Big Star invented a vision of bohemian rock & roll cool that had nothing to do with New York, Los Angeles or London, which made them completely out of style in the 1970s, but also made them an inspiration to generations of weird Southern kids.
'American Horror' goes for a very specific kind of Seventies suburban downer ambience - 'Flowers in the Attic' paperbacks, Black Sabbath album covers and late-night flicks like 'Let's Scare Jessica to Death.' It even has 'Go Ask Alice'-era urban legends.
In their heyday, the Pet Shop Boys were the Interpol of the Eighties, dressing up to sing really weird pop songs about lust and loneliness in the big city. They're low-pro now, not retro-worshipped in the manner of Depeche Mode, New Order, or The Cure, but you can hear the reason why - these guys are too sad.
Sending Paris Hilton to jail for being the most loathed celeprosy lesion in the history of the species seems like a happening idea at first - forty-five days at Century Regional Detention Center is so the new thirty days at Promises Malibu! But it sets a dangerous precedent to jail celebs just because someone hates them.
At an incredibly divisive point in pop history, Donna Summer managed to create an undeniable across-the-board experience of mass pleasure - after 'Bad Girls,' nobody ever tried claiming disco sucked again. It set the template for what Michael Jackson would do a few months later with 'Off The Wall.'
When I started out as a music journalist, at the end of the 1980s, it was generally assumed that we were living through the lamest music era the world would ever see. But those were also the years when hip-hop exploded, beatbox disco soared, indie rock took off, and new wave invented a language of teen angst.