‘Top of the Pops’ Christmas Special, 1979

For the pop-minded inhabitant of the British Isles in the late ’70s, the dull edifice of the passing weeks rested upon the two mighty, glowing columns that made it all bearable: the British Top 40 countdown, broadcast from 5:00 on BBC Radio 1 every Sunday evening (cancelled only once as a result of what would prove to be an inexplicably traumatic event for the nation: the 1997 death of Lady Diana) and Top of the Pops

The Yorkshire Ripper Tape Recording, 1979

By the summer of 1979, the inhabitants of the north of England were living in a state of barely suppressed terror: for the previous four years, a serial killer dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper had been attacking and murdering women in an area centering around the industrial city of Bradford in West Yorkshire…

Caedmon Records Audiobooks, 1967 – 1984

Caedmon’s vast catalogue of abridged texts—read by acclaimed actors or by the authors themselves—was hugely eclectic, ranging from Pakistani actor Zia Mohiuddin reading selections from the Bhagavad-Gita and Colette reading passages from her Gigi and Cheri to Rainer Maria Rilke reading his poetry in the original German, Boris Karloff reading Three Little Pigs, and Eartha Kitt reading a selection of African folk tales…

Il Giallo dei Ragazzi, 1970 – 1984

Italy’s shift from an agricultural to an industrial economy in the period following the Second World War brought with it transformative effects for the entire nation: there was a wave of migration from the poorer south of the country to the rapidly industrializing north, where much of the manufacturing base was located—particularly Turin, home to the vast Fiat factories—which brought with it an enduring exchange of traditions and habits…

Giallo: The Dirty Underwear of Italian Auteur Cinema

By Andrea Veltroni

I’ve always hated realism. In his Histoire du Cinema, Godard includes an almost touching dedication to Italian neorealism, stating that Italy is the only country in Europe to possess a “cinema of resistance.” Personally, I’ve never understood what people actually mean when they talk about a “cinema of resistance,” but in Italy it’s a legacy whose weight we have been carrying upon our backs for decades now…

Children of the Beast: The 1980s ‘Satanic Panic’

Of course it had to be the 1980s. We humans are prone to our periodic outbreaks of mass insanity—and there were no lack of those over the 20th century—but perhaps only the 1980s could have brought together the most garish fringes of popular culture and a repressed but growing fear of the horrors lurking beneath the increasingly preppy surface of Western society…

Judas Priest Album Covers by Doug Johnson, 1982 – 1986

Disappointed with his cover art for their 1980 LP Point of Entry, British heavy metal band Judas Priest decided to part ways with the Polish designer and artist Rosław Szaybo. Szaybo, who had previously created artwork for bands as diverse as Soft Machine and The Clash, had supplied the group with a triptych of memorable album covers whose imagery, particularly that of British Steel, had helped consolidate Priest’s image…