It should go without saying that Hip Hop was fairly widespread ( although underground ) the first documented exposure of Hip Hop on National TV was the song and accompanying video “Buffalo Gals’ was shown on the Australian television music show Sound Unlimited. The music show was broadcast on Network Seven.
Buffalo Gals peaked at 18 in the Australian ARIA Charts.
The show was staged in a Manhattan basketball court and featured images of graffiti and break dancers. This left an impression on many teenagers and many started attempting the dance moves they saw on the show.
While in New York City looking for a support act for Bow Wow Wow, McLaren got the idea for the song when he went to an outdoor concert (known as a “Block Party”) by Afrika Bambaataa and Universal Zulu Nation. This is where he was exposed to Hip-Hop for the first time and discovered the scratching technique he would use on this song. Most of the scratching and the beat of the song were composed by Trevor Horn.
In the liner notes for Duck Rock, McLaren wrote that this track was “recorded with the World’s Famous Supreme Team and Zulu singers backing them up with the words ‘she’s looking like a hobo.’ The performance by the Supreme Team may require some explaining, but suffice to say they are DJs from New York City who have developed a technique using record players like instruments, replacing the power chord of the guitar with the needle of a gramophone, moving it manually backwards and forwards across the surface of a record. We call it scratching.”
Charisma Records were not initially keen on releasing the song, but relented after a strong positive response to the first broadcast of the track by DJ Kid Jensen
” Hip-Hop culture also migrated here, but not by boat or by plane. It came via television, cinema ; radio, circa 1983/84. Like most other countries it came in a loosely held package. Strangely enough it manifested itself here via an Englishman`s version of New York. Yes it was Malcolm McLarens doing, moreso it was the filmclip to his “Buffalo Gals” track. Although the song isn`t all that, the visuals were. We heard the sounds of, The Worlds Famous Supreme Team scratching, the Rock Steady Crew breakdancing and . . . Dondi piecing up a Buffalo burner. Shit was too much at once. Okay we may have heard Grandmaster Flash ; the Furious Fives “The Message” on the radio, we may even have seen Crazy Legs ; Frosty Freeze freaking it in Flashdance at the movies for a couple of seconds or seen some graff in Death Wish on TV, but to see all this in three minute music clip was kinda awesome. That was when the seeds to the current Australian Hip-Hop culture were germinated. We all started breaking, some of us then went out bombing, others became glued to the turntables while a select few started rhyming. If one had a Video-recorder, one could always rewind the breaking videos to work out the moves, if one wanted to practice graff one would run around at night with spray paint after perusing over a copy of Subway Art, or after watching a dubbed, dubbed, dubbed copy of Style Wars (which was aired on New Zealand television in 84). If someone else wanted to start deejaying, well then, they bought turntables and records from the import dance stores and stayed at home and practiced, but if one wanted to rhyme . . . well then.” – BLAZE
Sounds, originally broadcast as Sound Unlimited, was a popular Australian television series featuring pop and rock music, live performances, music videos and interviews. It was broadcast on Saturday mornings, from 9 a.m. for three hours, on the Seven Network beginning in late 1974 to end in December 1987. For most of its run it was hosted by former disc jockey, Donnie Sutherland. It is often credited as the first of its kind in the world, created because Australia was too far away for artists to travel to for live performances.