Aug 08

Popular ’78

FT + Popular/361 comments • 14,202 views

I give each record reviewed on Popular a mark out of 10. This is a poll where you can indicate which ones you would have given 6 or more to – pick as many as you like, and discuss the year in general in the comments box if you want.

Number One Hits Of 1978: Which would you have given 6 or more to?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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My highest mark for 78 went to Kate Bush (10) – my lowest to the Brotherhood of Man (2).


  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 15 Aug 2008 #

    The phantom number ones in the NME chart of 1978 were; Blondie ‘Denis’ (2 weeks) and Showaddywaddy ‘I Wonder Why’ (1 week).

  2. 2
    Conrad on 15 Aug 2008 #

    A really good (but not quite great) year for singles, not reflected in the No 1s of a year dominated (at least in terms of weeks at the top) by Grease and Boney M.

    Still, any list that includes Wuthering Heights (a definite 10 for me), Uptown Top Ranking and Take A Chance can’t be all bad…

    And I do have a soft spot for the Rats and Rod.

    It’s surprising that one of the biggest acts of the year – ELO – never got higher than 6.

    Some other faves from 78 (the first year I started buying singles)
    – Clash “White Man in Hammersmith Palais”
    – Jam “Down In A Tubestation”
    – Rachel Sweet “B.A.B.Y” (well, partly beacuse I had a crush on her)
    – Evelyn King “Shame”
    – ELO “Blue Sky”
    – Tonight “Drummer Man”
    – Jacksons “Blame It On The Boogie”
    – Elvis “…Chelsea”
    – Blondie “Picture This”
    – Sylvester “You Make Me Feel”
    – Abba “Summer Night City”

  3. 3
    Tom on 15 Aug 2008 #

    Yeah, it’s one of those years where the sheer popularity of one or two things crowds diversity out on a list like this. I have a lot more time for Grease’s 16 weeks at the top than other 16-week runs I could mention, but even so it’s a more skewed picture than usual.

  4. 4
    Conrad on 15 Aug 2008 #

    Yes, there was no denying the phenomenon. I always quite liked You’re The One and Frankie Valli would have made for a deserving Number One.

  5. 5
    SteveM on 15 Aug 2008 #

    8 ticks – personal best, but it’ll be surpassed soon enough…

  6. 6
    Greg Fanoe on 15 Aug 2008 #

    I only ticked 4, I think this was a poor year for number ones. Then again, I only knew just over half of the songs, so maybe there’s some hidden gems.

    “Night Fever” was the worst single from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Unbelievable that it’s the only number one in the UK. (There were like 5 or 6 that hit the summit in the US).

  7. 7
    o sobek! on 16 Aug 2008 #

    us #1s 1978

    bee gees – how deep is yr love
    player – baby come back
    bee gees – stayin alive
    andy gibb – love is thicker than water
    bee gees – night fever
    yvonne elliman – if i can’t have you
    wings – with a little luck
    johnny mathis and deniece williams – too much, too little, too late
    john travolta and olivia newton john – you’re the one that i want
    andy gibb – shadow dancing
    rolling stones – miss you
    commodores – 3 times a lady
    frankie valli – grease
    a taste of honey – boogie oogie oogie
    exile – kiss you all over
    nick gilder – hot child in the city
    anne murray – you needed me
    donna summer – macarthur park
    barbra streisand and neil diamond – you don’t bring me flowers
    chic – le freak

    yikes, usually when i compare the two i prefer the american chart overall (note but i’m an american) but my fave individual #1 is at least half the time maybe more something that topped the brit chart but not the american one, and before i looked i might’ve guessed that would be the case again (esp w/ ‘uptown top ranking’ up there) but ye gods the american chart. the chic is the only thing i’d could put alongside althea&donna-abba-kate bush.

  8. 8
    a logged out p^nk s lord sukråt wötsit on 16 Aug 2008 #

    oops i kn0bbed that up by only ticking what i would give ten to X(

  9. 9
    will on 16 Aug 2008 #

    I only picked out five. Looking ahead, I should think that 1979’s figure will be at least double that.

    Glancing down that list, 1978 was a rum old year for chart-toppers. The changes brought about by punk obviously hadn’t yet filtered through to the top of the charts.

  10. 10
    Lena on 16 Aug 2008 #

    OMG where to begin with the awesomeness of 1978? I voted for eight of the songs here, and of the US #1s I would happily vote for fourteen. SUCH a great year…

    Other songs I remember from the time:

    Cheap Trick – “Surrender”
    Earth Wind & Fire – “September” & “Fantasy”
    Electric Light Orchestra – “Mr. Blue Sky” (the whole version, from the album, can make me cry, also Hello Arcade Fire)
    Walter Egan – “Magnet And Steel”
    Olivia Newton-John – “A Little More Love”
    Parliament – “Flash Light” (first synth bass in a song?)
    Gerry Rafferty – “Baker Street” (I happen to like the sax and guitar) & “Right Down The Line”
    Chris Rea – “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)”
    Patti Smith – “Because The Night”
    Talking Heads – “Take Me To The River”
    Van Halen – “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” & “Runnin’ With The Devil”
    John Paul Young – “Love Is In The Air”
    Warren Zevon – “Werewolves of London”

    Not forgetting Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” and “Shame” by Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, or Cheryl Lynn’s “Got To Be Real” or Chic…

    Also gloriously looming on the horizon – first singles from Adam and the Ants, Human League, Scritti Politti and I can’t forget Thomas Leer, Flying Lizards, The Rutles or Nick Lowe’s “I Love The Sound of Breaking Glass.” WHEW! The amazing thing is that 1979 is going to be even better (insert Westwood-type bomb here).

  11. 11
    Billy Smart on 16 Aug 2008 #

    Here are the same charts for 1978 seen upside-down, ie the singles that only got to number 40 that year;

    21 Jan Jam Jam Jam – The People’s Choice – 1 week

    18 Feb Sweet Sweet Smile – The Carpenters – 1

    15 Apr Hey Senorita – War – 1

    23 Sep Where Did Our Love Go? – Manhatten Transfer – 1

    25 Nov Homicide – 999 – 1

    None of these have overcome their comparative neglect at the time to pass into popular memory.

  12. 12
    o sobek! on 17 Aug 2008 #

    ‘homicide’ has slightly (much moreso than ‘rat trap’ stateside at least i’d bet) vaguely vaguely sorta yes?

  13. 13
    mike on 17 Aug 2008 #

    My top fifty non-chart-topping UK Top 40 hits of 1978:

    1 Clash – (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
    2 Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
    3 Elvis Costello & The Attractions – (I Don’t Wanna Go To) Chelsea
    4 Rose Royce – Love Don’t Live Here Anymore
    5 Blue Oyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper
    6 Earth Wind & Fire – September
    7 Electric Light Orchestra – Mr Blue Sky
    8 Jam – Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
    9 Buzzcocks – What Do I Get
    10 Rose Royce – Wishing On A Star
    11 Electric Light Orchestra – Sweet Talkin’ Woman
    12 Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King – Shame
    13 Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman
    14 Public Image Ltd – Public Image
    15 Funkadelic – One Nation Under A Groove
    16 Earth Wind & Fire – Got To Get You Into My Life
    17 A Taste Of Honey – Boogie Oogie Oogie
    18 Yvonne Elliman – If I Can’t Have You
    19 Chic – Everybody Dance
    20 Ian Dury & Blockheads – What A Waste
    21 Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Radio Radio
    22 Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)?
    23 X-Ray Spex – The Day The World Turned Day-Glo
    24 Undertones – Teenage Kicks
    25 Jam – David Watts / A Bomb In Wardour Street
    26 Bill Withers – Lovely Day
    27 Earth Wind & Fire – Fantasy
    28 Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive
    29 Blondie – Denis
    30 Nick Lowe – I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass
    31 Sylvester – Dance (Disco Heat)
    32 Crown Heights Affair – Galaxy Of Love
    33 Plastic Bertrand – Ca Plane Pour Moi
    34 Blondie – (I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear
    35 Jacksons – Blame It On The Boogie
    36 X-Ray Spex – Germ Free Adolescence
    37 Siouxsie & The Banshees – Hong Kong Garden
    38 Rezillos – Top Of The Pops
    39 Voyage – From East To West
    40 Buzzcocks – Love You More
    41 X-Ray Spex – Identity
    42 Jilted John – Jilted John
    43 Tavares – More Than A Woman
    44 Herbie Hancock – I Thought It Was You
    45 Alicia Bridges – I Love The Night Life (Disco Round)
    46 Hi Tension – Hi Tension
    47 Phil Hurtt – Giving It Back
    48 Buzzcocks – Promises
    49 Musique – In The Bush
    50 Stargard – Theme From Which Way Is Up

    A wonderful year for the singles charts… but the best was yet to come.

  14. 14
    Billy Smart on 17 Aug 2008 #

    The NME critics’ poll for 1978 is mightily good, despite it’s odd omission of a number 50;

    1. Ever Fallen in Love – The Buzzcocks
    2. Public Image – Public Image
    3. What a waste – Ian Dury
    4. Miss You – Rolling Stones
    5. Radio Radio – Elvis Costello
    6. I Don’t want to go to Chelsea – Elvis Costello
    7. Hong Kong Garden – Siouxsie & the Banshees
    8. White man in Hammersmith Palais – The Clash
    9. Shot Both sides – Magazine
    10. Sign of the times – Bryan Ferry
    11. Shame – Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King
    12. Hit me with your rhythm stick – Ian Dury
    13. Rising Free – Tom Robinson Band
    14. Satisfaction – Devo
    15. Ambition – Subway sect
    16. Take me to the river – Talking Heads
    17. It’s the new thing – The Fall
    18. I love the sound of breaking glass – Nick Lowe
    19. What do I get – The Buzzcocks
    20. Germ free adolescents – X ray spex
    21. I am the fly – Wire
    22. Because the night – Patti Smith
    23. Damaged goods – Gang of four
    24. Mr know it all – Gregory Isaacs
    25. Night People – Alan Toussaint
    26. Mighty Real – Sylvester
    27. Private plane – Thomas Leer
    28. Where were you – The Mekons
    29. Hard workin man – Captain Beefheart
    30. Down at the doctors – Doctor Feelgood
    31. Little way different – Errol Dunkley
    32. Don’t come close – The Ramones
    33. Dangerous woman – Tapper Zuki
    34. Love don’t live here any more – Rose Royce
    35. Surrender – Cheap trick
    36. Dry up your tears – The bold one/Clint Eastwood
    37. Stayin’ alive – Bee Gees
    38. Badlands – Bruce Springsteen
    39. Tommy gun – The Clash
    40. Jilted John – Jilted John
    41. Human fly – The cramps
    42. Natty never get weary – Culture
    43. Picture this – Blondie
    44. Shank block bologna – Scritti Politti
    45. Which way is up – Starguard
    46. Statue of liberty – XTC
    47. Tomorrow night – Shoes
    48. News of the world – The Jam
    49. D.I.Y. – Peter Gabriel

    Melody Maker didn’t do a poll, but did declare ‘Shame’ as their single of the year.

  15. 15
    Billy Smart on 17 Aug 2008 #

    Sounds also did a critics’ top ten that year;

    1) Because the night: Patti Smith
    2) Public image: Public Image
    3) White man in hammersmith palais: Clash
    4) Miss you: Rolling Stones
    5) Hong kong garden: Siouxsie & the Banshees
    6) Teenage kicks: Undertones
    7) Down in the tube station at midnight: Jam
    8) Shot by both sides: Magazine
    9) Night fever: Bee Gees
    10) Tommy gun: Clash

    (never much cared for ‘Because the Night’, myself. Indeed, I’d rather listen to ‘Rat Trap’)

  16. 16
    Billy Smart on 17 Aug 2008 #

    Record Mirror did a list that year, too;

    1 Patti Smith Because of the Night
    2 Jam Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
    3 Magazine Shot By Both Sides
    4 Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King Shame
    5 Gerry Rafferty Baker Street
    6 Steel Pulse Ku Klux Klan
    7= The Normal TVOD/Warm Letherette
    7= Boomtown Rats Rat Trap
    9 Elvis Costello I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea
    10 Boney M Rivers Of Babylon
    10= Dire Straights Sultans Of Swing
    10= Billy Joel Just The Way You Are

  17. 17
    wichita lineman on 17 Aug 2008 #

    And the German number ones…

    Mull Of Kintyre – Wings
    Smurf Song – Father Abraham
    Rivers Of Babylon – Boney M
    You’re The One That I Want – JT & ONJ
    Dancing In The City – Marshall Hain
    Rasputin – Boney M
    Mexican Girl – Smokie
    Substitute – Clout
    You’re The Greatest Lover – Luv’
    YMCA – Village People

    Justice for Rasputin and Substitute rather outweighed by 17 weeks at the top for Rivers Of Babylon.

    1978 no.1s in Holland…

    If I Had Words – Scott Fitzgerald & Yvonne Keeley
    Denis – Blondie
    Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
    Rivers Of Babylon – Boney M (9 weeks)
    You’re The One That I Want (9 more, no escape…)
    You’re The Greatest Lover – Luv’
    Grease – Frankie Valli
    Hopelessly Devoted To You – ONJ
    Dreadlock Holiday – 10CC
    Get Off – Foxy
    Trojan Horse – Luv’
    Paradise By The Dashboard Light – Meat Loaf

    Norway went with
    Darling – Baccara
    It’s A Heartache – Bonnie Tyler (12 weeks)
    Mil Etter Mil – Jahn Teigen
    Rivers Of Babylon
    YTOTIW (18 bleedin weeks)
    Smurfesangen – Geir Borresen

  18. 18
    o sobek! on 18 Aug 2008 #

    big ups to holland for that FOXY love

  19. 19
    Erithian on 18 Aug 2008 #

    And big ups to Bonnie Tyler for the time she threw an egg at Noel Edmonds on Swap Shop for his fabourite misheard lyric: “It’s A Hard Egg”. Bonus points if she’d actually hit him. Her 70s singles rather more likeable and less overblown than one the bunny prevents me mentioning.

    And Norway put Jahn Teigen at number one? Need I remind anybody what that song was famous for?

  20. 20
    DJ Punctum on 18 Aug 2008 #

    You’ll never be so wrong. Not in a lifetime.

  21. 21
    wichita lineman on 18 Aug 2008 #

    Lest we forget…


    But I do prefer their ’68 entry, Stress by Odd Borre.

  22. 22
    Mark G on 18 Aug 2008 #

    Um, don’t mind me, but is it true some people are voting not to give Kate Bush more than 6 out of ten? Althea and Donna also? Heck, I even gave that Abba one more than 6…

  23. 23
    DJ Punctum on 18 Aug 2008 #

    Probably the same people who voted for MBC and Figaro.

  24. 24
    wichita lineman on 18 Aug 2008 #

    Or those Grease fans… weirdos. Abba would only have got a 5 from me, tho. All a matter of taste, and relativity. What would people have given Summer Night City if it had kept their run going?

  25. 25
    DJ Punctum on 18 Aug 2008 #

    I voted for both Grease-related entries so careful with the “weirdo” business there.

  26. 26
    mike on 18 Aug 2008 #

    #13 – Bah, Patti Smith’s “Because The Night” got accidentally deleted from my list. It should have been at #5.

  27. 27
    Conrad on 18 Aug 2008 #

    Re 24, a definite 10.

    And I don’t know how I missed Shot By Both Sides from my list. The best debut single since, oh, Wuthering Heights…
    (actually I think they may have been released around the same time).

  28. 28
    Doctormod on 18 Aug 2008 #

    Amazing, simply amazing.

    This is the first time my votes have been so closely aligned with the majority.

    This can only mean that the end is near for the 1970s!!

  29. 29
    wichita lineman on 18 Aug 2008 #

    Conrad, it’s a 9 for me, close to perfection. But such a slow burner, it baffled me at the time; the giant dynamo took a while to lure me in. Snap for most of Abba’s ’79 45s.

  30. 30
    alephnaughtpix on 21 Aug 2008 #

    “What would people have given Summer Night City if it had kept their run going?”

    Summer Night City > Take a Chance on Me IMHO

  31. 31
    Chris Brown on 24 Aug 2008 #

    Weirdly, the four I voted for have become the Top 4. Should I admit that? ‘Night Fever’ is only just a six, and even then possibly only because I was in the right mood when I voted.
    This being my birth year, I can’t claim to have appreciated any of this at the time, but I can see there’s a lot of very good music that didn’t top the chart (some mentioned in other comments) as there always is. For reasons I can’t quite recall, I was discussing the parallel lists of UK and US chart-toppers on Usenet somewhere and boy did the US get the dirty end of the stick there, Chic aside. At least the UK Number Ones aren’t consistently awful, and even the bad ones are mostly well-known.

    Oh and I may have asked this before, but is ‘Summer Night City’ one of those records that sounds massively better on disc than on the radio?

  32. 32
    Billy Smart on 2 Sep 2008 #

    NME Readers’ poll for 1978, ‘Best single’ category;

    1. The Clash – White Man In Hammersmith Palais
    2. PiL – Public Image
    3. The Boomtown Rats – Rat Trap
    4. The Jam – Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
    5. Siouxsie & The Banshees – Hong Kong Garden
    6. Magazine – Shot By Both Sides
    7. The Rolling Stones – Miss You
    8. Patti Smith – Because The Night
    9. Jilted John – Jilted John
    10. Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street

  33. 33
    Billy Smart on 2 Sep 2008 #

    Aha! Found out the missing single from the NME critics’ list;

    In that all-important number 50 position, ‘Power’ by Lester Bowie. I bet that DJ Punctum knows it!

  34. 34
    Billy Smart on 3 Sep 2008 #

    Again, the Melody Maker readers’ poll for 1978 is following a different script to the NME one;

    1. Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street
    2. Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear The Reaper
    3. Genesis – Follow You Follow Me
    4. The Rolling Stones – Miss You
    5. Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights
    6. Patti Smith – Because The Night
    7. Thin Lizzy – Rosalie
    8. Joe Walsh – Life’s Been Good
    9. Black Sabbath – Never Say Die
    10. ELO – Mr Blue Sky

  35. 35
    hardtogethits on 12 Sep 2012 #

    Response to a letter in this week’s Radio Times, about the possibility of BBC4 showing Top Of The Pops from 1978:

    “the BBC tells cause it has no immediate plans to show 1978 series, but is keeping that decision under review.”

    What does anyone think? A tiresome bluff or a serious threat?

  36. 36
    lonepilgrim on 12 Sep 2012 #

    #35 perhaps if all ten of us wrote to the BBC…

  37. 37
    Mark G on 12 Sep 2012 #

    Do people actually send letters to the Radio Times? “Ooh, isn’t John Barrowman lovely, he certainly brightens up my day..” etc. I suspect not, I suspect that whenever the BBC wants to do something or raise something, they get someone to write in and say “oh, is it true?” and then a spokesman can say “A man told another man that that is probably not what’s going to happen”.

    Which means, this particular thread is going to end up with less comments than 1977’s one, by the time 2014 is here.

  38. 38
    punctum on 12 Sep 2012 #

    First TPL entry for 1978, and it’s the one everyone thought I missed out in 1977.

  39. 39
    Ed on 14 Sep 2012 #

    @34 Blimey. MM readers there showing a quite uncanny ability to predict the track-list for the triple CD “Driving Rock Hits of the Seventies”.

  40. 40
    Simon on 20 Sep 2012 #

    Of course the BBC has no immediate plans to show 1978 next year, it’s still early September. They didn’t make their 1977 plans known until towards the end of October.

  41. 41
    hardtogethits on 20 Sep 2012 #

    # 37, #40 Why so rude?

    Your comments don’t add anything helpful at all.

    1. Yes, people write to the Radio Times, and yes the Radio Times publish some of those letters and yes the people working at the Radio Times seek answers to the questions correspondents raise

    2. It’s not uncommon for the BBC to have plans for a few months ahead..

  42. 42
    Simon on 20 Sep 2012 #

    Yes, but BBC4 won’t have confirmed the shape of their weekly schedule this far in advance and quite often they’ll parry long term questions with “no immediate plans” which doesn’t rule anything in or out. Besides which, these repeats really don’t rate as well as everyone thinks.

  43. 43
    hardtogethits on 21 Sep 2012 #

    #42. So, having publicly mauled the premise of my question, you are now able to explain that the BBC4 statement could be either a tiresome bluff (“BBC4 … will parry long term questions”) or a serious threat (“these repeats really don’t rate as well as everyone thinks”). That is what I said in the first place.

    Really, when I asked “What does anyone think?”, I meant “Does anyone have any additional insight or information?”

  44. 44
    Mark G on 21 Sep 2012 #

    #41,I wasn’t being rude..

    I was alerting people to the distinct possibility that the letter might have been ‘internally raised’ to raise the possibility that the Top of the pops repeats may get packed in, so as to ascertain the outcry.

    I don’t doubt that they don’t have the schedules set as yet, but if someone wrote in asking “oh, will Eastenders still be broadcast next year?” I doubt the reply would be “we have no plans as yet, but”

    See, the word “decision” in “we are keeping that decision under review” seems to suggest they have decided.

  45. 45
    Cumbrian on 21 Sep 2012 #

    On the schedules being raised – working at a TV station researching for the programming/scheduling team at the minute in fact – the BBC should have a pretty good idea what their schedules will look like in January right now. We’re working on the final bits of our January schedule at the moment, after which they’ll get kicked around for a bit to see what we think of them/run some numbers to see if we think they will work, leading to a confirmation 6 weeks out (i.e. middle of November).

    In other words, someone may well have “decided” what is happening before they get some analysis/polishing over the coming 4/6 weeks – pending an actual finalised decision.

  46. 46
    hardtogethits on 21 Sep 2012 #

    #44. Thanks for the clarity. I agree with what you say in #44, and in particular it’s good to know someone else other than me would consider that the use of the word “decision” is important.

    #45. Likewise.

  47. 47
    Lazarus on 21 Sep 2012 #

    I really do hope that 1978 gets shown, as it’s my Year Zero – the year I started buying records, and really paying attention to what was in the charts, as opposed to merely what was at No 1. After a brief flirtation with the new Smash Hits, I transferred my allegiance to Record Mirror upon learning that it contained each week’s Top 75. Besides, the public has a right to be reminded of hits by the likes of Marshall Hain, Yellow Dog, City Boy and, er, Plastic Bertrand.* Even though what might have been an unforgettable performance by Legs and Co as Smurfs appears to have been wiped.

    (*first 45 purchased, actually)

  48. 48
    hardtogethits on 21 Sep 2012 #

    Yes, my year zero too. I’d be heartbroken if they stopped now.

  49. 49
    lonepilgrim on 27 Sep 2012 #

    from the TOTP Facebook page:

    Great news that the 1978 season of TOTP will be shown in 2013 on BBC4, starting off with ‘The Story Of 1978’ documentary and then into the 5th January 1978 edition of the programme!

  50. 50
    Paulito on 28 Sep 2012 #

    @47 – and let’s not forget “Driver’s Seat” by Sniff ‘n’ the Tears, “Car 67” by Driver 67, and the Motors’ two hits. 1978 was a vintage year for automobile-related chart pop.

  51. 51
    Mark G on 3 Oct 2012 #

    Latest news seems to be “Episodes involving Jimmy Saville will not be shown”

  52. 52
    punctum on 3 Oct 2012 #

    TPL and the last word in 20 Golden Greats.

  53. 53
    Ed on 6 Oct 2012 #

    @52 It’s great to have you back, punctum!

    What I had been meaning to say, but failed, when you had your crisis of enthusiasm a few weeks ago, was that I thought TPL had been on an astonishing run of form recently. It’s always been a pleasure, of course, but over the past few years of entries it has just been incandescent. (“He’s literally on fire,” as the BBC commentator charmingly said about Jason Kenny. He wasn’t, fortunately.)

    So thank you for doing it. If you did stop tomorrow, of course, it would still be a remarkable achievement. But I hope you do keep going.

    Although when I add up all the albums that I have been moved to buy because you wrote about them, it’s starting to get quite expensive.

  54. 54
    Lazarus on 6 Oct 2012 #

    Yes we’re starting to get to more albums that I own now, and when TPL featured ‘The Sound of Bread’ I listened to the album (my vinyl copy has ‘Aubrey’ incidentally, rather than the track listed) while reading Marcello’s piece. Worked very well, and made me realise how rarely I listen to side one – there were four or five songs in the middle that I’d completely forgotten.

  55. 55
    Mark G on 7 Jan 2013 #

    Well, I just saw a snippet of Legs/co’s performance for “(You make me feel) Mighty Real” – I fear The Swede may not make it through…

  56. 56
    Jimmy the Swede on 8 Jan 2013 #

    Alas, Mark, The Swede did not see this. I did catch a show about 1978, which had lots of goodies on it, including the recently enobled Kate Bush, the already enobled Bob Geldof and the jilted Jilted John amongst others but the only glimpse of the Gals was of them and a bunch of numpty lads, including our old mate Floyd, doing a uber-innocent routine to Summer Nights, which failed to excite big style. I shall certainly watch out for the Sylvester routine. I’ve no doubt that our pouting lovelies (and one in particular) will make me feel mucky real. Oh God, yes!

  57. 57
    Lazarus on 8 Jan 2013 #

    There were two programmes about 1978 on Friday night, the first of which was a doc-style/talking heads affair whose basic premise was that this was the year that TOTP got some credibility. Not bad if you ignored the clueless numpties who seemed to have missed the point of the Christmas show. “They never seemed to have the Buzzcocks or Undertones on it” one moaned. Performing one of their many number ones, presumably? You could make the same point about the bookings for the weekly show, but frankly if Robin Nash had the choice of booking Cilla or, say, the Vibrators, there was only one way he was going to go. He still had to make a show for the family, not just for the Kids. There were a couple of the Legs on the doc too – Sue turns up quite often on these things but I hadn’t seen Lulu since she appeared on the ‘Buzzocks’ ID parade about 10 years ago. The second programme was the hour-long compilation that Jimmy saw. Decent mix of performers that reminded us all that the year wasn’t just about Grease and Boney M.

  58. 58
    lonepilgrim on 17 Jan 2013 #

    TOTP 05/01/1978
    Peter Powell introduces
    Odyssey provide a classy backing over the credits – chart looking
    Eddie & The Hot Rods – energetic retread of ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’
    wild & hairy according to Pete
    Julie Covington – genius – cut short so that we can enjoy an extended performance by the next act
    PP tries and fails to link the two acts
    Long Tall Eddy – I think this is the worst thing I have ever seen on these repeats; hideous
    David Soul – Legs & Co in black nylon nighties writhe around on a giant bed; ambulance on its way to Swede’s place, toot sweet
    The Babys – gonna be big in 1978, according to PP, (& apparently they were according to wiki) – don’t remember them at all
    Terry Wogan – pleasant brass band tune + a glib eject
    Tonight – hyperactive, new-wave/panto hybrid
    Bob Marley & the Wailers – live version less languorous than the studio one – BM compelling
    BoM – dressed as the X-Men for some reason -they seem to have given up & embraced their end of pier destiny
    PM & Wings – PP makes it sound like Mull o’ f*kin tyre – still as dreary
    Althea & Donna – pop genius not overshadowed by PPs acrobatics

  59. 59
    Mark G on 18 Jan 2013 #


    Eddie and the Hotrods fill out their name back to normal, but the sound is weedy, and the song is lacking something. “Quit This Town”, at this point they are the longest running ‘punk’ band on the show, but they seem to be going back to vague glamness.
    Julie sings Alice. It’s an odd one, Alice Cooper is often very ‘I am a persona’ during his performances, but by now he was a ‘solo’ act, and the songs seemed quite personal at this point.
    Long Tall Ernie and the Shakers. I defy anyone to pick out Ernie here. It’s a flood of bad miming and mugging for the camera. Doubtless killed it stone dead. I think some of them were involved in the “Stars on 45” series, with a greater success rate as regards ‘copying’…
    David Soul still hangs onto his ‘heart-throb’ status, but not actually arsed to turn up. Legs get some large scatter cushions and full length negligees.
    The Babys did get big, over in the states. Here, it’s their early days. John Waite. yes.
    Terry Wogan manages to forget how to use a microphone.
    Tonight. Oh, we all looked down on the fake punk poppers but there was a half-decent intro and a couple of good ‘bits’, but it lurches int a woodblock drum bit and “you really got me” for the chorus. OK, three Glen Matlocks, with Thom in the background and Steve Harley on drums.
    Bob Marley and the Wailers presented live in a decent quality film for once (generally, non-studio takes look like bad youtube)
    Brotherhood of man, the girls seem unsure whether Figaro is a girl or a guy on the first line of the song here.
    Macca sends film performance in, I wonder do the studio folk start packing things away during these quite long film performances? I wonder what Lennon thought of this one. I wonder if PPowell bottled out of the somersault, when he went for the jump at the end onto the fluffy pillows. I used to have carpet like that in my bedroom. I didn;t install it, but it
    (actually, think I’ll end this one here)

  60. 60
    hardtogethits on 20 Jan 2013 #

    Not done it this way before

    Odyssey over the chart rundown: What a way to start. The very essence of TOTP 1978-1980.

    Eddie and the Hot Rods: File under Forgotten Follow Up (FFU). As with other FFUs, trying hard to emulate the preceding single. Succeeds, but we got the point first time. Tired of this and that + vague act of rebellion, I’m sure he went on to Quit That Town. To a new town, where he moaned about the dentist telling him about the value of regular check-ups, or something.

    Julie Covington: yes very, very different; yes, beautifully performed. Unfortunately, no broadcaster has an audio recording of this (in 1978 or 2013) so you’ll never hear it on the radio.

    Who and the shakers?: Long Tall Eddie? Again, who? Initial horror and yet, this is beguiling. Well-constructed, and if one accepts that medleys of old hits are NOT the root of all evil – and given Jive Bunny’s marks on Popular, it seems possible that v few Popularists will accept that – then this isn’t half bad. Unfortunately, because of the songs in the medley, it sounds like the soundtrack to a visit to a seaside shop that sells t-shirts, stickers and cassettes by the lorryload.

    David Soul / ver Legs: A hook-free version of Don’t Give Up On Us. A large investment in fabrics and furnishings, in which all of Legs and Co find a space and move to the music.

    Babys: Quite inventive, turned up on K-Tel’s Star Party later in ’78 – the first album I could ever call my own. Note spelling of Babys. Rock and roll.

    Terry Wogan: how? why? Terry laughs in a smugly ironic way because he knows he’s really bad, not really funny, and therefore on his way out – but he’s going to make hay whilst the sun shines. 35 years later, sun still shining on him.

    Tonight: enjoyably harmless, harmlessly enjoyable. Is that the effect they were going for? Possibly not. Turned up on K-Tel’s Action Replay more or less a year later.

    Bob Marley and the Wailers: Marley’s hot on the box. Not his greatest fan, but if ever a performance could convert me, it would be this one.

    Brotherhood Of Man: ooh, the brunette’s gone from curly to Covington. What else is there to say? Mystified that in tonight’s collection, this was the record that had the greatest sales ahead of it. I wonder what’s become of me that BoM inspired me to investigate whether references to Romeo on this record are unfair to Romeo.

    Paul McCartney and Wings: Hymnal. Fine for topping the charts at Christmas – ideal, indeed – no.1 needs updating now though.

    Althea and Donna: something like this will do, let’s hope we get to see them perform it.

    Feels like we’ve leapt forward, just like Peter Powell at the end. Neither he, nor the Babys, nor Tonight, feel like they belong in 1977. Tonight was soooo 1978.

  61. 61
    Jimmy the Swede on 23 Jan 2013 #

    The Swede finally views this show:

    Pumping Peter Powell, and Odyssey with the countdown.

    Rods – He’s gonna quit this town. Petulant follow-up but still acceptable fare in this company.

    Julie Covington – Exceptional performance to camera. What a great voice. Alas cut.

    Pleasant Pete introduces Long Tall Ernie… Lonepilgrim is right, this is one of the worst things I’ve seen on any of these old shows. A grim montage of retro fifties and early-sixties poppycock. As Erithian texed to me, Prestatyn wouldn’t take them. Truly risible!

    Gals! David Soul’s quiet night in. And the Swede would go a night like this any night of the week. Our lovelies are in black negligees, gyrating around on white feather beds. Oh God! Sue stretches out and strokes the bed, whilst employing her classic mucky glassy-eyed stare, and the Swede pants, dribbles and moans. “Pant, Dribble and Moan”, isn’t that an old Litle Richard song the last numpties missed out? Oh, and Lonepilgrim is again right. I was taken to A&E on the basis of this routine, which explains why this posting is so late.

    Next, the Babys. “They’re going to be so big!” chimes Peter. The consequent performance sounds like a song which should have been in “Hair”.

    Terry Wogan – Harmless fun. You’ve got the pick of the admiring girls, Tel. Choose wisely (and carefully!)

    Tonight – I’d forgotten the group but certainly not the song. Loved it. I wonder if he grabbed the majorette in the end?

    Peter gets tongue-tied over the last act, title and group and then treats us to footage of Bob Marley jamming. Swede-music, natch.

    Oh dear, here comes BOM on the way inexplicably to the summit yet again with bloody Figaro. How the fuck did they get away with this AGAIN? And what’s Welsh Nicky done with her barnet, pray? Actually, talking of Wales, there’s a resort I could name where this lot should have been headed for long before they came up with this nonsense.

    Number one – Mull of enough already dreary bollox. Cut, thank Christ.

    Charming Peter jumps enthusiastically over a row of kids sat beneath him. Elf n Safety would have stopped that today. And we’re out to Althea and Donna with one of the best future number ones of the year.

    This show had its moments.

  62. 62
    lonepilgrim on 24 Jan 2013 #

    TOTP 26/01/78
    Kid J introduces
    Donna Summer over the credits – featuring Yannis Markopoulos?
    Rich Kids – Midge free from Slik – lively tune played with conviction
    Althea & Donna – glorious
    Gordon Giltrap – pleasantly cheerful; sounds ideal as background to a BBC documentary
    Bill Withers – Legs & Co perform a pretty straightforward routine in clingy gold gowns to Lovely Day
    Terry Wogan – pre-empting Morrissey, Tel waves a large bouquet – they laughed at him then; they’re not laughing now
    Bob Marley – repeat of the previous film clip; there are sounds of an audience but BM seems lost in reverie
    Yellow Dog – liked this then and now – even if the singer is a little (knowingly) irritating
    Baccarat – charmingly silly; the sound of Ferrero Rocher
    Gallagher & Lyle – pleasant vibe in search of a memorable tune
    Kid appears in a cutting edge video effect to suggest that the next tune may have outstayed its welcome
    Wings – drone
    out with T-Connection

  63. 63
    mark g on 25 Jan 2013 #

    So, time being a random concept where not everything is exactly in it’s place, especially if you happen to be DLT, we are exactly 35 years in the past, swivel swivel…

    The Kid brings us the rundown to Donna Summer, and into the Rich Kids. Now, they really should have been big, or at the very least, medium. So what happened? Was this single the only (triffic) thing they did? Or were they too uncool in the world of Pistols? Anyways, didn’t one of these dudes work briefly in PIL?

    Althea & Donna stumble over the words and lines while the BBC orchestra try to remove any funkiness from Joe Gibbs. Still fine, I guess next time may be better. Last year, some time, I found a budget album “Ray McVay plays the Reggae hits”. I figured it’s gonna be dreadful, but actually it was pretty good. Maybe they should have been the 2nd reserve team here,..

    Gordon Giltrap reminds us of Holiday programmes on the tv. whatever happened to them then?

    Sorry, didn’t really see Legsalot, as I’m busy typing here. Hang on, put it on pause.

    Right. Next. Wogan. fast forward… Strange, at the end of the song, all the boys and girls cop off. That’d’ve been banned if the stranglers had done it..

    Marley, film, repeat, cool.

    Yellow Dog do a song that’s the opposite to CBSager’s “You’re moving out today”, they used to be most of “Fox”, and they sort-of sound like Mink DeVille.Comedy ending means no applause for Yellow Dog

    Baccara and the bonus-round-winning answer to the question “What followed Yessir I Can Boogie”, it’s “Sorry, I’m a Lady” which Matt Lucas must have forgotten otherwise he’d have used it in Little Britain, probably.

    Gal&Lyle do mild eng funk. I remember it not. “We’ll make you cry Argentina” reads the sweatshirt.. eh?

    Just think, if it hadn’t been for strikes and rogue presenters and the christmas break, you’d have to sit through this video seven times by now..(Mull of Kintyre, if you wanna no)

  64. 64
    hardtogethits on 25 Jan 2013 #

    This time it’s the Kid

    Donna Summer and the rundown. It’s become trite to reflect how much variety there used to be in the Top 30 – but nonetheless, didn’t there used to be a lot of variety in the Top 30?

    RIch Kids – an energetic, lively burst. Midge still struggling to find out his best position, but having fun and making some decent records on the way. And a number one under his belt already, of course. He’ll find his niche in a year or two.

    Althea and Donna – I think it’s received wisdom that the BBC orchestra’s contribution made this an incongruous performance, that didn’t do the record justice. Maybe I’m missing the point, maybe people just found the incongruity funny. For me, though, the Orchestra do it just fine and my only concern would be whether first-time listeners/viewers would have known that they would get something better if they bought the record. But that wasn’t unique to UTTR. Impossible now to know, anyway.

    Gordon Giltrap – feel the sun on your back, it’s the BBC’s Holiday theme.

    Bill Withers and Legs & Co – Lovely Day indeed. A beautifully choreographed – if strangely edited – performance from Legs and Co. It’s a peerlessly beautiful song anyway, and at 6 o’clock on a freezing cold January morning (2013), with a long day’s work ahead, just one look at this and I know what kind of day it’s gonna be.

    Terry bloody Wogan – difficult. I am 43, and rationalising the way I felt as an 8 year old. The record is boring, smug twaddle. He doesn’t even seem to know why people would enjoy his performance, so how could I? Mum, why’s he singing so badly? Why’s he pretending to be serious? Why’s he laughing now? Dreadful.

    Bob Marley and the Wailers – on reflection, this does what TOTP was all about. It sells the song to me. Pretty great, really.

    Yellow Dog – Brilliant. A collection of great pop ideas: a tune; a story; a joke which I didn’t think they’d be able to carry off in the TOTP studio, but with Kid’s help they did. If I had to pick one record to illustrate why ordinary Pop was so brilliant in 1978, this would be it. Definitely. Without a doubt. Until next week’s TOTP revisited, at least.

    Baccara – who could fail to be seduced by a European Female suggesting they don’t have men like you in their city? Hard-hearted analysts may be able to turn themselves off at the flower-shower rhyme. But wait! They are ladies, not shady as we thought they might be after their introduction. Oooh, the teases.

    Gallagher and Lyle – Showdown? I know it’ s a hobbyhorse of mine, but it’s more from the Language of Pop that doesn’t exist outside of Pop. I don’t really know what they mean. Nor I think did Kid. I didn’t really get what ELO meant either, nor why there is room in the world for two songs called Showdown. Pleasant enough tune though. How did it go again?

    Wings – ah yes, I’d forgotten. I’m fairly sure someone on the Whitney IWALY thread pointed out that this came within an ace of hanging at #1 on until February, which even back then (to an 8 y-o) seemed wrong. It’s not that it’s a Christmas record, it’s because it’s such a stately record. We sang it in Year 5 assembly, before Christmas 77! I’ll stand by it whereas many who bought it won’t, but it’s time for it to go.

    T Connection. A triumph of vibe + rhythm over melody + lyric. A possible grower.

    All in all, just as brilliant as last week. The charm was there was plenty to love, without having to pretend to like everything.

  65. 65
    Cumbrian on 25 Jan 2013 #

    Re: “We’ll make you cry Argentina” – must be a reference to the (then) upcoming World Cup in Argentina and Scotland’s glorious campaign therein.

  66. 66
    Mark G on 25 Jan 2013 #

    Should have been “We’ll make you a bit sad when you think about us, Argentina” then.

  67. 67
    punctum on 25 Jan 2013 #

    Thinking about Don Masson and Willie Johnston makes me a bit sad, but not in the same way.

  68. 68
    Jimmy the Swede on 26 Jan 2013 #

    Keed is host

    Donna serenades the credits.

    Rich Kids – This sounded like the forthcoming Undertones, no bad thing really.

    Althea and Donna – In studio and ting. Wonderful. It’s a good job Bannockburn wasn’t around. He would have given us his “what’s the point?” look.

    Gordon Giltrap – Not to be confused, of course, with Jim Gilstrap. This is all about Holiday. All off to Prestatyn. Pleasant music, gang!

    Bill Withers – Lovely Day. Lovely Gals! A tasteful and classy routine to a tasteful and classy record. Lots of lovely Legs. And how do you turn a duck into a soul singer? You put it in the microwave until its bill withers. Coat.

    Wogan – Yeah, okay…

    Bob Marley – Wogan into Marley. Lord preserve us!

    Yellow Dog – Absoultely great, this. Mark G is right on the money when he says that this is an answer record to “You’re Moving Out Today” and for me, it’s far more inventive. Yellow Dog first crossed my radar with a record called “For Whatever It’s Worth”. It was excellent but didn’t chart. As for “One More Night”, I have an alternative ending:

    Mucky Sue: “Ahh, one more night, just the one more night,
    Can I please stay just the one more night?
    I’ll be leaving in the morning if that’s alright – ah,
    Could I stay, could I please stay?
    C..Could I stay, could I please stay
    Just one more niiight!!!”

    Swede: “Yeah, okay!”

    Baccara – They’re back! The pretty one and the one who looks like Champion the Wonderhorse (from some angles). Sorry, they are ladies. Nothing to apologise for, really, apart from the salient face that this is garbage. Yes, sir.

    Gallagher and Lyle – “We’ll make you cry, Argentina!” Ha Haa! Not with Alan Rough in goal, you won’t, pal! Mind you, England dinnaaee qualify, so what do I know? Distictly unmemorable song.

    Number one:

    Good Love from the Kid and out to T-Connection. Move to It. Great Disco, peeps!

  69. 69
    Lazarus on 31 Jan 2013 #

    Ha! First in, for once. Ha!

    Bannockburn at the helm, Imperials over the chart.

    Darts – now this one I like, and I think it’s an original, no? Bob (the) Fish on lead vocal this time. Hegarty more restrained than before.

    Scott Fitzgerald/Yvonne Keeley – Saint-Saens gets the cod-reggae treatment from a future Eurovision hopeful and Steve Harley’s sometime girlfriend. A strange thing this, it’s the same words and tune all the way through, and yet somehow it works. The video is quite funny too, a bunch of schoolkids with mad flailing arms.

    Sweet – their last hit, and the first time (I think) we’ve seen them on these reruns. Grown-up glam – I like this very much. Sometimes Ken Bruce plays the long (album?) version with extra noodling. Could anyone read the guitarist’s rosette?

    Legs & Co/Heatwave – a good, and largely forgotten single from the Brit funksters. Nice routine from the Legs, if rather under-lit.

    Rod – very much back in Faces mode, this. Better than the dreary pair that spoiled Jubilee week for so many in ’77. Outdoor footage, somewhere in Latin America it appears.

    Motherhood of Bran – purleese. They’re in safari suits, and Lee is sporting tinted specs of the sort that Cilff was wearing at the time. Our favourite North Wales resort awaits their arrival, once they’ve
    overstayed their welcome with one more Number One.

    Smokie – the TOTP house band return with a rather downbeat number. I did rather like their next effort though. I wonder if they’re still big in Germany?

    Rose Royce – Tone approves, as you’d expect. For a long time I thought this was a Number One, it certainly sounds like one. Gorgeous.

    Adverts – the follow-up to ‘Gary’ was it, or was there a flop single in-between? Can’t say I know it – it’s OK, but I can see why it wasn’t a smash. I spot someone pogoing!

    Althia & Donna – huzzah! A new number one, an’ ting. Same film as last week though, isn’t it? Unusually, even I can tell the difference between this and the record. Classic one-hit wonders.

    Abba play us out. More on this one anon.

    Pretty good show this week I thought.

  70. 70
    hardtogethits on 1 Feb 2013 #

    #69 The Sweet’s guitarist’s rosette read Wrexham FC.

    Those who want to keep Popular ’78 a football free zone, should look away now.

    Wrexham were enjoying an extraordinarily successful season. I’m led to believe that this Sweet performance was a repeat from a DLT-hosted one which hasn’t been broadcast in 2013, and that the original broadcast was on 19 January. At that time, Wrexham were top of the old 3rd division (which they went on to win) and were eagerly anticipating a 4th round FA cup tie away to top flight Newcastle, having convincingly knocked out top flight Bristol City in a 3rd round replay. In the event, Wrexham battled their way to a 2-2 draw away at Newcastle, before handsomely disposing of them 4-1 in a replay.

    In the fifth round, Wrexham became the overdogs. They were pitted against Blyth Spartans, who were only the third non league club to make it to the 5th round since the second world war. Blyth meant a lot to my family. My parents are Geordies, and my maternal grandparents lived just 7 miles north of Blyth – making them the closest team to my mum’s home town.

    The Wrexham-Blyth game took place on my Mum’s 40th birthday, and my brother and me were taken out by our parents to a restaurant for the first time for an evening meal. Readers of Andrew Collins and the like will appreciate what an incredibly rare treat this was to children of the 70s.

    But still, regardless of the Very Specialness of the Special Occasion, we were always going to be home for Match Of The Day. (No video recorders, etc).

    You can watch what happened in the match here.


    If you haven’t seen it before, I hope you’ll find it utterly amazing.
    If you have seen it before, I am as sure as I can be that you’ll continue to find it utterly amazing.

    Of course I’ll chip in with further comments, to widespread indifference when I watch the whole show back later.

  71. 71
    mark g on 2 Feb 2013 #

    Ooh, Modern Lovers in the rundown. No play for them..

    Anyways, “Who’s gonna love me” passes quickly, and we’re into “Wop, do the wang” and Darts are now the go-to ensemble for obscure fifties songs recovered like a nackrd volvo. I did look up who did it first, The Wrens. So, there you go, all part of the service. Apparently, one of their big hits was self-penned but we shall wait..

    Y and S do a song, nothing really to say about reggae-lite version of a classical tune, didn’t much like it then, unfussed now..Why does it make Tone wish he was back in school?

    The Sweet get a dead-cat bounce. Actually, that’s not fair, “Love is like Oxygen” is pretty good, and for a moment it looks like they might be in for a new lease of life, new label, etc. It was not to be.

    Legs get to “Groove Line” and co, they certainly seem happier actually dancin’.

    Rod’s Hot Legs. I know, lets film the band through someone’s stockinged legs, that one. The song is basically a re-write of “Stay with me” with bits of Maggie May. Oh that Rod he doesn’t take himself too srs,right? Soon, he’ll pack in writing songs alltogether, after all why bother?

    BofM get the intro words right this time. Anyways, they are still going even now, the same four, the light entertainment version of ZZ Top.

    When Smokie first ‘started’, they were for ChinChap to do more adult/mature material. Here someone gets to sing in reflective style about prozzies. Does anyone remember Smokie fans? I don’t remember any, but they seemed to get by for a fairly long span without producing any dead-duck singles. As far as I recall, anyway.

    Rose Royce do an all-time classic, not moved to say much more.

    The Adverts get to do their other hit. This version sort-of stumbles through like it’s just about to fall over, and all the better for it. Gaye does a fairly nifty bass run in the breaks, just to show.

    Althea and Donna do ting. The subtitles are in patois, and why not?

    Fade out to Abba. Yeah, it was OK, but beyond The Adverts no great surprises.

  72. 72
    hardtogethits on 2 Feb 2013 #

    Here we go again, and it’s Tony.

    Imperials right on cue over the rundown – chorus, verse, chorus, half-verse, applause. Sold. Other acts got their hits cut short over the rundown.

    Darts: Absolutely action-packed. Team work. Everybody on stage has a part to play in this record, and plays it well. The balding guy with the earring and the leopardskin jacket? Yeah, the past is a different country. I go there on holiday a lot.

    Yvonne Keeley / Scott Fitzgerald: I remember at the time thinking it was nice enough, but also thinking that after Yvonne trots out the lyric for the first time, nothing else happens. Still think that now. Tony’s back at school remark? Well, there were a bunch of schoolgirls on stage. Not Tony, though – note how he keeps his own space throughout tonight’s episode.

    Sweet: Terrific. A distillation, interpretation and expansion of everything 10cc and ELO had done in the past few years.
    Lena wrote a marvellous piece about Donna by 10cc,
    reminding me how they had done the same.

    Heatwave / Legs and Co: great, but confusingly filmed. The dancers look at their very best from what I can see, but those multicoloured bulbs must throw out more heat than light. It’s like Question of Sport’s mystery bloody guest round. Every time I think I can see what’s going on, the camera moves. The record? oh, was there a record playing? Actually, it’s good – very much Boogie Nights part 2, but none the worse for that.

    Rod Stewart: Synecdoche. He’s not really singing about her legs is he? A precursor to Eliminator, in so many ways. I’d be unlikely to choose to listen to it, unlikely to turn it off when hearing it. Hilariously, a dog walks on to the video, realises its error and exits again.

    Brotherhood of Man: This week’s company newsletter: “After a week’s residential course, four of the employees put together a routine to entertain their colleagues.” I’d never realised how lovely Julie from sales looks in the right light. I’ll have to pop down to sales on Monday. Or look her up in the phone directory (that’s what we had instead of Facebook, kids). But wait … proper pop stars? Barring Abba right at the end, this was the Biggest Selling Single featured in tonight’s show? Demand a recount!

    Smokie: Jan 78 is still six months before I became obsessed with the Top 40. I don’t remember this from the time, and I’m not altogether sure I’ve heard it since. It’s good too – but Smokie don’t get airplay at all these days, do they?

    Rose Royce: An exercise in control, this is absolutely beautiful. Even as the song’s structure changes, Gwen Dickey remains in control of it, not vice versa. I’m seriously wondering whether she is – was? – in fact the greatest singer in the history of pop. Certainly the most under-rated, under-used. Fact fans! In 1980, Rose Royce’s Greatest Hits album was the second best-selling album in the UK for the whole of the year.

    Adverts: yeah, smashing. Don’t like the enunciation of Twenny-one, rather lets down the whole shebang. Is that what Punk and post-punk were about? Dropping t’s? But really, this is a good record.

    Althea and Donna: just as beguiling as first time out.

    Out to Abba, unannounced: alongside tonight’s other performances, it sounds like it has been beamed back from the future, never mind the past.

  73. 73
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Feb 2013 #

    Bannockburn is Ringmaster. Imperials to titles. Gotta be smooth, baby! Ooo, look who’s number one. Looking forward to Tony having to announce this one, Popular Pals!

    Darts – Come Back My Love. And blow me down, they are indeed back, as the Prestatyn security clumsily fails to stop this risible group from getting past Rover and legging it. Shocking defending!

    Scott Fitzgerald and Yvonne Keeley – Fitz was ten years away from being pipped to Eurovision by an unknown Celine Dion. He didn’t take the defeat well, the no-mark. Here he joins Yvonne and a bunch of underwhelmed schoolgirls in shirts and ties in giving poor old Saint-Saens a kicking. Not unpleasant but the novelty runs out very quickly.

    Sweet – The glory days are far behind them and the group look old and knackered. But LILO is far from grim and would not have been out of place back in their salad days. I’m sure we’re all grateful to hardtogethits for the gen on Wrexham FC. The Swede has been to the Racecourse twice, once to see Chelsea win 4-0 and once to see England lose 0-1 to Wales, where the scorer was one Mark Hughes, on debut, I think. Wrexham, hey now that’s not a million miles from…

    Gals to the fabulous Groove Line from Heatwave – It’s a good job that the Swede was raised Anglican and not Catholic or else some old Irish geezer would have been muttering away in Latin over my stricken form down to this. Opal Fruits had nothing on this routine, as Major Sue leads her troops in a display which defines their rasison d’etre. Legs, bums, the sexiest of go-go to a blistering backtrack. Yes, it’s way too dark but this is the most satisfying routine since Got To Give It Up. And the Gals, in their orbit, are gleefully lapping it all up. Just wonderful.

    Rod – And would you believe it, more legs! Hot legs! Bloody lovely. The poor old Swede is safely floating over the River Styx now.

    BOM – Ready to pounce with the ridiculously diarylea-infused Figaro. I don’t know what Nicky was thinking with that cut. And the only thing cheesier than the song is Martin’s soup-strainer. Just wrong.

    Smokie – The Prestatyn ramparts are breached again as the house band escape. Standard Smokie fare. It sold records, I guess.

    Rose Royce – Wishing On A Star. Very nice. Very classy. For some reason, I always associated this with Muhammad Ali losing his title to Leon Spinks. He regained the crown the following September.

    Adverts – No time to be 21? Well, I was only coming up to 17 so what did I know? Pretty pointless effort really, although one punter is pogoing. Tony would not approve. Tut-tut!

    Number one and it’s Althea and Donna. Ooo! Bannockburn is surprisingly accepting of this wonderful record, which was so far out of his comfort zone. Perhaps he, like everyone else, was just happy to get rid of Wings.

    Out to Abba taking chances on another fabulous chart-topper.

    Reasonable show.

  74. 74
    Lazarus on 15 Feb 2013 #

    Here we go again, this is the week I turned 15, and England lost a Test match to New Zealand for the first time.

    Peter Powell presents, Gordon Gilstrap over the chart.

    Tonight – they’re back with the story of the drummer man and the majorette. Pleasingly bouncy. The follow-up was called ‘Money That’s Your Problem.’ Yes, it generally is.

    Baccara – and yes that spoken intro induces a chuckle, thanks to ‘Little Britain.’ One is in black and one white, the latter in a very see-through dress. The one in black is showing a lot of leg. I can’t help but think that the Swede will approve.

    David Castle – almost forgotten non-hit, although I suspect that Radio 2 was playing this, as they were Eddie Howell’s ‘Hat Check Girl’ at around the same time. David isn’t really teen scream material, to be honest, but the song is pleasant, a bit Bread-esque.

    Abba/Legs & Co – pop perfection, natch, although cut after two minutes. Gals in glittery black and pink. Some nice high-kicks. Not sure about that hair, Lulu.

    ELO – their ‘Bo Rhap’ innit? Somehow this only got to Number 6. Six weeks at Number One would have been more fitting. Should be over-familiar by now, yet I never tire of hearing it. Lyrics (well, title) come up for the vocoder bit for some reason. We don’t get the end, of course.

    Lulu – in a man’s dinner suit for a disco-flavoured number I don’t recall at all. Bits of it remind me a little of ‘Got to be Real’ but it’s not great. Back to Seaside Special, eh?

    Yellow Dog – singer with gravity defying-scarf has a touch of the Dennis Pennis about him. Pub rock with attitood. A couple of ex-Foxers in tow. I like very much. And this time PP is in on the joke.

    Dusty – the third non-charter of the week. Got a bit of a gospel feel this one, sort of thing you might expect from Elkie. Like Lulu she’d be in the pop wilderness for a while yet.

    Los Estranguladores – as my Spanish teacher called them once. Not one you hear very often. Doesn’t look like the Pops set. There’s a camera man kneeling on the stage for close-ups.

    And then, sitting at a drum kit for some reason Peter introduces –

    Brotherhood of Man – and this time it’s Martin’s turn to wear the shades. Not quite the last we’ll see of them on here, but the end is nigh.

    The drummer man says good night and plays us out with the Rich Kids.

    Something for everyone I suppose.

  75. 75
    punctum on 15 Feb 2013 #

    Three songs featured that never charted.

    “Ten To Eight” was IIRC a Radio Luxembourg Powerplay. David Castle had something to do with the Neon Philharmonic but I’m not quite sure what. One eyebrow, I note.

    Legs & Co goosestepping to “Take A Chance On Me” dearie dearie me.

    Lulu with her cover of “Best Of My Love” oh hang on

    A pass-the-hat Dusty resuscitating an old Martha & the Vandellas B-side to no effect.

    “5 Minutes” – best thing on. Why “it” had to happen is demonstrated by all the muck surrounding it (love “Mr Blue Sky” but “Couldastay Couldappasty” – this guy wrote “Under The Boardwalk”??).

    Brotherhood of Man play out with a storming 18-minute version of Dudu Pukwana’s “Diamond Express” with solos by Evan Parker, Mike Osborne oh hang on

  76. 76
    mark g on 15 Feb 2013 #

    yay! punctum joins the club!

    Am tied up but will add mine during the week…

  77. 77
    wichita lineman on 15 Feb 2013 #

    I remember Ten To Eight getting a lot of airplay, but DC’s performance – simultaneously smug but pissing his pants with nerves – may explain why it wasn’t a hit. He looked quite emaciated too.

    Dusty? Great song, decent version. I thought this could’ve been Top 40.

    Lulu? Forgot how it went before she’d finished singing.

    Plus Mr Blue Sky and Take A Chance On Me which I’ll probably hear every day for the rest of my life.

    As for the twisted mindset of the BBC… they shroud Legs & Co in darkness (unless they’re wearing sparkly 80s leggings) but are more than happy for the Stranglers to sing:

    “They came home on Saturday night
    They killed his cat and they raped his wife
    And in their eyes there was screaming hate
    And when they spoke, they spoke with knives”

    Family entertainment!

  78. 78
    hardtogethits on 16 Feb 2013 #

    Off we go with the infectiously enthusiastic Peter Powell.

    Gordon Giltrap over the countdown. Anyone know authoritatively whether this was a hit single before being used as the theme to Holiday, or vice versa? (please, not the vague “later used as” I found with Google). Either way, it’s joyous.

    Tonight: Not really sure if this was a repeat performance, perhaps I wasn’t watching as closely as I thought the first time they were on.

    Baccara: Not really sure if this was a repeat performance, perhaps etc … ha ha.

    David Castle: Was it Castle or Carson? PP’s pronunciation not clear. I can’t begin to describe how utterly dreadful I find this record.

    Abba: PP crashes the intro, which isn’t good because it’s straight into the vocal. Legs and Co give their most baffling performance yet. Energetic, but uncoordinated. Sparkly and pink, with some bad hair days. Not Sue, notably. Well done her. Maybe they’d been brushing their hair to the rhythm of the radio? Doesn’t do justice to the record either.

    ELO: Wonderful. It doesn’t have to be one’s favourite record of all time to attract high praise does it? Sends my mind racing through ELO’s other 1970s records, and the thrill of putting my older brother’s records on the “music centre” ie record player. But for all the visual and tactile memories, it’s the music that lasts.

    Lulu: yes, it is the Best of My Love, in the bits where she isn’t singing. Sounds like she’s ad libbing from the start, ooh baby. Rubbish. PP says she’s lovely, bubbly. If someone said that about a colleague you hadn’t met, you’d be on your guard, wouldn’t you? “Oh, right, lovely, bubbly?” (Thinks: “annoying”).

    Yellow Dog: Not a repeat performance. Concluding joke not executed quite so well as with the Kid. Still, fun.

    Dusty: Perhaps if she hadn’t been so pointlessly, frequently, likened to Aretha she might never have been tempted to record gospel-tinged twaddle like this. I know Dusty was flattered by those Aretha comparisons, and it didn’t stop Dusty being the Greatest Singer In The History Of Pop – even better than Gwen Dickey – but it didn’t help here.

    Stranglers: Their worst is better than most bands’ best. Great.

    Brotherhood Of Man: Oh, no, a perm. It’s like something from the Stepford Wives. I got anxious watching this performance. What would my 8 year old self make of me watching this again all these years later. Well, ok, it wasn’t that existential – I just thought “what if my 9 year old son walked in now – how could I defend this?” And then it happened, and I couldn’t.

    Rich Kids: yeah, it’s ok. Was tonight’s TOTP the first to be topped and tailed by records which had already been performed in the TOTP studio?

    I am enjoying 1978 so much I don’t want to give the impression that my enjoyment has been curbed, but this was by some distance the least enjoyable episode so far.

  79. 79
    Mark G on 16 Feb 2013 #

    *It Was A Hit First*


  80. 80
    hardtogethits on 16 Feb 2013 #

    # 79. No, not ok. Authoritatively, please.

  81. 81
    Mark G on 18 Feb 2013 #


    “It was a hit before it was used as a theme for “Holiday 1980″ TV show.” (Mark G)

  82. 82
    punctum on 18 Feb 2013 #

    I remember the ad campaign at the time: “YOU GOTTA HAVE HEARTSONG!”

    I concluded that I didn’t gotta have it.

  83. 83
    Jimmy the Swede on 18 Feb 2013 #

    Peter “I love life” Powell in the umpire’s chair.

    Gordon Gilstrap gets us all in the mood for Popular’s two weeks shindig in Prestatyn in August. Swede can’t wait. We may even meet people we know.

    Tonight – A bouncy nonsense song full of vim. Ogden Nash could have written this. Tremendous fun.

    Baccara – Lazarus is correct. The Swede does indeed approve of the leggy, just a little shady, display. And it’s the pretty one who’s treating us rather than her mate who’s probably in a findus frozen meal now. So happy days!

    PP welcomes an odd-looking bugger called David Castle to Britain. Just as the Swede begind to exclaim “WTF?…”, the song becomes very familiar. I remember clearly that narcisstic bearded elf Noel Edmonds adopting this record as if Castle were singing it about him and his own “early morning show”. I’m pretty convinced that Noel used to play it at ten to eight, in fact. I personally think that this is nice. I can certainly hear David Gates in there and there is also more than a hint of a guy who in 1978 was a more than useful welterweight boxer in New York before pop stardom came a-knocking.

    Gals and Abba conbine on “Take a Chance…”. And who wouldn’t. Another perfect pop song from Benny and Bjorn and our lovely dancers are high-kicking for all they’re worth. Sue is smiling again and takes centre stage to do her own wee turn. God, I’m sho’ nuff obsessed with that girl! Ah, but it’s a healthy obsession.

    ELO – And who couldn’t possibly not like this? Infectious, joyous, bugger off winter, here comes spring. “Kevin Curran” on drums really earns his corn on this too. He goes bonkers, the lad. Smiles all round.

    Lulu – Not a clue about this. The man’s dinner jacket didn’t help. In fact nothing helped.

    Yellow Dog – Wonderful. An odd-marked firm, Yellow Dog, but they came up with the goodies here. I would loved to have seen Savile picking up the phone at the end. Oh, hang on…

    Dusty – No memory of this either, alas. But this had far more clout than Lulu. But then Dusty only ever gave strong performances. She was remarkable.

    Stranglers – Great stuff. Just great stuff.

    Peter is a delightful fellow, particularly when one considers some of the ordure we have on the BBC today. He introduces this week’s best-seller and it is, of course…

    BOM – O dear God, this was bleak! Martin has got the shades (I’d like to think this was the result of someone giving him a dry slap) and Nicky’s barnet looks even shorter. They’re bound to be one of many star turns we’ll all be enjoying in August, guys!

    Out we go to the Rich Kids. Rich Kids.

    Family entertainment indeed.

  84. 84
    Mark G on 18 Feb 2013 #

    Well, everyone’s done their full whack of pieces so there’s not much to add from me this week. Just to note that I was never that enamoured about “Just one more night”, mainly because one of our gang decided his role was to be as irritating as possible all the time, and would do 15 min versions of the last joke … Also, reminds me of when Stiff records opened up a record shop around this time, we went down and saw all the nice Television and Pere Ubu and Residents singles that were way too pricey for us. So, I got a few Stiff promos (they were pushing the Sports at the time, until the band paid a visit to the offices and ‘watered’ the plants and were swiftly dropped), and one of our gang bought “Little Gods” by Yellow Dog, which was a ‘glow-in-the-dark’ single (he was looking at the yellow vinyl “Satisfaction” Residents single, I advised him against as he probably would have hated it (I hadn’t heard it myself, not sure if I have even now), but then again I don’t think he ever played it anyway. It just sat on his mantlepiece in his bedroom. Glowing.

    Um, Dusty looks a lot like Julia Davis (Dawn in Gavin and Stacey). The Lulu one passed me by while I was typing the above. I don’t remember her song already, whereas I do remember Dusty’s performance from the original broadcast.

    Oh look, what’s the funny box on the Stranglers’ performance? Can it be blotting out some other TV show’s logo? Surely no. Fine song, and to explain slightly, the key here is: His wife (and cat) have been attacked by a gang of.. what.. But he doesn;t hate all those ‘type’ of people, just the actual people. Anti-racism, not made to be pretty, anyway.

    And just in case you need reassurance that the world is all nice and fluffy, here’s the song about a predatorial spaniard so lock up your wife and cat.

  85. 85
    hardtogethits on 19 Feb 2013 #

    #84. It’s funny, Mark G, that you mention about one of your gang deciding to be “as irritating as possible all the time.” I was about to put out a call to the Popular Headteacher, saying that your responses to my Heartsong question was like having someone repeat everything I say in a deliberately stupid voice. It demeans us both. Any onlooker would say “why all the bickering … 35 year old instrumental pop hit etc.?” You’re not REALLY trying to annoy me though, are you?

    To be clear, I never expected an answer – but I expected any given answer would make some attempt to be authoritative, since that was explicit in the question. For reasons too personal for me to convey, it would aid me to know the answer properly – and though it would not pain me at all NOT to know the answer, it’s irritating when answers are offered which are less than authoritative. You know, like the Yellow Dog joke.

    Perhaps it would help if I set out the background to my asking the question:

    I know that for years BBC’s “Holiday” programme used to have new episodes broadcast early in the New Year.
    I don’t know for how many years, or which years, the BBC did this with the series.
    I however have good anecdotal evidence that this was the case at least some of the time in the late 70s.
    I have fairly weak anecdotal evidence that Heartsong was used as the theme for the programme in 1978 (weak anecdotal evidence = yes I do mean wikipedia says so.)
    I have realised that Gordon Giltrap was from time to time commissioned to write TV themes, and indeed this appeared on a CD of music he has written for the ‘small screen’ – but I cannot find anything to suggest it was written specifically for the “Holiday” programme.
    The single charted in mid January 1978.

    All of this made me wonder: was it being used as the theme for “Holiday” at the time (January 1978)? There’s plenty of reasons to believe it might have been, but it doesn’t necessarily follow.
    And so if it was not used in January 1978 when did Heartsong start being used as the theme for “Holiday”?
    If that was 1978, then why did “Holiday” either a) not start in January or b) not use Heartsong at that time?
    If it was later (and Mark G your reply seems to suggest it might not have started using Heartsong until 1980), then could someone with a bit of insight explain why Wikipedia is wrong, as it occasionally is? I know that’s a big ask, but still…

    I hope this helps clarify matters, and I hope you can help.

  86. 86
    mark g on 19 Feb 2013 #

    Well, if by “authoritative” you need citations, then no I can’t point you at supporting documentation. All I can tell you is that it was some years between it being a hit and it being used as a tv theme. Based purely on my memory.

  87. 87
    punctum on 19 Feb 2013 #


    BTW “5 Minutes” was based on a pretty horrific real-life incident – a female housemate of the flat where Jean-Jacques Burnel and Wilko Johnson lodged in Hampstead in 1977 was attacked and raped at knifepoint by five men. The flat was just five minutes from what JJB termed “the richest street in London,” hence the title. Although I suspect that there’s a bit of Straw Dogs thrown in as well.

  88. 88
    hardtogethits on 19 Feb 2013 #

    #87. Easy to say, and of course you’d be the one to say it. I presume you’ve not witnessed at close hand the horror of Alzheimer’s, nor the joy that can be brought into the life of others when the questions they ask have answers, sometimes related to incredible detail of no discernible future use. Nor indeed the happiness that someone with dementia might experience when someone takes the time to have a conversation with them about the real, often seemingly insignificant details of the past.

    What would you do if a dementia sufferer asked you a question about the charts from 1978, with them accurately recalling that you shared an interest in the charts back then? Would you shout at them (the capital letters) that it didn’t matter, that that’s not what life was about? Whom would that help? You? Them? Or would you perhaps be less forceful, imposing and self-centred?.

    Sadly, I was able to accurately foresee your comment on the matter, in #85. See my reference to “any onlooker”. It’s pretty sickening really that you would only see the value in a question if you value the answer, and still more so that you would do so after I pointed out my frustration at someone else’s insulting condescension. I restate, I didn’t expect an answer at all – but I expected the question to be treated with the dignity it merits. That might mean the question gets ignored entirely, that’s what happens on sites like these. If I wanted reasonable questions to be mocked, I’d be posting to Youtube all the time.

    For absence of doubt, if you have had to deal with the situation I outline, then you have my distant support, and I implore you to look upon the information needs of others more kindly.

  89. 89
    Mark G on 19 Feb 2013 #

    OK, had enough now.

    Nothing I posted above was meant to be sarcastic or condescending. I mistook your request for “authoritative” to mean “state definitely”, that was all I was doing. If you took that as being ‘insulting’, then nothing I can say here is going to act as suficient apology, but I apologise anyway.

    These comment pages are not meant to be citeable references, they are impressionistic, and I treat them as such. And read them as such.

    If Wikipedia isn’t specific enough in that regard, then the best thing to do is ask Gordon Giltrap. (seriously, thesedays so many people are on-line on a daily basis, I once asked the bass-player from Stump to contribute to an online discussion without ever having corresponded before. So, it can happen)

    Anyways.. I was playing my nice copy of “Theme from The Persuaders” yesterday, the b-side being “Girl with the golden hair”, and did ponder the point regarding titling of instrumentals. It’s a pain. Because, the title you give it defines what the tune is about. The Durutti Column would use random selections of friends names, etc. Did John Barry have a title for the a-side? No, I guess he got inspired by the brief for the required tune so did not need a title.

    Gordon created a tune which to him meant being happy and light. Had it been a direct commission, it might have stayed at “Theme from Holiday”, or somethiing..


  90. 90
    punctum on 19 Feb 2013 #

    #88: Far too much presuming going on here.

    If it’s subtext you’re seeking, I could be of some help.

    What would you say was your favourite book?

  91. 91
    Jimmy the Swede on 19 Feb 2013 #

    #89 – I too have a copy of “Theme from the Persuaders” on CBS. “The Girl With The Sun In Her Hair”, the B-side, was used for a commercial for Sunsilk shampoo in the same way that “Can’t Let Maggie Go” was used for Nimble bread. The girl in the hot air balloon.

    The best, though, before the Shake n Vac housewife came along was surely the Flake girl. Absolutely no question what was going on there. A beautiful honey blonde eating a chocolate bar? Not bloody likely! In fact the sensors were not that naive. They knew exactly what Cadbury’s were doing but could not suggest it. Instead they simply demanded that the girl bit firmly into the flake and not to just lick it or suck on it.

    Oh, the memories!

  92. 92
    Erithian on 19 Feb 2013 #

    The “other half” of Roger Taylor out of Queen IIRC.

  93. 93
    Mark G on 19 Feb 2013 #

    .. and one day I got a copy of the Manfred’s “Ragamuffin Man” in a jumble sale and eventually played the b-side which was called “a b-side” and went whoa!

  94. 94
    Jimmy the Swede on 19 Feb 2013 #

    #92 – Wot? The Shake n Vac woman? Blimey!

  95. 95
    Lazarus on 19 Feb 2013 #

    No, I think it was one of the Flake girls who got to Roger Taylor.

  96. 96
    Steve Mannion on 19 Feb 2013 #

    He married the Flake girl but then married the Shake&Vac girl to clean up after her. All the sordid details can be heard on ‘Flakey Shakey Heart’, b-side to his biggest solo hit ‘Nazis’.

  97. 97
    Jimmy the Swede on 19 Feb 2013 #

    #95 – Lucky swine! Mind you, the Shake n Vac gal would certainly have put more of the freshness back into their love life, so Roger probably picked the wrong one.

    Ah..just seen Steve’s comment, which nipped in above this one. Thanks for clearing this up, Steve!

  98. 98
    wichita lineman on 20 Feb 2013 #

    Re #89 The Girl With The Sun In Her Hair, the B-side, was used for a commercial for Sunsilk shampoo in the same way that Can’t Let Maggie Go was used for Nimble bread”

    A pedant writes… John Barry was commissioned to write the music for the Sunsilk ad, which first came out as Sunny Girl on a flexidisc in 1967,so it’s not quite the same thing.

  99. 99
    Lazarus on 21 Feb 2013 #

    I will post my comments when I’ve seen it again, but for my money tonight’s show was the best in the series so far.

  100. 100
    mark g on 21 Feb 2013 #

    Well, for the first time, we’re here live! (oh, OK, I just mean I am…)

    *edit* oh one additional, why not?

    ‘Which way is up’ gets the chart going, will the chart run out beore the song gets going? Yep.

    TRB do the acceptable a-side of the e.p. as opposed to ‘sing if you’re glad to be gay’, which was too controversial for this point in history.

    Righto, here is Kate Bush, I believe this was her ‘most embarassing’ performance as far as she was concerned, it does seem a bit slow and she seems a bit stuck with the mic. Still, this gave female impressionists (I.e. impressionists who were actually female) something to live off for, ooh, ten years? More?

    Repeat Darts performance. No fast forward so will have to watch it.

    Legs and Co are, oh , actually reasonably well lit for a change. It’s funny, they always said Legs & co were for the ‘dads’, and here we all are. Then again, I’d rather have some o those missing performances back but hey it’s light relief, but from what? I dunno, it keeps dancers in employment I guess, and not just these girls..

    Billy Joel for the first time! See, David Castle, this is how you could have played it, a little restraint. Still, old Bill was a veteran by this point anyway, so knew how to.

    Is that a Nudie shirt, our Kid J?

    Sweet get to be repeated, was this the week Brian crashed out?

    Elkie. I was watching an OGWT repeat this morn, Vinegar Joe (Elkie and Robt Palmer, and various other), very British Janis Joplin and the holding company etc. The solo songs trod a fine line up to this point between easy-listening and something a little more colourful. This is one of the latter, but you go where the money is calling you so to use an over-used trope the summer season calls, but the audience will be going ‘Blimey, She’s amazing’ and why not?

    Now, I think that the Bee Gees do ‘Staying Alive’ for the only time on TOTP.. Why? Well, there was so much Bee Geesness going down, you couldn’t cram it all on.

    Ooh, ooh, Magazine! Yes! Um, they beat the Buzzcocks onto the show? blimey. Excellent stuff of course, Do you think he looks like Catherine Tate? Oh, OK just me then..

    Abba, and Kid J gets to do the ‘I’m one of the 4 insert pics’ joke for the FIRST time EVER!!

    So, one of the better ones this week, no complete duffers for once.. oh wait it’s Rod on the fade…

  101. 101
    Lazarus on 22 Feb 2013 #

    Well, what have we here then? Stargard starting us off with what sound like wobble board noises (and about a verse of their hit).

    TRB – and this is the only side I knew at the time (radio wasn’t keen on ‘Glad’ for some reason). Energetic performance. Nice gloves, keyboard player!

    Kate Bush – little moment of history here, it’s her first time on the Pops. Did she carry on doing the show after she stopped touring? My recollection is that she did, but relied much more on videos. Kid gives the album a nice plug.

    Darts – we’ve seen it. It’s alright, I like the next one more though.

    Rose Royce – well the song is a classic of course, and this time it’s for the Legs to ‘interpret.’ Sue’s out on her own for much of the time. Elegant, graceful, etc – but I prefer to see them working up a bit of a sweat – in a ladylike fashion of course.

    Kid introduces the next one from the middle of a curiously lined-up group. Yes it’s Billy, finally hitting the big time after somehow missing out here with ‘Piano Man’ and all his previous albums. ‘The Stranger’ and ’52nd Street’ have always been among my favourite LPs from this period and still get played chez Laz quite a bit. Not my favourite track from the album, but very nice.

    Sweet – was Steve Priest still in the band at this point? I can’t see anyone looking like him. It’s not the chap with the beard and the badge is it, he looks like he’d be more at home in Toto.

    Elkie Brooks – I was looking at the line-up before the show and thought “hmmm Elkie, that one might be a bit of a dud.” I hadn’t realised it was going to be the magnificent ‘Lilac Wine’ The highlight of the show for me, although, like her later hit ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ it wouldn’t have been to my taste at the time. Sounds like it should have been in a show, well it was a showstopper for me anyway.

    Bee Gees – great song, seen the video many times, but who cares? This is the first time I can actually remember seeing them on TV, being much too young for their sixties hits. If they ever went on with ‘Jive Talking’ I don’t recall it.

    Magazine – Howard is Data from Star Trek, surely? Wonderful, but cut woefully short.

    Abba are the new number one. Video lovingly recreated many years later by Erasure of course.

    And I don’t mind Rod … top show. As the Swede would say, Opal Fruits all round.

  102. 102
    punctum on 22 Feb 2013 #

    Kate certainly did come back to TOTP some years later for one of the great TOTP performances: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUBw-P4_Lnw

  103. 103
    punctum on 22 Feb 2013 #

    apologies for duplicate posting

  104. 104
    Jimmy the Swede on 23 Feb 2013 #

    #98 – “A pedant writes… John Barry was commissioned to write the music for the Sunsilk ad, which first came out as Sunny Girl on a flexidisc in 1967,so it’s not quite the same thing.”

    I certainly didn’t know that Barry was commissioned for this, Lino. Thanks.

  105. 105
    Jimmy the Swede on 23 Feb 2013 #

    Kid presents.

    Which Way is Up over the countdown. Knew the record but not the mob responsible.

    Tom Robinson – It seems astonishing to consider how certain sections were disgusted by “Glad” back then and then see where we are today. I seem to recall that Capital played the “offending” track on that EP but scarcely anybody else. Or am I wrong? As for the Swede, I never saw TRB play live but I did see Sector 27 a few times. Some good stuff, I seem to remember.

    Kate Bush – One of the very best of the year, indeed the decade. The Swede was captivated by Kate from the start and her debut single was astonishing, although that’s a bit difficult to gauge from this studio performance. Lovely and completely bonkers. A very nice combination. A landmark on TOTP indeed.

    Darts – They’re becoming as frequent as Smokie now. And just as annoying. The Prestatyn search towers fail again.

    Gals do a classy turn to Wishing on a Star. Glorious. Lots of Legs. Lots of Sue with smiles and mucky blank stares. Silver tops with swish see-through skirts. Opal Fruits.

    Billy Joel – Wonderful but badly cut. Billy seems to be sweating under the lights. The Lurrve Walrus was later to do an excellent cover of this. Mind you, it’s pretty difficult to fuck up a great song.

    Sweet – Same as before. A fine effort but the game was long up.

    Elkie Brooks – Lilac Wine. I also think this sounded like a showtune, which probably goes against it. But I can’t really say anything bad about either Elkie or the song.

    Bee Gees – Staying Alive. I apprecciate that this defined the period we are in but I simply could never take this lot seriously during their Disco phase. I’m sorry but the way they walked along together was just ludicrous. It was much parodied and for very good reason. I think for this reason I was unable to accept that the actual song itself is good, which it is. Alas, because of this clip, I couldn’t get past the impression I got that this was a comedy record.

    Magazine – This was stonking. Erithian informed me they were Mancs. It barely charted which was a shame.

    Number one time – I particularly liked Kid’s line about Abba not being afraid of heights. And then we get the well-remembered 4-way screen. Lots of cheeky winking from the gals and at the risk of repeating myself, I’d take a chance on either of them.

    Out to Rod’s Hot Legs. “Good Love!” says Kid.

    Good love and good show.

  106. 106
    hardtogethits on 24 Feb 2013 #

    The Kid gives 3 examples of who we will be seeing tonight “Tom Robinson Band, Sweet and Abba!” High risk, I’d’ve thought.

    Stargard over the countdown put me in mind of Peter Powell’s “Record Race” of a few years later. Can you work it out before the countdown ends. Is it Rose Royce? Sounds a bit like Car Wash. No it can’t be, though. I got it at 11 when they sang the title.

    Tom Robinson Band: I recall my 10 year old brother’s childish singalong analysis at the time “Don’t Take No For An Answer … Why even ask the question?” There’s more insight in his parody than he could’ve known, I wish I’d thought about it for longer (as well as chuckling as an 8 y-o would). I want to like this now, because I love some Tom Robinson stuff, but this is missing quite a lot.

    Kate Bush: Totally fantastic. I cannot help myself from making the observation that I thought she’d wear false nails whilst not playing the piano. The audience seemed unaware of what a rare show of extraordinary talent they were witnessing. Maybe they were simply awestruck.

    Darts: Still got its place in the democratic-meritocratic world of TOTP ie it’s going up and wasn’t on last week, and I’ll still stick up for the record. But nothing new to observe about the old performance.

    Rose Royce: And the Legs. Surreal. It’s like an Art Deco version of Total Wipeout, with all those ramps and platforms. Looks like fun, running up and down like that. Neeeee-owwwww. I want a go! Not sure about the heels, I can’t imagine that would have made it easy for them. Still, supremely enjoyable.

    Billy Joel: yeah – way, way too short. Subtly crafty rhymes, and after every chorus a sax bit that was a forerunner to the hardtoget Theme From Gregory’s Girl. Therefore brilliant.

    Sweet: Four songs for the price of one – yet a wonderfully cohesive whole, not the disjointed mess it might have been.

    Elkie Brooks: When I first saw this in 1978 I thought she was singing “Isle Of Wight”. I liked that, because my Mum and Dad had booked us a 2 week family holiday there for the summer. I’m surprised after all these years that actually it does sound a bit like that. But, Important Things: Again, wonderful stuff. In parts yes, too slow, too explanatory, too heavy with meaning. Just like an Original Stage Recording for a show you haven’t seen. But the good bits, my oh my, they’re magnificent.

    Bee Gees: Not sure I’d ever watched beyond the first verse and chorus before. “Where ARE they?” we wondered, aloud and simultaneously. In a deprived city in the North of England in 2013, we concluded. Visionary.

    Magazine: Wow! The very opposite of TRB – have heard it many times over the years, and loved it, but don’t remember from 1978 (but do remember it from the TOTP Documentaries last month).

    Abba: Kid, don’t crash the vocal like Peter did! Oh. Too late. Great fun. Amused throughout, and in no doubt about just how fantastic this record is.

    Rod: As with last week, play out to something we’ve already seen and commented upon.

    The best show of a very, very good bunch.

  107. 107
    Lazarus on 24 Feb 2013 #

    Well whaddayaknow, turns out ‘Lilac Wine’ is from a show after all! Not one that any of us would have seen though …


    I’m not sure I really want to hear the Miley Cyrus version.

  108. 108
    punctum on 24 Feb 2013 #

    The Kid in his smart white jumpsuit; “…on this week’s TOP of the PO-HO-HOPS!!” (thrusts entire body forward)

    Stargard and the countdown.

    Tom Robinson looking like a school prefect – we know he would have been happier playing “Glad” but a spirited performance anyway (though Danny Kustow’s solo on the record is more out there).

    Kate Bush – well, a lot of impressionable people fell in love with KB straightaway with this performance, and yours truly was amongst them at the age of 14. Looking at it now you can tell she’s still quite nervous, finding her feet on stage, but still pretty remarkable confidence and a marvellous vocal. Yay for befuddling the audience!

    Darts – omigod it’s Malcolm Tucker! And Phil Collins, oh no it’s Frank Lampard with Phil Collins’ hairstyle. Kind of scary to look at now but clearly far classier and better than Showaddywaddy.

    Legs & Co/Rose Royce – in every dream home, a heartache.

    Billy Joel – sweating profusely, concentrating more on sounding like Frankie Valli (already).

    Sweet – oh dearie me, poor Brian has got a right Taggart face now hasn’t he (hardly surprising since the much-missed Mark McManus was his brother)? Looking as though at the start of his slow and sad downfall and this record really could have been made by anybody. Is that Steve Priest to Brian’s right, still gurning? Quite tragic; from this you can see how they would never be Queen.

    Elkie Brooks – loved this. Yes I had the Jeff Buckley version in my mind but what a magnificent performance, what a tremendous song; she doesn’t overdo the pain but keeps enough of it in her voice and hands to let you know. Really moved.

    Bee Gees – hey, it’s the Police! No, it’s the brothers Gibb, strutting around a disused film set sans pots of paint. Still a great record, though.

    Magazine – clearly cut short but what an irruption. Haughty Howard playing it like a Manc cigar store Indian leaving McGeoch, Adamson and Martin Jackson to work up a sweat. Again, a song of its year, and indeed its time.

    Abba – Kid having a lot of fun (I hope) with the four-screen conceit and really at this point nobody could touch the Swedes, either musically or visually. Towering embarrassingly over the Motherhood of Brans of this world, showing exactly how pop can be done. And yet, such a scary album, and it’ll be 2 1/2 years before they get another number one.

    End credits and “I Love Ya HonAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYEEEEEE!!” – no comment.

  109. 109
    mark g on 25 Feb 2013 #

    Sorry, but the story about Brian Connolly being related to Mark McManus was one of those entirely plausible things (they do look very similar) that proved to be untrue.

  110. 110
    punctum on 25 Feb 2013 #

    What a great story, though.

  111. 111
    Mark G on 25 Feb 2013 #

    oh aye.

  112. 112
    speedwell54 on 25 Feb 2013 #

    This is about when I started watching TOTP on a regular basis. I remember being told there was a four year wait for tickets to be in the studio, and for me that was almost half a lifetime! Having waited that long I’d certainly enjoy it more than most of the crowd this week.

    Evening Kid.

    TRB definitely not miming- this was a big part of watching totp- ‘miming or not’ discussions with my sister; and I’m not just talking about vocalists. Knew Glad, but didn’t remember this.

    I think Kate comes across as confident and knows where the cameras are etc. Was surprised to hear, Mark G, she thought it was “embarrassing” I really can’t judge that sort of thing though, and Kate can do no wrong in my eyes. Special event.

    Darts- my children liked this one and I probably did then too. It was the first of their 3 bridesmaids singles chartwise.

    Rose r. Legs and Co really struggled the other week to dance to Take a Chance On Me, and this was a little less strange. I think they prefer literal interpretations.

    Billy Joel- the strange keyboard noise aside it does feel quite timeless. Rather short -the clip, not Billy.

    Sweet- Do they say “OxyJEAN” in Canada then Kid? Sounding very ELO in places, and as mentioned before, there’s more than one song in this track. Good.

    Lilac Wine- show tune. I think she had Billy Joel’s last 2 minutes. How long? I was probably shouting my mum in at this point.

    Bee Gees, good record- nothing to add.

    Magazine- towards the end the keyboard player turns round to pick a forgotten cup of coffee, but in the knick of time remembers he’s on Totp. Bizarre. Dog Eat Dog reminds me of this.

    Abba- classic song and classic video. No insights from me.

    Great episode and Kid (and Peter the week before) didn’t make me cringe or groan which is pleasing and unusual for TOTP presenters.

  113. 113
    lonepilgrim on 28 Feb 2013 #

    TOTP 2nd March 1978
    Noel Edmunds hosts
    Bob Marley over the charts (featuring Nottingham Forest FC)
    Darts gurn and pose irritatingly
    Samantha Sang – Helen Lederer lookalike gets drowned out by the Bee Gees backing vocals
    TRB – earnest and energetic shout-a-long
    Kate Bush – as a callow youth at the time I found KBs dramatics irritating. Now, her performance suggests to me that she is aware of both the absurdity and appeal of the story and is enjoying the opportunity to act out. Wonderful
    Nick Lowe – charming song, great production full of space and odd angles
    Rita Coolidge – another Bee Gees song – smothered in syrup
    Earth, Wind and Fire – great song gives Legs & Co the opportunity to go the disco diva route in skimpy leotards – I may have to lie down for a while
    Andy Williams – such a great voice, manages to sell a second rate song
    Abba – glorious
    Baker Street over the closing credits – sublime sax

  114. 114
    anto on 1 Mar 2013 #

    Best edition of TOTP repeats so far I thought. The Andy Williams song was the only mis-step. I’m even starting to warm to Darts’ bizarre energy. They look as though four equally unlikely candidates auditioned to be lead singer so they just gave the job to all of them.

  115. 115
    Lazarus on 1 Mar 2013 #

    I haven’t seen the whole show yet, but judging from the number of acts who were on last time it appears we’ve skipped a week. Savile or DLT were hosting presumably, although we usually get ‘The Sky at Night’ when that happens.

    If you go to the Youtube clip of ‘Emotions’ there are some rather cruel remarks on Samantha’s appearance – most of them on the lines of “it’s a bloke, right?” but even 35 years down the line, I can’t bring myself to do that. Not least because I’ve recently seen some pics from my 50th birthday last month and I look at least 60 in most of them.

  116. 116
    Lazarus on 1 Mar 2013 #

    OK, well now I’m watching for the second time. Noel Tidybeard in a three-piece and big tie. Marley over the chart, we have missed a week – it’s moved on a bit. Wings now nowhere to be seen. Gerry Rafferty at 14! And, er, Free at 12.

    Darts – yet again. At number 2, to be fair, but as someone said they’re becoming ubiquitous now. At least the Fishmeister has a different jacket on. My recollection is that Hegarty only did one more single and was gone by mid-summer – I could be wrong.

    Samantha Sang – I like the song, actually, as I do all the Gibbs’ stuff from this period, but I’m reminded of the Benny Hill-type clip when the camera follows some shapely blonde down the street, and then she turns around and smiles, and half her teeth are missing. Damn, I said I wasn’t going to do that.

    Probably dreadful pun from Noel which I didn’t catch – and Tom Robinson and his Band are on. Still going for the overgrown schoolboy look. I still like this and the next single ‘Up Against the Wall’ which I don’t think charted.

    “Behind the flowers, a little bush” – and indeed it’s Kate. Now at number 5, and a more confident performance than before. Sat at the piano, a sort of gothic Lynsey de Paul, all big eyes on the ‘ho-ho’s.’ Wonderful.

    Nick Lowe – “a gentleman who’s going to have a smashing hit.” Why ever didn’t he have more? Just one after this – more than a year later – but a career to be proud of none the less. Makes me want to dig out ‘Labour of Lust’ actually.

    Rita Coolidge – nearly 20 years before Boyzone got hold of it, a soporific version of ‘Words.’ But at least, unlike ‘Higher and Higher’ it was a slow song to begin with. That’s not Billy Preston at the piano is it?

    EWF/Legs and Co – love the song, I think it might be my favourite of theirs, although the soaring climax is cut of course. Nice routine. I think it’s only Noel who called them ‘Legs and company.’

    Andy Williams – chorus remind me a little of ‘Feelings.’ It could grow on me if I heard it a few more times, but I suspect I won’t.

    Abba – a classic, song and vid. Nothing more to be said.

    Baker Street – ditto.

    Good show.

  117. 117
    hardtogethits on 1 Mar 2013 #

    Noel at the piano. He can’t really play though, ha!

    Countdown to Bob Marley and the Wailers. That’s a speedy follow up to the recently departed Jamming. Strike while the iron’s hot.

    Darts: it’s not a repeat, but there’s a feeling of having seen it all before. Makes me contemplate the phrase “X-Factor”. It used to mean that mystery quality that made something better than it would have been if it had relied solely upon all the known and measurable ingredients, didn’t it? That je ne sais quoi. Darts had it for me. Now, AFAIK (and I haven’t watched it for a while) the programme X Factor sets about removing all such qualities. Hey ho, I was only passing time whilst waiting for

    Samantha Sang: Oh me, oh my, oh you. I wasn’t expecting that. There I am decrying the superficiality and homogeneity of modern pop and then this. Great record. I realise now I like my popstars to be good looking.

    TRB: Yes, I won’t take “No” for an answer.

    Kate Bush: Magnificent. Settling in now, at the piano. One academic suggested “Those who have continued to admire her more … for her later musical achievements, do so possibly in spite of (rather than because of) the impact of ‘Wuthering Heights’. … and perhaps the smaller group of admirers who remain loyal engage more with the intensely personal visions into which her lyrics have matured, as opposed to that first, more musically zany, original hit.” Nicky Losseff (1999). Cathy’s homecoming and the Other world: Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’. Popular Music, 18, pp 227-240.

    Citations? Nein danke. Anyway, I reckon Nicky Losseff has a point. But I LOVE Kate Bush’s later work, and it’s only lately I’ve realised that Wuthering Heights is, like, totally awesome, and for my money the best thing she’s done.

    Nick Lowe: Does the Dancing Queen / Sound and Vision mash up. That’s nothing but a compliment. Has no-one mentioned the miming? Lowe won something from the Radio 1 DJ’s at the British Rock and Pop Awards (BRAPA) – the Brits, the Stopgap Years.

    Rita Coolidge: For 20 seconds I thought this was beautiful but then Rita sounded a bit bored and so I was too.

    Earth Wind and Fire and Legs and Co: Having danced on the prototype set of Total Wipeout, now here they are on the set of Punchlines / Celebrity Squares. Worried about Sue being stuck at left back, but she got her chance to shine. Great record, Legs not at their best.

    Andy Williams: Ok, just the wrong place and a bit long. Definitely interesting though. I appreciated the song Solitaire (c/w My Love) at a young age. I thought it was about a man who opted to become a hermit, so obviously didn’t appreciate it fully.

    Abba: song gets more exuberant, lively and loveable every time I hear it. Video beginning to look like an ad for a product that gets superglue out of one’s eyes. Too much winking. Liked the happy dancing though.

    Gerry Rafferty: Pile on the agony. Painfully sad, hauntingly beautiful. Won the best single at the BRAPA.

  118. 118
    speedwell54 on 2 Mar 2013 #

    Noel Edmonds presenting; how long before I cringe?

    Darts again, different clothes but same tight performance.

    Samantha Sang but the Bee Gees did the backing vocals. (did you see what I did there?) I am sure she is miming when the Bee Gees are singing.

    TRB again, getting quite familiar with this after two weeks. Well, the title anyway.

    Kate- she’s not so out there this week as she has something to do with her hands. KB still engages with the cameras, but the audience again looks stunned.

    Nick Lowe “Smashing hit” says Edmonds and the first cringe. Nick looks cool in his green suit and smiles as he messes up the miming. The piano player enjoys himself. I get the Sound and Vision reference.

    Rita Coolidge – I don’t really get the point of this. Nothing wrong with it though.

    Mr Earth Mr Wind and Mr Fire engage the services of Legs and Co, who put on their swimming costumes and cut up some net curtains. Dancing and a bit of Voguing.

    *** don’t know if this counts as a little bunnying but from the countdown at the head of the show I was trying to predict what Legs and Co would do. I went for Eruption as I’m sure I have images of umbrellas, maybe still to come.****

    Andy Williams – maybe could have called it Blue, not sure people want to by a ‘Sad’ record.

    Abba – very effective promotional film, I am guessing very cheap. Two chairs, and a bit of lip gloss.

  119. 119
    Lazarus on 2 Mar 2013 #

    I am indebted, as Cyril Fletcher was saying around this time, to http://itstotp.blogspot.co.uk/ (the successor to ‘yesitsnumberone’) for informing me that DLT was indeed the host of the missed show and that we’ve missed Odyssey, Eruption, Brian & Michael, the Real Thing, the debut of Blondie and Manhattan Transfer (not the performance of ‘Walk In Love’ I’m thinking of I hope, an uber-sexy turn from Laurel Masse) and that Rita’s piano player was actually Booker T!

  120. 120
    mark g on 2 Mar 2013 #

    It is that performance, but do not despair…

  121. 121
    wichita lineman on 5 Mar 2013 #

    Does anyone know when TOTP went colour – when it was first shot, or broadcast? I know most people didn’t have colour TVs til the early 70s, and so it was still largely seen in b+w, but I’d really like to know.

  122. 122
    Billy Smart on 5 Mar 2013 #

    Easy! November 1969 – when BBC1 and ITV started colour transmission.

  123. 123
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 Mar 2013 #

    Hmm, are you sure, Billy? The 1968 FA Cup Final was transmitted in colour. The first Final that was, indeed. Of course you could still be correct about TOTP.

  124. 124
    Steve Williams on 6 Mar 2013 #

    The 1968 Cup Final was in colour, but on BBC2, which started broadcasting in colour in July 1967. BBC1 didn’t go to colour until 1969 – which meant the 1968 and 1969 Cup Final was broadcast on BBC1, BBC2 and ITV.

  125. 125
    Billy Smart on 6 Mar 2013 #

    The BBC started colour transmissions in 1967 on BBC2, which is why we’ve got the 1968 Cup Final and Wimbledon in colour.

  126. 126
    Billy Smart on 6 Mar 2013 #

    As Steve said!

  127. 127
    Mark G on 6 Mar 2013 #

    Also why the Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” (1967) was broadcast in black and white originally (BBC1), then repeated shortly afterwards in Colour (BBC2)

  128. 128
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 Mar 2013 #


    I am grateful for this clarification. In the Swede household, we did not obtain a colour tv until 1970 and thus our first colour Cup Final(s) was my lot against Leeds. Ergo, every thing before then was black and white to us, even Pot Black:

    Ted Lowe: “For those of you watching in black and white, the pink is nestled against the second red from the right…”

  129. 129
    hardtogethits on 6 Mar 2013 #


    #78-81, #84-89.

    Compare, contrast.

  130. 130
    wichita lineman on 6 Mar 2013 #

    Thanks all! Rather dashes my theory about glam = introduction of colour tv in the UK. Though of course, Swede’s 1970 set = Ride A White Swan.

    We got our first one in ’74, just in time to see the Rubettes first appearance.

    Re 128: I loved Ted Lowe’s voice. “Tony Knowles, the matinee idol of the snooker world.”

  131. 131

    but couldn’t you adapt it to a “colour TV reaches critical audience mass”?

    reasonably sure our family didn’t have colour TV (or indeed BBC2) till 1972-73, when dad got a better-paid job and we moved house

    (glam = sukrat moves house) <--?

  132. 132
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 Mar 2013 #

    Blimey, I can’t believe that we had colour tv before some of you. And here I was thinking that you were all posh boys and I was the token impoverished council high-rise rapscallion whom your mums told you never to make friends with..

    To be honest, getting that colour tv (I ought to confirm that we did indeed pay for it) was a big moment. A real giant leap for Swedekind. About three or so years later, I used to get up early on Saturday mornings just to see London Weekend Television (LWT) begin. The theme which began the scheduling was the main reason for this, an absolutely jumping piece of light jazz, which I never tired of. I much later discovered that it was called “A Well Swung Fanfare” by Don Jackson. It is on YouTube. Once LWT opened, there were one or two things of moderate interest, then up popped Sally James with “Saturday Scene”. And Sally was very interesting indeed.

  133. 133

    we were posh but not well off till dad got that job :)

  134. 134
    hardtogethits on 6 Mar 2013 #

    #132. North South divide Jimmy. We couldn’t even afford a coloured football kit.

  135. 135
    Erithian on 6 Mar 2013 #

    ISTR we didn’t have a colour TV until as late as 1976, meaning my first colour experience was my lot against Southampton in the Cup Final. But going back to TOTP, I asked that question elsewhere because some of the best-known early 70s clips (thinking Whiskey in the Jar in particular) are in black and white, leading me to believe that some editions were made in b+w for economic reasons during some industrial crisis or other – turns out they were made in colour but the only existing recordings of certain clips are in b+w.

  136. 136
    Chelovek na lune on 6 Mar 2013 #

    At the risk of getting all Monty Python (albeit in a East London/Essex rather than Yorkshire way) on yer, WE didn’t have a colour TV until sometime after *1980*!

    I remember the sheer luxury of getting to watch “Pipkin” on kids TV at lunchtime at my first (well ‘ard) primary school (boys in the junior school who misbehaved were punished by being locked in a barred “cage”) on a colour TV. That was luxury, lad.

  137. 137
    Tom on 6 Mar 2013 #

    Wichita: there’s a good essay on glam, TOTP and the spread of colour TV in – of all places – a critical guide to Doctor Who called “About Time”: I’ll see if I can copy it for you. It talks about how the two shows (Who and TOTP) swapped ideas – so an effect you saw for monsters one week on Doctor Who would be used for bands the next on TOTP. The idea is that both programmes – the flagship output for older kids and younger teens on the channel – were also showcases for colour, killer apps for Colour TV buying in the same way flagship games sell new console hardware.

    And it’s surely also true that a lot of the visuals of glam are a response to colour TV.

  138. 139

    ^^^disco morgellons

  139. 140
    Billy Smart on 6 Mar 2013 #

    Re #135 For those black and white early 1970s appearances that had originally been transmitted in colour the only surviving copies come from 16mm monochrome telecine prints. With a 2″ videotape costing over £700, it was much cheaper for television companies to wipe and reuse the tape while making film recordings of programmes, which could then be easily reproduced and therefore exported and transmitted anywhere in the world.

  140. 141
    wichita lineman on 6 Mar 2013 #

    Re 137: cheers Tom, I’d love to read that.

    I deliberately stopped myself from saying that I thought Glam and colour TV were showcases for each other, hoping yous lot might confirm the thought.

    I am Wile E Coyote.

  141. 142
    mark g on 7 Mar 2013 #

    .. running in midair for the cliff edge..

  142. 143
    Jimmy the Swede on 8 Mar 2013 #

    Pointlessly late, I know, but my observations of the last TOTP in brief. I’m not bothering with repeats.

    Beardie at the controls. Smug and annoying.

    Samantha Sang – Did she? Well, Samantha certainly didn’t sing the chorus. Pilgrim likens her to Helen Lederer. She looks more like Jocky Wilson after he’s downed a few vodkas to the Swede, but what you gonna do?

    Kate – Masterful. She is a brilliant young girl casting her spell. Oh, those mad, wide eyes! The bored insipid kids just don’t understand what’s before them. Have they no eyes? Have they no ears?

    Nick Lowe – Strange and wonderful stuff and the piss-taking miming just adds to the fun. Brilliantly original.

    Rita Coolidge – A much older and slower Gibb dirge and it’s going nowhere in a great hurry. Rita’s much tastier than Samantha Sang but then so was Ena Sharples.

    Earth Wind and Fire’s Fantasy. And adding to the fantasy are the Gals. Sublime stuff all round. What a wonderful record this is and the Gals really get down and get with it in their swimming cozzies. Usual solo from Head Gal Sue on second verse. Fantasy. Swede. Yes. Ambulance.

    Andy Williams – Bless him but what’s he doing here? On tour, says Noel. Oh, okay. Typical Andy harmonies but about eight years too late. Sad is about right, I’m afraid. Hands up who remembers the bear who used to cold-call Andy for cookies? “Not now, not ever, NEVER!”

    Abba still top. Out to Baker Street, one of the decade’s finest.

    Passable show but Noel is too self-satisfied by half.

  143. 144
    admin on 8 Mar 2013 #

    TOM – I MUST RETURN YOUR COPY OF ABOUT TIME. However I have both it AND a scanner to hand…

  144. 145
    admin on 8 Mar 2013 #

    OCRd badly and only corrected where it was entirely unintelligible http://freakytrigger.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Why-Top-of-The-Pops.rtf

    It’s a shame that they don’t expand on the nerdy “what was possible with visual effects” bit of this which is an important linking dimension if you are also going to handwave about semiotic/cultural overlap

    [edit] WARNING: Repeat mentions of a now reviled ToTP presenter “He’s something of a national joke now… In “The War Machines” (3.1O),one resident of Swinging London compares the Doctor to S…”

  145. 146
    admin on 9 Mar 2013 #

    FWIW, ISTR the first home telly in colour that i can recall coincided with the start of Swap Shop – making that late 76. (Also another show deep linked w the rest of telly land inc Who and ToTP)

  146. 147
    lonepilgrim on 9 Mar 2013 #

    we got a colour TV in the early 1970s and the first thing we watched was ‘Fantastic Voyage’ with Raquel Welch, Donald Pleasance et al. EVerything else seemed subdued and mundane after that.

  147. 148
    weej on 9 Mar 2013 #

    We still only had a black & white TV well into the mid 80s, and the other kids in the commune used to come round to watch it because they didn’t have one at all. Do I win something? I’m severely colour-deficient and often could’t tell the difference when we got a colour one, so it wasn’t a big problem really.

    Re#145 – Anyone found a copy of the offending clip online?

  148. 149
    mark g on 14 Mar 2013 #

    Here we go..

    Free manage to get a top ten with their premium value e.p. re-release (nice sleeve, full-version of a-side, two hits on the b-side, decent quality pressing..) and soundtrack the chart rundown

    Funny, Tony seems to be often announcing Generation X, but this time they seem to be in the studio on their own apart from five audient folks..

    Elkie Brooks must live close to the studio, she appears again to Lilac Wine some more.. Live vocal? could be..

    Tony seems to be in an empty studio! apart from two girls on the previous link, there under suffrance judging by the expressions. Anyway, HotChoc supply a fillum so miming to the reckrd is perfectly alright..

    Good old Tina Charles is still having hits, so here she is with her likeableness intact. Was this the last? I should check, really…

    The sound of Manchester is represented by a song more danceable than “Wrote for Luck” if you believe the “24 hour party people” movie, and why should you? Lowry would have hated this, or maybe not who knows? I do know they were somewhat sniffy about the Barron Knights doing their takeoff …

    Tony introduces Blondie’s video of Denis, but if DLT had not been in disgrace we would all have seen their 1st actual in-studio appearance as well. They should have repeated that instead, but hey..

    Alice Tartanarmy, Tone? Anyway, Andy Cameron does the song that the Scottish football fans did sing (for a short while anyway) in preference to Rod Stewart’s official song…

    Legs do a rain song, um, I fear for Jimmy the Swede here.. moving on..

    The Jam get led by Bruce Foxton for the one and only time and actually it’s pretty fine heard at this (time) distance. Now we see what “Tonight” and “The Drummer Man” was lacking..

    Kate Bush is number one, and gets her (disliked) first performance repeated. There’s still nowt wrong with it really..

    So, this week was mostly repeat performs, supplied vids and a few performances without Tony much in evidence (I. e. being seen with performers in-shot).

    But hark, to fade, another football song which a mate of mine reckoned was only a hit because it was Paper Lace on the record…

  149. 150
    Lazarus on 14 Mar 2013 #

    Tone has borrowed one of Noel’s suits hasn’t he? Was he always this formal?

    Free over the chart – a classic out of time. Sam Sang looks quite tasty in her promo pic, it has to be said.

    Generation X – the only one of theirs I ever liked was ‘Dancing with myself’ which didn’t much bother the charts I recall. Title apart, I’d pretty much forgotten this by the time the show ended.

    Elkie Brooks – framed by lilacs, I presume. Still marvellous.

    Hot Chocolate – Errol in white shiny trousers flanked by Harvey and Patrick. What long legs he has! Wasn’t sure what to make of Put Your Love in Me, but this is the business. Great riff.

    Tina Charles – by this time, two years after her big hit, she could see the ship setting sail, so it’s a cover of a recent hit for Jimmy James and the Vagabonds. Actually I remember liking this at the time. The little lady with the big voice, as DLT probably would have called her.

    Andy Cameron – what was this doing out in March? the Wurruld Cup wasn’t until the summer, was it? And, I should know, what actually is the tune it’s based on? Sounds like some jolly sea shanty.

    Brian and Michael – I like it more now than I did then, well, a little. Just been reading the thread and there are, naturally, some well-argued points.

    (it was a search for Tina C that first brought me here, come to think of it)

    Blondie – who knew this was an old song? I didn’t for years after.

    Eruption/Legs and Co – got these slightly out of sequence, I know. Another cover, but young record buyers wouldn’t have known of Ann Peebles. Not bad actually. The Legs gals are in see-thru’ macs, red wellies, and, er, well, red undies. Yes, the Swede is going to need a cold shower too.

    The Jam – one not over-exposed by radio, after this it would be mostly top ten hits. I don’t think I’ve seen this before and I didn’t know Bruce sang lead on it. I wonder if he gets to do it with Stiff Little Fingers, if he’s still with them?

    Kate Bush – a classic, but why show the inferior first performance I wonder?

    Notts Forest/Paper Lace see us out.

  150. 151
    Jimmy the Swede on 16 Mar 2013 #

    Bannockburn pops up again to protect our morals from the evil of the freshly-nicked Cornflake.

    Free’s bargain EP, on which the brilliant All Right Now from 1970 leads, plays over the titles. For once, we’re in a no-Darts zone. Woo-Hoo!

    Generation X – Billy Idol looks like a young Joe Brown with a sneer. Routine new-wave effort with a memorable title but not much else.

    Elkie B – More lilac wine and no vinegar at all. Wonderful.

    Chocs – Everyone’s a winner. And we are. One of their finest tracks and one of the finest riffs of any pop song. Dear old Zeberdee is in his usual great form and all is right with the world.

    Tina Charles – By George, she’s a big old girl. The Swede always fancied a grab of smily Tina, though. Song half-inched from Jimmy James. Naughty!

    Brian and Michael – Time for one of those WTF moments and it included a chilling warning of what was to come when the little devil girl-children of St Winnies poisoned Christmas for a whole stunned nation two years plus later. This number one-bound Lowry tribute was far less of an attack on the fabric of a country that was already on its knees. Indeed it is a warm little northern fable which smelt comfortingly of mushy peas, bovril and ferret shit. I particulrly liked the merry go-round brass band intro (missing from this clip) which dissolved into the song itself. But alas all is ruined by…THEM. The alley-alley-ohs don’t seem to come out of the mouths of the “choir” sat in front of the performers. That’s because they’re coming from hell.

    Blondie – “Blondie are a band” was the cry. Bollocks, dribbled the Swede. Denis was a big moment and Debbie looked ridiculously sexy in a red-striped top surrendering to her lovely legs and a black jacket just getting in the way. The track itself, of course, is a belter from start to finish. Then she dips into French. And the way she stares out at the camera was something a near-seventeen year-old very easily took to bed with him. Blondie may indeed have been a band but I can’t remember Chris Stein haveing that same effect. Truly happy days!

    Andy Cameron – From the sublime to the well, comical, as a poor deluded tartan nincompoop insists that Scotland will win the World Cup “’cause Scotland are the greatest football team”. This was a far cry from when with typical English modesty, the 1970 squad, then defending champions, simply assured the folks back home that “we’ll give all we’ve got to give” and “fight until the whistle blows”. I can’t blame Andy for having a dig at England for not qualifying (again) but his ludicrous ambitions for his own team, even if taken light-heartedly, made this one of the greatest “came back to bite you on the arse” records of all time. He’s still going, bless him.

    NB: Just to answer Lazarus’ question, I first knew this tune as a rallying cry to bring out the workers to vote: “Vote, vote, vote for (insert name)…” This morphed into a playground chant for a skipping game played with a long rope. The words varied as to whether a girl or a boy took centre stage:

    Vote, vote, vote for little Helen
    Calling Tina at the door
    Tina is a lady and she plays the ukulele
    So we don’t want Helen anymore
    Shut the door

    Vote, vote, vote for little Tina
    Calling Gary at the door
    Gary is a man and he hates to push a pram
    So we don’t want Tina anymore
    Shut the door

    Precious Wilson and Eruption + Gals – And, as both Mark and Lazarus feared, the Swede duly erupts big style as Sue leads a stomping wet umbrella celebration in the rain. They’re all “dressed” in red see-through macs with undies and wellies to match. The record is a belter and you can always tell that the gals are bouncing with joy when Flick gives them a track as good as this. They’re all loving it and so am I. Saturation TV at its very best. Wey-Hey-Hey!

    Jam – Bruce Foxton takes the lead on News of the World. I can’t remember him doing this either. Greatness was just around the corner for this lot.

    Number One – Bonkers Kate. I too cannot understand why they showed this footage again. One of the best chart-toppers of this or any other decade.

    Out to Notts Forest and Paper Lace. Loved the line “Peter the ‘keeper with nothing to do” but otherwise a booby.

    Really good show this time.

  151. 152
    Lazarus on 16 Mar 2013 #

    According to Wiki the Cameron tune is based on an old Irish rebel song called ‘God Save Ireland’ which was later adapted to the US civil war song ‘Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! (that sounds more familiar)

  152. 153
    mark g on 17 Mar 2013 #

    Ah, Tramp tramp tramp the boys are marching..


  153. 154
    swanstep on 17 Mar 2013 #

    Chocs – Everyone’s a winner. And we are. One of their finest tracks and one of the finest riffs of any pop song.
    Yes, indeed: the guitar’s great, bass is really in the pocket, drums sound fantastic, a great synth whoosh in the background,… within its first 15s this single really has you. As a follow up to a #1, EsAW could hardly be better. I wonder why it wasn’t a bigger hit?

  154. 155
    Jimmy the Swede on 17 Mar 2013 #

    A little nosing around the web confirmed my vote, vote, vote explanation. It is indeed an Irish rebel song and was adopted by Eamon de Valera for his campaigns in the early days of the Irish Free State. He was at varying times both Taoiseach and President.

    The ditty was also taken up by one of the first Asian Westminster MPs, Shapurji Saklatvala, who served in Battersea North for the Communist Party (with Labour endorsement), again in the 1920s. This ties in with the memory of my father (who was born in 1921) regaling me of his own childhood memories of hearing the chant of “Vote, vote, vote for Saklatvala…” during those now ancient hustings. It’s something that’s always stayed with me.

    There are also plenty of on-line references to the skipping rope game, which I encountered personally when I was obliged to attend “Play Centre” between 1968-71 during some parts of the school summer recess. These were hald in various primary schools in Wandsworth. My mother was the superintendent. I had to suffer about three weeks of this in advance of our annual family holiday, usually two weeks in Butlitz in Skeggy or a caravan park in Norfolk. Never made it to Prestatyn, though. Happy Days!

  155. 156
    will on 17 Mar 2013 #

    Yes, I remember being particularly enthralled by this show at the time. Hot Choc, Eruption, Blondie and (yes!) two football songs in the Top 30. If you were a football n’ pop-obsessed 8 year old it didn’t get much better than this.

  156. 157
    lonepilgrim on 21 Mar 2013 #

    TOTP 16/03/78
    Peter Powell presents
    Real Thing over the charts
    Suzi Q – lacking the thrill power of her glam years, this is a little lacklustre
    PP gushes
    Gerry Rafferty – a wonderful blend of instruments and a vulnerable vocal
    Bob Marley – the gals wearing a leotard/sequined net curtain combo perform a rather dull routine
    Dan Hill – a Canadian from Canada PP informs us. Deeply drippy cardigan topped by a beard. Lyrics approaching stalker territory. Call the Mounties!
    Earth Wind & Fire – live clip, great song. Phil Bailey’s voice another instrument in the mix
    Elvis Costello – I bought this single in a picture sleeve; EC doesn’t dominate the band and the production sounds quite dubby. V good
    Manhattan Transfer – sooo dull
    Vibrators – punky-pop; a riff, a chant, a sneer. Gary Tibbs!!
    Kate Bush – still sounding wonderful
    Donna Summer over the credits – unfamiliar (to me). entertaining mix of moroder era vocals and synths with funkier disco elements

  157. 158
    speedwell54 on 24 Mar 2013 #


    Peter Powell “Two guesses where I’ve just come from?” No idea, anybody?.

    He starts off saying the “Real Thing” but changes to “ThinK” at the eleventh hour.

    Suzi Q – “is this bass okay for you Suzi?” “No I want the full size grown up one, and will you make the strap a little longer please” this must have happened at some point. First time out of jeans this song is pretty good.

    Gerry Rafferty -TWKTC

    Bob Marley- Legs and Co – different swimming costumes, same nets, not a classic routine. After the curly haired one in the red dress does a solo, the other five come up behind and join her. The curly blonde in the purple dress briefly forgets a bit – no flappy arms- but catches up. It’s not worth writing to Denis Norden though. Forgot to listen.

    Dan Hill -the cameraman got a new lens effect which I thought must have got stuck, but eventually we see another angle. This was during the great Canadian hairdresser’s strike of ’78. Can’t get excited by the music.

    Earth Wind and Fire – on video. I don’t think these kind of performances were happening over here at this time. The whole look and sound seemed so America , their own horn section, energetic guitarists, drummers who stand up, and just so many people on stage. Amazing.

    Costello – Peter’s link is so well thought out; a delight. Great number.

    Manhattan Transfer- they seem out of time in all times, except maybe on the Two Ronnies show.

    Vibrators – this chart does seem to have a real mixture of middle of the road stuff, some disco and some “punk” ish elements. There’s not much to this song, but it must have given loads of bands the thought -‘we could this’ . So even though I think it took longer to play, than to write it, it has value.

    KB Wow. Peter is babbling again.

  158. 159
    wichita lineman on 24 Mar 2013 #

    Peter Powell, gushing like a geyser as usual…

    Suzi Q – Just what is her problem? “What I need is a man, not some so-called aristocrat.” Methinks she doth protest way too much. Given that it’s the first time I’ve heard it in 30-odd years, it’s hard to believe this dated thing got to no.4

    Gerry Rafferty – singing while barely opening his mouth. Has anyone mentioned the arrival of the schmoov saxophone in chart pop yet, with this and Just The Way You Are? Felt like a ‘thing’ at the time. I get the feeling curmudgeonly Gerry would’ve written an Argentina ’78 song with more realistic lyrics than Ally’s Tartan Army.

    Gals – encroaching perms! Lulu was the first to succumb to the bubble, now Pauline has something that Smash Hits used to call a ‘frightwig’. Dear dear Rosie is holding out with a centre parting and long blonde tresses, but peer pressure will surely get her. Mucky Sue’s East Enders crop makes her look mean, in a good way.

    Dan Hill – looking very modern, which he certainly didn’t in 1978. He is a mere 23-years old, readers. I was haunted by the knowledge that the great Barry Mann had a hand in this, but apparently he wrote the rather fine melody. Those creepy lyrics are all down to tantop’n’wild-eyed Dan. “At times I’d like to break you, and drag you to your knees.” We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

    Earth Wind & Fire – peer pressure had me playing Dungeons & Dragons at school when this came out, bored senseless, so no fond memories. And I know that anyone ever says anything bad about EWF but “fantas-eye” is a stinky rhyme that no one should get away with.

    Elvis Costello – ruling himself out of the ever changing hotseat at Stamford Bridge. The clipped guitar line and haunted house organ really make this. Jamaican rhythms subtly absorbed rather than badly mimicked. There were many punning horrors to come, but I can’t deny this sounds great.

    Manhattan Transfer – so what exactly were they meant to be? This could be from a Play For Today about novice wife-swappers in Harpenden. Man played by Paul Eddington puts it on the hi fi, looks uncomfortable. “We have talking hands”. Euch.

    The Vibrators – same title, different song, will smash this puny effort in a week or so. Automatic Lover sounds like the Mail On Sunday’s idea of punk rock.

    Kate Bush – more confident than her other performance, but the TOTP band are truly awful, collectively falling down stairs just before the last chorus. I can understand why 13-year old me didn’t fancy her (not at this point, anyway), she really does look bonkers. I’m still shocked – hearing it in context – that Wuthering Heights was a no.1.

    Donna Summer over the fade – has she been in the studio once? Bah. I love this song.

  159. 160
    Lazarus on 24 Mar 2013 #

    Peter Powell presents with his usual joie de vivre: the Real Thing over the chart, not one of their better remembered numbers.

    Suzi Q – first time we’ve seen her in a while, and this time it’s a hit, pretty much her last one though. Got a bit of a Smokie vibe to it, and before long she’d be teaming up with Chris Norman of course.

    Gerry Rafferty – that Bob Holness changed a bit over the years didn’t he! Still beggars belief that this didn’t get to number one. Reminds me that it’s been a long time since I played ‘City to City.’

    Bob Marley/Legs & Co – yes a few perms appearing, routine is nothing to get excited about. Lulu has grown up somewhat on this show, she couldn’t have been more than 18 when she first joined the Flipper. Now rivalling Mucky Sue in the hotness stakes, I’d say.

    Dan Hill – like ‘Baker Street’ still a regular on radio 2, especially Ken Bruce’s ‘love song’ spot. “Canadian-born, from Canada” (eh?) I’m guessing he looks nothing like that now.

    EW&F – would have been great to see them in the studio. Philip Bailey’s voice – and his shirt – is a thing of wonder.

    Elvis Costello – excellent. This and ‘Pump it Up’ came out in quick succession from the second album, there would be no third single. Still going, of course, but within two years those TOTP appearances had become somewhat scarce.

    Manhattan Transfer = bah! This isn’t the performance I wanted to see. Two weeks earlier Laurel had been out front, in a hula dress, with the other three numpties – one of them a dead ringer for Tim Nice-but-Dim – at the back. Fondly remembered from the time, she made Mucky Sue look like a 16 st. brickie from Wolverhampton. I remember a Radio DJ – Paul Burnett, possibly, or Noel Edmunds, wondering what a ‘walk in love’ was, and whether it was like a drive in movie …

    Vibrators – I was a bit worried how PP was going to introduce this, but there was no need. Sparky pop-punk.

    “If you’re wuthering whether Kate Bush is still at number one, she is!” Repeat of the superior second performance. Nothing left to say about this frankly. Would have been nice to get the guitar solo, but it was never going to happen.

    PP plugs his Radio 1 show and calls for a big cheer for Top of the Pops – hip hip! Donna Summer sees us out with what seems like her monthly 45 release.

    Pretty good show I thought.

  160. 161
    Mark G on 27 Mar 2013 #

    Oh, hai.. um:

    The Suzi Quatro one, I have a vague idea it was rejected by Smokie before she got it to do. At the time, it was seen as an approaching ‘maturity’ along with liking The Eagles, and so forth. The ‘old style’ Suzi didn’t always create hits (though the singles themselves were great), so there’s always tinkering with the formula. Whether or not what the result was was what Suzi really wanted to do, who knows? (Yeah, like that sentence, leaving it ..)

    ManTran: Laurel Masse fronts this one, with some semaphore signals straight out of the Kate Bush book, or (more likely) they both had the same book from the library out. Oddly, the other three look out of place. She had a nasty car accident, and after she recovered from it, discovered the last thing she wanted to do was go straight back to doing ManTran…

    Yeah, Kate Bush and “not fancying her” at this stage: See, the thing is, whereas a lot of people have remarked on her individuality, well I get the opposite, sort of: She’s from round here or hereabouts, and I did know some girls that were kinda like her (and oh by the way, knew it as well!) a bit ‘kooky’ and well read, and so forth. Of course, the big difference was that Kate has undeniable talent, and the ability to apply it.

    Dan Hill, haven’t heard it in years. Why do you all torture yourselves listening to Radio 2? I will never understand, I admit… Actually, caveat: I did hear Brian Matthews’ show a couple months ago, and was impressed by the stuff he was selecting for broadcast. So, yeah, alright, maybe I just mean daytime weekday. I used to listen to R1 mornings, then decided I would rather hear stuff I’d bought than CMoyles chattin on (didn’t dislike him ever, just the routines got very samey)

    Vibrators, they got a raw deal really, they were one of the first punk bands with a major label deal (RAK records), and had two (?) singles out before the Pistols had one, but history does not recognise them. Having said that, “Automatic Lover” is rub.

    Yes, the Donna Summer Singles Club! Will it be on GTO records? Will it be on Casablanca? Will she stub her toe on the fadeout? Tune in next week for the next single..

  161. 162
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Mar 2013 #

    Badly late to the party again. Nevertheless…

    Peter Powell. Nice bloke. Shame about his St Vitus Dance.

    Real Thing over the titles.

    Suzi Q – Smiling but showing zero interest in this Smokie-flavoured dross, as she murmurs her way through a poor miming effort. She’s still Felicity Kendal on a bass, though.

    Gerry Rafferty – Quite magnificent. Vintage footage.

    Gals to Marley’s Is This Love – Fairly dull routine this time but they can’t get it spot on all the time even when they’re given a great record like this. Vinegary blank stare from Her Muckiness makes everything worthwhile.

    Pete has got three pretties around him, one of whom smiles like Kate Middleton. Very nice.

    Dan Hill – Superior ballad with the big finish. But sadly Dan, who looks about 45, is yer typical bearded Hoser woodsman oddball with an axe. A danger to women everywhere. Someone should have thrown a net over him and then shot him with a bear gun. My honesty’s too much.

    EWF – Live version of Fantasy. Disco in its pomp. Brilliant.

    Elvis C – He doesn’t want to go to Chelsea. I, more than anyone, know how he felt. I was a regular home and away back then and we were truly wretched. 2nd Division-bound crap. Brilliant record, obv.

    Man Tran – Very classy stuff from Laurel but the other three are very much supernumeries this time and I think they know it.

    Vibrators – Automatic Lover. Pretty dismal, really.

    Bonkers Kate still at number one. She’s back on the joanna again and her wild staring eyes tells Foaming Dan Hill to stay well clear.

    Out to Donna’s Rumour Has It.

  162. 163
    wichita lineman on 27 Mar 2013 #

    Re: Suzi Q = Smokie.

    Don’t think there’s any bunny-baiting alarm on this thread so I’ll come right out and say that Smokie’s Oh Carol, due on TOTP any week now, has EXACTLY the same verse as If You Can’t Give Me Love.

    I think Mr Chapman must have been getting bored. Very soon, he would have a rather more interesting group (they’re a GROUP I tell you) to work with.

  163. 164
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Mar 2013 #

    #163 – Fancy Smokie appearing on TOTP yet again “any week now” to sing more or less the very same song which they had apparently previously rejected under a different title. Fuck Bunny, that’s Swede-baiting!

  164. 165
    wichita lineman on 27 Mar 2013 #

    They rejected If You Can’t Give Me Love? What, cos it didn’t sound Chas & Dave enough? Both songs are incredibly mediocre. Yes Swede, and we still have Mexican Girl (“I’ve got a heart as big as a stone”) to come before Smokie’s well finally runs dry.

  165. 166
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Mar 2013 #

    Oh dear God, I’d forgotten all about Mexican Girl and that absurd lyric. Look, it’s all very well airbrushing out Savile and Travis every five minutes but what about exorcising THESE evil bastards?!

  166. 167
    Lazarus on 27 Mar 2013 #

    I don’t hear any close similarities between Suzi’s hit and ‘Oh Carol’ (which I’ve always rather liked, I must admit) but Black Lace’s Eurovision contender ‘Mary Ann’ from 1979 is almost the same as the Smokie tune. There’s probably a name for that style/tempo, perhaps some knowledgable sort can tell me what it is. Didn’t the singer from Smokie go on to join Black Lace, or vice versa?

  167. 168
    Mark G on 27 Mar 2013 #

    The first verses of both “If you can’t give me love” have the same underlying chords, and “you were driving me out of my mind” as a lyric line, so there does seem to be a certain ‘madlib’ process at play here.

  168. 169
    Lazarus on 28 Mar 2013 #

    Seems to have come around quickly, but the Pops is on again – introduced by Kid this week, with ‘Baker Street’ (or the start of it) over the chart.

    Mud – I recognise this oldie, but wouldn’t have done at the time. Anycase, it wasn’t a hit. ’74 was a long time ago and the Waddy and Darts had taken their market.

    Tina Charles – unusually, not in a big dress made from her mum’s old curtains. Enjoyable enough, the last we’ll see of her though I suspect. Vibraphone solo?

    Elvis Costello – a repeat I think, I take it we’ve missed a week?

    Richard Myhill = virtually forgotten OHW, puts me in mind of Sparks a little. And played for laughs … I think.

    Tavares/Legs – not ‘More than a Woman’ which I was expecting, although that’s not far away. I see that this was a hit but I don’t remember it to be honest. Very poppy, could almost be the Dooleys. Under-lit ‘haunted house’ number from the Legs.

    Dan Hill – same beard, same cardie. Some unusual lyrics in this.

    Suzi Q – not sure if it’s a repeat, getting a bit over-familiar now though.

    Andy Cameron – still talking a good game, but a draw with Iran was about all they could manage in the end.

    Don Williams – recently we had Andy and here’s Floydada’s finest. Either he was touring or had an album out, or both. Come to think of it he always had an album out in those days! Plenty of TV advertising as well. Impressive sideburns, but his voice wasn’t that distinctive, really.

    Kid in a Stetson introduces Kate Bush for her third and final week at the top. Audience don’t know what they’re witnessing. ‘Good love’ from Kid and Bob Marley plays us out.

    Mixed bag.

  169. 170
    Mark G on 29 Mar 2013 #

    Right, quick repeats means DLSav presented last time, so…

    GRaf over the count-in, and Hey it’s MUD! And Oh No! They are murdering a Gene Vincent track! Why? But why? I remember this track from the time as being ‘quite interesting’ as it had acoustic guitar solos. This remains the most interesting thing about it, apart from that all of Mud are mugging like crazy like waiters that know they have half an hour left of their shift but they still have to be nice the scummy clients…

    Hi Tina, repeat perf. Hi Elvis, repeat perf

    Richard Myhill. For a week, there were square records available in the shops, so he gets on, or does he? Oh no, it’s Alistair Magowan doing his Chris DeBurgh impression, but he’s not listened to any records, so he’s making do with a demo recording of a song that was written for some unknown female singer / diva type who turned it down. (That last bit is true, btw).

    Tavares, always liked that one, hray oh it’s over must type faster..

    Dan man, that cardi needs washing, you’ve had it on for 2 weeks straight!

    Suzi, she’s sacked the bass for the non-repeat performance, oh hang on she’s gone to get it. Performance has a bit more gusto this time, and the song the opposite of suffers for it.

    Andy Cameron (Dave’s dad) hey he can’t keep away! He’s not going to the argentinnnnnnn.. Still no sign of Rod then? (Germany we think may be a challenge.. Yeah, righto Rod!)

    Don Williams, passing through on his way to or from the Country Music Festival, is singing about having a weiner in something. I think it’s an american word.

    Kate Bush, performance One, once more. Her vocal breaks a couple times, maybe that’s what bugged her about this one…

    “Playing over the credits” – Bob Marley

  170. 171
    Lazarus on 29 Mar 2013 #

    Mud continued to release singles through 1979 and into 1980, before the record company presumably lost patience. They recorded a version of ‘Under the Moon of Love’ in 1976, possibly predating Showaddywaddy, and put it on the B-side of flop single ‘Beating About the Bush.’ For last night’s performance, which I would guess was their last on TOTP, Les Gray had taken to wearing dark glasses, making him look like an animated Lennie Peters.

  171. 172
    wichita lineman on 30 Mar 2013 #

    That missing 23/3/1978 episode: http://vimeo.com/62537656

    No spoilers yet, but I’ll stick up my “thoughts” in a while.

  172. 173
    swanstep on 30 Mar 2013 #

    @ wichita, 172. Thanks for that link. Vaguely relatedly, I found the Dalek Invasion Of Earth 2150 A.D. film here (in four parts) and one can follow one’s nose from there to a wodge of old Dr Who eps.

  173. 174
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Apr 2013 #

    It’s getting to the stage where the f-fwd button is employed a lot of the time now. Why can’t (as I think has been suggested) that simply Savile or Cornflake are cut out but the acts remain. Not a difficult task for that dweeb from Pointless, one would think.

    Keed. Baker Street o’er titles.

    Mud – Can’t recall them doing this. And their time was long up by then. Prestatyn.

    Tina C – F-fwd.

    Elvis C – F-fwd.

    Richard Myhill – There’s quite a bit going on here but he tries far too hard and ends up copping off with a dummy. Cheery-bye, Dickie lad!

    Gals dance to Tavares – A merry routine to an instantly forgetable number.

    Dan Hill – The mad woodsman remains on the loose. I thought the Mounties always got their man..

    Suzy Q – Much better performance than last time. But this song… well, you know!

    Andy Cam – Lazarus was slightly unfair to the auld sweaties here. They did indeed only draw with an Iran still ruled by the Shah and of course comically lost to Peru. But they finished their group with a remarkable 3-2 victory over Holland, who eventually went through to the final.

    Don Williams – Pleasant enough in a Jim Reevesy sort of way but this is so out of place here.

    Kate is tops. And so she is.

    Good Love from Kid and out we hop to Bob Marley.

  174. 175
    lonepilgrim on 4 Apr 2013 #

    TOTP 06/04/1978
    Noel introduces, wearing a cream coloured three-piece
    Genesis over the credits
    Boomtown Tarts – is what I typed – honouring my error as a hidden intention – Bob trying too hard
    sudden jump to
    Hot Chocolate – awesome, knights in white satin
    Andrew Gold – good tune, another dull routine from da gals
    Squeeze – who’d a thought that 35 years later that the keyboard player would have replaced Noel as the BBC face of TV music – did Eurythmics nick the riff BTW?
    Wings – Macca provides his own simulacrum of the TOTP audience rather than endure the real thing – a little dull
    Sheila B Devotion – gloriously camp europiffle – not a patch on Spacer though
    Andy Gibb – Bee Gee junior – shadow dancing an apt description for a slightly distracted performance
    Coco – forgettable bunch of redcoats in search of a tune
    Brian & Michael – sentimental drivel; can’t imagine this faux-working class nostalgia playing well nowadays – the Mail would probably label them benefit scum
    Blondie – top toon over the credits, another single I bought with the picture sleeve

  175. 176
    lonepilgrim on 4 Apr 2013 #

    sudden jump between rats & chocs due to editing out of Man Tran – also cut were Showaddywaddy and the Stylistics but full show will be shown later. So the ‘TOTP Fax’ twitter feed tells me. I have too much time on my hands obviously.

  176. 177
    Erithian on 5 Apr 2013 #

    And of course Jools wasn’t the only future ubiquitous TV presenter on the show – Cheryl Baker being the non-featured singer in CoCo.

  177. 178
    anto on 5 Apr 2013 #

    She’s So Modern – A song about opportunistic Trustifarians working in the media..sung by the father of Peaches Geldof.

  178. 179
    punctum on 5 Apr 2013 #

    Song was about, to varying degrees, Paula Yates, Magenta de Vine and Julie Burchill.

  179. 180
    anto on 5 Apr 2013 #

    Interesting they chose to put the no.2 record over the end credits straight after Brian & Michael. Perhaps a subtle nudge – “for God’s sake viewers go out and buy this one so we don’t have to sit through all that flat cap dreck again next week.” Has anyone ever used the word “matchstalk” away from the context of that song?

  180. 181
    anto on 5 Apr 2013 #

    Phil Collins’ vocals on that Genesis tune sounded surprisingly light, sweet and unclenched compared to just about anything he did during the eighties, but once anxiety and introspection became his metier he seemed to really stick with them.

  181. 182

    my groundbreaking* matchstalk vs matchstick there is here (see also entry below)


  182. 183
    Lazarus on 5 Apr 2013 #

    Watching the long version that was on late last night – nice to see them doing that again.

    Noel introduces, usual three-piece, but unusually tieless. Genesis over the chart. A touch of class.

    Rats – one of thir best, an energetic performance. Bob likes his hand gestures.

    Man Tran – repeat. The Swede can f/fwd if he likes, I’m happy to gaze upon lovely Laure for another week. Nice-but-Dim looks like he’s just stepped off his yacht.

    Hot Choc – another repeat, but at least these are all worth another look. It’s not as if we’re getting a second helping of Joy Sarney.

    Legs & Co/Andrew Gold – good song, the telegraph wires are a little tenuous (“talked to my baby on the telephone long distance”) I suppose. Some nice ‘ethnic’ frocks. Cut well short.

    Squeeze – debut on the show for what is probably my favourite post-Beatles British band. Original bassist Harry Kakoulli on his only TOTP appearance with them. Gilson still drums for Jools Holland’s band I believe.

    Wings – following up a monster with something pleasantly understated. Some nice oohing and aahing on this. That’s Stella running around I take it?

    Showaddywaddy – even this is one of their better efforts. But the hits would start to dry up within a year.

    Stylistics – ‘Wonder Woman?’ Lynda Carter would have this lot back in their chalet before they knew what’d hit them. We wouldn’t see outfits like that on the Pops for much longer.

    Sheila B – camp and fun. She’d been around since the 60s, you know.

    Andy Gibb – 7 weeks at number one in the States, missed the top 40 here. But he’d have a proper British hit of his own before long. Clearly rode on his brothers’ success did Andy, but this is pretty good.

    Co-co – “our song for Europe.” Sounds a damn sight better than some our recent efforts, to be fair. Not sure about whiteface though, it’s a bit Alex Harvey isn’t it?

    Brian & Michael – eeh, I remember this from when I were nowt but a lad! Greater horrors would be perpetuated by a later generation of St Wins. Key change arrives and that’s the cue for applause.

    Out with the song that’s been leap-frogged by Lowry.

    Not a bad show I thought.

  183. 184
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 Apr 2013 #

    Noel – as pompous as ever.

    Genesis over the titles. Excellent single from an album band.

    Rat’s – She’s so modern. It’s a cooking opener but it’s so 20th century. So 1970s. Er…

    Chocs – Never fails to satisfy. That’s no lie. Okay, I’ll stop it.

    Andrew Gold + Gals – A missed opportunity here. A classy record and the Muck-Mistress is a-smilin’ but the routine is dull and uninspired despite their girly summer dresses. Routine badly cut too.

    Squeeze – A firm Swede favourite, this lot, and Take Me I’m Yours is as good as anything they did. But blimey don’t they look young!

    Wings – After the misery of Mull, up pops a far more typical Macca offering and it’s a quality piece of work. Puzzling array of people surround and adore the group starting with sweet and innocent children. And then the dancers get older. A little girl remains. Lazarus may well be correct about this being Stella.

    Sheila B Devotion – A homage to both Gene Kelly and Eric Morecambe in one of the cheesiest records ever recorded. Christ this is camp! It makes the Floaters look like Motorhead. But Sheila’s a horny old gal in micro shorts and that’s enough for the Swede.

    Andy Gibb – Shadow Dancing. And quite frankly, I could never understand why this was so massive in the US. Well perhaps I can. Twas Andy, who was a teen idol over there. I personally think the record was dull and lifeless and record buyers over here seemed to agree.

    Coco – Our song for Europe and do you know something, this was much better than I remembered. Cheryl Baker has a minor role in the line-up and is looking absolutely lovely. The song finished well done the field with Israel winning with “I Want To Be A Polar Bear”.

    Number one time and it’s Brian and Michael and Winnie’s devil’s children. “Now ‘e takes ‘is broosh an’ he waits outside them factory gates, to paint ‘is…” Did someone mention benefit scum?

    Out to Denis – I think anto is right. The Beeb wanted Blondie desperately to nobble the Matchstalks. It didn’t work, dagnabbit!!

    Enjoyable show.

  184. 185
    mark g on 6 Apr 2013 #

    “I believe in sunshine, I’m singin’ in the ren!”

  185. 186
    wichita lineman on 6 Apr 2013 #

    “Matchstalks”… is it the Salford version of saying “an hotel” or “medson” instead of “medicine”? Never, ever heard anyone say matchstalk other than Brian and/or Michael, in spite of Sukrat’s entirely plausible explanation. Technically correct they may be but I bet B+M are bad losers in pub quizzes.

  186. 187
    punctum on 7 Apr 2013 #

    Squeeze aside, the whole programme gave me the creeps. When you end up wondering whether LS Lowry was dodgy, then it’s time to tune out.

  187. 188
    lonepilgrim on 18 Apr 2013 #

    TOTP 13/04/78
    Blackburn presents – the bland leading the bland
    BeeGees over the credits
    Child – satin bomber jackets and bouffant dos – competent run through of a classic tune
    Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams – she has a fantastic voice which acts as a great counterpoint to JM – class act
    Dee D Jackson – panto season starts early
    Richard Myhill – dreadful
    Bonnie Tyler – forgettable retread of familiar tropes – useful preparation for Eurovision
    Dr Hook – not a patch on their earlier hits
    Gene Farrow – the gals get to shimmy next to this pop-eyed chancer in a Saturday Night Fever outfit
    Genesis – they’re serious musicians you know
    Raffaella Carra – I can imagine several drag artistes taking notes from this performance
    Brian & MIchael – sentimental hogwash
    Michael Zager – briefly over the credits with a disco standard

    little sense of pop to tonights show – nothing that couldn’t have slotted in to an episode of The Two Ronnies – like punk never happened

  188. 189
    Lazarus on 19 Apr 2013 #

    It’s Thursday night, it’s 7.30, it’s back! Tone in charge, ‘Gees over the chart.

    Child – were they big on kids TV or something, like Flintlock? Competent and pleasant rerun of an old Searchers hit (Jackie de Shannon song, I think?) but, well, there was a reason why the Rollers were no longer having hits.

    Johnny & Deneice – gorgeous, I could happily listen to this every day. Instead I suffer Heart at work. At least when I’ve heard ‘Candy’ for the third time that day I know it must be nearly time to go.

    Dee D Jackson – if Kate Bush had joined Hot Gossip I suupose we’d have ended up with something like this. She was foreign I think, at least she had several more hits in Europe. Did Giorgio have anything to do with this? Robots on TOTP … Kraftwerk, Herbie Hancock, Marvin?

    Richard Myhill – quirky performance from a man in a big bow tie making the most of his 15 minutes. No idea what the ’26′ is about. I’m thinking that might be a stuck-on moustache on the violinist.

    Bonnie Tyler – innocuous, sounds a bit like ‘Heartache’ in places.

    Dr Hook – back in angsty ‘Sylvia’s Mother’ territory. I like this one actually, I bought it on 45 a year or two later. Fair play to them for coming in and doing the Pops as well, though I imagine they were on tour.

    Gene Farrow – don’t remember it, or him, although the title tune sounds pretty generic. Only sight of the gals this week. Next time that outfit would be seen was on ‘Airplane.’

    Genesis – love it, but it seems rather out of place in this company. There appear to be two Phils, thus getting round the problem of the ‘singing drummer.’

    Rafaella Carra – I remember Wogan playing this quite a lot. Rafa is a game old bird in a sparkly dress with an energetic performance. Harmless fun. From recent clips on Youtube it looks as if she’s still going!

    Brian & Michael – yeah that’s enough of Salford’s smoky tops and the old flat cap, I think. I bet there’s a troupe of middle-aged ladies watching this with their amused/appalled offspring evey week, though.

    Not the best, but it had its moments.

  189. 190
    speedwell54 on 19 Apr 2013 #


    Child – sorry to ask another question of them- did they win Opportunity Knocks or something? The bass player looks about 10 years older than the rest of the them, but I’m guessing “Jackie” made a deduction. Don’t remember this version but I’m not disappointed in myself.

    Johnny and Deneice – good song with a rather down beat lyric.

    Dee D -I enjoyed this, she looks a lot like Birmingham’s Karren Brady to me. Daft Punk learnt a lot from this outing. It’s not quite Jeffrey Daniel is it!

    Richard Myhill- no.

    Bonnie Tyler – tempted to ask her to have a good cough luv – song does sound ok but her voice seems too much on this particular track and now I’m thinking about it, the song’s done for.

    Dr Hook – in storytelling mode -again. Country regret as per.

    Gene Farrow in Travolta’s kit as this disco number moves along without offence. Did he write in to Jim’ll fix it to dance with Legs and Co.? Don’t remember them ever doing this. Sorry to mention Jim btw

    Genesis- the wheat in so much chaff this week

    Rafaella -Looks quite stunning in her whip-lash inducing dance. Great performance.

    Brian and a repeat. That’s enough thanks.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  190. 191
    Mark G on 21 Apr 2013 #

    The long edition has the girls dancing to Chic in a manner to please the Swede..

    Also Suzi q got missed as did Alan Price for some reason, with a tune that sound like he’s already in the Snug bar at Prestatyn.. Also, Gerry Raff but him and Suis were repeat performances.

    I don’t remember this BonTylrsong at all, apart from a vague recollection of a series of “It’s a heartache” soundalikes..

    So, nowt to trouble my punk/new wave capture DVD, although that Gene Farrow ,is very fuzz-guitar heavy, in a way I don’t remember it being… ah but next week it’s Buzzcocks for the first time, nd Jonathan Richman finally. And the presenter is Jimmy Savile. Oh.

  191. 192
    Lazarus on 21 Apr 2013 #

    Jane ‘The Cruise’ McDonald getting all unnecessary over Graham from Child:


  192. 193
    Jimmy the Swede on 21 Apr 2013 #

    Tony again. Sensational!

    Gibbs o’er titles. Number one in waiting.

    Child – A kiddies slot houseband do an old Searchers number. They do it well but what’s the point? Adoring kids have scarves in the air. Bye bye Rollers.

    Johnny and Deneice – Classy duet and she’s just gorgeous.

    Dee D Jackson – Automatic Lover. What, ANOTHER one? She’s actually homegrown, Lazarus, and a rather wholesome sort in a blue catsuit and cape. She has a voice not unlike Julie Covington’s but it all falls apart when we learn that her beau is a robot built by Bosch and that her real name is Deidre.

    Richard Myhill – This again. Bloody odd but in the “Sailor” mode. He looks like a cross between Angus Deaton and Rob Walker, the numtie who introduces the snooker players into battle.

    Bonnie T – More than a little dishy. God, can she use the camera. But, yes, she really needs a packet of Strepsils in double quick time.

    Dr Hook – In the studio. Always a treat. One of their weakest but still fabulous.

    Bannockburn introduces Gene Farrow but doesn’t mention the Gals, who treat us to a trouser-disturbing routine of thrusts in their one-piece coloured tops and flapping microshorts. Swede dreamland. The record is risible but who’s counting, as the camera homes in on the Gals, as each in turn dance around Gene, who’s real name is probably Tarquin. Him a twat. A smiling Mucky Sue brings up the rear in every sense of the word. Lush!

    Genesis – Studio footage. Wonderful. There was the odd bit of class stuff back then, you know. Badly cut.

    Raffaella Carra – Did I mention class stuff? “You just watch this,” warns Tony. Hilariously memorable, this. Energenic sexy Italian blonde oddball does it, does it again. It’s impossible to hate this, I suggest. She’s a lunatic. “I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of her in the future,” beams TB. Pity we didn’t.

    Number one time and it’s the Two Salford Folkies plus The Daughters of Caligula. I don’t know what more to say about this other than the fact that the DOCs are clearly the warders of the poor old SFs. Their evil eyes keep constant watch on their captives and there is neither no chance of escape nor hope for poor Brian and Michael. The only prayer left to them must be that death comes swiftly.

    Out to a pointless few seconds of Michael Zager Band.

    Mark G – I’m not best pleased I missed the long version with the Gals doing Chic. But wasn’t this a re-run?

  193. 194
    Lazarus on 21 Apr 2013 #

    I daresay it’s been on before and if so one or two of you may have seen it, but BBC4’s ‘Exotic Pop’ at 11.30 tonight promises some continental fare – Rafaella Carra may be in there, who knows, but it might be worth a look.

  194. 195
    Mark G on 22 Apr 2013 #

    Swede: No, that ‘girls dance to Chic’ was a first-outing, it did get a repeat showing but it’s one of the JimSav presentations, so..

  195. 196
    Erithian on 22 Apr 2013 #

    Did you hear Tone mention that Raffaella Carra had been in the film “Von Ryan’s Express”? – a 1965 PoW escape movie starring Frank Sinatra, with John Leyton much further down the cast list. She was 34 at the time of her TOTP appearance. ISTR her appearing on a British chat show (Des O’Connor I think, though I may be wrong) looking delighted at the new dimension her career was taking, with a hit in the UK and all… More recently IMDb suggests she commentated for Italian TV’s Eurovision coverage in 2011 and – eh? – hosted Saturday Night Live in 2009…

  196. 197
    Mark G on 22 Apr 2013 #

    I remember my mate Kev mentioning that. I think (SPOILER!!) I remember seeing it, that she turns ut to be a fifth-columnist type spy, and as the people who have discovered this are debating as to what to do with her, Frankie does the deed and shoots her even though they were an ‘item’, sort of, without saying he’s going to.

    Or not.

  197. 198
    Lazarus on 22 Apr 2013 #

    Just realised Richard Myhill was at number 26 this week – duh!

    That Chic/Legs clip (well 2 minutes 40 of it) for the appreciation of JtS and others:


  198. 199
    Erithian on 22 Apr 2013 #

    #193 Jimmy – by rights that reference to B&M should be the Two Hyde Folkies. Hyde, pride of Tameside, birthplace of Ricky Hatton and, er, former residence of the Moors murderers and Dr Harold Shipman.

  199. 200
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Apr 2013 #

    Lazarus #200 – That’s so kind of you. I can’t download where I am just now but will catch it in another place. Cheers. (Swede dribbles in anticipation)

    Erithian #201 – I am grateful for this clarification. I notice, though, that you didn’t dispute the accuracy of “The Daughters of Caligula”. Popular Pals must always stick together in the face of true malignant evil.

  200. 201
    Lazarus on 25 Apr 2013 #

    Double helping of the Legs tonight, and that’s just in the short show. I’ll be watching the long one over the weekend so I’ll leave my comments till then.

  201. 202
    mintness on 26 Apr 2013 #

    Indeed, Raffaella Carrà was the lynchpin of RAI’s Eurovision coverage in 2011, the first time Italy had taken part since 1997 (sulking being a fairly fundamental element of the Italian musical psyche – and who can blame them when they’ve got Sanremo, the blueprint for Eurovision that consistently outclasses the actual event year after year?). She also announced the Italian votes at the grand final, giving a healthy 10 points to UK representatives Blue, who’d done their groundwork by appearing on Italian Top Of The Pops (heavens, a market where the brand still existed!) a few months earlier. Unfortunately, that early flurry of votes from Italy and Bulgaria was about as good as it got for Duncan, Simon, thingy and thingy, who were eventually overhauled by Jed and Ward and a cast of sufficiently adequate backing singers; a flight home with Denise Welch was all the reward they got.

  202. 203
    Mark G on 27 Apr 2013 #

    So, here’s Peter Powell to be over keen once more, and after a quick chart rundown it’s Squeeze! This was pretty avant at the time, synths and two vocalists singing exactly the same but one octave apart. (I did that one time on a track I recorded, but I ended up sacking it for the dub version. I’m sure you are fascinated..)

    Dan Hill sticks with that cardie, right fast forward I’ve not got all night.

    The Girls do Night Fever, ah that explains the nighties…

    Paul mcrepeats, ff>

    Right, here is Bryan Ferry, the last time I heard this version it was on Kenny Everett’s tv show. But what is that get-up? He looks like Jarvis Cocker dressed as Gary Numan! And there’s a bit of “I’m beginning to see the light” too. It’s a damn medley! Was the single really like this? I don’t remember this at all it seems!

    Girls do “Singing in the rain” which explains the macs and umbrellas.. Oh hang on, it’s not them, ff>

    Peter P with 2 random girls, he’s a lot more subdued thesedays, he obviously saw himself…

    Graham Parker does reggae disco, it’s a lot better than I remember. Ah, he’s taken his sunnies off, and now we don’t recognise him…

    Andrew Gold.. I remember this because the sax player gets unfeasibly close to his ear in the chorus YEP there it is.. It’s an odd song, it wears its banality well and it works..

    The boomtown rats, it’s an alright song, single, whatever, but the backing vocals are um.. Like nasally ramones or something. It’s a lot like Blur’s attempts at ‘punk’, see “we’ve got a file on you” in particular.

    “Life in the city” is next, bucking the trend of inner-city boredom that was the zeitgeist at this point in time. Traffic Lights! They call! Near buzzcocks guitar solo! What does it all mean, Demis?

    The girls dance the Zager band and Lets All Chant. In pompom dresses. The chart rundown had MZag represented by a sheet of musical notation, so I guess they had no idea who or what it all meant..

    Um, this starts like Pink Floyd’s Breathe.. “Hong Kong Beat” this was a tv theme I believe. Some stock footage from a film library I guess, Quite a nice instrumental, but yeah it does suggest Roger Waters is going to start singing any moment…

    Coco return, and they have clearly packed suitcases ready for the off. “You put your foot inside my shoe” well that’s a new way of describing it.. Although some kinds of spider.. Cheryl Baker looks even younger here. “Good luck for Eurovision” says Peter. Yeah, if you don’t win, don’t come back yeah?

    Brian And Michael. Some of those girls went on to form the band Liliput. (fact fans, that might not be true)

    Elton suffers a fading ego, for the first and only time..

    And now, for an alternate review/viewpoint, I hand you over to…

  203. 204
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Apr 2013 #

    Peter Powell as willing as ever. Nice bloke, really.

    Chart rundown to Raydio’s Jack and Jill. I always rated this one.

    Squeeze – A great opener from one of the very best acts around.

    Dan Hill – The mad bearded woodman Hoser with the axe still won’t bog off. Beavers in Saskatchevan scurry for cover. Peter proclaims Dan’s efforts “fab-U-lous!” and then very camply asks “Did you like it?” An unconvincing recorded cheer fools nobody.

    Pete eventually unties his tongue to introduce Night Fever and the Gals march down a catwalk in flimsy white nighties. It’s too much for the Swede to take. Mary Whitehouse smoke tries to spoil it but this is such stuff as dreams are made of. Sweet Dreams. Sweet Mucky Sue dreams. I actually rather liked this.

    The excellent show continues with Bryan Ferry with What Goes On. Wonderful. But inexplicably the record bombed. What goes on is right. Too sophisticated, probably.

    Graham Parker – Another good effort which failed to make the Top 30 and it was far too good to flop. Parker does a great piece to camera towards the end.

    Powell seems to be surrounded by four Amish girls. Unlikely. Then up pops Andrew Gold. I loved this and distinctly recall this footage. Back at school (6th form – I was about to leave that summer) there wasn’t one of us who didn’t think that the guys dancing and clapping with Andrew were pleasantly gay, the curly-haired lad in the orange top in particular. Rather ran counter to the sentiment, “never let HER slip away”, we felt. Boys will be boys!

    This already enjoyable show just gets better. A second helping of the Gals, as if the first one wasn’t enough. They’re in two-piece feathery numbers with matching undies and silver shoes. Each Gal is in a different colour. Mucky Sue (aka The Eternal Mistress) is in red. They give us Michael Zager’s Let’s All Chant, a brilliant choice. The routine is incredibly satisfying and Sue again features in a quick solo, after which the Swede was apt to do less chanting and more of something else.

    Theme from “Hong Kong Beat” tv show. Mark G is right. This sounded very much like Floyd’s Breathe but then dissolved into the sort of incidental music you used to hear on Bergerac. Library footage of HK by day and night. I think it would have prompted more people to watch the show than buy the record.

    Brian and Michael still at number one. But their time is up…in more ways than one. The Daughters of Caligula have changed formation. In fact, are they actually the same?…

    Well, the tragic but inevitable demise of Brian and Michael had very erie undercurrents of the Prague Spring of 1968, when, with the final approach of the Soviet tanks, a group of Czech partisans are holed out in the city’s main state radio station. From here they plead to the world for help. It’s rather like trying to hold the ocean back with a cheese-grater. The folkie in the cap (is it Brian or is it Michael?) has one eye constatly watering and the other blinking manically like a buggered-up camera shutter:

    “This is Brian and Michael. Please help us! Please help us!”

    (Faintly) “alley-alley-oh!…”

    “We are falling! We are falling! Please help us! Please help us!”

    (Louder) “Alley-Alley-Oh!”

    “This is…(radio breaking up)…Michael. Brian and Michael. They are here! They are here! Goodbye! Goodbye! Good…”

    (Very Loud) “ALLEY-ALLEY-OH!”


  204. 205
    speedwell54 on 27 Apr 2013 #

    Right, collars up, it’s Peter Powell.

    Squeeze-great start for them and the show. Difford tells stories on the whole with reality and not fantasy. The ability, the everyday stuff, and the Englishness nod towards Ray Davies albeit a generation apart. “Cool for Cats” is an amazingly good album that nobody bought.

    Dan Hill repeat. Getting so bored with this I’m wishing that maybe could hold him so tightly that he could die.

    Bee Gees, Legs and Co are especially stunning. Sophie EB lifts a bit of the hand clap, jump, step action for the vid of Murder On the Dancefloor.

    Bryan Ferry- looks cool despite wearing a Top Shop jacket – still available btw. Is that Ray Dorset on drums?

    Graham Parker, and the Rumour, and some of the Rumour’s friends by the looks of it. Certainly doing his bit to fight unemployment. Didn’t really mean much to me.

    Andrew Gold- Brilliant video, he almost cracks up when the sax player gets so close his instrument is touching his cheek (oh-er missus) but just about avoids a retake.

    Michael ZB Legs and Co -I must go to the car wash.

    Hong Kong Beat – as the kids today would say – very random. Did someone pull out last minute? Next week – the theme from the Mike Yarwood Show.

    Brian and Michael- again- The short haired girl three to the right of the non guitar playing one, later was in an episode of Minder alongside Mel Smith who also guested. True.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  205. 206
    Jimmy the Swede on 3 May 2013 #

    Tis the Kid in benign control.

    Stranglers over the countdown.

    The Dooleys – Lightweight disco effort from a lightweight cheesy outfit. Straight to Prestatyn.

    Ruby Winters – Now this is worrying. A sad-faced woman slowly emerges into the grounds of what is clearly the garden of a nuthouse, wearing a light blue dressing gown. She mournfully starts to sing a grim dirge directly to an overhanging plant growing in the middle of a water-feature, stroking its reeds lovingly as she warbles on. Pretty disturbing, all things considered.

    Tonight – Money’s a special problem for them. So is the fact that the verse sounds just like Sailor’s “Glass of Champagne”.

    Donna Summer – A chocolate-box nothing song, not even saved by the Gals swirling around in matching cream tops and different coloured dresses. But what’s this? There are only five of them. The Eternal Mistress herself is not there! Explain!..

    Andrew Gold and the nice boys again.

    Hi-Tension – UK Funk combo, recorded on Island Records. Good effort. As Kid says, it’s infectious. Should have gone higher.

    Hong Kong Beat theme again.

    Dee D Jackson and the German robot. Yummy mad bird with a questionable taste in blokes.

    Darts – They’re back! Prestatyn just can’t hold them. But hang on, this one’s good and sturdy old Rita plays quite the Amazon in an enticing split skirt. The Swede likes but is also a little scared.

    Kid gives a couple of plain girls a chance before introducing two girls who most certainly are anything but. It’s Co-Co with our Eurovision flop. In retrospect, this has really grown on me. It’s a fey, clever little song and the girl lead is beautiful. Bit-part player Cheryl Baker, three years away from glory, looks even more breath-taking.

    Rats – Jensen calls them “a band of Irish survivors from last year’s punk explosion”. I wonder what Geldof made of that!

    John Paul Young – Second-rate Aussie crooner gets his five minutes of fame with a record which has become a staple at wedding receptions to this day.

    Michael Zager Band – Rerun of scrumptious Gals routine with the Eternal Mistress in her pomp. Who could possibly ffwd that?!..

    Man Tran – First Hong Kong and now Singapore. Pleasant and classy act. They’re so…20th Century, They’re so…1920s…

    Number One – After the summary crushing of poor Brian and Michael, it’s the Kennedy Brothers at the top, which gives us a third helping of the Gals and a second chance to fantasise over them in their nighties. Dreamland quite literally.

    Kid pretends he is being mobbed by the youngsters and sails to the floor with a cry of “Good Love!” We go out to a respectively goodly helping of Squeeze.

  206. 207
    speedwell54 on 4 May 2013 #

    It’s the Kid – in the days when blah blah blah

    Nice ‘n’ Sleazy sounds great over the countdown, hope we hear more soon.

    The Dooleys – “From a sound that’s chart bound” says Kid -how wrong he was. To be honest I can’t really tell the difference from all their other “sounds”

    Ruby Winters -The song structure seems to be ONE line then chorus chorus chorus. Jimmy – we don’t call them “nuthouses” anymore. The tree bothering, plant interferer, Ruby, looks like she’s about to make her escape from the looney bin when the editor cuts back to KId.

    Tonight- Kid crashes the vocal with his intro. “hovering just outside the Top 30″ he’s getting pretty liberal with the truth here – it peaked at 66. I’ve only just recovered from Drummer Man. It’s just a bit too frenetic for me; looks like they are all dosed up on a cocktail of caffeine and tartrazine.

    Donna Summer – Back in Love Again- I rediscovered this song in ’98 when ‘The Bad Photographer” came out and I knew it reminded me of something. I love both, and in ’78 it reminded of the “Vision On’ theme; the mellow keyboard sound that runs through the song someway back in the mix. Lovely.

    Hi tension- not my cup of tea.

    Darts – always entertaining. Always the same performance on TOTP, whatever the song.

    Boomtown Rats – Bob has two bets going on here -worst mimer and most impressions; he does Jagger and Townsend. Anymore?

    John Paul Young – Twktc

    Man tran – Two Ronnies/Barbara Dickson Show fodder – not for me.

    Bee Gees repeat performance from the girls.

    Bye Kid – we close with Squeeze, love it.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  207. 208
    hardtogethits on 5 May 2013 #

    Speedwell! Twktc? I like this. It trips off the tongue. I want to use it in meetings, emails etc. But before I do so, wtfdim?

  208. 209
    speedwell54 on 5 May 2013 #


    It does sound a little American radio station doesn’t it. Better than KWVLR any roads-(a little unconnected puzzler)

    “Too well known to comment”. I used for ‘Baker Street’ a while ago too. I don’t want to ignore the existence of a track but believe most things have already been said, here or elsewhere, and I have nothing to add. However it also means I can’t think of anything witty to say about their performance!

    Good luck in using it in meetings!

  209. 210
    Mark G on 10 May 2013 #

    eh? Whazza time? Really?

    Stranglers over the countdown and into The Dooleys, although for a minute it sounds like Jet Black’s keyboard is still going

    Ruby Winters does a song that’s like “I Will” with all the goodness removed. Basically, Verse, chorus, verse, chorus chorus chorus change key chorus..

    Tonight. Cheers, bye. They still look like early U2, but what they actually are is gorn. Prestatyn will not weary them..

    I actually liked this Donna Simmer one, it sort of Supremes-like but in a good way. Sue is obviously on holiday.

    Hi-Tension, milk no sugar. Yep, that’s my cup of tea. I was massively disappointed by “Disco” in general, because I loved the “Chelsea” records time. But, this is that rare thing, Britfunk that doesn’t suck

    “Brighton that downst suck”? My spelling corrector certainly does suck though..

    There’s the instrumental Pink Floyd again. I like this much better now than I did then, hmmm..

    “Automatic Lover”, hmm what’s this about then? “Nothing to caress, not a hand to hold..” just a handle then.. Oh dear , Innocent times, so it seems… (It’d be so much better without so much of that robot over it)

    The Darts suddenly notice they have someone who can actually sing! It helps that they have the single to mime to, this time. The “boy from New York City” is called Jim. (Osterburg?)

    Aw, it’s Coco one more time. It’s a repeat performance, clearly, post Eurovision, they’d already split up.. Still, the single must have been selling, still. Thesedays, it would be amazing if the UK Eurovision entry was even in the chart..

    The Boomtown Rats get a repeat performance cunningly disguised by a spin-camera pan.. I still think this is an OK song subjected to a ‘dumb’ mix..

    John Paul the first? Well, there was Jones, then Joans, and now Young. He has Kevin Ayers’ hair..

    Zager zag, ah. Sue returns. I think Cheryl won this week, mind..

    Manhattan Transfer. Did I do the tattoo joke already? I think I did… Anyways, it’s “tim nbd” turn, we ho and hum..

    The Bee Gees get the girls and suddenly there’s loads of people in the studio!There’s a lit floor, audience dancing alongside, the place looks huge! All done with mirrors, but still…

    Squeeze to fade. Bye bye and reasonable love..

  210. 211
    Paulito on 15 May 2013 #

    *pedant alert* Don’t you mean Dave Greenfield’s keyboard? *pedant alert*

  211. 212
    Mark G on 16 May 2013 #

    Oh yeah, I knew it was wrong (sort of) just couldn’t remember his damn name for a moment.

  212. 213
    Lazarus on 16 May 2013 #

    After a ‘Sky at Night’ week, we’re off again – Peter P in the chair.

    Smokie – this might be my favourite of theirs I think. It’s sort of ‘one man band’ music isn’t it, mid-paced thumper, heavy on the bass drum, a distant cousin of ‘Part of the Union?’

    Darts – repeat performance and yes Rita had terrific legs – and voice – should have taken the lead more often. An old song, but I doubt if many of those who bought it knew the original, which was never a hit here.

    John Paul Young/Legs and Co – we get the Legs this week instead of JPY and his Frampton hair. Given Flick’s liking for literal interpretations it wouldn’t have surprised me to see them all decked out as aviators. Some nice shimmying from Sue, back from her hols.

    Plastic Bertrand – a special moment for me this. The first record I ever bought, and I didn’t even have a record player! I didn’t know at the time of course that he wasn’t singing on it. I remember having to take the first copy back to Our Price because it was warped, which rather spoiled the experience. Still sounds good to me.

    Guy Marks – an oddity which my sister (who later donated her old dansette to me) was rather fond of. Camp and silly – mincing singer Guy has an air of Russell Harty I think.

    Brotherhood of Man – did PP just say “they’re back on Top of the Pops thank goodness?” Not a view that would have been shared by many of my acquaintance. And is Martin trying to ‘do a Benny’ with that beard? I’d almost forgotten this dud. Minibus please!

    PP, with a young girl who looks a bit like a young Cilla in a chunky blue sweater, introduces Elkie Brooks – doing a Neil Young song that would later be a hit for FT faves Saint Etienne. Pleasant enough I suppose.

    X-Ray Spex – well I never knew this was on the Pops! I don’t remember it as well as ‘Germ Free Adolescence’ but they were an interesting proposition certainly – punk (or something close to it) with Roxy-type sax. Poly no longer with us alas.

    David Soul pops up for a meet’n’greet and a plug for the new single and movie. And introduces:

    Boney M – yeah we know it, “there’s a dentist in Birmingham” &c. Who could have guessed this would still be hanging around at Christmas? The massive appeal of the M seems hard to fathom now, although Liz could certainly sing.

    “Be good” and goodbye from Peter and we have a bit of bonkers Rafaella.

    Pretty good show, and especially memorable from a personal viewpoint.

  213. 214
    lonepilgrim on 16 May 2013 #

    TOTP 18/05/1978
    Peter Powell Presents
    Rose Royce over the charts – an enticing mix of Punk/New Wave and Disco with some MOR. Patti Smith at number 6!
    Smokie – there’s something ersatz about this act that rubs me up the wrong way
    Darts – whereas this fakery I find endearing
    Joh Paul Young – Legs and Co wearing what look like rustic straitjackets jig to this MOR/disco number
    Plastic Bertrand – jerking endearingly like an effete marionette “jamais avoir le sentiment que vous avez été trompé?”
    Guy Marks: I bought this single at the time and I still like it – Dennis Potter’s “Pennies from Heaven” had recently been broadcast around this time and had opened my ears to the joys of dance band music. This pastiche was done lovingly but without the ‘good taste’ of acts like Manhattan Transfer.
    Brotherhood of Man – perms ahoy; wants to be Abba; fails
    Elkie Brooks – more ‘good taste’ smothering whatever virtues the original song had
    X Ray Spex – glorious contrast to the previous performance -bridging the gap between punk and post-punk
    David Soul – struggling to answer concisely
    Boney M – no mystery over the appeal of tha ‘M’ for me – top tunes, committed (in several senses of the word) performances
    Rafaella over the credits

  214. 215
    speedwell54 on 16 May 2013 #

    Peter Powell hosts.

    Rose Royce over the titles. Michael Zager gets a picture of a sheet of music, the other 29 artists get a picture of themselves. Anyone know who Andrew Gold looks like in the photo? It’s been bugging me.

    Smokie -Oh Carol -Early doors it has a bit a of a ‘Combine Harvester’ feel about it, but enjoyable none the less. Not too sure about the blue dungarees. Smokie… aren’t they a bit Trigger’s Broom these days?

    Darts – look an unlikely group, however they do work.

    John Paul Young – (what happened to George and Ringo, and who’s this Young bloke?) They didn’t exactly blow the budget on the set for Legs and Co. Ok

    Plastic Bertrand – the big faker. At the time I thought it was ‘car plane for moi” whatever that was. Ho hum.
    Musically it’s really like a great punk track, but he takes the edge off with “his” singing and makes it a little novelty.

    Guy Marks – “your red scarf matches your eyes”.. that had them rolling in the aisles back in the ’40s – I was thinking more Larry Grayson btw. ( I say “40s”, no idea really)

    Brotherhood Of Man – (just next to Isle of Man) As we get to the chorus I think they’re going to sing ‘Uh Oh Figaro, he’s got magic oh oh” Three out of four have succumbed to the 1978 perm. It’s catching.
    They all rush off stage to remove their very tight trousers to see if any will fit Elkie.

    Elkie Brooks – she gets lucky and doesn’t have to sing in her knickers. Lazarus rather stole my thunder here, I’m kind of not sure it is the same song. She’s certainly singing the right words, but the phrasing and the tune are strangers to me. We had a few years to wait ’til Saint Etienne did such a brilliant version.

    X Ray Spex- a little shouty and strange crocheted headgear. The music was only part of what was going on here.

    Peter invites someone else to crash the vocal for him. It’s David Soul! Introducing..

    Boney M – more fakers, but no one cared. It’s ok, but agree it’s hard to work out why quite so popular.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  215. 216
    Mark G on 17 May 2013 #

    Right, lets cut to the elephant in the room… Smokie sing the “times were different” theme tune, basically the guy picks up an underage girl but is not put off too much and ends up snogging her anyway. There you go. Then again, maybe I’m misinterpreting the line ‘I’m not 16 if you know what I mean’ she could mean she’s 17 I suppose…

    Darts do their best single, Rita took more lead songs from hereon in..

    Legs are in the air, ho ho ho. Alice tells me she wouldn’t want their job..

    Plastic Bertrand does a song I already knew as ‘Jet Boy Jet Girl’, amazingly the version I had was a more sanitised version I heard later at a record fair. As if it was going to get radio play! Alice took one look and said “He’s not the singer, they just got someone to dance around and pretend!” One so wise..

    Guy Marks .. And the Ladybirds get to do what they do best! Makes a change from Manhattan Transfer..

    Bro-hood Man get beards. All of them. And do a song that’ll finish it. If you had someone who was a beautiful lover, would you sing a song like that? No.

    Elkie Brooks! Wichita! Speak! You know what, I must have known this version before the Neil one, which I never heard until after… Etc. Actually, it’s pretty good.. My spelling corrector has her as Slime Brooks, why? Because it’s rub

    Poly Styrene! Yeah! Alice likes the hat. “Is she talking a different language?” Ok, subtitles back on.. She likes it. She can stay..

    “David Soul, what are you doing here? No, stop.”

    Rivers of Babylon, Boney M. I recommend you all search out the Harry Partch version, seriously. Wonder what he’d have made of “Brown Girl in the ring”…

    Right, Alice has finished her locket, and maybe will get a nights sleep now.. School tomorrow.

    Night night you lot.

  216. 217
    pootle on 17 May 2013 #

    I put the subtitles on for Plastique Bertrand and I’m pretty sure that ‘connard’ is a Rude Word.
    Also everyone on earth knows they’re Belgian.

    And what the hell were Legs & Co wearing? I’ve worn racier stuff to tidy the house.

    The extended version has The Stranglers, who are really too cool for the show. They must live locally or something. Like the swirly synth effects and Hugh’s fierceness.

    Saint Etienne did ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ better. This is so lounge I can feel the air-conditioning.

    Random non-singing David Soul. Remember when Mike Nesmith did it?

    I wonder if TOTP will play ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’? It’s the side I remember more, mostly because ‘Rivers of Babylon’ was totally eclipsed by the comic version (must admit it’s my favourite comic song of all time – the scansion is perfect)

  217. 218
    Mark G on 18 May 2013 #

    Deluxe edition had the Ruby Winters once again, same forecourt and fountain,must have been a hit then.

    Also Raydio, with a lot of old radios in with them, it’s a supplied film. Totp aren’t quite that lame.. (are they?)

    Plus the Stranglers doing “Nice and Sleazy” wit good old Dave. Yes. Impossible to forget him if you can actually see him… Anyway, why did this get bumped out of the edit? It’d be almost the best thing on the show, if it hand’t been X-Ray Spex’s debut..

    Is Poly the first of the punks to be totally at home on the show? The rest were between disdain or hyper-active, pretty much. Tragic in a way (nobody died, no..) that they had one great album, a series of stunning singles, a TV Documentary, then it suddenly ended. One band that could have had the perfect three-album discography.

  218. 219
    Lazarus on 18 May 2013 #

    Just been reading about Guy Marks – a long and varied career, you could say. Born Mario Scarpa in Philadelphia, (I think the Guinness book had him listed as Australian at one time?) he had a minor US hit with ‘Bananas’ in 1968. I’d guess that Noel Edmonds had something to do with the re-issue and subsequent hit in Britain.

  219. 220
    Jimmy the Swede on 18 May 2013 #

    Peter Powell pops up again. Is he safe?

    Chart rundown to Rose Royce. At 26 is the Eurvision winner, two places below Coco.

    Smokie – God help us, they’re back! And it’s another cloned piece of Prestatyn-esque tommyrot from our eternal season ticket holders. Even Pete declares them “unmistakeable”. You’ve got that right, buddy!

    Darts – As you were. Prestatyn must have had a power cut with so many of their captives having done a runner.

    John Paul Young – Gals puzzlingly dressed and one is missing again. A solo from a resurgent Eternal Mistress nearly saves the day but the routine is cut ridiculously short. What’s the point?

    Plastic Bertrand – Not your average Euro-pop, that’s for certain. I loved this. French/Belgian new wave lunatic. Brilliant! Douze points!

    Guy Marks – Man Tran copycat. A Yank Noel Coward. Just camper. Bananas, no. Cheese, mais oui!

    Brotherhood of Man – Okay. Enough now. Head of security up at Prestatyn has just been sacked. At least Nicky’s barnet is looking better. Amazed that the crowd obliged with chorus fist-pumps. Just wrong.

    Elkie – Studio footage. Wonderful and classy. Didn’t quite make the top 40. Who cares? Terrific. Over to you, Lino!

    X-Ray Spex – Seriously game on. One of my sixth form colleagues (in 1978) was Poly’s younger brother. Stockwell Manor slum kid. For I too was one.

    PP introduces David Soul in a piece recorded without the audience. Hutch graciously plays the game by clapping Poly as her record exits and then plugs his own new single. He loves being in this country, does David. No shit, Sherlock. I don’t think he ever went back to the States. David introduces the nation’s number one. Tis Boney M and Rivers of Babylon. Having the background I did, I well remember the Melodian’s version of this many years earlier being played everywhere in the ‘hood. Happy Days!

    Peter advises us to “be good”. For those of us old enough to remember, this was always a Bannockburn sign-off from his first radio show. Then out we go out to that sectionable Spanish bird. Doing it again. With love.

  220. 221
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 May 2013 #

    It’s Tony presenting, beaming away and the chart rundown is to Yvonne Elliman.

    Real Thing – They attempt US disco in front of the Gals. And looky here, it’s Floyd back, replacing an absent Leg. The Muckmistress is looking breathtaking for what you see of her but it’s Floyd who has the helm. It’s a good opener but Bannockburn fails to give the dancers a mention.

    Blondie – More Swede heaven as Debbie in Man City blue is touched by our presence and stares out into the camera as only she can. She looks impossibly lovely and it’s a great track.

    Heatwave – Soft soul lounge lizards with a pulling track down at the dicso. Not that the Swede ventured into such places, as I was strictly a pub and gig boy. I kind of regret that now. Rod Temperton is shoved way back as the camera concentrates on the vocalist.

    Tavares – US studio footage. The easy theme is maintained with a record which perhaps is best remembered by being sung as “Mormon a Woman” in response to the Joyce McKinney/Kirk Anderson bondage case, a hilarious episode which younger posters may wish to google. It was very much in the vein of the little guy trying to flee the Hi Karate girl as she was trying to ravish him. The press had a field-day.

    Bannockburn improbably introduces Black Sabbath. It’s their first chart hit since Paranoid in 1970. The intro is lifted straight from “The Boys are back in Town” but it doesn’t matter, as when they get into their stride this is obviously cracking and equally obviously out of place here. Nevertheless, Tony concludes that “he puts everything he’s got into it!” Who does he mean?

    Grease is coming to a cinema near you. After all these years I still haven’t seen it and have no desire to. Travola and Olivia, who was all of 29 when she did it do “You’re the one that I Want” and it’s number one bound of course. It’s the Gals again and this time, Blackburn dutifully introduces both them and interloper Floyd, who it appears both wants and gets all of them. You might think that the Swede would creep away defeated at this but no, this is a brilliant routine with boss Floyd doing a conducting job of which Malcolm Sargent would heve been proud. The Gals are in wonderful smily form and clearly loved every moment of this one. The Eternal Mistress once again looks astonishing, as does Gill and at one point, Floyd spins both of these heavenly creatures around, one on each arm. Fair play to the lad.

    Ian Dury – One of the landmark tracks of the year from one of the most important artists of the period. A punk, a poet, call him what you like but this is Grand Cru stuff, and to be the ticket man at Fulham Broadway station was a lofty aspiration for anyone. Just brilliant. Alas cut almost in half to make way for…

    Cheesy ol’ Cilla! – Man Alive! Long since claimed by Prestatyn, she belts out a particularly poor song like the good pro she is. The ever-faithful Ladybirds help her across the line. “I think that’s fantastic!” dribbles Bannockburn. He would. The disc flops. In the words of Spike Milligan: “What is she going to do now?…”

    Tony drops into a sneer as he turns across to greet Sham 69. Sorry but I always has a slight problem with Jimmy Pursey banging on about “kids like him”. He was in his mid twenties and looked about forty. Having said that, this track was a typical straight in/straight out punk song, which is good, so I don’t really know what the hell to think. At the end, Jimmy tumbles over to the amusement of the real kids around him, prompting a “Good Collapse!” tribute from Tony.

    Number One – Boney M.

    Out to Rod, as Scottish as Jimmy Pursey is a kid. It’s a calypso, name-checking the Scottish squad about to win the World Cup in Argentina. No TOTP next week, Tony tells us gravely, because of that very same tournament.

    Only there IS a show next week. No name-check for Floyd despite his efforts. Perhaps the Gals “loved him to death” back in their dressing room. Beautiful way to go!

  221. 222
    Lazarus on 27 May 2013 #

    Belated support act to the Swede signing in.

    Tony Blackburn presents, although his outfit – cream jacket, dark shirt – is more Tony Manero perhaps? Talking of which, it’s Yvonne Elliman over the chart.

    Real Thing – like Hi Tension a week or two back, not really my thing then or now. Not a patch on their first two hits, certainly.

    Blondie – now this is more like it. Double Debs looking divine in blue. One of their best early singles, and self-penned this time. The ‘Plastic Letters’ album never really did it for me though, perhaps I should listen again sometime.

    Heatwave – it’s Tone’s record of the week, and what a classy number it is. Maybe a bit too slick for some, this was a favourite of my sister too. A remix turned up on the flip side of their end of year hit, ‘Always and Forever.’

    Tavares – Tony enjoying himself this week no doubt, this is very familiar, the song that appears twice on the ‘Fever’ soundtrack. Good song, understated dance moves.

    Black Sabbath – I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard anything by this lot except ‘Paranoid’ and now this (I’d also struggle to name an Ozzie solo effort – ‘Bark at the Moon’, was that him?). More melodic than I’d have expected. Not sure what the audience make of it, there’s some rather lacklustre swaying.

    Travolta/Newton-John – a monster approaches. From now on we’d get the clip of course, something of a spoiler if you hadn’t seen the film as it’s virtually the final scene. Pretty boy Floyd is back and gets to boogie with the gals. Some of the female members of the audience are, for some reason, wearing flat caps!

    Ian Dury – well I mentioned that ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’ was my first single purchase but it could just have easily have been ‘Wild West Hero’, Billy Joel’s ‘Moving Out’ – or this. Brilliant, but cut too short.

    Cilla Black – “she always makes great records” according to Tone. But she hadn’t had a hit of any size since 1974. The chart had just been extended to a Top 75, but this still couldn’t sneak in. I actually remember this bit of limp disco being on at the time. Good old Cilla, always available eh?

    Sham 69 – “Ello Mum, oo’s on Top of the Pops again eh?” Again? This was their first time on, surely, unless they did a DLT/Savile week. Quite fun to hear again after a long time.

    Boney M – the fella doesn’t really do a lot does he? In fact, even less than we realised.

    Out to Rod, unlike Ally’s Tartan Army at least they put this out to coincide with the footie.

    Not a bad show, but some of the music was a bit over-familiar to be honest.

  222. 223
    Mark G on 27 May 2013 #

    Notes: Tony on Cilla “She always makes great records, and this is an exception”.. Oh really? (I had to put subtitles on to check this), caught halfway between “and this is exceptional” and “and this is no exception” possibly.

    Also, this is twice that Tony has supposedly put on a sneer before announcing punk bands, and both times I have detected no such facial spasm. This one ends up with a “aha, well there you go” type outro, but if you described it as being “not his kind of thing, but giving the benefit of the doubt” that’d register 100% on the attitude scale, I’m sure.

    Oh, and there is some discussion on some other board as to if the movie clip will get seen here at all!

    edit: as to if.. what a marvellous sentence construction that is.

  223. 224
    Lazarus on 30 May 2013 #

    Noel Edmunds in charge this week. Whatever happened to him?

    Top 30 accompanied by Olivia Newton John Travolta.

    Manfred Mann’s earth Band – I’ve always liked this one, pretty much their last hit. Two years on from the advent of punk men with beards and long hair in shiny silver jackets could, and did, still have hits.

    David Soul – this was his last hit. The couple in the video bear a passing resemblance to Paul Michael Glaser and Shelley Long. Pleasant enough, but no ‘Silver Lady.’

    Plastic Bertrand – he’s got the Legs with him! I don’t remember this! What’s that they’re waving, baguettes? He was Belgian, Flick. During the instrumental they start attacking him with them. Wonderful.

    Lindisfarne – more facial hair, another good song. Guitarist looks like he’s just wandered off the ‘Play Away’ set with that jumper, I can only assume a bet was involved.

    Rolling Stones – not their last hit by any means, but one of their last really memorable and distinctive hits. Fantastic groove running through this. Great show so far.

    Goldie – I have this on a rather crackly 45, courtesy of the 10p section in Beano’s no doubt. They were from the North-East. Singer has a bit of a Rod-ish voice and as the song is prematurely cut throws up his hands in a WTF? motion. Good one-hit wonder.

    Maxine Nightingale – had to re-run this to catch who it was.. This week’s non-hit. Forgettable. Radio 2 disco.

    Guy Marks – I’ve seen this clip before, but I never realised it was on the Pops set. Those ladies would be the Ladybirds, then. That little moment when he sits and puts his hands on his knee is priceless.

    AC/DC – by way of contrast from the two previous acts … their first time on the show, surely. Bon Scott on vocals of course. Not one you hear very often.

    Number One – Boney M – last week for them I imagine, with the Greasers at two.

    Out to Father Abraham, we’ll get more of that anon no doubt.

    Possibly my favourite show so far.

    Now for the Likely Lads. It’s the one with the footie score! Whatever happened to me, indeed …

  224. 225
    glue_factory on 31 May 2013 #

    Re: 222, Sham 69 did first appear on a DLT episode.


  225. 226
    pootle on 31 May 2013 #

    That Guy Marks song is one of the most pernicious earworms that has ever infested me.

    I’m starting to find ‘Rivers of Babylon’ rather moving once I realised that it’s a kind of covert black-slavery protest song and not, as I thought when younger, just a random Bible verse.

    And now with the addition of the Smurfs to Boney M, we get the roots of the Great Comic Song to come (although the original ended with ‘Wipe that smurf off your face’, which isn’t bad).

  226. 227
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Jun 2013 #

    Noel… but not the first! He’s not as smug this week. We’re actually heading for a reasonable show. Edmonds has a mild swipe at the on-going World Cup and then we get the rundown to Travolta and the Cambridge-born Kanga.

    Manfred’s Earth Band – One with which DLT was obsessed. Why wasn’t he presenting, by the way? Oh, wait… Excellent record and a good opener. “Fantastic!” agrees Noel.

    David Soul – More confirmation that Hutch could hold a pleasant tune. It appears he’s been dumped, poor lad, and his comely ex completely ignores him as she strolls past him on her way to an intimate drink with her new beau in what could quite easily be the Ruby Winters nuthouse garden. But there’s hope for Hutch, it seems, as the girl is clearly having second thoughts by the way she’s looking away wistfully. This woman will either marry disaster or die an old maid.

    Plastic Bertrand avec Les Gals! – This was such bonkers fun. Our lovlies are armed with crusty French loaves with which they belabour a Belgian. It’s his own fault. CE PAIN POUR MOI!! Alright, I’m going.

    Lindisfarne – Eagles-esque number. Nice but forgetable.

    Stones – Sublime track and a US number one. It’s just fabulous and even Charlie is enjoying himself.

    Goldie – Superior one hit wonder. Strange-looking frontman, though, who probably never quite made it with girls before this. He’s now an electrician up at Prestatyn, I’m told.

    Maxine Nightingale – In the studio. Had no memory of this at all. It flopped.

    Guy Marks – Truly bizarre and as camp as a caraven site. Beardie was just as puzzled as I was (and still am) over this one. It may indeed have been the Ladybirds helping him but not as we know it. I always liked the tall leggy one in the glasses, because she reminded me of a primary school teacher I was in love with. She wasn’t in this latterday line-up, though.

    AC/DC – Blimey, what a contrast! Twenties cocktail chic to rock and roll damnation. I hope everybody swopped addresses.

    Boney M – Yes, pootle (226), this was indeed a slavery song. Check out the Melodian’s version, to which I have already referred, for a real treat.

    Out to Father Abraham and his little blue buddies, who tried to flog us petrol from National gas stations.

    Yes, an enjoyable show.

  227. 228
    Mark G on 2 Jun 2013 #

    That’s not the Lindisfarne performance I remember, there was a lot of hand-mugging around the ‘girls/ribbons/curls’ verse, must be another performance in 2 weeks or less..

    The stones- this might seem odd but Mick’s holding the camera stare reminds me of David J from the NY Dolls which history should state the received wisdom that Mick begat David, but my theory is that they were cut from similar cloth..

    Um shouldn’t’t the Ladybirds have had a copy of the lyrics? Sounds like they were guessing.. (ref: Guy Marks) .. Also Plastic mixes up “I am the king of the divan” line and looks sheepish as a result..

    Noel gives us “Rivers of Baby Lotion” and virtually drops the mike and walks off.. Now, if TBlackburn had done that on introducing Sham 69, you lot would have a point…

    I recall we used to do a punk version of The Smurf Song, purely because of the line “and we don’t care” which also appears in “Pretty Vacant”, and, um, nowhere else? Maybe..

  228. 229
    speedwell54 on 6 Jun 2013 #

    Edmonds at the helm.

    Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – I enjoyed hearing this again. Wearing different clothes again. I think they must have misplaced their rhyming dictionary again. Forgotten all about the ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ backing singer turning up for one line in a rather unusual refrain. Great start.

    Hutch- After the transatlantic No1 of “Don’t Give Up On Us’ the U.S. did just that and didn’t let him in the top 40 again. This sounds a little like Silver Lady to my ears. Not really my bag but it’s okay. Video is a bit dated.

    Plastic Betrand – he looks like the kind of guy who will still be wearing those leather trousers today.

    Lindisjumper- Edmonds appearance must have lead him to believe they were on the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. Song TWKTC.

    Stones – Miss You sounds amazing. The bass line is really keeping the track moving and I’m sure Daft Punk will get their hands on it at some stage. Jagger moves like Jagger and looks cool. It’s a different cool to Ferry, but it’s still cool.

    Goldie- The leader singer doesn’t look like he sounds. “Making up AGAIN, breaking up AGAIN,” did Manfred have a hand in this? I don’t know if this song is really any good, but the arrangement/performance lift it, and it sounds none too shoddy.

    Maxine N – I had to play this twice as I stopped listening the first time. I stopped listening the second time too.

    Guy Marks – a repeat.

    AC/DC – he’s wearing high heels.

    Boney M repeat. “Required from us a song”? Up with it, I will not put.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  229. 230
    Mark G on 6 Jun 2013 #

    “Require of us a song”..

    It’s the second half of a sentence.

  230. 231

    King James Bible: Psalm 137

    By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
    We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
    For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
    How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?
    If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
    If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
    Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
    O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

  231. 232
    hardtogethits on 6 Jun 2013 #

    #230. “It’s the second half of a sentence”.

    It’s a pronoun without an antecedent.

  232. 233

    No it isn’t!

    Where the wicked
    Carried us away in captivity
    Required from us a song
    Now how shall we sing the lord’s song in a strange land

    Where the wicked
    Carried us away in captivity
    Requiring of us a song
    Now how shall we sing the lord’s song in a strange land

    ^^^These are the two verses. The “where” is usually written as “when” though it doesn’t seem to me that Liz is singing when”. The “in” is a bit swallowed in the second and the sixth line, but it’s there if you listen carefully. The second version is grammatically impeccable. The first is arguably omitting an “and” before “required”, though it’s perfectly acceptable to omit it in rhetoric and in poetry. (The Melodians don’t sing “requiring” or “and” either time, and also sing “cos” instead of “when” or “where” — which connects this section of the argument to the previous, explaining WHY “we wept when we remembered Zion”. When or where also do some connecting, but not strictly as a logical construction — and both can perfectly well begin a stand-along sentence, not that this matters much.)

  233. 234
    hardtogethits on 6 Jun 2013 #

    #233. For clarity. Meaning = “No, it isn’t the second half of a sentence.”

  234. 235
    Jimmy the Swede on 8 Jun 2013 #

    It’s a pity we missed the Edwin Hawkins Singers on these re-runs.

  235. 236
    lonepilgrim on 13 Jun 2013 #

    TOTP 22/06/78
    Mr & Mrs Jensen’s ‘Kid’ introduces:
    Goldie over the charts
    Black Sabbath – rocking out with the audience more interested in seeing their own faces on camera
    Showaddywaddy – squeaky clean and dull as dishwater
    Marshall Hain – a wonderfully slinky tune enriched by the gals in leopard print leotards – another ambulance to Swede’s house I fear
    Whitesnake – more rocking with Marshall ‘stacks’ for aded authenticity
    Heatwave – more slinkiness, ethereal if a little anodyne
    Brotherhood of Man – cut-price Abba wannabes fall far short
    San Jose – Rod Argent sounding like a Bontempi organ on preset mode plays an Andrew Lloyd Webber World Cup theme – Evita opened last night says ‘Kid’
    Thin Lizzy – yet more rock, and easily the most compelling of the three bands thanks to Phil Lynott’s charisma and a more compressed production
    Bob Marley – glorious, wonderful vocal and another slinky production
    John and Olivia – repeat of the frenetic Legs & Co & Floyd performance from an earlier show
    David Soul – blithers over the end credits

  236. 237
    speedwell54 on 13 Jun 2013 #

    TOTP It’s Kid wearing rather a lot of brown this week.

    At number 6 in the countdown Manfred Mann’s Earthband; take a look at their photo. Two of them are wearing false ears. More precisely a false ear each.

    Black Sabbath -Sound great. ‘Never Say Die’- they could be no.1 with their new album “13” this very week.

    “Showaddy – waddy” – Hugh Dennis doesn’t do this impression quite so much these days. A little bit of soap, but a lot of shampoo me thinks. Dave and the boys spent few minutes in front of the mirror before this performance, I’ll wager.

    Marshall Hain – Legs and Co looking proper fit this week. Song is a little special too.

    Whitesnake – metal week obviously -one of them looks like they’ve been down Festive Road with Mr Benn. Don’t know the song, don’t think I will.

    Heatwave – Before the show there was a break in at the studio and items were taken. Later in the pub a mysterious figure was trying to offload seven cream shirts. Not my cup of tea, but fine.

    Brotherhood of Man -again, same song, same dance, but they have dyed some of their white clothes brown this week. What instrument is making that bizarre “twang” sound between each of the “yeah”s in the chorus. A rubber band? It does sound like a cartoon comedy noise. It’s okay.

    World Cup Theme – plink plink plonkety plunk. The performance is a tad wooden. This seven inch version is too long and it is a theme tune, so 20 seconds is really enough.

    Thin Lizzy – the most together act of the night. Not my favourite song of theirs but a stand out delivery.

    Bob Marley -comes across as effortless.

    Grease stuff. no video yet, so a repeat of Legs.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  237. 238
    Mark G on 14 Jun 2013 #

    Black Sabbath look a lot less interested in being on TOTP this time.

    So do Showaddy waddy waddy (I think *this* joke was Griff Rhys Jones’)

    Marshall Hain, two old school friends had a reunion, they paired up to make some records, then sacked it and went away again. Possibly not on the Biography channel, that story.

    Whitesnake do a rock song, and all those people who don’t like the punk music sit up and take notice, and dash out to buy this. But it’s a 7″ single, so they look down on the pop format and go home again. Don’t worry chaps, the 12″ single will catch on fairly soon, and your library shelves will look tidy.

    Heatwave take a song title with six syllables, and stretch it out to 20.

    Brother Hood ov Mannn. joke ends.

    Rod Argent returns to TOTP after, ooh, four years? He looks interested.

    Thin Lizzy, however, always looked switched on in the studio. Song fades before song 2 of the medley.

    Bob Marley always looked, yeah, engaged by what he does, also.

    Now, here’s a thing. Popscene website has it that the show ended with John and Olivia doing OnethatIWant via the movie excerpt. But, here’s Kid expressing very clearly that “here is the UK number one, represented by Legs and Co”. How did this happen? Did they expertly edit some sound snippets of Kid saying those words from other sources? Did they ring him up and re-dub him? Or did they have a special ‘export’ version of the show which they used instead? (Or, did Popscene get it wrong this week? ) We will have to watch these spaces for the next few weeks.

    Also, VillainEmbargo prevented us from seeing “Pump it up”, “Airport” and “Like Clockwork” owing to the OBE’d DJ’s show ‘last week’, but at least The Boomtown Rats and The Motors are on next week being introduced by DLT.. DOH! (srsly, can we get the DLT ban lifted? The Lurkers are coming up soon!)

  238. 239
    Jimmy the Swede on 14 Jun 2013 #

    Keed is Harry Gibbs.

    Goldie over the rundown. Good effort.

    Sabbath – Showing no signs of wanting to be there. Strong performance, all the same.

    Waddy – Shelf life long since expired, this is weak stuff. A wink and a nod at the end from the front man. He knows.

    Marshall Hain – Brilliant track made still better by the Gals prancing about in one-piece leopard skins and white fedoras. Lonepilgrim is of course spot-on (SWIDT?) about the effect this has on the Swede. But as so often before, our lovelies are darkened out, lest we derive too much pleasure from the feast. Still fabulous routine, though and a nice girl-next-door smile from Gill towards the end.

    Whitesnake – Inaugural offering from this David Coverdale splinter band. Bloody Mary is a track from their Snake Bite EP and sounds nothing like the song from South Pacific. The record charts but only in the lower reaches.

    Heatwave – Can’t see Skeggy Rod anywhere this time. What have they done to him? The guitarist looks a bit like Raul Ramirez, a top Mexican tennis star from back in the day. Very fine doubles player.

    Brotherhood of Man – Appallingly bad pop song and even bleaker routine. Welsh Nicky’s barnet is looking better at least. Martin’s soup-strainer certainly ain’t. Very poor fare indeed.

    San Jose – Rod “Hold Your Head Up” Argent performs A.L Webber’s lightweight melody, the theme to the television coverage to the World Cup in Argentina. Something out of nothing. Evita had had its first night the evening before, Kid tells us.

    Thin Lizzy – Rosalie. Nothing to do with BoM’s little doggie and not one of their best but still quality. A few dickhead boys on the dancefloor but the cameraman also catches a pretty blonde too. Phil chuckles as he nearly fluffs a line.

    Bob Marley – More wonderful stuff with the gentle but hypnotic Satisfy My Soul. The line about making him feel like a sweepstake winner is a bit puzzling but everyone will forgive a Legend.

    Number One – Wad-a-waddally-wonk. The movie is still to reach our shores so we get the Gals and Floyd again. If you keep your eye on Gill (which isn’t difficult) you’ll see part of her skirt dropping down but she plays on. The Eternal Mistress, of course, the Swede can look at all day…of every day.

    Out to Hutch and his pleasant offering. Before this, Kid looks into the camera and softly says “Take good care of yourself. And good love.” It reminds me of the the Prisoner episode The General when the Speedlearn TV guy wishes Villagers “Sweet Dreams”. Creepy.

    Above average show this time.

  239. 240
    speedwell54 on 28 Jun 2013 #

    Seeing the Oasis thread get that many comments I thought I’d support this one…

    Peter Powell – we’ve skipped a week again..Jimmy Saville

    Smurfs over the the countdown – guess we’ve missed their performance last week with Legs and Co. dressed/painted as the little white and blue people. Watched it on you tube – they were unrecognisable – not worth watching Jimmy.

    Buzzcocks – heavy on the accent. ok.

    Marshall Hain – this time it’s them. Peter has a rather long intro which lingers just a little too long – creepy. Hain – the woman – looks totally miserable, but maybe she was just acting. Good song though.

    Showaddywaddy – deja vu. Same song, different outfits, same haircuts.

    A Taste Of Honey- Legs and Co with a great performance, song stills sounds a cut above.

    ELO (it’s a good job it wasn’t DLT hosting else we’d have to put up with his ‘yorkshire band gag” ee ‘ello”
    Wild West Hero is good, the harmonies reminded me of Lindsfarne.

    San Jose -Argentine whatever, bored!

    Clout – girl band is stretching it, four of them look like they might have come straight from recording Prisoner Cell Block H. Remember the song well.

    Steel Pulse – not my cup of tea

    City Boy 5705 – Michael J Fox – well his brother at least. Capped sleeves t-shirts were in that week too. The harmonies in the verse sounds a lot like Difford and the much deeper vocal of Tilbrook.(at 24.25 on the iplayer)

    Forever Autumn – TWKTC. it’s bette to listen to than to watch.

    Olivia and John – yet again Legs and Co and that bloke.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  240. 241
    Lazarus on 29 Jun 2013 #

    Just watching it now. Not seen that ELO video before, I thought it was going to go into Terry Gilliam territory at first. Umpteenth single from ‘Out of the Blue’ but a good song nonetheless, and as I’ve said before could easily have been my first ever single purchased. I didn’t just get into music this year, I’d been watching TOTP and listening to radio since the early 70s, but 1978 was the first year that I really started paying attention to the charts and I suppose I decided that my new interest should have some physical manifestation, in the form of a record collection!

    Clout – the lead singer was a big girl wasn’t she? [SWEDE ALERT] Their next single didn’t trouble the chart compilers but would be a hit for Rainbow a year later – Russ Ballard’s ‘Since You’ve Been Gone.’

    City Boy – great power pop – and the third single of my nascent collection. I think the second might have been Saviled – it was ‘Like Clockwork’ by the Rats. The bearded singer went on to front one of the best early-80s one-hit wonders, ‘Heartache Avenue’ by the Maisonettes. 5705 though, that’s just an extension number, surely?

  241. 242
    hardtogethits on 30 Jun 2013 #

    #241. 5705. Maybe it was just a small village. Go ’round and see if she’s in.

    Clout’s follow up in the UK was a cover of Clapton’s “Let It Grow”. Pink Carrere label, EMI Cat no. Some airplay – surprised it wasn’t a hit. Equally surprised that they did “Since You’ve Been Gone”, and got nowhere with it in the UK chart.

  242. 243
    Mark G on 30 Jun 2013 #


    How many times did the smurf song get crossfaded into Buzzcocks? Well, it happened..

    They looked so young, didn they? And yet, at the time they were older than us so they were old.

    Marshall Gain, mentioned them above already, noting only that they looked srs, thought Marshall might crack a sly wing t one point, butno.

    This spelling corrector is doing my nut in, I might have to break off and write up on the laptop instead of the touchpad..

    Taste of honey, Sue grabs the stage bit with the best lighting. It’s a dance tune, they dance, all is well.

    ELO reminded me of the Strawbs in places, but yeah Lindisfarne is also a good pick.. Strawbs became Starves and Lindisfarne became Undisturbed on my wonderful spelling corrector…

    Anyway, Clout may well have had more hits but the South African cultural boycott put paid to that. Otherwise, somewhere between The Runaways and Abba, I’d say..

    Steel Pulse , nice to have them on, but as most of their sales didn’t go through chart return shops, hits did not register. ,

    City Boy, a Reading band, so why are they inserting dimes into the phone? Oh look one’t that the Misconstrued singer? Heartache avenue, yes.

    Justin Hayward.

    Peter Powell gets clipped before he introduces the movie clip so we can have the cheaper dance routine again..


  243. 244
    punctum on 5 Jul 2013 #

    Who was the mysterious Steve Voice who turned up on last night’s TOTP? Here’s the dreadful story: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-488421/She–celebrity-friends-6m-mansion–Lisa-Voice-lived-fear-drug-crazed-husband.html

    Was this show really anything other than Top Of The Creepy Guys?

  244. 245
    glue_factory on 5 Jul 2013 #

    Re: 244, he had an oddly unenthusiastic demeanour for someone on their first (“and let’s not hope last”) TOTP appearance.

  245. 246
    rabbitfun on 5 Jul 2013 #

    He was to have a (behind-the-scenes) Popular appearance as one of the producers of Kelly Marie’s 1980 number 1 “Feels Like I’m In Love”.

  246. 247
    Erithian on 5 Jul 2013 #

    #245 – quite, his miming was of John Redwood quality at times.

    Rather a “meh” edition for the most part, except for the Boomtown Rats and the wonderful Renaissance. It was round about this time that I saw the Rats at Manchester Apollo and thoroughly enjoyed it (hmm, can I find the date via Google? – yes, 30 June) Geldof: “Hands up anybody who’s at their first gig tonight? Own-up time, you fuckers…”

  247. 248
    Mark G on 5 Jul 2013 #

    Tony! Hray!

    Bob Geldof and gonks play it clockwork-like for “Like Clockwork” and this did seem a massive jump in quality which is why they carried on having hits and the bands that stuck to the formula did not.

    Suzi, getting more beautiful every day, goes back to something beatlike, it’s OK I guess..

    Andrew Gold and his “How can this be love” which is probably the best of his run of hits, is worthy of Elton, really.

    The O’Jays “Used to be my girl” is a lot,um, calmer than I remember. It’s the girls in diaphonous black slip things, doing the regulation dance. You know the Hotel California line of “some dance to remember, some dance to forget” well, that was one to forget.

    I remember “On The Shelf” as being quite a good single, but this performance is a classic example of “Songwriter has to sing it himself” and kills it stone dead, in the old definition i.e. Lousy. Didn,’t Donny & Marie try and fail with this as well?

    Renaissance have a hit single, they’ve been going for ages by this point and I don’t think they had long left. Anyway, Annie Haslam looks like Sarah Cracknell and sounds like Enya.

    I’m off the edit version, and there’s a clunking edit right here.. Will fill in gaps later.

    Voyage. An unlikely looking bunch straight from Prestatyn, (sorry to use this over-used ting but it really fits) but not daft enough not to mime the track.. I remember quite liking this… Yeah, still do..

    Racey? You’re far too early. Come back in a year, you might have a go. Try some silly dancing and smile for Gods sake, you’ll never catch on otherwise. Also, Chris Martin with a beard.

    Hmm, Tony introduces the number one, then the music goes down by half a semitone to the dancing.. Having said that, I’d rather see this than the movie clip again..

    Fade to the Blue Oyster Cult, and that’s all right too…

  248. 249
    Lazarus on 6 Jul 2013 #

    You’re spot on there young Mark, Donny and Marie did that song on TOTP in Jan or Feb of 1979 and that too failed to chart. I was hoping to be first in with that!

    One of the singers with Voyage duetted with Jimmy Nail on his number one though I believe … ?

    And Racey were on RAK weren’t they, I’d guess this was a Chinnichap song that Smokie turned down.

    Best moment for me came right at the start when TB opened with “hello, welcome to Top of the Pops and right now, here’s that brand new Top 20” upon which the Top 30 was shown. What was the opening track anyway?

  249. 250
    Mark G on 6 Jul 2013 #

    I’d have said, but I forgot it. Will catch up with the non-edit version later..

  250. 251
    Erithian on 7 Jul 2013 #

    Lazarus – opener was “Come On Dance Dance” by Saturday Night Band – dreadful generic disco that reached no 16. Correct re Racey – “Smokie reject” were the words in my mind as I watched that one!

  251. 252
    speedwell54 on 7 Jul 2013 #

    Much delayed comment due to lack of anyone putting it on iplayer until today.

    Hey it’s Tone back again.

    The Rats – This is terrific. I don’t quite see the ups and downs (mainly downs for “I Don’t Like Mondays”) that the general FT comments point to. I think they were pretty consistent in their output for the first 4 years. There is a lot going on in this song to admire, even if his literal clock stuff grates.

    Suzi- Reminds me of many things; it’s a little bit country, it’s a little bit rock’n’roll. The first line of the chorus “here we stand like a couple of fools and the Race is on” made me think ‘”God save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety” It’s a good thing though, I enjoyed it, it deserved to be a little bigger than it was.

    Andrew Gold – like. He wrote songs with hooks.

    O’Jays – Nothing wrong with this song but not for me. Legs & Co not up to scratch tonight.

    Steve Voice – every so often there is a none hit by a hit making act, but I don’t remember too many none hits by none hit makers. I’m tempted to suggest there was something going on here. “That’s a really good song” says Tony. hmm.

    Bob Marley – (an extra) Satisfy My Soul.

    Renaissance – Second song to remind me of Village Green PS. Those guitars that sound like flutes, and the drum kit that sounds like many trumpets are amazing!

    Smurfs again. Lindisfarne again. (extras)

    Voyage – really don’t like this. It was of the moment I think.

    Racey – Didn’t know about this outing. Wiki says it was written by Smokie (Chris Norman and Pete Spencer)

    John and Oliva – Another repeat of Legs and Co.. Are we going to have problems on TOTP repeats when we get to the video heavy period?

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  252. 253
    Mark G on 9 Jul 2013 #

    Right, filling in gaps..

    The intro music was all a bit clap clap like it was Car Wash, but it was not. The top 30 gets shown and the record just gets started when the number one gets shown. So, not enough to make a decision.

    Spin past the previously viewed..

    Bob Marley fairly laid back, it’s OK..

    Ah, this nearly got lost to posterity thanks to SavLT, but here we have it, Legs and Co dance the Smurfs. “Who is smurfing out of key?” puts me in mind of Freddie Starr’s version of “White Christmas”..

    Lindisfarne. Rpt.

    Oh, Racey: Is it Chris Martin with a beard, or is it Hi-Speed Matthew Corbett?


  253. 254
    wichita lineman on 10 Jul 2013 #

    “Pop star Morrissey serenaded the newlyweds” Steve and Lisa Voice in 1985, as DLT and Mike Read ate the (presumably non-vegetarian) buffet… according to the Daily Mail. Remarkable. Can anyone verify this?

    As for the rest of the show…

    “Top 20”. How many times has TB done this show?!

    The O’Jays – such a lethargic vocal! Terrific, sounds even better than I remembered. Mucky Sue’s hairdo is looking worrying like Dave Bartram’s.

    Renaissance – doesn’t Northern Lights sound more like 1968 than ’78? Lovely lush production and great singing either way.

    Racey’s debut! I had no idea. Matey boy should’ve kept his beard.

    Voyage – almost been a big hit round our way. Two of the Turtles appear to be involved. Much grinning.

    Bob Marley – almost as good as Finley Quaye.

    Smurfs – oh dear. Poor gals. Rosie looks bouncy as ever.

    Rats – new wave in a nutshell.

    Lindisfarne – can’t work out if I actually like this, and I felt the same in 1978. Always nice to hear an oboe, less good to hear the line “behave like a babboon”.

    “The Blue Oyster Cult and The Reaper” to fade.

  254. 255
    Erithian on 10 Jul 2013 #

    Wichita – the word was “buffoon”…

  255. 256
    wichita lineman on 11 Jul 2013 #

    Ah. It still feels like he thinks it’s a very ‘clever line’.

  256. 257
    wichita lineman on 11 Jul 2013 #

    Morrissey singing at Steve Voice’s wedding is the bit I thought you might pick up on, rather than buffoon/baboon! Did Mrs Voice make this up?

  257. 258
    Mark G on 11 Jul 2013 #

    I’m trying to remember if there was another “Somename Morrissey”, around that time, in the same league as Christopher Rainbow, or Andy Arthurs or something..

    Certainly, the mental pic I have of Morrissey crooning “Pretty Girls Make Graves” on his tod..

    Then again, you’d remember who sang at your wedding, wouldn’t you? Unless the press mangled that bit and it was actually Morris Day..

  258. 259
    Erithian on 11 Jul 2013 #

    Around that time my ex-girlfriend’s dad had a singing telegram delivered by Katrina from The Colourfield. Nice minor claim-to-fame there.

  259. 260
    enitharmon on 11 Jul 2013 #

    Wichita @ 254 – stick to the subject at hand and leave out the sexist comments will you ;)

  260. 261
    Lazarus on 11 Jul 2013 #

    # 258 – only one Morrissey has sung on a number one – and it’s not the one you might think! So perhaps it was him … ?

  261. 262
    punctum on 11 Jul 2013 #

    Could it be that other Morrissey? Yes it could!

  262. 263
    wichita lineman on 11 Jul 2013 #

    The suspense is killing me…

  263. 264
    enitharmon on 11 Jul 2013 #

    I was trying to work out something along the lines of John Morrissey of Everton being in the 1970 England World Cup Squad song, but I think that’s unlikely especially as Marcello seems to know the answer.

  264. 265
    punctum on 11 Jul 2013 #

    I’m sure we can find out who it is if we work together and get the job done.

  265. 266
    Lazarus on 11 Jul 2013 #

    punctum behaving badly.

  266. 267
    Baztech on 14 Jul 2013 #

    Can he “make it more obvious?”

  267. 268
    Lazarus on 18 Jul 2013 #

    On a Wednesday night while the Proms are on … Gladys Knight over the Top 30, introduced by the Kid in mustard shirt and dungarees.

    Sham 69 – with another of their would-be terrace chants. JP wears braces and the sort of shirt favoured by coal-miners at home in 1940s films. Usually when about to take their belt to ‘our kid.’

    Taste of Honey – classy one-hit wonders who I think had further hits over the water. Makes a change to see soul ladies on guitars too. Sisters doing it for themselves, as it were.

    Justin Hayward – sophisticated pop, this must have been the soundtrack to a thousand dinner parties. Even if Bev still wanted to hear Demis Roussos.

    Saturday Night Band/Legs & Co – I thought I’d committed the charts of 1978 to memory years ago but I don’t remember this one! First of three helping of the Legs tonight. They’re in swimsuits, or one-piece costumes at any rate. Gill has had a haircut which can get her confused with Lulu from some angles. The record, mediocre.

    New Seekers – now this one I do recall, though back then I wouldn’t have known the line-up. No Lyn Paul on this, her place was taken by the ill-fated Kathy Ann Rae. Good song this, originally done by the Australian band Procession in 1970, a tale of a discontented housewife.

    City Boy – not sure if it’s a repeat, has Kid talking over the intro so I guess maybe not. Seems a while since they were last on. I think this was produced by the Queen man, Roy Thomas Baker. But I’d need to check.

    ELO – repeat

    Clout – I keep meaning to check out the original of this. So many good OHWs this summer.

    Raydio – uptempo, funky sequel to ‘Jack and Jill.’ Nowhere near as good unfortunately. Of course Ray’s greatest commercial success would come years later … when he appeared in those ’118′ ads.

    Marshall Hain/Legs ^ Co – leopard skin outfits and, well I’m not really up on hats. Trilbies? Fedoras? Dunno. You know the song.

    Child – reviving Conway Twitty’s number one for their biggest hit. It’s OK actually, got a bit of a Slik vibe to it.

    Travolta-ONJ – “amazingly it’s been there for six weeks” – we’ve got three more then I believe. Floyd’s going to need a change of shirt by then!

    Decent show I thought. Recommend the long ‘un to the Swede for a triple helping of Les Gals.

  268. 269
    Lazarus on 18 Jul 2013 #

    Actually the City Boy hit was produced by Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange.

  269. 270
    Jimmy the Swede on 20 Jul 2013 #

    The Swede returns after his lengthy summer leave, incorporating Wimbledon and one or two other things. Well done, Andy Murray. But we still didn’t get a smile out of him. Inverdale’s remarks about Bartoli were a disgrace.

    Keed is frontman.

    Gladys and Pips over the rundown.

    Sham 69 – This would be fine if it wasn’t for JP. But there he is and with a basin haircut too. Ergo the whole thing is absurd and I felt even more affronted back in the day when I was 17. And a REAL kid.

    A Taste of Honey – A superior disco US number one. American studio footage. It’s excellent funk but I doubt that that lovely is really playing the guitar a la Isley Brothers. Or the bass. Apologies if I’m wrong.

    Justin Hayward – I never really got into the War of the Worlds. I don’t think I missed much. Forever Autumn was safe and pleasant enough but Hayward distinctly has the North Wales look about him. Put your belt on, Justin, lad!

    Kid, who looks like a farm-hand from the prairies, is flanked by two pretties. He introduces the Saturday Night Band and the Gals. They have on tracksuits with their names on the back and off we go. Then…oh God, they disrobe and the Swede hits his alarm button given to him by the hospital. Mucky Sue pretends to struggle with her bottoms before freeing herself and joining the line in hot-pants. The button is pressed again. I can’t remember the record but who cares? It’s Mucky Sue Heaven. Eternal Mistress Eternity. Back of the net!

    The New Seekers – But not as we know them. Eve, Marty and Paul are still there. The other two are imposters. The song’s called Anthem and I always like this. A brave, unusual little effort, based seemingly aroung a Gregorian chant style and Eve’s looking lovely. It was their last hit.

    Raydio – Jensen talks up the band but this is an inferior follow-up to Jack and Jill. And some rather girly voices coming out too, lads. Instantly forgetable.

    The Gals return to do Dancing in the City. We’ve seen the leopard leotards and panamas before. But the Swede’s red button now needs a new battery. Great record.

    Child – Another completely pointless 50s revival, this time from Conrad Twitty. Forget the Green Room, lads. Go straight to the minibus. The engine’s running.

    Number One.
    John ans John.
    Floyd and Gals.
    Gill’s skirt falls down.
    The Eternal Mistress in her pomp.
    The Mysteron rings float over a prostate Swede.

    Out to Waddy singing about their ablutions. No “Good Love” from the Kid this time. What have we done wrong, I wonder?

    Not a bad offering this week.

  270. 271
    lonepilgrim on 20 Jul 2013 #

    prostate Swede? TMI!

  271. 272
    Jimmy the Swede on 20 Jul 2013 #

    Ha haa! Yes, I see what you mean, Pilgrim. I don’t think even the Eternal Mistress could do that to me!

  272. 273
    Mark G on 22 Jul 2013 #

    Kid hands straight into the rundown to Gladys Knight & pips’ “Come back and finish”, and I recall the hilarious solo leg that dances to this one. Next week, I’ll wager..

    Sham 69 come on to a less embarrassing “Don’t turn it off, turn it up” which Madness will nick and adapt slightly, fairly soon.. Ah, “the sham ruined it for everyone” seems to have become accepted wisdom, and yet this performance is their best yet..

    Taste of honey surprise us all by not being a singing duo, and when she sings “Listen to my bass yeah”it’s the truth! Why nobody hail her as a great bass player? Oh yeah it’s disco so it does not count,

    Justin sings the short version, thanks just. Did I mention I reviewed this and “Northern Lights ” for Tony Blackburn’s “National Pop Panel” back in the day? Well, I’m mentioning it now, in case you did similar.. I rated both dull at the time, probably would have given Sham 69 a big thumbs up but Tony would more than likely not be playing it anyway..

    Legs at the gym, see the Swede above for review.. (right, finished review in record time, can watch the rest of the song now…)

    New Seekers take a chance and do an unusual song, and get a hit. That’s how you do it. I guess they didn’t after this..

    Eyup, girl on phone yes its City boy trying to stuff dimes into a UK Payphone, daft sods..

    Elo wwhero. Ff>

    And now Clout. Sorry, am I playing the wrong week? This seems like the same songs in the same order.. Ok, whatever I said upthread still goes.

    Righto, Raydio are on Davina’s million drop, last question and the options are “Love Thing” and “Sex Thing” but what is the question?

    Legs dance in the city,( rpt)

    Child. And their manager, possibly, has a great idea lads that’ll kill off their career but might just shift some singles this week. You just know they are cringing inside. Maybe they will get their go next time…

    Once again, the intro to YTOTIW is in a different key to the legdance. Is Leo getting repeat fees? Worth a bomb, this month!


  273. 274
    Mark G on 22 Jul 2013 #

    #254, Wichita, I have a Twitter addy that worked once, might work again, will try to get the skinny on this one..

    There, I’ve said it. Now I’ll have to do it. In the morn..

  274. 275
    lonepilgrim on 24 Jul 2013 #

    TOTP 10/08/1978

    Peter Powell introduces the 750th edition in a more subdued mode than usual
    Voyage over the charts with ‘From East to West’ according to the TOTP Fax twitter feed
    The Rezillos – I feel I ought to like this more than I do: like a punk Darts or a college skit
    Foreigner – ‘Classic’ stadium rock shrunk to fit the small screen – riffs in search of a tune
    Hi-Tension – fantastic summery groove
    Bob Dylan – a hit fuelled by his first British tour in 9 years prompts the gals to go into interpretive dance mode – it’s a bit dull innit. I saw him at Earls Court but didn’t go to the Blackbushe Open Air extravaganza that took place a few weeks before this broadcast
    Raydio – lively if slightly anonymous
    Renaissance – more admirable than enjoyable
    Jilted John – History as farce
    Olivia & John – etc, etc
    PP presents a cake but can’t seem bothered
    Commodores – smoochy classic

  275. 276
    Mark G on 26 Jul 2013 #

    Well, he’s not bouncing around as much, but he still seems pleased to be there..

    The Rezillos arrive without intro and a banner of the logo to end, making a perfect drop-in.

    Foreigner. The funny thing is, about a month previously they had their first hit, a three track best-of e.p. And now they have their second hit which was one of the tracks on that e.p. Which makes me wonder if the buyers ever played side 2..

    Hi-Tension and The British Hustle. No, it is not about what’s going down in British Streets, but the hustle baby will drive you crazy. And a clap-clap machine. The drum machines are coming…

    Bob gets the girls doing something whispy but not bad..

    Raydio still being pestered by girls who only want one thing, if seems.

    Renaissance in the studio, seem a bit subdued also, but ..

    Jilted John invent lo-fi .with a mostly live performance. I recognise the two from ‘Bet Lynch’s Legs’ and Bernard Kelly is “Gordon the Moron”, not sure who the older guy on guitar is, and the drummer is mostly obscured. Anyway, none of those people are Martin Hannett anyway..

    InSuraNce… Ok that spellcheckerchange is just weird. OlJohnDance. And leave it

    Pete seems somewhat chilled out, my guess it it was inserts only, and the performances were compiled. There’s a distinct lack of atmosphere (and not a lot of audience) this week. Picture quality seemed much improved, however..

  276. 277
    Lazarus on 26 Jul 2013 #

    Foreigner seem to have keen on recycling – the twin B side tracks of 1981’s ‘Waiting for a Girl like You’ were ‘Feels like the First Time’ and ‘Cold as Ice!’

  277. 278
    Jimmy the Swede on 26 Jul 2013 #

    Peter Powell flapping around as usual like Bernie Clifton’s comedy ostrich. It’s the 750th edition of TOTP. Chart rundown to Voyage.

    Rezillos – Appropriately, the song’s called “TOTP”. Fay Fife looks to the Swede a little like a big life-long obsession, Anita Harris (with a heavy Scottish accent). It’s good stuff and a big “Hey!” at the end. Wonderful. And Pete concurs. “Terrific…Terrific!” he gushes.

    Foreigner – Concert footage of Cold as Ice. I saw this lot play Hammersmith a couple of years or so down the line. The Swede saw lots of stuff back then.

    Hi Tension – Not as good as their inaugural eponymous hit but it charted higher. Young lads having fun over a hustle. It was their last hit. I wonder how many of them had ever been to Wales before this. “Soul at its best!” opines Peter. Some might disagree.

    Bob Dylan and the Gals – A seemingly unlikely combo but it works, I think. Scarlet lady Gill leads off. She no longer looks like the girl next door. Quite the vamp. But then, just as the Swede starts to get any ideas, the Eternal Mistress leads the revolt. A sexy swim-based routine to an excellent track with hints of Lay Lady Lay prevalent in the bouquet. Full marks to dear Flick for this as well as to the mighty Zimmerman.

    Raydio – Already seen. On-heat squeaky no-marks do their thang.

    Renaissance – I love this. Norhtern Lights, wonderfully delivered in a crystal clear voice by Annie Haslam, a big healthy-looking old lass with faraway looks and distant thoughts. The group has changed its line-up several times since. Check them out, Popular Pals. You know where they are.

    Jilted John – Surely one of the records of the year for its sheer wackiness if nothing else. A clear piss-take of the music everyone was taking far too seriously heading for the top five, making every use of the petulant punk sulk of “it’s not fair!” and the helpless swipe at Gordon for nicking his bird. Don’t think he could get away with “puff” these days. Lovely grub!

    Floyd is still number one. Compare Gill then with earlier. Also clock the very pretty girl in a jacket smiling sweetly just as Gill does her turn. She resembles Lady Helen Windsor as she was to look about a decade later. See what happens when you see the same f’king footage every week!

    Peter has a huge cake for TOTP 750. Good job they didn’t round up all the other jocks to grab a slice! We go out to the record which finally knocks the Johns off the top. It goes on to dominate in its own right.

    Average fare this time.

  278. 279
    Mark G Smith on 27 Jul 2013 #

    the jilted john track featured on TOTP2 & 51+ 3%;1- #)3 3$”-1 +”24- +121 81?-“24_ 2%4%8)'”)-‘(. Y=uff was

  279. 280
    Mark G on 27 Jul 2013 #


    Jilted john got played on totp 2 a few times, but certain words got censord.. ‘Bitch’ got silenced but ‘Puff’ was deemed acceptable.

    oh, and the Rezillos track is Top Of The Pops, not the acronym (it’s important)

  280. 281
    lonepilgrim on 31 Jul 2013 #

    TOTP 17/08/1978
    Noel introduces
    Boney M over the charts
    Stranglers – never the most charming bunch, tune picks up once the singer stops growling
    Justin Heyward – ‘a poem set to music’ says Noel – pleasant tune, dull TV
    Cerrone – the gals start in lab coats but soon strip off to reveal fur trimmed bikinis before dancing with a giant banana – I sense a subtext but can’t quite put my finger on it
    Child – like an overgrown Bay City Rollers, out of time and slightly pointless
    Darts – far more energy in this than the previous act, despite a slower pace
    10cc – smug, satisfied and probably racist
    New Seekers – intriguing mixture of Eleanor Rigby, Abba and the Swingle Singers but still out of its time
    Commodores – prompts another routine from the gals, back in expressive dance mode
    Bizarre meeting between Noel and Sylvester promoting ‘Mighty Real’
    City Boy over the closing credits – humdrum

  281. 282
    Mark G on 31 Jul 2013 #

    I used to think Boney M sang “Show me a motion” … Here are the charts..

    I still think Hugh Cornwell looks like Joe Strummer .. Not so you’d mistake them, just a bot, that’s all.. Walk on by is done in the style of “Light my fire” even down to the massive edit out of the instrumental middle bit. Fine stuff…

    Justin gets the ff> treatment here..

    The girls act like scientists with Lene Lovitch expressions – too early!.. Then turn into Amazonian warrior women like someone’s sending in requests from the internet in the future..

    Child do something pitifully lame, possibly looking forward to the day they get to make the record they want to. I wonder if that day ever came?

    Even Darts seem fairly contemporary by comparison. But only by comparison. Den is still there, I see. One day he will ask “Who holds the key that winds up Big Ben?” but today is not that day.

    Noel thinks we should linger on the lyrics of “Dreadlock Holiday”. Hmm. Only if he means “Be safe on holiday”. This is a classic type of song where the verses were written after the h-larius chorus. Shall leave it there for now. Oh, I met the drummer once, he was in Pilot wasn’t he?

    Eve and Danny have just got engaged? Not a moment too soon, will they ever be on the show again? Seems not, they both left the band after getting hitched. Skim the intervening years, yep they are still together,aww etc.

    The girls have no need of Leo, they dance sedately with clothes on. I still don’t know what was being counted up to three here, maybe I’ll never know.

    Sylvester! Looking very blokey in leather jacket. But the fade is to City boy ho-hum.

    Hang on, vocal backing “The Maggie Stredder Singers” um, since when? Is it the end of The Ladybirds? Has Maggie wrested the controls of the group and renamed it in her image? Have the other two nicked off?

    (obv this is the edit show, will fill in missing bits maybe later)

  282. 283
    Speedwell54 on 1 Aug 2013 #

    Noel doing his posh voice…

    Stranglers -the men in Black apart from Black. What a long outtro, the keyboard sounds very Doors like.

    Justin Haywood – don’t know if this is repeat but it’s crying out for a video.

    Cerrone – Legs and Co back to their more literal translation of words to visuals and a bit of acting too.

    Child – repeat and I still think the lead singer looks like Brian Tilsley.

    Darts – brave choice after successful covers to do a slower self penned track. It’s okay.

    10cc – is this where Cowell got his “i don’t like it”, pause for boos, “I love it” from.

    Who – Who are you- and extra -studio based video

    New Seekers – sounds like classic Glee fodder – feels wholesome

    Mr Big – another extra- strange harmonica solo

    Three TImes a Lady- Legs and Co – guess what, just three of them dancing- hard work I think

    Yes bizarre -Sylvester turns up for an interview? Noel stands in a ditch.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  283. 284
    Jimmy the Swede on 3 Aug 2013 #

    Edmonds – Smug from the get-go. Rundown to Boney M and a disc which they flipped over. I wonder how many people bought this record twice.

    Stranglers – Great stab at Burt and Hal’s classic. Ray Manzarek guests, it seems. Still sounds wonderful all these years later. A record for all seasons. A fabulous opener.

    Justin Hayward – Despite Noel’s drooling, this is, for me, forever dull. Sorry.

    Cerrone – Robotic Gals cooking up a potion as science opens up the door. And by Jimmy, it works! Our leggy lovelies morph gloriously into visions of pure fantasy in skimpy two-piece tops. But now an apology from the Swede. It was clearly NOT Gill as Bob Dylan’s scarlet lady last time but Lulu. I know this because “Girl next door” Gill is back in this clip, looking just as she was for the Johns. And then Mucky Sue, ever the Eternal Mistress, bites into a granny smith. Oh, God! And then Gill (and it IS her this time) brandishes a big banana. Oh Mumma! Look, I’m just going to have to get my doctor, who’s also a personal friend, to section me again. It’s for my own fucking good. I’m not a bad man.

    Child – Grim retro pointless rubbish. How could they think this was a good idea. Even Noel mildly questions it. Irish Sea resort NOW!!

    Darts – More retro but this one was a goody. Their best single for me. It’s raining number twos for this hard-working outfit. And here is another silver medal for them. Bad luck, really. Rita is looking more than a little hot. Dan’s “eccentricities” have however run their course. Prestatyn.

    10CC – This number one promised to provoke one hell of a bun-fight amongst Popular posters when we discussed it exactly five years ago. Was Dreadlock Holiday racist or offensive in any way? Was it just clumsy and smug? Was it none of these things but just a great pop record? I actually feared a degree of nastiness when the debate began but in the end we generally had an agreeable, intelligent, good-humoured, exchange. I urge those who were not around then to have a look at it. For me, DH remains a blinding record from one of the best groups of the decade. And I love both cricket and reggae. I’ve never been to Jamaica but I was brought up in Stockwell/Brixton so a goodly influence from the islands was constantly surrounding me. So much for the good.

    Edmonds, the fraud, toasts the engagement of Eve and Danny of the New Seekers and looks over, pretending that they are in the studio. Bollox! It’s a truly excellent song, though. Swingle 2 indeed. Somebody should do this again. Attempt another take at it. A dance track, perhaps. St Etts.

    Number one time and the Johns have gorn. Three of the Gals step in, and dressed in white ball gowns give due homage to Three Times A Lady. This was another long-term chart-topper and was still there when the Swede left school and started work. Amongst the three dancers, Sue looks devine. She Is devine. A faultless routine.

    Edmonds introduces Sylvester. Not the cat but a mighty real dude. We don’t get to hear his fabulous dance hit but instead go out to City Boys’ 5705. A disappointment to say the least.

    A mixed bag.

  284. 285
    wichitalineman on 3 Aug 2013 #

    Edmonds, so smug.

    Stranglers. This really stands up, and Hugh’s subtle lyrical changes add to the pathos.

    Justin H. I mean, I love this song, especially Vigrass and Osborne’s original (which doesn’t have the WOTW soft metal guitar part). But ‘poetry set to music’ it is not. A nice piece of English Baroque is what it is.

    Cerronne. The theme from Kenny Everett’s show at the time, and I think Hot Gossip’s routines are an influence on the gals here. Good lord. Swede, I think that’s Rosie brandishing the giant banana like a very gorgeous Man City fan.

    Child. Good call from Mark. Clearly thinking, ‘next time we’re on we’ll do some proper rock’. No chance, losers!

    Darts. I loved this at the time and I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t hold up. The productions a little weak but Bob Fish’s vocal has a true Brill Building feel – it would have had a whole meal soul treatment a few years later. And the vocal interplay on the “I’m praying out loud” section is actually, properly shivery.

    10CC. I like a lot of 10CC, and the flop follow-up to this, People in Love, was a wonderful McCartney-esque ballad. But this thing? O no.

    The Who. Looking REALLY old. Poor Moony wouldn’t see the next Christmas.

    New Seekers. This was an Australian hit in 1968 for a group called the Procession, a decent psych-beat thing. This sounds a little wet, and I’m not sure if the lyric merits a rather pompous lead vocal. Wet and pompous. Not a good combination. It sounded better in my memory.

    Mr Big. Also wet, but entirely forgettable. I imagine this was meant to be the big first single from their second album. Not as bad as B of M’s cod Spanish hits, but then almost nothing is.

    Commodores. Rosie relegated to the bench as the super literal Flick only needs three ladies. Yawny, but it makes a change to John and John.

    Sylvester and Noel! Together at last! I bet they went back to Noel’s afterwards, and listened to Jeff Wayne’s WOTW, on his quadrophonic system.

    City Boy. An unholy mix of Queen and new wave. Next!

  285. 286
    speedwell54 on 18 Aug 2013 #

    “Don’t touch that dial because the hits are on parade” says the KId introducing TOTP. Ok granddad.

    Countdown with An Everlasting Love- this sounds like a complete Bee Gees rip off!

    Bilbo- She’s Gonna WIn – This crashed and burned at No42. Hear it once and it sticks though. Bizarre accordion solo.

    Essex “Oh What a Beard” obviously trimmed for the role and unbelievably he gets away with it. Sing-a-long everybody “Salve regina mater misericordiae, vita dulcedo et spes nostra, salve salve regina” stick that in your next lyrics quiz!

    Blondie- Harry is a vision in yellow. It’s not Gordon Brown, but it does look like someone is mouthing “smile” off camera somewhere. I love the way the vocals build emotionally, the way she says “garage”, and “get a pocket computer” (how ahead of their time) and the last line is a brilliant end.

    Jilted John- JJ- Doing the call and respond all by himself. Half surprised this wasn’t edited in places; “he’s a paff” etc. The drummer is wearing Sad Cafe t-shirt

    the Motors – “Forget About You”- I am sure at the time I thought it was a bit Radio2. The keyboard player is wearing a Motors t-shirt.

    Foreigner – Cold As Ice- On video -made me listen to the MOP version. I like this one as well. T-shirt watch. Singer is wearing “New Orleans ” t-shirt.

    British Hustle – not my cup of tea. The guitarist is wearing a Snoopy doll, he hasn’t heard about the t-shirt dress code.

    Boney M- Brown Girl In the Ring – Legs and Co- a little worried they might have all blacked-up, knowing their literal lyric interpretations. To be fair (I’m a footballer) they are dressed in coffee coloured outfits, they are in circle, and they are all female. Half way through some of Hi-tension and Bilbo join the girls on stage. The “dancer” from Jilted John wins the prize for the least enthusiastic. They are wearing brown t-shirts.

    Kid shouts “David Watts”, “Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa” strikes up, Bruce shares the vocal and they belt it out with gusto, I hope the next act keeps up the pace…

    The Commodors -3xlady – ahem. This sounds like a complete Lionel Ritchie rip off! Fast forward, too fast to see the t-shirts.

    The Rezillos play out with “Top of the Pops’

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  286. 287
    Mark G on 19 Aug 2013 #

    Only one review so far? We all on Holiday? Well, I was, but now I’m back so let’s have some hits on parade if that’s at all possible. Oh, it is, marvellous…

    Gibb sounds, much like Any of the others. A familiar title, “Everlasting Love”, but it’s not that one, its something more forgettable.

    Bilbo. The latest band (after Racey a couple of weeks ago) with a singer that looks like a cross between Richard Thompson, Chris Martin and (not so much this time) Matthew Corbett. They were called Bilbo Baggins, and now with a truncated name they try to surf the new wave with a not too bad song of their own. It was not to be, and instead become another band that punk left behind. Is it a shame? You’d have to listen to more of their songs to know… Actually he does sort of remind me of the Sultans of Ping dude..

    David Essex invents the Flaming Lips look. Alright, ‘invents’ is a bit of a stretch..

    Ah, Blondie are here in the studio, thanks to not being introduced by DLT. Kid looks odd. Anyway, Debbie does not. Wonder what you used to do with a pocket computer. Great, obv.

    Jilted John with another winning performance, with out-of-tune guitars and stuff.

    Here come the Motors with the theme from Grandstand!

    Foreigner, ff>. Up until this, it had been all good (Andy Gibb didn’t count, it was the chart rundown)

    Hi Tension and The British Hustle. Kid does give off some sort of patronising air this week, which is unlike him..

    Legs and co do “Brown Girl in the You-Know-Where”, which is interesting as look there’s Jilted Graham and Bernard the Moron forming part of the ring which is nice of them. Still in character too! Oh I see it’s various artists being roped in! A Bilbo, a tension, and someone in a Boiler suit maybe a Motor..

    Kid wakes up as it’s The Jam! And it’s Bruce singing lead (didn’t he do this last time?) and rules of ‘one spot’ means Bruce gets the best lighting.

    Commodores supply a boring on-the-road movie, so the girls get roped in to feng shui it about..

    And back to The Kid,. And The Rezillos get played over the titles..

    Actually, a pretty good episode this week, no almighty clunkers thanks to a more interesting Boney M bit.

  287. 288
    speedwell54 on 21 Aug 2013 #

    Tony Blackburn repeating his” Top 20″ gaff again (see witchita 254)

    The Dooleys- really a little dull, very dated, and frankly strange outfits. Embarrassing dancing to cover the instrumental break. They got better.

    Strange editing from acts to Tony.

    Siouxsie and the Banshees- Hong Kong Garden – forced link from Tony and they press the ‘Punk effect” button on the camera to go all weird and black and white. My mum met Siouxsie in a hotel in Bradford in ’86 in all her gear and face on. (That’s Siouxsie with all the gear and face on, not my mum)

    10cc – repeat.

    Getting more suspicious about the links – Tony is nowhere near any of the music tonight.

    Klart Kent- never knew who he was ’til ages after. Sounds like it could have come out a lot later than this, indeed many indie bands were doing just this sort of thing 20 years later. LIke it. Terrible miming though.

    Andy Gibb- Legs and Co – what are they wearing?

    Was there a strike on at the TOTP studios this week?

    Exile- KIss You All Over- I didn’t know this song had verses. Only knew the chorus. It’s the best bit.

    The Rezillos -TOTP – a high energy performance. Something for everyone tonight.

    Darts- It’s Raining – another link from Tony, they put in a tight set as always. Tony predicts a future number one.

    Cliff Richard – Please Remember Me- He had 3 singles out in 1978, none of them charted, this was the middle one. I don’t think he was unfairly treated on the evidence.

    3xlady- video again, no legs and co. this time. The lady Lionel Ritchie is chatting up in the back of a Roller has a bigger gap in her teeth than Phyllis Nelson.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse

    Anyone know about this episode editing wise?

  288. 289
    Mark G on 21 Aug 2013 #

    Zap pow it’s Tony! And he still can’t see it’s the top 30! (edit: obviously we both were typing our reviews at the same time)

    And the music is Herbie Hancock, which seems odd as I thought “I thought it was you” was later than 1978, but OK..

    The Rubbish Dooleys are back, and he’s singing especially to you, girl. Up to you if you want him to, of course. They look like they are auditioning for the Wedding Band. “A rose has to die” they sing like they are Nick Cave.

    And oh, here comes the future! Siouxsie does “Hong Kong Garden” and it’s life as we know it suddenly. Hey, if they had not made this in 1978 and made it now, it’d still be a ‘hit’ (the modern day definition meaning not necessarily a top 30, but)

    10cc.. This week I asks; “There were 4 faces, one masked..” why did only one feel the need for a mask?

    And in a shock move, Klark Kent gets onto TOTP before The Police! (like, how Magazine beat Buzzcocks on to it). That is clearly Sting on bass there.. Stewart Copeland inverts the Alter-ego : Klark Kent is Stewart Copeland and everyone knows except Klark! Still, it’s a good record,

    And now, it’s Scott Walker doing a track from his album “Stretch!”. Oh hang on, no it’s Cliff. And its a deceptively complex song with a memorable chorus. Well played dude.

    Andy Gibb airs the Bee Gees sound with something with an over-used title. And the girls dress up in spaghetti to dance to it. It’s not as interesting as that sounds.

    Exile. Front man looks desperate. Maybe you’d be safer with the Dooleys bloke after all! The rest of the band look like a jobbing country-rock band, which I believe is what they became later. The song goes into Stay with me” Blue Mink, I assume the writers are the same.

    The Rezillos implicate all of you/us as being on the show..

    Darts do an also overused title, but it’s a strong song. Bee Gees, you learning from this? Oh, you are…

    And the Commodores show all of their sooo interesting Cinema Verite

    Lots of British hustle to fade!

    Your go!

  289. 290
    Steve Williams on 22 Aug 2013 #

    #288 Did you not see Tony appearing more prominently in the Exile performance than half the band, standing there swaying away? Tony suggested that number 33 was a “smash hit” but then he also thought the top 20 had thirty records in it.

  290. 291
    lonepilgrim on 24 Aug 2013 #

    TOTP 31/08/78
    Tony B introduces the ‘top 20’ which proves to be the top 30 soundtracked by Herbie Hancock with an early version of auto tune
    Dooleys – rhymes with clueless
    Siouxsie & the Banshees – sublime – whiplash girlchild in the dark
    10cc – still don’t like it
    Klark Kent – who was that masked man? punk now a pastiche
    Andy Gibb – silky toon prompts silky outfits for tha gals
    Exile – ‘from Kentucky, USA’ quoth Tony – so not Kentucky, Essex. Singer looks like Andy Kershaw in a wig
    Rezillos – lively
    Darts – fantastic arrangement – a gem
    Cliff – pleasant, but unmemorable
    Commodores – surprised they didn’t spring for a performance video – instead we see the band on the M1
    HiTension over the credits

  291. 292
    Lazarus on 28 Aug 2013 #

    Peter Powell introduces the Top 30 to the sound of Grease, as sung by Frankie Valli. Songs from the soundtrack dominated the charts in the second half of the year as much as those from ‘Fever’ had done in the first. This theme was written by the brothers Gibb though. You couldn’t keep them out of it! And Robert Stigwood, whose RSO label put out both records, was probably being taken to lunch by his bank manager by this time.

    The Jam – Funny, I never knew Bruce took the lead vocal on this. He and Rick are typically suited, Paul dressing down in a dark sweater. Energetic performance.

    Leo Sayer – now, was this an old song? Sounds like it might be, and yet I don’t remember hearing it by anyone else. Perhaps it was first recorded by a country singer, there are touches of slide guitar here and there. Leo’s an early front-runner for Shirt of the Evening.

    Boney M – the group this time, doesn’t look like the Pops set though. Doesn’t offend my ears as much as it did at the time.

    Herbie Hancock/Legs & Co – they’re in the shortest of dresses, and so some Whitehouse drone has turned the lights down. Songs is tops, and still sounds fresh.

    Sylvester – the David McAlmont of his time, in some fetching outfits. Great video, I don’t recall seeing this at the time. No doubt caused some lively comment from watching dads.

    Manhattan Transfer – was this a hit? The Tran do the Supremes; the lead singer has a look of Buble abut him, and overacts somewhat. The others don’t seem to know what to do. Slick, but unnecessary.

    Hi Tension – seemed to be on every week at this stage. Owed more to Osibisa than to disco, perhaps. It’s OK, can’t say it’s really my thing though.

    Hylda Baker/Arthur Mullard – ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached our Joy Sarney moment for 1978. And this makes ‘Naughty’ sound like an Ivor Novello contender. Someone must have been playing this – who was the guilty man?

    Commodores – yeah, it’s really time for a new number one now. And not the first time I’ve thought that this year.

    Crown Heights Affair – would have been the highlight of the show for me, if they’d actually been on. Never mind.

    Hoping for better next week (or whenever)

  292. 293
    Mark G on 29 Aug 2013 #

    Pleased to be here? Peter Powell is, and that’s fine it’s the unedited version! What additional fun are we having?

    Frankie Valli sings over the chart rundown, which reminds me I found a cheap copy of “Genuine Imitation Life Gazette” and am looking forward to it, yeh!

    The Jam do David Watts, Nd Paul does his best to make it look like they are sharing the lead vocal. But, no it’s Bruce time..

    Leo Sayer does a country style song, Looking it up I find it was written by Billy Nicholls (of Immediate Records fame) for “White Horse”, the band he was in in 1977, the l.p being eponymous

    Boney M, I clearly remember this as I recall the singer adding some extra bits towards the end, although limited to “Sweet..” and “There’s A..” to the endless singing of “Brown Girl in the ring”..

    The Motors and “Forget About You”.. Now, should they go on my punk/New wave compsave DVD-R? They are very borderline, but oh OK then..

    Now, we (or,at least I) have Dee D Jackson, and the follow up to Automatic Lover, which seems to be “Meatier Man”, ok she seems to be sticking to the formula which will please Mike Love a lot. “He was pa, he was strange and he came down on me” she sings. Ho-Kay then..

    David Essex salve Regina and so on.. We were all singing this when Diana died, you know..

    Legs and co throw some shadow shapes to Herbie Hancock. Is the subdued lighting meant to restrict their ‘sauciness’ factor? It actually makes it look they’re wearing nowt downstairs.. Still, the dancing is good here..

    Sylvester looks less blokey this time, to say the least. Is this the most gay TOTP has been so far, as far as performances go? Set in a disco, Syl and some guy waiters in loin cloths.

    Manhat Tran do a cover of “Where did our love go?” which is pointless as it sounds a lot like Donnie Elbert’s version. But maybe it’s a highlight of the stage act.

    Hi-Tension, British Hustle. Ok, liked it a few weeks ago, but it’s definitely wearing out now.

    Ok, here it is. Received wisdom has it that this is the worst performance ever on TOTP, but that’s not even close to describing how bad it is. To be fair, Hilda Baker almost keeps it together, but Arthur Mullard is like some lost and sad old grandad that someone’s put a daft wig on and shoved out on-stage for to be laughed at. If I was to say that the recorded version isn’t quite as bad, well nothing is. And seeing as how if certain facts about Mullard had been made known now (as opposed to about 10 years ago) they’d be digging up his grave and Savillising it.

    Commodores sleep in their car again, and Crown Heights Affair do the funky end.

    So, the show ends. Yes, I probably did laugh unkindly at the time, I feel less guilty about it now.

    Bring on the future, the past you do not want to live there…

  293. 294
    speedwell54 on 30 Aug 2013 #

    Still safe Peter says “welcome” and avoids quantifying the rundown.

    The Jam- making a good fist of the Kinks song. This week the sub titler goes “ba ba ba ba ba”….rather than “fa fa fa..” The “fa”s have it though.

    Leo Sayer – Peter welcomes him back to the UK, presumably had a spell in the US after a brace of chart toppers. Plods a little. It brought a smile to my face as I recalled Bob Mortimer and his one word Leo impression “baby” with surprised face and jazz hands.

    Boney M – I had worked out this was from Seaside Special and then Pete blurts it out at the end and steals my thunder. It was from Torbay. Plastic Bertrand and Ian Dury also on the bill.

    The Motors – a repeat.

    Dee D – Meteor Man- I think Florence/Harris could probably make something of this. Lyric is all over the place. Did he like her? Did she like him? Who knows?

    Essex – wandering round a concrete car park again…

    Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo- Peter lends out his talk box. The lighting on Legs and Co makes it look American.

    Rusty Lee- a bit of Daft Punk with the guys walking round in a circle in the background. People must have only been asking one question of Sylvester when this came out in ’78.

    Manhattan Tran – out of time in any time, I said last time. I was right.

    Hi-Tension -repeat

    Mullard/Baker -bizarre. This performance gets rightly slated but I don’t think it’s that far from the record.

    Commodores – last week I hope.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse – I guess.

  294. 295
    kitmackay on 30 Aug 2013 #

    I am ashamed to say that this is the first time that I have contributed to a website that has given me enormous pleasure over the past few years. It is quite uplifting to see how following Britain’s Number One singles provides such food for thought on so many aspects of life in the second half of the twentieth century.
    On the subject of which was I the only person who got such a pleasant surprise with the video for ‘Three Times a Woman’. In most respects it conformed to my memory of a rather rushed film of a very pensive Lionel Ritchie sitting in the back of a car on a motorway. Actually this did seem to suit the mood of the song quite well but what caused me to watch it over and over again, often on freeze-frame, was the glimpse it gave into a branch of HMV in the late seventies. Just as I am convinced that the best historical document for future historians trying to get a real sense of what a British hospital looked like at this period in history would to be watch any of the many relevant ‘Carry On’ films I watched the Commodores brief excursion into the record shop with real nostalgia. What a delightful surprise in an episode of ‘Top of the Pops’ that otherwise seemed all too familiar, for noth good and bad reasons.

  295. 296
    kitmackay on 30 Aug 2013 #

    I am ashamed to say that this is the first time that I have contributed to a site that has given me so much pleasure. Was I the only person who got such a pleasant surprise with the video of ‘Three Times a Lady’? I remembered a very pensive Lionel Ritchie in the back of a car, which actually seems to suit the song very well, but had completely forgotten that they pay a visit to a branch of HMV on the way. Certainly brought back memories for me. If only some obliging pop stars had been filmed in Harlequin Records in The Butts Shopping Centre in Reading!

  296. 297
    Mark G on 30 Aug 2013 #

    Was going to say, you’ve not quite got the hang of the ‘edit’ function..

    But instead, I will say Harlequin Records? The basement of the Butts? Nice and big record shop, did not last long..

    It also reminds me of how an old friend told me of when they filmed one of the “Confessions” movies in his local Harlequin recshop in Southgate..

  297. 298
    kitmackay on 30 Aug 2013 #

    You’re quite right about the edit button. Comment appeared, then disappeared. Hope I’ve got the hang of it now.
    My memories of ‘Harlequin Records’ goes back to the early seventies, a time when there were so many music/department stores with record departments. Am I right in thinking that the chain were eventually bought up and turned into ‘Our Price’?

  298. 299
    Lazarus on 13 Sep 2013 #

    It’s back in its Thursday night slot, pop pickers … some of us didn’t recognise Paul Burnett last time he did this show, but this time he’s kind enough to introduce himself. Top 30 accompanied by the Motors. Jilted John still at 4! Really? And Mullard/Baker at 23, for some reason.

    Buzzcocks – tough act for the rest to follow. A song familiar to millions who weren’t even born at the time. Not sure if this is their TOTP debut, or just the first time they’ve been on a show that’s been broadcast. Either way, a classic, obvs.

    Leo Sayer – a new performance, with six little Leos revolving around the main man. I used to associate him very much with Gilbert O’Sullivan; they both had an odd image for their first hit, then changed it to something more contemporary, but Leo’s run of hits lasted a lot longer, although I have to say I prefer Gilbert’s songs.

    Abba – now I remember this video, it’s Stockholm I take it? Disco beats and lip gloss. Not a song that gets played very often now. We all used to speculate what that word was before “in the moonlight …”

    PB at the drumkit now, introduces Stephen Bishop, “chartbound without a doubt” upon which it sank without trace. A bit like a bearded Barry Manilow (see also Randy VanWarmer, Dan Fogelberg) I don’t even remember hearing this on the radio. Not the sort of thing Radio 1 or Capital would have given much airplay to, though. I’ve got an idea it was from a film – ‘Looking for Mr Goodbar’ maybe?

    Sylvester/Legs & Co feat Floyd – great song, energetic routine, still ridiculously underlit at times.

    David Essex – made me realise I didn’t really know anything about Che Guevara, so I read his Wiki entry while this was on.

    Three Degrees – did we ever establish if there’s a comma in the title? Makes quite a difference to the meaning. The song strikes a defiant and dismissive tone, so I like to think not. Big comeback hit for them wasn’t it, I think it’s the first time they’ve been on in this run.

    10 cc – their sole week at number one, I think – heard it enough now. Never been one of my favourites of theirs, I’d much rather have seen ‘Mandy’ top the hit parade. Leo’s revolving effect used again.

    Rose Royce – “the only way to travel” – play us out.

    Had its moments, but the first was as good as it got.

  299. 300
    Jimmy the Swede on 14 Sep 2013 #

    Swede back after “resting” for a short while.

    The continuity announcer tries to blame the Proms for the gaps in these broadcasts. Not bloody likely!

    Paul Burnett in the actors’ studio.

    Grandstand theme over the titles (say WHAT, now?). At capton 23 Hilda is looking up at Arfur with what looks like utter contempt. That performance the other week was without question the nadir of the entire history of TOTP. It wasn’t even funny on an ironic level. Just wrong.

    So what do we have?…

    Buzzcocks – Hello bobkins, what an opener! Ever fallen in love? A record known and applauded by those of us who were there and many today who were not, just as Lazarus says. It’s just fabulous and surely an impossible act to follow on tonight’s show.

    Leo Sayer – Very similar to “When I Need You”. He sounds a bit whiney and the multiple revolving camera shots of the little man don’t help. Start this week’s minibus, folks, and put in the baby seat especially for the dwarf. Do it now!

    Abba – Summer night city…in Stockholm! For the Swede, this could be tempting. In 1998, I did indeed go to Stockholm for the European Cup Winners Cup Final but was not there long enough for either nightclubs or boat trips. This was not a top drawer song but Anna looks ridiculously breathtaking. Twas ever thus, obv. (NB: I invite you lads to pump in “Stockholm/Newcastle nightclubs” into your preferred search engine. It’s a perfectly innocent little site but it’s not for the easily offended, especially if you’re a Geordie).

    Stephen Bishop – “Chart-bound without a doubt” insists Paul, who knows about these things. Er, no it isn’t, son. What it is is a very pleasant song from a Gerry Adams lookalike. It’s solid easy-listening States-side fare, Randy Edelman, Andrew Gold etc but Stephen Bishop largely missed the boat. Hands up who remembers “Little Italy?” The name of one of our best loved posters pops up.

    Sylvester – Gals, beaming, steaming and sexy. Floyd is now officially my enemy, as he glides in and out and through the entire troupe again and they’re loving it, the Eternal Mistress at the forefront as usual. Look, “Mighty Real” is one of the best of all the disco hits and this routine is high-tempo, highly charged go-go. But can we PER-LEASE get Floyd on that bus to Prestatyn before yon Swede trots off to Beachy Head again..

    Three Degrees – Way beyond their sell-by date and Leo and Floyd now have female company on the bus. Trust bloody Floyd to fall on his feet again. What a rotter! One posh chap watching with his mum would disagree that it’s all up for the trio. They’re still his favourite pop group. But as Erithian texed me:
    Brenda: “Charles, please don’t do that in front of me. You’re getting like your father.”
    Charles: “But I want to marry them, Mumma!”
    (Cont’d on P94)

    David Essex is Che. Pure gold. This was one of Rice’s highpoints as a lyric writer, I believe. Nothing wrong with the score or Essex’s delivery either.

    10CC – I never cease to be conscious of the fact that I am pretty much alone in either not being offended by this or simply not liking it. I can only repeat that I think it’s outstanding and one of the best in a truly fabulous band’s portfolio. So let’s leave it at that.

    Out to Rose Royce’s “Love Don’t Live here”, a wonderful and heart-rendering lament. Back in the day Muhammad Ali had just regained his World Heavyweight title from rookie Leon Spinks who had taken it from him in February. For some odd reason, for me this event resonated with this particular track:
    “We look up and see, Spinks ain’t champion any more,
    Just one fight and he…Spinks ain’t CHAMPION any more…”
    Pretty bizarre, all things considered, I grant you.

    A good show for me. Paul Burnett was surprisingly annoying, though. He’s been watching Edmonds, clearly. Paul’s strength was always broadcasting.

  300. 301
    swanstep on 15 Sep 2013 #

    @Jimmy the Swede. Ouch, I did your Stockholm/Newcastle test and originally thought there must be some mistake because the slideshow didn’t say which towns/countries any of the subjects were from. But that just made things more devastating when light finally dawned. I’m sure there’s a lot of selection bias at work, but god almighty…..

    Unrelatedly, both Legs and Co segments from the Joan Collin soft-core flick The Stud (1978) are up on youtube in case you haven’t seen them. Nothing too great but her Mucky Majesty in the wild on a crowded dancefloor with a great shag ‘do’ is definitely worth a look:
    Let’s Go Disco and Native New Yorker.

  301. 302
    Lazarus on 15 Sep 2013 #

    From what I can tell, the Stephen Bishop song wasn’t from a film, although he has done well in that area over the years. I know ‘Little Italy’ from regular plays on the Steve Wright show – I suspect he plays it for the moment when the female singer chimes in with “I’m an old woman …” For some reason, I remember a comment by the Invicta DJ Neil Taylor in the late 80s. He played Aswad’s version of ‘On and on’ and said, “people keep saying to me, oh yes, that’s the old Stephen Bishop song. Who is this bloke? I’ve never heard of him.”

  302. 303
    Jimmy the Swede on 21 Sep 2013 #


    Abba over titles. Ivor Biggun at #22. We used to sing this at the Beer Keller in Richmond back in the day. You wouldn’t have heard it on Radio 1.

    Mike Jackson – He’s singing his own song Blame It On The Boogie. It’s a good beat and there are shots of the audience grooving. Or should that be boogieing? Someone should cover this. Any takers?

    Dean Friedman – Oddball having a musical dust-up with a moderately pretty girl, the uncredited Denise Marsa. Both the song and the arrangement are very American. Very New York in fact.

    Gals and Third World – Famine and feast here. Uber-sexy two-piece (barely) cossies and plenty of thigh thrusts with the Eternal Mistress in the forefront where she belongs. Alas losts of fuzzy lighting spoils the sumptuous banquet in places. It’s a great shame as the Gals are clearly loving this, as is the Swede. It’s a great disco track and Third World, whom I always thought were American, were actually from Jamaica.

    Boney M – I’m guessing this is German footage. Bobby Farrell is prancing around in a WG Grace beard. He’s supposed to be Rasputin – geddit? No, mate. Just wrong. They cut it just before Greg gets finally dispatched and we are spared “Oh, those Russians!” Ridiculous but fun.

    Marshall Hain – Follow up to Dancing In The City. Don’t really remember this. Kit looks and sounds quite alluring but I could imagine Kiki Dee doing it even better. But it’s very nice, all things considered. Pity it flopped.

    Sham 69 – Hurry Up Harry. Great laddish fun here sung with a twinkle in his eye by JP, who knows he’s getting away with rubbish really.

    Rats – Rat Trap. A landmark and for me one of the finest number ones of the decade. A mini new wave opera, no less. Narrator Bob uses the camera brilliantly and he sings about “screaming and crying in a high rise block”, which is exactly what I was doing at the time. Happily my life was nowhere near as hopeless as Billy and Judy’s as the little fable rolls on to its harrowing conclusion. This was a great record and a great performance.

    Number one time and the Johns are back. No clip of “Grease”. Erithian explained that the film makers even after all these years would have demanded too much wedge from the impoverished Beeb. Clearly we’re not paying enough for our licence. Instead we get the Xmas clip of the Gals dancing innocently with a group of boys. And, yep, f**king Floyd is back as craven as ever. The Swede is disgusted.

    Sweet Talking Woman to take us out. No “Good Love” from Kid. Boo!

    Bits and bobs this week.

  303. 304
    Lazarus on 22 Sep 2013 #

    Kid at the controls. Can we assume that anyone who hasn’t had a knock from Knacker by now is safe? Let’s hope so. Abba over the 30. Unbelievably, they’re still spelling Crystal Gayle’s name wrong!

    Mick Jackson – white bloke with beard and perm just beats the Jacksons onto TOTP with his own song. He would be out-hit and outsold by the cover though.

    Dean Friedman – I appreciate that the term G— P— is no longer allowed in these parts but sheesh, I like this. His other singles ‘Ariel’, ‘Woman of Mine’ and ‘Lydia’ are all good songs too, and the ‘Rocking Horse’ album is worth a listen.

    Third World/Legs & Co – top tune of course, although these days I’m exposed to it on an all-too-regular basis in the form of the Heavy D & the Boyz version, courtesy of Heart. Lighting abysmal.

    Buzzcocks – it seems the iPlayer is showing the extended version these days. Repeat performance.

    Elaine Paige – “the stunning star of the stage production of ‘Evita’ ” – although I don’t believe this was from the show. This and ‘Memory’ would be her only hits until she teamed up with Barbara Dickson. Lights reflecting off her oversized specs mean that Elaine literally has ‘stars in her eyes.’

    Boney M – “their own interpretation of Russian history” indeed. Preferable to ‘Brown Girl’ but only just. I could enjoy it in the right mood, though. The sort of camp and silly nonsense that was later perpetuated by the likes of the Vengaboys.

    Marshall Hain – young Laz used to have this record, I think. Not sure why I don’t anymore. It was a grower, but radio didn’t give it the chance, perhaps. The sort of tasteful fare later offered by Julia Fordham and Judie Tzuke.

    Sham 69 – yeah, rubbish basically. Who was buying this? Kids who thought they were punks? Woeful.

    Leo – repeat with the Joseph shirt.

    Bob Geldof – future number one alert! With the Swede on this, a great number. It was predictable that this and ‘Mondays’ would be widely slated on ‘Popular’, but funnily I don’t remember that being the case at the time. The latter would have been many people’s song of the year, I think. I call it ‘Titanic syndrome.’ Odd that this is in the chart already when we have such a long run from the Greasey twosome to get through. They really did have to climb to the top in those days.

    And talking of which … ‘Summer Nights’ is number one, and each of the Legs lovelies has a red-suited buffoon to dance with. Actually quite fun to watch once, but I don’t want six weeks of it.

    An uneven show, yeah.

  304. 305
    speedwell54 on 22 Sep 2013 #

    It’s the Kid again. He’s over 60 now.

    Mick Jackson – the gold foil stuck to the back of the piano looks cheap and this version kind of lost out to the Jacksons – which came out a week earlier. After this performance it actually dropped to 38 (gold foil incident!) before rebounding to 15. It wasn’t quite Blur vs Oasis but there was something going on in the press and on the radio.

    Dean Friedman – Call and answer song with Denise. KId mentions the parent album and it is pretty good, and I still play it occasionally. “Rocking Chair and “Lydia” the stand out tracks for me.

    Third world . Solid disco fare which doesn’t seem to have dated. I think the Swede covers the girls enough.

    Elaine Paige – “Don’t walk away ’til I touch you” – this was her first hit (tiny hit) It is nonsense.

    Boney M – Rasputin – there are a lot of themes going on in this but it does work.

    Sham 69 – this is their Pretty Vacant. Can he really play the piano?

    Rats- I think Difford would have pretty happy with this lyric. Wonder if the extra ending after “caught” is just for the radio.? Can he really play the sax?

    ONJ JT no vid. no good.

    I do like ELO even if we don’t get to see them tonight on the outtro.

    See ya Kid

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  305. 306
    lonepilgrim on 26 Sep 2013 #

    TOTP 19/10/78
    Peter Perfect introduces peppily
    Boomtown Rats over the charts
    Showaddywaddy – I hate this band but perhaps due the example of Darts they seem to have got a bit tighter
    Boney M – some serious method acting plus a history lesson – pop perfection
    John Travolta – some random dancers fail to distract from a crappy song
    Stones – punking it up respectably
    Colorado – making Brotherhood of Man look edgy – supper club rejects massacre a good song, complete with sub-flamenco guitar solo and Pearl & Dean horns – so bad it’s terrible
    Buzzcocks – utterly awesome and sounding gloriously modern
    Frankie Miller – maudlin mush
    The Jam – more post-punk than Mod revival and sounding all the better for it – great stuff
    JT & OJN – get the familiar dance routine – please make it stop
    PiL – over the credits – I love this song – they’re on the next show allegedly

    an object lesson in where punk went next and the crap that they left behind

  306. 307
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Sep 2013 #

    Chirpy Peter Powell. He loves life.

    Rat Trap over the rundown. What a waste. Hang on, wasn’t that someone else?.. Dean Friedman’s pic, meanwhile, has him looking like he’s getting ready to jump off the Empire State Building. We can thank our lucky stars he didn’t.

    Waddy – Enough now. One of the main things for me on these re-runs was how much I dislike this sort of fifties revival stuff now. I had no real problem with the Waddy back in the day but now I regard them as mildly ridiculous. I have no idea why this is.

    Boney M – Seen this. Same footage cut in exactly the same place. Acceptable nonsense.

    John T – San-DEEEEEAH!!! Can’t have the footage of course so we get Patti from the Gals dancing with some no-mark called Martin. Had it been Mucky Sue and Floyd the Swede would have now been in a drawer in Eastbourne District General.

    Peter Powell is mumbling. Speak up son!

    Stones – Footage of an attitude-rich Jagger telling someone to get out of his life. Not sure if this is another take on Out of Time but it doesn’t matter as it’s a great old track. There’s a bit of foolishness at the end when both Mick and Woody knock down a canvas wall with their guitars and then finish up rolling around a bed with Keef. Charlie looks at them quizzically and his eyes seem to shrug, whilst Bill just employs his trademark gloomy Eyore look and doesn’t give a toss.

    Colarado – Who they? Well, they look like a rep theatre troupe to me and the leading girl reminds me of major Swede obsession and fantasy gal Bonnie Langford. The little group do California Dreaming and it’s very nice – good arrangement and well sung. And then an interloping bloke who looks like Mike Oldfield gives us some Spanish guitar. The whole package is perfectly fine but at the end of the day, what’s the point? I trust I don’t have to tell you where Colarado are now, do I?

    Buzzcocks again but this time we’re not complaining. Magnificent.

    Pete’s mumbling is getting worse. What’s the matter with him?

    Frankie Miller – Darlin’. An alkie’s plea if there ever was one. I can imagine Eight Ace belting this one out. Fabulous.

    Jam – Going underground. Except it’s not but they are. We see a short footage of a tube pulling into a station but it’s rush hour and not midnight so what’s going on? We then cut back to the studio and the miming band are in fine form, especially Bruce. It’s top drawer fare but the girls surrounding them are unmoved much like the nail-filing younsters on the tills in Waitrose. One catches the camera and waves sweetly. Only one loan guy seems to get it. An enlightened man. I once suggested that the Jam were strictly for the lads and despite arguements against, I still largely believe that. I offered up “Catch 22” as a literary equivalent. There were dissenters against that one too!

    Johns at number one and the same clip of Gals and numpties.

    Out to Public Image. Just as much of a waste as were the Rats over the entrance. I hope Pilgrim’s right about them being on next time.

    Some belting stuff this time but Peter was untypically off-form.

  307. 308
    Lazarus on 28 Sep 2013 #

    Watching the long ‘un … Peter P presents, Rat Trap not really ideal rundown material. The Jacksons at 14 have leapfrogged Mick, a place lower. Ivor Biggun aka Doc Cox has gone down! We’re not going to see him on the show then? Quelle surprise …

    Showaddywaddy – with a Curtis Lee number from the dawn of the 60s. The game is nearly up for this lot now and they must know it. Every seat on that minibus will be taken before long.

    Boney M – repeat showing

    John Travolta – weedy number with a solo Leg and partner. They put all the singles out in the wrong order didn’t they, clearly Summer Nights should have been first.

    Rolling Stones – I only remember the chorus of this. Just a middling hit wasn’t it. I don’t think I’ve seen this clip before. Keith is just starting to show signs of wear and tear, shall we say.

    Colorado – not, I’m guessing, from the Midwest, unless that means Chippenham. Curious disjointed performance that looks as if it really belongs on ‘Opportunity Knocks.’ And folks, I mean that most sincerely!

    Buzzcocks – third showing for this but, hey, I don’t mind.

    Peter P still mumbling.

    Frankie Miller – he looks like he’s had a hard life, doesn’t he? More Alex than Rod. I don’t remember that harmonica solo. The song is a bit of a boozy late night singalong.

    Three Degrees – another repeat.

    Sham 69 – again. I quite liked ‘Angels’ but really, this has all the punk credibility of Plastic Bertrand. F/fwd!

    Didn’t make out a word that PP said then.

    Donna Summer – wondrous, one of those covers that I prefer to the original. At the time I only knew this version. Were the gals cut from the half hour show? Surely not! Here it’s Lulu brandishing the cake, complete with green icing, and the rest are … a tree (I think). Interesting.

    The Jam – verging on classic, their best song to date thought I. Not much reaction from the audience – a spot of tentative pogoing here and there and bit of nodding from a Ross Noble lookalike, but mostly girls leaning on their elbows.

    JT and ONJ at number one. PiL an unexpected choice to play out.

    Certainly had its moments.

  308. 309
    speedwell54 on 28 Sep 2013 #

    Peter -put your collar up or down will you.

    Showaddywaddy – their last top ten hit. Was a 30 year old Shaky thinking – ‘I could be in here, granddad, pass me those old records, let’s have look, isn’t it?

    Boney M – this was the 6th of 7 straight number ones in Germany.

    John T – if THIS was what we had to watch in ’78, it would have disappeared a lot faster.

    Rolling Stones- Respectable – sounds like something they could produce at the drop of a hat, nonetheless deserved a better placing.

    Colorado – seems a pointless cover, even Lee Mack’s version is preferable.

    Peter does waffle and trip sometimes. Buzzcocks repeat. twktc.

    Frankie Miller- “I call you on the phone some.” What? ‘some’, ‘some’, ‘me’,’me’, ‘night’ nights’ ‘now’ ‘now’ -genius. Once heard, earworm.

    3degrees -repeat

    Sham 69 – not that far from Jilted John really.

    Donna Summer -legs and Co – excerpt. Not my cup of tea. Didn’t the Three Degrees have a stab at this sometime?

    More nonsense from Peter, More Jam. Jam will suffice.

    Am I missing something? why does he say “OJ and ONJ” again with the wrong thing.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  309. 310
    Mark G on 29 Sep 2013 #


    Boomtown Rats. Chart rundown. Hang on, yeah Ivor Biggun and all that, but the girl winking her eye in the pic? I don’t recall that at all.

    Never mind, Show Wad E. Wadd E are back doing their thing as unchanged as ever. This might seem better than last outing, but that’s because ‘I wonder why’ was as generic as they got. You can tell they weren’t massively into this music (Dave and Rameo were more into The Eagles) not that it matters really, it’s a job inmit?

    Rah rah Rasputin. ‘Don’t you try to do it please’, anyway it’s more fun than ‘Brown eyed girl in the ring’ right Pete? (Thanks to Private Eye for noticing that one, a couple issues ago)

    Patti and her friend Martin? Oh hello. They sort-of dance to Trav’s ‘Sandy’. I guess this was how it was broadcast back then.

    “Respectable” video performance seems max to the treble, sound quality wise. This vid supplied the front photo for a latter Stones collection, by means of losing Bill Woman by scissors.

    Right, it’s Flamenco versions of sixties hits. Santa Esmeralda they are not. It’s death by BBC Orchestra time. Yeah, the record was better. It’s the sort of thing my dad loved.

    Buzzwords are here to save the show. Yep, my spelling corrector still cannot handle the buzzcocks’ name.

    Frankie Miller. Does anyone remember his acting part? “Och, they’re just boyyys, tryin’ to get themselves a reputation!’ Still, he gives the country styles song his best. Someone told him he could have hits this way, they were right.Well, he had two anyway.

    Three degrees. Did Prince Charles’ endorsement close one bunch of doors for them, but open other more lucrative ones? More than likely.

    Sham 69. This reminds me of what Lou Reed said on ‘Take no prisoners’ the live album, about writing songs for a musical based on ‘Walk on the wild side’. Having to write a song at the point someone has some breakfast or cleans their teeth or something. Anyway, this comes from the ‘Day in the life’ drama concept punk album ‘That’s Life’ where the main guy goes to Harry’s house to see if he will accompany him to the pub. But Harry is not quite ready.

    And now it’s cake time. The legs have a cake. And a tree. That’s how we know its outside.

    Peter is telling us the Jam are going underground, but he’s either way too early, or he’s planting a germ of an idea in Weller’s bonce. Anyway, Paul is back lead singing which is where he stays for the rest of the Jam’s singles.

    Peter has woken up, apparently Orange Juice and Olivia Newton John are number one. He says it again after the ‘dance’ so what did he mean? Ah, third play I think I’ve got it: “Oh, J! And ONJ” Right, I think I’m ready for “Only Connect” now.

    Peter has to watch his Public Image now. Good plan. Have a word with Savile and DLT while you’re on, yeah?

    So, if they sack the Sky at night, will we get more TOTP ? Will we trousers.

  310. 311
    lonepilgrim on 3 Oct 2013 #

    TOTP 26/10/78
    Tony can now count to 30 as he introduces
    O’Jays over the charts
    Elvis C – I prefer his more throwaway songs like this – where his lyrics become just another part of the noise
    PiL – reader I married them – absolutely wonderful burst of bile
    Jonathan King – no dodgy presenters but JK gets a pass? hideously catchy
    Boomtown Rats – cutprice version of Springsteen and Thin Lizzy – engaging for all that – it goes on a bit tho
    Dollar – DVD has an ethereal voice – refreshing arrangement that doesn’t seem in thrall to Abba – I’d like to see a Dollar/PiL mashup
    Jacksons – more awesomeness – make that a Dollar/PiL/Jacksons mashup
    Dan Hartman – the gals seem to have lost their clothes – I spent what seemed an eternity in a Belgian Pizza restaurant where the management took the Instant Replay idea literally, which has soured this song for me
    Undertones – great song, splitting the difference between Rats and PiL
    JT & ONJ – etc, etc,
    Father Abraham – bl00dy auto tune

    a top episode bar the end credits and JK – at least they provide the necessary contrast

  311. 312
    MarkG on 4 Oct 2013 #

    Hey gang, Tony confidently announces the top thirty! Oh, someone got ahead of me.. la la la not reading it until I’m done..

    OK, here comes Elvis and Radio. Hey, he acknowledges the fact he gets Radio play! Self censors “stupid fools” to “silly men” then mimes a shot in the arm. Life. Ah, severe fade in sound, there’s an edit here clearly.

    Tony dutifully announces Public Image, well the video anyway. Still too dangerous to have him in the studio? (shh. I know). This time around, he will not get treated to a proper tea.

    Jonathan King! He gets to appear! The Nations moral fibre is, whatever. Last time around “It only takes a minute” got cut, which was one of those “Record was OK, performance was dreadful” things. He was in the habit of speeding up his voice in the studio, meaning he had no chance of repeating the performance for real. This time, he can handle the vocal but the record and performace is dull stuff.

    Blimey, it’s new wave night! Bob and the Rats do Rat Trap. Is it a repeat perf? Dunno. The show seems to be done in parts thesedays so when they repeat things there’s no DJ to crash the ending and make it harder.

    Dollar and Shooting Star. Well, it’s just as well Lennon is still alive at this point. The bass player is bigger than Thereze Bazaar and David Van Burgers. Thankfully, the record is pretty damn good.

    Mick can’t make it this week so they got The Jacksons to do his song instead.

    The girls do Dan Hartman and Instant Replay. Well, three of them do. I guess Sue and two others went off on holiday without telling the rest of them. Anyway, back to Dan H. Thanks to his membership of the Edgar Broughton band, his hits were on the “Blue Sky” label, mostly blues rock stuff. Sadly, Dan died before the millennium came, of aids related health issues. Wikipedia notes he did not marry and had no kids.

    Wahay, it’s the Undertones! This is what we want! And the people went out the very next day, charged down to the record shop! And bought the Jonathan King single!

    And now, Tony introduces the dancers for “Summer Night” but he does not know this in 1978.

    And so, we fade out with a ska song played at the wrong speed! And a panel that says “GREASE excerpt courtesy of CIC/Paramount” yeah, thanks for nowt! “Smurfing Isn’t Clever” yeah, you tell them, Fat Ab. I guess it must be big then.

    Plenty new waviness. Everything was pretty good, except for JKing.

  312. 313
    hardtogethits on 4 Oct 2013 #

    And why the change from fools to silly little men?

    Blackburn vs Costello. Unlikely feuds #1 in a series of 1.

    “When Tony Blackburn first played the single on Radio 1 he felt compelled to comment on the lyric. He called Costello a “silly little man” and commented “I wonder what radio would be like in the hands of people like Elvis Costello”.

    When Elvis came to the line [on TOTP] about “such a lot of fools …” he changed it so that he sang “The radio is in the hands of silly little men trying to anaesthetise the way that you feel”. As he did so, he waved an accusing arm towards Blackburn off screen.”

    p23 of Smash Hits Monthly, Vol 1 No 2 (December 1978), EMAP, Peterborough, 1978.

    Back in 1978, Smash Hits reported that Tony “looked a shade put out when he came to introduce the next act. “oh well, we mustn’t take these things personally” he joked weakly”. Unfortunately even in the longer edition on the BBC4 repeats this link has been edited out.

  313. 314
    Lazarus on 5 Oct 2013 #

    Ha, I remember reading that in Smash Hits at the time. By the end of the year I’d transferred my allegiance to Record Mirror though. The whole Top 75!

    Costello was faded out to a performance, in the full show, of Chris Rea, making his TOTP debut with a song that would be a bigger hit for Elkie Brooks. This was followed by ELO danced to by Legs and Co. If Sue, Rosie and Gill did go on holiday it must have been mid-show as all Legs are present and correct here. More likely it was thought that the fast-paced routine to Instant Replay would work better with three dancers.

    The Jonathan King hit was a cover, as many of his were, of a Euro hit by Italian duo La Bionda. Their original reached no 54 in October.

    At least they’re getting Crystal Gayle’s name right now.

  314. 315
    hardtogethits on 5 Oct 2013 #

    And on the subject of Chris Rea’s performance of Fool If You Think It’s Over… at the time of broadcast he was number 30 in the chart. In the chart immediately following TOTP his single had dropped out of the top 40.

    Three and a quarter years (give or take) later, Elkie Brooks’ cover of Fool If You Think It’s Over version was number 30 in the chart when she performed it on TOTP. In the chart immediately following TOTP, her single had dropped out of the top 40.

    Chart historians will know the reasons behind the second instance (Brooks’ single subsequently re-entered the top 40 and peaked at #17), but it’s nonetheless a remarkable coincidence.

    Between the two FIYTIO@#30 performances, 93% of records that were #30 and featured on TOTP either held their position or climbed the chart the following week.

  315. 316
    Jimmy the Swede on 5 Oct 2013 #

    Bannockburn fronts what is to become a cracker.

    O Jays over the rundown.

    Elvis Costello – Radio, Radio. Blimey, this is a promising start, n’est pas? No earthly chance of a place on the waiting bus for this lad! Tip top. And I had no memory of Costello’s “feud” with Tony. Sounds a bit petty on both sides.

    Blackburn the eager punk introduces PiL but not in his studio, thank you very much! Brilliant attitude-rich bile. Take that, Jim Callaghan!

    J King – Obv I’m not the first to point out as to why we get the pleasure of this individual but not Savile or the Cornflake. Don’t you just love Auntie? Infuriatingly catchy singalong, it has to be said.

    Rats – Same clip of a monster record inching its way to the summit.

    Dollar – Never cared for this back in the day. Much better disposed towards it now. It’s pretty pop from a pretty couple. Dollar are Prestatyn lifers now, of course.

    Mick Jackson has turned into Michael Jackson
    The Jacksons
    Terry Jacks
    Brain Jacks
    Jack Johnson
    Jesse Willard
    Jack Dempsey
    Gene Tunney
    Jean Genie
    I dream of Jeannie
    Barbara Eden
    Yes, please!
    I’ll get my coat.

    Dan Hartman – A disco great danced to by half the Gals, who are barely dressed. Very sexy routine but the Eternal Mistress’ absence gives the Swede pain. Where is she? Hang on a minute…where’s F’king Floyd?!

    Undertones – Teenaged Kicks. And a shout-out to dear old Peely. Just fabulous stuff. Magnificent.

    Legs and Numpties
    Bored now.

    Out to Father Abraham – A bizarre end to what has mainly been a tremendous show. During the titles, up pops a thanks to Paramount. Thanks for nothing.

  316. 317
    speedwell54 on 5 Oct 2013 #

    It’s Tony (thirty, thirty, THIRTY) again.

    Elvis- Radio Radio. Enjoyed this a lot and had forgotten about the “Listen, listen, listen” etc backing. Fascinating facts above about the spat. Other than (especially rappers) the live performers in the 2000s name checking the programme, I can’t think of acts changing the lyrics.

    Clunky editing (and now we know why) into Chris Rea. doesn’t he look young. Not my cup of tea. The guy behind in a darts shirt, playing two different instruments looks like a Kemp brother.

    Tony mumbles something about it being dedicated to him “fool” Into ELO -short version with Legs & Co

    Pil -the voice very much dominates this and it sounds like early U2 without it.

    Jonathan KIng – The DG of the BBC apologised to King for editing out “It only takes a minute” from a TOTP repeat on BBC4 a couple of years ago so I guess that’s why it’s on.

    The Rats – never seems to be much praise for this but I do like it, it’s an exciting record.

    Dollar- musically it’s OMD, vocally it’s Paul Nicholas. Oh and she’s wearing ONJ’s trews.

    Jacksons BIOTB twktc

    City Boy – Oh What a Night – kicks off with “I am the walrus” then quickly into ELO then ends up sounding musically gimmicky like it would fit anywhere on “Sheet Music” by 10cc.

    Dan Hartman – timeless

    Teenage Kicks -wow, great stuff, what an instantly brilliant sound, how this only got to 31 I don’t know!

    Grease stuff.yawn.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  317. 318
    Mark G on 17 Oct 2013 #

    Who’s that well spoken chap? Oh, it,s Tony Blair..

    And top 30 to hang on the telephone with.. Lots of new waveyness there, so we open with..

    Um, no idea. Sort of disco-lite, but I thought I was well in to the ‘stuff I remember well’ years. Hmm, their drum says ‘Dandy’ but I guess Mr Livingstone won’t feel the need to get them to do a ‘Smokie’..

    Patrick Juvet, yes I remember his very neon vid. I guess they didn,’t let him in the country.

    Oh, Mike Read (for it is him), a bit of casual sexism into the girls dancing on baby rugs… What do you call those, Baby Doll things? They have colouring in books. This is quite disturbing, actually…

    Bob and the boys do Rat Trap via a repeat performance.

    Darts do a ballad, racking up a fairly varied hit collection. K-tel awaits. Oh, and Den Heg isn’t there and neither is his replacement.. Whoa, speak of.. There he is in interview.. Mike actually coping with some intelligent conversation!

    The Cars get their world’s first picdisc single into the chart! And it’s an OK song so it might do them good. As opposed to Jet Bronx who had the red vinyl single which sold out and the black vinyl version that sold nowt. Who thinks of a gimmick like thissss?

    Xray Spex! Show is now the best one for weeks. Germ-Free Adolescent. It’s punk, but different. Which is how it should be.

    Mike manages to introduce the dancers even though in 1978 he also thought it was the film but he’s not let on..

    (I wonder if Bob and the boys rip up pics of Legs and co, when the time comes?)

    Oh, but Mike has let it slip! Who ‘only got the part because the leather jacket wouldn’t’t fit me’ ? I saw no rather jacket..

    Anyway, accurate to the end, Mike makes up by introducing *Their* version of ‘Blame it on the boogie’.(The Jacksons obv)

    So, what was missed on the extended v?

  318. 319
    Lazarus on 17 Oct 2013 #

    Well well what have we here? Former Fab 208 jock Mike Read gets his first gig on the Pops. Blondie’s new one over the Top 30.

    Dandy – pop-disco, but they’re no AWB, or even Wild Cherry, even if there’s a ‘play that funky music’ line. And the singer’s voice doesn’t suit the material. Nowhere near good enough for Prestatyn, I’m afraid.

    Patrick Juvet – the Swiss chanteur in white dungarees could pass for Robin ‘Confessions’ Askwith at a glance. The title in neon is constantly shoved at us – thankfully I’m not watching in 3D. Like the song actually. I think the Village People producer was behind this?

    ONJ/Legs & Co (minus Rosie) – the girls look lovely in their Pink Lady-style night attire, but the song is a lousy choice for a dance routine, I’m afraid. Not the last we’ll see of them tonight, of course.

    Boomtown Rats – “knocking on the door of number one” indeed, and they – and we – don’t have much longer to wait. Not “at special expense” though Michael, this has been on before.

    Darts – a real change of style, this, and I don’t think I’ve heard it since it was out. Piano-led slowie from which Hegarty is notably absent. Put me in mind of the Housemartins actually.

    Meet’n’greet with Darts’ new singer, Kenny Andrews – remember him? Not me.

    The Cars – a bit of noo wave, this was straight in at number 10, which doesn’t sound much now, but at the time it was one of the highest ever new entries for a new act. I bought this, a year or two later, on black vinyl, but it was of course one of the first picture discs.

    X-Ray Spex – not their debut, they’d been on with ‘Day-Glo’ but their biggest hit. Wonderfully strange, still, and the late Poly Styrene certainly had a unique style.

    Number One – JT and ONJ. Last week, please!

    The Jacksons win the battle of the boogie and play us out. The late show promises numbers by Liquid Gold and Chas and Dave. Might have to catch that too.

  319. 320
    Jimmy the Swede on 18 Oct 2013 #

    Mike Read on debut. No suspect bod, he. Blondie hanging on the chart rundown.

    Dandy – Hands up? No, didn’t think so. All of them (but particularly the lead vocalist) look like the soft boys at my old school who used to stay in class during the breaks in order to escape the benefit of a chalk outline in the playground. During this self-imposed exile they decided to form a band, which they hoped would impress the girls but only made the bullies/killers even angrier. They sing enthusiastically about going to discos with their babies but the fact was they never did this and never would. Contempt and scorn is delivered in plenty when they try to get an overhead clap going and are completely ignored. As Lazarus says, not even Prestatyn would take these no-marks.

    Patrick Juvet – Has Switzerland really sunk to this? A wild grinning nincompoop who dresses like a painter/decorator makes an unsubtle bid for a green card. America is one thing. I wonder what he’s going to make of North Wales.

    ONJ – Swede hopelessly devoted to the Gals, gyrating on separate mini rugs in fluffy night dresses. Lovely smily Rosie is excused but straight away we cop the Eternal Mistress on her back with her endless legs up in the air. Jesus. Thank God we’re still not allowed “Grease”. In fact it’s very much Sue’s gig and she clearly marshalls the others. I can’t imagine what they’re pretending to write in the diaries, though. It wouldn’t be Jimmy Savile’s phone number, I think we can be sure of that. Very Swede-friendly routine, all things considered.

    Rat Trap – Desperate to be rid of them pesky Johns, the Beeb put this on again, hoping it can work up enough steam. It worked. But I can’t remember many records taking this long to get to the top.

    Read, who’s having a reasonable start, chats with some particularly dim-witted girls and then on come Prestatyn season ticket holders, Darts. But two surprises – no Den Hegarty, and a complete change of style as they offer up a dull as dish water churchy ballad, which breaks the sequence of number two’s for the group by peaking way lower. Den Heg’s replacement is then introduced by Mike. He is Kenny Andrews, a bass singer from Ohio who saw the ad in a paper in New York. I remember one Radio One jock being upset by this: “Couldn’t they have found an English singer?”, a baffling thing to say bearing in mind that Den was Irish and Rita hailed initially from Ghana.

    Cars – Live version of Best Friend’s Girl. A firm Swede favourite this. Lovely grub. It promised much when it crashed straight into the top ten but it was destined not to top the charts, more’s the pity.

    X-Ray Spex – Now, this is definitely a bit of me. I never met Poly but she was living in Brixton then and I had been at my recently left school with her brother David. I thought she was wonderful but check out the clueless statues in the audience looking up at her. No longer with us, of course, bless her.

    The last week of Summernights at #1.

    Read takes us out to the Jacksons, clear victors over the boogie.

  320. 321
    Mark G on 19 Oct 2013 #

    annex: The long one..

    Watching that Hopelessly/Legs thing again, was I a little ott? This one they obviously put a lot into with sets, costumes, the dance itself, and clearly (and I’ve not seen this before) they edited a number of different sections together for it.

    Anyway, Liquid Gold.. Now I do remember this group, but they are clearly doing the one before the hit. Something about how whichever way you ‘do it’ it feels good. And that her dad told her that. Call social services!….

    And another debut performance! Why these both got edited out I don’t know, but here’s .. Um… Dave and Chas! Doing a talky blues type novelty thing about how Dave began to play guitar, “Strumming”.. He makes mention about hiring a black drummer and that his drumming was maybe outshining the strumming.. And so we all look at the drummer … Nope.. Actually it’s quite cute really. Not a big hit, and that’s probably why I enjoyed it this one time.. Now if they’d talked about Toast…

    And legs and co do Instant Replay in nix and bras. Well, three of them do, the others couldn’t’t be bothered to change and went to the bar in their babydoll outfits. This actually happened. Oh all right, it didn’t

    Actually, this has definitely been one of the best shows if you wanted one episode to represent TOTP for 1978, a variety of stuff, a bit of punk vs disco, group-wise and a couple of oddities…

  321. 322
    Lazarus on 24 Oct 2013 #

    Return of the Kid – who this week also returned to Smooth after being absent awhile, so maybe we’ll get the Double Top 20 back this Sunday …

    Buzzcocks – seldom played follow-up, Pete in a nice stripey jumper, the drummer in a white tie. Sparky. Makes me want to dig out ‘Going Steady.’

    Elton John – the first single from ‘A Single Man’ (I don’t think Ego was on it) and a rare foray into the Pops studio for Elt, sporting a weird look: bowler, voluminous sideburns, scary eyebrows and possibly eye shadow. I like his backing singers. A woman sits holding her knees to no obvious purpose. The song? Not bad at all.

    Blondie – on video. Performance is on what looks like the ‘Parallel Lines’ set, although the outfits are different. Bit of a new wave anthem. One of the big success stories of ’78, as Kid mentions, and a monster is just around the corner.

    Dean Friedman – what seems like another quick follow-up, though we have missed a show here and there. We’re in sensitive singer-songwriter territory here, though Dean and his moustache are just fine.

    Streetband – well there’s a link between two of the acts on tonight: one Jack Lee wrote both ‘Hanging on the Telephone’ and Paul Young’s ‘Come Back and Stay.’ I doubt if many watching him tonight, scraping that toast, envisaged his return as a soul boy made good.

    Queen – I did wonder if Legs and Co were going to have a stab at ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ but I think there would have been protests. Instead we get the band on VT. Freddie as understated as ever.

    Child – it was all going so well … the curiously named Atack brothers are back with another anodyne ballad. We know where they are now, don’t we, boys and girls?

    And then … it’s one of the Moments of Pops history isn’t it? Photos of JT and ONJ from teen magazines are ritually torn up before the performance of what was up to then the nearest thing we’d had to a Punk Number One – Bob playing that candelabra like a good ‘un. Just a fortnight before they give way to the old order, but it’s been worth the wait. Huzzah!

    Kid gets a ‘no’ to Rod’s question, and that track plays us out. A better than average show, but the Swede will have to catch the late show to get his fix of his favourite dancer.

  322. 323
    Mark G on 25 Oct 2013 #

    The Kid heralds the new wavelength! 247 dies, and 275/285 begins, and Kid’s got a nice new sweatshirt to publicise it! Ah, but FM still belongs to Radio 2, apart from John Peel… Anyway:

    Three degrees go ah, as the top 30 flies by.. High new wave content still. Note, 4=Travolta, 3=Trav/Newton-John, 2=ONJ, that’s quite a block booking yeah?

    Hray, it’s the wonderful BuzzCocks! It’s funny, even though they are clearly young people, they still looked old to us 17 year-olds.. Steve Diggle wrote this, mostly, but he left the words behind and couldn’t’t remember them apart from the chorus. So Pete Shelley finished him off. There you go, informative stuff like it was The Chart Show..

    And here’s a big novelty! Elton John sings “Part Time Love”, but if you look closely just after the TV camera that looks like K9 moves away, you will see Cathy MaGowan of Ready Steady Go fame! On TOTP! Elton looks like a sadistic Paul Nicholas here…

    Kid gives the dullest intro to Blondie, Hanging on the Telephone video performance.. Now Debs was quite ‘old’ by the standards of the day, but funnily enough she never seemed that way to us 17 year-olds.

    Dean F! I shall always associate him with this story:: Imagine Half-man half-biscuit backstage possibly after the gig, having done, amongst other hits, “The bastard son of Dean Friedman”, only to have their roadie guy go “Listen, you are not going to believe who’s come down to see you!” .. (yes).. Anyway, this song is nice enough, and Dean looks extraordinarily happy to be here.

    God, I’m typing loads here and we’ve only had 10 mins of the show..

    Streetband! Yes, it’s Paul Young, wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too early. A big novelty hit for a band that otherwise did polite pub-pop, which means we shall never see them do owt else. Anyway, they do the performance with a lack of guile, and … Hmm, does Paul Young react or flinch thesesday’s if you ask him if he likes TOAST!

    Kid gurns!

    Queen get in before the ban.. Well, I think radio liked Bicycle Race more, but here are Fat Bottomed Girls, well the song anyway. A double a side where each a-side has a little reference to the other one. Dandelion/We Love You did something like it..

    Things have really taken off for Child, fibs Kid. Song is like something Gary Barlow would reject.. Is this where they get to do their own written song? Did it chart? Do I care? No.

    And now, the first sighting of John and Olivia at number one as opposed to the legs dancers.. Oh, but they have got crumpled and it’s the BoomTown Rats with the first (recognised) New Wave Number One. Bob gets round a Musicians Union ruling by miming playing a candelabra.

    And Kid gets to do the first rendition of the “Do you think I’m Sexy? NOO!” joke. For another one, track down the Hybrid Kids rendition, you will love it trust me..

    So what got the works this week for the edited version? And what will JSwede write about oh noh? Maybe they’d all gone on holiday this week.

  323. 324
    jeff w on 25 Oct 2013 #

    We could get used to you typing loads, Mark :)

  324. 325
    Lazarus on 25 Oct 2013 #

    Just watching it again, having recorded the long version. Enjoyed everything about that Elton song, especially the enthusiastic frugging from the audience. Backing singers: spotted Jeff Lynne and Ringo easily enough, not sure about the blonde inbetween, any suggestions?

    And that was Cathy McGowan? Good spot there.

    First extra: Showads, repeat. Second: Elvis, repeat.

    Third extra: Heatwave. ‘Always and Forever’ was put out with a remix of ‘Mind Blowing Decisions’ on the flip. This was one of a clutch of 45s that I got for my sister for Xmas for Xmas ’78, and ‘Always’ was one of the late Mrs Laz’s favourite songs, so, if not quite ‘our song’, still v significant for me.

    We’re onto Dean Friedman now, y’know, I don’t think there are going to be any Legs tonight. They all had the week off?!

  325. 326
    Jimmy the Swede on 26 Oct 2013 #

    Yes, I can indeed confirm that the Gals piled into a minibus and were driven up to a unnamed holiday resort on the Irish Sea coast to provide entertainment to those (ahem) “staying” there. Their assignment lasted just a week before they came back. Alas, the members of Child, who travelled with them on the same bus, did not return and are still there to this day.

  326. 327
    Mark G on 26 Oct 2013 #

    What a way to go…

  327. 328
    speedwell54 on 27 Oct 2013 #

    “and a good welcome” what are you talking about Kid?

    If we are playing look-a-likey, the second guitarist in Buzzcocks is Alex Zane and a very half-hearted backing vocalist as well.

    Elton – kind of bizarre ensemble performance with the rent-a-crowd looking and behaving oddly. Song is fine.

    Elvis -listen listen listen. Bruce Thomas looks like Neil Hannon.

    Showaddywaddy – still going, but possibly not on this show again too often.

    Heatwave not my cup of tea – went to the same outfitters as the Waddies.ffwd.

    Blondie – with the reasonably faithful Nerves cover they sound and look amazing. This should have been number 1. There was a right load of nonsense around it at one stage, Barron Knights, Boney M, Rod, Barbra and Neil, Sarah Brightman, and disco stuff that a ten year me couldn’t understand or abide. All worked out in the end though. Don’t want to write too much else Mark’ll think I’m copying, but it was all or nothing for them in the US. Four Number ones, no other top 20 hits. Chart show is over.

    Dean Friedman – I have showed some affection for this album in the past. A vulnerable love song. Lydia is such a nice name. So good he sang it twice in fact. Kid likes it too, but as we’ll see soon he’s not to be trusted. Look out for the muppet doing bunny ears right at the end .. how we laughed.

    Streetband – does well to get all the words out. Ronnie Barkeresque. Sounds a bit Bonzo Dog Band towards the end.

    Queen- a true double ‘A’ again from them. The parent album Jazz has a lot of great tracks, if a little hard to listen to all the way through.

    Brian Tilsley, er I mean Child- Well you got that wrong didn’t you Kid! They died a death.

    The Rats – what is Bob wearing this time! The poster tearing was a water cooler moment before it was even invented.

    Outtro is Rod and this would have made an ok instrumental me thinks. Off to watch Blondie again…..

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  328. 329
    Mark G on 28 Oct 2013 #

    #325, obviously it wasn’t really Jeff Lynne and Ringo there, but who were they really? Lookalikeys? And who was the middle one meant to be, Polly Brown? Jury’s out..

    Ah, jury’s back in again: Close, but a mile off.. Most likely Vicki Brown, Joe Brown’s missus, mum of Sam, and a prolific session singer. See also: “No Charge” JJ Barrie. Actually, don’t it’s a very long page. Basically, she’s the ‘mum’ singing in-back on the last half of the song.

  329. 330
    Lazarus on 28 Oct 2013 #

    The penny’s dropped … Elton was a promo video, he wasn’t in the studio – ‘twould explain why the audience was far more animated than usual.

  330. 331
    Mark G on 28 Oct 2013 #

    That’s right. I remember the full version, which is why I remembered Cathy, she did the introduction.

  331. 332
    Erithian on 28 Oct 2013 #

    Is it just me or had Elton borrowed his look from A Clockwork Orange?

  332. 333
    Lazarus on 1 Nov 2013 #

    OK, well I’m watching the long one now. Mike Read, in a Radio 1 bomber jacket (?) did well enough to get a second show, Musique over the chart. Showaddywaddy still at number 5? Really?

    Racey – second appearance for them and the singer has got shot of that that unwise beard. Like the record at the end of the show, I thought this was a Christmas hit, but maybe it just hung around for a while. Good catchy number from the Chinn and Chapman stable, one of their last … but who’s the dancer? She looks familiar …

    Olivia Newton-John – repeat with the Legs. Introduced as “someone who can lay her love on me any time.” Oh dear. Well at least ONJ was a grown woman. Now if he’d said that about Rachel Sweet …

    Dollar – possibly a repeat. New Pop starts here. Or maybe not.

    Sylvester/Legs – largely forgotten follow-up – I don’t recall this getting a single play on daytime Radio 1 or Capital but it seemed to linger in the chart for ages, yoyo-ing around the 20s and 30s. Routine is OK, but a bit ‘Disco Duck’ in places.

    Elkie – I think of this now the same way I do the Crystal Gayle song that was on a couple of weeks ago. Wouldn’t have liked it much then, think it’s rather lovely now. Not quite ‘Lilac Wine’ but then what is?

    Rod – “jumping 10 places to number 4” indeed, seems surprising that this was left off the earlier show. Performance video. You know the song.

    ELP – I vaguely remember this from the first time on TOTP, but I thought this was an outdoor performance? Maybe I’ve seen the video somewhere. I’ll be honest, the only songs I know by this lot are ‘Fanfare’ and ‘Lucky Man’ and now this one. The ‘Love Beach’ LP has a one sentence review on the excellent allmusic.com, which I’ll let you see for yourself.

    Sarah Brightman/Hot Gossip – seen this a few times over the years. They were riding a bit of a wave I suppose – we’d had Star Wars, Close Encounters, Dee D Jackson and now this. Harmless fun.

    X-Ray Spex – repeat, but good to know that they were on again. Brief taste of glory.

    David Essex – don’t remember this at all. Maybe Radio 2 played it. I doubt if anyone else did.

    Boomtown Rats – number one, and it feels like it’s been around for ages now, which of course it has.

    Chic play us out. OK show.

  333. 334
    Mark G on 2 Nov 2013 #

    “40 minutes of music action” says Mike Read, OK it’s the long one so fine. “Push push in the bush” sing Mystique, in a frantic way, running down the chart..

    Racey are back, and have ditched the srs style for a fairground sound and a funny dance. Well it worked for the Shadows. Actually it sort of reminds me of Amen Corner, they had a serious hit with “Gin House”, and the rest were very poppy. And there is Sue doing some leapfrog. What, she does requests?

    Sue does a quick change for the Olivia song. Ok it’s a repeat..

    Mike introduces a new single from Dollar. It sounds exactly like the last one. Oh, he downs’t know it’s a repeat performance. Can’t he tell they are not in the studio? Its as if he recorded his intros separately!

    And here is Legs again. They’re gonna be knackered! And they’re in a sauna, it looks like. Jimmy! I fear for him.. Dance (Disco heat), there is one minute of song and the longest fade ever. It’s like Hey Jude in a way. Good routine though..

    Elkie Brooks does a ballad, always confused me.. Baby cried the circus came to town, and yet “We don’t cry out loud” so what’s the song really about? Anyway, next stop is the Two Pennies.. RONNIES man, damn spelling corrector.

    Rod does the bid that Kenny Ev would mimic with the expanding trousers. Jorge Ben is on the phone…

    Oh, I remember this one, ELP deign to appear to publicise that album that looked like a BeeGees one, “Love Beach” which is where us new wavers would ask the prog fans “that? Really?” and they would go “what do you mean? We always bin Clash fans…”

    Sarah Brightman gets what Andrew L tried to give her, but it took him a lot of goes, whereas she makes it herself on first go. A big hit single obv. It’s in the same vein as DeeDee Jackson, hut this time there are two people involved..

    SHE DOES NOT SING XR WAY oh wait she did that time. I played this last time a couple times and would have sworn.,

    David Essex has a “great new single” so how come can I not remember this at all? Because it’s damn forgettable. Then again, that might be a great idea for a single. Do a song that people remember that they like but can’t recall. Well it didn’t work ..

    Magazines get torn again, the rats repeat the performance that will get recalled up for many episodes of TOTP2 in many years time.. Hmm, the subtitles have the fade singing “Rat trap, Judy caught in a rat trap”, really?

    And fade to Chic and Le Freak..

    So, let’s count the great non-repeat performances on this weeks show.. Uhhhh I think Racey came out top! That’s how dull this one was!

  334. 335
    speedwell54 on 2 Nov 2013 #

    Mike Read Mike Read, 275 and 285, and this week, here as well.

    ‘Showaddywaddy are dead, long live Racey’ If you didn’t think they were stealing their act with this, “Runaround Sue” left no one in any doubt. As mentioned, this was from the pen of the first C+C music factory. There are a few things not to like -pastel colours, short sleeves, side partings, but that’s just me. The record is likeable. The sound of the crowd is not the TOPT audience, but on the recording and I wonder if people were subliminally sucked into the ‘party on vinyl’ feeling; buying a song and a bit of atmosphere. We all love a party with a happy atmosphere. Change your style completely, shave your beard and I’ll get you Sue. No brainer!

    Oliva NJ – well Legs anyway.

    Dollar – repeat

    Sylvester- Legs again. Not really much to this song. “Two in at the same time” says Mike referring to the charts, Sylvester and YMMFMR. With that and “she can lay her love on me anytime ‘ he’s stepping into Fast Show territory.

    Elkie Brooks – I’ll go and brush my teeth now. Not my cup of tea. Goes on a bit.

    Rod -cut to video. In his autobiography he says the bum wiggling was down to having to turn away from the audience as he didn’t know the words in this mimed performance. Also he talks of getting tired in stating the song is really in the third person and he is telling a story. It’s not me. Twktc.

    ELP – not really in their comfort zone are they? Didn’t know this.

    Hot Gossip – Will this make Legs and Co up their game? Certainly a top episode for some people with this and Legs.

    X-Ray Spex – Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners here we come. This must be a bit of a Cherry Cola thing. The subtitles go with SR. and Listerine rather than Glisterine.

    David Essex – forgettable. Was he still getting over Brave New World? Again with the duff predictions from Mike.

    Rats – repeat.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  335. 336
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Nov 2013 #

    This is the show which nearly saw the Swede carried off…

    Mike Read = Harry Gibbs.

    Mystique over the rundown singing a song about a bush. Odd.

    Racey. Cheesy little pop song from a cheesy little group. But just a minute, what’s this? MY GOD, NO!!! But yes, it’s the Eternal Mistress racing on and grabbing one of the Racey boys! He spins around and the pair start a little dance routine together. At one point Her Mucky Majesty actually lifts the Racey boy up in her arms. He’s one hell of a lucky dwarf. The Swede’s eyes bulge in horror. It finishes with Sue sitting on his piano smiling sweetly at him as the Swede’s boat goes puce. The only comfort is to know that these numpties from Weston Super-Mare have long since swopped their home on the Somerset coast for another resort many miles further north. Steal my bird now, you pint-sized little no-mark!

    ONJ – The Gals with Mucky Sue back in her proper place for this repeat routine. The one with them on their backs on those wee mats. The colour returns to the Swede’s cheeks as his breathing becomes normal. Read advises us that the lovely Olivia will be “visiting our shores shortly”. OUR shores? She was born here, you nincompoop!

    Sylvester – The Gal-feast goes on with this follow up I couldn’t remember. The routine is more than a little mouth-watering and Mark G is right to fear for the Swede as he begins to sweat and then growl like Sid James on “Carry on Cleo”. They are barely dressed in tattered purple dresses and Rosie is back and looking beautiful. Usual solo from the Eternal Mistress just to show who’s boss. The Swede needs badly to calm down now.

    Ah, Elkie Brooks to the rescue, taking the tempo right down with a piece of class. It’s certainly up my street if not others. She’s looking delightful with a song and delivery to match. Wonderful.

    ELP – Dangerously close to the minibus with a right stinker. It sank quite rightly.

    Sarah losing her wotsit to a draught excluder. Hot cheese, the little blonde in particular. A shameless exploitation of the films of the day. Not surprisingly, the blokes get in the way of the routine but the Swede is back on the critical list again. He is saved by…

    David Essex warbling about his first love. There are several reasons why this was thoroughly awful. First up, David is completely out of tune. Mirrored with this is that he seems to totally lose interest half way through, giving the impression that he’s making the song up as he’s going along. One moment of comedy sees a dorky lad standing to the side swaying gently to the track. He looks like he’d be a wow with a Rubik’s cube. David turns and smiles at him. It’s a dreadful record. Read thinks it will be a smash. It clearly will not.

    Rats at number one. As we were.

    Out to Chic. Le Freak. Good stuff. Gals aplenty this time. No complaints from a close to eternity Swede.

  336. 337
    Mark G on 3 Nov 2013 #

    The Essex song seemed wrong for a number of reasons: Too complex and singer too old and beardie to be singing to a first love..

  337. 338
    hardtogethits on 4 Nov 2013 #

    I’m way off the pace here but I thought I better say how much I continue to enjoy the reviews. And no I am not a spambot. Which is what Dee D Jackson would be singing if she were still making records.

    Anyway, Speedwell, those 2 Blondie facts knocked me out. Firstly, HOTT is a cover version? Jawdropping. I never thought any member of Blondie wrote it, but was staggered to learn someone else had recorded it first. Well worth Youtubing the original (and yes I agree, verbing weirds language and especially when someone gerunds). FWIW, I had a similar feeling (to hearing HOTT by the Nerves) when I found out about the origins of Dubstar’s “Not So Manic Now”. Equally youtubeable. Recommended.

    And the 4-US-#1s-no-other-Top-20-hits is pretty freaky too – makes me wonder how that’s never been talked about before. I used to mention quite a lot about Georgie Fame’s UK chart history – similar stuff. I was surprised how much interest most people feigned. Soon the dinner party invitations dried up. Anyway (again) if Georgie’s records made the Top 10, which 3 did, they made number 1. But that was only 3 times, and Top 10 not Top 20. And prior to the “common chart era.” But I wonder if there are other examples of this vague ‘all or nothing’ phenomenon out there?

  338. 339
    Lazarus on 15 Nov 2013 #

    Even 24 hours later, seems I’m first in … Peter P is your host.

    Village People over the chart. I think of this as one of the sounds of ’79, I hadn’t realised it was charting in November.

    Rezillos – barely remembered follow-up. Fay Fife in a Fred Flintstone coat. Obvious similarity to the B52s, who did the Flintstones theme of course.

    Boney M – they look nice and snug in those outfits. Do we want to be hearing Xmas songs on Nov 14 though?

    Chic/Legs and Co – some decent lighting for a change, and outfits sufficiently figure-hugging to keep a Swede interested. Sue upfront for much of the time, rightly so.

    Heatwave – a classic end-of-night smoocher, a personal fave though I guess it might be a bit dull to some ears. Temperton hit paydirt a couple of years later and bought his mates out of their lifetime Prestatyn contract, good lad.

    Leo – again in tasteful knitwear. An old Buddy Holly song. This is a live vocal I reckon, there are ad-libs and touches I don’t remember from the 45.

    Peter at a drumkit for no obvious reason introduces …

    Barron Knights – a bit of corpsing on the first number, I still quite enjoy this to be honest. We don’t get the last part, the Brian & Michael send-up.

    Darts – this time with the new singer. Understated, but pleasant enough.

    Mankind – who remembers this? I scour the band looking for a familiar face, and find none. The keyboard player is borrowing the look of Tom Baker, who was the Doctor at the time. There’s a bit of a disco vibe to it. The audience seem to be enjoying it. Harmless novelty.

    Rod – new number one, repeat showing of vid.

    Bee Gees play us out. Hard to identify a highlight really, Chic perhaps.

  339. 340
    Mark G on 16 Nov 2013 #

    One of the weakest shows so far, The Rezillos were mmm passable, but most of their other songs were better than this one, steam is being lost and the musicians will split for more appreciation and much less actual sales. The z will also leave, but it’s OK because they recruit v.

    That’s about it, really. sorry readers, tune in next week, this weeks highlight, m, Sue I guess..

  340. 341
    lonepilgrim on 16 Nov 2013 #

    Peter Powell pipes perkily
    Village People over the charts – anthemic
    Rezillos – more and more like a rag week skit
    Boney M – next week on Blue Peter we’ll be showing you how to make those outfits
    Elton John – looking pasty, sounding mediocre
    Chic – fluid dynamics – from tha gals and music – Bernard Edwards bass line a thing of beauty
    Heatwave – close your eyes, and it’s not a bad tune
    Buzzcocks – not their best – still good
    Leo Sayer – never trust a singer sitting down
    Blondie – glorious mix of sugar and grit
    Barron Knights – hideous smug gits
    Darts – Let it Be vibe – pleasant
    Mankind – faceless musos bash out disco version of Who theme – why?
    Rod Stewart – ripping off Jorge Ben – always liked that synth riff
    Bee Gees – over the end credits

  341. 342
    Mark G on 16 Nov 2013 #

    hang on, they edited Blondie *and* Buzzcocks out?

    hmmm. Will seek out and be back!

  342. 343
    Jimmy the Swede on 16 Nov 2013 #

    It’s uber safe Pete. And why wouldn’t it be?

    Rundown to those regular guys down at the YMCA. They’re at #25. I’m guessing these rough-looking red-bloodied he-men will go higher. Like-minded fellows tend to know these things. Er…

    Rezillos – Flat on its face new wave effort. It sounds more like a show tune to me than a threat to Sunny Jim’s perfectly functioning Britain. Destination Venus? Naw! Destination Prestatyn, I’m afraid.

    Boney M – Replicating Harry Belefonte’s delightful chart-topper from 21 years earlier and giving us the bonus of a segue into “Oh My Lord”. Perfectly pleasant to those of us who profess faith however lightly. Perhaps annoying and even mildly offensive to those of you who do not. I do agree that it’s a tad early to be faced with this, though.

    Chic – Le Freak. And the first thing we see is Mucky Sue’s perfectly formed botty spinning around. They’re all (well, five of them) in skin-tight outfits and they’re seriously on fire with plenty of thrusts and high kicks. The Eternal Mistress takes centre stage again and bosses it, as she should. Great disco track, obv. Swede approves.

    Heatwave – Always and Forever. Grim lisping soul ballad written by Rod Temperton who is nowhere to be seen. He was well out of it by this time. The Skegness groover was to go onto greater things. And as Lazurus noted, Heatwave were given conditional discharges from you know where.

    Lil’ Leo – It’s raining in his heart. Too bad. He’s also sitting down as if he’s not short enough already. It’s sugary rubbish from the day the music died bloke. This version failed to hit the top twenty but Leo would alas return before the minibus claimed him for good. They let him do bingo on Tuesday nights these days, so I’m led to believe.

    Barron Knights – A long-established novelty act popping up to chart again. If this is not of its time, nothing is. It is end of the pier low-grade shite. And I know exactly which pier. Be seeing you!

    Darts – Perennial Prestatyn fugitives with new foreign guy. I too heard “Let It Be” in this but for me that’s the only merit it has in it and it barely hit the top twenty. They had one last top-tenner before Rover finally kept them locked up for good not before time. Kenny Andrews is now in charge of ballroom dancing up there. Rita had once been the voice advising campers that “there’s a baby crying in chalet 563”. This before it suddenly dawned on people that it probably wasn’t a wise idea to leave a wee brat on it’s jack in dark, unfamiliar insecure surroundings whilst the parents went out and got themselves wasted. She does donkey derby now.

    Mankind – Only real Doctor Who fans would have remembered this, a fact confirmed when a buddy of mine, an inveterate Who disciple three years younger, said that he did. Fitting perhaps for the show’s 50th anniversary in a few days time. Nothing much for the rest of us. A flying TARDIS and then shots of dancing kids, the camera closing in on one young pretty about the Swede’s age back in the day.

    Number one time and for one week only it’s Rod with a leading question. It’s just so typical. A ravashing honey blonde, this one sipping on a red straw and the Anglo/Scottish dwarf duly pulls. The defining part of this song is obviously not the absurd lyric but the memorable riff which Rod has since admitted pinching off some street geezer in Brazil, I think it was. I bet the Brazilian lad was never out of milk and coffee, though.

    Out to the Brothers Gibb and too much heaven. Too much Bee Gees say I. Lowish profile for Pete for once. I always liked him.

  343. 344
    swanstep on 16 Nov 2013 #

    Hang on, so Stewart stole not only the bones of the chorus from Jorge Ben but also the synth riff from some other unnamed Brazilian guy? Any links/sources for that? (I only really loved the riff after N-trance got their sticky fingers on it, but still…)

  344. 345
    Jimmy the Swede on 16 Nov 2013 #

    # 344- Clearly “Jorge Ben” is that man. But then what do I know?

  345. 346
    Mark G on 17 Nov 2013 #

    Ok, tracked down the long version, so here goes..

    It’s a better show for the missing bits, but all of them were from 2 weeks ago, where I’d commented at length upthread already.

    Except that now the Barron Knights song has the missing “Matchstalk men” section back in. The performance is woeful in the main, but at least the extra bit could actually be “Different lyrics” as opposed to a take-off.

    Oh yeah, Mankind.. I do remember this tastefully discofied Dr Who theme.. Was this around the time Tom Baker started? And is that Ed Welch on keyboards? He was a mate of Spike Milligan’s, and last time I saw his name was when the kids wanted to watch 2 episodes of The Hoobs every morning.. “Hoh, we’re off to see the tiddleypeeps, Down the road we go….

    (edit: It’s not Ed, its Don Gallagher. I looked it up, and the funny thing is, it’s just been remixed and rereleased for the Dr Who 50th anniversary, along with a deluxe boxset LP/CD/book etc of all their tracks and the story of how it was made..)

    Ahem.. Anyway, I guess the main reason for making this was probably that someone noticed it had never actually been a chart hit yet. I dimly recall Jon Pertwee having a single out on Deep Purple’s label of the theme song, but I never heard it..

    Anyway, I’ve been catching up on my ‘saving all the punk/new wave to DVD’ job, resorting to YouTube for all the savDLT blacklisted shows. So far the only one I can’t find is Plastic Bert’s “Sha la la la la lee” but I’ll live..

    Anyway, hoping the next show will pick up..

  346. 347
    Jimmy the Swede on 17 Nov 2013 #

    # 346 – I too remember the Jon Pertwee record, Mark, but only now you mentioned it. And I did in fact hear it. It involved Ron Grainer’s theme in the background with Pertwee as the Doctor just rabbiting over it. I wonder if Ron nicked the tune off this Jorge Ben fella?


  347. 348
    Lazarus on 22 Nov 2013 #

    Second week running the Pops has been on, and yet we seem to have missed a week – for one thing some of the acts were on last time, and there’s been a lot of movement in the chart – Cars down to 24, Village People up to number 2! I can only assume they were there for a while ‘cos we know who will be on top in Xmas week.

    Rocky Sharpe & the Replays – “originally done in 1959 by another artist” Tony Blackburn (for it is he) informs us helpfully. It was the Edsels, in fact. Poor man’s Darts really, but fine for a starter. I remember the sunglasses gag, funnily.

    Hot Chocolate – dignified, stately, very different from their usual fare. Neglected by radio over the years but I think this is rather lovely.

    Buzzcocks, Elkie – repeats. The iPlayer shows the long show, which generally just means more repeats. The Buzzcocks were from Manchester, the Elkie song was a US hit for Melissa Manchester!

    Mankind – not sure if this is the same clip as before. Who’s going to be watching tomorrow then?

    Darts – another repeat. Barron Knights, won Tony’s ‘pop panel’ apparently. Perhaps the young people really were into this sort of thing back then. Or more likely, his listeners were.

    Ian Dury – the sound of the future, this week at number 30. Performance video. Hasn’t really dated, has it.

    Barbra & Neil/Legs – the road to Dullsville. The gals waft around prettily in white frocks, Patti starting and finishing with a solo turn and looking suitably sad, but really they should have let them loose on ‘September.’

    Chic – on VT this time. Still doing the rounds, although I imagine that’s Nile Rodgers plus hired hands.

    Elton – a quick follow-up, one of two he has in the 30 this week. I always used to think he sings “life isn’t everything” at the end – Wiki reckons it’s “life is a temporary thing” which doesn’t really scan. Incidentally, anyone remember Frank Mills and ‘Music Box Dancer?’ Another piano instrumental and a US hit at around this time.

    “What do you know, they’re still there” says Tone, announcing Boney M – we have missed a week then. Perhaps this is a December show? Repeat showing anyway.

    Mixed bag – Hot Choc and Ian Dury the highlights for me.

  348. 349
    punctum on 22 Nov 2013 #

    The omitted episode was 7 December 1978, omitted because of its jewellery-rattling presenter.

  349. 350
    Lazarus on 22 Nov 2013 #

    Ah. Well they often do that, and with the shows presented by the Hairy Cornflake as well, but in those weeks there’s no transmission – we get ‘The Sky at Night’ instead. It’s interesting that we’re up to mid-December now, for a long time they seemed to want to keep it to the corresponding week from 35 years ago, but I suppose the number of programmes that couldn’t be shown has thrown that out. We should though, thankfully, be very close to the end of Savile’s tenure now.

  350. 351
    Jimmy the Swede on 23 Nov 2013 #

    Bannockburn smiling cheesily as only he can. Plenty of deja vu tonight. EWF over titles.

    Rocky Sharpe and the Replays – Oh God, the Waddy are practically gone now so along come this lot. Darts Lite. I’d completely forgotten about the girl in the group. She’s very nice. She looks like she’s enjoying herself like a young housewife appearing on Jim’ll Fix It. Ah, now wait… Anyway, Prestatyn.

    The Chocs – Up pops Zeberdee to give us a wonderful song offering hope to the guy on the ledge with the help of a string ensemble, a gospel choir and a score worthy of Brahams. It’s fabulous and should have been number one all day long but didn’t even make the top ten. It’s a wonder Errol didn’t top himself.

    Buzzcocks – Again. I’m not complaining.

    Elkie B – Also again. Class.

    Mankind – Also also again. Doctor Who day. I can take it or leave it but a mate of mine will be in A&E tonight having it stitched back on. As for Mankind, they’re all looking far too smug. Minibus.

    Barbra and Neil – Sans les fleurs. Gals. Tasteful ballet performance topped and tailed by Patti this time with a pained expression. I’m not sure the Eternal Mistress could have done it any better. She doesn’t really do sad, Sue. It’s a good professional routine to a pleasant ballad. Buns all round.

    Chic – Le Freak. Stateside studio footage. Disco heaven. It’s missing something, of course. Les Gals!

    Elton serenades the dead dispatch rider. Reg does his best “Bobby Charlton – feel his pain” look to camera (sorry, Erithian!) and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s a nice piece. But nice isn’t everything.

    Boney M – Take it or leave it.

    Out to Heatwave. Lots of repeats tonight. It appears Ian Dury was on the longer show. That would have made all the difference. Sublime.

  351. 352
    hardtogethits on 23 Nov 2013 #

    #351 The “girl in the group” of course went by the fabulous stage name of Helen Highwater.

  352. 353
    Steve Williams on 25 Nov 2013 #

    #350 Loads of Savile episodes left, unfortunately, he does eight next year and doesn’t leave the line-up until 1984 (though he becomes a bit less frequent in the early eighties). We lose Edmonds and Blackburn first, Noel’s off after Christmas and Tony has one more show in 1979.

    This is the last regular episode we’ll see this year as we’ve now run out. 21st December was cancelled due to a strike so all that’s left is Christmas Day which we’ll get in due course no doubt. The 1977 compilation again this week.

    They don’t always cover the missing weeks with The Sky At Night, that’s always on the Thursday after the first Sunday of the month, so sometimes it matches the Savile and Travis episodes but that’s only via luck, usually we just plough on.

    We are getting 1979, apparently, and if things stay as they are we lose eight Savile episodes and ten Travis episodes, plus a week in August because of a strike.

  353. 354
    Jimmy the Swede on 26 Nov 2013 #

    I bet the Cornflake is well pleased to be “teamed-up” with the tracksuited guy with the cigar. If he’s found not guilty, will we get to see the shows?

    Now then, now then!..

  354. 355
    punctum on 26 Nov 2013 #

    Wonder who’s doing the other ones, if not Edmonds or Blackburn. Jensen, Powell, Read…and Simon Bates? Or possibly “Hello it’s Me Andy Peebles on the Me Andy Peebles Show with Me Andy Peebles.”

  355. 356
    Mark G on 26 Nov 2013 #

    Ah, Popscene 1979 bears out what you say. I was going to say “Peebles, yet?” but as it says:

    “11-10-79: Presenter: Andy Peebles
    Andy Peebles makes his TOTP debut. He wouldn’t be seen again until Christmas 1981!”

  356. 357
    Steve Williams on 27 Nov 2013 #

    Yeah, loads of Jensen, Powell and Read, plus one each from Blackburn, Burnett, Peebles and Bates.

  357. 358
    Mark G on 31 Dec 2013 #

    Christmas 1978, and Noel never leaves the office. And he’s never seen on TOTP again!

    The spots are clearly filmed over some time as and when the artists were available, I guess.

    Actually, no I’m not doing the full show, just wanted to note that Darts do “Boy from New York City” but not with Den Hegarty as he’d gone by then, but they clearly re-recorded the intro with Ken instead( the rest seems to be the same version as previous)

    Bro of Man get one last appearance..

    No audience, btw. No atmosphere at all. Must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but I guess they went back to the Christmas party theme for 1979 onwards..

    Anyway, when do we dig up the 1979 thread?

  358. 359
    Billy Hicks on 1 Jan 2014 #

    Wasn’t it the case that there was a major BBC strike around Christmas 1978, hence the show just basically being made up of old clips linked by Noel in the studio? Not quite as major as the one that would grip ITV the following summer though.

  359. 360
    Mark G on 2 Jan 2014 #

    No, as I say wrt Darts, they weren’t old clips. But it’s quite possible the strike was a factor

  360. 361
    Mark G on 30 Jan 2017 #

    When you are in a doctors (or hospital) waiting room, or on a long train journey and the WiFi is somewhat intermittent, download a full page and read at leisure. Passes the time. Yours, Oscar Wilde.

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