Mod Revival of the 70’s and 80’s

The late 1970’s saw a Mod revival in the U.K. by bands that were influenced by 1960’s bands like The Who and The Small Faces.

liam-lusk-the-whoThe original Mods from the 1960’s looked forward while maintaining cultural icons but the Mod revival in the 1970’s was nostalgic for the past. They were often very clear about their British heritage usually displaying the Union Jack (The British flag) or the Royal Air Force roundel on their parkas and scooters.

The bands were from working class backgrounds or certainly appeared so. Fashion style varied from the slim cut suits of the 1960’s to fitted jeans and the green fish tail parkas.

Scooters were still a large part of being a Mod and I remember when I lived in Chester even in the mid 1980’s Mods would gather every Saturday in the center of town.

They would compare their scooters and show off their latest suits. I remember thinking they looked cool although I found motorcycles more appealing.

Click on any of the links below to listen to the song and/or watch the video.

The Jam – ‘Precious’ – 1982

The Who – ‘Pictures of Lily’ – 1967

The Small Faces – ‘Tin Soldier’ – 1967

Purple Hearts – ‘Jimmy’ – 1979

Secret Affair – ‘Time for Action – 1980

The Merton Parkas – ‘You Need Wheels’ – 1979

To find out more about each song continue reading;

  1. The Jam – ‘Precious’ – 1982
    • Taken from the 1982 album ‘The Gift’
    • This song had more of a funk rhythm which was a new sound for the band moving away from their Mod roots.
    • This was the last album from The Jam.
    • Paul Weller went on to from ‘The Style Council’ and would later have a successful solo career.
  2. The Who – ‘Pictures of Lily’ – 1967
    • Written by Pete Townsend it got in to the top 5 in theK. but failed to get into the top 50 in the U.S.
    • Keith Moon sings the high notes in the song.
    • TIME magazine wrote in 1979 that “No other group has ever pushed rock so far, or asked so much from it.” Rolling Stone magazine wrote: “Along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Who complete the holy trinity of British rock.”
    • They were originally called The Detours but after John Entwistle heard there was another band with this name changed it to The Who.
    • One of the most influential bands of the 1960’s and 1970’s giving inspiration to bands like Led Zeppelin and The Clash.
    • The Who logo incorporates the roundel symbol used by mods
  3. The Small Faces – ‘Tin Soldier’ – 1967
    • The single reached number 9 in the U.K. chart.
    • The song was written by Steve Marriot (also the lead vocalist).
    • The band was only together in its official line up for just four years.
    • The Small Faces’ music output from the mid to late sixties remains among the most acclaimed British mod and psychedelic music of that era.
    • Kenney Jones would replace the late Keith Moon as The Who’s drummer in 1978.
  4. Purple Hearts – ‘Jimmy’ – 1979
    • Taken from their debut album Beat That! the single was a minor hit reaching number 60.
    • After four singles the band released ‘Plane Crash’ on the Roadrunner label in 1982 but after a failed American trip the band broke up.
    • In 1986 they released their final single to date ‘Friends’ taken from their live album Head on Collision Time (1985).
    • Although we can’t say they were commercially successful The Purple Hearts are often considered one of the best English mod revival groups.
  5. Secret Affair – ‘Time for Action – 1980
    • Their debut single ‘Time for Action’ reached number 13 and sold over 200,000
    • In a period of a little over two years, Secret Affair posted five releases in the UK Singles Chart and released three
    • The band broke up in 1982.
    • They reformed in the 2000’s and continue to perform.
  6. The Merton Parkas – ‘You Need Wheels’ – 1979
    • Formed in 1978 in Merton, South London.
    • ‘You Need Wheels’ was their most successful single and released in 1979.
    • The band split in 1980.
    • Mick Talbot the keyboard player later teamed up with Paul Weller from the Jam to create ‘The Style Council’.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *