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:
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:
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:
- Freak like me
- Round Round
- Too Lost In You (this was one of the main tracks in the film Love Actually)
- Shape (ft Sting)
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? 🙂