7 Inches of Pleasure: ‘The Joy of the Single’

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The first single I bought was “Snow Coach” by Russ Conway. It was at a school jumble sale, St. Cuthbert’s Primary, sometime in the late 1960s. I bought it because I loved winter, and Christmas, and the idea of traveling through some snow-covered landscape to the sound of jingling sleigh bells . I also knew my great Aunt liked Russ Conway, so if I didn’t like it….

I bought it together with a dog-eared copy of a Man from U.N.C.L.E. paperback (No. 3 “The Copenhagen Affair”). These were the very first things I had chosen and bought for myself, with a tanner (6d) and thrupenny bit (3d). I played the single from-time-to-time on my parents’ Dansette Record Player - its blue and white case and its BSR autochanger, which allowed you to play up to 7 singles one-after-another. My brother had a selection of The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks, The Who, Elvis and The Move, which he played alternating one A-side with one B-side like some junior DJ. It meant I didn’t have to buy singles, as my brother bought most of the things I wanted to hear, so I could spend my pennies on books and comics and sherbert dib-dabs. It was a musical education, and though Conway was a start, the first 45rpm single I really went out and bought was John Barry’s The Theme from ‘The Persuaders’, which I played till it crackled like pan frying oil.

As this documentary shows 45rpm singles were an important part to growing up: everyone can recall buying their first single - what it looked like, its label, its cover, the signature on the inner groove - and the specific feelings these records aroused. With interviews from Norman Cook, Suzi Quatro, Holly Johnson, Noddy Holder, Richie Hawley, Paul Morley, Jimmy Webb, Jack White, Neil Sedaka, Trevor Horn, Miranda Sawyer, Brian Wilson, The Joy of the Single is a perfect piece of retro-vision, that captures the magic, pleasure and sheer bloody delight of growing-up to the sound of 45s.
 

 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
David Lynch: ‘Ideas flow through like these beautiful little fish, and you catch them’

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David Lynch - describing the one that got away?
 
Confidence has nothing to do with David Lynch’s endless supply of ideas. He credits meditation for that. It helps his ‘ideas flow through like these beautiful little fish, and you catch them,’ as he tells Miranda Sawyer, in this interview from The Culture Show in 2011.

The interview is loosely anchored around the release of Lynch’s album Crazy Clown Time, and bobs around various subjects before fading out on Lynch’s flow of ideas.

Going by how long the likable Ms. Sawyer is on screen (compared to Lynch), this interview has been heavily edited. Perhaps because Lynch rambles? Or, is he too intelligent for BBC viewers? Or, more likely he wasn’t giving the Beeb the sound-bites they required - which is always an issue with interview packages like this.

And note also, there are no cutaways of Mr Lynch, or any shots of the great man pottering about the beautiful Idem Studio in Paris, where he was working last year. Still, these are minor quibbles, as Lynch, with his Jack-Nicholson-on-helium voice, and Stan-Laurel-grimace, is always watchable and never less than interesting.
 

 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Back to the nineties: Fabulous scans of ‘Select’ music magazine

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Fuck me but pop music hasn’t changed much in 20 years. Headlining this year’s UK festivals is the very best of what the 1990s had to offer, Radiohead, Primal Scream, Pulp, The Prodigy, The Charlatan, and even, er, U2. Okay, the Gallagher brothers are unlikely to kiss-and-make-up, but there are still rumors about a Blur reunion, which means we can party like it’s 1995.

The very thought could make a fan weak-eyed and teary-kneed for the glorious UK music mag Select, which faithfully documented the very best of music during the decade.

Select‘s dedication to Brit Pop was only part of its appeal, for what made the magazine delightful, fun and certainly essential, was the quality of its writers who penned columns, interviews and reviews in its silky pages.

Now these names read like a Who’s Who of TV and pop culture, from the darkly handsome genius of Graham Linehan, through the grumbling brilliance of wit and wisdom from David Quantick, to the ever-smiling J. B.Priestly of pop, Stuart Maconie, and let’s not forget Miranda Sawyer, Alexis Petridis, Andrew Collins, Sarra Manning, and Caitlin Moran.

To jump start the memories, some kindly soul has scanned a damn fine selection of covers and some lovely features from Select magazine “to give random flashbacks to the 90s music scene.” How cool is that? Answers on a postcard, please.

Now check the Select scans here.
 
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Previously on dangerous Minds

David Quantick: The Music Industry Hates You


 
More groovy covers, after the jump…
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion