Sunday, 4 November 2012

4th November

1965: Prime Rolling Stones and a workshop into their image down the years. Here's Mick Jagger in a lumberjack shirt performing as if he's standing on an exercise ball. There's Brian Jones looking blankly engaging. And Keith Richards too, swinging the guitar neck about making faces that suggest he's really feeling it. Charlie at 1:13 is just too stoic and too cool to look forwards.

1976: You wouldn't expect a surprising visual joke from Showaddywaddy, but with their clash of kits that's what you get, even if shooting everything twice does give away Dave Bartram's seemingly improvised sitting on the edge of the stage moment. You wouldn't have thought kettle drums could be played so nonchalantly. Bonnie Tyler is notable for three major reasons - the sound of Tyler's voice before the sandpaper larynx emerged, the Blockbusters backdrop and Noel's terrible attempt at a joke, if that's what it was, afterwards. In fact human interaction isn't his strong point this week, as after Climax Blues Band he attempts to make halting conversation with three members of Chicago, asking what the song is about to someone who didn't write it. Watch for Terry Kath's little dance to Pussycat at the end.

1982: Mike Smith's famously minimalist intro: "it's my first Top Of The Pops - and it's their first Top Of The Pops!" Wham! were still down at 42 at a time when records outside the top 40 being on the show was increasingly rare, but when someone (nobody seems to know who) pulled out at the last moment they were nearby and available. As with Culture Club debuting when Shakin' Stevens pulled out the year before, that stroke of luck turned into Eighties pop defining gold as the playlet with the bare-chested George already taking the forefront over the posing Andrew and his shirt of many polka dots as a kind of miniature Sharks/Jets for the style conscious. That's not Pepsi with George, by the way, it's a pre-Style Council Dee C Lee. Don't know whether the single tree on Blancmange's set is supposed to complement the Indian musicians in some idea of exoticism, but it's difficult to see how the sizeable brooch Neil Arthur is wearing fits in with that. Hall & Oates is another sneaky closed set pre-record, with a pyramid of lights behind them that would grace any game show set.

1993: You may be unable to watch the start of The Time Frequency clip without cringing involuntarily, for which I semi-apologise. In truth the track and Mary Kiani's vocals might well have survived without the knockoff C3PO bodypopping while stuck to the spot. It is, however, called putting on a show, and The Shamen knew just how to do that - by playing a keyboard from behind and just having a girl at the back waving her arms about in a very vague attempt to make it look like someone's 'havin' one. People cheer at the end, which doesn't tally with how we've just seen practically the whole crowd move away before then. After more than two decades in the business Aerosmith finally made their studio debut. Warning: leopardskin waistcoats don't suit everyone.

1 comment:

Steve Williams said...

I love Smitty leaping up and down as if he's putting out a small fire after introducing Wham. I think that Hall and Oates performance might have been filmed for The Late Late Breakfast Show, of course Michael Hurll produced both and I'm pretty sure they swapped a few performances in the autumn of 1982, that clip of Kool and the Gang doing Ooh La La La is another one. I think the Late Late set was just the Pops set redressed, actually.