"Why 80s Pop Music Sounds So Good" video.

I'm not sure if this was posted here before or not, but this video is a fantastic look into what made a lot of 80s music tick.

For the uninitiated, he uses "H" instead of "B" when referring to keys and chords. Yeah, that is a bit confusing at first, but regardless the advice is super solid. He even goes over the bass of everybody's favourite Rick Roll song. 😂 Definitely worth a watch. Cheers mates.

Comments

  • Very interesting and useful for those of us with retro blood. Thanks for posting!

  • @AnalogCortex said:
    Very interesting and useful for those of us with retro blood. Thanks for posting!

    Absolutely. I may have been born in the mid 80s, but trust me, the music from that era is unmatched. These days, it's all about autotuning and simple chord progressions, unless we're talking Synthwave. This has actually helped me with my more Synthwave tunes.

  • I love that synthwave is even a thing - an entire genre of music derived from instrumental 80's movie soundtracks. Back in the day this was just filler and now it's a whole genre.

    I'm still in awe of people's reverence for the 80's. I get it - every generation over-idealizes the years of their youth, so when I was a kid in the 70s/80s, the 50's were big - think Sha Na Na & Grease & The Stray Cats.

    In the 90's, the 60s were idealized, now it's the 80s. Strange to think I've gotten old enough to now see the uncool things from youth become cool again.

    The grey in my beard aches.....

  • edited March 14

    The most elaborate rickroll I’ve ever seen.

    Amazing stuff but I’ll never learn all those chords. Maybe I’ll just work on two and see how it goes. By the way, in Germany B means B flat and H means B...

    One song I would add to his list is Joe Jackson’s Steppin’ Out

  • @Daveypoo said:
    I love that synthwave is even a thing - an entire genre of music derived from instrumental 80's movie soundtracks. Back in the day this was just filler and now it's a whole genre.

    I'm still in awe of people's reverence for the 80's. I get it - every generation over-idealizes the years of their youth, so when I was a kid in the 70s/80s, the 50's were big - think Sha Na Na & Grease & The Stray Cats.

    In the 90's, the 60s were idealized, now it's the 80s. Strange to think I've gotten old enough to now see the uncool things from youth become cool again.

    The grey in my beard aches.....

    The thing I'm shocked about is just how long the 80s nostalgia/idealism has been a thing. It was getting big when I went off to college in '03 and it's still going. A fair bit of 90s influence has crept into modern and indie music, but nothing like the 80s phenomenon.

  • The 90s music scene is probably too non PC and aggressive for the current generation. 80s fluff is a lot more agreeable to them. Also pixel art and 80s style games never seem to go out of style. That seems to go hand in hand with the music. But you never know early ugly CGI games could be the next big thing.

  • @Daveypoo said:
    I love that synthwave is even a thing - an entire genre of music derived from instrumental 80's movie soundtracks. Back in the day this was just filler and now it's a whole genre.

    I'm still in awe of people's reverence for the 80's. I get it - every generation over-idealizes the years of their youth, so when I was a kid in the 70s/80s, the 50's were big - think Sha Na Na & Grease & The Stray Cats.

    In the 90's, the 60s were idealized, now it's the 80s. Strange to think I've gotten old enough to now see the uncool things from youth become cool again.

    The grey in my beard aches.....

    I'm with you. We should start a gray beard thread ...

  • @oat_phipps said:

    @Daveypoo said:
    I love that synthwave is even a thing - an entire genre of music derived from instrumental 80's movie soundtracks. Back in the day this was just filler and now it's a whole genre.

    The thing I'm shocked about is just how long the 80s nostalgia/idealism has been a thing. It was getting big when I went off to college in '03 and it's still going. A fair bit of 90s influence has crept into modern and indie music, but nothing like the 80s phenomenon.

    Yeah - I find my own love of all things 80s fascinating. Most of the New Wave/Synth Pop/Pop/etc. that I love so much now I absolutely HATED in the 80s. That was what my older sister listened to, and you can never like what your SISTER listens too - how uncool! So yeah, I was into hair metal and Run DMC and classic rock back in the 80s. Still heard everything on the radio - you couldn't escape the Top 40 with either Rick Dees or Casey Kasem - but never did I seek it out...

    I laugh at how lame I would seem to 8-year-old me.

  • @Daveypoo said:

    @oat_phipps said:

    @Daveypoo said:
    I love that synthwave is even a thing - an entire genre of music derived from instrumental 80's movie soundtracks. Back in the day this was just filler and now it's a whole genre.

    The thing I'm shocked about is just how long the 80s nostalgia/idealism has been a thing. It was getting big when I went off to college in '03 and it's still going. A fair bit of 90s influence has crept into modern and indie music, but nothing like the 80s phenomenon.

    Yeah - I find my own love of all things 80s fascinating. Most of the New Wave/Synth Pop/Pop/etc. that I love so much now I absolutely HATED in the 80s. That was what my older sister listened to, and you can never like what your SISTER listens too - how uncool! So yeah, I was into hair metal and Run DMC and classic rock back in the 80s (still love these things now too). Still heard everything on the radio - you couldn't escape the Top 40 with either Rick Dees or Casey Kasem - but never did I seek it out...

    I laugh at how lame I would seem to 8-year-old me.

  • edited March 15

    I think a part of it is because the music from 80's and 90's has melody that today's music lacks.

  • @MobileMusic said:
    I think it is because the music from 80's and 90's has melody that today's music lacks.

    Oh, c'mon - that's just the old man in you talking. Today's music has plenty of melody - you just need to look in the right places.

    I appreciate the sentiment - my knee-jerk reaction to a lot of what I hear is very "GET OFF MY LAWN" but I try to recognize that I'm just feeling the same way any parent does when they hear "the noise these dang kids are listening to nowadays..."

    ;) - Just offering some perspective!

  • @Daveypoo said:

    @MobileMusic said:
    I think it is because the music from 80's and 90's has melody that today's music lacks.

    Oh, c'mon - that's just the old man in you talking. Today's music has plenty of melody - you just need to look in the right places.

    I appreciate the sentiment - my knee-jerk reaction to a lot of what I hear is very "GET OFF MY LAWN" but I try to recognize that I'm just feeling the same way any parent does when they hear "the noise these dang kids are listening to nowadays..."

    ;) - Just offering some perspective!

    To be fair the absolute dominance of hip-hop does mean that melody plays a less important role than it used to in pop music.

    Having said that a lot of current pop music (like the Max Martin stuff) does still rely very much on vocal melody. I think melodic instrumental hooks are far less common than they used to be though, now it's all about the beat and the vocal.

  • @Daveypoo said:

    I'm still in awe of people's reverence for the 80's. I get it - every generation over-idealizes the years of their youth, so when I was a kid in the 70s/80s, the 50's were big - think Sha Na Na & Grease & The Stray Cats.

    In the 90's, the 60s were idealized, now it's the 80s. Strange to think I've gotten old enough to now see the uncool things from youth become cool again.

    I think the 80s was the last decade to have its own strong personality, not just in music, but in fashion and design. The 90s was a bit weak, and after that everything is kind of flat.

    That may explain the fascination. It was also the last pre-web decade, which offers powerful nostalgia, even for folks too young to have seen it IRL.

  • @richardyot said:

    @Daveypoo said:

    @MobileMusic said:
    I think it is because the music from 80's and 90's has melody that today's music lacks.

    Oh, c'mon - that's just the old man in you talking. Today's music has plenty of melody - you just need to look in the right places.

    I appreciate the sentiment - my knee-jerk reaction to a lot of what I hear is very "GET OFF MY LAWN" but I try to recognize that I'm just feeling the same way any parent does when they hear "the noise these dang kids are listening to nowadays..."

    ;) - Just offering some perspective!

    To be fair the absolute dominance of hip-hop does mean that melody plays a less important role than it used to in pop music.

    Having said that a lot of current pop music (like the Max Martin stuff) does still rely very much on vocal melody. I think melodic instrumental hooks are far less common than they used to be though, now it's all about the beat and the vocal.

    It mighr be geographic or source dependant but I hardly ever hear hip-hop these days. It seems like people got tired of constant rapping and now it is more used it parts of, otherwise melodic pop songs. I might be living in a bubble though. ;)

    Yeah @Daveypoo I get a knee jerk about the 80s too but have to appreciate the uncontrollable explosion of plastic and silicone into the otherwise wooden music.

    It's certainly got its 'sound' but I have to say I find those drums always to stiff and music generally lacking dynamics. I'm talking top of the pops though.

    Generationally speaking though, listening to something you have a sentimental connection to, as opposed to a dug up trend are bound to be two very different experiences.

    I spend the 80's totally engrossed in Depeche Mode so experienced everything else less directly so don't really have a massive sentimental connection to the rest of the 80's sounds. Love synths and beat boxes though ;)

  • While the '80s' might be popular as per the video it's only a small part of what music was being released then was like. For me in my late teens that decade was about the thriving underground scene with bands like the Birthday Party, Dead Kennedys, Headless Chickens, Zoogz Rift etc... and more popular bands like the Cure and early REM. Pop fluff and the Rick Astley (SAW) sound did not interest me... OK I lied ... when I was 12 I was a big Duran Duran and Madonna fan. B) These days I can enjoy it all though. Especially since getting into synths and learning what was used to get certain sounds back then. In the 80s I had no clue what a synth was. :) I was strictly a guitar guy.

  • I tend to enjoy 80's stuff now, less for it's technical/style/sound/whatever, but because of nostalgia reasons. I can be that late teen/early 20's lad again with big hair and no responsibilities.

    At the time - living in 80's Basildon - home of a lot of early 80's synth pop, I actively avoided most of it and hid away in my Hawkwind/Gong world of 70's hippy prog - with a side order of avant experimental krautrockian electronics. I remember seeing some of Depeche Mode spill out of a car with their first hit single blaring out the speakers - piling into a house for a celebratory party and yelling 'TOSSERS', quietly at them.

    But tracks like Wishful Thinking, Total Eclipse of the Heart, You Spin Me....take me right back to my days sitting at a desk in the local council office with the radio on - Steve Wright in the Afternoon with Mr Angry and the Geese. Happy days.

  • What a nice singing voice!

  • @mistercharlie said:
    I think the 80s was the last decade to have its own strong personality, not just in music, but in fashion and design. The 90s was a bit weak, and after that everything is kind of flat.

    That may explain the fascination. It was also the last pre-web decade, which offers powerful nostalgia, even for folks too young to have seen it IRL.

    I think the 90's had personality - the whole alternative/grunge/Seattle-thing hit RIGHT when I was in the prime of high school, so it literally defined 10 years of my life. The return to rock, eschewing synths and electronics, was massive in that it was a return to what I REALLY grew up listening to - classic and prog rock from my Dad. I think that's why I hated the 80's IN the 80's - I was a product of my dad's love of 60's & 70's rock, so that led into Hair Metal and eventually to Grunge/Alternative.

    Anyway - that's a long winded way of saying that the 90's had personality for me, but I think that may be because that's when I transitioned from kid to larger-person-with-responsibilites-and-bills-to-pay.

    Anyway - WE LOVE THE 80s and I'm so fine with that. I can always whip out my "I LIVED IT" badge on my sleeve for any needed street cred.

  • If the 90s didn't have personality then how do you explain Massive Attack and Radiohead...

  • edited March 16

    @jwmmakerofmusic said:
    I'm not sure if this was posted here before or not, but this video is a fantastic look into what made a lot of 80s music tick.

    For the uninitiated, he uses "H" instead of "B" when referring to keys and chords. Yeah, that is a bit confusing at first, but regardless the advice is super solid. He even goes over the bass of everybody's favourite Rick Roll song. 😂 Definitely worth a watch. Cheers mates.

    H=B
    and if he is using H he also uses B ;)
    B=BB
    ;)

  • @richardyot said:
    If the 90s didn't have personality then how do you explain Massive Attack and Radiohead...

    90’s Hip Hop is also widely considered the best era.

  • edited March 16

    by the way lots of music in the 80s sucked really bad
    as a reminder Whitney Houston and those awful dx7 pianos everywhere :D
    we just like to forget that

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