Nostalgia Remix Videos

Chris Higgins
YouTube / Bon Jovi
YouTube / Bon Jovi / YouTube / Bon Jovi

Tonight, a deceptively simple but catchy game: choose a year, grab clips from popular movies and TV, pull in popular music, and remix (with a dash of video games thrown in). These videos do just that for four years I remember quite well. It's a little scary how catchy these are -- the one from 1986 immediately made me go and buy a bunch of singles on iTunes. If you remember pop culture from these years, the nostalgia dose here may be near-fatal.

Remember 1986

A great year for music, movies, and hair. (One of those statements may not be entirely accurate.) Highlights: "No One is to Blame," Pee Wee's Playhouse, "You Can Call Me Al," "Livin' on a Prayer," Metroid (!), Highlander, "Invisible Touch," Challenger, Ghostbusters, Swing Out Sister, Stand By Me, Perfect Strangers...the list goes on.

Remember 1997

Oh my. The Spice Girls, Puff Daddy, Jewel, Hanson, Savage Garden, and..."Around the World" by Daft Punk! (Among about a zillion others.) Movie highlights include Titanic and The Wiggles Movie. Also "Bitter Sweet Symphony" mixed with footage of The Crocodile Hunter.

Remember 1999

Futurama, the tail end of 90s Hair, Madonna (again), Nic Cage (again), more boy bands than I can count, Being John Malkovich, Office Space, "No Scrubs," Freaks and Geeks, etc. An interesting mixture of stuff I don't remember (most of the video games) and stuff I loved (the movies and the hip-hop). Oh yeah, and the imminent Y2K bug!

Remember 2002

Okay, this starts to raise important questions: how old does pop culture have to be in order for us to feel nostalgic about it? This stuff is just 11 years old and doesn't quite pass the nostalgia threshold for me. On the other hand, most of this material lives in a kind of timeless zone for me -- it doesn't seem particularly old or new in my memory.

The core lesson I learned from these videos: Madonna, Nicolas Cage, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are three pillars of American pop culture spanning decades.