Those of us in the UK of a certain age will remember with fondness the early 1980s comedy series Not The Nine O’Clock News, starring the youthful Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Anderson, Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones. This became essential watching each week for its satire about British culture.

One of my favourite sketches, and one which I still quote today, prompting much eye-rolling from my family, is this one. I can’t resist the indulgence of putting it in here:

Not The Nine O’Clock News:  Gerald The Gorilla

One of the other enduring legacies, and the main reason for dredging up the memories of this show is their song and, very importantly, the accompanying video:

Not the Nine O’Clock News: Nice Video, Shame About the Song

This is a send-up of the concurrent new-romantic/synth-pop music genres that were so popular at the time, where bands tended to feature overly dramatic videos to accompany their rubbish tracks.

So why am I blathering on about all of this, apart from the excuse of a quick nostalgia trip?  It is to help me write about some more up to date pop music which I really like, but which I feel is totally spoilt by the accompanying videos.

The Sugababes are an English pop group formed in 1998, and have had various line-ups.  But despite this, they have been extremely successful, selling around 8 million records in the UK as at 2010.

I like their music because it feels like ‘grown-up’ pop. It is interesting, with curves, bumps, unexpected turns and creases, though still with good beats and vibes like pop should have.  To give you some examples, I need to post links to YouTube videos.  Be warned, they are pretty rubbish. So my tip is just to listen to the tracks and ignore the visuals – you don’t need them to enjoy the music.

Here’s a selection of some of my favourites:

Strictly speaking, the last two of these tracks are probably more R&B than pop, but hey, who’s counting.

So there you go – everything from a talking gorilla to a sassy girl band: what more could you ask for? 🙂



14 thoughts on “Nice songs, shame about the videos

  1. ‘Round Round’ is a good one. I had forgotten about this band. But I have to say, I’m a fan of Not the Nine O Clock News which I discovered when I moved to London 15 years ago. The gorilla one is one of my favorites and watching it again this morning almost made me spit my coffee out as I made the mistake of taking a sip just as I hit play and immediately started laughing! A great way to start the day though 🙂

  2. I haven’t watched music videos for the longest time, I got sick of bands playing on a stage to fans, I prefer videos that tell a story or have great visuals, the Smashing Pumpkins were great at that Tonight, Tonight and Rocket come to mind and they were forever tinkering with their songs and recreating them, it kept them interesting. I now have Stronger in my head and it will stay there for days, as long as I don’t start singing it in the bath I will let you off.

    1. Have just watched Tonight Tonight – v interesting! Stronger is a great track – you could have a lot worse things going round in your head and any kind of singing is very good for you – go for it, I say!!

    1. I had not seen it for years when I watched it to write this post – I laughed so much at the bits I could remember, and laughed even more at the bits I had forgotten. An absolute classic for us. I’m so glad you have had a chance to see it! 🙂

    1. isn’t it just. I could watch this forever. Black Adder total classic too – we all still refer to ‘cunning plans’. Tragedy about Mel Smith leaving us all too soon.

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