wed 22/01/2020

1980s

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Beloved - Where It Is

Commercially, The Beloved’s peak years kicked off in autumn 1989 when their electro house-pop began its chart run. The band called it a day in 1996 after the X album and its attendant singles. Throughout the period, they dealt in a form of house...

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Just Mercy review - soul-stirring true story about race and justice in America

Just Mercy, the latest film from Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), is based on a New York Times bestseller. It has a star-studded cast. It’s emotionally moving as well as intellectually accessible. But it’s no easy film to watch. “They can call...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On

When Sight & Sound compiled its “Greatest Documentaries of All Time” list five years ago, Kazuo Hara’s The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On came in at number 23 – proof, some three decades on from its 1987 release, that this remarkable film had...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Buddies

The acclaim of being the first to represent the mid-1980s AIDS pandemic in cultural form was a plaudit that none of those concerned would ever have wished for. With New York as its epicentre, and almost nothing known about the disease that was...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl Christmas Special 2019

Season’s greetings, vinyl junkies. It’s unfortunate things grew so stinky just as we headed towards the one time when Britain downs tools and disappears to the enjoy itself for a week or two. But let’s try for good will towards all. To help along...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 55: Peaky Blinders, Graham Coxon, 2 Tone, Redrago, Gary Numan, The Clash and more

Britain is unpleasant to look at right now, ugly and foolish, so why not lock down with some tuneage. Below is the best plastic that’s hit theartsdesk on Vinyl over the last month, all genres, all the time. Watch out for the forthcoming Christmas...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 54: The Beatles, Prince, Kid Acne, Nirvana, Teebs, Monty Python, Pulp and more

Without further ado, slightly delayed by the sheer volume of releases at this year time of year, here is the latest edition of theartsdesk on Vinyl. You will not find a more extensive monthly report on the goodies newly available on plastic anywhere...

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The Fall of the Berlin Wall with John Simpson, BBC Four review – the future we’ve left behind

John Simpson remains the BBC’s longest serving foreign correspondent. Here, he returns to the biggest moment of his career. This personalised retelling of the collapse of the Berlin wall encompasses fond remembrance, factual detail and the...

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A Prayer for Wings, King's Head Theatre review - claustrophobic mother-daughter drama soars

When Sean Mathias wrote A Prayer for Wings 35 years ago, the subject of young carers devoting their lives to parents with disabilities had just come as a revelation. That it's still very much a shame under another Tory government keeps this play...

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Ben Elton, Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall review - magnificent return to stand-up

It has been 15 years since Ben Elton, known as Motormouth in his 1980s heyday – last toured. A decade-and-a-half ago, one of the instigators of alternative comedy tells us at the top of the show, he could have still passed muster as young or cool....

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The Mask of Orpheus, English National Opera review - amorphous excess

Advance publicity overstated the case for The Mask of Orpheus. "Iconic"? Only to academics and acolytes, for British audiences haven't had a chance to see a production since ENO's world premiere run in 1986. "Masterpiece"? Sitting there after the...

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Black Flag, The Mill, Birmingham review – hardcore punk originators come up trumps

Prior to this week, it had been 35 years since hardcore punk firestarters Black Flag had set foot in the UK. That said, it was not without some trepidation that I made my way to one of Birmingham’s more compact venues to see a band who had once been...

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