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re: the Dark Age

Emile wrote:
"Some of us aging hippies were hoping the decade would signal a
rebound from some unsatisfying (to us, at least) musical tendencies
(disco, fusion, etc,) of the 70's. We were disappointed-:)"

Respectfully, Emile, I need to agree to disagree with you:
I am an aging hippy  and I personally thought that the early 80's gave
us some of the most innovative pop music since the late 60's.

For me, the whole DIY ethic of new wave music (from the original impetus 
punk in
the late 70's)  was wonderful , I believe and at least in
my home town, there were far more bands playing all original creative music
in night clubs that did not hire cover bands than any time in the next 25 

Add to that the early 80's revolution in sampling that highly effected 
everything from motion picture
soundtracks to pop group recordings.............

The rise of MIDI which led to composers being able to flesh out
full creative visions without necessarily having to rely on bands or 
orchestras to play them
(which completely changed and made more egalitarian, the musical world 
because it changed the
fact that you either had to be rich or very famous to flesh out ideas if 
they were grandiose ---think orchestral).

The 80's also saw the rise of really affordable equipment and digital 
processing so that more and more people
could make music without having to have a lot of money.

The next things I say are Amero-centric so I'll apologize for that but it 
all I can speak about because I was nowhere else in the world during the 
early 80's:

The fact that Disco was forced to change to stay economically viable  
that tons of new rhythms and timbres entered
music. particularly from the Caribbean.........Rap and Hip Hop also added 
incredible new rhythmic sophistication to
popular music........
...........indeed, the whole world fusion (or world beat,  a term that I 
hate) in popular music occurred in the first few years of that decade as 
well...............which meant that (in my country) African, 
Aisian and Caribbean musicians began to
perform in large numbers all over the western world whereas before that 
there was very, very little of this influence in popular music, 
statistically speaking.

Suddenly, in popular music (everything from motion picture soundtracks to 
commercials to pop groups),  there was an incredible explosion of new 
rhythms (with world music and rap/hip hop roots) and new timbres 
In fact,  there probably has never been a decade in American music history 
where there was such an explosion of rhythm and rhythmic variety.

I honestly think of the early 80's with great fondness and consider it to 
one of the more fertile early decades in American and
British popular music.

At least this aging hippy thinks so (hell, I don't feel aging in the 
slightest but I am over 50 years old which probably seems like
aging to some of the younger members of our community).