We’re Seeing a ’90s Resurgence in Music, But Buckle Up for an ’80s Revival

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Apple Music just released their “2022 to Today: Top Songs and Trends” playlist, which has the to-be-expected songs like Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves,” Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” and Jack Harlow’s “First Class.” There’s even Beyoncé’s new hit “BREAK MY SOUL” that critics claim is a ’90s dance-hit revival.

Along with this feat of the ’90s dance revival, there are some interesting choices that include Drum ‘n’ Bass music. Apple included “go (goddard. Remix)” by Cat Burns and Men At Work’s “Down Under” Luude Remix on their list. This is likely another ’90s-inspired trend.

To put another layer of intricacy on the popularity of ’90s sounds, Blaze Trends reported that “Gen Z pop embraces the classic, introspective ballad.” This would make sense because Apple’s playlist includes a slew of Gen-Z stars like Tate McCrae, Benson Boone, and Lauren Spencer, all of whom signal a slow contemporary ballad that could have been written for those 30 years older.

With these introspective pop ballads that could have been written for older generations and the revival of older trends like ’90s dance music, I argue that we will start to see a resurgence of the ’80s due to the release of popular media like Top Gun: Maverick and Stranger Things

Culturally, these cinematic offerings have brought back the ’80s, at least stylistically. For Top Gun, trends on TikTok include the rebirth of the mustache that Miles Teller, who plays Goose’s son, sports, and Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone.” There is also a TikTok that tells you where you can purchase shoes like Stranger Things‘ Steve Harrington (played by Joe Keery).

Musically, the release of Stranger Things Season 4 has already greatly influenced the charts. Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” has seen major exposure and a revival on the charts after its release almost 40 years ago. The song entered the U.S. Top 5 and topped the Billboard Global 200 as it reached No. 1 in the U.K. and Australia.

Along with “Running Up That Hill,” Metallica’s 1986 hit “Master of the Puppets” saw a resurgence after its Stranger Things feature. As a result of the renewed interest in the song on the Netflix series, “Master of Puppets” has been creeping up the charts, hitting No. 12 on Spotify’s Top 50 Global chart.

With music being able to draw from ’90s trends, prepare to see more ’80s trends due to the recent success of Top Gun: Maverick as well as Stranger Thing‘s direct success on the music charts. Especially, because Gen-Z has struck gold on the introspective ballad already, we should be seeing some new songs that mimic the style of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.”

Photo by Pete Still/Redferns

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