“Blown Away Guy”: Iconic music image

140
21
12 days
(vintag.es)
by pmoriarty

Comments

Terry_Roll
12 days

The Blown Away Guy campaign did boost Maxell's sales as did their Israelites advert (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clD6J9OmkJI) and The Skids (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gib916jJW1o), they were up against TDK at the time and to be honest the TDK audio cassettes probably just had it.

Sticking with an Audiophile theme, I was surprised to learn its 50yrs of the Technic's SL 1200!?! https://www.technics.com/global/home/sl1200/50th-anniversary...

In the UK in the early 90's you couldn't get these for love nor money, not A stock, not B stock, not C stock because of the Rave/Acid house culture taking off (along with the de'rigueur Stanton cartridge), which is why this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7ZxRs45tTg) will bring back some massive grins for some people! You know who you are! ;)

fortran77
12 days

And it boosted sales of LC2 chairs. We've got one in our foyer. A licensed "Cassina" one https://www.cassina.com/it/en/products/lc2-poltrona.html?coa...

TacticalCoder
12 days

> Sticking with an Audiophile theme, I was surprised to learn its 50yrs of the Technic's SL 1200!?! https://www.technics.com/global/home/sl1200/50th-anniversary...

I'm trying to fetch one. At 1099 EUR it's kinda a steal: only 100 EUR more than a non-anniversary / unlimited one. And the (non limited) used ones anyway can easily go for 800 EUR.

It's not as epic as the 1995 limited run of 5000 gold-plated units (which, I'm sure, are now worth a little fortune so I'll never have one of these), but at 12 000 units that 50th anniversary run looks like a real bargain and the closest I can get to that 1995 collectible one.

Are you getting one?

Terry_Roll
12 days

I think the MK4's were technically the best on paper but from what I've read they were only sold in Japan. Dont forget things like leaded solder is no longer used today.

Maybe one day but dont have the time for it.

atoav
11 days

I bought a broken one for 340 Euros in 2006. Replaced the cables and the needle light and it was good to go.

Still alive and kicking in 2022

sakopov
12 days

I remember buying 2 new SL-1200s for $400 a pop 15 years ago. I have 3 of them collecting dust in my parents basement. Shocked to find out that a pair of new ones will cost over $2k today.

anamexis
12 days

Not only that, but I am sure you could dust off those 1200s and sell them for over $400 each. Even beaten up mk2 models can fetch that much.

drcongo
11 days

Decades later, and I can still remember all the words on the Isrealites and Skids ads and can't listen to either song without singing along with those words.

thunderbong
12 days

Your last link is incorrect

Terry_Roll
12 days

I dont understand?

TacticalCoder
12 days

Bicep Glue is relatively recent. It's not from the early 90s: people may not realize they're showing images where insane rave parties took place.

FWIW I've got the original version of Bicep Glue in my car as well as a one hour non-stop repetitive loop. I sometimes listen to that when driving. I love it.

Terry_Roll
12 days

> Bicep Glue is relatively recent. It's not from the early 90s: people may not realize they're showing images where insane rave parties took place.

OIC, yeah, now whilst its not Helter Skelter, Fantazia or something like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOMT3bRJXOo I think The Prodigy discography perhaps best mirrors the evolution of the music scene & mood in the UK through this time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSTBFZ-To2E

What alot of people dont know is its probably MI5 we have to thank for Ecstasy and the US Army. So the US Army rediscovered it and the spooks flooded the country to stop the fighting on the football terraces (no seating back then) as depicted in films like Football factory, but MI5 will deny it as it also spawned the darker side like the film Essex Boys.

The intro is the interesting bit here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931692/

thunderbong
12 days

I don't know why but yesterday, all the other links opened the videos, but not that one. It kept going to some page saying 'You browser is capable of viewing Youtube' or something like that.

Today it worked however!

Terry_Roll
11 days

Well since I posted that link to Bicep Glue yesterday, right now its been viewed 10,202 times!

I have noticed for a few years now, sometimes websites are inaccessible with a direct click like in this situation but become accessible when a search engine results link to wherever is clicked on.

post_break
12 days

My favorite cosplay of this was when Ryan Dunn dressed up as him and they used a fighter jet to blast him with 200C air. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEFx1qmW4ts

jordemort
12 days

As a teenager, I had a modified version of this hanging on my room; someone had added a yawning cat on top of the speaker, and re-captioned it "Tuna Breath."

Back in my day we walked uphill to school both ways in the snow and bought our memes on paper at Spencer's Gifts.

zasdffaa
12 days

That cat thing is brill. Thanks for starting my day with a major larf.

drfuchs
12 days

Blown-Away Guy may be the most iconic still image, but I'd say the most iconic moving image with sound was the commercial for Memorex cassette tape with Ella Fitzgerald and the "Is it Live, or is it Memorex?" tagline: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeeuT3ciqpI It was so popular, there were various sequels.

brewdad
12 days

I bought Maxell for all my cassette tape copying needs but "Is it live, or is it Memorex?" is what lives on in my memories today.

rogual
12 days
dylan604
12 days

Oh man, the embedded youtube clip of the spot is priceless in the fact that there is an hiss so dominate in the audio just as if I was listening to one of the discussed Maxell tapes! It had me looking for the NR button.

danachow
12 days

Even with a standard bias tape, with a halfway non shitty deck one could do a little bit better than that though. Linear VHS audio which this clearly is (on an aged tape) has especially bad SNR and response, much worse than a compact cassette. On the other hand, HiFi VHS audio for a time was basically practically the best at home recordable audio format (reel to reel was cool but quite a bit less common).

I’m not sure what speed that tape is running at but I’m going to guess LP, + the effects of age +/- dirty tape heads — someone with too much time on their hands could analyze it and figure it out. It looks like the original ad was shot on 16mm film.

dylan604
12 days

I'm aware the sound wasn't from a cassette, but it's strikingly ironic to me. Very fitting.

Coincidentally, I used to record a weekend radio show that was on for 6 hours straight on to VHS tape HiFi tracks for playback later without having to flip the cassette.

danachow
12 days

Indeed, was not ragging on your comment. The opposite… now that cassettes are hipster Hi-Fi these days for some dumb reason. Compact cassettes were a fantastic design and set of engineering compromises for their time - a time that has long passed.

Maursault
12 days

> now that cassettes are hipster Hi-Fi these days for some dumb reason

That's really ridiculous. But when tracking, I like to give artists the choice of various R2R tape formats, as the technology got really very good before it was abandoned[1], and with it comes one of what are really non-linear effects, tape compression or tape saturation, which happen to sound pretty good when properly executed. Some people really love The Beatles production quality and want even thinner, slower tape.

But I know that's not what you were talking about. Analog tape cassettes iirc had 1/8" width of tape for 2 stereo tracks in opposite directions, basically a half-track stereo tape at 1+7/8ips, so effectively 4 slow mono tracks each 1/32" wide. The wider and faster the tape the better fidelity, so even metal cassettes were very poor quality, even compared to most consumer 1/4" R2R, and especially compared to 16-bit CD audio.

[1] Actually, tape was never completely abandoned, as tape formats are still produced and available, and there are even boutique R2R manufacturers, and even the ridiculously expensive profusely audiophile selections are still somehow compelling.[1a][1b]

[1a] https://thereeltoreelrambler.com/2020/05/16/introducing-the-...

[1b] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc4UgRXD22o

KerrAvon
12 days

What’s really ludicrous is that you cannot currently buy a new cassette player with good sound quality. With vinyl, you can buy an excellent new turntable if you’re willing to throw money at it. You cannot do that with casettes. Utterly pointless.

dylan604
12 days

Good! There are some things that just need to go away. Cassette tapes, Zunes, Geo Metros, etc.

omginternets
12 days

What’s NR and SNR?

danachow
12 days

NR is noise reduction. It’s the thing that made Dolby a household name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_noise-reduction_system

SNR is signal to noise ratio.

newsclues
12 days

Wasn't surround sound what made Dolby a household name to the later generation?

danachow
12 days

By the time surround sound was brought about in the 80s, Dolby was already a pretty well recognized brand and the Double D symbol associated with noise reduction on audio cassettes. And it's doubtful whether Dolby would have been around to bring Surround sound to market if it weren't for their success with tape NR.

Adults with disposable income introduced to Dolby Surround in the 80s for their home theater were still commonly using audio cassettes (no other recordable medium in the US really took off until CD-Rs - MiniDiscs had a small following, DAT even smaller and DCC failed completely (and probably just as well)) - so it's not even a later generation. However, it wasn't uncommon for a household to have multiple HiFi systems and maybe a Walkman or two - while Dolby Surround and home theater was comparatively less common.

newsclues
12 days

Sorry later generation of humans.

Between cassette and surround sound there wasn’t much brand awareness for people who weren’t around for the era of tapes being popular.

As an 80s baby, I had no clue about Dolby tape technology, they are (to me) surround sound as that was becoming a consumer product around when Twister came out.

danachow
12 days

Twister the movie? That came out in 1996. You're off by about a decade and a half. Perhaps this is more that 1996 is around the time you were old enough to know/care about these things? Dolby Surround was always a consumer product (in movie theaters the multichannel/surround system was called Dolby Stereo and was released in 1976) and was released in 1982 as a fully analog 3 to 2 channel down-mixing encoding technique. It was commonly used on VHS and Laserdisc releases throughout the 1980s and 90s. The upgraded Dolby Pro Logic system was released a few years later -- and home receivers with this capability like the Pioneer VSX line were pretty popular sellers in late 80s/90s. By the time Twister came out, Dolby Digital 5.1 aka AC-3 (which is still in common use today) was already in consumer laserdisc releases. Rapid uptake of Dolby Digital coincided with adoption of the DVD a few years later, since Laserdiscs were always a more niche/enthusiast/yuppie product (at least outside Japan).

If you were born in the 80s, yes, Dolby and it's Double D logo was already a well established and recognizable brand on movie credit rolls and movie posters well before you were born.

https://logo-timeline.fandom.com/wiki/Dolby_Stereo

https://alchetron.com/cdn/dolby-stereo-55fcc7c8-8e9c-414b-b9...

newsclues
11 days

Yes, 96. As you say DVD caused rapid consumer adoption, so a new generation was learning about Dolby not as a tape tech brand but surround sound. In the 90s people weren’t hyping Dolby tape tech, it was already the standard. This new consumers during that time knew Dolby for surround sound because tapes were old trash tech!

danachow
11 days

> they are (to me) surround sound as that was becoming a consumer product around when Twister came out.

No, DVD caused rapid consumer adoption specifically of Dolby Digital - which isn’t surprising since DVD was the first widely used digital movie medium in the West, but Dolby surround sound dates to 1976 in theaters and the 1982 as a consumer home video offering so nearly 20 years prior to DVDs. Most major movies throughout the 80s (thousands before Twister) were mixed in surround sound which was the mix available on the home video (ie both VHS and Laserdisc).

Here's a video tape from 1989 (look on the right side of the label): https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/G6MAAOSwgiZiWk2a/s-l1600.jpg

> In the 90s people weren’t hyping Dolby tape tech, it was already the standard.

As was Dolby surround. In fact if anything the 90s is when Dolby got some serious competition from DTS and SDDS.

So I'm still not sure what the significance of 1996 is other than a personal one. I assume if you were 2 years older you'd say 1994 (and maybe Speed)?

dylan604
11 days

>DVD caused rapid consumer adoption specifically of Dolby Digital

I'd agree that clean sound in 5.1 was a selling point, but I'd state the picture quality had more of an immediately noticeable impact than the sound. You didn't need to purchase a new amp and speakers to notice the impact of the image quality. You could plug it into your existing TV and see an immediate difference.

Plenty of other things helped too like the elmination of "Be Kind, Please Rewind".

BTW, you've forgotten to mention THX. The audience is listening!

dylan604
12 days

That's like saying Apple never created a product before the iPhone, or that MTV never played music videos

chasil
12 days

Dolby B Noise reduction was followed by Dolby C some years later. This was visible in the market first, and very prominent to later users of cassettes in HiFi systems.

I still have a deck that implements Dolby B and C, as well as dbx NR.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_noise-reduction_system

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dbx_(noise_reduction)

listenallyall
12 days

I remember paying a lot of money for a tape deck with Dolby C (B was pretty ubiquitous) and being disappointed, like it flattened the music too much. Dolby C reminded me of the Apple ///, it was over-engineered and simply not better than the enormously popular product preceding it.

dylan604
11 days

Lots of high hats were lost in the Dolby NR schemes, especially if you had it enabled on a recording that was not encoded Dolby at all.

Wistar
12 days

Perhaps although I have always associated the name with noise reduction.

aaronbrethorst
12 days

noise reduction and signal to noise ratio, presumably.

WalterGR
12 days

NR = Noise Reduction

zh3
12 days

As a Bauhaus fan, reading the article was "Eh? It was Peter Murphy" - and then I found it was a different ad in the UK.

dylan604
12 days

Was that the actual ad? It's not nearly as impressive is it? It just looks like some random clip of a music video. It just doesn't have the same sense of the commotion is caused by the tape to me.

rufus_foreman
12 days

Not as good as the American version. Which seems to be a recurring theme.

smegsicle
12 days

nice save at :25

numbers
12 days

I've been looking for this for a long time but couldn't put a good description to it since I saw it as a kid.

pfarrell
12 days

Another contemporary parody I remember is from the comic Bloom County.

https://www.gocomics.com/bloomcounty/2009/07/27/

(Don’t be fooled by the url date, that’s just the date gocomics reran it)

Gunax
12 days

I had not seen this before, but I have seen many parodies of it which retrospectively make sense.

I found this collection of some of them: https://youtu.be/hmmcgSgt5_c

When i was a kid, we used to call these 'Simpsons moments' referring to the feeling of seeing the parody before the original. As the Simpsons has many cultural references, but is also popular with kids, many of us who grew up watching it had various 'now I get it' moments.

What's interesting is that's it's not obvious that there is a parody or reference at all if one is not familiar. I remember the Simpsons having terminator, 2001, and many other film references that I would have an aha moment years later when i finally understood it.

JohnJamesRambo
12 days

My memories are very fuzzy but I feel like Maxell tapes lived up to the hype and they were better than the usual dreck I had. I’d put my “good stuff” on any Maxell I could find.

martyvis
12 days

Maxwell may have won the tape print ad war, but TDK definitely buried this TV ad in my brain in the 80's. (I think the singer is Aussie, so I wonder if this was also a global commercial). https://youtu.be/W_cH8Wi0Ggo

Thorrez
12 days

The image in the ad is great. But that has to be the worst kerning I've ever seen. It's so bad I'm not even sure it can be considered kerning. Maybe someone just added a few spaces in between "high fidelity" and "tape" for no apparent reason?

avhon1
12 days

My guess is that the image was intended to be displayed as a full-spread advertisement in a magazine, and the extra space in the middle makes the words appear the correct distance apart when viewed on bound pages.

Thorrez
12 days

Oh, thanks! And the ad was designed so that none of the important parts of the picture are in the horizontal center.

synu
12 days

It isn’t kerning, it’s the space for the page binding in the magazine this was printed in.

initplus
12 days

The ad would have been originally printed across two pages in a magazine.

aasasd
12 days

Forget ‘blown away’, get a load of these three guys and Big Jay McNeely: https://i.imgur.com/iUQ6hHO.jpeg

throwawayboise
12 days

I saw "Blown Away Guy" in the thread title and immediately that image came to mind. It was a very popular dorm room poster when I was in college.

mark-r
12 days

As soon as I saw the title of this post, I knew it was going to be about this ad. So iconic and well done.

Comment was deleted :(
Kaibeezy
12 days

The speaker has to be a JBL L100, right?

hedora
12 days

So, did the makeup guy get paid?

omginternets
12 days

All these years I thought the company name was Maxwell, not Maxell. I can’t be the only one…

yboris
12 days

Internet Comment Etiquette - 'Mandela Effect' ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6cOkZbWZME

ohyoutravel
12 days

Wow no joke I used their cassette and vhs tapes extensively as a child and this is the first moment I realized it was not “Maxwell.”

Comment was deleted :(
glouwbug
12 days

Berenstain Bears

omginternets
12 days

Exactly!

dqpb
12 days

Other timeline

Comment was deleted :(
KennyBlanken
12 days

So we're doing random blogspam now?

tomcam
12 days

How is that random blogspam?