DANCE MOTHERFUCKER DANCE

There are some pieces of music which I can’t ever listen to without recalling an image or images from a live TV performance going through my head. Some examples include:-

The Police performing Can’t Stand Losing You on The Old Grey Whistle Test when Sting twitched his way through the song as the sweat from his forehead went into his eyes which had already been inflamed from an exploding can of hairspray (which is why he was wearing large and hideous sunglasses)

The Associates not taking Top of The Pops seriously as Alan Rankine broke off bits of a full-size chocolate guitar and gave it away to members of the audience as Billy Mackenzie tried not to corpse as he mimed to 18 Carat Love Affair

The Redskins introducing a striking miner live on The Tube as they played the intro to Keep On Keepin’ On, not realising that, by some strange quirk of fate the mic that the miner was speaking into wasn’t working and the millions of viewers didn’t hear a word

The Smiths on Top of The Pops for William It Was Really NothingJohnny had Elvis Costello‘s guitar and the frontman stripped off mid-song.

The Smiths (again) on Whistle Test, making a return to our screens after a long absence and unveiling Bigmouth Strikes Again

Radiohead on Later offering up the first ever rendition of Paranoid Android

There are also some songs which I can’t listen to without picturing the promo video, with this being a prime example:-

mp3 : Fatboy Slim – Praise You

It’s frightening to realise we are fast approaching the 20th anniversary of this wonderful piece of film making.

And to think that it sort of came about by accident.

Norman Cook had wanted Spike Jonze to come up with a concept and direct a video for The Rockafeller Skank but the filmmaker hadn’t been able to find the time. As a way of saying sorry, Jonze sent Cook a video of him goofing around to Skank which led to them hatching the idea for the follow-up single.

The fictional Torrance Community Dance Group, led by Jonze, turned up without any permission at all with the intention of performing an outlandish dance to Praise You outside a cinema in Los Angeles as patrons queued up to get in, with the whole thing captured on film. It was an era when flash-mobbing events of this type were incredibly rare and part of the fun comes from watching the bemused and befuddled reaction of the cinema goers. It’s also worth recalling that nobody in the queue would have known anything about the song as it hadn’t yet been released when the promo was shot.

By the time the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards came around the song had reached #1 in the UK and provided a breakthrough for Fatboy Slim in the USA. The video took home three prizes – Breakthrough Video, Best Direction and Best Choreography, every one of them fully deserved.

Here’s the two other tracks which came with the single:-

mp3 : Fatboy Slim – Sho Nuff
mp3 : Fatboy Slim – The Rockafeller Skank (Mulder’s Urban Takeover Mix)

And here’s the song which was sampled for the single:-

mp3 : Camile Yarbrough – Take Yo’Praise

JC

4 thoughts on “DANCE MOTHERFUCKER DANCE

  1. A random selection of similarly linked music/visual moments spring to my mind. Leo Sayer performing ‘The Show Must Go On’ on TOTP in 1973 dressed as a pierrot clown. The inspired Busby Berkeley clip used when OGWT played Led Zeppelin’s ‘Trampled Under Foot’ in 1975. Magazine’s extraordinary TOTP performance of ‘Shot By Both Sides’ in 1978 and Siouxsie & the Banshees playing ‘Hong Kong Garden’ on Revolver the same year.

  2. There are lots of memories that spring to mind: Billy Mackenzie’s shy little smile on TOTP as he looked up and saw himself on a studio monitor is priceless, Annie Nightingale talking into the camera on OGWT while The Damned are being themselves behind her, and the John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett appearance on OGWT with ‘Really Free’ all have those images vividly printed in my mind.

  3. Here are my American TV musical memories – The Clash performing Clampdown, Train In Vain, Guns Of Brixton and London Calling. I kicked my family out of the living room and my 5 best friends and I went wild… Elvis Costello and The Attractions starting to play Less Than Zero on Saturday Night Live and stopping then racing into Radio Radio – it got EC banned from the show for decades…Gary Numan on Saturday Night Live playing Cars and Praying To The Aliens…game changing for me.

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