Trends and Tributes

BlogHer Original Post

The trend toward 80s nostalgia soldiers on and aging gen x'ers wax nostalgic about their teen years and millennials, well, just think it's "cool."The deaths of Michael Jackson and more recently, iconic film director, John Hughes, brought a rash of interest in their past work. Michael Jackon's albums once again topped the Billboard charts.

Since his June 25 death, Michael Jackson has seen a spike not only in record sales but pretty much anything he's ever been affiliated with.According to Billboard, the Recording Industry Association of America is expecting Thriller to soon become the top-selling U.S. album of all time. That title previously belonged to the Eagles for Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975.

Music played a huge part in John Hughes's films. Shawn Amos from The Huffington Post says:

Still, Hughes' taste in music was impeccable. He set the benchmark for a new era in film soundtracks where songs were as much the stars as the actors on the screen. He could hear a hit the same way a good A&R man smells the next big thing. Apparently, it runs in the family, Hughes' son, John III runs a Chicago indie electronica label called Hefty Records. Films like (500) Days of Summer and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist with their song-driven plots would not exist without The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink.

Of course, borrowing from the past is nothing new. Music has always drawn from that which comes before it. Throughout the 00s, we've seen a surge in popularity of bands with a distinct 80s-tinged sound (Interpol, et al.) along with the resurrection of skinny jeans. Some of the best, however, dig deeper into the 80s canon, looking for those long-forgotten gems to pay tribute. Heather from I AM FUEL YOU ARE FRIENDS on the soon to be released Mark Mulcahy (leader of 80s college-roc band, Miracle Legion) tribute album:

Since being introduced, I have come to respect Mulcahy as a literate first-class songwriter, and this song from his band Miracle Legion first appears simple, yet is laden with ache and meaning in the smallest of moments, like watching a sibling cut grass and the overwhelming monotony of life that can imply. The jangly effect of the original reminds me quite a bit of some of my favorite things about late-80s R.E.M or The Smiths. Thom Yorke’s version is distant electronica, layered all crisp and sad and perfect.

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