Watch: Lost Video for ‘We Are All Prostitutes’ by The Pop Group

Posted: 10 February 2016 in Recommended Streams and Videos
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Shot at the Electric Ballroom in November of 1979 when the single was originally released, the previously unseen video was recently unearthed from the attic of video maker Chris Reynolds who explains:

"During my final year at the Film School I had a desire to make film about a Bristol band rather than a London one. A guy I worked with at the Bristol Hippodrome as a stagehand, said I should meet The Pop Group and sorted out a visit to them rehearsing in a studio near St Pauls in Bristol.

"A few months later, following the recording of the single We Are All Prostitutes, myself and Simon Fanthorpe long time buddy and video associate ended up at the Electric Ballroom in Camden to shoot the band live.

"The band were playing a gig with the Gang of Four and the Slits. It was quite simply a wondrous night. We had purloined a couple of black and white Sony Rover half inch video recorders from the London College of Printing and set ourselves up in the auditorium. Simon grabbed a slot near the stage and we turned over. The gig was a belter and all three bands blew us away.

"Editing in the mid to late seventies was as basic, as basic can be. Cuts were made with only a terrible accuracy of 4 frames either side of the frame. We found, that a way round this was to sync the decks up by hand any blindly cut in and out manually. Madness. For this reason the tapes were transferred and I processed them through a Colour Video Synthesiser housed at the college. Basically it was a multilevel keyer that colourised and boosted the rushes.

"We hid in the edit suite all night and after several hours of very risky on the fly cutting created the anarchic collage that you see. Its not neat or clever in fact we pulled the plugs and waggled the video connectors to make the images break up more. Nuts.

"It did the job at the time and was seen as pretty unorthodox then, but it has languished in its box in my attic, lost for over 37 years. A belated reunion last year with Mark found me repeatedly trawling through the waist high junk of my attic without success. But, as is so often the way, a search for a serviceable suitcase had me literally tripping over it. I hope it brings you some pleasure."

A timeless nerve-obliterating insurrection, "We Are All Prostitutes" was released to a climate of political unrest.  On hearing it for the first time Nick Cave commented, "It’s one of those moments when the cogs of your mind shift and your life is going to irreversibly change forever." It was "everything that I thought rock & roll should have…it was violent, paranoid music for a violent, paranoid time."

The Pop Group reissue their vital post-punk statement "We Are All Prostitutes" both digitally and as a limited edition coloured 7" packaged in its original sleeve artwork on Friday 19th February 2016 through Freaks R Us.

Their long out of print second studio album, For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? is being reissued the same day.

Watch the video here:

 

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