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Pop! A Complete History vol 1

Pop! A Complete History vol 1

Pop! A Complete History vol 1 back

Jonathan Edwards


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Top-notch a-muso-mirth from the pages of NME, and for some reason my favourite panel is from the Beatles’ filmography, parodying their iconic HELP! shenanigans in semphore as:

“HIYA!” The Times – “Four grown men titting about.”

Maybe because in my mind I’m hearing “HIYA!” as a camped-up greeting down a gay nightclub. I’m not entirely convinced that A Knight’s Hard Day was “an exposé of medieval working practices” but I’m willing to take Jonathan Edwards at his word since he kicks off with complete authority thus:

“All pop music is derived from ‘the blues’ – FACT! The blues was invented in 1900 by Shiverin’ Bitter Lemon Jefferson. “Woke up this morning and inadvertently set in motion a chain of events that would inevitably lead to the T4 Hollyoaks Special. Damn!””

This works even better as a collection rather than a weekly strip for there is cumulative comedy, Edwards returning to that riff over and over again, as when he reveals four further blues guitarist somewhat less than legendary, like metal-head Rustin’ Tinribs Hopkins, whose life is on the fritz:

“Upgraded this morning, Error Message – 26668 bzzzzttttt!”

As ever, of course, to convey the finest comicbook comedy, you kind of need the images. Sorry, and all that – you’ll just have to buy the booklet.

When you do (not if – we understand the power of positive linguistics here), you will learn all about the early torture of Elvis Presley, born quiff-first and top-heavy, his body a mere appendage to the majesty of his mane, and be enlightened on both Cockney and indeed Mockney Blues as Edwards takes us back to London, 1921, and the meteoric rise (don’t meteors fall?) of Coughin’ Billy Bowbells (“Think Plan B with rickets”):

“Me ol’ trouble is brown bread,
I can still see her Bracknells
And the Rodericks I’ll never forget!”

“Trouble & strife – Wife. Brown bread – Dead. Bracknells – I dunno, eyes? Rodericks – No idea. I haven’t a clue.”

I think we can forgive Jonathan this lapse in omniscience: singles rarely came with sleeve notes back in 1921.

Cleverly he had the foresight to choose most of his targets – sorry, subjects – for maximum timelessness, although I’m not sure how long Jedward will remain “a thing” (actually, incredibly, they may well endure!) and these strips were evidently created during the period in which every TV advert seemed to come with an emotive Moby soundtrack.

For the most part, however, you will find blues, jazz and rock – indie or otherwise – in the form of Marc Bolan, The Rolling Stones, Little Richard, Oasis, and country singer Chet Sorrows who claimed he could make a horse cry. According to Edwards others attempted to emulate this animal emo with varying degrees of success:

“Dwight Flotsam managed to make a cow gaze wistfully into the middle distance.”

Ah, that Moby magic!