May 09

The Video Age

FT + Popular29 comments • 1,561 views

Quick poll time:

Should I embed YouTube videos in the posts on Popular?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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(The first two categories are designed to separate people who want the videos as part of the “package” of the song being discussed, and people who just want a way to hear the song. i.e. with the latter option we’d include embedded clips all the way back to Al Martino if we could find ’em.)


  1. 1

    I’ve voted no for speed of upload and distraction reasons — I definitely think you should provide links to them though.

  2. 2
    SteveM on 24 May 2009 #

    don’t mind either way but expecing a win for ‘no’

    maybe as an admin you could embed the video in comments, if it’s noteworthy in some way and not one of the more famous #1s?

  3. 3
    Tom Lawrence on 24 May 2009 #

    I’ve been making use of the Spotify playlist for those above 8+ personally. Did you ever get around to doing the full playlist for decades beyond the 50s? It is super useful.

    Aslo, first comment! I’ll be born in 1986, so I guess this is about the time I should start commenting.

  4. 4
    Tom on 24 May 2009 #

    I might just go for the links.

    I nearly always look at the video while writing the review anyway so it wouldn’t be any extra effort “finding” them – for the ones going forward at least.

    Tom at #3 – hello! I did a first-half-of-the-60s list (which needs updating actually): http://open.spotify.com/user/freakytrigger/playlist/6yzr2N3uXV8p6ler7NRBv3

  5. 5
    peter goodlaws on 24 May 2009 #


    I think we’re going along quite nicely as we are. Providing easy access to the tracks might result in bloggers offering “remembrances” of records they had largely forgotten or had only just encountered by simply clicking on your tame link and then basically reviewing what they hear/see. For me, this would take much of the fun out of your project and you would lose those wonderful remarks from those nonplussed folk who had totally forgotten “Baby Jump” and “Free” etc when they really shouldn’t have done.

    My vote would be no. Please don’t turn Popular into Eurovision.

  6. 6
    Tom Lawrence on 24 May 2009 #

    One problem at present of course is that Youtube is blocking all “official” copies of music videos for anyone in the UK, due to a rights dispute with the record companies. It has been dragging on interminably for ages now.

    Tom, thanks for the half-60s list. Since I’m introducing myself, I’ll take this moment to gush: I love the blog, and you have to be the best music writer I have yet encountered anywhere. In all seriousness, your writing is gorgeous.

  7. 7
    Kat but logged out innit on 24 May 2009 #

    From purely selfish reasons I’d say no, as I occasionally post up Popular videos myself here. Most of the noteworthy ones are worth a post to themselves.

    A link is definitely a good idea though – recommend flicking through Dailymotion, Vimeo and Yahoo video if record label beef means the Youtube vid has gone.

  8. 8
    Mark M on 24 May 2009 #

    I voted yes, but think that Peter makes a good argument at 5. In voting for official videos, I’m taking that to mean promo videos and/or TOTP/Ready Steady Go/Beat Club/Midnight Special etc performances from the time, as opposed to someone using the tune as a soundtrack to them varnishing the garden bench.

  9. 9
    Tom on 24 May 2009 #

    It looks like the Yeses have a moderate lead on the Nos/Don’t Cares, so what I’ll do is bring it in for a trial period after the upcoming break in transmission (caused by Ewing Jr II’s imminent arrival).

    #5 – I don’t want people making “I was there” stuff up – but I do want people writing about the track who’ve never heard it before!

  10. 10
    LondonLee on 24 May 2009 #

    I voted yes to official videos only just because they became so important in the Adam Ant/Duran Duran era and are worthy of comment themselves. Though I guess that would distract from the main point of Popular, the actual records.

  11. 11
    Pete on 24 May 2009 #

    I’ve embedded the odd clip in the comments on and off during Popular (usually when a particularly notable TOTP performance has happened), though the clips have not always been of the actual songs and sometimes of a tangent. In some ways this allows it to be less of the main event, and usually (with this batch we are coming to) would come up in the conversation anyway.

  12. 12
    c on 25 May 2009 #

    I’d much rather videos be in the comments than the post itself – i sort of think it inelegant to have a youtube embed up there? Somehow I don’t feel that there’s space to have both sleevepic and video in the main post (and therefore in the stuff that appears on the lj rss feed, which reproduces entire posts).

    (and if you must have videos in the original post will it always be behind a cut? on a bad day multiple youtube embeds on a page will make my browser fall over.)

  13. 13
    Billy Smart on 25 May 2009 #

    Provide Kat with the resources to create official FT interpretation videos for each entry – Should be especially fun once we get to the rave era.

  14. 14
    Tom Lawrence on 25 May 2009 #

    I would say linking rather than embedding is a good idea, yes. Remember also that a lot of the links/embeds are going to end up broken after not much time at all – only “official” music videos tend to remain on youube resiliently, and most of those are blocked in the UK.

  15. 15
    Kat but logged out innit on 25 May 2009 #

    #13 – hehehe I think you’d all get sick of Ratpig by mid-1984.

  16. 16
    wichitalineman on 26 May 2009 #

    Pardon me for getting a little confused. I voted yes (for a link), but don’t think the video should be considered as part of the ‘package’ (so I should probably have voted no). I appreciate that the videos were significant to people’s memories on a lot of entries from this point on, but as others have said, Popular’s about the record. We could also take picture sleeves into account with everything from 1978 onwards, but I wouldn’t want to do that either.

  17. 17
    Tom on 26 May 2009 #

    Well we kind of HAVE taken them into account thanks to the magic of SteveM – the sleeves are up there and available for comment.

    The video is already “part of the package” – for some entries discussion of the video has been very important, for others it’s been non-existent. I think it would be truer to say that the record is the one constant in Popular – i.e. you won’t get an entry that doesn’t talk about the record at all. (Well, probably not.) The video is like the sleeve, the look, the personal connection – another element that will have different weight for different entries. Including video links in posts just makes that element an easier point of reference without people having to go look it up.

  18. 18
    Martin Skidmore on 26 May 2009 #

    My vote would be for linking – preferably to an official vid, but I’d say a good performance clip is the second choice, and the music with no vid would be last.

  19. 19
    Brian on 26 May 2009 #

    As an older member of the club , and remembering back to seeing “The Beatles” on Ed Sullivan – I really can’t see how you can separate the music , it’s meaning and it’s sucess without seeing the videos. It’s a bit reactionary. Bring on the vids….

    Links would be best, too . Then you can go if you want to.

  20. 20
    Lex on 26 May 2009 #

    Definitely no to embeds for reasons of speed and efficiency. A link would be pretty nice, though I can see Peter’s point – and tbh if someone really wants to hear the song or watch the video it’s not beyond them to, you know, go to Youtube themselves. If they’re too lazy to do that then they probably don’t care all that much!

  21. 21
    SteveM on 26 May 2009 #

    Either embed or nothing sa I.

  22. 22
    Lex on 26 May 2009 #

    If its embeds vs nothing, I vote for nothing. I have a pretty decent memory/browser situation and even then too many embeds will make it a bit creaky.

  23. 23
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 26 May 2009 #

    It isn’t embeds versus nothing, even if stevem does sa it

  24. 24
    lonepilgrim on 26 May 2009 #

    I voted ‘don’t care’ – but would prefer links rather than embeds. Although we’ve reached the video age they were still not as ubiquitous then as they have become now. MTV was just a rumour in the UK and the audio part of the package was the dominant experience. Alternatively a memorable performance on TOTP or the Tube might hold a stronger memory than the official video (cf Nirvana and Come as you are). Lastly as one of the pleasures of this site is to share other peoples readings of the songs it might appear to give primacy to the video.

  25. 25
    wichitalineman on 26 May 2009 #

    That’s exactly how I feel.

    I’m intrigued as to whether people think that the video is ubiquitous in 2009. It feels to me as if the way music is distributed these days has lessened the hold it had in the Chart Show heyday.

    Sorry if I sounded a little terse earlier, Tom – not intentional!

  26. 26
    Taylor on 27 May 2009 #

    BitTorrent + page with lots of embeds = browser crash, for me, usually, so I’m glad that’s not going to happen.

    Anyway, I voted no because I don’t like to lose the purity of, y’know, words about a record. Embeds in music-related “online content” are a pet hate of mine, (but even links are pushing it), because aside from the technical issues, a.) they stop you feeling involved (more fun to seek it out yourself via YouTube or whoever), b.) they tend to be counterproductive, as you invariably start playing the clip while you’re still trying to read the piece, and end up concentrating on neither, and c.) they make the writing seem like blurb, deny it the right to its own little bit of space (I’m a bore about that sort of thing). Bad idea all round, unless you’re writing about something like this, where not supplying the link would be ludicrous: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfTT6xOcbdo

    Anyway, pointless even mentioning this, as it’s all been decided. Good luck with forthcoming event, lack of sleep, etc, Tom.

  27. 27
    PB on 27 May 2009 #

    I voted yes, but think that Peter makes a good argument at 5. In voting for official videos, I’m taking that to mean promo videos and/or TOTP/Ready Steady Go/Beat Club/Midnight Special etc performances from the time, as opposed to someone using the tune as a soundtrack to them varnishing the garden bench.

  28. 28
    Pete on 27 May 2009 #

    Ooh, it would be nice to see just the Chart Show edits of songs too (with the fast forward bits). Now there’s nostalgia talking.

  29. 29
    lonepilgrim on 27 May 2009 #

    #26 thanks for the link Taylor. As a long time resident of Northampton it made me feel almost proud.

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