It all started with a conversation on Twitter. Actually it was more of a musing. And it wasn’t my idea either. No, it was music writer Pete Paphides who proclaimed suddenly:
Pete then sent out a bunch of links of some pretty fab vintage clips of music on TV that ten years ago would have been impossibly out of reach.
I am of the generation that knows what it means to lie on one’s belly in front of the TV loading a video in the recorder, then picking up the “remote” control – which was connected to the video player with a cable – with finger on the pause/record button having waited all night for a video clip to be played at 2am. If you missed your cue, you would never be able to see the clip again.
No catch up TV.
No Sky plus.
Aside from being able to re-write the theme tune of Only Fools and Horses with those words, there was very little entertainment back in the eighties. You had to be very patient if you wanted to see the bands you liked on TV.
Back to Pete’s tweet.
That’s not a bad idea I thought (the video clips, not the theme tune re-write).
YouTube is still something I am getting grips with. The trouble is, watching stuff on a tablet when your loved ones are in the same room as you raises modern etiquette dilemmas.
When the producers of The Missing were expensively dialing up the desperate tension and sense of dread to entertain their viewers, the one thing they didn’t foresee is that their audience might have a loved one next to them playing an old clip of Herman and the Hermits on an iPad’s tinny speakers.
It’s hard to focus on, say, The Inner Angst of Poldark when, in the corner of your eye, there’s a sixties icon with teeth that could chew an orange through a tennis racket belting out cheerful numbers like “I’m Into Something Good”.
Fortunately, I have worked out that my Smart TV (oh yes. Smart. TV. Check. Me. Out.) can play these things, albeit I’m still enough of a techno-idiot to find the prospect of flicking between Twitter links and YouTube more frightening than seeing Robert Smith without make up.
Therefore a solution was required. If remedied, I could watch these clips all together and it would be like the greatest episode of Top of the Pops ever. One with all killer, no filler. One where The Goombay Dance Band don’t appear, and there’s no sign of ridiculous dancing by females wearing too little clothing to Sham 69. A playlist of YouTube clips of sometimes obscure artists singing great songs, or established artists singing different versions of great songs, or in one case Cher and David Bowie camping it up with a medley of songs, and all in one place with no faffery.
It’s also one where if you happen to know of a clip that is both ace, and not obvious, you can add it to the list. Yes, you.
And even you too.
Here’s the playlist.
If you have a favourite ace, but not obvious clip, then please add it yourself, or post a link below.
There’s some great music here, in particular a psychedelic single by Sharon Tandy called “Hold On” which is extraordinary. There’s early Kraftwerk, and… well I won’t spoil it, because part of the joy of watching this theoretical “Greatest Episode of Top of the Pops, Ever” is that, just like the real thing, you never know what you’ll see next.
I just promise you won’t see the Goombay Dance Band or Legs & Co…