Welcome back to Thematic Thursdays where I share from my collection of soundtracks suitable for writing or working! Today I am departing from the usual spotlight on a single album or composer in favour of a particular theme: 80s nostalgia. (Why yes, I enjoyed Thor: Ragnarok, but I also planned this post well in advance, believe it or not.)

Having lived through the 80s I have a soft spot for them, sure, as it seems like everyone does these days (not as big as the soft spot I have for cheesy 90s dance hits, though. No apologies.) I remember being given a tape as a kid for my Walkman that was a variety of electronica–Vangelis is probably the only one I can remember by name–that I rewound enough to start warping the tape.

This week’s three soundtracks–while all composed in the last 5 years, namely the 2010s–capture less the actual sound of electronica in the 80s in favour of an imagined or better yet “remembered” sound. The sound of nostalgia: more polished, less experimental; more layered, freely making use of the magnitudes of increase in processing power.

Halt and Catch Fire (by Paul Haslinger) and Stranger Things (by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein) are both scores for television shows, and so have a consistent feel within the album. Vice: 80s Retro Electro is by a collection of artists and each song can be wildly different from the others. It’s much more high-energy and excited than the two OSTs. But when you mix all three together on random you get quite a sampling; a nostalgic digital dim sum. There ought to be something in there–from the eerie (Stranger Things) to the dramatic and tense (Halt and Catch Fire) to the insane (Vice) to pique your interest and keep you working.

I prefer to share non-logged in, non-pay-up-front links where I can, but sadly it’s been hard to find these soundtracks free to listen to online, except at Spotify.

Halt & Catch Fire | Vice: 80s Retro Electro | Stranger Things

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