GD3 and I just sat through all five hours of VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s" (yes, I'm serious). Remarkably, she recognized almost every one of the songs. A good portion of that can be attributed to her obsession with Adam Sandler movies, but still; she wasn't born until 1995.
Perhaps it's bias, but most modern rock/pop seems so incredibly forgettable, while so many of songs from the 1980s survived quite nicely. Prince's "Kiss," U2's "With or Without You," The Pretenders "Brass in Pocket," Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane," Hall and Oates "I Can't Go For That," Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll," and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," among many, many others, remain truly great songs, and better than just about anything these days.
If there was a disappoint, it was that Billy Squire didn't earn a spot. "The Stroke" was an 80s icon.
If I remember right, the prevailing logic in the 90s was that the 80s were a black hole of decent music. Looking back on it now, it may have been one of the strongest decades for timeless music. And that doesn't even include the heavy metal scene, which was pretty much born and died in the 1980s.
Check the list and you'll see what I mean. There's plenty of suckage (Bobby Brown, "My Perogitive" comes to mind) but by and large it is an impressive list of timeless music.
The fashions, on the other hand, are an entirely different story. Kudos to Bono though, for his full-on embrace of the mullet.