Funny how advertising can alter the associations of a song forever. The Stylistics’ You Make Me Feel Brand New, a keening tract of close harmony disco schmaltz from 1974, should by rights conjure up images of the last couple dancing on a rapidly-clearing disco floor at the end of the evening, glitter balls going slowly out of focus, lonely men in polo shirts dejectedly draining the last of their lukewarm pint, and other provincial night out cliches of a certain vintage. Instead it stands for a blonde housewife flapping a white cotton sheet around an overlit bedroom, and a baby drooling mashed banana onto its bib. This misattribution is all the fault of Bio-Tex, ‘the only specialist soaker and pre-washer’, and its long-running ad campaign which famously identified, in the forthright manner of the ancient Greek philosophers, the four basic elements of dirt as blood, sweat, gravy and egg. Precisely what reasoning led to the isolation of this seemigly random quartet we’d have loved to know, but no working was ever shown.
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
When Pop Went Epic – The Crazy World Of The Concept Album
Friday, 22.00, BBC4
Hard to imagine anything in pop history easier to ridicule these days than the seventies concept album, and indeed many of the people who made them are now happy to laugh at the excesses of the whole business, but you can’t fault their ambition in trying to cram as many ideas as they could into just twelve inches of vinyl. Rick Wakeman made a couple and he’s the perfect host to take this fond look back at the golden age of the LP, which really did veer from the sublime to the ridiculous.
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Points of View
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