Wow. This is an impressive article indeed. It starts off badly ('The 80s comeback is upon us! Oh, it's been around since 1998' bit in paragraphs two and three is particularly spectacular), and heads downhill fast as DeRogatis lists his Top Eight reasons why the 1980s sucked. Perhaps, in the spirit of things, we'll take things in order:
- Over-production It'd be wrong to say that there weren't over-produced songs in the 1980s. But of course, you could say the same about any period in pop music; Paul McCartney famously hated Phil Spector's lavish work on Let It Be, and Britney Spears' Hit Me Baby One More Time is Production Gone Wild. It's definitely not exclusive to the 1980s. If you're looking for subtle production from twenty years ago, then how about Trevor Horn's production on ABC's All of My Heart, or New Order's The Perfect Kiss, or anything from Dexy's Don't Stand Me Down album? And besides, Born In The U.S.A. is fantastic, and the production sound is a big part of why it's great.
- Bombast Er, okay. Not entirely sure what he's getting at here, but to be honest, I prefer reach-for-the-skies vocals as opposed to Current Indie Band Attempts To Copy Jeff Buckley's Vocals (Badly)…
- The dearth of social conscience Oh, come on. Even granting that the writer is American, and so can be possibly forgiven for not knowing about things like Red Wedge, the campaigns against Clause 28 (reason number 2353 of why I will not vote Conservative), Heaven 17's Fascist Groove Thang, Simple Mind's Belfast Child, the Free Nelson Mandela concert, or the gender politics of the New Romantic movement, two words completely destroy DeRogatis' argument: Live Aid.
- Sexism Because, of course, there was no sexism in the 1960s or 1970s. Oh no. And we've complete purged ourselves of it now. Ho ho.
- The advent of digital synthesizers
- The dominance of early drum machines New Order. The Art of Noise. Pet Shop Boys. Frankie Goes To Hollywood. I don't need to say much more, except that these are four acts that couldn't exist without 1980s technology, and all four changed pop for the better.
- The fashions I have been known to wear mascara, so I recuse myself from this entry (except to say: Adam Ant! Kevin Rowland! Haircut 100! Okay, strike that last one).
- MTV Yeah. Yeah. Image-over-substance. But at least they played videos back in the 1980s. Also, given that America has never had a unifed radio network like Britain, it was the first time that all of America's youth could experience something similar to Radio 1; a shared playground that spread British bands and hip-hop all over the nation. And for that, MTV can be forgiven for many sins.