Saturday, 7 May 2011

Retro Blast - May 1984

And so I thought I'd start up a new run of Retro Blasts, just when you were least expecting it. Hoping to make it a 13 week run until the end of July but that is merely an aspiration. I have pencilled in various time travels between 1968 and 2005.

This weekend we start with May 1984. Two months into the miners' strike I remember a fraught day at work on the 9th when a "Day of Action" by various unions had been called in support. I worked at Rosyth Dockyard then, though had only been there 6 months and was a wimpy 19 year old. Though I had been present at the outdoor vote to decided whether the entire workforce would go on strike in support, I'd voted against as I felt it was nothing to do with us and was not keen on the way the vote had been unusually staged so as to intimidate. So I went in on that day and had to run a gauntlet of spitting, swearing and being called a scab - luckily from inside a car on that day - and being scared to leave and suffer it again. I still think I was right - and in July 1986 I joined the local union commitee, staying involved until the mid 90s even after my move to London.

Anyway to fluffier things...

Causing two of the hit singles in this week's chart (see below) was the film "Footloose", starring Kevin Bacon. Playing contrary to his later film roles he was a pin-up dance star in this. The picture here should show why. I always saw it as the male answer to Flashdance the previous year.

It has since been made into a theatrical musical and a remake film is in the works.

On TV - US pace - this week saw the climax of the fourth season of "Dynasty". As with "Dallas" it was not the most memorable of climaxes, save for the departure of Pamela Sue Martin as Fallon. I remember the arrival of Diahann Carroll as 'black bitch' Dominique Devereux in the last two eps (later revealed as the half-sister of Blake Carrington, but generally wasted after an intial impact). Here is that arrival scene, with Joan Collins as Alexis.

Starting this week on UK TV was the second and final series of "The Young Ones". Opening episode on the 8th was "Bambi", where there was an infamous and star-studded send-up of "University Challenge". Motorhead performed "Ace of Spades" as the musical guests that week.

Who could have thunk that 25 years later a main star from "Dynasty" would beat a main star from "The Young Ones" in a kitchen based reality show?

In the UK singles chart Duran Duran were victors with "The Reflex" at no1.

At no3 though was Queen with one of their campest songs and a video that mixes ballet with Coronation Street ...

And here are those two tracks from "Footloose". First off, at no9 is Kenny Loggins with the title track...

... and at no18 is Deniece Williams with "Let's Hear it for the Boy". As with the above, this is the (rather bromancey) sequence from the film rather than the promo video.

Another song from the film, Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For a Hero" eventually became a hit here in the summer of 1985 on the back of it's use as the theme of the US TV series "Cover Up"

In what was to be a summer of HiNRG hits, Hazell Dean cracks the top 40 at no40 with "Searchin' (I Gotta Find A Man)" - here seen a little later on "Top of The Pops" ..

Also this week was the death of Diana Dors, the debut of "Surprise, Surprise" on ITV and the Queen officially opened the Thames Barrier.

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