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8 Funky Fads of the 1970s, 5-8
What does your mood ring say today? Relax in your leisure suit and read the last part of the funkiest fads of the '70s list.
5. Leisure Suits
If you were a with-it kind of guy in the '70s, you had at least one leisure suit. Made popular via television shows such as Charlie's Angels and movies like Saturday Night Fever (yes, that one again), suits made of polyester were marked by flamboyant colors, wide pockets on the legs, and winged collars. Bands like the Bay City Rollers used satiny fabric in their suits, too, a trend that trickled down into the mainstream -- for better or worse.
6. Mood Rings
Who knew a thermochromic liquid crystal could foretell the mood of humans? Joshua Reynolds didn't really believe it could, but he did figure that he could sell the idea to the general public as a novelty. That's exactly what he did in 1975 with the mood ring, which was invented in the late 1960s by Marvin Wernick. Heat from the wearer's hand would cause crystals in the ring to warm up, making the face of the ring change from black to green to blue to purple. Reynolds sold more than a million dollars worth of mood rings within three months of their debut, and everyone checked in with their mood rings with nearly religious fervor.
7. CB Radio
Before chat rooms, there were CB radios. Citizens' Band radios were (and still are) largely used by truckers on the road to communicate with other drivers in their range. However, in the 1970s and into the early 1980s, people across the United States, the UK, and Australia took back the meaning of "citizens' radio" and began to use the low-frequency radio waves to chat with other CB users. They had their own special slang terms and nicknames, and First Lady Betty Ford even got into the action. She was known by the CB handle "First Mama" when she crackled over the airwaves. That's a big 10-4...over and out.
8. Punk Rock
Not everyone in the '70s was feeling the love. Across the pond, disillusioned youth in the UK were forgoing the Hustle for the fast, hard, raw power of what they called "punk." Bands such as the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, and The Clash showcased their anger, frustration, and disregard for authority in songs such as "God Save the Queen," "I Wanna Be Sedated," and "London Calling." Just as disco laid the groundwork for later dance genres like techno and house, grunge and heavy metal are rooted in the riotous sounds of punk rock.
Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen