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February 5th, 2003

20 Years

Periodically, we here at the Ping talk about time or the perception of time. This morning I was pondering again about how quickly time seems to pass… and how we’re all getting old, fast.

As a child of the 80s, I remember how distant the 1960s felt. In 1983, 1963 was a whole ‘nother time. Music from that era played on “oldies” stations, adding to the mystique and distance of that time. But it’s 2003 now. To kids of today, 1983 is their 1963.

Let me say it again: To kids of today, 1983 is their 1963. That just blows my friggin’ mind.

At least they’re not playing “Beat It” on oldies stations. Now, pass me my cane.

(Incidentally, what I think sparked my thinking about the passage of time was this morning’s episode of Family Ties, where Elyse tries to revive her folk singing career at a local nightclub. Mallory tries to convince her mom to sing more modern songs, like “Beat It.”)

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday February 5, 2003 -- 9:21:35 am
But you can find "Beat It" on VH1 Classic.

FROM: jk
DATE: Wednesday February 5, 2003 -- 12:23:35 pm
And the 80s seem like yesterday to me! I truly feel that the best music ever written and recorded came out of the 80s....Aztec Camera, Lloyd Cole, early Duran Duran...the Ocean Blue...

People had manners back then too! Don't you think that we have become awfully isolated and self-centered?

FROM: Matt
DATE: Wednesday February 5, 2003 -- 12:32:12 pm
I agree that people are becoming more and more materialistic and self-centered. These same people seem to be the ones employed at most public places!

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Wednesday February 5, 2003 -- 7:43:45 pm
I think the thing that makes the 80's seem so far away are, not only the number of times the music scene has changed (Rap, Grunge, Gangsta Rap, Pop), is the fact that the late 80's/early 90's pretty much sucked. Not much of anything came out that was memorable during that time.

Most of the stuff that we speak of being 80's music, was early to mid 80's. It's not so much the time, but the number of phases we've been through that makes it seem like forever since we were gonna party like 1999.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday February 5, 2003 -- 7:45:07 pm
I'll agree to a point, Dave, but 1988 is considered hip-hop's true "golden era".

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Wednesday February 5, 2003 -- 7:54:53 pm
Ryan -- Couldnt agree with you more about 88' being hip-hop's golden area, but it didnt really last that long. By the end of 89, NWA was hitting big, and the days of Big Daddy Kane and RUN DMC were dwindling quickly, and rap that wasnt proliferated with profanity and talk about guns and hos was relegated to novelty level. (Remember Skee-Lo's "I Wish"?)

I actually like to think about the early to mid 80's as hip hops real boom..Everyone knows about "Rapper's Delight", but you could also talk about Grandmaster Flash, Mellie Mel "White Lines" is still I *am* feeling old...

FROM: jk
DATE: Wednesday February 5, 2003 -- 11:21:15 pm
I am sitting here listening to the Psych Furs....ahhhh.....beautiful.

FROM: marcus
DATE: Monday February 10, 2003 -- 2:50:03 pm
dave and ryan, i don't think you know what you are talking about. The late 80's and early 90's held some of the best music there is. How about all of the rock that was made. Van Halen early GNR. and the start of grunge. How about Metallica, the black album was made in 1989. That was kick ass. Do your research.

FROM: marcus
DATE: Monday February 10, 2003 -- 2:52:27 pm
hey jk, are you serious, Duran Duran. You probably wore your hair like flock of seagulls. Wow..

FROM: marcus
DATE: Monday February 10, 2003 -- 2:52:27 pm
hey jk, are you serious, Duran Duran. You probably wore your hair like flock of seagulls. Wow..

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Tuesday March 25, 2003 -- 12:55:34 am
marcus --

I'm not classifying all late 80's/early 90's music as bad, of course. GNR was probably the biggest group of 88/89. Van Halen (one of my personal faves) was still around, although they there was a three year gap from 88's "OU812" and 91's "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge:, and Def Leppard was at its peak, with "Hysteria".

Still, for every GOOD musical act that hit it big, there were TONS of acts that succeeded, but were horrible.

Examples: In '88, TIFFANY hit it big, with her self titled album, which was on top of the charts for more than a month.

Remember Pebbles? No, not from the Flinstones, but the synthie-pop singer. She hit the top 5 with "Mercedes Boy", which sounded like a 10cent organ played through two tin cups.

Moving to rock, yes, GNR hit it big with Appetite for Destruction. But in terms of sales and charts, George Michael's "Faith" outsold GNR in 88, and Tom Petty scored the #1 and #2 slots both in the Radio/Records AOR Charts, with "Running Down a Dream", and "Free Fallin'", respectively. GNR came in third with "Patience", the lone hit off the EP "Lies!".

As for Metallica, was the black album great? Of course, but Metallica didn't really start selling. The music: great. The sales: Bah.

Look, my point is that every generation has music that is great, and lots more music that succeeds, but is still terrible. The period of the late 80's/early 90's has more of it than most periods of time, partly because the music scene was such of rapid change. The industry shifted quickly from bland pop to more guitar oriented music. Toss in the phenomenon of rap and grunge that would hit, and what ended up happening was groups who couldnt keep up, and others who tried to cash in on the fad-of-the-month. (Don't even get me started on Timmy T's "One More Try" from '89). Those few who stuck to what they did best ended up surviving. Look at Poison: They survived for a while after grunge, because their sound stayed similiar, yet remained relevant to the times. In any case, there you go.

And yes, I did my research.

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