The Beat Goes On at the movies, part 2 … Beatles, Blues Brothers, Barbra and more


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Welcome to the second half of the soundtrack special edition of The Beat Goes On, featuring an eclectic variety of music from the movies, ranging from A Hard Day’s Night to The Blues Brothers and from South Pacific to Sex and the City.

The Beat Goes On is a new radio show, hosted by the editor of this very website, on Kennet Radio, a community radio station in Berkshire, England, on 106.7 FM (no static at all … well, not much). You can listen to the whole show online by following this link to Mixcloud.

If you don’t want to listen to the whole thing, this two-part blogpost contains a full playlist and cool links to all the music, with added film and video clips.

Enjoy the second half of the show!

Great theme tune. The show was going to be called The Alley Cats, and then Harry’s Angels, but they changed it to avoid confusion with Harry O. This brings back memories of heated playground discussions as to which one was our favourite. Mine was David Doyle.

Heatwave (initially Chicago’s Heatwave) were a class act, and this is one of the great records of the 1970s, composed by the late Rod Temperton, who went on to write Rock With You, Thriller and other classics for Michael Jackson. Boogie Nights has appeared in several movie soundtracks, including Eyes of Laura Mars and The Stud, but ironically not in Boogie Nights itself (lead singer Johnnie Wilder Jr, a devout Christian, objected on moral grounds).

Boogie Nights to Thriller: Rod Temperton, the soul genius most fans have never heard of

In the regular “Hope I Die Before the Band Gets Old” slot are Kool & The Gang, formed in 1964 as The Jazziacs and not just still in business more than 50 years later but, incredibly, with four original members, including main men Robert “Kool” Bell and his brother Ronald. Listen closely to this wonderful, all too brief clip from Saturday Night Fever and you will hear the Gang play a few bars of Streets of Cairo (the “snake charmer” song), which is even older than the band, dating from the 1890s.,

“Are you a mod or a rocker?” “I’m a mocker.” Funny, innocent, but slyly knowing, and still watchable today, A Hard Day’s Night captures the moment when Beatlemania (the original title of the film) captured the world’s imagination and The Beatles changed it for ever.

Want to know how to play the opening chord, the most famous guitar chord in history? John, Paul and George each had a crucial role. Keith Smart tells you exactly how they did it.

“You won’t have heard of them. It’s by a group called The Beatles”

“What’s New, Pussycat?”, the 1965 movie in which this appeared, was a greeting Warren Beatty used on the phone to his many girlfriends. Paul Jones of the Manfreds does a decent job on a fine Burt Bacharach-Hal David song that was not really suited to his style. Love’s punkier version was much better, and here’s amazing footage of Arthur Lee and friends (including Alban “Snoopy” Pfisterer on snare drum) miming to it on TV in 1966.

If the Kids are United, which reached No 9 on the UK charts exactly 40 years ago, was featured in the 1996 film When Saturday Comes, a poor man’s The Full Monty in which Sean Bean, improbably, propels Sheffield United to FA Cup glory by scoring a last-minute penalty against Manchester United. Blades fans, of whom I am one, still sing “Sheffield United will never be defeated” (not true, sadly) to this tune. But of course in Sheffield, we ‘ad it tough in them days …

Michael Palin, the only Yorkshireman, is the only one to get the accent right but it’s still a pretty funny sketch. And accurate.

Jennifer Hudson’s power-packed All Dressed in Love – written by Cee-Lo of Gnarls Barkley, MC Jack Splash from Plantlife and producer Salaam Remi – brings Sex and the City, the movie, to a suitable close. Sadly, they made a sequel in 2010; it gained seven Golden Raspberry nominations and three awards, including Worst Actress (for all four principal characters).

From the depths of The Damned to the top of the charts, Captain Sensible (Raymond Burns), introduced by John Peel and backed by guitarist Robyn Hitchcock and Dolly Mixture, in 1989 with his surprisingly likable version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, from South Pacific.

“Parfait mélange” indeed: a hauntingly beautiful song, in any language, by the French singer, dancer and actor Guesch Patti, the title track of her 1995 album and the best thing in Peter Greenaway’s movie The Pillow Book, perhaps the ultimate example of his obsession with style over substance.

It’s 106 miles to Chicago … we got a tank full of gas … half a pack of cigarettes … it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses … HIT IT!

Jake and Elwood Blues at their best.

Great lyrics from an original Modern Lover and Talking Head: “Pretty girl, young man, old man, man with a gun, two people in love – the rules do not apply.” Like Sister Carol’s Wild Thing (see previous blogpost), this is from Jonathan Demme’s excellent 1986 black comedy Something Wild.

Now it’s time for Frank of the Month, another regular feature in the show. Last time we had Frank, the Amy Winehouse album. For The Beat Goes On soundtrack special it’s … Lieutenant Frank Drebin. Here are some of Leslie Nielsen’s best moments from The Naked Gun trilogy.

When I see five weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of the park in full view of 100 people I shoot the bastards!

That was a Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar, you moron. You killed five actors – good ones.

The next edition of The Beat Goes On, later this month, will feature two hours of great music featuring only female artists, from Aretha to Ella, from Sister Sledge to The Slits. To whet your appetite, here’s Barbra Streisand.

Pass me a hanky, please. I think I’ve got something in my eye.

And that’s about it. But there is one more thing …

Listen to The Beat Goes On live at – the next show will be broadcast on Wednesday 22 August from 9-11pm (21:00 to 23:00 BST).

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Last modified: August 10, 2018

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