Music Nostalgia

Mark investigates why tracks from our past often become favourites.

‘Pop is getting faster and happier!’ say the media. It’s been reported that, in these difficult uncertain times, we’ve turned our backs on reflective melancholia and are embracing accelerated beats.

I’m not surprised. After weeks and weeks of sad piano music in ads, people want cheering up. But this increase in tempo might not be because of Covid 19, it could be attributed to the ‘second’ coming of 80’s influenced pop.

For me, it’s probably the third or fourth coming really. Because the influence of 80’s music has been in plain view for decades; Air ‘Moon Safari’ 1998, Daft Punk ‘Discovery’ 2001, Chromeo ‘Fancy Footwork’ 2007, Bruno Mars ‘24K Magic’ 2016 to name a few.  But now, artists like Dua Lipa and The Weeknd are borrowing heavily from this decade to give us their version of a ‘Modern’ 80’s track and in doing so, they’re upping the overall tempo of the charts to create more ‘danceable’ ‘feel good’ pop.

Pop in the 80’s was fast.  Have you ever tried to dance to ‘Take On Me’ by A-Ha? It’s 169 beats per minute gives people on the dancefloor a three minute forty nine second Nordic ski workout! And Nena’s ’99 Red Balloons’ had the defibrillator on standby, at a blistering 193BPM!

The thing is, I love 80’s music! There, I said it. But probably not for the reasons I should as a musician. It’s because it reminds me of so many things when I was in my teens. 

‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’, The Human League - Christmas 1981. Unwrapping Astro Wars ……Awesome!!

‘Down Under’, by Men At Work – February 1983. Skiing in Norway…..Also awesome!!

‘The Word Girl’ from Scritti Politti – June 1985. A red hot day at The Hoppings (Europe’s largest travelling fair)….Equally awesome !!

‘Hide and Seek’, Howard Jones – 1983. Paper round, soaking wet and cold…….Shit!

In recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have confirmed that during our teenage years, songs like these hold disproportionate power over our emotions, and suggest that our brains bind us more tightly than anything we hear as adults. This isn’t just a cultural thing, it’s a neurologic command.

Here at Get Carter Productions we know how important music is. Not only for suitability to brand, but for the emotional connection.  We’ve licenced hundreds of tracks, and produced close to a thousand of our own, for use in our client’s projects, carefully considering all these factors to maximise their campaigns effect.

So, if your client demographic are in their 40’s, a bit of Whigfield might not be as daft as it sounds!

Mark Thompson

Head of Production