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Rebel Yell

by Yvonne Lovejoy about a year ago in 80s music
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1980s Music for Teen Angst

Twisted Sister

Yes, Twisted Sister was one of the bands that fueled the fire of my teen feelings of being powerless and pushed around at every turn. This song was playing on the boombox when we staged a walkout in high school. We were protesting closed campus lunches among other things. I believe the song was playing loud enough that the congressman speaking in our Economics class could hear it.

Troublemaker wasn't my usual label but protesting seemed like the thing to do. I called my mom to let her know I had walked out and would be suspended if the administration followed through on their threat. She called the school and told them I had come home ill. My counselor told her he could see me through his window. I didn't even get detention. Disappointing.

You can't have a teen angst playlist without a huge nod to John Hughes. He was responsible for putting our teen problems on the screen and keeping us from feeling totally alone in the world.

Being a teenager was hard in the 80s. Teen suicide was happening more and more often. It was bad enough that we had to watch a movie about it in school. The father told his son, high school will be the best years of his life. The son was going through so much, he couldn't imagine life if this was the best. He killed himself.

Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful were just some of the movies that John Hughes gave us. Watching other people, even in a movie, with similar insecurities and problems helped us.

In my opinion, there should never be a playlist unless Queen is on it. "Bohemian Rhapsody" would be a great choice for this list. Even though the meaning was a bit elusive, the feeling was so on point. I chose "Who Wants to Live Forever" because AIDS was identified in the 1980s.

It was such a scary time. So, little was known about the disease. Fear and panic over contracting AIDS were so high. Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991, about four years after being diagnosed.

You can't think about 1980s music without remembering spandex, long hair and eyeliner. The bands from that era have been maligned to some point due to their over-the-top appearance and showmanship. There was so much heart in their performances that many of their ballads help you unleash the frustrations of being a teen.

"Heaven" by Warrant is a great song to join in singing loudly in the car. It hits the emotions that fit so many situations that it means something to everyone who hears it. Just the fact that you can sing along and release the pent-up stress made it a must-have for the mixed tape.

There was so much going on in the 1980s that gave us such a feeling of impotence. John Lennon was murdered. President Reagan was shot. Cell phones and computers weren't mainstream. The Berlin Wall fell. The space shuttle Challenger exploded live shortly after take-off.

Bands like Quiet Riot were part of my teen angst. Heavy Metal music is a good way to express your frustration and anger at your situation. The music reaches deep inside and, believe it or not, calms the beast. Like a primal scream.

Being a teenager is never easy, no matter the decade, but I think musically, the 1980s can only be topped by the 1970s. The music had to be searched out. There was no internet, no YouTube. Live concerts were the best way to hear and feel the music.

Teenagers still do what teenagers always have. Rebel against authority and try to make a place for themselves in the world. I can't imagine how that could ever be done without the music to lift the soul and bring people closer together in their successes and failures. It was a lot of fun finding the music that used to, and still does, lift me up. Music lights the fire of your soul.

80s music

About the author

Yvonne Lovejoy

Writing has always been a part of me. My dream could die with failure or would live on if I never tried. Time for that to change. Follow me and be sure to click like on any stories you enjoy.

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