“98 tracks over a trio of discs is a serious horde… Still, this quantity does exude quality…really rather good.” Vintage Rock
Covering the period 1957-1962, Quiffs At The Flicks presents a nostalgic overview of the British rocksploitation movie with tracks both familiar and obscure. Taking a lead from its glitzier US counterpart, the UK film industry clambered aboard the cinematic bandwagon which decreed that whilst Rock’n’Roll was clearly not destined to last it made sense to make the most of these young scallywags (and keep a few disgruntled jazzers gainfully employed). While New York-based dee-jay Alan Freed was wholeheartedly flying the Big Beat flag in all-star Technicolor productions and Paramount was parlaying Presley’s talent into box office megabucks, Blighty’s initial sorties tended to be more low-key, black-and-white affairs. Occasionally a recording artist with thespy aspirations – or, more likely, a manager with an eye to the main chance – might find a B-side shoehorned into an otherwise unremarkable B-movie by way of an entree.
Granted the plots may have been paper-thin – mere vehicles for plugging records in a pre-MTV era with acting that was often as creaky as the sets – but, as a glimpse into the often grimy world of post-War British youth culture (the then-X-rated Beat Girl, filmed on location in London’s Soho, is a prime example), they’re a timely reminder of an age all-but forgotten in today’s welter of Twitter feeds and carefully airbrushed glossies. “Hey kids, let’s do the show right here!” rarely sounded more heartfelt when applied to refurb’ing a coffee bar or a youth club or, indeed, starting a record label – there’s just no mistaking that bulldog spirit. Happily – with or without a seat in the 1s/9ds and a box of Lucky Numbers – the music speaks for itself.
Comprising over three of hours of music by some of British Pop’s biggest names – Tommy Steele, Frankie Vaughan, Cliff Richard & The Shadows, Adam Faith, Billy Fury, Helen Shapiro, John Barry and Petula Clark plus a handful of US guest stars (Gene Vincent, Bobby Vee, Del Shannon) – Quiffs At The Flicks cherry-picks from some of the UK’s best-loved and best-selling soundtrack albums and EPs of the time including The Tommy Steele Story (UK No.1), The Duke Wore Jeans (UK No.1), Idle On Parade (UK EP No.13), Expresso Bongo (UK EP No.14), Beat Girl (UK No.11), The Young Ones (UK No.1), Play It Cool (UK EP No.2), Some People (UK EP No.22) and It’s Trad, Dad! (UK No.3). Among these are some twenty Top 30 hits and in addition two non-soundtrack bonus tracks which became No.1s in their own right.