Did you grow up during the 70s? If so, you know that it was one of the best decades to live in. It was a decade that gave us excellent music, cinema, culture, and a fantastic lifestyle.
We might feel that kids today will never appreciate so many things about the 70s that we took for granted. While every generation may think that they have it the best, there are surely things from the past that we’re nostalgic about for very good reasons!
Life in the 70s was wonderful, and the culture and lifestyle is something that a lot of us miss these days. The 21st century is great, but there’s still a lot we wish we could bring back from the 70s.
Kids today will never appreciate this about the 70s. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the things that made this decade so amazing.
SEE YOU AT THE ROLLER DISCO
One of the most unique things we did back in the 70s was going to roller discos with our friends. Luckily, we didn’t have the health and safety crowd that might shudder at the thought of a roller disco today. And while there are still roller discos across America today, they were the place to be in the 70s.
It was the place where you went to get down and groovy while letting your hair down – all while trying to maintain your balance on roller skates!
Did you go to the roller disco back in the 70s? What were your favorite songs to dance to? Let us know in the comments.
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KIDS HAD MORE FREEDOM
In the 70s, kids throughout the Western world had freedoms that few have today. Parents weren’t as wary about letting their kids go out and roam freely. There wasn’t a fear that every stranger could cause harm.
It’s rare to see kids roaming the streets freely today, and parents would probably get in trouble for letting their kids free. Perhaps this is crucial for keeping kids safe, but we’ve got to find a way to make the world safe for children and let them roam freely.
In fact, even playgrounds back in the 70s weren’t necessarily made with safety in mind. Sure, they were high-quality – but the main reason they existed was for kids to have fun. These playgrounds were often made to withstand an attack by the military! As scary as that may sound to kids today, kids of the 70s enjoyed every minute on the playground!
Did any of you roam around freely during your childhood in the 70s?
WATCH OUT FOR THE WATER
One of the best things about the 70s were the sheer number of great films that were released throughout the decade. These films didn’t just entertain us, but they also had a profound impact on how we lived our lives.
Sometimes, it wasn’t always for the better! While we all loved going to the beach, there were many Americans who were afraid of going into the water because of the impact of a certain film directed by Steven Spielberg!
Jaws really frightened many beachgoers from going into the water – just as Psycho made some of us look over our shoulders when we stepped into the shower, Jaws made many of us extra cautious when we got into the water!
Yes! It was in the 1970s that Walt Disney World opened its doors to the public. While Disney World is still fun today, imagine what it was like going to Disney World in the 70s before it became overly touristy.
No doubt, the opening of Walt Disney World was one of the most exciting events from the early 70s. It was a new breed of entertainment and recreation that we perhaps take for granted today.
Did you go to Walt Disney World during the 70s? What were your impressions of it? While taking children to Walt Disney World today may still be fun, one wonders how children during the 70s felt going to the amusement park for the first time.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Another avenue of entertainment that premiered in the 70s was the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.
The show premiered in 1975 and starred comedians and actors who are now legends today. It featured Chevy Chase before his career took off. It also featured the likes of Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, and Garret Morris, among others in the main cast.
This was the start of a new institution in American comedy. The show is now over 40 years old and remains one of the most popular comedy shows in the country.
Do you remember watching the first season of Saturday Night Live in the 70s? Do you prefer the shows from the 70s or the newer episodes today?
You can accuse a 70s kid of being overly nostalgic, but the fact is – the music was better back then. A lot better!
The 70s is when the Jackson 5 released some of their biggest hits. The end of the decade also saw the launch of Michael Jackson’s album Off The Wall. This album included songs such as “Rock With You” and “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” – need we say more?
We also saw the continued rise of Motown Records in the 70s. This was the decade where we heard Marvin Gaye on albums such as What’s Going On and Let’s Get It On. Stevie Wonder also released the albums Music of My Mind, Talking Book, and Innervisions.
We also had the release of the film and the iconic soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever – and the Bee Gees are forever stamped into the culture of the 70s.
The mid-70s also saw the beginnings of hip hop. In the streets of New York, MCs and DJs would perform to lively crowds. In 1979, the Sugar Hill Gang released “Rapper’s Delight” and hip hop had become mainstream. While the genre would come of age in the 80s, it was in the 70s where it got its start.
Need we say more?
It wasn’t just the music of the 70s that made the decade great! The 70s produced some of the greatest cinema that we’ve ever seen.
The beginning of the decade saw the release of the novel The Exorcist. The film, directed by William Friedkin, was soon to follow. It was a triumph among horror films and remains a classic to this day. Even if you weren’t brave enough to see it, you probably know a few lines from the film. Your kids probably also know lines from the film even if they haven’t seen it! This was the power of the films in the 70s.
After all, this was also the decade where we saw The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. These two films helped launch Al Pacino’s career. Through these flicks, he was firmly established as one of the best actors of his generation. We saw more instances of his acting prowess in Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon.
Let’s not forget another great actor who came of age in the 70s. Robert De Niro took audiences by storm in films such as Mean Streets, The Godfather Part II, and Taxi Driver. This was also the decade where Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, Monte Hellman, and Hal Ashby took American cinema by storm!
We also saw the introduction of Blaxploitation cinema in the 70s. This was a new type of exploitation cinema that featured Black characters in positions of power. It’s when we saw Fred Williamson as Black Caesar and Pam Grier as Coffy and Foxy Brown.
The films alone are one reason why the 70s were a decade unlike any other. Kids today just don’t comprehend the experience of seeing Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, or Pam Grier during the early stages of their career.
It wasn’t just the entertainment in the roller discos or the cinema that made the 70s a great decade. It was also the great television that makes us remember the decade fondly – and perhaps, not so fondly!
You may watch reruns of shows like All in the Family, Good Times, What’s Happening, Sanford and Son, and remember this decade fondly. Of course, excellent television shows also came from across the pond. The 70s were the decade where the Brits gave us Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, and Are You Being Served?
Talk shows were far more entertaining in the 70s and also far more intelligent.This was the decade where Dick Cavett had intellectual discussions on film with Alfred Hitchcock and Woody Allen, chatted about music with Jimi Hendrix, discussed sports with Muhammad Ali, and debated politics with a range of personalities from James Baldwin to Enoch Powell. It was when Phil Donahue introduced his popular daytime talk show, and we watched Milton Friedman discussing the benefits of the free market and the importance of liberty.
This was also the decade where President Nixon gave his speech The Challenge of Peace, where he announced that the U.S. Dollar – already the world’s reserve currency would no longer be backed by gold. Later in the decade, we’d learn about the Watergate Scandal, and who can forget the groundbreaking interview of President Nixon by Sir David Frost?
Looking back on the TV shows of the 70s, we realize that it was a special decade, and those of us who lived through it may miss it fondly. Kids today will never be able to appreciate what previous generations enjoyed in the 70s!
So, what do you miss the most from the 70s?
Do you think that the 70s were the best time for music? Or was it the cinema that defined the 70s as one of the best decades ever?
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
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