No apologies for shrugging disinterestedly through two-thirds of this bountiful DVD even a casual glance at its contents, after all, will confirm that such a scattershot round-up cannot possibly hope to please all the people all the time and, beyond acknowledging that all five performances here are probably as strong as you could hope, well settle down instead to watch the Melanie segment, a beautifully shot solo outing that dips into each of her four albums to date, and reminds us that, behind the somewhat grating novelty songs for which pop history remembers her, she really was one of the most captivating, and creative performers to emerge from that whole post-hippy singer-songwriter bag. Plus, "What Have They Done To My Song" is a masterpiece, no matter how sick of it you think youve grown.
With time for just six or seven songs apiece (Joan Armatrading sneaks in eight), its no surprise that guests on this most venerable of BBC TV series should aim straight for the jugular. Bill Withers opens his half-hour with "Aint No Sunshine" and peaks with "Lean On Me," while the Pointer Sisters, caught a couple of years before their descent into disco, serve up a deliciously sassy performance, even inciting the traditionally staid studio audience into a frenzy of clapalong participation.
The highlight, however, has to be a 10cc performance that makes a mockery of period criticisms of their live show, as they unchain five songs from the recently released Sheet Music album (plus two from their debut), and uncork an energy that actually amplifies the perfection of their studio work. The opening "Silly Love," "Wall Street Shuffle" and the closing "Rubber Bullets" are easy, of course in the words of the age-old maxim, fuck art, lets BOOGIE. But, in between times, "Fresh Air For My Mama," "Old Wild Men" and the strangely topical "Oh Effendi" all offer up an unfamiliarly ferocious face, while the voodoo stew of "Baron Samedi" serves up the best of both worlds.
just how little video exists of the original four piece 10cc the
handful of fuzzy TV performances that lurk on Youtube, the one (count
it!) clip squeezed onto the official Changing Faces VHS way back
. This In Concert broadcast practically doubles the running
time of known surviving footage, and reminds us just what a spectacular
band this was. It wasnt a bad TV series, either. -
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