THE SEVENTIES; WHAT'S GOIN' ON (Prime TV documentary)

 |   |  1 min read

THE SEVENTIES; WHAT'S GOIN' ON (Prime TV documentary)

Over a decade ago Elsewhere wrote about a collection of Seventies clips from Britain rock programme The Old Grey Whistle Test and concluded that, if nothing else, it was a decade of very strange and new hairstyles from massive Afros and dreadlocks to Ziggy, glam dye-jobs and on to punk jags and Mohawks.

And every hairstyle was emblematic of a new style of music.

In some circles the Seventies were dismissed as The Decade That Taste Forgot (flared jeans a prime offender it seems) but it was also a time when the possibilities the Sixties offered flowered and took root in everything from dance music to psychedelic rock to raw blues and angry punk . . . although some of those who prepared the ground like Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison and others didn't live to see it happen.

This hour-long US doco (so it is very American with comments from The Seventies series producer Tom Hanks and so on) opens with the endings – those deaths and the end of the Beatles taking up a good six minutes with solo career footage, the Stones and such – which means the amazing diversity of the decade gets squashed early on under the hoof of Sixties artists.

The first 10 minutes tells us nothing new about solo Lennon, the Concert for Bangladesh and Exile on Main Street but you are seduced by the clips of them, and Bowie live before the first ad break.

After that things improve with Joni Mitchell and the LA singer-songwriter scene, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, the new US-UK edition of Fleetwood Mac . . .

Then black artists: the Jackson Five which allows a fold-back to Motown in the Sixties, the new Marvin Gaye and more adult Stevie Wonder (and that's your lot for them folks).

Heart somehow segues into theatrics (Alice Cooper, Earth Wind and Fire, Grand Funk Railroad and arena rock) and Led Zeppelin in their 707 (“The kind of plane thatpresident Richard Nixon has”) and rock as a business.

Springsteen then disco with Moroder and Donna, money, the Ramones and back to basics, British punk, Talking Heads, Steely Dan and so on . . .

Quite a mash-up and lots and lots of gaps or artists diminished (Brother Bob? Bolan??) in the bite-sized rotation of course.

But gosh, don't those still alive today look so young 40 years ago.

So you don't come here for much insight and explanation, but television is rarely about that, it's about pictures . . . and you certainly get those in this distilled version of a decade notable for its increasing diversity.

And hair.


The Seventies; What's Goin' On screens on Prime TV, Tuesday May 15, 8.30pm

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Film articles index

THE WHITE STRIPES; UNDER GREAT WHITE NORTHERN LIGHTS (XL CD/DVD)

THE WHITE STRIPES; UNDER GREAT WHITE NORTHERN LIGHTS (XL CD/DVD)

Since this 2007 doco was filmed of the White Stripes tour across Canada (with interesting digressions of shows done on the fly), Jack White has peeled off into other areas of interest: Dead... > Read more

YOUSSOU N'DOUR; RETURN TO GOREE, a doco by PIERRE-YVES BORGEAUD (Roadshow DVD)

YOUSSOU N'DOUR; RETURN TO GOREE, a doco by PIERRE-YVES BORGEAUD (Roadshow DVD)

Goree is the island off the coast of Senegal through which thousands of slaves passed on their way to Middle Passage and, if they survived, various parts of the "New World", notably the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS: Trip, stumble and fall

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS: Trip, stumble and fall

When we look at the cast of misfits, murderers and murder victims, oddballs and eccentrics in our articles at WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT, you'd be entitled to ask why Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Grinderman: Grinderman 2 (EMI)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Grinderman: Grinderman 2 (EMI)

Nick Cave has been very clear that Grinderman is not some side-project from the Bad Seeds, but nor is it a sort-of-solo-project-with-pals or an extension of the early Bad Seeds' darkly malevolent... > Read more