May 08

Popular ’76

FT + Popular//552 comments • 18,097 views

I give marks out of 10 to every song – based on whatever criteria you like, here’s your opportunity to say what you’d have given more than 6 to from 1976. Tick as many as you like.

Number One Hits Of 1976: Which Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

Loading ... Loading ...

And use the comments to discuss the year as a whole, if you like.


1 15 16 17 18 19 All
  1. 481
    glue_factory on 19 Dec 2011 #

    The Kursal Flyers (along with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band) have been one of the highlights of these repeats for me, the moments that something a bit odd (and something I’m unfamiliar with), broke through the wall-to-wall Summertime Special regulars. Oddly they remind me of no-one so much as My Life Story.

  2. 482
    Mark G on 19 Dec 2011 #

    That was ‘thanks’ to the ‘on-purpose’ over-the-top arrangement by Mike Batt for that one song. The rest (as far as I recall) were nothing like it. (I remember a seeminglylong song called “I don’t wanna ride no Speedway” on the “Yeah! The KID!” fronted “45” pop show just before it died..)

    Closer to the Steve Gibbons band, I reckons.

  3. 483
    wichita lineman on 19 Dec 2011 #

    I randomly recorded the Kursaal Flyers’ Speedway off the radio (Annie Nightingale’s show) with my first cassette recorder, Christmas 1975. I totally took it at face value, as a racetrack death disc with a happy ending; as a pastiche (Tell Laura I Love Her?) it’s a lot subtler than Little Does She Know. I also didn’t know who the hell it was by for almost 20 years – Jak Knowles, former Shampoo bassist, found me a copy.

    I still like it, but I wish it had a glammier production. The curse of the flat 1975 studio sound!


  4. 484
    Mark G on 19 Dec 2011 #

    Ah, random radio tapings! I recorded a Peel show, back god knows when, and the centre piece was a long guitar piece which started like the Allmans “Top Gear” theme, but faded into a rambling drone for 15 mins or so. At the end, JPeel announced the title and artist “Elaine Renault”.

    Of course, super-obscure and impossible to find. It took the internet to be invented and a vague memory of it, and eventually I found the artist was called “Alain Renaud”. And then I managed to track down the LP for ooh, £12

  5. 485
    Mark G on 20 Dec 2011 #

    Thin Lizzy make good and show it’s not all outdated.

    Barry Biggs not as bad as I remember at the time.

    Status Quo with a decent sound.

    “John Christie due to have a fantastic 1977” of course he’s never seen again.

    Legs/Stevie Dance I wish. Odd costume choice but.

    Paul Nicholas gets no dancers this time.

    Liverpool Express sound a lot like… no it’s gone.

    Fully expected the line “I used to be a dreamer” to get followed by “I was the only one”

    Mike Oldfield tries to pretend he’s not there in his film.

    And Johnny Mathis, and we’re done.

  6. 486
    glue_factory on 20 Dec 2011 #

    @482, I’ve just realised, they both recorded albums called Golden Mile. That must have been what I could hear!

  7. 487
    wichita lineman on 20 Dec 2011 #

    Last night’s show…

    Thin Lizzy – odd that you don’t hear this anymore, it’s tremendous. Great solo, super-confident vocal, moody too. Don’t think I’ve heard it since it came out. Not the no.1 Noel predicts of course…

    Barry Biggs – the one thing this has over the Philly-tastic Blue Magic original is the bonkers Moog break. Presumably no one from the Radiophonic Workshop was around to help out for the TOTP orchestra remake. Pretty lifeless skank.

    Status Quo – a Hank Williams song with no chorus. Quo Boogie by numbers. No Mystery Song, or Rain.

    John Christie – has he out-smugged Randy Edelman? What a slappable face! He’s SO SURE this is a massive hit that I think the nation willed him back to obscurity. Bullying the audience into an Auld Lang Syne dance doesn’t help. Truly awful.

    Legs & Co/Stevie Wonder – great song, but am I missing something with the Chaplin gear? (thinks: have never really listened to the lyric)

    Paul Nicholas – still stinky.

    Liverpool Express – fast using up their You Are My Love goodwill tokens. Such an obvious and puffed-up rewrite of Imagine that the group name suddenly makes sense – fast food Beatles innit.

    Mike Oldfield – sweet. I bought this, a nascent folk-rock thing? Can’t get enough of Tubular Bells at the moment. Had someone harangue me last weekend about the greatness of Hergest Ridge, too. As for this video, the lady with the dark Purdey do kinda makes up for the weak Legs & Co routine.

    Arthur Lee – ah, no, it’s Johnny Mathis. This wears thin very quickly.

    More on Thursday, I do believe! What do I want for Christmas? I really hope Tina Charles doing Dr Love hasn’t been wiped…

  8. 488
    punctum on 20 Dec 2011 #

    anyone actually know what happened to Face of ’77 John Christie? Google not too helpful except (a) he may have been Australian; (b) he appeared in Dave Clark’s Time musical for a couple of years at the Dominion Theatre in the mid-eighties; (c) he may have had to change his surname for reasons unspecified.

    As for Liverpool Express: “Every play must have a scene” – this week’s No Shit Sherlock Award winners.

  9. 489

    The Mathis song is quite odd: who IS this child to be born? Can’t be Jesus, Jesus — depicted white, probably brown — most definitely wasn’t yellow. IS IT THE ANTI-CHRIST?

    Legs & Co were dressed as Russell Mael, obviously. And Quo were great: they were OUR TELEVISION I tell you.

    Hergest Ridge: “I’d rather be… on horseback”

  10. 490
    punctum on 20 Dec 2011 #

    Nope, that was Ommadawn.

    My dad’s reaction to Mathis: “Black, white, brown, yellow – no one knows.” “What about RED you racist bastard?”

  11. 491

    at school everyone loved and played oldfield all the time — i owned no LPs then and just borrowed tapes, so everything is muddled in my head

    Remember interview in NME where MO had done a course in exegesis to puncture his extreme shyness — visible in this clip — and it had apparently turned him into a a MASSIVE BEARD-FREE PR!CK.

  12. 492
    Mark G on 20 Dec 2011 #

    #489, it’s “all” children. Any one of which could be the savior of the whole of civilisation. Unless it got AB(the rest of this satirical message has been edited for googly reasons) BY THOSE VIL(and this bit too)STARDS!

  13. 493
    Mark G on 20 Dec 2011 #

    John Christie. This single wasn’t “too bad”, but I do remember one of his follow-ups “We had the time of our lives”, as I got to review it on the radio for Thames Valley Broadcasting (or, Radio 210 as it was known then).

    It was a horrible ‘razza-snazzamatazza’ attempt, and I did say “I hope I never hear it again”, and oddly enough I never have. (The ‘record of the week’ was the Sex Pistols’ “Pretty Vacant”)

  14. 494

    aha so it is a sharp pro-POPulation put-down to malthus and paul ehrlich!

  15. 495
    wichita lineman on 20 Dec 2011 #

    Didn’t John Christie write something half-decent for Cliff? Google doesn’t reveal much beyond Time, as Punctum says. I always associated him with John Farrar, an Aussie on EMI with Shads/ONJ connections, but I think I’m plain wrong.

    I think the older kids at my school were too cool to wave Oldfield albums about. Or Tull for that matter. Genesis, Man (!) and Hawkwind were big among my peers with older brothers. My year was mainly about punk and Bowie, then later metal or The Jam. In ’77 I kept my Abba Greatest Hits/Arrival, Shadows 20 Golden Greats, and Golden Hour Of The Kinks hidden at home.

    Re Mathis: I think the Superbaby angle wins the day. “It’s all a dream and illusion… it must come true, some time soon…” That’s not EVERY baby is it? It’s a SUPERBABY. No one even knows what skin colour it has! A translucent superbaby.

  16. 496
    punctum on 20 Dec 2011 #

    “Every superbaby must be translucent” (L Express).

    ’76-7, my year at school: boys into Quo, Genesis, Rush, Yes, girls into Abba, David Soul, Supertramp, ELO.

  17. 497
    Mark G on 20 Dec 2011 #

    ’76-77 the boys were into Purple, ELP, Floyd, Zep, etc. Did I say Yes? no? OK, Yes.

    See, what put me off The Clash at first wasn’t their Radical Politics or angry stance, etc, it was that all those that were really “into” ELP, Yes, etc because they were really intelligent and important, now were Clash fans because they were really important and intelligent. The usual ‘set up them barriers boys we can’t all be the chosen ones!’

  18. 498
    punctum on 20 Dec 2011 #

    Not at my school they weren’t; nobody was into the Clash except for Leon Trotsky, guitarist for Raw Deal, Bothwell’s number one punk band.

  19. 499
    wichita lineman on 20 Dec 2011 #

    The proggers at my school didn’t really swap sides. Oh, Zep were big of course, I forgot to mention them.

    No girls = no David Soul fans. Shame.

    Don’t remember much of a Clash thing at my school at all. Sex Pistols and Stranglers were big, a little later the Banshees and the Jam.

  20. 500
    Mark G on 20 Dec 2011 #

    There was a massive set of “drop” and “revision”, followed by “deny” of course.

    Some were genuinely ‘open ears’, most were “I never liked Tull, it was him”

  21. 501

    small coterie of sabbath/tull fans became pioneers of punk, against (younger!) genesis/yes/ELP/BJH cohort

    plus there was a lone (difficult cranky much-disliked) young man who repped for ABBA against all the sneers, so well done him (= it wasn’t me!)

  22. 502

    i left this^^^school in 1978 for college, so no idea how allegiances subsequently evolved

  23. 503
    wichita lineman on 20 Dec 2011 #

    More than 500 comments. Best call the late Ross McWhirter. And still a couple of ’76 TOTPs to go!

    Tried Ommadawn this morning. I like the folkier instrumentation, but not enough going on melodically for me – until the On Horseback bit of course. Like Tub Bells, one side much better than the other (both appear to be called Ommadawn Part One on spotify – I much prefer the non Horseback side).

  24. 504
    Mark G on 20 Dec 2011 #

    Dunno, I like TubBel2, possibly more. Unless that’s the side you meant.

  25. 505
    wichita lineman on 20 Dec 2011 #

    No I didn’t. But reading Marcello’s piece it made sense of how I’ve always felt about it – TubBel1 being a complete piece, Pt 2 filling out an album.

    Still, some lovely parts on Side 2, esp the opening melody which is avant-library and so primed me for music I wouldn’t discover until the 90s. Caveman I used to like when I was 11. I’m not 11 now. Sailors Hornpipe was too daft even when I was 11.

  26. 506
    Mark G on 20 Dec 2011 #

    Caveman on the “remake” is even more awfuller.

  27. 507
    AndyPandy on 20 Dec 2011 #

    re 483/484 – at least you tracked your random tape fragments down. For a couple of weeks until it chewed itself up I had a bit of tune from Pete Wardman’s Kiss FM weekday afternoon hardbag mix which even after about 17 years and the fact that it cut out/was mixed out after a couple of minutes (it was from about 1994)I still look on as my musical Holy Grail.

    So does anyone has any clues as to the identity of a hardbag/possibly early hardhouse/harder mix of a housier track from about 1994 which samples the strings from Perry Como’s ‘It’s Impossible’….?

  28. 508
    AndyPandy on 20 Dec 2011 #

    I was unfortunate enough to live in an area which still had the 11+ so I would imagine that all those who were into the progressive rock and then punk went to grammar school as in my two (I moved 10 miles across town at the end of the first year) secondary moderns I don’t remember anyone being into those types of music.

    To be honest in the first year I don’t remember anyone particularly taking much of an interest in music (weird really as when were much younger we’d all loved watching Slade, Sweet, Gary Glitter etc on TOTP but I suppose the visual outrageousness appealed to 7 or 8 year old boys). I was into Abba in the first year though – I had their greatest hits for my 12th birthday my first ever new record.

    Some of the older (fifth years?)were Teds and into rock ‘n’ roll which by the advent of ‘Grease’ had taking over the whole school – a lot of the hard older lads turning up on non-uniform day in full Ted outfits.
    And I do remember some of the bad boys in our first or second year classes bursting into renditions of Showaddywaddy or Darts songs into weaker teachers’ classes.

    Then around 1980 everyone had their hair shaved off and got into TwoTone and especially Madness (the only vaguely punk band that were ever followed were The Jam but that was from a Mod Revival angle and still quite a minority thing).

    Also round about 1980 some of the girls (obviously through older working boyfriends who went to clubs) started talking about jazz-funk and you’d see Light Of The World and Slough Alldayer etc graffiti written on exam desks. This mysterious new world started to fascinate me as you’d never hear about it in the media.

    By the time we left in 1981 jazz-funk had complete taken over our school year and the town.

  29. 509
    Lazarus on 20 Dec 2011 #

    I did wonder what I was watching there for a while – not Christmas and certainly not 1976 – but normal service has now ben resumed. The third show in what, five days? Mr Ambassador, you are spoiling us! The Xmas Day TOTP was the biz, wasn’t it? All the number ones of the year on one show, with tinsel and glitter and fake snow! And anything’s got to be an improvement on the seasonal TOTP2, with its tired old reruns of Slade, Wizzard, Lewie and all other usual suspects.

  30. 510
    Lazarus on 20 Dec 2011 #

    Having said that it was possible to feel a twinge of sympathy for the early-year hitmakers who by Christmas had been firmly consigned to One Hit Wonderland (Slik being somewhat along those lines, although I did like “Requiem”). I would say “Babylon Zoo” but that would get a nose a-twitching.

1 15 16 17 18 19 All

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)

If this was number 1 when you were born paste [stork-boy] or [stork-girl] into the start of your comment :)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page