Bowers & Wilkins and Abbey Road Studios help celebrate five decades of British cool – and you can be there!

Bowers & Wilkins is attending Vintage at Goodwood, and would love for you to join us. Together with the world-famous Abbey Road Studios, we are representing the very best that Britain has to offer in terms of sound recording and reproduction.

This innovative festival of music, design and fashion celebrates all that is great about British popular culture. The festival takes place in the wonderful surroundings of the Goodwood Estate on the 13, 14, 15th of August.

To mark the event, we are extremely happy to be able to offer you the chance to win tickets to the festival. First prize is a glamorous Hotel Bell Tent for four people for the festival weekend, while five runners up can win a pair of tickets for a day of their choice.

To enter, simply post a comment below telling us your favourite decade for British music and why. And we will pick the winners from our favourite answers.

This competition is now closed, and the winners have been notified by email. Thank you to everyone who entered.


  • Ann Mansell says:

    This decade 2000-10

    In this decade music has melded into a beautiful eclectic sound of the best of everything, a place where nothing is un cool. Boundaries have been pushed and broken, everyone has immemsely broad horizons and vast swathes of music in their libraries-from the 60s right up to the latest sound. The revolution of brilliance in developing ever more Ingenious ways to enhance our experience, music has truly ingrained itself into an essential part of our everyday existence. I feel blessed to have travelled alongside music on its path from Raw vinyl to pure honed emotional perfection. Our generation created musics future, beginning to end. Those who supercede us can only look back and wish they were there…………….. I know that for each and every life experience that I look back upon there is a beautiful evocative sound that mirrors my emotions perfectly.
    Thankyou to a generation of musicians……………………..

  • Bob says:

    For me it has to be the 60’s when for my 14th birthday my parents bought me a mono tape recorder. I was able to record music from the hit parade, late Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, from the radio, I was able to ” collect a huge cross section of music”.

  • Matthew Perks says:

    For me it has to be the 00’s, this was the time when bands and musician’s really started using new technology to push the boundries of music, Linkin park, the Prodigy, Kasabian, La Roux. As great as it is to hear the classics from day’s gone by there’s nothing better than enjoying music from the here and now and listening/watching/streaming the future classic performance’s.

  • Martin Barrett says:

    The 70’s.

    Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen, AC/DC, Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys, The Bee Gees, The Eagles, T-Rex, Slade, Simon & Garfunkle, Jackson 5, The Carpenters, ABBA, The Sex Pistols, Dire Straits, Free, The Doors, Elton John, Carole King, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty, Bob Marley etc etc

    Classic Songs, Classic Albums just a Classic Era

  • Neil says:

    The 70’s because of stevie wonder and bob marley! two of the best singers ever

  • Baz Fisher says:

    It’s got to be the 70’s for me. Hearing Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Bowie, The Doors, Queen and a good dose of Northern Soul when your growing up can only give a good, open minded music listening foundation second to none.


  • Neil says:

    60’s – Beatles – What more needs to be said?

  • Daniel Greenberg says:

    British Invasion-mid to late 1960’s. Whoever heard of Eric Clapton, Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, Stones, Who, Cream, etc etc before the British Invasion of the 1960’s. Brought R&B into the Rock era with diversity and grace. Plus it was a lot of fun.

  • Chris says:

    It must have been a revelation with the development of gramaphones reaching the home- the start of hifi?

  • Nick Petty says:

    My favourite decade of British music would have to be the 2010’s. The satisfying thought of the thousands of songs that will be released and the excitement of hearing that incredible track for the first time. Fast forward ten years and speak to everyone who has been influenced and affected by the decade’s outstanding tracks, new bands, and those times moulded around the music you love and hate. Forgive me for being offbeat.

  • Paul Johnston says:

    The 90s – By process of elimination…

    I wasn’t born in the 50s or 60s but according to Billy Connelly before the Beatles, the Stones and that Elvis fella, ‘How much was that Doggy in the Window’ was number 1.

    In the 70s, we tend to remember the magical, timeless disco tracks, like ‘Le Chic’ and ‘Lost in Music’ but if you look deeper the decade is responsible for the formation of ‘Wings’ and ‘The Carpenters’ – need I say more?

    The 80s to me were a musical write-off. Evidence: Look at your 40 year old uncle dancing to ‘Culture Club’ or ‘Duran Duran’ at a wedding.

    The Naughties (don’t like that word) were far too ‘R&B-e’…so we are left with the 90s…

    They kicked off with blokes at School discos standing in circles making funny hand dances to ‘The Farm’ and ‘The Stone Roses’…

    then pushed on to new Electronic levels with ‘The Prodigy Experience’…

    culminating in the band of a Generation in ‘Oasis’. I know it’s not cool to wax lyrical about the Gallachers but in their day, have you ever known a bad with such a deep (obviously in numerical rather than philosophical terms!) and quality collection of both singles and hidden gems: ‘Talk Tonight’, ‘The Masterplan’ and ‘Wonderwall’

    …We’ll be talking about them for years.

  • Tony says:

    70’s to Present, there is always favourites in all decades and genres that impress.
    Just keep good recorded songs coming so we can all enjoy.

  • Steve Forster says:


  • Dave Newton says:

    The 60’s because so many British bands were at the forefront of musical development as simple pop music developed into ‘event albums’ led by icons such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Hollies these musicians also led the worlds fashion from Mod to Hippy and helped drive a change in political thinking on liberalisation, peace and equality, then as the pop decade bagan to fade it heralded the start of the British Rock invasion with Led Zeppelin sowing the seeds of heavy metal and hard rock for the next generaton to develop.

  • Jack Kotlyn says:

    In the mid to late 60’s the musicians were able to think outside of the box. They were pioneers in new found territory. There music made a statement and had meaning. The 70’s brought about a new found confidence in the musicians and they were able to build upon the efforts of the pioneers of the 60’s. Vinyl was king back then and you could listen and feel every pick of the guitar and beat of the drum in the comfort of your living room.

  • Colin Waterworth says:

    The Best decade for Music has always got to be the one you’re in!
    Only then can you enjoy all that is fresh, exciting, innovative & wonderful about this aural marvel we call Music. Plus All of the amazing Music already in existence is but a click away!

  • Russell Paul Cobb says:

    It is simply the 60’s for me. Having two older sisters and a brother, that constantly played 45’s with artist such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, T-rex, The Who, and many many more. What really makes it special too me though is every time I hear a beatles tune, or some Who or T-rex, it instantly takes me back to the good feelings I shared with all my siblings during that time period. Sadly, I have lost my brother and a sister to cancer in this last decade. Because of this, it makes it that much sweeter when I hear I wanna hold your hand.

  • Craig Karle says:

    60’s 60’s60’s!!! Not only did the decade run the gamut in emerging musical styles, but engineers had to create new sounds and techniques from scratch, and their own creativity. Sure, mono, 2, and 4 track consoles seem primitive compared to today’s slick studios, but they provided the platform for all recording advancements to follow. As the British studios began to loosen up (pre Abbey Road EMI anyone? ) all manner of previously forbidden recording experimentation was allowed to evolve. London was the home to all of this, and while the rest of the world began to catch on, Brits went from “allowing” to encouraging new exploration in recording techniques.Those early consoles and the creative engineers of the day created “recording laboratories” to capture and extend the vision of new musicians and the very new music that would thrive with these recording advancements. If only I’d had my 803D’s then to listen to it all.

  • Josh says:

    The 60s, of COURSE! Come on, the Beatles, The Stones, The Who, The Kinks, The Dave Clark 5, Cream, Clapton, Hendrix, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood, etc., etc., etc. These greats had the greatest influence on rock and popular music which filter through today’s music and will always be there. Whoever said 60’s music was technically immature is just plain WRONG. Listen to Abbey Road or Let it Be on a high end vinyl rig and tell me the production doesn’t compare with today’s well produced music and I’ll tell you to stop smoking that stuff you using when you listened to 45 rpm singles on an leatherette portable phonograph with a 12 lb arm and ceramic cartridge!

  • Robert Luke says:

    60’s can’t be bettered. I remember listening to the Bob Dylan on an old Phillips tape recorder, with a huge reel which used to twist at the wrong moment! Returning from an Ante-Vietnam War demonstration, my faithul tape recorder would play Stones music and I would feel OK with the world.

  • Steve Crawford says:

    The 70’s

    Because the music world celebrated itself and what it could do without taking itself too seriously and just did what felt good, No need to name names cos everyone was at it, just for the ride. Before the 70’s things were too regimented, after wards became too interesting to the money men and their formulas for success…

  • Daniel says:

    The 80’s for the broad move into synthesised music and the variety of well known and recognisable sounds from different genres of music that are often celebrated even today.

  • Nic Drew says:

    The 70’s – Led Zeppelin – nuff said!

  • bobby morris says:

    The 70’s for me. My teenage years. Playing a new record over and over again to learn the lyrics. playing an album over and over again until you DID like it. Going to pied piper record store in halesowen and asking to hear the record you were about to buy on vinyl before you bought it.Album sleeves, and funny shaped vinyl with colourful pictures on.Wearing out an album.Happy days.

  • Raymond Viola says:

    While there are several worthy contenders, my “favorite” decade of British cool would have to be the 1960’s. The saying goes that “if you can remember the 60’s, then you were never there, man”. But, Yanks like me first became aware of British rock music & fashion during this heady time. For many of us, the 60’s are fondly remembered as a watershed era in British pop culture.

  • Jonathan says:

    60’s 70’s 80’s 90’s 00’s
    Isnt it the diversity of the genres and the quality of the music that makes especially british music timeless and so popular whatever the decade.

  • Jeremy Aston says:

    I know the question is what is my favourite decade for music but it’s a question I could never answer as I simply don’t have one. For me every decade has absoulte gems of innovation and evolution. The blues/jazz masters of the 30’s and 40’s were instrumental (no pun intended!) in laying the ground work for the explosion of rock ‘n’ roll in the 50’s. The 60’s had genuine innovation and many of the great inspirations for later greats such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Hendrix, T-Rex, The Doors etc.were born at this time, even if some of them had more commercial success later. I would agree with many of the posters regarding the range of music in the 70’s and for me artists such as Brian Eno and Kraftwork stand out for being absolutely years ahead of their time. I really discovered music as a youth in the 80’s and much of the music then has immense sentimental value. The 90’s were excellent for me as well – Radiohead, Oasis, Pulp, The Verve etc. etc. as well as the growth of fantastic electronic music. Plastikman and Biosphere provided the soundtrack to many a long night of coding at that time! This latest decade has absolute stand out moments as well. The sheer scale and availability of music due to the technological advances has been unprecendented. The rapid consumption of music perhaps has made it less likely that people will indulge themselves in a single album for long periods of time as I did when I was younger but it has given people an acceptance of a far wider range of music – just consider the range of artists at Glastonbury now. I find myself listening to far more bands and musicians than I ever did – and for that reason alone the past 10 years have to represent as good a showing for music as any of the others.

    Ultimately, every decade has seen the best of it’s contemporary music pay homage to the past and flash forward to the future. I could never choose a single block of 10 years in which to live my musical life – I can only appreciate each period for what it has to offer and count myself privilaged to find such pleasure in music.

  • Carola says:

    End 60ies… to mid 70ies ! Definitely. Music turned the world upside down – it was made to cheer one up, give you an instant smile, to forget misery in life… even ‘peace messages’ got sent out with a happy message ! Can anyone imagine a world without those fabulous tunes ?

  • Mike Terry says:

    It has to be the sixties. I was a teenager living ina world that was rapidly changing. In 1964 the offshore stations arrived and the airwaves lit up with superb music, jingles, even the adverts were fab!

    The likes of Kenny Everett and John Peel on Wonderful Radio London on 266 metres were some of the greatest ever innovators in British Radio. It was the greatest radio station ever and was cruelly closed by a draconian Government Act in 1967.

  • D. H. Ellis says:

    The 1960s

    The decaded started with distinctive sound of The Shadows & moved on to the early raw music 0f the Rolling Stones, The Who, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, The Yard Birds (who became Led Zeppelin in around 1968), Jethro Tull, Cream, & the, great, great John Mayall

    Nearly every thing since has either been copies of the 1960s or rather insipid except for the Sex Pistols & The York Dolls.

  • marcus harbord says:

    Swing music, as it reflects many aspects of emerging music styles. First appering in the 30’s it is today widely covered and remains the best groove, rhythm and uplifting music of the century and beyond.
    It combines melody and improvised vocal over the arrangement. Great voices and dancable vibes.
    Get into the swing you know it makes sense!!

  • chris pearson says:

    Did the great bands of the 60s and 70s etc dream only of the fantastically rich musical heritage that preceded them? No, from Elvis to Hendrix to the Sex Pistols, they all lived in the moment and made inspired music and culture that spoke about their generation.

    Celebrate the Great British cultural past but let’s create our own ‘cool Britannia’ in our own decade and make it a time to remember.

  • Ellen Silva says:

    The 80’s.
    Most lyrics actually told an important message to society overall and as a listener I used to stir away from songs that had too cheesy repetitive chorus that added nothing to one’s intellect.
    Musicians were much more adventurous in trying different tunes.
    Most songs in the 80s really striked a cord inside everyone and explored important issues in society. There was less fear of singing about politics and unfairness in society.

  • Panks says:

    The Nineties Revolution in Music!

    Britpop and the Indie crossover, being able to witness the birth of Blur, Oasis and getting lost in a field to sound of Prodigy and Orbital….

  • Ez says:

    End of 60’s – 70’s, the Beatles had galvanised what we might call pop, rock music had come of age, stars were born and revered, scope and creativity was endless, tracks that will be forever repeated, revisioned and remixed were created. For examples read all very valid comments above and below, although I personally want to list Bowie and Floyd, Doors, Hendrix. And then there’s James Brown and acid sound from Chicago that I love for the birth of Acid and House which isn’t music its mental. Whatever will rip the next genre?

  • Roger says:

    The 50’s of course – music to fall in love to and music to be heartbroken to – it was all there!

  • Paul Reeds says:

    For me, it has to be the Nineties. The whole Brit Pop era pulled British music out of the dole-drums, gave it a big shake and voila, the music scene in this Country had direction once more. Not just the big bands who everyone remembers (Oasis, Blur, etc), but the smaller, one album wonders, all gave the Country a buzz, and created what one could really call a ‘movement’ of which won’t be seen again for many a year to come.
    Plus the fact that i bought my first pair of real speakers, some DM601’s, which are now living in my loft as i won’t throw them away, (no matter what the wife says).

  • Conor Whelan says:

    For me it has to be the 80’s. I grew up in Wales & we didn’t get to see much TV in the mountains so all I had was my radio & sony walkman. The earphones didn’t leave my head and the new sounds were fantastic – quite a difference from Choir’s & sheep!

    The 80’s was the year I discovered Music!

  • Thorsten V says:

    No doubt, it’s the 80’s …. and this for a singular phenomenon: The Smiths.

  • Tuppence Lewis says:

    Oh! It has to be the 80’s – there was such diversity and anything went, things felt very NEW! From Level 42 to Kraftwerk, Soft cell to Madonna, Prince was totally awsome, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Grand Master Flash and The Beastie Boys, The Clash and The Specials, Public Image LtD (one of the first singles I ever bought), The Beat, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Killing Joke, Sisters of Mercy, Violent Femmes, Blondie, The Art of Noise,The Human League, Lena Lovich and Laurie Anderson (remember them – so cool ?), Ultravox, Gary Newman (bless him),The Cure (Killing an Arab, the first album I ever bought – still play it) and Duran Duran, Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ , Elvis Costello, New Order, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads- oh my the list is endless – I’m just gonna have to go and dig out the old Viynal’s now – where is my old ‘Turn Table’!?
    The revival of the 80’s has been going on for he past 10 year’s and continues to do so, that say’s it all!

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