VIRGIN RECORDS is 21 this year, and don't we know it. The last few weeks have seen a commemorative album, a TV special and a slap-up party at The Manor, Virgin's country- house studio. No harm in all that, of course, though the celebrations have a hollow ring when you recall that the company is now part of the giant Thorn-EMI. What does stick in the gullet is the fact that the album, In the Air Tonight, includes 'Love is the Drug', by Roxy Music - a fine song, but one that played no part in the history of Virgin. It was released by Island. The rights were later acquired by Polydor, and later still by Virgin, when they signed Bryan Ferry in the pre-flotation spending spree of the late Eighties. Virgin have made plenty of discoveries: they don't need to pass off other people's as their own.
AM I alone in noticing something lacking in the festive-looking poster of seven actors and a sheep which promotes the 'No 1 smash hit comedy]' Four Weddings and a Funeral? Like the rest of the human race, I've seen and enjoyed the film, so I know that Rowan Atkinson (first on the left in the group) is only in two scenes, and the sheep (centre front) barely figures at all. This was not a problem - obviously one is funny and a 'draw' and the other is just funny. Both deserve a place on the poster. But what perplexed me was the absence of two of the central characters in the film - upper- class-twit Tom, and Hugh Grant's deaf brother. All the rest of the major players are there - why not these two? Weren't the actors famous enough? Good-looking enough? Or, like pools coupons, did their contracts have one of those little boxes that say 'No publicity' on the bottom? Sadly, the answer turns out to be more prosaic: David Livingstone, marketing director at Polygram, assures me that it was 'all down to lighting'. The photograph of David Bower, who plays the deaf brother, was taken under different lighting conditions from everybody else's, and stuck out too much when they put
it in the collage. The marketing men then got worried that just to leave Bower out would be 'deafist'. So they chopped poor Tom (James Fleet) off too. Well, I follow the logic (just),
but I can't help wondering how James Fleet feels about falling victim to such a baroque attack of political correctness.Reuse content