Saturday, December 01, 2012

Put the needle on the record

Ever wondered what happened to Stock Aitken Waterman? Me either, but you can't deny they wrote a boatload of hits. BBC 4's The Joy of the Single talks with and about them among many others in their paean to the seven-incher and its place in our youthful memories.

Slade, 10cc, Neil Sedaka, SAW, Suzi Quatro and many others join forces with Maul Poorly to eulogize the 45. All assume that it is now dead, and that we are currently forced to buy 'nothing' (i.e. an mp3) if we want music. The odd one out is Jack White, who of course is making singles and releasing singles by the dozen with Third Man Records. They don't actually ask him about that, so it sounds as though they have found a young fogey with artificial nostalgia. But we know better, don't we readers?

It's ultimately rather a lightweight program - I almost died laughing when Holly Johnson, of Frankie Goes To Hollywood fame described a record player with an autochanger in what sounded just like the words of an Area Man in an Onion interview. 'You could stack seven singles up on the Dansette record player and one would drop down and play and the next one would drop down and play - there's something amazing about that. Something mechanical yet magical.' But there's a little meat in there amongst the onions.



It's interesting that the program interviews a dozen people who can all remember the very first 7 inch they bought - and one or two who believe that the Youth of Today would be mystified by a vinyl object - but they don't actually ask any Yoots for their opinions. Jack White is probably the youngest voice on the program.

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