Flexipop was a unique contributor to the 80’s glossy music press. A magazine competitor to Smash Hits, it had interviews, photo stories, full page pictures etc – but they also had a cover mounted flexidisc for each issue. Issue 1 came with The Selector on the disc, issue 2 had The Jam and issue 3 had The Boomtown Rats. As you can see, they aimed high, and the fact they managed to attract so much talent to record special one-off tracks ensures it has a special place in British Pop History. By issue 4, they had Adam & The Ants, approaching the peak of their massive commercial success, recording a special version of Village People’s ‘Y.M.C.A’, entitled ‘A.N.T.S’.
Here is a selection of covers – and for complete scans of issues of flexipop, try here;
(all following images courtesy of http://musicmags70s80s.blogspot.com/)
above image courtesy of http://thefootballattic.blogspot.com/2011/11/panini-europa-80.html
image courtesy of http://www.todocoleccion.net/euro-88-editorial-panini-completo~x20050831
‘Dance Craze’ was a documentary film capturing the 2 Tone phenomena at its peak, and comprised of live concert footage of the main bands of the movement. .
Here is the first part of the documentary;
Also, to accompany the film, a soundtrack was released, comprising many of the songs played in the film. The album contains 15 tracks, as opposed to the films 27 tracks. Notable absentees from the soundtrack include ‘On My Radio’ (a chart hit for The Selector) and ‘The Prince’ (the first single from Madness).
The soundtrack album listing was as follows;
“Concrete Jungle” – The Specials
“Mirror In The Bathroom” – The Beat
“Lip Up Fatty” – Bad Manners
“Razor Blade Alley” – Madness
“Three Minute Hero” – The Selecter
“Easy Life” – The Bodysnatchers
“Big Shot” – The Beat
“One Step Beyond” – Madness
“Ranking Full Stop” – The Beat
“Man At C&A” – The Specials
“Missing Words” – The Selecter
“Inner London Violence” – Bad Manners
“Night Boat To Cairo” – Madness
“Too Much Pressure” – The Selecter
“Nite Klub” – The Specials
The album chart statistics for ‘Dance Craze’ are below, courtesy of http://www.chartstats.com;
Artist: Original Soundtrack
Title: Dance Craze
Entered chart on 14/02/1981 at #7
Most recent chart entry on 23/05/1981 at #61
Chart Appearances: 15
Highest Position: 5
THE BOYS #69
32 pages FC • $3.99 • Mature
Written by GARTH ENNIS
Art by RUSS BRAUN
Covers by DARICK ROBERTSON
The third bad day: as Hughie reels from the events of last issue, the trail leads him to the home of an old adversary thought long dead. Butcher gets in touch with a few details no one’s yet considered, and Frenchie gives our hero a brutally honest rundown on his chances- before a lethal attack at the heart of the Boys’ operation shatters the status quo forever. Hughie finally discovers exactly what he’s doing, in part four of The Bloody Doors Off.
3 issues till the end!!!
We have reached a point in The Walking Dead where Rick’s decisions are leading the main cast of characters into uncharted territory. If the turning point for these people was ‘Fear The Hunters’, where they turned the tables on a group of Survivalists with a taste for Human flesh, then the journey from survivors to aggressors is now complete. In ‘Something to Fear’, they meet force with force. In a quick and brutal mid-section, issue #97 is a game-changer. After confronting and eliminating a small group of ‘Negan’ foot-soldiers, there is no way back from a confrontation, unless ‘Negan’ acquiesces to the demands Rick is setting out. Rick has been through so much, and at this point in the story he is a man desperate; desperate for hope, desperate to keep his son and by extension those he keeps closest to him alive. He is desperate for the working relationship with the Hilltop Community, which will probably guarantee some measure of safety and comfort for his own community. He is desperate enough to take on the unknown threat of Negan. But a desperate man can make bad decisions, and this issue seems to pulse with the threat of violence and death.
And then there is Eugene.
Eugene, largely forgotten over the last couple of years, comes back into focus, teasing and cajoling Abraham into a mission outside of the walled community, for ammunition supplies. You get the sense there is more to this. Is the real motive to get Abraham away from the safety of the community? And to what ends? It is clear Eugene has feelings for Rosita that are not reciprocated, and the weight of her past relationship with Abraham is maybe too much of a burden for Eugene. By the end of the issue, there is probably a lot more for Eugene to worry about, in a great cliffhanger, promising some unpleasant consequences in issue 98.
One throwaway moment towards the end was the appearance of a zombie in advanced stages of decay. I am sure this will be revisited in the future, but what is its significance? An indication that the undead do eventually decay to the point that there threat is negated? That the undead do have a limited ‘life’ span?
Lots of action, some plot development (Maggie pregnant – probably not a good portent for her or Glenn), and a fantastic cliffhanger. Some great splash pages from Adlard, although some of the smaller panels felt rushed (but considering the time constraints he is working under, his consistency is amazing). All in all, this is The Walking Dead back to its best. ‘Something to Fear’ is promising to be a real event. I really hope its promise is fulfilled.
(image courtesy of http://retrobrothers.hubpages.com/hub/Astro-Blaster)
The phenomena of the early handheld gaming devices is easy enough to understand. Arcades, and their arcade machines, were our portal into a multitude of exciting, futuristic worlds and scenarios. Any device that could even try to capture the essence of the thrill of the arcade, and bring it to the home, was an attractive proposition. If the handheld devices build design was a miniature facsimile of the arcade cabinet, all the better.
Cast in bright red plastic, Astro Blaster, which was a Scramble clone, was a great example of table top gaming. In 1982, this was as good as it got for arcade home gaming. It gave me hours of challenge.Not only was it a fair representation of the game it emulated, but its build and presentation gave a great overall package. And it had settings for Pro (Professional) and Am (for amateur), to increase the longevity.
Addictive, with multiple stages of gaming, giving variety and challenge, it remains a fond memory and earns a deserved place in my Gaming Timeline.