Game Boy, C64

The Sound of the ’80s

With a headline like that you would certainly expect something like a glorious collection of songs that have been popular in the 1980s and ever since. The ’80s – by spotify considered to be the best decade in music – have been shaped by artists like Michael Jackson, Depeche Mode, Simple Minds, Queen, David Bowie, The Police, UB40, A-HA, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Boonie Tyler just to name a few out of the plethora of great (and not so great) artist of that time.

But none of them do come to my mind when I think of the magic ’80s sound. For me it’s all about Chiptune! This very specific sound, also known as 8-bit-music, became possible and popular with the rise and wide-spread availabilty of early personal computers such as the Commodore 64 and Amiga. On top of that the tremendous commercial success of the Nintendo Game Boy starting in the late 1980s also played its own important role in the distribution of chip music. In the old days the Amiga 500 was my device of choice that brought a lot of fun into my life.

Obviously the guys of digitalista also enjoyed the quite specific asthetics of these sounds and created some extensive playlists and best-of-collections of C64 and Amiga music:

For those of you who still can’t get enough check out these beautiful Chiptune tracks available on the Free Music Archive.

For those of you who were really looking for some ’80s stuff check out this, this, this, this, this and this list.

Photo by Lorenzo Herrera on Unsplash