THE BEST 1980s

’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.

Covers by Clemens Wenners

Covers by Clemens Wenners

Musician Clemens WennersYouTube channel is loaded up with impressive cover versions of tracks from the 1970s and 1980s, accompanied by perfectly selected analog synthesizers and other period-accurate instruments. Tracks include The Bee Gees Nights on Broadway, The Cars’ Drive, and Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight.

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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.

MALL 84

MALL 84

Gervais Merryweather describes his animated short as a “love letter to the 1980s,” and we think he nailed it. From the kids in the video arcade, to the giant hairdos, and TV store window displays. What pushes it over the edge is the synthwave soundtrack by Mitch Murder.

New Order: 1933 Style

New Order: 1933 Style

The New Order tune Blue Monday isn’t exactly contemporary – it’s over 35 years old, in fact. BBC Arts’ Orkestra Obselete took it back even further, envisioning what it might have sounded like had it been recorded in 1933, using instruments that were in favor at the time.

Kingdom of Night

Kingdom of Night

Diablo meets 1980’s suburbia and a sweet synthwave soundtrack in Kingdom of Night. This retro action RPG has you slaying demons in your neighborhood. Choose from three specializations, each with three classes. Coming to PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch.

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.

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

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.

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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

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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