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The constellation Disco Ball collapsed quickly and suddenly in 1980, and the diametrically opposed forces of Mustache Rock and Lite & White were sucked into the resulting power vacuum to emerge as a strange, mutant form that would come to be called Reaganrock. It began when a group of nominal rockers called REO Speedwagon unveiled a weapon called the "power ballad" in 1981. Like a popstrological neutron bomb, the power ballad caused a massive loss of life, musically speaking, but left the surface of things undamaged. REO Speedwagon had once been rockers, and they still looked like rockers, but Keep On Lovin' You definitely didn't rock. But neither did it possess the gentle, Whitebread charm of an Air Supply or Christopher Cross song. It was as if this thing called Reaganrock had taken from its two parent constellations their least essential elements -- the hair and maleness of Mustache Rock and the inoffensiveness of Lite & White -- while leaving their greatest charms behind. Step by step, Reaganrock consolidated its power until it was the dominant force of the 1980s, winning converts who were ready to disavow their more thrilling pasts (Heart, Lionel Richie, Starship) and also giving birth to lifeless new stars fully steeped in its ideology from birth (Mr. Mister, Richard Marx). If Peter Cetera, Phil Collins, and synthy marimba solos in place of guitars are not your bag, then you will agree with those who say that there was little in the way of positive trickle-down from the Reaganrock revolution. The gulf that Reaganrock created between the popstrologically rich and poor, however, did eventually foster the grassroots growth of a force called hip-hop, which would help bring this mighty constellation to its knees after the popstrological era came to a close.

What makes a relationship work over the long haul? Well, yes, sexual chemistry helps if it's a romance you're talking about, but let's say that's off the table for the moment. The most important quality two lovers, friends, or colleagues can possess after a strong and mutual attraction is, of course, a willingness to compromise. Nowhere in the pop universe will you find a grouping of stars more ready, willing, and able to compromise than the stars in the constellation Reaganrock, and nowhere will you find potential partners with the same quality as surely as you will among those born under that constellation's influence.

2004 All rights reserved. "Popstrology" is a trademark of Ian Van Tuyl.

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