Friday, February 18, 2011

So long, Depeche Mode - Violator

Released in North America March19, 1990
This should piss some people off, for sure.  Including several of my relatives.

In March of last year I was watching TV and caught the end of a commercial where a dude was doing the robot* to some electronically-synthesized 80's song we've all heard a million times before.  It was at this moment that I had an awakening.  My eyes had been opened.  I was completely over the 80's.  The entire decade. Finito.  Over the stupid clothing, over the stupid haircuts, over the same old jokes about the stupid clothing and stupid haircuts.  I'm just over it.  1980 was THIRTY years ago!  It's been so long, even 80's themed parties are tired.  Let's.  Move.  On.**
Its funny, for me, the quintessential record of the 80's is Depeche Mode's Violator.  A record that, until today, I never realized was actually released in the 90's.  I can kind of remember the video for Personal Jesus.  I think the band was walking around inside a large empty building.  I'm pretty sure there was a staircase.  And was it in black and white?  I think so.  ATW, the album sold fifteen million copies, and reached number 17 on the Billboard year-end chart.  Policy of Truth and Enjoy the Silence were always two of my favorites, and the one time I actually participated in karaoke, I sang "Personal Jesus."***

Being born in 1979 and not really paying much attention to music before the age of 9 or 10, I sort of missed the boat on the majority of popular music in the 80's.  It was around, I heard it, but I paid little attention to it.  And this raises an interesting question.  To whom does the music of the 80's really speak?

I suppose it would most likely be the people who were in high school during this decade.  If we accept this as truth, then we're looking at people born between 1965 and 1975.  People between the ages of 36 and 46.  I'm sorry, but if you're 40 years old and you're still rocking out to Whitesnake, Foreigner, LL Cool J or Madonna, then you have issues.  I turn 32 in a month.  I am not the same person I was in high school.  I acknowledge that person, he existed, but I've got newer interests, different dreams and maybe even some conflicting beliefs. 

*It makes my skin crawl when I see actors on TV (specifically commercials) who are "dancing ironically" and break out the cabbage patch.  There are so many different ways to dance stupidly.  We get it, it's the cabbage patch.  Hilarious.  The robot is dangerously close to having the same effect on me.

**Even though I find the decade as a whole exhausting, I'm STRICTLY limiting my proposed restrictions to music.   

***I get angry with people who karaoke but only have one song.  It's something that isn't always detectable... unless it's your good friend... who will only sing Bob Dylan's 4th Street... I'm looking at you, Jay Blasco. 


  1. *Sigh.*

    What if we're hearing old music in a new way? I often get something different from music or books now than I did when I was first exposed to them, because I have grown and changed and had new experiences. I find that the really good stuff has multiple layers and meanings, and that quite often I get more out of it now than I did originally.

    (And, for the record, Violator was never my favorite DM album. It was Music for the Masses, which I received used on cassette from your sister when she upgraded to cds. It's actually rather ridiculous how much influence she had on my early musical tastes...)