Livin' the 80s Life!

Second Semester Final Project by Haley S.

The 1980s were rich in a new type of culture, and its influence is ever present today.


Notes: 1, 2


Another Bites the Dust by Queen
Queen - 'Another One Bites the Dust'


Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield
Jessie's Girl-Rick Springfield


I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow
Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy


Every Breath You Take by The Police
The Police - Every Breath You Take


Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
Culture Club - Karma Chameleon


Crazy For You by Madonna
Madonna - Crazy For You


You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi - You Give Love A Bad Name


I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston
WHITNEY HOUSTON: I Wanna Dance With Somebody - HD - HQ sound


Kokomo by The Beach Boys
The beach boys - Kokomo


Bust a Move by Young MC
Young MC - Bust A Move


Notes: 3, 4, 5

Standards: D, I

Personal Computers

In 1981, the IBM PC was released. IBM had previously been a company to produce large computers for large corportations. This new PC they created allowed IBM to reach to new consumers. Thus, the PC craze began. In the beginning, the IBM PC cost around $2,000. It was nothing compared to today's computers, but a huge craze in the 80s. The tiny screen and massive keyboard were totally new to consumers. It literally began a revolution in the computer world. More companies began making software and duplicating computers. Companies like Apple and Compaq followed in IBM's wake and stepped up their game. PCs became extremely popular and "were everywhere" by the end of the decade.


In the early 80s and before, people listened to music on cassette tapes, records, and the radio. This all changed in 1983 when CDs became popular. Compact discs were so much easier than cassettes. They didn't stretch and break like cassettes. Albums became warped, scratched, and had problems with dust. These new CDs played music without hissing and held up much better. The sound (and CDs) were much cleaner than anyone was used to. The mirrored discs have billions of tiny scratches that make certain sounds when a laser is shot at it. This idea was revolutionary, and still common today. Players in the 80s could have cost thousands of dollars, but music lovers didn't mind paying high prices for high quality sound.


Though VHS tapes were released in 1975, their popularity spiked in the 1980s. This is due to the processes that are used to make VHS tapes. In the early 80s, companies began to find cheaper ways to produce the tapes. Thus, lowering pricing and raising popularity. With these new tapes, people were able to record television programs and view them at a later time (much like DVR today). In 1981, movie studios argued that VHS tapes were a threat to their business because people were able to record copyrighted material. Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled that VHS VCRs were permitted for private use. In a turn of events, VCR use actually helped movie studios because it allowed them to open a new business strategy: VHS sales.

Cable Television

Also during the 1980s, cable television became increasing popular. Though it was created in the late 40s, cable didn't become widespread until the 80s. Signals became more clear as fiber optic cables came into market. It became much cheaper, and all sorts of new networks popped up. Dozens of TV channels were created, including CNN, MTV, HBO, and other still popular networks. To go with their new cable TVs, households HAD TO HAVE new VCRs!

Cell Phones

In 1984, cell phones became available to the public. These large machines were very heavy and bulky. Some were so large that they required shoulder bags to carry them. The first public cell phone, the Motorola DynaTec 8000x cost nearly $4,000. This device weighed over two pounds, much more than the cell phones today that weigh only ounces. The creator of the first cell phone, Martin Cooper, also worked on creating the first portable police radio. Without his work, our modern iPhone world be nothing.


Notes: 6, 7

Click the link below to view trailers for popular 1980s movies!


Notes: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

Click the link below to check out a Pinterest Board with a few popular 1980s TV shows!

Food and Candy

Notes: 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

Women's Fashion

Notes: 26, 27, 28

Standards: A, G

Men's Fashion

Notes: 29, 30

Standard: B


Notes: 31, 32, 33, 34

Standard: E

Toys and Games

Notes: 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41

Standard: J

Click on the link below to view a slideshow featuring some of the most popular toys and games of the decade!

Forever 80s

The 1980s left an impression that America will forever feel.

The effects of 1980s culture can still be felt today. Many of the most popular things today are directly from the 80s or influenced by the decade. Without the diverse changes of this era, our current era would not be the same.

Many songs from this decade are still popular and relevant today. Across the country, girls still love listening to Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" while hanging out with their girlfriends. "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey continues to be popular among teens are adults alike. Many bands still continue to tour or record albums that capture the audiences. The various unique sounds made famous during the 1980s are still used today. Artists of today sample old songs, reliving the great era.

Technology has definitely changed since the 1980s. However, this change has come about because of advancements then. Personal computers are now smaller and more powerful than ever before. CDs are still common, but music now is mostly digital on computers and MP3 players. VHS VCRs have evolved into DVR that is stored digitally on our cable boxes. Cable television is still extremely popular, now feature hundreds of channels of high and low quality. Cells phones are EVERYWHERE today, it seems as though anyone over the age of 8 has one now. They are much more efficient and cheaper today, but would be nothing without the advancements made during the 80s.

The effect of the film and television isn't as prominent as others, but can still be seen today. 1980s movies continue to be hits among movie buffs. Some have been remade in hope of re-spiking the popularity, Sitcoms created thirty years ago are still being shown today. They have also influenced popular shows of today, like Modern Family and The Middle. Cartoons continue to be popular, even having their own channels. The television industry today is nearly a mirror of television in the 1980s, but more advanced.

Food of today is basically the same as food from the 1980s. Many of the most purchased candies today were created in the 1980s. Dairy Queen Blizzards are dessert favorites across the country. Fruit snacks are now made in many colors and flavors and feature the characters of popular children's shows. Lean Cuisine Meals continue to be the perfect diet food for those watching their waistlines.

Perhaps the longest everlasting aspect of the 1980s is the fashion. Runways throughout the country feature looks inspired from the great decade. Baggy shirts, mini skirts, bright colors, floral patterns, lace, and almost everything else popular then is popular today. It is no longer a retro look to dress up for the decade, but a fashion statement of what is modern today. In men's fashion, the styles have faded, but are still sported by some. Guys of today dress more preppy or sporty, but the 80s can still be seen through color choices and brand names, such as Polo and Nike.

Along with the popular vintage clothing styles comes the same popular hair styles. Gradually, these hairstyles have come back in style. Big hair, asymmetrical bangs, and side ponytails are among the most sought after styles. Luckily for men, the 1980s hairstyles haven't made much of a comeback. Mohawks are still being rocked by the most hardcore band members, but mullets are rattails are still stuck in the 80s. Instead, men and boys sport shorter styles that are easier to manage.

The toys of the 1980s have evolved to meet the needs of children today or influenced modern toys. Cabbage Patch Kids and My Little Pony can still be found on shelves today. Girls continue to love them. Atari game systems influenced the game systems of today, such as the XBOX-360 and PS3. They continue to have the same idea of inserting a cartridge or disc into a more expensive system. Rubik's Cubes can still be found, and the company released an electric game a few years ago. The other toys in the presentation have died away, but may make a comeback someday!

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