What is retro? Retro is old, but not very old.
Thundercats is retro. Who cannot name three characters from Thundercats should be ashamed to claim you grew up in the 80s. Kids in the 80s grew up watching Hanna-Barbera / Looney Tunes cartoons on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and superhero (He-Man) / Japanese cartoons (Voltron) after coming back from sekolah agama every weekdays.
Superhero cartoons at that time has simple storylines. Villain wants to bomb city / rule planet / poison municipal water supply, hero comes and kicks his ass, thereby saving the world. Kids are happy, and cartoon studios sell merchandise. Which boy at that time didn’t ask his parents to buy him Transformers or GI Joe school bag?
If Thundercats is retro, then The Archie is OLD. Definitely not retro. However, the Archie Show aired on Malaysian TV in the 80s, so it might worth a mention. Most of the people who were as old as Archie when The Archie comics first came out (1946) are either dead or in hospital. The Archie Show theme song goes “Archie’s here, Betty’s here, Veronica too. Reggie’s here. Hey Jughead, where are you?”
Videogame is a relatively recent phenomenon, so the earliest games, especially those from SEGA Genesis platform, are considered retro. My favorite retro videogames are Super Contra (of course), Streets of Rage (the first game I ever beat), Double Dragon (nice but repetitive), and Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers (hehe). I did not play Street Fighter back then.
(Look up the second part of the video yourself.)
Classic rock and pop from the late 70s to the 90s are retro. Retro: Aerosmith, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson. Not retro: The Beatles, Elvis, Dean Martin.
Some of my favorite bands – Pink Floyd, Queen, Led Zeppelin – are not retro. They reached their prime well before the retro age.
Retro boybands (NKOTB) and retro rap (MC Hammer) existed so that future generations can look back and laugh at them.
80s films are retro. The Eighties is an unmemorable era for Hollywood – most films from that decade are known for being cheesy and gimmicky, not for cinematic brilliance. There is not a Casablanca or a Schindler’s List in the 80s. The 80s films are so bad they are good. Retro films have become part of pop culture: ET. Groundhog Day. Tootsie. When Harry Meets Sally.
80s fashion is hideous. I looked at old family photos; my parents and relatives looked sharp and snazzy in the 60s and 70s. In the 80s, ugh.
What is the time range for retro-ness? I don’t know. It’s not so much a matter of chronology as is it a mindset – the whole Eighties thing lasted for more than 10 years. For example, Star Wars is retro, but it came out in 1977. For cultural purposes, early Nineties is no different from the Eighties.
Other relics from the Eighties which can be considered retro: Full House, My Secret Identity, Gaban, Suria Perkasa Hitam, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Smurfs, Ewoks, Vanilla Ice, Mini Kompo, platform shoes, Kriss Kross, Oshin, Akantare, etc.
80s bands such as Alleycats, Bumi Putra Rockers, Ekamatra are retro. The music they play is called “rock kapak”. This may be because they always wear torn jeans that look like trees that got chipped at with an axe.
My favorite Malaysian band of all time is Alleycats.
Retro bands get frequent airplay on SinarFM. If you want to listen to rock kapak songs, tune in to Arena Rock on SinarFM (Monday to Friday; 3-4 pm & 9-10 pm). I always do if I’m at home at that time. You can also get SinarFM on Astro.
The older songs (not retro) are played by Klasik Nasional. I imagine when I grow older I will listen to Klasik Nasional and reminisce about the good old days like many cab drivers do.
Malaysian retro films are just BADASS. Nothing, I repeat, nothing, can ever match the awesomeness of Ali Setan. Agaknya jasa Azmil dan Ogy berlakon Ali Setan lah sebab mereka dapat petunjuk dan insaf semasa sudah tua kekekekkee
In the 80s, Malaysian filmmakers were rebelling against the old order personified by P. Ramlee, and later by Jins Shamsuddin. The older Malay films resemble teater bangsawan, with over-the-top acting, elaborate set design, orchestral film scores, kampong sensibilities and a clear demarcation of right and wrong, heroes and villains. The newer directors like Rahim Razali and whoever directed Ali Setan made films that reflect the real Malaysia in the Mahathir era, kampong traditions be damned. That means ugly city scene (“Kami”), carefree youth (“Isabella”), and frank discussion of issues previously thought taboo (“Tipah tertipu, bang!”). By the way, Tipah is Sheila Majid, not Ogy. Ogy plays Asmidar.
Gila-gila Remaja, Azura, Marah-marah Sayang, Keluarga 99, etc. are products of their rebellion.
Remember this? “One and two / two and three / three and one / one and two / I love you.” Guess who sang it and from which film.