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nevermind the disco, we had punk rock

And continuing with the Friday night mindless blogging:

We'v been watching VH1's I Love the 70's almost non-stop and I have come to the conclusion that the 70's were way cooler than the 80's.

This is an educated opinion, having lived through both eras and being old enough to actually remember the 70's and young enough to have embarassed myself in the 80's.

Commence with the 70's v. 80's arguments.

I have this sudden urge to track down a K-Tel best of the 70's album.


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The seventies music scene had some great songs, if you could ignore the disco. I did my best back then, I even listened to country to avoid the disco. (I don't regret it either, county was at least amusing.)

When I try compare decades I feel strange, as I was born in '55 so in my opinion, the music from 65-75 was far superior to the music from 75-85. ;)

Oh, and Kathy was country when country wasn't cool. Sorry, just couldn't pass up an easy one. ;)

Yeah, but was she the happiest girl in the whole U.S.A.?

I concur, the 70's were way better than the 80's except I lost my virginity in the 80's. Ok, it was last year. shutup.

Ahhh K-tel. I actually still have a K-tel lp. I think it's called Looney Tunes. I may pull it out and listen to The Streak.

".. old enough to actually remember the 70's and young enough to have embarassed myself in the 80's."

I like the way you worded that. So am I btw. I always figured the 70s were better for 2 reasons: sex and partying. Studio 54 and Dante's Inferno. I just knew when I was old enough to sneak in, I'd have the time of my life. Granted, I'd probably be dead or a rampant coke head by now, but oh the fun.

The seventies were great righ up until disco replaced motown as the pop music, I floundered in sonic depression till I discovered Led Zeppellin, Mahogany Rush and ZZTop. The eighties were kind of lame, especially the music. Flock of Seagulls? Men Without Hats? C'mon...

Gonna go the other way. I thought the 80's had more style fashionwise. Granted, the style, by modern definition, is atrocious. However, if you you look at people in the 80's, I think they spent alot more time dressing up(guys and girls) then the people of the 70's did.

The 80's?? Fashion??? Neon green and neon pink. Ewwww. Yeah, the 70's had ugly shite too, but gawd, the 80's sucked for fashion.

And K-tel, oddly enough, puts out the Music of the shadows set, an awesome, goth/industrial 3 disc set. K-tel officially rocks, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Since nobody has mentioned movies ....

The first half of the '70s was during what has been called "Hollywood's second golden age". We had films like Patton, the Godfathers, Chinatown, and Taxi Driver. That all ended with Jaws and Star Wars, which changed the standard for how much a "successful" movie made (much like Frampton Comes Alive did in music).

The '80s excelled in one genre: the teen movie, from Risky Business through the work of John Hughes to Say Anything. Other than that, there wasn't much to write home about (Out of Africa? No, thanks.)

I can sum up may objections to the 70s (musically speaking) with two archetypal examples:

You Light Up My Life

As far as the 80s: Clash, Devo, Talking Heads, New Order.

Yeah, I was a punk/new-wave cross. So sue me.

That reminds me of a question that's been plauging me for decades...did Frampton make any albums other than Frampton Comes Alive?

yeah, there was the not so well known "Framptom Eats A Jelly Sandwich" and that one-off bootleg release, "Frampton Scratches His Genitals"

Disco sucks. New wave/punk is cool.
That, plus the fact that I lived in the 80s but not the 70s, makes me pick the 80s.

But if you're picking which show is better, it's a toss-up.... the 80s are more interesting, but the 70s show has a ton of awesome people on it that makes me love it anyway.

Please forgive the long post. I got carried away.

This is a very difficult question. But here's the tale of the tape:

70's -- Watergate and "Malaise"
80's -- Reagan and End of the Cold War
Adv.: 80's

70's -- Oil Shock, Stagflation
80's -- Junk Bonds, Other People's Money
Adv.: 80's, duh

Musical Innovation:
70's -- Disco & Punk (cancel each other, sorry)
80's -- Rap
Adv.: 80's

Driving Force in Cinema:
70's -- Robert Evans is God
80's -- John Hughes Needs to Grow Up
Adv.: 70's

70's -- David Bowie
80's -- Boy George
Adv.: Push

70's -- Key Parties
80'S -- AIDS Scare
Adv.: Do I need to say it?

Harrison Ford:
70's -- Han Solo
80's -- Indiana Jones
Adv.: Push

Regrettable Fashions:
70's -- Nuthuggers, medallions
80's -- Legwarmers, day-glo
Adv.: Push

70's -- Dr. J
80's -- Bird/Magic (or is it Magic/Bird)
Adv.: Push

70's -- Three's Company, All in the Family, Taxi
80's -- Cosby Show, Bob Newhart, Cheers
Adv.: Push

Rock (strictly speaking):
70's -- Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Stadium Rock
80's -- Van Halen, Def Leppard, Hairbands
Adv.: 70's (but Rush cost ya some points)

Spielberg Smchatlz-fests:
70's -- Close Encounter
80's -- E.T.
Adv.: 80's (Hey I cried at E.T., and so did you)

70's -- Pot, Luuuudes, man
80's -- Coke
Adv.: Here's a hint -- it smells good

70's -- au naturalle
80's -- silicone
Adv.: 80's (Hey, I'm not Swedish)

Action TV Shows:
70's -- Chips, Hulk, Wonder Woman
80's -- A-Team, Remington Steele, Hill Street Blues
Adv.: Push ("I pity the fool" vs. Lynda Carter -- uh-uh I'm not calling that one)

Olympic Sports:
70's -- Nadia, Munich, Dorothy Hamill
80's -- Miracle on Ice, Carl Lewis, Mary Lou Retton
Adv.: 80's (duh)

Puppet Shows:
70's -- The Muppets
80's -- Fraggle Rock
Adv.: 70's

Terrorist Debacles:
70's -- Iran Hostage Crisis
80's -- Beirut Truck Bomb
Adv.: Push (Nobody wins when it comes to terrorism)

Alien-Themed Sitcom:
70's -- Mork & Mindy
80's -- ALF
Adv.: 70's (by a hair)

70's -- Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders
80's -- Laker Girls
Adv.: 80's

70's -- Richard Pryor, Steve Martin
80's -- Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal
Adv.: 70's

70's -- Feathered
80's -- Big Bangs
Adv.: 70's

The Winner: The Eighties, by a landslide.

Walt: Clash, Devo, and Talking Heads also span back into the 70's.
I tend to think of them as 70's bands since that's when I remember 'discovering' most of that stuff.
Also lots of good solid rock in the 70s, Nazareth, early Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult, etc.

For me the reflex is to pick the 70s, but the 80's had some good stuff too - Laurie Anderson, Violent Femmes, Wall of Voodoo.

...yes, I can relate to that punk/new wave cross thing!

The problem is it really depends on when you're talking about. Before 1974 was really the late 60s. The 70s were really the post-Nixon era and before Reagan. Disco sucked, fashions sucked, the economy sucked, NYC was in the midst of the Beame administration, and the f---in Yankees won two world series.

In the 80s, the music was worse, the fashions were worse, but the country got a lot better and the Yankees didn't do shit but get embarrassed in the playoffs by KC and in the WS by the Dodgers.

As Thlayli above said, music and film were corrupted by the blockbuster mentality -- no one realized someone like Peter Frampton could sell 6 million albums, or a movie about a shark (and Star Wars, too) could make so much money. Radio, also, sadly died in the early 80s after a long illness, one sign of which was when WPLJ switched to some crappy format that I forget.

So 80s v. 70s: Hard to say. I'd probably argue the 70s had higher highs and lower lows. It seems to me one dream of the 60s was a return to authenticity ... and by the 80s that dream was gone.

Aaah, what do I know?

I love the 70s for being so politically incorrect!!! There's no way any decade since then would have come up with Fat Albert or Saturday Night Live. What the hell happened to our collective sense of humor??

Some of the greatest music of the seventies was its jazz.

Seventies cinema has the eighties comic-book aesthetic beat hands down.

We came within an ace of ending the drug war as far as pot was concerned. Carter reneged on his promise to do something about it, which probably got him elected, and Reagan's renewal of the drug war was a great stain on the honor of an important administration. Law enforcement has become a routine violator of our liberties since.

Fewer people went to college in the seventies, so fewer people of average intelligence masqueraded as smart and took government jobs for the salaries commensurate with their inflated views of their worth. Advantage, seventies.

It was easier to say what one wished without being excoriated and threatened with incarceration in the seventies. Advantage, seventies.

The tobacco wars were still skirmishes in the seventies. Smokers were not forced to subsidize the liars who've made careers out of making pariahs of a third of the population. (Yes, I know the published statistics state a quarter of the population smokes, but so many people lie about their smoking since the persecution got so out of hand that I would guess one third to be more accurate.)

Americans were more given to minding their own business in the seventies. Advantage, seventies.

When making fun of fashion its important to note that not everyone dressed like that. I was 18 in 1969 so I know the seventies pretty well. I grew up in NYC and lived there all my life to this day, and I can't say every person I met wore bell bottoms or liesure suits. Not everyone went to the disco (which is impossible to make fun of being it was so short lived, especially in NYC), and not everyone had sideburns or big hair. I still wore wide lapel dress shirts with my suits well into the 80's, and that style is coming back again! Music wise, I loved my carpenters, my doors, my funk and motown, but New Wave and hair bands totally ruined my fun. The only thing I love about the 80's is its over... same for the 90's.