Page 15 of Cheeky Weekly, 9th August, 1979.
As Christmas approaches, TWLB is casting its eye over that Christmas instituition – the Annual. From 1969 to 1984, we will be looking at some of the best examples of Annual cover design, and how tastes and fashions changed through the years. Some Annuals are evergreens (like the Dr Who series), while others are around for one year, never to return….
All Annual images are courtesy of the marvellous tonystrading site – go there for an exhaustive covers gallery;
Meet Def G, Lady Rockski and MC Sonix (aka Chris to his mum), as they gave a British perspective on the state of Hip-Hop in 1989, plus Ice T in concert! Taken from BBC2 youth programme ‘Rapping Lowdown’. DJ Dave Pearce (then of GLC Radio) also gives his perspective.
A little time capsule of innocence and loveliness in it’s own way. Too-Hype Posse in effect! Featuring MC Kaos, described by one of his posse as ‘the cassette’!!!
Wonder what happened
If you are from the Midlands (probably West Midlands), were into comics in the 80s, then that image above may resonate. It is a bag, yes. But it is a bag from the brilliant Birmingham comic shop ‘Nostalgia & Comics’. That thing used to hold my American reprints of Judge Dredd (from Eagle Comics). Those bags would hold my issues of Thor during Walt Simonsons run, Uncanny X-Men during Chris Claremonts tenure, and Fantastic Four when John Byrne was in charge.
I can take no credit for the picture. I would, however, like to point you towards the source of this nostalgia trip. The Forbidden Planet blog, which sits alongside the rather splendid online shop (they have stuff that Amazon don’t, and its prices are very reasonable), is a treasure trove, and a bloody good read. Have a look;
and then, if you have fond memories of Nostalgia & Comics, please check this out;
I guess, in a way, I am doing some free advertising for this guy here;
but he has so much excellent VHS Video / Video Rental shop nostalgia that he recently put up on ebay, it is only fair he gets the credit. Looks like the guy owned / worked at a video shop in the 1980s, because he has some cracking posters from that era, including some Video Rental charts from 1983. You cannot really see a lot of the listings for these charts, but you can make out a fair few of the entries (I spotted the likes of Kramer vs Kramer, The Cannonball Run, The Sword & The Sorceror, Candy Stripe Nurses, The Life of Brian & Q – The Winged Serpent). The posters for forthcoming Video releases are great to look at – pity the guy did not take better pictures of them, but still, it is good to reminisce about some of these old films and their great poster art. I had a couple of these hanging up in my room when I was a teenager (both The Alchemist and Metalstorm were huge posters). If you click on the title of each movie, you get linked to their IMDB entry. Enjoy.
Video Rental Chart for 4th – 10th August 1983
Video Rental Chart 1983 (not specifically dated)
Once again, this is the guys ebay profile;
Only chanced across this the other night but it is a thing of beauty – a mix tape by Neon Neon, the collaboration between Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys and DJ Boom Bip. The mix is fantastic and there is not one bad track on it. It puts the work of Debbie Gibson into a whole new perspective, it is really that good.
There are so many good tracks on here, not least the Neon Neon stuff, the incredible Goblin with the theme to the Dario Argento shocker Tenebrae and the bombastic brilliance of Tears for Fears with ‘Mothers Talk’, taken from the hugely successful (and very 80’s ‘Songs From The Big Chair‘)
Here is the tracklisting – marvel at it!!!
Neon Neon: “Theme Song”
Neil Young: “Sample and Hold”
Paul McCartney: “Temporary Secretary”
Kraftwerk: “Numbers (Wicked Mix)”
Tears for Fears: “Mother’s Talk”
Neon Neon: “Raquel (Extended Mix)”
Debbie Gibson: “Only In My Dreams (Extended Club Mix)”
Janet Jackson: “Pleasure Pricipal (Eli Edit)”
Prince: “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”
Neon Neon: “Fuckin’ Off Cover (Outtake)”
and you can click to get the mix to download for free here from pitchfork
Neon Neon have a thing about the DeLorean DMC-12. It’s the car pictured at the top of the post with it’s ceator, John DeLorean. To find out more about the car that was featured in the Back To The Future films, see here
Just to get you into the Christmas Spirit – and seeing as we are in dire financial times and all that – I think that the Atari 2600 could be a viable alternative to the Wii this Christmas. Of primary interest is the price – observe the listing below as a guide;
Then, just show your kids this advert from a long time ago (1982)and they will understand everything – like the Wii, the 2600 is about playing with friends and family, a communal exxperience. Like the Wii, the Atari games are not so much about the cutting edge in Graphics technologies – rather than that, and better than that, it is about pure playability (who can deny Pac-Man (albeit not the Atari version) is a true gaming classic and deserves its status as such?). Finally, the 2600 is a discreet, charming addition to any household, unlike the monolithic PS3 and Xbox 360. Anyway, here is Morecambe and Wise to seal the deal;
and if you want to see a non-Christmas advert with Morecambe & Wise, an Atari console, Ernie Wise gamely playing the legendary ball-breaker that is Defender, and Eric Morecombe taking the opportunity to cop off with a woman on the sofa, then have a look below;
Finally, for no other reason than that I like it, here is a flyer for Defender, the timeless and still hard-as-nails shooter from Williams (so many buttons!!)
Flyer was sourced from here;
http://www.atariage.com/2600/index.html?SystemID=2600 – a fantastic Atari 2600 resource
and this is just…….genius. Words nearly fail me;
Men of a certain age (and women too!) will feel a certain sense of pride / nostalgia / warmth upon seeing pictures of VHS video art, and even more of a feeling of general well-to-do if they are shown pictures or even video of the films the covers were advertising.
Welcome to the death-throes of true exploitation cinema – the video age! Where else, but in the comfort of your own home, were you going to get a chance to see anything like this when you were 13?
The internet can feel like a massive brain dump for those who caught on to the technologies potential as a huge repository for lost youth. But hey, who cares when I can look at old video covers!
So the reason for this post is to specifically pay tribute to those sites who cherish the appalling or brilliant Video cover art of the past. Some of these sites even do reviews of the generally low-budget, usually poor quality films. Some of these sites even have video clips of the films. Please give them a look and you will be rewarded with nothing more than a lot of fluff, but its good to turn your brain off every now and again and just wallow in the sheer pointlessness of it all.
The covers used to illustrate this blog all came from the marvellous http://www.coverbrowser.com (they do comic covers as well!)
http://grindhousefilms.blogspot.com – lots of exploitation goodness – reviews, clips, artwork etc
http://soundtracks.cinema-suicide.com/ – a bit off message, but this site details all the soundtrack news from obscure and cult films and is very, very nice to look at.
http://scandyfactory.blogspot.com/ Not for kids! But well worth a look if you don’t mind nudity.
Originally a paper based fanzine, the site is great, if a bit pre-Y2K in the design of it and it has some quite disturbing (and pointless) scrolling going on.
http://blondezombies.blogspot.com/ – a few covers, some nudity, but for all round fantastic visuals with little rhyme or reason other than it looks good, then this is unbeatable. Trashy, arty, unclean fun (it is in Spanish, but it really isn’t prohibiitve to the fun the site offers if you cannot speak the language).
A few years on from the horror of eucalypta the witch from Paulus (see http://www.thoseweleftbehind.co.uk/2008/01/paulus-woodgnome-horror-of-eucalypta.html)came a new dimension of terror. Hidden away in the innocuous looking children’s educational TV show ‘Jigsaw’. lurked a terrifying figure – ‘Noseybonk’. This creature, part droog, part bogeyman, part meddling buffoon (though the meddling buffoon aspect could be taken as a subversive, malicious series of acts) never spoke which just made him more SCARY. The mute monstrosity has recently resurfaced on youtube – DON’T LOOK KIDS!!!