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80s Boomboxes: Nostalgic Vintage Photos Show The Heyday Of Boombox From The 1980s

A boombox is a portable music player with one or two cassette tape players and with a built-in radio. Boombox was developed in the early 1970s and became popular in the 1980s. In 1985, over 30 million boomboxes were sold in the United States. It is considered as the eighties equivalent of Spotify. People preferred to listen to their favorite music in public, and they would take them to the streets, cafes, parks and wherever they want because it was a great source of entertainment.

The boombox was a symbol of freedom, and it became a pop and hip-hop culture in the late 70s and 80s. They were in all shapes, designs and sizes, some of them were big, and they required large size batteries. The wide use of boomboxes in urban communities led to the boombox being coined a “ghetto blaster.” Even some cities and towns petitioned to ban boomboxes from public places because people were crazy about them.

The 1990s was a turning point for the boombox culture, Walkman and other portable devices replaced them. However, people who preferred to listen to their music publicly with friends still used boombox. The following photos showcase the culture of boombox from the 1980s.

#6 A group of adolescents sits in the shopping street of Frankfurt an listens to music from a ghettoblaster in June 1984

#10 A smiling teenager with a boombox stands outside an African-American youth center in Harlem on July 7, 1984

#11 Rapper LL Cool J, carries a boombox upon his right shoulder while posing for a studio portrait, 1985

#27 Man with a large radio, boom box, walking among a crowd at the Taste of Chicago festival at night, 1988

#32 Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy poses with a giant boombox outside an electronics store in Akihabara, the electronics district of Tokyo, 1980

#33 Mick Jones and Joe Strummer with a boombox, in their tour bus before a concert at De Montfort Hall, 1980

#34 Carrie Fisher on Stinson Beach in Northern California with the cast of Star Wars and boombox, 1983

#39 American married couple, New Wave musicians Pat and Barbara MacDonald, both of the group Timbuk 3, 1986

Written by Jacob Aberto

Sincere, friendly, curious, ambitious, enthusiast. I'm a content crafter and social media expert. I love Classic Movies because their dialogue, scenery and stories are awesome.

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