There’s a famous documentary series called Up. It follows fourteen British children through their lives, by revisiting them every seven years. 7 Up, 14 Up, 21 Up, etc… The last one was 63 Up.
It has required a lot of commitment and work by not only the participants but editors, producers and filmmakers, but it has provided a look at the development of British citizenry that is unparalleled.
Enter the Connells. A pop / new-wave crossover band from Raleigh, North Carolina, they developed a following in the college music circuit in the mid 1980s but struggled to make it onto mainstream radio stations or MTV. In 1993 they scored their first international hit, ’74 – ’75, which paid tribute to the graduating class of some of their members, 18 years after the fact.
Like many bands which achieved some measure of success, they continued to play together and release albums, never approaching their prior heights but maintaining a loyal core following. This is not at all unusual. What was unusual was their approach to the song which had made their reputation in Europe.
It’s common for bands to revisit older songs. New arrangements, new instruments, sometimes minor lyrical changes all come along. What is distinctly uncommon is for the song to be kept precisely the same… with the video being changed, instead. In 2015, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the class of ’75, the Connells found the people who’d been featured on their prior video and provided a musical version of the Up series.
Question of the night: What’s a story that you can safely tell about one of your high school classmates?