Countdown season is upon us again! And no, I am not referring to the barrage of “best of the year” lists and reflection over the past year stories that typically fill our media this time of year! Countdown season is that one month that ABC’s Rage goes retro playing old Countdown episodes in their entirety, unedited, as they were when they originally aired.
For those who do not know, long before iTunes, iPods, 24 hour music channels and the internet, Countdown was the staple music show for tweens, teens, and the young at heart running from late 1974 to May 1987 usually airing at 6pm Sunday nights with a repeat on Saturdays on the ABC. Fittingly, Europe’s hit “The Final Countdown” closed the final ever episode in May 1987.
Hosted by Molly Meldrum, the show played all the hits of the time, introduced new songs, had “live” performances, interviews and counted down the top ten of the week as well as highlighting the “chart Busters” – songs which were racing up the chart. Famous Molly Meldrum quips like “Do yourself a favour” and “this is going to be number one” originated from Countdown. The show was also responsible for breaking many artists that otherwise would not have been given a look in, considering the fussy conservative play lists of radio stations of the day.
For almost as long as Countdown’s run itself – almost 13 years, Rage has been playing out Countdown episodes on Saturday nights in January, and 2010 will be no exception with “Rage Goes Retro” nights planned for January 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd 2010. Rage itself has been on air since late 1987, with the retro nights running on Saturdays in January from 1999.
But it is not just Countdown. Other shows like Countdown Revolution – the ill-fated replacement for Countdown which itself disappeared in 1990, GTK – a music show from the black and white early 70’s pre-dating Countdown, Rock Arena – a mostly rock oriented show from the mid 80’s that would highlight a few artists each week, and Recovery – an ABC music show from the mid-late 90’s all get a look in during “Rage goes Retro”.
Coupled with retro music videos, retro artist music blocks and selected clips from ABC’s retro music show library, Rage’s Retro January Saturdays will bring back memories for those who were here to see them all first time round. And those who weren’t, an interesting – possibly humorous look at what your parents were probably into.
Rage Goes Retro airs on ABC1 late night Saturday Jan 2, Jan 9, Jan 16 and Jan 23 2010. Check the Rage web site late Friday afternoons preceding each Saturday for play list details as well as your local TV guides for the time Rage starts each night. The Rage website also features play lists for every show since January 1998.
Rage website is here.