Rock's Backpages

E43: The Story of Electronic Music + Slade + Status Quo with David Stubbs

Episode Summary

In this week's episode of the RBP Podcast, Mark Pringle and Jasper Murison-Bowie are joined by David Stubbs to talk about his book Mars By 1980, which traces the story of electronic music from its beginnings in the mechanical experiments of the late nineteenth century through Stockhausen and musique concrète to Stevie Wonder's cosmic funk, the 80s electropop of bands like Depeche Mode and beyond. Mark and Jasper hear how David got his start at Melody Maker after co-founding Oxford magazine Monitor as a student; he confesses that at the time he was in a 'slightly pompous phase' where the only music he was listening to was avant garde classical and jazz or funk. These areas inform much of the discussion that follows, as the three of them consider the initially slow and then suddenly meteoric rise of the synthesizer in popular music. The week's audio interview is with Francis Rossi of Status Quo in 2010, with the chosen clips concerning the adjustment of Her Majesty the Queen's undergarments as well as his relationship with bandmate Rick Parfitt. The free feature is Slade, with three pieces about Noddy and co up for grabs. In the archive section, Mark highlights a few pieces including Cecil Taylor's hands blurring with the speed of his playing live in Hammersmith, Muddy Waters interviewed by Max Jones and Dennis Wilson opening up about his time with Charles Manson for the first time to Joel Selvin. Jasper selects Evan Parker playing the Invisible Jukebox game with Mike Barnes for The Wire plus a piece by their illustrious guest about whether humour and music can mix.

Episode Notes

Rock's Backpages (http://www.rocksbackpages.com) is the world's only comprehensive archive of music journalism. Every week, Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle pick their highlights among the 50+ new pieces added to the database, and present an exclusive excerpt from the week's new audio interview.

Hosted by Mark Pringle and Jasper Murison-Bowie with special guest David Stubbs

Mars By 1980: The Story of Electronic Music is available via the Faber website at https://www.faber.co.uk/9780571351299-mars-by-1980.html.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Pieces discussed: Janet Jackson, Aphex Twin, DJ Shadow, Yo! Bum Rush Foucault!, Status Quo audio, Slade, Slader, Sladest, Cecil Taylor, Al Green, Muddy Waters, Cherrelle, Manfred Eicher/ECM, Evan Parker and seriously funny music.