Prince Charles becomes a Dalek to celebrate Doctor Who 50th Anniversary

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the Doctor Who set at BBC Wales’ Roath Lock studios, as part of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Prince Charles, famous for his distinctive received pronunciation, saw his voice transformed into that of a dalek as he uttered the “exterminate” catchphrase into a voice modulator.

Doctor Who scriptwriter Steven Moffat commented: “I haven’t thought about how I could weave a meeting between the Doctor and the royal family. But Prince Charles’s attempt at being a Dalek was great”.

The Doctor Who tour included a visit to the set of the Tardis, as well as a display of some of the show’s monsters, including a weeping angel and a cyberman. Nicholas Briggs, who voices the Daleks, demonstrated some of their famous catchphrases, while production staff showed how a green screen set is used to generate some of the programme’s special effects.

If you are a Whovian and would like to mark and celebrate the Doctor Who 50th anniversary in your home or office, you can order the Doctor Who Theme Tune in a vinyl single or CD single with picture cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Alternatively you can order the  DVD of your favourite Doctor Who story with picture cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque……  ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

 

Win a Framed Doctor Who DVD in our 50th Anniversary Competition

This year we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who arriving on Earth from outer space, where he had traversed the Universe for eternity as a Time Lord. And over the last 50 years, he has popped up on Earth in his Tardis intermittently, but due to the wonderful invention of television, we have been able to follow Doctor Who’s travels wherever they took him throughout Space.

For the Recordpress author, my favourite Doctor Who episodes were always the ones located on Earth, whether it involved an invasion by the Daleks or the Cybermen. The Doctor Who story that has stayed with me was “The Green Death” which was broadcast on BBC1 in May / June 1973. The central plot was that miners in a Welsh mining colliery were mysteriously dying at the coalface. Doctor Who ( played by Jon Pertwee ) and his very able bodied assistant Jo Grant ( played by Katie Manning ) eventually got to the bottom of the mystery at the bottom of the coal pit……..

It transpired that the miners were being killed by giant maggots, excreting green slime – the maggots had mutated into giants due to poisoning by industrial waste being dumped by a nearby chemical plant. I recently bought “The Green Death” story on DVD and sadly the special effects have not stood the test of time!! The giant maggots had a distinct look of paper mache and the green slime bore an uncanny resemblance to the cleaning agent Swarfega!! However that did not impair my enjoyment in any way. In truth Jon Pertwee was such a charming, charismatic and engaging Doctor Who, that he carried the show with ease.

I was unclear quite why “The Green Death” story had struck a chord and remained with me for the intervening 40 years, until I watched it again on DVD. There are two reasons for it being memorable. Firstly 1973 was the year that the miners went on strike in the UK, forcing the country onto a three day working week and into the pitch darkness ( not in a coal mine but in our homes ) as power cuts struck every night. So the miners were very topical in 1973 Great Britain.

The second reason is less about History, which at the time was my favourite subject at school, and more about Biology which I was yet to start studying!! Yes, “The Green Death” was the last adventure that Jo Grant took with Doctor Who. The 10 year old Simon Sterland was devastated. I was totally smitten and in love with Jo Grant ( Katie Manning ) and I had lost her to scientist in Wales, who she decided to marry and set up home with.

More importantly Doctor Who had lost his sexy sidekick and cut a sorry, sad figure as he drove his vintage car “Bessie” away from the Welsh mining village without her. Somehow Doctor Who was never quite the same again and Jon Pertwee continued for another year as Doctor Who, before putting his foppish, dandy-esque cape away for good, to be replaced by the eccentric and brilliant Tom Baker ( 1974-81 ).

Recordpress would like to hear from you. Answer the three questions below and simply enter our Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Competition ( Prize details below ).

1) Who was your favourite Doctor Who and why?

2) Who was your favourite Doctor Who assistant and why?

3) Which was your favourite enemy or monster and why?

The author of the best reply to these three questions will WIN A PRIZE OF A FRAMED DVD OF THEIR FAVOURITE DOCTOR WHO STORY WITH A COMMEMORATIVE DOCTOR WHO 50th ANNIVERSARY PLAQUE.

E-mail your three answers to info@MyFirstRecord.co.uk  All entries must be submitted with your name and e-mail address by the 30th October 2013. The winner will be notified shortly afterwards.

Alternatively if you cannot wait to celebrate Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary in November 2013, you can order the  DVD of your favourite Doctor Who story; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

Granada Television tribute was a trip down memory’s cobbled street….

ITV’s “Goodbye Granadaland”, a tribute to Granada Television Studios which closed earlier in the year after 56 years, was very much a trip down memory’s cobbled lane, with only passing reference to the original TV cobbled road, Coronation Street!!

Host Peter Kay was joined by a glittering and diverse array of celebrities such as Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Kelly, Shaun Ryder, Sir Michael Parkinson and Paddy McGuinness.

In a similar vein to the BBC’s tribute to BBC TV Centre, as it’s doors closed for the last time back in March, this programme was a little less deferential and self regarding, in keeping with it’s blunt, Mancunian northern roots!!

Granada Television’s output was very diverse, oscillating between the imperial grandeur and opulence of “Brideshead Revisited” and “Jewel In The Crown” to the downright gritty, working class “Comedians” and “Wheeltappers & Shunters Social Club”, both of which had their origins firmly planted in the Northern social club scene. And of course, the Granada Television flagship and greatest soap of all, “Coronation Street” epitomises good honest working class Northern England, like no other television programme.

Let’s remember the halcyon days of Granada Television –

Best Granada Television Drama

Brideshead Revisited

Best Granada Television Sitcom

Brass

Best Granada Television Light Entertainment Programmes

The Comedians

Best Granada Television Current Affairs Programme

World In Action

 

Which are your all time favourite Granada Television Programmes / Shows and why? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Preserve your favourite television drama series, sitcom or light entertainment programme for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite television show, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

As The Great Gatsby opens, here’s a Top 5 Best Hollywood Film Remakes

Leading actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Baz Luhrmann will in Cannes as their new film “The Great Gatsby” opens the annual Cannes Film Festival.

The “Great Gatsby” movie is based on F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel and although the initial reviews have been somewhat lukewarm, Leonardo DiCaprio has been praised in the lead role as bootlegger Jay Gatsby. The Recordpress author studied “The Great Gatsby” in the sixth form for A Level English and as such I feel that the multifaceted novel lends itself to a film remake as it’s complexity and subtle nuances offer the opportunity of a different interpretation from the original 1974 film, which starred Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby and Mia Farrow as his love interest Daisy Buchanan.

“The Great Gatsby” is infact quite a depressing story, because essentially it is a tale about self delusion and self destruction. All the characters, bar Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway, are shallow, superficial, self regarding and selfish and ultimately a good heart doesn’t triumph over evil self-interest in the end.

“The Great Gatsby” is really a parable about the falsehood of the “American Dream” – Jay Gatsby achieves great wealth and affluence, but remains a nouveau riche outsider unable to penetrate the old money, bourgeois class, represented by Daisy and Tom Buchanan. In essence, the moral of the story in “The Great Gatsby” is that you can achieve the “American Dream”, but still not be respected and accepted and worse still, be left unhappy and unfulfilled!! At the end of the novel / film, you are left with a hollow, empty feeling…

There will always be a validity and place for for film remakes like “The Great Gatsby”, provided a different angle or interpretation is sought and achieved. Far too often the Hollywood film studios have simply re-cycled old films just to make a fast buck!! Hopefully “The Great Gatsby” remake will offer a fresh approach and something new, although ultimately we know that things will not end well for Jay Gatsby at the denouement of the film.

Hopefully Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation of the F Scott Fitzgerald novel will mean that “The Great Gatsby” remake will be regarded as worthwhile and join this Top 5 Best Hollywood Film Remakes –

 

Top 5 Best Hollywood Film Remakes

 

1) The Italian Job ( 1969 & 2003 ). The original film, starring Michael Caine leading a bank heist in Rome with it’s iconic Mini Cooper car chase has taken on a cult status and as such is an almost impossible act to follow. However the remake works, because it offers a sequel that is only possible because of the open ended finale of the original film.

2) King Kong ( 1933 & 2005 ). The original black and white film can still stand it’s ground in terms of credibility and the remake works because a good storyline harnessed with the advances of CGI special effects take the story to another level in another century.

3) Thomas Crown Affair ( 1968 & 1999 ). The later version starring Pierce Brosnan & Rene Russo stands up ok, provided you don’t compare it too closely with the original film, starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway with it’s classic chess game seduction scene and wonderful film theme “Windmills Of Your Mind” by Noel Harrison.

4) Oceans Eleven ( 1960 & 2001 ). The two versions of the film are well matched; the original starring the “Brat Pack” – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis and Peter Lawford were almost peerless, but George Clooney and company created a great remake.

5) Scarface ( 1932 & 1983 ). Both films work because one is set in the era of the 1930s Depression, with it’s statutory gangster controlling the bootlegging market, whilst the 1980s Al Pacino remake is set in a world of cocaine dealing.

 

Preserve your favourite film for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite film, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Alternatively celebrate your favourite film theme song or soundtrack in your home or office, by ordering your favourite film theme song or soundtrack in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

 

Remains of the Day and Howards End film screenwriter dies

Novelist and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, whose film scripts for “Howards End” and “A Room With A View” won her two Oscars, has died aged 85.

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala made more than 20 films with producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory over 40 years including “A Room With a View” and “Howards End”, for both of which won her Oscars in 1987 and 1993 respectively. Both films were adapted from novels by EM Forster, a novelist favoured by the Merchant Ivory production team, although it was David Lean that wrote and directed the 1984 film version of EM Forster’s “A Passage To India”.

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was nominated for a third Oscar in 1994 for the script for “The Remains of the Day”, but although missing out on that occasion, she did win the Booker Prize for her 1975 novel “Heat and Dust”, meaning she was the only person to have won both an Oscar and the Booker. The Merchant Ivory adaption of “Heat And Dust” is one of the Recordpress author’s favourite Merchant Ivory films, along with “Howards End” and “The Remains of the Day”.

Preserve your favourite film for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite film, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Alternatively celebrate your favourite film theme song in your home or office, by ordering your favourite film theme song in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

Knights of the Round Building gather to pay tribute to BBC Television Centre

After 53 years, the legendary BBC Commissionaires will be closing the doors of BBC Television Centre for the final time on Easter Sunday, in order that it can be redeveloped into a hotel, flats, a cinema and office space.

The iconic circular building was allegedly inspired by a question mark scribbled on the back of an envelope by it’s architect, but far more importantly than it’s unique design and subsequent Grade II Listed status, BBC Television Centre became a creative hothouse and TV programme factory for some of the most iconic programmes on British television in the last 50 years!! As a flavour, these include Dad’s Army, I Claudius, Fawlty Towers, Top of the Pops, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Morecambe & Wise Show, The Two Ronnies, Blue Peter and Doctor Who, which only caresses the tip of this great monolithic iceberg!!

To pay tribute to the half century of programme-making at BBC Television Centre, on Friday night BBCFour brought together BBC luminaries and broadcasting veterans including Sir Terry Wogan, Sir David Attenborough, Sir Michael Parkinson and Sir Bruce Forsyth, who  shared their TV Centre anecdotes with Sir Michael Grade. It wasn’t so much the “Knights of the Round Table” as the “Knights of the Round Building”!!

The general concensus of opinion expressed on BBC Four’s “Goodbye Television Centre” was that the BBC were making a terrible mistake closing the venerable institution that has been BBC Television Centre. The fact that this opinion was in the main expressed by septagenarian former presenters and actors, heavily steeped in nostalgia and sentiment for the “good old days”, doesn’t diminish the value of their opinion, but equally you would not expect them at their age to embrace change and progress willingly!!

However change, progress and new technology do not detract in any way from the wealth of high quality and high calibre programme making that took place between the walls of BBC Television Centre for over 50 years. As a reminder of the brillliance of the BBC and in tribute to BBC Television Centre, here are the Recordpress Top 5 Best BBC Dramas, Top 5 Best BBC Sitcoms & Top 5 Best BBC Light Entertainment Programmes –

 

Top 5 Best BBC Dramas

1) I Claudius ( 1976 )

2) The Six Wives of Henry VIII ( 1970 )

3) Elizabeth R ( 1971 )

4) Onedin Line ( 1971-1980 )

5) Abigail’s Party ( 1977 )

 

Top 5 Best BBC Sitcoms

1) Fawlty Towers

2) Only Fools & Horses

3) The Good Life

4) Porridge

5) Butterflies

 

Top 5 Best BBC Light Entertainment Programmes

1) Morecambe & Wise Show

2) Top Of The Pops

3) The Two Ronnies

4) Blue Peter

5) Multi Coloured Swapshop

 

Which are your all time favourite BBC Programmes / Shows and why? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Preserve your favourite BBC TV drama series, sitcom or light entertainment programme for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite BBC TV show, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Daleks inventor departs Earthly life to become a Time Lord!!

Raymond Cusick, the designer of the Daleks from the BBC’s Doctor Who series, has died aged 84 after a short illness. The Daleks quickly became the iconic villains in Doctor Who, which marks it’s 50th anniversary later in the year. Of all Doctor Who’s enemies, the Daleks quickly became his ultimate and most enduring nemesis!!

Raymond Cusick gave form to the concept of the Daleks, created by Doctor Who screenwriter Terry Nation, which first appeared in series one of Doctor Who nearly 50 years ago.The BBC and media in general will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who later in the year and it is sad that Raymond Cusick will not be around to join in the celebrations. No doubt he will be looking down with pride as an honorary Time Lord with deceased Doctor Who’s William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee.

In Doctor Who folklore, the race of Daleks was said to have been developed by a scientist to survive a war on their home planet of Skaro. However, the scientist was later killed by his own creation. The Daleks, mutants encased in studded, tank-like machinery that appear to glide over the ground, became a cultural phenomenon, with generations growing to love their famous electronic command of “Exterminate”.

At the same time, of all Doctor Who’s adversaries, the Daleks struck fear into the hearts and minds of children in the UK and the author does not mind admitting cowering behind the sofa on many an occasion. The consolation was the knowledge that Daleks couldn’t climb stairs, so unless you lived in a bungalow, you were safe at bedtime!! The rational adult mind informs us that there is nothing to fear from an object inspired by a pepperpot, looking like a dustbin sporting a sink plunger!! However it was a different matter as an eight and ten year old between 1970 and 1972. However Doctor Who aka Jon Pertwee, our caped crusader, was always on hand to re-assure us with his calming and soothing words……..and the sexy Jo Grant always offered a pleasant distraction!!

What are your memories of the Daleks? Which was “your Doctor Who”? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Preserve your favourite TV programme for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite TV sitcom, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Roobarb & Custard animator dies in the same week as it’s narrator!!

Bob Godfrey, the animator behind much loved cartoons “Roobarb & Custard” and “Henry’s Cat” has died aged 91. In a strange coincidence, he has passed away in the same week as actor Richard Briers, who’s velvety dulcet tones narrated “Roobarb & Custard”.

For those of the author’s generation, growing up in the 1970s, “Roobarb & Custard” was one of our staple diets at teatime, as we religiously watched the anarchic cartoon about a feuding cat and dog, with it’s catchy theme tune and “wobbly dog” animation. In a less sophisticated era “Roobarb and Custard” provided an innocent escape from the horrors of the school day and prefaced tedious homework with some levity. “Roobarb & Custard” wasn’t alone as it was part of a pantheon of great TV cartoons in the 1970s.

Here’s the Recordpress Top 10 Best 1970s TV Cartoons –

Top 10 Best 1970s TV Cartoons

1) Tom & Jerry

2) Scooby Doo

3) Wacky Races

4) The Flintstones

5) Roobarb & Custard

6) Top Cat

7) Mr Ben

8) Captain Pugwash

9) Yogi Bear & Boo Boo

10) Bagpuss

 

What is your favourite 1970s TV cartoon? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Preserve your favourite TV programme for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite TV sitcom, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

To mark Richard Briers’ death, here’s a Top 10 Best 1970s UK Sitcoms

Rarely, if ever when a celebrity dies, do they become the lead news story across all TV channels. Infact I can’t remember the last time this happened. But yesterday the death of actor Richard Briers was headline news across terrestrial and satellite news programmes. This is in no small part to the great affection with which he was held by the general public in the UK.

Although an esteemed classical Shakespearian actor on the stage, Richard Briers will be best remembered for his role as Tom Good in the 1970s sitcom “The Good Life” ( 1975 – 1978 ). The Good Life depicted the life of a disillusioned corporate man Tom Good, who with the support and backing of his wife Barbara ( played by Felicity Kendal ), gives up the rat race for a life of self sufficiency amongst the manicured lawns of suburbia in Surbiton, South London. The humour is derived through the interplay with snobbish next door neighbour, Margo Leadbetter (  Penelope Keith ) and her long suffering husband Jerry ( Paul Eddington ).

In conjunction with a good script, the key to the success and enduring appeal of “The Good Life” was the fantastic chemistry between the four actors and the fact that a life of self sufficiency away from the rat race strikes a chord and has a resonance with most of us at one time or another!! The “Good Life” ran for four years between 1975 and 1978 and 30 episodes. The 1970s was the Golden Era of the British Sitcom and if there is any doubting that statement, here’s a Top 10 Best 1970s UK Sitcoms –

Top 10 Best 1970s UK Sitcoms

1)      Fawlty Towers

2)      Rising Damp

3)      Yes Minister

4)      The Good Life

5)      Porridge

6)      Butterflies

7)      Open All Hours

8)      Dad’s Army

9)      Steptoe & Son

10)    Whatever Happened To The likely Lads?

 

What is your favourite 1970s TV sitcom? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Preserve your favourite TV sitcom for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite TV sitcom, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

This Top 10 Best British Films proves UK made films are the greatest!!

Radio Times are running a film competition with a prize of a £200 John Lewis voucher going to the winner. All you have to do is take a look at film critic Barry Norman’s Top 49 Greatest British Films and nominate your choice to complete the Top 50. Entry details are below, but before entering have a look at the Recordpress Top 10 Best British Films as a possible guide and aid memoire –

Top 10 Best British Films

1)  Scandal ( 1989 ) – Starring Joanne Whalley, Bridget Fonda, John Hurt, Leslie Phillips and Sir Ian Mckellen. This film depicts the Profumo Scandal in 1963 at an interesting time in UK history that saw the social juxtaposition of the new, non deferential Swinging Sixties values clashing with and ultimately undermining the Establishment and old aristocratic order, represented by Harold MacMillan’s Conservative government. The film is perfected by the sublime theme song “Nothing Has Been Proved” by the late lamented Dusty Springfield.

2) Room At The Top ( 1959 ) – Riveting Laurence Harvey performance as a ambitious social climber Joe Lampton in a similar scenario to “Scandal” with the social clash of brusque nouveau riche working class aspirations knocking at the doors of the Establishment and old money.

3) White Mischief  ( 1987 ) – Charles Dance and Greta Scaachi as the doomed lovers set in the decadent world of an aristocratic haven “Happy Valley”, where shallow, bored socialites shelter from the inconvenience  of the Second World War in colonial Africa. The reckless and destructive passionate love affair leads to murder and misery, committed by the wonderful Joss Ackland.

4)  Rebecca ( 1940 ) – Starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. Alfred Hitchcock’s direction perfectly captures the sinister menace of housekeeper Mrs Manvers and the mystery of the rambling house “Mandeville”, haunted by the claustrophobic presence of it’s deceased mistress Rebecca, as depicted in the Daphne du Maurier novel.

5)  Darling ( 1965 ) – The film tells the story of Dirk Bogarde’s college professor’s infatuation and obsession with underage, amoral nymphet model and social butterfly played by Julie Christie, at the peak of her seductive physical powers in 1965. Another film that perfectly captures the hedonism and lack of inhibition of  Swinging Sixties London.

6) The Dam Busters ( 1954 ) – If ever a film truly represented the gallantry, heroism and sheer courage of the RAF and the ingenuity and bloody minded Churchillian persistence of the British people during WW2, it’s this one. Richard Todd and Michael Redgrave spearhead a brilliant cast, which is illuminated further by special effects that almost still hold water ( if you’ll pardon the pun ) in the era of CGI!!

7)  Four Weddings & A Funeral ( 1994 ) – Funny, witty, sad and poignant in equal measure. A “Rom Com” with an all star cast, directed by Richard Curtis at the peak of his comedic powers. Hugh Grant steals the show, but the scriptwriters are the real stars. A winning formula of putting a great script with very good actors and watching the chemistry and sparks fly!! Ultimately this film is not so much about the love affair between Hugh Grant and the irritatingly wooden Andi McDowell, but the totality of friendship and the bonds of love that brings.

8) Fever Pitch ( 1997 ) – Another example of a great script and fine acting. Nick Hornby’s forensic grasp of the dynamics of relationships and the idiocy of men pursuing their intoxicating passion / seemingly pointless pursuit of football, from the differing perspectives of boyfriend and girlfriend is unerringly accurate and hilarious at the same time. A must see for all Arsenal fans and residents of the Holloway Road area of North London.

9) Sexy Beast ( 2000 ) – National thespian treasures, Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley meet head to head in this bank robbery caper. It’s a tribute and testimony to Ben Kingsley’s superb acting skills that it’s utterly believable and credible that the indomitable, macho character played by type cast Ray Winstone meets his match / nemesis and is intimidated by Ben Kingsley’s terrifying psychopath. A character further from Ghandi you could not possibly find!!

10) Don’t Look Now ( 1974 ) – Nicholas Roeg’s adaption of Daphne du Maurier’s short story is not a horror story – it’s far better than that. It’s an incredibly chilling and atmospheric film about the supernatural, enhanced by it’s setting in a deserted, out of season Venice full of menace and portents of doom, with the ultimate twist ( of a knife ) in the tail. The film is famous for the longest lovemaking scene in cinematic history, played out by Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie.

 

What are your favourite British films? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Preserve your favourite film for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite film, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Alternatively celebrate your favourite film theme song in your home or office, by ordering your favourite film theme song in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

 

If you wish to enter the Radio Times Film 50 Competition, EITHER Email:  film50@radiotimes.com  OR visit www.radiotimes.com/50films

 

No amount of 3D will compensate for a lack of Slash in Guns N’ Roses!!

Guns N’ Roses have followed in the less than well trodden footsteps of U2, Katy Perry and Metallica by confirming the release of a 3D concert film of a show from their 12-night residency in Las Vegas last year. Guns N’ Roses’ 3D concert film release will take place in theatres, on TV and DVD later this year. The 3D concert film, “Appetite for Democracy” has been captured by 3D company Rock Fuel Media.

Undoubtedly adding the third dimension will energise the Guns N’ Roses show and lend it an added reality. However isn’t the real issue here that the dimension that is really missing is lead guitarist Slash?!! Never mind 3D, without Slash modern day Guns N’ Roses are one dimensional.

Although destined not to last, the musical chemistry between guitarist Slash and lead singer frontman Axl Rose was up there on a par with the truly great guitarist / lead vocalist partnerships like Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin , Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones and Brian May and Freddie Mercury of Queen. The difference is that Jimmy Page & Robert Plant still occasionally perform together as do Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and but for his premature death Freddie Mercury would still be teaming up with Brian May no doubt.

So what would it take to forge a reunion between Slash and Axl Rose, because the world is a poorer place for not having Guns N’ Roses performing and recording!! And yes, I do not recognise Axl Rose’s Guns N’ Roses. Infact they are not Guns N’ Roses at all – just Roses and given the choice I would opt for Quality Street and Slash as a solo performer!!

As a reminder of how great the original Guns N’ Roses were, here’s a Top 10 Best GNR songs –

Top 10 Best Guns N’ Roses songs

1)  November Rain

2)  Paradise City

3)  Sweet Child O’ Mine

4)  Patience

5)  Live And Let Die

6)  Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

7)  Yesterdays

8)  Don’t Cry

9)  Welcome To The Jungle

10) You Could Be Mine

 

Which are your favourite Guns N’ Roses songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your favourite  Guns N’ Roses  song in your home or office, by ordering your favourite Guns N’ Roses song in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Also available – the DVD of your favourite film or TV programme framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

For further information, merchandise or memorabilia, go to Slash’s website……..   http://slashonline.com/

Or the Guns N’ Roses website……  http://web.gunsnroses.com

 

Boomtown Rats’ first hit “Looking After No1” was a portent of what was to come!!

The Boomtown Rats are reforming for the Isle of Wight Festival, 26 years after the band last performed together. The Boomtown Rats will be in august company ( albeit in June!! ) as The Killers and Bon Jovi have already been announced as headliners for the Isle of Wight Festival.

Although a step down from the Live Aid gig that Boomtown Rats lead singer Bob Geldof masterminded in July 1985, nevertheless The Isle of Wight festival will give the Boomtown Rats a public profile that they have not had for many a year. In much the same way as appearing at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert and Olympics Ceremony re-acquainted Madness with an adoring public and a new, younger audience, maybe the Boomtown Rats will have a similar resurgence and renaissance. Like Madness it may lead to a new single and album!!

I don’t feel that the Boomtown Rats ever really got the full credit they deserved. Their break came in 1977, when surfing the crest of the “New Wave”, they produced some reasonable quasi punk songs. In a portent of what was to come, the Boomtown Rats first hit single was “Looking After No1”, a chart position they were to become custodians of twice within the following two years. Initially it seemed the Boomtown Rats were tongue in cheek and didn’t take themselves too seriously, with the snarling, attitude-laden front man Bob Geldof, passing off a good impression of contemporary tennis “Superbrat” John McEnroe. However within a year Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats had graduated to a more sophisticated level, with their first No1 “Rat Trap”. This was backed up by another No1 in August 1979 “I Don’t Like Mondays”, which was similarly anthemic.

Although the Boomtown Rats never reached the same exalted heights of No1 again, Bob Geldof continued to pen some good songs, with something of a social message. Although not in the same satirical / political league as contemporaries The Specials or having the same entertainment level as Madness, Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats still crafted some worthy songs with a political edge. As a reminder of this, here’s a Recordpress Top 5 Best Boomtown Rats Songs –

Top 5 Best Boomtown Rats Songs

1) I Don’t Like Mondays ( No1 1979 )

2) Banana Republic ( No3 1980 )

3) Someone’s Looking At You ( No4 1980 )

4) Rat Trap ( No1 1978 )

5) Like Clockwork ( No6 1978 )

 

Which are your favourite Boomtown Rats songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your favourite Boomtown Rats song in your home or office, by ordering your favourite Boomtown Rats  song in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Also available – the DVD of your favourite film or TV programme framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

For further information, merchandise or memorabilia, go to the Boomtown Rats website…… http://www.boomtownrats.co.uk/

 

Top 5 Aussie Songs & Top 5 Aussie Films to celebrate Australia Day

We don’t like to admit it in public, but there is a bond between Aussies and Brits……..Or should that be Bondi?!! Deep down and fundamentally, we like and admire each other. Behind the banter and pisstaking is a fondness that is borne from our shared history and the commonality of two nations twelve thousand miles apart, but still joined by a historical and cultural umbilical cord, that spans two huge oceans and the globe.

So it’s for that reason, we Brits should at least acknowledge and recognise Australia Day on the 26th January, if indeed we don’t celebrate Australia Day. However the Author, having spent 8 months in Australia on a working holiday in 1989 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, would like to take this opportunity to celebrate Australia Day with our Aussie friends. So here are a Top 5 Best Aussie Songs and a Top 5 Best Aussie Films to celebrate Australia Day –

Top 5 Best Aussie Songs

1)  INXS – Never Tear Us Apart  ( No24 1988 )

2)  Men At Work – Down Under  ( No1 1983 )

3)  Sherbert – Howzat  ( No4 1976 )

4) Rolf Harris – Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport  ( No9 1960 )

5) Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan – Especially For You             ( No1 1988 )

 

Top 5 Best Aussie Films

1) Breaker Morant  ( 1980 )

2) Gallipolli  ( 1981 )

3) Picnic at Hanging Rock  ( 1975 )

4) Dead Calm  ( 1989 )

5) Muriel’s Wedding  ( 1994 )

 

Preserve your favourite film for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite film, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Alternatively celebrate your favourite film theme song in your home or office, by ordering your favourite film theme song in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

 

As original Batmobile sells at auction, here’s a Top10 Corgi Toy Cars

The Batmobile from the original TV series of Batman has sold for $4.2m (£2.6m) at an auction in the USA. The Batmobile was bought by Rick Champagne, a logistics company owner from Phoenix, Arizona. With a name like that, I’m sure Mr Champagne will be celebrating being the first owner of the Batmobile since Batman!!

The Batmobile design was based on a 1955 Lincoln Futura, a concept car built in Italy by the Ford Motor Company and became a central part of the 1960s surreal, camp cult TV series “Batman”, starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as his sidekick “boy wonder” Robin.

 

It is the first occasion that car had come up for public sale since it was bought in 1965 by car-customiser George Barris, who converted it in two weeks, at the cost of $15,000 (£9,400), into the Batmobile. It had a V-8 engine, arguably one of the first in-car phones, and parachutes, which were used to help the Batmobile turn sharp corners.

The Batmobile also became a must have toy in the 1960s and 1970s, when Corgi Toys produced a die cast model in 1966. Infact it became one of the iconic toy cars of the era.

The Recordpress author would definitely place it firmly in a Top 10 Best Corgi Toy Cars  from Film & TV Series in the 1960s / 1970s –

Top 10 Best Corgi Toy Cars from Film & TV Series in the 1960s / 1970s

 

1 ) James Bond Aston Martin DB5 ( Goldfinger & Thunderball )

2) Lady Penelope Pink Rolls Royce ( Thunderbirds )

3) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flying Car

4) Batmobile

5) Simon Templar Volvo P1800 ( The Saint )

6) Emma Peel Lotus Elan ( The Avengers )

7) James Bond Toyota 2000GT ( You Only Live Twice )

8) ‘Dick Dastardly’s’ Car ( Wacky Races )

9) Starsky & Hutch Ford Gran Torino

10) James Bond Lotus Esprit ( The Spy Who Loved Me )

 

What were your favourite toys & favourite films and TV series when you were a kid? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Preserve your favourite film or TV series for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite film or TV series, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Alternatively celebrate your favourite film or TV series theme song in your home or office, by ordering your favourite film or TV theme song in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

 

Do you recall the days of Pearl & Dean adverts & cinema usherettes?

This Saturday, 19th January is National Popcorn Day ( #National PopcornDay for those on Twitter ) in the USA, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t celebrate it here in the UK. Traditionally popcorn has always been synonymous with a trip to the cinema, or movies for our counterparts in the States!! Of course these days films are watched as much at home on DVD as in the cinema and consequently popcorn is no longer the exclusive preserve of the picture house.

For those of a certain vintage, growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, a trip to the cinema was a special treat and popcorn invariably accompanied the viewing. It’s hard to convey the excitement and anticipation of the cinema experience in those days. For those below the age of 40, we need to put “the trip to the cinema” into some sort of context. Essentially we are talking about an an era where there were only three TV channels, in a world devoid of rented or bought videos and DVDs and therefore a trip to the cinema was an exciting, rewarding experience. If you didn’t catch the new film release at the cinema, invariably you would have to wait at least five years before it was premiered on television.

Back at the cinema, before the big picture started, we had the commercials courtesy of Pearl and Dean, which was also an integral part of the cinema experience, with it’s glamorous commercials for Benson & Hedges cigarettes and Gordon’s Gin prefacing the start of the movie. There was always a tangible, audible thrill amongst the audience as the lights dimmed in the cinema, the thin veil curtain moved apart and the Pearl and Dean logo jumped out the screen, accompanied by that distinctive soundtrack. For those of you who have forgotten the Pearl & Dean theme music, here’s a reminder……. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0nei7gd3Uc

At the end of the glossy, glamorous Pearl & Dean commercials for national and international brands, were normally a couple of cheaply made, tacky ones for a local Indian restaurant, taxi firm or hardware shop. These bargain basement adverts signalled the end of the Pearl & Dean commercials and the commencement of the film. As if it to tease us, the thin veil curtain would move across the screen and almost immediately swish back as a man hitting a giant gong or Leo the Lion roaring would greet us.

Throughout the film, usherettes guided by torches, would circulate the cinema, with trays brimming with more more popcorn, Kia-Ora orange juice in square containers, orange ice lollies on wooden splinter sticks and tubs of ice cream with those distinctive pale blue mini spade spoons. A trip to the cinema in the 1960s and 1970s really was an adventure and as much as I like the convenience of DVDs, they diminish the exclusivity and excitement of going to the cinema as the only way of seeing a new film……Here’s a Top 10 Best Films I saw first at the cinema as a child / teenager –

1)     Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ( 1968 )

2)      Live & Let Die  ( 1973 )  

3)      Jaws  ( 1976 )

4)      Jungle Book ( 1967 )

5)      The Spy Who Loved Me ( 1977 )

6)      Taxi Driver ( 1976 )

7)      Oliver  ( 1968 )

8)      Mary Poppins  ( 1964 )

9)      Cromwell  ( 1970 )

10)    Saturday Night Fever  ( 1977 )

 

What are your favourite films that you saw at the cinema as a kid or a teenager? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Preserve your favourite film for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite film, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Alternatively celebrate your favourite film theme song in your home or office, by ordering your favourite film theme song in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

 

Sadly the time has come for the vet to put the HMV dog Nipper to sleep

There was a sad inevitability about HMV going in to receivership, as it was announced last night that the administrators have taken control of the business. This has been a protracted affair, going back as far as 2007, but finally it looks as if the famous dog and wind up gramophone logo are about to depart the high street for good. The iconic dog has patrolled our high streets for as long as we can remember and we will miss that little dog called “Nipper” like one of our own family pets!!

It’s not simply that all generations have grown up with the HMV dog and gramophone logo, either as a sign or shop fascia on the high street or as the “His Master’s Voice” vinyl record label for older generations. The truth is that HMV has been close to our hearts through the powerful emotions evoked by music, as a brand synonymous with music production and retail since 1921. In other words, HMV ( His Master’s Voice ) began by soundtracking the Charleston Dance era in the “Roaring Twenties” and has been with us ever since!! However it was not until the next social and cultural boom, the “Swinging Sixties”, that HMV really developed their presence on the high street.

Throughout the 1970s, HMV continued to expand, doubling in size, and became the UK’s leading specialist music retailers. It faced new competition, however, from Virgin Megastores, established in 1976, and Our Price, established in 1972. Along with Woolworths and WH Smiths, these five national music retail giants ruled the high street, supported by thousands of independent record shops in towns and cities the length and breadth of this green and pleasant land. But every dog has it’s day, and Nipper is no different. Having devoured struggling Fopp for lunch in 2006, by 2008 the writing was on the wall for HMV as it’s closest competitor Zavvi ( formerly Virgin Megastores ) folded and went into receivership.

 

 

 

Somehow brave old Nipper limped on for another four years into old age ( 91 in human years, never mind dog years!! ), but now the time has come for the kind Deloitte’s vet to put him out of his misery. For every generation who grew up with vinyl and then CDs, this is a sad moment as the last music retail presence leaves the high street. However the truth of the matter is that for a long time now CDs and DVDs have been much cheaper bought online through Amazon and digital downloads put the final nail in HMV’s coffin!! Sad, but in business as in evolution, you either adapt or die…….RIP HMV

You can re-create and re-live the era of buying vinyl records & CDs from HMV, Woolworths, WH Smiths, Our Price & Virgin, by ordering your favourite song in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Also available – the DVD of your favourite film or TV programme framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

 

Is Harry Nilsson’s ballad Without You the Best Love Song of All Time?

The man who wrote Harry Nilsson’s 1972 No1 “Without You” is to be honoured with a blue plaque in his home city of Swansea. The ceremony will take place in in April 2013

Pete Ham of Badfinger wrote “Without You” which was not only a big hit for Harry Nilsson but also Mariah Carey. Peter Ham was a member of the band Badfinger who recorded on the Beatles’ Apple Records label and worked closely with Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Although Badfinger had relative chart success in the early 1970s, Peter Ham’s song “Without You” will forever eclipse his band’s accomplishments as possibly the greatest love song / ballad of all time.

Of course the title and assessment of “Greatest Love Song of All Time” is completely subjective as different songs move people in different ways, but the author would put Harry Nilsson’s “Without You” at the summit of a Top 20 Best Love Songs of All Time –

Top 20 Best Love Songs of All Time

1) Harry Nilsson – Without You

2) Diana Ross – Aint No Mountain High Enough

3) Guns n Roses – November Rain

4) INXS – Never Tear Us Apart

5) Sinead O’Connor – Troy

6) Dusty Springfield – You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me

7) Elvis Presley – My Boy

8) Jackie de Shannon – What the World Needs Now Is Love

9) Genesis – Many Too Many

10) Rolling Stones – Angie

11) Lamont Dozier – Why Can’t We Be lovers?

12) Rod Stewart – You’re in my Heart

13) Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U

14) Four Tops – Reach Out I’ll Be There

15) Beatles – Something

16) Elvis Presley – Wonder of You

17) Madness – It Must Be Love

18) Bee Gees – How Deep is Your Love?

19) Pretenders – Thin Line Between Love & Hate

20) Stylistics – You Make Me Feel Brand New

 

Which are your favourite songs and ballads? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate a favourite ballad / love song in your home, by ordering your partner’s favourite ballad / love song in a vinyl or CD single format;  framed and mounted as a unique Valentine’s Day gift. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Also available as an original Valentine’s Day present – the DVD of a favourite romantic film, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for other special celebrations  ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

 

Thunderbirds are Go but creator Gerry Anderson has Gone!!

Gerry Anderson, a name synonymous with kids TV entertainment from the 1960s onwards, has died. For those who are still none the wiser, Gerry Anderson was the creator of Thunderbirds (1965-66), Stingray (1964), Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967-68) and Joe 90 ( 1968 ).

Gerry Anderson embarked on Thunderbirds in 1964, commissioned by ATV boss Lew Grade. Lew Grade as he demonstrated with TV series The Saint and later The Persuaders very much had an eye on the US export market. Hence Thunderbirds was very “Americanised” showcasing the Tracy brothers, with their mid Atlantic accents and first names mirroring US astronauts Scott Carpenter, Virgil Grissom, Alan Shepard, John Glenn and Gordon Cooper.

Scott, Virgil, Alan, John and Gordon were brothers and members of International Rescue, based on a Tracy Island, launched by their father Jeff Tracy with the slogan “Thunderbirds are Go!”. Two of the most memorable characters were blonde aristocrat Lady Penelope (voiced by and modelled on Gerry Anderson’s wife Sylvia Thamm) and Parker, the butler and chauffeur of Lady Penelope’s 21st-century Rolls-Royce, FAB 1 ( presumably Parker was voiced by and modelled on actor Michael Caine!! ).

 

The Thunderbirds puppets were state of the art in the mid to late 1960s, superceding TV puppets Muffin the Mule, Andy Pandy and Bill and Ben, the Flowerpot Men, who were not only in black and white but somewhat amateurish in comparison. Gerry Anderson built on the success of Thunderbirds with Stingray, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and then Joe 90. Infact the author was to fall victim to Joe 90 in the 1970s, when on account of my National Health spectacles, I was christened Joe 90, a nickname that stuck with me into early adulthood, when I finally insisted that my friends drop the pseudonym!!

Of course, going hand in hand with Gerry Anderson’s various TV series were the toys and merchandising. The must have toys in the 1960s and 1970s were the Thunderbird 2 craft and Lady Penelope’s pink Rolls Royce Fab 1, which were only matched by the iconic Corgi James Bond “Goldfinger” Aston Martin DB5. All the toys including Tracey Island were resurrected with the return of the Thunderbirds TV series in the 1990s…….

One of my favourite memories was seeing my nephew on his fourth birthday in 1992, wearing his brand new blue Thunderbirds outfit, blowing out the candles on his Thunderbird 2 birthday cake……..The Thunderbirds baton had been handed down to the younger generation!! And the enduring appeal of Gerry Anderson’s puppet programmes continues to this day.

Preserve your favourite TV programme or film for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite TV show / film, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed DVDs, framed vinyl records and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Do you agree with this Top 10 Best American Films promoting US culture?

It has been announced that the classic film “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” starring the incomparable Audrey Hepburn, is to be preserved for posterity as part of the US National Film Registry. The Oscar-winning film is one of 25 titles being added to the registry for its significance to American culture. The exquisitely observed film was centred around Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly – a free-spirited goodtime girl with an incurable romantic streak.

Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry”, baseball film “A League of Their Own” and “The Matrix” are also included among the new entries, adding to a comprehensive list of 600 films which represent “important cultural, artistic and historic achievements in filmmaking”.

Established by the Library of Congress in 1989, the US National Film Registry was set up under the National Film Preservation Act. There are many iconic American films and here is the MyFirstRecord.co.uk Top 10 Best American Films, that represent US culture most effectively –

 

Top 10 Best American Culture Films

1) “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid” – Great chemistry and comic one liners between Paul Newman & Robert Redford make this surely the best Western of all time

2) “North by Northwest” – Director Alfred Hitchcock & lead actor Cary Grant at their imperious best, with the literally gripping climax on the “rock faces” ( if you’ll pardon the pun!! ) of American presidents at Mount Rushmore

3) “The Great Gatsby” – Robert Redford & Mia Farrow’s doomed love affair is a parable for the doomed notion of the “American Dream”

4) “Sunset Boulevard” – Director Billy Wilder’s take on the self delusion of Hollywood through the ageing silent movie star Gloria Swanson

5) “Some Like It Hot” – Billy Wilder’s classic comedy set in the 1930s world of the US Depression with Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe being pursued by gangster Al Capone

6) “Double Indemnity” – Billy Wilder’s classic 1940s film noire pits insurance salesman Fred MacMurray against femme fatale Barbara Stanwyck in this gripping thriller

7) “Big Sleep” – Another from the film noire genre, with iconic Hollywood legend Humphrey Bogart in the iconic role of Raymond Chandler’s gumshoe / private detective Phillip Marlowe

8) “Goodfellas” – Robert de Niro at his finest as the classic all American gangster in the best American gangster film ( although “The Godfather” comes a very close second )

9) “Apocalypse Now” – The best of the anti Vietnam War films, culminating in one of Hollywood’s biggest cameo roles ( a deliberate contradiction!! ) played by Marlon Brando

10) “Casablanca” – Simply the greatest cinematic love story of all time, played with consummate understatement by the all American Celluloid Hero Humphrey Bogart ably supported by beau Ingrid Bergman

 

Preserve your favourite film for posterity, by ordering the DVD of your favourite film, framed with a personalised engraved plaque  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Alternatively celebrate your favourite film theme song in your home or office, by ordering your favourite film theme song in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!