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It’s curious the things that stay with you over the years – for a fair few years now I’ve been slowly sending the shelves and shelves of books, records, magazines and the like that I’ve amassed over the years (at the same, it seems, slowly filling up the self-same shelves with more books, records, magazines and the like)…
Anyway, one thing that has survived those various clearings out is the vinyl version of the The Dance With A Stranger 1985 film soundtrack.
It’s a fine collection of songs – all pre-swinging, pre-cool London – She Wears Red Feathers, How Much Is That Doggy In The Window and a lead vocal by Ms Beehive Mari Wilson.
One of the things that makes it, is that it isn’t just a clean presentation of the songs but rather is interspersed extensively with dialogue from the film, which sets the scene, story and atmosphere and which have become as memorable as the music itself for me and help invoke the film itself.
Aside from and with utter respect for the sad, indeed tragic story of Ruth Ellis, for me the film was an early(ish) pointer towards what has become Afterhours Sleaze and Dignity – in particular the – unlicensed? – afterhour bar scenes (with a future Ms Christine Keeler, Joanne Whalley, as a barmaid no less)… all “set” hairdos, suits and late night dissolution.
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