Friday, 14 November 2014

Escape to the 70s Reviewed

I promised author Rennie Hand a couple of weeks back, after he had posted comments on a '70s nostalgia Facebook site, that I would write a short review of his website Escape to the 70s. It's a pleasure to do so.

I first came to the site via an article about the Glam Rock band Mud. Experiencing as I am a period of melancholy yearning for the simplicities of my early adolescence, it first provided me with a sense of reassurance that I am not alone in remaining connected with the powerful spirit of a bygone age. Memories so powerful that neither adulthood nor life experience nor technology have ever been able to eradicate them.

What I had expected to be a page or so of cheesy hankerings for a lost youth was actually a veritable museum of glam culture, not just music but everything from toys and fashion to films, sweets and games. Everything, in fact, which combined during the 1970s to make the decade special and unique - a stand-alone moment in time which has never been surpassed in its honest innocence nor seriously rivalled for its imagination or for its cultural derring do.

Escape to the 70s is not a technically sophisticated website. No flashing lights or bells. It is honest and basic to the point that if a website could have a 1970s look, it would look something like this. But I challenge any '70s enthusiast to spend ten minutes at this site and not ask him or herself, as I did, "Why didn't I think of doing this?".

There are dedicated pages to Opal Fruits, Raleigh Choppers, Bolton Wanderers and the Austin Maxi 1750. There are libraries of hit singles and popular films, and a scrapbook of random photos and record middles, each of which tells a familiar story without any need for words. There are some retro experiences (not enough in my view), and an appeal for interactive participation which deserves a wider response.

Suddenly the 1970s is news again. It is as though all us forty-somethings and fifty-somethings, who have been forced to sit and be grey through an era of music and culture that we can see to be second-rate and trashy, have suddenly decided that enough is enough and have resolved to move the world a little, back to where it should rightfully be. Pay this website a visit and fill yourself with righteous anger that the seventies ever left us.

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