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Old 05-06-2013, 12:19 PM
Location: Florida and New England
1,101 posts, read 1,304,562 times
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Historians use 1989 as an important division point. This has to do with the end of the Cold War, the breaching of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, etc. The entire twentieth century as a historical phenomenon can be bookended by the Sarajevo assassination in 1914 and the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 (only 75 years apart!)

It also works pretty well as the year to divide the US cultural aspects of the 1980s from the 1990s.

Old 05-06-2013, 02:11 PM
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The 1987-1989 period was about seeing The Morton Downey Jr. Show, Johnny Hates Jazz, and the Wall coming down. In the very early 90's, everyone had to live with the change until we all dropped the subject in the mid 90's. Mid to late '89 got every American ready for the early 90's. Afternoons of Adam West as Batman, Roxette, and Dan Quayle jokes make up the whole late '89-'93 era. The early 90's (1990-1993) had their individuality from the overall '89 to '93 period, also. Wilson Philips, Get A Life with Chris Elliot, and the talk of Keith Haring's death all belong to the '90-'92 bracket.

'87-'89 was similar to '90-'92 in its own way.

In '87-'89, there were African American Mickey Mouse sweatshirts, biker shorts, and the Simpsons shorts on the Tracy Ullman Show.

In '90-'92, there were African American and Jamaican Bart Simpson t-shirts, surf wear workout pants, and that one Beavis and Butthead short on Liquid Television.
Old 02-09-2014, 10:48 AM
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The 80's were the decade when almost everyone seemed to be "in the money". The programs on TV were mostly for adults.

The early 90's were the "talent show/dancehall days". They were a teenager's time. They had a very surban feel to them. Pizza Hut was my favorite fast food restaurant. Frozen yogurt afterschool. They weren't the angsty 90's. That began in 1993. Looking back, I am somewhat embarrassed by dress code in the very early 90's. High waisted Mom jeans. White shortalls with one strap down and a pink Hypercolor shirt. Heavy Cosby sweaters with a turtleneck underneath for the fall season. I remember going over to my friends house to play Girl Talk and Mall Madness. The first two seasons of "Blossom" and the first season of "Clarissa Explains It All" give away the vibe of the early 90's better than any other show of that period.

Last edited by anonymous14; 02-09-2014 at 11:00 AM..
Old 02-12-2014, 07:48 AM
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Another tell-tale transition was the evolution of MTV from being a channel that teens sat and watched (and recorded) music videos, to being less about videos and more about "Rockin' Parties" like their Spring Break specials and goofy game shows and such.... That really did seem to happen almost right at the end of the decade it seems...
Old 02-12-2014, 04:46 PM
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In the 90's, everything that was new in the 1980's came into its own. During 1986, American audiences were introduced to Will Smith as the Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff. In 1990, Will started to show off his acting chops in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Will was still in character as the Fresh Prince. Will Smith was more like how he was in the 2000's. In short, the 1990's were setting up the 2000's like the 1980's put together the 90's.
Old 02-12-2014, 05:41 PM
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It depends on what era of the 1980's you are referring to. The 1980's went like this:

The '77 Zone - 1978, 1979, and Early '80
The '80 Zone - 1981, 1982, and Early '83
The '83 Zone - 1984, 1985, and Early '86
The '86 Zone - 1987, 1988, and Early '89
The '89 Zone - 1990, 1991 and Early '92

In the early 90's, everyone was stuck in the 1989 zone. Saved By the Bell on Saturday morning after all of the cartoons. Zubaz and the California work out pants were worn by almost every guy. There were sequels to movies from the 1980's in Theaters. Those were my times. I remember them well.
Old 02-15-2014, 04:34 AM
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I don't think the 90s were drastically different from the 80s until the Internet get popular around 95-97. I mean, I'd say the first half of the 90s has more in common with the 70s and 80s than it does with the new millennium.
Old 02-16-2014, 09:19 AM
Location: Arizona
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Heck, back in the 1980's I thought rap was just another passing fad that would be gone by 1990.
Old 03-14-2014, 09:32 PM
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What kind of astounds me is how many songs I hear that sound so quintessentially 80s but I do some research and they're from the early 90s.

This song sounds totally 80s but it hit number one on the hot 100 in late '91

Karyn White - Romantic (1991) - YouTube

Same with this song. It hit number one well into 1991.

Roxette - Joyride - YouTube

And then a few months later in 1992 a song like this takes the top spot. Probably just as cheesy but a totally different sound.

KRIS KROSS-Jump Lyrics - YouTube

It seems like something changed between 1991 and 1992, like a pop culture paradigm shift. The new jack swing and heavy synth sounds reminiscent of the late 80s quickly gave way to hip hop, soul revival and grunge.

And politically/socially things changed as well. Americans' approval of the direction of the country was sky high in 1991 with the successful gulf war and a positive outlook on the economy. Then in 1992 the bottom fell out. There was a ton of unrest as evidenced by the LA Riots which put the focus on inner city poverty. Then the recession hit, people lost their jobs and people became a lot more negative about the state of America overall. GW Bush's approval rating went from about 90% to around 40% in a year. One minute he was invincible and then a few months later he lost big time to Clinton. This was also significant because it was sort of our transition out of the Reagan era, which seemed to last forever.
Old 03-31-2014, 11:35 PM
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Stereotypical 90s fashion surged into the media in 1991 (the straight hair, dark red lipstick, mild makeup/anti fashion look). But many people still hung on with 80s fashion trends up until 1994.

Music of the early 90s was still in transition. We had the godawful New Jack Swing genre that started with Paula Abdul and Michael Jackson (loved him, but I can't stand NJS), and it went up until 1992. At the same time, we had 'modern' sounding rock music like grunge - which still holds up today. Music genres didn't mix I noticed - rock was rock, electro was electro and R&B was R&B.

Towards the late 90s music started mix in genres (soul & rap with Fugees, pop and urban with BSB, electro/house and pop with Cher - akin to today).
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