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Friday, June 10, 2011

The song 'No Charge' reminds us when Britain used to be less greedy


This article of mine appears on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website.

Neil Clark:Those who believe the myth that 1970s Britain was 'the sick man of Europe' forget how progressive the decade was.

It's regarded by some as one of the slushiest No 1 records of all time. It's exactly 35 years ago this week that No Charge, sung by the Canadian artist JJ Barrie, got to No 1 in the British pop charts – and thanks to the wonders of BBC4, who are repeating Top of the Pops shows from 1976 on a weekly basis, we'll all be able to see it performed on our television screens next Monday.

Some won't be looking forward to it too much – in his Guardian article of a week ago, Alexis Petridis claimed that 1976 was the worst year for pop music ever.

But leaving aside debates about musical merit, what watching the repeats of Top of the Pops and other programmes from the same era on channels such as Yesterday, ITV3 and ITV4 shows us is what a less commercialised age the pre-Thatcherite 1970s were.

You can read the whole article here.

UPDATE: I have also have an article in today's First Post  on the Amina Abdallah Araf affair, which can be read  here.  More on this story later.


Jeanette said...

Great article on Ain't half Hot Mum

Have passed it over to Mr Perry

Neil Clark said...

Hi Jeanette,
Thanks very much! Pleased you enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting how even many young people who were born before the 1970s have a kind of nostalgia for that decade. I think many people realize that things really have gotten worse in the last thirty years.

Neil Clark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil Clark said...

Hi John,

As David Lindsay has put it:

Something truly terrible happened to this country in 1979. And everybody knows it.

Anonymous said...

Oops, should have written "...young people who were born AFTER the 1970s."

In any event, great article. Keep up the great work Mr. Clark!