back to top

The 15 Struggles Of Being A Music Fan In The '80s

The '80s weren't all perms and Rubik's Cubes. So take off the rose-colored aviators and get real — real savings from GEICO. It's a "no duh."

Posted on

1. First of all, you still couldn't rewind your old 8-tracks.

force311999 (CC BY http://3.0) / Via youtube.com

Because it was impossible.

2. And if albums didn't come with lyric sheets, you resigned yourself to never knowing all the words.

But sometimes you could order them for 50 cents.
Bunky's Pickle (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: verylastexcitingmoment

But sometimes you could order them for 50 cents.

3. Mimicking your idols, like Olivia Newton-John, required an endless supply of hair spray and headbands.

Not pictured: pegged pants.
Bart Everson (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: editor

Not pictured: pegged pants.

4. To skip a track, you had to blindly fast-forward or rewind — or flip the cassette over.

CassetteTapeWalkman (CC BY http://3.0) / Via youtube.com

Also, the thing was $200.

5. You actually had to, like, leave the house to buy music at a record store...

RIP.
Ian Ransley (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: design-dog

RIP.

6. ...and if the one song you wanted wasn't a single, you had to buy the whole album.

Steve Barr (CC BY http://3.0) / Via youtube.com

That is, if you could find it.

7. This was considered a portable music player:

DecentMan4you (CC BY http://3.0) / Via youtube.com

"See this? It plays AM and FM."

8. Your knowledge of upcoming concerts and albums depended entirely on posters and newspaper ads.

And punkzines, of course.
Ben Salter (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: ben_salter

And punkzines, of course.

9. Navigating the FM dial was way finicky.

Rocking Dustpan (CC BY http://3.0) / Via youtube.com

And the best songs were on college radio at 2 a.m.

10. Mom and Dad were always wiggin' out about the wall art in your room.

I mean, you have the poster, so why don't you use it?
Christine K (CC BY-ND http://2.0) / Via Flickr: grilledcheese

I mean, you have the poster, so why don't you use it?

11. Same with your totally stellar clothes.

Like, what was their damage, anyway?
Stephanie Lenz (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: piggyhawk

Like, what was their damage, anyway?

12. If you forgot to tape Headbangers Ball, you would never see that episode again, ever.

Gwydion M. Williams (CC BY http://2.0) via Flickr: 45909111@N00 / Chris Giliberto (CC BY http://3.0) via youtube.com

Hörns up. \m/

13. Recording songs off the radio demanded expert timing...

DecentMan4you (CC BY http://3.0) / Via youtube.com

And a DJ who wouldn't talk over the song.

14. ...and mixtapes took hours to prepare and assemble.

It's how you knew the relationship was serious.
Jinxi Caddel (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: jinxiboo

It's how you knew the relationship was serious.

15. Finally, concert venues charged exorbitant admission fees — like, sometimes over $15, OK?

Sike!
Tony (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: arrogant

Sike!

But as Salt-N-Pepa prove, at least it was a golden age for hip-hop.

View this video on YouTube