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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > FREE CLASSIC POP ISSUE > LET’S GO ROUND AGAIN

LET’S GO ROUND AGAIN

POP – AND POPULAR CULTURE – HAVE A HABIT OF RECYCLING THEMSELVES EVERY 30 YEARS OR SO. TAKE A LOOK AROUND AND IT’S CLEAR THAT THE TASTEMAKERS AND INFLUENCERS CREATING MUSIC AND FILM IN OUR ERA ARE STILL HAUNTED BY THE GHOSTS OF THE 1980s…

THE 30-YEAR RULE

To quote Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” It’s a remark that captures the pressures of moving through a rapidly changing world as you grow up. Except is this one of those rare moments where the greatest moral philosopher of the 1980s got things wrong, at least on a cultural level? After all, were Ferris to bunk off school to look around at our own pop-cultural landscape, he would find plenty he recognised.

The 1980s-set Netflix TV series Stranger Things, for instance, riffs off blockbusters of the era and its soundtrack is often redolent of the ominous music associated with John Carpenter’s movies.

We could also mention the 1980s-themed episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, San Junipero. Or the way the Walkman, ubiquitous in that decade, is so integral to Guardians Of The Galaxy hero Peter Quill’s sense of self through his mother’s mixtapes.

Turn to music, and Teleman’s recent single Song For A Seagull, with its echoes of The Buggles’ Video Killed The Radio Star and A-ha’s Take On Me, wouldn’t be so out of place on the soundtrack to a John Hughes movie. Then there are the 1980s stylings of Manchester’s Everything Everything, or Age Of The Train by International Teachers Of Pop, a kind of nerdy disco version of Simple Minds’ I Travel.

Far from moving on quickly, we seem to be stuck in the past. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say we’re stuck at a particular point in the past in relation to the present. That’s because, as surely as 27 is the check-out age for rock stars, it’s long seemed there’s a 30-Year Rule in pop culture which states that music from three decades ago – often forgotten pop music that’s been dismissed as kitsch – will find its way back to the centre of our culture.

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About Classic Pop

Classic Pop magazine is the ultimate celebration of great pop and chart music. Each month we bring you the very best artist interviews and features, music news plus a packed reviews section. From the new wave acts of the late-70s through to the synth-pop, New Romantic, ska, indie and guitar greats of the 80s and chart stars of the 90s, it’s all here. We also bring the story bang up-to-date with new acts that have a retro flavour.