Category Archives: music video

Post Apocalypse XXVI – Toyah and Post Apocalyptic Skater Chic in ‘Rebel Run’ and ‘Love is the Law’ (1983)

Looking for all the world like she had rocked up in some Italian Post Apocalypse ‘epic’ (The New Barbarians, 2019 After the Fall of New York, Exterminators of the Year 3000 etc), this is Toyah, in 1983, promoting her single ‘Rebel Run’ and the accompanying album ‘Love is the Law’. The lyrics to ‘Rebel Run’ voicing typical preoccupations of the time, being so close to 1984, which in popular culture was indelibly linked with the titular George Orwell book of Totalitarian rule. Here is a sample of the lyrics;

Praying to the silent man A new day dawns Behind acetylene tanks A dog’s lament Wakes the new age But falls in splintered fragments Around his cage Like everyone said there’d be So much more to nineteen eighty-four Rebel run Don’t shoot your gun Rebel run Run run run Now get down And stay down You’ve gotta learn To kiss the ground 

and here is the video in all its Chromkey glory. I have no idea why she is a post apocalyptic Skater Warrior, the video sheds no further light on the matter.

The Inspiral Carpets feat. Mark E Smith ‘I Want You’ (1994)

There was oceans of dross, lots of great performances, and sometimes Top of the Pops produced something else, something to treasure. This, Mark E Smith’s one and only appearance on the UK primetime pop vessel, is a great garage rock performance from The Inspiral’s (who did some other great garage rock in their early years – check out ‘Seeds of Doubt’). But what takes this performance to stellar heights is the presence of Smith, who is a) (probably) pissed, b) clearly reading the lyrics from a piece of paper and c) (if memory servers correct)  is completely out of sync with the song The Inspiral Carpets are thrashing out.

And there’s even a bonus bit of Michael Bolton in the desert at the start of this clip, proving that those charged with sequencing the music at TOTP had a truly great sense of humour as well.

And Simon Mayo can only be described as ‘bemused’ after ‘I Want You’ collapses into itself, the air vibrating with the raw visceral performance (maybe).

On the subject of TOTP, please allow me to point you in the direction of a fantastic single purpose blog I chanced upon today. It’s all about TOTP, primarily TOTP in the 70s. It is enormous fun and written with warmth and humour and I like it very much;

Post Apocalypse XX – ‘Magnetic’ by Earth, Wind & Fire (1983)

The early to mid 1980s, was, on occasion, a fretful, threatening time. What with the tensions of the Cold War, the shadow of the Bomb, and the approach / arrival of ‘1984’ and its cultural significance, courtesy of George Orwell, these times gave rise to a strain of pop culture that only viewed the future through dusty aviator goggles. And looking through those goggles, all that lay ahead was desolation, deserts or neon-light vistas; a dystopia – a post apocalyptic future. Although these themes were expressed memorably at the movies (see Mad Max 2, Brazil), the ascent of music videos, with rising budgets to match their popularity as a medium, meant that these visions of the future could also be expressed in under 5 minutes. And that’s where Earth, Wind & Fire come in. Here is the video to ‘magnetic’, released in 1983, and a condensed look at what dystopia meant to superstars with a large budget making a music promo;
Earth Wind & Fire – Magnetic Video by PeteRock

Links!!! An Earth,Wind & Fire discography

The Boomtown Rats were a British answer to Springsteen with ‘Rat Trap’ (1978)

I dunno – maybe it’s the piano crescendos, maybe its the urban romeo and juliet despair. Whatever –  I present this song by The Boomtown Rats as the best British take on of Springsteen’s rock n’ roll poetry of the streets. It’s marvellous. It also got to No.1 and stayed there for 2 weeks in the UK top 40 in October 1978, sandwiched between Number One’s from John Travolta & Olivia Newton John’s ‘Summer Nights’ and Rod Stewart’s ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’ ……….(ffs)

A marvellous song, a great, simple tale of urban despair. Love it! Here are the lyrics if you wish to singalong (I love the fact that ‘Judy’ is down to her last 50p);

There was a lot of rockn’ going on that night
Cruising time for the young bright lights
Just down past the gasworks, by the meat factory door
The five lamp boys were coming on strong
The Saturday night city beat had already started and
The pulse of the corner boys sprang into action
And young Billy watched it all under the yellow street light
And said “tonight, of all nights, there’s gonna be a fight”

Billy don’t like it living here in this town
He says the traps have been sprung long before he was born
He says “hope bites the dust behind all the closed doors
And puss and grime ooze from its scab crusted sores
There’s screaming and crying in the high rise blocks”
It’s a rat trap, Billy, but you’re already caught
But you can make it if you wanna or you need it bad enough
You’re young and good looking and you’re acting kind of tough
Anyway, it’s Saturday night, time to see what’s going down
Put on the bright suit, Billy, head for the right side of town
It’s only 8 o’clock, but you’re already bored
You don’t know what it is, but there’s got to be more
You’d better find a way out, hey, kick down the door
It’s a rat trap and you’ve been caught

In this town, Billy says, “everybody’s tryin’ to tell you what to do”
In this town, Billy says, “everybody says you gotta follow rules”
You walk up to the traffic lights,
Switch from your left to right
You push in that button, and that button comes alight 
It tells you 
“Walk, don’t walk
Talk, don’t talk”

Hey Billy take a walk…with me
Do you want that misery
Sweethearts run free

Little Judy’s trying to watch “Top of the Pops”
But mum and dad are fighting don’t they ever stop
She takes off her coat and walks out to the street
It’s cold on that road, but it’s got that home beat
Deep down in her pockets she finds 50p
Hey, is that any way for a young girl to be
“I’m gonna get out of school, work in some factory
Work all the hours God gave me, get myself a little easy money
now, now, now”

Her mind’s made up, she walks down the road
Her hands in her pockets, coat buttoned ‘gainst the cold
She finally finds Billy down at the Italian cafe
And when he’s drunk it’s hard to understand what Billy says
But then he mumbles in his coffee and suddenly roars
“It’s a rat trap Judy, and we’ve been caught”