Jul 08

Popular ’77

FT + Popular/663 comments • 16,794 views

I give a mark out of 10 to every single featured on Popular. This is your chance to indicate which YOU would have given 6 or more to, by whatever standard you wish to impose. And if you have any ‘closing remarks’ on the year to make, the comments box is your place!

Number One Hits Of 1977: Which would you have given 6 or more to?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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  1. 1
    Tom on 18 Jul 2008 #

    “God Save The Queen” not included as it sits outside the marking system, not being an ‘official’ No.1

  2. 2
    mike on 18 Jul 2008 #

    Slim pickings this year; I only voted for five of them.

  3. 3
    Dan R on 18 Jul 2008 #

    I’ve enjoyed talking and reading about these songs more than I’ve enjoyed listening to them, which is maybe symptomatic of a year of transition. Surprising number of duds, on reflection. And two songs I’d not knowingly heard before they came up here.

  4. 4
    DJ Punctum on 18 Jul 2008 #


  5. 5
    Tom on 18 Jul 2008 #


  6. 6
    o sobek! on 19 Jul 2008 #

    meanwhile back in the states –

    rod stewart – “tonight’s the night (gonna be alright)”
    marilyn mccoo and billy davis jr. – “you don’t have to be a star (to be in my show)”
    leo sayer – “you make me feel like dancing”
    stevie wonder – “i wish”
    rose royce – “car wash”
    mary mcgregor – “torn between two lovers”
    manfred mann’s earth band – “blinded by the light”
    the eagles – “new kid in town”
    barbara streisand – “evergreen (love theme from a star is born)”
    hall & oates – “rich girl”
    abba – “dancing queen”
    david soul – “don’t give up on us”
    thelma houston – “don’t leave me this way”
    glen campbell – “southern nights”
    the eagles – “hotel california”
    leo sayer – “when i need you”
    stevie wonder – “sir duke”
    kc and the sunshine band – “i’m your boogie man”
    fleetwood mac – “dreams”
    marvin gaye – “got to give it up (pt 1)”
    bill conti – “gonna fly now (theme from rocky)”
    alan o’day – “undercover angel”
    shaun cassidy – “da doo ron ron”
    barry manilow – “looks like we made it”
    andy gibb – “i just want to be your everything”
    the emotions – “best of my love”
    meco – “star wars theme/cantina band”
    debby boone – “you light up my life”
    bee gees – “how deep is your love”

  7. 7
    Jungman Jansson on 19 Jul 2008 #

    Donna Summer.

    I wasn’t even born yet in 1977 (give me another six months and I would be with you from the start, if it weren’t for infantile amnesia).

    And also – as a native Swede – I have heard most of Abba’s offerings throughout my childhood. Abba may not have had any more actual pop/street cred in Sweden than in the UK, but on the other hand they were accepted by the… establishement, or parental generation, or whatever you might like to call it. They were always there, in the background if nothing else.

    Oh, my English writing skills are rusty. It’s been a long time since I wrote anything in English.

    But Donna Summer.

    Sometime in 1992 I was exposed to Messiah’s rave version of ‘I Feel Love’. There was something about it that stuck with me. I had no idea that it was a cover version of a much older song, but I liked it. (I am, for the record, something of a closet anglophile – otherwise I would probably never have heard that track, nor would I have been following Popular for that matter).

    I can still remember the first time I heard the original Donna Summer/Moroder version being played in a club, sometime in the late ’90s. It was almost… transcendental. Something like a déjà vu, or rather déjà visité phenomenon – the feeling of arriving at an unknown place and still perfectly knowing your way around it.

    My English writing skills are rusty. And I’m drunk. This may not make much sense.

    But still, if I were forced to pick just one song from the entire string of ’70’s #1’s and forget all the others, I’d choose ‘I Feel Love’. It’s as close to perfection as you’ll ever get.

    By the way – I did rather like ‘Show You the Way to Go’ by the Jacksons. I never heard it in my life until it was featured here, but I’d say it’s my second choice of Popular ’77.

  8. 8
    CarsmileSteve on 19 Jul 2008 #

    odd one this, i think most of the ones i ticked would have scraped a six (most due to fuzzy childhood nostalia rather than [cough] objective goodness) with the exception of I Feel Love which is probably a 9.7 at least…

  9. 9
    wichita lineman on 19 Jul 2008 #

    A bad crop, but it could’ve been worse. In Ireland they suffered When Benjy Wrapped His Tractor Round The Old Oak Tree by Brendan Grace at no.1 while we were luxuriating in I Feel Love. To make up for this, they also placed Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better, The Carpenters’ Calling Occupants and Olivia Newton John’s Sam at the top. All worthier cases than three quarters of the votes from the UK jury.

  10. 10
    Billy Smart on 19 Jul 2008 #

    I was sorely tempted to vote for ‘Angelo’ because it does make me smile and laugh, but I couldn’t, with my hand on my heart, give it any more than 5.

    Impressive consensus for Donna.

  11. 11
    Lena on 20 Jul 2008 #

    In retrospect (now that I know about punk) I can heap praise on “White Riot,” “Complete Control,” “Rockaway Beach”…but at the time I loved “Mahna Mahna” by The Muppets and “King Tut” by Steve Martin.

    My three favorites that didn’t make #1 – “Sound and Vision” by David Bowie, Heatwave’s “Boogie Nights” and “Strawberry Letter 23” by Brothers Johnson. All 10s in my book.

    Like others I am really looking forward to 1978!

  12. 12
    Lena on 20 Jul 2008 #

    Actually, the more I think about it, the more totally AWESOME 1978 is…

  13. 13
    Dan R on 21 Jul 2008 #

    re: #7

    A drunken Swede writes more elegant English than most English people. As ever, the Scandinavians put us to shame.

    Once on holiday in Denmark, clutching my Berlitz phrasebook (because you have to make an effort don’t you?) I tried to exchange some traveller’s cheques in a Danish bank. Trying to make myself understood by following the supposedly phonetic guide in the book, I eventually gave up. ‘I’m so sorry to do this,’ I lamented, ‘but do you speak any English’.
    ‘Yes,’ she replied in very lightly accented English, ‘I have a smattering’.
    I realised with a sickening sense of my own limitations that I could live a thousand years and would never know the word ‘smattering’ in any other language.

  14. 14
    Tom on 21 Jul 2008 #

    What’s the source of “smattering” though – it sounds very Scando itself!

  15. 15
    wichita lineman on 21 Jul 2008 #

    Wasn’t he a downhill skiier?

  16. 16
    Billy Smart on 5 Aug 2008 #

    For a sense of context, here’s the same year in the charts seen upside down: ie, all the singles that got to number 40 in 1977!;

    29 Jan The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot – 1 week

    23 Apr Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow – Tom Jones – 1

    4 Jun In The City – The Jam – 2

    18 Jun Dreamin’ – Liverpool Express – 1

    16 Jul Halfway On The 7th Floor – Paul Nicholas – 1

    27 Aug American Girl – Tom Petty – 1

    15 Oct Lipsmakin’ Rock & Rollin’ – Peter Blake – 1

    29 Oct It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me – Barry White – 1

    5 Nov Boogie On Up – Rokotto – 1

    24 Dec I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love – The Emotions – 3

  17. 17
    Billy Smart on 2 Sep 2008 #

    NME Readers’ Poll for 1977, ‘Best single’ category;

    1. The Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
    2. The Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK
    3. Elvis Costello – Watching The Detectives
    4. Tom Robinson – 2-4-6-8 Motorway
    5. ELP – Fanfare For The Common Man
    6. The Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant
    7. David Bowie – “Heroes”
    8. Eddie & The Hot Rods – Do Anything You Wanna Do
    9. The Stranglers – Peaches
    10. The Clash – Complete Control

  18. 18
    Billy Smart on 3 Sep 2008 #

    The Melody Maker readers’ poll for 1977 is notably different;

    1. ELP – Fanfare For The Common Man
    2. The Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
    3. Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill
    4. The Stranglers – Peaches
    5. Genesis – Spot The Pigeon
    6. The Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant
    7. David Bowie – Sound & Vision
    8. The Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK
    9. Thin Lizzy – Don’t Believe A Word
    10. Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water (eh?)

  19. 19
    Mark G on 3 Sep 2008 #

    Well, 5 are the same, 1 artist different track, leaving:

    Elvis Costello – Watching The Detectives
    Tom Robinson – 2-4-6-8 Motorway
    Eddie & The Hot Rods – Do Anything You Wanna Do
    The Clash – Complete Control
    on the NME list, not on the MM, and

    Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill
    Genesis – Spot The Pigeon
    Thin Lizzy – Don’t Believe A Word
    Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water (eh?)
    on the MM list, not on the NME

    I make that 3-2 to the NME there.

  20. 20
    Mark G on 23 Nov 2011 #

    BBC Radio Times:

    “We’re delighted to hear that you’ve been enjoying the Top Of The Pops :1976 repeats on BBC4. I’m pleased to confirm that our journey into the hits of yesteryear will continue with Top Of The Pops:1977 from January next year.”

    So, here revive us this thread.

    (Mainly to keep the Andrea True mention on “Latest Comments” Popular ’76)

  21. 21
    Jimmy the Swede on 23 Nov 2011 #

    This is grand news. We’ll be right at the forefront for when something which had to happened happened, although, of course, TOTP plodded on regardless. Interesting times to be a teen.

    And RIP, Andrea.

  22. 22
    Steve Mannion on 24 Nov 2011 #

    Richard Madeley
    No wonder punk happened.Something had to.
    1 hour ago via web

  23. 23
    Lazarus on 1 Dec 2011 #

    #20, just seen that, splendid news. Voted for 12, including both Souls and Man Tran, but not Leo, Julie or Floaters. A little surprised to see Wings up there in mid-table given that their average score to date is about 3.5. Obviously more people are doing this bit than marking individal songs – both are equally fun.

  24. 24
    lonepilgrim on 7 Jan 2012 #

    ‘Top of the Pops: The Story of 1977’ on BBC4 last night (and available on iPlayer) serves as a tantalising overture for the next round of TOTPs from that year:
    A bit of union bashing;
    Eric Hall;
    Gaye Advert;
    Peter Paphides with an hilarious childs-eye perspective on the programme;
    Jubilee vs Pistols;
    Elvis & Marc: RIP;
    black musics vs blackface;
    EJ the DJ
    and a reminder of how much fun Darts were

  25. 25
    lonepilgrim on 8 Jan 2012 #

    The first TOTP of 1977 – 06/01/77
    Sheer elegance – light entertainment at its best (bland but with some energy)
    10cc – a bit too studied for my tastes
    Tina Charles – a weak song, but there’s something winning about TC
    Smokie – Dr Hook wannabes – and who wants to be Dr Hook?
    Gladys Knight & The Pips – wonderful voice; wonderful performance
    Jethro Tull – I enjoyed this for its quirky energy
    David Soul – drippy ballad made slightly more interesting by Legs & Co
    Drifters – efficient if unengaging
    Clodagh Rodgers – making a clean breast of her feeilings
    Boney M – great performance, what’s it called again?
    Yay! Donna Summer! she introduces the number 1! ‘Well done!’ say Kid! Jensen
    Johnny Mathis – can’t remember the words at first – when he does I wish he would forget them again
    Abba – we are the 99%

  26. 26
    chelovek na lune on 8 Jan 2012 #

    It’s been said that Smokie is Vladimir Putin’s favourite group…They have played for him on several occasions.
    Oh dear

  27. 27
    Weej on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Is “Oh dear” for Putin or for Smokie?

  28. 28
    lonepilgrim on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Putin’s always pulling stunts where he shows how much pain he can endure

  29. 30
    chelovek na lune on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Hmm. This may be the only instance in which Medvedev is made out to be less of an ass than Putin.

    It could just be a bit of light relief from all this (and especially the You tube link towards the end of this article entitled “I Want To Be Your Koni” http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/08/11/surreal_politik

    (Frankly, when it comes to cult-of-personality-boosting pop music in the post-Soviet space, I’d say yer beplaited and now imprisoned ex-PM of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko, comes off far better than anyone in Russia right now, with the President of Azerbaijan in a possible 2nd place)

  30. 31
    Lena on 8 Jan 2012 #

    I wasn’t sure where to post this but Marcello asked me to tell you that he is currently in hospital recovering from a mini-stroke and is making a good but slow recovery. He will be back when he is ready to start writing in the meantime, but he has to get back to his computer first, of course. Thanks, everyone.

  31. 32

    Yikes, that is scary news Lena! Please send him very best wishes!

  32. 33
    Lena on 8 Jan 2012 #

    I will, and I will let you all know when he will be back home. Thanks so much!

  33. 34
    Erithian on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Very sorry to hear that Lena. Best wishes to our favourite grumpy genius for a full recovery, and to you too – a privilege to spend time with you both at the Lexington last year. If you need moral support you know you can find it in abundance from the peeps on here.

  34. 35
    enitharmon on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Oh shit – scary news indeed. Please pass on my very best wishes for a full and speedy recovery and I hope he’s back in the fray very soon. Oh, and make sure he has plenty to keep his mind occupied. It’s no fun cooped up in hospital otherwise.

  35. 36
    Lena on 8 Jan 2012 #

    I definitely will – I think his mind is most occupied with getting better, though I brought in a Derek Bailey book to help keep his mind occupied. Thanks!

  36. 37
    enitharmon on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Don’t for get to tell him the old bat is very concerned with the well-being of her little caramel wafer ;)

  37. 38
    Erithian on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Waldo/Swede is unable to get to a keyboard right now but asked me to post his best wishes too on his behalf.

  38. 39
    Billy Smart on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Aw, get well soon, Marcello. What you do is very much appreciated, and we all think of you and Lena with great affection.

  39. 40
    thefatgit on 8 Jan 2012 #

    Get well soon Marcello. We need your unique intellect to tackle the rest of Popular 93.

  40. 41
    Lena on 8 Jan 2012 #

    I will see Marcello tomorrow and pass along all best wishes and messages to him. I really appreciate them and I know he will, too!

  41. 42
    lonepilgrim on 9 Jan 2012 #

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery

  42. 43
    chelovek na lune on 9 Jan 2012 #

    My very best wishes for a speedy recovery too. We’ve never met, but I have long greatly appreciated and valued (at FT and elsewhere) the man’s remarkable way with words and his insights.

  43. 44
    Mark G on 9 Jan 2012 #

    Get well soon!

  44. 45
    JML on 9 Jan 2012 #

    Yes, get well very soon, Mr. Carlin. Best wishes from the guy in Portugal that wrote about The Blue in the Air.

  45. 46
    jeff w registered on 9 Jan 2012 #

    Best wishes for a rapid recovery, MC. I bought the book just before Christmas and am now slowly savouring it.

  46. 47
    Lena on 9 Jan 2012 #

    Hi everyone, thanks for your support, M knows about all your good wishes and I know they are helping him recover. He is yet to get up and move around but he is definitely seeming more like himself and is eager to come home! He just has to get up and moving and get his digestive system back to normal (always a hospital bugbear) and then he will be fine. Thanks again for your kind thoughts!

  47. 48
    Rory on 9 Jan 2012 #

    This is a shock but it’s good to hear that Marcello is recovering well. Best wishes for a full recovery, DJ Punctum.

  48. 49
    anto on 9 Jan 2012 #

    Get well soon to the author of the excellent Then Play Long.

  49. 50
    Snif on 9 Jan 2012 #

    What they all said…take your time and come back at your own convenience, Mr C

  50. 51
    flahr on 10 Jan 2012 #

    Glad to hear he’s getting better and I can only echo everyone else’s good wishes.

  51. 52
    Lena on 10 Jan 2012 #

    Hi everyone, thanks again for your very kind comments and wishes! Marcello is being sent to St. Thomas’ for physiotherapy and is already up and walking by himself, just needs to practice balance and going up & down stairs and then I think he will be okay to come home!

    Thanks again for your good wishes and hopefully he will get to read them all very soon!

  52. 53
    Jimmy the Swede on 11 Jan 2012 #

    Hiya Lena

    Just needing to practice balance and going up and down stairs is a condition only too familiar to a well-refreshed Swede. I’m not expecting it to trouble Marcello either. Further good wishes to him. And tell him to keep away from the blue water dispenser. He’ll know what this means!

  53. 54
    enitharmon on 11 Jan 2012 #

    I remember the stairs test all too well. The mobility problem is not so much a result of the original illness as it is the result of several days confined to a standard NHS hospital bed. Has Marcello been subjected to that medieval torture deceptively called “flat bed rest”? I sincerely hope not; I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

  54. 55
    Lena on 11 Jan 2012 #

    Marcello hasn’t had that much flat bed rest; they are more interested in getting him up and figuring out how to improve his balance, which is fine when his eyes are open but not so much when they’re closed! His speech is improving and they will continue to work on that, too. He has his own room now and with a quieter atmosphere and lots of rest I am sure he will continue to improve – he just needs to get those stairs!

  55. 56
    thefatgit on 11 Jan 2012 #

    Wobble-boards (not Rolf’s) Ahoy!

  56. 57
    Lena on 12 Jan 2012 #

    Hi everyone – Marcello is indeed getting better daily, now on medicine to keep his blood pressure down, and his physio was very good today – now for real stairs and some speech therapy tomorrow. He hopefully will be coming home early next week, he is v. restless and I have to take new reading material in tomorrow and a radio, too! (He encountered a wobbly cushion today but has yet to use it…)

  57. 58
    Lena on 14 Jan 2012 #

    Hi everyone – Marcello is now back home! He will still be checked up and so on but on an outpatient basis, and is going to take a good week to rest up, practice the stairs here and maybe even do some writing! Thanks so much for all your kind wishes and comments here!

  58. 59

    Hurrah hurrah!

  59. 60
    Jimmy the Swede on 14 Jan 2012 #

    Wonderful news indeed! Please convey the best of wishes to the lad. And would you kindly ask him whether he encountered a mate of mine who I think was in hospital too? His name is Cobb and we were a little worried about him being given a bed near an open window…

  60. 61
    Snif on 15 Jan 2012 #

    Are you suggesting they might have burnt Marcello’s old clothes and given him some new ones?

  61. 62
    Jimmy the Swede on 16 Jan 2012 #

    You’re on the radar, Snif. But at least they would also have given our beloved Punkmeister a free ride home!

  62. 63
    wichita lineman on 19 Jan 2012 #

    Doesn’t someone here have a Clodagh Rodgers fixation?

    Save Me, from the last TOTP, still sounds like a massive hit to me. The TOTP orchestra makes it sound both schmoove and clunky, quite a feat, but it’s super catchy and not a little saucy. Didn’t even make the Top 50, but it’s stuck in my memory for over 30 years.

  63. 64
    Jimmy the Swede on 21 Jan 2012 #

    You old rascal, Lino! The one with the Clodagh fettish was famously the Swede. Mind you, that was back in her “Jack In The Box” days. I was surprised to still see her bouncing up and down on her spring all of seven years later.

    This week’s show. Diddy introduces.

    Gallagher and Lyle – Far too simple and unadventurous. Even the band looked bored.

    Barry Briggs – I always liked this. Good song. Unfortunately the man couldn’t sing, which is a little bit of a problem really.

    And then…Legs and a routine to “Carwash”. The opening shot sees Sue and another Leg flapping their tongues at eachother. The subsequent routine is equally as spellbinding – hotpants and ducking in and out of car washing brushes. As a friend, I immediately texed Erithian to warn him not to watch this with his wife and to have a clear run to the bog. It was magnificent.

    David Parton – A Ricky Gervais-lookalike, who had written the two hits for Sweet Sensation a couple of years before, tackles “Isn’t She Lovely”, for me the most wretched song the genius Stevie Wonder ever recorded. Hamilton mentioned a “controversy”. I don’t know what this was. Might it have been a copyright issue with Mowtown?

    The Quo – Just being The Quo.

    Liverpool Express – Surely the TOTP house band. And another dreary dirge.

    Here come Pussycat again after their huge hit and the three gals line up to seranade us. They’re wholesome enough and the one who leads looks like Mary Hopkin with dental issues, which I assure is not an insult. Not surprisingly, they choose to go down home again and this time they are waved away. I’ll never cease to be amazed by how this lot did so well with…well…nothing!

    David Soul – Bravo! Very good but, as someone else said, he looks old. Had he been just a bog-standard crooner, this would have been okay. But as a pop idol, he just looks wrong.

    Stevie’s “I Wish” to close, the second song from the same album for tonight. Diddy is visibly annoyed when one of the audience makes a grab for his trouser leg. This is strange. Normally the little bugger is all over the girls.

    Mixed bag this week.

  64. 65
    AndyPandy on 21 Jan 2012 #

    Re David Parton – I think all the contoversy may have been that despite everything Stevie Wonder couldn’t be persuaded to release it as single.
    In a possibly unprecednted situation it had been all over the airwaves jusrt like a number 1 single for the whole of the previous autumn – eg it was in the ‘Capital Hitline’ (as though it was a hit single) for weeks – and I can’t think of any other track ever that was so played without being released as a single – as a kid I even presumed it WAS a hit single.
    IIRC the David Parton single was sort of released due to a perceived strong public demand for a 7 inch version of the song.

    PS Glad someonerelse is biggin’ up David Soul – for years now I’ve thought all his singles were superbly crafted pieces of adult pop- decent lyrics with an often jaded take on romance (sort of fitting in with what we now know was his very own mixed personal life/battles with the bottle etc), good productions, the lot – finally picked up a compilation on a stag weekend in Blackpool in the early 90s. Regularly still give it a spin. Oh and he supports Arsenal.

  65. 66

    I think the controversy is David Parton’s peculiar hand-flapping gesture

  66. 67
    punctum on 26 Jan 2012 #

    Tonight it was Noel Lemons presenting again.

    Slade first up, with the seldom revisited “Gypsy Roadhog” which seems to be (a) all about taking cocaine in the USA and (b) “Roll With It” by Oasis.

    Then Donna Summer doing the underwhelming “Winter Melody” while playing with various Great Universal Stores catalogue seasonal cast-offs.

    10cc, i.e. Tears For Fears, video playing on a screen poleaxing the audience, who are understandably looking the other way.

    I missed Jesse Green and Legs & Co romping around to Elvis, oh dear how sad never mind.

    Leo Sayer – I remember that wistful C&A lemon jumper. Also that you can tell when something’s going to go to number one.

    Thin Lizzy – absolutely terrific.

    Silver “Connection” (according to BBC4) getting tongue-tied over an unusually wordy song for them. Awful pit band, stop showing us the orchestra.

    DAVID SOUL HORSE NIGHTMARE for second week running.

    “Daddy Cool” – the single version, not the Johnny Pearson one – to play out.

    No “It Takes All Night Long” but was anyone really expecting it?

  67. 68
    wichita lineman on 27 Jan 2012 #

    I was expecting It Takes All Night Long, as it was on the BBC4 online schedule. For the 7.30 slot. Someone must have got cold feet. Presumably it will turn up in the 40 min version, but I was more disappointed that neither Tina Charles or Dana were on – there y’go. Anyway.

    Slade – Cocaine would make sense as this is closer to Be Here Now than Roll With It to my ears. It left no imprint on my memory beyond Noddy’s fetching pheasant hat.

    Donna Summer – Always been fond of Winter Melody, but now associate it with Xmas mixes, so it sounded rather out of place. Donna looked a bit like a pretty horse. With kind eyes.

    10CC – Very Macca, and love the Spector/powerpop feel of this. In an old Smash Hits, Andy Patridge described Hello Goodbye as “Aural Tizer” but it equally suits TWDFL.

    Mucky Sue (and saucy ‘newcomer’ Rosie) in red basques dancing to my favourite Elvis song. I’d have been gutted if I’d missed it, MC, but it’s on youtube. I checked.

    Jesse Green – Dull soundalike follow-up which I don’t remember at all.

    Leo Sayer – Simpering. Is that the word?

    Thin Lizzy – in a different class to everyone else on the show. Terrific guitar break. Phil L, likewise, a very handsome man.

    Silver Convention – after several international hits, you think they’d look a little more polished. Is that Marti Caine on the right? The girl on the left has grenade shrapnel in her leg according to the Yes It’s Number One blog.

    David Soul – Pass the Black Bean Soup. Ne-e-ext!

  68. 69
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Jan 2012 #

    Slade – With their salad days long behind them, they now think they’re Quo. The song does rock, though.

    Donna Summer – Gorgeous, of course, but alas she’s seriously in the fromagerie and it just won’t do.

    Donna segues into 10CC on a screen and the effect is a disaster, as the kids are not grooving. Fabulous record, though.

    Jesse Green – Just a carbon copy of his last one and thus the lad is worthy of a dry slap. Risible.

    Then Legs! – A routine to “Suspicion”. And Presley is two sets to love and a break down at this stage, of course. The Gals begin in raincoats (F’king Boo!!) Ah, wait! Here we go… Woo-hoo! Now they look like a bunch of French toms and all is right with the world!

    Lil’ Leo – Noel pins his colours to the mast of a future number one. Fair play but knock off a surfeit of stars for that banana instant whip jumper Leo’s sporting. I bet Flick Colby flooded herself when she caught sight of it.

    Lizzy – Now we’re cooking. Great, great rock!

    Silver Convention – Another odd marked firm. And a fish out of water too, as they deliver a song with more than half a dozen words for once.

    Number one time – And Hutch has aged from last week, it seems.

    Bony M to light us to bed.

    Not a particularly memorable show this week.

  69. 70
    swanstep on 30 Jan 2012 #

    Nile Rodgers has posted (back in Nov 2011, but I only just stumbled across them) a couple of vids on youtube of a pre-Chic in 1976 covering EWF’s Get Away and BeeGees’ You should be dancing. Awesome (esp. the former in my view).

  70. 71
    AndyPandy on 30 Jan 2012 #

    Caught up with on i-player
    *Slade – I somehow remember this but what a come down the preceding couple of years must have been for the band – having said that Dave Hill seemed to be having a whale of a time and to be enjoying himself like it was still 1973.

    *Donna Summer – Winter Melody – of everything she’s done I probably only like ‘I Feel Love’ more – even this semi-live video-version couldn’t completely ruin it although the full 6 minute plus album version can’t be beaten. Used to be played a lot on Radio 2 late 76/early 77 and I can almost feel the cold of playing out that winter – so nostalgia for me too.And I actually remember the Christmassy bits of the video 35 years later.

    *10cc – a very promising start (would fit in well with the kind of soul-pop stuff that’d they occasionally drop on the London jazz-funk pirates pre- (and on certain shows post-)house eg Player -Baby Come Back, Jakarta -‘Golden Girl, England Dan/John Ford Coley – ‘I’d Really Love To see you Tonight’, Hall & Oates ‘She’s Gone’ etc) to the post split career but the last thing of their’s I really liked. And within about 3 years it was Saturday morning children’s telly and complete flop albums and singles.

    *Silver Convention – a nice change to see a genuine foreign disco act in the TOTP studio (check out their ‘Tiger Baby’ for its extremely memorable lazy tiger yawn/growl – I love it).And what with Donna Summer on video a bit of a Munich disco special.And a taster of that amazing time when the 1977 chart became so “modern” it wouldn’t be eclipsed for about 10 years ie when ‘I Feel Love’, Jean Michel Jarre, Space, Giorgio Moroder and (almost)Cerrone were all in the top 20 at the same time. Actually forget 10 years I think that was one of the best Top 20’s of all time.

    *David Soul – never get bored of this and I’ve heard it a few hundred times – a class above the usual singing actor although in actual fact I think he was a singer (albeit a bit of a novelty one (The Masked Singer)) before he made it as an actor.

    All in all I quite liked this edition.

  71. 72
    Jimmy the Swede on 3 Feb 2012 #

    This week’s show was a rather annoying affair. Tracks were nearly all cut short, some ridiculously so. And the Gals kept their kit on. Tony Blackburn was the referee.

    The Brothers – I had no idea about this at all. It was one of those WTF? moments. Erithian suggested they may have been Op Knox winners. Neither of us cared.

    David Parton – I think this one’s been covered. The suggestion that it provided an opportunity to bag this track as a single (by anyone who sounded remotely like SW) is undoubtedly correct. You only have to look at Parton’s chart position to understand that. He himself looks like a cock.

    The Eagles’ “New Kid In Town” – And Legs. Only there are no legs at all. The Gals frustrate their panting, salivating admirers by full-dressing up as gangters’ molls from the twenties (I think) and then the performance is brutely cut half-way through in order to give way to…

    Fatty Briggs! – Look! This bugger can’t f’king sing, okay? The man is squeaky and tone deaf. And check out the pink outfit three sizes too small for him. Small wonder this is a song about loneliness. Jesus! Nice number, though.

    Quo – Introduced by Tony and fetching young woman plucked out of the audience. Quo are just Quo.

    Mr Big – Highlight of the night for me. A great little record, this. Well done!

    Andy Fairweather-Low – Well, okay but wallpaper music really. What audience was he targeting?

    Moments – On screen to sing “Jack In His Box”. And they’re also decked out in pink! Was it that year’s colour? Good song and a good performance, which Big Bazza could only dream about. I personally preferred “Dolly My Love”, though.

    New Seekers – Lovely, wholesome Eve bashes out another old time sing-a-long before being savagely cut. An outrage!

    David Soul – We say goodbye to this. But it was a good number one. And Hutch might well be back.

    Titles to “Car Wash”.

    This was a strange show. Everything in a rush. And certainly short-changed on our Mucky Sue fix.

  72. 73
    punctum on 3 Feb 2012 #

    This week’s show was a mess. Ineptly edited, Julie Covington in the top ten and on twice yet not featured, while Barry Biggs and Status Quo come back for the third time.

    I think I’ll stick to the late night full-length reruns. But who schedules these useless peak time broadcasts? Who is responsible for editing the life out of these programmes such that anything remotely interesting, or different, or prickly, gets routinely cut (and they’ll do it with the Pistols; you wait and see), leaving only the blandest, least offensive (and therefore to my mind the most offensive) tripe?

    Actually I know the answer. I know who these schedulers and hackers are. They have names like Jenny or Vicki. They hold a 2:2 in media studies from Dudley University. They are unattached. There is nothing in their fridge except nail varnish. They listen to Heart FM for pleasure. They think Bridget Jones’ Diary a truthful social document. They cry to their copy of 21. Their idea of modern philosophy is M. Scott Peck. They are, at root, petrified thirtysomething beings who see the ideal BBC4 viewer as themselves – timid, thwarted, mousey office managers who’ll immediately switch over to Channel 4 News if they catch a glimpse of Evita or Gary Glitter or Can – and, like their imagined target audience, instantly see educated, mouthy viewers as the equivalent of the naughty boy at the back of the classroom who needs to be micromanaged and kept in check. The sort of idiot who berates Brian Matthew about Sounds Of The ’60s, complaining that they don’t like all that obscure stuff and all they want to hear are number ones followed by more number ones.

    I’d rather they didn’t repeat the shows at all than show them in this bowdlerised form – David Parton as hopeless holiday camp compere, vainly trying to rouse the interest of a disinterested audience, most of whom aren’t even looking at him, is just one instance of what is considered “acceptable.”

    And yes, The Brothers won Op Knox, but they still look like a cruise ship which has had an unfortunate accident with a shipment of orange Quality Street wrappers.

    “Must dash now, there’s a new Best Of The Moments CD out” – you won’t hear that said.

  73. 74
    Jimmy the Swede on 3 Feb 2012 #

    There are a host of tributes to Brian Matthew on Radio 2 just now. Richly deserved. And it’s the “obscure stuff” which makes “Sounds of the Sixties” such an enjoyable listen.

    I wonder what Jenny and Vicki would make of Napolean XIV…

  74. 75
    Erithian on 3 Feb 2012 #

    Listening to The Brian Matthew Story on iPlayer at this moment – a national treasure indeed. Lovely stories about his friendship with the Beatles and clips of Janice Nicholls and Dusty Springfield.

  75. 76
    Erithian on 3 Feb 2012 #

    If glam was passé, as shown by Slade and GG last week, the New Seekers were right out of time – although it’s always good to see my first crush Eve again.

    Here’s a time capsule – The Brothers on Opportunity Knocks, complete with songwriters Mr and Mrs Greenslade from Exeter, Hughie and the clapometer. Can’t have been all that WTF though Jim – reached number 8, although they’re true one-hit wonders. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixNJC6uZHVA

  76. 77
    Mark G on 3 Feb 2012 #

    Belatedly catching up 2 weeks worth:

    1) /Slade is what happens when the amount of work they previously did to win (i.e. Dave’s outfits, the production of the song, the song itself) seems like too much bother, so they loosen up a little and end up with no hit/ .. / Donna Summer’s live video not as good as the actual single / .. / That Jesse Green song suffers the BBC orchestra treatment, the single was OK / .. / Silver Convention’s song came from their concept album “The world is a madhouse” about mechanised society and also contains the not-hit-single “I’m not a slot machine”

  77. 78
    AndyPandy on 3 Feb 2012 #

    I’m surprised they didn’t blank Gary Glitter’s picture out of the countdown it’s getting that ridiculous.

    Surprised there’s so much bewilderment about The Brothers it got massive airplay and was one of the few songs that I remember filtering down into our generally uninterested First Year class to the extent that I remember it being sung around the school by someone

    Likewise as regards loads of airplay (on Capital anyway) the Andy Fairweather-Low record which I also haven’t heard since – unusual that a vaguely catchy tune with that kind of exposure and on the back of 2 big hits should have been such a flop. Capital saturated their playlists with those 2 too they must have really like him.

    The Moments – not a patch on ‘Girls’ probably echoed in the fact that that track (and often elongated with the mixing in of it’s b-side ‘More Girls’) was the only one of theirs I remember getting played occasionally on the jazz-funk scene as an oldie in the 80s.

    Why can’t they have someone in charge of broadcasting these re-runs with a genuine interest in them – AFAIK they’ve got a keen and regular following and are discussed on quite a few websites so the presenting of this should refect their significance.

    The way they’re being done makes me think that the people involved have no more realisation of their real value (as social documents etc)than their counterparts in the 1970s would have had and if they had their way they’d probably still be wiping them.

  78. 79
    Mark G on 4 Feb 2012 #

    “The bears came home and found Goldilocks” one of the most ‘out-of-context’ lines within a song ever?

  79. 80
    Jimmy the Swede on 4 Feb 2012 #

    # 79 – What tickles me about this Moments offering is that the whole point of the lyric is that the guy is assuring his sort that his devotion to her is “a fact”. In order to underline this, he offers similar well known “facts”, involving a Jack in the Box, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Little Boy Blue to compare. This, of course, should have told the bird that the Moments bloke was taking the piss, would play away at the drop of a hat and that by far the wisest thing she could do would be to tell the grinning tosser to fuck off.

  80. 81
    punctum on 4 Feb 2012 #

    Given that “the horn belongs to Little Boy Blue,” I’m surprised the BBC didn’t slap a Judge Dread-style veto on the record!

  81. 82
    Jimmy the Swede on 4 Feb 2012 #

    You’re absolutely right, MC. Little Boy Blue and the horn was indeed included in one of the Judge’s string of hits – all banned. And didn’t Auntie initially also red-card the Mr Big single for mentioning someone taking someone else to bed?

  82. 83
    lonepilgrim on 5 Feb 2012 #

    a show suffocating under the influence of light entertainment – whether that be sensible jackets or the TOTP orchestra
    fascinating to see how the (full) programme covered ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ – with an assortment of press clippings – from the news department presumably? Was there a fear of being accused of treating a ‘serious’ political story with a lack of respect if they had allowed Legs & Co (for instance) to dance to it? Had Julie Covington refused to perform the song?

    God, The Moments were a sight.

    Less than a month after this was broadcast I went to see The Stranglers play at Crawley College – ‘Something better change’

  83. 84
    Rory on 6 Feb 2012 #

    Charlie Brooker just tweeted this video. Thought everyone here might appreciate it.

  84. 85
    jeff w registered on 6 Feb 2012 #

    I’d buy a ‘Best of the Moments’ CD. If the music was remastered from the original analogue recordings, that is.

    I went to see The Stranglers play at Crawley College
    For some reason I thought they played the Leisure Centre rather than the College. Dunno why, the college makes loads more sense now that I think about it. I was only 12 so too young to attend, but the gig was legendary at my school.

  85. 86
    wichita lineman on 6 Feb 2012 #

    Not the most inspiring episode.

    The Moments’ innuendo passed me by, aged 11, but it’s pretty obvious now. Me and my sis thought this was risible at the time; now it sounds incredibly repetitive at best.

    I love the way the camera pulled as far back as possible during David Parton’s horrid roses-for-the-ladies routine.

    Mr Big – they were confident, weren’t they? Had any of them done anything before? Still can’t work out if I like it, something about their precise ee-nun-see-ay-shun rubs me up the wrong way.

    No WTF about the Brothers, not unless you think every X Factor winner is similarly WTF. Bloody tedious record though. Worst thing about them is that they called themselves… The Brothers. Just because they were. Not like those fraudulent Walker and Righteous tykes.

    Andy Fairweather Low – “What audience was he targeting?” I had the exact same thought. I really have no idea. Noel Edmonds?

  86. 87
    lonepilgrim on 6 Feb 2012 #

    re 85 The Stranglers did play the Leisure Centre, supported by Wire, later in 1977, as recorded here:
    I also attended the Leisure Centre gig. By that stage ‘punk’ had become more visible and there was a larger and more varied audience than the earlier show.
    When my friends and I attended the concert at the College there was a rumour that there was definitely going to be a fight – probably involving knives. We duly attended in a state of giddy anticipation – and nothing happened (much to our relief). At the later gig there WAS a fight, with skinheads in DMs/braces etc. throwing glasses and we got out of the way pronto.

  87. 88
    Mark G on 7 Feb 2012 #

    Mr Big had been ‘knocking the door’ for some years, (I remember “Christmas with Dicken”, a sort of “oy oy” Cockney Xmas ditty) so by now they had their chops well down. Possibly they’d find themselves out-of-favour after Punk happened..

    (Quick uplook, they formed in 1972 and “XmwDick” was 1974)

    See, again, it’s the ‘soft-rock’ that died thanks to Punk, the “prog” bands carried on regardless to smaller crowds maybe..

  88. 89
    wichita lineman on 7 Feb 2012 #

    Re Mr Big. Thought it was “I am the red rag and you are the bull”, but apparently not.

    Thanks for the info, Mark. Christmas With Dicken below… gor blimey guv, you’re not wrong. Sounds oddly Euro in spite of extreme Essex-isms. The spoken part sounds a lot like Dan Treacy, too.

    A long way from here to Romeo’s bed:


  89. 90

    The ‘glers (©ilx’s AlexInNYC) played Tiffanys in Shrewsbury, a genuine “Saturday night among the plastic palm trees” type nightclub up above the Riverside Shopping Centre, many many years closed and gone. My friend Phil — well under-age for licensed premises, indeed actually slightly younger than me but tall for his age — went to see them, and threw an empty cigarette packet at them as his contribution to urban yoof ultraviolence. I was very in love with of Phil — he had the most gorgeous smile of anyone I’ve ever met — but deplored his taste in rock and pop, and STRONGLY DISAPPROVED of the Stranglers, for Not Being Proper Punk. Phil drank himself to death in his 20s, so I was obviously correct here, though I’m not happy about it.

  90. 91
    Lazarus on 9 Feb 2012 #

    The Beeb’s website promises G— G—— on tonight’s show – we shall see …

    Edit: just noticed, not updated from last week yet. He wasn’t on, obviously.

  91. 92
    punctum on 9 Feb 2012 #

    He was on – just not on the 7:30 edit. Will be watching the long-form rerun tonight so Twitter comments will be late.

  92. 93
    Mark G on 9 Feb 2012 #

    He is on now

  93. 94
    Mark G on 9 Feb 2012 #

    Might as well have called it “I’m a big perv” but hey, the times were different.

  94. 95
    chelovek na lune on 9 Feb 2012 #

    Heard G— G—— on the radio (a local independent station, based quite near to his home town – not that it boasts of its parentage, quite understandably) for the first time in donkey’s years a few weeks before Christmas – his Xmas number, obviously.

  95. 96
    Mark G on 9 Feb 2012 #

    It doesn’t seem that long ago when he had his very own ‘themed’ snack bar in Leicester Square.

    Obviously, it is.

  96. 97
    wichita lineman on 9 Feb 2012 #

    What was the ‘themed’ snack bar called? I remember Shampoo going there and saying it was crap. They didn’t think any of the snacks had GG-related names.

  97. 98
    Mark G on 9 Feb 2012 #

    The staff had to petition himself so that they could play music ‘other than’ his! (he aquiesced)

    Even Presley’s (tottctrd) had a jukebox with ‘only’ 50% Elvis.

  98. 99
    Jimmy the Swede on 11 Feb 2012 #

    Kid Jensen was the MC this week.

    Thin Lizzy – Great stuff, natch. What will TOTP follow that with, do you think?

    By God, it’s Gadd!! At last we see him after weeks of North Korean-style airbrusing out of the show. But the Swede smells a rat. The performance we are presented with is pure sleaze and even without hindsight, this is grim. A tragic middle-aged old lad prancing up and down trying to be sexy. Just wrong. I think TOTP put this out for that very reason and I commend them for it. A nauseating spectacle. Let’s move on to something far more decent and wholesome…

    It’s the Gals! And, glory-be, they’re back in their true orbit after last week’s reticent nonsense. They look breath-taking in silver ball gowns with splits down the left leg. Mucky Sue has never looked better. They do a routine to Harold Melvin’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way”. And this prefaces an odd little moment at the end of the show, more of which later.

    Boz Scaggs – And what can I say? No, what CAN I say? Despite bad hair, Boz smoothly rocks to a backing girly trio and a very visible brass section. Nothing to fault here apart, perhaps, for the snatches of the two drummers, the nearest of whom is clearly deranged. But what can we dooo?

    The Real Thing – And Kid makes the same irritating error that Edmonds always made by referring to the groups’ “two chart-toppers”. And now they look like numpites. An end of the pier act, if you will. And since the Swede has spent far too much time at the end of a pier, I should bloody well know. Not good.

    Silver Convention – Neither fish nor fowl really. But the lead girl, a product of a US Serviceman father and a German mother, is more than a little yummy.

    The Rubettes – An unspriring piece of folk from a mob well past their sell-by date. The Kid assures us that this is heading for number one. Well, of course it is!

    David Soul – I thought he was off the top this week, but no…

    And then Jensen introduces his special guest. It is Thelma Houston, who is in the UK to promote her new single. Alas, it is her own version of the same song given the full Legs treatment earlier. I only hope Thelma was in the Green Room when Harold was clocking up the sales earlier on. The very charming Miss Houston then introduces Heatwave’s “Boogie Nights” to fade.

    An enjoyable show.

  99. 100
    AndyPandy on 11 Feb 2012 #

    Kid Jensen was always a bit good to be presenting TOTP at this stage hence I think the slight air of embarrassment detectable from his shows now.

    Gary Glitter was only aged 32 when he made this appearance(!)

    Although the Real Thing were never really anything more than pop-soul/funk (and so not part of the Britfunk continuum and never really accepted by the underground funkers) the nearest they did get to such acceptance ie the 12 inch of “Can You Feel The Force?” , “Children Of The Ghetto” , “Boogie Down (Get Funky Now)” were still well in the future at this point

    Rubettes – surely more a country-ish song with a touch of Mark Knopfler guitar on this at exactly the time Dire Straits were forming although obviously not connected

  100. 101
    Mark G on 11 Feb 2012 #

    I believe they were somewhat keen to get out of their contracts by this point, and making singles that weren’t meant to be hits (Under one roof for example, about a gay couple, radio couldn’t touch it..)

    Hard to believe that lineup of blokes old before their time were sold to the teenies a couple years ago.

    If they’d have hung on a bit, they could have been the english Eagles. And so many did (I remember Rameo from the Shcwads being a fan)

  101. 102
    punctum on 11 Feb 2012 #

    They did hang on a bit – some became The Firm, and then part of the KLF (see The Manual for full details), and even unto Xenomania. Not that you’d have known from looking at that lot.

  102. 103
    punctum on 12 Feb 2012 #

    Kid Jensen’s sheepish expression when topping and tailing the Real Thing as if to say “Hey, I didn’t buy this” – priceless.

    Thin Lizzy – a rerun, but still the most “1977”-looking thing here.

    The Double G – Jesus H Corbett, this would still have been creepy had I known nothing else about him. As Lena so rightly said, this didn’t even sound like Glitter – a cheap ride on the disco wagon (at points the song threatens to turn into “I Love To Love”) revealing nothing but a Bizarro World Lionel Blair, with his unbecoming teeth and positively repulsive camera leers. The sort who’d be hanging around the Hippodrome asking ladies if they were English and wanting to go to the boogie bop disco, if we didn’t know they were probably hanging around school playgrounds instead. Yeeeeuck.

    All respect to JtS for the continuing Mucky Sue updates but I continue to find Legs & Co’s appeal baffling (“Don’t Leave Me This Way” – surely it should have been three of them in prefect blazers and the other three dressed as weather balloons?). Then again Hot Gossip (who were marketed as everything Legs & Co weren’t) didn’t get me going either.

    Boz Scaggs – on Soul Train I think, and simply splendid, down to the double drumming. Did you know that Toto formed out of the rhythm section on Silk Degrees? I noticed that I hadn’t given the album a CD upgrade, and rectified that the next day (a fiver in Fopp). Terrific record, plays like a greatest hits, etc.

    The Real Thing – putting on a big hat doesn’t make you Sly Stone, Mr Amoo, and nor does this nondescript ballad, with the rest of the group petrified and apparently in school uniform. The stench of prize-giving day was very redolent.

    Silver Convention – NEXT!

    The Rubettes – the sort of thing the BBC wanted to be big in ’77, business as usual; somebody’s been listening to the Eagles, eh?

    DAVIDSOULHORSENIGHTMARE – thankfully the final week for Mr Soul’s eye-rolling, nearly-dropped-off-there performance.

    Thelma Houston – inexplicable and a bit mean of the BBC to put her in there. But her version went to #1 in the USA so what did she care?

    Heatwave – strange they haven’t actually been ON the show yet. Did Rod Temperton draw the short straw for getting in the pies and peas?

  103. 104
    wichita lineman on 16 Feb 2012 #

    No show tonight, but here’s something from our friends at yesitsnumberone:


    Belated notes on last week’s show:

    GG – Ee Gadd! Not much to add, very clammy viewing. But only 32?? That would have made him 16 when he cut this, as Paul Raven, which I’m very fond of. Another Belgian Popcorn floorfiller:


    Boz Scaggs – Very good indeed, even if he did skip the Fozzie Bear bit (at 0.41 on the single) on this live rendition. Wasn’t this the year the Muppet Show first aired? Silk Degrees isn’t in my record collection. Will sort that out today.

    Mucky Sue & Co. – very slinky routine, Patti looks like she loves the song too, which is a bonus.

    The Real Thing – not as good as Eddie Amoo thinks it is, but (big floppy) hats off to them for breaking with the formula.

    That Rubettes song – I couldn’t follow the storyline then and I’m baffled now. Anyone make head or tail of it? Not a patch on You’re The Reason Why – I really don’t know how that only made 30-ish and Baby I Know reached the Top 10.

    Poor Thelma! What the heck? Why didn’t they get her to sing it live? Cruel, just cruel.

  104. 105
    Erithian on 16 Feb 2012 #

    Wichita – Wikipedia and other sources (no doubt taking their info from Wiki too) put GG’s birth year as 1944, and you’re right that’d make him very young in the Paul Raven years. Other sources say he was born in 1940. Making records at 16 isn’t unheard of, but then nor is taking a few years off your age when you’re having teen-pop hits in your 30s.

    Quite agree on the Rubettes storyline. Not sure it’d be improved by sight of the lyrics, and not sure I give a monkey’s anyway. Maybe Thelma was there to record a performance for a later show?

  105. 106
    Mark G on 16 Feb 2012 #

    Bloke is a bit indifferent in general, loses girl.
    Girl goes off with more exciting bloke.
    Time passes.
    Girl goes back to original bloke saying new bloke seems indifferent.
    Original bloke tells girl that new bloke isn’t indifferent, he’s just indifferent in general.

    All this because the original bloke is a bit sorry that the girl left, but isn’t that bothered about winning her back and advises her to stick with the new bloke.

    All this, because the original bloke knows. Baby.

  106. 107
    Mark G on 16 Feb 2012 #

    Actually, in ‘song’ style, it’s not too far away from “you’re the reason why’

    “The things you do don’t always hurt me. But when they hurt me, you’re the reason why.”

  107. 108
    AndyPandy on 16 Feb 2012 #

    Re GG’s age – I believe people did believe he’d shaved years off his age up until he got in trouble but such things as accurate dates of birth usually come out at serious court cases and post-trial it was accepted he was the age he’d always said.I may have even seen his birth certificate reproduced somewhere around the time of his first trial come to think of it.

    And he probably would have been about 16 when he made the single as I believe (maybe due to his erratic childhood involving children’s homes etc)he was hanging around the 2I’s coffee bar from an age when most children would just not have had the opportunity.

  108. 109
    Jimmy the Swede on 17 Feb 2012 #

    I think one of the joys of these olds TOTPs is the chart rundown at the beginning and some of the blinding pics of the artistes. They’re nearly all ridiculous but surely the one of Sir William Ocean must take the prize. If there’s ever a pose that deserves a custard pie twisted firmly into it, it’s that one. The smug smirking David “I’m onto something” Parton just needs a Glasgow kiss.

  109. 110
    Mark G on 18 Feb 2012 #

    The prize surely goes to the pic of the car wash that is meant to represent Rose Royce!

  110. 111
    punctum on 18 Feb 2012 #

    Probably taken in the Uxbridge Road. I mean, they could just have contacted Warners PR and had some publicity photos sent over!

  111. 112
    Mark G on 18 Feb 2012 #

    Well, MCA (for it was they at the time) maybe got taken by surprise at the time. They handled the ‘Car Wash’ soundtrack album, maybe Warners were Rose Royce’s actual label.

    One of those occasions that was quite rare in the 70’s of an artist having 2 singles in the chart at the same time (‘put your money where your mouth is’ being the other, somewhat lower down)

  112. 113
    Erithian on 23 Feb 2012 #

    Quite a few repeat acts from a fortnight ago but we can still cherish Boz Scaggs, enjoy Mr Big’s Bo Rhap visual effects and wonder if Rubettes guy ever cornered someone in a bar with that story. Thelma Houston was a honey and Leo, three years on from his debut TOTP in pierrot make-up, is finally the face of British pop and comes up with a good performance of his first number one. Sue Menhenick thrusts her ass at the camera and all’s well with the world. (The Swede couldn’t agree more with that last bit.)

  113. 114
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Feb 2012 #

    As Erithian notes, plenty of deja vu this week. Diddy in the Speaker’s chair.

    Suzi Q – Never anything wrong with Suzi. Felicity Kendal with a bass. So there you go.

    The Moments (in the studio) – A veritable cheese fix of melted Red Leicester for the bemused audience. The horn may still belong to Little Boy Blue but the harmonies here miss by a country mile.

    The Brothers – I have a complete dose of the Baby Jumps over this. No memory whatsoever. And I think it’s terrible.

    Boz Scaggs – We’ve seen it. Good stuff but we’ve seen it. We’ve seen it.

    Thelma Houston – I wonder if Harold M was lurking in the background this time. Thelma was in the studio, smiling sweetly. Harry was probably back in the States, thus precluding any prospect of a Haye/Chisora incident.

    Rubettes – A yawn. Even the group looked bored.

    Mr Big – A great effort but the band are an odd-marked firm. They are strange looking boys who remind me of lads who get selected for University Challenge. This was a very nice little record, though.

    The Gals – Off they leap to Tavares. They are all in bright coloured outfits and it’s all very pleasing indeed. Mucky Sue is in Orange and looks to the Swede like the most tempting of instant whips (or perhaps more appropriately, angel delights). Towards the end, we are treated to a most agreeable close-up when she gives us a little botty wiggle. And Erithian’s quite right. Bloody magnificent!

    Little Leo – A decent turn spoilt only by his jumper. A worthy chart -topper, though.

    We exit to a few brief seconds of Earth Wind and Fire. As we look at the dancers looking blank and disinterested, surely something simply HAD to happen. Please, God – SOMETHING! ANYTHING!!

  114. 115
    wichita lineman on 24 Feb 2012 #

    Les Gray’s compound eyes* only made it onto the midnight screening, even though there were several repeats on the 7.30 show and (I’m assuming) we never see solo Les again.

    Out of interest, has anyone here written to the BBC asking how they do the editing? Or why iplayer doesn’t have the unedited show? Les was also listed in the Standard as being on the early show. Pfffft.

    As for the Rubettes:

    You called me to tell me goodbye
    I told you that I was some other guy
    You said that you’d phone when he got home
    You told me to tell him that you’d called

    (my head hurts)

    Boz Scaggs best thing on by a million miles, Moments with TOTP orch was dreadful, Mr Big’s theatrical ee-nun-ceee-ay-shunn is good fun to imitate but the song smells funny.

    I never want to hear Sing Me by the Brothers ever again.

    *Tessa pointed this out, I’m not claiming credit.

  115. 116
    Lazarus on 24 Feb 2012 #

    Johnny Walker was the compere, surely? A bit of a shock to see him there, but I recognised his voice instantly.

    Not much to say that hasn’t been said, but Mr Big was a favourite. Their 1978 single “Senora” charted on Radio Luxembourg (but nowhere else) and was one of the first records I snapped up when I finally got internet access in 2003.

    Who recorded the song first by the way – Harold or Thelma?

    I thought Leo’s jumper was a skull and crossbones affair at first.

  116. 117
    Erithian on 25 Feb 2012 #

    Sorry, how come neither of you recognised Paul Burnett?!!

    “Don’t Leave Me This Way” was originally on Harold Melvin’s album “Wake Up Everybody” in ’75 but wasn’t released as a single until Thelma covered it. Thelma’s version was a hit in a dozen other countries but the only place other than the US where it was number one was – South Africa!

  117. 118
    AndyPandy on 25 Feb 2012 #

    Re Mr Big the lead singer has put that video up on You Tube and does a nice put down (and defence of Abba) to some silly sod who among other idiocies calls Abba disco and compounds it by saying they’re rubbish.

    Surprised that no-one knew that was Paul Burnett too…

  118. 119
    Waldo on 25 Feb 2012 #

    You’re all wrong, you fools! It was Tom Browne, taking a break from his Sunday chart rundown show.

  119. 120
    Lazarus on 25 Feb 2012 #

    I remember Paul Burnett’s Radio 1 shows (a sort of drivetime affair, I think?) but I have no recollection of what he looked like (Adrian Juste is another I couldn’t put a face to, although I used to enjoy his Saturday comedy clips’n’music show very much). I don’t think he could have been a regular TOTP presenter. He sounded like JW anyway.

  120. 121
    wichita lineman on 26 Feb 2012 #

    I didn’t remember Paul Burnett looking like that either. How queer. And I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a pic of Tom Browne!

    So the other edited track was the gals doing a nice enough routine to Man Tran. Boz still makes everyone else sound silly.

    Erithian, thanks for that. I always thought Thelma had been denied over here by a hasty Harold Melvin cover. Here’s a cracking 60s single by her. I love the way the strings go awol at the end:


  121. 122
    Andy Hall on 26 Feb 2012 #

    Good to see this coverage of the TOTP repeats.

  122. 123
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Feb 2012 #

    Do you know what? I had another glance at this week’s show and the presenter was indeed Paul Burnett. I can’t imagine why I should have thought it was Hamilton. Advancing years and alcohol would be my guess. Mind you, at least I had a second helping of Her Muckiness. Bad Swede!

  123. 124
    Mark G on 27 Feb 2012 #

    #119, #121, he’s still alive. He lives in Thailand. He grows peas and rice.

  124. 125
    anto on 27 Feb 2012 #

    re 123: Actually I thought it was David Hamilton as well. There is a facial resemblance and the voices are almost indistinguishable not least because both men insist on referring to members of the opposite sex as ” love-lee lay-dees “.

  125. 126
    glue_factory on 28 Feb 2012 #

    I thought it was a guest appearance (like Elton John) from James Hunt.

  126. 127
    Jimmy the Swede on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Had it been James Hunt, he would have jumped the entire Legs troupe one by one (including Mucky Sue) and drained the green room of every last drop of alcohol, not necessarily in that order. A fabulous bloke and much missed.

  127. 128
    AndyPandy on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Knew it wasn’t Tom Brown (his voice was very plummy)whilst Pul Burnett had the typical 70s pop-radio transatlantic overlaid over his native Mancunian.

    127 yeah James Hunt was a definite one-off – some of the stories about him beggar belief.And considering how dangerous 1970s Formula 1 was at the best of times – the idea of driving in it whilst on Class A recreational drugs doesn’t really bear thinking about!

  128. 129
    Mark G on 29 Feb 2012 #

    I guess I’m the only one who recognised Paul Burnett.

  129. 130
    Erithian on 1 Mar 2012 #

    Coming soon – “Rush” – a film set in 1976, not about Canadian prog-rock but about Lauda v Hunt for the Formula 1 title – with Stephen Mangan (Dirk Gently/Green Wing) as the boss of McLaren. Directed by Ron Howard. Sounds promising – will James Hunt be seen watching an episode of Happy Days though?

  130. 131
    thefatgit on 2 Mar 2012 #

    #130 I have heard about this through a work colleague who’s appearing as an extra in “Rush”. The Japanese Grand Prix (or at least parts of it) will be filmed at Blackbushe Airport. *SPOILER ALERT* It was a VERY wet race.

  131. 132
    Jimmy the Swede on 3 Mar 2012 #

    This week’s show, gang! Noel Edmond’s presents…I think.

    Heatwave – Quality vintage footage of “Boogie Nights” with one of Cleethorpes’ finest banging away at the keyboards, reminding the Swede, alas, of Jason King. Fancy! Brilliant stuff!

    Racing Cars – Odd little number but quite touching. Edmonds tries to brighten the mood with a crap gag about a blacksmith. They shoot smart arses, don’t they?

    The Real Thing – Noel gets all orgasmic as one of his wondergroups come on. But this is not good. And personally speaking, I would have been happy for the cat in the hat to have received a benign visit from Pinkie Brown.

    Mary MacGreggor – A US number one for a debut single. And I liked this. But Mary got me thinking. I started out thinking that she looked like the girl next door and ended up convinced that she was a soccer mon intent on mass murder. To the Swede, that’s appealing.

    ELO – Rockaria! Absoultely belting record. For me, this was one of their best. High brow song content and a finish to die for. Wonderful stuff and a guy who looked the spit of 1985 Wimbledon finalist Kevin Curran on drums.

    Noel then has a pointless chat with Rice and Lloyd-Webber before Barbara Dixon, once a prisoner of the Two Ronnies, launches into another song from Evita. She sings very sweetly and it’s good stuff. Not, though, the number one Noel predicted. In fact it may well have been Edmonds who came out with a passable joke on his radio show when Macca and Linda had a little trouble with my colleagues in Japan at about this time. “Another suitcase and another haul”. Err…

    The Gals! – Everything about this week’s offering is great. The routine is to EW&F’s “Saturday Night” – quality seventies funk. And the gals have their bots as well as their legs on parade. It’s a shame that there’s lots of bloody smoke obstucting the view but this is glorious and the camera zooms in on Mucky Sue as she actions one of her trademark turns. Perfection!

    Lil’ Leo at number one – No shite jumper this time but Leo still looks tortured. Perhaps Pinkie got him on the way back from fixing the Real Thing geezer.

    Out to Bowie’s “Sound and Vision” – And that’s precisely what we get. Flashing lights and no bored youngsters shuffling across the floor.

    Good show. BUT… the repeat yields Bryan Ferry and then Boston:

    Ferry – Uber-cool, as always and this is brilliant, natch. Slightly annoying were the supernumeraries in the band, although the keyboard player had a more than captivating figure so she can stay.

    Boston – One of Rock/Pop’s masterpieces. How the bloody hell could they edit this out of the main show? Even in the repeat it is savagely cut. It’s a disgrace and is proof positive that the folk at top responsible for decisions like this are callow youths and not particularly bright.

  132. 133
    lonepilgrim on 3 Mar 2012 #

    very little evidence of the curse of light entertainment which has been so prevalent in previous episodes – racing cars and ‘torn between two lovers’ were both v.drippy though

  133. 134
    wichita lineman on 4 Mar 2012 #

    Strong case for wettest episode ever, especially given this unsympathetic edit. If it had included Bryan Ferry’s This Is Tomorrow and the five-years-ahead-of-its-time More Than A Feeling it would have leavened the heavy dough but, lordy, it was hard going.

    Heatwave – I love the intro, which reminds me of the outro on Space Oddity. But terrible dancing and I hate that ‘voice of funk’ on the fade. Who invented it? The Commodores on Brick House? Earth Wind & Fire? Horrible!

    Racing Cars – haven’t heard this since it came out and had vague hopes for it. Sleepy, nothing more. It appears to be (literally) about the film of the same name. Like Scott Walker’s Seventh Seal, then, but not very good.

    The Real Thing – aside from the adlibs on the end, this sounds like a filleted Chi Lites, and somehow duller second time around.

    Mary Macgregor – Ha! Yes Swede, I see what you mean. Slight touch of Dana in her voice, and one extraordinary single entendre. “There’s an empty space inside of me that only he can fill.” If it was Andrea True I’d assume it was an invitation to double penetration. But it’s not. It’s soccer mom psycho Mary.

    ELO – which jumps out like Son Of See My Baby Jive (which it isn’t quite) compared to the drear so far. I like the super-Dylanesque vocal on the bridge (“I think she’d di-i-i-ie fot Beetho-o-o-oven”). Very ’73.

    Babs Dickson – the boys Rice and Lloyd Webber look about 12, and I always imagine it’s Rice on the preposterously pronounced backing vocals. Far too pleased with itself, but the verse melody is pretty flawless.

    Legs & Co – more than a flash of knicker this week, but bad lighting means it doesn’t get quite as thrilling as it should. Boo.

    Leo – nice jacket, but I can’t wait for this to sink. “I’m a blues singer” said Leo in the 1974 Pop Today annual. The clot.

    Bowie – like Boston, ridiculously futuristic compared to the rest.

  134. 135
    AndyPandy on 4 Mar 2012 #

    How they could miss Boston out is beyond me? For some reason it seems to have got into the public consciousness in this country in the last 10-20 years far more than it ever did pre-1990s.I didn’t get to see this or Bryan Ferry seeing as they lazily can’t be bothered to put the longer version up.

    How big is that studio in the ELO clip? the opera singer seems to be about 200 feet above them!?
    I remember vaguely fancying Mary McGregor as a 11/12 year old back then.Haven’t seen her since.
    David Bowie – well 20 seconds is better than nothing I suppose.

  135. 136
    wichita lineman on 5 Mar 2012 #

    Andy, here’s the Ferry clip, with Chris Spedding looking coolly out of place alongside the slicker session players. Great minimal guitar solo from him too.


    Anyone familiar with the In Your Mind album it’s taken from?

  136. 137
    Jimmy the Swede on 5 Mar 2012 #

    I’ve been discussing Mary MacGreggor with Erithian in another place. We both referred to her Wiki entry, where she lays bare her dislike for her chart-topper and blames its success on the subsequent breakdown of her own marriage. Alas the accompanying snap of her only serves to confirm the Swede’s and the Lineman’s worst fears. There’s certainly something about Mary but it’s more Clockwork Orange than Little House on the Prairie, no doubt about that. I’m scared.

  137. 138
    wichita lineman on 5 Mar 2012 #

    Be afraid. Mary MacG covered I’ve Never Been To Me in 1978.

    At least she skips the spoken part.

    Mad eyes!

  138. 139
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 Mar 2012 #

    Lest there be any remaining doubt…


  139. 140
    wichita lineman on 6 Mar 2012 #

    Such a kind face.

  140. 141
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 Mar 2012 #

    But the eyes…THE EYES!!!

  141. 142
    wichita lineman on 6 Mar 2012 #

    Soz Jimmy, I was being sarcastic – with those eyes, she looks like she might have had a “long suffering” husband (who, of course, only left her because he was confused by the lyric on Torn Between Two Lovers).

    Though, granted, I also use “kind face” as a euphemism for “wildly attractive”.

    Or in the case of Maria Sharapova, wildly attractive AND terrifying.

  142. 143
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 Mar 2012 #

    Oh yes, Wichita, lovely Maria certainly puts the fear of Christ in me too. A Russian Amazon, if such a thing be possible. The stare she gives an opponent when she’s about to serve is pure death. Mary Mac, on the other hand, simply looks as if she is about to rub out every man in Minnesota. And if that isn’t “breaking all the rules”, I really don’t know what is.

  143. 144
    punctum on 6 Mar 2012 #

    Have to say that we’ve more or less given up on the Thursday show; it’s taken as read that all the good (or all the even remotely different) stuff is going to get edited out, in the same way that BBC4 turned down a documentary on improvised music because it was too “niche.” Unless the station sorts itself out it deserves to sink.


    Heatwave – The Future Pt 1. Wonderfully tacky backdrop, superb Uddingston Grammar School Second Year Disco dancing, and Rod “Chip Shop” Temperton being naffly enthusiastic behind his keyboards. When’s the ennoblement coming? Lord Temperton of Cleethorpes – I can go for that.

    Racing Cars – already terminally unfashionable but the song’s quiet apocalypse has always stuck with me.

    Real Thing – what hat will Eddie Amoo sport next? A Sherlock deerstalker, perhaps? A white panama as worn by the nearly unrecognisable (in terms of “time’s nearly up”; I lived in Oxford for 20 years and all the dons nearing the end wore white panamas, shades and inscrutable smiles) Ronald Pickup in the terrible The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? A flat cap as tribute to the much-missed champion raffle-spinner Colin Crompton?

    Mary MacGregor – didn’t one of Peter, Paul and Mary write (or co-write) this? All we thought about while watching the vid was how simple vids were in those days; dark room, two cameras, do the song.

    ELO – sadly, this is why punk had to happen. Jeff Lynne will die looking like that. Thank goodness for vastly superior fare later the same year with “Turn To Stone” etc.

    Barbara Dickson – “…and Mr Barker plays a man who gets horribly castrated.” Agree that Tim and Andy looked as though it were still school prizegiving day (tuck that shirt IN, Tim!). A fine song but it was never going to be number one (unless you count the Evita! cast recording album which went top in the NME chart only). The guy on backing comments; wasn’t that (on the record) Robert Lindsay?

    Ver Gals – who were those petrified statues behind them who didn’t move a muscle the whole time? And yet another ungainly edit. BBC4 must think of a 95-year-old Presbyterian volunteer in Stornoway with a single-digit IQ who is going to be mortally offended by an ankle going on show, let alone a leg, and aim all its programmes at them.

    Leo – in a suit this time, and after three number twos you have to go for the big ballad. Hardly any uptempo number ones this year, I note.

    Bowie playout – The Future Pt 2. They faded it before it even got to the Mary Hopkin bit.


    Bryan Ferry – The Future Pt 3. Recognised Spedding straightaway (he’s also on Evita!) but none of the others which leads me to think the filming was probably done in the States. In Your Mind? Rootsy on side one, a Geordie Lodger on side two (Picks: “Rock Of Ages,” title track).

    Boston – The Future Pt 4. Those mighty beards! The bassist winning Olympic gold for gurning! Poor old Brad (lead singer), also much missed. Mild mannered Tom keeping well out of the camera in his aquiline jumpsuit.

  144. 145
    swanstep on 6 Mar 2012 #

    @138, 139. That Mary MacGregor picture reminds me of some shots of Genevieve Bujold in Coma, e.g., as used on a (worth grabbing) College Collective mixtape here.

    @Jimmy the swede. Congrats on the novel. Looks like it could be amusing. The unfortunate truth behind the scenario you sketch is that the US Constitution is a contraption that fails to ensure orderly transitions of power in entirely feasible sorts of situation (a lot of collegiality and background convention is currently needed to avoid those problems). But Americans, even professional politicians, tend to believe otherwise and think that the whole show is like a precision clock designed by geniuses (and/or God), hence that if all collegiality and background convention is lawyered away in partisan activity then so much the better! Uh-oh.

  145. 146
    Jimmy the Swede on 7 Mar 2012 #

    #145 – It seems to me that if Mary Mac and Genny B ever took off in a speeding car journey through the mid-west…well, I’m sure you know where I’m going with this!

    Also, swanstep, thanks for your comments on “Hailing Chiefs”. The US Inauguration is indeed an unstoppable process (Noon on the dot on the 20th January following the Election in November) and the storyline simply tries to exploit this. God, naturally enough, does the occasional pop-up too.

  146. 147
    swanstep on 8 Mar 2012 #

    @jimmy. The High Noon-ish character of Jan 20 start date for the beginning of the new presidential term *is* inherently both amusing and dramatic I’d say (and even in the best of cases, that there are months long outgoing/lameducks floating around – Congress until Jan 3, the pres until Jan 20 – absolutely asks for trouble. And if the nation is as deeply divided against itself as the US currently is then look out!).

    But, actually, it’s surprisingly easy for much crazier stuff to happen that could easily lead to no permanent solution by Jan 20. If no candidate gets a majority in the electoral college (which will happen a lot if there end up being more than two competitive candidates for the Pres, and, e.g., would have happened if, (improbably!) Nader had won Florida in 2000 rather than just spoiling it for Gore (i.e., holding everything else fixed the delegate tallies would have been Gore 267, Bush 246, and Nader 25). And if that had happened the election would have been, as they say, ‘thrown into the House’ and, roughly speaking, the Republican house of representatives would have selected Bush (despite Gore’s popular vote and electoral college success!). And a lot of other wild stuff can happen too (I go into details here if you’re interested). The bottom line is that the Presidency could be tied up in lawsuits for years in ways that (at the very least) would leave the American people feeling completely disenfranchised (much more so than in 2000, which was plenty bad enough if you were living there!). Simple solutions to these problems (as well as to further problems such as so-called ‘faithless electors’) are available, but perhaps because they aren’t unique, there’s so-far been little appetite to tidy up this area of the US Constitution .

  147. 148
    Erithian on 8 Mar 2012 #

    Of course the best performance by a third candidate in recent times was in 1992 when a glitch with the BBC’s illustrative map momentarily gave Ross Perot a clean sweep of the eastern seaboard, much to the confusion of the presenter.

  148. 149
    wichita lineman on 8 Mar 2012 #

    The “repeats and reversioning department” at the BBC are responsible for the TOTP edits, not Mark Cooper or BBC4. But they have had loads of complaints. Not sure what writing another letter will achieve, and unfortunately I don’t have any contacts in that “dept”. Bah.

  149. 150
    Jimmy the Swede on 8 Mar 2012 #

    swanstep – I am grateful for your imput. Perhaps my novel is not as left-field as I thought it was. Boo!

  150. 151
    swanstep on 9 Mar 2012 #

    @Jimmy. You’re welcome, and I’d say that your novel’s scenario would still count as pretty left-field to most people (reality is just so much stranger than most people know! Compare: Vonnegut/Heller/Pynchon/De Lillo etc. have documentarian impulses, and they mostly just lightly fictionalize and slightly exaggerate, yet they’re often thought of as crazy left-field fantasists).

  151. 152
    Erithian on 9 Mar 2012 #

    ^^^ and he doesn’t even know about the goats!

  152. 153
    lonepilgrim on 15 Mar 2012 #

    a mixed bag tonight:
    GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR – Hold Back The Night
    THE REAL THING – You’ll Never Know What You’re Missing
    BROTHERHOOD OF MAN – Oh Boy (The Mood I’m In)
    SMOKIE – Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone
    BARBARA DICKSON – Another Suitcase In Another Hall
    THE RUBETTES – Baby I Know
    ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – Rockaria (video)
    MARY McGREGOR – Torn Between Two Lovers (danced to by Legs & Co)
    BRENDON – Gimme Some
    MANHATTAN TRANSFER – Chanson D’Amour
    ELTON JOHN – Crazy Water (and credits)

  153. 154
    Mark G on 15 Mar 2012 #

    Was considering starting my 1977 ‘punk’ DVD TOTP comp with Gray Parker, verrrrrrrry borderline but hey.

  154. 155
    Mark G on 16 Mar 2012 #

    So, planning ahead, looks like the next ‘qualifying’ track is at the end of april.

    I do note a couple of acts that have very punk sounding names, but…

    “Dead End Kids” – but I remember a very anaemic cover of “Have I the right” in the style of the Bay City Rollers, but no tartan bits because someone forgot..

    But then I see: CONTEMPT – Money Is A Girl’s Best Friend

    Now, I have no memory of this one. And that really should sound like 999, shouldn’t it? I bet it doesn’t. I bet it’s rub.

  155. 156
    wichita lineman on 16 Mar 2012 #

    Oi! Spoilers! No idea who Contempt are, I’m afraid.

    I was compiling a list of ’77 punk hits and Graham Parker didn’t make the cut. He looks a bit narky and err that’s it. Certainly no more to do with punk than Heavy Metal Kids from ’76.

  156. 157
    Mark G on 16 Mar 2012 #

    Well, he made the cut partly through the nark, but also if he then goes on to appear with more ‘definite’ punky stuff, I’ve not excluded him earlier.

    Like how Can made last year’s (short) comp but Bolan didn’t. (I know…)

    I shall keep the ‘Contempt’ like I kept Slik’s ‘The kid’s a punk’ for the ‘something going on here but not getting it really’

    I Looked it up but it’ll keep…

  157. 158
    Lazarus on 17 Mar 2012 #

    Parker’s music was really pub rock meets (old style) r’n’b, he had more in common with say Dr Feelgood. But in time he got lumped in with Elvis Costello and briefly Joe Jackson as Angry Young Men in Skinny Ties. Squeezing Out Sparks tends to be the album the critics all praise but his 1980 album for Stiff, The Up Escalator contains songs as good as anything Costello did, notably “Empty Lives” and “Endless Night.” Was “Rock Bottom” on, as billed, by the way? I don’t remember seeing it.

  158. 159
    Mark G on 17 Mar 2012 #

    Yeah, I saw it and remembered Mike Moran’s resemblance to Mike Read, and the ‘turn and rest on fists’ ending…

  159. 160
    Lazarus on 17 Mar 2012 #

    Excised from the long version then? The edition I saw on ‘catch up TV’ (and just checked on iPlayer) went from the Rubettes (prematurely faded out, last we’ll see of them surely!) to ELO – not introduced – then Legs & Co/Mary Mac, Mika lookalike Brendon doing the sort of footstomper that sounded dated even when Kenny were doing it in ’75, then Man Tran at number 1.

  160. 161

    Parker’s music was really pub rock meets (old style) r’n’b, he had more in common with say Dr Feelgood. : this last really isn’t true, at least of Parker in his um “imperial” phase (which comes a little after this). It’s true that they all played in the same pubs, but that’s more to do the with gradual collapse of available venues in London. The Rumour weren’t the hyper-crystallised modernist R&B that Dr Feelgood played (esp.with Wilko); for a better comparison, see them as trying to fashion the ABBA of venomous anger (true of Costello too of course). In a time when chartpop was both pervasive and despised, they played it live, with rock instruments and an often bitter fury, chasing grown-up emotions and ideas.

    (The secret link here being Nick Lowe: not himself a vector of rage, but an avatar of a particular mode of “Pure Pop”…)

    (Probably all I’m saying here is that “pub rock” wasn’t in retrospect a simple self-explanatory thing…)

  161. 162
    wichita lineman on 17 Mar 2012 #

    Robert Wyatt covering Rock Bottom. I can hear it in my head but I wish it was real.

    The only song cut from the shortened TOTP this week was Rock Bottom, but there were brutal K-Tel style edits for the Real Thing (cutting out the only good bit of the song), the Rubettes (for shame!) and ELO, who lost the 2nd verse and chorus.

  162. 163
    Jimmy the Swede on 17 Mar 2012 #

    Kid Jensen on Poll…

    Graham Parker – I’m afraid I had no idea who this was. They slipped under my radar for some reason. A short-arsed poor-man’s Van Morrison, it seemed to me. An appropriate place, though, to acknowledge the recent passing of The Trammps’ Jimmy Ellis.

    The Sodding Real Thing again! – No silly hat for Eddie this week. Just bad hair. The Kid applauds John Conteh, who had just stopped Len Hutchins in three rounds up in Liverpool in defence of his world title. A fabulous champion until things went wrong.

    Brotherhood Of Man – A decent comeback after that wretched song about the little doggie. Both women looked nice and future chart glory still lay ahead.

    Smokie – Another TOTP house band. Bland all day long.

    Barbara Dixon – Looking very nice indeed and a good performance as clear as crystal.

    Rubettes – Not this again! Kid reminds us that he had tipped this for the top before revealing with a theatrical flourish that “it’s at number eleven!”

    ELO – Rockaraia! cut to ribbons. The Swede loves this one. MC does not. Fair play, obv, but I cannot understend why anyone cannot love a song which includes “..and Verdi’s always creeping from her room!” Diffrent Strokes!

    Next up, The Gals do a turn to Soccer Mom Psycho Mary and the Swede is in dreamland! I think SMPM sounds more blood-curdling terrifying when you just hear her sing without the benefit of those eyes of evil. The juxtaposition, of course, are the Gals spinning around almost sadly in swirling long dresses and the effect is obvious. Sue and her gorgeous troupe are the dancing Sirens luring men into their dressing room with the promise of the heaven of both flesh and grape. But within their lair Mary lies await…and she’s got a gun!

    Brendon – Gimmee Some! Hands up who remembers this one? I do. But I wish I didn’t.

    Man Tran at #1 – Great stuff! Loved it and still do. An affectionate hi to Rosie, who would agree. I urge y’all to go back to the thread for this one where there is a contribution from Laurel Masse. All very nice.

    Out to Elton’s “Crazy Water”. I’m surprised this one didn’t do a lot better. Jensen says farewell with “Goodbye and good love!” Why thanks, Kid!

    The repeat yields Lynsey De Paul (a perennial Swede fantasy) and Mike Moran (who he?) And we’re back to Eurovision again. I gave it no chance but it was a close second behind the French winner, which I thought was a dirge. The Contest was presented by Angela “Legs” Rippon. It was probably the highlight of her career.

  163. 164
    Billy Smart on 18 Mar 2012 #

    Assuming that the De Paul/ Moran performance is this one – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq4mNU0qrlk&fb_source=message – its an instructive illustration of how differently audiences behaved 35 years ago.

    In the 21st century its mandatory for all UK TV light entertainment audiences to whoop like idiots at whatever goes on in front of them, but just look at this lot! This clearly wasn’t what they were hoping to see… Every single face strikes me as being either bored or actively hostile. Occasionally Lynsey De Paul looks out to the audience for encouragement and engagement and seems to flinch as she returns her attention to her partner and piano.

    In particular, look out for the gum-chewing girl crossing her arms.

  164. 165
    lonepilgrim on 18 Mar 2012 #

    re 158 & 161 – I can’t remember whether anyone has written about the UK pub rock scene but it was more diverse as Mark has indicated. The Stranglers and Eddie & the Hot Rods were bands that crossed between pub rock and punk and I saw DIre Straits supporting Talking Heads at the Croydon Greyhound pub in early 1978. Graham Parker later went on to be a support act for Dylan at the big open air gig at Blackbushe in 1978 and Mark Knopfler began a professional relationship with Bob that continues to this day.

  165. 166

    There’s also the entire proto-power-pop wing: The Motors veered off towards that, plus Kuursal Flyers, Roogalator and etc. Tyla Gang? Ducks Deluxe? Bontemps Roulez — a proto-Rumour — disbanded because “unhappy” at their own sound = “artificial white funk” heh. Ace were funk-pop with soul-ish vocals (if Carrack’s later style is reliable); never heard a note of Brinsley Schwartz but didn’t they initially come from the psychedelic folk wing of late 60s club rock? Where does Dave “”Sabre Dance” Edmunds fit in? Flamin’ Groovies were R&B, but quite unlike the Feelgoods.

    Costello’s pre-Attractions backing band, Clover, were soft-rock country. And the Blockheads? You could truthfully call them jazz-funk rap if you REALLY wanted to misdirect newcomers :)

  166. 167

    (Actually, although Clover moved to the UK to record — and ended up playing on My Aim Is True — I don’t know if they actually played on the pub scene; Costello of course played solo briefly under as Costello — previously he’d been in Flip City, abt which I know nothing beyond the name)

  167. 168

    Just remembered there’s actually an interesting little 1983 mini-essay on this micro-world — from the perspective of the radio DJ and small label owner — by the late Charlie Gillett, in The Sound of the City: the band he devotes most paragraphs to being the Blockheads precursor Kilburn and the High Roads (who he says never got their sound or ethos onto vinyl). He mentions catholicity of address — the High Roads were even less pin-downable than the Blockheads — but also intensity and charisma as it manifests in a small hot crowded room. Not everyone found a way out of that context (or even wanted to): he discusses Lene Lovich, who he obviously had particular personal fondness for, but Wilko Johnson is another titan doomed to traverse a tiny sea.

  168. 169
    swanstep on 19 Mar 2012 #

    @166, 167. Didn’t Clover become The News in Huey Lewis and The News? (If so, more evidence that scenes were very tangled, even transatlantic-wise.)

  169. 170

    They did.

  170. 171
    Mark G on 19 Mar 2012 #

    Huey Lewis was also in Clover, but.. yes. (He wasn’t needed to sing on the Costello album, so had a holiday instead)

  171. 172
    swanstep on 19 Mar 2012 #

    BTW, Nick Lowe is on Sound Opinions this week, if anyone’s interested.

  172. 173
    punctum on 19 Mar 2012 #

    Speaking of pub rock, “Rock Bottom” was written by Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran for a less-than-enthusiastic Blue Mink. So they did it themselves. Moran went on to compose much music for TV and film, including the theme to Taggart, but was NOT the man behind 1980’s unforgettable one-off single “Dance With Me” by the much-missed ITN broadcaster Reggie Bosanquet – that was a chap named Barry Moran.

  173. 174
    lonepilgrim on 24 Mar 2012 #

    TOTP 17/03/77

    Tony B as cheerful as ever

    No hope for the future in England’s dreaming. TOTP gets buried in the past, with a series of pale photocopies. Why Punk had to happen, exhibit 94…

    Suzi Quatro – Suzi, game as ever but more than a little vanilla compared to Wanda Jackson Brenda Lee and her predecessors

    Berni Flint – ‘A former Royal Navy sailor, and window cleaner, viewers of Op. Knocks voted him the show’s best act for 12 successive weeks in early 1977’. His time with the hypnotists and ventriloquist weren’t wasted. More vanilla, feeling queasy

    Abba – Aha! Adult pop that towers over everything else, with an Ingmar Bergman ‘Scenes from a Marriage’ style video. Did the profile/full face meme start here? this sounds like 1977

    Cliff Richard – next to Berni Flint, I’m reminded what a committed performer Cliff can be. Shades of ‘I know it’s only Rock n’ Ro;ll’ in the chorus, this is rockier than Suzi Q.

    Elvis – the voice of the Pharoah, rumbling from inside his pyramid – not long until the final brick is put in place. Legs & Co shimmy endearingly

    BJH – proper musicians! With amps, beards and twin-neck guitars! Miming to a studio version of a song from a live EP – a song which sounds like the Byrds’ ‘So you want to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ but ain’t.

    Maxine Nightingale – Motown revival on life support

    Showaddywaddy – it still rankles that the singer couldn’t go to the trouble of getting a quiff.

    Billy Ocean – great arrangement, lively performance, Billy in Harry Hill’s outfit

    Manhattan Transfer – sod it, lets go back to the last Depression and forget our troubles

    Boney M – a song from 1963 – at least the disco production sounds contemporary

  174. 175
    swanstep on 24 Mar 2012 #

    @lonepilgrim, 174. No, Abba’s use of ‘Persona’-ish face-on-face shots goes back to at least their Mamma Mia vid. (and Fernando’s vid used it too). I had to go back and check the Waterloo vid (I was evidently thinking of the kareoke to the song in Muriel’s wedding which makes full use of Mamma Mia vid. imagery), but it’s clean.

    The Knowing Me vid. *is* more thoroughly Bergmanish than previous efforts presumably because the song feels so much more stereotypically icy/Bergman-ish than previous singles. Their vid. director, Lasse Hallstrom (who did almost all of their many vids.), evidently saw KMKY as his chance to go the full Bergman.

  175. 176
    Jimmy the Swede on 26 Mar 2012 #

    Suzi Q – A little Dairylea triangle. And make of that what you will.

    Berni Flint – Op Knox favourite and alas it shows. He seems sincere enough but this is going nowhere and it’s not long before the “North Wales Holiday Resort Shuffle” beckons for Berni.

    Abba – Aha! Angst-ridden brilliance and wonderful footage of our Nordic beauties. But Benny and Bjorn should just clear off. Heard but not seen. Pop music at its height.

    Cliff – I liked this one personally. Good effort. And Cliff is rocking. If this had been the Doobie Brothers, we’d all be grooving.

    Presley’s “Moody Bluie” – And The Gals in swirling blue dresses matching in colour and cling! Mucky Sue spins around delectably, enhancing what is a faily mundane effort from The King as the end of the line approaches.

    BJH – Blimey! Bravo! I was surprised this wasn’t cut out. Even Bannockburn was drooling. Well done. It may not have been cut out but it was still cut short. Boo!

    Maxine Nightingale – Eye-catching thrusts from Maxine, who seemed to be enjoying herself a bit too much.

    Showaddywaddy – When? TB brings up the Kalin Twins (not the Carlin Twins). And why wouldn’t he? Jesus H, did we need something to happen…

    Sir William Ocean – In the danger zone, the poor fellow. But what a blinding performance this was, marred only by a couple of right divs trying to cooly sway right in front of him. Friggin misfits. One of them, who looks like a werewolf, closely resembles a guy who is well known in the gutters of Eastbourne. He is called Sartuchs Smith and it is he and his equally tragic mate Barry Lime who mind our railway station during the small hours when it is closed. Basically Sartuchs and Barry are locked in every night at about 01.30 and it’s their job just to sit there in the railway staff room and look at screens displaying a locked dark concourse. Their shift finishes when the first train goes out at just after 5.00 when they are told to fuck off before any of the decent folk set eyes or nose on them. The rest of the day is spent in a downtrodden greasy spoon near the front where they stay until deep into the afternoon. Sartuchs, who only consumes sponge cake and Nesquik, has an infliction which causes him to rock back and forth constantly, whilst Harry, no less a simpleton, just cackles away about nothing at all, even to strangers who come in and out. I’m telling you, these two are the most pitiful creatures you could ever meet. Dickens couldn’t have created these two herberts. It’s no f’king wonder Nick Clegg’s in so much trouble with councillors like this.

    Man Tran – Still love it. So there!

    Out to Boney M with their own take on “Sunny”. What’s the point?

    At least we were spared Mary Mac this time, pressing her gun against your head and whispering “good night” in your ear. Small mercies. Thank God for it.

  176. 177
    wichita lineman on 26 Mar 2012 #

    Tony Blackburn, cheery but convincingly so.

    Suzi Quatro – that ham-fisted one note piano line at the end of the chorus is crying out for a Thin Lizzy guitar instead. Even a sax would give it more gumption. Good song with a gutless production, rendered weedier yet by TOTP’s live sound.

    Berni Flint – I liked this at the time and, letting myself off the hook, I hear intimations of Glen Campbell and Harry Nilsson.

    Abba – Christ, they sound SO modern in this company. Storming video too.

    Cliff Richard – Minimal chugger, Cliff having fun, I hear the future sounds of Denim/Go Kart Mozart in there.

    Elvis – Mucky Sue and the crew dance to the last Elvis hit to leave the Top 50 before he died. I like this.

    Barclay James Harvest – Rockin’ the ’71 look. I have no memory of this. All very proper sounding, very clean, but not exactly thrilling.

    Maxine Nightingale – I’d forgotten this existed. Did it ever get played at Northern nights, does anyone know? Five out of ten, shown up by a similar soul production a few minutes later.

    Showaddywaddy – At the time I’d never heard the original of any ‘Waddy covers at the time with the exception of Pretty Little Angel Eyes (Curtis Lee’s version being on K-Tel’s Goofy Greats). So I can see why they appealed to kids. Beyond that, piss weak isn’t it?

    Billy Ocean – tremendous slow build, rollicking chorus, believable, impassioned vocal, this has the lot. A pedant asks – was it called Red Light on its first pressing? TB seems to think so, and I remember being confused as to why DJs started referring to it as Red Light Spells Danger.

    Manhattan Transfer – a pointless piece of camp. Is this the last time we’ll hear it? Hope so.

    Boney M – Sounds great played out, honest.

  177. 178
    AndyPandy on 26 Mar 2012 #

    Re Maxine Nightingale as with her (previous) bigger hit I’d think youth club or mainstream discos was about the nearest it got.I was working a contract in Barnsley a couple of weeks ago where there were at least 2 Northern Soul fans from the 1970s so 2 weeks ago I could have given you a definitive answer.

    Tony Blackburn – I think I know what you mean – I think that unlike some of his colleagues (and as been born out since) you can tell he’s genuine.

  178. 179
    swanstep on 26 Mar 2012 #

    Vaguely relatedly, the Guardian had an allegedly fiendish Pop Music quiz on the weekend here. I’d be interested to know how Popular mavens do/did on it. I did horribly: I only knew the answers to 5/15 and my guessing on the rest did worse than chance (I hate that). No pop-anorak me I guess.

  179. 180
    Billy Smart on 26 Mar 2012 #

    #179 13/15! More down to informed guesswork than actual knowledge.

  180. 181
    swanstep on 27 Mar 2012 #

    @Billy S., 180. Blimey, well done.

  181. 182
    Mark G on 27 Mar 2012 #

    nine here

  182. 183
    Erithian on 27 Mar 2012 #

    Seven! – out of the first ten before it went pear-shaped. A few lucky guesses and several unlucky ones.

  183. 184
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Mar 2012 #

    Only six for the Swede. But then anything after 1980 and I’ve had it, quite frankly.

  184. 185
    jeff w on 27 Mar 2012 #

    Six here too. But the questions focus on the rockier end of pop music. Not my scene, maan. (I mean, tattoos? Who gives a flying one, srsly?)

  185. 186

    I got 8:, and was surprised I got that many. Of course my “head full of facts” is actually geared towards the magazine I work as fact-checker on: many of those in this quiz count as “facts I know how to look up” not “stuff I need to carry round in my memory” (like eg the French for “rubber spider” or that Napoleon was born with teeth) (fact!)

    (Mogz or Kat will correct me but I think I answered precisely ZERO questions at the Popjustice Pub Quiz. In a sense there is nothing that is not a moral victory.)

  186. 187
    thefatgit on 27 Mar 2012 #

    I got 7, but many were just pure guesses. A right toughie, that one.

  187. 188
    ace inhibitor on 28 Mar 2012 #

    Ten. But not the ones I wanted to get…

  188. 189
    lonepilgrim on 29 Mar 2012 #

    TOTP 24/03/77

    DLT, as irritating as ever, presents a desperately dull affair

    Brendon – no memories of this at all unsurprisingly. It’s a pleasant tune with a fairly flat arrangement.

    Elkie Brooks – I prefer the livelier section, the rest is too polite and pleased with itself for my taste. Gal can sing.

    Brotherhood of Man – Abba-lite – catchier than I’d like, but better than their big hit

    Oh no! No David Soul

    Graham Parker – efficient, slightly dull and cut short as GP himself

    Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. – OK but overly long

    Dead End Kids – Is that Andy Murray in a McEnroe wig?

    Smokie – zzz

    Boney M – finally some signs of life, both musically and visually

    T Rex – another Bolan tune I don’t recall – Marc looks and sounds better than his last visit in 1976, even if the tune seems to trade on past glories.

    Bizarre meet & greet with Captain & Tenille

    Manhattan Transfer – smooth as plastic, just as palateable

    Bowie – put briefly over the credits AGAIN – despite being at number 3? I seem to recall being outraged by this at the time

  189. 190
    Lazarus on 30 Mar 2012 #

    Regarding Sound and Vision on the end credits, there was no video to show and he may not have fancied flying over from Berlin to do TOTP when the single was doing quite nicely anyway. But I’m sure the Legs gals could have done something with it, which song were they doing?

    David Soul’s second hit came straight in at #5 when that was quite a big deal.

  190. 191
    Jimmy the Swede on 30 Mar 2012 #

    Hairy Cornflake is the third man in the ring.

    Brendon – Been there. Not going back. Who cares?

    Elkie Brooks – Vinegar Joe looking a bit like a hooker, but good performance. Who remembers “Earl’s a Winger?”

    Brotherhood of Man – The Welsh brunette is looking extra-cheesy and the two blokes are inexplicably strumming guitars. Is this 1977 or 1964?

    Graham Parker – Not at the races. Sorry.

    Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jnr – We enter the 5th Dimension of loveliness (SWIDT?) with one of the great beauties of the period. Davis doesn’t remotely deserve her. She’s too gorgeous and he’s just a div.

    Dead End Kids – And they really did hit a dead end by recording a 13 year-old number one. And no leggy girl drummer. So what was the point?

    Smokie – Please tell me you’re just as tired as I am with this lot!

    Boney M – Up pop The Gals and sunny smiles abound (SWIDT?). Her Muckiness does her best with a fairly grim product and it is still mouth-watering fare.

    Rex – Marc not far from match point, alas. Bloody women drivers!

    DLT chats with Captain and Tenile. A huge act in the US. Not so much here. The excitement just heightens!

    Man Tran still at the top.

    Out to Bowie – Don’t you wonder some time?… CUT!

    lonepilgrim is quite right. This was as dull as dishwater. Surely SOMETHING had to happen. ANYTHING!!!!

  191. 192
    Mark G on 30 Mar 2012 #

    Earl’s a Winger, that was Richard Digance, wasn’t it?

    Anyways, I have checked my ‘future telescope’ and things continue 2 change at the end of April…

  192. 193
    Lazarus on 30 Mar 2012 #

    Actually re: Sound and Vision (again) I have unfond memories of Ruby Flipper’s ‘interpretation’ of TVC15, which mostly comprised them sitting down on and getting up from chairs. So maybe not (altho’ SAV is a bit funkier).

    Brotherhood of Man: Blonde and Tache were a couple ‘in real life’ by this point, the other two weren’t. So not quite the scampi-in-a-basket Abba.

  193. 194
    swanstep on 31 Mar 2012 #

    Clever clogs Anna Calvi has a nifty, miniature Sound and Vision cover up on youtube.

  194. 195
    lonepilgrim on 12 Apr 2012 #

    Tonight’s repeat is from David Hamilton’s personal collection apparently and is the first time these performances have been seen since the original broadcast:
    BLUE – I’m Gonna Capture Your Heart
    BILLY OCEAN – Red Light Spells Danger
    DAVID SOUL – Going In With My Eyes Open (danced to by Legs & Co)
    DAVID DUNDAS – Another Funny Honeymoon
    BERNI FLINT – I Don’t Want To Put A Hold On You ®
    THE STYLISTICS – 7000 Dollars And You
    BONNIE TYLER – More Than A Lover
    ABBA – Knowing Me Knowing You (video)
    ELVIS PRESLEY – Moody Blue (and credits)

  195. 196
    punctum on 12 Apr 2012 #

    “Something please happen. ANYTHING!”

  196. 197
    Lazarus on 12 Apr 2012 #

    And on to the latest broadcast …

    Blue – I must admit I did a quick flit to chartstats.com when I remembered about them, because the compiler often doesn’t distinguish between different acts with the same name (see Kokomo, Goldie) but on there they’re credited as ‘Blue [Scottish Band]’. They were the second band in a few weeks to get a hit on the coat tails of a bigger name, having toured with Elton John (Mr Big did so with labelmates Queen). I quite liked the harmonies.

    Billy – accompanied by a big red light – don’t let them say nobody thought about these things ‘back in the day.’ I used to have this 45, and for some reason don’t anymore, which is baffling. Superb, natch.

    D Soul – the Legs gals float around prettily in ball gowns. Clearly a weaker song than his previous, and did well to get to number 2 really.

    ‘Lord’ D Dundas – song is OK, if a bit short on hooks, and wouldn’t he have looked better sat behind a piano? They wouldn’t have asked Gilbert to stand there and jig around.

    Lynsey & Mike – at least the audience was dancing this time. Perhaps they got told off before. One or two are waving little flags. Lyn and Mike seem to be enjoying it more as a result.

    Berni – I quite like this actually, reminds me a bit of Gordon Lightfoot.

    Styles – don’t really remember this, ditto Bonnie. Was her record even a hit?

    Abba – love the whispering Agnetha (and the rest of it)

    And Elvis, who was about to leave the building for good.

  197. 198
    Jimmy the Swede on 14 Apr 2012 #

    Diddy as Ringmaster and this time it really was him…

    Interesting first to see O.C Smith at #30. I checked the book expecting to see that it was his brilliant old number from 1968 revived but it was something else. But what a fabulous record that was. And you just know that the Beeb thought it was about a vagrant!!

    Blue – Knew the song well but couldn’t remember the act until I saw the drum kit with the name on it. How quaint! Groups with the same name. Hands up any of you who remember “Rainbow Chaser”?

    Billy – That’s a red light alright. Brilliant effect. Well done. Not as polished as the last time he did it for us.

    The Gals – And this was a truly lovely performance. No sign of the Swede’s Sid James laugh here as we are treated to nothing short of a ballet session, with our beloved troupe donning stunning white ball gowns and dancing faultlessly. All of them looked beautiful as they glided around to David Soul’s follow-up giving it an enhancement it didn’t deserve. Nothing mucky about Sue this time. Graceful perfection.

    David Dundas – And the comprehensive school tower block-dweller surfaces in the Swede as the posh, enobled jeans pillock pushes his luck again. Punch him. You know you want to!

    Diddy, always one for the girls, finds two pretty young sorts and decks them both out in blue Tony Blackburn t-shirts just for larfs. This was all part of the ludicrous ping-pong match between Hamilton and Bannockburn in which they “wound each other up” for our comic benefit. Never worked. This latest rib-tickling gem introduces “Rock Bottom” and this time the audience had had some Pyongyang-style training. Lynsey looked like she had overdone it in the Green Room to me.

    Berni Flint – A good call from Lazarus comparing him to Gordon Lightfoot but the kids are looking hostile. Six months later they would have torn him to shreads. But then six months later Berni was safely in Pontins in Prestatyn. He has extra duties to strumming his guitar. He’s the bingo caller and that crazy golf course won’t clean itself!

    Stylistics – This was more than a little odd. It sounds like a nursary rhyme about an auction. Just bizarre. It’s a shame Mad Soccer Mom Mary was sliding downwards. She would have known what to do with these buggers!

    Bonnie Tyler – This apart from the Gals was the highlight of the evening. The Welsh lovely is horny but alluring and the performance is brilliant too. It’s all there and Hamilton dribbles his approval, as does the Swede (and indeed Erithian, who bought the disc back in the day). Bonnie wants to be more than a lover… Jesus!

    Hamilton tries to engage with a bearded disinterested MIke Nesmith to introduce the number one. He knows it’s Abba but…
    Diddy: What’s the title?
    Monkee: Not a clue.
    That went well, then.

    Abba – More pained expressions but such great pop musik.

    Out to Elvis but Borg’s serving for the match at him with new balls.

    Happen? Anything? Please? Happen? Something? Anything? Surely Something?..

  198. 199
    Lazarus on 14 Apr 2012 #

    Bonnie’s number didn’t really grab my attention, maybe I was making tea or something, but after that appraisal I reckon I should have another look! To answer my own question, she was at 28 this week, as the more observant will have noticed, and would climb one place higher. A mention too for Diddy’s bomber jacket, traffic light red – a nod to Billy Ocean perhaps.

    That OC Smith song was a nice little tune btw, although I doubt we’ll see it on here. A bit of a Ken Bruce favourite.

    As for things happening, well the Stranglers had recently got to the brink of the Top 40 with ‘Grip’ and the Clash were at #46 this week with ‘White Riot.’ One band who famously never got introduced by Diddy, Tony or any of their chums.

    Oo-er, chartstats has had a bit of a makeover hasn’t it? Not sure I like, but I’ll get used to it I expect.

  199. 200
    AndyPandy on 14 Apr 2012 #

    I think that may have been the worst TOTP they’ve shown so far – aside from Billy Ocean’s exciting soul-pop and obviously Abba.
    Never really heard the David Dundas tune before thought he’s a pretty cool looking bloke though about the only person on there who’s look wouldn’t look out of place in 2012.
    OC Smith ‘Together’ was flogged to death back in 1977 on Radio 2 – and I see someone says its a Ken Bruce favourite so it seems they still like it on that station 35 years later.
    Another classy David Soul track which for some reason I’d always thought had been a hit after “Silver Lady”.
    The Stylistics’ last ever hit and probably their worst (unusual slightly cynical premise for a song though) – they were a top act a couple of years before and brought out plenty of absolute classics but they didn’t really move with the times – they never went disco (nearest they got was “Funky Weekend”)and suffered accordingly.
    Big respect for David Hamilton making this show available to be shown again let’s hope they go back to showing some of the earlier ones he’s returned.

    PS I’ve just looked at this ‘Chartstats’ side that’s been mentioned here – not impressed 100 times inferior to Polyhex which is pretty near unimprovable.

  200. 201
    lonepilgrim on 19 Apr 2012 #

    Tonight’s TOTP was from the 7th April 1977 – they seem to be lagging behind a bit
    Kid Jensen presents a fairly energetic show with some classy soul
    DEAD END KIDS – Have I The Right
    I quite enjoy the youthful energy of the band and the street outfits but they are still more than a bit naff
    sublime performance – with wonderful arrangement – no TOTP orchestra – and a cool looking audience as well
    the band is quite endearing – but the lead singer is still irritating and appears to have a wonky eye
    ELKIE BROOKS – Pearl’s A Singer
    the first half is a little too tasteful for me – I prefer it when she rocks out at the end – she sure can sing
    CLIFF RICHARD – My Kinda Life
    a reminder of how good Cliff could be – a committed performance – a lot of his stage movement reminds me of Jagger – wonder who influenced who
    the TOTP audience seem to be grooving to this – a soulful lead vocal with smooth harmonies and moves from the rest of the band
    MAXINE NIGHTINGALE – Love Hit Me (danced to by Legs & Co)
    the boxing theme is a perfect match of sexy and silly for Legs & Co – I imagine this will be a TKO for the Swede
    O.C. SMITH – Together
    smoooooth – great voice and arrangement – although the song meanders a bit
    ABBA – Knowing Me Knowing You
    ‘No more carefree laughter; silence ever after. Walking through an empty house; tears in my eyes. This is where the story ends; this is goodbye’ – did Joy Division cover this? They should have done.
    Plus the ‘Aha’ from the guys (which has become such a joke via Partridge) sounds so deliberately Passive Agressive in response to the open hearted outpouring of the gals. It is an extraordinary and wonderful song
    SMOKIE – see us out (mercifully) briefly

  201. 202
    wichita lineman on 20 Apr 2012 #

    A quick thumbs up for the Bonnie Tyler single from last week (didn’t get round to commenting). I remember it from the time, and remembered it fondly, always being a sucker for minor chords. If Heart had covered it ten years later they could have had a massive hit.

    As for tonight’s show…

    Dead End Kids: or Lidl City Rollers as someone dubbed them on twitter. Always makes me feel sad but sage when I see one hit wonders looking bored on their third TOTP appearance (or overly cocky, like the Brothers). Make the most of donking those chimes, Curly!

    Deniece Williams: given such weak but heavy-handed chart company, it seems even more surprising that Niecey’s subtle charms made it to no.1. Gorgeous.

    ‘Waddy: the singer is a computer generated cross between Stuart Pearson and Julia Roberts. I want to like them but, really, this makes the Kalin Twins sound like Gene Vincent & the Bluecaps.

    Elkie: weirdly ageless Elkie, never a girl. Ray, formerly Tufnell Park’s premier postman but now retired, told me that he used to stand at the front of Vinegar Joe gigs and admire the former Miss Bookbinder’s long legs. I don’t like this song. I thought “Betty Grable” was an invented name at the time, concocted to rhyme with table.

    Cliff: a touch of Saturday Night’s Alright Elton in the delivery, jumper tucked in ruins the look though. A solid run of 45s from Cliffy around this time – one of my fav ballads crops up later in the year (if it hasn’t been wiped).

    Manhattans: very repetitive, ANOTHER spoken Manhattans intro: “This has gotta be the third worst day of my life”. But, still, far better than Orville & the Stylistics poor effort a week earlier.

    Legs/Maxine: shorts embroidered with their names is a nice touch. The-one-I-can’t-remember (or Crap Rosie, as we unkindly call her) has done her hair. Sue not mucky at all. Song? As you were two weeks ago. I’d rather have heard Helpless by Kim Weston.

    OC Smith: Sent me to sleep at the time but I really like this now. Was it a Philly production? Reminds me of Lou Rawls’ hit from a year earlier. Radio 2 staple, as said before.

    Abba: I don’t tire of this at all. I know they were meant to fill every second of every song with a potential hook, but the verse on KMKY is so daring, melodically and structurally. I can’t think of any other record that is constructed quite like it. Leonard Bernstein must have loved it (I’m thinking of his ace pop analysis on his Inside Pop doc from late ’66 – it’s on youtube).

    Smokie: like we haven’t heard this one a thousand times already. Still a few more hits to come from them. Never minded them at the time, but now they piss me off. Even though Chris Norman has a kind face.

  202. 203
    wichita lineman on 20 Apr 2012 #

    After Niecey and OC Smith’s excellent performances I thought I’d check what the US Top 30 looked like 35 years ago. Wow – I had no idea David Soul ever meant anything there beyond Starsky & Hutch! Also shocked that the feeble When I Need You had been a US no.1. So it wasn’t all Soul Train magnificence. Anyway, with no further comment, here it is:

    1 DON’T GIVE UP ON US David Soul
    2 DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY Thelma Houston
    3 SOUTHERN NIGHTS Glen Campbell
    7 I’VE GOT LOVE ON MY MIND Natalie Cole
    8 LOVE THEME FROM A STAR IS BORN Barbra Streisand
    9 SO INTO YOU Atlanta Rhythm Section
    10 RICH GIRL Daryl Hall and John Oates
    11 RIGHT TIME OF THE NIGHT Jennifer Warnes
    12 TRYING TO LOVE TWO William Bell
    13 WHEN I NEED YOU Leo Sayer
    15 I WANNA GET NEXT TO YOU Rose Royce
    16 COULDN’T GET IT RIGHT Climax Blues Band
    17 LIDO SHUFFLE Boz Scaggs
    18 MAYBE I’M AMAZED Wings
    19 CAN’T STOP DANCIN’ Captain and Tennille
    20 I’M YOUR BOOGIE MAN KC & the Sunshine Band
    22 YOUR LOVE Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.
    23 I LIKE DREAMIN’ Kenny Nolan
    24 DISCO LUCY Wilton Place Street Band
    25 FREE Deniece Williams
    26 FLY LIKE AN EAGLE Steve Miller Band
    27 CALLING DR. LOVE Kiss
    28 N.Y. YOU GOT ME DANCING Andrea True Connection
    30 AT MIDNIGHT Rufus Feat. Chaka Kahn

  203. 204
    Jimmy the Swede on 20 Apr 2012 #

    Kid Jensen leads the parade. Hurrah!

    Dead End Kids – A penny dreadful and that’s quite enough of that.

    Deniece Williams – I seem to recall that this one attracted a dose of the Baby Jumps when we discussed it as a number one, For that indeed is where its headed, perhaps to some surprise. It’s lovely and classy and the “Soul Train” backdrop adds to the quality. Not convinced about the audience – some laughable dancing couples there and although Deniece is looking very nice, why is she wearing a swimming cap on her bonce? Just wrong. Even at a Disco.

    Ver Waddy – It’s a no, I’m afraid. The only saving grace is Romeo looking his usual menacing self, chewing away like Ferguson and brandishing two large drum beaters. And, yes, the frontman should be sectioned. Nutter.

    Elkie Brooks – She could certainly burst one out. Excellent performance. And I particularly liked the three comely backing singers giving her a hand at the end. And the piano player looked suspiciously like John Fiddler from Medicine Head. Probably wasn’t. Oh, and Elkie hasn’t finished for the evening, either..

    The Kid is flanked by two doe-eyed pieces of jail-bait to introduce Cliff and off he rocks. As Lino mentions above, there is Dwight DNA all over this and it’s a good effort. Godboy looks about fourteen. Bless!

    Manhattans – Not much to say about this one. Just on the pleasant side of annoying, what with all that spinning around and pointing in formation “it’s you! it’s you!” every five seconds.. That sort of foolishness could get you into very deep water in Stockwell, I can assure you.

    The Gals – Well obviously pilgrim is spot-on, this routine had the same effect on the Swede as do Opal Fruits. Our lovelies are dressed in boxing gloves, shorts and singlets and are knocking each other over inside a roped square. Dear Harry Carpenter would have loved it and needless to say, the Swede went pretty much beserk. Being set upon by this lot and beaten without mercy into a pulp is something for which I would gladly part with the deeds of my house. They were boxing to Maxine Nightingale but frankly, who cared? It could been Motorhead singing in Welsh and the Swede wouldn’t have noticed.

    OC Smith – “Together”. Ah, NOW I remember this! Bloody good too as we are treated to another excerpt from “Soul Train”. This is also very classy, even though there is more suspect dancing and that poor ol’ Smudger is no spring chicken. Great voice, though.

    Elkie then pops back up to introduce Abba. Unlike the assine Nesmith last time, Elkie plays ball, even allowing the Kid to make a cheeky comment about her “position”. The same footage of KMKY is then shown but none of us are tiring. Just wonderful pop.

    Jensen signs off with “Good Love” and then the show, which hasn’t been too bad, is totally ruined by Smokie, even though it’s only a few seconds. This lot are like foster children to TOTP and really need to fuck off now.

  204. 205
    AndyPandy on 20 Apr 2012 #

    There’s been a definite change in the past few months in that unlike in 1976 we have very few/no(?)records from outside the Top 30 (and only a few from 31-50). There seemed to be at least 1 complete flop on every week in 1976.

    The Manhattans are the nearest this week and even they were in the 40s at the time. Obviously over here for some concerts at the time.
    It’s vaguely interesting that the male soul vocal group with the suits and dance routines was (along with Hot Chocolate and the New Seekers)one of the staples of TOTP throughout the early/mid 70s and there were still quite a few around in 1977 but that was it and by 1978 they’d virtually vanished.

  205. 206
    Erithian on 24 Apr 2012 #

    I feel honour bound to inform you that the bass player from Brendon is chatting away with the comments crew over on Yes It’s Number One!: http://yesitsnumberone.blogspot.co.uk/

  206. 207
    lonepilgrim on 26 Apr 2012 #

    Back to April 14th 1977 tonight
    Jimmy Saville plays host with a multicoloured curly hairdo/wig

    The (Light Entertainment) Empire Strikes Back for the first half with a shocking assortment of acts. I don’t know why the audience didn’t rise up and beat them to a pulp.

    The Brothers – a lively bass line doesn’t rescue an otherwise bland performance

    Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Junior – same video as before, slick but dull

    Brendon – looks like the same performance as 24th March – just as dull

    David Soul – searching for a memorable tune – doesn’t find one

    The Stylistics – supper club soul – the band seem to be sleepwalking

    John Williams & Cleo Laine – aural anaesthetic – hideously tasteful

    Andrew Gold – signs of life – I’ve always enjoyed this – the gals joined by Floyd waft around to this sour piece of West Coast rock

    Billy Ocean – back in Harry Hill’s suit – it’s a good song

    Abba – still exceptional;

    Boney M see us out

  207. 208
    wichita lineman on 27 Apr 2012 #

    The audience was definitely more interesting than the show tonight, as was the presenter, JS OBE:

    The Brothers – not a hit of any stripe but catchier than Sing Me. It isn’t actually good though, and giving the chorus to the screeching drummer is a real mistake. Just one thing before they disappear from our lives forever – I know they’re meant to be brothers, but they all look the same age. Quins? It’s a better name for a band.

    …JS has some weird green object attached to him, embroidered with the words “chief tadpole”. This is never explained…

    Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr – I really love this, and Marilyn looks just lovely. Seems to be from a show called Top Pop rather than Soul Train.

    Brendon – possibly going for the Louie Louie/Wild Thing primal repetition thing, but I really hope it’s the last time we see this lot.

    …and now things get interesting. JS appears with two “lovely ladies” in country gent attire, and with noticeable attitude, who he refers to as “Bill & Ben”. They look great, and entirely disinterested in the next act…

    David Soul – the limpest lettuce in town. The only bit I like on this single is the instrumental middle eight with its woodwinds, French horn and sitar. This performance fades just as the middle eight starts.

    …JS introduces a “Yorkshire millionaire” in a suit who looks about 16. No idea who he is…

    Stylistics – Russell Tomkins looking exactly like Orville, the rest look flat out bored. Might well be their last TOTP appearance. The payoff in the lyric is bizarre, along the lines of “if I had a million dollars I’d be off, sorry, hope you understand”. Who on earth bought this record?

    John Williams & Cleo Laine – or ‘Andy Williams’ as the BBC list him. They do Feelings, Morris Albert’s hit from 18 months earlier. Margo Ledbetter would have liked it.

    Andrew Gold/Legs & Co – thank fucking christ. Floyd is back (yay!) and gets into a play fight with Patti which involves several flashes of knicker. The song is tremendous, though with such a pumping tune it always feels like there should be more of a story to it beyond “I was a mopey kid, so’s my son”.

    Billy Ocean – third appearance, still not in the Top 10, and peaks at 2 so I guess it might come around again. Nothing more to add… still very good.

    …JS now appears with a pair of herberts who definitely aren’t his usual Portsmouth sailor boys or girls in kiss-me-quick hats. The guy on the left looks like he’s from Daniel Meadows’ The Bus, a “head” but quite aggro, while the bloke on the right has an earring with either a paper clip or (whisper it) a safety pin dangling from it. He’s also giving the camera a “look what I got away with” smirk. The door to the future is pushed slightly ajar…

    Abba – perfect, still.

    credits over Boney M’s Sunny, again.

    An odd show, rewarding for quite unexpected reasons.

  208. 209
    punctum on 27 Apr 2012 #

    Just to point out that, according to Andrew Gold, “Lonely Boy” is about him, but not the way you think. Great record, done in one take, exceptional drumming, Brian Wilson-inspired sleigh bells, cameo by Linda Ronstadt on b/vox.

  209. 210
    and everybody elses Mark G on 27 Apr 2012 #

    Well, wikip confirms his and his sister’s birth years match.

    Citation on the ‘not the way you think’ ?

  210. 211
    punctum on 27 Apr 2012 #

    Artist’s sleevenote to the compilation Thank You For Being A Friend: The Best Of Andrew Gold.

    “Well, his sister grew up and she married a man”; AG was that “man.”

  211. 212
    Erithian on 27 Apr 2012 #

    Dave Levy, bassist with Brendon, has posted again on Yes It’s Number One about this week’s appearance:

    “Apart from being a couple of places above the Dead End Kids (same demographic, same teen mag articles – it’s our own League 1 tussle) James the drummer has split as he could no longer betray his Billy Cobham roots, to be replaced by the (now late) Mick Charleton (was a bit older than us but was for real a part of the 60’s Hamburg scene and had stories which make my recollections totally trivial)… Brendon’s guitar is his trusty Martin and I guess the whole Cat Stevens thing is squeaking out (he’s singing it live thus the lip-licking) and he does a mean “Father and Son” btw. Sorry about the double neck axe but I really wanted to be in Genesis. Evil bass but pretty passable 6 string.

    “So that’s it from us for now. Will see you folks for 27.5.77 when we are back with the Abba cover “Rock Me” which has an unexpected intro. I’ll be wearing a floaty cheesecloth number and have borrowed my next door neighbour’s (bass in Uriah Heep) Fender Jazz for extra credibility.

    “Then it’s all over. In my case back to university. As far as memories go that’s all we have as we had no VHS in 1977 so have never seen these shows since. Became an enthusiastic amateur. Ended up with an degree in electronic engineering designing broadcast studio equipment.

    “Brendon’s uncle was The Troggs’ first manager and our first London gig was supporting them at the Nashville. Back on the TOTP note I dug out some old camera scripts for you guys to see. The second one is this week’s show and the first is more detailed and shows just how much is not really live/mimed/recorded.

    “Still you got to go to the BBC bar on the top floor and hang out with the other bands, assorted newscasters and Legs and Co. And as for the Dead End Kids, they’d stuck a poster of themselves on their dressing room door so we’d all know who they were.”

    Fast forward to this century, and there’s a band reunion to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the TOTP appearances. Brendon, now running a business, mentions to Dave, who’s been doing VFX on Doctor Who, that he’s written some new stuff. And nowadays there’s this thing called email… http://www.conspiracy3d.com/index.html

  212. 213
    Erithian on 27 Apr 2012 #

    Incidentally, Wichita, how about an FT coach trip for Saint Etienne at the Palladium on 28 May?

  213. 214
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Apr 2012 #

    That’s a brilliant suggestion. The coach can pick the Swede up at Haywards Heath. I’ll be the one with the crate of Magners and a fuck-off ice bucket.

  214. 215
    Lazarus on 28 Apr 2012 #

    The Cleo Laine number was a curious episode wasn’t it? Like an interlude from “The Two Ronnies” or maybe Parkinson. Presumably the single was ‘bubbling under’ the Top 50 though, or why would it have been featured?

    I thought Marilyn McCoo looked lovely, but worryingly thin.

    And the comments about Andrew Gold and “Lonely Boy” have confused me. The Wiki entry that I read says he had “two younger sisters.” Incidentally he was once engaged to Nicolette Larsen, who also died young.

  215. 216
    Jimmy the Swede on 28 Apr 2012 #

    Chief Tadpole Jim

    The Brothers – Can’t remember this. Didn’t remember their last one either. And their current effort is not “Beautiful”, it’s freaking dreadful.

    Marilyn McCoo and BDJ – Another chance to coo over the delicious Marilyn (SWIDT?). That grinning simpleton Junior’s got no friggin’ chance! Saville introduces some girls from Wrexham “in North Wales”. Good geography, Jim. Well done.

    Brendon – Just as annoying as Smokie now.

    David Soul – Thwarted at number two. Jim introduces a couple of sorts dressed as country squires called Bill and Ben. Neither bat an eyelid when Hutch is mentioned. There’s a not a doubt in my mind what these two were dressed like the other side of that summer.

    Mr Fix-it next introduces some bespectaled dweeb in a serious suit as a “Young Yorkshire Millionaire”. WTF? And then on come…

    The Stylistics – And give The Lineman a bun for revealing that Russell Tomkins is Orville! And I too can’t for the life of me figure who this song is aimed at. Orville is basically saying that he can put up with his girl until the minute he wins the State Lottery, at which point he’s off. I wonder how many birds dumped their fellas having had this record bought for them as a present. It’s ludicrous.

    John Williams and Cleo Laine – Everyone and his dog recorded fucking “Feelings”! It turned up simply everywhere including cop shows. But I have no memory whatsoever of this version, which is surprising, since Cleo delivered Prize Day at our school either that year or in 1978, which is the year I left. I can recall one of her minders. He made George Foreman look like Bonnie Langford. Here Cleo is seriously over-egging her performance and her pained expression is hilarious. John Williams, meanwhile, looked like one of those potheads who used to present those unintelligible maths lectures in the small hours for the Open University.

    Saville introduces some girls from Dublin (isn’t that in Ireland, Jim?) and then on come The Gals…plus Floyd!!?? WHAT THE…

    My first reaction to this was disgust. What’s going on? How could I admire the Gals with a guy there?…

    Then the penny dropped. Listen to the record, Swede! And I did. Andrew Gold, of course – a great track. And Flick needed a lonely boy. Hence Floyd. On second viewing, I came to the conclusion that they had come up with a mini masterpiece here. The brother and sister “fight” was done brilliantly well and the Gals all worked very nicely with their male interloper. The routine was cut before Gold hit the final verse. But Flick certainly scored here. And good on you too, Floyd!

    Jim and girls from Upminster bowl us into Billy Ocean. Good perfomance this week. I say this week because he’s on every week, isn’t he? And he’s still got that grim picture up on the chart rundown. Not good, really.

    Saville is flanked by a couple of swaggering trouble-making types, one clearly spoiling for a fight, the other looking like a stinger and scammer. They were probably barristers. They leer us into Abba, still at number one and still faultless.

    The Young Yorkshire Millionaire returns and he seems to have pulled. The girl is no glam but she looks wifey. It’s the complete opposite of what that pillock Orville was squeaking about. Asswipe!

    Boney M yet again take us out with Sunny.


  216. 217
    Jimmy the Swede on 3 May 2012 #

    Sensational Tony B.

    Eddie and HRs – Good start. The audience look confused. Run to the light, kids!

    OC Smith – Smitty in the studio. Poor old fucker! It’s like watching the bride’s dad at a wedding reception in Crawley. Not good.

    The Gals do Sir Duke – How the hell can anyone knock this?! Poor little Floyd is back in his box and it’s just as well, as he simply would have been eaten alive this week. Sue is back to her muckiest as she leads her troupe in a scrumptious merry dance in microscopic silver dresses. The audience have been crammed into blocks of makeshift seating and are looking ludicrously rigid, whilst Tony taps his hand to the beat as if to indicate that he is alone amongst a group of cadavers. Then the Gals treat us to a uniformed flash of knicker and it’s a respirator for the Swede!

    Tavares – Whodunnit. Not so much whodunnit as why do it at all. Where’s the phone to call Sherlock Holmes? Yeah, it’s bollocks.

    Lynsey and Mike – Tony insists it’s going to be the winner. No heads in hands at the end this time. As we all know, it didn’t in fact win but it did score more top marks than the song that did.

    Lil’ Leo – I found this violently annoying. Lots of Leos pop up, each one begging for a dry slap. One for the fast-forward button.

    Delegation – Don’t remember this at all. Three cats dressed up like instant whips. The verse sounds like the drill instructor chant years later. But Blackburn tells us it’s his “sort of music”. Different strokes, mate!

    Elkie – I think we’ve done with this now.

    Deniece Williams – She looks fabulous and does a great turn. The Baby Jump mist starts to clear as people begin to understand why this hit the top. A blessing from an understandably smitten Bannockburn.

    Abba – As we were.

    Out to a hint of Peter Gabriele.

    Not a “fantastic” show for me, no. But not a bad one either. But…

  217. 218
    Jimmy the Swede on 3 May 2012 #

    Tom – I don’t know why my contribution of today (5/5/12) has been booted up-thread to the 3rd…

  218. 219
    lonepilgrim on 3 May 2012 #

    TOTP from 21st April 1977 – a fantastic show for the most part – one of the best yet
    Tony Blackburn – enthusiastic as ever – unsurprising given the amount of soul and dance music on the show
    EDDIE & THE fecking HOT RODS!!! Thank God! Audience look bored. Run ’em down Mr Cameraman
    OC Smith – in the TOTP studio, keeping it real in a denim three piece suit – good voice – not a great song
    Stevie Wonder – always liked that opening fanfare and the tune itself is v. sprightly. Legs & Co shimmy in silver tutus while the slack jawed audience sits around them
    Tavares – a committed performance from all involved – a fun groove – so much better than Stylistics last week
    Lynsey & Mike – our hope to win eurovision according to Tony – definitely Rock Bottom for tonight’s show
    Leo Sayer – a pleasant song, undermined by Leo’s gurning and a weak arrangement
    Delegation – shocking tangerine outfits combined with brown shirts (for the German tour perhaps) – supper club soul – song forgotten as soon as it’s over
    Elkie Brooks – I’m getting tired of this. The drummer is lead-footed and the arrangement way too tasteful
    Deniece Williams – also in the studio – for once the ‘live performance’ rule works to our benefit – DW sings in a lower register and gives a wonderful performance that wipes the floor with Elkie
    Abba – still great – same video – icy cold after the warmth of the previous song
    Peter Gabriel – I love this song, always liked PGs voice but the show cuts it off outrageously soon

  219. 220
    punctum on 4 May 2012 #

    Deniece Williams and Abba; I make that 2/11, not exactly a “fantastic” show. The rest of it, like the BBC and BBC4 in general, might just as well have been flushed down the toilet.

  220. 221
    Mark G on 4 May 2012 #

    Well, the Hot Rods showed their pub-rock backgrounds more this time with “I might be lying”, with its talk of “Sugar Daddies” and suchlike.

  221. 222
    punctum on 4 May 2012 #

    At my time of life I’ve decided that life’s too short for pub rock.

  222. 223
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 4 May 2012 #

    Something just struck re Eddie and the Hot Rods that I don’t believe I’ve ever felt about any other group — which must entirely relate to their standing when I very first began popwatching in a partisan style.

    It’s a kind of second-shoe-dropping thing: there they were, probably the first group I ever watched on TV with a view to thinking “this is punk, i think i am in favour (but oh, they are not what i wanted)”. And then actual real punk that I liked a lot came along, and then everything else — the rest of my popwatching life, many many MANY years of it.

    And for some reason I’ve been subconsciously waiting for E&tHR to heave back into view — not because I loved em (I didn’t) or thought they deserved a “second chance” (I don’t), and in fact I don’t know why. As if they were somehow waiting till punk (and whatever came after it, and whatever came after that, and etc…) to step back into their rightful place. (Rightful place where? In my heart? But I didn’t like em.)

    Trying to think, but I don’t believe I feel this about anyone else: that I expect to see them again. (Rationally, I really don’t expect to see them again, after all — and I just went to wikipedia to read up on their various unremarkable comebacks and reformings and European tours and etc down the intervening decades….)

  223. 224
    punctum on 4 May 2012 #

    They were managed by the brother of Mark Hollis of Talk Talk.

  224. 225
    Lazarus on 4 May 2012 #

    Berni Flint, David Dundas and the Dead End Kids were the other acts featured – but I suspect that that information would only result in our friend marking it 2/14. It’s rare in my experience though to meet someone who doesn’t like “Sir Duke.” Even my missus, no great fan of Stevie’s, made an exception for that one.

  225. 226
    chelovek na lune on 5 May 2012 #

    @223 I lived near Southend-on-Sea for a few years recently (up until last year, in fact). Eddie and the Hot Rods seemed to be regularly back in their hometown, mostly playing in one particular venue more usually favoured by tribute acts. Purely a Southend thing, I think.

  226. 227
    lonepilgrim on 6 May 2012 #

    @220 er..well..yes..having watched the complete programme I think a kind of Stockholm syndrome may have set in after watching so many of these shows where anything better than the standard slop seems SENSATIONAL!!! I still rate it higher than 2/11. The soul acts seemed to be enjoying themselves – unlike the Stylistics from the week earlier – ‘SIr Duke’ is a joy IMO and E & TH brought some energy and youth to the show.

  227. 228
    Jimmy the Swede on 7 May 2012 #

    The gremlins have being gnawing away at the Swede for some reason. My contribution to our discussion of the last show, which I appended on 5th May, somehow got bounced back to #217 dated the 3rd. I have no idea how this happened. Perhaps Tom is trying to tell me something!

  228. 229
    Lazarus on 17 May 2012 #

    We are promised Contempt and Rags on tonight’s show – ring any bells?

    And Uriah Heep, who never had a hit single that I can remember.

  229. 230
    Lazarus on 17 May 2012 #

    Hmmm, well, only the first of those three appeared – fronted by a Mr Humphries lookalike* with a song that seemed to be going for the ‘quirky’ market (Roxy/Sailor/Sparks). The other two were mentioned in the info box on my Virgin Media set – on the long version perhaps.

    (*possibly a nod to ‘Clockwork Orange’ I suppose)

  230. 231
    lonepilgrim on 17 May 2012 #

    Two shows tonight:


    DLT introduces

    Chart run down with Television at ♯30! Would have loved to see Legs & Co dancing to Marquee Moon but alas not to be

    Contempt – UK theatrical pop, dahling – intriguingly reminiscent of Queen, Sparks, Cockney Rebel, Deaf School, etc. but also unfortunately the singer seems very Cambridge Footlights. Can’t find much about them on Google other than Martin Rushent produced the single

    Rose Royce – Pauline dances on her own –

    Detroit Spinners – good song, reasonably energetic performance, undermined by the ungroovy TOTP orchestra

    10cc – not their best; crap video

    Joe Tex – Soul Train performance; never cared for his voice

    Kiki Dee – pleasant; unmemorable

    Billy Ocean – another outfit and two of Legs & Co gyrating provocatively

    Babs & Kris – I assume this is a clip from the movie – it would be even creepier if it weren’t

    Barry Biggs – it’s Orville! Soporific

    Abba – still great

    Rod Stewart – over the credits – the


    Noel Edmunds looking tan

    Rollers – band sounding pretty lively; vocals a bit thin

    Rod – Rod looking somewhat effete – as they’d played him over the credits from the week before, shouldn’t he have had to wait another week?

    Delegation – hideous green outfits with strange bunching in strategic places

    Mac & Katie Kissoon – dump him Katie, dump him

    Leo Sayer – grindingly irritating video – reasonable song that sounds a lot like Philadelphia Freedom & Scissors Sisters

    Joy Sarney – if Leo made me want to claw out my eyes then this makes me want to cut my ears off – the WORST thing I’ve seen and heard on these repeats

    Frankie Valli – zzz

    Andrew Gold – good song – repeat of Legs & Co’s performance with Floyd from two weeks ago

    Deneice Williams – another repeat performance bit still wonderful – nice to have some warmth after the Nordic frosts of Abba

    Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke sees us out

  231. 232
    Lazarus on 17 May 2012 #

    In a nice bit of sequencing, Rod Stewart at the end of the first show was followed by a trailer for a forthcoming series called “Punk Britannia.”

    Didn’t see the second show – I didn’t know there was one – but I’m recording the midnight transmission, when Mr Big are also supposed to be on.

    Someone having a hit with a song based around a Punch & Judy routine in 1977 was truly alarming.

  232. 233
    Mark G on 17 May 2012 #

    I have to play the kids that Joy Sarney one…

  233. 234
    Mark G on 17 May 2012 #

    extended repeat annexe: Rags and “Promises Promises” a euro entry that never wss?

  234. 235
    Erithian on 18 May 2012 #

    Here’s “Yes It’s Number One” to tell you how close Rags came to being a Euro entry, how their stagecraft came in useful four years later and how chuffed BBC governors were to lose: http://yesitsnumberone.blogspot.co.uk/

  235. 236
    Alan not logged in on 18 May 2012 #

    That Joy Sarney performance was a wonderful WTF. I googled this blog post re the song


    (I see some popular crew comment on that blog, so probs most of you know about it, and it likely even belongs to someone around here.)

  236. 237
    punctum on 18 May 2012 #

    God this was shit. Especially Joy fucking Sarney. Don’t know what I hate more; this record or the idiots who bought it and/or still pretend to like it. It’s on K-Tel’s chart-topping Disco Fever compilation so I don’t get out of doing it either (see also Bruce Ruffin’s “Mad About You” as featured on Pure Gold On EMI; what was it with the fucking British public?).

    I’m not saying everyone should go on a fundamentalist diet of Marquee Moon, Two Sevens Clash and Dancing In Your Head at bayonet point but the two episodes last night were a strong argument in favour of doing so. FFS, “Marquee Moon” was in the chart. Maybe Tom Verlaine had to go round the corner shop to get some more chicken stock.

  237. 238
    Mark G on 18 May 2012 #

    Well, this is the thing about not having ‘videos’ at the time, beyond “Soul Train” and occasional Country hits.

    Furiously, the one time Television did appear on TOTP is one of the few 1977 episodes to get wiped! And no-one seems to remember them being on at all!

  238. 239
    23 Daves on 18 May 2012 #

    The “Left and to the Back” blog is mine – I hate to put my hand up and say “guilty” given that all the attention is going to Joy Sarney in this instance, but it seems like the honest thing to do. To make matters worse, the sheer surge in site visits last night after Joy appeared on “Top of the Pops” was unanticipated. I know the record is bizarre, I wouldn’t have bothered to write about the background behind it if not, but as a track it’s not really worth revisiting after the first hearing. I honestly hope the people who visited did so because they wanted to unearth more background rather than because they simply had to get another fix of the tune.

  239. 240
    Erithian on 18 May 2012 #

    Someone on another discussion thread has said that one of their students (in the mid-90s) had admitted his mother was on TOTP once performing her only hit single. “A little pressure and he told us it was Joy Sarney”. Shades of the Ben Elton routine about the Shake and Vac lady telling her kids what she did and them saying, “Mum, we’d rather you were a hooker.”

  240. 241
    23 Daves on 18 May 2012 #

    Of more interest to me was Contempt’s appearance – I’d never heard of them before, it was apparently their only single (so far as I can find out) and there’s nothing at all about them online. Are they the only TOTP featured act ever to have slid into such complete obscurity?

  241. 242
    Simon/Yes It's Number One on 18 May 2012 #

    Hello. Keep meaning to join in, and what more appropriate way to break a posting duck than with a novelty song about being in love with Mr Punch. This is how Lester Bangs got started, I’m sure.

    The thing that struck me about Joy Sarney last night, with the aid of 23 Daves’ blog, is that version was re-recorded. Obviously it was under Musician’s Union rules, but envisioning the orchestra learning the song, the Punch operator having to hit his cues, someone having to tether down all those balloons… actually the director played it beautifully by not revealing the presence of Mr Punch or any of his stall until the end of the first chorus so you’ve got enough time to wonder what the hell’s going on.

    As for the rather too English attempt at harnessing SAHB that was Contempt, not even Martin Rushent’s son could find out any more about them, so it appears any more detail is lost.

  242. 243
    wichita lineman on 19 May 2012 #

    Contempt’s complete anonymity is astonishing. I can’t think of any other TOTP performers who have disappeared so completely. Not even the legendarily bad Philip & Vanessa…


    …who we at least know were Canadian and also covered America’s Ventura Highway.

    Does anyone have the Contempt 7″ to check the credits? There are a few copies on Gemm but, really, it wasn’t good enough to buy.

    Simon, it’s good to see you here!

  243. 244
    23 Daves on 19 May 2012 #

    There’s some label detail plus (unsurprisingly) a bit more discussion over on 45Cat at the moment:


    I’d be willing to bet that just about every site and blogger interested in the obscure backwaters of British pop is wondering who the hell Contempt were at the moment. At least the 45Cat folk have managed to narrow down a tiny part of their family tree.

  244. 245
    wichita lineman on 19 May 2012 #

    Ah yes. Looks like all will suddenly be revealed.

    So… anyone heard any other Joy Sarney records?

  245. 246
    Simon/Yes It's Number One on 19 May 2012 #

    The internet claims Sarney sang in Mickey Jupp’s band in 1979, which must have been late in the day even for Stiff.

    Next week’s Pops is nuts, it’s stylistically all over the place including at least three songs that never made the top 30, a spectacularly odd Legs & Co routine and a B-side.

  246. 247
    Jimmy the Swede on 19 May 2012 #

    # 240 – The Swede always had a thing for the Shake n Vac lady, as I think I’ve recorded elsewhere in this archive. And I wasn’t alone.

    TOTP Show 1 – DLT: (NB: Why didn’t they show this episode last week instead of inflicting us with the old xylophone loon?)

    Contempt – Not a clue. Public schoolboys at play. And the smug frontman reminded me of Jeffrey Archer, which can’t be good.

    Rose Royce – Pauline dances alone. She’s lovely but why just her?

    10CC – Not one of their finest. Only Eric Stewart seems to be caring less in a shocking video, which is not even saved by the girl bursting through her top.

    Joe Tex – I bought this back in the day. It would probably be considered ofensive now. But then the “woman” stepped up and “bumped” Joe at the end. And he’s not exactly Gandhi himself.

    Kiki Dee – Lovely and classy.

    Billy O – Season ticket holder. Sits in the same stand as Smokey.

    Babs and Kris – Man alive, she didn’t ‘arf have a hooter!

    Abba into Rod and away.

    TOTP Show 2 – Noel:

    Rollers – The game is up…

    Rod – Doing “First Cut”. I rather fear that through no fault of its own, this record will always be ill-starred for many of us.

    Delegation – Absurd.

    Mac and Katie Kissoon – Daireylea Lite and they won’t be troubling the scorers again.

    Leo – In multiples again. Not so much how much love as how much more.

    Joy Sarney – Astonishingly bad. Erithian and the Swede debated whether she looked yummy or not. Whilst personally voting yes on this vital question, I then had second thoughts when I got into my head that she sounded like Nadine Dorres. Plucky performance from Mr Punch.

    Frankie Valli – In one ear and out the other. But big things lay ahead for this old Jersey boy!

    Gals and the routine to Andrew Gold (avec Floyd). Great effort.

    “What’s number one?” Noel asks a vacuous girl.
    “Dunno,” comes the reply. I wonder if she remembered “Baby Jump”. The chart-topper is, of course, delightful classy Deniece.

    Out to “Sir Duke” – An old record of the week of Noel’s, he reminds us smugly.

  247. 248
    Jimmy the Swede on 19 May 2012 #

    For some reason I missed out dear old Barry Biggs in the first show. He doesn’t look in good shape and is struggling with a wee set of steps. Amazingly he’s still with us. Good luck to him.

  248. 249
    Simon/Yes It's Number One on 19 May 2012 #

    Well, loads of details about Contempt are starting to leak out – I might stick them in a blog post of their own in the next couple of days, but they went on to tour with the Kursaal Flyers and had a whole album ready to go but Polydor messed up this single’s distribution and dropped them.

  249. 250
    Mark G on 23 May 2012 #

    Is it really bad to repost stuff from other blogs? Good!

    DYR newbie
    Location: Leeds

    Re: Contempt

    Hi Jacqueline, I’m pretty much an expert on Contempt as I’m the 21 year old daughter of the then-bass player, Nick Pallett (stripey shirt). I can tell you anything you want to know, I’m in the process of writing a pretty detailed Wikipedia article about them. There’s been a sudden revival of interest since their TOTP appearance (not saying that’s a good thing – most of the interest is just a kind of bemused distaste!).
    Don’t be surprised that they passed you by – my mum was also 16 at the time and didn’t remember a thing about them! (They’re married now and she still refused to believe he was telling the truth about his performance until she’d seen it with her own eyes!)
    Basically they were invited onto TOTP as an introductory act; their single ‘money is a girl’s best friend’ was due to be released the following Friday morning. If it did well they would have released more singles and an album (which they had already recorded). However, Polydor records didn’t distribute the singles properly and the majority of record shops never stocked it, so people forgot about them and it never charted. The band were back to square one and returned to playing university gigs; meanwhile my dad lent the master tapes of the entire album to the manager, John Scott, who never returned them. One night a few months later my dad and Howard Paul, the front man, came to blows backstage at a gig over (amongst other things) Howard’s repeated boasting about their TOTP appearance.

  250. 251
    Lazarus on 24 May 2012 #

    OK, first in with the Pops review … an unusually restrained – and brunette – J Savile compering:

    First up Honky, one of two Honkys (Honkies?) to chart here, the other lot posting a few minor hits in the early 90s (and no doubt they’re one and the same on Chartstats); a rather unappealing exhortation to “come on up and join the party” from a load of blokes with perms and beards. A distant cousin of the Wild Cherry hit from the previous autumn, but nowhere near as good.

    Babs: same fillum as the other week. Did she have a thing for hirsute chaps do we know, i.e. was there anything going on with Barry G?

    Blue: I still like this, if only because it’s so seldom heard. A bit Gallagher and Lyle-ish really I suppose.

    Trinidad Oil Company: I heard Steve ‘Wrighty’ Wright play this late last year, the first time I’d heard it since it was out (and for all his faults he does find oldies you haven’t heard in yonks, he did the same with ‘Mamy Blue’ by the Pop Tops). And who doesn’t like to see a steel band on TOTP? It’s not as if there’s one on every week.

    Piero Umiliani: Legs and Co with big flowers on their heads – I was reminded inescapably of Peter Gabriel, and that bloke from Flowered Up.

    10 cc: OK song but I think we’ve seen this enough now. Only bit worth seeing again was the girl in the yellow t-shirt, and she was only on for half a second.

    Martyn Ford Orchestra: MF reminded me of Steve Coogan for some reason. Forgettable.

    Marvin Gaye: a short burst of ‘Got to …’ with another stint from the Legs gals in pleasingly skimpy outfits.

    Billy Paul: I really love the original, probably my favourite Wings song … I like what Billy does with the lyrics, and there’s no denying the man could sing, but perhaps too soon after? Nice hat anyway, possibly a fedora.

    Dr Feelgood: not a hit, I know (they only had one, didn’t they?). I wouldn’t have liked it then (in ’77 I’d have been into Abba, Hot Chocolate and the Bee Gees) and it didn’t do a lot for me this time I’m afraid. Great live though, I’m sure.

    Niecey: very nice, but a short stay at #1 – a zeitgeist-denying monster was lying in wait.

  251. 252
    Lazarus on 24 May 2012 #

    Incidentally, JS announced: “yessirree ladies and gentlemen, at number 48, the Martyn Ford Orchestra …” Lowest chart placing ever revealed on TOTP?

  252. 253
    punctum on 25 May 2012 #

    Apart from acts like Contempt who made number zero.

    Dr Feelgood did have more than one hit but radio only ever plays the one because producers are parasitic and lazy.

    And who doesn’t like to see a steel band on TOTP?
    hi dere

  253. 254
    Erithian on 25 May 2012 #

    I think Lazarus meant the lowest chart position to which there was an explicit reference by the presenter, and he may be right!

    Martin Ford reminded me of a cross between Austin Powers and David Guetta, while the singer with the “Music” T-shirt was Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap only a bit hairier. Then again so was The Big Figure from Dr Feelgood – it was a popular look.

  254. 255
    punctum on 25 May 2012 #

    Martyn Ford did the arrangements on Phil Collins’ Hello, I Must Be Going just five years later. If Pioneer of Disco Jimmy Savile said “number 48” then he was like breaking the ruuuuuuules which saaaaaaid that ooo-woo-ooo the Bee Bee Cee could own-ly give chart num-BERS in that there Fun Thirty, since all the posit-i-ons be-LOW were for the In. Dus. Try OWN-LY owzabout that then Graham Archive ten points

  255. 256
    punctum on 25 May 2012 #

    I remember a highly sarcastic Bob Stewart on the Fab 208 chart rundown regarding the Trinidad Oil Company: “So that’s a useful song to remember if you want a record that names all of the months in order and you forget what order they are in.” Right.

  256. 257
    lonepilgrim on 25 May 2012 #

    I found this weeks episode particularly depressing – Jimmy Saville was the best thing on it and even he resorted to an alias. Dr Feelgood got rid of the wrong person when Wilko left. Lee Brilleaux always gives me the impression of a man having a fist fight with himself and drains any sensuality out of the music.

  257. 258
    Lazarus on 25 May 2012 #

    Yes not a great line-up was it (the Feelgoods were lucky to be on at all, considering that the single didn’t chart for another two weeks, and then only at #50, and ‘Lights Out’ was the B-side!). Trouble was that much of the better stuff had either been on the previous week or was going down, but they could have had Peter Gabriel (#14), Fleetwood Mac ‘Don’t Stop’ (#33), Trammps ‘Disco Inferno’ (#37), Boz Scaggs ‘Lido Shuffle’ (#41) or the first hit by the Jam, ‘In the City’ in at #45. And what was the five year old ‘Smoke on the Water’ doing at 22? The Purps are a much-compiled band, but the previous anthology, ’24 Carat Purple’ had come out nearly two years earlier.

  258. 259
    swanstep on 26 May 2012 #

    @Lazarus. I noticed the Jam creeping in there (I love that song – I’d forgotten how early it was!)… In just a few weeks there’ll be the Stranglers and the Pistols near the top of the charts. Incredible really.

  259. 260
    Jimmy the Swede on 26 May 2012 #

    Jimmy “This is the age of the Train” Savile in the umpire’s chair.

    Honky – All the way from Southampton. A bunch of white blokes attempting funk. Fair to middling effort. Jim tells us it is a “definite” number one. Clunk-Click.

    Barbra and Kris – Getting very tactile again. Lovely song, it has to be said. A US number one.

    Jim asks a bloke in a suit to introduce the next act, which he does with a cheesy smile. It’s…

    Blue – Neat piece of pop. They seem like clean-living boys.

    Trinidad Oil Company – How can you possibly not love this, despite the fact that it is absolute rubbish on a Joy Sarney scale? Put your hand down, Marcello!

    Savile dons a syrup and introduces himself as Jim’s twin brother Percy. WTF? He presents…

    Piero Umiliani – The Gals! But what is this? The first shot is Mucky Sue dressed as a bee. The rest are decked out as flowers. Why didn’t they just tell Flick Colby to fuck off over this? Ridiculous.

    10CC – Agree with Lazarus. The only thing of interest here was the girl in the yellow top.

    Martin Ford Orchestra – What in the name of all that’s holy was this? Such a cheesy arrangement. James Last was never this grim. It might have been more acceptable had we not seen the performers and particularly MF, who reminded me of my assine geography teacher.

    From the ridiculous to the sublime…

    Marvin Gaye – “Got to Give it Up” and the Gals return. Simply magnificent. They are not only back in their element after the rubbish with the bee but they produce a routine as good as anything they’ve ever done, as they dance in perfect formation in mouth-watering two-piece blue outfits. GTGIU is (imho) one of the finest record of the entire decade. A phenomenal track, which I well remember buying back in the day. Another US number one and you could see the Gals were loving it. Inevitably, we are only given a taste of it before it is cut short. But this was just fabulous.

    Billy Paul (in the studio) – I’m not so sure about this one. I always found this adapted version of Macca’s pleasant little knock-knock song a little too sanctimonious to ever really like it. And also, Mr Jones had still not caught up with Mr Paul for jumping his old lady. There could be crumbs!

    Doctor Feelgood – Woooahh! Great stuff! Not so much Lights Out but Lights On for me. A lovely surprise.

    “Percy” grabs the same grinning audience member to introduce the number one. I’d like to think that we are all loving both the song and the singer now. But what’s that hiding in the undergrowth? I’m not sure I want to talk about it.

    Jim replaces Percy and says his adieu with his trademark “God Bless”. God Bless you too, Jim. Out to Joe Tex. Three night ago, he was in a disco.

  260. 261
    wichita lineman on 28 May 2012 #

    Calendar Song – worse than Joy Sarney. Quite right, Swede. Honky were stinky. Gals twice, fine. Martyn Ford, very Glen Ponder. Niecey, gorgeous as ever. And then there’s…

    Billy Paul – I remember him toying with Macca’s original, changing the names, and only knowing who “Louis Armstrooooong” was. 35 years later I thought I’d recognise the names but it sounds to me like:

    “Polly Wheel was my twin
    Elijah Mantle, still our friends
    Brother Martin, we can’t forget John
    Bobby Mager
    Louis Armstro-o-ong”

    So I’m presuming that’s MLK and JFK, but otherwise… I thought I’d be hearing names like Angela Davies, but I ain’t got a clue on them. Is it just me? OK, with the magic of the internet I’m now going to try and found who these people are…

    And Dr Feelgood – absolutely terrific. Some energy at last. Lonepilgrim at 257, I’m curious to know what “sensuality” you usually find in Pub Rock. If you’re talking about the song, then I think the bad girl Lee’s singing about in Lights Out makes a good transfer from New Orleans (I think Dr John wrote it, for Jerry Byrne) to the Thames estuary. Canvey and sensuality don’t really fit. Knee tremblers, more like.

  261. 262
    Mark G on 29 May 2012 #

    Curious thing: On the TOTP2 show recently, they censored Jilted John! “Slag” and “Bitch” got ‘erased’, but “Puff” got through.

    I would suggest that they pack that idea in, like, immediately!

  262. 263
    punctum on 29 May 2012 #

    I believe the editing for TOTP has been outsourced and is being done by an outside agency. Which is presumably why they are so bad, other than their being bad in the first place.

  263. 264
    wichita lineman on 29 May 2012 #

    Editing is done by a special BBC dept which I think I mentioned upthread (or in Popular ’76) – I wrote to them, got no reply. But it’s not by BBC4.

  264. 265
    wichita lineman on 29 May 2012 #

    Can anyone name the names in Billy Paul’s Let ‘Em In? I’m guessing it’s Elijah and Malcolm (X, presumably). But it has proved ungoogle-able!

  265. 266
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 29 May 2012 #

    billy paul’s real name is “paul williams” isn’t it — is he singing “paulie weeliams is my twin?”

    and yes elijah muhammad and malcolm x makes sense — tho not so sure “John” would be JFK in this case (Elijah Muhammad kicked Malcolm X out of the Nation of Islam for saying “the chickens have come home to roost: when JFK was assassinated… )

  266. 267
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 29 May 2012 #

    Or just Paulie Bill, maybe?

  267. 268
    Jimmy the Swede on 30 May 2012 #

    “Archbishop Makarios
    Won’t last long
    He’ll soon be joining
    Mao Tse-Tung
    Elvis Presley
    Can’t forget Marc
    They’ll all be getting
    Their wings and har-r-rp”

    Okay. Probably not.

  268. 269
    punctum on 31 May 2012 #

    “Victor the Giraffe,
    Groucho Marx,
    Rahsaan Roland Kirk,
    He struck some sparks,
    Guy the Gorilla,
    Who could forget that?
    Play something cheerful,
    Angelo Mus-CA-A-A-A-AT”

    Coat me get I’ll (anag).

  269. 270
    Mark G on 31 May 2012 #

    I’m sure Eric Burdon sang those very lyrics on “The Twain Shall Meet”

  270. 271
    lonepilgrim on 31 May 2012 #

    TOTP – 15th May 1977

    Tha ‘Kid’ presents

    Suzi Quatro – running out of gas, this just splutters along

    Heatwave – pleasant, if forgettable jazz-funk – why do these live promo clips look like they’ve been lit with a fluorescent tube and a couple of torches?

    Linda Lewis – singing Gilbert & Sullivan – a strangely compelling performance, all the better for being sung live – the TOTP orchestra seem to enjoy playing ‘proper music’ – a gem

    BC Rollers – insipid vocals and lyrics sink a spirited performance

    Carole Bayer Sager – always enjoyed this song – CBS looking cute – curious to know where the backing vocals were coming from

    Joe Tex – Soul Train clip again- still don’t like it that much – a one line joke

    Trammps – great tune; great groove – Legs & Co bump and grind enticingly in gold bikinis

    The Jacksons – uncanny to see Michael looking so…uh… unspoilt – great performance

    followed by The Jam – fucking hell – amazing to see this follow MJ and bros. so much livelier than Suzi and BCR – yet much more open and alert than Dr Feelgood*

    that’s New Wave the Kid tells us – punk swept under the carpet

    Rod Stewart – the same strange effete, coked out video as last time

    Boz Scaggs – Lido Shuffle gets a few seconds over the credits

    I should say that I like Dr Feelgood and saw them live in 77/78 where they put on a great show – I don’t think Lee Brilleaux makes any concessions to TV and comes across as a ball of rage which, while compelling in a live venue is a bit scary up close.
    @261 I think RnB as played by the Stones or the Faces, etc is a lot more sensual than bands like Feelgood, and I prefer that, while still enjoying Dr F.

  271. 272
    iknowwhereiamgoing on 31 May 2012 #

    Thank You for cheering me up Joy Sarnie. The edition of TOTP on which she appeared did not have a lot going for it music wise. This was a wonderful bit of kitch and great fun. The sad thing is that this jolly song is going round and round in my brain. The other sad thing is that I remember this song the first time around. Where have all the years gone. TOTP was always cheesy both in presenters and some of the acts. Thats why it was so great in the the 70’s There was so much variety in music in those days. We miss you TOTP,Pans People, Legs and Co and even Joy Sarnie. Thank goodness for BBC4

  272. 273
    AndyPandy on 31 May 2012 #

    re 271 but were the Jam punk?
    were they even ‘New Wave’? – they’d been playing their 1977 style of music (ie similar to the 1964-66 Who/High Numbers) completely separate from any ‘punk movement’ fort some time by May 1977 and there’s a chance they could have been just as big if there’d never been any punk/new wave movement.
    And by people of my age and younger they’re synonymous with mod and I very much doubt punk.

  273. 274
    lonepilgrim on 1 Jun 2012 #

    @273 – I wasn’t clear. I wasn’t aiming to argue whether The Jam were punk/new wave/mod – I was attempting to comment on how punk hasn’t even featured on 76/77 TOTP before the show presented us with ‘New Wave’ as a safer (very BBC) alternative.

  274. 275
    Mark G on 1 Jun 2012 #

    “Punk” was a very broad church at the time.

    Costello, Cooper-Clarke, Police, Clash, Pistols, Hotrods, PimkFairies, Motorhead, Xrayspex, Modern Lovers, etc

    One by one, they either moved beyond, or got redefined..

  275. 276
    glue_factory on 1 Jun 2012 #

    Having only just caught up with the previous week’s extended edition, I’m surprised no-one has mentioned Simon May and We’ll Gather Lilacs In The Spring. We’ll have to wait for the mid-80s and New Order before we hear such off-key singing again.

    Mind you, with the arrival of the Feelgoods and the Jam, perhaps we can start to leave the MOR novelty pop behind.

  276. 277
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 1 Jun 2012 #

    andy, was mod actually a going concern in 1977 as an active subculture? it had been a (very significant) 60s thing, but its figureheads — the who, the faces, the small faces — by the mid-70s had grown away from it, and it had never been especially comfortable with live music as its focus anyway (it had been a music of clubs and records and DJs, and somewhat disowned the who in particular)…

    the revival was round the corner and would transform all this totally, and obviously the jam made play of pop art and union jacks and sharp suits and the word “mod” — but as of the mid-70s it was at least temporarily moribund, no? its energies dispersed in skinhead and soul all-nighters and etc, maybe — but these weren’t the crowds that the jam appealed to

    (as a punk year-zero miitant i didn’t even accept that the clash were punk: the jam certainly weren’t… )

  277. 278
    punctum on 1 Jun 2012 #

    Whether the Jam were punk or mod or polkas, waltzes and scottishes meant fuck all in the context of ’77 TOTP – the point being they were NOT Joy Sandwich or any of the other apnoeic crap being hawked on this programme at the time. They woke people up.

    I dressed like a mod in ’75-77 and have the school photos at home to prove it. But it really wasn’t a going concern at that time.

  278. 279
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Jun 2012 #

    In some aspects an extraordinary show this week. Kid Jensen in the actors studio.

    Suzi Q – Out of leathers and in a frumpy Man City-coloured track suit. She looks weary and in need of an energy drink. Only orange segments at half-time back then.

    Heatwave – Great period piece. Cosmic snatches of cheesy ol’ Tempers! A young lad he was to work with was meanwhile hovering back in the studio green room sipping Pepsi.

    Linda Lewis – A treat! She does “The Moon and I” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Mikado” and it’s delightful, as is she.

    Bay City Rollers – Go away, you numpties!

    Carole Bayer Sager – Like the pilgrim, I always liked this clever little song and Carole bounces along very nicely. The audience seem clueless. I’m so sorry.

    Joe Tex – Same footage. It would have added to the fun had the “big fat woman” simply arrived on top of Joe’s head and levelled him.

    The Gals do a fine routine to the Trammps’ “Disco Inferno”, a dancehall great. They are barely dressed in gold bikinis and metal discs. Legs and bums everywhere and Mucky Sue employs her blank distant stare throughout. Not even the flashing lights can spoil this and as usual, the Swede is driven round the friggin’ bend. Not so the tailors dummies standing in the background, who are as animated as the committee in “Free For All”.

    The Jacksons – In retrospect, a sensation as Michael fronts the former Five in the studio. Now recording for Epic, this one goes all the way. And doesn’t he look…well? Excellent pop record.

    The Jam – A ground-breaking moment and how brilliant that they follow Michael. Tend to agree that it is pointless trying to pigeon-hole this. Kid pays due deference by mentioning a phenomenon called New Wave but the audience don’t appear to quite get it. Doesn’t matter. The end of the tunnel has nearly been reached. Just rejoice.

    Rod Stewart at number one – Appears to moon at the camera at one point. Very fitting considering the black arts being brewed up at that point. Is it too late to get the Leveson Inquiry involved in this, do you think?

    Out to Boz Scaggs and “Good Love” from the Kid. A noteworthy episode.

  279. 280
    Mark G on 1 Jun 2012 #

    For all the ‘long show’ fans, the missing one is Van McCoy’s “Shuffle” danced by the girls again. Same as last time. Which will be why it was an easy pick for being ‘dropped’.

  280. 281
    Lazarus on 1 Jun 2012 #

    The other missing one is Tony Etoria’s “I Can Feel It” which was one I recognised, it having been covered by Phil ‘Galaxy’ Fearon in the mid-80s. Nice to see the Kid tapping his feet and making a little drumming motion (or he might have been playing a power chord) to “In the City.” The ‘new ‘wave’ intro was interesting as I don’t remember hearing that term until around the time of “Rat Trap” and “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight.” Good love, Kid!

  281. 282
    wichita lineman on 2 Jun 2012 #

    So when was ‘New Wave’ first coined? I remember Mark S saying it was a McLaren term, which he took from Godard and Truffaut, but I always thought it came from the Phonogram comp with the Dead Boys, Runaways, Television etc. Don’t have a release date on that.

  282. 283
    Erithian on 2 Jun 2012 #

    On holiday at the moment, and would have to dig out my scrapbook to check, but I’m pretty sure Sounds was using the terms “punk” and “new wave” interchangeably even in 1976. Apropos of which a 1976 quote from Barrie Masters of Eddie and the Hot Rods comes to mind: “The Pistols? It’s all a pose. When they play Glasgow they’ll get lynched.”

  283. 284
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 2 Jun 2012 #

    Yes I find it hard to accept that the Godard fans in Phonogram marketing department came up with that particular term! It is filed in my head as a McLaren coinage but I don’t recall what my source was. And if he said it with intent, he said it to the press early and often.

    Phonogram’s New Wave and CBS’s Max’s Kansas City New York New Wave are both 1978. The first may indeed mark its subsequently permanent association with “inauthentic” skinny-tie punk. Whatever happened to Skyhooks and Little Bob Story?

  284. 285
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 2 Jun 2012 #

    This suggests an earlier New York usage given specific 1976 focus by McLaren:

  285. 286
    Simon on 3 Jun 2012 #

    Even though you’d think it comes to a satisfactory end as it is, there’s a full coda to the Joe Tex Vs Big Fat Woman Soul Train routine, including even more pantomiming, some brief audience participation and a complete dereliction of miming duty.

  286. 287
    AndyPandy on 4 Jun 2012 #

    Lord Sukrat @277

    yes you’re obviously quite right that Mod wasn’t a going concern in 1977 but didn’t Paul weller singlehandedly get the revival underway. And IIRC (from the biographies)didn’t the Jam develop completely separately from punk playing the style they became famous for before they were ever pulled into the orbit of punk. Surely their style was straight from the more energetic, amphetamine induced side of the Who circa 1965. And of obviously they didn’t look like the public idea of punks and wasn’t Paul Weller always keen to disassociate himself from punk?

    A bit like the Stranglers in the fact that they’d been playing in the style that made them big before and separate to punk – even down to having a record deal (in the Stranglers case) etc – I don’t know but is it fair to say that both of these groups would have made it without punk? But punk sucked in everything that wasn’t long-haired and sounded like the Eagles….and it became punk (or at least New Wave). But far from what the Sex Pistols etc and their original followers would have thought of as punk surely?

  287. 288
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 4 Jun 2012 #

    Yes: absolutely true to say that several groups on or around the London-ish pub rock circuit already had deals based on high-speed sound and/or high-aggression style — Feelgoods and Blockheads (in early incarnation as Kilburn and the High Roads) the most obvious examples. Counterfactuals are hard, so who knows — tho personally I don’t think any of the counterpunk subcults would have got SO big if McLaren hadn’t ignited those tabloid firestorms. The combo of Weller and Quadrophenia (which came out in 1979 but was trailed by a year’s press on mod and what it meant, inc.memorably marvellous piece in NME by long-time staffer and first-generation mod Penny Reel) was potent, but punk as a mass media event had shaken a lot of people into taking sides and getting stuck into arguments; neo-mod was a great way to be young and angry and aggressive w/o having to “be” punk anti-style stylish.

    Not sure I know what “the sex pistols and their followers thought of as punk” is that easy to pin down, actually: the Pistols themselves were internally unusually inflamed and conflicted (seven incompatibe attiudes within one team!), and if the 100 Club groups sound alike at all, they didn’t stay sounding alike — Clash and Banshees and Subway Sect are a long way apart by 1978 or 79. At the end of England’s Dreaming, Jon Savage laments that it got so big so fast so damagingly: and probably expresses a pretty widespread opinion as he does, as if punk itself had got “sucked into the orbit of punk”.

    But as I say, who knows? The 70s were a very odd time.

  288. 289
    wichita lineman on 5 Jun 2012 #

    If you like Dr Feelgood even a little I really recommend this exhib – in spite of the blurb, it’s very Dr Feelgood heavy, with fan mail, portraits of the group, loads of pre-punk ephemera. It’s in the brutalist soon-to-be-demolished Southend library too.


    Scott King wants to erect a 300ft gold-plated Lee Brillaux statue next to the Kursaal. Here’s the petition:


  289. 290
    wichita lineman on 6 Jun 2012 #

    The origins of ‘New Wave’ pt.26: Going through late ’76 Melody Makers I can’t find any reference to it by Nick Kent or Caroline Coon, at least not in the Sex Pistols or McLaren pieces.

    However, Sniffin’ Glue starts using the term in issue 3 1/2, the 100 Club Punk Rock Fesival edition of Sep 28th 1976. Of possible significance is that Mark P uses it to talk about the movement, not just the music:

    “This ‘new-wave’ has got to take in everything, including posters, record covers, stage presentation, the lot!”

  290. 291
    Mark G on 6 Jun 2012 #

    I can give you the earliest reference to ‘punk’ I found …


  291. 292
    DietMondrian on 6 Jun 2012 #

    For what it’s worth, the online Oxford English Dictionary has its earliest “New Wave” reference as June 1977, in Time Out:

    “1977 Time Out 17 June 9/2 If New Wave means anything at all as a description, it means, says Petty, ‘young bands playing again. For a long time the young bands were just joining the old bands.’”

  292. 293

    The fact that Mark P and Time Out are both attempting to strong-arm the definition to be better relevant to their interests/passions/intentions means that it is (a) a term already out there, reasonably widely spread, and (b) already contestable. Things were moving fast so this may have meant weeks rather even than months, but “the week” is the minimum plausible unit in Brit pop/rock discussion at this time, I think.

  293. 294
    wichita lineman on 6 Jun 2012 #

    Yep, must have already been out there. Mark P also starts putting ‘punk’ in inverted commas in this issue. Not sure why, but in previous issues he’s outed everyone from the Flamin’ Groovies to Todd Rundgren as Punk! Also, he doesn’t get his hair cut short until SG3 (after he saw the Sex Pistols – might have been to get better acquainted with Sue Catwoman).

    Re 292: Thanks – the OED is months out! I better give Suzy Dent a call.

  294. 295
    sükråt tanned rested unlogged and awesome on 6 Jun 2012 #

    ps did Nick Kent write for MM in 76? That’s the year I started reading NME regularly (from August) by which time I’m pretty sure he was at NME.

  295. 296
    wichita lineman on 6 Jun 2012 #

    Yes, sorry, he was at NME.

  296. 297
    sükråt tanned rested unlogged and awesome on 6 Jun 2012 #

    *Clambers back down off ladder in front of vast wallchart of the history of the workings of everything and puts chinagraph pencil back in chipped henry’s cat mug, unused*

  297. 298
    Ed on 9 Jun 2012 #

    #287, #288 OK, so I get Quadrophenia the movie: it came out as The Jam were entering their imperial phase, and the neo-mod wave was at its height. It also had real New Wave characters like Mr Sting in it.

    But Quadrophenia the album, in 1973: what the hell was that about? It feels a bit like one of those post-sixties “let’s slow down a bit” albums like After the Gold Rush or Nashville Skyline, except in an English suburban rather than American rural setting. But who was the audience? Ageing mods: former faces now stuck at home with the kids? Kids learning about the glory days that they had been too young to see for themselves? Or did it still feel contemporary? And, one of the songs is about “the punk”!

    Whatever, Townsend’s attempt to create his own revival was brilliant. Why haven’t more bands tried it? A Duran Duran concept album about the birth of the New Romantics (”Blitz!”, they could have called it, or “Strange!”). Or a Pearl Jam song cycle about Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley.

    Revivals seem pretty hard to force, though. I am still haunted by a sad classified ad that used to appear in MM and the NME, I am sure into the 1990s, saying “Rude Girl: the new look for 1988!” or whatever the year might be. I had visions of a vast warehouse, possibly a disused aircraft hangar in Lincolnshire, full of black and white polyester miniskirts that had been there since 1981 and would now never be disturbed.

  298. 299
    lonepilgrim on 9 Jun 2012 #

    For some reason a “Duran Duran concept album about the birth of the New Romantics” makes me think of ‘Springtime for Hitler’

  299. 300
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Jun 2012 #

    A Duranies concept album would never have been as big a hit.

  300. 301
    Mark G on 11 Jun 2012 #

    #298 Quadrophenia was one of those albums (“Thick as a Brick” was the other) where the packaging, specifically the photobook, was way more important to me than the music.

    I did finally give Q a listen this year, and it’s fine stuff. Never did bother with TAAB.

  301. 302
    lonepilgrim on 15 Jun 2012 #

    TOTP 26/05/77

    DLT introduces a (mostly) deeply drippy episode

    Ramones at 22!

    Blue – pleasant, unassuming, forgetable

    ONJ – a pleasant tune, but Sam invites rhymes like jam, spam, pram – never mind Olive, rease is just around the corner

    Liverpool Express – sounds like a George Harrison tune

    DLT interacts ‘humorously’ with the band

    Legs & Co dance in their shirts to Bryan Ferry – not their best

    Stranglers – torn between the desire to conform or rebel – honky-tonk piano, half-hearted miming – I remember being quite impressed at the time that a band I’d seen live were on the show

    Marie Myriam – Euro winner – zzz

    ELO – this sounds like Jeff Lynne

    more DLT ‘humour’

    Brendan – perky, sounds like a Eurovision entry – dreadful

    Rod – same video as before; bland

    Liverpool team – punkish guitars and terrace chanting

  302. 303
    wichita lineman on 15 Jun 2012 #

    Again, started like a Reliant Robin, picked up over the 30 mins.

    Blue – they convinced me to take my soul to town and set my spirit free. I’m beginning to regret it. Wasn’t one of this lot in Glasgow’s melancholy beat heroes the Poets?

    Lovely Livvy – “Spam, Spam, you know where I am and my mouth is open wide… you need a shoulder of ham”. Actually I’m very fond of this. Written by Hank Marvin and Don Black apparently. Ever heard her 1966 single Til You Say You’ll Be Mine? It’s storming!

    Liverpool Express – Their last appearance. Somewhere between Number 9 Dream and Give Me Love Give Me Peace On Earth. Billy Kinsley of the Merseybeats on vocals. Lots of minor 60s acts taking advantage of the mid 70s lull before the New Wave music took over.

    Legs & Co – dreadful lighting for the second week running. Quite possible they weren’t wearing any knickers hence the blackout (steady, Swede). Tokyo Joe is pretty good, I must check out Bryan Ferry’s In Your Mind LP.

    Stranglers – first sign of taking the piss out of TOTP miming since the Glam era, with Hugh C playing bass and Jean Jacques B on guitar. Chas & Dave piano lessons its impact, and it pales alongside Dr Feelgood’s Lights Out from 3 weeks back. But they do look pretty bloody scary.

    Marie Myriam – All decked out in shades of brown to remind us that the New Wave Rock hasn’t taken over just yet. Oddly, I heard this song for the first time in years in Portugal over the weekend. It’s much better in French.

    ELO – one of their best singles, great production and melody. I like the way Jeff sings “telly-phone” on the first verse, like it’s a new invention and no one’s sure how to pronounce it yet.

    Brendon – he looks so bored. He’s useless. One of Abba’s worst songs. Weedy clapping. Rubbish.

    Rod – more slow-wiggle arse action from Rod in semi-drag. My memory of this double A-side is that I Don’t Want To Talk About It barely got played, and TOTP seems to be bearing this out.

    Liverpool FC – I’d forgotten this, sounds pretty good from this brief clip. An old Rubettes hit slightly re-modelled. CHART STAT FEVER – this went straight in at 15, dropped to 16 the week after, then disappeared. It could be the first single to go straight into the Top 20, then drop second week.

    While we’re at it, the Rock Follies girls went straight in at 13 and didn’t merit a slot on the show. Could it be because the programme was on ITV?

  303. 304
    swanstep on 15 Jun 2012 #

    @wichita. ‘Gimme Some’ is an Abba song?

  304. 305
    punctum on 15 Jun 2012 #

    He did “Rock Me.” If you can’t recall it, it’s one that Bjorn and Benny sing lead on.

    I agree with whoever said it on Twitter that if you watched these shows and didn’t know any better you’d think Liverpool Express were the biggest group of their era.

  305. 306
    punctum on 15 Jun 2012 #

    Speaking of forgotten Abba songs, here’s their recently unearthed (and hitherto thought lost) 1974 TOTP performance of the flop “So Long”:


  306. 307
    glue_factory on 15 Jun 2012 #

    @305, with Paul Nicholas a chart-dominating solo artiste.

  307. 308
    DietMondrian on 15 Jun 2012 #

    Hints of All The Young Dudes and McCartney/Wings’ My Love in that ELO track, to my ears.

  308. 309
    Lazarus on 15 Jun 2012 #

    Did anyone spot “Shalimar” at number 30? There are two fellas and a girl, although from that pic it’s not obvious whether they’re the early-80s line-up. No mention yet of Frankie Miller, who I assume featured only on the long programme. Something of a bit-part player (at least south of the border) – I imagine the usual comparisons are made with Alex Harvey and, especially, Rod – but on this evidence he was more of a Scottish Bob Seger. Good stuff.

  309. 310
    punctum on 15 Jun 2012 #

    Our Frankie scored a big Scotland-only number one in 1992 with “Caledonia.”

  310. 311
    Mark G on 16 Jun 2012 #

    I just twigged about why DrFeelg played the b-side on their recent appearance, the a-side was a ‘wilko’ song so I guess the b-side being more contemporaneous in it’s line-up suited the band more.

    Actually, I was disappointed: the black suits were gone and so was Wilko.

    I was craning to see if JJ Burnell was wearing the famous “ford” logo typefaced style “fuck” t-shirt, but I think it said “trotsky”

  311. 312
    hardtogethits on 16 Jun 2012 #

    Wow, wichita, 303, that is my kind of test.

    Q: Was “We Can Do It” the first single to go straight into the Top 20, then drop second week?

    A: No…but possibly the second, after “Let It Be” by the Beatles in 1970, which entered at 2, fell to 3 and continued to fall.

    Two weasel clauses:

    Because of the small chart size from 1952-60 (when there DEFINITELY were records which entered the top 20 and fell), and the lack of authority held by any one of 4(+?) competing charts between 1960 and 1969, I have only considered records from 1969 to 1977.

    I will have overlooked any records which entered the Top 20, fell and then rose again to a new peak position. I don’t know if this occurred at all between 1969 and 1977 (as an example of what I mean, 5 years LATER, “Let’s Get It Up” by ACDC began 14-22-13)

  312. 313
    Jimmy the Swede on 16 Jun 2012 #

    DLT in assine form.

    The Ramones at 22, 2 spots in front of The Muppets.

    Blue (again) – Very good indeed but they’re looking far too smug now.

    Olivia – “Delicious young lady” dribbles the Hairy Cornflake, seconded by an uncomfortably-sitting Swede. She looks slightly stoned to me, mind, and as the Lineman points out, “Sam” needs a shoulder of ham. It’s a year before Neutron Bomb is storming it. Hard to believe she had already done Eurovision for us.

    Liverpool Express – Another favoured houseband return. Why? This is bloody dreary and going nowhere. Travis then strolls up and mocks the group for Liverpool having lost the Cup Final to Man Utd the previous Saturday. In conversation with Erithian in another place, we concluded that this show must have been recorded on the very night that Liverpool won the European Cup and were wondering whether the group got to see the game…perhaps…in the company of…

    The Gals! – And it’s a disppointing routine to Ferry’s “Tokyo Joe”. Disappointing because we can hardly see them. Wichita’s “no-knickers” theory could be right. The only highlight (itself a misnomer) is when Mucky Sue does a right angle turn to camera and creeps up on us just as she is cut off and we are greeted by a crass ethnic line by DLT. Blinding record.

    Stranglers – Brilliant but yes, they look unsure as to whether to take the piss or try to sell the record. In the end we have apples and oranges when we should have had peaches.

    Marie Myriam – Much, much better in French and Marie is a big healthy girl. Very nice. The unseen Ladybirds seem to be going beserk.

    ELO – Isn’t it strange? I absoulutely loved “Rockaria” but can’t stand this thing. I think it’s the purr of the telephone which annoys me.

    Brendon – Back again, unfortunately. God, this is grim. They try to get the audience involved with hand claps. They largely fail. Wonder why? Bye bye!

    Rod – Same old…

    Okay, back to DLT, who does a bit to camera congratulating Liverpool on winning the European Cup, beginning a wonderful run for English clubs. Judging by the state of him, I’m guessing that Travis recorded this much later that night after the Liverpool Express boys had poured beer all over the pillock in the green room. He introduces a record by the Liverpool players which had charted. This fades into the exit.

    We missed Frankie Miller and perhaps more surprisingly, Kenny Rogers singing a future number one. The Beeb picked a fine time to leave that one out!

  313. 314
    Mutley on 16 Jun 2012 #

    Some support for DLT from Aung San Suu Kyi, who according to today’s Daily Telegraph is meeting him as part of her visit to Britain next week. She tuned in to his weekly BBC World Service pop programme A Jolly Good Show during her first period of confinement between 1989 and 1995. According to the Telegraph the meeting could be more a tribute to the World Service than to the Hairy Cornflake.

  314. 315
    Waldo on 16 Jun 2012 #

    I too have heard of this. It’s one of these oddities, like the much-missed Saddam Hussain’s fondness for Quality Street. And isn’t Robert Mugabe a big fan of Hall and Oates?

  315. 316
    Mutley on 16 Jun 2012 #

    And Osama Bin Laden was an Arsenal fan?

  316. 317
    Waldo on 16 Jun 2012 #

    It’s absolutely true, Mutley! When he was a student over here, Ossie used to indeed take himself off to Highbury. Brilliant, isn’t it? And this is coming from a Chelsea man.

  317. 318
    Simon on 16 Jun 2012 #

    That whole story was a triumph of BBC spin. Aung brought up his show in a Radio Times interview in a general complaint that the kind of show offering an entertainment and social attachment to the outside world that brought her succour in her confinement (“the listeners would write in and I had a chance to hear other people’s words”) had been swept aside by the World Service in favour of rolling news and current affairs. So the BBC presented it is “wack wack oops lol” instead. Also, there’s a theory she got the wrong show.

  318. 319
    Waldo on 16 Jun 2012 #

    Ah, okay, so I guess Aung will be meeting Bob Holness now?

    Oh, wait…

  319. 320
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 16 Jun 2012 #

    Benazir Bhutto ran* the Mott the Hoople fan club!

    *No, no she didn’t but she WAS a member.

  320. 321
    Mark G on 16 Jun 2012 #

    yeah, if she had run it, she might have formed The Smiths, or something

  321. 322
    Jimmy the Swede on 20 Jun 2012 #

    Well, well. So Aungie Baby did get to meet the Cornflake after all. It was one of those Stanley/Livingstone moments, forever to be frozen in history…

    Aungie: “Dave Lee Travis, I presume?”

    Cornflake: “I’ve been in forced isolation for years, love! And now they’ve got the cheek to wheel me out and expect me to act as if nothing’s ever fucking ‘appened. I’m not ‘aving it, petal. I’ve fucking suffered, me. And now they want me to stand here and fucking grin like an idiot and ‘ave me picture taken with some old Chinese bird and act as if me fucking house arrest was a fucking illusion! Well, I’m not ‘aving it, sweetheart! My pride’s at stake ‘ere. I’ve fucking suffered, me! I’ve…”

    (Cont’d on P.94)

  322. 323
    lonepilgrim on 21 Jun 2012 #

    TOTP 02/06/77

    Ramones at 29! Stranglers at 27! Pistols at 11!

    but never mind the BBC has a feast of light entertainment, and who better to host than Noel Edmunds

    Elkie Brooks covers a gospel number (done infinitely better by Ruth Brown) that Noel thinks is a new song

    Robin the muppet – naked and full frontal

    Four Seasons – compellingly dull

    Twiggy – sings with all the charisma of a manniquin

    Jesse Green – appears to have got dressed in the dark, forgettable ‘soul’ number

    Marvin Gaye – Legs & Co bump and grind in their swimsuits while the BBC electricians play with their knobs

    Carole Bayer Sagar – same performance as last time, still enjoyable

    Strawbs – smug attempt at social commentary gone sour

    Noel interviews the Allessi Bros – impeccably coiffed – the bland leading the bland

    Rod – same lazy video

    Genesis over the credits for about 10 seconds

  323. 324
    punctum on 22 Jun 2012 #

    Next week – yes, it’s THAT chart – the programme will not feature the high climber at #2 but does feature Neil Innes belting out “Jubilee.”

    “Light” entertainment as in “starvation diet.”

  324. 325
    Mark G on 22 Jun 2012 #

    So, what does he do with bread then?

  325. 326
    flahr on 22 Jun 2012 #

    “If”, presumably.

  326. 327
    Mark G on 22 Jun 2012 #

    Ah, so it was David Gates that moved in one night to Carole Bayer-Sager’s place. It all fits in now!

  327. 328
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Jun 2012 #

    Noel in the actors’ studio:

    Countdown shows somebody called The Sex Pistols at number 11. I spy strangers!

    Elkie Brooks – Doing Gospel, she’s repenting her sins and reckons she’s saved. Too late. For her as well as the Swede. Gone at last!

    Muppets – Little frog sings sad pointless song, whilst glancing around furtively on a staircase. Just wrong. The Swede’s going back to sinning.

    Four Seasons – Edmonds ungraciously brings out the “Vaseline” joke. But he is right. And this is truly crap so no harm done by Beardie.

    Twiggy – Looking lovely but she’s seriously labouring with “Woman in Love”, unsure in what accent she should be in. It didn’t chart. The Three Degrees were to do it much better and far more successfully a couple of years later.

    Jesse Green – Ever ready for high jinks, Noel has a little bit of fun with Green’s first name before waving the poor numpty on to deliver a seriously bad “Real Thing” style number under a huge Union Jack. It’s for Brenda, innit?

    The Gals – And you would have thought it was the Swede’s birthday, as they do a fresh routine to Marvin’s fabulous “Got To Give It Up”. They are lined up in colour coded one-piece swim suits like the most drinkable of cocktails. Second in line is Her Majesty of Muckiness in royal blue (“we know a bloke who’s obsessed with you…”) and boy does she shake! Bloody lovely! The director obviously recognises that she’s the leader of the gang (she am). There’s far too much darkness to obstruct the glorious view but then Marvin is in a disco standing around, ’cause he was too nervous to realy get down, so you can’t really whinge. And those BBC electricians mentioned by the Pilgrim would have all needed new knobs to twiddle with after that little lot.

    Carol Bayer Sager – Love it. Tremendous. But same film as last time. NB: There’s not a doubt in my mind that not many kids today of the age of that 1977 audience would have the foggiest notion of where Mozambique is.

    Strawbs – Noel leans heavily for this. The mention of the “breakfast show”, of course, is but a happy co-incidence. But I love it. It has shades of Mcguinness Flint and the line “with Susan George for company and plenty of beer” has a distinctly Swede-infused ring to it.

    Edmonds chats with the cheesy old Alessi brothers. It goes quite well, to be fair.

    Rod again, as zero hour approaches.

    Out to Genesis and the wonderful “Match of the Day”. It’s the only way to spend your Saturday. So it is.

    We appear to have mislaid both Hot Chocolate, who are heading for the top with an absolute belter and Heatwave, who were clearly too hot to handle.

    Next week and the game is up. But Mrs Swede and I will be on Court One that day and there’s footy in the evening with or without England.

  328. 329
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Jun 2012 #

    Why not risk a couple of bob on a Rafa Nadal/Samantha Stosur double for Wimbledon? Good value bet, that. Good luck, Popular Pals!

  329. 330
    Mark G on 22 Jun 2012 #

    HC and HW were on the long episode, along with the legs doing Van Mc again

  330. 331
    Mark G on 22 Jun 2012 #

    Marc was saying about next week being the non-appearance of the Pistols’ week, but I’m assuming there’s literally nowt to get excited about on the show

  331. 332
    swanstep on 23 Jun 2012 #

    @swede, 328.
    NB: There’s not a doubt in my mind that not many kids today of the age of that 1977 audience would have the foggiest notion of where Mozambique is.
    Yes, that’s the upside of Mozambique’s newsworthiness in the ’70s. The downside, for me at least was unthinking confusion in the ’90 when Mogadishu and Somalia were much in the news. Shamefully, I never bothered to look up those places on a map and just mentally slotted them in where Mozambique is. It wasn’t until the’00s that I straightened that out and the whole foreign policy story just made basic geographical sense!

  332. 333
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Jun 2012 #

    The Swede’s Wimbledon bet down already as Sam Stosur is dumped out by a very pretty Dutch girl in the second round. Don’t ever listen to me again. I know no-thing!!

  333. 334
    Conrad on 29 Jun 2012 #

    …and there goes the other half of that double header Swede! Sensational stuff from the Czech lad

  334. 335
    Mark G on 29 Jun 2012 #

    Falls to me then:

    Osibisa open show, are relaxed and inoffensive in a good way.
    Electric Light Orchestra: Jeff Lynne was probably the default look for a rock/pop singer at this time. Well scrubbed, song is wrought, and yet.. How many songs were written about pleading the operator to keep trying the number where this is never needed in the UK? Also, for years I thought there was some sideways nod to what their first album got called in the US by accident when he sings “OK, so there’s no answer”. Turns out he actually sings “so no-one’s answering”

    Berni Flint sings his new song about going home and having a bottle of yukky sweet booze to himself. People wrote in to vote for this guy, you know. Pens, paper, stamps, walking to the postbox. Maybe the record shop was too far…

    I liked the Frankie Miller one because of the horn section, which is missing off this performance.

    The Wurzels ramp up the vocal sound affects and clowning. You know, before you could imagine them being the representative of an under-represented part of the general public: Farm workers having entertaining evenings being entertained by (three) of their own. I ref to the “now we’re both in our fifties” from “Combine Harvester”. This time, it’s horrible mugging.

    Is Tony Blackburn being badly edited in this week? “OK, who’s this? Yes you’re right!” in one breath.
    Gladys K does the uptempo song.

    Oh Neil. If this had been a hit, it’d sit next to “Silver Machine” in the alpapeticised list. But this is not quite as embarrasing as the Wurzels, as the audience are having fun waving flags and not really bothered about the song. “Royal Yacht Brittania! No-one would ban ya!” o Ri lly?

    Back to Tone, who really is not listening to anything. “A change of pace now” like Neil’s was a ballad and not just as uptempo as:

    The Stranglers. I’d forgotten how often this song was on the show. Almost unplayed on the radio, but I’m glad it got it’s outing here.

    Demis does Demis, sings about an imaginary island apparently.

    Honky wear flares and got funky in a UK stylu.

    Legs&co do Jacksons again..

    Bob Marley. Never really liked him a great deal, although there’s lots of Reggae I do like. I guess it’s because the big band was bit Count Basie compared to his early stuff. Having sid that, he’s easily the highlight of the show and makes a performance of memorable/historic importance.

    Rod, there he is. And out to ELP who are nearly funky!

    So, this week of the “prevent the Pistols being number one” passes without a physical invisible elephant really. But then again, Pretty Vacant was issued with great haste and the world gets to change in bumps.

  335. 336
    jeff w on 29 Jun 2012 #

    I was searching the web just now looking for more info about Honky (there is some) and stumbled across this:


    A nice ‘visual’ accompaniment to the TOTP reviews in this thread.

  336. 337
    punctum on 29 Jun 2012 #

    Bob Marley on the show, in the studio, and Blackburn thinks he’s Jimmy James or somebody: “A bit of, erm, disco sort of thing.”

    Neil Innes had to do the Rutles just to get the trauma of this out of his mind. Apparently it was the idea of his agent.

  337. 338
    Simon on 29 Jun 2012 #

    Presumably because everybody in the world was tweeting at him last night, Innes remarked this morning “Jubilee song was a dare”. And yet Barlow was serious. Full credit to Neil for working in ‘highfalutin’, in any case.

    Tony physically couldn’t bring himself to say “punk” (or “new wave”, come to that). Paused for ages before plumping for mere ‘rock’.

  338. 339
    punctum on 29 Jun 2012 #

    I tweeted Mr Innes back about that, saying that when I first saw him do this on TOTP I did think “how dare you” but I’m sure that wasn’t his intent.

  339. 340
    lonepilgrim on 29 Jun 2012 #

    TOTP 09/06/77

    TB introduces

    Osibisa – they could do better – this sounds like an outtake from a worthy school production, possibly due to the restrictions of TOTP

    ELO – Tony thinks this is ‘Summery’ but the song still sounds like a soundtrack to depression to me

    Gladys Knight & the Pips – good song, budget vid

    Neil Innes – hideous

    The Stranglers – same performance as last time; the mean it maan

    Demis Roussos – a vision in blue

    Honky – another repeat performance? singer seems overexcited

    The Jacksons – Legs & Co don tasteful outfits for a rather listless routine

    Bob Marley & The Wailers – never mind the Pistols, Bob shows a way out of light entertainment hell

    Rod Stewart – ‘he’s still there’ says Tony reassuringly – move along, nothing to see here; same Rod vid. – GRR

    ELP – over the credits

  340. 341
    Lazarus on 29 Jun 2012 #

    #329 – maybe not, eh?

    Staying at my mum’s and caught this halfway through – and no means of recording the long edition. Gladys and the Pips’ big red headphones and JJ’s bad miming the standouts for me. Had no idea Honky were still in the charts 6 (?) weeks on. Would have liked to see the ELP vid with the lorries, another time perhaps?

  341. 342
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Jul 2012 #

    Timmy Bannockburn in the umpire’s chair:

    Countdown, and there we have the Sex Pistols at number two behind Rod. And we have all demanded a recount ever since. Surely some Cabinet paper will cough the truth about this someday.

    Osibisa – Feel-good record. And the group are enjoying themselves too. Nothing to dislike here.

    ELO – “Okay, so no-one’s answering..” Not suprised really. Cobblers.

    Gladys Knight – Great track but what a bloody odd video, as the Pips groove camply in Jimmy Connors-style shorts in their sitting room as well as in the studio. Just wrong.

    Neil Innes – The Urban Spaceman delivers a truly stomach-churning homage to Brenda. God save the Queen. Er…

    Tony introduces “a bit of rock” in the shape of…

    The Stranglers – And the Jubilee show finally acquires a pulse.

    Demis Roussos – Dennis waddles around warbling about a fictitious Greek island. That figures. A delusional Greek. Look buddy, just default on the debt and go back to the drachma. You know it makes sense. Go compare! Go compare!..

    Honky – I’d love to see what this lot look like now!

    The Gals dance to the Jacksons. A fairly subdued routine to a future number one. The grassy skirts are obviously nice and we capture the Mucky Sue blank stare as always. Hooray! But the camera is too far back and the plants are in the way. Boo!

    Bob Marley and the Wailers – Respectful intro from Tony and there’s very little to say about gold like this. Just enjoy it.

    Number one time! “He’s still there!” beams Blackers. No he bloody well isn’t. Same camp film. I now officially hate this record. We exit to ELP’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”. It seems patently laughable under these circumstances.

  342. 343
    wichita lineman on 2 Jul 2012 #

    ‘The gals’ have been shot from a distance and shrouded in darkness for three or four weeks in a row. The dead hand of Mary Whitehouse? Given that TB couldn’t/wouldn’t use the word “punk”, it doesn’t seem a far-fetched notion. Or am I being paranoid?

  343. 344
    punctum on 3 Jul 2012 #

    Bear in mind that one of the running gags of the 1976 Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show was “Can we say funky?” In 1976.

  344. 345
    punctum on 8 Jul 2012 #

    TPL hits 1977 with the rock equivalent of the 1976 Morecambe And Wise Christmas Show.

    (Incidentally, this week’s post is early because I’ll be busy with health-related issues on Wednesday. Next post probably won’t be up until Wednesday week, so don’t read it all at once because it’ll have to last you ten days.)

  345. 346
    punctum on 11 Jul 2012 #

    Actually I managed to get another TPL post done today: not the kind of album most people think it is.

  346. 347
    Lazarus on 12 Jul 2012 #

    TOTP back tonight – and we have the Foster Brothers. Ring any bells? YT has a track called ‘Make Believing’ a bit of inoffensive soft rock, with some nice guitar licks, which sounds as if it could come from ’77. Perhaps they’ll be the show starters, as many of the flops have been.

  347. 348
    punctum on 12 Jul 2012 #

    Sneak preview of tonight’s performance.

  348. 349
    Jimmy the Swede on 12 Jul 2012 #

    Clearly the Bunny Principle does not apply to TOTP otherwise both Punctum and Lazarus would be for the highjump. And Lazurus, for one, would have to perform his famed party-piece once again.

  349. 350
    enitharmon on 12 Jul 2012 #

    The gentlemen’s outfitters, Lazarus?

  350. 351
    Lazarus on 12 Jul 2012 #

    Er, what – Foster Brothers? They sound like they could be don’t they. I’m recording the long show to watch tomorrow – it’s got “Me and the Elephant” by Gene Cotton, one that was edited out from the primetime transmission, along with Andy Gibb and ELP.

  351. 352
    Jimmy the Swede on 13 Jul 2012 #

    On comes Kid Jensen in a sad split cardy to introduce our “weekly shot of rhythm and rock”. Hm…

    Countdown. And Callaghan has removed Rod from the top, having accomplished his task. Who’s there now, I wonder?

    John Miles and Band – Don’t recall this in the slightest. But hey, what’s this? It’s not at all bad, argues the Swede. The drummer looks suspiciously like the Kevin Curran clone from ELO but I don’t suppose it was. Or was it?

    Oliva NJ – Same footage of the Cambridge-born Kanga toying with the camera with her eyes as only the real lovelies can. How delightful she truly is. Ignore the song.

    Kid introduces Hot Chocolate performing, for me, one of the pop records of the decade. He calls it “Okay, you win” but it doesn’t matter. As I recorded on it’s own thread, I knew this was number one-bound the instant I first heard it back in the day. Wonderful stuff and great personal memories.

    Queen – Freddie reminds us all what a master showman he really was. And there’s room for my old school’s maths teacher to show off too on a snap solo. Fabulous.

    Archie Bell mit Drells – Dressed like God knows what in campy green chalet maid outfits. A suggestive thrusting dance doesn’t improve matters. Strictly one for the disco but the audience gets into the groove so all’s well.

    The Gals – And up pops smily Pauline with…is that young Floyd? No, I’m not sure it is. But he’s clearly a pro dancer and they spin around slowly together to “Gonna Get Next To Me”. What happens next is ludicrous. The other Legs appear, each leading some no-mark lad across the floor. These boys haven’t a Scoobie and the camera wisely concentrates on Pauline and the proper dancer. I furtively search for my Mucky Sue and there she is, landed as she has been with a very lost-looking stringbean beardie. Sue smiles encouragingly at him but he’s a goner. It’s all very innocent, clean and decent and it’s more than enough to banish the looming spectre of Mary Whitehouse, whom both myself and the Lineman had feared. The record’s very plesant too.

    Foster Brothers – Christ, is that John Miles back again? The song’s called “Count Me Out” and it’s a reasonable enough effort from a new act. But. Sorry. Pontins. Prestatyn. Go… They’ve been counted out.

    Little Frog on a staircase – Count him out an’ all!

    Tom Petty and Heartbreakers – Endorsed by the Kid for every good reason.

    Number One time! And Jensen declares it “a bit of a surprise, I think”. He’s probably right. We see footage of Kenny semi-perched on a yellow chair growling about the poor bleeder dumped by Lucille and leaving him with four hundred children and a crap in the field etc. This was indeed an odd thing to see at the top of the charts, especially since it had at one point dropped down a space while the Rod/Pistols subterfuge was at it’s peak.

    Out to salutations of “Good Love” from the Kid, who has had a reasonable if rather wooden night and here are the Jacksons, waiting to mount the podium next time. It’s cut just as Michael enters the first chorus.

  352. 353
    lonepilgrim on 13 Jul 2012 #

    Kid J introduces a rather dull episode

    John Miles – singer struggles to get to grips with concept of miming to some anonymous funk-lite

    ONJ – same drippy clip as before

    Hot Chocolate – top tune and a ‘smouldering performance from Errol

    Queen – rather lowkey, each band member seems stuck in their own world

    Archie Bell and the Drells – polished and lively

    Bo Kirkland & Ruth Davis – Legs & Co & friends in a somewhat lacklustre routine

    Foster Bros – another dodgy moustache– dull tune, twitchy singer

    Robin Muppet – zzzz

    Tom Petty – he was lumped in with New Wave for a while, now he sounds like Elvis Costello with a higher voice, blonder hair and less attitude

    Kenny Rogers – dreary

    Jacksons – a few seconds

  353. 354
    Lazarus on 13 Jul 2012 #

    Finally, after a modest Friday night’s socialising, I get round to watching the Long Show.

    John Miles – I wouldn’t have known it was him, to be honest, did he have that moustache the last time he was on? He has quite a screechy voice, this is nothing like “Music.” Busy little song, but quite unmemorable.

    ONJ – unspeakably gorgeous as per usual but quite a dull number. Sam, you know where she am, if you aren’t going to do anything about it now you never will.

    Hot Choc – this is probably my favourite of theirs. Or maybe it’s “Every 1’s a Winner.” Good stuff, but I doubt if Errol still wears that shirt. Who can name another member of the band? That guy with the grey hair and beard is the only other one I’d recognise.

    Andy Gibb – I don’t remember this from the time, but it was thrown onto the back of “An Everlasting Love” which was one of the first half-dozen singles I bought. I got a lot of stick at school for liking pop and disco when everyone else was into punk or prog – I didn’t much care then, and I care less now. This is summery and fluffy and rather lovely. 4 weeks at #1 in the US, barely scraped the Top 30 here. But Debby Boone fared even worse.

    ELP – I’ve seen this before, I rather like it. They look cold. Odd clip to be playing in June (as was). No knives in evidence.

    Gene Cotton – a song about being remembered by none of the animals (except the elephant) at the zoo. Earnest singer-songwriter stuff. But songs about zoos never do well here do they? Tom Paxton’s “Goin’ to the Zoo” wasn’t a hit either. The Commodores had one, but I think that
    was about a Human Zoo, which no doubt was something else altogether.

    Queen – must be their own film, no audience in shot. They never actually went on TOTP did they?

    Archie Bell & the Drells – Tight green suits, forgettable song.

    Legs/Bo/Ruth – if that’s not Floyd, it looks a lot like him. Where did they find the other numpties?

    Foster Bros – “we’ll hear a lot more from them” predicts Kid.

    Kermit’s nephew – next!

    Tom Petty – did the start of this remind anyone else of “2-4-6-8 Motorway?” Same stomping tempo.

    New number one (finally!) but it’s only Kenny and his ‘loose eel.’

    The next chart topper in waiting. Good love, Kid!

  354. 355
    Mark G on 13 Jul 2012 #

    Yeah, they went on totp! “Seven seas of rye” for a kickoff…

    I bought that TomPetty one, he sounds slightly like TVerlaine on it.

  355. 356
    Lazarus on 14 Jul 2012 #

    Yeah and they did ‘Killer Queen’ as well I think, but not much afterwards. For one thing the record company wanted to push the videos – that’s why they were made, after all – and secondly the band themselves were pretty much tax exiles. You could say much the same about Bowie of course, whose 1972 ‘Starman’ clip is shown so often precisely because it’s one of his few appearances.

  356. 357
    Lazarus on 14 Jul 2012 #

    It may have been mentioned here before, but there’s an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ where Homer takes to busking, and he performs ‘Tighten Up’ – complete with its spoken intro – “hi, we’re Archie Bell and the Drells, from Houston, Texas.”

  357. 358
    wichita lineman on 15 Jul 2012 #

    Re 357: It’s better than that. Homer says “Hi everybody! I’m Archie Bell and the Drells…” cos that’s what the record sounds like. It was years before I thought he was must be saying “I’m Archie Bell OF the Drells”.

    Re TOTP:

    John Miles – thought this sounded tremendous. Great vocal. Liked the ‘tache. Unlike most people here I remember it well, but didn’t like it much at the time.

    ONJ – luvverly, but why the hell did they repeat it when we lost…

    Andy Gibb – super soft, very nice. Odd he was never a real star in the UK. Three or four no.1s in the US.

    … and Gene Cotton – I’d never use the expression ‘man up’ but holy crap Gene, you’re pushing me… this was another Terry Wogan regular.

    Queen – why can’t I get Queen? They look so fucking BORED for a start. Just clocking in to do Freddie’s really quite charming Macca/10CC (as noted by Marcello) knock off.

    Gals – still not enough close ups for me, Swede! Rosie looks like she’s having a ball. All the non-pro dancers looked like the useless boyfriends from Rock Follies.

    Foster Bros – really cocky and really nervous at the same time. Never heard of them. Pretty dull, cliched lyric. The Harry Nilsson look obviously had a ‘moment’ in 77.

    Tom Petty – I can’t work out where he fits in at all. I was hoping this was going to be American Girl, or at least in the same boat, but instead it was super dull Pub Rock.

    Kenny Rogers – oddly quite fond of this. We won’t see it again. I wonder what Lucille looks like? Mucky Sue?

  358. 359
    Mark G on 15 Jul 2012 #

    “You picked a fine time to leave me, Mucky Sue..” yea, it has legs definitely..

    Terry Wogan regular? He even released a cover version of it!

  359. 360
    Jimmy the Swede on 16 Jul 2012 #

    Lucille = Mucky Sue?! You’re stepping on thin ice here, Lineman. My Gal is much better than some old bar room lush. Shame on you, man!

    And Lazarus:

    Mumma’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow,
    Zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow,
    Mumma’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow,
    We can stay all day

    We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo,
    How ’bout you, you, you?
    You can come too, too, too,
    We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo.

  360. 361
    swanstep on 16 Jul 2012 #

    Simon and Garfunkel’s wonderful ‘At the Zoo’ (“antelopes are missionaries, orangutans are skeptical”, etc.) wasn’t a single in the UK but the album it’s from, Bookends, was a massive UK hit: 77 weeks in the charts, 7 of those at #1.

  361. 362
    punctum on 17 Jul 2012 #

    and I wrote about it here.

  362. 363
    Mark G on 17 Jul 2012 #

    weird: that link does not render.

  363. 364
    Simon on 17 Jul 2012 #

    Yes, that was the boy Floyd, and his only dancing with Pauline this week means Bill Cotton must have been in. Floyd was Legs & Co’s token cameoing man for a couple of years before defecting to Hot Gossip.

    I liked Archie Bell’s shout out to Soul Train, as if he considered the Pops audience obviously superior. And the Keith Lemon prototype Foster Brother and his magnificent guitar solo sex faces. John Miles had the worst talkbox technique I’ve ever seen. It slipped out of his mouth halfway through!

  364. 365
    Simon on 17 Jul 2012 #

    Oh, and the programme moves to Wednesdays for a bit due to the Proms from this week. There’s a good few half hour original length shows coming up too.

  365. 367
    Jimmy the Swede on 18 Jul 2012 #

    I came upon an episode of “Tales of the Unexpected” the other day. Many of you will remember these from back in the day. They were half-hour penny dreadfuls, wooden scripts and low budget sets but nevertheless the series was able to attract plenty of Grade A acting talent from here, Canada and the US. The most memorable thing for the Swede was Ron Grainer’s theme tune and the shapely girl dancing in silhouette. I took another look at this through fresh eyes: the dancing technique, the body shape, the hair style… SURELY NOT?!

  366. 368
    swanstep on 18 Jul 2012 #

    @swede, 367. According to this link, the dancer in the titles and credits sequence was one Karen Standley:
    ‘Karen Standley was a 27-year-old secretary and housewife from Berkshire, and took a day off to record the sequence.
    “The moves were my very own,” recalled Karen, who never danced professionally but got the job because her boyfriend at the time worked for Top of the Pops and was contracted to make the titles for Tales of the Unexpected.’

    So a TOTP connection but no Sue.

  367. 369
    Jimmy the Swede on 18 Jul 2012 #

    # 368 – I am greatly obliged by this research, swanstep. Alas I can’t action the link but many thanks anyway. A quick calaculation tells us that Karen is just slightly older than Sue.

  368. 370
    Mark G on 18 Jul 2012 #

    Yeah, a whole bunch of these are currently being repeated on Sky Arts 1

  369. 371
    Jimmy the Swede on 18 Jul 2012 #

    Found the link in another place, swanstep! Thanks again.

  370. 372
    punctum on 18 Jul 2012 #

    TPL update, and it’s one of the key posts in the whole blog: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/slim-whitman-red-river-valley.html

  371. 373
    swanstep on 18 Jul 2012 #

    @swede, Glad you were able to work around my dodgy link. BTW, those Tales of the Unexpected w/ Roald Dahl scared the bejesus out of me as a kid. They seemed enormously subtle and clever too (and led directly to me reading Dahl’s Switch Bitch collection far too young).

  372. 374
    lonepilgrim on 18 Jul 2012 #

    TOTP 23/06/77

    Jimmy Saville hosts a fairly lively show compared to some recent editions

    Dave Edmunds – Nick Lowe on bass; this chugs along gamely
    ‘the one and only’ Tony Etoria – a face made for radio; another Welshman apparently; pleasant groove
    Gary Glitter – reminded me of Benny Hill; disturbing on so many levels
    Carole Bayer Sagar – same clip as previously; still like this song
    Jimmy finds a kindred spirit
    Brotherhood of Man – Abba ‘tribute’ – Oliver’s Army nicked the piano motif you know
    Stranglers – same clip again
    Johnny Nash – unfamiliar tune made compelling by a great voice
    Alessi – bizarre Southern belle outfits on Legs & Co; another lacklustre routine; Alessi sounding a lot like a Jazz-lite Beach Boys
    Paul Nicholas – further evidence that PN had the keys to the TOTP studio and compromising photos of the producer – no other explanation for this piece of crap being on
    Oh look it’s Peter Frampton – Why?
    Jacksons – I’m assuming a Soul Train performance; wildly enthusiastic audience response – and why not?
    T Connection – extended credits sequence of this funky number

  373. 375
    Simon on 18 Jul 2012 #

    The Jacksons clip came from their own CBS series, the second and last season of which had run that January to March. There seemed to be a great disparity between the manaical applause which faded in and out throughout and the number of people we could see applauding.

    Gary Glitter’s band fascinated me – I don’t know if they were a pickup from the house orchestra or what but most of them seemed to be deep into middle age, the grinning, almost bald drummer especially. Whither the Glitter Band?

    That Paul Nicholas song somehow made it to number six on Billboard.

  374. 376
    punctum on 19 Jul 2012 #

    …and was cited in Reservoir Dogs. Bugatti and Musker, the same people who did the music for Neil Innes’ “Silver Jubilee.”

    Is there any piece of music which wasn’t ripped off for “Oliver’s Army”?

  375. 377
    Mark G on 19 Jul 2012 #

    I dunno, but “Angelo” wasn’t one of them, unless citation is forthcoming…

    I was going to do a TOTP list/comment, but this show was a bit so-so: Not exactly awful, but no real highlights to get too excited by.

    I liked Rockpile at the time, and they definitely made DEdmunds ‘solo’ hit into a two-handed vocal performance.

    Was going to compare GazGlit and Benny Hill myself, but the job has been done. so. Would add “another glit song where he looks forward to deflowering a virg, again. To a disco beat.”

    Blimey, that Stranglers song has probably amassed more plays on TOTP than it got on Radio. What was the problem with “Peaches” I wonder? Maybe it was a bit long. Oh yeah, and JJ definitely says “Boogie!! Bollocks” here. They obviously never noticed.

  376. 378
    punctum on 19 Jul 2012 #

    There was a radio version of “Peaches” which had Hugh Cornwell saying “Oh, NO!” and “Well, what a SUMMER!”

    Still, “Stick My Fingers Right Up Your Nose” is coming soon.

  377. 379
    Mark G on 19 Jul 2012 #

    Ah, I got to review that one on a local radio record review programme, along with “Pretty Vacant”. Needless to say, I was the only one who liked it.. “Particularly the part where they pick each other’s noses” (Paul Hollingdale:”Yes, that hadn’t gone un-noticed…”)

  378. 380
    Lazarus on 19 Jul 2012 #

    Shakin’ Stevens took that Gary Glitter number into the Top 20 in 1986, although I imagine he’s been reluctant to perform it in recent years, lest someone make the connection. I suppose the Ladybirds (whoever the hell they were) were responsible for the dire harmonies on the Tony Etoria track? It sounded a lot slicker when done by Phil Fearon.

  379. 381
    Mark G on 19 Jul 2012 #

    ah, The Ladybirds, the long-time backing singrs.

    Did they ever get to sing on their big hit with Benny Hill, actually in the studio? I only remember the film being shown

  380. 382
    Jimmy the Swede on 20 Jul 2012 #

    Jimmy Saville is this week’s daddy, dressed in a red top depicting the nations of the UK. Quite fitting for the current day.

    Dave Edmonds – Welshman who knew the bride. Good opener.

    Tony Etoria – This never really gets going. Tony tries to “prove it”…and doesn’t.

    Across stage from pleasant Tony looms Gadd. His gorilla backing group, including a drummer who could well have been Nosher (instead of Cosy) Powell, bark obsequious chants to try to convince us he’s still the Leader, but no. We now know that Boogie Woogie wasn’t the only thing at the back of his mind, the warped bastard. Just wrong.

    Carol Bayer Sager – As before.

    Jim is joined by another misfit to introduce number one-bound Brotherhood of Man. The “boys” pretend to strum guitars on this bleak, blatant “Fernando” rip off and may God have mercy on our souls.

    Saville, whose behaviour is starting to cause concern, says hi to “Irresistable Dennis”, an oxymoron if there ever was one. They wave across to the now familiar Peaches-less footage of The Stranglers. Great but I still can’t get over the gormless kids looking up at them as if they kill kittens for fun. But Jim approves of the track and then introduces…

    Johnny Nash. A most underrated performer. And how classy this is, even though I’m not familiar with it. A great effort from a guy who made a career out of singing Carribean even though he was an American. One of the evening’s highlights.

    Okay, here come the Gals, dressed as Southern belles with bonnets an’ all and do an accomplished but entirely sexless routine to the positively effite Alessi brothers. No use to the Swede whatsoever. But Alessi are paving the way for an even camper record which was to top the chart in August for four zodiac-obsessed blokes who were clearly in denial.

    Paul Nicholas – Another debenture holder is back with an unacceptably cheery song about having sex in a lift. Now, I was raised 17 floors up a tower block in Stockwell but I never saw anything quite like that. Only mugging victims, glue sniffers, wrist pullers, winos, nutjobs and dealers. What a fucking closeted life I led!

    Blimey, it’s Frampton and it really is. Jim helpfully holds up his latest disc to the camera and charming pleasant Peter announces the number one. It’s…

    The Jacksons – Footage from the States completely ruined by the inane audience with all their carryings-on. Michael Jackson and Gary Glitter in the same show. Fancy!

    Saville has teen girl in headlock (he used to be a wrestler) and wishes us good night and God Bless. Same to you, Jim. We go out to T-Connection with an excellent disco track.

  381. 383
    Mark G on 20 Jul 2012 #

    The chance to hear the lyrics to “heaven->7thFloor”, and it seems the singer is the only one convinced he’s in with a chance, the girl is wanting to be out in “five minutes” or else. Well, he seems happy enough, so lets rescue the poor girl and leave him in there.

    The Jacksons footage made the song remind me of the last Eurovision SC, where a whole bunch of performances were made maxi to mask the weaknesses of the songs themselves. Actually, the record is OK, if a little long in fade, but it’s all about the spins, drops, waves and um, mugging for ott applauses…

  382. 384
    punctum on 22 Jul 2012 #

    TPL gets back to the Shadows.

  383. 385
    Lazarus on 22 Jul 2012 #

    ‘Kid’ just played the Shaky version of ‘A Little Boogie Woogie’ on Smooth and I was wondering if he was going to mention it was originally a hit for GG – unsurprisingly he didn’t.

  384. 386
    punctum on 25 Jul 2012 #

    TPL update: back to the beginning.

  385. 387
    lonepilgrim on 25 Jul 2012 #

    TOTP 30/06/77
    Noel Edmunds hosts a Soul heavy edition, with a pinch of Prog to spice things up
    T-Connection – picking up where last weeks show finished and there are actually people dancing in the studio while the band perform on film
    Noel interrupts to introduce
    Gladys Knight – same bizarre film of G & the Ps prancing in their skivvies around as last time
    John Miles – not sure if this is the same performance as last time but JM (still) struggles to mime to this funk-by-numbers that Noel predicts will get to Number 1
    Jess Green – supper club soul from an uncharismatic performer
    Queen – same dull video as before; self involved musos
    Cliff – looking a bit like Rufus Wainwright and selling a well wrought ballad with a committed performance
    Detroit Emeralds – and the gals are back in the spotlight – simmering in strapless sequinned swimsuits
    ELP – forced to play in the snow poor lads
    Hot Chocolate – Errol stares down the camera in a masterly performance – some interesting instrumentation – from the TOTP orchestra? if so they did a similarly impressive job with Cliff
    Boney M – chugging along over the credits

  386. 388
    wichitalineman on 27 Jul 2012 #

    That was a rather good show. Odd to start with two videos, and PLENTY we’d already seen but…

    T Connection – great crowd shots. Purdey ‘do’s.

    Gladys – kind face. Who’s in the booth? The producer looks like a receding Ron Mael.

    John Miles – different performance. God, I hate it when musicians have a laugh and a chat before miming to a song.

    Jesse Green – slowly ruining the rep he built with Nice & Slow. So dull.

    Queen – nice song. Needs at least a wink to the camera from Fred. Such a joyless looking bunch.

    Cliff – not the performance to sell a great song (which felt about 5 mins long), written I think by Clifford T Ward.

    Gals – Centre stage for Rosie, who keeps giving nervous glances to someone off camera.

    ELP – I realised I haven’t heard this in years, at least not beyond the first 30 seconds. It’s much odder in construction than I remember. The last 20 seconds needs to be sampled.

    Hot Choc – I know what’s odd about this song – the lyrics don’t make any sense. “You’re perfumed letters didn’t say that you’d be leaving any day.” If she’s sending letters surely she’s already left?

    Boney M – again I haven’t heard this for years and it sounds… pretty good. Nice chunky, compressed electro backbeat with those Hot Choc-like eastern strings.

  387. 389
    punctum on 27 Jul 2012 #

    Hot Choc – no, she’s just not TELLING him she’s going. The song’s about deception etc. Russ Ballard you know.

    ELP – folk like me remember it more clearly as the theme tune for BBC1’s Reporting Scotland teatime regional news show.

    Cliff – yes it was Clifford T Ward. One of CR’s best, I reckon, and should have been a far greater hit than #49.

    Boney M – “ma ma ma ma” poker face.

  388. 390
    swanstep on 27 Jul 2012 #

    @389, punctum. Ha, I’d forgotten all about this Boney M song, hence never twigged to Gaga’s sample from it. Thanks.

  389. 391
    Lazarus on 27 Jul 2012 #

    The Cliff song I’d completely forgotten – if I ever knew it. I was trying to work out the style – Baroque, perhaps? Or is that miles out – it reminded me in places of some of the songs on Costello’s ‘Juliet Letters.’ Incidentally someone on Yesitsnumberone reckons it wasn’t written by Ward, but another track on the album was.

    Olympics staring in a few minutes by the way, I thought I’d better let you know as there seems to have been some sort of media black-out! Surely it would have been better to have let the games have some publicity. Similar new songs from Status Quo and the Pet Shop Boys (“You’re a Winner” type titles) but apart from the odd playing of “Gold” , not much support from music radio. I haven’t heard the Olympic Runners once.

  390. 392
    Jimmy the Swede on 28 Jul 2012 #

    Noel hands out the medals.

    T-Connection – Outner last time, opener this. I’d forgotten how good this was. It’s got something of the Temptations about it for me. A vid and the studio kids give it welly. Excellent start.

    Gladys – Same footage. She’s looking pleasing to the eye. The Pips continue their bad shorts day in Australia. Laughable film to lyric co-ordination, the worst since Number Six sang “Danny Boy”.

    John Miles – Last week’s opener pushed again. Miles not such a numpty this time on this new footage. Not bad but it’s not number one bound as Edmonds insists.

    Jesse Green – On his jack this time. Very dated and piss-poor, demolishing all the good work of Nice & Slow. Report to Prestatyn, Greeno!

    Queen – Same as before.

    Cliff – Noel loves it but I’m afraid it tries to do too much and ends up failing clumsily. Not a “miss with style”, just a miss.

    GALS – And they’re back, Lino! Praise be! A mouth-watering swimsuited routine to the Detroit Emeralds. Feel the bulge in Swede. Patti’s birthday and a party later, dribbles Edmonds. Oh God, yes please!

    ELP in Canada again. It’s a tad nippy.

    Number one time and Noel crassly insults the Chocs just as Errol is limbering up to deliver a masterclass of pop performance. And punctum’s interpretation on the perfumed letters is spot-on. Lots of dodgy women around troubling our pop stars in ’77. There was Lucille and now we have this bird raising her umpire’s finger at poor old Errol, being the fool he am.

    Out to “Ma Bony”.

  391. 393
    punctum on 29 Jul 2012 #

    TPL update: the album that went to number one the week AFTER the Silver Jubilee, and which pretty much spells out what’s to come: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/the-beatles-beatles-at-hollywood-bowl.html

  392. 394
    enitharmon on 30 Jul 2012 #

    And it was surprisingly gratifying for me to hear the Pistols played in the presence of Her Madge on Friday night. The world did not end.

  393. 395
    Jimmy the Swede on 30 Jul 2012 #

    Actually, it’s hats off to Brenda again. The old gal played a blinder. As she pushed past Bond and piled out of the helicopter, I could almost hear Barry Davies commenting: “Interesting…VERY INTERESTING!!”

  394. 396
    sükråt tanned rested unlogged and awesome on 30 Jul 2012 #

    But boy does she hate the Arctic Monkeys!

  395. 397
    lonepilgrim on 30 Jul 2012 #

    …and who can blame her

  396. 398
    Jimmy the Swede on 30 Jul 2012 #

    …but she was a big fan of Focus back in the day.

  397. 399
    swanstep on 30 Jul 2012 #

    At least down under, the audio for The Arctic Monkeys performance was quite poor. I also wondered why they’d slight their own catalogue by doing a Beatles cover, especially given that we all ‘knew’ Sir Paul was in the house.

    Musical highlight: Going Underground excerpt *really* cut through and felt full of personality. At the moment, it sounded like the greatest song/record ever.

  398. 400
    will on 30 Jul 2012 #

    I punched the air with delight during the NHS tribute, and when Dizzee Rascal did Bonkers.

    Really, it could have been awful. Like many, I was expecting some dismal farrago involving Beefeaters and dancing red telephone boxes.

  399. 401
    enitharmon on 30 Jul 2012 #

    As an Olympics refusenik and veteran cynic I felt I had to look in because I didn’t want to miss the party but I was all set for the usual cultural cringe and stiff upper lips all round. When the first thing heard was a quote from the opening of Baba O’Riley and not Elgar I thought we might be safe. When I saw Mole and Ratty push their boat out in the river sequence I knew we were going to be all right.

    Brilliant stuff. The wealth of tiny details like the bottle of tomato ketchup seen through the train window made it worth watching all over again yesterday afternoon.

    There’s still no decent handball coverage on the iPlayer site though.

    I rather think that Brenda has decided that after 60 years of banality (many of them while her little sister was getting to go to all the best parties) she’s going to have a bit of fun for once before she checks out.

  400. 402
    Ed on 31 Jul 2012 #

    @396 She still hasn’t forgiven Alex Turner for ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’

  401. 403
    Jimmy the Swede on 31 Jul 2012 #

    #401 – “I rather think that Brenda has decided that after 60 years of banality (many of them while her little sister was getting to go to all the best parties) she’s going to have a bit of fun for once before she checks out.”

    How true this is. And by “the best parties”, what we mean is that little sis was getting regularly laid, stoned and pissed with pop stars, actors, villains, sportsmen and others, whilst Brenda got on with being Brenda. The poor old bugger has now finally snapped and I wouldn’t mind betting she pops up next as the new landlady of the Queen Vic:

    Brenda: “Mo Harris. One would be greatly obliged if you would remove your presence from one’s hostelry without further ado, taking with you those items of merchandise which you are blatantly attempting to proffer in exchange for financial consideration on these premises, contrary to the terms of one’s licence, and which one suspects in any case have been appropriated illegally!..”

  402. 404
    punctum on 1 Aug 2012 #

    TPL update: it’s not easy being 1977’s most significant number one album.

  403. 405
    lonepilgrim on 1 Aug 2012 #

    Marcello @404: that is genius

  404. 406
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Aug 2012 #

    #404 – That is indeed a remarkable piece of writing, punctum, from the bottom of the stairs to the top. Very well done.

  405. 407
    lonepilgrim on 1 Aug 2012 #

    TOTP 7/7/77

    Tony B introduces

    The RAH Band – reminiscent of Chicory Tip – Richard Hewson and some mates get to dress up
    ONJ – SPAM
    Smokie – on a reggae tip; still crap
    Brotherhood of Man – dull
    Bob Marley – same clip; still wonderful
    Alessi – Brothers from another planet – I like this
    Barry Biggs – Barry’s been down the Fancy Dress shop again – all he needs now is a memorable tune
    Boney M – a dud routine from Legs & Co
    Andy Gibb – pleasant if unmemorable
    Hot Chocolate – Errol looking cool
    Donna Summer – whisks us off into the future

  406. 408
    Lazarus on 1 Aug 2012 #

    Those RAH Band outfits looked a bit like something you’d get from a ‘special’ shop down Wardour Street (or might have done at the time – so I’m told).

    I actually quite liked the Smokie song, although I’d virtually forgotten it. I’ve always had a soft spot for a bit of cod-reggae (Bill Lovelady, anyone?) and although the slowed down bit in the middle didn’t really gel with the rest of the song I’d still give them a team point for trying something different.

    Alessi – a staple of every G- P- compilation; almost the perfect pop song. Especially like the “doo-wahs.”

    Always a shock to see Bob and the Wailers actually in the TOTP studio, although this was far from their catchiest song, especially so with the knowledge that he had less than four years to live.

    Agree about the Legs routine – five of the girls never got up from their seats and Mucky Sue had exactly the same expression as when she was dressed as a bee.

  407. 409
    Simon on 1 Aug 2012 #

    Marley and two cod-reggae merchants on the Garvey/Culture-anointed 7/7/77. Coincidence? (Yes.)

    Sue must have picked up a nasty habit of short straws. Never mind criminal mastermind, her routine was more pissed aunt in an East End pub.

    Next week’s is the one, though. No spoilers, but not only all but two new songs, but remarkable style clashes and a moment everyone around at the time seems to remember.

  408. 410
    wichita lineman on 1 Aug 2012 #

    Rah Band – full Seditionaries regalia. All I remember is a bloke in a balaclava, but it was rather more than that. Androgyne at the back predicts 1981. Lt Pigeon go electro.

    Livvy – I like this more with each performance. Gorgeous arrangement, unusual gender angle in the lyric (unless it was written for a male singer?), be-a-u-tiful chord change on the “oh… (DROP!), Sam”.

    Smokie – late addition to the ’68 multipart revival, I’d forgotten all about this even though I have it on K Tel’s Disco Fever. Cod reggae a la Macca.

    BoM – second verse same as the first, except only half of it.

    Bob Marley – better without the brass isn’t it? Nice one chord edginess.

    Alessi – someone asked me about an all-time micro-favourite bit of a song the other day and I blanked. I now realise it’s the piano note that comes in after 32 seconds on Oh Lori.

    Barry Biggs – medium wave reception was so bad in 1977 that someone punted this to Noel’s Misheard Lyrics as “Life is a dream in Sidcup.” If they hadn’t, I’d probably have forgotten it existed years ago.

    Gals – Lots of hair swishing, with Rosie at the front again. Poor Sue – were they trying to get her to quit?

    Andy Gibb – I’m probably a bigger Gibb fan than most, but it’s hard to fathom 1) how this couldn’t crack the Top 20 after two TOTPs, or 2) why Andy G wasn’t perceived as a pin up in the UK (as far as I recall). Three number ones in the US, and none came close here.

    Hot Choc – my non-comprehension of the lyric probably says a lot about my relationship skills, darn it. Still, I’d say, not a patch on Emma or Put Your Love In Me (which might have been the follow up, off the top of my head).

    Donna S – never fails – just for starters, those two notes that sound like passing out into some other galaxy between the first chorus and second verse.

  409. 411
    swanstep on 2 Aug 2012 #

    @wichita. I like ONJ’s Sam a lot too. I’ve often wondered whether it influenced Clout’s Substitute (which begins “Sam, you’ve been…..Sam, you’ve been….”) a year or so later. The original recording of *that* by The Righteous Brothers begins ‘Girl, you’ve been…… Girl, you’ve been….” so somehow ‘Sam’ caught on as a presumptive gender-inverter?

    Vaguely relatedly, I’ve whacked a little-heard, Righteous Brothers 1966 album track (‘Stand By’) up on youtube here. (Bill Medley’s 2nd attempt to equal YLTLF, and he does it all this time!)

  410. 412
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Aug 2012 #

    Tony Blackburn at the timetrials:

    Rah Band – Balaclava Man is a total div and that’s all I’ve got to say about this.

    Cambridge Kanga – Can’t miss. Those eyes! God, those eyes!!

    Smokie – Another House act returns with more fluff. And it isn’t good.

    BoM – In studio. Running away to their destiny of number one. Christ knows how!

    Bob Marley – Swede at peace. Music up my strasse and always will be.

    Alessi – This one always greatly disturbed me. Always thought they were girls. 35 years later and I’m still not sure. Just wrong.

    Barry Biggs – Beyond grim. This fat, squeaky no-mark just needs to sod off now. Problem is, not even out of season Prestatyn would take him.

    Boney M – And Mucky Sue pops up as Ma Baker. Look, this is undoubtedly the worst Gals performance of them all. What was Flick doing? And Lazaus is right, Sue is just as pained as when she was a bee. A completely pointless waste of time and the Swede is disgusted.

    Andy Gibb – He’s in the studio. I echo Lineman’s question about why it was Little Andy didn’t score in the idol stakes in his own country, especially since he produced such excellent records as well as more than looking the part. Poor tragic little bastard. The Yanks appreciated him far more than we ever did…or ever could.

    Number one time and the Chocs are fresh in the studio and once more Errol shows us the path. I cannot over-egg what a great pop record I think this is. Errol didn’t write it but by God did he perform it. Magnificent but they again cut it before the Chocs go up in key and into the finish.

    Out to Donna Summer, who feels love. And what the devil is this? Just an insignificant, mind-numbing piece of disco rubbish, which we’ll never hear again. Trust me.

  411. 413
    wichita lineman on 3 Aug 2012 #

    Re 411: Ah! Nice work on the pathetic Pete C sequence, Swan. I’d only heard the Blossoms’ version, also produced by Bill Medley, on which Darlene Love tears the roof off the song. Recorded in ’69 when Bill and her were an item, apparently.

    Another Medley YLTLF rewrite/re-production is Jerry Ganey’s tremendous Just A Fool. I have a very high tolerance for Spector-y Big City Soul but, really, how great are these songs?!

  412. 414
    swanstep on 5 Aug 2012 #

    @wichita. Glad you liked it. I have Stand By on a 2cd Righteous Brothers Anthology set, and it really stood out, so I just assumed it had been a single, indeed some sort of hit, and was quite shocked to find that it was just an album track. Thanks for the Blossoms’ version and the Ganey track.

    One thought about your (and the Swede’s) earlier Andy Gibb query: I checked and Linda Ronstadt never did anything in the UK (singles or album-wise) while she was huuuuge down under and in the US. Could there just be a kind of resistance in the UK to (perceived as) very American soft-rock stuff? What saves you from Styx and Garth Brooks and Faith Hill means La Ronstadt and Gibb never get much traction.

  413. 415
    wichita lineman on 5 Aug 2012 #

    We didn’t have any problem with the Bee Gees though – maybe Andy G got filed alongside Shaun Cassidy (who never had a sniff of a hit here, in spite of the Hardy Boys being on Saturday prime time) and Leif Garrett (who had a one-off disco hit).

    As for Linda R, you may well be right as F Mac and the Eagles’ chart positions were also generally way lower here than the US. La Ronstadt’s ‘new soft’ covers of 50s/60s hits sounded superdull to me as a kid, though the prize for worst Laurel Canyon yawn-along cover goes to James Taylor’s Handy Man. These records got airplay but presumably people bought the albums, not the singles.

  414. 416
    wichita lineman on 5 Aug 2012 #

    Those New Zealand 1977 no.1s in full:

    Lena’s ‘housewives of Valium Court’ digging their heels in early doors, lots of people bought Paul Nicholas’s lift-sex number, and JJ Cale?! Anyone know who Mark Williams was?

    28 Jan Leo Sayer – You Make Me Feel Like Dancing (4 wks)
    27 Feb Engelbert Humperdinck – After the Lovin’ (2 wks)
    6 Mar J.J. Cale – Cocaine (1 wk)
    20 Mar David Soul – Don’t Give Up On Us (6 wks)
    24 Apr Tom Jones – Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow (1 wk)
    8 May Julie Covington – Don’t Cry For Me Argentina (4 wks)
    5 Jun Mark Williams – It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (4 wks)
    3 Jul Pussycat – My Broken Souvenirs (5 wks)
    7 Aug Heatwave – Boogie Nights (7 wks)
    25 Sep Electric Light Orchestra – Telephone Line (6 wks)
    30 Oct Paul Nicholas – Heaven On The 7th Floor (1 wk)
    13 Nov The Floaters – Float On (6 wks)

  415. 417
    punctum on 5 Aug 2012 #

    TPL‘s journey through 1977 continues, with a movie soundtrack I believe every charity shop in Britain is legally obliged to stock.

  416. 418
    swanstep on 5 Aug 2012 #

    Mark Williams was just a local Kiwi guy who had a few hits after first spending a couple of years as a resident singer on a variety TV show, i.e., he sang on in-studio sound-a-like covers of in-the-charts songs. His hit here is a Buddy Holly cover that I think he may have done first on the variety show.

  417. 419
    wichita lineman on 5 Aug 2012 #

    Sort of a Kiwi ‘Waddy, then. Every country had to have one. It was the law.

  418. 420
    Mark G on 7 Aug 2012 #

    Hi, just catching up..

    I remember that Rah band performance, particularly the ‘ungh can’t get my balaclava off in time oh hang on..yes! “THE CRUNCH”…” bit. The front-person went by the name of “Telescope”, and in my days of catdging freebies off radio stations, I did see a “telescope” solo single, forget what it was called but the b-side had some sort of ‘international mission statement from Telescope’ title. Pic sleeve. Didn’t get one. Prob worth nowt.

    *edit* It seems that this band indeed has no Richard Hewson content at all, and the TOTP re-recording was done by these very people. Keyboard bloke Andy Clark may have been on the record, all very shady, they were going to go out on tour “Fleetwood/Stretch” style but mockers were duly installed…

    Also, what’s the prob with the girls on chairs? I’ve had many happy times sat on chairs, etc.

    anyhoo, since getting a tivo box, I’m reasonably safe for grabbing the ‘extended’ versions of the shows in decent quality now, to the point where I need to catch-up my ‘save’ DVD by quite a few. Next weeks show looks promising, aha.

    It certainly looks like no-one’s going to come up with a nice copy of the 6th Aug 1977 show with “Prove It” Television on it. ahhh. Awwwww.

  419. 421
    punctum on 8 Aug 2012 #

    More ’77 TPL, and yes, it’a another 40-track double compilation album As Seen On TV.

  420. 422
    lonepilgrim on 8 Aug 2012 #

    TOTP 14/07/77

    David ‘Kid’ Jensen presents a 1977 Time capsule wearing a bizarre blue jump suit

    The Real Thing – lively, committed start
    the Nerd gives us a chapter & verse intro to
    Rita Coolidge – a strong melody, Moog tootling away in the background, but the song doesn’t go anywhere
    The Saints – wonderful deadpan attitude from all concerned and the drummer looks dapper – top song
    Commodores – the gals take it slow and easy in outfits that would make Tina Turner proud – good song
    Dave Edmunds – fast paced, concise performance and Nick Lowe’s cap sleeve T-shirt lifts this
    Jigsaw – dreadful falsetto – hideously competent satin bomber jacketed band
    Supertramp – not their best, a plaintive album track, cut short; another concert video shot by candle light
    Cilla Black -a vision in peach; torn between belting it out and winking at the camera; deathly
    Sex Pistols – gloriously kick a hole in the fabric of time and space
    Kenny Rogers pops up to introduce
    Hot Chocolate – Errol cool as ever
    ELP see us out over the credits

  421. 423
    Lazarus on 8 Aug 2012 #

    The falsetto of the Jigsaw singer put me in mind of the Stylistics for some reason. Not a patch on the glorious ‘Sky High’ of nearly two years earlier. Were the Pistols actually in the Pops studio? I didn’t see any audience members (was hoping to spot a bit of speculative pogo-ing) and we didn’t get the cutaway from band to presenter. I generally find it a bit boring when the Legs get a slow song, but compared to later horrors ‘Easy’ is almost mid-paced. And Rita C appeared to be sitting on a rotary clothes line at one point.

  422. 424
    lonepilgrim on 8 Aug 2012 #

    the Pistols weren’t in the studio – can’t imagine the BBC allowing that – it was a promo film produced by/for Virgin according to Jon Savage in England’s Dreaming IIRC.

  423. 425
    Simon on 8 Aug 2012 #

    Rita knows how to look after a cactus, doesn’t she?

    Yes, the Pistols was a video, directed by Mike Mansfield three months after LWT had jacked in their Pops rival Supersonic. According to Savage, McLaren didn’t want them to be seen or heard by the masses, so at Virgin’s encouragement they just waited til he was out of the country (trying to get Russ Meyer to write a Pistols film) and shot it then, and when McLaren found out and apoplectically phoned the label Branson lied to him that the tape had gone off to the BBC and couldn’t be recalled. What was with Lydon’s oversized sleeves?

  424. 426
    Mark G on 9 Aug 2012 #

    All the better for its contemporaneous setting, and also that this tape is in better condition than the master used for the Swindle movie and all the other DVD appearances that has roll-lines all over it.

    Still, a part of me wonders if the Saints record is the better one .

    Good episode, anyways.

    Oh yeah, Something I can imagine keeping me awake in those times.. What happened to Jigsaw?

    ahem… Falsetto singing a’la Stylistics, seemingly taking a fairly pleasant if dull song and totally murdering it. Still, they look pleased about it.

  425. 427
    swanstep on 9 Aug 2012 #

    The verses of Cilla Black’s song are quite chilly, Nico-ish…. She could have freaked people out if she’d pushed more in that direction, but the choruses pull things back immediately.

    Liked the Supertramp audition for Almost Famous’s Stillwater. (Album track or not, that song was all over the radio in the ’70s.)

  426. 428
    Erithian on 9 Aug 2012 #

    Interesting thought, Swanstep. Haven’t seen it yet because fo the Olympics, but – we were a couple of years away from Marianne Faithfull’s cover of “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan”, so could Cilla have pulled off a reinvention along those lines?

  427. 429
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Aug 2012 #

    Like Erithian, I too was watching the Olympics but I won’t except that Cilla could possibly have turned in a more deadly performance than soccer mom gun phycho Mary MacGreggor. I shall have to see.

  428. 430
    lonepilgrim on 9 Aug 2012 #

    in another universe: The Velvet Underground and Cilla

    “we’ll have a lorra, lorra heroin”

  429. 431
    Mark G on 9 Aug 2012 #

    “Surround yourself with Sister Ray”

    “I’m Beginning to See Our Graham”

  430. 432
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Aug 2012 #

    The Swede can’t wait to see this now. Something tells me something’s going to happen to me…

  431. 433
    Jimmy the Swede on 10 Aug 2012 #

    Kid Jensen. Not Team GB. Hoser.

    Real Thing – Couldn’t remember this at all. Pleasant.

    Rita Coolidge – Strong ballad but odd footage of another soccer mom cleary intent on mass murder.

    Saints – Brilliant but the track is as threatening as the Saints look not.

    GALS – They’re easy like Sunday morning but I agree with Lazarus, I prefer to see them grooving. And once again the cameraman stays away like a coy maiden aunt and it’s far too dark again. Boo!

    Dave Edmunds and the bride. Nothing wrong with this. Mostly right.

    Jensen asks us “If you’ve been wondering what happened to Jigsaw…” Er, no, actually, Kid. Falsetto toss then ensues. Horrid.

    A gurning simpleton in a Union Jack hat and bad bins is inexplicably placed at Kid’s shoulder amongst some doughy teen gals to introduce Supertramp. Fabulous but the Swede was also surprised to discover that this was a single. Hideously cut.

    Now to Cilla. That f’king Union Jack-hatted loon is again in prominence, linking arms with a clearly reluctant girl. Why? Did he write to Jim’ll Fix It or summit? Was Jim’ll Fix It on then? Reasonable Eurovision-style song, which doesn’t chart. But, yes, Peacy Cilla does indeed look murderous and when she starts to shout, the Swede is scared. As it fades, we see the basket case again and the girl has escaped. A young guy in front turns round and looks at him. He’s thinking what we’re thinking. The poor lad should never have been allowed out. Just wrong.

    Great footage of the Pistols. Cook jettisons a tinny of something and off we go. It’s terrific. But they don’t care.

    Kid has a pre/post-show chat with Kenny Rogers to discuss dates in November. Kenny is a gentleman and happily introduces the Chocs at number one. Same footage, perfumed letters et al and cut before the end but still great.

    Out to ELP and “Good Love” from the Kid.

  432. 434
    punctum on 10 Aug 2012 #

    Kid Jensen’s intro incomprehensible.

    The Real Thing: remind me not to invite Eddie Amos to my next toga party with that Richards Shops off-the-shoulder number. Get the feeling they’d rather be doing “Children Of The Ghetto”?

    Rita Coolidge: great song but note how she almost never looks into the camera. Video probably filmed in her back garden. Wasn’t she going out with Kris “Steady! Steady!” Kristofferson at this point?

    Saints: Blimey, it’s Shaun Ryder! With the voice of Shane MacGowan! Or Jon Anderson gone very wrong. Very smart drummer. Tremendous mathematical rewrite of “Paint It, Black” (N.B.: this is a good thing. Great lost Saints track: “Know Your Product”).

    Teh Gals: OK, so these are the girls dancing together at my second year end-of-term school disco. Was expecting something a bit more adventurous to accompany the “I wanna be HIGH” middle section than routine arm(pit)-raising; a cheerleaders’ pyramid perhaps? Too much to ask, I know.

    Dave Edmunds & Rockpile: Blimey, it’s Joey Ramone! No, wait a minute, it’s Nick Lowe with a Ramones haircut! Man, do I WANT that guitar! Dave meanwhile still has his Love Sculpture haircut but he’s on “our” side and it’s played live so double plus!

    Jigsaw: Oh CHRIST who does he remind me of? Wait…wait…oh yes, Alan Rickman! With a bit of Eric Idle thrown in! Lacklustre Stylistics wannabe-ism which would no doubt have reached a respectable #18 two years earlier. It’s better than “$7,000 And You,” but, frankly, what isn’t?

    Supertramp: That Roger Hodgson, he really wanted to be Jon Anderson, didn’t he? Unfortunately when I hear this song I think of Lois Lane at the gas station in the desert in the first Superman movie.

    Cilla still thinks it’s 1966. Face absolutely covered in mascara; is she auditioning for cloakroom girl at the Blitz club? Hopelessly dated song which hadn’t a chance in hell of being a hit. Blind Date only seven years away.

    Pistols: another blogger wrote that these days they look like a boy band. Well, they do, don’t they? Children playing at being a pop group, and outdoing the adults. Lydon: always a nice quiet Catholic lad underneath it all. Richard III via Peter Sellers. Jones busy inventing Noel Gallagher. Sid already midway to nowhere. “Va-CUNT!” “The boys keep it clean,” eh? A very Number 6 song, this: “There’s no point in asking/You’ll get no reply.” How long is it going to take me to write about the album? About 35 years, I reckon.

    Kenny Rogers just drops in to see what condition the chart’s condition was in. Sad no one thought of having him sing “So You Win Again” and Hot Chocolate doing “Lucille.” 1977 Number One Stars Sing Each Other’s Number Ones – there’s a feature that should have happened.

    “Good night and good love” again! The Kid wouldn’t get away with that now.

    ELP to long fade – to Mary Marquis and Reporting Scotland.

  433. 435
    Mark G on 10 Aug 2012 #

    Yeah, and “Know your Product” was a mathematical rewrite of “Get offa my cloud” also, but hey it’s still great.

    Now I’m here, some more: I’d just about remembered “Love is a wonthing” and once again the single is way better than this version, but then I went “ah” as this is the source of the sample that “I’ve got so much love to give” was based on.

    That Cilla one.. There was this attempt, round about then, of creating a more ‘mature’ song category for ‘older’ married couples to identify with: That ‘seven-year’ itch, the failing marriage, that “we don’t discuss things anymore, let along run through fields barefoot” that was extremely hit and miss. This one is a close cousin of “When two worlds drift apart” but that one still has some life in its bones whereas the Cilla one could never get confused with “someone that I used to know”, the sense left over is more “is there any point in trying again, or shall we sack it now, dear?”

    Was there anyone left depressed after Cilla, that didn’t immediately feel better watching Pretty Vacant? Ans->Postcards..

  434. 436
    punctum on 12 Aug 2012 #

    TPL gets back to rock, in case you wondered where it had been (nods head in agreement).

  435. 437
    swanstep on 13 Aug 2012 #

    The Sound Opinions Podcast is doing a two-part examination of 1977 in music. The first ep. is available here and focuses on UK punk w/ Jon Savage as tourguide. Second ep. (on US punk) appears next week.

  436. 438
    Jimmy the Swede on 14 Aug 2012 #

    #434 – 1977 Number One Stars Sing Each Other’s Number Ones – there’s a feature that should have happened.

    Okay, let’s do it. First up, The Floaters doing “Chanson D’Armour”.

  437. 439
    admin on 14 Aug 2012 #

    Think I might put up a missing popular poll. 68 is next up…

  438. 440
    punctum on 15 Aug 2012 #

    TPL presents the first UK #1 album by a female soloist.

  439. 441
    wichita lineman on 15 Aug 2012 #

    68! 68!

  440. 442
    punctum on 19 Aug 2012 #

    TPL, and somebody just died

  441. 443
    punctum on 20 Aug 2012 #

    What, another TPL post already? Well, some albums I’ve already written about: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/diana-ross-and-supremes-20-golden-greats.html

  442. 444
    punctum on 22 Aug 2012 #

    The fourth TPL update in a week. What do you mean, I’m rushing to get to entry #192 (early and fair warning: entry #192’s going to take some considerable time to put together)?

  443. 445
    Lazarus on 22 Aug 2012 #

    #438 – I’m still trying to get my head round Brotherhood of Man’s “I Feel Love!”

    Pops back on tonight, remember. DLT introducing what looks like quite a familiar line-up, with one interesting exception – a number one star from 1961! Might have to pour myself a Martini.

  444. 446
    wichita lineman on 22 Aug 2012 #

    Ahhh… for a minute I thought Eden Kane might have had a revival in the wake of Robin Sarstedt’s inexplicable success. Actually, I DO remember PETER Sarstedt being all over Radio 1 and/or 2 with a dreadfully earnest thing called Beirut in ’77. But anyway, not him. Or the Highwaymen either. Enough spoilers.

  445. 447
    Lazarus on 22 Aug 2012 #

    I remember ‘Beirut’ from Radio Luxembourg – I think it got into their made-up chart (the one that tried to anticipate the real one(s) by a couple of weeks) – and a few years later I picked up a copy for 10p at Beano’s in Croydon. Despite now being able to listen to 100s of half-remembered songs on the interweb I rather miss being able to do that.

  446. 448
    wichita lineman on 22 Aug 2012 #

    God, how I miss Beano’s. The random but wonderful Oxfam in Crouch End does a good job for very cheap purchases (all 25p). I bought Softly Whispering I Love You by the Congregation there last week. Rather annoyed that it hasn’t, and won’t come up on any of the chart blogs I follow… I still can’t work out if I like it that much.

  447. 449
    lonepilgrim on 22 Aug 2012 #

    TOTP 21/07/77
    Dave Lee Travis hosts

    JOHN MILES – Perhaps if he did Slow Down he could remember to mime all of the words
    DLT is v. excited to explain the absence of the charts at the start
    TAVARES – provide background music for charts
    BAY CITY ROLLERS – attempt at maturity(?) undercut by same costumes and feeble vocals over anonymous ‘funk’
    DLT cut off in his ‘prime’. Was he describing this next song though?
    BROTHERHOOD OF MAN – coming from/to a holiday camp near you
    THE JAM – nice boys; energetic; playing live?
    ALESSI – I still find this beguiling; hints of Beach Boys, Four Seasons and earlier 40s vocal groups
    BARRY BIGGS –mercifully cut from the early showing
    SMOKIE – see above
    FLEETWOOD MAC – band on video, playing live; Stevie bewitching,
    THE RAH BAND – same clip as before; band revive glam and anticipate New Romantics
    DANNY WILLIAMS – leaves me unshaken, not stirred
    QUEEN – same dull clip featuring that guitarist from the Olympics
    DONNA SUMMER –Legs & Co shake their petticoats in a somewhat uninspired routine
    BONEY M – over the credits

  448. 450
    punctum on 22 Aug 2012 #

    #448: you’re not reading my chart blog closely enough.

  449. 451
    Mark G on 23 Aug 2012 #

    Re: Congregation, I never much liked *that* single, but the follow-up, I remember, was more interesting, and seemed the sort of ‘arrangement’ that could produce something spectacular with some actual innovations and so forth. guess it didn’t happen..

    (The follow-up appeared on some TV show I can’t remember)

    Right, back to the wave!

  450. 452
    Jimmy the Swede on 23 Aug 2012 #

    TOTP: The Cornflake is our muse.

    No chart rundown. Instead we get John Miles, just for a change.

    DLT explains to a confused nation that the chart rundown is changing. No more CCS. The rundown is then revealed with Tavares as a backdrop. The Chocs are off the top.

    The Rollers – They try to grow up by attempting soul/funk/lounge lizard. The result is just that, an attempt, but a cigar-cutter is not required for Les and the boys.

    Brotherhood of Man – Positively crawling to the top. I’m with Pilgrim. This lot should have been sent packing to Prestatyn at this point and we would have been spared “Figaro”.

    Travis has bagged a pair of beauties, one of whom is the spit of Pamela Stephenson. It’s the introduction to The Jam, looking like the kiddies they were and preparing for when there isn’t a Labour Government.

    Bunch of Irish Coleens and DLT wave into Alessi. Still girlishly worrying for the Swede. I guess I have to concede that the arrangement is very good, though.

    Fleetwood Mac – Great footage and Stevie is at her fly-bursting best. Back of the net! Far too savagely cut, though.

    Rah Band – Hands up who remembers Bazooka Joe bubble gum and the “comics” you used to get inside the packets? Well, the numbskull on the keyboard reminds me of Mort.

    Danny Williams – Sorry, my huckleberry friend, but you’re far too old to be sipping martinis on speedboats surrounded by lovelies in bikinis. Ain’t happening, son.

    Queen – Great but haven’t we got the point now?

    Donna Summer – Number One and the Gals collide! And Donna wins hands down. It’s a monumental record but Sue and her lieutenants provide yet another Whitehouse-appeasing routine with the usual dimmed lights, clouds, long shots and all sorts of other rubbish, including multiple screens. I’m getting bloody tired of this. The Swede wants our Gals back!

    Boney M out. Indifferent show.

  451. 453
    swanstep on 23 Aug 2012 #

    @swede, 252. Hot Gossip had to happen! At any rate, I guess it’s going to be interesting to see when things liberalize again for Legs&Co (was there a ding dong she’s dead moment for Whitehouse or her influence sometime in 1978 for example?)

  452. 454
    wichita lineman on 24 Aug 2012 #

    More Pop TV in ’77 – anyone remember this?


    It’s out on Network next month.

  453. 455
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Aug 2012 #

    #453 – I think a lot of people hoped that Mary would glove one and not just in 1978. Hot Goss and their loss of heart to a draught excluder notwithstanding, Swede wants his Mucky Sue!

    #454 – I have no memory of this at all, Lineman, but it certainly looks worthy of attention.

  454. 456
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Aug 2012 #

    #454 – Interesting screenplay writers too!

  455. 457
    Simon/Yes It's Number One on 24 Aug 2012 #

    Legs & Co had to come up with a new routine for all four weeks I Feel Love was number one, and a fifth at Christmas. They struggle a bit, it’s fair to say, especially if that was their opening gambit.

    I believe this may be the only show of the year not to open with the rundown, or at least it doesn’t last out the month (the next week hasn’t been seen since original broadcast and the one after was wiped, losing an appearance by Television. Dread to think how Savile introduced them)

  456. 458
    Lazarus on 24 Aug 2012 #

    It does seem incredible that in 1977 there was no video available for the nation’s number one sound – it wasn’t even Donna;s first hit, although she wasn’t quite the megastar she would become in the UK and US in 1978/79. I’ve seen a video clip for IFL many times over the years, though maybe it was made later. What interests me is the next hit – “Down Deep Inside” which Chartstats tell me reached no. 5, although I have no recollection of it whatsoever. Not a ‘Poseidon Adventure’ spin-off was it? That must have been around the same time.

    (I could cheat by way of Youtube of course, but where’s the fun in that?)

  457. 459
    Lazarus on 24 Aug 2012 #

    P.S. the only Pos Ad song I know of is the one by Scary Soccer Mom Mary – “The Morning After” – but maybe there was a soundtrack?

  458. 460
    wichita lineman on 25 Aug 2012 #

    Re 458: It was from the John Barry-soundtracked The Deep and I remember it well from the time, and the sense of slight disappointment. It felt like a corny follow up to Love to Love You Baby (the blatantly rude “deep i-i-inside” lines didn’t chime well with 12-yr old me) rather than an I Feel Love sequel. But then Donna S seemed to put out a single every 6 weeks after I Feel Love, so it didn’t have the feeling of letdown (I’d imagine) you had with Telstar/Globetrotter, Whiter Shade Of Pale/Homburg, and later with Killer/The Space Jungle.

  459. 461
    Erithian on 25 Aug 2012 #

    Beat me to it there Lino – I was going to add it was the theme song to “The Deep” which was a kind-of sequel to “Jaws” in that it was another adaptation of a Peter Benchley novel and also starred Robert Shaw. ISTR the novel was serialised in the Daily Mail around that time and contained the hottest sex scene my adolescent self had yet encountered!

    BTW Lino, I’ve been trying to fix up a meet at the Deres-Leafe match in a fortnight’s time – interested?

  460. 462
    wichita lineman on 25 Aug 2012 #

    Ooh, sounds good E. If I’m around count me in. Where do Erith & Belvedere play these days?

  461. 463
    Erithian on 25 Aug 2012 #

    Groundsharing at Welling United. I emailed Martin at Heavenly the other day.

  462. 464
    swanstep on 26 Aug 2012 #

    @erithian, 461. re: your The Deep novel sex scene experience… It does seem to me that there was a quintessential ‘growing up in the ’70s’ experience where there was some quite racy, often hard R-rated pop culture around whose films the kids in question were often officially too young to see (or just not allowed by their parents to see): Exorcist, Godfather, Jaws, Pelham, Goodbar, etc., yet those same kids could often get hold of the counterpart novels or novelizations *very* easily, and parents would often explicitly allow this reading to occur. But, heh heh, these trashy paperbacks were often far racier than the films. Thus there’s a generation of kids who have the sex scenes from the novels of Godfather, Jaws, The Deep, etc. burned into their memories. I’ve never seen The Deep, nor even thought about the novel since reading it at age ~10, but I know *exactly* the scene you are referring to (and could probably rehearse it close to word for word now I think about it!).

    Maybe every generation has a version of this, but my own sense is that the Hard-R ’70s film and trash paperback culture was pretty exceptional (even things like Saturday Night Fever are quite dark and gritty).

  463. 465
    Lazarus on 26 Aug 2012 #

    If it’s the film I’m thinking of (and I haven’t seen it in a long time) Jacqueline Bisset didn’t act out the sort of scene you’re referring to – I suppose they wanted it to keep its ‘A’ rating. She did look good in a wet T-shirt though.

  464. 466
    Mark G on 29 Aug 2012 #

    The quiet bits of the Bay City Rollers song a bit like the Beautiful South!

  465. 468
    Lazarus on 29 Aug 2012 #

    #467 Ooh I need to set aside time for that – the Pops are back on.

    Noel Edmonds presents.

    Steve Gibbons Band – likeable OHW and refugee from the sixties – a Chuck Berry song, innit? “Gibbon it all he’s got” quips Noel. Ah, the Goodies did that one first.

    Boney M – first time on the show for them I think, they’ve usually been a playout before. Some ‘period’ costume.

    Showaddywaddy – doing an old Marv Johnson number (although only 18 years old then, so like someone doing an early Oasis number today, I suppose). Did the same members always wear the same colours? I haven’t been paying attention.

    Jonathan Richman – the Gals in a Road Runner. Hurrah! They didn’t get Sue to dress up as the cartoon version, and she’s centre stage showing plenty of leg. If the Swede is watching this, he’ll be hyperventilating by now.

    Marley – yeah, we’ve seen it. Always sounded like an album track to me I’m afraid.

    Dana – I don’t know this one at all. She’s in an nice blue off-the-shoulder number, but the song is a bit drippy.

    ELP – still at number 3, despite all the movement around them, as solid as Easter Island heads. Fat-faced pop stars? The Saints singer, Tom from Keane – Greg Lake’s visage is almost a perfect circle.

    Rita Coolidge – “Wirral Loan” Oh dear. Peopel used to love that sort of stuff on the radio, didn’t they? Or did they? In any case, that just says “we’re alone.” Boz Scaggs song, as Noel reminds us.

    Thin Lizzy – this is shaping up to be a good show, it’s their funkiest number of all. Finger-clicking good.

    Donna Summer – the Telstar of its day. Second helping of the Legs, not that we see much of them this time. They just sit and swivel their shoulders a bit.

    Quick plug for his breakfast show and it’s goodnight from Noel. Long fadeout of the Number One follows.

    Aren’t we going to get the Legs girls doing the Pistols at some point? I was hoping that might be this week.

  466. 469
    Mark G on 30 Aug 2012 #

    I think they did a dance to “Something Else”, so that will be quite a while yet.

    Boney M’s first appearance was doing “Daddy Cool”, although on these re-runs you are probably right.

  467. 470
    punctum on 30 Aug 2012 #

    Nope, “Daddy Cool” with the TOTP Orchestra has been on the reruns.

  468. 471
    lonepilgrim on 30 Aug 2012 #

    TOTP 28/07/77

    Noel hosts
    Steve Gibbons Band – competent pub rock played live (?) gets the audience dancing
    Detroit Emeralds – soundtrack the ‘absolutely fascinating’ chart
    Boney M – clip from a German(?) or Dutch pop show, featuring early body-popping and a listless audience
    Showaddywaddy – watered down ‘rock and roll’ – they were a big band
    Jonathan Richman – great tune; rubbish routine from tha gals
    Bob Marley – (over) familiar clip
    Dana – does her best to sell this bland, forgettable tune
    ELP – chilly noodling
    Rita Coolidge – another familiar clip; soporific
    Thin Lizzy – sounding a bit like Van Morrison; great performer
    Donna Summer – audience dancing, Legs & Co still stuck in their car
    & credits

  469. 472
    wichita lineman on 30 Aug 2012 #

    Noel… I’m expecting sniffiness…

    Steve Gibbons – there’s an oil painting of Steve in the museum of lost content in Craven Arms, Shropshire. Possibly painted by Noel given his enthusiasm for Tulane.

    Detroit Emeralds – seems to have been on eight times already

    Boney M – the “Winkel” audience look bored stiff but clap along anyway.

    Showaddywaddy – the original had a lovely, off kilter woodwind intro. Too subtle for the ‘waddy to replicate. So thin.

    Jonathan Richman – phew, that’s better. How remarkable does it now seem that Jonathan Richman was a TOTP regular for a few months? Some excellent hair flicking from “the lovely Rosie” and, yes, we do get to see Sue’s legs for the first time in months.

    Bob Marley – sings “open your eyes” with his eyes shut

    Dana – such a kind face, but this Tony Macaulay offcut had no chance. Noel likes it more than Roadrunner.

    ELP – went down from 2 to 4 last week, but snuck back up to 3 and merited ANOTHER outing. Still sounds great, but that’s classic BBC scrimping and saving for you.

    Rita Coolidge – a very pretty song, and better than Frankie Valli’s contemporary cover. I could live without the sub-Goodbye To Love guitar coda.

    Thin Lizzy – heck, you’re right LP. I’d never thought of that before. They were such a good singles band.

    Donna Summer – feeble slide show and the gals are still stuck in their car, trying to get to the stop’n’shop. What a waste. I hope Flick comes up with something better next week. And the week after.

    Oh bugger, I forgot that next week’s show has been wiped.

  470. 473
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 30 Aug 2012 #

    Craven Arms: proustian madeleine klaxon!

    very much not expecting to be reading those words here today :)

  471. 474
    Mark G on 30 Aug 2012 #

    If I remember, “I Feel Love” was an ongoing problem for TOTP.

    I remember some comment at the time “Is this a view of the future? People in a disco dancing to computerised music with a girl singing minimally over it, while a big wall shows still photographs of the girl singer?”

    I’ll give them 75% for insight there.

  472. 475
    Tommy Mack on 30 Aug 2012 #

    Was Johnathan Richman doing Roadrunner then? I though Egyptian Reggae was his big hit of ’77 (#5 as I recall).

    Was it this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x7D2VUP62I

  473. 476
    Tommy Mack on 30 Aug 2012 #

    Egyptian Reggae was later that year (A Legs and Co routine which some might say lacks subtlety…and a very famous host!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ciH8D82ppQ

  474. 477
    wichita lineman on 30 Aug 2012 #

    Roadrunner got to #11. And there were TOTP appearances for Morning Of Our Lives and New England if my memory isn’t playing tricks on me.

  475. 478
    Erithian on 30 Aug 2012 #

    Ah, good old Jonathan Richman. Playing live the ONLY time I ever darkened the doors of the Hacienda.

    (Such a shame TOTP edited out the immortal “One, two, three, four, five, SIX!”)

  476. 479
    Tommy Mack on 30 Aug 2012 #

    #477 – Yes, New England (live?) on TOTP. Note incongruous wall of Marshall stacks! – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u96COiazRS8

    Apparently (according to my Dad!) Steve Wright made one of his customary sneery comments when TOTP2 used this clip, confirming once and for all what a massive dickbag he is.

  477. 480
    Mark G on 30 Aug 2012 #

    I don’t remember “Morning of out lives” being on. (*edit* just checked, nope)

    Also, when he did “New England”, I went out the next day and bought one. It looks like I was the only one who did!

  478. 481
    Mark G on 30 Aug 2012 #

    Oh, if only it had been this weeks that got wiped, not next weeks!

  479. 482
    Simon/Yes It's Number One on 31 Aug 2012 #

    Legs & Co danced to Somethin’ Else and Silly Thing. For reasons best known to themselves, on both TOTP The True Story (ahem) and The Story Of 1977 the Beeb dubbed Pretty Vacant over the former routine.

  480. 483
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Sep 2012 #

    Noel as circus master

    No countdown again at top of show. Instead, Steve Gibbons. Good rock. I had no idea that they were from UK.

    THEN, the “absolutely fascinating” chart to the backdrop of the Emeralds from Detroit. Er, not really that fascinating really but who the devil are The Floaters at #16?

    Boney M in a German studio. They had no heart at all.

    Tha Waddy – The 50s revival act limps on. God knows why, as they’ve surely hit the ceiling now. Far too many on the payroll and even Romeo can’t be bothered to interject no more. Can’t blame him.

    Ah, now then, now then… The Gals are up for Jonathan Richman with the radio on. They are all chewing like cows but blimey, Mucky Sue is the uber-horny centrepiece with her endless legs flapping all over the place. A dribbling (and yes, hyperventilating) Swede is duly grateful for the bounty.

    Bob M – Yes, the same clip but any criticisms should be reported to me after the morning break, Drake!

    Dana – She looks lovely, good enough to drink seven years after a whole list of unlikely “tings” reminded her of you. But the song is not a winner. Try politics, love!

    WHAT ELP AGAIN??!! WTF? Hasn’t this fallen off the coupon by now? What are we still doing with it? The common man cries “Nuff!”

    Rita Coolidge – Soccer mom foaming for murder victims – young lads who are on the team with her son Scooter. She’s biblically evil, is Rita, despite the flawless barnet and hamsteads.

    Thin Lizzy – Best turn of the evening by a country mile. F’king magnificent! And my last bus went ages ago, as many of you probably know.

    Number one time and The Gals remain in the Richmanmobile. This truly brilliant record has not been treated well. The only sign of Donna are a series of photies flashed on the wall. The show exits to it. It’s a poor effort for such a groundbreaking number one.

  481. 484

    You’ll know The Floaters when you hear their hit, and you will hear it before very long.

    The Waddy are far from finished – this is the third in a run of seven top five singles and they had regular chart action until 1982.

  482. 485
    Mark G on 2 Sep 2012 #

    Yeah, th wads (not wads) had a fair few self-written hits amongst a few cover versions, but when they had a few flop singles of the self-written kind amongst the ‘still big hit’ cover versions, they sacked the writing. UB40 did much the same. And I know I’ve related that before so hey (rocknroll)

  483. 486
    heather on 2 Sep 2012 #

    This week’s is one of the best ever. ELP, Road Runner, Bob, Ma Baker, Rita Coolidge and then one of the best number ones of all time. OF ALL TIME.

  484. 487
    Waldo on 2 Sep 2012 #

    #484 – “You’ll know The Floaters when you hear their hit, and you will hear it before very long.”

    Cheers, Simon. I really must give up on the irony.

  485. 488
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Sep 2012 #

    #484 and 487 – That’s of course from the Swede! Who’s this Waldo bloke?

  486. 489
    punctum on 5 Sep 2012 #

    Last but one TPL entry for 1977.

  487. 490
    lonepilgrim on 5 Sep 2012 #

    #489 that’ a great overview of 1977 Marcello – glad to see you giving a shout out to Before and After Science which for me at the time, along with John Martyn’s One World and Television’s Marquee Moon suggested a Brave New World.

  488. 491
    punctum on 9 Sep 2012 #

    TPL: the last word on 1977.

  489. 492
    punctum on 10 Sep 2012 #

    In actual fact I’m wondering even whether to carry on with TPL. Not just because if I do carry on with it, then I’m likely to be writing about The Script for the third time rather than Dylan or the xx, but also because nobody’s reading it who doesn’t already know it exists. It’s not reaching out any further. People moaning about no decent music writing these days and there it is and nobody wants to read it. Abysmal number of hits it’s getting, and I’m wondering whether the time and effort I’m putting into writing it isn’t a waste and I’d be better off doing something else with my time.

    The pathetic sales figures for the book certainly show that no one wants to pay to read my writing, so maybe it’s not “decent music writing” at all. Or maybe it’s just that there is literally no market for this kind of long-form writing any more; no one is remotely interested.

    I think perhaps if I dumbed down the blog and put in lots of emoticons and marks out of ten and YouTube links and easy tenth-hand opinions it would be more popular; that’s the way it seems to work on the internet these days (not having a go at FT/Popular btw; it’s just a general observation apropos other websites). Or maybe people just find my writing dull, monotonous, rambling and soporific; I really don’t know (don’t all rush to agree now). All I know is that I’m knocking myself out to put this thing together with no response, good or otherwise, and it is getting tiring talking to myself out there. It’s not getting me any work or recognition, and as far as I can see isn’t getting me anywhere.

    Sorry if this is rambling and self-pitying, and yes I did post this on ILM as well but, you know, move on, nothing to see here, etc.

  490. 493
    punctum on 10 Sep 2012 #

    concise translation of above: I need a holiday.

  491. 494
    lonepilgrim on 13 Sep 2012 #

    TOTP 11/08/77

    ‘Kid’ J presents enthusiastically

    Jonathan Richman over the charts
    Showaddywaddy – profoundly irritating
    Steve Gibbons – chalk(?) to the ‘waddy’s cheese
    Barry Biggs – hideous
    The Hot Rods – energetic – singer somehow splitting the difference between Gibbons and ‘waddy
    Rita Coolidge – rather than a repeat of the video Legs & Co stage a sit-in
    Thin Lizzy – repeat performance; pleasant song
    Delegation – dreary supper-club soul
    Fleetwood Mac -good to see this extended top tune performed live on film – check out Marcello’s response to Rumours via the link at Popular ’78
    JLAN Band – apparently Pete Waterman was involved in this – Lively
    Donna Summer – Donna on the big screen while the audience and the gals shake a tale feather
    goodbye & good love from the Kid

  492. 495
    Jimmy the Swede on 14 Sep 2012 #

    Marcello – Allow me to assure you that TPL is an extraordinary body of work and must at some stage be acknowledged as such by a wider public. Whilst it is indeed overbearing (rambling?) in places, dull, monotonous and soporific it certainly is not and never could be to anybody who appreciates quality writing. You are sadly correct in saying that if you “dumbed down” your blog you would get more hits. But this, of course, is why The Sun and The Mirror sell more than The Guardian and The Telegraph. And I get the impression that you would never compromise yourself this way. And I for one hope you never do.

    I too am in a similar boat with my two novels. They are available from Amazon, yet there is a minimum of interest in the wide world. BUT at least they are out there and there is always hope. And I’m always a glass half-full guy (actually when it comes to drink, my glass is usually either just full or just empty!)

    Back to you and Doctor Swede’s sage advice is simply for you to slow down on the project and just drop into it when the fancy takes you, rather than working at it solidly. And yes, take a holiday in the sun, no more writing for a week or two.

  493. 496
    weej on 15 Sep 2012 #

    FWIW I enjoy reading TPL very much but just read each entry in Google Reader – you might want to add your 123 subscribers on there to your page hit count, they won’t show on your stats.

  494. 497
    seekenee on 17 Sep 2012 #

    “decent music writing” it certainly is, MC.

  495. 498
    Jimmy the Swede on 19 Sep 2012 #

    The last TOTP – Better late than never, says the Swede. Although some of you might not agree wtith that.

    These shows are getting very samey. I’m not sure I spotted that back in the day.

    Kid is the third man in the ring.

    Jonathan Richman is the backdrop to the countdown. And why not?

    Waddy – Same. Not good.

    Gibbons – Same. Very good. “More great rock to come” promises Kid but first…

    Fat Baz – This bugger is now as annoying as the Go Compare man. The eternally lovely Sue Barker is urgently needed.

    Rods – “One of the best rhythm and rock records this year” pants Jensen. Probably right.

    Rita Coolidge – Gals. Unexciting routine. Is Flick losing her touch or have the “decency police” got at her once again?

    Lizzy – Same. Bloody wonderful, though.

    Delegation – Same. Not the greatest of period pieces really.

    Mac – An extended treat of a gorgeous but decidedly stoned-looking Stevie. When the rain washes her clean, she’ll know.

    JLAN Band – Was this Waterman? No idea. Not a clue about this at all. Rather irritating for me.

    Donna Summer at number one – The Beeb persist with the still snaps of Donna on the wall as the kids dance. The Gals are there too. But wait.. where is Mucky Sue? Oh, there she is, grooving off-stage with Floyd! They’re in a clinch. Steady on, lad, she’ll eat you alive, you spawny wee bastard! Brilliant landmark record. Kid pops up towards the end to wish us “Good Love”.

  496. 499
    Mark G on 19 Sep 2012 #

    JALN band were acronymical version of their “Just Another Lonely Night” name. Quite probably Waterman promoted, as they were on Magnet records.

    Anyways, be careful how you describe the “last” TOTP, it may well be happening (see 1978 thread for why)

  497. 500
    Jimmy the Swede on 20 Sep 2012 #

    Whatever the truth about the JLAN Band, after that no-mark performance, they should have just followed Berni Flint and RTP (Report(ed) to Prestatyn). Biggsy too!

  498. 501
    lonepilgrim on 20 Sep 2012 #

    TOTP 18/08/77
    DLT hosts
    Stranglers warble sweetly over the credits
    The Dooleys – insipid music barely enlivened by some scantily clad backing singers
    The Floaters – soothingly silly sacharine soul
    Elkie Brooks – another TOTP trustee; undermined I suspect by the studio band’s lacklustre backing
    Mink DeVille – always liked this: a cross between Lou Reed and ? and the Mysterians
    Carly Simon – Legs & Co make up for weeks of hiding in the dark by forgetting to put their tops on. The Cardiac unit is on it’s way to Swede’s house. Oh, good song BTW
    Danny Williams – in the anchor position according to DLT ( at least that’s what I think he said) There was always an unopened bottle of Martini in the kitchen at the parties I went to around this time. This has the same appeal.
    The Rah Band – same clip as before; same unfunny intro from DLT
    Candi Staton – stuck in traffic; great song
    The Jam – live and lively – seem more confident than previous performances
    Brotherhood of Man – people (used to ) complain about the short shelf-life of songs in contemporary charts, but this seems to have been around since 1976. Catchy hook lacking a song.
    Space – only a short burst of this over the credits. as Marcello writes over at TPL, this: “united the future with the past (“Telstar”). Such a melancholy melody, which could have come from Saint-Saens, or Ravel, or (especially) Satie (see Rod Argent’s synthesiser arrangement of “Gymnopedies Number Three,” released as a single late that year, for a useful comparison point), but could equally have come from David Guetta, or Daft Punk, or (especially) Air. “

  499. 502
    Lazarus on 20 Sep 2012 #

    35 years after the event, I’m liveblogging this week’s Pops …

    I missed last week’s, and it looks as if I didn’t miss much, or not much that hadn’t been seen before. Perhaps there’s a good case for just watching every other week.

    Cornflake at the helm. Top 30 accompanied by the Stranglers.

    The Dooleys – they made at least two better records than this, but it’s OK, a busy little number. The girls ooh and aah prettily, and give us a few twirls. The singer has a medallion!

    Floaters – I thought that as this was on VT it would be cut before it got to Larry – thankfully I was wrong. Fun, slick routine, and the song isn’t as slow as I remembered it.

    Elkie – it’s not bad, but it’s no ‘Lilac Wine.’ Towards the end as the camera pans away an attractive girl turns around and smiles straight at the camera. I’d like to think a certain fifty-something lady was watching this evening …

    Mink de Ville – as I was doing Spanish O Level at the time, my sister asked me to translate the spoken passage. Needless to say, I failed lamentably. “It’s Latin American Spanish” I muttered. “It’s all different.”

    Carly Simon/Legs and Co – co-penned by the late Marvin Hamlisch, this may be my favourite Bond theme. Lit in pink and orange, the Gals spin, reach and generally flutter about in skin-tight, flesh-coloured tops – more modest than that sounds, though the Whitehouse brigade would have been twitchy.

    Danny Williams – different performance, no Rosie this time (or was it Gill?) This year’s ‘First Time.’

    Rah Band – seen this a few times now. D’you think they got the tube home in those outfits?

    Candi Staton – pleasant, but I prefer the original with its mighty middle eight. “Even if it takes – forever …”

    The Jam – “a new direction” indeed, and all the more welcome for that.

    Brotherhood of Man – before long it would be a chip shop in Walthamstow, of course. Fortunately this lot would bother us for less than a twelvemonth from this point. It’s not much like ‘Fernando.’ is it?

    Credits roll to about 30 seconds of ‘Magic Fly.’

  500. 503
    wichita lineman on 20 Sep 2012 #

    Stranglers over the credits… Bit odd this hsn’t been in the studio yet as they hammered Go Buddy Go. Something Better Change sounds rather like a proto-pub/punk 1974 single called Gimme Your Money Please by Leather Head, a band from just up the road (Ashtead) from the Stranglers (Guildford). Scroll down here for a listen:


  501. 504
    Simon on 20 Sep 2012 #

    The original broadcast featured an Elvis tribute (he’d died two days earlier) before Angelo, a clip of Loving You taken from the film of the same name. It might be it was cut for time and will show up on the unedited version but I suspect they couldn’t get clearance from the Presley estate, as the proper show couldn’t during that slew of reissues in 2005. Wouldn’t you have loved to hear DLT attempt sombre?

    Heads up, as they say, as the week after next there’s two Pops – not a catchup week, but alongside the Kenny Everett biopic on the 3rd is the 10th November show which features the Captain Kremmen video. The normal Thursday run continues in sequence as usual.

  502. 505
    Mark G on 20 Sep 2012 #

    Is there an unedited version? I see none on the schedule..

    Anyway, seeing as how the great and good have done full listings, I’ll supply some pithy edits:

    Dooleys’ lead singer handles the slopey head stance that got overbludgeoned by Margart Thatchr some years hence, but he’s not to know that is he?

    Yes, saw the girl turn around at the end of “Sunshine / rain”, but just before Damon Gough gets up to do the link, a bloke turns around to face the camera, is it Rob Brydon? hmm…

    Mink Deville sounds *just* enough like a sped-up Lou Reed to make the compilation DVD, alongside the Jam (it’s a different performance isn’t it? We’ll see..)

    There’s a girl in a t-shirt looking for Midge! I don’t think he’ll be in the studio for a few years yet..

    Danny Williams now has two songs he is obliged to sing on his butlins tour now..

    I might put the Rah band on it, was resisting but the fashions *just* qualify.. Oh, it seems DLT has some of them already and wants to sell them. That’s nice.

    Oh yeah, different performance, Weller in Costello-like shades..

    Why did people buy that BOMan record? I dunno.

    So, what are they going to do when “Way Down” gets to number one? Skip it? Fine, I can’t say I care but there’s going to be some complaints, I can see it.

  503. 506
    Simon on 21 Sep 2012 #

    They play it with Legs & Co dancing, as they have already this year to Suspicion and Moody Blue. (And similarly nitpicking, Midge has already been in the studio five times with Slik)

  504. 507
    Mark G on 21 Sep 2012 #

    yes, but as I say, when’s he next in then?

  505. 508
    Simon on 22 Sep 2012 #

    January 1978 with the Rich Kids.

  506. 509
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Sep 2012 #

    The Swede’s two cents:

    Cornflake at the controls.

    Stranglers to countdown. Doesn’t quite fit.

    Doolies – Couldn’t remember there being so many. The girl-bookends look very agreeable. Front man a div. Song drags.

    Floaters – I wonder where this is heading? I wrote a reasoned opinion on this on the record’s own number one thread a long while back. I may cut and paste it here next week if TOTP catches this at the top and doesn’t miss it out. For the time being, just let me say that we have four men in total denial here, especially Charles (Libra) and that Larry has a passing resemblance to another Larry, Larry Holmes, who was less than a year away from beginning a very long, very distinguished, though totally underestimated reign as World Heavyweight Champion. I couldn’t see Mr Holmes as a Floater somehow.

    Elkie Brookes – A remarkable performance of a great song and she’s looking as hot as her red outfit. And yes, smily girl at the end. But it’s more of a grimace to the camera before she turns away and smiles more sweetly before the Cornflake steps in with the next link.

    Mink De Ville – Mucky Sue. Tell me, baby, what are we going to do?… OKAY – THE TRANSLATION OF THE SPOKEN BIT? It’s something like:
    “Hey, Rosita!
    Where are you going with my car?
    Do you know that I love you but you take away everything, Rosita,
    My television, my radio and now you want my car!
    Do not do this but come back home by my side, Rosita!
    So now you know.

    Carly Simon – GALS! And they’re waving feathers and are not wearing tops! Jesus, Lizzie, don’t walk in on me now! God, bang goes another tea towel. My faith in Flick has returned… Back to the record, it’s a top-rated Bond theme but Dame Shirley would always top it for me.

    Danny Williams – Ridiculous old lag, more of an Ovalteeny than a international swinger (like the Swede) hitting the Martinis, surrounded by lovelies on a speedboat in the Riveria. Report To Prestatyn, Willo. I thought I told you once!

    DLT promises “something raucous”. Instead we get the same old RAH Band. We’ve had our fill of this, now. RTP, no-marks!

    Candi Statan – Good effort with this period piece and she’s very yummy. But you’re jaywalking, you airheaded bimbo! And you look like a tom dressed like that in the middle of Manhattan. What are you like? You’d even get pinched in Eastbourne, carrying on like that!

    Jam – Out of left-field, of course. But it’s still not their time quite yet.

    Travis announces “the big number one across the nation”, which is, of course, BOM. Their call-up papers to Prestatyn must have been lost in the post. And now everybody has bought this record. In the name of all that’s holy, WHY?

    Out to “Magic Fly”. I reckon to be in a substantial minority here. I thought this was shite and must have cost about ten bob to make. Telstar it ain’t.

    Passable show this week.

  507. 510
    Lazarus on 27 Sep 2012 #

    A pretty good show tonight I thought: Hot Rods, Thin Lizzy, the Adverts, the Boomtown Rats (first time on the show for them I think) … usually at some point there’s a ‘get up and make tea’ number, but it never came. Everything held the attention, even the curious leopard-skin clad trio Page Three. Last we’ll see of Larry and friends though – like its predecessor, ‘Float On’ held the top spot for a single week. As for the gals, well it was definitely one for the dads again – not figure hugging tops this time, but the shortest of white shorts. And Deniece trilled away prettily on a song I’d long forgotten, but enjoyed all the more because of that.

  508. 511
    lonepilgrim on 28 Sep 2012 #

    TOTP 25/08/77

    Noel hosts, as irritating as ever

    Donna Summer over the charts

    The Rods – still lively – singer doesn’t seem over invested in the material

    Elvis – L&Co pay a fitting tribute to the King – no tops last week, skimpy shorts this week *sigh*

    Boomtown Rats – Geldof and the band give a committed performance -not bad

    Deniece Williams – soothing and sweet

    Thin Lizzy – Phil L sporting a shiner – new(?) live(?) performance – breathes life into a tune that was sounding a bit tired in previous outings

    Space – from the days when it was unusual for instrumentals to do well according to Noel – ethereal

    The Adverts – badges, safety pins, cheap sunglasses, black nail polish

    Page 3 – no leopards were killed in the production of this song – surprisingly good for a piece of exploitation

    Floaters – bobbing along

    Jean Michel Jarre – barely gets his synth warmed up before the credits are over

  509. 512
    wichita lineman on 28 Sep 2012 #

    Great show. ‘Something for everyone’ for once doesn’t mean LCD filler.

    Rods – surprised this isn’t getting more love. Powerpop loner anthem! Very me.

    Gals – was it Gill or Rosie on holiday? Their faces were in semi-darkness this week, somewhat drawing attention to their short shorts. Hard to dance ‘respectfully’ to Way Down, I suppose.

    Boomtown Rats – nice Thatcherite sentiment from Bob G: “Don’t give me charity… you only get in my way with your stupid ideas.” Whoops.

    Deniece – such a kind face, and a lovely Charles Stepney arrangement. Big Radio 2 favourite, this was.

    Lizzy – shiner!

    Space – hello Daft Punk

    Adverts – I’m amazed this got on when I’m pretty sure the word ‘bum’ was still banned on Radio 1. Gary Gilmore’s story was big news.

    Page 3 – someone saw Rock Follies and thought ‘if only they were a bit younger… and in tight leopard skin onesies…’

    Floaters – daftness aside, I like the production on this a lot, especially the dubby ending. Anyone know if the album’s any good?

  510. 513
    Mark G on 28 Sep 2012 #

    I dunno entirely but it has the very long version of FO, instrumental folloed by vocal. ‘Papa was a rolling stone’ it aint.

  511. 514
    Simon on 28 Sep 2012 #

    For the uninitiated, Page Three were three actual Page 3 girls. The main singer (who, like TV Smith, I’m pretty sure was singing live there and then) actually went on to a singer-songwriter career with some sort of connection to Leonard Cohen. I’m sure some sort of comparison and contrasting could be made between them coming straight after Gaye Advert had been on.

    Noel made a point of telling us to listen out for the social commentary in the Rats lyrics, and I don’t think he was being ironic. Very Keynes/Ayn Rand-ian of him.

    Doubtless this has all been covered in the appropriate years, but there’s an extra Pops next week, but not from 1977 – the Kenny Everett theme night-ette on Wednesday now starts with his only surviving hosting gig, from 1973. And it’s been confirmed we continue onwards to 1978.

  512. 515
    Jimmy the Swede on 29 Sep 2012 #

    It’s Noel – And Beardie is about to play a blinder.

    Donna Summer over the countdown – From “The Deep”, classy and sexy.

    Rods – Very me too, Lino. This show has started very well.

    Noel introduces the highest new entry. Not suprisingly it’s Presley, pawn to King four. Pics of the man in his prime are flashed up whilst the Gals in coloured tops with “ELVIS” on the front and white hot pants dance joyously. It’s a mouth-watering spectacle of good ol’ sexy go-go. Legs are literally all over the place, Mucky Sue in green. “Way Down” is perfect for this and I’m sure he would have approved. The Swede certainly did. Touching salute from the Gals at the end. Very tasteful tribute.

    Rats – God, this really is a good show this week. Bob many years before he grew angel wings. Fabulous, and the kids dig it. Misty eyes for many of us. “Listen to the lyrics,” prefaces Beardie.

    Deniece Williams – The entertainment improves further as this ravashing girl returns with another classy number.

    Lizzy – Is that a shiner or just bad make-up? Who would want to smack Phil? This show keeps giving even though it’s far from the first outing for the last bus song.

    Space – I know most of you love this but there’s nothing at all for me, I’m afraid. Even the sexy girl dancer at the end can’t save it.

    Adverts – More brilliance on a great show for fans of the Swede’s vintage. I wonder how many of our younger contributors had to google Gary Gilmour. He played test cricket for Australia, you know!

    Page Three – What have we got here, now? Nope, not a clue. Three tasty sorts, each in a leopard skin one-piece. The Swede can’t fault this and it’s particularly pleasing when the leading vocalist licks her lips to camera more than once. And it’s a good song too. I’m inclined to think that this should have been a huge hit. Alas under the radar it went. I wonder what these three are up to now in middle age.

    Number One time and it’s The Floaters! Here is what I wrote about it on it’s own number one blog back in the mists of time:

    “Aries…and my name is (Jimmy).

    As was certainly the case with Bodie and Doyle, what struck me most about this piece of lunacy was my clear belief that despite The Floaters’ vainglorious proclaimations that they were all roaring hetro types, each in a position to cherry-pick their quality female lovers, these four boys were, in reality, all total screamers. Crafty Butchers, if you will. This was particularly apparent in the comically lisping “Charles” (Libra), whose claimed preference for a woman who “carries herself like Miss Universe” is simply not credible when it come from a lad who sounds like an unholy cross between Mike Tyson and John Inman.

    So gay, man. Jesus.”

    In fact poor old Charles didn’t really have a very good float. Check out the footage and see him miss his cue when he’s supposed to scream “Yeahh!” before “Take my hand…”

    Out to J-M Jarre’s Oxygene Part 4, a class above his countrymen Space.

    A show without parallel this week. Fabulous.

  513. 516
    Erithian on 29 Sep 2012 #

    I’ve seen it suggested that the girl dancer on the Space video is none other than Wei Wei Wong, formerly a hostess on The Golden Shot! Can’t verify it though.

  514. 517
    Jimmy the Swede on 29 Sep 2012 #

    That might be a great call, Erithian. It may indeed have been the luscious Miss Wong appearing in that Space clip and she could have caused magic things happening to the Swede’s flies any old time! (SWIDT?)

    Apropos The Floaters album, I did indeed come across this in Woolies about a year later for about a quid. From memory it wasn’t at all bad and certainly wasn’t all mush. One track “Everything Happens For A Reason” was actually quite funky.

  515. 518
    Mark G on 2 Oct 2012 #

    The show has been done, all what I would have said has been (our Alice asked about Phil’s shiner, we decided it was definitely make-up)..

    Except, the one thing I remember most strongly here is Space’s drummer’s technique.

    Consistent, is the word.

    I do remember Wei Wei Wong from the Young/2nd generation. Apparently, she died in 1999…

  516. 519
    wichita lineman on 2 Oct 2012 #

    For research purposes… now you can make up your own mind – is this the girl in the Space video?


    The Golden Shot girl I remember best was Ann Aston who made a single for Pye. I’ve got it, can’t remember how it goes, but she had a very kind face.

  517. 520
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Oct 2012 #

    “Annie” Aston was a right little cracker but an absolute airhead. She used to try to add eight to seven when determining scores and come up with sixteen.

    Bob: “I don’t think that’s quite right, Annie…

    Annie: “Seventeen?…”

    Lovely girl, though.

  518. 521
    Lazarus on 4 Oct 2012 #

    It’s Toe Knee Black Burn back at the controls.

    Top 30 to Meri Wilson, countdown ends before it gets really saucy. He hung it on the wall, apparently.

    I don’t know the next number. Two chaps on guitars, one very hairy, the other very bald. The drummer, perhaps with hair ‘issues’ of his own, sports a baseball cap. Quite funky and bluesy, with ELO strings jarring somewhat. Hudson-Ford, it turns out.

    Yvonne Elliman – is this going to be a show of flops? Don’t remember this one either. Pleasant enough but I doubt if I’ll remember it tomorrow. I’ll have got it out of my mind by then (SWIDT?)

    Elvis Costello – Red Shoes. You can keep your Dylan, your Springsteen, your Bowie, Elton and Kate – this man is quite simply my all-time favourite solo artist, even if I rarely listen to anything he’s recorded in the last fifteen years. This was the third single from ‘My Aim is True’ and like the first two, ‘Less Than Zero’ (not, in truth, a great song) and ‘Alison’ (which was) it didn’t trouble the scorers. Shameful.

    The Gals to ‘Silver Lady.’ I really like the song and it loses nothing by seeing this lot cavort in skimpy skirts and tops. Some nice arse-waggling by Her Muckiness at the start, to make a Swede’s day.

    The not-so-funky Gibbon follows. He looks just a touch too old for those leathers, but then again it never worried Alvin.

    Jacksons – now on Epic of course and so down to a four-piece (I think a younger brother joined later didn’t he?). This is only vaguely familiar. Was it recorded by anyone else?

    Mink de Ville and his implausibly girly-sounding male voice choir. ‘Venga aqui’ was the only bit I worked out first time round.

    David Essex – Gawd, another flop. Or was I out of the country at this time? I don’t think so. We holidayed in Cornwall that year I believe. It was usually that or Wales.

    Carly Simon – this is a pleasant surprise, I was all ready for the King. Repeat performance from Les Gals of course. All those begging e-mails to the Beeb paid off!

    Elvis at Number One of course and a new routine from the Legs, intercut with photos and some fairly lacklustre bopping from the audience – most of whom probably thought this was music for their parents.

    An interesting show tonight I thought, one personal highlight and some unfamiliar stuff.

  519. 522
    Mark G on 4 Oct 2012 #

    Hmm, Hudson Ford looking like the archetypal “cover blown by the new wave”, but no: they will be back sooner than their most recent hit was ago.

    That sentence does make sense if you say it right..

    YvEl, it’s not a flop you see her in the chart at the top of the show, and it goes higher subsequently, but not much.

    So, what kind of disdain will our Tone have for Elton? Lets see… nope, quite enthusiastic actually…

    Hmm, she’s had a haircut.. I’ll leave the rest to JimSweedy. Except to say the line “Chilled to the bone” also appears much the same rendition in the Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Sidewalking”.

    Steve Gibbons band here to prove Ted’s not dead just yet. It’s got another 3 months life yet!

    The Jacksons.. of course, every time you see them (with or without the “5”) the air of tragedy surrounds. Song is fair to middling, heigh ho.

    Mink Deville film again, see above I guess… although the candles/paper boat reminds me of Loy Krathong, but that’s Thai not Spanish.

    David Essex’s show? I sort of remember it, he’d sing two songs, maybe three, and then introduce a series of record-company signed hopefuls. I remember two, a whispery vocalled girl called Tootsie Roll, and a lad in a suit who went under the professional name of “The Office Boy”. I just know there is no corner of the internet that will enlarge on this information, unless the “45rpm” site has something.

    Carly Simon gets the legs girls again.

    And the girls are back on again with the same cozzies from David Soul dance, and the same actual dance from last week. fair enough, why not? Other shots show the studio audience sort-of dancing, and a lineup of lads facing the stage not dancing much but discussing the finer points of the dancing girls it seems.

    Space play out over the lights..

    One thing that has struck me recently is how accurate the subtitles / song lyrics are, i.e. excellent thesedays. I remember how there were usually loads of hilarious mis-hearings back when the show was extant: Suede’s “Stay Together” having “Stay, he’s dangerous” as opposed to “these days are ours”. No, nowadays I can put them on so Amber can work out what Deniece Williams sang in 1973, and I can confirm Elvis’ psychedelic styled lyrics for “Red Shoes”. So, well done those guys…

  520. 523
    El boludo on 5 Oct 2012 #

    @491 punctum, I know I’m late to this and should probably let it lie and I’m drunk and EXTREMELY high but fwiw (and I know my opinions don’t have a huge amount of currency around here), I love tpl, it’s inspiring & thoughtful & beautiful & belletristic & in general a massive display of quijotismo that deserves to be remembered with the arcades project & william gass & shit like that.

    I’m sure it is tpl;dr for some people (& eg album reviews as play for today fanfic does have one or 2 barriers to finding a wider audience ;-p) but fuck em, I hope you keep diong it & wish you everyv success.

  521. 524
    El boludo on 5 Oct 2012 #

    Oh ALSO quitting after you have tantalised us with hints of a Grand Design for the blog’s narrative (yes I lurk on ilx too) would make me cry.

  522. 525
    El boludo on 5 Oct 2012 #

    (ALSO ALSO I comment on yr blogs from time to time although I have little of ineterest to say: I’m the guy who confused johnny mathis with johnny mercer. The shame! You graciously left the comment in, but I’d have preferred that you didn’t tbh :-D)

  523. 526
    Mark G on 5 Oct 2012 #

    Oh they still have the ‘long’ version!

    Elkie Brooks repeat performance, nothing much to add

    Joe Dolan pops up in the ‘not been on since ooh, let’s have him back’ slot.. ‘Everything is alright, I’m singing like shite and I Need You’

    Nazareth next doing that ol’ Jim Capaldi favourite, slower and more painful. Well, it’s called “Love Hurts” so hey

    Candi Staton. She sings the song walking down Funky Broadway, NY, and people cross the road behind her like it happens all the time, which it does I’m sure.

    That’s a huge chunk edited out, gorblimey! All that between The Jacksons and Mink Deville as listed above. By my reckoning, that’s a 45 minute episode! I know they were usually 35 minutes originally but 45?

  524. 527
    glue_factory on 5 Oct 2012 #

    And in other, predictable, news, the Express are reporting this morning that future repeats of Top of the Pops presented by Jimmy Saville aren’t going to be shown. Does anyone know how long he presented for? Have we got many left?

  525. 528
    punctum on 5 Oct 2012 #

    The trouble is as a result of “Savilegate” I now look upon every participant in these shows as per Olivier in Marathon Man: “is he safe?” “Why not? You can’t get done for it,” said Bannockburn at one point. Can’t get done for what, Timmy? You’ve been uncharacteristically quiet about the Savile business, haven’t you, Timmy?

  526. 529
    Mark G on 5 Oct 2012 #

    “having Angels wear your Red Shoes”..

  527. 530
    thefatgit on 5 Oct 2012 #

    #527 he used to rock up for nearly every xmas episode, didn’t he?

  528. 531
    punctum on 5 Oct 2012 #

    #523-5: well, er, thanks for that! Much appreciated! Very moved!

    #530: I wonder whether, in the fullness of time, the BBC are going to be able to play or show anything. Not sticking up for Grim Jim by any means, but, I mean, for instance, Elvis! How old was Priscilla when he met her – fourteen? How dare they show “Way Down”! You’ll end up with lots of Billy Bragg and Latin Quarter and precious little else.

  529. 532
    Mark G on 5 Oct 2012 #

    The xmas shows were pretty much superfluous atbest, boring at worst..

  530. 533
    Lazarus on 5 Oct 2012 #

    Yes a few of those songs I don’t remember were middling hits – Yvonne Elliman got to 17, David Essex 23, the Jacksons 22. Clearly I wasn’t playing close attention – I wouldn’t start regular listening to the chart rundown for a few more months. No chart action for Red Shoes though – a clutch of re-entries between 39 and 50 for the other Elvis wouldn’t have helped artists with new releases – or Hudson-Ford. Also, check out the eccentric Top 30 run for the Rods: 29-19-24-11-20-9-15-18.

  531. 534
    Mark G on 5 Oct 2012 #

    Suggests supply issues at Island Records…

  532. 535
    Mark G on 5 Oct 2012 #

    #522 for Elton, substitute Elvis. Must have been thinking of Elton Motello….

  533. 536
    Lazarus on 5 Oct 2012 #

    ‘Jet Boy Jet Girl’ was the English version of ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’ wasn’t it – but which came first?

  534. 537
    Mark G on 5 Oct 2012 #

    Dunno, but I had my copy of JBJG well before Plastic had his hit. In fact the backing track(s) of each a and b side were identical.

    Funny, my copy (obtained from a local radio chuckout prize) was the ‘censored’ version, ‘Hell’ replaces ‘Head’, ‘Him’ replaces ‘Blood’ and ‘Generate’ replaces ‘Penetrate’. As if what was left would actually get Radio 1 airplay!

  535. 538
    Simon on 5 Oct 2012 #

    The official word on Savile is the next two are on ice and then it’s “we’ll see”. There’s four more this year, including the next one, awkwardly, but neither of the two Christmas shows as he had a Fix It special to attend to instead. There’s no Pops at all next week, but as usual that’s Patrick Moore’s fault.

    I wonder if the TOTP Musician’s Union re-recording of Red Shoes was the first time Costello and the Attractions had recorded together – the latter aren’t on this or the next single and had only made their live debut seven weeks before.

  536. 539
    Jimmy the Swede on 5 Oct 2012 #

    Well, the Swede was wrong. The ’77 episode was indeed not lost as I suggested. I only saw the short version, though.

    Bannockburn the pied piper.

    Coundown to Meri Wilson and her saucy encounter with the bloke from the phone company. If she really wants it, she can have a ding-a-ling. Didn’t we barely laugh at this crap joke five years earlier?

    Hudson Ford – A Strawbs splinter group. The Swede remembers “Pick Up The Pieces” but not this. Not at all bad, though.

    Yvonne Elliman – Dusky Hawaiian beauty more famed for her stage work on JS Superstar on Broadway and later work with the Brothers Gibb. This song became more familiar to me as it went on.

    Elvis Costello (mit Attractions?) – He used to be disgusted. Fantastic stuff with attitude. Take that, kids. POW!

    Gals to Hutch’s “Silver Lady” and the Muck-Mistress is back, by george! They’re all flapping away in silver shredded two-piece outfits and Sue’s M1 legs are very much in evidence, as the Swede heads for A&E. Sexy beyond belief. The record is not brilliant and even nicks the hook from Soul’s first #1, which I thought was excellent, although this is cut before we get there. But God, Mucky Sue, I’m forever obsessed with you. Opal fruits all round.

    Steve Gibbons – Done it. To death. They’re popping up as often as Smokie. Prestatyn, lads. Go!

    Jacksons – That barnet should have been punished with prolonged blunt instrument violence dished out by the Swede’s local businessmen, the Richardsons (but you could leave your door open in them days!) And the song’s shite. Alright, little Michael, you’ve had your day. There’s no future for you now. Report to Prestatyn, son.

    Mink D – The Swede did the translation for you last time. What do you want from me, Rosita?

    David Essex – In the interregnum between finishing his pop idol career and morphing into his stage one. Top bloke and still looking striking, even for a straight guy to notice. But no cigar for this labouring single.

    Carly Bond – And it’s the Gals take two. Double helpings? What’s she doing to me? Outfit change and it’s a classy rather than sexy routine to a classy song. As long as I keep to my medication, the Swede will be fine. Probably.

    Until…the number one. The dead Ted. And the Gals on a fucking THIRD outing, back in their silver micro thingies. They’re in profile only, as pics of the King are beamed onto the wall. Some look suspiciously like morgue shots. Sue leads the applause at the end. Look out for the Swede’s obit in the Eastbourne Herald next week.

    Out to Space.

  537. 540
    thefatgit on 5 Oct 2012 #

    #531 I agree, if you filter out the proven doers of evil deeds (Glitter, King), that’s one thing, but as David Aaronovitch implied in today’s Times, there could be a larger swathe of rock and pop stars from the 70’s shifting uncomfortably in their seats. “It was a different time back then” is no excuse if minors have been exploited, but blanket bans on broadcasting footage featuring “certain” artists blasts a hole in history. I don’t think that would be acceptable either.

  538. 541
    Mark G on 5 Oct 2012 #

    On the one hand, the difference between ‘going’ with underage girls that happen to go to the gig with the hope of nabbing a pop/rock star Vs going to a hospital/school to harvest some..

    On the other hand, the idea that if we find that our history does not suit us, we can simply erase bits of it “spotless mind” style…

    The past is something we can not go back to, we can enjoy the good bits and learn from the bad.

    “The past is a foreign country, nice to visit occasionally but you wouldn’t want to live there” – sorry, that’s probably a facebook ‘image’ isn’t it?

  539. 542
    flahr on 5 Oct 2012 #

    the past is a foreign country: you can’t take more than 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars back with you

  540. 543
    Erithian on 5 Oct 2012 #

    “I’ve seen a few 14-year-olds I wouldn’t mind giving one to” – Judge Dread, quoted in Record Mirror circa 1975.

  541. 544
    Lazarus on 6 Oct 2012 #

    I’ll just throw in my two penn’orth on Savile: even if 100 women come forward, the allegations will remain just that – allegations. The only way they could be proved is by conviction by a jury in the crown court, and you can’t prosecute the deceased. I had some sympathy for Jonathan King, in the leadup to his trial, when he said that he could not prove that something didn’t take place 30 or 40 years earlier, and that other countries have a statute of limitations on these things. Elsewhere in the world it would be not seen as an acceptable reason for a delay of decades in reporting an offence, to say that you were too traumatised. Other than in the most exceptional cases, where the complainant is left unable to communicate for instance, I don’t think a limit of ten years in reporting any criminal action, is unreasonable.

  542. 545
    punctum on 7 Oct 2012 #

    I don’t care whether it refers to things done 100 years ago; it is WRONG, like killing is WRONG. Would you have let Adolf Eichmann walk becuase it was at least 17 years since he committed the crimes he was ALLEGED to have committed?

    This whole thing, as Suzanne Moore admirably argued in the Guardian three days ago, is essentially to do with sexism and the systematic demeaning of women and girls in society, and the ASSUMPTION that these things were all right because it was a different time, etc. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now and any attempt to paper over the cracks in this way is ProgTech Taliban Asperger’s.

    Everyone knew about Savile and his ways for years and nobody dared do anything about it. The BBC if anything did everything they could to cover it up and hide it away and therefore it is reasonable to question why such awful behaviour was permitted for decades.

    And the reason these people didn’t come forward before – maybe they were too scarred and traumatised and afraid to say anything, because, you know, good old Jim? Maybe think about that before going on about statutes of limitations and suchlike.

    If society was run the way you wanted it nobody would ever be prosecuted for anything.

  543. 546
    punctum on 7 Oct 2012 #

    Nick Cohen in today’s Observer, absolutely OTM about this whole business.

  544. 547
    Lazarus on 7 Oct 2012 #

    If complaints were made at the time and the BBC did nothing about it – or if they were covered up – that was wrong, obviously. If that was the case then the whole business could have been nipped in the bud at the outset, by someone tapping Jim on the shoulder and having a quiet word. People who indulge in such behaviour are unlikely to do so if they know they’re being watched. And people would still be prosecuted because those who are victims of criminal behaviour tend to report it at the time. I do understand why these girls didn’t come forward but I’m sure they very much regret not having done so.

  545. 548
    Mark G on 7 Oct 2012 #

    #545 To clarify, my comment at #541 is regarding airbrushing the past, not ‘oh well, it was so long ago let’s forget about it’

  546. 549
    punctum on 8 Oct 2012 #

    #547 – don’t you realise that people there were afraid to tap Jim on the shoulder? Like Murdoch in his own, entirely separate and distinct way, he was allowed to beoome so powerful that nobody dared say a word against him for fear of their jobs or promotion prospects. Nor the papers lest he withdraw his charitable doings from them. It was collectice cowardice and we should all be ashamed of it, but not as ashamed as the people at the BBC and especially at Radio 1 at the time ought to be. A station whose controller said that Peel (hmmm)’s show was for unemployable criminals and that R1 should focus on young couples on their way home from the theatre. Now that we know what was allowed to take place their hypocrisy is doubly rank.

  547. 550
    Tommy Mack on 9 Oct 2012 #

    Punctum @ 545 – can I just say that ProgTech Taliban Asperger’s would be a great band name…

  548. 551
    lockedintheattic on 18 Oct 2012 #

    Was that the most international TOTP ever?

    France, Spain, Sweden, Cape Verde (Belle Epoque’s backing singer), Ireland, USA, UK

    It was like the TOTP Pop World Cup special

  549. 552
    Mark G on 19 Oct 2012 #

    Sweden being Hank the Knife, presumably. A dull ‘rock’n’roll’ thing about a “guitar king”, did Elvis die in vain? Yes.

    LaBelle Epoque video looks and sounds like two performances played slightly out of synch. Liked the single, this performance sounds wrong.

    The Stranglers, at least, waft away the dry ice and look more connected this time around. One of the lost ‘previous’ performances had them doing “Straighten Out” instead of “Something better change”, don’t know why. DLT cuts their performace short on-camera for some reason…

    Legs and Co actually get to dance to a disco number without novelties.(Best of my love, by the Eagles played at 78rpm, fact fans. What is a fact fan, btw?) Oh look, there’s Sue. Quite good at that dancing it seems. DLT joins in at the end for some reason. Goes “worrrgh” for the 2nd time this show.

    Leo Sayer does a proper disco song from his proper disco soul album. A mate of mine bought this album thinking it was going to have all his previous hits or similar. But it’s all like “Thunder in my heart” and at the time it did get a bit wearying.

    DLT gropes girls of a legal age to introduce Baccara. Looks like they supplied the baccara roses for the audience (and DLT) to wave in the air. Morrissey sits at home taking notes.

    Rats repeat.

    Mari Wilson doo lali lali shaki bum shaki bum. The album was a more serious enterprise, but you start with a novelty item, you don’t get too far away from it. And there is a telephone man here too! He looks pleased.

    Stardust do a song so forgettable, I’ve forgotten it already and it’s still playing. So, that’s two performances where the audience can make sure they don’t buy these by accident!

    Elvis Presley has his best years ahead of him, shame he’s not going to see them. Legs and co look like they forgot they were doing this one as well, and have had to dash out of the dressing room halfway through geting changed.

    Stevie wonder gets the lights and credits with Another Star.

    That’s certainly the oddest TOTP yet. The long version is on later, we shall see what’s missing but if these were the best bits, corps de blimey.

  550. 553
    Lazarus on 19 Oct 2012 #

    Stardust were Swedish, and unlike Hank the Knife and the Jets (Dutch, and still going it seems) at least got in the UK chart. Only just though for this Dooleys-meets-Eurovision number.

  551. 554
    Jimmy the Swede on 20 Oct 2012 #

    DLT introduces a show crammed mit Europop. Mighty strange.

    Ruddy Space turn up again, this time as the chart countdown track. The record is in second place and will get stranded there.

    Hank the Knife – The Swede remembers this record if not the group. Not a bad effort from a strange looking group.

    La Belle Epoque – I’m afraid I remember the original from 1966. Now THAT was early Europop for you!

    Stranglers –

    Whatever happened to..
    Big Tommy Ewing?
    Rosie and Waldo?
    Sukrat, Marcello?

    Whatever happened to..
    Young Miss Kat Stevens?
    To dear old Lineman?
    And friend Erithian?

    Whatever happened to chart weirdoes?
    Whatever happened to chart weirdoes?

    No more Popular anymore
    No more Popular anymore..

    Gals do a disco routine to a disco classic, Best Of My Love by The Emotions, for me one of the very finest tracks of the period and a US #1. A perfect record for Mucky Sue and her scrumptious subordinates. Uber-sexy thrusts! Brilliant stuff all round! Hurrah!

    Lil’ Leo – The annoying dwarf is walking alone on a very cold pebbly Brighton beach, although it might just as well have been Prestatyn, which is where he will very soon be ending up.

    Baccara – More Euro nonsense but this one is comically on the way to the top. One very pretty girl and her mate who looks like Champion the Wonderhorse (from some angles).

    Rats – Same film. They’re alright, Jack.

    Meri Wilson – Very merry indeed. Excellent fun and she could walk her fingers all over the Swede whenever she likes.

    Stardust – Yet more Eurocobblers, this time from Sweden. No idea. No good. Of stardust there comes none. Report straight to Prestatyn.

    Elvis is still way down at the top. Same sexy gal routine in their coloured tops and micro shorts. Zero complaint from a salivating Swede.

    Out to Stevie’s Another Star. Never knew this was a single. Astonishing album, obv.

    The Cornflake was a bit of a dick this week.

  552. 555
    Lazarus on 20 Oct 2012 #

    I wanted to see the show again before passing comment, but it’s not on iPlayer (significant?) and Catch Up TV is down for the moment. DLT was a bit of a goon, yes, but as now there was no law against a middle-aged man putting his arms around two teenage girls – or joining in with the Legs and Co routine, as he did here. I don’t think it should be seen as any more sinister than Benny Hill chasing nurses round the park, or Robin Askwith ogling women from his window-cleaner’s ladder – both of which were going on around the same time. As to the music, not much to add. Meri Wilson died in a car accident a few years ago, so the Swede’s assignation with her will have to wait until the Hereafter. Leo spent his video walking around looking thoughtful. He ended up not in Prestatyn of course, but somewhere far worse – the Celebrity Big Brother House. La Belle Epoque was a rum affair – a blonde singer of a ‘certain age’ – like Sheila B Devotion and Rafaella Carra to come in due course. As for Baccara, if I were being a tad bitchy I could say that one had the face and the other had the figure – I won’t say that of course. I think this is the last week for Elvis isn’t it? He won’t be back at the top for many years, and then only in contrived circumstances. Odd that Marc’s record company didn’t have product to put out in the wake of his untimely demise.

  553. 556
    swanstep on 20 Oct 2012 #

    Gals do a disco routine to a disco classic, Best Of My Love by The Emotions, for me one of the very finest tracks of the period and a US #1.
    Completely agree. The record’s *so* damned good (the snap of the first few guitar and bass synched handclap beats after the fanfare and I’m in love), and Sue and Co. can just cut loose and swing those hips. More generally, one of the very best thing about the disco period was each of the major disco producers having their distaff-side project: Chic had Sister Sledge, EWF had the Emotions, and The Bee Gees had, effectively, Yvonne Elliman/Samantha Sang/Andy Gibb. It felt then and feels now like a model of pop efficiency: you’re completely on-trend, but that won’t last, so get all your good ideas *right now* using a couple of different palettes.

  554. 557
    Mark G on 20 Oct 2012 #

    Marc did have ‘product’ coming out, his last single came out exactly on-schedule and got no fanfare. “Groove a little” / “Tame my Tiger” was a double a-side…

  555. 558
    Mark G on 20 Oct 2012 #

    “Best of my love” certainly the best disco song of right ‘now’, sampled for ‘Say no go’ DeLeSoul of course..

  556. 559
    punctum on 23 Oct 2012 #

    DLT was a bit of a goon, yes, but as now there was no law against a middle-aged man putting his arms around two teenage girls

    Well, don’t you think there should have been, and should still be?

    – or joining in with the Legs and Co routine, as he did here. I don’t think it should be seen as any more sinister than Benny Hill chasing nurses round the park, or Robin Askwith ogling women from his window-cleaner’s ladder – both of which were going on around the same time.

    Both of which, like TOTP, I find entirely sinister.

    The whole thing is sick and if the BBC had any real guts they’d pull the reruns now. Hilarious Benny Hill and his sidesplitting “THERAPIST/THE RAPIST” “gags.” Don’t miss him, or them, at all.

  557. 560
    tm on 23 Oct 2012 #

    I think there should be a law against middle-aged men in general. Rotten bunch, I’m glad I will never be one…oh shit…

  558. 561
    Be Realistic on 23 Oct 2012 #
  559. 562
    DietMondrian on 24 Oct 2012 #

    Point of order: wasn’t Benny Hill usually chased around the park by young women rather than the other way around? Not that that makes it much better.

  560. 563

    The structure was this: BH chased and they scampered, until they became “interested” in Benny, at which point they chased and he fled. So it was a cartoon about male lust and delusion (featuring entirely imaginary women): though like all “men behaving badly” gags, it soon functioned more as excuse (“we are weak! forgive us! love us!”) than critique. Hill seems a pathetic more than a predatory character, I think: and — as someone publicly cast out of the mainstream because no longer considered funny or acceptable — probably suffered punishment others far more richly deserved, given how many comedians yearn to be liked.

  561. 564
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Oct 2012 #

    I could never understand those “Hai Karate” ads with the little bloke desperately trying to get away from a rampant Valerie Leon. I got the nonesense about if you spray this on yourself, an impossibly gorgeous woman would want sex with you even if you were a dwarf and a weed, but why the guy was then resisting her was amazing to me. Sukrat’s male delusion theory perhaps explains it.

    But then what about Kevin Keegan and Our ‘Enery in a dressing room climbing all over each other in a state of undress having splashed it all over? Just wrong.

  562. 565
    Mark G on 24 Oct 2012 #

    Basically, the bottom line reads “Wear this aftershave, and you will be fightin the women off!”

  563. 566
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Oct 2012 #

    Aha! That makes sense, then, Mark. I probably didn’t notice that caption back in the day. Can’t think why.

  564. 567
    swanstep on 24 Oct 2012 #

    The structure was this: BH chased and they scampered, until they became “interested”
    I just happened (as an accident of taping Louie) to catch the last 5 mins of a Benny Hill ep. yesterday. The closing slapstick went as follows:

    1. Henry McGee (the vaguely John-Cleese-alike member of the BH cast) sees short-skirted gal in street and starts obsessively/aggressively following her. She runs faster and faster to get away to no avail.
    2. Eventually said gal makes her escape by plonking herself down on a park bench next to BH and starts kissing him. McGee wanders off.
    3. Gal breaks off kiss with BH (but offers no apology/explanation). BH mugs to camera then leans in and plants his own kiss on her. She slaps him and stalks off.
    4. Miserable BH is approached by hottie swedish tourist asking for directions. Scared that she might try to kiss him (which would lead to a slap, as it were) BH runs off zanily through the park, but hottie Swede (absurdly) follows him just as aggressively as McGee pursued his original target.

    This definitely fits Mark’s basic structure (esp. pathetic BH) but has lots of semi-surprising variations.

    I also caught the end of the sketch before the closing slapstick: BH played a southern soldier in the US civil war whose gal is going to marry a Yankee. At one point BH starts singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic, apparently under the impression that it’s a southern song. Blimey.

  565. 568
    thefatgit on 25 Oct 2012 #

    The BH “chase” sketch was taken to its logical conclusion in Monty Python’s “The Meaning Of Life”.

  566. 569
    tm on 25 Oct 2012 #

    I saw a later variant on the Benny Hill sketch where he is also chased by a man. Presumably because he wants to bum him: the most slapstick and therefore funniest form of sexual congress.

  567. 570
    Mark G on 25 Oct 2012 #

    Bum is slapstick?

    (That’s gonna look terrible on the ‘Latest message’ section)

  568. 571
    Mark G on 26 Oct 2012 #

    Anyways, the TOTP repeats carry on regardless, with that nice safe Ed Stewart

    Rose Royce do your dance, one of those tracks that sound OK at the time but are destined never to get played on radio beyond the chart run, in preference to Car Wash or Is it Love you’re after etc

    David Soul does a bit of Silver Lady. Slow down, I can’t type that fast!

    Legs & co don Bridesmaidsy style jackets and frocks for dancing to Bob Marley in a manner he’d not recognise. I daresay he wouldn’t object though.

    Peter Blake takes his opportunity to hang out with his coke advert song. If she’s good she can check under his hood, apparently. What she’d find, I hate to think…

    Ram Jam bring the kasenatz-katz back for one last time. Nobody objected to this rendition of the old Leadbelly song treatment as I recall.

    David Essex does a willthisdo type song, smiles for the girls, that’s about it.

    The Stylistics do their usual thing but don’t know it’s over and the buying public haven’t forgiven them for that $5000 song. Not so much ‘go straight to Prestatyn’ as ‘popped in on day release from same’

    Donna remembers that first night in a very Dr Amilan, um, Kid Creole style. The title, never sung, is I remember yesterday. What a wonderful memory she has..

    Golden Earring in danger of being good! Have they not read the memo? Actually, he looks like Bono..

    Elvis and Legs do their thing again, only two girls make it out of the dressing room in time this week.

    And Ed interviews Giorgio to no great event but less painful than the usual TOTP interview. Fade out to ‘From here to eternity’ and it’s the future!


  569. 572
    punctum on 26 Oct 2012 #

    So who at BBC4 thought that Ed Stewart was safe?


    And David Essex, stepping out with Sinitta when she was 16, and Elvis who started dating Priscilla when she was 14…

    You end up wondering if ANYONE on these shows was above suspicion.

  570. 573
    Lazarus on 26 Oct 2012 #

    Rare outing for Stewpot, who brandishes a toy robot and announces that “Tony Blackburn has lost his voice.” So Ed was a stand-in, perhaps? JMJ a good choice for the rundown, well he makes a change from Space. Lots of ladies in the Top 15 it seems, but an all-male Top Four, for now.

    Rose Royce – I don’t really remember this but I quite like it, it reminds me of ‘Cloud 9’ in places. I think I’ve only once seen a bigger afro than that on TOTP, and that was on a white bloke (Fiddler’s Dram, since you ask).

    David Soul – a video not dissimlar to Leo’s from last week. Walking around a bit, then helmetless on a motorbike, and then escorted by what appears to be two different blondes! Oo-er. Cuts out before the second chorus, so we’ll never know the rest.

    Legs & Co/Bob Marley – difficult to do a ‘themed’ routine to Waiting in Vain I suppose. Rather old-fashioned outfits for the girls. I think I’ve finally worked out which is Gill and which is Rosie now, though they’re the opposite to what I thought (Rosie = long straight hair, Gill shorter and wavier).

    Peter Blake – not the ‘Sgt Pepper’ man, which would have been interesting, if rather surreal – but an actor who’d later appear on ‘Dear John’ apparently (I don’t think I ever saw it). Sounds a lot like ‘Greased Lightning.’ ‘Grease’ was a stage production before it was filmed wasn’t it, so surely GL would have been familiar to some?

    Ram Jam – never been that keen on this really. They seem to be performing in someone’s garden. Singer looks a bit like John Denver might have done if he’d discovered his inner rocker. Another one cut halfway.

    David Essex – sporting a white tie with the jacket and jeans. Was that one of the first rock mullets? Song is OK, but if you’d told me it was a Liverpool Express album track I wouldn’t have been surprised.

    Stylistics – a non-hit, sounds like a cross between ‘Make Up to Break Up’ and ‘Let’s Put it all Together’. Bus to Prestatyn leaves straight after the show, lads!

    Donna – like the Stranglers, her singles seem to be coming thick and fast, I guess the ‘Deep’ theme was put out by a different company. I’ve always liked this retro number and she looks good in white suit and top hat, but going back to the ’40s seems strange after giving us a glimpse of the future with ‘I Feel Love.’

    Golden Earring – a re-issue, or more strictly a live re-recording, of a Top 10 hit from 1973. Only made 44 this time, but no arguments here – great stuff.

    Elvis – and this, surely – surely! – is the final week. The Soul man is at No. 2 after all. The Legs seem a bit depleted by now, maybe some of them have lost interest.

    Ed chats to Giorgio and out to his hit.

  571. 574
    punctum on 26 Oct 2012 #

    Oh yes, I almost forgot the convicted wifebeater David Soul.

  572. 575
    Jimmy the Swede on 26 Oct 2012 #

    Stewpot introduces J-M Jarre as the backdrop to the countdown.

    Rose Royce – They’re in the studio. Good moves. Good sounds. Good dancin’. Punishable barnet.

    David Soul – Puzzlingly pointless footage of Hutch slouching around looking as if he’s getting ready to inconvenience the Beachy Head chaplain. He’s then suddenly riding around on a bike. WTF? But then the nincompoop is clearly cured as up pops his saviour, a lovely gal, who won’t stop bunnying. This obviously annoys Soul because he dumps her in a blink and is next seen strolling thru the hood where cool black men offer their hands and street cred to the out-of-his depth numptie. It’s a ridiculous unrelated chain of events. And then Ed cuts in. Phew!

    That was indeed a fine interception by Stewart, who’s had a good start to this episode, because he then introduces the Gals and Bob Marley’s “Waiting In Vain”. It’s a charming rather than sexy routine but despite the suspicion that the Whitehouse loon has interfered again, I personally think that Flick has got the mixture right. Modestly dressed, the Gals go on their delightful way and we even get a sweet girly smile from Her Royal Muckiness, which is rare. The Swede enjoyed it.

    Peter Blake, later the dickhead from “Dear John”, does a cringeworthy turn to a Pepsi Cola catchphrase (it was Pepsi not Coke, Mark) in the probable guise of a Presley tribute. It is just dreadful. I didn’t remember it and am very glad that I didn’t. Tasteless shite and Blake is not even looking at call-up papers for Prestatyn on the balance of this.

    Ed reminds us that Radio 1 is ten years old. The Swede recalls this anniversary very clearly. And then we get Ram Jam with “Black Betty”. Brilliant track, natch. The band are playing in a garden in front of a Pleasant Valley Sunday house. Appreciative bikers and their sorts applaud. Rock and Roll, innit.

    David Essex – Even his cheeky good looks and “got a silver lining” accent can’t save this. But he’s far too good to be bundled off to you know where.

    On the other hand… “The Stylistics are back” voiceovers Stewpot. And indeed they are. But why? Especially after that vile “kick my girlfriend into touch as soon as I’m minted” offering. Actually, “Orville” really needs a serious period of correction now. A brutal, violent and sustained bare-knuckled attack across his daily should do it before the minibus already arranged by Lazarus whisks him and the other prawns off to the Swede’s favourite North Welsh holiday camp. Forever.

    Donna Summer – Lovely Donna looks simply great in retro top and tails garb doing an old-style number. It’s perfectly fine (even when I’m convinced she sings “shit on the table” at one point) but as Lazarus also pointed out, it’s a mighty strange choice after having only very recently come up with a record which showstopped an entire decade.

    The best ’til (nearly) the last, even if it is four years old. Golden Earring’s “Radar Love”, surely one of the very finest records from a continental group, Abba notwithstanding. Absoluely great. But why the re-release?

    Presley still at number one – Same old. Same old. Photies. Gals. Way Down. Way too much. In fact, enough, Elvis. You’re just getting boring now. Report to Prestatyn, you tubby old has-been. Ah…

    Ed, who has behaved perfectly all evening, chats to Giorgio Moroder. Erithian is spot on with his text to me that this disco leg is a Steve Wright doppelganger. Nice one, buddy. Ed says byeee! And so do I.

    ADDENDUM: I was at this point going to lightly tease punctum by suggesting that Ed Stewart had offended no-one during this broadcast, not even him. I am now going to apologise to Marcello, having read the link he provided concerning Ed meeting his wife. Even more reprehensible was Stewpot’s suggestion that he might have been a Chelsea fan, when as any fool kno, he used to make a big play about supporting Everton. Changing footy teams is just pure evil and can never be tolerated by a civilised society. I’m disgusted.

  573. 576
    Erithian on 27 Oct 2012 #

    Someone elsewhere pointed out that Giorgio was in fact a doppelganger for Micky Disco from The Fast Show, even more so than for Steve Wright.

  574. 577
    Tommy Mack on 27 Oct 2012 #

    John Peel talked at some length in his memoirs about meeting his first wife (in Texas) when she was 15 and he was 25 IIRC. Is this a thing with DJs. Actually, I suppose it probably is: you are a creepy, non-singing, non-dancing, older man playing to a mainly teen audience, in that context it seems grimly inevitable. (Peel’s episode of course is nowhere near the same league at the orchestrated abuse perpetuated by Jimmy Saville, but it does seem to point to this kind of shit being widespread in those days and people just turning a blind eye.)

  575. 578
    Tommy Mack on 27 Oct 2012 #

    Beyond the moral outrage, what glares is the taudriness of these men’s lives: in the same way Jimmy Saville had apparently no interest in forming adult relationships with women (or men) preferring pliant adoloescents, Stewpot has no passion for the golden age of pop music he’s promoting, other than as a vehicle through which to meet people like Princess bloody Margaret. “needless to say, I had the last laugh.”

  576. 579
    enitharmon on 27 Oct 2012 #

    Many 15-year-old and, I would suggest, 14-year-old girls are perfectly capable of determining their own emotional decisions and personally I think it’s insulting to them to say otherwise and insist that their best interests are best-served by being infantilised for as long as possible, the better to be indoctrinated by the education system into their establishment-sanctioned destiny as a unit of production. I note that this infantilisation seems to be an Anglo-Saxon thing; the age of consent is a realistic 14 or 15 throughout much of Europe.

    I write as one who has in her time enjoyed perfectly satisfactory sexual relationships with partners both much older and much younger than herself.

  577. 580
    Tommy Mack on 27 Oct 2012 #

    Granted, age difference isn’t a barrier to an emotionally or sexually satisfying relationship, but it really doesn’t sound if that’s what Saville was after – there were girls who put up with him because it meant access to showbiz glamour and there were girls who felt violated. Nobody seems to be saying how great it was balling Jimmy Saville. Stewpot I don’t know, but he seems like a prick, so as a mean-spirited and judgemental man, I’m disinclined to give him the benefit of the doubt!

    Peel was a different case – I’m going on memory here and memory of his published account, but as I recall, in his view it was more a case of his emotional immaturity putting him on her level rather than vice versa and as I recall, the relationship came to a very messy end.

  578. 581
    punctum on 28 Oct 2012 #

    #579: it’s got nothing to do witn infantilisation or ages of consent or anything like that; what it has to do with is the assumption that this sort of behaviour is “right” or “to be expected.” That I think should apply to women of all ages. Back of the bikeshed with a fellow pupil in third year geography class is not equatable with a creepy adult perving over a kid. In which case, it reverts back to the notion of assumed power of men over women (including the teacher-pupil angle). Just because it was the done thing when people could leave school at 14 doesn’t IN ITSELF make it right. Read David Belbin’s excellent novel Love Letters for an interesting (if fictitious) perspective on this.

  579. 582
    Mark G on 29 Oct 2012 #

    I met Ed Stewart once, basically he replied “Yess, yess, yess” offhandedly to every thing I said. Came away thinking What an arsehole.. At least you know where you are with Lou Reed, etc.

  580. 583
    punctum on 29 Oct 2012 #

    Terrific and pretty chilling LRB piece by Andrew O’Hagan here.

  581. 584
    Mark G on 29 Oct 2012 #

    Well, there it is: Why is it the DMail like to condemn the ‘politically correct’ BBC of nowadays and are using the current crisis as a stick to beat it with, where in actual fact it is all about the artifices and ‘respect for their betters’ that made it like it was in the first place?

  582. 585
    Weej on 29 Oct 2012 #

    That’s a great piece, Punctum, been waiting weeks now for a bit of real perspective on the issue and that really does the trick.

  583. 586
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Nov 2012 #

    #583 – That O’Hagan piece was indeed extremely interesting. There had been suspicions about Uncle Mac for years, though. We had an old EP single on Parlophone (I think it was), where Mac popped up singing “Who killed Cock Robin?”, “Froggie went a-courting”, “Goosie Gander” and a few others. The record was much beloved in our household. And, of course, as Punctum would know, Uncle’s famous catchphrase was grabbed by Number Six at the end of “The Girl Who Was Death”. I don’t think Mac would have been interested in gorgeous, leggy, deadly Sonia somehow.

  584. 587
    Mark G on 1 Nov 2012 #

    No, because by then he was the bloke who was dead.

  585. 588
    Mark G on 2 Nov 2012 #

    So, here we are once more, and Smokie start things just to show that punk didn’t kill them off! The backing singer bloke is clearly singing something other than what’s on the tape. Some sort of coded message about being forced into lusy cover versions or some such.

    The Emotions, a film, and the two backing singers dance sarcastically…

    Noel gives the most dismissive intro to..Mani? Oh wait it’s Danny Mirror and he remembers Elvis Presley, what a marvellous short-term memory he has..

    From here to eternity, the girls do dance. I think I liked this better than I Feel Love, and maybe as IFL has had lots of play since, maybe I still do..

    Yes. Issue single and chart with it, etc. Funny how these bands had it that they were too ‘important’ for singles, and now they are trying desperately to keep up/in..

    Deniece Williams does a funky song, the Bbc orchestra keep things from getting too good.

    JJ wafts the dry-ice once again.

    The girls in the studio, relatively safe with Noel. They don’t know how fortunate they are…

    Baccæra get a spurious special charactr thanks to my touchpad keyboæd stop doing that!

    Steve Gibbons does something I don’t remember at all. Maybe punk did kill off some things after all.

    David Soul gets his “just walk around places, we’ll put the audio on later” film shown.

    Who’s Kim?

    And Leo gets a play-out.

  586. 589
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Nov 2012 #

    #587 – Nice one , Mark, but he was perhaps only just dead. Uncle Mac checked out in 1967, which was the same year The Prisoner came out. I think my point was a general one about Uncle Mac and children (everywhere) and comparing them to the glory who was Justine Lord, a legitimate fantasy for any man worth his salt.

    TOTP: The first Noel in the grotto. La Belle Epoque take us up the rundown.

    I don’t believe it…Bloody Smokie AGAIN!! – Yep, another appearance from this risible shower of Prestatyn lifers, clearly on a closely supervised day release from their Pontins warders. They give us Needles and Pinza. Okay, a great song but it was searching for another time (SWIDT?). Start the engine, driver.

    Edmonds introduces “one of the best records of 1977”. He’s right. It’s the Emotions and it’s fabulous. Send it in a capsule into outer space. “Brilliant. Absolutely marvellous!” purrs Noel when it’s over.

    Fat Dutch no-mark chancer, Danny Mirror “remembers Elvis Presley”. Really? Never! The annoying thing is, he got away with it. Wait up, Smokie Pontins driver! Room for one more?…

    Gals – From here to eternity. Our lovelies are in shadow. I don’t know whether I liked this or not. I’m reluctant to have a pop, as the Swede’s taste for the Tales of the Unexpected dancer has been well recorded. But I just miss Mucky Sue’s blank, glassy stare.

    Yes – Ludicrously pretentious prog rock poppycock, which the Swede fell for back in the day. I was a fool.

    Deniece Williams – Live in studio. Lovely, lovely girl. Who cares that the song’s not up to much. She’s a drink.

    Stranglers – Up Swedostrasse, obv.

    Baccara – Tasty sort and her less than resplendant mate. Completely ridiculous song. Cut short. Hooray! Won’t help. Number one bound. Boo!

    Steve Gibbons – Falls on his arse. Crap. And who cares? If we’re quick, we can catch the minibus up at Newport Pagnell.

    Hutch at number one – Edited footage from last week. Silly and annoying, which is a shame as it’s not a bad record to be fair.

    Out to Leo.

    Noel has done little wrong this week, opines the Swede, as he lights the blue touch-paper…

  587. 590
    punctum on 2 Nov 2012 #

    Apart from allowing himself to be touched by lots of teenage girls in close proximity.

    I don’t know why BBC4 don’t just pull this from their schedule; the main reason why anyone watches the reruns anymore (if the Twitter feed is anything to go by) is to assess: is he safe? Are they safe? Etc.

    But, as Tony Parsons said yesterday, if the BBC continues to canonise Jimmy Savile and get rid of Danny Baker, it’ll be bye bye licence fee before you can say “Chelsea Barracks.”

    Speaking of Kenneth Griffith

  588. 591
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Nov 2012 #

    #590 – “I don’t know why BBC4 don’t just pull this from their schedule; the main reason why anyone watches the reruns anymore (if the Twitter feed is anything to go by) is to assess: is he safe? Are they safe? Etc.”

    I would have to say that whilst this might be true in part, applying it to “anyone” (meaning “everyone”) is clearly rubbish, considering the handful of us on this very forum who still watch these old shows and post our thoughts on them, both for the sheer fun of it. Having said that, it’s equally true to say that Savilegate may well toll the bell for these re-runs ultimately, as many 70s jocks (nearly all of whom are still with us) shuffle around as nervously as a tail-ender about to face Michael Holding.

  589. 592
    punctum on 2 Nov 2012 #

    I think “sheer fun” is about the last feeling I’d experience watching this creepshow. Whoever tweeted “Top Of The Pops 1977: A Warning From History” is right.

  590. 593
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Nov 2012 #

    I get that, punctum but that fun I and others derive is principally from the music and not the jocks and what they may or may not have been up to back then, before and subsequently. Perhaps “the warning from history” label is providing a case for why the series should continue?

  591. 594
    glue_factory on 2 Nov 2012 #

    @590 and 591; and in addition to the handful who comment I would guess there are more of us who regularly read (and enjoy) those comments and watch the shows. I can’t speak for “anyone” but “is he safe?” is not my main reason for watching.

  592. 595
    punctum on 2 Nov 2012 #

    The music is largely unsellable junk (“Tupelo Mississippi Flash,” which unfortunately I remember from first time around; Danny Fucking Mirror passim), the presentation cheap and tacky and try as I might I cannot watch this thing without getting a dose of the shivers, and not in a good way. As Martin Kelner said, I remember why we pulled the “old school” down in the first place.

  593. 596
    punctum on 2 Nov 2012 #

    and in case anyone’s wondering I am going to address this issue on TPL before the seventies are out.

  594. 597
    glue_factory on 2 Nov 2012 #

    Will look forward to it. TPL and the TOTPs re-run comments are what are keeping me going in the absence of new Popular entries.

  595. 598
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Nov 2012 #

    #595 – But..but it WASN’T unsellable, was it? Of course a lot of the stuff is laughable to watch now. But that’s just it – I laugh, but then that’s my general outlook on life anyway. For my part I shall continue to watch these re-runs as long as they show them but I will have to repeat that I do think the series will get pulled sooner rather than later.

  596. 599
    punctum on 2 Nov 2012 #

    “Tupelo Mississippi Flash” didn’t make the charts so we must assume it didn’t sell (enough). For mid-seventies laughs I’ll stick to Annie Hall oh hang on a minute Woody Allen IS NOTHING SAFE

  597. 600
    Mark G on 2 Nov 2012 #

    One of the ‘shocking’ things in retrospect was how poor Steve Gibbons Band was. OK, “Johnny Cool” was pretty good, and “Tulane” not abysmal, but we’re onto two lousy records now, aren’t we? I vaguely remember “Eddie Vortex” wasn’t “too bad”, but we shall see… he certainly seemed to have a fixation regarding Cochran/Presley/Greaser rock…

  598. 601
    punctum on 2 Nov 2012 #

    And he was from Harborne in Birmingham. Can any other top pop stars say the same?

  599. 602
    Mark G on 9 Nov 2012 #


    So, that’s where he’s gorn!

  600. 603
    punctum on 15 Nov 2012 #

    DLT arrested; tonight’s TOTP rerun (hosted by DLT) pulled. Will be surprised if series still going by, say, Christmas.

  601. 604
    Billy Hicks on 15 Nov 2012 #

    Breaking news – Every repeat of every BBC television show pre-1990 pulled from all channels just in case anyone in them might be a bit dodgy.

    Casts and writers of One Foot in the Grave, Have I Got News for You and Keeping Up Appearances breathe a sigh of relief.

  602. 605
    weej on 15 Nov 2012 #

    Jim’ll Fix It ran until 1994, astonishingly. I would’ve sworn it finished in the 80s, but you can’t question wikipedia, can you?

    Anyway, it’s a bit gutless of the BBC to cancel tonights TOTP repeat. They could’ve started trailing it instead, linking it in to current affairs programmes, could even have a poll; “based on this performance, are you convinced that he’s a sex offender?”

  603. 606
    heather on 15 Nov 2012 #

    “Yes Sir, I can Boogie” is a brilliant pop song. And special love for having “Holiday In The Sun” in the outro.

    I get the feeling that someone once told David Jensen he looked like David Bowie, hence the dangling shirtsleeves and hipster tanktop.

    (and btw, I hope they keep showing the show, apart from the really obvious creeps. Things are starting to get a bit Chris Morris)

  604. 607
    Mark G on 15 Nov 2012 #

    Well, let’s crack on, there’s a show to review and it won’t review itself!


    Anyway, Slade are on and blimey, when you’re cold you’re cold. Nod’s lost his signature curly locks, Dave’s lost all his. Momentarily distracted as I think Dave’s playing my guitar! One very like it, anyway..

    Next up, Dorothy Moore looks like she’s dressing up old on purpose. Not so much ‘off to Camber Sands’ as ‘just popped in from there’. And back then (and even now) I used to wonder how come The Ladybirds used to get on the closing credits even when they did nowt (which was most weeks), well they are on this BBC re-version with a vengeance, and totally nackr a song/rendition that wasn’t much cop to start with.

    And here’s Darts, and the third ‘medley’ in a row, what is this, X-Factor? This seemed a breath of fresh air, sort of, at the time. Now it looks like the band that gets hired for corporate events. Den Hegarty is the manic presence, but he’s the bass voice and it’s clear he can’t actually hit those notes.

    Legs and co do “Black Betty” and are in danger of being the best thing on this weeks show! Sue takes the lead, and the others aren’t too far behind: Usually, they’re individually very ‘lady’, or very ’15-yr-old’, but this time, they actually look like a team! Although the blonde on on the far right hasn’t got much of a clue and looks lost and knackered and that fatal ‘watch the others and copy’ method is .. OK, so I have ‘worked with a dance group before’, so I see it.

    Rod Stewart manages to sing the hokeyest lyrics (for the most part) totally straight-faced while I cried (with laffing), even when the waiter comes in with the worst mimed violin since Lol Tolhurst on “Catch”, which is in the future so this is a backwards comment. Interesting bit re: “Those habits that at first were hard to accept”, what the coke habit? I’m sure Rod managed to incorporate.. Oh,apparently it’s “those (Aubrey) Beardsley prints”, I guess Rod has a liiiiiiiiiitle bit of an inferiority complex.

    Boney M do Belfast memorably (that means I remember and was looking forward to this performance).. some halfway decent ad-lib bits, and it’s clear she’s actually a good singer. Helpfully (and I recommend them) the subtitles have been pretty damn accurate and “Belfast” the song just about works as it doesn’t try for heavy relevance and miss by miles…

    And OK, here’s a nice track for my punk/new wave compilation DVD-R, Tom Robinson band do a nice song about Motorway travel. Kid Jensen predicts more appearances for TRB, and for once he’s right. But not that many, thinking about it.

    Abba now, and they have an impossible case that nobody can reach. Some stepladders are needed, clearly.

    Oh bluddy ‘ell, Smokie? Again? no wonder the audience look unenthusiastic. Oh wait, it’s actually the bloke who took his name back off them, Smokey! The band seem lacking in volume/presence, and it’s a shame as it seems like it could have kicked!

    Kid would like to watch one of the audience girls while they boogie. Doesn;t he realise, people will be watching this 35 years later? Baccara.

    And the fade-out to “Holidays in the Sun”, that’ll close my 1977 DVD, it’s too full for the rest of the tracks coming up. Before that, anyway, Kid introduces the new Radio 1 DJ from the back, it’s Wild Man Fischer! oh wait, it’s Peter Powell! Never been seen before! Wow.

    This seems to prompt a separation of styles, on the one hand the young, reasonably good looking blokes, and on the other the odd old guard that aren’t going without a struggle. And Tony Blackburn somewhere in the middle.

  605. 608
    punctum on 16 Nov 2012 #

    I think it’s just become a spectator sport now – is he one? Are they ones? – as well as retrospective micturition on people’s memories. The BBC will either pull it pretty soon or they’ll notice the increased rubbernecker ratings and think, well OK – or else they burn the negatives of every TOTP in their archive, just to be on the safe side.

  606. 609
    Chelovek na lune on 16 Nov 2012 #

    Hmm, as a very dodgy (but occasionally astute) group from Basildon put it: “Men with beards: What are they hiding?”

  607. 610
    Tom on 16 Nov 2012 #

    Chins, generally.

  608. 611
    heather on 16 Nov 2012 #

    I would normally defend it from that sort of watching but I even caught myself doing it when poor Jensen innocently said to a girl “I’d like to see your dancing”.

  609. 612
    Mark G on 16 Nov 2012 #

    Most of the papers had ‘nice’ pics of DLT, alone or with his wife in 1992 or some-such.

    One had a photo of DLT, Janice Long and JimSav, with DLT ‘trying’ to insert his tongue in JLong’s ear.

    ‘illustration’ I guess.

  610. 613
    punctum on 16 Nov 2012 #

    In Metro; I saw that.

  611. 614
    Lazarus on 16 Nov 2012 #

    Are many people watching these reruns, have there ever been? BBC4 has always been a niche station; most people I know (that I’ve asked) have never seen a single programme on it, seem only vaguely aware that the station even exists. When have you ever seen a trailer for a programme on BBC4? They’re few and far between, and this show has never been plugged to my knowledge. The point that I’m labouring towards is that I suspect that TOTP77 has a small but loyal viewership; it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a (smaller) ‘rubberneck’ element that has recently tuned in, but the new D-G (who has some more, rather more pressing concerns I’d have thought) or whoever has to make the decision, has to make an educated guess: would there be more complaints if the repeats were pulled, or if they were allowed to continue? I suppose a lot will depend on what happens with DLT, but he hasn’t been charged yet as far as I know.

    Haven’t seen the latest edition yet btw; had it on yesterday but mainly as background noise, will get round to commenting on it in the next day or two.

  612. 615
    Erithian on 17 Nov 2012 #

    I know that if I had to have my telly stuck to one station from 7pm every night, I’d choose BBC4, and not just for Friday nights.

    Wonderful little documentary about a record shop in Stockton just now, showcasing the passions of the owner and the eccentricities of the customers in a way that makes you sorry if you don’t share them.

  613. 616
    Paulito on 17 Nov 2012 #

    DJ denies grabbing women’s knockers 35 years ago

    Pure madness, I tells ya…

  614. 617
    Mark G on 17 Nov 2012 #

    yeah, he states he’s not guilty of the charge, and very not guilty with concrete on top of paedo insinuations…

  615. 618
    Lazarus on 18 Nov 2012 #

    *records programme, goes to watch it next day*

    ‘Parental control set. Enter your PIN to watch this programme.’

    Hmm, it seems even SkyPlus is getting in on the act. Perhaps the show will be going out after the watershed soon?

    “In a change to the billed episode …” a tank-topped Jensen presides.

    Santana over the Top 30. Because we’ve missed a week, the charts seem to have moved on quickly – Elvis ‘way down’ to 19 already. La Belle Epoque made number 2? I had no idea.

    Slade with an Elvis cash-in, I mean tribute. The sound of ’73, indeed. Funny to see Dave with a shaved head, they started as a skinhead outfit didn’t they?

    Mary Mason – where did she come from? Was she on Op Knocks, New Faces? Had she just ‘come up through the clubs’ like Marti Caine? Almost as scary as that other MM and her two gentleman callers.

    Darts – first time on the show. Hegarty’s clowning soon irritated me I’m afraid. Bob Fish was one of the most unlikely looking pop stars wasn’t he? As one who’s similarly follically challenged, I’m oddly grateful for that.

    Ram Jam – the Legs this time. Raucous routine with lots of thrusting. Won’t someone please think of the children?

    Kid, surrounded by young women, introduces Rod and his video. The violinist is surely Lord Lucan, who’s adopted the cunning disguise of turning his moustache up at the ends.

    Boney M – I’ve never paid much attention to the lyrics I’m afraid. Did they offer a solution to the Troubles? I liked Peter Sarstedt’s ‘Beirut’ from the following year, a hit only on Fab 208 I think.

    Tom Robinson Band – highlight of the show for me. Still sounds fresh to me, he doesn’t look much older than the sixth-former he appears dressed as.

    Abba – my favourite song of theirs, and has been for many years. Some of us, alas, are still waiting to be rescued.

    Smokey – pleasant but forgettable. Was this show even on here?

    Baccara – and the singing senoritas have their first week on top. I’d hazard a guess that it’ll be another 25 years before another all-female Spanish group will top the chart – or is that too saucy for the Bunny?

    we’re introduced to next week’s host Peter Powell – BBC going for their own Paul Nicholas? Well, he had the hair anyway.

    Pistols to close – it does sound a lot like GSTQ in places. A surprise choice, certainly. He didn’t say it this time, but good love, Kid!

  616. 619
    Jimmy the Swede on 21 Nov 2012 #

    The Swede arrives very late at the party…for any of you who care:

    Kid replaces Cornflake. The airbrush is in full stroke. Santana provide the countdown backdrop. A brave and classy attempt at covering a great pop song. Nat a patch on Blunstone but full marks anyway.

    Slade – Their best days now behind them, the Wolves boys go retro. Dave Hill has shaved his bonce. Fashion or illness?

    Mary Mason (who she?) does a recognisable ballad. But there’s clearly something about Marys, for we are faced with another blank staring murderous soccer mom, although this one is British and looks like Anita Harris with a perm. Direct entrant to Prestatyn.

    Jensen insists that we won’t believe our eyes as he introduces Darts with Daddy Cool. Well we did believe it in fact. Another tiresome ’50s revival act. Guess where they are now, kids?

    GALS IN CLOVER!!! – Or rather in shredded black dresses with stocking tops. Fucking magnificent! Totally appropriate for Black Betty and Sue is back to her muckiest with her blank vinegary stare. It’s the sexiest routine for ages and the Swede needs a hose-down.

    Rod – You’re In My Heart. He’s smugly strumming a guitar unconvincingly in a posh restaurant as a little man plays a violin. I always thought this was nice until the line about “Celtic/United”, which would have cost him sales in some places. The film is cut before we get there.

    Boney M – Totally inexplicable song from a group of Afro/Continentals saying nothing at all, which was just as well for everyone, I think.

    Tom Robinson – Cracking! Didn’t he look young, though?

    Abba are playing ludo (name of the game – geddit?). They’re happy and life is good. And so is this record.

    Smokey – But not this time the numpty house band, who are surely locked comfortably up in their chalets, but the great Mr Robinson in the studio. The song’s not up to much, granted, but there’s no excuse for the kids to look so bored. He’s a Mowtown legend, you ignorant little pillocks!

    Number One time – It’s Baccara aka: Sweet Cakes and Champion the Wonderhorse (from some angles). Completely ludicrous record. You can tell that these girls are singing phonetically. English, French, German, Italian… If they can manage it in Welsh, the Swede has a job for them.

    Kid introduces Peter Powell to Radio One. Out to the Pistols. No good love from Jensen this week. You can’t really blame him in this climate of fear..

  617. 620
    Cumbrian on 21 Nov 2012 #

    Further news on potential 1978 showings:


    I’d say its days are numbered.

  618. 621
    punctum on 22 Nov 2012 #

    “audience figures have declined quite markedly”: BARB data shows that the programme has constantly been high up in BBC4’s weekly top ten and remains so.

    This is the same BBC that said Mike Harding was leaving his Radio 2 folk show of his own accord whereas the truth was he’s being pushed out in favour of Mark Radcliffe, of whom there is evidently nowhere near enough on the radio. Or cut-and-paste a set of answers from Calvin Harris to completely different questions on Newsbeat, causing the great man enough bother on Twitter and elsewhere for him to consider taking legal action.

    Is the BBC pathologically incapable of telling the truth about ANYTHING?

  619. 622
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Nov 2012 #

    “Yes” is the answer to that one, punctum. Perhaps they should make Sally Bercow Director General.

  620. 623
    Rory on 22 Nov 2012 #

    “BBC4 had been targeted for cuts because it delivered the smallest amount of ‘unique reach’, viewers or listeners that did not use any other BBC service.”

    What an utterly bonkers way of judging its importance. Are they seriously suggesting that TV channels only matter if they’re the only one that some people watch? That BBC4 viewers shouldn’t occasionally stray as far as BBC2, or that they shouldn’t listen to Radio 4? Are they judging on the basis of viewers who’ve lost their remotes? And what about iPlayer, which jumbles up shows from all BBC channels by design?

  621. 624
    Cumbrian on 22 Nov 2012 #

    #621: I would agree that the BBC currently does not have a reputation for truthfulness but, on its face, the statement that the ratings have declined markedly is actually true – at least as measured by BARB.

    Having just now looked up the figures since the start of the shows back in April 2011, average audience figures for TOTP 1977 were at 238k back in January. Now, in November, the current average audience figures are 140k. In October, it was 155k, in September it was 138k. In fact, since July the audience has been mostly around 150k. In November-January 2011-2012, the average audience was around 240k – so a fall in viewing figures of around a third.

    There are problems with this – not least that viewing to iPlayer isn’t counted for starters, so if viewing has transferred online, the figures might be much higher – but as I am not at the BBC, I can’t check that. The publicly available data though does show that the viewing has declined.

    I would argue that if TOTP is still high in BBC4’s weekly Top 10 according to BARB, that this speaks to the low (BARB) viewing figures of their other output rather than any particular strength of TOTP. You could make a pretty cogent point that removing it and replacing it with something that pulls in more viewers will benefit the channel more – particularly in the face of potential cuts.

    This then gets on to the argument as to what the BBC is for of course. My view is that I think the BBC has lost its way somewhat. They have taken the idea of “providing something for everyone” and interpreted it in what I would perceive as the wrong way – they shouldn’t be providing programming that everyone will watch and understand and thus get large ratings – they should be providing a wide variety of content, which may get smaller ratings, but within which everyone can find something that they enjoy. In this sense, I don’t hold much truck with the ratings argument – nor the bit that Rory points out.

    I think the Beeb is, frankly, in a massive tangle about quite a lot of things at the moment and couldn’t half do with someone of vision to lead the organisation and try and cut through the bullshit.

  622. 625
    punctum on 22 Nov 2012 #

    That’s putting it very diplomatically. Historically the BBC have a tendency to give its audience what it THINKS it OUGHT to want, rather than what it actually DOES want; the success of Radio Luxembourg, ITV, Sky etc. demonstrates that this is the road to nowhere, at least the way the BBC has done it. Listening to 6Music on a Sunday, for instance, is like being at school.

    So it’s interesting to note that a new three-part discussion series hosted by Danny Baker is coming up on BBC4 about “great albums.” I wonder where they got that idea from and wonder if they’ll get ANY ratings.

  623. 626
    Cumbrian on 22 Nov 2012 #

    Yes, well, having put comments up on various different places around the Internet and been part of/observed quite a few flame wars, I’ve learned to try and moderate and be somewhat more clear about what I’m saying. It saves a lot of hassle. Particularly here, where mis-steps can (and should) get picked up.

    I’ll watch the Danny Baker programme likely. I don’t have a BARB box attached to my TV set though (and would likely watch it on iPlayer in any case), so I’m not helping on that score. I think the idea comes from the fact that, if you take out The Killing and Only Connect, quite a few of their best performing programmes are based around music, so knocking some more out might be a good idea. But moaning about low ratings and being faced with cuts and then putting out stuff in exactly the same genres might not be a sensible way of turning performance around – as I said, I think they’ve got themselves into a tangle in a number of areas and it’s stuff like this that illustrates that it’s endemic, and not just confined to their reactions to the Saville revelations and the associated McAlpine stuff.

  624. 627
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Nov 2012 #

    #625 – Johnnie Walker has trodden the “great album” path, of course. He remains a remarkable man and an eternal Swede hero.

  625. 628
    punctum on 22 Nov 2012 #

    When you read further and DB’s idea of a “golden age of albums” is Making Waves by Focus, eyes glaze over and unconsciousness resumes.

  626. 629
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Nov 2012 #

    I once introduced Mrs Swede to the glory which is Focus, I’ll have you know. She didn’t leave me but it was a close call.

    I still love “Sylvia”, I must admit.

  627. 630
    glue_factory on 22 Nov 2012 #

    @625 Sunday on 6Music seems to me to be the only day that it genuinely distinguishes itself from a slightly hipper XFM. Mind you, it’s the only day you’re likely to hear Focus, so perhaps there’s the rub.

  628. 631
    punctum on 22 Nov 2012 #

    The thing is I like the music on The Freak Zone, for instance – well, most of it anyway – but Maconie comes across as a desperate-to-please/please-don’t-sack-me geography teacher, always overexplaining, overqualifying and overjustifying everything he plays to such an extent that it puts me off listening. He should listen to Tim Rice’s American Pie on R2 for a masterclass in how to inform and entertain an audience at the same time.

  629. 632
    enitharmon on 22 Nov 2012 #

    Marcello, are your eyes glazing over at the idea of Focus making a fine album (Focus made several IMHO, others may differ) or is it because he couldn’t even name an actual Focus album? (I have one called Moving Waves but am unaware of one called Making Waves)

  630. 633
    lonepilgrim on 22 Nov 2012 #

    TOTP 3/11/12
    Peter Powell introduces acts from the sublime to the ridiculous – hyperactively and indiscriminately
    ELO over the charts
    The Jam – brand new, they’re retro
    PP whoops and jumps
    Carpenters – unearthly
    Barron Knights – no joke
    Queen – despite the audience on the video, the band still seem as if they’re in a bubble
    Dorothy Moore – fantastic, unfamiliar (to me) song sees the gals dressed in bubble wrap outfits
    Status Quo – the song that opened Live Aid (?); Quo drifting from streamlined boogie to more poppy material
    Bowie – the TOTP band’s version of ‘Heroes’ redeemed by a committed performance from DB
    Showaddywaddy – forced jollity; they mean it, man. I hate this band
    Abba – not their best; still better than most
    Needles & Pins over the credits

  631. 634
    Lazarus on 22 Nov 2012 #

    Almost forgot this was (still) on, and so missed the Top 30 (and most of the Jam).

    The boy Powell introduces with puppydog enthusiasm.

    Someone used to use Weller’s barked intro as a jingle didn’t they – wasn’t Fluff was it?

    Carpenters – lovely, but sad to see Karen looking so careworn.

    Barron Knights – I don’t remember this, thankfully. Barely a smirk from the audience.

    Queen – all bedecked in black and white, appropriately for future badger champion Brian May. Sounds like a premature farewell from Freddie. Good stuff.

    Dorothy Moore/Legs and Co – the song is soulful, the girls elegant, and Lulu has a lovely smile. The Swede will approve I’m sure.

    Status Quo – the song fits the band so perfectly that I suspect that many people to this day don’t know it’s not a band composition. They’re enjoying themselves as usual.

    David Bowie – I sometimes wonder if I have no ear for music, I can never tell the TOTP band renditions from the originals (I suppose I could if I heard them back to back). I thought this was from a German TV show (there’s a big ‘W’ in the background) so why would they not use the record?

    Showaddywaddy – unusually for them, this was an original song I believe. Bartram and pals get down with audience members at the end.

    Abba – Agnetha and Frieda lipsynch their parts across the table to their menfolk. Classic, obvs.

    Smokie play us out to some weird, wobbly animation that seems to owe something to ‘Yellow Submarine.’

  632. 635
    Mark G on 22 Nov 2012 #

    “Dancing Party” is an old Chubby Checker single.

  633. 636
    Mark G on 23 Nov 2012 #

    Right, lets get some unique insights into the world of 1977.

    For example, how would you know if I didn’t tell you that you can see the address of Paul Weller’s old girlfriend quite clearly. Assuming she doesn’t live there now, of course. Fact time, only one member of The Jam was actually christened Paul. I used to know his twin brother Pete(r). Good bloke.

    Peter, mate, don’t do a whoo jump. I know you’re keen on your first show, but hey.

    The Carpenters do the extraordinary craft that they are so adept at. And actually get Klaatu into the chart. Brave.

    Around this time, I was on Radio London as a featured reviewer ‘from the audience/listenership’, Malcolm Laycock, rest his. Anyway, I got an advance copy of this Barron Knights um, medley. Two funny lines, “Yeah, I’m a man of simple tastes” and .. oh wait, one. There is a ‘comedy’ bit based on Angelo, but there’s no time for it here.

    Peter.. ah whatever. He seems more like the audience than the presenter in his larking with them (as opposed to after/against them), 1978 seems more in touch with the new style rather than the old DLT/Blackburn/Edmonds vague flirting method. If 1978 doesn’t get the airing, well my guess is that the horses bolted and died a long time ago.

    Queen, and Freddie breaks out his top-half-of-the-mike-stand, etc.

    This Dorothy Moore track danced to by Legs/Co nicely enough. This song.. It reads a classic in the ‘married couple to be’ sense, I’ve heard a few dedications over the years regarding the “I’ve made up my mind for a lifetime” line. Apparently, the Carpenters did this previously as well!

    Quo do their signature tune and thank the Fogarty.

    Bowie appears! The audience suddenly gets older and grows moustaches!

    Showaddywaddy! You know, last time out I pointed at Slade as having lost the fire, well at least the wad still give it some presentation. As I say, Chubby Checker had it as the twistin’ party at the fade of his original.

    Peter drops to his knees every time he mentions the artist/act. Puppies!

    Abba video, Peter says goodnight and hopes he passed the audition.. And Smokie do a note perfect rendition of the Searchers hit version of “Needles and Pins” unneccesarily.

    Cheers till next week, unless I’m back before then which is likely…

  634. 637
    punctum on 23 Nov 2012 #

    #632: Personally I would have preferred it if Focus had made an album called Hot Butt Action but that’s just me.

  635. 638
    Mark G on 23 Nov 2012 #

    Ha, when I saw your shortened message on “New Messages”, I’d thought a good alt would be “Making Bacon”, but hey you sailed well past!

  636. 639
    glue_factory on 23 Nov 2012 #

    #633 Rockin’ All Over The World was the song that opened Live Aid, unless you count the Coldstream Guards performing the Royal Salute (according to Wikipedia). Indeed with Heroes and We Are The Champions, this is probably the episode with the most tracks from Live Aid so far.

  637. 640
    punctum on 23 Nov 2012 #

    Or if you were American, it started with Sade.

  638. 641
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Nov 2012 #


    Young Peter Powell on debut. He’s looking for fun and feelin’ groovy. Countdown to ELO’s Turn to Stone. Neither fish nor fowl this one, like much of their stuff.

    Jam – This is a modern world. Strange to hear them sing this 35 years later. A hand shandy for Bradley Wiggins. And Bruce Foxton really did look like Ray Doyle, didn’t he?

    Yes, that jumping whoop from Peter! Calm down, son!

    Carpenters – One of their oddest offerings. Karen does look unwell but the silky voice is still there. Richard, meanwhile, thinks he’s Grieg.

    Barron Knights – Pretty grim this, although they seemed to share the Swede’s take on the Floaters. By far the best bit, “Angelo” was left out, as the minibus engine starts up.

    Queen – Self-indulgent Freddie, not taking himself seriously at all during this stadium rock staple.

    “A little bit of beauty” quoth Powell, who’s leaping around like Tigger, and on come the Gals to Dorothy Moore. What a great voice and it’s a good song too. It’s a nice, smily girl-next-door routine from Sue’s troupe. Very elegant after the wondrous filth of last week.

    Peter says “Hi hi, blue eyes” to a girl and on come Quo with probably their most recognisable track. What can we say?

    Bowie (or is it Julian Clary?) in the studio (but what studio?). It looks like the LWT logo behind him? Can’t be. Heroes. Great.

    The Waddy – Fun time for the group and audience but the Barron Knights have company on the long drive up to the Irish Sea coast. The Pontins guards will have to strap Romeo in, though, lest he kicks off. He’s a big lad.

    Number one all day long. Abba at play with both girls looking ravashing.

    “Good night, God bless,” from Peter. I personally appreciate this. He’s a perfectly likeable fellow, even if his tendency to duck down and bob up again every time he appeared on screen was more than a little puzzling.

    Out to who else but Smokie. Live from the Green Dome.

    Enjoyable show.

  639. 642
    wichita lineman on 25 Nov 2012 #

    Paul Weller’s guitar with “I am nobody” scratched into it. Very impressive. Better than the ok-ish song.

    Richard Carpenter looking quite a lot like Bowie there. Very Major Tom.

    I missed “long ago, outside a chip shop in Walthamstow”.

    Queen – playground “naaa-na na-naaa-na” chorus bothered me when I was 12, still does, though it’s very 2012 I suppose.

    Gals, dodgy curtain outfits, Dorothy Moore, I dunno… it’s no Misty Blue.

    Quo – it’s no Rain or Mystery Song or Green River, but it does make me think of the Embassy World Darts Championship which is a good thing.

    Bowie – stunning. How the heck couldn’t this even make the Top 20 after a TOTP performance? The backing musicians are pretty good too.

    Waddy – “Bristol Stomp, mashed potato too…” giving away its self-promoting Cameo Parkway heritage.

    Abba – the name of the game they’re playing appears to be Sorry. How very Abba.

    Most sublime to gorblimey TOTP ever?

  640. 643
    Mark G on 29 Nov 2012 #

    Hah! on the case rightnoe..

    TomRobinsonband do motorway, this time it’s better and they seem to have worked out an edit performance themselves..

    Ruby Winters does an old Billy Fury number proud.

    Roxy Music have a re-release hit thanks to Polydor gaining control of EG records off of Island. You’ve seen this before I’m sure.

    Boney M, repeat performance.

    Elvis Costello gets called “The ‘Red Shoes’ man” for the last time as he gets a bona fide hit single. Funny, this seemed totally out-of-character with his new-wave persona at the time. Then again, it got taken up by various others in the months to come.

    Legs and co dance half-heartedly to “How deep is your swimming pool”, but they look happy enouhh. Probably because they didn’t have to get changed at all, just donned a flat cap and wooly cardigans.

    So Noel gives a long intro to Kuddly Cen, who seems to have done that unusual thing and got a hit single as a DJ! This must have been the episode they were going to show as part of his tribute night.

    Santana show a film performance of She’s Not There that looks like it was filmed on a mobile phone. AT THE TIME!

    Blimey, Tina Charles still has hits! She always seems nice, Ruth Jones should do her in the next biopic..

    Darts are back. Will Den hit those bass notes this time? Well again the performance has more energy than last time. But, no.

    Abba film, again

    and out to Rod Stewart, studio lights and fade

  641. 644
    heather on 30 Nov 2012 #

    Virginia Plain! (well, half of it). It’s like posh glam has come to wave it off.

    Why are the dancers dressed as 1930s farm workers for “How Deep Is Your Love?”. What on earth? Did they all turn up in cords one day and the choreographer decided to go with it? Is it an ‘Annie Hall’ thing?

    (It’s stuff like this that we’ll miss when the show goes. The girls aren’t dressed zexily enough to appear in compilations)

    Kenny Everett is quite pretty, shame about the song. Don’t like the strange swirly hole that’s started appearing in the outro lights.

  642. 645
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Dec 2012 #

    TOTP. Noel very annoying. Even without hindsight.

    Chart rundown to Jacksons. Going places. They might not be but he certainly is.

    Tom Robinson ups the motorway to great effect.

    Ruby Winters – Very nice girl with a red rose knocking out an old love song. I thought it was Teresa Brewer. Turns out it was Billy Fury.

    Roxy – Virginia Plain. Er…WTF? Fabulous, obv but out of time by five years, which is a lifetime in popular music. This was another one the Swede had no idea (or had forgotten) had been re-released.

    Boney M – I can only repeat how odd this record was.

    Elvis C – Watching the decs. Swedestrasse all day long. Brilliant stuff and wonderful memories of being an indesructable 16 year-old.

    Bee Gees – How deep. Inexplicable routine from the Gals dressed as cockney git blokes from Oliver! Rubbish and just wrong. Swede no like.

    Kenny Everett – Grim.

    Santana – She’s not there. Edmonds promises to “tell the story” of this to a couple of sorts. I hope he mentions that despite this being a better than good effort, the original was on a different planet.

    Tina Charles – She’s turned up again. The Swede had a thing for her back in the day and she’s just as pleasant as ever. A bottle of chilled Bolly awaits Tina in the minibus.

    Darts – A crate of warm brown ale for this lot in a different bus to Tina.

    Abba number one. Game. Name. Again.

    Rod takes us out.

  643. 646
    lonepilgrim on 13 Dec 2012 #

    TOTP 24/11/77
    Kid J introduces an enjoyable snap shot of 70s pop
    Boney M over the chart rundown
    The Carvells – celebrate skateboarding in a Beach Boys style – I like this more than I think I should
    Wings – dreary dirge, can’t imagine this will catch on
    Bonnie Tyler – rasping tones and tasty guitar ‘licks’
    Darts – panto rock and roll – liked this then and now
    Leo Sayer – unfamiliar and pleasant
    Jonathan Richman- Legs & Co go the Wilson, Keppel and Betty route – is that Mucky Sue in the Camel costume?
    Hot Chocolate – great groove and arrangement – Errol Brown as mysterious as ever
    Bee Gees – glorious
    Santa Esmerelda – would slip in perfectly between Bingo and the Meat Raffle
    Abba – chilly perfection
    Jacksons – efficient if unmemorable

  644. 647
    Jimmy the Swede on 15 Dec 2012 #

    The Kid again. Countdown to Boney M and the country that’s changing (oh). A persistent and now annoying guest.

    The Carvells – Who they? A clever pastiche of a Beach Boys surfin’ song but about skateboards instead. It stays just on the safe side of ludicrous by rocking along nicely in celebration of a burgeoning trend of the time. Well done.

    Wings go strolling in the Western Isles. Zzzzzzzzz!…

    Welsh Bonnie as yummy as ever. Aching ticker. Fools game. Clown.

    Darts – Aha-ha, Aha-ha, Aha-ha! Pontins security found wanting again.

    Lil’ Leo – With a pained look, he invites us to pity the poor little man. We do. But not in the way he’d want. Arse.

    Jensen stands astride a smily young woman and on come the Gals to Egyptian Reggae, a blinding track. And our mouth-watering troupe are on fine form with one of their routines which is both sexy and very well choreographed, complete with King Tut and camel. I think Mucky Sue may well indeed have been in the ship of the desert outfit. If she was in the front, the Swede would dearly have loved to be at the back.

    Kid is bookended by a couple of disinterested black girls and then on comes Errol B. What a showman he truly was! And what a fine offering from the Chocs. Far too good for Prestatyn, these boys!

    Bee Gees – Classic seventies cut and footage. When they have their backs to each other, fine. But when they start strolling side by side, I wet my fucking self. Hilarious!

    Santa Esmerelda – Should have remembered this but I don’t. Brave effort to cover one of the great ones Latin style. Fair play. The watching kids are not having it alas.

    Abba at number one – Enough with the ludo for fuckssake. Try snakes and ladders, why don’t you?

    Jensen wishes us a good week and good love, introduces the Jacksons to fade and then sets up the surrounding kids with a cue of “Right!” which they all ignore. Was it really that bloody boring back in 1977?

  645. 648
    Lazarus on 15 Dec 2012 #

    Kid at the controls, as I believe he liked to say.

    Boney M over the charts – ‘Crystal Gale’ at number 30.

    Wings – I don’t mind this now, although by Feb 78 I was as sick of it as everyone else. I’ll take this over Fairytale of New York, which I seem to be hearing about six times a day.

    Bonnie T – luscious, and a good song, but that voice, well, I can have too much of it personally.

    Darts – I’ve had enough of their clowning now, esp. Hegarty. He jumped ship early on didn’t he, perhaps the others were fed up with him too.

    Leo Sayer – I honestly don’t remember this at all. White sweater with gold stripes is nice, I’d wear that now.

    Jonathan Richman/Legs and co – Sue was off last time so it might not have been her in the camel, I think she’d have put her foot down after that bloody bee. I reckon it’s a couple of the Flipper lads meself.

    Hot Choc – a very different offering from the Chocs, a rather strange and eerie sound. A bit of a grower I think. The wobbly circles from the end credits put in an early appearance.

    Bee Gees – brilliant all day long, and a brave move to release a ballad as the first single from the SNF soundtrack. Put out with the Xmas market in mind perhaps. At 14 I was happy to risk the derision of my peers by openly liking this – I’d have got it one way or the other.

    Santa Esmeralda – I’ve got this 45 actually, but I bought it for the B side, a slowie which I took to on a longago Spanish holiday.

    Abba – last week at the top presumably with the juggernaut heading down from Scotland, bagpipes of peace ‘n’ all.

    Some 20 bodies crowd around Kid as he wishes us ‘good love’ to a minor hit by the Jacksons. The weird circles with a black space in the centre look like some sort of groovy shroud. SFX people having fun in an extended playout.

  646. 649
    Jimmy the Swede on 15 Dec 2012 #

    Lazurus – I have to warn you that your criticism of Fairytale of New York has left you open to a savaging from Rosie. She adores this record and when I popped up a while ago to mention that I detested it, she let me have it!

    And if it was the Flipper lads in that camel, the Swede’s fantasy has just evaporaped, I can assure you.

  647. 650
    Lazarus on 15 Dec 2012 #

    If Rosie worked where I do and had to put up with eight hours a day of Heart FM she might reconsider, they’ve been bombarding us with Christmas songs (the same half-dozen, of course) since mid-November. “More music variety” they like to say.

    I forgot the Carvells – if the Bay City Rollers had ever tried surfin’ music, I guess it would have sounded a little like this.

  648. 651
    Lazarus on 15 Dec 2012 #

    It was Sue and Lulu in the camel by the way (probably) – I forgot there were six Legs.

  649. 652
    Mark G on 16 Dec 2012 #

    A six legged camel?

  650. 653
    Lazarus on 17 Dec 2012 #

    Six dancers – I’ve taken to referring to them as the Legs – of whom four were visible and, presumably, two in said camel. Sue does seem to have been the one picked most often for the ‘unusual’ costumes but who knows, perhaps she liked it!

  651. 654
    Mark G on 21 Dec 2012 #

    So, Tony gets to introduce Generation X with their second single. Presumably the first, “Your Generation” didn’t hang around long enough. Well, “Wild Youth” didn’t make the charts, so ha. Tony gives that ‘well, it wasn’t my idea’ face at the end.

    HotChoc do “put yr love in me”, possibly the strangest single they ever did, and it sounds the most modern track here.

    Legs and Co do Dance to Dance Dance Dance Dance, by Chic. They wear not much.

    Manfred Mann and his Earth Band do a song called California. At some point, they will do a cover version of “Going Underground”, but that’s a long way off. The guitar solo amuses the drummer no end.

    Bonnie Tyler. Fast forward.. Bee Gees, ff-> .. This is what happens when the BBC miss out a week, the show ends up being the same.

    Graham Parker does the New York Shuffle. Joe Jackson is watching, right? I met Martin Belmont once, he is very tall. Next to Gray, he looks about 6 foot 5. That’d be about right.

    Now there was an obvious edit right there. Tony jumps into introducing The Banned. Chancers make a fairly good record, but you wouldn;t know it from this performance. Pedestrian. Oh, and this I think was the first single to come out on a fake indie label before being ‘snapped up’ by the mighty EMI…

    Mull of fast forward. And oh, they still love that Belfast record, now it’s the fadeout..

    And now it’s next week already, and Donna Summer has even more hits than I have had hot dinners today. This one’s called I Love You..

    The Dooleys continue to let the gormless bloke do the lead vocals.. Who bought this? yr older sister that didn’t like punk, that’s who. Does she play it now? No, but I bet you don’t play “Wild Youth” either.

    Oh, hello, it’s Elton, I hadn’t realised. He looks about 12. Legs do their Camel dance again. Actually, I reckon they just rolled their old tape again.

    Carl Douglas models the fruit and veg seller look of the future. Which is the past now, sorry.

    Elton looks like one of East 17. Julie Covington does a worthy version of “Only Women”, somehow it seemed more, um, raw when Alice Cooper did it. Actually, was it banned when he did it? I dunno.

    Darts go by in a flash, yep, I did the ff->

    Legs and co dance to “My Way”, I bet they loved that one when they turned up to work. Actually, they wear the daftest dresses and dance to something only they can hear, it seems.

    And Elton gets to introduce that rarity, an actual live performance! John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett.

    Right, the Emotions (or, the “Help my arms are in the air” band, as they always looked to be on the chart rundown piccie), anyway John Otway.. It’s funny, we saw this on TOTP2 a few months ago, Amber thought it was awful. I had to tell her that it was thanks to that bloke that I got to sing on the b-side of his ‘second’ top thirty hit some many years later, and got named as such along with 1000 others, but hey it was Abbey Road Studios so ner ner ner and ner.

    Oh there’s Wings again. Pauls recorded there a lot. Pete Best managed three sessions I think. I made one. Did I mention that?

    The Brighouse and Rastrick brass band pipe us all out. So, is that it for 1977? I don’t think I’ll bother with the Christmas specials, they were always rub past 1975 or thereabouts.

  652. 655
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Dec 2012 #

    First of two shows tonight. One can barely contain oneself…

    Bannockburn hosts. Rundown to Donna S.

    Man Alive, it’s Gen X to open! Woo-Hoo! Billy Idol was a rare punk pin-up for teenies and he takes centre stage here. Alas, Tony dismisses it all with a contemptuous raised eyebrowed shrug and a “There it is!” He never did get it, did he? Arse. In the background, we can just see Billy throwing the mic away. He should have thrown it at Bannockburn, the tosser.

    The Chocs again. But this is a strange goody, it is fresh studio footage and once again old Zebedee is the master of the hall.

    Chic – Dance, Dance, Dance. And yousah, yousah, yousah, it’s the Gals in their absolute pomp and very little else save bikinis and feathers. They dance, dance, dance indeed and Captain Mucky takes the lead as the salivating Swede begins to disintegrate fabulously into ambulance-calling territory.

    Mannfred’s Earth and California. The Pleasant Music Gang do a turn and few are either complaining or roaring approval.

    For once Tony says the right thing and introduces “a lovely lady” from Swansea. She may sing like Rod Stewart but there’s no girly on the pop scene tastier, look you!

    Heebie Jeebies. Same film.

    Graham Parker – Bannockburn much more malleable towards this than one might think. Excellent track.

    Out of nowhere, Tony introduces the Banned and Little Girl. Mick n Keef could have written this, quite frankly. The Swede’s approval is apparently echoed by Tony. “I love that one!” he assures us. Really?

    Number one time. Ma looking tired. As are we all, Paul, mate. When Linda strolls slowly across you’d think she was about to strike up the barbee. No wait… And then when the islanders are all gathered around, it looks just like the final moments of “The Wicker Man”. If only…

    Out to Belfast. How many more f’king times?

  653. 656
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Dec 2012 #

    Second show. Reg Dwight guests as host. He unfortunately takes his duties far too seriously and is as wooden as a rocking horse, a far cry from the pampered, starry, precious diva he was destined to morph into. Countdown to another of Donna’s. Busy bee.

    The Dooleys – Safe cheesy pop for the middle classes of the Home Counties. The Swede can say this because back in the day instead of being just that, I was still imprisoned in my high-rise council hell-hole in Stockwell. By God, I was grateful for a tangerine and a Mars Bar in me Christmas stocking and a ham sarnie with a gherkin for me dinna. Bloody Callaghan!!

    Repeat of the Gals routine to Egyptian Reggae. Fine but why?

    Carl Douglas – Run Back. He’s dropped his much-milked Chinese novelty act and tries for the mainstream Billy Ocean vote. But alas no cigar is forthcoming. Report to Prestatyn, Carl. It’s over, son!

    Julie Covington – Woefully overlooked talent here. A powerful song delivered with a bitter pummelling. Fabulous.

    Not bloody Darts again! Blinking flip! They can’t help it, eh? Look, send Rover after them. It’s the only way these numpties won’t get out again.

    Another respectful tribute to the King from the Gals as he warbles his way through My Way. A silhouette of what’s supposed to be Presley strums his geetar on a screen. Did the Gals have any regrets doing this routine? I’m sure they had a few.

    John Otway and W W Barrett Esq – Really Free. Otway looks a cross between Rod Liddle and Alan Davies. One lad in the audience is pogoing. Some of the kids are chuckling but the great majority are confused. Really? Free!! “Strange stuff!” says Elton, smiling for the first time. He’s got that right!

    Dwighty echoes my own admiration for the excellence of Best of my Love (“one of the best singles of the year”) and then introduces the Emotions onto the stage to perform a flop that had far too much to follow up, whatever it did.

    Number one. Wings still there. New footage. Doesn’t help. This is truly wretched the noo.

    Out to the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band – In the name of all that’s holy, if it isn’t bagpipes, it’s music to drop ferrets down your strides to. Just wrong.

    Elton over and out.

  654. 657
    wichita lineman on 22 Dec 2012 #

    The missing DLT episode from 1/12/77 has been rescued by the kindly http://yesitsnumberone.blogspot.co.uk/


  655. 658
    Lazarus on 28 Dec 2012 #

    However, yesitsnumberone will not be continuing in 1978, sad to say. The twitterings of the regs on here will continue as long as the series does I hope, after all something has to fill the long months between Popular entries …

  656. 659
    Mark G on 3 Jan 2013 #

    #654 I mentioned an obvious edit, loking on Popscene I see it was Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”, which is a bit disappointing as, along with Laurel/Hardy and “As time goes by”, it’d have been nice to see them, and part of 1977 was those old movie hits being reissued and getting in the chart.

  657. 660
    Mark G on 27 Sep 2013 #

    Call off the dogs! Popscene 1977 has been updated, “Prove It” by Television was used over the credits on the 4th August 1977. So, no actual appearance by Tom Verlaine and co.

  658. 661
    Lazarus on 2 Oct 2014 #

    Wasn’t sure where to post this – she wasn’t involved with any UK number one hits to my knowledge – but I learned earlier today of the very sad news of the death of Lynsey de Paul, Britain’s Eurovision representative of 1977 (along with Mike Moran of course). Lynsey may or may not have been 64 – she’d written ‘Storm in a Teacup’ for the Fortunes in 1971 – but she was a real heart-throb for many in the early seventies and ‘Won’t Somebody Dance with Me’ is a favourite of mine from that time. RIP.

  659. 662
    Paulito on 3 Oct 2014 #

    Sad news indeed. She had great style and real songwriting chops too. “Sugar Me” is classic erotic pop.

    I think the closest she came to a #1 was as co-writer of Barry Blue’s “Dancing on a Saturday Night”.

    Nice tribute from Wichita in the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/oct/02/lynsey-de-paul-singer-songwriter

  660. 663
    ottersteve on 3 Oct 2014 #

    Fond memories. “Getting a drag” was a great tongue-in-cheek poke at the glam rockers of the time. Recommend that contributers here try youtubing some of her songs. I think you’ll be surprised at how good she really was.

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