In case you were vacationing under a rock last week, Taylor Swift released a catchy new single, “Shake It Off,” and announced a forthcoming LP called 1989. We can’t wait to hear the whole album, which the singer says was inspired by all of the great pop music from the year of her birth. She has called the late 1980s “a time of limitless potential,” full of “bright colors, bold choices, [and] rebellion.” Her new video even pays homage to some trends from that era, with Swift incorporating b-boys and Toni Basil-style cheerleading into the clip.
While Swift is totally right about music’s high points in 1989, we started to have flashbacks about some of the moments that should definitely stay in the past. Whether cheesy fads or serious snubs, there are things we hope Swift doesn’t touch upon as she shows props for her birth year. Considering she was only alive for 18 days of the ’80s, we’d decided to make her a handy list of musical moments to avoid at all costs!
1. David Hasselhoff performed at the Berlin Wall.
We look back at 1989 as the year the Eastern Bloc began to fall. Communist governments in Europe were toppled and the West couldn’t have been happier. It appears Knight Rider star David Hasselhoff traveled to the crumbling Berlin Wall, perhaps as an ambassador of good will, for a performance to mark the new era of freedom. Even though the video above is pretty grainy, you can tell the Hoff’s piano-keyed scarf and LED jacket smack of `80s cheesiness.
2. Paula Abdul introduced the world to an animated rapping cat.
As rap music began one of its most pivotal eras in 1989, there were sure to be some novelty acts capitalizing off of the genre. In that vein, Paula Abdul featured MC Skat Kat, a cartoon feline, in her video for “Opposites Attract.” The rapper who performed Skat Kat’s vocals went on to do an entire album as the animated character in 1991. If that’s not a bad idea, we don’t know what is.