EXORCIST-UNDERPINNING ‘symphonic rock’ side-length shenanigans courtesy of a one-man-free-festival assortment of instruments, as dryly detailed by narrator Viv Stanshall, to the undoubted consternation of many a ‘head’ who had lulled themselves into a mellowed-out sense of false security before the spoken interlude commenced. Chart-topping knocking-himself-off-the-top-spot feat of endurance, assisted by a John Peel-instigated round of panic-buying, established Virgin Records as a viable financial concern, meaning that all of that studio tomfoolery with slightly varispeeded guitars was in a roundabout way responsible for The Sex Pistols, elusive cola drinks, globetrotting hot air balloon ridiculousness and that bloke who was harrassed by British Airways for being a ‘Virgin stooge’. Reviled for many years as the ultimate totem of hippy self-indulgence, not helped by its near-inescapability in the charity shop racks, but the inclusion of flashes of humour and dangerous hints of melody, not to mention Oldfield’s publicity-suspicious DIY-ethic proto-punk credentials, have more recently assured its elevation to the status of The Prog Rock It’s OK To Like. Not least if you’re listening to Radcliffe and Maconie on any random day.
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
These shows get their first screening on Fridays but we’re going to carry on billing them here mostly because there’s nothing else on Wednesdays. Having now seen this series, we’re pleased to report it’s great fun, with plenty of Tony Wilson’s links, and these are fantastic – whether he’s slagging off Malcolm McLaren for claiming no TV company wanted to show the Sex Pistols when apparently they’d arranged to film them twice and McLaren pulled them out at the last minute, or refusing to apologise for showing footage of a fight in the audience of a Penetration gig, because “the best rock music has always had an aggressive, violent edge” and the fighting was “no worse than you’d find in a dozen pubs within a mile of the venue”. We like the punk-inspired presentation, too, coping with the irremovable original credits on some of the clips by just scribbling their own credits over them. Well worth a look.
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Points of View
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