[“The Key To Music” is a research project lead by Robert Fontana on the musical formulas that have made up the industry’s pop trends throughout these past decades.]
Michael is a big fan of minor keys, not oral hygiene.
The context of the 80’s: an altering industry
More than half of MJ’s nine #1’s of the 80’s were in a minor key.
The 80’s were fun. They brought such #1 artists like Blondie, Hall & Oates, Cyndi Lauper, Wham!, Falco, Bon Jovi, and Bobby McFerrin. I even got to intentionally Rick Roll myself with “Never Gonna Give You Up” which interestingly was in the key of D-flat major – a least popular major key of the decade. Hmmm.
Another notable hit was the Stars on 45 medley which changed keys 10 times!
It seemed like a time in music when anything was possible. The music industry was also evolving. CD’s were born in 1982. Record contracts were inflating. MTV propelled artists into megastars. Fashion, culture, art and philosophies were all changing as well.
I could go on and tell you about the trends of the 80’s and relate it to my project, but I’d rather let the results speak for themselves. For the sake of filler, how about I share some of the most annoying musical mistakes from an 80’s movie? It’s from The Goonies, when Andy is at the bone piano, trying to read the notes from the map in order to avoid the trap. At one point, she frantically says she can’t tell if the note is an A-sharp or B-flat. Umm, it’s the same note. Additionally, the map clearly shows a melody of notes with maybe a few chords. Every time she plays, it’s a chord. So, yeah…that’s wrong. And finally, she says one of the chords is “A, C-sharp and D.” Any music geek knew that’s NOT what she played. Geez! Strike three. I’m surprised they made it out of there alive!
Results from the 80’s
311 keys were identified from the 231 songs of the 80’s
27 less songs were used compared to the previous decade
Songs are starting to stay longer in the #1 spot…foreshadowing for the 90’s?
90’s are next!