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(TV Series)

(2012)

Plot Summary

  • In the late 60s the album, formerly just a collection of singles, established itself as the ultimate musical statement, and an album sleeve art culture was born that forsook obvious band photos for graphical invention and far more ambitious visual pastures. We open this episode with the story of the fashions that accompanied British pop and the people who had the look. No other country's musicians share even a fraction of the image-fixation that has always characterised the best British pop. From The Beatles' moptop hairdos to the punks' Mohicans, the grey shirts of Joy Division to the tunic and feathers of Adam Ant, the androgynous glitz of glam rock to the Jewish Rastafarian chic of Culture Club, the sharp lines of Mod to the dungarees of acid house, Anthony Price suits to the gypsy romance of Dexy's Midnight Runners and beyond, British music always comes packaged with an ingeniously constructed image. We follow this with the story of successive waves of pioneering British album art, from the sensual psychedelia of Nigel Waymouth and Hapshash in the 60s, to the domination of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis in the 70s, with their elaborate surrealist imagery and visual puns, to the situationist shock tactics of Jamie Reid and punk, the industrial minimalism and fresh fonts of Peter Saville, Malcolm Garrett and the Manchester connection, and on to the appropriately anonymous, computer generated flyers of the rave age. This is the story of how British pop captured the world's heart through its eyes.

    - Written by Simon Witter

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