Here’s something I’ve meant to share or a while. It’s part of a radio phone which I date as Monday January 17th 1983. It’s interesting as a historical piece as it’s a small window on the cultural changes in our society revealed by both the host and the ordinary public calling in to comment.
There’s a slight topical link here with regard to the recent riots in Tottenham, London prompted by a shooting by the police. This recording references the mistaken shooting of Stephen Waldorf on January 14th 1983 by police on the streets of Kensignton, London.
Also referenced is the public’s opinion on the launch of breakfast television on the BBC which happened that very morning.
Oh and no surprise in the traffic report which tells us that the Blackwall tunnel is yet again closed.
This tune wandered into my mental jukebox the other day and just would not go away.I had Quickstep and Sidekick on cassette which if my memory serves me well had extra tracks to the LP version. It’s long surprised me that it’s never been re-released as the album ,for me, sits nicely between The Thompson Twins earlier political incarnation and their slightly later purely commercial offerings.
So I try to suppress the memory of them slaughtering The Beatles Revolution along with Madonna at Live Aid and revisit an album that I used to like a lot and hope that the refrain “This is where we all fall-out” will soon stop playing again and again in my own unpredictable mental jukebox.
Synchronicty alert: After providing the Wikipedia links I find that the release of the cassette version on CD has only recently finally occurred. UK information here.
This video looks terribly earnest and dated now but I still have fond memories of Shriekback. I saw them once at the Cafe Royal I think it was (it was a small and low ceilinged room anyway). Barry Andrews, seen postulating in orange here (and looking a little like the guy in the old Tango adverts) in the video was formerly in XTC. Despite a lack of mainstream recognition the band was hugely influential and highly regarded in music critic and the college and university (OK, polytechnic, as was) fraternity.
The instrumental of this was used for the Gig guides posted previously (I much preferred the instrumental).
Here’s Brian Eno in an interview from around 1983 (I think). Interestingly the interview ends with an early rough cut of Eno’s Apollo soundtrack as intended for the film For All Mankind. The soundtrack was released promptly though the film itself would not see the light of day until 1989.
I took a trip down memory lane last night as part of Channel 4’s retrospective look back over 25 years of the British TV channel by showing selected programmes from the last quarter of a century over on More4. I watched an episode of ‘ground breaking’ 80’s music show The Tube followed by the slightly more controversial The Word from the 90’s.
The Tube The chosen 1983 edition of The Tube came from Northern Ireland (usually The Tube came from wonderful down town Newcastle upon Tyne) and was attempting to expose young unsigned bands in a region that, at the time, would have been largely ignored by the UK record industry and would have been ,of course still in the midst of the sectarian troubles which many of the bands seemed to think was either taboo or too predictable a subject matter to discuss in their fledgling music.
Presumably the real reason this edition was picked for re-airing was that the headline live act was U2 debuting their album War which is a curious thing as U2 are really a band from Southern Ireland (OK two members born in England) though I guess it helped the cause of highlight Northern Ireland itself and the only group to sing about the troubles (Sunday, Bloody Sunday). There was also a filmed (all outside broadcast elements were on film and not video and looked curiously extravagant from today’s perspective) interview with David Bowie announcing his 1983 Serious Moonlight tour. I couldn’t take my eyes off his teeth.The Tube had a memorable theme tune by Jeff Beck and Jan Hammer (originally) which morphed over the years, my favourite version being the gloriously over the top Trevor Horn manipulated version circa 1986.
The Word is often cited as one of the low points at which television started to let in more base elements that we see in television today. The public ‘doing anything to get on TV’, hyped controversy and voyeuristic fly on the wall TV aimed to titillate. This late night 90’s show combined live music and slightly less ethical ‘yoof’ based ’shock television’. The chosen episode featured the late Oliver Reed, deliberately invited onto the show in order to appear drunk and unethically encouraged into that condition by placing copious amounts of free alcohol in his dressing room with obligatory (tee-hee) hidden camera .
A performance by the predominantly all girl LA group L7 that culminates in the lead singer removing her lower clothing and the embarrassingly amateur interview technique of host and professional MancunianTerry Christian. The only saving grace of this edition was that one of the studio guests was late US comedian Bill Hicks who would, in this 1992 programme, have been only 18 months away from his untimely death.The only consistently stylised thing about The Word was the 808 State penned theme tune and annoyingly perky titles.
More 4 is showcasing a variety of Channel 4’s output from the past 25 years with many items being available on-line via 4OD (Windows users only).