Nov 14 2011: Robin Hood as a Woman from Hot Hits Volume Eleven (Music For Pleasure, 1972)

I suppose that being in Nottingham, and addicted to rummaging through boxes of discarded records wherever such things are to be found, meant that the volume of EMI budget label Music For Pleasure’s Hot Hits series featuring the images above and below was bound to cross my path eventually. It also meant that, when it did, the urge to buy the record would be more or less irresistible, despite the fact that the tracklist is not especially tempting, promising session photocopies of many terrible chart hits and a couple of vaguely decent ones, and the fact that the record was, anyway, pretty knackered: clearly, a few parties had resonated to the versions of Mexican Puppeteer, Back Off Boogaloo, Amazing Grace and Stir It Up contained in those worn grooves..

But there she is, despite it all: Robin Hood in all her 1970s principal boy finery, scoring a bullseye across three frames. The intentions behind the photo-shoot were almost certainly not feminist back in 1972 but perhaps in 2011 – with Robin Hood back in force as a symbol of opposition to corporate and financial deregulation and Los Angeles artist Lisa Ann Auerbach having already (back in 2009) filled the windows of Nottingham Contemporary with knitted Lincoln Green tunics emblazoned with the words “strangle the last King with the entrails of the last Priest” – well, it’s possible that the Hood seen on the cover of Hot Hits 11 might have developed her own urge to redirect that bow from a straw roundel to a real target by now, too.

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