Countess Chocula

Online digs of author Susie Salom.

Eighties or Twenty-tens?

On the way to school this morning, mini-moi and I are discussing how well (or poorly) 80s icons have aged.

Exhibit A

In the interest of her musical education, I initiate a game called ‘Eighties or Twenty-tens?’ The object is for her to listen to a song off my current mix and tell me whether she believes it was released three decades ago or in this decade. Ready to give it a shot?

  • She thinks this one is eighties. What do you think?
  • Mini-moi verdict on this one: eighties. You?
  • This cover, she says, is twenty-tens.
  • She claims this has to be twenty-tens because ‘the eighties didn’t have the technology’ to make the opening sound.
  • Finally, this, she believes, is eighties.*

When I tell her that last one was, in fact, released this century, she looks out the window at the passing scenery and says, “I’ve been living a lie. All this time, I thought that was an oldie but goodie.”

She then texts me who she calls an eigthies hottie before hoisting her backpack and gym bag over her shoulder and getting out of the car.

courtesy of mini-moi

I maneuver out of the parking lot–aviators on while sipping my ancient, trendy homemade coriander, cumin and fennel tea–tuning into a timeless piece of sonic artistry.


*none of the songs in the game were released in the eighties


  1. Glad to see your disclaimer that none of the songs in the game were released in the eighties. Never heard of any of them* (I also don’t know who any of those men/boys are).

    * It’s possible I wasn’t the most awake and focused person during the 80’s.

    • Countess Chocula

      7 March 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Not enough Jolt cola? πŸ₯ƒ

      The images in Exhibit A are of the band Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD) from the early 1980s and this decade, respectively. Those men are, to date, producing quality electronica as evidenced by the Tayoyo remix of Night CafΓ© off the 2013 album English Electric.

      Mini-moi’s offering of ‘an eighties hottie’ is the character of Atreyu from 1984’s The Neverending Story.

  2. #1 Sounds authentic eighties, but I saw the video name pop up first, and so I think it’s a great reworking of ’80s sounds.

    #2 The opening seconds sound just like Lauper’s “Time After Time.” Thought the production too digitially clear for ’80s, but the voice sounds really eighties.

    #3 Doesn’t sound like ’80s, but then I opened my eyes and saw that the band is.

    #4 Doesn’t sound like the ’80s music I heard, but “Dark Side of the Moon” was recorded in 1973, so ten years later they could make any sounds they liked.

    #5 Doesn’t sound like the ’80s music I heard.

    To sum up, if I hadn’t heard the music before, it’s hard to tell!

    • Countess Chocula

      7 March 2017 at 8:47 pm

      What a great, fun comment!

      1. I do, too. I’ve come across a few artists like that whose names pay obvious tribute to the era they’re emulating and I’ve discovered a fair amount of satisfying tuneage. One I like to drive to is this. Cheesy as all get out, I know. But I dig.

      2. You’re right about the voice. Eras are captured not only by instrumentation, rhythm and tone, but vocals. Grrrreat point, sir.

      3. That particular single was released in 2003. Like OMD, Andy Bell has been crankin’ out the gems long past ’89.

      4. Well, my daughter was wrong about the technology, of course. In fact, a few years ago I read a massive door stop on the brain co-written by a couple of authors who contributed to OMNI mag in the ’80s. (The book was written in ’80s, too.) A lot of the tech I later read about online as being cutting-edge today was already being written about and experimented with back then.

      5. If you stick with it long enough, it has some synth sounds reminiscent of the ’80s. If you didn’t live through the decade (like my daughter), I can hear where the ear might be fooled.

  3. I started composing this in another window, trying to play the game without looking at other comments… but then I spied the asterisked footnote. Oh well, I won’t edit my initial guesses:

    1. 2010s. They’re going for an 80s vibe, but I say they’re recent.

    2. That bass line? Gotta be 80s. If it is recent, it’s done by 80s fetishists or something.

    3. I. Love. This. Honestly, I’m punting on when it was made, because I don’t care. Whoever made this did it just for me, right? It’s going on my treadmill playlist right now.

    4. I’d believe this as a well-done 80s knock-off of Kraftwerk and Herbie Hancock or something. However, my eye did catch the name of the artist, and I think that level of irony has ripened only recently.

    5. Disappointment when I figured out it wasn’t a Rush cover. You gave away the time period, but I’m amazed that there seem to be so many people paying homage to this music.

    All very cool!

    • Countess Chocula

      7 March 2017 at 8:58 pm

      Loving the commentary!

      2. This one is so atmospheric for me. Most people who hear this in my company assume it’s ’80s but it rings very post-punk revival in my ears.

      3. Erasure were masterful with some of their covers. I’m sure you’ve heard this one.

      4. Very recently.

      5. Electronica Rush covers. Why isn’t someone already doing this?

  4. I thought Solsbury Hill was a Peter Gabriel song? Also is that a new Erasure album?!? Yahoo!!!

    Didn’t really care for any, but that one. All took to long to get started. Of course I listen to Under Pressure weekly because it’s that worthy.

    • Countess Chocula

      7 March 2017 at 11:02 pm

      Solsbury Hill is a Peter Gabriel song. It was covered by Erasure in the 2003 release of their cover album, Other People’s Songs. It looks like Erasure’s seventeenth studio album is going to be released this May.

      And you’re right, the other songs do take a while to get started. But they’re mood music, which I find helpful when I’m wanting to get into a certain state of mind in order to take the flights of fancy that sometimes turn into scenes for a novel. πŸ“š

  5. “80’s were a very busy time for me, so I’m flummoxed, but did enjoy Erasure. Andy Bell is an excellent vocalist –despite tight corset in vid.

  6. Sorry, I got caught on coriander.

    • Countess Chocula

      11 March 2017 at 9:47 am

      Part of an Ayurvedic spring cleanse I was inspired to do. I’ve been drinking three cups a day of it for six days and this morning when I poured my cup I was a little 🀒.

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