We Just Love... the 70s


Last month, it was the 60s, and this month, it's all about the 1970s! Granted, we didn’t have Google, iPads, Facebook or One Direction in the ‘70s. But we did have disco music, penny sweets, space hoppers and SO much more. Take a trip down memory lane with us to the era of pet rocks, flares,Wombles, and more in our list below…

Disco Music

 

 

If there’s one quintessential image of the 1970s, it's that of John Travolta as Tony Manero in a white suit shaking his booty on the dance floor. Fuelled by the film Saturday Night Fever, the disco scene erupted on the pop landscape, spawning more movies and the phenomenon of the discotheque. We’re talking ABBA, Donna Summer, The Village People, Dance Fever, Bee Gees...

 

Pet Rocks

 

Get this. One of the biggest fads of the 70s was the Pet Rock, For a mere £3.20 - £5.10, a consumer could literally buy ... a rock – a plain, ordinary, egg-shaped rock… the kind one could dig up in almost any garden. Yes, seriously. These were placed on straw inside a yellow cardboard container, and there was even a book thrown in on how to care for it, how to teach it tricks and how to handle an “excited” rock. What?! The man behind the ingenious invention? That would be Gary Dahl. And lucky Mr. Dahl certainly made his millions with Pet Rocks becoming the nation’s most-bought “pet”.

 

Mood Rings

 

One of the most widespread jewellery crazes of the 1970s, mood rings were worn by women of all ages, mainly teens, and even by (some) guys. These nifty pieces of jewellery contained heat-sensitive liquid crystal which gave them their eerie effect. As the body temperature of the owner changed, the crystals changed colours which supposedly determined whether a person was angry, sad, happy, calm, or just about any other emotion you can think of.

 

Video Games

 

 

Kicking off in 1971, the video game revolution saw the introduction of the first electronic arcade game, Computer Space. Then there was Pong, the first coin-operated video game as well as Space Invaders. Here are some snippets of the games in action…

 

Computer Space, 1971

 

 

Computer Space is generally accepted as the world’s first commercially sold coin-operated video game.

 

Pong, 1972

 

 

An arcade video tennis game, which set the video game industry in motion.

 

Space Invaders, 1978

 

 

Considered the most influential video game of all time, Space Invaders’ game designer, Nishikado, drew inspiration from Breakout, The War of the Worlds and Star Wars in which a player was pitted against an invading army of aliens…

 

Pepsi Cola Advert 1974

 

Talk about a tongue twister! Lipsmackin' thirstquenchin' acetastin' motivatin' goodbuzzin' cooltalkin' highwalkin' fastlivin' evergivin' coolfizzin' Pepsi – however it might have helped the anxious youthful lad (Mike Grady) better than his clumsy pick-up line.

 

10p Sweet Mix

 

For 10p, you could get yourself an entire bag’s worth of sweets like Cola Bottles, Flying Saucers – and still have some dosh left over for a pack (or three!) of Polo mints. We can’t actually think of anything that’s 10p nowadays?

 

Hot Summers

 

How could we forget the 1976 UK heat wave? It led to the hottest summer average temperature in the UK since records began, with places in Britain reaching at least 32.2 degrees C for 15 consecutive days. It was all about short shorts and tight tops. Who wears short shorts?

 

The Goodies

 

 

The Goodies were a trio of British comedians (Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie), who produced, wrote, and featured in a bizarre British TV comedy series called The Goodies during the 1970s and early 1980s. Whether it was their silly jokes, slapstick chases or giant white kitten, there was something special about The Goodies. They were geniuses!

 

1970s Old Spice Advert

 

 

By the looks of these ads, Old Spice was the original scent for the adrenaline junkie. Old Spice is more than nice…

 

Space Hoppers

 

The space hopper (Hippity Hop in the US) was designed by Italian Aquilino Cosani in 1968, however he alluded to it then as the Pon-Pon, and it was unveiled in the UK while trance/rave culture was picking up speed in the summer of '71. It was quite possibly the most fun (but least sensible) form of transport in the ‘70s because a) it was a bit odd bouncing up and down on a humongous orange rubber ball and b) it didn’t exactly help you get around any faster than on foot – but it was vital you had one.

 

Half Pennies

 

 

It felt like we were millionaires in the ‘70s because our pockets and piggy banks were overloaded with half pennies. We were goddamn rich.

 

Morph…

 

 

… and, of course, his boss, Tony Hart, his pal, Chaz and the nailbrush doggy. Not to mention all the other awesome things about ‘Take Hart’, but mostly Morph. Here he is discovering the dangers of eating too much ice cream.

 

Flares 

 

 

Flares were hardly the most sensible of clothing, particularly if you wanted to ride your pushbike, but they matched perfectly with knitted vest-tops and clogs. That was what mattered. We’re pretty sure these are slowly being introduced back into the high street, although we kind-of wish they weren’t...

 

Bagpuss

 

 

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a children’s program called Bagpuss about a saggy cloth cat and a marvellous, mechanical mouse organ. Despite being a TV idol, Bagpuss actually only ran for three months, ending on 7th May 1974. It’s a character that is still well-known and well-loved today.

 

1971 PG Tips Mr Shifter

 

 

Adored by the viewing public, the PG Tips chimps helped make the tea brand one of the UK's most popular. Here the clan try to move a piano down some stairs.

 

Cassette Tape Recorders

 

These bad boys were capable of recording every home radio show you made with your brothers and sisters, every Top 40 countdown, not to mention every ‘70s mix tape… all by placing it in front of the radio. Who remembers having to pause the player everytime presenters started talking, just so you can get the smoothest recording possible?

 

Jackie Magazine

 

 

Picture a modern-day teenage girl. Now, remove Facebook, her iPhone, the worldwide web - what do you end up with? A 1970s teenage girl. Forty years ago, Jackie magazine was the place that most young girls looked to for advice on those strange creatures - boys. Jackie sold gazillions of copies each week in the 1970s, and not a week went by where problems couldn’t be solved by its resident agony aunts Cathy and Claire.

 

The Wombles

 

 

What didn’t we learn from the pointy-nosed, rodent-esque, furry-like creatures of Wimbledon Common? From teaching us not to dump rubbish to using their names to teach us geography, these lovable guys who lived in burrows totally rocked in the ‘70s, aiming to help the environment by collecting and recycling litter in artistic ways.

 

ABBA

 

Selling between 300–400 million records worldwide, ABBA is the second most popular band of all time, after The Beatles. They were the first mainland European act to become regulars on the British, American and Australian pop charts, with their flares and platforms paving the way in the world of fashion. Waterloo was their debut song which let them to fame…