JONES, M. Henry. Soul City.
(No place): No printing details, 1979. Original handcut and handcoloured photograph for Jones’ groundbreaking 1979 animated music video “Soul City”, a 2 ½-minute photo animation of a performance by the Fleshtones performing Soul City a song written by a young Lou Reed (and first performed by the Hi-Lifes). The film was created using 1700 photographs reshot frame-by-frame with changing backgrounds enhanced with stroboscopic effects. Created, three years before the 1981 launch of Music Television (MTV), solely through tedious analog techniques, the film has been cited as an important fine-arts precursor of the commercial genre of rock videos. The Fleshtones were formed in 1976 and debuted at CBGB on May 19, 1976. The band, still active today, developed a large cult following and reached the threshold of fame many times over, but never quite made it; a band that contributed to numerous sea changes in the New York City music scene, but unlike many of the bands around them, didn’t come out the other side famous or drenched in cool. The photograph here features Fleshtones’ drummer Lenny Calderon, measuring approx, 25.5cm by 17cm, the image has been handcut using an X-acto knife and then hand-colored, signed on the Verso by Jones. A superb artifact from this landmark animation.
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