Music of the 1980s

Music of the 1980s

Music of the 1980s

Music of the 1980s

Synopsis

Popular music in the United States during the 1980s is well known for imports from abroad, such as A-ha, Def Leppard, Falco, and Men at Work, as well as homegrown American rock acts such as Guns N Roses, Huey Lewis and the News, Bon Jovi, and Poison. But there were many other types of genres of music that never received airplay on the radio or MTV that also experienced significant evolutions or growth in that decade.

"Music of the 1980s" examines the key artists in specific genres of popular music: pop, hard rock/heavy metal, rock, and country. No other reference book for students has previously explored the surprisingly diverse categories of hard rock and heavy metal music with such detail and depth. Additionally, a chapter focuses on the prominent artists and composers of less-mainstream genres for specialized audiences, including music theater, jazz, and classical music.

Excerpt

The 1980s in America were a time of illusional prosperity. Led by the “great communicator,” President Ronald Reagan, American citizens began to believe they were living in one of the most affluent times in recent memory, though the U.S. government was going into a national debt that was higher per capita than at any other time in history. Many called Reagan’s economic policies “Reaganomics” or “trickle-down economics.” Essentially, businesses were taxed less, and, in turn, the business would both spend more money to hire more workers and have cheaper products. Thus, consumers would have more money to spend, which would be beneficial to their overall sense of happiness and, consequently, would instill a greater national pride. This book discusses the music that paralleled an overall sense of satisfaction in American society.

The decade before the 1980s was a transitional time in America, and popular music directly paralleled this transition. Earlier in the 1970s, many of the baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) were entering the workforce after attending a college or university. And many of those baby boomers either had seen their friends fight in Vietnam or had protested the war in the late 1960s. Men who did not go to study at a college were often returning from Vietnam, often to protests, and to the women in their lives, who found that their significant other was a far different person from when they had left as soldiers. Eventually, the U.S. military withdrew from Vietnam, and it seemed America could finally begin to heal after the nearly decade-long conflict.

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