I'm talking about period 1982-1987 mostly here. But generally to put it in a wider range, the period from 1978 till 1990 is definitely the golden era in music in my opinion.
Personally I started to discover 80s music more and more since I was 15, thanks to a few sites I came across by then. Also my dad used to play in his car many 80s songs when I was like 8-9 years old, so I was pretty much raised with the music from that era. Almost a decade later I find myself recognising instantly an 80s hit when it's played on some store for example, and I might recognise a good amount of non-hits as well, if they were playing them too.
1) Each genre was closer to the casual listener, thanks to 80s production.
For example I don't like Soul genre much. 80s production techniques though, made Soul genre more accessible to someone like me.
2) Most songs could be played both on the Dancefloor or in a Stadium.
3) Even crappiest songs from that era, sound better for today's standards.
Of course not every song released by then was awesome. There are songs which are crap indeed. But even those sound better than most songs from our days.
4) Music videos were more creative.
MTV was a fresh thing by then, so people kept watching it. Also many non-American bands, made it in America thanks to their music-videos. In other words they had to put much more dedication in order to make a good video-clip.
5) Analogue sound is always superior.
By then they used analogue equipment when each band/artist were/was recording an album. Today most albums are made via computers, so they sound inferior.
6) People were still buying music.
Although internet made music more accessible which isn't a bad thing at all. It's a bad thing for the artists though. Still, by the fact people were buying music, it made artists more motivated to produce better music I believe.
7) Extended mixes.
It was fascinating to listen to an Extended Mix of a single, and then compare it with the album version, wasn't it?