The Record Machine

First broadcast: Thu 12th Oct 1978, 21:25 on BBC One London

Omnibus opens its new series with an investigation behind the scenes of the multi-million-pound pop industry and cut-price alternatives.

John Peel examines the ‘ British New Wave’ ideal and its attempts to break the commercial monopoly. Paul Gambacclni explores the intense competition for chart success among the major labels and the role of the media: You can’t really break a new band without the help of Radio 1 and certainly Top of the Pops…. ‘ (Mickie Most)

For the first time we take cameras into the broadcasters’ backrooms; we go behind the closed doors of the Radio 1 Playlist Meeting; we see how Top of the Pops chooses its records for the week; we visit a commercial radio station. We talk to the DJs, producers, entrepreneurs, promotion men and artists. Is the New Wave box-office poison? Is Punk dead? Or do the idealistic new bands still want to sing about the revolution from a villa in Los Angeles?

The artists taking part are: Sham 69, Debbie Harry of Blondie, Lindisfarne, UK Subs, The Mekons, The Slits.
Film cameraman Philip Bonham-Carter
Film editor Bill Shapter Producer Ian Sharp

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