Years ago, my wife made me a I Love 1983 t-shirt for my birthday. I think that particular year was a good one in terms of nostalgia however when I really think about it, 1983 was probably one of the more difficult years of my childhood as it’s the year that we moved from my childhood home – a place where I had grown up, made lots of friends, started to form a personality – and uprooted to a new state due to divorce. And it was my last year of being a kid … I turned 13 in 1984 and began that awkward stage of life.
But in terms of pop culture, 1983 was an amazing year. Mental Floss identified 30 great pop culture things about 1983, some of my favorite being the introduction of Chicken McNuggets at McDonald’s, Swatch watches, Michael Jackson’s debut of the Moonwalk, movies (Return of the Jedi, War Games, Risky Business, A Christmas Story), the first episode of A-Team (which I distinctly remember watching in my mom’s bedroom following the Super Bowl) and the music … oh sweet lord … the music that was released in 1983.
There are so many albums released 30 years ago that are still in my collection (although the cassettes were replaced with CD versions which were then converted to MP3s which now either sit on a hard drive or on my iPod). Def Leppard’s Pyromania, Journey’s Frontiers, Styx’s Kilroy Was Here, U2’s War, Thin Lizzy’s Thunder and Lightning, Quiet Riot’s Metal Health, ZZ Top’s Eliminator, Men at Work’s Cargo, Weird Al’s self-titled debut, Iron Maiden’s Piece of Mind, Dio’s Holy Diver, The Kinks’ State of Confusion, Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All, Madonna’s self-titled debut, Billy Joel’s An Innocent Man, Huey Lewis and The News’ Sports, Kiss’s Lick it Up, Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil, Lionel Richie’s Can’t Slow Down, Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual, Culture Club’s Colour by Numbers, Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell, Yes’s 90125, Duran Duran’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger, Night Ranger’s Midnight Madness, Ozzy Osbourne’s Bark at the Moon and, maybe my favorite album of all time, The Police’s Synchronicity. Seriously, if you run a DNA test on my musical interests, you’ll find all of these releases.
So, I’m on an email list and receive regular press release updates about St. Lucia but, as the name is unfamiliar to me, I haven’t spent much time (okay, I haven’t spent ANY time) investigating this band that has apparently sold out shows in January 2014. Last night, my friend Lisa posted a video on Facebook of St. Lucia performing on Jimmy Kimmel’s show with the comment “So many 80’s noises reincarnated!”. Naturally, I was intrigued and what I discovered is that St. Lucia sounds like 1983. Synth-and-keyboard-driven danceable pop, the kind that we would have roller skated to or heard when playing Ms. Pac Man at the local arcade. It’s insanely catchy, it makes me feel like I’m 12 years old again and don’t have a care in the world other than making sure that the VCR is set up to record Friday Night Videos on NBC because, in 1983, cable television had not reached the town that I grew up in and therefore I only read about MTV in magazines.
I’ll have to play this for my kids who are all right around the same age that I was in 1983 to see how it stacks up against current music. It would be pretty funny (and cool) if they are as into it as I am, the influences of 1983 still being relevant in 2013.