From one space rocker to another. French band Les Rockets cover Sweden’s The Spotniks’ “Last Space Train,” keeping it all in the cosmic family. The track appeared on Les Rockets self-titled debut album released in 1976.
Versions of this clip have floated around YouTube for a while, but this one is of exceptional quality.
In my post about Rockets the other day, I mentioned the Italian TV program Stryx. Here’s some more bizarro music performance clips from the show, in its own particular late 70s batshit/fierce style. They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore! According to Wikipedia:
Stryx thematically referred to Hell, devils and underworld. The scenography featured elements resembling Middle Ages-like gloomy castles and caves… The show caused many controversies in more conservative societies, mainly because of its devilish theme and referring to underworld as well as exposing nudity. Due to numerous protests the show was taken off the broadcast and the production of following episodes was cancelled.
So in these videos, all of which are worth watching, we get two huge gay disco icons in the one clip (Amanda Lear & Grace Jones), Patty Pravo giving Gaga a run for her Illuminati wage packet, Mia Martini getting burnt at the stake in a fabulous glittery dress, and some more of those amazing Rockets. My favourite clip is Gal Costa performing “Relance” - it’s quite subdued for Stryx (apart from the dozen or so extras who are lying still at the front of the stage) but is carried by Costa’s no bullshit performance and the incredible gypsy funk of the track itself. But first let’s start with Grace and Amanda:
Grace Jones (introduced by Amanda Lear) - Fame
After the jump, more Grace Jones, Amanda Lear, Patty Pravo, Gal Costa, Mia Martini and Rockets…
Here’s a great clip of the French space/rock/sci-fi/disco outfit Rockets performing their biggest hit, a cover of Canned Heat’s “On The Road Again” on the Italian TV show Stryx in 1978. Rockets combined the electronic pulse of Eurodisco with the driving power of classic 70’s rock. Terry Miller, author of the blog post quoted below, sums Rockets up perfectly: “Imagine Gino Soccio mixed with ZZ Top. Interstellar Rock!” It’s camp and fun, if not a little scary due to the matching bald-heads-and silver-skin look, and just how seriously they are taking it.
Like Giorgio Moroder, Rockets had been around for quite a while before finding international success on the first wave of European disco in the late Seventies, even managing to sign to the hallowed Salsoul Records in the States for one album . Although it’s fair to say they were a novelty act, that didn’t stop them from having some seriously bitchin’ tunes. Their front man Zeus B Held went on to produce a number of well known European acts in the 80s, including Nina Hagen and Gina X Performance. From The Stranger’s Line Out blog (by Miller):
In 1972 producer Claude Lemoine produced a single called Future Woman for a band called Crystal. With the single’s poularity the band decided to change it’s name and look, so in 1974 they became The Rocket Men (or Rocketters in France). They shaved their heads, wore matching “space age” outfits and painted themselves with silver make-up. They didn’t quite have the formula right though, unitl 1976 when they changed their name to Rockets. They did a dancier, spacier remake of thier hit Future Woman which brought them, once again, popularity throughout Europe. It didn’t hurt that their live shows were full of lasers, smoke, exploding cannons of fire and a tripped out light show.
I’ll be posting more from Stryx in the near future, but unfortunately most of the footage does not look or sound as clear as this clip.
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