In 1985, the BBC announced that Doctor Who was to be put on an 18-month hiatus….and it looked like it might be cancelled.

Taking a page from Band Aid, a group of musicians (including members of The Moody Blues and Ultravox, as well as several dozen others I’ve never heard of, before or since), joined by The Doctor (Colin Baker), Peri (Nicola Bryant), Brigadier Lethbridge Steward (Nicolas Courtney) and The Master (Anthony Ainley) recorded a benefit single, called “Doctor In Distress.” Proceeds went to Cancer research, but the song was primarily aimed at the BBC:

“Doctor In Distress — Bring him back now, we won’t take less.”

The song failed to move….well, anyone, really. There was an 18-month hiatus, the show came back, limped along for a few more years, before finally being cancelled in 1989, where, aside from a 1996 TV movie, it remained until its much-lauded return in 2005.

But that song. Eeesh.

Oh Dear God In Heaven, There’s a Video….

EDIT: I just watched it again. Oh dear. I’m so, so sorry.

Friday Music

Geez, you people are demanding. I give you a full album of groovy electronica earlier in the week, and yet you still want your Friday Music.

Alright, alright….no shoving. Here we go:

Despite what lots of folks think, this song was not sung by “Eddie and the Cruisers,” or Michael Pare, or Bruce Springsteen. Michael Pare played Eddie in the movie, and lipsynched in the video (which was mostly scenes from the film), and the song was really popular because it was riding in just as the singles from Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” album had been exhausted, and people wanted more. The artists behind this great song don’t get enough credit, and I love the song, so here it is: John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band – “On the Dark Side.”

Absolutely brutal hip-hop from Ice Cube–one of his lesser-known tracks, but my favorite. It features a guest artist, Don Jaguar, doing some Jamaican dub in a thick patois, and a disaster-siren-filled backing track that is more reminiscent of Public Enemy than Cube’s previous work. This 1992 release was one of the first tracks to directly reference the L.A. Riots. Ice Cube – “Wicked.”

A different “Ice” and a different style — during the same period as the above-listed track, one of the inventors of the West Coast “gangsta” style, Ice T, released an album of hardcore rock with his band Body Count. Primarily remembered for the controversy over the song “Cop Killer” (yet there had been no controversy when Eric Clapton had done “I Shot The Sheriff”….gee, I wonder why?), the group was Ice T’s effort (in his words) “to get angry black kids and angry white kids in the same room, and make ’em realize that they’re angry about the same shit.” When Body Count played Liberty Hall in Lawrence, it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. This was the opening track of the album, and the opening track of the show — a riff to show off, get the crowd worked up, and introduce the band: Body Count – “Body Count Anthem.”

For a complete shift of gears — I recently discovered this song, from a couple of years back. It’s always kinda cool to discover a song referencing your home town….and, as you can imagine, it happens a helluva less, now that I no longer live in NYC. But this is a song from neo-folk singer Josh Ritter, and whereas it’s not “about” Lawrence, it mentions it, and that line gives the song its title. It’s a very cool, country-tinged Dylan-esque piece. I like it. Josh Ritter – “Lawrence, KS.”

Another track from the absolutely brilliant Velvet Goldmine soundtrack, by the supergroup created for the album, The Venus in Furs. Although, in my head, this song is, of course, by Brian Slade (aka Maxwell Demon), with Curt Wilde. The Venus in Furs – “Baby’s On Fire.”

A new artist that I’ve recently discovered — a Swedish woman of Indian descent, who does some really impressive alternative electronic pop. If you like this track, she has a MySpace page with some more samples. Vijaya – “Your Gun Will Never Set You Free.”

An absolutely beautiful track from the group Orbital. One of my favorites. I can’t even begin to describe it. Just listen: Orbital – “Belfast/Wasted (vocal mix).”

Our last track this week is yet another nugget of brilliance from Midlake’s album The Trials of Van Occupanther, which comes out at the end of July. Every track I’ve posted from them has been excellent, and this is no exception — and I’m putting it here primarily as a reminder to myself to go get this sucker as soon as it comes out. Midlake – “Roscoe.”