Music on Film & TV

Big Beat, The (1958)

Fresh out of college, John Randall (William Reynolds) tries to persuade his father into releasing rock and roll along with the other lame records he already produces. Dad relents and gives the kid a subsidiary company to be overseen by his A&R man. It's pure nonsense from then on as Reynolds almost blows the whole(...)

Blues Brothers, The (1980)

Blues Brothers, The (1980)

Universal were so confident in The Blues Brothers that they poured a record $27 million into the movie. One scene alone called for six camera crews, five fire engines, three army tanks, two helicopters and 300 extras . . . Released in the same month as Fame, the film was released to lousy reviews. No matter - it grossed(...)

Born To Boogie (1973)

Born To Boogie was, first and last, a celebration of the phenomenon of Marc Bolan. There was no plot, no message, no subliminal undertone; it was simply a huge self-congratulatory pat on the back for Bolan, being for the most part a simple account of a T. Rex concert at Wembley Empire Pool. There was(...)

Breaking Glass (1980)

Singer Kate (Hazel O'Connor) claws her way into the charts, with help from spiv manager Danny (Phil Daniels), only to find the glitter tarnished and the pressures of fame unbearable. Efficiently directed by Brian Gibson, this hopelessly dated musical is completely formulaic on the rags-to-riches front, yet intriguing from a New Wave nostalgia perspective. O'Connor, who wrote(...)

Buddy Holly Story, The (1978)

A first-rate, realistic film biography of Buddy Holly - the talented rockabilly composer-musician who introduced such 1950s hits as That'll Be The Day and Peggy Sue. Lanky, toothsome Busey, in the title role, lights up the screen with his energetic musical and dramatic performance. The story follows Holly's career beginning as a roller rink musician in Texas to(...)

Can’t Stop The Music (1980)

Can't Stop the Music was made by Allan Carr, who was also responsible for the mega-musical Grease (1978), as a vehicle for the promotion of the Village People. It's a vibrant and uplifting musical . . . and probably the longest and most expensive television commercial ever made. Idolised and applauded by children and adults of every age,(...)

Catch Us If You Can (1965)

Hoping to cash in on the success of A Hard Day's Night (1964), producer David Deutsch hired first-timer John Boorman - who later directed Deliverance (1972) - to bang out a quick pop confection starring Britain’s hugely successful Dave Clark Five. Instead, Boorman delivered this provocative film about the pressures of pop stardom, where drummer Clark plays TV stuntman Steve,(...)

Charlie Is My Darling (1966)

Charlie Is My Darling (1966)

Charlie Is My Darling follows two days in the life of The Rolling Stones during their tour of Ireland in 1965 Three months before shooting the tour, director Peter Whitehead captured a strange union of stillness and chaos in Beat poet documentary Wholly Communion. His cameras capture a similar magnetic tension here: on-stage they're battered by the band's pugilistic R&B,(...)

Cheggers Plays Pop

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1 9 6 8 - 1 9 7 5 (UK) Cilla Black got a surprise when she set out to film street interviews for her 1968 BBC TV show Cilla. Most people didn't recognise her. The idea was for Cilla to pop up in places like petrol stations and supermarkets to ask for requests to sing on the(...)

Cliff Richard Show, The

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Colour Me Pop

1 9 6 8 - 1 9 7 0 (UK) The first BBC2 pop series, Colour Me Pop aired between 1968 and 1970 and was followed up by Disco 2 which ran from January 1970 to September 1971 - until it, in turn, was replaced by The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Cool For Cats

1 9 5 6 - 1 9 5 7 (UK) 31 December 1956 heralded the arrival of British television's first pop music programme, Cool For Cats. Billed variously as 'a disc programme for Squares' and 'a Square disc programme', the show featured dancers performing to popular records of the day. The programme budget was only £200 per(...)


1 9 7 4 - 1 9 8 7 (Australia) When Countdown first went to air in November 1974 it began a path that would take Australian music fans from the innocent utopia of the 60s to the consumerism of the 80s via the wonderfully lavish and visual 70s. Before Countdown there was no truly national TV programme for Australian(...)

Dance Craze (1981)

Concert footage of the multi-racial 2-Tone bands, including The Beat, Madness, The Bodysnatchers, Bad Manners, The Selecter and The Specials. Director Joe Massot

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