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Re: Ian Brown to support LG at Finsbury park

November 10 2017 at 6:27 PM

pumpo  (Login pumpo)

Response to Re: Ian Brown to support LG at Finsbury park

The 80s thing? Definitely.

On the other hand, it's a double edged sword in some ways. I don't know if you were around in the 80s because the nostalgic view that the media puts out of certain eras tends to be fairly selective.

(The early 90s view of the 1970s was all about disco fashion being allowed back into TopMan and TopShop and Spangles. By the late 90s, people were holding up Public Information films and the grim, miserable reality being shoved in kids' faces - Watership Down, The Water Babies, stuff like that that parents now complain about upsetting their kids if it's on telly now.) What I'm saying is that nostalgia tends to have an agenda.

Take the early 1980s view of the 1960s. The late sixties were pretty much dismissed as "hippy shit". I remember a popular question to ask pop stars was, "Would you wear flares if they came back?" And everyone said "No,". Hence The Roses' flares being a really big deal at the time. I recall wearing a pair of chocolate brown elephant cord parallels in town one afternoon, crossing the road and some kids in a car who were stopped at the crossing shouting, "That kid's got fucking flares on!" Not aggressively, or mocking, so much as being totally astonished that such a thing happening in front of them. It was a really big deal. I know it sounds daft, but England (at least) was a very different place then.

The late fifties - early sixties were very much in vogue in the early 80s. Even in terms of The Beatles, the early mop top stuff was played on the radio and the telly, but there was - as far as I could ascertain at the time - a general perception that they went all weird after about 'Help!'. Girl groups were seen as being alright, too. I'm talking about the relative mainstream here. (The American Paisley Underground thing did spawn a few more psychedelically influenced bands in the mid 80s - XTC doing The Dukes of Stratosphear, for starters. Probably Sgt Pepper coming out on cd in 1987 for the first time saw a big shift towards a reappraisal of psychedelia in the mainstream).

The Cathy Come Home, black and white kitchen sink misery thing saw a big revival in the early - mid 80s - which was the start of The Smiths. Was the misery provided by Thatcher? To a fairly large extent, yes. Cathy Come Home, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and the Shelagh Delaney stuff had been a big thing and people wanted it fixed. By the 80s, it was very much a situation which a lot of people experienced, tragically, given Ken Loach and the rest holding up a mirror to the country, showing what happened to young people in poverty a couple of decades earlier.

To be honest, black and white was a big thing in general - have a look at a lot of pop videos from the 1980s - that overexposed monochrome look was everywhere. Every Breath You Take by The Police; Wonderful Life by Black and about a million more.

Also, you could get James Dean t shirts in Debenhams, t shirts with old Russian graphics on them were quite popular. This is what normal people bought. It wasn't an underground thing you had to look around for. Lots of black and white stuff was still on telly. The 80s TV wasn't all about Noel Edmonds and Swap Shop, mainly it was repeats on the telly. I watched exactly the same kids programmes as my Mam and Dad had gone to the pictures to see when they were kids. Flash Gordon serials, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy. That was the holiday telly. That and Elvis films. There was new telly, but not a lot of it.

What I'm getting at was that The Smiths - to an extent - hit a lot of notes that rang in harmony with the zeitgeist of the time.

I think Johnny Marr left not entirely because he was sick of Moz (although I think that'd be good enough reason by itself) I think he saw that the landscape was changing and the late sixties were being revived as the decade wore on.

I did love Moz, but psychedelic he ain't. The Smiths could hardly have continued without being entirely anachronistic.

Even The Roses caught the arse end of the shit 80s sound. Chorus pedals on the guitars put your music firmly in a certain era - From about the time of The Police up to about The Roses, taking in plenty of goth.

Crappy as The Seahorses were, at least Squire used a Leslie speaker instead of a chorus pedal.

The Smiths following is a bit of a cult. Moz's voice puts a lot of people off and I can dig that. He's also been a total dickwad for years and years. Marr's not done anything I've particularly enjoyed since the early 90s. Nothing to get excited about, anyway. But The Smiths represent something very specific and The Roses don't. Maybe that's good or maybe it's bad.

If you meet some angsty youths of any era, The Smiths are likely to appeal. A bit like Catcher In The Rye. Fucking ace when you're a teenager, not so much when you're older. The Roses aren't mired in teenage angst and probably have a bit more universal appeal, in terms of not having such rough edges as Moz's voice and lyrics.

The Smiths were monochrome - look at the sleeves. The Roses were technicolour - the sleeves are a bit of an obvious contrast to The Smiths, aren't they?

Colour seems better in general, but some things are best in monochrome.

I like both, personally.

This message has been edited by pumpo on Nov 10, 2017 6:49 PM

 Respond to this message   

  1. Marr - OPP on Nov 10, 2017, 7:06 PM
    1. Re: Marr - pumpo on Nov 10, 2017, 7:21 PM
      1. Re: Marr - cheekymonkey on Nov 10, 2017, 10:12 PM
        1. Re: Marr - Jim on Nov 11, 2017, 11:18 AM
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