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Top 10 Icons of the 1980s

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By Edited May 5, 2016 0 1

Despite the amount of time, and all that has gone on in-between, I cannot, and will not forget the 1980's. It was my childhood, my highs and my lows. The music kept me sane and movies made me who I am today. A walk into town gives me a chance to reflect on times past, and all it takes is a song in my ear or a picture in my head, to bring this amazing time flooding back - just like it was yesterday. 

Having had a few moments to gather my thoughts over a coffee, here's ten things that sum up the eighties for me.

1. Push-Button Telephone:
No screens, no wireless, no polyphonic ringtones, just a "bleep, bleep"! 
In the days before internet and instant messenger, the only way we had to keep in touch was by telephone: a proper telephone, with a cord attached. From arranging the weekend to flirting to asking for requests on the radio, the push-button phone, is a true icon of this fantastic time.

80s phone

2. Ghettoblaster:
What good was all that 1980's music if you had nothing to play it on? Every teenager in every bedroom in the land begged, borrowed or stole to have one. Every evening lying awake at night, with my only comfort being the radio turned down low, and the red "stereo" light glowing happily in the dark. Great times!


3. Converse Weapon
This basketball boot is nothing short of iconic, in both sports and fashion. A pair of Weapon took about a week to wear in on your feet, and yet once the breaking-in period was done, they were like wearing slippers both on and off the court. The stroke of genius with these shoes was the wide color-scheme options that were available that reflected the NBA team you rooted for. We were recently elated to find out that Converse had relaunched this 80's legend.


Converse Weapon

4. Sony Walkman
For the 80's teen generation, the Walkman was an innovative as the iPod is today. Auto reverse, bass boost or a built-in FM/AM radio meant that you were very privileged indeed. But one can only truly appreciate the wonderful highs and lows of this decade if you rocked out to the guitar solo of Livin' On A Prayer, only to then hear things grind to a slow halt as the batteries drained out and your tape got mangled. No other icon gave so much pleasure and so much pain to an eighties teen!

Sony Walkman

5. Rubik's Cube
Enough to drive even the smartest nerd at school into a fit of frustrated rage, this six-sided color cube is for us, one of the lasting images of eighties innovation. In a time when computers were in their infancy, it was down to the world's thinkers and visionaries to invent fun distractions to help pass the time. 

Rubik's Cube

6. A C-90
I could bet my house that most kids under the age of twenty will have no idea what a C-60, C-90 or C-120 is! 
It was the mainstay of every 80's teenager's music collection, where LPs and singles where shamelessly, and legally, copied for distribution at school and among friends outside. 
I am also sure that the significance of a pencil in relation to a cassette tape, is also forever lost on teens of today!



7. Posters
Gone are the days when hours could be spent in a shop, swinging pictures of Miami sunsets, rock-stars and movie-icons in large frames, buying one, and adding it to your existing collection on your bedroom walls at home!
The humble poster may not be around much anymore, but will last forever in millions of heads, as inspirations to dream and wish by, on long summer nights, crashed out on the bed. (Some posters even made it to the ceiling!).

The Breakfast Club

8. Eighties' Music
Hugely broad item to put in here, but it has to be said that the 80s personified feel-good, happy and hopeful music in an age when technology went as far as the items I mentioned above......and we were happy with things exactly as they were!
The 90s produced nothing but disaster after disaster for music quality, and to be honest, I don't think the industry has ever recovered from it! 



9. Miami Vice
A television show that was way ahead of its time: a benchmark for every single crime show that came after it, and a visual spectacle of everything that the 80s brought to real life.
The parties, the music, the clothes, the money.......Miami Vice had, and still has, it all!


10. Wayfarers
There was no place in the world that an eighties' teen would not go, to get themselves of pair of these truly 'eye-conic' sunglasses! Tom Cruise, Matthew Broderick and host of other new Hollywood Brat Pack members made sure that these were a standard requirement for those who wanted to look and, as anyone who has worn a pair will testify, feel very, very cool! 

Risky Business


Apr 11, 2012 12:48pm
I could never figure out that Rubik's Cube! Good article.
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