Vidi Video #3: The Look of Love (1982)

Now this, pals, is a video. Just like they used to make ’em. ABC and their mini-Bryan Ferry (but infinitely more fun and playful) Martin Fry rock the spot, and never more so than in this totally bonkers, single set fuckabout. Give these Sheffield synth popateers three-and-a-half minutes and they’ll give you alpine horns, harlequins and straw hats. That’s a fair trade any day of the week.

My favourite bit, of course, has nothing to do with the video, but is Martin Fry’s spoken breakdown. He is the king of these, the smooth dodger, especially as he mentions his own name, which makes it all seem so real.

“And though my friends just might ask me / They say Martin, maybe one day you’ll find true love.”

Sho’ nuff.

Of course, in this country The Lexicon of Love (where The Look of Love comes from) was ABC’s high tide. America, however, decided to go bananas for them some years later off the back of the inferior (but still pretty handy) How To Be A Zillionaire album which slightly confusingly featured the single How To Be A Millionaire, which led to an actual ABC cartoon show showing up on US telly, I once heard,  but evidence is a bit thin on the ground. Stranger things have happened though.

As part of 4OD, they’re offering a random selection of episodes of Star Test, the computer interview show spun off from Network 7 (or am I thinking of True or False?). There’s a great Martin Fry one from 1989 where ABC were a bit past their prime, but he seems like a lovely chap, a bit more fey than I was expecting, which I know sounds ridiculous, but very self-effacing in a charming way. There’s something hopelessly bizarre about it really, it’s literally half an hour of Fry essentially talking to himself in a one shot. You can catch some of it here.

“Yippee-ai, yippee-ai ayy.”

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5 thoughts on “Vidi Video #3: The Look of Love (1982)

  1. The bit about ol’ Mart mentioning himself by name reminds of Dame Bowie’s “Teenage Wildlife”, a riposte to the emergent New Romantics (amongst others) insistent on looking to Dave too heavily for guidance:

    “Same old thing in brand new drag comes sweeping into view […]

    And you’ll take me aside and say David, what should I do?
    They wait for me in the hallway
    I’ll say don’t ask me I don’t know any hallways
    But they move in numbers and they’ve got me in a corner
    I feel like a group of one
    They can’t do this to me
    I’m not some piece of teenage wildlife”

    And, thinking about it, this in turn reminds me of Ricky Gervais’s appearance on ‘Room 101’, when Paul Merton showed a video clip of the young, skinny, made-up and crooning Ricky in his Shona Dancing [?] days, and commented “Hang on! David Bowie’s nicked all your stuff!”.

  2. I love that video – pure pop class. And “Lexicon” still sounds fantastic too. One of my fave records ever.

    Thanks for the link; you’ve been linked to as well.

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