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London Calling The Untold Story Of British Pop Music 

London Calling The Untold Story Of British Pop Music  Concert Films

  • Episode 1: Fuck Art Let's Dance

    London Calling The Untold Story Of British Pop Music 

    Year: 2012

    Runtime: 53 min

    "Fuck art let's dance!" proclaimed the famous slogan on a post-punk T-shirt, expressing the rebellious musical spirit that thrived in art colleges at the time. Ironically it was precisely this spirit that had led to British art colleges contributing to pop music culture on a scale unmatched elsewhere. The new role of art schools as a social melting pot in the 1960s, and their policy that everyone had to study a broad-based arts curriculum before being allowed to specialise, resulted in a new cultural playground where musical passions and fresh ideas flourished. Every British pop band contained at least one art school graduate and many, from Roxy Music and Wire to Franz Ferdinand, formed entirely at art school. Pete Townshend's legendary Union Jack jacket - often misinterpreted as patriotism - was a pure pop art statement, deconstructing the national flag as fashion, and the band's clever conceptual collection The Who Sell Out was the result of manager Kit Lambert "encouraging my art school ambitions". Even scruffy rebels like The Sex Pistols owed their aesthetic to art college graduates Malcolm McLaren and Jamie Reid's love of the Situationist and Dadaist movements, and every band that hadn't met at art college boasted an art college graduate, or found itself steered, styled, sloganised, photographed and reported on by their like. This opening episode examines the reasons behind this phenomenon, and asks if this uniquely British impulse has run its course.
     
     
  • Episode 2: Every Picture Tells A Story

    London Calling The Untold Story Of British Pop Music 

    Year: 2012

    Runtime: 53 min

    From the memorable fury of The Clash's London Calling cover to the retro rural traditionalism of the Kinks' Village Green Preservation Society, the cosmic psychedelia of Pink Floyd and the grainy monochrome existential gloom of Joy Division to the colourful androgyny of Bowie and Annie Lennox, image has played a huge part in shaping the success of British pop over the years. In this episode we investigate photography's role in capturing rock's majesty and mystery frozen in time, hear about the lengths people went to in order to create those moments and how those images and album sleeves defined the times. We follow one of today's star snappers at work and investigate the ever-expanding role played by photography in rock's mythology with some legends of the genre.
     
     
  • Episode 3: You Wear It Well

    London Calling The Untold Story Of British Pop Music 

    Year: 2012

    Runtime: 52 min

    In the late 60s the album, formerly just a collection of singles, established itself as the ultimate musical statement, and an album sleeve art culture was born that forsook obvious band photos for graphical invention and far more ambitious visual pastures. We open this episode with the story of the fashions that accompanied British pop and the people who had the look. No other country's musicians share even a fraction of the image-fixation that has always characterised the best British pop. From The Beatles' moptop hairdos to the punks' Mohicans, the grey shirts of Joy Division to the tunic and feathers of Adam Ant, the androgynous glitz of glam rock to the Jewish Rastafarian chic of Culture Club, the sharp lines of Mod to the dungarees of acid house, Anthony Price suits to the gypsy romance of Dexy's Midnight Runners and beyond, British music always comes packaged with an ingeniously constructed image. We follow this with the story of successive waves of pioneering British album art, from the sensual psychedelia of Nigel Waymouth and Hapshash in the 60s, to the domination of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis in the 70s, with their elaborate surrealist imagery and visual puns, to the situationist shock tactics of Jamie Reid and punk, the industrial minimalism and fresh fonts of Peter Saville, Malcolm Garrett and the Manchester connection, and on to the appropriately anonymous, computer generated flyers of the rave age. This is the story of how British pop captured the world's heart through its eyes.
     
     
  • Episode 4: Master of Puppets

    London Calling The Untold Story Of British Pop Music 

    Year: 2012

    Runtime: 52 min

    Britain's rock managers, with their largely theatrical background, were flamboyant in a way that baffled their secretive American counterparts. But, as they blundered and bludgeoned their way across the world's stages, these flashy impresarios ended up defining many of the rules of the modern music business. A rich post-war palette of gangsters, impresarios and Jewish homosexuals, these people were pioneers, they learning by their mistakes - like the disastrous Beatles merchandising deal that Brian Epstein struck - but without the belief, stubbornness and casual violence of Peter Grant, who upgraded the artist/promoter profit split on Led Zeppelin's 1972 tour from 50/50 to 90/10, every act touring America (including the homegrown ones) would be making a fraction of the money they now do from ticket sales. The amazing tales of ingenuity, visionary marketing and pure gangsterism are legion, and the influence these people have had on the culture remains, to the average music fan, an untold story. In this episode we reveal the truth about the real star makers of the music industry, with expert witnesses including notorious rock managers Andrew Loog Oldham, Simon Napier-Bell and Miles Copeland, as well as legendary rock critic Jon Savage.
     
     

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