History

A music video I made for ‘History’, the second single by Anderson.

When Daniel first played History to me, he hadn’t long left his previous band and had been recording rough song ideas in the box room of his family home. Although this demo was rougher than others: recorded in one take, a leather jacket squeaking throughout the vocal track and a second verse not yet written… it immediately stood out. Following the endless recording and re-recording of a quite intricate, elaborate record with The Rags, here was a refreshingly simple classic pop song with a clear message. The essence of it all summed up in the opening couplet.

From my side on the video front, the song’s title, subject matter and arrangement brought to mind the visual style of classic TV music performances that the BBC used to do so well: Neil Young’s 1971 TV Special and 70s-era TOTP performances amongst others. To recreate a similar look and feel seemed like an obvious step.

 

But perhaps too obvious. Also around this time Daniel had been telling me about some old VHS footage that his Dad had shot throughout his childhood, a lot of it dating back to the early 80s. I got hold of the tapes and sifted through the footage in astonishment. The fact that these tapes survived the years and that Anderson Snr hadn’t recorded Miami Vice or Lovejoy over them all was a wonder in itself. That many of the clips within fit so perfectly with the theme and sentiment of a song written a quarter of a century later was breathtaking.

The idea to merge the performance elements with the archive footage happened so naturally I barely noticed. But it was these tapes which brought something truly remarkable to the project. They lent a whole new dynamic to the song and the video, and gave me an editing experience I won’t forget.

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