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1980s

A Flock of Metal

A Flock of Metal

Musician and producer Andy Rehfeldt transformed the 1980s classic I Ran (So Far Away), leaving the original vocals intact, and then re-recording the instrumentals with his own original hard rock arrangement. He should do a whole new wave album like this.

99 Brass Balloons

99 Brass Balloons

Everyone’s a super hero… everyone’s a Captain Kirk. ’80s kids will get a kick out of musician Seb Skelly’s all-brass rendition of Nena’s bi-lingual hit track 99 Luftballoons aka 99 Red Balloons here in the states.

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Video Killed the Piano Star

Video Killed the Piano Star

Ireland-based musician Luke T Duffy shares a wonderful piano cover of the seminal MTV classic, the Buggles’ 1979 hit Video Killed the Radio Star. Be sure to check out some of Luke’s original compositions on Soundcloud.

The Mighty DX7 Medley

The Mighty DX7 Medley

Do you love classic ’80s music? Many of the songs of the era relied heavily on Yamaha’s vaunted DX7 synthesizer, which was the first mainstream synth to use FM synthesis, creating a variety of uniquely textured sounds, like the ones in Power DX7’s medley.

The DeLorean Paradox

The DeLorean Paradox

Introduced in 1981, the DeLorean DMC-12 was supposed to be the “car of the future,” yet despite its striking looks, it wasn’t that groundbreaking. The company that built it quickly crashed, but Back to the Future made it an icon and dream car for decades to come.

Siri in the ’80s

Siri in the ’80s

If voice assistants like Siri had existed back in the ’80s, they might have had a slightly different user experience than we’re used to today. Squirrel Monkey imagines what life might have been like if Siri shipped on a 3.5″ floppy and downloaded answers via a 1200 baud modem.

Queen in the ’80s

Queen in the ’80s

After filling our eyes and ears with some of Queen’s most epic performances of the 1970s, the official Queen channel is back with a reel of the band’s best moments in the decade of Pac-Man and big hair. Despite the controversy, we never thought adding synths hurt their sound.

Leonard Nimoy’s Laser Disc Player

Leonard Nimoy’s Laser Disc Player

A wonderful time capsule of the early 1980s, this fantastically cheesy promo clip for the Magnavox Magnavision VH-8000 Laser Video Disc Player featured a mustachioed Leonard Nimoy as the curious consumer as he learned about the player from a talking light-up rock.

The Floppy Disk Boombox

The Floppy Disk Boombox

Techmoan shows off some more more awesomely weird retro tech. The Roland MT-80S was a compact music player that played back MIDI files using songs stored on a 3.5 inch floppy disk. Since it was designed for learning music, it also packed a digital metronome.

Do It All the Time

Do It All the Time
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While the song’s sound is distinctively 1980s, the music video for I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME’s track Do It All the Time looks like it was created by Kraftwerk back in the late 1970s. Even if they got their dates a little wrong, the track is a serious earworm.

Aaron Grooves on Pac-Man

Aaron Grooves on Pac-Man

Musician AaronGrooves puts a seriously shiney new coat of paint onto the theme music from the 1980s arcade game Pac-Man, playing the classic 8-bit tune on xylophone, drums, ukulele, cowbell, and a loop machine.

Morrissey: Back on the Chain Gang

Morrissey: Back on the Chain Gang
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Musician and vocalist Morrissey applies his trademark sad wail to The Pretenders 1982 hit Back on the Chain Gang, offering up a delicious mindmeld of two iconic 1980s sounds. The song appears as a bonus track on the upcoming deluxe edition of Low in High School.

Oculus Rift in the ’80s

Oculus Rift in the ’80s

Wow, look at this! It’s like I’m in the movie TRON! Squirrel Monkey’s Wonders of the World Wide Web offers up another bit of retrorevisionist technology – a version of Oculus’ rift virtual reality system designed to run an IBM PC with at least an Intel 80286 chip.

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California Games: 30 Years Later

California Games: 30 Years Later

If you never played the 1980s computer game California Games, load up a copy today. French creative studio ELMØ decided to reimagine the game for the 21st century, amping up the intensity to 11 for today’s crowd with extra zombies, gore, and garbage.

Visit the Chopping Mall

Visit the Chopping Mall

Looking for a movie to watch with your pals this Halloween? Look no further than Chopping Mall – a cult classic from the 1980s about a group of horny teens hang out in the mall after work, only to be stalked by killer robots. In Praise of Shadows explains why you need to watch.

Yahoo! Answers in the ’80s

Yahoo! Answers in the ’80s

Squirrel Monkey imagines what Yahoo! Answers would be like if it existed in the 1980’s. Aside from the graphics, it doesn’t seem too different from what we have today. You’d still get lots of stupid questions, lots of stupid answers and lots of trolls.

80s Song Ragtime Versions

80s Song Ragtime Versions

Pianist Jonny May asked his subscribers what 1980s songs should never be played in the ragtime style, then went ahead and did it anyhow. Listen and enjoy his unique and shockingly good covers of Don’t Stop Believin‘, Livin’ on a Prayer, and Africa.

Airwolf: Banjo / Mandolin Edition

Airwolf: Banjo / Mandolin Edition

Banjo Guy Ollie goes back to the ’80s once again, with another great cover version of a classic TV theme song. This time out, he performs the synthtastic opening title track from Airwolf on banjo, mandolin, accordion, and various other instruments.

The Sound of ’80s Movies

The Sound of ’80s Movies

Julian Palmer of The Discarded Image takes a look back at the unique sound textures found in movies from the 1980s. While some of the highly-synthesized soundscapes feel dated or shallow, others were pioneering and perfectly suited the content on screen.

Knight Rider: Banjo Edition

Knight Rider: Banjo Edition

We like to imagine David Hasselhoff pulling up in a rusted out old jalopy (with an LED light bar on front) as the visual accompaniment to Banjo Guy Ollie’s awesomely bluegrassified cover of the familiar theme from Knight Rider.

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Super Mario Bros. Ragtime Style

Super Mario Bros. Ragtime Style

If the Nintendo Entertainment System came out in the 1920s instead of the 1980s, the music its games played might have sounded a bit like the ragtime jazz piano arranged and played brilliantly here by musician Scott Bradlee.

’80s Video Game Commercials

’80s Video Game Commercials

Video game nerds, sit back, relax, and enjoy Dave Freeman’s hour-long commercial break featuring dozens of TV ads for classic games from Pac-Man to Space Invaders from the Atari 2600 to the Intellivision. The Toys ‘R’ Us music almost made us cry.

Imperial March Goes Synthwave

Imperial March Goes Synthwave

Synthwave duo Litiowave envisions what John Williams’ Imperial March (aka Darth Vader’s Theme) might have sounded like if it came out in the early 1980s rather than in 1977, giving the track a new neon-lit electronic sound.

Floppy Cars

Floppy Cars

Some songs lend themselves better than others to being played by Paweł Zadrożniak’s Floppotron – a band made up of old mechanical computer hardware. We can think of no better fit than the synth-heavy, robotic sounds of Gary Numan’s 1979 hit Cars.

How to Play Thriller

How to Play Thriller

With the right synth patches, bass, brass section, and recording talent, Doctor Mix shows us how its possible to replicate the distinctive sound of Michael Jackson’s 1984 mega-hit Thriller incredibly well. Even with the King of Pop’s vocals gone, it’s an amazing performance.

Prince: Nothing Compares 2 U

Prince: Nothing Compares 2 U

More than three decades ago, Prince & The Revolution recorded Nothing Compares 2 U – a song that would later top of the charts for Sinead O’Connor. Now, the Prince estate has released the original, accompanied by never-before-seen footage of 1984 rehearsal sessions.

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.

Fingerstyle Kids’ TV Show Medley

Fingerstyle Kids’ TV Show Medley

Musician John Tracey presents a medley of some theme songs from classic kids TV shows from the 1980s and 1990s, performed with a smooth fingerstyle vibe on his acoustic guitar. We can still never get enough of those DuckTales and Inspector Gadget themes.

From Atari to Chuck E. Cheese

From Atari to Chuck E. Cheese

Great Big Story presents a short interview and documentary about Nolan Bushnell, the man who not only gave birth to the video game industry, as founder of Atari, but who also founded numerous other companies, including Pizza Time Theater, home to Chuck E. Cheese.

WhatsApp in the ’80s

WhatsApp in the ’80s

Squirrel Monkey’s alternative past video series looks back at how WhatsApp might have worked if it came out in the late 1980s – using an MS-DOS computer, a dial-up modem, and a pager to deliver messages to its users.

The Oregon Trail Handheld Game

The Oregon Trail Handheld Game
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You can play The Oregon Trail on your phone and even in your browser. But Basic Fun’s port adds a fair amount of nostalgia with its chiptune music, retro case and large buttons. It’s officially a Target exclusive, but you can also order it from Amazon.

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