|New Zealand Music Month - Day One
||[May. 1st, 2013|08:20 pm]
It's May again, which means that it's New Zealand Music Month again. This time I've got a proper theme worked out for the month... and it's "The Golden Age of Rock and Roll".
Before anyone reading this gets too excited and thinks I' m going to be plundering the long-lost classics described in Chris Bourke's latest book, I'd better explain myself. Considering that there are as many different "Golden Ages of Rock and Roll" as there are pop music fans on the planet, I've stolen someone else's idea and chosen to define the golden age of rock and roll as: High school.
I was at high school from late January 1981 to late April 1985. That may seem like a short stretch of time, but it was an incredibly fertile time for popular music. (I could probably find enough material for a month's worth of posts from 1981 alone).
New Zealand at the time was going through a typically understated New Zealand-style political and social upheaval, and one of the well-used outlets for individuality was pop music. Corporate music of that era was dire - anyone who thinks that Robbie Williams, or whoever is the latest teen pop star du jour. is the worst thing that's ever happened to music, is in the enviable position of having managed to permanently blank Stars on 45 from their mind - but the sort of people who turned their back on the corporate music industry and did their own thing without regard to popularity, made some of the most enduring music this country has ever produced. New Zealanders took part in the punk rock explosion of the late 1970s, with mixed results, but the same ethos fuelled an even more creative explosion of 'underground', 'alternative', 'lo-fi' or 'low-tech' music in the early 1980s in which production quality was optional, but 'the song' was the thing.
After all that, tonight's entry is from one of the more mainstream acts. The Swingers are best known for their huge hit Counting the Beat. This, the follow-up single, didn't get anywhere near that sort of success, but it too has its moments, particularly with its bass guitar track.