Culture

Nostalgia for 1988???

1980's Images

1968 was quite a year — Martin Luther king and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, Apollo 8 orbited the moon and the Beatles released "Hey, Jude." All year long NPR has been looking back forty years in a series called Echoes of 68.

But for those of us who weren't around or barely remember it... it's been hard not to feel a little left out this year during all these 40th anniversary celebrations.

So today, we've decided to look back 20 years to 1988. I talked to Russell Scott and Patrick Young, creators of the website Retroland. We traveled down memory lane, remembering hits from 1988 like the uber-saccharine song "Don't Worry, be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin and TV shows like "The Wonder Years" and "A Pup Named Scooby Doo."

In 1988, I was 16 years old and just learning how to drive in Los Angeles. As Patrick noted, you spend so much time in the car when you first get behind the wheel, that the songs on the radio from that era often become permanently imprinted on your brain.

I have very distinct memories of driving from my house in the San Fernando Valley to UCLA where I had a summer job. As I drove over the hills in my Nissan Sentra, I would blast songs like "Every Rose has its Thorn" by Poison and "Red Red Wine" by UB40.

What's funny to me is that some songs that I absolutely detested back then, like the Escape Club's "Wild Wild West" and Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give you Up" bring a smile to my face whenever I happen to hear them now... I guess 20 years can make some things sound a lot better.

What are your favorite things from 1988?

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