The Holy Trinity of 80’s Pop


Michael Jackson, cropped from Image:Michael Ja...

Michael Jackson

My favorite part of the 80’s was the music.  Not just one specific genre, either.  All of it.  I loved the Top 40, the rap, and especially The Metal… (we’ll be covering The Metal Scene soon!)

In a recent blog post, I asked you to name the top three 80’s movies that popped in your head.   We’ve also covered some of the gooiest 80’s ballads (oozing onto the floor as I type).

There is so much music to cover in the 80’s, that we’ll be doing it in digestible chunks.  And… I’m not sure if anyone noticed lately, but there are a couple new bands that have an 80’s sound to them.  The first one that comes to mind is The Airborne Toxic Event.  Now, I don’t know if that was intentional or accidentally intentional, but I really like TATE.  My guess is because it takes me back to a simpler time.

Today we’re going to cover some of the biggest pop/rock artists of the 80’s  and how they blew the doors wide open for later artists to show their stuff.

The top three on the list are Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna.  The interesting thing about these three artists is that they all put on a show when they sang.  And no, I don’t mean ‘no stinking puppet show’.  They all danced.  Well, Prince kind of danced; he did a lot of grinding on the stage.

Seriously, Michael Jackson was the first of the Ushers, today.  When Jackson released the Thriller album in 1982, quite a few kids showed up at my grade school in a red studded jacket similar to Jackson’s.  I was like, “no waaay!”

Prince wrote and performed one of the dirtiest songs to date with “Darling Nikki” off of Purple Rain.  Outraged, Tipper Gore founded the PMRC.  Prince had a lot of sexual innuendo in his music, but at 13, I didn’t get it!  Perhaps I was just a typical, naive thirteen year old girl, but I loved his song “Little Red Corvette.”  My love for that song had nothing to do with the underlying meaning about one night stands.

Madonna? Well, if you can’t figure out all by yourself she was the first singing/dancing female pop sensation you should probably get out from under that rock.  Kidding.

Madonna paved the way for Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus.  It’s funny (to me) how Madonna was so taboo to parents in the 80’s.  I remember my mother freaking out when I told her I wanted a “Boy Toy” belt buckle.  Honestly?  At 13, I had no idea what it meant.  I just thought it was totally cool and was dang sure I’d be the bees knees in school.  In fact, there is a classic Madonna poster where she is kind of looking up in the air and I used to do that in the mirror all the time and really (really) thought I sort of.. kind of.. a tiny bit resembled Madonna.  Man, I was a total dork.

Mom said no to the “Boy Toy” belt.  Looking back? As a parent, I don’t blame her.

Who are some 80’s artists you feel influenced today’s music?

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6 responses to “The Holy Trinity of 80’s Pop

  1. Fabulous blog and even though I should be right into the eighties-I have this weird nostalgia for the music of the 40’s and the 60’s.
    Hate the 50’s, liked the 70’s and didn’t care that much for the eighties. It’s like I prefer every other decade.I bet you looked a little like Madonna, but way better!

    • Thanks! 🙂 I love almost every genre of music, as well as most decades. I grew up listening to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s thanks to my parents and I loved it!

      Thanks for the compliment (tee hee!) These days I’m happy to look like me. 🙂

      Thank you so much for commenting.

      Darlene

  2. I loved the 80s. I like music from a lot of different eras, but the 80s was the era when I listened to a lot of Top 40s music. I liked Prince, Skid Row, and OMG Madonna. 38 Special, Rod Stewart, Duran Duran. Man, I loved the 80s.

    I totally think bands like Skid Row inspired music like Stone Temple Pilots. And I think both bands have their roots in Led Zeppelin. But Stone Temple Pilots were totally 90s.

    As for todays music…I don’t listen to much of the pop. 3 Doors Down sounds a lot like 38 Special, and, before them, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band. I enjoy some singer-songwriter types like A.J. Roach and Ray Lamontagne. I think these guys were heavily influenced by singers like Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, etc. from the 70s and early 80s.

    Thanks for such a cool post.

    • Hi Catie! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I love Skid Row and actually loved Duran Duran, too (shh!). 🙂
      I rarely listen to any of the pop today. I do listen to Radio 104.5 sometimes in work to keep up on the newer alternative music. Plus, they play a lot of hits from the late 90’s and early 00’s.
      I never hear Skid Row on the radio. 😦

      Have a great weekend! I’m sure I’ll see you around.

      Darlene

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