POP GOES THE DECADE- A totally rad look back at the glorious 80's and all the flicks, fashions, tunes, and TV shows that made the decade so cool and memorable in the first place. Like, for sure!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tales From the Darkside

     I'm an avid horror fan.  Anything and everything scary.  Movies, comics, tv, books, you name it.  And one of my favorite things to do in the 80's was to stay up late watching episodes of Tales From the Darkside.  The 80's answer to Tales From the Crypt and The Twilight Zone, this gem scared the crap out of an entire generation of 80's kids. Downright scary at times and always entertaining, it never failed to entertain.  It was always dependable, and always good for a scare.  Just the opening credits are creepy enough...

1999 by Prince

     Fall of 1982 saw the release of not only a career defining single for Prince, but a career defining album as well.  1999 made Prince a star, and it's a delicious slice of funk/pop/electro/r&b that's just too funky for its own good.  The title track, "1999", was released in September of '82, followed by the album in October.  "1999" is to this day one of Prince's best known songs, and like many of his hits, timeless. Although 1999 offers up far more gems than just the title track.  "D.M.S.R", "Delirious", "Let's Pretend We're Married", and the smash hit "Little Red Corvette" are insanely awesome tracks.  Setting the stage for the grand Purple Rain album on the way,  Prince wowed the MTV generation with this masterpiece- playing most of the instruments himself on many of the tracks.  1999 is one of the most important Prince albums of all time.  It's audacious.  It's funky.  It covers many genres effortlessly.  It's surprisingly minimalist and needed no gimmicks- the music speaks for itself.  Ranked #215 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of all Time, it's been packing dance floors for decades now and shows no signs of losing its utter coolness.  This is hands down one of the greatest albums to come out of the 1980's, and along with Madonna's first album, truly took   disco (which was dying)  and merged with the British synth pop to create a whole new sound in dance music.    1999 is one hot mess of funk, dance, synthesizers, and stunning commentary on society all rolled up into one big delicious package.  It's epic, it's timeless, and it's grand.  It's Prince we're talking about here.  C'mon.


Greatest 80's Music Icon?

Sixteen Candles

      Easily a contender for the funniest film of the 1980's, "Sixteen Candles" made household names of John Hughes and Molly Ringwald and easily went on to become one of the most popular and well-loved comedies of the decade.

      "Sixteen Candles" tells the tale of angst-ridden Samantha, memorably played by Molly Ringwald in an iconic performance.  Sam is celebrating her 16th birthday, but her older sister is getting married. In all the ruckus of the impending wedding, it seems Sam's birthday is over-looked.

     Samantha is hopelessly in love with dreamboat Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling), who doesn't know she exists and instead dates the most beautiful (and bitchy) girl in school.  The horrors of being a teen in the 80's.  To make matters worse, she has the Geek to contend with- a nerdy stalker deliciously played by Anthony Michael-Hall, who relentlessly tries to get in her pants.  It's another iconic performance.

     "Sixteen Candles" is chock full of familiar faces- too many to name.  (Although Joan Cusack is a personal favorite...)  The jokes come in a constant barrage,  and the pacing never dulls for a second.  It's truly a riotous comedy that has entered the annals of pop culture.  Say the lines "What's happening, hotstuff?", "They fucking forgot my birthday..." or " Frank, she's gotten her boobies..." at a party and someone will know what you're talking about.

     This is one of the ultimate 80's teen classics, and one of John Hughe's finest moments on film.  If you were born in the early 70's as I was, then you loved this movie and watched it a thousand times on HBO.  "Sixteen Candles", although a wonderful time capsule of the early 80's, still plays quite fresh today.  I think it ages better and better as the years go by- I find it more inspired and hilarious each time I watch it again. It's also very well-written.

      This movie was what the 80's were all about, and I know of quite a few tweens today who literally obsess over any movie starring Molly Ringwald.  Or any of the Brat Pack, for that matter.  It's 100% enjoyable, and an undeniably rad classic of the 80's.