THE BEST 1980s

Wonderwall x Smalltown Boy

Wonderwall x Smalltown Boy

Imagine for a moment that the Oasis hit Wonderwall was recorded in the 1980s, and the lead vocals were performed by Jimmy Somerville instead of Liam Gallagher. Deco did a great job mashing up the track with 1984’s Smalltown Boy. Their Spice Girls / Marvin Gaye combo is a good listen too.

The Legend of Beavis

The Legend of Beavis

Nintendo fans might remember the short-lived The Legend of Zelda cartoon which ran on Saturday mornings in 1989. Now, thanks to the warped mind of editor KhalidSMShahin, we can enjoy this not-so-classic video game cartoon with Beavis playing the role of Link.

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Hey Ya!: Synthwave Remix

Hey Ya!: Synthwave Remix

Musician Astrophysics takes songs from various genres, and slathers them with a thick layer of 1980s electronic sounds, then complements them with appropriately retro graphics. There’s lots of great stuff to enjoy on their YouTube channel, but this synthwave remix of Outkast’s 2003 hit Hey Ya! is our favorite (so far.)

Timex T80 Watch

Timex T80 Watch

The Timex T80 was a staple of 1980s design. Now it’s back and updated for the 21st century. The new version is just a bit crisper looking all around, with an old-school black on grey LCD, Indiglo backlighting, alarm, date, and stopwatch functions. It’s available in a variety of metal finishes, and a Pac-Man edition.

Sonicware Liven XFM Synthesizer

Sonicware Liven XFM Synthesizer

Do you have a place in your heart for the sounds of the 1980s? Sonicware’s portable synthesizer makes FM sounds like many electronic instruments of the era, but can merge multiple sounds into one. It has a built-in 4-track sequencer, effects, filters, and more than 300 preset sounds. Their 8bit Warps synth looks nifty too.

Boulevard of ’80s Dreams

Boulevard of ’80s Dreams

Johan Olsson likes to take popular songs and imagine what they would have sounded like had they been made in a different decade. Here, he transform’s Green Day’s 2004 pop-punk anthem into something that could have appeared on the Flashdance soundtrack.

Pocket Computers from the 1980s

Pocket Computers from the 1980s

These days, we all carry a very capable computer in our pockets. But back in the 1980s, pocket computers looked more like glorified calculators. The 8-Bit Guy takes a look at some of these early examples of miniaturization for a look at just how far computing technology has come in the last few decades.

Gimme All Your Lovin’ on Ukulele

Gimme All Your Lovin’ on Ukulele

The talented musicians of The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain jam out on another classic rock track. This time they took on the 1983 ZZ Top tune Gimmme All Your Lovin’, minus the ridiculously long beards, hot rods, and sexy models.

Wonderwall: 80s Edition

Wonderwall: 80s Edition

Musician Mick Mazz loves to reinterpret tracks and imagine what they might have sounded like if they came out in a different decade. His arrangement of the Oasis hit Wonderwall perfectly reworks the 1995 pseudo-Beatles track as a synth-heavy ’80s pop ballad.

Don’t You Want Me on Brass

Don’t You Want Me on Brass

Musician Seb Skelly turns The Human League’s 1981 new wave hit Don’t You Want Me into a jazz tune, performing all five parts of his arrangement for brass quintet. We kind of miss the synthesizers, but Seb’s version is pretty great too.

Virtual New Order

Virtual New Order

Joy Division and New Order’s Peter Hook and his current band, The Light performed highly satisfying covers of his former band’s tracks Love Will Tear Us Apart, Age of Consent, and Digital, during a socially-distanced concert for Yamaha Guitars. In a separate session, they kicked out The Perfect Kiss.

They Live ReAction Figures

They Live ReAction Figures

Toymaker Super7 celebrates the 1988 John Carpenter classic They Live, putting on their special sunglasses to reveal the creepy ghouls living among us. The retro-style 3-3/4″ collection includes a man and a woman, along with limited edition OBEY and SUBMIT variants in black-and-white.

A Brief History of Home Video

A Brief History of Home Video

These days, most content is streamed or played on Blu-ray discs. But there was a time when videotapes were the media of choice. Mental Floss takes a trip in the wayback machine to tell the story of VCRs, the epic war between Betamax and VHS, and how the technologies changed everything for visual entertainment.

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Retro Gamer Logo Magnets

Retro Gamer Logo Magnets

UK shop ReadyPlayerTwo creates these nifty 3-dimensional logo signs inspired by classic video game and computer systems. Each one is 3D printed from PLA plastic to accurately replicate the original color scheme, and has neodymium magnets securely mounted inside.

Bumpboxx Flare6 Bluetooth Boombox

Bumpboxx Flare6 Bluetooth Boombox

Inspired by 1980s boomboxes, but updated with modern audio tech, the Flare6 cranks out 150-watts of power via its three speakers. It offers 12 hours of wireless playtime, and has a 1/4″ microphone input, SD and USB ports for playing MP3 files, and five EQ settings. For even more power, check out the 200-watt Flare 8.

Retro Game Music on a 1980s Synth

Retro Game Music on a 1980s Synth

For some reason, music from 8-bit and 16-bit games seems more memorable than most modern games. It probably has something to do with retro synthesizers drilling the sounds deeper into our brains. If you love retro game music too, hit play and listen up as BearKeys performs on a Roland Jupiter-6 synth. Part two here.

Knight Rider for 8 Cellos

Knight Rider for 8 Cellos

Musician Samara Ginsberg recently entertained us with her lively cello arrangement of the Inspector Gadget theme. She’s back with another fun cover – this time taking on the classic theme song from Knight Rider with an 8-layered cello recording.

Royals: New Wave Edition

Royals: New Wave Edition

Back in 2013, Puddles Pity Party burst onto the scene with toned-down cover version of Lorde’s hit Royals he did with Postmodern Jukebox. Now, our favorite singing clown has returned to the well with a playful new wave arrangement of the track. Seriously, it sounds like it was produced by Ric Ocasek for a Cars album.

Wonders of the World Wide Web Halloween Special (1988)

Wonders of the World Wide Web Halloween Special (1988)

Retro software experts Squirrel Monkey look back a series of fictitious programs from the late 1980s that were designed to help people talk to the dead and predict the future. Early PC software was apparently way creepier than we remember it. And yes, we know the World Wide Web didn’t actually start until 1989.

Alexa in 1988

Alexa in 1988

We already know what Siri might have been like back in the 1980s, now Squirrel Monkey imagines another virtual assistant existed during a time when voice synthesis and voice recognition were in their infancy. We love how it uses a cassette recorder to download songs from Amazon Music.

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Big Boxes.

Big Boxes.

As we move more and more towards digital downloads and streaming, there’s less need for packaging. Ahoy looks back at the days when computer games mostly came in oversize packages with bold box art, and started to standardize on a form factor back in the early 1990s. Despite the dry subject matter, Ahoy makes it interesting.

Replicating TRON’s Light Cycles

Replicating TRON’s Light Cycles

The CGI in TRON seems primitive by today’s standards, but back in 1982 it was not only groundbreaking, it pushed the limits of available technology. Using modern tech, the guys at Corridor Crew decided to see if they could accurately replicate the famous light cycle scene in less than a day.

Pl8ty Retro Bluetooth Speaker

Pl8ty Retro Bluetooth Speaker

Go back to the ’80s with this retro-style speaker that looks like an old-school Walkman. Instead of popping a cassette in, stash your smartphone inside of it, then clip it onto your belt loop for full effect. It has working control buttons and a 3.5mm aux in jack. Why not go all-in and use it with that Bluetooth cassette player?

Action USA (Trailer)

Action USA (Trailer)

(PG-13) Created by stuntman John Stewart back in 1989, this rarely-seen, over-the-top B-movie has been restored for new audiences to enjoy. Packed with action, profanity, blood, and practical FX, it’s a welcome break from the CGI and shakycam fight sequences of today. Available to rent from Alamo on Demand through 10.12.2020.

The Thing: The Board Game

The Thing: The Board Game

Pendragon Game Studio presents a fantastic looking board game inspired by John Carpenter’s gruesome 1982 horror classic The Thing. Up to 8 players head to a research station in Antarctica to assume the roles of characters from the movie as the try and figure out who among them has been taken over by an alien parasite.

Battle Patrol 2084

Battle Patrol 2084

“A once proud city has descended into a den of crime, sin, and misery. A corrupt police force and criminal underworld make every day a savage struggle… Yet one man will attempt a daring escape…” It sounds like quite the premise, but Mark Butchko’s animated short film is basically a modern tribute to the video game Zaxxon.

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