Another excellent in-depth portrait of a band on BBC4. It took us from the individual members’ musical origins in the 1960s, through their self-built studio in Stockport, worldwide fame and global hits, management woes and eventual break-up over ‘musical differences’. The band of four members comprised two distinct duos: Gouldman & Stewart and Godley & Creme; their competitiveness in the studio pushing them to ever-greater heights of creativity and experimentation. Clearly all four members are geniuses who couldn’t help but be innovative and experimental. They also seem to have had quite a nice time doing it, and weren’t in it for the money and the fame.
They are thoroughly nice chaps who have aged well and seem to bear no ill will against each other. Godley and Creme went on to achieve the greater prominence and success after the break-up, moving into video production for other bands in the 1980s (virtually inventing the ‘look’ of the pop video genre) and having several chart hits of their own.
For the geeks among us, the programme went into some depth describing the studio trickery involved in creating the ultimate exercise in overdubbing, I’m Not in Love. We also got to see the inner workings of G&C’s musical instrument invention the Gizmo.
Having said all that, I, personally, have never really been drawn to their music. I was always aware of it, and maybe I admired it for its cleverness, but even after this documentary I won’t be rushing over to Spotify to listen to any of it. I am glad that other people like it, though.
Awkward glossing-over moment of the week: how Jonathan King dreamed up the band’s name.