> From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
WOW! The Brits really get their license fee's worth with Channel 4 --
and this was a BBC Scotland production!
I started watching this thinking that it would be crap and that I would
find loads of factual errors, but on the whole it makes many good
points. It makes a good argument about the transition of the rock and
pop scene from being singles oriented to album oriented that I had not
fully considered despite the fact that I lived it and was a part of it.
Perhaps their excuse would be that they had discussed the 50's as being
when adults bought albums and kids bought singles, but I would go beyond
their narrow view of performers that teenagers would know of. Kids did
not buy Bob Dylan albums in 1962 or 63. They DID buy Elvis albums,
Kingston Trio, but not Dylan.
Although I was there in the folk scene, I had gotten my introduction to
Dylan in 63 when my British pen-pal asked me to send him Freewheeling
which had not been released there. The delay in releasing his first 2
albums in England is not noted despite crediting Dylan with part of the
thrust to albums with his first albums, especially Freewheeling, but
this was not noticed at the tie -- only later. They did have an aside
about the growth of the American Folk Music scene being an influence in
the album, but then jump back to Dylan. If you want to note album
artists that did not have hit singles, it started before Dylan. Harry
Belefonte was not a singles seller, but with "Mark Twain" and especially
"Calypso", his albums were very influential. I discovered recently when
doing my "First Family"/"My Son the folk Singer" research that Joan Baez
had THREE albums in the top 15 that month and that Peter Paul and Mary's
first album was the No 1 album that these two comedy albums bumped off.
Dylan's own albums were not making a wave yet -- PP&M MADE Dylan. Later
on the doc discusses the live album and credits Peter Frampton with
starting that phase of albums, they forgot "The Weavers At Carnegie
Hall" and then Belafonte's three GIGANTIC HIT Carnegie Hall and Greek
Theatre albums as being influential sellers for performers who still
were not singles sellers. Kids were buying these albums before they
bought Dylan's albums. Plus I would say that Belafonte's albums were
more "concept" than Dylan's early albums and that they were hits whereas
But it is a thought provoking doc.
Mike Biel [log in to unmask]