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
Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 01.00, BBC4
Some great stuff under this banner in recent weeks, we’re sure you’ll agree the Christmas Eve show was an absolute spectacular, with Zoo dancing to Yellow Pearl on the two-tier stage surely the enduring image of eighties Pops. We also love the idea of all the family together on Christmas Eve being confronted by the brilliantly bizarre Ant Rap. Some fantastic clips in the documentary as well, while the clip show illustrated some fine fare we’ve got coming up. Sadly we’ve already skipped our first episode of the year so there’s a lot of familiar tracks here, but on the plus side Kid’s in charge again and there’s also the ever welcome sight of XTC.
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