Where Does 80s Music Show Up in the Entertainment Industry Today?

The 1980s were one of the most memorable decades in modern history. A time of big hair and bright colors, these years were jam-packed full of extremely bold looks, many of which have already come back or are making their way back in style. The 80s also saw a radical shift in direction for music, with the rise of synth-pop and electric dance tunes becoming prominent.

Rock and heavy metal continued to enjoy a wide following base, with major bands like AC/DC and Metallica securing a name for themselves in the music biz. Nowadays, '80s sounds are widespread in entertainment, from cinema to gaming, theatre and beyond. Here we explore the ways in which this genre of music still shows up in the industry some forty years later.


The musical vibes of '80s pop and rock run rampant in modern film and T.V., with many popular productions giving us nostalgic feels of the decade in everything from their plotlines to soundtracks, colors, and more. For example, the 2016 movie Sing Street follows a main character who sets out to start a band in order to impress the girl he likes, and features songs by the iconic English group Motörhead, The Clash, and Duran Duran throughout.

Another fan favorite is Hot Tub Time Machine, a film about a malfunctioning ski resort time machine that transports a man and his friends back to 1986. Of course, hits from Poison, Salt-N-Peppa, and Mötley Crüe dominate the movie’s soundtrack. Although these are just two examples, 80s music loves to make appearances in film and this trend does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Music of the '80s was heavily populated by modern rock


The gaming world of today is also no stranger to retro themes. An example of this can be seen through online slot games whose themes draw inspiration from hit 80s songs and rock bands like Guns n' Roses, KISS, ZZ Top, and others. As the popularity of virtual slots grow with more and more platforms offering Casino Games to players around-the-clock, the signature 80s feel will continue to be prominent in visual designs and graphics on the reels.

Additionally, beloved arcade games which were in demand during the decade are now highly sought after, leading some major manufactures like Nintendo to create throwback editions of best-selling consoles. For example, the NES Classic Edition system is a replica of the one released in 1985 and gives players access to classic titles like The Legend of Zelda, Pac-Man, and more, where users can once again feel the musical stylings of the 1980s in gameplay and graphics.


The 1980s were a prolific time for theatre, with many memorable productions like Les Misérables, 42nd Street, Into the Woods, and Sunday in the Park with George coming to the big stage. Today, it’s common for people to get tickets for remakes of shows like these that retain their original format and musical compositions.

One that has become very popular among audiences everywhere is the remake of the '80s theatre hit Fame, based on the movie of the same name which follows the life of a group of students during their studies at a performing arts institution. The remake of Fame has given fans of '80s theatre a chance to journey back in time and enjoy live all the hit songs that were featured in the original.

Many award-winning theatre productions were birthed in the 1980s


If you listen to the radio at all, you know that practically every local channel has a ‘throwback’ segment that features a wealth of '80s headbangers. Some even have specific stations dedicated to jams from this epic time so you can tune in whenever you please. For those that consider the radio to be too ‘old-fashioned’, popular music streaming services like Spotify and Apple music also follow this trend of retro offerings, with entire playlists that exclusively focus on '80s chart-toppers.

So, there you have it. Wherever you turn, the '80s are there!

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