art.jpgPop, What Is It Good For (BBC4, last night) was kind of the centrepiece of BBC4’s Giant Month O’ Pop and it was a rather interesting beast. Obviously an hour of Morley expounding on music is unlikely to be a bad thing, he’s one of the few journos who can really do public speaking in the same way he writes and only seem slightly ludicrous, but, certainly for anyone who read Words and Music, there was little new. I got the feeling that we weren’t the core audience though, that it was aimed at people who hadn’t read W&M, people who would be surprised at the programme starting with 15 minutes on Can’t Get You Out Of My Head and, although it covered similar ground, there were some new twists and turns, mainly added by the range of interviewees.

The six tracks he concentrated on (and then spun off from to talk about All Pop Ever) were:

Ride a White Swan – T-Rex
Lola – The Kinks
This Charming Man – The Smiths
What Do You Want – Adam Faith
Freak Like Me – Sugababes

Although chappie from Mud wasn’t particularly articulate about CGYOOMH (also, where was C Dennis???), Suggs discussing the Kinks and, particularly, Simon Armitage wallowing in the lyrics to This Charming Man, egged on by Morley, as Mike Joyce looked on clearly thinking “what ARE these two on about???”, were both lovely bits of telly. I think it was a good idea to ask others what POP meant to them, and certainly broadened the remit somewhat. It also led to the most hilarious moment of the show when Richard X asked Morley and Anne Dudley exactly WHAT Art of Noise was meant to be about to much blustering and embarrassment by both of them. The only interview that really didn’t work though was the last one, with the Sugababes, who really didn’t get what he was asking, in fact, didn’t really get that the interview had started! The fact that he didn’t address “where has mutya gone?” either, given that she’s rly prominent on Freak Like Me, made me wonder if they’d really really tried to get a kylie interview (she was in the same studio doing Children in Need), but it had fallen through at the last minute and they’d thought, “oh well, the sugababes are here, they’ll do.”

Also, without wanting to come over all SF/J it was a VERY white programme, although this only really struck me this morning, rather than whilst i was watching it, so i’m not sure how much of an issue it was (alternatively, i am also a r4c!5t). It was at heart about PM’s personal journey through music and, I guess, reflects the whiteness of British pop.

Anyway, for those of you who missed it and are in the UK (or whose vpns can con the iplayer into believing they are in the uk, hi cis :)), it’s on iplayer til the end of the week, and repeated on Saturday at 2.25am.