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American finance has finally caught up with breakdancing
February 5, 2014 4:18 AM   Subscribe

Morrissey, George Michael and radio DJ Tony Blackburn discuss the week's pop culture on a TV panel show from deep, deep, deep in 1984. Michael is unimpressed with a breakdance film. Moz is blasé about Joy Division. Blackburn dismisses vintage Atlantic Records reissues, preferring his current options in soul. Pastel color schemes and harsh opinions aplenty. (SLYT, 27 minutes, via the Guardian Tumblr)
posted by bendybendy (35 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've seen this style of British panel show parodied more often than I've seen the actual thing. Therefore I kept tittering to myself at completely random moments (that headjerk Denselow does at the beginning).

That said, all of these people are basically beyond parody.
posted by Kattullus at 4:32 AM on February 5 [5 favorites]


Bonus Everything But the Girl discussion! Tracy was just a college student when Each and Everyone came out? Did not know that. Man, I am so old.
posted by NoMich at 4:55 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]


I didn't expect myself to be interested in George Michael's opinions on Joy Division.
posted by Kattullus at 4:56 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Here's the fantastic Venceremos by Working Week featuring Tracey Thorn and Robert Wyatt you hear a brief clip from at the end. Also, Tracey Thorn's A Distant Shore, which George Michael references (via the song Plain Sailing), is brilliant.
posted by Kattullus at 5:13 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]


That was fabulous. Took me back instantly to a student bedroom, toast, cups of coffee with powdered milk, and an excited trip on Monday mornings to the record shop to see what had been released.

The clip from BREAKDANCE is phenomenally awful, and it's amazing how much accents change in 30 years.
posted by sweet mister at 5:16 AM on February 5


I believe that the assembly of 3 such different people from the music world - talking about such a diverse set of music - would have been considered so radical as to have been an accident in production at the time; maybe it was.

I have never been a fan of Tony Blackburn - but he does stand out on account of not being involved with Operation Yewtree.

The Housemartins famously described themselves as "the forth best band in Hull" (after The Gargoyles, Everything but The Girl and The Red Guitars).
posted by rongorongo at 5:20 AM on February 5


I always thought the Housemartins were flattering themselves when they said that.
posted by sweet mister at 5:22 AM on February 5


It's funny how memory work. I certainly recall George Michael and Morrisey, but it my mind they aren't contemporaries. It's jarring for me to see them both sitting there.
posted by layceepee at 5:26 AM on February 5


Moz: "I found it really quite impossible to care"

God I love that man.
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 5:27 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]


Trivia: the guitar riff at the beginning is from Don't Say That's Just For White Boys by one-hit-wonders Way of the West. (can't believe I remembered that - the pre-teen lizard brain is an extraordinary thing.)

Looking forward to watching this, thanks for posting.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 5:35 AM on February 5


Oh, Tony, you daft bugger, if you like Breakin', just wait till you see Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo!
posted by pracowity at 5:42 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I'm just going to have to leave this Adam & Joe Show clip here...
posted by Katemonkey at 6:07 AM on February 5 [4 favorites]


Moz is blasé about Joy Division.

I see these words... I just....
Oh, Morrissey.
He likes the New York Dolls. Ignore him.
posted by Mezentian at 6:38 AM on February 5


"Michael is unimpressed with a breakdance film."

The actual Breakin commentary isn't even that bad (though they incorrectly call the film "breakdance"), and they reference Wild Style and note the Rufus and Chaka Khan songs in the film and George Michael just doesn't seem to like Dickey's acting.

The film might have sucked, but like a lot of things in hip hop that aren't as authentic as many understand (Rapper's Delight), it's still a classic. Turbo's broom scene still gets referenced in hip hop. Turbo and Ozone still get referenced in hip hop. And so many of us wanted to be Boogaloo Shrimp.

I watched some white girl's shuffling videos on YouTube the other day. She's barely doing Turbo's warm up stuff and she's got a dedicated following, it's hilarious. But really something about the past few months have made me realize how bananas the 80's really were.
posted by cashman at 8:51 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


cashman: though they incorrectly call the film "breakdance"

That's what it was titled in the UK. In fact, it was called Breakdance: The Movie.

posted by Kattullus at 9:00 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]


Moz is blasé about Joy Division.

Moz' commentary on Joy Division is absolutely spot-on.

I mean - I love Joy Division, in a way. But at the same time, they're terrible; like, really just an awful, incompetent, boring band. It's endearing and I can listen to it for a good long time if I'm in the right mood. But still, Moz is right, and quite insightful, really.
posted by The World Famous at 9:11 AM on February 5


Your comment about my favorite band sucks.
posted by stargell at 9:27 AM on February 5 [9 favorites]


But still, Moz is right, and quite insightful, really.

Moz is lucky if he has the tenth of the talent, let alone the influence of Joy Division/New Order.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:22 AM on February 5


That's what it was titled in the UK. In fact, it was called Breakdance: The Movie.

Those commie bastards! 'Merica!
posted by cashman at 11:02 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


what a gem! thanks for posting
posted by iboxifoo at 11:02 AM on February 5


and george michael looks like a plump lady di
posted by iboxifoo at 11:04 AM on February 5 [4 favorites]


Moz is lucky if he has the tenth of the talent, let alone the influence of Joy Division/New Order.

I'll grant you that, with the exception of the ability to sing on key, where he just barely edges out Ian Curtis and where, in spite of Morrissey habitually singing flat, he absolutely leaves Bernard Sumner in the dust. I mean really. Sumner's fine on the records, and he's one of my favorite guitarists and songwriters, but in a live setting he can't even carry a tune.
posted by The World Famous at 11:34 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Fascinating - didn't know such programming existed. George's critique of "Breakin" is at least tempered by his admission that he only saw 15 minutes of it.

Having said that - "Breakin'" is one of the greatest movies ever made. Acting was fair - but few of the principals were "professional" actors. Music was pretty hip. Plot - eh, pretty standard fare.

But the dancing redeems EVERYTHING.
posted by davidmsc at 12:24 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


If you listen to Joy Division live recordings, you can tell that Ian Curtis's flatness was affected. Unlike Morrissey, he was only ever pointedly flat -- never sharp, never all over the map. Also unlike Morrissey, when IC wanted to strike a note he could strike it on the money.

Morrissey has to insult Joy Division whenever he feels the opportunity arises, because The Smiths's music was derivative of it and (while great), it is marked as largely a tribute to a greater band.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 12:25 PM on February 5


Huh. I don't see how The Smiths' music was derivative of Joy Division at all or how it is even remotely marked as a tribute to Joy Division.

I also don't see how you can determine from listening to live recordings that Ian Curtis' pitch problems were affectations - and it's not like I don't know live music performance. I do agree with you that Ian Curtis' vocal style was highly affected, though - which is a big part of what Moz is saying in the video, by the way.
posted by The World Famous at 1:16 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


George's critique of "Breakin" is at least tempered by his admission that he only saw 15 minutes of it.

I loved that. He also admitted he didn't finish the book about Joy Division. WTFF/RTFB, jeez!

Besides that is the beautiful irony of George "Wham!" Michael dismissing Breakin' and Footloose as pedestrian. I mean, yeah, OK, but this on the heels of "Club Tropicana."
posted by payoto at 2:13 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I'm so tempted to go back to some Joy Division tunes now, extract the vocal, autotune it, and put it back in just to see how terrible it sounds.
posted by sweet mister at 2:21 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]


Give in to that temptation, sweet mister, and post the results!
posted by Bugbread at 4:25 PM on February 5


I'm not going to try to argue the affectation thing (I personally don't think Ian Curtis could possibly be more genuine and see the idea as one of "achieving an effect" than being pretentious as "moz" sees it...but anyone with lower sights is bound to see their betters as pretentious)... but as for vocal clarity, you can really hear where Curtis is doing this in the Eindhoven recording of Love Will Tear Us Apart versus almost any other live version, particularly Lyceum '80, where he has decided to actually croon. In versions of everything, if you listen to them all, you can detect varying degrees of intention in his delivery, as opposed to lack of skill.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 5:14 PM on February 5


Now I am imagining all of these comments being said in the accents of the panelists (or maybe the toys from Katemonkey's clip)
posted by ntk at 5:29 PM on February 5


I tried doing the auto tune thing with Ian's voice but I couldn't get it clean enough. I'll try again tomorrow with Melodyne which may allow me to pull it out.
posted by sweet mister at 8:11 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I think George Michael could probably have done a passable cover of Atmosphere - but I'd have loved to have heard Ian Curtis trying Club Tropicana.
posted by rongorongo at 2:29 AM on February 6


And this brings us full circle in our critique.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 2:53 AM on February 6


Last night on ESPN, Jalen Rose said the Portland Trailblazer's Damian Lillard is to the basketball as Turbo is to the Broom.
posted by cashman at 7:20 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Morrissey was feeling particularly merciful and charitable that day.
posted by Askr at 8:49 AM on February 6


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