Friday, March 27, 2015
Before Robyn, before Annie, before Sally Shapiro.... Before Aqua, before Kylie.... the original hipper-to-be-square, plastic-as-positive transvaluation - Dollar
Horn's influence from 10.c.c. "I'm Not In Love" utterly apparent from that one.
Faberoonie as far as it goes - but has anyone ever actually felt an emotion off of Dollar?
That to me is the difference between Dollar and Altered Images, an equally produced band arguably (Rushent) but with an unmistakeable twinge of real yearning in there.
That's the difference between 80s pop and New Pop - the former is about entertainment professionals; the latter is about autonomous artistic entities, nearly all of whom came out of punk and postpunk
(Kim Wilde another case in point - regardless of the New Wave stylizing of the product, or the excellence of some of the singles - it's just 80s pop, to be bracketed with Bucks Fizz rather than Orange Juice or Duran).
Vaguely recall reading about a Thereza Bazar solo album produced by Arif Mardin, that cost half-a-million to make, got advance hype, but barely seemed to come out at all...
Well it must have done because there was a video for the title track
Dollar sans Trevor Horn production - early
Dollar sans Trevor Horn production - later
First effort on their own again, and not a bad simulation of the Horn sound
didn't realise they had this after-career, with a Stock Aitken Waterman-ish sound
Dollar, before Dollar - i.e. the Brotherhood of Man-like outfit Guys & Dolls - Dollar are the couple on the left
A rmx of "videotheque", not eccojam by Chuck Person style, but intended to be "loosely based on Daft Punk's Discovery album, especially tracks like High Life"
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Don't remember this scene from The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle at all...
Remember the song(s) very well indeed, though, from the album: The Black Arabs's fabulous discofunk medley of Pistols tunes.
Not much info out there about Black Arabs.
They were proteges of Bernie Rhodes, who did even less with them than he did with Subway Sect.
(Actually at one point they appear to have become Vic Godard's backing band).
A proper Britfunk outfit, judging by the clip, in the mold of Hi Tension and Heatwave... the high harmony vocals as crucial to the groove as the bass and drums and percussion
The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle was as important to me and my brothers as Bollocks and the single B-sides like "Satellite" and "No Fun"
We pored over the double-LP gatefold album inner sleeve, drinking in the graphics
Listened to the contents, over and over.... usually skipping certain tracks (the orchestral "EMI", the French "Anarchie dans le UK", the proto-Professionals Steve Jones-on-vocals numbers like "Lonely Boy", the Sid Vicious Eddie Cochran covers, "I Wanna Be Me", Tenpole Tudor's "Rock Around the Clock", the Biggs version of "Belsen Was A Gas", ) and fixating on other: the "Johnny B. Goode"/Roadrunner" live rehearsal demo stuff, "No One Is Innocent", Tenpole's "Who Killed Bambi", "Friggin", the title track with its Rotten-replacement audition punx taking turns on the mic', "My Way" of course, "Don't Give Me No Lip Child" and "Substitute", the Rotten version of "Belsen Was A Gas").
And Black Arabs was a favorite, much-played in the big bedroom at 113 Bridgewater Road.
Loved reading about the film in advance. Read and reread the various clipped out cuttings of interviews that Julien Temple did... pieces about / with McLaren, who was still excited about its ideas-in-potential but already starting to disparage the end result (having being kicked out of the directorial chair).
The soundtrack came out way in advance of the film, It was a long wait, and all the while the scene was changing... punk was turning into / being displaced by postpunk. Oi! was making punk seem silly / retarded / passe.
Meanwhile there was an endless string of singles off of Swindle, getting increasingly poor by the end. Not to mention the Sid Sings album, the Some Product: Sex Pistols Carri On album of radio interview excerpts (we got that too), and then Virgin's exploitative nadir, the compilation Flogging A Dead Horse.
Still, I followed everything that Malcolm did with great interest... Bow Wow Wow etc. Waited for the film.
Finally it came out. The film itself, while disappointing - largely through execution, the deficienciess of acting, direction, editing, etc - is still crammed with ideas.
At very least, it's about 1000 times better - entertaining, essence-capturing - than Sid and Nancy.
(Very much regret not having bought the odd little Swindle novelisation, put out in newspaper-like format, by Michael Moorcock.)