Even at the age of ten - when I was spending Tuesday lunchtimes with one ear clamped to a transistor radio, scribbling down the newly-announced singles chart so I could be first with the news back at school - even then, I could tell there was something odd about David Essex. He was, obviously, mere teenage girl fodder: you could tell from all the coverage he was getting in Popswop. But his records didn't sound like anyone else's. Take another listen to Rock On, a song with so much space in it that the TV show this clip came from had to blank out the screen to represent some of it. Part of this was down to Jeff Wayne's uniquely minimalist production, of course, but it was still obvious that Essex himself was willing to take bigger risks than most of his contemporaries.
One of those risks was appearing in two grown-up films at the height of his career - That'll Be The Day in 1973, and its sequel Stardust in 1974. Their original AA certificates would have stopped a lot of his younger fans seeing them: they certainly stopped me, as I only got to see them on telly years later, and finally at the cinema in a recent BFI Southbank revival. (The rest of you can buy the DVD from the link at the bottom of the page, of course.)