In 1978, England experienced a short-lived trend called ‘Mod Revival’. This revival was largely triggered by music. Just like how Mod in the 60s was a response to Rock, Mod Revival in the 80s was a response to Punk. In 1973, The Jam became the new face of Mod, drawing inspiration heavily from The Who, but they were never able to achieve a singularly “Mod status”. In its revival, Mod was merely a shell of its former self. Music was all over the place at the start of the 70s: you had synth pop making an appearance, post-punk, new wave, world music, smaller music sub-culture being created such as hip-hop, indie-rock, heavy metal, and Goth rock.
Those precious details that made Mod innovative and forward thinking were being forgotten and blended together with one of the many other subcultures branching out in London at the time.
The Jam were being lumped in with punk music, The Chords and The New Hearts were all being inspired by 60s music, trying to look back to a time where music was different, more smooth and less forced or fake. Individually they were all doing very Mod-esc things, but they were doing them separately, unaware of each other. True Modernists today still cringe at the old misconception that The Smiths were Mod. In 1973, The Who released their sixth studio album called Quadrophenia, then in 1979 a movie of the same name was released and Mod Revival was in full swing. Quadrophenia (the movie) was a story about a Mod and his Mod friends having a Mod Vs. Rockers brawl in Brighton and, almost as if overnight, Vespa scooters were back on the streets. This movie was the catalyst that pushed Mod out from the underground.
With Secret Affair dragging the album Mod Mayday to the top of the charts, there was one big issue holding Mod back from making a full recovery. Ska Boom was a subculture that started its climb right around the same time as Mod revival and they built up a following at the same time, but when it came down to Mod or Ska Boom, the more dance worthy music won out. The two blended into one, Mod and Ska Boom now played on the same stage. The thing that hindered Mod from making its recovery was the fact that Mod was never solely a music style. Mod was a way of a life; an all-around style that showed up in every aspect of a Mod’s life, the youth at the time did not understand this concept. It was easier to share have Ska Boom help describe a style that Mod revivalists weren’t very aware of themselves.
The following article written by Chris Hunt will help to explain Mod revival in grater detail and provided me with a lot of the facts used in my short summary.
By 1982, Mod was gone. At the time, trends came and went and fashion help more of an influence over trend and culture than music did. Throughout the 80s, Mod stayed underground, though it was not dead! Mod would live to see another day.