Oct 08

Popular ’79

FT + Popular/325 comments • 10,476 views

’79 ends up as one of the best years, according to my marks anyhow – but which of its tracks would you have handed six or higher to? Pick as many as you want, then discuss the year in the comments boxes if you like.

Which of these Number One hits of 1979 would you have given 6 or more to?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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My highest marks were 9s for Buggles, Dury, Blondie – lowest 2s for Lena M and the Rats.


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  1. 276
    Jimmy the Swede on 8 Nov 2014 #

    Lazarus @ 275 – Sally James first crossed my radar when she presented “Saturday Scene” on London Weekend Television. I remember Paul Gadd being a regular guest. She was utterly drinkable by the time she popped up on “Tiswas”, which itself was confined to the Midlands before it went national.

    Thanks for the info on the devil children. I had no idea that “Brian” was responsible but am not at all surprised. He had already become a poor sad puppet by then. Roland Walter Dutton comes to mind.

  2. 277
    speedwell54 on 8 Nov 2014 #

    Mike ‘factman’ Read

    Sparks – “Fast heading towards the charts” declares Read. How wrong he was. Whatever you do, don’t let him host Singled Out. They never headed towards the chart again -fast or otherwise; well top 30 anyway.

    Ramblers – that swaying is making me feel a bit sick. Rather like St Winifred’s School Choir, I wonder why they chose that particular lead singer. No offence mind.

    Darts – another band suddenly missing the top 40 when the previous 7 or 8 singles had done. Quite like this apart from the bit when the two blokes have a go on vocals.

    Jam – Eton Rifles – twktc. Rick Butler in his stripped blazer and straw boater looks like he’s turned up for his audition for the Style Council!

    Lena – Mark G @268 is this the sex/tree/fall incident song? Just getting a bit weird.

    EWaF – Legs and Co appropriately looking like futuristic flight attendants.

    Thin Lizzy – Sarah – Nice song, nice name. I like Hall and Oates “Sara Smile” pronounced “Sarah” very much too.

    Suzi Q – some facts from MIke and she launches into “She’s In Love With You’ with some gusto. Said it before but that strap is far too long. -Another bass playing lead.

    BA Robertson-a violin playing lead!

    Lena -yawn again, go away.

    Mike Read can be seen signing autographs in the kaleidoscope effect thingy whilst Tusk plays over the credits.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

    Btw ‘Rubbish Dooleys’ should be a tribute act.
    Q – Is there an opposite to Prestatyn?

  3. 278
    Mark G on 8 Nov 2014 #

    Dear Speedwell, go back three.

  4. 279
    enitharmon on 9 Nov 2014 #

    @277: Barry Island?

  5. 280
    Jimmy the Swede on 10 Nov 2014 #

    Hall and Oates also did “Las Vegas Turnaround”, which was about a hostie called Sara (the same girl, I think) who flew return trips between LA and Vegas. I think she was the girlfriend of Hall at the time. Very nice track indeed but then those two barely got it wrong.

  6. 281
    glue_factory on 12 Nov 2014 #

    I imagine this may be of interest to some of those who regularly watch the TotP repeats; an archive of lots of old Radio 1 shows – http://www.mixcloud.com/colt4444/

    Currently listening to Simon Bates, down a Yorkshire mine in 1979. Rather oddly, John Peel turns up halfway through, just cos he fancied seeing what it was like down a mine.

  7. 282
    Lazarus on 20 Nov 2014 #

    After what I imagine was a Yewtreed week hosted by one of the unmentionables, we’re back on. Resident Hoser Jensen is our host.

    The Jam – no guardsmen this time, I can imagine Weller would have thought that a bit gimmicky. Rick Buckler down at the front, 60s style, though drumming in a suit and tie isn’t ideal I’d have thought. “Guilty schoolboy” and then “naughty schoolboy” – funny, never noticed the lyric change before. Anyway, it’s the big league for them from now on.

    Cliff – a vision in chocolate and beige, could he be any more seventies? Virtually forgotten follow-up which I don’t think even made the Top 40. I hear a trace of Springsteen in this though, it’s not bad at all.

    Jensen mumbling his intros a bit – didn’t catch much of that … anyway it’s Legs & Co doing a routine to ‘No More Tears (Enough is Enough). One of my favourite hits of the year and an inspired pairing. Number One in the US unsurprisingly – what a pity there was no video.

    Moody Blues – are they in the studio? Sounds like a live vocal. And what was this doing out again? It had already been re-issued once. I look to Guinness, and see there was a K-Tel album out, ‘Out of this World’ – a greatest hits set presumably. Still sounds good, but somewhat out of place here.

    Kool & the Gang – their first time on the show I presume (although on VT – Soul Train?), and a dancefloor favourite to this day.

    Secret Affair – forgettable and forgotten follow-up to their big hit, although they’d go Top 20 again with the excellent ‘My World’ the following year. Will we see that? We should know soon. A brief comedy moment when the trumpet carries on playing after the singer stops miming it.

    Ramblers – repeat – ffwd.

    Showaddywaddy – perennial Prestatyn escapees with what must surely be one of their last appearances on the Pops. The third time they’d mined the Curtis Lee songbook, following ‘Under the Moon of Love’ and ‘Pretty Little Angel Eyes.’ It’s OK, but with the eighties fast approaching it’s time to start looking forward, not back. Bus is coming for you lads!

    Dr Hook – at least we missed a week or two of Lena, although this sounds very familiar already. Ray Sawyer is shaking those maracas like a good ‘un, and it looks like they drafted in England cricket hopeful Wayne Larkins on the drums. My favourite was the bloke with the glasses though, like Charles Hawtrey in a wig – or maybe the model for Ned Flanders?

    “I hope you’ll join me tomorrow afternoon on the wireless” signs off Kid – we’re left with the Isley Brothers and their disco offering. Along with Cliff, Barbra and the Moodies, it’s been Back to the Sixties tonight!

  8. 283
    wichitalineman on 20 Nov 2014 #

    Re 281: Looks like they’ve been deleted already, dammit.

  9. 284
    Speedwell54 on 20 Nov 2014 #

    Mr Jensen- sporting a red/brown jacket with a vibrant green shirt – hosts.

    Paul Weller seems to be getting more and more casual with his Top of the Pops appearances.
    “News of the World” – suit, shirt and tie,
    “David Watts” -jacket, shirt and tie
    “Strange Town” -jacket and shirt.
    “When You’re Young” -shirt
    This week for “Eton Rifles” he’s only gone and turned up in a jumper!*

    I’m sure this has been discussed here before – a number one single sandwiched between singles not even making the top 40. “Hot Shot” completed this feet for Cliff (he did it again btw) He’s wearing dated soft furnishing colours and if you hadn’t switched off already, his first line, “Ready, steady going to meet you on the ballroom floor” would surely do it for you. “Ballroom!” bloody hell Granddad. I really don’t think you can call yourself a “Hot Shot” and go on about meeting people on the ballroom floor, even in ’79.

    Summer/Streisand – Legs and Co – Sue’s standing leg looks a little unstable in white high heels, but a quick change as the tempo increases we’re back on track. Song is cut very short.

    The Moody Blues – I know it’s a classic, but not my cup of tea really.

    Ladies Night- Kool and the Gang. On video -the audience are actually dancing and some are even smiling in stark contrast to most of the TOTPs studio freeloaders.

    Secret Affair – Let Your Heart Dance – don’t remember this. Kid says they’re currently on tour and that’s true now November 2014. (don’t think it’s the same tour, but I bet they’re playing the same songs)

    Ramblers, Dr Hook repeat.

    Kid signs off and half the audience have A4 white paper sheets- what’s that about?

    *appreciate they will have made more than one appearance for some of these tracks and Paul may well have dressed differently on some of those occasions. Pedant prevention clause.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  10. 285
    Mark G on 21 Nov 2014 #

    Kid, Chart, Dinnerstee as opposed to Die Nasty, interesting? Ok maybe not..

    The Jam go casual but the backing mob have been sacked so here’s a performance that will never get used on highlight shows. So savour it, Jam fans..

    Cliff is putting his tie back on, you saucy dog where have YOU been? In this song he’s a predatory male searching out on the ballroom floor. Having fun. Well, at least its not a honky tonk. He gets from his brother (?) to Donny, and a soap opera of hookups to singing “Louie Lou-aye”, so if there had been another verse he’d be in Iggy territory!

    I see what you mean, that was a right old leg wobble. Never mind, into the funky bit for Barb and Donna. Funny that the 7″ was on Donna’s label and the 12″ was on Barbs.

    Thin Lizzy still look sort of embarrassed doing the song.

    Annie Lennox and her Tourists (appropriate band name alert) do the cover version but its a pale version compared to the Bay City Rollers version, let alone…

    B.A. Robertson – blimey there’s two of them! Again, the music is good but. I might have bought it if it had the instrumental on the b-side.

    Suzi does the galloping song, as before.

    Band comes directly from Pwhelli booking to play the one they all stay all night to hear then go back to the chalets. Yeah, never much liked this either but.

    Ladies Night, still get played in clubs now but mainly 70’s revival nights. Always thought that “Sophisticated Mama” line sounded like Cliff for that brief moment.

    Secret Affair do “Let your legs dance” and it could be a Motown / northern soul classic but it would need a massive remix.

    The Ramblers do “Sparrow” and its funny there’s no Savile when this lot are in..

    Blimey, Showaddy! There aren’t that many undiscovered classics to do pale versions of, left. So they go down to Daddy G’s place. Hang on, that’s me!

    Dr Hook are number one, and the Isleys get played out, to end it like the studio became a disco for another hour after the show ended. Yeah, right…

  11. 286
    Jimmy the Swede on 21 Nov 2014 #

    Tonight’s Cosby Show’s been cancelled and instead we get the Keed. Hurrah!

    Dynasty over the rundown. Nothing to do with Joan Collins. This appears to be on the coat-tails of Chic. Lena is off the top but I’m afraid she hasn’t gone away…

    Jam – I still have to laugh when I hear about Weller’s fearsome Slough row, bearing in mind where I was living back then. Soft as shite in comparison.

    Cliff – Hot Shot. But this one wasn’t. His last one certainly was. And so was his next one. The verse here sounds very much like Joe Jackson’s “Is she really…”. Yewtreed, wasn’t it?

    Gals do a largely dreary routine a largely dreary number from Barbra and Donna, though we do get a few pleasing snatches of the Eternal Mistress during the disco section. Jensen very annoyingly calls the latter “Summers”. Enough is enough.

    Chewing moron with tie eschew thinks he is looking menacing. He wants some. Go to Slough, you dillan. Thin LIzzy with their big hello to Sarahs everywhere. The Swede thinks Snowy White is the cheesiest looking geezer in the history of pop/rock. A buddy of mine argues for John Oates. But I think Oatesy just looks weird.

    Hello Annie Lennox. She only wants to be with you. Interesting factoid is that all three versions (this, Dusty and Rollers) all peaked at number four. Did you know that, Lino?

    B A Robertson knocking it off. I’ve really fallen back in love with this. Hilarious. Lots of balls flying around and the Swede fantasises about the Gals doing a routine to this with a no-doubt eagar B.A.

    A pretty is standing to the side of Kid with her arms folded. Suzi Q is introduced, whom Jensen tells us has been spending a lot of time in the States recently. He’s not being a prat, it just underpins the fact that she had really become one of us by then. Naturally she’s looking great, the song rocks and Nigel Ogden would be fingering himself feverishly over the sound of that Hammond organ. The Swede rarely misses his show 11.00 on a Thursday night on Radio 2. Cosmic.

    Moody Blues – Nights in White Wotsit. On come on. AGAIN?! The Swede bought this the second time around in 1972. A classic, yes, but why go again? That’s the question (SWIDT?). And Justin Haywood looks just like Tony Currie.

    Kool and the Gang – Great US period footage and the acme of Disco. If you can’t groove to this, you need to see a specialist. Surely another one ideal for the Gals. Sophisticated mummas. It is after all ladies’ night.

    Secret Affair – Kid tells us these no-marks are on tour and yells out “All Right!” Good earthy foot-tapping stuff but hold the Havana. As for the tour, we all know where they are “touring” now, don’t we?

    I did warn you all that Lena had not gone away. Let me explain. It was a fact that the combined ages of the Ramblers totalled exactly 666. So they commence their “charming” little song and underneath the stage are Brain and Michael tied to chairs connected to electrodes. Standing custody over them are Mary “Soccer Mom Gun Loon” Macgregor and Lena “Auntie Lucy” Martell. So when the devil-worshipping brats start swaying, this activates the controls on the chairs down below and the torture begins. Mary and Lucy stare glassily at their prisoners and there is no mercy as the execution is very slowly and very painfully expedited.

    Waddy – I just can’t understand why this lot chose to limp on. Romeo switches to the front to join the chorus line but this is grim fare and the driver is checking the tyre pressure. Dave Bartram was on “Celebrity Pointless” the other week. But he can’t hurt us anymore.

    Doctor Hook have finally reached the summit. You can’t really say they didn’t deserve it and this footage is like an old friend now. And yes, Lazarus, that smiling loon in the bins is indeed blinding.

    Jensen sends us away to a good helping of the excellent funk sound of the Isley Brothers. Well done!

  12. 287
    Lazarus on 27 Nov 2014 #

    I’m recording the long one later and I’ll give my thoughts when I’ve seen that … but what a strange show. Couple of repeats, everything else on VT and ‘presenter’ Peter Powell reduced to a voiceover man. I can’t believe they kept with that format for long.

  13. 288
    Mark G on 27 Nov 2014 #

    There was a strike on, started ‘last week’ but next week it’s back to normal if you call ‘introducing Simon Bates’ normal.


  14. 289
    Mark G on 28 Nov 2014 #

    The disembodied voice of Peter Powell, and the chart rundown in Monochrome.. It’s the ghost of TOTP Future! Where bands supply videos rather than go to the studio. It’s a shame, old Pink Floyd had turned up specially, but nobody’s there and they would so not cross that picket line up the workers and down with maggie, or Janet Brown anyway.

    THE GIBSON BROTHERS – Que Sera Mi Vida (If You Should Go) (video) – a funny one, basically what would a gibson brother do if their girl was to go? Hold a party, by the looks of things. And yet, the verse is one-note monotone, not far from Johnny really!

    THE POLICE – Walking On The Moon (video) benefits from doing something more interesting than faking a performance in the studio i.e. faking drumming on a moon rocket at Cape Canaveral. This one programme probably did more for the video production agencies than anything else so far.

    THE TOURISTS – I Only Want To Be With You ® – snooz. Although, a point to Peter for his “.. in sound if not in vision” comment.

    STATUS QUO – Living On An Island (video) – lots of penguins in the video, this must be from the “whatever you want” album then. Nice enough, and a change is as good as a rest as they say.

    BLONDIE – Union City Blue (video) – Grand vistas here. PPowell seems to think they made the right decision releasing this, as it’s at 21 in the charts. C’mon, even then that wasn’t a smash into the chart. Although it wll get higher..

    THIN LIZZY – Sarah ® – mmm, not much to call on I guess. Even now it’s not so high up. A slow ascent, I guess.

    ROSE ROYCE – Is It Love You’re After (video) – OK, this is much better.

    THE MOODY BLUES – Nights In White Satin ® – yep, not much going up the chart that the BBC have got in their pre-recorded performance bank.

    THE SKIDS – Working For The Yankee Dollar (video) – which is interesting as the soundtrack for this video is not the same as the single.

    DONNA SUMMER AND BARBRA STREISAND – No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) (danced to by Legs & Co) ® – yeah. I notice this time the clunking edit: from the slow bit to the fast, Streis sang the last word elongated of “and we won’t waste another .. tear….” but it got chopped out so Barb sings into the fast bit with an elongated “ear”

    PINK FLOYD – Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) (video) – Apparently, they were worried they’d accidentally made a disco record. See Rose Royce above, guys.

    DR. HOOK – When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman (video) – yep, one more time.

    THE ISLEY BROTHERS – It’s A Disco Night (Rock Don’t Stop) (and credits) – also, like last time.

    OK, next week, back to normality and I won’t be nicking bits off Popscene 1979 for the weekly comment. Oh, and Simon Bates; don’t get arrested, yeah? It looks like a good one.

  15. 290
    Lazarus on 28 Nov 2014 #

    A new-look, stark-looking Pops. Jacko over the chart with the title track of what many still consider his best album.

    Gibson Brothers – from Martinique, in brightly-coloured spacesuits with dancing girls. This, and to a lesser extent ‘Cuba’ are the songs of theirs which most people would remember I suppose.

    Police – I wondered if it was Cape Canaveral. One of their best.

    Tourists – repeat. Annie Lennox on the One Show right now … and so are Status Quo!

    Quo – I’ve always liked this. Not sure where the penguins come into it though.

    Blondie – performance video at New York (?) docks. No, number 20 was small fry compared to what they were used to by now.

    Thin Lizzy – Rock Bands do Ballads Night. Almost their last hit, wasn’t it?

    Rose Royce – more brightly coloured outfits. Template of a future number one.

    Moody Blues – surprised that so many were still buying this only 12 years after it was a hit. Would be a bit like Coldplay, Dido or David Gray re-releasing one of their hits now. I like the Moodies, but there are many of theirs I’d sooner hear than this (again).

    Skids – you can hear the Big Country guitar sound here I reckon.

    Donna/Barbra/Legs – I’d sooner hear the whole thing, thanks.

    Pink Floyd – anyone heard the new album yet?

    Dr Hook – girlie backing vocals all over this, and yet you never see the ladies. Bit sexist, lads. Anyway, Prestatyn.

    Isley Brothers – show topped and tailed with brothers. It’s a disco night. Video may have killed the radio star, but it came to Auntie’s rescue tonight!

  16. 291
    Jimmy the Swede on 29 Nov 2014 #

    Peter Powell. But where is he? Industrial action explains it. Ironically, Peter was perhaps the most tv-friendly of the jocks, especially if one considers Burnett and Peebles, both of whose faces would have been not particularly missed. Nevertheless, it’s to be an odd show with no studio.

    Jacko over the rundown with the title track of his astonishing album. A last scare for the Swede as he notices that Auntie Lucy and the 666 Kids are listed next to each other at 16 and 15. But at least they can’t hurt me anymore.

    Gibbo Bros – Pleasing start. Feelgood song and dancing girls. Not the Gals though. The lead vocalist has got a fearsome old voice. At the end, the group’s name pops up on screen. This remains the format for the show. We can’t see Pete.

    Police – Walking on the Moon. And number one-bound ten years after Apollo 11. I suppose this video is as good as they could have made it, as to see them bouncing around on the Sea of Tranquility would have been more than absurd. Great record.

    Tourists – As of last week.

    Quo – Living on an Island. Largely forgotten. By the Swede at least. Rossi gets slovenly and misses a mime. Fresh change though from their usual paint by numbers format.

    Blondie – Union City. Debbie perfection.

    Thin Lizzy – Sarah again. Tell me I’m wrong about Snowy.

    Rose Royce – This would be fabulous if the Gals were doing a routine to it. But the footage is just comical. Bad hair and very odd little skips from a couple of herberts on guitars. Top drawer arrangement even so.

    Moodies – As of last week. And the dawn of time.

    Skids – Working for the Yankee Dollar – Excellent Scottish new wave. Severely cut.

    Babs, Donna and Gals – The only way they could squeeze our lovelies in.

    Peter introduces a “surprise release”and on comes what is to be the last number one of the 70s. This one caused an almighty bunfight in our ‘hood when we discussed it way back when and no-one, I’m sure, wants a repeat of that. We’re talking “Another Brick…”, of course and I shall pass my own short comment on it when it finally gets there.

    Doctor Hook – An old friend now, it’s been with us so long. Whatever will we do when it’s gone? Yes, that is surely Ned Flanders grinning insanely. If not the whole group might be mistaken for the Devils Hole Gang from “Alias Smith and Jones”. Their hideout is definitely in the bushes around Prestatyn now.

    Out to the Isley Brothers and their excellent “It’s A Disco Night”.

    Question – Apropos the forced format for tonight’s show, how difficult would it be, especially with today’s technology, to fiddle around (no pun intended) with Savile and Cornflake shows, knocking their interjections out and keeping everything else in? SWEDE CALLING KAT… I think you might have an answer to this if it involves copyright etc.

    Ironically it was a good show!

  17. 292
    speedwell54 on 30 Nov 2014 #

    Peter reads the words but his heart’s not really in it this week.

    Black and white pictures for the countdown – just the colours on strike for this bit then.

    The Gibson Brothers make us wish it had held a little longer; their space aged luminous yellows, oranges, pinks and greens are too much. Didn’t the Jackson family wear something very similar but in silver?Those doughnut inspired sleeves! Song sounds good.

    Police -WOTM Stewart often drums on things other than drums. This week I’ll mostly be drumming on Saturn V. Classic video.

    Tourists -repeat. I am going off this a little. Just listened to a version of this on cd and it sounds to me a lot brighter and more energetic than this slightly flat TOTP version.

    Status Quo – Living on an Island – very pleasant.

    Blondie – Union City Blues. Peter gives the thumbs up for releasing this track off the album. In the US they went for “The Hardest Part” instead which didn’t do much business. Sunday Girl wasn’t released as a single over there either, so maybe that’s why the speculation. Debbie is always a treat.

    Thin Lizzy – repeat

    Rose Royce – Enjoy this trip, well half of it. Daft Punk used that studio set for the Around the World video.

    Nights in White Satin – Peter says “umpteenth” for the number of times this has been released, I think he’s been euphemistic.

    Skids – Working- Great variety tonight and something for the new wave/punk generation.

    Enough is Enough – about 3 minutes this week. Peter sounds quite bored now.

    Pink Floyd- interesting they rocked up in the studio last week but the strike stopped them performing. Was this a sliding doors moment?

    Dr Hook – repeat

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  18. 293
    Mark G on 30 Nov 2014 #

    It’s hard to say how many times “Nights in white sat in” got ‘released’, as it never changed its label or catalogue number, so you can only call it re-pressed or re-promoted. It wasn’t until 1983 that it got the”Old Gold” treatment.

    I jut think its a shame that the Dickies version couldn’t have been on, as it did make the lower reaches of the chart only three months earlier. One of those “Punk” renditions that actually shows that the song is strong enough to thrive in that version. In fact, the first time I heard it I didn’t recognise the song until the guitar solo.

  19. 294
    punctum on 1 Dec 2014 #

    It was re-promoted to market a Moody Blues compilation called Out Of This World. On K-Tel.

  20. 295
    Tommy Mack on 1 Dec 2014 #

    Ha, I had that album. It cost three quid from Shoot The Moon records in Nantwich and iirc was a surprisingly weighty piece of vinyl for K-Tel. Cheapo cheapo cover art though – http://991.com/newgallery/Moody-Blues-Out-Of-This-World-300060.jpg – and no Go Now.

  21. 296
    Steve Williams on 1 Dec 2014 #

    #291 Regardless of whether it would be possible to edit out Savile and Travis, I doubt they ever will, because every time they edit a link out, people will be reminded it’s because of Savile or Travis. Why are there no links in this programme? Oh God, it’s because of Savile. Far easier not to show it at all.

  22. 297
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Dec 2014 #

    #296 – You make a good point, Steve, but I’m not sure I agree. I would suggest that if the conjuring trick was done with sufficient skill we would be okay. Editing out Savile and Flake would be one part of it. Then all we would need to do is edit someone else in. Anyone safe from back in the day would do, the most obvious candidate being the current host of Pick of the Pops, who would be a perfect voiceover to come out with “Hey. Remember this one?…” I don’t necessarily accept that such a concept would “remind” people of Savile, as we are not likely to forget him in any case. I also, for the record, can quite understand why DLT must be in despair at being bracketed with a creature who was clearly a monster. Travis was just a groping dirtbag in an age when such men were not exactly thin on the ground.

  23. 298
    Steve Williams on 2 Dec 2014 #

    #297 If you’re going to edit someone in, though, that costs money in hiring the presenter and booking a recording studio – you’re basically making a new episode of TOTP2 – and it’s clear this repeat run has no budget whatsoever. The edit involves chopping it down to thirty minutes and removing anything unbroadcastable. If the whole show is deemed unbroadcastable, it’s missed out.

    The amazing thing is that this repeat run is still carrying on, toxic brand that it is. It’s a shame we don’t get some episodes but it’s not like they were repeating them before the unpleasantness, was it? Not every show gets repeated, and not every show that is repeated gets every episode shown – if they’re doing a repeat run of Dad’s Army, for example, they don’t start at Series 1 Episode 1 and show them all in order, they pick and choose.

    And there have been plenty of examples of this before – there’s an episode of Mr Benn that saw him become a big game hunter and at some point in the eighties they decided it was now unsuitable for today’s audiences and so they stopped repeating it. They were still able to show all the others. The same is true here.

    The surprise is that BBC4 are showing any of them, not that they’re not showing some of them. And the run is continuing into 1980…

  24. 299
    Mark G on 2 Dec 2014 #

    Well, that’s sort of happened with those “Best of 1979” shows, it’s their chance of adding some yewtree’d episode highlights where the terrible two aren’t in the background or introducing acts. Or is it? It’d be nice if they retrieved some otherwise locked-away appearances like the Flying Lizards’ “Money” or the Ruts’ debut, etc.

  25. 300
    Tommy Mack on 2 Dec 2014 #

    I think they should edit everything out except Saville and Travis and Gary Glitter and tell kids that’s all TOTP was and that’s why it was taken off TV.

    A worthy contribution for #300, I feel. Well done me…

  26. 301
    Mark G on 5 Dec 2014 #

    Bates! Cutting edge D.J. Presenter in 1979 take up the reins. And people laffed at Pete Murray’s fashion sense! Anyway..

    Chart rundown and into Darts. But there is no charm in their rendition of “Reet Petite” apart from when he goes for a big note on-screen that isn’t there on the backing, and he hauls himself off it.
    And here’s a version of I wanna hold your hand which is by Dollar, this time. Weirdly, it sounds exactly like “We are Young” by fun.

    UK Subs in what must be the shortest appearance ever, its not Charlie singing, its a version of “She’s not there” which sounds better now than it did at the time.

    “Mice in a pot” by the degrees three, “A song very much of the seventies” yes, you have 3 weeks to change style or get left behind. “Its strange what people do to each other” yes, very so..

    M do a song you won’t remember but it (again) now sounds much better, a combi of Neuish vocals, kraftwerk and Thompson twins backing, yeah will have to check the album out next time I see one.

    Stranglers do a rare in-studio appearance about not bringing any smack to his house. More plays on TOTP than radio 1 I guess. Again, sounds better now, closest I can get is “Michael Caine” Madness..

    The girls dance Michael Jackson, you know.

    Sugar Hill gang do “The Rapper” do they Simon? Anyway, history is made right here.

    The Damned do a much more restrained performance than their OGWT version, again much better now. Was it because TV speakers were so bad in 1979? Yes. This was always great, anyway.

    Storm. Don’t remember this at all.. Ummm, no it almost rings a bell. Lovers rock, nice obv. Was it a hit?

    Motorhead do “Bomber” and also sound great. Previously they sounded like a bad transistor radio on the show, but its been sorted out.

    Now, I never knew Marianne Faithful did “The ballad of Lucy Jordan” on TOTP. Wow.

    THE POLICE oops, sorry. The Police do the obligatory number one slot. Same video obv.

    And Pink Floyd to fade.

    That was probably the best show overall of all the repeats! Every track was great, yeah even that one, I’m feeling generous. A Keeper, for sure.

  27. 302
    Lazarus on 7 Dec 2014 #

    Simon Bates – doesn’t introduce himself but it’s him all right …

    Darts – zzz … this’ll be a number one someday, but their heyday is well behind them now.

    Dollar have two drummers! But one of them is Theresa, in a 2-Tone frock. Some hilariously bad miming from her and David. Their minibus is next after Darts.’

    UK Subs – another 60s cover, but this is much better. Two minutes and done. Good stuff.

    Three Degrees – yeah that’s about what it is outside at the moment. Another lot with their best days behind them and now plying their trade in north Wales. This would have caused a ripple of excitement at Sandringham though.

    M – the verse reminds me of another song, more recent, it’s bugging me. Mrs M looks alluring behind her fan. The album ‘New York, London, Paris, Munich’ is on Youtube if anyone fancies a listen.

    Stranglers – keyboard -heavy effort with a rather weary vocal from JJ Burnel. Doesn’t tend to make it onto their ‘best ofs’ and it’s not hard to tell why.

    Michael Jackson/Legs & Co – Legs girls right down among the audience tonight. A bunch of lads sit around clapping them on, but I fear an appreciative Swede wasn’t among them.

    Sugarhill Gang – ‘old school’ rap classic. One of them boasts of having a colour TV. Good for him!

    Damned – lots of keyboards on this too. ‘Love Song’ didn’t get on this run did it? Prefer that to this, I think.

    Storm – this was a hit for Diana Ross too of course. Don’t really remember this reggae version, it’s a bit dull frankly.

    Motorhead – the NWOBHM is but a few months away – that’s when this lot will enjoy their biggest success. Certainly a varied line-up tonight!

    Marianne Faithfull – yes an old Dr Hook song, but this version is more familiar I think. Wasn’t a hit, but it’s a nice surprise to see her there.

    Police – one to put in an astronomical anthology along with ‘Space Oddity’, ‘Rocket Man’ and ‘Clouds Across the Moon.’ You’re going well lads, keep it up.

    And the Floyd play us out. Pleasingly fresh sounding show with a welcome lack of repeats. And ‘Batesy’ got to introduce the Stranglers, the Damned, the UK Subs and Motorhead! Not sure any of those ever made it onto ‘Our Tune’ somehow.

  28. 303
    Mark G on 7 Dec 2014 #

    You’d be surprised what’s been on Batesy’s “Our Tune”, one time on holiday driving through Jersey in a rented Ford, I nearly drove off the road when he played Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Upside Down” after the tale was told.

  29. 304
    speedwell54 on 7 Dec 2014 #

    Nice jumper Simon. He says “Gibson Brothers” in his best Ned Flanders.

    Darts – Reet Petite -reet waste of time too. If that had come out today the miming from Griff would be on an epic fail compilation. Must be annoying to find out that the UK weren’t quite ready for this yet.

    Dollar – the only bit of this I like is the ‘Whoa’. Bendy legs Van Day sounds okay, but the refrain sounds like another record. I keep think it’s going into Starsound. – ‘It happened once before…. Not the only band to do a Beatles cover.

    Uk Subs rattle through She’s NotThere.

    Three Degrees – showing off their academic qualifications again – not that impressive really, they only average one degree each. The ‘My Simple Hut’ line has Mike Reed’s fingerprints all over it. Rather 70’s – like the set. He’s still laughing at his own joke when the song finishes.

    M – before he even starts singing, he knocks the microphone from the stand and has to pick it up off the floor. A bit Bryan Ferry. Like the verse.

    The Stranglers – JJ sounds a bit Lou Reed. Not an obvious single but it’s growing on me.

    Jackson/Legs – I’ll leave this one for the Swede.

    Bates thinks this one’s call “The Rapper”- probably thinks it’s called “the Wrapper” actually. Anyway SugarHill Gang do their take on Good Times with their classic.

    Damned – they look like they’re from four different bands. They used to (may still) do a cover of the Beatles “Help” live. Would it shock you to hear it was a speeded up version?

    Storm – don’t know this by anyone. It’s okay. One singer never smiles. One singer always smiles.

    Motorhead do Bomber- no alarms and no surprises.

    Marianne Faithful – her cracking (I don’t mean that in a good way) vocal is too much for me. Ends rather suddenly.

    Simon Bates is broken and introduces “the Police walking” rpt

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  30. 305
    will on 7 Dec 2014 #

    Re 303: I remember that! Bates described as a “strange and violent” song.

  31. 306
    Mark G on 8 Dec 2014 #

    That’s right, I thought at the time “Strange? Yeah fine if you think so, but Violent? Mmm, not really.”

    Thanks for the YouTube headsup above re: NYLPM (the album)

  32. 307
    wichitalineman on 8 Dec 2014 #

    Simon Bates’s debut, and he starts by introducing Reet Petite as a Little Richard song. Darts’ version is piss weak, especially disappointing after the Roy Wood-produced Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love a few weeks back.

    Dollar – Therese looking very lovely but, good gosh, they were aware of their looks. She also has the best bit of the record, with that stardust-sprinkled “and when I touch you” bridge, the only part of this single that anticipates their T Horn-produced glories to come.

    Uk Subs – shortest ever TOTP performance? Must be a contender. Oddly extended chorus, with the line “her skin was soft and white” added for some reason. It’s OK.

    Three Degrees – Pretty sure My Simple Hut was already Terry Wogan’s “gag”. It’s not The Runner or Giving Up Giving In, but it’d be sweet enough for Dana.

    M – Terrific. Was this their third hit? Croydon College alumnus, mate of my grumpy downstairs neighbour who clearly still thinks Robin Scott and Malcolm McLaren frittered their talents away on silly pop music. Must listen to the album.

    The Stranglers – I’ve never heard this before. It’s very 1968, downer pop-psych, looking forward to Golden Brown and Strange Little Girl. Though I remember the title, I have no memory of this getting airplay.

    Michael Jackson – I know Rosie is going to get a crimpy perm soon and anticipate each performance with fear… not just yet.

    Sugarhill Gang – “It’s the wrapper!” And there’s Big Bank Hank, who didn’t get his due from hip hop snobs even in the obits. What is the matter with people?

    The Damned – Another very late sixties sounding thing, a bit like ELO’s 10538 Overture at the wrong speed. I remember loving this, but the production played better in my head.

    Storm – This is really quite lovely and again I have no memory of it. No.36 on the chart for 10 weeks, apparently. Diana Ross’s version charted a week later and got all the airplay. Super-sweet vocals; the sulky looking Storm girl is terrific. Maybe Tim H knows something about them?

    Motorhead – some K-Tel style sequencing going on here. Lemmy almost looks young. Very good, maybe their best single.

    Marianne Faithful – “Do you like soppy songs?” Bates asks some giggling 13 year olds. So here’s a soppy song about a housewife committing suicide sung by someone who wrecked her voice with smack. Odd how you never hear anyone say Harry Nilsson developed a “real” voice by drinking every bar in LA dry; Marianne is/was clearly better at self-promotion. This is pretty great – excellent bubbling tense electro production – but I’d like it so much more if she still had her Come And Stay With Me voice.

    The Police – Popular has won my over to this. I just wish the words weren’t so freakin stupid.

    A proper mixed bag, but a very enjoyable show.

  33. 308
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Dec 2014 #

    Batesy has escaped his overbearing mother. Bad bins. Grim jumper he must have nicked from Noel Edmonds (or perhaps that was slighty later?). Gibsons over rundown. Aunty Lucy and 666 Kids are still poisoning the atmosphere. God does like his litle joke.

    Darts – Reet Wotsit. Simon cites Little Richard. Wrong. This song will eventually top the charts but not via these Pressy lifers.

    Dollar – I Want To Hold Your Wotsit. Yes, Therese is an absolute drink. But they’re from the same stable as the Rubbish Dooleys. Pretty people you just want to hurt. Pressy-Poohs.

    UK Subs – Why do this again after Santana only two years earlier? I notice it was part of an EP. So what? It sounds like they’re taking the piss out of a truly great one. And it’s too late to say they’re sorry. Pressy-Wessy.

    Three Degrees – What’s with Lino and his thing about Dana? Never mind. Chazza gets his tool out again and Catherine Howard’s tea towel hits the laundry basket. Pressy Conference for The Threes.

    Simon has his arm around a peach of a girl. She looks fine age-wise so why not? On come M. I don’t remember this at all. It’s okay but they had their place in the sun and there’s very little of those rays on the Irish Sea coast where they now reside.

    Stranglers – Don’t Bring Harry. This is absolute tosh. Dull as dishwater. One for the Beachy Head Tavern jukebox. Blimey, it’s dull. Swede needs cheering up…

    …And so he is! Batesy says “This is Rosie,” and we get a full-frontal smile from the beautiful girl. Then down the line we go and they’re all beaming, including the Eternal Mistress. Off they go to Jacko and the best “wall” track on the chart. Legs abound and the Gals are in go-go heaven with a track they clearly love. Appreciative sedentary lads applaud. Swede gallops around the lounge whilst the cat looks on suspiciously. Ambulance.

    Sugar Hill Gang – Not “The Rapper”, Simon, you nincompoop. Get with the programme. Pioneering period piece. Floaters’ format but the comparison ends there. More to the good.

    Damned – Wow. Here we go! Great stuff. The kids are bemused but the Swede isn’t. Some clear simpleton in a red jumper tries to groove. Surely in those less tolerant days they would have hidden such unfortunates away?

    Storm – Really? Where? We catch the simpleton again. Somebody grab him, please. Ta. We’re alas back to dull again. Well-meaning but meandering London soft reggae outfit who were taken immediately to a place not only not in London but not in England. It’s their camp and they live there. Forever.

    Motorhead – Blimey O’Riley! Swede saw this lot a couple or more times including the Bomber tour. Fabulous fun if you can take it. Lemmy and co were well thought of in punk circles. Best story would be when one of the Nolans was chatting with Lemmy and suddenly dropped something she was holding on the floor. She crouched down to pick it up and as she did so, she looked up at him and said “Anything I can do for you while I’m down here?” Lemmy thereafter always spouted the caution “Never mess with a Nolan Sister!” It is something that unspeakable fiend in the tracksuit nearly found out to his cost, of course.

    Marianne Faithfull – Okay. So what am I going to say about this? Marianne was a fuck-up at this time. The whole drug thing had enveloped her although she was still beautiful in her early thirties. So off she goes and for Lucy Jordan read Bobby McGee. But where as Janis didn’t make it, Marianne is still with us and indeed back in the public eye again. A true survivor and a remarkable woman.

    Police at number one. Giant Wotsits. And a giant of a record, fully deserving its week at the summit. Batesy, who hasn’t dome badly, waves us out to Floyd’s Wall. Duck!

    A true miss-mash this week. The Gals made it. Rosie’s smile and all of their lovely legs.

  34. 309
    enitharmon on 10 Dec 2014 #

    Before being too hard on Darts it might be worth remembering that Jackie Wilson was lying in a coma in a New Jersey hospital, as he had been for four years and would be for another four. Although he didn’t write the song I’m sure any income from the song would have been a help in defraying hospital expenses.

  35. 310
    Andrew Farrell on 10 Dec 2014 #

    Of course he might have made an appearance on screen three years later, but was foiled by, well, darts.

  36. 311
    Mark G on 12 Dec 2014 #

    Mike Read is this week’s safe pair of hands, and David Bowie is prepared to give you his house in the country if you just give him some funky. Doesn’t say for how long, though.

    Chart rundown over, and this is the state of British folk music in ’79. I didn’t mind this at the time, but today it seems awful. Eleven. One singer, four musicians and the rest of the folk club it would seem.

    McCartney now, and this is kind of the other way round, its lack of pretension seems to work in its favour. Still, the children practiced all year long to sing “Ding dong”. If they’d only practiced for six months, the song would go “Ding ding ding ding…”

    Tourists. Begone.

    Abba have a dream and can all sit around a smaller keyboard than usual, comfortably.

    The Beat. One of those band names that seems too obvious a choice, but thankfully they do it justice.

    oh god, here’s a happy Britannia. It’s ok, she’s waiting for a friend to come (one does) and they get high (they don’t) . What is this rub?

    The inmates make it to totp, well the extended repeat anyway. Rebranded R&B for the new wave days, it’s alright but only just.

    Blondie video, union city blue, repeated.

    The Pretenders show how it should be done, the band look much like the inmates but Chrissie is special so there you go.

    Pink Floyd don’t make it to the studio again, they are above all that sort of thing since Syd left…

    And we fade out to Gwen Dickey.

    Not a classic, but a couple of good ones. And now, over to… You!

  37. 312
    Lazarus on 12 Dec 2014 #

    To me? Oh, but you’re too kind. Yes Calypso Mike in the chair again. David Bowie over the chart, doing a song with a bit of history behind it: a five year old re-recording of a 1972 song originally recorded for the Aladdin Sane sessions. The old version is on the flip.

    Fiddlers Dram – I’m pretty sure Edmonds was behind this. The singer was called Cathy Le Surf. And that guitarist? Crazy hair, crazy guy. According to Wiki he also played ‘bones’ a variation on the spoons, apparently.

    Read and friends in boaters, introduces Paul McCartney – this has become a perennial Yuletide fave of course, I’ve heard it on Heart at least twice this week – but you don’t see the video very often. And I think, the first record released under McCartney’s own name since 1971’s ‘Another Day?’ Wings had flown, it seemed.

    Tourists – yeah we’ve seen this enough now I think. Annie looking fashion-model thin.

    Abba – I rather like this, more than I did at the time. One of those songs that’s so simple – rather like ‘Mull of Kintyre’ – that you think it must have been recorded before. And it made money for UNICEF I believe, so kudos to them.

    The Beat – Didn’t this have ‘Stand Down Margaret’ on the other side? Was it a double A? If so the less controversial song got the Pops treatment. Still sounds pretty good.

    Status Quo/Legs – various historical figures are portrayed by the Legs – finishing with a 1960s dolly-bird (Pauline) jumping in at the end. Mary Quant, Read informs us. If you say so …

    Inmates – they’d done a version of ‘Dirty Water’ earlier in the year which didn’t chart, but this did a little better. Yes children, this was what they used to call r’n’b before Beyonce and her ilk appropriated it.

    Blondie – video, repeat. More #1s await them soon.

    Pretenders – great song, their first and only number one, the first of the eighties of course. Two of the band will not see out the decade but Chrissie is still going strong and still making music. I wasn’t a big one for ‘new wave’ music at the time but I adopted them early on.

    Pink Floyd – the London skyline looks rather different these days. I tried watching the film once, but I gave up on it I’m afraid. An unexpected act to have at Xmas number one, and I like the guitar solo, but I always preferred ‘Comfortably Numb.’ Was that a single anywhere?

    Rose Royce to see us out. Christmas 1979 is 12 days away – I remember this one quite well as for the first time in my life I was earning money. The record collection was starting to grow!

    Over to you …

  38. 313
    speedwell54 on 13 Dec 2014 #

    do you mean me.?…Right then, it’s Mike so get ready for some chart facts..

    John I’m Only Dancing (Again) – doesn’t often make it on to Greatest Hits and indeed missed out on Best Of Bowie only a year later. Went on to match Number 12 peak of JIOD from ’72, but is the hidden twin. Good to hear it again.

    FC Fiddler’s Dram doing their bit for unemployment in Canterbury. Short coach trip for this lot.

    McCartney looks younger than a late ’60’s Beatle in this. The video always struck me as sounding completely different to how it would sound if it was recorded as live. Sounds an obvious thing to say and you could accuse loads of videos of this, but the pub venue and then and then concert clips. Think it must be the first time I ever thought about it.

    Tourists – I think they’ve moved in. Doesn’t seem like they ever met Savile or DLT judging by the frequency they turn up on totp.

    Abba – twktc

    The Beat- ‘heading towards’ number one but not quite making it. Not much wrong with this. Follows on from UK Subs on the last episode with a speeded up cover. Read can’t resist a little impression and that’s why they called him Calypso Mike back in the ’70’s.

    Living On A Island – Legs and Co. prefer to watch this lot over Rossi and Parfitt or penguins any day. Rosie (?) kicks off and I love her solo dance at the beginning; look at her eyes! Swedeheaven again I would think. All goes a bit weird and Flick blows her costume budget for the year. Also someone has not quite grasped how Great Britain will look when viewed from the camera angle, making us look a bit short and fat. Wonder when that changed?

    Inmates – not my cup of tea- they sound like they have all the ingredients though.

    Blondie -rpt

    Pretenders – Oh yes this is great. Still sounds great today.

    Floyd then out. Not my favourite but there has been worse.

    Over to you.. -Jimmy, I guess.

  39. 314
    Mark G on 13 Dec 2014 #

    No, just me to add that the beat double-A-side was “Ranking full stop” right, back to your correspondant ….

  40. 315
    Lazarus on 14 Dec 2014 #

    Yes the anti-nukes (?) ‘Margaret’ was tacked on to late-1980 single ‘Best Friend’, the last release from I Just Can’t Stop It and not one of their better-remembered songs. In the States the band was known as the English Beat of course, for the same reason that one of their soul outfits was called the Detroit Spinners here.

  41. 316
    Jimmy the Swede on 17 Dec 2014 #

    Swede takes the baton at last…

    Jonesy over the rundown. Slow and fast John. And the children of Satan will STILL not go away, dagnabbit!

    Fiddlers Dram – This is a blinding record. And a normal totally believable good time gal singer. We never really find out where the daytrip started from but we sho’ nuff know where they’re going now. About 35 miles east along the coast. And all for under a pound. Luvverly!

    Macca’s simply having a wonderful wotsit. And why wouldn’t he with this ever so nice carol? After all, he and Linda are down the drinker. And they’re veggies not teetotallers.

    Annie. Tourist. Dusty. Rollers. All fours.

    Abba – Having dreams. Still the perfect pop group. Never a dud. Cut too soon.

    The Beat – Hear comes 2-tone. A brilliant rendition of Smokey’s classic. Swede’s going down da town!!

    Quo’s odd mark little song about British people. And up pops lovely Rosie dressed as Brittania (or Boadicea) dancing on herself. That smile! Swedeheaven indeed. But it gets more heavenly as right on cue to “waiting for a friend”, the Eternal Mistress joins her as Guinevere. Bloody hell! Then Lulu as Liz the First. Florence Nightingale and Amy Johnson join the party and then, to send the Swede over the edge completely, on rushes the ravashing Pauline dolled up as Mary Quant with legs to match. The first five look horrified at “Mary” and hare off. Swede sinks to the floor and the cat, who’s seen it all before, strolls out. Be not afraid. This isle is full of noises.

    Inmates – Glad this wasn’t Yewtreed. Fine effort but it failed to hit the Thirty.

    Blondie. Still part of the Union.

    Pretenders with the first number one of the eighties. Incredibly my old Edwardian dad loved this:
    “Is this top?” he asked me.
    “Yes,” I replied wearily, waiting for the inevitable.
    “This is very good,” he said.
    I liked Chrissie. So perhaps did dad.

    Floyd – Let’s just say that I never took to this or the whole Wall thing and leave it at that.

    Rose R takes us out.

  42. 317
    Lazarus on 18 Dec 2014 #

    I can only surmise that Sue as Lady Godiva would have sent Jimmy over the edge once and for all …

  43. 318
    Jimmy the Swede on 19 Dec 2014 #

    #317 – Laz, you’re absolutely right, especially if I could have played the part of her horse.

  44. 319
    glue_factory on 19 Dec 2014 #

    From this week’s TV Cream review of the “Top of the Pops: The Story of 1980” – “In fact we hear the Human League, while they were interviewed for this programme, were asked about 1981 as well, so fingers crossed.”

  45. 320
    Mark G on 19 Dec 2014 #

    So, it’s Christmas Specials, which are usually pretty awful (or at the very least, unsurprising), and the fact that this is the last one of the seventies won’t make any difference – The ‘end of the sixties’ one was a co-production with/for German TV, the recent(ish) repeat was supplied from them, it was in nice Colour but concentrated on Cliff and other acts that the Germans would like in theory (Horst Janowizt!) and I sort of remembered it as dull from the original broadcast. Of course, it will never be seen again because of the safe pair of hands they used in 1969…

    So, unless there’s something radical, we’ll be seeing you in the soon-to-be-revived 1989 Popular thread.

    Merry chrimstbas and may all your sues be .. umm…

  46. 321
    Jimmy the Swede on 20 Dec 2014 #

    And a big compliments of the season also to all my Popular Pals and all at FT. Santa always brings the Swede a selection box which he leaves at the end of my bed. If Jenna Coleman happens to be included in this when I awake on Christmas morning, it will be very merry indeed.

  47. 322
    Lazarus on 20 Dec 2014 #

    Same to you Sweders, and may I say how much I’ve enjoyed chewing the fat over the old Pops repeats with you and the rest of the crew these last three years or so. I find it a little harder to enthuse over the music of 1999, but the reviews and subsequent discussions are always illuminating and amusing in equal measure. There hasn’t been a current 10 though in all the time I’ve been here, and that must be four years now! And somehow I think that the next entry but one won’t provide it either …

  48. 323
    Jimmy the Swede on 21 Dec 2014 #

    The darndest thing… I was surfing with my tv remote earlier today and came across live coverage of a footy game in the Welsh Premier League. And I kid you not when I tell you it was Prestatyn Town v Bangor City! Before the match, which Bangor won 2-1, they showed scenes of the Pressy seafront and well choppy it looked too. It just confirmed what a perfect place it is for pop’s discontinued lines.

  49. 324
    iconoclast on 22 Dec 2014 #

    @323: although it must be getting a bit overcrowded by now, and noisy too, with all those “discontinued” “entertainers” “entertaining” each other.

  50. 325
    enitharmon on 22 Dec 2014 #
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