Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Alexei's Midnight Runners - Pop-Up Toasters (1981): Alexei Sayle & The Comic Strip

A socially-conscious peppy dance record from British comedian / actor / author Alexei Sayle.

Looks like this was his first single.

His first big 'hit' record was the slightly infamous ''Ullo John! Got A New Motor?', released the following year, in 1982.

His 'Midnight Runners' shown on the 45 single's picture sleeve (and *presumably* actually participating in the recording) are some of Sayle's cohorts from 'The Comic Strip' comedy collective.

Background, left to right: Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Adrian Edmondson, and Peter Richardson.

This was a very fertile time for all of these performers, and for England's emerging alternative comedy scene as well.

'The Young Ones' and 'The Comics Strip Presents' both premiered on British TV in 1982, bringing fame to all involved - - at least in the UK.

Here in the US, it wasn't until 1986 or '87 when we finally got to see reruns of 'The Young Ones' as they began a seemingly incessant run on MTV. (Followed by a relatively brief run of a few of the old 'Comic Strip Presents' episodes a year or two later.)

I think I was only very dimly aware of Alexei Sayle prior to that - - I'd heard the excerpt of his appearance in 'The Secret Policeman's Other Ball' benefit concert, but that was likely about it.

Sayle went on to further successful TV series' of his own in the '80's and '90's, several film roles (both comedic and 'straight'), and has authored several novels and collections of short stories.

It's long been difficult to catch a glimpse of his works in this country, but as much of the world draws within the range of a mouse click, it's begun to get a bit easier. I'm eager to catch up.

A case in point: YouTube has several clips of Mr. Sayle in action - - musically, sketch-centrically, and standup-wise. Here's a link to one now!

Listen to: Alexei's Midnight Runners - Pop-Up Toasters (Springtime / Island label 45, 1981)

(click for audio)


M said...

I remember him from a small role in the movie Gorky Park (1983). He's a criminal who is interrogated by a cop, played by William Hurt. When he refuses to answer his questions William ties him to a chair and nearly pushes him off the window, all the while asking Why are you trying to escape? He gives him the asnwers...

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I find a lot of what you post to be delightful. thank you.

Mimi said...

Aww, thanks! Been looking for this single for a long time! Not so obvious to find in Canada...


Anonymous said...

Thanks Mate, could not remember if this was on the young ones or not, but needed to find it to prove to my kids that the song that I sometimes sing when making my vegemite toast actually existed. Bonza

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