Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Moonlight Shadows

The Shadows. How cool were they? Just watch them perform Apache here - the bassist stops playing at the end and just smokes a cigarette. Effortless cool.

Furthermore, they were immortalised in Supermarionation in Thunderbirds Are Go! I first watched this film on a day off sick from school during the Thunderbirds revival of the early '90s. Not even the presence of puppet Cliff (who would leave an older me, wanting to watch tennis, emotionally and mentally scarred) could drain their cool here.

But what happened? See their performance here on One Show antecendent Pebble Mill in 1986. I've got nothing against the song, I've got a lot of time for Mike Oldfield & Maggie O'Reilly's Moonlight Shadow, which they covered on their album Moonlight Shadows (I'm not making that up). It's the sort of outdoor performance that would become standard on Top Of The Pops in the next decade, where what little cool remains bleeds out into the daylight. And how little is evidenced by Hank's jacket. As Bobby said, it's the definition of naff.

Moonlight Shadows also features covers of other pop hits (Against All Odds, Every Breath You Take, Jennifer Rush's The Power of Love, Lionel Richie's Hello) and Elaine Paige musical ballads (Memory, I Know Him So Well). I am still not making this up.


  1. The Shadows are indelibly marked on my childhood: particularly in that latter guise. I had a compilation on tape which had many of those tracks on (as well as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5qIm43u4Q0).

    Maybe Explosions in the Sky will be on daytime TV in bad shirts in 20 years time. I often joke that The Shadows were the original post-rock band, but I actually think there's similarities with EITS' "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place": both are albums of instrumental guitar music which showcase melody over timbre, riff or dynamic changes (unlike most post-rock).

    This, though, is The Shadows' finest track. And though they're miming here too, they look sharp as:


  2. ...Wonderful Land's a bit like a jollier version of early GY!BE. I would say that's down to Morricone, but 1962 was before any of his spag western soundtracks.