Possible The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, Everything by George Alec Effinger. It was published in 1984 so it fits with your time frame. I read it in the anthology Alien Contact but it has been published in lots of anthologies.
As narrated by one of the aliens:
All our spacecraft operate on vacuum tubes. They take up a hell of a lot of space. And they burn out. Do you know how long it takes to find the goddamn tube when it burns out? Remember how people used to take bags of vacuum tubes from their television sets down to the drugstore to use the tube tester? Think of doing that with something the size of our mother ships. And we can’t just zip off into space when we feel like it. We have to let a mother ship warm up first. You have to turn the key and let the thing warm up for a couple of minutes, then you can zip off into space. It’s a goddamn pain in the neck.”
The aliens are called the nuhp, and while they are benign they are super annoying:
On the whole, everyone began to like the nuhp, although they took just a little getting used to. They had very definite opinions about everything, and they wouldn’t admit that what they had were opinions. To hear a nuhp talk, he had a direct line to some categorical imperative that spelled everything out in terms that were unflinchingly black and white. Hollyhocks were the best flower. Alexander Dumas was the greatest novelist. Powder blue was the prettiest color. Melancholy was the most ennobling emotion. Grand Hotel was the finest movie. The best car ever built was the 1956 Chevy Bel Air, but it had to be aqua and white. And there just wasn’t room for discussion: the nuhp made these pronouncements with the force of divine revelation.
In the end the nuhp conquer Earth simply because everyone gets fed up of them and moves to other planets:
They were all populated by charming, warm, intelligent, humanlike people who had left their own home worlds after being discovered by the nuhp. Many races lived together in peace and harmony on these planets, in spacious cities newly built to house the fed-up expatriates. Perhaps these alien races had experienced the same internal jealousies and hatreds we human beings had known for so long, but no more. Coming together from many planets throughout our galaxy, these various peoples dwelt contentedly beside each other, united by a single common aversion: their dislike for the nuhp.