Tony Christie must be thinking to himself “What the fuck am I doing in this dump?” He was too good for Wheeltappers, what a voice.
This was originally a #3 UK hit in 1969 but did even better in 1988 when it topped the charts because of its use in an annoying Miller Lite commercial. Usually that can put you off a song forever and the fact that it didn’t (well, maybe for a little while) is a testament to how great the record is. It’s a bit sappy but those soaring harmonies get me every time.
Not sure why they were performing it on a TV chart show in 1975 though.
Won’t be doing doing much posting this week, I’m spending a few days lazing in a boat and having a smoke with Emma Peel*
Download: Sitting by the Riverside – The Kinks (mp3)
This clip makes me so happy and I think everyone who reads this blog will get the same warm fuzzys from it. We can all feel the joy of these teens dancing so happily to a pop record, because that was us once upon a time.
The TOTP audience was usually older and less “School Disco” than this lot, so I don’t know what’s going on here.
This year is really taking the piss. I swear the death of Victoria Wood has upset me almost as much as Bowie did. She was one of the greatest comedy talents Britain has ever produced, but on a personal level she means a lot to me because my mother loved her and I have many happy memories of watching her TV shows with her. My mother could quote Victoria Wood lines the way I could with Monty Python in my teens, so I’m sad for more than just the loss of a great comedy writer and performer.
Though Wood made her name in the 1980s she existed outside of the London-centric, politically-edgy “Alternative” comedy crowd and created her own brilliant comedy universe. She was never as fashionable as them and, even though her humour could be cruelly accurate and cutting, she had a Northern working class warmth that made her less hip, but she was funnier and for longer.
She was also an influence on Morrissey, especially this song she wrote in 1978 which inspired parts of Rusholme Ruffians, and her “they didn’t know what drugs were” line in the intro may also sound familiar.
Download: Fourteen Again – Victoria Wood (mp3)
I have this album but I don’t think we were ever treated to this tremendous commercial on British TV.
This is side one, track two. Sublime Philly Soul from 1973.
Download: Armed and Extremely Dangerous – First Choice (mp3)
Sad to hear about the death of Sylvia Anderson. The obits focused on her being the voice of Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds but the greatest thing she did for me was design the costumes in the Anderson’s live-action series UFO.
Though the styles were often silly and a hysterically groovy 1960s idea of fashion in the far-flung future of the 1980s, she has my undying gratitude for putting the girls on Moonbase in those silver catsuits and miniskirts, especially Gabrielle Drake. My childhood wouldn’t have been the same without that.
I like to think the girls of Moonbase would have been listening to this 1985 hit when they were relaxing between UFO attacks. It’s a tad cheesy but I love it.
Download: Clouds Across The Moon (Extended Version) – The Rah Band (mp3)
These days the look and sound of Punk is so unthreatening it’s used in television commercials and kids with blue hair don’t even turn heads, but it was once considered a serious threat to the morals of England’s youth. Of course that’s why we liked it, anything that could get up the noses of grown ups had to be a good thing.
This 1977 episode of the BBC current affairs program Brass Tacks is a wonderful time capsule of that era. I remember seeing this at the time it was broadcast as we’d watch anything about Punk. It features some great footage of Punk kids in Manchester, a very young Pete Shelley, John Peel, and an hysterical parade of uptight councilors and clergy. Not surprisingly, Peel (who starts talking around the 34-minute mark) is about the only adult in the room who knows anything about it and doesn’t come across as a reactionary twerp.
Let’s have some of that nasty Punk Rock stuff.
Download: Neat Neat Neat – The Damned (mp3)