19/11/2018

Top of the Pops 10 Nov 1983


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. [John Peel and David Jensen are dressed as Will Scarlet and Robin Hood] John Peel: "Hello and welcome to another live Top of the Pops, and I want you to know these cossies are his idea." David Jensen: "He's only sulking because he wanted to be Maid Marion. Let's kick off with Musical Youth shall we? Shaken and not stirred with 007."

[26] Musical Youth: 007. Musical Youth become one of the very few non-number one bands to appear on three Top of the Pops in a row. Last week they shared the promo film for Unconditional Love with Donna Summer, and 007 was first shown the week before that (27/10/1983) but don't go looking for it on BBC4. That edition was co-hosted by D*v* L** Tr*v*s. David Jensen introduces the song as "Double O 7", but Musical Youth sing "Oh-Oh 7"; presumably to avoid the wrath of Cubby Broccoli's fearsome lawyers.

16/11/2018

Ad Break #8 Elton John Lewis


Just when we thought we had the measure of the John Lewis Xmas adverts and were expecting a cuddly armadillo struggling to keep warm in winter till a kid gives it the coat she's just been given for Xmas or some such heartwarmer, the company has turned to Elton John. The pop behemoth is featured in the 2018 seasonal advert as a child getting a piano one Xmas thus leading to his entire career. Yep John Lewis are taking the credit for Elton John. Do they even sell pianos?  Normally these clips are populated by CGI creations and jobbing actors eschewing the celebrity packed ads that the likes of Woolworths did back in the day. However there are only a handful of living people more famous than Elton John- in fact John Lewis is not even as famous. 

14/11/2018

Bohemian Rhapsody review


I saw this film on Cineworld’s Screen X wherein parts of the action are also projected down the sides of the auditorium. I suspect Queen would approve as their manifesto was always about being bigger and broader than other groups. Though sanctioned and executive produced by Brian May and Roger Taylor, Bohemian Rhapsody is a relatively open account of Queen’s rise to fame and some of the demons that haunted their singer Freddie Mercury. While it does pull some punches, its far from the sanitised account some critics have claimed. More than anything it presents Queen’s music as it should always be- loud, extravagant and epic! 

07/11/2018

Top of the Pops 3 Nov 1983


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Peter Powell: "It's seven thirty! Welcome to a live presentation of Top of the Pops tonight." Mike Read [sticking out his hand to Peter Powell]: "Hello mate." Peter Powell [shaking hands]: "Hello Mate!" Mike Read: " It's great to see ABC back in the charts after a year's absence. Here they are live on Top of the Pops." Peter Powell: "Yes!"

[25] ABC: That Was Then But This Is Now. Long term readers might remember my obsession with watching the hosts sneaking on and off set. There was a real skill to the way some of them would pick their moment to disappear through strategically placed holes in the scenery and avoid ruining shots, or mixing with the proles. This all changed after the set upgrade in the 1000th edition. The area around the main stage, the one that ABC are performing on, now looks like a solid wall with no easy way to escape. Unless you count the boring, obvious route of walking down the steps at the stage right; but where's the fun in that? Annoyingly, after show 1000 it's as if the production team want to minimise the chances of viewers at home getting a glimpse of the mechanics of the show. The camera angles seem designed to not allow you to glimpse the hosts moving around. Until tonight. The advantage of live editions is that the production team can't cheat. There's no stopping and rerecording if a camera angle isn't quite right. And so it comes to pass that after ABC are introduced Vision Mixer Hilary West switches to a nice long shot of the studio which is held for enough time to spot Peter Powell and Mike Read edging their way left through the crowd, and disappearing through a DJ escape route which is cunningly fitted in to the set in such a way as to be invisible to the camera. It's right in between the Top of the Pops logo and four neon light fittings; if you look very carefully at this area it's inset, but you wouldn't spot it if you didn't know it was there. Meanwhile, ABC have been allowed to take over the main stage, they've covered it a wall of amplifiers and hung up a big red ABC banner.