Wednesday, 5 January 2011

David Essex: Stardust (a-side), Slade: Far Far Away (a-side)

Glam @ the Movies
You would think that glam rock was made for the movies, and to a certain extent it was. 

Movies were a big theme and influence in the whole glam rock sound and look. But in the great scheme of things it didn’t come out very well on the TV or on the big screen.

For a genre that was as bold and brash, bright and glittering as glam rock, most movies connected with it were grim and depressing or just plain crap.

How about this; crooner David Essex dying of a drug OD at the end of ‘Stardust’, and Slade in ‘Flame’ instead of a ‘Help’ style glam romp we got a gritty, cynical drama about the rise and fall of a Northern rock band. 

‘Never too Young to Rock’ was meant to be upbeat and colourful, but ended up being as lukewarm and greasy as the food served in the café shown in the film, even the real actors were bad.

Other films that have attempted to capture some essence of glam include:

Velvet Goldmine
Phantom of the Paradise
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Born To Boogie
Remember Me This Way
Side by Side
Hedwig and the Angry Inch

‘Stardust’ is the theme song from the movie of the same name and is a great 70’s pop song, with a fantastic Chris Spedding guitar solo, up there with the best of the decade.

The tagline to the movie was - “Show me a boy who never wanted to become a rock star and I’ll show you a liar”

Martin Gore of Depeche Mode who covered the song said:

“Firstly it was just a song from my youth. I was never a massive David Essex fan, but I liked a few of his tracks and stardust was one of them, and probably my favourite one. It’s a good emotional song and I think it does sum up, somehow the loneliness of being a rock star at times".

“Ah look what they’ve done to the rock n roll clown.
Ah rock n roll clown, look he’s down on the ground.
Well he used to high fly but he crashed out the sky.
In a stardust fling, hey rock n roll king is down”.

‘Far Far Away’ is a # 2 single from 1974, and is from the movie ‘Slade in Flame’.

From the ‘Songfacts’ website:

“Frontman Noddy Holder penned the song after a long period of touring when he was thinking of home. He told Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie on their BBC Radio 2 show that he was looking out of a hotel window overlooking the Mississippi with Slade's manager Chas Chandler when he uttered, ‘I see the yellow lights go down the Mississippi’ and Chandler said, ‘write that song, now!’ So he went next door and after half an hour he came back with the track”.


Anonymous said...

the velvet goldmine soundtrack was my introduction to roxy music and brian eno when i was like 14. not the best movie ever but still holds a special place for me. born to boogie on the other hand was nearly unwatchable even as a huge t.rex fan.

Stardust Kid said...

I think I have to agree with you as far as Born to Boogie goes, not Bolans finest moment.