Sunday, February 19, 2006

'The stock market for your hi-fi'

"Top of the Pops": Can't-miss, cultural institution, or, in the business of showcasing slick, pre-packaged rubbish?

We know where The Rezillos stood regarding this matter. Unfortunately, the producers responsible for putting together the aforementioned, long-running, British music television program did not. The track "Top Of The Pops" was a lampoon of the TV program, humorously ridiculing the show's penchant for insipid shlock. Hackneyed, soulless artists miming to pre-recorded dross.

At least, that's how The Rezillos felt.

Now, here's what makes this particular story worth telling. File this under "truth is stranger than fiction": The single actually climbed as high as No. 17 in the U.K. charts; the group was then invited to "play" it on "Top of the Pops" . . . twice. The show's producers assumingly misunderstood the sarcastic lyrics for a rousing tribute. Yes, one imagines the ole irony detectors were switched to "off" when hearing couplets like, "There's one -- born every day/Sing song -- then fade away," or, "What is selling, what to buy/The stock market for your hi-fi."

It's no surprise The Rezillos -- who hailed from Edinburgh -- crafted a song so colorful and fresh. After all, this is the band Brian Hogg once described in his book, All That Ever Mattered, as: "The mutant bastard offspring of the original Roxy Music and a greasy Dr. Feelgood . . . ."

Hear it for yourself. Download: "Top Of The Pops" by The Rezillos. Catchy as hell with some lovely Fay Fife vocals. No wonder the TV roasters fell for it.