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Spotlight

Celebrating The Exponents

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 9 Items

In November 2015 The Exponents received the Herald Legacy Award, for 'notable and celebrated Kiwi artists who have helped shape the NZ music industry'. Starting in 1981 as the Dance Exponents, and later reborn as the Exponents, the band's regular summer tours became legendary — as did a catalogue...

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Artist

The Exponents / The Dance Exponents

The Dance Exponents (later shortened to The Exponents) formed in Christchurch in 1981, and went on to become one of New Zealand's longest lasting bands. Over three decades they played live gigs across the country, and in Britain to big ex-pat crowds. Singer Jordan Luck's rock'n'roll lifestyle is legendary; so are the band's perfect pop songs. The hits include 'Victoria', 'Why Does Love Do this to Me?', 'Who Loves Who the Most?', and 'I'll Say Goodbye (Even tho' I'm Blue)'' — songs embraced by successive generations of Kiwis. In 2007 Luck became the first songwriter inducted into the APRA NZ Music Hall of Fame.  

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Newsnight - The Exponents

Television, 1995 (Excerpts)

In this excerpt from TV2's 90s late night news show, a bemused Mark Staufer interviews Jordan Luck (aka "slightly tipsy singer") as his band The Exponents plays on a rooftop on Auckland's Karangahape Road, to promote a new album and summer tour. The jokes about not falling off may have a point. Luck suggests the new release is "a magical recording of ancient times" and confirms that they will be touring the whole country, "and Greymouth as well ... and Westport". The bakery underneath is long gone — replaced by an adult shop. Bassist David Gent also says some words.

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Live At Mainstreet - Dance Exponents

Television, 1983 (Full Length)

This concert from May 1983 finds Dance Exponents — one of five bands filmed for a Radio with Pictures live series — with their star on the rise, but yet to release their debut album. An irrepressible Jordan Luck and band mates Dave Gent, Brian Jones and Mike Harralambi perform six songs in front of an enthusiastic full house, at Auckland's premier venue Mainstreet Cabaret. Highlights include a sparse, urgent 'Victoria' and a barnstorming 'Airway Spies'. Opening song 'Perfect Romance' was only ever released in this version on a companion live album.

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Spotlight

Classic NZ Name Songs

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 15 Items

Names are part of the bedrock of history; they also make up a highly hummable thread in the story of Kiwi music. This Spotlight collection of songs with a person's name in the title includes an early Exponents classic (‘Victoria’), multiple ditties about how hard it is to say goodbye, a random pi...

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Interview

Julia Parnell: From Wayne Anderson and the Exponents to Loading Docs...

Interview, Camera and Editing – Andrew Whiteside

Julia Parnell runs Notable Pictures, and is the award-winning producer behind the offbeat Wayne Anderson: Singer of Songs; diversity series Both Worlds and Arranged; and music docos The Exponents and The Dragon Story. Parnell is also one of the driving forces behind successful online mini-documentary initiative Loading Docs.

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Collection

Top 10 NZ Party Songs

Curated by NZ On Screen team

The holiday season: time to let your hair down, have a swim, give in to your appetite...and have a boogie. From '10 Guitars' to 'Trippin', let NZ On Screen supply the music, with this Top 10 countdown of classic Kiwi party songs. In the backgrounder, NZ On Screen Content Director Irene Gardiner talks 10 legendary tracks  plus some runners-up. 

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Collection

Five Decades of NZ Number One Hits

Curated by NZ On Screen team

This collection rounds up almost every music video for a number one hit by a Kiwi artist; everything from ballads to hip hop to glam rock. Press on the images below to find the hits for each decade  — plus try this backgrounder by Michael Higgins, whose high speed history of local hits touches on the sometimes questionable ways past charts were created.  

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Victoria

The Exponents / The Dance Exponents, Music Video, 1982

This was the song that started it all for The Exponents. Instead of the usual TVNZ studio cheapie, the promo is a film clip, complete with fantasy 80s Christchurch night-life scenes. The song was inspired by Jordan Luck's onetime landlord, who was trapped in an abusive relationship. Locations include the Arts Centre and deco apartments opposite. Reaching number six, the song would prove to be the biggest hit on a debut studio album packed with classics. Luck later described it as "a strange song to pick as a first single"; but the right one.  

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La La Lulu

The Exponents / The Dance Exponents, Music Video, 1995

In the early 90s Australian David Barraclough joined The Exponents as a guitarist and songwriting partner for singer Jordan Luck. ‘La La Lulu’ was one of the results. Directed by Mark Tierney, the video sees the band – besuited a la Reservoir Dogs – hard rocking in a studio then driving around a quarry, before tagging and demolishing their ride. It borrows a graphic style from US conceptual artist Barbara Kruger, flashing slogans like ‘online erotic’ over the band. ‘Lulu’ got to 13 in the NZ charts, and would be the band's final single to break the top 20.