Tuesday, 31 January 2012

31st January

1974: Off someone's rickety early recording and with what seems to be a jump or two but what the hell, it's Stevie Wonder doing Living For The City to much joy, and a crane shot showing his huge keyboard rig. That bloke behind the backing singers must have some sort of role. A scrap of Pan's People doing Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes' The Love I Lost follows.

1980: The Legs & Co equivalent of Monster Mash/Get Down seems to have become Egyptian Reggae, which we'll see in 1977. A shame, because it means this remarkable animal character study for Azymuth's Jazz Carnival has gone unremarked upon. All I'll say is fitted animal costumes and Jensen in a pith helmet. Mildly less demonstrative, John Foxx brings his special sign, his army of analogue synth players and his way with a mimed finger click. And talk about getting your extremes on Pops, as the Ramones (and Pops strings - who else wants to have been there when Joey met Johnny Pearson?) were followed by the last gasp of Junior Choice, not to mention a performance that apparently meant nobody else had time to rehearse, Keith Michell's Captain Beaky. Now who's the bravest animals in the land?

1985: So how do you represent a band of studio bods with artistic ideas about self-representation on Pops? If you're The Art Of Noise, it's with berets, Edwardian outfits and outrageous hamming up on the Fairlight vocal samples. Anne Dudley can deliver one withering look. Meanwhile Terry Hall came back with two of 2-Tone also-rans The Swinging Cats as The Colourfield, having learned to artfully tie a sweater round his shoulders in the interim.

1997: That's just who you'd get as a guest host at the end of January, Noddy Holder. Depeche Mode are your downright dirty interest here, just after Dave Gahan cleaned up and with Anton Corbijn on drums, which is how he can get away with wearing one of their own T-shirts.

2003: I won't say it again, PUT THE STYROFOAM CUPS DOWN AND LOOK LIKE YOU'RE INTERESTED IN THE TV SHOW YOU'RE APPEARING ON. No wonder it went down the pan, eh? A storming Audioslave, making perennial guests the Wildhearts seem a bit wet, provide some sort of Trojan horse device to get Chris Cornell and most of Rage Against The Machine onto Pops for once. That audience must have been herded to the back once Jurgen Vries turned up with a game, bucket hatted Charlotte Church in tow.

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