Tuesday, 27 July 2021

programming block

Admittedly more of a nostalgic indulgence than graphic design inspiration, Regan Ray (previously) brings us a treasury of titles hosted on the original oldies cable network—from the marketing team that produced MTV’s commercial bumpers, that debuted in 1985, replacing A&E (the Arts and Entertainment network) that formerly occupied this nocturnal slot of Nickelodeon. Peruse a gallery of sitcoms that aired on the channel at the link up top. 


Monday, 21 June 2021

i have always valued my lifelessness

Along with many other anniversaries of great pith and circumstance, this day also shares its anniversary—according to our faithful chronicler, with the 1985 general release in US cinemas of Return to Oz, starring Fairuza Balk as Dorothy Gale on her continuing adventures over the rainbow, a loose amalgam of L. Frank Baum’s other books and not intended to be a sequel to the 1939 production. Committed as delusion by Aunt Em for her talk of Oz and confined in an institution about to undergo shock treatment, a mysterious inmate helps Dorothy escape by jumping from an embankment to a rushing, flooded river, washed away towards the Deadly Desert with her now talking chicken Bilina. Finding the Yellow Brick Road and Emerald City in ruins and all its people petrified (turned to stone), Dorothy is menaced by marauding packs of creatures with wheels for hands and feet. Cornered, escapes again and winds-up a mechanical sentry called Tik-Tok who relates to her how the kingdom has been overrun by the minions of the Nome King and Mombi, the Wicked Witch of the North. Though initially panned by American critics for its dark nature and twisted portrayals, it was quite popular outside of domestic markets and has since gained cult status.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

guilty feet have got no rhythm

Just ahead of the duo’s ground-breaking pair of concerts in China, the first Western pop band to play to this venue, Wham! released its album Make It Big in Chinese markets—with the hit singles “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Freedom” and “Careless Whisper”—on this day in 1985. Having taken a break from the studio George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley embarked on an extensive world tour that included coveted stops (see previously) in Beijing and Guangzhou. Knowing what a publicity coup the concerts meant, the negotiations with authorities were not entirely above-board, as one of Wham!’s managers later owned up to, admitting that he presented his group as pleasant, clean-cut and conservative whereas with the competition, Queen, he emphasised the flamboyance of Freddie Mercury, also securing approval over the Rolling Stones.

Friday, 1 January 2021

video hits one

Among many events of pith and moment, as our faithful chronicler informs, this day also shares the 1985 launch of the MTV sister channel aimed at adult contemporary listeners of popular music VH1 in order to fill market niche left by the discontinuation of the short-lived rival network, the Cable Music Channel from the Turner Broadcasting System.

Staple artists from the first years included Billy Joel, Sting, Kenny G, Rod Stewart, Michael Bolton and Tina Turner with programming blocks dedicated to vintage variety show footage, clip specials and Motown, R&B, Sophisti-Pop, smooth jazz and New Age. The eighth video aired was Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” In that first hour of broadcasting, songs played were “Nobody Told Me [There’d be Days Like These]” by John Lennon, Diana Ross’ “Missing You,” “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling”—the Hall & Oates version, “I’m Alright” from Kenny Loggings and “Joanna” by Kool & The Gang.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

that's why they call me mister fahrenheit

To celebrate what would have been the artist’s seventy-second birthday, we look through Dangerous Minds’ archives and find footage from Freddie Mercury’s legendary bash held at Old Missus Henderson’s club (closed in August 2008) in Mรผnchen in 1985. Invited guests were instructed to dress for the drag ball in black and white and parts of the party’s proceedings were incorporated into the music video for Mercury’s Living on My Own. At the time, Mercury lived on the nearby Hans-Sachs-StraรŸe in the borough of Ludwigsvorstadt where Oktoberfest is held.