Saturday, 21 February 2009

Roxy Music - Some Things Last Forever - At Least In Soapland...

Archie gets funky to Roxy in 1984.

Picture the scene: it's the late 1970s and Suzie Birchall and Gail Potter of Coronation Street are working at Mike Baldwin's fashion shop, The Western Front. Mike wanted teenage girls to staff the shop as he thought they would, hopefully, know what the punters were "in to".

Oddly, Gail and Suzie often used to play severely out-of-date music, like Roxy Music's early '70s stuff, in the shop. Not something I ever heard when Sue, my older cousin, dragged me around real fashion shops in the late '70s...

Picture the scene: it's the mid-1980s, the setting is Tarrant, home of the boating saga Howards' Way, and local teens, wearing very "trendy" ripped clothes are having a boogie... to early '70s Roxy Music. That never happened at any disco I attended back then! (Incidentally, they followed it by hoofing it up to mid-'80s Robert Palmer - PURLEASE!!)

Picture the scene: it's Howards' Way, a fashion shoot, and the background music is a Bryan Ferry track from the mid-1980s...

Picture the scene: it's Beckindale, December 1984, and Archie and the local teens are listening to a Roxy Music compilation LP, including early '70s groover Love Is The Drug, and 1980 sensation Midnight Hour.

Picture the scene: it's the next day at Emmerdale Farm and Jack Sugden is doing the farm accounts and listening to the radio, which just happens to be belting out Roxy Music's 1980 hit, The Same Old Scene.

Picture the scene, it's Tarrant again...

I won't go on. But Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry tracks seemed to crop up an awful lot in our '70s and '80s serials. Much as I love the group and Mr F, and aware as I am that the group and Bryan Ferry as a solo artist had chart hits from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s, they seemed to crop up more than was natural, particularly when it came to scenes involving teenagers - who might more realistically have been listening to The Fall or the latest synth epic.

I know there were copyright issues and Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s did make an effort to be modern, including snatches of Party Fears Two, Like To Get To Know You Well, various Sade hits, and Relax. I suppose Roxy/Bryan Ferry must have had an arrangement with UK telly producers which made their music an attractive proposition, but the band's back catalogue cropping up in two separate scenarios in one episode of Emmerdale Farm in 1984 did seem to be straining credibility more than a little!

"Ooh, Jack, not this bunch again - let's switch it off!"


  1. Joanna T13.3.09

    A lot of soapie teens in the 1980s were far too old to be playing teens and out of touch with what teens were into. So were the scriptwriters and producers!

  2. Pippa19.9.09

    With those fogey so-called teens, it wasn't surprising that they liked fogey music! Archie was OK - weird anyway, a great character, and the actor was born in 1962 so not so far off teenage - but Ian Sharrock was five years older than Jackie, Jane Hutcheson about seven or eight years older than Sandie, and Martin Barrass about ten years older than Mike! Beckindale desperately needed some REAL teens in the early '80s!

    Sandie, Mike and Jackie were simply not convincing!