As a kid in the 80s, I disliked the music, it seemed the opposite of cool. It was either men with teased hair wearing tights singing about hot bikini babes, or it was dorky adults with skinny ties singing about the rain. Honestly I have no idea what they were singing about, I wasn’t interested. I was envious of the 60s whenever the oldies came on.
But then the 90s happened. Music was raw, and cool again. I didn’t understand all the lyrics and didn’t know names of songs, but I didn’t need to, I felt it. I was in high school, then college, it was our time man. The angst of the age was transmitted through rock and rap.
Whereas the 80s gave off an inevitable post-apocalyptic vibe, the 90s gave off a hopeful “Star Trek, The Next Generation” vibe. The Internet became mainstream. Voices were being heard. The Dot-com boom blasted us into the future. Times were changing and money grew on e-trees.
That’s an idyllic remembrance of course — to be honest, things were a bit messy. The emotion in the music came from somewhere after all. Eventually the authenticity of the era faded. Intensity, by its nature, is brief. But the music allowed frustration to be aired and the Internet introduced new avenues of exploration.