1985 Pop Music, I need a Hug

B Kean
6 min readOct 9, 2020

Today’s hits are lacking that special magic, leaving me a little lost

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Don’t get me wrong. There is tons of great music today. Music for me, like many, tethers us to more. Easing us through the doldrums of any given block of 24 hours, the standard dose of life promised to us by some old Persian wise man a long time ago, music gives us the rhythm, the beat and the hip-hop, the hippie to the hippie, the hip, hip a hop and you don’t stop, rock it!

Yes, that was the Sugar Hill Gang. Go to YouTube and check them out, I guarantee you will forget about Trump saying he didn’t need any medication to beat Covid-19 — just a flu, mild flu.


I am a Gen-X’er. We are a small grouping of people sandwiched in between the Boomers and all the rest — this how we X’er’s look at the world. Our music wasn’t inspired from the smoking embers of revolution or protesting a war in Southeast Asia. It didn’t lose its way like music did in the ‘90’s. 9/11 didn’t shape our musical tastes and the “hey look at me, standing next to a tree” still-evolving selfie-mania didn’t embed our music with faux angst.

1985, and the music which led up to and then proceeded it — to about 1989 — was music shaped by the visual as we were the first MTV generation. The music was also imbued with a need to go back to being normal. The ‘60’s and the ‘70’s were so tumultuous that all we really wanted to do was to lie on the bedroom floor and listen to some tunes, freed of plotting rebellion or protest.

Nevertheless, buried within the layers of romance and escape were the first hints that the world was shrinking, that the notion of country boarders and that passports could very soon become irrelevant; should be irrelevant, anyway. The idea of Epcot Center was cool but let’s go to China; the croissant at the Au Bon Pain in the Mall was great but what would a real one in Paris taste like?

The ‘80’s, for my brain, for shaping my world vision and my life going forward, were a time of gentle acceptance that our surplus, our wealth, our good fortune had to be used to make the whole world better, more united in common cause. Sure, a lot of my friends today love Trump; and, when I think back about their musical tastes, I realize they missed the magic of ‘80’s groove; they were…

B Kean

The past holds the answers to today’s problems. “Be curious, not judgmental,” at least until you have all the facts. Think and stop watching cable news.