21
Feb 08

TELLY SAVALAS – “If”

FT + Popular75 comments • 5,161 views

#367, 8th March 1975

Bread’s closing vision of cosmic apocalypse is curious enough to begin with and becomes frankly sinister in Telly’s hands: “and when the world was through…MMMMMM.” Savalas as the angel of death: a terrifying and somehow believable prospect. As for the rest of this, Tel’s burnished tones suit the gloopy material well and the record has an oddly narcotic effect – anyone who’s encountered a self-hypnosis tape will be familiar with this ‘genre’ though when the spell is broken I’m more than happy to hear almost anything else.

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Comments

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  1. 61
    Billy Smart on 1 Mar 2008 #

    Doh!

  2. 62
    Chris Brown on 2 Mar 2008 #

    Did Madonna play a villain? I never saw that film.

  3. 63
    Lena on 3 Mar 2008 #

    I didn’t see it either, but as I recall she played Bond’s old fencing coach, so I doubt if she was a villain (that was Toby Stephens). But who knows?

  4. 64
    SteveM on 3 Mar 2008 #

    Further to earlier answers, a Bond Villains In The Top 40 list could include Goldie (The World Is Not Enough) altho he is merely a henchman.

    Has Robbie Coltrane ever seen any kind of chart action?

  5. 65
    Billy Smart on 3 Mar 2008 #

    I don’t think so, though he does have the claim to pop fame of having been on the cover of the NME in 1987.

  6. 66
    Alan on 3 Mar 2008 #

    Little Richard stopped the Tutti Frutti single, obv.

  7. 67
    SteveM on 3 Mar 2008 #

    (un)fortunately I have just remembered Coltrane releasing a cover of Pat Boone’s ‘Speedy Gonzales’ from The Pope Must Die soundtrack. I remember hearing it on the radio at the time but polyhex (still going! fight the machine!) has no entry for it so presumably it didn’t trouble the top 100 tho apparently it did involve Jeff Beck in some capacity.

  8. 68
    SteveM on 3 Mar 2008 #

    It could be great for all I remember. Anne Dudley also involved!

  9. 69
    Alan on 4 Mar 2008 #

    Does indie-disco fave ‘Low’ by Cracker count?

  10. 70
    intothefireuk on 21 Mar 2008 #

    My Mum was a great fan of Kojak but even she couldn’t bring herself to listen to this slice of unadulterated shite (my words not hers by the way). If it’s really not available on CD then for once I’ll applaud a record company for showing some taste & decency.

  11. 71
    Lena on 23 Mar 2008 #

    I just heard it on POTP and it is…unique…

  12. 72
    snoball on 24 Mar 2008 #

    A dreadful dreadful record. Shatner shats over this death wish drivel from several miles up. And I’d much rather listen to Charles Gray doing the Timewarp as my sing-a-long-a-Bond-villian choice.

  13. 73
    AndyPandy on 15 May 2009 #

    As so often idly messing around on Popular takes me in the weirdest directions and last night for almost definitely the first time since about 1975 I heard this. And i thought that this is possibly unique for a Number One from post late 72 time when I started listening to the charts in that even with the absolute shite I’d heard them somewhere since they were hits…but not this one…

    And I was pleasantly surprised – I like the backing/production, Telly’s delivery is the nearest the white man gets to Barry White (in the timbre and vibe of his voice if not melodically!)and I’m not one who usually thinks actors/celebs are particularly “cool” but Telly was undeniably as cool as it gets.

    I like it enough for it to have made it to one of my hallowed car compilation cds…and I’m gonna give it at least 8 (ps I’ve never heard the Bread version but I cant see it beating this because its all about the interface between song and Telly’s stratospheric aura of greatness that makes it for me…and I’ve heard it his cool was laced with a down to earth man of the people down to earth good blokeness – what can you say?

  14. 74
    mapman132 on 29 Apr 2014 #

    As descriptions of number one hits go, it doesn’t get much more WTF to my American ears than “guy from Kojak does spoken word interpretation of Bread’s ‘If'”. I mean, hearing it for the first time tonight, it’s not quite the worst record I’ve come across on this forum (although it’s close), but its presence here could easily be Exhibit A of proof that British record buyers can be seriously weird sometimes!

  15. 75
    CriticSez on 9 Jun 2016 #

    I quite like this one. I don’t find it dreary at all, and it’s a pleasant change to have a spoken-word song now and again.

    Wait till we get to Sw***er J***er (BUNNIED, of course). That actually is bad.

    I say a 7 for this one.

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