If you ask me, the best year of the 80’s hit when I was 12 years old. The year: 1984. Just look at some of the movies that were released that year:
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Karate Kid
- Red Dawn
- Terminator (“I’ll be back.”)
- Nightmare on Elm Street
- Beverly Hills Cop
- Police Academy
- The NeverEnding Story
- Sixteen Candles
- Romancing the Stone
- Breakin’ (okay, this one might not need to have been listed.)
Talk about generation-defining movies! Ask anyone what their top five 80’s movies are, and most of their lists would have at least three or four movies from 1984.
Not only was this a great year for movies, check out what was sitting on Billboard’s music charts:
- “When Doves Cry” by Prince
- “Jump” by Van Halen
- “The Heart of Rock & Roll” by Huey Lewis & The News
- “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger
- “Purple Rain” by Prince
- “Eyes Without A Face” by Billy Idol
- “Thriller” by Michael Jackson
- “Round And Round” by Ratt
Of course there was a lot of really bad music that year too, but these songs show the music I was listening to (and still do!).
Some of the historical pop culture events in 1984:
- Apple Computer’s famous ad “1984” launches the Macintosh computer line
- Hulk Hogan defeats The Iron Sheik to win his first World Wrestling Federation championship
- Michael Jackson’s hair catches fire while filming a Pepsi commercial
- The MTV Video Music Awards aired for the first time (Remember Madonna’s Like a Virgin? It was sooo risque at the time.)
- Andy Kaufman dies (or does he?)
- Sony and Philips introduce the first CD players
- Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America relinquishes her crown, due to some ‘artsy’ nude photos.
- Wendy’s has us all asking “Where’s the Beef?”
- The Space Shuttle Discovery makes its maiden voyage
- The Cosby Show, Night Court, Miami Vice, and V debut on prime time television
Some other prime time shows that we were watching:
- Dukes of Hazzard
- Magnum, P.I.
- That’s Incredible (I loved that show!)
- Hill Street Blues
- The Fall Guy
- Family Ties
- Knight Rider
- Silver Spoons
And Saturday morning TV:
- Fraggle Rock
- Inspector Gadget
- Dragon’s Lair
- Dungeons & Dragons
Of course, while not watching TV, we were busy playing on our Commodore 64’s, or playing with our toys. The most popular toys that Christmas:
- Cabbage Patch Kids
- Trivial Pursuit
- G.I. Joe
- Masters of the Universe
In 1984, with childhood’s grip weakening, I was on the cusp of adolescence. It was an incredible year for pop culture, and in my next post, I’ll tell you how I practically missed the whole thing.
A thoroughly AWESOME year, I must say.
I lost my virginity in 1984 listening too van Halen jump
The Karate Kid alone makes 1984 awesome. The rest is just icing on the cake.
Truer words have never been said.
Greyhawk Grognard says
I would also point out that 1984 gave us Dragonlance. That was, arguably, a watershed moment for the whole Dungeons & Dragons phenomenon, whether in hindsight one feels it was for good or ill. It marked the moment that adventures were designed with an overarching and detailed plot (in a literary sense) that the characters were expected to move through, rather than just presenting them with locations that might or might not be connected thematically. It was the predecessor of today’s “adventure paths”.
Wow, how did I leave out the whole roleplaying scene! Thanks for pointing out this obvious omission on my part, Greyhawk. I never got into Dragonlance but certainly played my fair share of D&D.
Garage Sale of Awesome says
Dragonlance yes! I still have all my old books & novels (which I read often). In fact to this day anytime I make potatoes I call them “Chris’ Spicy Potatoes” (sorry Otik).
Oh no Breakin’ must be listed Brian. : )
Hey, I listed it, but it was no Electric Boogaloo. 😉
Wow, 1984 was the year I turned 12 as well. Can’t argue with that list! It was one heck of a ride for pop culture.
We even got Orwell’s “1984” in 1984!
Yeah, thankfully Orwell’s vision didn’t quite pan out. 😉
I wholeheartedly agree that 1984 was totally a complete year of awesome; just hit after hit across all genres. I could never forget that Mac commercial which televised during the ’84 Olympics. Groundbreaking!
LoL. Sweep the leg! Sweep the leg!
Earlier this week, Paxton Holley pointed me to this homage to “sweep the leg.”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFlQNtL8F9s
I think you’ll like it. 😉
I love that song! I discovered it by accident on YouTube a few years ago, and it still gets heavy play on my iPod.
This is a generational thing, though. I”m a little older, so I think 1978 was pretty awesome.
Of course we’re all partial to our own time period! Just think of all the kids out there who will fondly look back on the years that gave us Snooki and Twilight. 😉
May God have mercy on their souls.
Paxton Holley says
Yeah, 1984 was amazing and you summed it up pretty good. My 12th year was 1986. For me, that wasn’t as epic as 1985 when Back to the Future would have been released.
I know this is an old article but it’s still an awesome list. It brings back lots of good memories!
1984 was a most awesome year! I was 25, and it was the year I got married – and still married to the same wonderful man30 years later. Can’t beat that for wonderful! 🙂
Bryan Bethel says
I was 9 years old and fore me 1984 made me come alive. My favorite movie to date of all time is “Romancing the Stone” I’m 40 yrs old now and 1984 for me is a mystery. It was something very special and profound in my life and I’m in awe about it.
Nikki Collier says
1984 was an awesome year! I turned 12 that year and I can honestly say that it was one of the greatest of my childhood memories. Great movies, great music, awesome memories!
84………..Jesus, I was 16 and got my first job here in Melbourne. Girls were friendlier back then.
BMX bikes, tight faded jeans, jam donuts, not a care in the world…….and The Last Starfighter was released. And by the way……..Mandy Kiepert……..sorry, I was just too young, shy and naive.