May 21, 2020

1986.

68 comments:

Earnest Prole said...

One word: Mullet. Let's all agree it was an early sign that white people had screwed the pooch.

BarrySanders20 said...

We had big hair. 1986 high school grad here.
We still gotta fight for our right to parrrrrrrrr-tay! And it's still tricky.

Limited blogger said...

I turned 30 that year. Was at the top of the hill then.

narciso said...

Mullet came later chevy chase was still funny, phil collins was still getting over his divorce.

gnu88 said...

For a decade that produced a lot of good music, that wasn't any of it. Reminds me of why I never listened to the radio back then. It was the era of mix tapes and walkmans.

PM said...

We traded product for ball caps.

MadisonMan said...

Not a fan of Chevy Chase so I never really liked that video. He tried too hard to be in with the cool kids.

mccullough said...

Graceland was a good album from that year.

Too much Genesis and too much Peter Gabriel, who used to be in Genesis in the 70s.

I liked the Beastie Boys.

Best album from 1986, IMO, was Life’s Rich Pageant by R.E.M.

RK said...

The pinnacle of hair, except for Phil Collins.

rehajm said...

1986 high school grad also. The radio was on constantly wherever I went and while it's technically correct not indicative of the appropriate weight each deserves- most of the tunes getting air play were from earlier years.

My VW Bug ate my Little Creatures cassette by April.

readering said...

I turned 30 too. Height of the reign of the music video.

wild chicken said...

I loved 80s music. And I was long out of high school.

90s wasn't bad either really. Though I didn't "get" grunge til 20 years later

Ann Althouse said...

I watched a lot of MTV in 1986. I knew all that stuff. My favorite was Prince.

Rick said...

I didn't hear much of interest.

Pop music was dying in the mid to late eighties. The industry tried to fill the void by softening hard rock into pop rock (I'm looking at you Van Halen and Motley Crue). This worked for the tweens but not the rest of us which is why first rap and later alt-rock became so popular. Much of the market just wasn't effectively served.

Paco Wové said...

Big hair, big shoulderpads. Big pants.

Rory said...

"Walk Like an Egyptian" is the only video there I would stop to watch today, just because Susanna Hoffs was so-o-o-o good-looking. I guess I was current with country, then, until it turned pop-ish in the early nineties.

Sebastian said...

Pff. Now do 1786.

Mozart by himself was better than all of 1986 put together--Figaro, couple of piano concertos, horn concerto--and it wasn't even his best year.

stevew said...

The visuals are great but the soundtrack is a mish-mashed mess. Loved all that music at the time. Our daughter was born that year, our son was 2 1/2, and I was still in my twenties. Have to say though I was more inclined to listen to alternative then, particularly the music that was featured on Boston's (Lynn actually) WFNX.

Joy said...

What about some legal analysis on the writ of mandamus from sidney.

David53 said...

Nice.

Geoff Matthews said...

Wow, this really underscores how derivative pop music was.

James K said...

1986 was well past the peak. Would rather hear 1968. Or, even better, as Sebastian said, 1786. 1886 wasn't as strong, but did give us the Franck Violin Sonata, also better than anything in 1986.

narciso said...


Start here:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/1263545357318971394

Iman said...

A few good songs and acts in there, but I could only stand it for a minute and 36 seconds...

KellyM said...

Another 1986 high school grad here. Was more a fan of New Romantics/New Wave than the top 40 stuff but still, good memories.

@Stevew: Discovered WFNX around 1988 - I agree with you.

Narr said...

Our son was born in '86 (the same day Reagan offed Qaddaffi's daughter). I missed all those videos, that being the period when we were TV-less. I did recognize most of the samples though.

Narr
Could not name most of them

Lincolntf said...

That was my wheelhouse. I was 9 1n 1980, 19 in 1990. I went to every church/school dance I could, and that was the soundtrack. I could never dance, but it was the only place, outside of the mall or roller rink, that you could find a girlfriend that wasn't from your neighborhood.

Kay said...

Very impressive mash-up, considering the number of songs!

Francisco D said...

I must have missed a lot of 1986 because I was working on my dissertation.

Priorities, You know ...

Bay Area Guy said...

I liked 1986! My Commander-in-Chief was Ronnie Reagan, and the SecNav was a very young James Webb, who became much more famous later on. It mighta been Lehman, then Webb. Anyway, I was serving in Japan, watching MTV and drinking $6 dollar Coronas in Tokyo bars. Was that the series when Buckner missed that ground ball giving it to the Mets?

Working a lot against the Soviets at the time. Those nefarious Commie bastards! Good times.

GingerBeer said...

Forgot how much I disliked 1986.

Birkel said...

I wonder if 2020 will have a retrospective 34 years from now.
Perhaps something titles "bull shit policies and the Karen B's who supported them" is some such.
Still, I remember all those songs and videos and it left out some of my favorites from 1986.

My favorite from 2020 is "Six feet is a made up number" performed by Sesame Street characters.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8339837/Government-scientist-says-2m-social-distancing-rule-based-fragile-evidence.html

The Count has the lead vocals.

Lurker21 said...

I hated the Beastie Boys. But the Eighties did have great music. I got so sick of Seventies rock and disco, that Eighties pop felt like a breath of fresh air.

And people actually watched and even discussed music videos back then. I understand that many are still being made, but who actually watches them?

Paul Simon, still short after all these years, was sort of what you'd get if Bob Dylan and Woody Allen had a child.

Sebastian said...

"1886 wasn't as strong"

True. So, fellow connoisseurs, what would have been the best year in music history, judged by quality of composition/first performance?

Thanks to Bach, any year in 1720-5 deserves consideration -- with WTC I, several partitas, St. John's Passion, some of the best cantatas.

What about Mozart's 1788 (three great symphonies!), or 1791 (Magic Flute and Requiem!), both years with several quality contributions from Joseph Haydn?

1803-4, cheating a bit, with Waldstein sonata and Eroica symphony?

Bill Peschel said...

I love mashups. My latest passion is for Bill McClintock, who loves mashing up heavy metal with pop, as in Slayer and Katrina and the Waves: "Chemical Warfare (Don't It Feel Good?)" Guest-starring Joe Satriani.

Of this bunch, the 1982 viddy took the top of my head off. The best of the Clash, Michael Jackson, Prince, Toto's "Africa", "Our House," Fleetwood Mac's "Hold On Me" (which I associated with a girl), the last of the breakdancing era and the glimmers of New Wave with A Flock of Seagulls. So many of these songs hit me hard, compared to the other videos, that I realized how little I took it for granted.

What a brilliant mix for those of us who remember that era. McClintock does the same thing, but he doesn't cram in 50 songs.

Bill Peschel said...

I'm reminded just now of another genius mashup, the one you never thought of an never wanted: Mariah Carey and Marilyn Manson.

https://youtu.be/A1X3d2zWx94

Jim at said...

I liked 1986! My Commander-in-Chief was Ronnie Reagan

Ditto.

Working a lot against the Soviets at the time.

Ditto, again.

Got out a year later. Gramm/Rudman

Yancey Ward said...

Best album of 1986 was "Slippery When Wet" by Bon Jovi. Though I liked the song "You Can Call Me Al", I hated the album "Graceland" by Simon- the really hilarious thing that is if he made it today, he would be accused of cultural appropriation.

I turned 13 in 1979, so the music of the 80s was my teenage music in the first half of the decade, and my early 20s music in the second half. I can tell you in no uncertain terms- 1986 was on the downside of the peak- the decade's peak was 1983-85.

Unknown said...

No Begin the Begin

No Wang Chung!

RBE said...

Was a new mother in 1986. Loved the music...lots of big hair! Fun video!

Rt1Rebel said...

I graduated HS in 1980. Watched 1979-1986. Best 24 minutes I spent today. Nice find, Ann.

Mr. D said...

The 80s were pretty good and ‘86 was solid. The one ace song from that year not included here was “Welcome to the Boomtown” by David + David. The two weaker years were ‘81 and ‘85, but by ‘89 the rot was starting to set in.

Diamond said...

1986. I was flying a bunch of RC-135 missions off the coast of Kamchatka during that time period. That's when the Russians were really the bad guys. And yes, the Russkies knew that KAL 007 was not a spy plane.

Bay Area Guy said...

1986 was a great year in general, but was it a great year for music? I'm thinking Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Michael Jackson, Madonna. Phil Collns? U2?

You ever read the lyrics to AC/DC - "You Shook Me All Night Long"?
Lotta double entendres therein. "She was a fast machine - she kept her motor clean...."

I'd say the entire decade was pretty bitchin', Dude.

wild chicken said...

Lotta one shot wonders back then. The industry was wide open because MTV had all that time to fill. It was as rich as the 60s.

Joe Jackson, the Motels, Bruce Hornsby, Tears for Fear, so many songs but can't remember who did what. It was dark, and lefty, because Thatcher and Reagan and AIDS and all that.

Whatever, just shut up and play.





Clyde said...

I was in West Berlin, keeping an eye on the Russkies. I loved the Bangles, saw them in concert there with James Taylor. My favorite of those videos was Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer." That was such a cool use of stop-action animation.

chickelit said...

I have exactly zero of that music in my iTunes. Then again, in 1986, I thought that Feelies and Husker Du were the best releases.

Lincolntf said...

I saw the Indigo Girls in Frankfurt, 1993,

chickelit said...

I watched a lot of MTV in the early '80's when it started, but by 1986 I had stopped because I thought it had gone downhill.

Bob Boyd said...

Report: Biden vetting Amy Klovenhoof to play Nurse Ratched to his post lobotomy McMurphy.
Hair that smells like honey mustard not expected to be a deal breaker.

narciso said...

our high school hired a local band, expose, we tried to hire Miami sound machine but even they were overpriced for our budget,

Andrew said...

Talking Heads had an album that year.

Francisco D said...

1986 is starting to come back to me.

It started out great with Da Bears playing the most dominant Super Bowl game in history.

It went downhill in February after one of my dissertation committee (n=5) members was obstinate about expanding my study to the point of meaninglessness. I survived, but it felt traumatic at the time.

I have no awareness of the music of that year. Absolutely none.

Andrew said...

@Sebastian,
Agreed, and impossible to choose between them. But Bach. Mozart, and Beethoven dominated their years. For a greater variety - an explosion of creativity from numerous sources - I would vote for the years 1910-13, right before the beginning of WWI.
Mahler's Ninth Symphony.
Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier.
Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe.
Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
Debussy's 2nd book of piano preludes.
Prokofiev's first two piano concertos.
Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle.
Sibelius's Fifth Symphony.
Etc.

madAsHell said...

The ubiquitous I, IV, V chord progression.

Iman said...

the really hilarious thing that is if he [Simon] made it today, he would be accused of cultural appropriation.

Actually, he was.

Rt1Rebel said...

@ wild chicken 5:50 PM

Yes there were, my favorite, not at the time, but in retrospect, was Tommy Tutone 867-5309. I found out decades later it was fun to play on the guitar, and that it caused some chaos in the communications world.

Sebastian said...

Andrew: "an explosion of creativity from numerous sources - I would vote for the years 1910-13"

Good years, but I think the best of the pieces you mention fall just outside the period, by date of composition -- Mahler finished his Ninth in '09 and Sibelius was commissioned to write the Fifth in '15. Both are in the same league as the Big Three and I admire them both, but neither had a single amazing year like Mozart and Bach did repeatedly (with several other greats active in the early 1720s, perhaps only one other in the late 1780s).

Andrew said...

@Sebastian,
Thanks. I stand corrected about the Sibelius 5th. Let's switch it with the 4th (an amazing and underrated work). Let's throw in Nielsen's Third as well. For Mahler, I was thinking about the premier date.

I appreciate the interaction with a fellow music lover. You are right about the years you've chosen. Who can compare with Mozart? As Tom Lehrer once said, it's people like this who make you realize how little you've accomplished.

Mr. Majestyk said...

How could they not include "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood?

Carter Wood said...

Props to the 1980 mash-up for including Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_nToRZOqVo

Tina Trent said...

1986. The Mets, game six.

stlcdr said...

That’s what. I’m talking about. While not designed to be great singing or the pinnacle of musical accomplishment, it fun to listen to - and watch - and generally upbeat.

Apart from a few rare artists, the musical drudge has slowly gone down hill (listen to Sirius XM, 40s through 2k, and the 80s and earlier has a lot more going for it).

Bobby said...

This is Boomer music from the 1980s. If you were into Alternative Music before Nirvana, you listened to the Feelies, Husker Du, REM, The Smiths and the best rock 'n roll band of the decade, The Replacements. There were many other bands that never got played on MTV or mainstream. Sorry to be so touchy, but I was a college DJ and I never touched this other stuff. It's department store music.

todd galle said...

Bobby is correct. I was also a college DJ (WZBT - Gettysburg), 83-87, and the amount of records pressed and sent to us was impressive. There are lots of bands like Plasticwrap, Nixon's Head, Chesterfield Kings and so on that were never promoted properly. I would suggest he include the Ramones up near the Replacements though. I was always first in line when they culled the station rotation, and a lot of that 80s vinyl is in my basement. Might have see if the punk compilation Flex Your Head is still playable, featuring the classic "I Drink Milk" and "The Commie Song" by the Teen Idles. Good times. We spent a lot of time at the 9:30 Club in DC, and with radio station credentials (slim as they were, it was still free publicity for the band and the club), got to meet most of them in the Green Room.

todd galle said...

My wife reminds me, we're still on a first name basis with most of the Fleshtone's, but they have been mainly touring Europe the last few years. Although I just checked, and the Fleshtone's and Nixon's Head are apparently appearing together in Philly 25 June. All depends on Gov. Wolf of course.

Bobby said...

Thank you for your reply, Todd. I went to the 9:30 Club once to see Minor Threat. I lived in New England and saw most alternative/punk bands either in Boston, Providence or Port Chester NY. I grew up with Moby in Darien, CT. He was in a band called The Vatican Commandos. I went to college in Oneonta, NY. Saw many bands (Ramones, The Reducers, Feelies, Minute Men, The Dogmatics) at State Colleges or hole-in-wall clubs along the I-95 corridor. It was easy to meet band members because they usually mixed with the audience - no rock stars then. I only owned and played Independent Records and interviewed some (The Del Fuegos) on radio station WRHO. I till have most of those old vinyls that I protected like gold.

Also, I saw the Fleshtones many times, though I didn't know them personally, and always liked them!

todd galle said...

They're a really fun bunch of guys for geezers, Bobby! Still mystified that people are continuing to show up.