Monday, March 29, 2010

The Platters That Matter


It's post 800! Isn't it time someone published this in book form? It would be perfect for reading on the loo. Then you could wipe your arse with it afterwards.

Anyway, last blogging day for me for a while because I'm off to Berlin where Mrs F-C and I shall be labouring under the illusion we're Paul Newman and Julie Andrews in Torn Curtain, hoping very much the reality will not be more like Christiane F.

But before I go, I must talk about The Golden Oldie Picture Show. Over the weekend, I heard The Walker Brothers' classic The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore on my favourite driving around town radio show, Dale Wintons' Pick Of The Pops. It's a song that bored me rigid for years until I saw the accompanying video on the GOPS and suddenly it all made sense. It's post-apocalyptic! Of course it's not about that at all, but it might as well be.

Remember that show? Come the mid-Eighties and the video revolution was in full swing, and every song had to had to have a video. But where were the videos for some of our favourite songs from yesteryear? Why, they're on The Golden Oldie Picture Show!

Denim-clad beard Dave Lee Travis, surely the Justin Lee Collins of his day, presented about six or so songs a week, classics one and all, with a modern interpretation of their lyrics set to a little film.

I remember Stranger On The Shore being about a lost dog. I still think of that. And The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore was about people facing life after a nuclear war. Hard-hitting stuff I'm sure you'll agree, and something I think of whenever I hear that song. Well it's either that or Juliet Stevenson in tears.

I thought the show was awful, yet I usually made time for it. Mainly because I wanted to see what songs they picked and also to laugh at their interpretations. But here we are 25 years on and they stick in my mind.

Can you enlighten me as to what else I might have seen, as it's only those two I can recall.

Dankeschon!

22 comments:

Chris Hughes said...

The first one that comes to mind is Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat, which was illustrated by footage of a weedy bloke (Fred, presumably), in the back seat of a 1950s car, huggin' and a-kissin' with said Seven Little Girls.

Then there was Ha Ha Said The Clown, illustrated by slightly alarming footage of a scary clown's toy on a spring, zooming into camera during every chorus.

Ooh, what else? There was He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother, with some disabled children playing around (on a beach?). A cheapo animation of Monster Mash. Dedicated Follower Of Fashion by The Kinks with a tramp looking at dummies coming to life in a department store window.

Oh, there was one for Amoureuse by Kiki Dee, which I'm fairly certain is on YouTube.

Obviously, I watched way too much of this show.

POTP was bonkers on Saturday, wasn't it, with Dale playing both versions of Elusive Butterfly, doing his Shirley Bassey impression, and singing the guitar riff of Everyone's A Winner.

Chris Hughes said...

Here's Dave introducing that Kinks clip...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BbVH0hX9zk

Chris Hughes said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cflj9aAL_Ac

I'll stop now.

Ishouldbeworking said...

I have no recollection of this whatsoever. It sounds bizarre.

Have a great time in Berlin - do try and find the Rum Trader bar. Even if you don't like rum, it's worth it just to meet Herr Schott.

Five-Centres said...

I expect nothing less from you Chris.

And thanks ISBW. All Berlin tips and tricks most welcome.

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

There was a slightly odd one for Russ Conway's Roulette which involved knives being thrown circus-style at a woman on a big roulette wheel. And there was a pretty straightforward acting-out of Tom Jones's Delilah.

I also recall that the titular Seven Little Girls were played by the Roly Polys, and Fred was a former Mr Puniverse.

Chris Hughes said...

Right, well here's the complete list of TGOPS songs from the 1986 series onwards - the contents of the 1985 series aren't listed in the BBC archive.

I Can Hear The Grass Grow, Devil Woman, Little Willy, I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself, Scarlet O'Hara, Apeman, The Last Waltz, Lily The Pink, The Man Who Sold the World, Living Doll, Dead End Street, You're Driving Me Crazy, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, Stuck In The Middle, Candle in the wind, I Can See Clearly Now, Tired of Waiting, Donna, Hippy Hippy Shake, Always Something There to Remind Me, Elusive Butterfly, Little Things, Constantly, The Show must go on, Question, Paranoid, Kung Fu Fighting, Get It On, A Taste Of Honey, I Feel The Earth Move, After the Goldrush, My Boy Lollipop, Gasolene Alley Bred, Your Song, I'm A Boy, Giving It All Away, Sunny Afternoon, Yes Tonight Josephine, Look Thru Any Window, Love Potion, How do you do it, From the underworld, Watcha gonna do about it, Wonderful Land, World without love, Shakin all over, Hit & miss, Monster mash, I Shot The Sheriff, Amoureuse, Hitchin' A Ride, Jezebel, Petite Fleur, He ain't Heavy, Crying Game, I Like It, Radar Love, This Town Ain't Big Enough, Fings Ain't Wot They Used To Be, Isn't Life Strange, Ballroom Blitz, The Air That I Breathe, The In Crowd, Roulette, You've Got Your Troubles, Seven Drunken Nights.

Five-Centres said...

Some of those lend themselves quite readily, but Question? That I'd like to see.

Anonymous said...

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Five-Centres said...

Interesting Anon, but I don't blog about work. Is there a problem?

Mondo said...

I thought it was bizarre at the time, and a visual version of those MFP, Pickwick TOTP albums. I'm certain Nights in White Satin - made the playlist lots of wafting dancers and net curtains.

Do you remember Sing Something Simple on peak time BBC 1? Think it was around '79 and featured an easy listening collective wandering around a studio with one prop (usually a lamp-post)singing something simple

Chris Hughes said...

Here are some strands of light across a bedroom floor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9gZOl8WLPY

I really will stop now.

Bright Ambassador said...

Golden Earring's Radar Love was a police car chasing a Reliant Robin.
Bend Me Shape Me featured a trumpet that came towards the screen during the horn sections of the song.
Gasolene Alley Bred was a stop-go claymation effort a la Aardman featuring an alley cat.
Those, along with The Sun..., are the only two I remember.

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

Seven Drunken Nights was a stop-motion animation as well. And like Mondo, I also remember A Whiter Shade of Pale, which mainly involved wandering around the grounds of a country house in floaty outfits.

Five-Centres said...

I think I recall A Whiter Shade of Pale, kind of sub-Total Eclipse Of The Heart gothic romantic nonsense.

I see no Stranger On The Shore in that list though, which does make me wonder if I'm suffering from false memory syndrome.

Bright Ambassador said...

Stranger On The Shore was definitely as you described it.

Chris Hughes said...

Stranger On The Shore was definitely on it. As I said, the archive doesn't list the contents of the first series (which began on 9 January 1985, where were you etc etc).

I remember Dave used to go on about how these things were made by "some of today's top pop video directors". In retrospect, I wonder quite how "top" they actually were.

Nick Setchfield said...

Fire by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, with a young couple fleeing as a crazed arsonist set their lovely suburban home ablaze. I remember that one being rather intense.

The Who's I Can See For Miles - something about a blind boy on a bridge?

And then there was Strawberry Fields Forever, introduced by DLT in his bluntest, gruffest, we'll-have-none-of-that-psychedelic-nonsense here style. It proved to be three minutes of strawberries. In a field.

Isn't it astonishing how well we recall these? It must have been doing something right...

JM said...

There was one GOPS that featured a unique video for Imagine which was so lavishly and lovingly done I'm shocked it never seems to reappear anywhere else.

It was a series of tracking shots following a man as he walked through a door into a room, across the room and then out through another door, the shots edited together to make it seem as if he was continually walking through a never ending set of doors, the room depicting a different stage of someone's life every time he walked through it.

Gorgeous, hypnotic and the perfect visual accompaniment to the song. A world away from the rather literal interpretations the show normally aired. Amazing that you can't find it online anywhere. That I know of anyway.

John Medd said...

It was no doubt from the same stable (Flick Colby?) that brought you Pan's People cavortng to The Clash's Bank Robber on TOTP.

Nation Stole My Robots said...

Cream's "I Feel Free" had some rather fetching stop motion photography of a man and a boy viewing their city over night and day. You know, that effect where they appear to be standing still but gliding along.

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