger seconds after engine ignition, 1981
American interplanetary probes continued in the '80s, the Voyager duo being the most famous. After making a flyby of Jupiter in 1979, they visited Saturn in 1980–1981. Voyager 2 reached Uranus in 1986 (just a few days before the Challenger disaster), and Neptune in 1989 before the probes exited the solar system.
No American probes were launched to Mars in the 1980s, and the Viking probes, launched there in 1975, completed their operations by 1982. The Soviets launched two Mars probes in 1988, but they failed.
The arrival of Halley's Comet in 1986 was met by a series of American, Soviet, Japanese, and ESA probes.
After a five-year hiatus, manned American space flights resumed with the launch of the space shuttle Columbia in April 1981. The shuttle program progressed smoothly from there, with three more orbiters entering service in 1983–1985. But that all came to an end with the tragic loss of the Challenger on January 28, 1986, taking with it seven astronauts, including Christia McAuliffe, who was to have been the first teacher in space. In full view of the world, a faulty O-ring on the right solid rocket booster burned through the external fuel tank and caused it to explode, destroying the shuttle in the process. Extensive efforts were made to improve NASA's increasingly careless management practices, and to make the shuttle safer. Flights resumed with the launch of Discovery in September 1988.
The Soviet manned program went well during the decade, experiencing only minor setbacks. The Salyut 6 space station, launched in 1977, was replaced by Salyut 7 in 1982. Then came Mir in 1986, which ended up operating for more than a decade, and was destined to be the last in the line of Soviet space stations that had begun in 1971. One of the Soviet Union's last "superprojects" was the Buran space shuttle; it was only used once, in 1988.
The American auto industry began the 1980s in a thoroughly grim situation, faced with poor quality control, rising import competition, and a severe economic downturn. Chrysler and American Motors (AMC) were near bankruptcy, and Ford was little better off. Only GM continued with business as usual. But the auto makers recovered with the economy by 1983, and in 1985 auto sales in the United States hit a new record. However, the Japanese were now a major presence, and would begin manufacturing cars in the US to get around tariffs. In 1986, Hyundai became the first Korean auto maker to enter the American market. In the same year, the Yugoslavian-built Yugo was brought to the US, but the car was so small and cheap, that it became the subject of countless jokes. It was sold up to 1991, when economic sanctions against Yugoslavia forced its withdrawal from the American market.
As the decade progressed, cars became smaller and more efficient in design. In 1983, Ford design teams began revolutionizing existing automobiles with a new philosophy which was called "Aero". The idea was to design cars to incorporate pro-aerodynamic round styling to increase airflow and decrease drag while in motion. The Thunderbird was one of the first cars to receive these design changes and it was an instant hit. Later, in 1985, Ford released the Taurus which was considered a dramatic step in automobile design and its aerodynamic style was so popular and revolutionary at the time that other manufacturers scrambled to emulate it which eventually caused a design revolution which is still evident to the present day which increasingly round and aerodynamic designed being implemented by many companies worldwide.
GM began suffering significant losses in the late-1980s, partially the result of chairman Roger Smith's restructuring attempts, and partially because of increasingly stale and unappealing cars. For example, "yuppies" increasingly favored European luxury cars to Cadillac. In 1985, GM started Saturn (the first new American make since the Edsel), with the goal of producing high-quality import fighters. Production would not begin until 1990, however.
Chrysler introduced its new compact, front-wheel drive K-cars in 1981. Under the leadership of Lee Iacocca, the company turned a profit again the following year, and by 1983 paid off its government loans. A seemingly endless succession of K-cars followed. But the biggest success was the arrival of the minivans in 1984. These proved a huge hit, and despite competition, they would dominate the van market for more than a decade. And in 1987, Chrysler purchased the Italian makes of Lamborghini and Maserati. In the same year, Chrysler bought AMC from Renault laying to rest the last significant independent U.S. automaker, but acquiring the hugely profitable Jeep line and continuing the Eagle brand until the late 1990s.
The DeLorean DMC-12 was the brainchild of John DeLorean, a flamboyant former GM executive. Production of the gull-winged sports car began in Northern Ireland in 1981. John DeLorean was arrested in October 1982 in a sting operation where he was attempting to sell cocaine to save his struggling company. He was acquitted of all charges in 1984, but too late for the DeLorean Motor Company, which closed down in 1983. The DMC-12 gained renewed fame afterward as the time machine in the Back to the Future motion picture trilogy.
Porsche introduced the 959 sports car in 1986, the fastest car in the world back then, which had the ability to reach a top speed of more than 200 mph (320 km/h). Never before car manufacturers managed to exceed the 200 mph barrier. Just one year later, Porsche's rival Ferrari startled the world introducing the F40, at that point the fastest car in the world, even faster than the 959 from Porsche.
The imposition of CAFE fuel-mileage standards in 1979 spelled the end of big-block engines, but performance cars and convertibles reemerged in the 1980s. Turbochargers were widely used to boost the performance of small cars, and technology from fuel injection began to take over from the widely used application of carburetors by the late 1980s. Front-wheel drive also became dominant.
The eighties marked the decline of European brands in North America by the end of the decade. Renault, Citroen, and Peugeot ceased importation by the end of the decade. Alfa Romeo would continue until 1993. Fiat also ceased imports to North America in the eighties.
• The early 1980s was marked by a severe global economic recession that affected much of the developed world.
• International debt crisis in developing countries, reliance of these countries on aid from the International Monetary Fund.
• Revival of laissez faire/neoliberal economics in the developed world led by the UK and US governments emphasising reduced government intervention, lower taxes and deregulation of the stock markets leading to an economic revival in the mid- to late 80s. Consumers became more sophisticated in their tastes (a trend begun in the 1960s), and things such as European cars and designer clothing became fashionable in the US.
• Mexico suffers from a debt crisis starting in 1982. Economic problems worsened in 1985 by resignation of most officials of the Mexican government after a failed response of emergency aid in the Mexico City earthquake (September 19) just after the 175th anniversary of Independence holiday (September 16). In 1988, Carlos Salinas de Gortari won a controversial presidential election amid charges of voter fraud, bribery, corruption and other abuses of power.
• Enactment of the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement in 1989 to further establish a strong economic bond between the two prosperous neighbor countries of North America.
• Under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, China embarked on extensive reforms in the 1980s, introducing market economics and downgrading ideology.
• The Solidarity movement began in Poland in 1980, involving workers demanding political liberalization and democracy in Poland. Attempts by the communist government to crush the Solidarity movement failed and negotiations between the movement and the government took place. Solidarity would be instrumental in encouraging people in other communist states to demand political reform.
• The financial world and the stock market were glamorized in a way they had not been since the 1920s, and figures like Donald Trump and Michael Milken were widely seen as symbols of the decade. Widespread fear of Japanese economic strength would grip the United States in the '80s.
• During the 1980s, for the first time in world history, transpacific trade (with East Asia, such as China, and Latin America, primarily with Mexico) equaled that of transatlantic trade (with Western Europe or with neighboring Canada)., solidifying American economic power.
The 1980s was also an era of tremendous population growth around the world, surpassing even the 1970s and 1990s, thus arguably being the largest in human history. Population growth was particularly rapid in a number of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian countries during this decade, with rates of natural increase close to or exceeding 4% annually.
Additional significant world-wide events
• Beginning of the AIDS pandemic.
• There were numerous protests demanding that the US government[clarification needed] take action against AIDS, which were fuelled by the AIDS-related deaths of celebrities such as Rock Hudson and Liberace, and by the case of Ryan White, a child who became infected by HIV through contaminated blood supplies.
• National safety campaigns raised awareness of seat belt usage to save lives in car accidents, helping to make the measure mandatory in most parts of the world by 1990. Similar efforts arose to push child safety seats and bike helmet use, already mandatory in a number of regions.
• Rejection of smoking based on health concerns increased throughout the Western world.
• Political correctness in the 1980s and increasingly in the following 1990s, was a trend of behaviour, in Western societies, designed to fit the mores of those opposed to forms of prejudice against certain minority groups .
• The role of women in the workplace increased greatly. Continuing the 1970s' trend, more women[quantify] in the English-speaking world took to calling themselves "Ms.", rather than "Mrs." or "Miss." A similar change occurred in Germany, with women choosing "Frau" instead of "Fräulein" in an effort to disassociate marital status from title. In most Western countries, women began to exercise the option of keeping their maiden names after marriage; in Canada, legislation was enacted to end the practice of automatically changing a woman's last name upon marriage.
• Opposition to nuclear power plants grew, especially after the catastrophic 1986 Chernobyl accident.
• Environmental concerns intensified. In the United Kingdom, environmentally friendly domestic products surged in popularity. Western European countries adopted "greener" policies to cut back on oil use, recycle most of their nations' waste, and increase focus on water and energy conservation efforts. Similar "eco-activist" trends appeared in the US in the late 1980s.
• Increased awareness and opposition to white-minority apartheid rule in South Africa occurred in the Western world.[dubious – discuss]
• Counterculture in the eastern world revolved around "pro-democracy" stances in opposition to multiple communist states perceived as authoritarian.
• Militancy against communist governments in Europe and Asia, collapse of the Warsaw Pact precipitated the end of the Cold War.
• A joint American-French expedition discovers the wreck of the RMS Titanic on 1 September 1985 at a depth of 2.5 miles (4 km) at 41°43′55″N 49°56′45″W.
• Opposition against Apartheid in South Africa and worldwide grows to a mass international condemnation of racial segregation policies comes to a peak by December 1989 in the Springbok summit when SA President de Klerk grants clemency to imprisoned ANC activist Nelson Mandela who was released in February 1990.
• The 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia occurred, resulting in international efforts to help the Ethiopian people, including the famous Live Aid concert in July 1985.
• Ten thousand Cubans stormed the Peruvian embassy in Havana seeking political asylum on 6 April 1980. On 7 April the Cuban government granted permission for the emigration of Cubans seeking refuge in the Peruvian embassy.
• The 1986 World's Fair, Expo 86, was held in Vancouver, Canada. It was the last fair held in North America and was considered a great success in comparison to the then-recent American Expositions.
• Vietnam continued to occupy Cambodia and battle the Khmer Rouge throughout the entire decade. Relations with China remained hostile, and there were frequent border skirmishes, although none were comparable to the 1979 conflict. The country remained one of Asia's poorest and was totally dependent on Soviet economic assistance. Mikhail Gorbachev began reducing foreign aid to the communist bloc in the late 1980s, and this combined with the deaths of elderly Vietnamese leaders such as Le Duan brought about the gradual adoption of a relatively free market system similar to that of China.
• Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, husband of the first female president of the Philippines was shot dead at the Manila International Airport on 21 August 1983. The killers were never identified.
• In China, increasing demands for political freedom culminated in the Tiananmen Square Massacre in June 1989, when tanks and troops of the People's Liberation Army crushed student protesters who were camped in the square, killing or injuring 3000 or more people. Hardliners took over the government afterwards, and China ended the '80s as an international pariah.
The most prominent events and trends in popular culture of the decade include:
Stage view of Live Aid concert at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium in the United States in 1985. The concert was a major global international effort by musicians and activists to sponsor action to send aid to the people of Ethiopia who were suffering from a major famine.
In the United States, MTV was launched and music videos began to have a larger effect on the record industry. Pop artists such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Duran Duran, Prince, Madonna, and Queen mastered the format and helped turn this new product into a profitable business. New Wave and Synthpop were developed by many British and American artists, and became popular phenomena throughout the decade, especially in the early and mid-eighties. Music grew fragmented and combined into subgenres such as house, goth and rap metal.
Michael Jackson was the definitive icon of the 1980s and his leather jacket, glove and Moonwalk dance were often imitated. Jackson's 1982 album Thriller became—and currently remains—the best-selling album of all time, with sales estimated by various sources as somewhere between 65 and 110 million copies worldwide.
Madonna and Whitney Houston were regarded as the most ground breaking female artists of the decade. The keyboard synthesizer and drum machine were among the most popular instruments in music during the 1980s, especially in New Wave music. After the 1980s electronic instruments were no longer popular in rock but continued to be the main component of mainstream pop.
Hard rock, heavy metal, and glam metal became some of the most dominant music genres of the decade, peaking with the arrival of such bands as Mötley Crüe, Hanoi Rocks, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Poison, Europe, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, and virtuoso guitarists such as Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen. The scene also helped 1970s hard rock artists such as AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, KISS, Ronnie James Dio, and Judas Priest reach a new generation of fans.
By 1989, the hip hop scene had evolved, gaining recognition and exhibiting a stronger influence on the music industry. This time period is also considered part of the golden age of hip hop. The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Run-D.M.C., Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Boogie Down Productions, N.W.A, LL Cool J, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, EPMD, Eric B. & Rakim, Ice-T, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, 2 Live Crew, Tone Lōc, Biz Markie, the Jungle Brothers, The Sugar Hill Gang and others experienced success in this genre.
The Techno style of electronic dance music emerged in Detroit, Michigan during the mid- to late 1980s. The House music style, another form of electronic dance music, emerged in Chicago, Illinois in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in mid-1980s discothèques catering to the African-American, Latino and gay communities, first in Chicago, then in New York City and Detroit. It eventually reached Europe before becoming infused in mainstream pop and dance music worldwide.
Punk rock continued to make strides in the musical community; it gave birth to many sub-genres like hardcore, which has continued to be moderately successful, giving birth in turn to a few counterculture movements, most notably the Straight Edge movement which began in the early era of this decade. College rock caught on in the underground scene of the 1980s in a nationwide movement with a distinct D.I.Y approach. Bands like the Pixies, R.E.M., The Replacements, Sonic Youth, XTC, The Smiths, etc. experienced success in this genre. The 1980s also saw the birth of the grunge genre, with the arrival of such bands as Soundgarden, Green River, U2, Melvins, Screaming Trees, Malfunkshun, Skin Yard, The U-Men, Blood Circus, Nirvana, Tad, Mudhoney, Mother Love Bone and Alice in Chains (who formed in 1987, but did not release their first album until three years later).
Several notable music artists died of unnatural causes in the 1980s. Bon Scott, at the time lead singer of rock band AC/DC died of acute alcohol poisoning on February 19, 1980. John Lennon was shot outside of his home in New York City on the night of December 8, 1980. Tim Hardin died of a heroin overdose on December 29, 1980. Bob Marley died from a lentiginous skin melanoma on May 11, 1981. Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father at his home in Los Angeles on April 1, 1984, one day before what would have been his 45th birthday. Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist Randy Rhoads died in an airplane crash on March 19, 1982. Metallica bassist Cliff Burton was killed in a bus accident in Sweden on September 27, 1986. Andy Gibb died in 1988 as a result of myocarditis.
1985's Live Aid concert, featuring many artists, promoted attention and action to send food aid to Ethiopia whose people were suffering from a major famine.
Main article: 1980s in film
• Oscar winners: Ordinary People (1980), Chariots of Fire (1981), Gandhi (1982), Terms of Endearment (1983), Amadeus (1984), Out of Africa (1985), Platoon (1986), The Last Emperor (1987), Rain Man (1988), Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
• The 15 highest-grossing films of the decade are (in order from highest to lowest domestic grossing): E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman, Rain Man, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Top Gun, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Back to the Future Part II, Crocodile Dundee, Fatal Attraction and Beverly Hills Cop.
The highest-grossing film of the decade was "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (1982)
This was the period when the 'high concept' films were introduced. The movies were supposed to be easily marketable and understandable, and, therefore, they had short cinematic plots that could be summarized in one or two sentences. The modern Hollywood blockbuster is the most popular film format from the 1980s. Producer Don Simpson is usually credited with the creation of the high-concept picture of the modern Hollywood blockbuster.
The 80s also spawned the Brat Pack films, many of which were directed by John Hughes. Films such as Class (film), The Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Mannequin (1987 film), Porky's, Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, St. Elmo's Fire (film), Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science and Valley Girl were popular teen comedies of the era and launched the careers of several major celebrities such as: Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Sean Penn and Nicolas Cage. Other popular films included About Last Night..., Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Dirty Dancing, Flashdance, Footloose, Raging Bull and St. Elmo's Fire which also launched the careers of high profile celebrities like Demi Moore, Joe Pesci, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Bacon, Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze.
Horror films were a popular genre during the decade, with several notable horror franchises being born during the 1980s. Among the most popular were the Child's Play, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser and Poltergeist franchises. Aside from these films, the concept of the B horror film gave rise to a plethora of horror films that went on to earn a cult status. An example of such is the 1981 film The Evil Dead, which marked the directorial debut of Sam Raimi.
Several action film franchises were also launched during the 1980s. The most popular of these were the Beverly Hills Cop, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and Rambo franchises. Other action films from the decade which are of notable status include The Terminator and Predator. These films propelled the careers of modern celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Eddie Murphy, Mel Gibson and Sylvester Stallone to international recognition.
Main article: 1980s in television
Seinfeld premiered on NBC in 1989 and soon thereafter became a commercial success and cultural phenomenon, and one of the most popular sitcoms of all time.
MTV was launched in the United States in 1981 and had a profound impact on the music industry and popular culture further ahead, especially during its early run in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Some of the most popular TV series which premiered during the 1980s or carried over from the 1970s include: Alf, Airwolf, The A-Team, Dynasty, Dallas, Knight Rider, MacGyver, Magnum, P.I., Miami Vice, Diff'rent Strokes, The Jeffersons, The Facts of Life, The Cosby Show, Murder, She Wrote, 21 Jump Street, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Night Court, Who's the Boss?, Family Matters, Quantum Leap, Saved by the Bell, Roseanne, Full House, The Golden Girls,Three's Company, Cheers, Growing Pains, Family Ties, Seinfeld, The Simpsons and Married... with Children.
The 1980s was the decade of transformation in television. Cable television became more accessible and therefore, more popular. By the middle of the decade, almost 70% of the American population had cable television and over 85% were paying for cable services such as HBO or Showtime.
TV talk shows expanded in popularity; The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson remained popular into its third decade, and some of the most viewed newer shows were hosted by Geraldo Rivera, Arsenio Hall and David Letterman.
The 1980s also was prominent for spawning several popular children's cartoons such as The Smurfs, ThunderCats, Voltron, The Transformers, Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Inspector Gadget, Muppet Babies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, DuckTales, Garfield and Friends, and Beetlejuice.
• The 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow were disrupted by a boycott led by the United States and 64 other countries in protest of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
• The 1980 Winter Olympics are remembered for the Miracle on Ice, where a young United States hockey team defeated the heavily favored Soviet Red Army team and went on to win the gold medal.
• The New York Islanders won the Stanley Cup for 4 straight years in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983. The Islanders also became the second NHL expansion team after the Philadelphia Flyers to win the Cup. Since their last Cup win in 1983, they are currently the only team of the four major North American sports leagues (NHL, NFL, NBA, & MLB) to win 4 consecutive championships, and hold the NHL record for most consecutive playoff series' wins at 19(1980 Playoffs - 1984 Playoffs).
• The 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles were boycotted by the Soviet Union and most of the communist world (China, Romania, and Yugoslavia participated in the games) in retaliation for the boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
• The 1984 Winter Olympics are held in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (now Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina). Yugoslavia becomes the second communist country to host the Olympic Games, but unlike the Soviet Union in 1980, there were no boycotts of the Games by Western countries.
• The Jamaica national bobsled team received major media attention and stunned the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada for its unexpected good performance. The events surrounding the Jamaica bobsled team in 1988 would lead to the creation of the Disney movie Cool Runnings five years later.
• The 1988 Summer Olympics are held in Seoul, South Korea. Attempts to include North Korea in the games were unsuccessful, and it boycotted along with six other countries, but with 160 nations participating, it had the highest attendance of any Olympics to date.
• Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky's rise to fame in the NHL would coincide with the Edmonton Oilers' first 4 Stanley Cup championships (1984, 1985, 1987, & 1988) and becoming the second NHL dynasty team of the 1980s.
• On August 9, 1988, in what became the biggest trade in NHL history (also known as "The Trade Of The Century"), Wayne Gretzky was traded along with teammates Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski from Edmonton to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Martin Gelinas, Jimmy Carson, three first round draft picks, and $15 million cash (approximately $18 million CAD in 1988).
• American basketball player Michael Jordan bursts onto the scene in the NBA during the 1980s, bringing a surge in popularity for the sport and becoming one of the most beloved sports icons in the United States.
• On June 8, 1986 the Boston Celtics defeat the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of the 1986 NBA Finals to capture a record 16th championship. Larry Bird is named Finals MVP.
• On November 26, 1986 Mike Tyson became the youngest boxing Heavyweight Champion of the World at age 20.
• On March 31, 1985 The WWF Presented The First WrestleMania At Madison Square Garden In New York City With An Attendance Of 19,121
• On March 29, 1987 WrestleMania III had a record attendance of 93,173; the largest recorded attendance for a live indoor sporting event in North America until 2010.
• West Germany won UEFA championship 1980 in Italy.
• Italy won FIFA world cup 1982 in Spain.
• France hosted and won the UEFA football championship in 1984.
• Argentina won FIFA world cup 1986 in Mexico.
• Netherlands won UEFA football championship in 1988.
• Liverpool FC were the most successful club side of the era, becoming English champions on six occasions (1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, and 1988) and winning two European Cups (1981, 1984). They also won the FA Cup in 1986, completing the first double in their history, and four consecutive League Cup titles from 1981 to 1984.
• Other highly successful club sides of the 1980s include Juventus (7 major honours won), Real Madrid (10 major honors won), Bayern Munich (9 titles won) and PSV Eindhoven (4 times Dutch champions and European Cup winners in 1988).
See also: 1980s in video gaming
Pac-Man (1980) became Immensely popular and an icon of 1980s popular culture.
The Nintendo Entertainment System was released in the mid-1980s and became the best-selling gaming console of its time
Popular video games include: Turrican, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Digger, Tetris and Golden Axe. Pac-Man (1980) was the first game to achieve widespread popularity in mainstream culture and the first game character to be popular in his own right. Handheld electronic LCD games introduced into the youth market segment. The primary gaming computers of the 1980s emerged in 1982: the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. Nintendo finally decided in 1985 to release its Famicom (released in 1983 in Japan) in the United States under the name Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was bundled with Super Mario Bros. and it suddenly became a success. The NES dominated the American and Japanese market until the rise of the next generation of consoles in the early 1990s, causing some to call this time the Nintendo era. Sega released its 16-bit console, Mega Drive/Genesis, in 1988 in Japan and in 1989 in North America. In 1989 Nintendo released the Game Boy, a monochrome handheld console.
During the 1980s, there were many toys that became very popular among children that are to this day still associated with the decade. Some of the toys that were popular were:
• G.I. Joe
Tom Bailey of the Thompson Twins in 1986 with the trendy Big hair style achieved with liberal applications of mousse and hairspray.
The beginning of the decade was marked by the New Romantic movement and later by fashion inspired by heavy metal bands, including teased hair, ripped jeans and neon clothing. Some clothing and mens hairstyles had influences from the 1950s, especially in the first part of the decade.
Significant hairstyle trends of the 1980s include the Perm (started popularity in the late 1970s), the Mullet (evolved from the 1970s to a cleaner look using hair gel), the Jheri curl, the Flattop, the Hi-top fade and Big hair.
Significant clothing trends of the 1980s include Shoulder pads, Jean jackets, Leather pants, Aviator jackets, Jumpsuits, Diane von Fürstenberg Wrap Dress, Members Only Jackets, Skin-tight acid-washed jeans, Miniskirts, Leggings and Leg warmers (popularized in the film "Flashdance"), Off-the-Shoulder Shirts and Cut Sweatshirts (popularized in the film "Flashdance").
Additional significant trends of the 1980s include Headbands, Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses (popularized in the film "Top Gun"), Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses (popularized in the films "Risky Business" and "The Blues Brothers"), Swatch watches, Slap bracelets (popular fad among children, pre-teens and teenagers in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was available in a wide variety of patterns and colors), and the Rubik's Cube (became a popular fad throughout the decade). Girls also wore Jelly Shoes, large crucifix neclaces, and braissers all inspired by Madonna's "Like a Virgin" video.