There were a pair of new Strats thrown in to the mix this year, and both of them pushed the sacred Strat formula a little too far.
First up was the Stratocaster Elite, an attempt at up-market refinement that replaced the pickup selector switch with push buttons. It was an attempt to modernise that missed the mark, but worse was still to come.
In a barbaric act of CBS cost-cutting, the standard Stratocaster was redesigned to include a flat input and only two controls. It looked just as bad as it sounds, and was received poorly by players everywhere.
Meanwhile, Eric Clapton went all Dali on us and included a melted Strat on the cover of Money And Cigarettes.