Music has become sadder over the years, as found by researchers at Lawrence Technological University. The team of academics analyzed the sentiment of pop music lyrics from the ’50s to 2016, finding that there has been an increased expression of anger and sadness (and a decreased expression of happiness) over time. The modus operandi involved analyzing lyrics of the Billboard Hot 100 songs from each year. The songs were put through an automatic sentiment analysis program, which associates words or phrases with a set of tones they express. The combination of all the worlds and phrases determines the song’s sentiments.
The ’50s and ’80s Were Marked by Joy
The analysis showed that songs released in the ’50s were the least angry. However, there were three years in particular–those period between 1982 and 1984—in which songs were less angry than in any other period, except the ’50s. There was also a jump in joyful tones in music in the ’70s, though this sentiment was short-lived. Things changed in the 1990s, when a big rise in anger was observed. Anger isn’t the only emotion that has intensified over the years. So, too, has sadness, fear, and disgust.
The ’80s were also one of the last decades in which radio was a popular source of both entertainment and news. If the ’80s, around 99 percent of American households owned a radio, and the average household had an impressive 5.5 radios (not including car radios!). Part of the joy associated with listening to music was undoubtedly having our favorite tune play randomly, and, if one was lucky, recording the song on a cassette tape. If you are seeking to up the joy factor at home, and you’d like to add an ’80s feel to the experience, a digital radio captures nostalgic vibes like few other listening devices can do. Most DBT radios have retro looks but excellent speakers, Bluetooth connectivity for wireless streaming, and other features that definitely let you know you’re in the new millennium.
What Songs topped the Billboard Hot 100 Charts in 1982-1984?
If you are ready to play a few tunes that lift your spirit on your home or car radio, what songs will do the trick? Just turn to the Billboard Hot 100 singles list and you will see that it is filled with upbeat songs like Physical by Olivia Newton- John, Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, Waiting for a Girl Like You by Foreigner, We Got the Beat by The Go-Gos, Open Arms by Journey, Sweet Dreams by Air Supply, and more. Or what about Stevie Wonder’s That Girl or Hall and Oates’ Private Eyes? If you grew up during the ’80s, then surely the mere mention of these hits is prompting you to make a new playlist filled with songs that are linked to so many memories from your childhood and teen years.
It’s official—the ’50s and ’80s had more joyful songs than other modern decades. Moreover, anger and other negative emotions seem to have risen over the decades. Music can affect your mood, so if you’re up for a positive experience, go “Back to the Future” and relive the magic of your favorite songs.