Friday, December 06, 2013

A Cycling Song

I cringe when I recall that I really liked this song when I was a teen. I had never seen the film clip until I came across this clip and it is a 'spot the Melbourne location' treat. I can easily see Marine Parade, Beaconsfield Parade, King Street Bridge, Collins Street and Queen Victoria Gardens. So, turn your speakers down and have a watch.


14 comments:

  1. I remember that so well. I could even remember all the words - not that the lyrics were a challenge to remember. I was at college then and recall being at a 24hour disco (yes 24 hour!) and they played this song at least once an hour.

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    1. Fun60, I didn't know it was a hit overseas. A 24 hour disco! Remarkable. With the exception of the word downtown, I like that it is very Australian. Checking...Doesn't seem it did well in the US but was number 2 in the UK, beaten by My Sweet Lord.

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  2. Not a fan of the song but great to see footage of "old" Melbourne. I was not born in 1970 but I was not long after that.

    Video clips like that for pop songs were actually quite rare so this is a bit of a find. I think it was really the advent of Countdown that sparked the demand for pop music videos.Until then pop music shows were mostly featuring live performances.

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    1. TVAU, kind of your birth song then. Surely pop music videos began in the US? Countdown was a mix of 'live' performance and film clips. If this track was 1970, when did Countdown begin? Umm, when was Gorton PM? Gough '72, so about 1970 Countdown was in black and white? Sorry, just thinking aloud.

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    2. Countdown started November 1974. It was broadcast in colour from day one as the networks were allowed a limited number of "test" colour broadcasts leading up to the full changeover in 1975.

      There were music clips around before then (like the one you've posted, and there were others made) but they weren't as prolific or professional until apparently Countdown started hounding record companies for them. I guess in the US or UK there was no the same TV demand for music clips as with so many local artists they'd just perform live on the big shows, but Australia never really has that luxury.

      That's not to say the UK or US record companies wouldn't have cottoned on to the concept at the same time, anyway. It might have been a coincidence that the concept grew just as shows like Countdown had started.

      Remember, Countdown was really the trigger for ABBA's massive popularity. They had won Eurovision in 1974 but were almost destined to be a one-hit-wonder until Molly Meldrum started plugging Mamma Mia which wasn't even intended to be released as a single until they realised what a response it was getting when played on the show. Their initial chart success here then got the attention of record companies overseas and then ABBA became a global hit.

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    3. Haha, I lived through the years and you did not, but you know better than I do. Memory is a very unreliable thing. I recall Gorton, in black and white, saying he had to be home by 6pm to watch Countdown.

      Funny, I remember the clip for Fernando better than the Mamma Mia clip.

      Anyway, thanks. There is some valuable history there.

      Ground Control to Major Tom, over and out.

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  3. I noticed the old style men's handlebars, upturned and forward facing, even way back when I was a kid I thought they looked stupid and I still think so now. Does anyone know WHY they were designed like that? The girl's handlebars seem much more sensible, I really hate the straight bars on the bikes these days.

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    1. River, girls handlebars were straight across then? Men sat tall and looked handsome when they had to use upright handlebars. With them swung down, they looked sporty and competitive. All youse sheilas had to worry about was not getting your skirt caught in the chain.

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  4. If I remember correctly, this one one of the first of many songs issued on the Fable Label during the great "we won't pay royalties to play /promote your songs on air" battle. Hence, the pushbike song, like many others, was a local cover of an international hit.
    I confess I can't bring myself to watch the clip. I recall a sound similar to the mating call of a male koala being part of the percussion section's contribution when this was recorded.

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    1. FC, I think this was an original. Their other hit, Summertime was a cover.

      You are correct, koala noise.

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  5. Oh I'm sorry but I loved that song...its a happy song surely that's a good thing :)) Riding along on a ....! Oh lord now its in my head!

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    1. Grace, next thing you will be getting the bike out.

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  6. A great clip to see old Melbourne in is AC/DC's 'It's a long way to the top'. The boys are on the back of a truck as it drives up Swanston St and St Kilda Rd.

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    1. It too is a good one, but I knew well enough about it. This one is a surprise to me.

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