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
Ed Stewart – A Tribute
Wednesday, 22.00, BBC Radio 2
Sadly, Stewpot’s death has been rather overshadowed by the death of one of his Radio 2 colleagues, but it was still a hell of a shock when he died the other week, not least because he was on air as recently as Christmas Day. A generation certainly grew up with Ed, though, kicking off the weekend with him on Crackerjack, waking up with him the next morning on Junior Choice and reading his column in Look-In. His career had some ups and downs, not least when he was phoned up by the Mirror to ask how he felt about being sacked from Crackerjack and when he said that was the first he’d heard of it, the journalist passed the phone over to Robin Nash who’d just told him. But he was one of the biggest DJs in the golden days of the pirates, with Noel considering him a mentor, and he’s among those wishing him a fond byeeeeeee.
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Points of View
- In 'Potty Time, Michael Bentine’s', Scott McPhee says: "The obligatory Christmas episode. Jingle Bells parody; “Oh what fun it is to ride in a super sonic sleigh.”"
- In 'Play School', George White says: "Yes, that’s right, he is. Australia is a small world."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard Davies says: "It sounds like it’s worth writing a feature on the rise of stand-up comedy over the last 20 or so years."
- In 'Play School', David Smith says: "Don Spencer is also, in one of my favourite pieces of telly trivia, Russell Crowe’s father-in-law."
- In 'Play School', George White says: "Don Spencer is “Australia’s No 1 Children’s Entertainer” A. Because he took permanent residence in Australia. B. He’s..."