Turn Back Time

First published: 15-07-2016

The Rolling Stones disembarking from a plane If you could rewind time and bring something back from a bygone era, what would it be? We asked the UK to plunder their memories and reveal the things they miss the most from popular culture and working life from the sixties through to the nineties.

Do The Beatles still hold fond musical memories for most, or would the nation prefer to see ABBA, Oasis or The Spice Girls make an almighty comeback?

The survey also revealed the things the nation would rather see banished to Room 101, never to return again. See if you can guess which decade we're talking about in each section and ask yourself - which decade would you bring back?

Flower power:

The Beatles performing

Twist and shout... The Beatles perform live

With rock and roll, flower power and freedom of speech all dominating popular culture for the first time, this was an exciting decade defined by movement and change. According to our survey respondents, it was also the best decade to work in, coming out on top for career growth.

A healthy 69% agreed they were satisfied with their work colleagues in this era too - showing that the positive vibes weren't just limited to the youth scene.

When it came to home interiors, this era seemed to divide our nation. Whilst 32% of Brits admitted to having a record player or lava lamp on display today, it was voted the worst decade for home décor by 40% of respondents. Perhaps those bold curtain and carpet patterns are best left in the past?

The music scene in this decade was an explosion of creativity, with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and The Doors alighting the charts with their diverse sounds and out-there style and attitude.

The Rolling Stones performing

Satisfaction guaranteed... The Rolling Stones do their thing

There was one band which stood head and shoulders above the rest with a popularity that has lasted through the years - The Beatles came out on top as the band the UK would most like to see live today.

The decade in question? Of course, it can only be the swinging sixties, the era of peace, love and rock n' roll!

The decade of disco

Disco glitter ball

All that glitters... a decade defined by disco

If you were a child growing up in this decade, then there's a good chance you owned a Space Hopper, a Slinky or an Evil Knievel toy. It was also the birthplace of the blockbuster movie, with Star Wars, Jaws and The Godfather doing the business on the silver screen - sound familiar?

If you happened to be of working age, then there's a good chance you were happy; 40% stated they were very satisfied with their full-time working hours in this decade.

Sadly, the fashion trends of this era do not hold such fond memories for many. In fact, it was voted the worst - a third of Brits stated they would happily see popular items such as flared trousers and garish prints resigned to a fashion footnote in the history books!

Girls in fashion from the era

Call the fashion police? Brits voted this decade worst for fashion

Musically, it was a decade defined by disco kings and dancing queens - this was a time when Saturday Night Fever and the Bee Gee's swept the nation. Top of the Pops was arguably at its peak in this era, with Joy Division and Led Zeppelin riding high in the charts, however it was a Swedish group consisting of two girls and two guys that reigned supreme.

21% of Brits said they would love to see ABBA live again now, more than any other act in this decade. Does this decade sound like your cup of tea? If so, then you guessed it - we can only be talking about the 1970's!

Bigger, better, bolder?

Woman on the phone

"You've got us tickets to see Ferris Bueller? Awesome!"

Often referred to as the decade that fashion forgot, if you were around in this era then you may well have been seen rocking ripped stonewash denim, spandex, big-shoulder pads and Grolsch bottle tops on your shoes.

Whilst some may be surprised it was not voted the worst for fashion of our four decades, it did come out on top for the worst haircuts; big poodle perms famously sported by Kylie Minogue and Nik Kershaw's magnificent mullet from this era have not aged well it seems!

As well as a time when bad hair days were seemingly an everyday occurrence, it was also an era better best forgotten when it came to job prospects; 24% said they would hate to see the career opportunities of this decade return again.

However, it wasn't all doom and gloom for those growing up in this time period - it was voted the best decade for movies, and every household had their own VHS player!

Old fashioned video recorder

A relic from the past... VHS was huge in this era

Whilst Dirty Dancing was voted as the overall favourite cinema classic, Scottish respondents in particular showed a fondness for Ferris Bueller's Day Off, confessing to watching it more times than anyone else in the UK!

You know which decade we're talking about, right? Yes, if it was acceptable in the 80's - and never stopped being acceptable to you - then you just might want to bring this decade back!

Funky and fresh

Our next decade saw TV addicts glued to shows such as Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson Creek, The Rugrats and Twin Peaks - oh, and it was also an era which saw supermodel Cindy Crawford sell her exercise workout tapes by the bucket load!

Women doing aerobics in leotards

Step to it... aerobics continued its rise in popularity

And when it came to cinema, Brits voted Home Alone, Titanic and Pulp Fiction as their most treasured films from this time.

Musically, it was a decade when Britpop ruled not just the UK, but the entire world, with bands such as Blur, Pulp and All Saints selling truckloads of CD's. However, it The Spice Girls and Oasis that truly ruled the airwaves, with the latter voted as the band they'd like to bring back the most from this decade.

Fashion from this decade has made something of a comeback in recent years, so it may not come as a surprise that it was voted the best decade for accessories. 10% of respondents stated they had worn tooth gems and bucket hats in the past year!

But the decade that gave us Reebok Pumps and Nike Air Jordan's was not all bathed in neon-coloured happiness; 28% said they were unhappy with their pay-packet, making it the worst era for pay!

Unless you were born yesterday, you should have guessed this decade by now - were you a nineties baby?!

colleagues looking at computer screen

"Just give me a fortnight and I'll have those accounts downloaded for you."

As we look back to times gone by, it would appear that each and every decade has its bad points. But for every fashion faux-pas and dodgy haircut from days gone by, there's something from the past that fills us with happiness and puts a big nostalgic grin on our face.


Related articles