Data 70, a typeface by Bob Newman.
The presence of electronic artists Data 70 in the Spatial mix at the weekend had me thinking about the preponderance of cultural items that were given “70” as a suffix in the 1960s or in the year 1970. The air of futuristic optimism in the 60s drew attention to the birth of a new decade in a manner that hadn’t really happened before, and certainly didn’t happen for 1980 by which time the optimism had been sunk by a decade of political and fuel crises, and the end of the space race.
Data 70 take their name from the “futuristic” computer-like typeface designed by Bob Newman in 1970. Newman’s typeface wasn’t the first of the Space Age designs—Colin Brignall’s Countdown appeared in 1965—but Data 70 was everywhere in the 1970s. Data 70 (the group) dedicated a piece of music to Newman.
A few more 70s follow. These are only the ones I’ve been able to remember or stumble across so I’m sure there are more. And note: to qualify for this micro-category something has to be named “70” only where the suffix signifies modernity or the future, no Expo 70 (the world’s fair in Osaka) or anything annual that happened to be labelled 70 as part of a series.
Boccaccio 70 (1962).
The label might imply the future but the predominant tone of these entries is sex. Boccaccio 70 set things in motion by updating the Decameron to modern Italy. Despite the claims of the poster, anthology films are nothing new, and this one has four stories directed by Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Mario Monicelli and Luchino Visconti. Italo Calvino was one of the writers.
Casanova 70 (1965).
Mario Monicelli returned a couple of years later with a film whose title was later borrowed by French group Air.
Manon 70 (1968).
And another one. An updating of Manon Lescaut written and directed by Jean Aurel.
Gangsters 70 (German poster, 1968).
Joseph Cotton in an Italian heist film.
Witchcraft 70 (1970).
“EXPOSED thru the eye of the HIDDEN CAMERA!” According to IMDB: “A mondo style report of satanic rites from around the world. Includes devil worshipping, voodoo cults, church of satan, black magic, naked exorcism and pagan rituals.”
Scorpio 70 (1970).
“This uneven exploitation flesh feature finds three couples carrying on erotic adventures on board a pleasure-cruising yacht. They are shocked to discover one of them is a heroin dealer, which is the only thing that resembles a plot. There are the usual displays of writhing and groaning and the requisite lesbian scene, partner-swapping and auto-erotic exercises,” said the NYT. Also the name of a synth group.
Fellini’s Satyricon was released in 1969 so I guess this is an updating of the book by Petronius. The original Satyricon is already pretty gay (as is Fellini’s film) so this suits the bathhouse era.
“Psycho-sex”, “Norman Bates”, voyeurism….?
Shakara (1972) by Fela And Africa 70.
Fela Kuti maintains the sex theme with what I’m guessing are some of his many wives on the cover of Shakara. Kuti’s ensemble was named Nigeria 70 before they changed to Africa 70, a name used throughout the decade. Listen to the album here.