Back to the… Past? The Retro 80s Boom in Media

If you’ve always had a secret fondness for the 80s, then you’re ahead of the trend. In the last two years we’ve seen a massive amount of 80s-inspired content hit the airwaves, streaming services, and much, much more. From the recent massive boom in Kate Bush’s popularity driven by the use of her music in Stranger Things season 4, to cutting-edge releases from Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus redolent in 80s riffs and drops, the 80s are back in a big way- and it’s time to enjoy!

How TikTok has Rediscovered the 80s

Like or loathe the popular youth social platform, TikTok, one thing is for sure- it’s done a lot to drive the retro return of all-things-80s. Spend even a few minutes scrolling on the app, and you’ll notice a ton of old hits returned to the spotlight they so deserve. It may be odd on the surface to see Fleetwood Mac trending alongside Doja Cat and Lil Nas, but when you consider the evergreen nature of these songs- and how closely the climate that spawned many of them reflects current moods, it really isn’t all that surprising.

It’s only natural that where music leads, trends follow. From the big shoulders and bright colors, to shaggy hair and retro guitars, the 80s were a heady and glamorous time of excess- and that also speaks to us on a deeper level, even if we weren’t born to see these hits in the flesh on their first round of the charts. From music to movies, and even marketing in things like stock video, the 80s still resonates with us.

Retro stylings with fresh new twists are in, baby- and when it comes to the avant garde, the novel, and the genre pushing, there was no decade better than the 80s to mine for new gold and evergreen sounds that speak to the soul. Spin it through a 21st century lens, and you have a powerful formula that’s hard to resist.

Reinventing Nostalgia

The boom in 80s and retro-styled music has been a great driver for TV and film, too- but it’s not the only reason we love revisiting the 80s in modern media. The Goldbergs, Stranger Things, Summer of ‘84, and even IT have brought the 80s back to the screen in a big way.

Nostalgia has been a powerful seller in the film industry for a while. It’s driven partially by the Millennial’s growing into parenthood, and wanting to share some of the magic of their own childhoods with their little ones. If it can get a fresh new twist that makes it more universally appealing, why not?

It’s also something of a break from the ever-present power of technology. Sure, we love our phones, and the ability to ‘just Google it’ tucked into a pocket. But it sure gets noisy, doesn’t it?

There’s something magical about being able to ‘unplug’ (even while enjoying media on a streaming service) and deep-dive into a time where everything seemed simpler to deal with. Life was easier back when we couldn’t connect to everyone everywhere in a hot minute, and while that doesn’t always mean ‘better’, it’s a bit like taking a spa day for the brain and still enjoying the ride. 

Whether you lived through them and want to slip on the rose-tinted glasses, or you’re a fresh-faced Gen Z who simply loves a different taste of life, the 80s were a rich, rocking decade ripe for reinvention- and with retro twists and fresh takes now booming, there’s a goldmine out there to enjoy. 

The 80s are back with a boom, and we’re all loving it. If you’ve yet to discover the magic in retro- and retro-inspired entertainment, there’s a whole world waiting for you to explore it, so get cracking!

Photo courtesy Depositphotos

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1 Comment

  1. I love technology, yet all the time miss the simpler days when I didn’t have things beeping and buzzing left and right, where every surface and screen wasn’t trying to show me an advertisement.

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