Dancing in the Distraction Factory: Music Television and by Andrew Goodwin

By Andrew Goodwin


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Indeed, this work often reads as a more sophisticated parallel line of argument to dominant assumptions in the music industry, and among popular music critics and scholars. Picture This The debate about music video in the rock music community has been characterized by a sense that music has been taken over by visual imagery, packaging, and media marketing. This notion underwrites the hostility toward music video that continues to inform most rock criticism on the topic. 8 The chief objection here concerns the supposed "fixing" in the mind's eye of a set of visual images, which —it is sometimes assumed —closes off the options for listeners to construct their own imaginative interpretations of songs.

6 On television, in the 1960s, there was The Monkees TV series, and 30 FROM ANARCHY TO CHROMAKEY other televisual pop, such as The Archies and The Partridge Family, is often mentioned. ), later promotional film clips ("Penny Lane," "Strawberry Fields Forever"), and the Magical Mystery Tour TV special. But the most popular candidate for the title of "first" music video is the Jon Roseman/Bruce Gowers six-minute clip for Queen's number-one hit record "Bohemian Rhapsody," made in 1975. ). Certainly many of these earlier fusions of sound and vision are very interesting and tell us a great deal about pop — most important, that music television and pop cinema are as old as pop itself.

The implications of this for an understanding of pop videos are discussed in chapter 2. The central importance of performance imagery in pop history has been evident in the numerous instances (long before the emergence of music television) when visual image, and its promotion of pop's commodities, has taken precedence over verisimilitude in the sound-vision relation. A typical and notorious example occurred in January 1968, following Pink Floyd's dismissal of its songwriter and vocalist Syd Barrett (one of his crimes, significantly, was failing to lip-sync "See Emily Play" on an American Bandstand television appearance the previous year).

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