Monday, August 27, 2012

25 August 1984: BBC Basement Studios "Saturday Live"

New Order
"Saturday Live"
BBC Broadcasting House, Studio S1 (basement), London
radio: Radio 1 (stereo)
television: BBC Two (in color!)
25 August 1984

source: BBC Radio 1 FM stereo live broadcast 25 August 1984
lineage: Auntie's royal airwaves > cassette master > CASSx1 (TDK AD90, Sony KA3ES playback) > Tascam CD-RW750 CDRx0 > WAV > iTunes > CDRx1 > analogloyalist magic > FLAC >
analogloyalist mastering August 2012

This short 5-song set is high up on quite a few favorites lists.  The video just has to be seen to be believed (Barney throws a hissy fit throughout, in much-too-short shorts, for starters), but the pure aggression in the band is brought to fore on this.  This version of "Sooner Than You Think" is close to, if not absolute, my favorite performance of this song.
Legend has it that they were caught in a massive traffic jam betwixt Cornwall and London, so were late for the set and had no chance to do a proper soundcheck, and basically had to wing it that afternoon.  I really have no other explanation for the band choosing to air "In A Lonely Place" ("Faster!") - as majestic as it is - to all of the UK on a presumably pleasant late summer Saturday afternoon.  As Barney puts it after the song, it's "an atmospheric song in an unatmospheric place".

I am convinced that the master cassette for this source was recorded by someone who had somehow found a way to hard-wire an RCA cable into the airwaves.  There was little to no FM noise, it was really just a beautiful source and is leaps and bounds the best version I've heard of this (and as usual, I've heard lots).

Techy notes:  The "diginoise" in a few spots in "Age Of Consent" and the end of "Temptation" - for both songs, on the vocals only - appears to be Barney overloading the poor Beeb's console.  There were a few other glitches in "Age Of Consent" that were more than likely FM noise, which I've fixed.  It didn't help that shortly into "AOC" Barney ripped off the pop screen from the vocal mic.  And while not a "tech" note, had the Beeb's censors been heads up, there are a few lines here and there that shouldn't have made it through...

01 BBC announcer
02 Sooner Than You Think
03 Age Of Consent
04 Blue Monday
05 In A Lonely Place
06 Temptation

FLACs here.  Sample track above.

Someone with the skills for the video editing side of the biz needs to match this audio up with the best circulating video copy of this.  I'd pay for the result!  Not really...

Please to enjoy!


  1. Seems like there's an error in Age of Consent. It cuts off halfway through.. Great stuff though!

    1. Err, it downloads/unzips and plays just fine for me...? Try re-downloading again. It shouldn't corrupt within the ZIP file. Check the md5 signatures too.

  2. Another Winner!!
    Brilliant, many many thanks.

  3. It was, indeed, a very hot summer's afternoon all across the UK as this went out live. I'll never forget watching this at home and marveling at how angry Barney was getting - I think he was gesturing furiously that the sound in his headphones was too loud, and I think I'm right in remembering that he finally just whipped them off and chucked them away. Was Rob Gretton lurking in the control room... need to check the video again one day.


    1. If memory serves Mark Radcliffe produced this for the BBC

  4. Thanks again. The first stash tape not to have covers on your friends blog - so instead I have to have Barney and his little white shorts (was that why he was angry). Don't know if it would please him!

  5. Fantastic, this and all the other posted thus far take me right back to those heady days in the early 80's - every version of Temptation has me smiling as soon as the seq kicks in.

    I'm listening to these treasures in sync with reading Dec's book - which I'm happy to say I'm in!

    For completeness sake if nothing else the announcer is Richard Skinner a radio 1 DJ from that era and Whistle Test cohort if recall.

    Happy Happy days.


  6. If anyone out there has the skill set to sink this audio to the video please please do it!
    That would be amazing.
    Wishing for it...

  7. Fantastic sound quality, thank you very much AL, your work is appreciated.
    (another piece of trivia: Barney finishes 'Temptation' by playing the guitar riff from 'My Girl' by The Temptations).

    1. Actually I think it's Hooky doing the My Girl riff on bass.

  8. Great cleanup again - much appreciated.

    I've got this in gloriously bad dub of a dub VHS somewhere - the improved audio is incredible.

  9. It's blocked... Is there any way of re-uploading it somewhere? The sample sounds fantastic. Cheers.

    1. New URL due to Mediafire deletion of old:

  10. I have a tape of this I recorded myself direct from the live radio show. I did convert it a few years back and put it on DIME. I had many compliments that it was the best version out there.

    I have been intending to do a new 24/96 rip from a recently acquired Nakamichi deck.

    Once done I'll compare it to this.

    Incidentally I asked on DIME could someone pair my tape with the video. I go no response, so good luck.


  11. I'm a bit of a video person - who has a quality version of the video? I could *easily* sync the audio./

  12. Muchas gracias por este material; tiene un sonido excelente! Enhorabuena por tus aportaciones. Saludos desde México!


  13. I, too, fondly remember watching this and recording it on my ghetto blaster. I seem to recall Bernard saying that he "never" wore headphones when singing in the studio so he wasn't comfortable wearing them here and there was some info around the time about him doing all of his vocal takes in the studio control room (rather than a vocal booth) with the track playing through the studio monitors. Also, that pop shield was very wobbly on the microphone so that was probably pissing him off. Perhaps they should have taken a cue from his shorts and made it a little more snug fitting?! The faces on Hooky, Steve and Gillian are a picture as Bernard's behaviour deteriorates :-) They did something weird at the end of the TV broadcast too, Temptation dropped out to just the vocals in the "Oh you've got green eyes..." bit and then they cut back to the studio and, probably, Mark Ellen while it carried on to the end on radio. I saw them in Portsmouth the following day and Bernard made his displeasure with this appearance clear during Hurt. Happy, happy days.

  14. A fantastic recording of a truly awful performance. I was really looking forward to seeing them that evening. Had the VCR cued up & on they came. Pause off & they were so bad I could have cried.
    It was a program called Rock Around The Clock btw. A sort of charity musicathon that went all night.

  15. Very interesting information, I have a
    Caught a few performances of that particular set over the years on yiu tube or whatnot , but never realised they onky did 5 songs . I agree , Sooner Than You Think is excellent. It's the only time I have seen footage of that song played live .thanks