If retromodern videos are to be believed, the 1980s were defined entirely by a neon glow and synthwave music. Vox takes a look back at the actual ’80s to figure out where some of the key styles that defined the decade came from.
THE BEST 1980s
Digital artist Florian Renner created this neon-lit promo video for the synthwave collection Magnatron 2.0 from New Retro Wave. While the imagery and sounds are certainly inspired by the ’80s, they’re also crazy slick and futuristic. The track here is Star Fighter by Wice.
Techmoan digs up all kinds of strange and wonderful “high-tech” stuff from the past. One of the crazier items has to be this cassette tape which defeated the entire purpose of a cassette, making you load in tiny reels of tape. Perhaps this was the precursor to the fidget spinner.
The music video for a-ha’s 1984 pop hit Take on Me gets supremely creepy, and more than a little bit painful when Mario Wienerroither gets his hands on it and subtracts the catchy synths and dulcet tones of Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen, and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy.
Scandroid performs an awesome synthwave arrangement of John Williams’ classic Force Theme from the Star Wars saga. While it might not suit the timeless feel of the films, it certainly captures the essence of the era during which they achieved their greatest fame – the 1980s.
A handheld edition of the classic Atari 2600 game console with a 3.2″ color display. It comes pre-loaded with 60 games, and can also play game ROMs loaded onto an SD card too. Has a built-in rechargeable battery, and can connect to a TV with RCA composite inputs.
Petrolicious scored a ride in this awesome 1981 Range Rover in Sandglow yellow. We’re introduced to its owner, John Holland, and learn about his love for the boxy British off-roader. Unlike some classic cars that sit in a garage, it’s great to see this one used as it was intended.
An awesome bit of classic footage from the 1985 Grammy Awards ceremony in which Herbie Hancock, Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones and Stevie Wonder do battle on a stage packed with their favorite electronic keyboards. Oh, and on the same night, this happened. Damn.
This reel of vintage ads produced for ComputerLand’s Bay Area stores is a perfect time capsule of early desktop computing tech, from “economy-sized computers” with giant floppy drives, to daisy-wheel printers, to Apple and Atari systems that could even run Visicalc!
Retro video game fans will love this clock which displays animated pixel art from the classic arcade game. Its 512 individual LEDs show the time along with pixel-perfect art of Pac-Man and his ghostly nemeses. Officially licensed by Bandai Namco. Measures 7.8″w x 4.2″h x 2″d.
We can’t imagine how many hours it took the guys from juggling troupe Synchronicity to create this stop-motion Super Mario Bros. tribute video, created entirely by rotating the faces of hundreds of Rubik’s Cubes. Though this isn’t exactly the first time they’ve done this.
Go back to the ’80s with this catchy remix of memorable scenes and sound bites from Weird Science, the movie that made millions of horny boys think they could conjure up the girl of their dreams by hacking into a government computer and wearing bras on their heads.
Time warp back to 1987 with this corny ABC Afterschool Special. Like all of these, the story has a simple moral: you can’t judge a book by its cover. Stars Doc from The Love Boat, Bug from Uncle Buck, the Governor from Benson, and Mrs. Willis from The Jeffersons.
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