I don't know whether it's because that's when I was
growing up, or if it was an intrinsic part of the music, but I always felt there was an individual innocence to the music of that decade. (At least the music I listened to, which could be broadly painted as
John Hughes, pop-goth, or dozens of other labels.)
Thinking a bit longer about it, I think that '50s music had a societal innocence; '60s music was about the conflict that tore that open, exposed it to the world, and tried (sometimes) to heal it; and '70s music exploited it.
'80s music seemed to have the air of individual people fighting to find themselves in that world of exploitation, and of all the struggles it takes to find yourself (sometimes successfully, sometimes not).
For all the cheese that the '80s produced, there seemed to be some real gems. Was it just because I was impressionable at the time, or is there something more to it?