Oct 08

Popular ’79

FT + Popular/329 comments • 12,371 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?

View Results

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.


  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 13 Oct 2008 #

    Cor! a 14 – 4 victory for singles that I like, though a few of them are only sixes. This may well be the greatest year for number ones ever.

  2. 2
    Tom on 13 Oct 2008 #

    13-5 here, and 3 of the no-ticks are 5s from me anyway. That run of tracks up to “…Mondays” is very high quality.

    I’ll be very interested to see which ones end up winning – lot of almost unanimous positivity in the comments for many of these.

  3. 3
    mike on 13 Oct 2008 #

    It went 15/3 with me (the excluded three being Art Garfunkel, Lena Martell and Pink Floyd).

  4. 4
    lonepilgrim on 13 Oct 2008 #

    12-6 for me. I didn’t vote for Buggles, Rats, Art, Lena, Hook and Floyd.
    1979 was a top year for music that I like: Slow Train Coming, Metal Box, London Calling, Rickie Lee Jones; to name but a few.

  5. 5
    mike on 13 Oct 2008 #

    When we did Popular ’78, I compiled a list of favourite Top 40 singles from that year that failed to reach Number One. My quality cut-off point for that year fell at around 50 singles.

    For 1979, the same cut-off point falls at 125 singles. That’s how good a year it was.

    Here’s my Top Twenty:

    1. Blondie – Dreaming
    2. Chic – Good Times
    3. Public Image Ltd – Death Disco
    4. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Oliver’s Army
    5. Fleetwood Mac – Tusk
    6. Sheila B Devotion – Spacer
    7. The Jam – Strange Town
    8. Sister Sledge – Lost In Music
    9. M – Pop Muzik
    10. The Jam – The Eton Rifles
    11. The Crusaders ft Randy Crawford – Street Life
    12. The Pretenders – Stop Your Sobbing
    13. Sister Sledge – We Are Family
    14. Diana Ross – The Boss
    15. The Undertones – You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It?)
    16. The Special AKA – Gangsters
    17. Doobie Brothers – What A Fool Believes
    18. Michael Jackson – Off The Wall
    19. Sister Sledge – He’s The Greatest Dancer
    20. Squeeze – Up The Junction

  6. 6
    lonepilgrim on 13 Oct 2008 #

    Thanks for reminding me of some of those songs Mike. Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards ruled that year. One of my happiest memories ever was sitting in a London bar in 1979 celebrating a friends birthday with cocktails to the sound of ‘We are family’. ‘Thinking of you’ from the Sister Sledge album may well be my favourite desert island song for its optimism and lightness.

  7. 7
    JimD on 13 Oct 2008 #

    1979 has always been my favourite year for number ones, but I’ve always wondered how much that was a result of the fact that the 3rd casette tape ever I owned (*) was a Top Of The Pops “Number Ones of 79” compilation (not featuring the original artists, of course).

    Still, pretty much everything here stands up for me. 17-1!

    (*) Numbers one and two were given to me along with the tape deck – Mickey Mouse Disco, and The Wombles Christmas Album. four and five actually came in a batch along with the above TOTP tape – The Best of Boney M (not featuring Boney M) and The best of Isao Tomita (featuring Isao Tomita!).

  8. 8
    Conrad on 13 Oct 2008 #

    1979 was indeed a wondeful year. 15-3 for me. And to add just a few of my favourite non-Number 1 singles to Mike’s list:

    – Lene Lovich “Lucky Number”
    – Squeeze “Cool For Cats”
    – OMD “Electricity”
    – Roxy Music “Dance Away”
    – Roxy Music “Angel Eyes”
    – EWF “After The Love Has Gone”
    – Madness “The Prince”
    – Ian Dury “Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part 3)”
    – Patrick Hernandez “Born To Be Alive”
    – Dollar “Who Were You With In The Moonlight” (did OMD listen to the intro to this before composing “Messages”?)
    – Skids “Charade” (er, did OMD listen to the intro to this before composing “Messages”?)
    – Carrie Lucas “Dance With You”
    – XTC “Making Plans For Nigel”
    – Dave Edmunds “Girls Talk”
    – Three Degrees “The Runner”
    – Frantique “Strut Your Funky Stuff”

    Truly, a vintage year.

    Oh – and great call on “The Boss” Mike, how did that only reach Number 40?

  9. 9
    vinylscot on 13 Oct 2008 #

    I voted 9-9, which surprised me. However, even in the nine I didn’t vote for, I can concede that there are only three I could actually say I disliked, or didn’t at least appreciate. There are usually a good few I hate with a passion, but only one this year. (no, not Lena Martell) So yes, one of the best years for #1s.

  10. 10
    wichita lineman on 13 Oct 2008 #

    9-9 for me too. I love the personal Top 20s above, it really was a great year even if it did provide airspace for BA Robertson.

    Two songs which figure very highly in my Most Sensuous Songs Ever list date from ’79: Fleetwood Mac’s Sara (all time no.1) and Judie Tzuke’s Stay With Me Til Dawn. The Bee Gees’ Until (from Spirits Having Flown) would make the list, too, but is trumped by their ’74 single Charade.

    I was tempted to add Chas & Dave’s Gertcha for a minute.

  11. 11
    Steve Mannion on 13 Oct 2008 #

    well while we’re at it, here’s another excellent 20 not already mentioned (from the disappointingly small list of ’79 tracks on my PC – must rectify this):

    Herb Alpert – Rotation
    Joy Division – Transmission
    Christopher Cross – Ride Like The Wind (“GP!”)
    ELO – Don’t Bring Me Down
    The Slits – Instant Hit
    Telex – Moskow Diskow
    Tata Vega – Get It Up For Love
    The B-52s – Rock Lobster
    Throbbing Gristle – Hot On The Heels Of Love
    The Motels – Kix
    Candido – Jingo
    Sugar Hill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
    Rose Royce – Is It Love You’re After?
    Vernon Burch – Get Up
    Archie Bell & The Drells – Strategy
    Edwin Birdsong – Cola Bottle Baby
    Wire – The 15th
    Yellow Magic Orchestra – Rydeen
    Michael Jackson – Rock With You
    Public Image Ltd. – Careering

    was surprised to see how late all of the disco hits there were (except Chic)

  12. 12
    LondonLee on 13 Oct 2008 #

    Looking at the lists over at Every Hit I thought I could make the argument that 1980 was a better year, there are some cracking Number Ones that year but I’ll have to admit nothing that can match the long-term impact of ‘Rhythm Stick’ or ‘Heart of Glass’

    I forgot ‘Transmission’ came out that year too. What a great time to be 17.

  13. 13
    DV on 13 Oct 2008 #

    what a year! given that 6 is what you give something that is at least kind of alright, I ended up giving it to nearly all of them. But not to Lena Martell – I didn’t give it to her.

  14. 14
    Billy Smart on 14 Oct 2008 #

    The (rather superb) NME critics’ poll for 1979;

    1. Eton rifles – The Jam
    2. Gangsters – The Specials
    3. London Calling -The Clash
    4. I will survive – Gloria Gaynor
    5. Strange town – The Jam
    6. Message in a bottle – The Police
    7. Oliver’s army – Elvis Costello
    8. Spacer – Sheila B Devotion
    9. Shake your body – The Jacksons
    10. Memories – Public Image Ltd.
    11. Death disco – Public Image Ltd.
    12. My feet keep dancing – Chic
    13. Rock lobster – The B52’s
    14. Don’t stop ’til you get enough – Michael Jackson
    15. Making plans for nigel – XTC
    16. Queen of hearts – Dave Edmunds
    17. The pictures on the wall – Echo & The Bunnymen
    18. Life during wartime – Talking Heads
    19. She’s beyond good & evil – The Pop Group
    20. Boogie wonderland – Earth Wind & Fire
    21. Rowche rumble – The Fall
    22. Living on the front line – Eddie Grant
    23. The prince – Madness
    24. Boys don’t cry – The Cure
    25. Touch – Lori & The Chameleons
    26. Transmission – Joy Division
    27. Get over you – The Undertones
    28. Memphis tennessee – Silicone Teens
    29. On my radio – The Selecter
    30. Pop music – M
    31. Girls talk – Dave Edmunds
    32. Heart of glass – Blondie
    33. We are family – Sister Sledge
    34. Stop your sobbing – Pretenders
    35. Where’s Bill Grundy now – TV Personalities
    36. Saturday night beneath the plastic palms – Leighton Buzzards
    37. Time goes by so slow – Distractions
    38. Protection – Graham Parker
    39. A message to you rudi – The Specials
    40. Electricity – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

  15. 15
    Billy Smart on 14 Oct 2008 #

    The Sounds critics’ poll is slightly different, but also very good;

    1. Eton Rifles – The Jam
    2. Gangsters – The Special AKA
    3. I Don’t Like Mondays – The Boomtown Rats
    4. Strange Town – The Jam
    5. Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3 – Ian Dury
    6. California Uber Alles – Dead Kennedys
    7. Message In A Bottle – The Police
    8. We Don’t Talk Any More – Cliff Richard
    9. Walking On The Moon – The Police
    10. Heart Of Glass – Blondie

    Melody Maker didn’t do polls of singles, but did declare Death Disco as single of the year.

  16. 16
    mike on 14 Oct 2008 #

    There’s nothing on that NME list that I’d rate less than 6 out of 10. (Lori and the Chameleons! The Distractions! Television Personalities! The Pop Group! “Rowche Rumble”!)

  17. 17
    Erithian on 14 Oct 2008 #

    Lori and the Chameleons much played by the aforementioned Mike Read…

  18. 18
    Tom on 14 Oct 2008 #

    One amazing thing about the NME list – which I agree is terrific – is quite how many of those were big hits: the music press really aligned with the charts in a way that I guess presaged their continuing engagement w/”new pop”.

    (And even the hits that weren’t big were often by groups who then went on to have hits, like Talking Heads) (Though not all – sorry Leighton Buzzards :(:()

  19. 19
    mike on 14 Oct 2008 #

    Actually, Geoff Deane and David Jaymes from the Leyton Buzzards went on to form…. Modern Romance!

  20. 20
    LondonLee on 14 Oct 2008 #

    I was just about to say that. Funny how the memory plays trick on you, I always thought ‘Saturday Night…’ had been a hit. Did I just imagine seeing them on TOTP then?

  21. 21
    LondonLee on 14 Oct 2008 #

    No I didn’t! Though the single only got to #53 which seems awfully low to get a spot on TOTP.

  22. 22
    mike on 14 Oct 2008 #

    It’s almost certainly because the Leyton Buzzards had just won a Radio One “battle of the bands” competition, which came with the prize of a record deal with Chrysalis. “Saturday Night…” was their first single with the label.

  23. 23
    mike on 15 Oct 2008 #

    Lori and the Chameleons much played by the aforementioned Mike Read…

    …and “Touch” was composed by someone we’ll be dealing with in the first half of 1988.

  24. 24
    Martin Skidmore on 15 Oct 2008 #

    Surprisingly, I only ticked six – but I can see another five that might conceivably have got 6s, so if I’d been generous, I could have ticked 11. The first part of the year is particularly stellar for me, but it could have been much better if Chic had hit the top a few times – there are 4 or 5 Chic singles I’d give 10 to.

  25. 25
    SteveM on 15 Oct 2008 #

    for the record i ticked 12, would’ve been 13 but have decided to be a bit harsh on ‘Sunday Girl’.

  26. 26
    Doctormod on 15 Oct 2008 #

    I told you I’d be back when the seventies were over!

    (No, really–I hadn’t visited this site for some weeks, and then this morning I groggily clicked the FT bookmark when I meant to click the one next to it on the list and. . . .)

    I actually ticked ten here, and they more or less coincide with the majority. (OK, I really do like the PF track in spite of myself.) This must mean:


  27. 27
    Erithian on 15 Oct 2008 #

    Hope you’ll stick around Doc – we’re losing too many good people here!

  28. 28
    LondonLee on 15 Oct 2008 #

    And it would be 20 years before we could talk about the decade without people laughing and making jokes about flares.

  29. 29
    abaffledrepublic on 15 Oct 2008 #

    Voted for 8, didn’t vote for 10, but then I’m really picky. Seems that a strong year for singles in general means a strong year for no1s, rather than the rubbish holding sway at the top.

  30. 30
    Chris Brown on 15 Oct 2008 #

    XTC also got to make their TotP debut with the massive Number 54 smash ‘Life Begins At The Hop’ – interestingly, both this and ‘Nigel’ are of course Colin Moulding’s songs. Pity he seems to have given up now.
    Of the records I know from that NME list, there are only three or four I’d rank below six, and a couple of them are probably more to do with overexposure than the records themselves. ‘Shake Your Body’ is a solid five for me though.

  31. 31
    Mark G on 16 Oct 2008 #

    TotP, back then, was 35 or 40 minutes long, so they could occasionally put a band on that they wanted to give a boost to. When they got shaved to 30 mins, the top40 rule was more rigorously enforced.

  32. 32
    rosie on 16 Oct 2008 #

    I voted for 10 here. A good few others would be 5s, which is a good record in my book. I’m heartened to note that the misanthropic ones who have voted “none of them!” in previous polls have yet to register in 1979!

    On careful reflection, I would rate Dance Away as my outstanding single of a very good year. There aren’t many records that can still give me a near-orgasmic glow and shiver (at the same time) after thirty years, and this is one of them. Had it made the top, a clear 10 from me.

  33. 33
    jeff w on 16 Oct 2008 #

    voted (anonymously on another PC) for 14

    these polls are attracting lots of voters now!

  34. 34
    Conrad on 16 Oct 2008 #

    Re 29 and 30 it was also a question of logistics. If several records climbing the charts were by, say, American acts not then in the country, or bigger UK acts who may have been on tour, in the era when promo videos were not commonplace, TOTP could easily find themselves short of live performances to fill a 30 or, as Mark points out, a 35-40 minute time slot.

    Often they simply repeated an act’s performance from a fortnight previously, but I imagine they were reluctant to rely on this. So, sometimes an act with a single outside the Top 40 got on the show.

    I remember the Mark I Human League performing Rock’n’Roll, although the track never made the Top 40. I also rememember a somewhat sinister 2 appearances by an act called Platinum Blonde, who did a medley of Blondie hits in the summer of 81 stars-on-45 craze. And this depite the record not making the Top 40 – definitely something fishy going on there!

    Actually, I should have asked Michael Hurll. I’ve just come from a meeting with him. I’m not sure he’d remember now -the chap’s about 80.

  35. 35
    SteveIson on 16 Oct 2008 #

    Yeh,a brilliant year for #1s..I voted 12-6

    Only Village People,Pink Floyd,Cliff,Art Garfunkle,Dr Hook and Lena Martell scored below 6

  36. 36
    Erithian on 17 Oct 2008 #

    Quality namedrop there Conrad!

  37. 37
    vinylscot on 17 Oct 2008 #

    Re nomarks on TOTP. The mid-70s was the era for these – I seem to remember it was almost a feature, to have a “new release” on every week. I can remember a female glam rocker called “Bobbie McGee” (can’t remember the song), a nondescript bunch called Longdancer doing something instantly forgettable (completely flopped – I wonder what happened to that David A Stewart fellow) and some mob called 1776, doing a terrible version of “Oh Susanna”.

    Slightly less left-field, but rather more pleasing, was the surprise appearance by SAHB doing “Delilah” before they had ever hit the singles chart, although they were pretty well known, I suppose.

  38. 38
    Conrad on 17 Oct 2008 #

    Thanks Erithian – there aren’t many websites where that would be considered a namedrop!

  39. 39
    Erithian on 17 Oct 2008 #

    But that one was special (special) sooo special…

  40. 40
    Conrad on 17 Oct 2008 #

    You’ll get some of Tom’s attention with comments like that

  41. 41
    Erithian on 17 Oct 2008 #

    And so what if I do? – got bottle and I’m gonna use it!

  42. 42
    Billy Smart on 17 Oct 2008 #

    Re 20 & 21: TOTPWatch. The Leyton Buzzards performed ‘Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees’ on the edition transmitted on March the 9th 1979. Also in the studio that week were; The Buzzcocks, Cliff Richard, Dennis Brown, The Dooleys, Inner Circle, Motorhead, The Real Thing and The Late Show (who?), plus Legs & Co’s infamous interpretation of ‘Something Else’. The host was David Jensen.

  43. 43
    Billy Smart on 18 Oct 2008 #

    And here are the charts of 1979 seen upside down; Those singles which peaked at number 40 (I adore the first one and don’t know the others);

    10 Mar Trash – Roxy Music – 1 week

    24 Mar Bristol Stomp – Late Show – 1

    12 May As Long As The Price Is Right – Dr. Feelgood – 1

    16 Jun I’d Be Surprisingly Good For You – Linda Lewis – 1

    30 Jun One Rule For You – After The Fire – 1

    4 Aug The Boss – Diana Ross – 1

    18 Aug You Need Wheels – The Merton Parkas – 1

    27 Nov Heartache Tonight – The Eagles – 1

  44. 44
    mike on 18 Oct 2008 #

    I remember all of those #40s except the Dr. Feelgood. Really liked “Trash” at the time, to the extent that the follow-up “Dance Away” came as a crashing disappointment; I was hoping for Roxy Mark II to be a lot more “Trash”-like. (I like it well enough now, though.)

    But “The Boss” stands head and shoulders above all of them, obviously!

  45. 45
    Billy Smart on 19 Oct 2008 #

    I’m hoping that ‘The Bristol Stomp’ sounded more like Pigbag or The Pop Group than some Wurzels-style novelty reworking of ‘The Disco Stomp’…

  46. 46
    Tom on 19 Oct 2008 #

    How was “The Boss” not a bigger hit???

  47. 47
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 19 Oct 2008 #

    yes the strength of the nme’s “line”at this point was that pop and the avant-garde weren’t just nodding acquaintances but compadres

    ie you felt (well, i felt) that if the pop group were asked “is the name ironic?” they would say NOT AT ALL

  48. 48
    Billy Smart on 12 Nov 2008 #

    NME Readers’ poll for 1979: Best single;

    1. The Specials/ Gangsters
    2. The Jam/ Eton Rifles
    3. The Police/ Message In A Bottle
    4. Tubeway Army/ Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
    5. Pink Floyd/ Another Brick In The Wall
    6. The Boomtown Rats/ I Don’t Like Mondays
    7. The Police/ Roxanne
    8. The Jam/ Strange Town
    9. The Jam/ When You’re Young
    10. The Clash/ London Calling

  49. 49
    Billy Smart on 12 Nov 2008 #

    Melody Maker readers’ poll for 1979: Best single;

    1. The Boomtown Rats/ I Don’t Like Mondays
    2. Tubeway Army/ Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
    3. Dire Straits/ Sultans Of Swing
    4. Supertramp/ The Logical Song
    5. The Police/ Roxanne
    6. Judie Tzuke/ Stay With Me Till Dawn
    7. Motorhead/ Overkill
    8. The Police/ Can’t Stand Losing You
    9. Dave Edmunds/ Girls Talk
    10. Ian Dury & The Blockheads/ Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
    11. Gary Moore/ Parisienne Walkways
    12. The Specials/ Gangsters
    13. Supertramp/ Breakfast In America
    14. Roxy Music/ Dance Away
    15. Ian Dury & The Blockheads/ Reasons To Be Cheerful
    16. The Ruts/ Babylon’s Burning
    17. David Bowie/ Boys Keep Swinging
    18. Yes/ Don’t Kill The Whale
    19. Blondie/ Heart Of Glass
    20. Spyro Gyra/ Morning Dance

  50. 50
    lonepilgrim on 12 Nov 2008 #

    re 48 & 49 are an interesting reflection of the tastes of the two music papers – MM readers were obviously still split between punk and the old guard – Don’t kill the whale more popular than Heart of Glass? Pah! Mind you the NME chart looks rather monotone in comparison (with both the MM readers and NME critics poll). Do you have the Sounds readers chart Billy? I suspect that there may be a bit more metal in there.

  51. 51
    Billy Smart on 13 Nov 2008 #

    I’ve not seen any of the Sounds readers’ polls (or most of the critics ones, either) but would be really interested to find out.

  52. 52
    unlogged-in lord soülråt on 13 Nov 2008 #

    i might be able to dig out the sounds polls for 1979, from my giant pile of stuff a normal person would have thrown away — i think this is the year i gave up reading sounds IN JUSTIFIED DISGUST (they sacked jane suck and hired garry bushell) (and gave the firs raincoats LP a bad review!)

  53. 53
    Billy Smart on 16 Dec 2008 #

    Here are the phantom number ones that got to the top spot on the NME chart, but not the Guinness one; Chiquitta, Oliver’s Army, In The Navy, Pop Muzik, Dance Away, Silly Games. No mean list in its own right!

  54. 54
    punctum on 13 Oct 2012 #

    1979 on TPL begins and this all has to come to an end.

  55. 55
    punctum on 15 Oct 2012 #

    TPL, and EMI’s strange notions on what constitutes dance music.

  56. 56
    punctum on 17 Oct 2012 #

    Back to K-Tel.

  57. 57
    punctum on 28 Oct 2012 #

    Back to Barbra.

  58. 58
    punctum on 4 Nov 2012 #

    Back, boringly, to Abba.

  59. 59
    punctum on 7 Nov 2012 #

    TPL on ELO.

  60. 60
    punctum on 14 Nov 2012 #

    TPL goes disco.

  61. 61
    punctum on 16 Nov 2012 #

    Achilles’ last stand; TPL on In Through The Out Door.

  62. 62
    punctum on 24 Nov 2012 #

    TPL with maybe 1979’s most boring number one album.

  63. 63
    lonepilgrim on 9 Jan 2014 #

    TOTP 04/01/1979

    Mike Read presents from a charisma free-zone
    Paul Evans with “Hello this is Joanie” over the top 30
    followed quickly by
    Generation X – with Billy Idol sporting a punk mullet – sounds a bit like Adam Ant or possibly vice versa – it’s OK, not great
    Elton John – not sure what look he was going for here – this always reminds me of ‘Lick my Love Pump’
    Earth, Wind and Fire – and the gals are back: with an energetic routine, longer hair and bridesmaids dresses
    Ian Dury – outstanding
    OMG ONJ OBE – looking more confident post-Grease than on earlier TOP performances – not a great tune tho
    Racey -wondered why this sounded like a throwback, then discovered it’s a ChinniChap song
    Barry White -someone’s been busy with Pledge on the piano – quite the polished performance
    BoM – please let this be goodbye – perhaps it’s Stockholm syndrome but this sounds better than previous efforts
    Village People – lively lads
    Hot Chocolate over the end credits – better in a similar vein than ‘Song for Guy’

    subdued start to the year but not too bad

  64. 64
    Lazarus on 9 Jan 2014 #

    And so normal service is resumed … Mike Read presents, he’s becoming the most regular host it seems, and we start with the Top 30 and the sad tale of Joannie and her telephone answering machine.

    Generation X – the first sighting on the show of one William Broad, or Billy Idol as we came to know him. I spy pogo-ers. Sparky rendition.

    Elton John – “one of the king rockers who’s been around on the scene for quite a while” – this is a show full of links like that. Reg from Pinner looking mournful in his flat cap. Cheer up mate, in 20 years you’ll have hair again!

    Earth Wind & Fire / Legs & Co – Sueless performance. Song is the biz. They did ‘Got to get you into my life’ for the Sgt Pepper film didn’t they – I think we’ve missed that along the way.

    Ian Dury – oft-seen film. Several songs cut short tonight, but this gets its full four minute glory.

    Olivia Newton-John – when I was 15 I thought she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, and I don’t think I was far off the mark. Highlight of the show for me, a vision in pink. The song is a slinky and sensuous thing, and a deserved Top 10 – would be her last for nearly three years though.

    Racey – like Olivia, the drummer is wearing pink trousers. Good party tune with added crowd sounds. Last time they were on singer Richard Gower was serenading Sue but if she is the dancer in the blue dress she’s cut off after three seconds. Just as well for the Swede’s blood pressure probably.

    Barry White – “attacking Billy Joel in his own inimitable style” – I think I’d like to have seen that. Big Bazza had quite a few pounds over his opponent but Billy was a bit of a pugilist wasn’t he. This is OK, but I was already a Joel fan by this point.

    Brotherhood of Man – ” a string of hits behind them and one more in front” – not the most promising of intros and in fact over-optimistic for this one. ‘Goodbye Goodbye’ proved prophetic in their case though, apart from a minor chart entry in ’82. A bit of a scarf-waver with very Abba-ish vocals, this is far from their worst to be fair.

    Village People – following a rather irrelevant Beatles reference we get the video, I don’t think they ever made it into the Pops studio did they? Not uncommon for US acts of course.

    Hot Choc see us out. Pretty good start to the year I reckon.

  65. 65
    Erithian on 9 Jan 2014 #

    That “irrelevant” Beatles reference: Mike Read started the show by noting that it was the 15th birthday of TOTP; mentioned that ONJ (who’d just got an OBE in the New Year’s honours) wasn’t the only OBE on the show; and referred to the Beatles’ five records in the first TOTP Top 20, apparently after an edit. Now who can we think of that was an OBE and might have come on the show to talk about the first edition of TOTP, but was likely to be edited out of tonight’s showing?

  66. 66
    Billy Hicks on 10 Jan 2014 #

    …that awkward moment when you read the question literally, spend five minutes searching the 1979 New Year Honours list only to realise what you mean. D’oh.

    (1972, for those wondering)

  67. 67
    Jimmy the Swede on 10 Jan 2014 #

    It’s 1979 – a great year for the Swede.

    Mike Read indeed. It’s the 15th anniversary edition. “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was number one that time. Rundown to Paul Evans and his dead girlfriend. She’s remembered on her Jim Rockford thingmebob. Not a very good start as it happens. (Can I say “as it happens”?)

    Gen X – Blimey, he looks about twelve. But this is great. Alive and kicking.

    Elton’s song for Guy – The fact that Read tells us that Reg has been “on the scene for quite a while” just underpins what an extraordinary career the grande dame has had and is still having 35 years further down the line.

    Gals dance to EWF singing about September in January. The Eternal Mistress is absent. Boo! Lovely Rosemary tries to persuade us everything’s fine but it’s like watching Hamlet without the Prince. Fantastic record, though and check out when they undoubtedly sing “Barmy Army, Army, Army…” over the chorus towards the end. Choice.

    Ian Dury – We’re just days into the year and already a main contender for the finest record of 1979. But it’s cut before the sublime guitar exuant. Bloody boo!

    Neutron Bomb –

    Cambridge Kanga
    Hubba, hubba, hubba!
    Enobled by Brenda
    She sends Swedo round the benda!

    She’s looking ravashing. And each time she throws her head back, I’m in serious fucking trouble.

    Racey – Prestatyn-bound lifers and a microsecond of one of the no-marks trying to cop off with my godess. It’s not happening, shithead!

    Mike now accuses the Lurrve Walrus of attacking Billy Joel “in his own inimitable style”. I actually bought the 12″ of this back in the day. It’s cheese heaven. It was rather like George Foreman doing a Partridge Family number.

    BOM – Goodbye, goodbye. Oh for God’s sake, get over the dance routine bit! Nicky’s barnet is okay and different but the others haven’t changed an iota. Martin’s soup-strainer is tragically still alive but alas the group isn’t. Goodbye indeed. Minibus now. I say Minibus now. And in the name of all that’s holy, no more parole!

    Mike sneaks the Beatles into the story and then up pop the number one act, the boys down at the old YMCA, where you can get yourself clean, have a good meal and do whatever you feel. As I wrote on the record’s blog here on Popular about six years ago, I didn’t twig about this for ages. The only thing I knew was that the biker looked like Dennis Lillee. But obviously this is a monster and a REAL dance routine for you. Watching it now and I find myself roaring at the little minces the frontman cop does back and forth in front of the others. And the laugh is on me. Because “hanging out with all the boys” simply meant going down Stamford Bridge to me back in the day.

    Out to the Chocs trying to talk someone out of turning themselves over with a fistful of Anadin. Beautiful.

    1979 is here. HOORAY!!

  68. 68
    Patrick Mexico on 12 Jan 2014 #

    Racey – the 1979 S****** for G****?

    Like those landfill indie behemoths, I found myself singing along but it was so rinky-dink and lame I felt I should go for a cold shower immediately..

  69. 69
    lonepilgrim on 16 Jan 2014 #

    TOTP 11/01/1979
    ‘Kid’ Jenson presents
    Chaka Khan over the charts
    Rocky Sharpe & the Replays – forced smiles and knowing winks – the poor man’s Darts
    Sally Oldfield – the TOTP orchestra stomp all over this – only SO’s vocal hints at the delicate original
    Paul Evans – barely suppressed smirks undermine the contrition – she’s behind you mate
    Bonnie Tyler – unfamiliar/unmemorable tune that BT does her best to sell – I’m not buying
    Driver 67 – glum Brum cab gab
    The Shadows – Hank’s guitar playing magnificent yet dull
    Funkadelic – great tune featuring the gals in military shirts and khaki leotards – Swede may want to enlist
    Steve Allen – so lacking in energy he has to sit down – Fern Kinney transformed this lead into gold
    Village People – the original Boyzone
    Billy Joel – pipes perkily over the end credits

    the winter of discontent is strong with this one – grim, dreary and stuck in a rut- with only the dance acts offering any hope and energy

  70. 70
    Mark G on 17 Jan 2014 #

    1979 – Stayed in bed.. Sorry, missed last week but hey..

    Kid sells it for whatever your music taste.. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

    Chakka Charts, she’s everywoman. Ok, good..

    Rocky notsharp and replays revive a song that was quite happy being dead, but here we are with the ‘Two revival acts’ rule, showaddy are gone, Darts are still about, and this bunch having lucked in with Chiswick Records getting EMI distribution..

    Sally Oldfield. OK, it’s death by BBC orchestra and ladybirds, but there’s some definite skronky notes there. And the song is bonkers mad nutty anyway, but Kid did warn you. Oh, and she dunt arf look like bro Mike bytheway.

    Kid ambushes some girl who tries not to swear, into introducing “The Telephone Answering machine song”.. “Joanie is giving Paul the pip!” WHAT, BY BEING DEAD??? Ahem. Paul here is getting his second hit single, which is not exactly setting the charts on fire except for being the longest time between chart entries (19 years, seven little girls sitting in the back row, hugging and kissing with REDACTED ON LEGAL ADVICE)

    Bonnie Tyler sings a countryish song, don’t remember it at all.

    It’s a precipitation segue (thanks, Kid), Leo gets rain in his heart, which gives Mike Batt some inspiration for Alvin Stardust, and, eventually, Ted Chippington. And, you know, that can’t be bad. No.

    Mankind do Dr Who again.Repeat.

    Here comes Driver 67 with his “first single” (did they have loads of Driver themed songs in the pipeline?) No. Although I dimly remember some sort of follow up. I don’t know, some sort of tax loss..

    It’s groovy new wave with The Doll time. Hmmm, I suspect ex prog folkie goings on. I could be wrong.. By the way, check out their single “Burning up like a fire” and The Cars’ “Just what I needed”, it’s uncanny..

    Hot Choc do a big ballad from a failed musical. Successfully. It’s ok, but not what we want really.

    The Shadows go nil nil nil dil nil nil. It’s not exactly Stingray. I think they lost out to John Williams in the end. (Stingray is great, by the way. It’s not the Gerry Anderson theme, it’s one of their own. Fuzz crazy. Word is they hate it)

    oxygen for JimSwede, I fear he may not survive. “One nation under a groove” it’s truly great, maybe the first great record on tonight. The dance is alright, just. The look is US army fatigues.

    Steve Allen? He looks like he lost the bet and had to sing it on TOTP as pennance. The look is footballer 1970s style, waiting for his TV to get delivered. Clearly this song is a hit waiting to happen, but maybe it’s not a guy song.

    YMCA. I almost stayed at a YWCA one time, we were invited to a party late and they had a double room but the girl I was with wasn’t going for it and in fact wanted to go home NOW. Not fun.

    Kid says goodnight. Who’s that bloke with the flat cap? I see it’s the Maggie Stredder Singers once again.. Those roman numeral years were long in those days..

  71. 71
    Jimmy the Swede on 17 Jan 2014 #

    Cornflake currently in court.

    Back in ’79, it’s the Keed.

    Chaka, Chaka Khan over the rundown. She’s every woman. How fabulous for her.

    Replay for Rocky Sharp, keeping the pointless 50s revival alive. They really need to get on the minibus now.

    Sally Oldfield – A sweet, if particularly strange little song is overwhelmed by the crass BBC’s arrangement. Poor homely-looking Sally looks as if she wants to be somewhere else. Her butterfly has been broken on a wheel.

    Paul Evans – Many folk of my vintage appreciate a good death song. “Seasons in the Sun” is a prime example, as is the Chocs’ “Emma”, which Errol was compelled to write about his own mother after Micky Most got on his case about writing a weepy. In the case of “Hello this is Joannie”, alas, we are faced with a comedy record which goes wrong. The numptie just can’t hide his glee as he continually presses Joannie’s button just to hear her speak at his will like a kewpie doll. While alive, the girl is stood just behind him but once she’s totalled, Joannie has drifted further back and is fading away. leaving Evans to insincerely regret that he will never again “kiss that funny face”. There’s something rancidly unedifying about the whole thing.

    Bonnie T – I too have no memory of this one but it’s always great seeing La Tyler back in the day.

    Driver 67 – Hand up, I absolutely loved this. It’s such an original way to tell a sad little story about an equally sad little man getting dumped. Luckily he has an understanding Controller so he is saved humiliation. It’s extremely touching, I think. A great little record and a favourite of the Queen Mother, which perhaps adds to the oddity of it all.

    Shads – Well, okay, it’s a fine piece but what was the point? The John Williams original started life on “Vision On”, which always seemed to have great backing music, which itself was ironic since the show was famously a vehicle for the deaf.

    Funkadelic – I am grateful for Mark G’s concern but the Swede just got to his panic button in time. It was a close thing, though, as this routine by the Gals would have destroyed better men. They are grooving to the superb “One nation under a Groove” and Mucky Sue’s sublime pins are everywhere as our lovelies are barely dressed in army fatigues and khaki leotards. Bloody magnificent, man!

    Steve Allen – Sorry, mate but it’s not your gig. Go away, whoever you are.

    Village People – I also have never stayed at a YMCA but back in 1981, myself and a couple of buddies climbed off a train in Hannover far too late to find a room and spent the night in a doss house run by nuns. They were wonderfully welcoming to us and gave us soup and crackers, God bless them!

    Billy Joel boxes us out to the titles.

  72. 72
    punctum on 17 Jan 2014 #

    I was rather glad that the Steve Allan in question wasn’t LBC’s Steve Allen. The embarrassment! “Evening, I’m afraid – Rocky Sharpe and the Replays, quite, quite dreary, ladies and gentlemen; “Hello This Is Joanie,” more dreariness, Bonnie Tyler, oh put it away love, nobody’s interested, ghastly and revolting, M&S chips, halogen oven, gurgle gurgle that was my stomach I’m afraid, ladies and gentlemen, 84850, Car 67, not remotely interested, couldn’t give a toss…” (continues for another nine million shows).

  73. 73
    thefatgit on 17 Jan 2014 #

    ‘old on young Swede. Aren’t we confusing “Cavatina” with “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”?

  74. 74
    Jimmy the Swede on 17 Jan 2014 #

    #73 – Yes, you’re absolutely right, fats. Apologies everyone.

  75. 75
    thefatgit on 17 Jan 2014 #

    There’s another version of DCFMA (that won’t be troubling future TOTP discussions) by The D****y’s (who will be). And it’s as awful as you’d care to imagine.

  76. 76
    Mark G on 17 Jan 2014 #

    #73, full disclosure, so did I.

    #75, there was that line in “TubThumping” that had to be changed for copyright reasons, also.

  77. 77
    Jimmy the Swede on 18 Jan 2014 #

    I’m sure my buddy Erithian will not mind me repeating this gem he sent me in another place concerning a Twitter entry commenting on this very TOTP episode. It was on the lines of: “if only Driver 67 had taken Joannie home, things would have ended up much happier…”

    But would this actually have been the case. Let’s consider this concept for a moment, shall we? Driver 67 is told to pick up a fare at 83 Royal Gardens. He immediately begs his controller to let him off this job, explaining that this is the address of his girlfriend who has just left him the night before. The understanding Controller readily agrees and 67 jogs on waiting for his radio to come alive again.

    At this precise moment, Joannie emerges from Paul Evans’ gaf in a state of high agitation, having had a row with Paul, who had necked the best part of a bottle of Black Tower. She is marching in fury towards her car just as 67 slides up:

    “Alright, love? Do you want a cab?”
    “No, it’s okay. I have my car right here.”
    “You appear to be upset about something…”
    “My goddam boyfriend, that’s who! He’s no good. I’m leaving him at this time and going to a girlfriend’s house. Boy, I’m so fucking mad at him!”
    “You don’t want to drive like that, petal. It would be better if…”
    “And I’m not taking the drunken bum back this time! Not this time! I’ll be back for my things tomorrow. Then it’s goodbye Paul Evans!”
    “Paul Evans?”
    “My boyfriend. Or rather my EX! Jesus, what a creep!”
    “Is he Welsh?”
    “Actually we’re both from the United States. Only he’s a jerk!”
    “Look, love, why don’t you let me take you to your mate’s? You can come back for your car tomorrow. I won’t even charge you full whack.”
    “Say, that’s really nice of you. You seem such a decent guy! I ought to introduce you to my girlfriend. She’s been fixing on dumping her boyfriend also. He is also a jerk!”
    “Okay, jump in, petal. What’s your mate’s address?”
    “She lives at 83 Royal Gardens.”

    67 immediately screams “FUCK!” and puts his foot down. Joannie, now, incandescent, screams “GODDAM!” runs to her car, kicks the wheel before yanking the door open and getting in. She disappears in seconds…

    Fate will always have its way. And as I’m always apt to say: “when your time is up, it’s up!”

  78. 78
    Lazarus on 18 Jan 2014 #

    Finally got round to watching this, just a few random thoughts …

    Sally Oldfield, going for the Kate Bush market? Those frocks look a bit Bronte-ish after all. People often comment on what a hatchet job the BBC Orchestra are doing but you have to remember the original to spot the difference, and I haven’t heard this oddity in 35 years.

    Bonnie Tyler, I thought I recognised this! It’s from the Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers album ‘Damn the Torpedoes’

    Leo Sayer, what was it with white jackets this week?

    Driver 67 – “my girl left home, in the middle of a fight” You mean it continued without her? I reckon car 23 was the ‘right place, right time’ man.

    Doll – another one I haven’t heard since it was out. Did they go on to anything else? A poor man’s Patti Smith, frankly.

    The Hot Choc song was from a ‘musical concept.’ Eh? What’s that when it’s at home? A musical that never got off the ground, is my guess.

    Steve Allan, could have done with being sat at a piano. This version put me in mind of Peter Skellern a little.

    Legs/Funkadelic the high point obvs.

  79. 79
    Mark G on 19 Jan 2014 #

    Re Hot Choc, yes, it was indeed. A musical about an agony aunt newspaper columnist who had more problems in their own life, let alone advising others, etc. “Dear Anyone”. Not a hit..

  80. 80
    Erithian on 19 Jan 2014 #

    Lazarus/Swede – yes, you’re right, I always thought Driver 23 was more involved than they were letting on…

  81. 81
    Mark G on 23 Jan 2014 #

    Blimey, new carpet? Never mind, Peter Powell the his sparkle back for the tv chart show..

    Shalamar! Seems too early, but it’s just the chartrundown ..”what shall I do.. With all this muh-ney…?”

    Sirr Dancealot! Wee oot, wee oot… Ahem. That’s Pete Wingfield there isn’t it? Olympic Runners, any road..

    Anne Murray sings a well crafted song.

    Legs/Swede, you know..

    Ian Dury in the room hooray. My spell check/changer had him as Ian Drug for some reason..

    Pete does a lousy act pretending he’s not filming his links as inserts.

    Three degrees nick a song off Twiggy.

    Pete man! This week, fondling the girl is not a good idea..

    Billy Joel in a my life movie video thing.

    Chic do L Freak ok..

    YMCA is no 1.
    Lief Garrett looks a bit like Peter Frampton! This is how teen idols were back then, one hit single, lots of magazines sold, then they go back to the US and are never seen again!

    Anyway sorry it’s a bit rushed, I got to be somewhere now!

  82. 82
    lonepilgrim on 23 Jan 2014 #

    TOTP 18/01/79
    Peter Powell presents
    Shalamar over the charts
    Olympic Runners – sprightly jumpsuit clad Britfunk featuring Pete Winfield
    Anne Murray – hypnotically dreary dirge
    Dan Hartman – gals saving on the costume budget with some cheap jewellery and not much else
    Ian Dury/Blockheads – Britfunk on a higher plane, ID a compelling enigma
    3 Degrees – by Royal appointment – sophisticated soul stylings
    Billy Joel – peppy pop with hints of Beatles and Four Seasons
    Chic – glorious fluid economy – Bernard Edwards’ bass wonderful
    Village People – so upbeat
    Leif Garrett – makes a personal appearance. Seems a nice chap, didn’t have much success here did he?
    Chaka Khan over the closing credits

    a far better show than last week – despite the black hole of Anne Murray

  83. 83
    Speedwell54 on 23 Jan 2014 #

    Pete is back, thank goodness.

    Olympic Runners – interesting image – Pete Wingfield (in yellow?) – who was once a Replay- did loads of better/fascinating stuff with different acts. Not my cup of tea though.

    Anne Murray – not quite Irish enough. Clip looks like it was old then.

    Ian Dury – sounds like Mike Reid from his Runaround days. Music starts like it could go somewhere completely different.

    3Degrees – Brainy lot! But also very cold! – always end up watching her mouth; is she chewing? She certainly has some vocal tic, that extra chew and that shaky bottom lip. Twiggy sang this on TOTP a couple of years earlier which is a little odd having only just learned she was also belting out Mistletoe and Wine a year or so before Cliff. What next, a you tube clip of her singing Blurred Lines on the Kelly Monteith show in ’82?

    Dan Hartman – this is not it really.

    Billy Joel – My Life. Agree with Lonepilgrim on the Beatles nods on the piano. Enjoyed this song and video.

    Chic -Le Freak twktc.

    Village People – likewise.

    Chaka Khan – last week over the charts, this week over the credits; did she dis someone?

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  84. 84
    hardtogethits on 23 Jan 2014 #

    oh dang. Sorry for being a bit out of sync here. Driver 67. Here’s a few things:
    1. This is truly a “Hardtogethit”.* I’ve found it on 2 very good, faithful 70s compilations (one by the usually likeable Readers** Digest – from the Sounds Of The Seventies set of Triple CDs) and then discovered that the Brummie cabbie has been replaced by an American controller. It’s not nice to have one’s memories disregarded like that.
    2. The original isn’t on Spotify. The bikini-clad-girl-on-the-front type versions on there are chucklesome.
    3. Driver 67’s Car 67 entered the charts at 67.
    4. Likely Lads / Clement and La Frenais vibe? + Terry Collier had a stint as an unfortunate cabbie. + Controller sounds like Timothy Spall as Barry in Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

    *You won’t have trouble finding a 7″ version on ebay.
    **Apostrophise to taste.

  85. 85
    Jimmy the Swede on 25 Jan 2014 #

    Safe as houses Peter Powell in his usual St Vitus Dance mode.

    Shalamar over the rundown with the excellent “Take That To The Bank”. Will this preface an equally excellent show?..

    Er…pass. First up, Olympic Runners, not American but a well-presented British black and white funk group, although unlike many of you, I did not spot Pete Wingfield. This was quite good but after one more minor hit, this lot were on the minibus. And 1979 was not an Olympic year.

    Anne Murray – Popular Pals will remember that the fear of Christ was put into the Swede by Mary MacGregor, the gun-toting soccer mom, a while back. I had an ally in this view in no less a personage than the Lineman. I’m afraid that Canadian songstress Anne has a very similar effect on me. It’s the silky, re-assuring voice coupled with her frumpy togs, glassy staring eyes and bitter sweet smile. Many fools have been enticed to her homestead in the wilds of Saskatchewan in the hope of warmth, love and cookies only to encounter “Stabatha”. She sings sweetly “You needed me” and her cellar is now piled up with the corpses of those who believed her.

    PP warms the Swede up by insisting that the Gals are “looking particularly beautiful” dancing to Dan Hartman’s follow-up to his biggie. It’s a sub-standard track but Sue and her gorgeous troupe sure enough give us a treat, although it’s more of a highly professional routine than a sexy one and in any case far better than the song deserves.

    Powell has his hand rested on the shoulder of a guy who is the spit of George Chuvalo, a Canadian heavyweight boxer who took Ali the distance when The Greatest was in his prime. He was one hell of a tough bastard and Our ‘Enry stayed well clear. George later turned up in an episode of The New Avengers. Back to the show and it’s Ian and his Blockheads in the studio sealing the top spot for the next week. They’re miming but it doesn’t matter. Brillance all day long.

    Three Degrees are next. Lightweight soul group at the end of the line. But give it up for Fergie. She’s got a right north and south on her and over in Highgrove a posh bloke with big lugs just into his thirties knocks one out into an Anne of Cleves tea towel.

    Peter invites a visit from Knacker by kissing a girl on the cheek. Careful! Then a strange promo film for Billy Joel’s “My Life”. Superior singer/songwriter just getting into his stride.

    Chic – Le Freak. Disco Quality Street with yummy gals all over the place.

    Number one and we’re back to the good ol’ YMCA.

    Peter introduces us to Leif Garret, a here today, gone tomorrow teen idol. I can hear my Edwardian dad screaming “Get yer bleedin’ hair cut, you bleedin’ poof!” at the screen. He started off as a child actor, did Leif. I think he later became a bum.

    Out to Chaka.

  86. 86
    Lazarus on 30 Jan 2014 #

    OK it’s back, no embargoed episodes as yet … by this time next week we ought to know if it’s safe to let the Cornflake back on the air.

    Mike Read is our host tonight.

    Nazareth – grizzled old rockers from Scotland with what must have been their last hit. Zal Cleminson from SAHB joined the band in ’79, can’t see him here although he’d obviously look very different without the whiteface.

    Three Degrees – repeat, pleasant but they did much better. Mike bangs a gong to introduce …

    The Members – singer Nicky Tesco adopting a few Pursey poses with the mad staring eyes. Good chugging chorus. Their next single would be a horse of a very different colour.

    Sally Oldfield – Mirrors. Big in Germany it seems, and has released no fewer than 15 albums. Not sure the audience knew what to do with this.

    UFO – one of the great rock intros. I should think between them and Nazareth they pretty much drank the green room dry. The Members would have been on Watneys Red Barrel, and Sally just a small sherry.

    Quick, call Knacker! Mike is inviting girls to kiss him. Two Man Sound featuring Gill and Rosie from Legs and Co, don’t remember this curio.

    Generation X – not sure if this is another repeat. I’m more kindly disposed toward this record than I was at the time.

    Pointer Sisters – I know this now as an old Sly & the Family Stone song – the sisters’ contrasting voices suit it perfectly. Not a hit, was it? Phoebe Snow’s take on McCartney’s ‘Every Night’ must have been out at around this time too.

    Mike, posing with a guitar like the wannabe pop star he was, introduces –

    Blondie – the new number one danced to by Legs & Co! They look great of course, but didn’t the Beeb have a copy of the video at that point? Can’t be copyright issues there, surely.

    A bit of ‘Chiquitita’ to see us out. Good show with no-one obviously destined for that long ride to North Wales.

  87. 87
    punctum on 31 Jan 2014 #

    The 25/01/79 episode was embargoed for Cornflake-related reasons – the only week Ian Dury spent at number one. Also on that week’s show were Donny and Marie Osmond. The BBC knew what time it was, all right.

    Looks like the BBC can’t afford the rights to show the “Heart Of Glass” video either. If only they hadn’t paid out all that money to “characters” in the seventies.

  88. 88
    Erithian on 31 Jan 2014 #

    No, the Popscene list says it was Legs and Co originally, so presumably we get the video in subsequent weeks.

  89. 89
    punctum on 31 Jan 2014 #

    I wonder whether Debbie and Chris somehow managed to see that Legs & Co routine and thought, damn, we’d better get to Studio 54 and shoot a proper video…

  90. 90
    sükråt tanned rested unlogged and awesome on 31 Jan 2014 #

    As far as I know — Kat to thread? — the BBC’s universal copyright agreement covers official promotional videos as well as music, for multiple use in perpetuity: which means that they have already paid for all repeat uses they’d ever want to make of any song and any video used in the programme. What it *doesn’t* cover is clips from movies, even when these also include the given song as soundtrack (including as soundtrack to its own performance).

    What this means is that it costs (more or less) nothing* to run repeats of ToTP: provided they snip out any films clips, which they’d have to negotiate separately. (Chances are that the first-use fell under the rubric of promotion of the film when it was just out or coming out, and that this also didn’t require paying for. But this no longer applies and now they would have to pay, and besides incurring costs this can be a FAFF — bcz the film company can play silly buggers and demand the earth when it assumes the requestor is over a barrel.)

    *The DJs and above-the-line crew — producer — may also get repeat royalties, depending on the contract they had at the time/have negotiated since.

  91. 91
    Jimmy the Swede on 31 Jan 2014 #

    Reado the man with the gong. Next week back to the Keed. If Cornflake is aquitted, will he be back do you suppose?

    Edwin Starr over the rundown. His first chart hit since 1971, the year after his massive US no 1 for which he is defined. On his return there’s still more to come.

    Nazareth – Yes, this certainly hits the spot and I can imagine a mid-teen Punctum bounding around like Tigger to this one!

    Three Degrees – The posh bloke with the ears is now onto the Catherine Parr tea towel…

    Mike bangs his gong, which he nicked from Bamber Gascoigne and on come the Members with Sound of the Suburbs. It’s first rate but as a high-rise flat urchuin I never understood the suburb bit. Nicky Tesco looks just like Frankie Abbot, the mummy’s boy from “Please Sir” and the next offering from the Members must be the only song about a tax dodge.

    Sally Oldfield – Oddball song sung by the sweet girl next door. You’ll have to marry her frist, mate.

    UFO – Anglo/German five-piece rock outfit who had a string of annoyingly minor hits. This one, “Doctor Doctor” was terrific but it didn’t even hit the top 30, although I remember it got plenty of airtime back in the day. Boo!

    Mike Read demands kisses from two girls. Plod hovers. Then we get a face full of lovely Rosie and as the camera draws back we also spot Gill. They do their level best to bolster up tonight’s WTF act, a gang of numpites from Belgium called Two Man Sound doing a Spanish samba. The frontman is dressed in a white sailor suit, as a hypoactive dwarf whacks the bongos. It’s hard to believe that these are the countrymen of Brel. The whole performance is pleasantly absurd and Rosie and Gill are loving it. They both look gorgeous.

    Generation X – New wave near royalty in their orbit. Woo-hoo!

    Pointer sisters – A good punt at a Sly and the Family Stone number but it flops. Three big hits await the sisters in the 80s.

    Number one are Blondie, who are a band. Here we get the full Gal treatment and Rosie is once more the first to pop up, with that cracking smile. It’s been her show, the lovely girl. But then the remaining Gals appear and it’s a fabulous routine with split screen shots of them all. Here we get to see Sue at her muckiest and Rosie and Pauline at their sweetest. “And Heart of Glass” isn’t half bad either.

    Mike Read bothers the girls again and we’re out to Abba’s “Chiquitita”, which I always thought was a “Fernando” lite but still lovely. It is destined to get twarted at number two.

    The presenter waits for the knock.

  92. 92
    punctum on 31 Jan 2014 #

    I can imagine a mid-teen Punctum bounding around like Tigger to this one!

    At this time I was indeed bounding around like Tigger, but not to Nazareth, rather to “Hog Callin’ Blues” by the then recently deceased Charles Mingus, featuring a pre-Rahsaan Roland Kirk doing that proto-Davey Payne blowing two saxophones at once thing. And as we know, a hurricane was about to hurtle out of Dumbarton and straight into the charts, complete with naff jacket. “Lung nearly GAVE!”

  93. 93
    punctum on 31 Jan 2014 #

    Aargh, of course I meant Dunfermline, not Dumbarton, whose major contribution to the 1979 music scene was Fear Of Music (for David Byrne was born in the whisky capital)…

  94. 94
    Lazarus on 31 Jan 2014 #

    Four big hits for the Pointers in fact Jimmy, I wonder if you forgot ‘Slowhand’ from 1981 … and if DLT is acquitted, surely he’ll be back on – what else could the Beeb do?

    Yes, I forgot about Ian Dury’s week at the top. And I remember Donny and Marie, doing ‘On the Shelf’ – a song that also flopped for its writer Steve Voice.

  95. 95
    Mark G on 4 Feb 2014 #

    Is it safe? Dustin would have no problem answering, it’s the safe hands of Mike Read..

    Edwin does Contact, and sounds like a vital intro tune,yes! Chart rundown, who choses the pics? The Shadows look like somebody died in theirs!

    Nazareth do a marching tune, all it needs is some girls playing kazoos and a nice big flag in the middle! (Ok, nobody but other NE folk unnerstanme) . Is it a fade? Yes. It could go on forever!

    “You care but you don’t love me” the plot of the song in one line.. 3 degrees but only one Mic turned up..

    The Members.. That’s too many lead guitarists. One of them looks like Alun Armstrong when he was the milkman in the Likely Lads film. Or Porridge. Mike Read reminds us about the Transparent Vinyl edition. Of course it had long sold out by this point, so what do we do? Buy a normal one because it’s a great record, or wait until a fancy one gets found? Dilemma. Wonder how much one is, now?

    Mirrors. Better this time? Yes. Sally does not sound like she had just run a marathon before getting on stage, this time.

    UFO. As many guitarists as the members but they are bigger. The guitars, I mean. Song is not too bad, and if the Ramones ever not turn up, there’s four here that could dep no prob.

    Billy Joel film again.

    The cowbell dude is clearly miming, and badly. 2 man sound. Ron Jeremy on bongos. I believe this was a big seller on 12″ single, 7 mins at the very least. Subtitles are in the native language, recommended.

    King Rocker, in which Johnny squares up to Elvis. Generation X seem to be on Lennon’s side.

    The Pointer Sisters turn up too early and do a single that you’ll not remember, and it won’t be hitting. It s alright, actually, opinion revised a bit. Still, though.

    Mike Read links nicely to Car 67 via a limousine but it’s a repeat perf so let’s pass on..

    Legs and co get to present the number one. There’s definitely a progressive Hot Gossip influence been happening for the past few months, but they have to keep it family friendly anyway.

    Abba to fade. I guess if DLT gets found innocent, he might get to do his “Take-yer-teeth-out” joke after all. You lucky people…

  96. 96
    Lazarus on 4 Feb 2014 #

    That was then, this is now (pt 94) – the Members were the second highest new entry that week, we were told – at number 37. And I gather that a couple of Two Man Sound were behind ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’ – one wrote it, the other actually sang it!

  97. 97
    Mark G on 5 Feb 2014 #

    He could have had a career as “The Real Plastic Bertrand”

  98. 98
    lonepilgrim on 6 Feb 2014 #

    TOTP 08/02/79
    Kid introduces
    Dan Hartman over the charts
    Mick Jackson – Peter Sutcliffe lookalike jives unconvincingly
    Rod Stewart – blands have more fun
    Kid joined by two girls chewing gum for England
    ABBA – top tune ‘interpreted’ by tha girls in rather lead-footed ‘flamenco’ stylee
    Mickey Dolenz – appears briefly
    Elvis Costello – skinny pink tie/check jacket/smug expression – so NEW WAVE
    Leif Garrett – pretty boy attempts Bee Gee style disco number – unmemorable
    Darts – moving on to 60s pastiche – not great
    Judas Priest – Rob Halford rocking the Leatherman look for terrace chant
    Jacksons – I’ve often wondered how early the boy-band-on-stools motif began, I’m sure there are earlier examples. MJ enlivens a fairly routine song with great song and dance
    Blondie – wonderful song, cheap video illuminated by Debbie Harry’s cheekbones and Clem Burke’s drum fills
    Gene Chandler over the closing credits

    strange mixture of good and forgettable – very 1979

  99. 99
    Lazarus on 6 Feb 2014 #

    A white-jeaned and stripey-shirted Kid is our host

    Dan Hartman with a soundalike follow-up

    Mick Jackson – I’ve always rather liked this, enjoyable disco-pop that still gets the odd spin from Ken Bruce – deserved to do better

    Rod Stewart – pleasant but not memorable

    Abba – going all Spanish on us, and before long we’d have ‘Voulez Vous’ as well. Can I be the first to do the ‘chicken tikka’ gag? Ta

    Micky Dolenz – why?

    Elvis Costello – top tune from his most successful album. He would never be this big again. I doubt if he got much more wear from that jacket either

    Leif Garrett – the high harmonies on the chorus rather drown out his own vocal. Skateboard star with a brief heyday

    Darts – about time Rita got another lead vocal. Bob hams it up on his one line

    Judas Priest – chant, perhaps. Song – not really

    Jacksons – I do not remember this at all. Boys on stools, I dunno, Our Kid?

    Blondie – yeah, classic, iconic video. Deb’s dress looks a bit on the, erm, thin side. She’ll catch her death going out in that in a New York winter!

    Gene Chandler returns to the chart after more than 10 years. And ‘Dook of Earl’ wasn’t even a hit for him.

    OK show. Let the Legs boogie next week, please.

  100. 100
    Jimmy the Swede on 8 Feb 2014 #

    Keed in a shirt only a Canadian would wear.

    Countdown Dan Hartman.

    Mick Jackson and “Weekend”. I remember this very clearly. It’s interesting to see UK Jacko wearing a US Air Force Jacket. He looks more like a British Leyland layabout to me. Every day of the week was a weekend for buggers like him back then. Bah!

    Tax exhile Rod. And who can blame him. But I’m afraid he’s coasting here with this weak strumming effort.

    Two girls chewing gum flank Jensen, one rough-looking and disinterested, the other pretty and smiley and on come the Gals doing a turn for Abba. It is without question the dullest routine I’ve ever seen from them, nipping in and out of arches. Great song but what’s the point? And I don’t think I saw the Muckmistress. Boo!

    Mickey Dolenz inexplicably appears for five seconds, just long enough to be “zany”. He’s become a UK resident. For God’s sake why? The country’s on its knees, you silly sod. This segues into Elvis Costello and “Oliver’s Army”. Top notch fare and it’s good to see that the n-word wasn’t blanked, as it has been on some re-runs of Fawlty when the daft old major has his rant. This was a great record but I couldn’t understand what Robin Gibb was doing there.

    Keed presents two fellow Hoser girls, both lovely and then on comes that fly-by-night girlie boy Leif Garrett. On reflection, my reactionary old dad was right about that barnet.

    Christ, no, it’s Darts! Rover fails to keep them in again. Okay, Rita’s looking yummy but even though they have been bold enough to change direction with this pop song, which isn’t actually bad, they are fish badly out of water and really need to be back in the Prestatyn ballroom – forever.

    Judas Priest – Inaugural hit for these stadium rock specialists who suvivied into the nineties. I couldn’t help thinking many of these groups applied the law of Quo latter adopted by Oasis – the same song served up with different garnish. No criticism here. Trust the formula.

    KJ grabs two more pretties with Heidi hair. Pity about the numpty boy standing behind. It’s time for the Jacksons, in the studio would you believe? This one is odd. They’re all atop stools as if they’ve been given detention. And an instantly forgetable song before Micheal jumps up and stars to boogie. It’s a significant and symbolic moment. He’s about to become a monster by himself. A TOTP studio performance would henceforth be out of the question for this brilliant but flawed young man.

    Kid tries to interact with a girl who’s not interested and then at number one we get Blondie taking us around NYC to “Heart of Glass”. Brilliant. Debbie is looking breath-taking, if slightly off her lovely face. Blondie is a band? Never a hope!

    Gene Chandler takes us out and this is a good exit, his first hit for eleven years. No “good love” from the Kid, though. Hey-ho!

  101. 101
    Mark G on 9 Feb 2014 #

    Some people take all week to decide how to intro TOTP, but I say..


    This is it. The chart rundown and the shads still look sad.. Mick ‘not Michael’ Jackson does a funky song that doesn’t sound like a Jackson’s left-over oh no. Where did he go? Just heard the middle-eight, hmmm. Does Rebecca Black have this on video?

    One of these days I shall leave in my spell-correction changes in, and you will wonder what happened..

    Rod. Apparently, this is what my hair looked like this afternoon thanks to der wind. Rod includes a passing reference to Maggie May. Back then I wondered if a cover version might be forthcoming, “Ain’t Love a Bitch?” by Lene Lovitch.. (or Lens Logitech if you like.. See what I mean?

    Legs are here. The girls’ hair is all tied back and I don’t recognise any of them.. Is that Phil Mitchell? … No. ( Edit: just read Jim Swede’s post, I think she’s there but only recognisable via legs and back muscles. Did I really? I’m suitably shamed..)

    Elvis sings “Occupation army is here to stayy” see what happens when you run two lines together in the studio? Can’t do it live can yer? They used to add a line of instrumental, but all they had to do was sing that lead in line a syllable faster and it fits fine. Which is what Elvis did at Glasto last year.

    Apparently, this is Hank’s favourite Shadows single. Needs more fuzzbox.

    Dr Feelgood, no Wilko and no Interns either. There was some Beatles interview where the R1 DJ had asked John Lennon about the new album, he replied that they’d done some cover versions, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Doctor Feelgood. At the time this got replayed on some BBC special, I went wha? For a second.. He might as well had said The Adverts or something…

    Leif Garret has a ‘hit eventually’ which usually translates as a record company buy-up which means shops buy more stock and nobody buys it and there’s a load of copies left over and they go for 10p if that.

    Darts have a tamla styled hit, Kenny gets a loud-enough mike, and it’s ok..

    Judas Priest. I think they were opening an investment opportunity.

    And now, here are some “Unrelated” Jacksons according to Kid. Song not a hit. So they are in the studio, down on their luck or something. Of course, when the hits happen big-time, they outta here.. Michael throws some shapes at the end and goes ow. Sample merchants, it’s clean enough to use..

    Here comes the video for Heart of Glass. Half a morning’s work and all the better for it, show ends on a high, hooray..

    Gene Chandler fades the show with “Get down” and it puts me in mind of “Bo Dudley” from “Derek and Clive Live”. Your mileage may vary..

    (Is it just me, or has the picture quality massively improved recently?)

  102. 102
    Conrad on 9 Feb 2014 #

    No BBC4 logo this week. Which is very good news.

    I enjoyed this one a lot. Blondie in particular. Elvis Costello, Dr Feelgood and Michael Jackson all in the sudio at the same time. Shame its not the next Jacksons single. Destiny was dire.

  103. 103
    Speedwell54 on 9 Feb 2014 #

    Better late..from the iplayer so might go on a bit.

    Thought it might be Bill Roache tonight, but it’s the Keed hosting.

    Mick Jackson – round two with Michael Jackson, Weekend is better than Destiny but the game’s up after this. He reminds me of Tony Selby an english actor who would turn up as the local villain every few weeks on the Sweeney or Minder.

    Rod – Ain’t love a bitch- the 50th video played on MTV day one. One of 16 of his! Not taxing anyone with this outing.

    The girls walk around in the dark and do a lot of leaning to Chiquitita. Bring back the snowman. Like the song but got rather distracted. Strange performance.

    Mickey Dolenz appears and sounds like he’s a cartoon. ‘Random’ as my kids would say.

    Costello with Oliver’s Army – the 38th video on MTV day one.

    Shadows – DCFMA Mum, MUM! Isn’t he just picking out the vocal on lead all the way through? Not my cup of tea.

    Dr Feelgood – rocks. Not sure why this particular single was the only one that made it. She’s a Windup, Baby Jane, Every Kind of Vice are all strong tracks.

    Leaf . Not a bad disco song. Bit Boney M/Baccara

    Darts – no Den Hegarty on this one. Ok

    Judas Priest – Don’t remember this. I guess there was a fair bit of joining in on the chorus when played live. Hat on, hat off -you decide.

    Jacksons – Unremarkable song. Sneak peak of what was to come at the end.

    Blondie – Heart of Glass 75th video played on MTV. She is very cool on the video (more than just attractive) the look and the dress. The song hasn’t dated and is still a pleasure to hear.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  104. 104
    Lazarus on 10 Feb 2014 #

    Good call on Tony Selby, who I remember as the sadistic corporal on ‘Get Some In!’ Jackson’s band were a rum lot, a camp Jagger and a bloke with long hair in round sunglasses exactly like Donald Pleasance wore as a blind ex-serviceman in that Hammer film …

    So Dr Feelgood were left off! For shame. Poor old Wilko, not long for this world I gather

    Leif Garrett got into drink ‘n drugs didn’t he, crashed a car with his buddy in it who ended up a paraplegic. All very sad …

  105. 105
    lonepilgrim on 10 Feb 2014 #

    @104 this version of Dr Feelgood was the one featuring John ‘Gypie’ Mayo. I saw them live around this time and enjoyed them although they were not as great as when Wilko was with them

  106. 106
    Erithian on 10 Feb 2014 #

    #104 Wilko has been not long for this world since this time last year. Still playing terrific “farewell” gigs, and due to release an album with Roger Daltrey next month. I’d love to rage against the dying of the light like that.

  107. 107
    punctum on 13 Feb 2014 #

    Looks like they’ll have to screen those missing episodes – DLT has just been acquitted.

  108. 108
    glue_factory on 13 Feb 2014 #

    Although, I guess they’ll wait to see if there will be a retrial of the two accusations on which no verdict could be reached.

  109. 109
    Mark G on 13 Feb 2014 #

    24th Feb…

  110. 110
    Jimmy the Swede on 21 Feb 2014 #

    Peter Powell hosts, dressed like an intern in a grim Frank Spencer jumper. It’s got to be wrong.

    Rundown to the Gibbs boys and a future number one. It won’t be the only one on tonight’s show.

    The Doolies – Well it’s not BOM but it might just as well have been with a pop song au gratin at least three years too late. Pleasant and inoffensive. The front man reminds me of Ed Balls who IS offensive.

    Gen X – King Rocker yet again. The Beeb certainly gave this one a chance.

    GALS in pick and mix outfits spin around to Edwin Starr’s “Contact”. Pauline is given centre stage this time in a delicious yellow one-piece with feathers and Rosie is beaming away as usual. Sue for once is also wreathed in smiles, not mucky at all and it’s clear that the troupe are loving this one. And so are we. It’s a great sexy routine to a superior track. Swede dribbles but otherwise stays calm.

    Alan Price – Now this was a surprise. One I’d forgotten completely and another I would have dated a few years earlier. Clearly a great voice and good work on the joanna but if anything could mix quality with dullness, this would be it.

    Peaches and Herb – Footage of them sharing their groove thing. Unremarkable disco fare but at laest this one sounds like it’s in the right time zone.

    Pretenders – Ah, this is more like it but the song is more than a litle odd. Why didn’t Chrissie just ditch the cry baby and be done with it?

    PP surrounded by a plethera of potential litigents introduces Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”, one of the giants of the age. But when we return to Peter, he is underwhelmed about the record and all the girls have gone.

    Lena Lovitch – Betty Boop impersonator having her number problems. No wonder she’s confused. So were we. But the Swede really went for it (and Lena) back in the day.

    Skids – Into the Valley we go. They’re a poor man’s Clash. It’s of its time and style so I can’t really knock it but they’re certainly enjoying it more than we are.

    Debbie still top. One simply cannot overstate how gorgeous she was.

    Out to “Cool Meditation” by Third World. It’s a great exit but cut off all too soon.

    Bits and bobs this week. Will we see the Cornflake?

  111. 111
    Speedwell54 on 21 Feb 2014 #

    Yeah! It’s Peter

    The Dooleys – Not my cup of tea and it’s a little mundane. Lead Dooley- singing – has at least one full can of Harmony on his hair. Sounds more than once like it’s going to go in David Soul’s “Silver Lady” Key change, and repeat chorus to fade.

    Gen X -Billy doing his best Elvis and Eddie Cochrane impression. Listening to his vocal it strikes me how much Adam Ant copied his style.

    Legs – Pauline is wearing 3 net curtains too many. (She is wearing 3 net curtains.) All smile in their close up but the cameraman seems to leave out Gillian. Despite some rather strange moves (not surprising if they have to keep coming up with new ones) it’s a good turn with a good song. Contact.

    Alan Price – Hymnal. Swede says it all. The right ingredients but not quite cutting it. Goodish. Peter mentions a Valentine connection with this and I think it came out in a red heart shaped vinyl single.

    Peaches and Herb- better than average disco. Wiki says there has been one ‘Herb’ but 7 different ‘Peaches’. Well I never.

    Pretenders- bring some quality to the show with a faithful Kinks cover. She has an amazing voice. Tricky to mime.

    I Will Survive- twktc.

    Lena- This was exciting.

    Three Degrees – she’s doing that thing again with her shiny lips.

    The Skids- bit of a classic. Better to hear than see. Never took to Jobson though. Good to see Stuart.

    Blondie – vid again but never a disappointment. Can’t believe they could wear those clothes and hair styles today and no one would think they were dated and yet you could easily take the rise out of virtually everyone else performing and in the audience.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  112. 112
    Mark G on 22 Feb 2014 #

    Here we are and Peter has his bounce back. Gibson’s over the chart is alright, but oh no it’s the Rubbish Dooleys and suddenly the lead singer now looks like a proto-meatloaf. How? Still, that’s another down and one closer to it being over.Surprising that almost no popstars have had their tracks prevented whereas we still have two DJs on the black list. I daresay by the time we get to John Peel fronting, no-one but the Daily Mail will care.. All that has nothing to do with the Rub Doos, obviously.

    Alan Price’s single was indeed a heart shaped thing, with Just For You on the other side. Stick to chocs, genpub!

    The Pretenders do an old song and it sounds current even now.

    Lene Lovitch, again looks younger than I remember.

    The Skids! Now, this remains a classic performance, and I heartily recommend putting the subtitles on here. One of the great ‘can’t make out the words thanks to his accent’ but actually it,s more due to having the most “Words that do not appear in other song lyrics” ever.

    Yes, I watched the full version but have provided an edit this week, there are two full listings above mine and both are vg+

    Oh, “Cool Meditation” on the fade seemed nicely long on the non-edit version.

  113. 113
    swanstep on 22 Feb 2014 #

    @swede, 110. ‘Shake Your Groove Thing’ is ‘unremarkable disco fare’? What? It’s a killer track with a higher bpm than usual (much like ‘Shame’) so it really pops/dancefloor explodes when you have it in a mix. Try it some time…

  114. 114
    Lazarus on 28 Feb 2014 #

    The boy Read is in charge this week. The Cars over the 30, excellent follow-up, I saw a band do this song at the Cartoon at West Croydon once.

    Skids – a repeat? Not sure. Indecipherable lyrics were decoded, somehow, by Smash Hits I recall. Did they have someone listening to the record over and over, or (more likely) given the necessary info by the record company?

    Gloria Gaynor – the video, with the roller-skater, we’ve all seen 1000 times before. I don’t suppose she ever made it into the studio?

    Thin Lizzy – the story of Valentino and his bookie’s debts. That is Gary Moore in the silver jacket isn’t it? I seem to recall he wasn’t with the band that long. Straddling the ground between rock and New Wave, I’d say.

    Is Read wearing his old school tie? Mine was a bit like that. Gary’s Gang with Legs and Co, good one-hit wonder although sounding a touch dated in places (that whistle!). The Legs? outfits a sort of cross between air hostess and mother of the bride. Curious.

    Queen – ooh, I got this single for my 16th birthday, on purple vinyl no less. A song that’s certainly had an extended life – spent something like 12 weeks on the Top 75 around 2006 or ‘7. Glee factor, I’m guessing.

    Chic – slowed down a touch, but you couldn’t call it a ballad, they didn’t generally go in for those. Nice to see them in the studio. “On your ladder I’ll be a peg, I want your loving, please don’t make me beg” a rhyme to inspire Martin Fry, that.

    Violinski – ELO jobber. The blue violin puts me in mind of the ‘Brothers in Arms’ cover, and I suppose it won’t be long before we see that lot. S’alright actually, a bit of a foot tapper.

    Lene Lovich – mad bird on Stiff. What happened to Rachel Sweet, have we missed her? Not a big enough hit perhaps.

    Boney M – doing an old Creation song that almost nobody would have remembered in 1979. As songs about painters go, not as good as ‘Vincent’ is all I can say. ‘Matchstalk Men?’ Maybe. I quite liked their next one though.

    David Essex – getting in touch with his inner weirditude. Imperial Wizard indeed. Concept album? Lots of dry ice. I have not heard this since 1979. I’m thinking there might be a reason for that. Goes on a bit.

    Mike Read – at a drum kit? They liked doing that didn’t they …

    Bee Gees – number one. With the Legs, again! Was there no video? They’re doing the ‘sad clown’ thing. Photos of the group are interposed. Good song, but I was hoping for better. I don’t remember this treatment at all.

    A rare Pops airing of the Sex Pistols sees us out. OK show on the whole.

  115. 115
    Speedwell54 on 1 Mar 2014 #

    Read at the helm. Let’s listen for the links.

    Skids – not a repeat, well, same madcap “dancing” from Jobson but sans white cap this week. Can’t do the link thing but there is an “Into the Valley” (misheard lyrics) thing on You Tube which is pretty good and totally reasonable even though I’ve just watched TOTP with the subtitles.

    First forced link “out of the valley and into the charts” is what I think he was going for.

    First I was afraid – GG. twktc

    Thin Lizzy – still sounds good with two lead guitars (?) Yes Gary Moore, I think he was in and out of the band before and after this.

    Gary’s Gang – Legs – Outfits – I’ll go bride at a registry office. I’ll leave the details to the Swede. Song is a bit average, and the keyboard solo sounds very of the time.

    Queen -classic -on video. Lazarus – 2006 sounds a little early for Glee influence. Someone do it on a talent show? McFly covered it around then but not sure if that was the reason for the re entry.
    No twisted lyric here, good diction from Freddie.

    Chic – I Want Your Love- they all look a bit subdued on this performance or they were told to look mean and moody.

    Violinski – yeah it’s okay this. The drummer John Hodgson lives round near here (Upper Cumberworth to be precise – in West Yorkshire) and teaches percussion. I’m just waiting for him to get on the identity parade on “Never Mind the Buzzocks” – still active in the music industry.

    Lena – repeat

    Painter Man – Boney M – Can’t be bothered to rate this because -. Mike Read informs me this is a cover of a 1966 single by the Creation -which I wasn’t aware of until earlier this year. Gunter Zetti was a teenager in 1969, living in East Germany illegally listening to West German radio. He entered a competition to win a record by the aforementioned The Creation. When Gunter recently left the East for the West he tracked down his Stasi file and discovered they had intercepted and confiscated his competition postcard. He sent it off 44 years later and they gave him the record. This was just a few weeks ago. I don’t know if it was this single, but for the sake of the story we’ll say that it was.

    Essex – very anthemic and rather serious. He stares down the camera and does a lot of pointing. Just before the final reprise of the chorus it goes into the outtro for “A Day In The Life”. The keyboard player smiles as his shopping list falls to the floor half way through.

    Bee Gees – Tragedy – Overblown production but works, shame they didn’t turn up but guess they were busy.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  116. 116
    Lazarus on 1 Mar 2014 #

    Officialcharts.com tells me that it was 2008 in fact that DSMN returned – it spent 13 weeks on the Top 75 peaking at 47. Yeah, McFly maybe. I remember the original getting a lot of radio play around this time.

  117. 117
    hardtogethits on 1 Mar 2014 #

    ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ re-entered the Top 75 in 2008 in the week following its first use in a Cadbury’s ‘Dairy Milk’ commercial. The ad industry considered the campaign to be the ‘follow up’ to the Cadbury’s ‘Dairy Milk’ ‘In The Air Tonight’ campaign. Hth.

  118. 118
    Speedwell54 on 1 Mar 2014 #

    Cheers Hardtogethits. Mystery solved.

    Just found it on You Tube – had to wade through a lot of Phil Collins and a gorilla mind. Airport Trucks is the name of the ad. It completely passed me by. I like “Don’t Stop Me Now” very much but don’t understand the ad.

  119. 119
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Mar 2014 #

    Swanny at 113 – Back in 1979, I was 18, earning money and spending it on gigging and going to a beer keller in Richmond rather than going to discos. But I couldn’t deny that some of the disco sounds appealed to me. Peaches and Herb just wasn’t one of them. A floor-filler for the dancers I grant you.

  120. 120
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Mar 2014 #

    Read, guardian of our morals. So all’s well. The DPP have come at the wrethched ‘flake again so he’ll be hidden from us still. Quack-Quack Oops!

    Cars over the rundown. Nought wrong with this.

    Skids – Already seen. The dancing numpty gets irritating after a while.

    Gloria G – On her way to disco (and eventually) gay icon status.

    Thin Lizzy – Waiting for… Oh, mumma, this is bloody good. One of those rock numbers where the lyrics and the music deserve each other in the most magnificent way. Lizzy were masters of this. Brilliant.

    Gary’s Gang with Gals – Keep on Dancing. Oddly I really liked this back in the day. Hands up who else remembers it? But dear me, what an insipid performance from our lovelies! They’re dressed for an Edwardian afternoon tea room. A complete waste of an opportunity to boogie. Swede no like. Boo!

    Queen – Don’t stop me now. Don’t worry, Freddie, we won’t. And never will, mate.

    Mike leans on some girls at his own risk and then introduces Chic, who want your love. That “please don’t make me beg” line does indeed raise a brow but this is a good follow-up and the violin gals are drinkable.

    Boney M – Painter Man, a borderline nursary rhyme, which crept into the top ten on the back of their reputation and very little else. Read fancied it to go to the very top. Er…no.

    David Essex – Fading teen idol trying to recapture his silver lining with a clunky piece of nonsense. It’s a no but do try again.

    Number one – Tis the Gibbs with the excellent Tragedy. But the only tragedy here is the re-emergence of the Gals dressed as clowns. Tragedy. Geddit? It really hasn’t been their night at all, has it? The record deserved so much better. Great song with an arrangement to match.

    Out to the everyone’s friends the Pistols with a rather unexpected homage to Eddie Cochran. The gamble worked, I think.

  121. 121
    Mark G on 3 Mar 2014 #

    Ah, there you are. Wondered..

    Mike Read introduces the Cars to run up the charts, “Just what I needed” which is ridiculously similar to “Burning up like a fire” by The Doll (who were on a few weeks ago with their only minor hit”Desire me”) but how on earth could they have heard each others song? Pure coincidence I guess, but weird nonetheless. Ok this is going to be a very long one, I can feel it..

    Richard Jobson brings his dad-dancing-to-be, back. See previous show for fuller comment. Except to say, this one made a big impression on us lads at the time, and I spent ages tracking down a white vinyl copy. But I found one,eventually, possibly thanks to Adrian’s Records mail-order. Or it might have been the nice new shiny Stiff Records shop, where I got it. And passed over the Residents “Satisfaction” and Television’s “Little Johnny Jewel” 7″ yeah, I know, Sha la la la lah lah..

    Gloria Gaynor invents roller-disco with “I will survive” which has never ever ever not been played since at provincial disco nites ever since.

    Thin Lizzy effortlessly combine poetry and rock. Yep, there’s Gary Moore too. I saw Phil Lynott in the street once, on TV he looked 7 ft, but there more like 5.

    Gary’s Gang. Now I do remember this. Probably that same provincial disco, but the floor-life not anything like Glorias. The legs girls do OK with unpromising material. Not the music, silly, the heavy silk dresses. Didn’t one of them marry Robert Powell about now?Looks like they’re all off to the reception after this and claiming the bridesmaid gear on expenses yeah.

    Hmm, Mike back-announces Gary’s Gang as “From 23 to nowhere” which puzzles me no end.

    Queen send videos in from now on I guess. Clunky edit in the song, mind. Brian May clearly using coin of the realm as a guitar pick. I admit I used to use a 20p coin to play bass with. Made no difference. Soon you were nobody if you didn’t use the entire stretch of yr right thumb to play it but that’s another year to come..

    Chic want your love. Is it still sacrilege to still be underwhelmed by Chic? Ok, sorry god.

    Violinski play summat that’s a cross between a Wombles backing track and, um, oh, ELO then. You can barely hear the violin anyway. The Guitarists seem to be enjoying it too much, anyhow. And they got a piano purely for this?

    Lena appearance number three because it’s a big hit climbing gradually up. Hooray.

    Boney M have a nice hit and send in a film from a holiday shack. Can’t dance in snow boots mind. Moral of song? There’s money in advertising.

    David Essex sings free the people and break up the press gangs, but it’s ok it’s not a call for the uprising of the working classes to throw off the chains of imperialism now, it’s a song from a show. And it’s damn long too, he must be a big star at this point, everyone else would have got a fade, edit or the boot!

    Bee Gees Tragedy : Once upon a time I did one episode of a Saturday morning ITV show reviewing singles with a panel of similarly young people chaired by “not that” Steve Jones, you could describe this one as “Elton john style with a small screen profile”. Just before the link started, he mentioned he didn’t like this song and I said “No, I don’t like the bee gees” and he said he liked them, just not that track. I said it wasn what I liked, disco stuff. Anyway, the show starts and he says “Here’s Mark, and he doesn’t like Discos!” At which point I splutter something about not really going to discos anyway. A minute or so later the director calls for a restart, and the intros are done again, and he says “Here’s Mark and he doesn’t go to Discos!” Oh well. Looks like the career in TV does not beckon for me..

    Oh, the shows over and it’s ever decreasing circles now.

  122. 122
    Jimmy the Swede on 3 Mar 2014 #

    Mark G #121 – To answer your question, the Gal who maried Robert Powell was never a “Leg” but was Beautiful Babs Lord from Pans People. The only Leg who was also with Pans was the Eternal Mistress herself, “Mucky” Sue Menhenick.

    There’s a great story about how Powell zeroed in on his quarry. The Pans gals were all in a BBC staff canteen when Robert, who had just produced a brilliant performance as Jesus of Nazareth, walked in with either another actor or his agent. He immediately recognised Pans and Babs in particular, to whom he was quite understandably immediately attracted. Thinking on his feet, he strolled over to their table, picking up on excited girlish gasps of “It’s Robert Powell!” as he approached and promptly invited the entire troupe to drinks. This was a brilliant move, as Babs would have been in something of a predicament had only she had been singled out. As it was, they all went with him and the jammy so and so was then able to siphon Babs off during the course of the evening, pull her and marry her. The union continues to be blissfuly happy.

    The other thing, of course, was during an episode of “Porridge” when Fletcher is fantasising about Pans People to cellmate Lenny Godber: “There’s one special one. Lovely Babs…Don’t know what her name is…” Babs Powell is always proud of that line!

  123. 123
    Mark G on 7 Mar 2014 #

    The week continues here : Kid is back, and Herbie Hancock runs the chart to Manufacture Love. (I know..)

    Inner Circle do some jazz-funk reggae. “Everything” is great. The guy can sing, but the mix is awful. The record is better than this..

    Elvis Costello gets to his highest chart position this week. This is the main difference in seeing these repeat performances: The game is over, really. At the time, seeing The Adverts (for example) seemed like a small victory for we, but now it’s established that often it was to that point and no further. Having said that, Elvis would have a great many hits after this one.

    OK, classic performance of sorts, It’s legs and co being punky for Sid Vicious doing Eddie Cochrane. It’s still kick turn though. Does anyone remember “I’ve got big balls/well fairly big” by Heavy Cochrane? Never heard it..

    Ooh, Buzzcocks are all in leather! Everybody’s happy nowadays! I only remember the “Money” version so this is fine by me..

    Dennis Brown does Reggae better. Infectious beat.

    The Late Show. Basically, a lot of rock bands were under last orders to get hits or get off the label. So, this bunch do The Bristol Stomp. It’s the Racey. Well, they had no chance of being punks and too late to fake it there was enough of the real thing now. I think they did “Chains” after this one, but the job was over..

    The Real Thing do funk, it’s ok in a Jackson’s kind of way

    And the Leyton Buzzards (who set world records for bandwagon jumping) tell it like it is about the nightclub experience but with all the fake landan accents, they aim for Mott the Hoople but windup sounding like Proto-Blur.

    Tragedy. Next.

    oh, there is no next. Just fade out to Gary,’s gang. But the announcer at the top of the show promised Motorhead! You never edited them out surely! Then again, was there a duff track here? Actually, no it was pretty fine. Oh wait, The Late show.. Hmmmm.

  124. 124
    Steve Williams on 7 Mar 2014 #

    Before anyone asks, the reason it was on a Friday this week in 1979 was to make way for A Song For Europe. Although in the end A Song For Europe was cancelled because of a strike.

  125. 125
    Lazarus on 7 Mar 2014 #

    “It’s hit music designed with your weekend in mind” announces the Kid, and like the audience of ’79, I’m watching on a Friday evening. Herbie Hancock over the chart, applying his vocoder to a Dan Hartman-style wally disco number. Catchy.

    Glum faces abound on the chart pics, we have to wait until the Three Degrees (#18) to catch a smile.

    Inner Circle – animated singer, I sort of half-remember this – the chorus riff is familiar. They wouldn’t be back on the Pops for almost a decade and a half. Possibly not the same line-up though. I especially fear for the guitarist, who’s pretty circular himself.

    Elvis Costello – “Britain’s new ambassador to the world of pop” whatever that means. Repeat of EC in a jacket that may have inspired a Specials album cover or two.

    Sex Pistols/Legs & Co – hard to know where to start really. I think that after ‘Pretty Vacant’ which also had a Pops airing, this was probably only the second Pistols record I ever heard – and Sid was already dead. They just weren’t played on Capital, or daytime Radio 1, and that was the extent of my radio listening (I was going off Luxembourg and its dodgy signal by then). Not easy to identify each Leg under those coloured wigs, I think it’s Sue in the pink but I couldn’t be sure.

    Dennis Brown – pleasant but not really my cup of tea I’m afraid. Cited by Bob Marley as his favourite singer though, so kudos, etc

    Late Show – a big hit on the Capital Hit Line (a daily teatime Top 10 compiled by telephone voting). Only made number 40 on the proper chart though. Yeah, they did ‘Chains’, I remember that. Darts and co were on the way out and this lot went with them.

    Real Thing – lots of jumping and shouting, the last hurrah for them bar remixes. I remember this getting a lot of attention at the time, it was a high new entry or big climber – even though ‘Star Wars’ was two years old by this time.

    Leyton Buzzards – winners of Radio 1’s [long forgotten] ‘Band of Hope and Glory’ competition. What’s that they shout at the start, “buzzards?” Mott is a good call, first time of watching this I was thinking of a more downbeat ‘Rat Trap.’ Of its time, yes but quite endearing when the singer forgets to mime.

    Bee Gees – sad clowns again. I still like this album very much, flawed as it is.

    Out to a bit of NYC disco. I don;t know much about this lot, but I’m guessing Gary was the leader of the gang – or maybe I’m confusing him with someone else … yep Motorhead were on the late show – post watershed material.

  126. 126
    Mark G on 8 Mar 2014 #

    Right, here’s the un-edit annexe

    Cliff Richard was having a fallow period right now with some halfway decent radio-only hits, and still getting TOTP slots out of sheer respect. The other day, I got what looked like the most unlikely song title on a single for Cliff, “(Wouldn’t you know it) I got myself a girl”. It’s the b-side of the least likely song for Cliff to do.

    Oh who is disgustingly healthy? Is it Motorhead? No, it’s the Rubbish Dooleys.

    Yes, Motorhead get on! Didn’t they do “Louie Louie” before this, it must have got Travissed? The Totp sound mix loses all the bass which is what’s wrong here. My old Chiswick 12″ of “Motorhead” had such fat grooves, you could play it purely by waving it in the air!

    Oh, forgot to give an honourable note to the
    Leyton Buzzards for the line about “dancing to the rhythm of “The guns of Navarone”” which we would all be doing the following year.


  127. 127
    Speedwell54 on 8 Mar 2014 #

    Kid kicks off.

    No picture of the Sex Pistols in the run down just in case it sent us all to hell in a handcart. Onwards..

    Inner Circle – Everything is Great, 35 years later and Everything is Awesome. ‘Great’ is pushing it, but okay.

    Elvis- He cut up his free copies of My Aim Is True for his jacket. Fine song.

    Sex Pistols – Legs – A bit of a departure for them dance wise and a bit of attitude comes through. Enjoyable performance, I’ll leave the full analysis to the Swede.

    Dennis Browne – Don’t know much about reggae but sounds pleasant enough, didn’t know this or anything else by him but knew his reputation.

    The Real Thing – positive lines with Can you Feel the Force? – A real mix in the wardrobe department but they look happy enough with themselves. I seem to remember Chris Amoo winning Crufts one year, though I can’t find anything to confirm this on Wiki. His dog that is.

    Motorhead – Overkill- still sounds a lot like Ace of Spades with a different guitar break. The crowd are stunned into statues.

    Saturday Night Beneath the Plastic Palm trees- interesting but not that good. His voice is rather weak on the singing bit and a bit Parklife on the talking bits. I like the idea. We’ll see a couple of them in the future with another band.

    Bee Gees – repeat. Sad clowns indeed.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  128. 128
    Jimmy the Swede on 8 Mar 2014 #

    Kid and a special Friday show. Thanks to Steve W for telling us why. Song For Europe was indeed the victim of a strike and I believe some random faceless jury, merely hearing the entries, decided the winner, Black Lace with the very lightweight Mary Ann. I recall The Nolans had entered and were totally gutted when they were overlooked. The general feeling was that had they been allowed to perform they would have probably carried the day. We’ll never know.

    Herbie Hancock over the rundown. Check out Herbie’s pic at #19. Just wrong.

    Inner Circle – Jamaican funk/rock outfit. Excellent opener from a group who surprisingly were not that big here, despite a top three hit well over a decade later with a modified line-up. Also famed for providing the theme to US reality show “COPS” with the brilliant Bad Boys.

    Kid seriously rambles and a pretty smiling girl standing next to him can’t resist a wave. Hello yourself! On comes Elvis C “in runner up position” with Oliver’s Army. Hong Kong may have long ceased to be up for grabs but this record will be top drawer forever.

    Now we have the Gals and the Pistols. Who would have thought? It’s something else indeed. Here comes that girl again…and it’s Pauline, who’s been pushed to the front again with a smile to melt. The whole thing scores a bullseye. Not a hint of sexiness from any of them. But both the routine and the track scream attitude. You have to applaud the Pistols for this. It proved their pedigree as performers and the Gals as formation dancers. Very good indeed.

    Buzzcocks – Fabulously odd little song with the trademark punk/new wave whinge about life being unfair. Excellent and should have done better and thereby made the Buzzcocks happier. And that’s the irony.

    Dennis Brown – Clear Swede territory here, if a little lightweight. The matter of Dennis keeping hold of his wedge because he can’t pull a bird is perhaps not something a bloke should be highlighting and I personally had plenty of this experience back in the day and never felt inclined to burst into song about it. But there is good news for our Dennis. There are plenty of lonely chalet maids up at Prestatyn, mate. Walk this way. The engine’s running…

    The Late Show – Bristol Stomp. Blimey O’Reilly, I’d forgotten about this. Great fun but total rubbish, if we’re honest. But the lads are enjoying themselves especially the drummer, who’s loving it. Prestatyn? Naw, send ’em to Minehead!

    Real Thing – For me, Can You Feel The Force was their finest offering three years after they were huge with two softies. The Star Wars link was still slightly annoying though and more than a little late.

    Leyton Buzzards – I think I saw this lot play the Nashville, West Ken back in the day. They promised much but ultimately delivered nothing. This, their only semblance of a hit, tried far too much to do far too much. And didn’t.

    Number one. Trag. Legs. Clowns. Trag.

    Kid bids us farewell. The pretty girl who waved earlier returns to wave bye too. She puts a thumb up and then walks off. Have a good life, love. Out we go to Gary’s Gang and one I always liked for some strange reason.

  129. 129
    Lazarus on 8 Mar 2014 #

    Interesting to know that the Nolan Sisters, as they were still known then, were Eurovision contenders. I would have expected them to enter for Ireland, but I see that the family located to Britain as long ago as 1962, meaning that Coleen was actually born here. We’ve never had the chance to discuss them at any length on Popular but ‘Attention to Me’ is a much neglected gem I think.

  130. 130
    wichitalineman on 13 Mar 2014 #

    Re 126: Oh is that why it didn’t sound like I remembered it… first time I heard Overkill was on the Top 40 countdown and it was the most relentless, tuneless, powerful thing I’d ever heard. TOTP version went “tish” and I was sorely disappointed.

    Also, Honey I’m Lost into Overkill… that’s why I love TOTP.

  131. 131
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Mar 2014 #

    Peter Powell pops up again like a jack in the box. We’re in safe hands but he’s got grimy teeth.

    Players Association with the excellent Turn The Music Up over the rundown. A daft cartoon is the caption for The Pistols. Explain.

    Jam – Seriously spreading their wings now. Mod excellence with Strange Town and we’re off to a flyer this week.

    Woo-Hoo! Now Lene Lovich. More gravy with her changing Lucky Number. Oddly sexy and a killer song.

    Toto – Hold The Line. Excellent studio footage of a classy track. This show’s becoming a blast. I wonder what will spoilt it?

    Pete has his arm around a pretty girl wreathed in smiles whilst a gang of herberts loom. It’s The Cars with Just What I needed and the quality continues. Surely we should be due some rubbish soon. This is TOTP for Christ’s sake.

    But certainly not this!.. It’s the Gals and Chic. PP prepares us by saying “just see what they’re wearing…or not wearing” and the Swede is in the zone in a trice. The Legs are swirling around in wedding dresses to begin with and normally that would be a “boo!” but then one remembers what Peter said and very soon the bridal gowns are replaced by one-piece liotards clinging to them only just. Sue is at her muckiest but then so are all the others, even Pauline. Back and forth we go, wedding dresses, liotards. The song is I Want Your Love. The Swede is happy to imagine that the clear message is if you provide the wedding dress, you are rewarded with the liotard. And that’s most certainly a deal!

    Violinski – Clog Dance. Who remembers this? I did but would have struggled to name the act or the title. It’s pure test card muzak and the drummer clearly wishes he was somewhere else. Harmless fun.

    Pete sandwiches himself between two pretties and then on comes footage of Herbie Hancock wandering around like a prawn. He looks fucking ludicrous and reminds me of a cinema usher carrying a tray of choc ices and Orange Maid. I mean WTF? The barnet and the bins add to the crime and then to top it all, the numpty starts crooning like a lovesick gay dalek. Just get off!

    Our host poses two questions: Who won Song For Europe? and Who deserves this?…and Peter holds up a yellow disc which could have been anything. Well, after the unintentional humour of Herbie, we finally get our show spoiler with Black Lace and our inexplicable entry for Eurovision. It’s as lightweight as a victoria sponge sung by a Smokie 2nd eleven. Seriously dreadful.

    Number one is Gloria and why wouldn’t it be?

    Out to Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. All in all, a corker of a show.

  132. 132
    thefatgit on 22 Mar 2014 #

    #131 Jimmy The Swede, The Sex Pistols cartoon was off the pic sleeve for “Something Else”/”Friggin’ In The Riggin'” with the lads behaving lewdly on a pirate ship. My mate had this on yellow vinyl and persuaded the poor sap DJ at the school disco to play FITR while the teachers took their eye off the ball for five minutes, for a cheeky fag and a blast from the hip-flask round the back of the assembly hall. Legendary times.

  133. 133

    Violinski was ELO’s violinist Mik Kaminski’s side project — one of my best friends at school (also a violinist, a very good one) was excited by them, so the answer to JtS’s question @131 is “not quite no one”!

  134. 134
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Mar 2014 #

    I am grateful to both the Git and his Lordship for those clarifications. I would loved to have been at Fats’ school disco when FITR slipped through the net. I would also have hoodwinked the poor sap DJ by getting him to play the b-side of “Rhythm Stick”, the sublime “There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards”. I think that would have had the errant teachers tumbling back! Legendary times indeed!

  135. 135
    Speedwell54 on 23 Mar 2014 #

    Yeah Peter.. though you’re right about the teeth Swede.

    Strange Town.. the intro reminds me of ‘Cool for Cats’ – album – also from ’79. Paul’s still sticking with a collar and tie for now.

    Lucky Number – it’s growing on me again. Wonder if I might enjoy it more with a less novelty vocal.

    Hold the Line- they look dated then, but it’s a good sound even if I don’t really know what he’s on about – better than Africa.

    Peter waffles at length and introduces the Cars- Just What I Needed. Did they take it turns for the lead vocals? – better than Drive.

    Chic – I Want Your Love – great song and great performance from Legs. Great.

    Violinkski – a repeat from three weeks ago I think. Ffwd.

    Herbie – sounds like his autotune microphone needs new batteries. No doubt sounded like the future then.

    It’s going downhill . Black Lace sounding not unsurprising like Smokie singing ‘Oh Carol’. ‘That’s Living Alright’ seems to lift a bit from this. Not my cup of tea.

    Gloria -if you change the stupid lock it doesn’t really matter about the leaving the keys, love. It’s probably more than ok, but just far far too well known to…… The violin bit turns up in Supreme by Robbie Williams.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  136. 136
    Lazarus on 23 Mar 2014 #

    ‘Love to Hate You’ by Erasure borrowed massively from ‘I Will Survive’ too, as I recall. I sometimes wonder what happened to the girl on the skates, has she ever turned up on one of those ‘where are they now’ type features? I can picture her watching the clip with her family, kids grown up, and sighing at the sight of her lovely slim figure.

    The Cars – yes, I thought Rik Ocasek – the gangly one with the odd hair – was the singer on this, and all their hits. This bloke looks more like Rick Parfitt.

    Jam – ‘Strange Town’ is one of their very best I think. Cruelly neglected by oldies radio (even Absolute, which pretty much lives in 1978/79 half the time) in favour of a couple of obvious biggies.

    I didn’t mind Prestatyn lifers Black Lace – next to Daz Sampson and Scooch it’s practically a classic – and I quite enjoyed jazzman Herbie going out of his comfort zone. Some enthusiastic frugging from the dancers to enjoy there too, especially the girl in yellow.

    Top show, I agree.

  137. 137
    Mark G on 25 Mar 2014 #

    Oh, oops, I didn’t know you were all in here already. I guess Popular’s been quite busy this past week, so.

    I played the show to the kids one morning, Amber was somewhat bemused by Lene Lovitch, and The Jam were clearly doing a classic which fell between the punk years and the pop years. And that’s Bob Carolgees singing for Toto, right?

    Anyways, the other headline was: After the discussion re Babs and her hookup with Robert, an odd thing happened. My sis works in theatre and she held a cast/crew party at her place. The quote I get back was my mum “Hello, I’m Robert he said and I thought to myself no you’re not you’re Jesus”. (Well, at least she didn’t actually say it).

    It’s Roger Taylor leading The Cars, with an undernourished Mike Nesmith on guitar also. 5 string bass. hmmm.

    Anyway, normal service next week, prob..

  138. 138
    Lazarus on 28 Mar 2014 #

    Watching again on ‘Catch Up’ it’s “Mike Read, Mike Read, 275 and 285” etc, in a gleaming white jacket. Chic over the top 30, a good choice, as the picture changes on every fourth beat.

    Racey – it’s always 1974 with this lot and their flaccid ‘Tiger Feet’ retread. This time four of the Legs girls join them, but no Sue, so no need for the Swede to gnash his teeth. Read congratulates them on having the biggest ever selling hit on RAK with their previous release. It’ll be back up to North Wales soon enough though …

    Three Degrees – a speedy follow-up, and they look like they mean business. Old Luggy will be on to the Lady Jane Grey tea towel by now.

    Rocky Sharpe/Replays – don’t remember this at all. Budge up in the minibus, men of Racey!

    Neil Diamond/Legs – I always liked this one. Gals in big swirly sparkly gowns. To begin with, anyway, the outfits get a good deal more interesting, not to say bizarre.

    Read has his hand on the shoulder of a blonde. Careful now! Introduces Gonzales, they haven’t stopped dancing yet. Cosmopolitan bunch, the singer is a bit of a buffoon. Lots of whistling, as was often the case in those days.

    Dana – minor hit from the Irish songstress. Damn, she’s looking hot. Something’s cooking in the kitchen alright. Catchy number, and even a bit of scat singing, anticipating Matt Bianco. Good stuff.

    Showaddywaddy. Oh please. Racey, Replays and now this lot on one show. Forget the minibus, let’s get a Kings Ferry coach!

    Sister Sledge – their first hit for the Rodgers and Edwards team. An old mis-heard lyric of mine, “he looks like a spiv, that man is just a kid.” And there he is … no, it’s not Floyd.

    Kandidate – another RAK band. Phil Fearon is in here somewhere. Opportunity Knocks stuff. Pleasant, smooth, undemanding. Colourful outfits.

    Read, now in sailor suit for some reason ..

    Black Lace – ‘Oh Carol’ Part 2. I think the singer actually is in Smokie these days, or possibly the other way round. Cut well short.

    Gloria Gaynor – number 1. That video again.

    We’ve had better …

  139. 139
    Jimmy the Swede on 29 Mar 2014 #

    Mike Read = Howard Webb

    Chic’s “I Want Your Love” gets yet another spin, this time over the rundown.

    Racey – Now see here, you snivelling little runt, I told you before to leave them Gals alone! Last time he grabbed the Swede’s Eternal Mistress, this time the glove puppet has a face full of no less than four of them and the gorgeous Rosie is loving it. She even does a miming turn for the little no-mark. Smiley Pauline is captivated also. Swede BP critical. If that engine isn’t running like now, I’m going to seriously hurt someone. At home, Desmond takes one look at me and quickly exits. He’s not fucking stupid, that cat.

    Three Degrees – Unremarkable effort but it’s another top tenner for them, and the posh bloke with the ears needs his undercarriage sponged down again by his equerry Sir Alan Fitztightly.

    Rocky Sharpe and the Replays – Oh God, why? Haven’t we done with this genre now as we head for the Eighties? Prestatyn-bound rubbish and the girl still looks like she should be a mummy in a Fairy Liquid ad rather than in a pop group.

    The Gals return to help good old Neil Diamond out with his jeans. This is nothing short of a Swede dream sequence. It’s a wonderful routine. Lulu is dressed as a child, carrying a teddy, Rosie is a bunny girl waitress and Sue is a school girl straight out of St Trinians, wearing a straw hat and brandashing a hockey stick. She makes a face and pokes out her tongue as she runs through and Lulu follows, finger in mouth with her teddy. Lolita! It’s a routine the Swede could have come up with. I’m not at all sure what it had to do with the record but who cares? Mary Whitehouse must have done her pieces over this. The Swede was doing something else.

    Dana – Looking at her, it’s almost unbelieveable to think that it was nearly ten years before that she won Eurovision. She is just gorgeous and does raunchy extremely well, her innocence truly banished. The chorus mentions microwaves. Technology, eh? Excellent stuff but the record alas flopped and Dana went into politics, becoming an MEP in Ireland and standing for the presidency over there. Hands up who knew she was born in London?

    The Waddy have bloody escaped again. I asked the question earlier about this with Rocky Sharpe, what’s the point of this retro shite, even if Romeo still looks cool brandashing the sticks? Lazarus is right, we need a stonking great coach to shift the garbage north this week.

    Sister Sledge – Disco staple classic about a suitably lovely girl offering herself on a plate to some bloke who is great looking, fit, well dressed and a sublime dancer. Not something that ever entered the orbit of the Swede back in Stockwell alas. My mis-heard lyric is perhaps crueller than Lazarus’. I have her singing “he looks like a div…”

    Kandidate – “I Don’t Want To Lose You”. I didn’t realise that this lot were British. I preferred their first hit “I Don’t Want To Say Goodnight” but there you go. One thing though, with so many herberts lurking, why did lead duties go to a guy with a camp lisp? Fond memories of Charles from The Floaters. We’ll need two coaches at this rate.

    Pointless few seconds of our crap, doomed Eurovision entry, surely one of the weakest we’ve ever put out. Truly awful. Three coaches.

    Gloria still survives. Oh Christ, she’s turned into Diane Abbott!

    Out to The Jacksons. But we all know it’s really Michael.

    It was all about the Gals this week.

  140. 140
    Speedwell54 on 29 Mar 2014 #

    Mike Read – so it’ll be a fact filled show tonight… Enjoying listening to Chic over the countdown until the lovely picture of Kate pops up at 23 and I’m gutted all over again at no tickets! Onwards..

    Racey – Jammy Richard (technically a dwarf) gets to dance with Legs, again. They perform a dance routine -again -and The Tweets must surely have been watching and making a mental note. Waddy fans must be buying this. First fact of the night from Read, congratulating Racey on their previous single ‘Lay Your Love On Me’ becoming the “largest selling single ever on the RAK records in the UK”. Makes me think it came out on 13″ vinyl.

    Three Degrees – The Runner. Shiny lips. Do you think those jackets button up? ok.

    Rocky Sharpe- inferior follow up and I wasn’t that impressed last time. Waddy fans must be buying this. Sax break is a little bit Benny Hill. She sounds a bit Rocky Horror. Not a fifties throw back, not my cup of tea. Ffwd.

    Neil- Forever in Blue Denim. Swede covers this, just to add Patti gets the short straw outfit wise playing an ol’ woman.
    Great great song.

    Gonzalez -I Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet- They look an odd bunch but song is fine.

    Dana – I picked on the Microwave reference too. Firstly, few people would have one in the home then. I remember we got one in 1980, the first and only instance of my family being an early adopter of any technology. Secondly she says “something’s burnin’ in your microwave”. – Well I hate to be picky but it’s pretty hard to ‘burn’ things in a microwave; you can over cook things, you can make things explode but not really burn. Next line “..and freezin’ in your Frigidaire” One rule for the Kinks, another for Dana on the product placement front, but aside from that, what is this about! So the freezer is working fine is it? Tell me more about the kitchen, is there perhaps something wet coming out of the tap. After all that I quite like it. She had a number one hit in Mexico with Fairytale, which is a fantastic song. I don’t know who was first, but it sounds a lot like Bowie’s ‘Sound and Vision’.

    Showaddywaddy – Waddy fans weren’t really buying this. The writing was on the wall and the masses had moved on; this ended their run of top tens and that was it.

    Kandidate- When Read said this was chart bound I would have surely disagreed but he was right. They just leap frogged Gonzalez in the odd looking bunch stakes. Not my cup of tea.

    Black Lace- repeat.

    GG- twktc.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  141. 141
    Lazarus on 3 Apr 2014 #

    A rare outing for TB – he hasn’t quite been eradicated yet. Swift follow-up from the Pistols over the chart. The number 3 hasn’t been featured in the rerun yet – it was on a DLT show – but we’ll be hearing plenty of it before long.

    M – not long ago there’d have been some no-hoper in the opening slot, almost like a support act to the proper pop stars. Not this week – it’s a nailed-on classic, and a hit all over again ten years later. Shoobe doobe doowah!

    Village People – jolly sequel, and a chart runner-up. Probably an urban myth, but supposedly the US Navy were looking to use this a recruiting tool, until someone had a quiet word. “What am I gonna do in a submarine?” Use your imagination, dear …

    Squeeze – with the two girls from the video, and a rare lead vocal from Chris Difford, all dropped aitches and glottal stops. Michelle ‘Cindy Beale’ Collins has denied being the blonde dancer – I think at one time I heard it was Leslie Ash – anyway, good track, and yet another future number 2. Good album too – the first single, ‘Goodbye Girl’ should have been the first hit.

    Dire Straits – in the top 10 with their first offering. Half-lit and rather unmemorable routine from the Legs, some of them looking like washerwomen in pinnies. When did Rosie submit to the frizzer?

    Members – the second and last hit for the Camberley outfit, and again this was produced by Steve Lillywhite, the drummer’s brother. The band lingered on into the ’80s and even got played on MTV. This is OK, sort of ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ meets 2-Tone. We’ll be getting plenty more white reggae before the year’s out.

    Jacksons – Michael shakes his body to good effect. Only a few months till ‘Off the Wall’ now. Doesn’t look like the Pops studio – Soul Train, maybe?

    Milk and Honey – no longer the biggest hit with the title ‘Hallelujah.’ I’m going to admit to rather liking this Eurovision winner, I like the way it builds. By the end it’s a show tune you could do high-kicks down the stairs to. It’s not hard to see why it won, and Black Lace came seventh. And who knew Ed Stewart did the bass vocal?

    The Jam – all in stripey blazers this week, and Paul has ditched the tie! “You’ve got to wear the right clothes.” Song is fine.

    Gloria Gaynor – number one, last week possibly? “And now you’re back, from outer space” was a curious line I always thought.

    Siouxsie & the Banshees play us out. Good show this week with no obvious candidates for the minibus (Milk & Honey were out on the next flight)

  142. 142
    Steve Williams on 4 Apr 2014 #

    Enjoyed this one, as the acts were all eager to impress the nine hour old me. This is Tony’s last appearance in his original run as presenter though if this rerun continues to 2018, we’ll see him rejoin the rota for a few months.

    This also marks three years since the start of these repeats, which I think is remarkable. Didn’t expect it to last three months, and that was before the brand was utterly toxic.

  143. 143
    Lazarus on 4 Apr 2014 #

    I hope that it’s allowed to continue for another 13 months or so, because there’ll be a Legs routine in a May 1980 show (hosted by Peter Powell, so no problem there) that’ll reduce our friend Jimmy to a helpless gibbering wreck. I dare say no more, except that it’s far from average.

  144. 144
    Jimmy the Swede on 4 Apr 2014 #

    Timmy at the controls. We’re in for a cracker tonight. Pistols over rundown.

    We open with a giant of a record. “Pop Muzik” by M. They’re playing our song again, Popular Pals! And it’s a belter, which got stuck at number two here but went all the way in the US. They’re a very odd-marked firm are M. The female vocalist glances across at Robin Scott from Croydon more than once and gives him a come hither look. Good job. She’s his wife. Hands up if, like the Swede, you’ve been to all four cities?

    Village People. More wonderful fun from the lads. No urban myth, Lazarus. The US Navy did indeed want to use this for a recruitment drive. I’m pretty sure that it was early in the Reagan presidency, still a couple of years away. The brass were very keen until some no doubt younger official, clued into the popular culture of the day, outlined why it would probably be a mistake. The classic part of the record is of course when the lead vocalist suddenly becomes reticent about signing up, citing his fear of water and finishing with “Oh, my goodness. What am I gonna do in a submarine?” It’s magnificent stuff!

    Squeeze – I was an enormous fan of this lot back in the day and saw them play The Nashville in West Kensington in this very year. I saw a group called The Police too. As for the Cool for Cats dancers, I’m not sure that the blonde is either Michelle Collins or Leslie Ash but what a clunking great track, another number two miscarriage of justice.

    Gals do a turn for “Sultans of Swing”. They are annoyingly dimly lit but we get the point. The Eternal Mistress immediately takes centre stage, as she should and the other Legs feed off her. It’s a good routine, despite the Looby Lou dresses. And another fabulous track from our own island.

    Members – My chum Erithian nailed this perfectly when he texed me to say that this record could have been recorded last week. A song giving a good kick-in to banks, newspaper barons and tycoons. Uncannily spot on for today. Meanwhile, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson deny all charges against them.

    Bannockburn admires a sturdy blonde he’s grabbed, well actually her dress. He invites her to shake her body around. Not for him, of course. For Micheal Jackson. He’s almost ready.

    Milk and Honey, the Eurovision winners from Israel. I can see Lazarus’ point about this working as a showtune. But I’m afraid for me, it doesn’t work as anything else and I personally was amazed it did win, even though they were hosts. Pretty girl, mind you.

    Jam – Already seen but the UK offering tonight has been tremendous.

    Gloria is still warding them off but the bunnies are gaining in number.

    Out to Siouxsie, who always did it for me.

    A decidedly Prestatyn-free show tinight. Well done!

  145. 145
    Speedwell54 on 5 Apr 2014 #

    Tony in Harry Hill’s shirt.

    M- in a break from looking after James Bond-Robin leads an unlikely multicultural bunch who’ve been in the dressing up cupboard again. A classic.

    The Village People – Ray leads an unlikely multicultural bunch who’ve been in the dressing up cupboard again. A classic.

    Squeeze – A classic. Chris gets a go. Michelle Collins, according to wiki is in the ‘Up the Junction’ video, and the two girls look like the same ones earning their money here. That’s a long instrumental break.

    Dire Straits – Not my cup of tea.

    Generation X -Valley of the Dolls. Idol sneers throughout.

    the Members- sounding a bit like the Specials.

    the Jacksons- Michael just a few months before striking out on his own without the rest of the Jacksons or Motown.

    Milk and Honey – guess they had done it few times by now, but a really tight and planned performance making the most of what they have.

    Jam – slippery slope, in just a few weeks we’ve lost one tie and he’s chewing. Enjoying this song more and over the last couple of episodes.

    GG.- bit bored now ffwd

    Out to Siouxsie – so this is why I loved the Long Blondes.

    Not my favourite but there has been many worse.

  146. 146
    Lazarus on 5 Apr 2014 #

    The Jacksons had actually left Motown for Epic a few years earlier, minus Jermaine, who’d been married at the age of 19 to Berry Gordy’s daughter Hazel. he has had a somewhat colourful private life – both he and brother Randy have fathered children by the same woman – and in 2013 changed his last name to Jacksun (who knew?).

  147. 147
    hardtogethits on 5 Apr 2014 #

    I recall an episode of Going For Gold with Henry Kelly, in which he asked “Which group, with only one letter in their name, had a 1979 hit with Pop Muzik?”

    The contestant emitted a ponderous noise “Ehmmmmm…”

    “That’s correct”, announced Kelly.

    (Note: This is not a transcript).

  148. 148
    Steve Mannion on 6 Apr 2014 #

    Good! But what about:

    “Which group, with only one letter in their name, stuck it to The Man in 2002 with the hits ‘Starbucks’ and ‘Nothing’?”

    Which hasn’t happened but coulda.

  149. 149
    punctum on 7 Apr 2014 #

    “Hi! I’m Gloria Gaynor off the telly like! When you need to change that stupid lock, don’t forget to visit trustatrader.com! Next time I’ll make sure my lock’s an intelligent one!”

  150. 150
    lonepilgrim on 10 Apr 2014 #

    TOTP 12/0479
    Peter ‘Perky’ Powell presents
    3 Degrees over the charts
    Light of the World – lively – better on the dance floor than the studio
    Kate Bush – extraordinary performance
    Sex Pistols – ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? very 80s outfits on the gals
    Neil Diamond – ghastly – where’s his jeans if he likes ’em so much?
    Racey – hideous
    Supertramp – great song – hard to figure STs ‘influences’ but they are like a popper/jazzier antecedent to Coldplay – but better
    Sham 69 – pantomime punks
    Kandidate – soothing soul stylings
    Sister Sledge – good tune, though not their best IMO
    Art Garfunkel – spoiler bunnies get about a minute
    Wings over the closing credits

  151. 151
    Mark G on 11 Apr 2014 #

    So, Peter Powell it is! Blimey, The Sex Pistols almost nearly with two top ten hits this week! Bit of a shame they’ll be otherwise occupied at this point in history..

    Light of the world get funky. Umm… Can I talk about The Members’ last week’s performance? No? Oh. Ok….

    Kate Bush does Wow. Hitting the Vaseline, I remember.. mind you “He’ll never make “The Sweeney” ” You sure, BBC subtitles? Might be, will have to look it up..

    Legs and co do a pogo can-can. One looks like Chrissie Hynde, a bit of Joan Jett attitude, actually it’s not that good but it’s fun clearly.

    Neil Diamond does a song that his audience already know, it seems..

    Pete has a girl, I thought he was gonna tell us who she was … Never mind it’s Racey but you’ve seen this one already.. He does look like Nigel Lythgoe btw

    Supertramp. They had big hits then split up and that was the end. Had they not, they could have mined this reasonably intelligent soft rock seam for decades. Then again, after the first few mills, how much more do you need? I think this is at the heart of the Logical song. Possibly.

    Sham 69 do the hit single that isn’t one of the ones people remember. The jackets are more expensive now. Jim manages a pratfall and almost gets away with it..

    Candidate, apparently. Thought it was with a K, BBC subtitlers.. Never mind the soft soul, feel the sincerity..

    Sister Sledge again.. FF>

    Bright Eyes is obviously a lot cheaper to license than Grease was, then again we get barely 30 seconds of it which is a bit odd. Maybe longer on the full version..

    McCartney does the funk thing, reasonably successfully for the fade, but that is also short.

    Last weeks show was a keeper, this week was a dull one really apart from Kate Bush.

  152. 152
    Steve Williams on 11 Apr 2014 #

    Delighted to hear Bright Eyes. Even more delighted to only hear thirty seconds of it. Presumably that was all they could use (for “fair use”?) without having to spend a packet clearing it.

    Pretty crap episode, that, though, the only good bit was Pete’s frantic intro. “We’reHere! It’sTopOfThePops! It’sGotToBeGood! We’reRunningWithTheCharts! TheChartRundown! TheRunner! TheThreeDegreeeeeees!!!!”

  153. 153
    Jimmy the Swede on 12 Apr 2014 #

    Peter Powell again. He seems to have a season ticket. “It’s got to be good!” he promises. Don’t ever say that, Pete!

    Three Degrees over the rundown. They’ve really plugged this one.

    Light of the World – Who they? A bouncy UK brass outfit, trying their level best to funk and groove. But it’s to be only the fringes of the chart for them as the minibus slides sympathetically up.

    Kate Bush – Sexy beyond belief and rivalling the Gals. For the Swede to say that is something. Horny as hell, yes but she’s totally insane with those mad staring eyes. A gyrating loon, if you will. Brilliant song and performance, yes but it’s clear she should be sectioned. UnBELIEVEable!!!

    Gals and the Pistols combine again, this time to “Silly Thing”. Doesn’t quite work, as simply poking your tongue out and jumping in the air in bright-coloured long jackets doesn’t really cut it. Pogoing madly and gobbing all over the camera (or Peter Powell) would have much more within the spirit and would have aroused a very envious Swede.

    Neil Diamond – Just a short clip of this. And as Pilgrim says, where the fuck are his jeans? Forever? Yeah, you’re talking bollocks, Neil!

    Bloody Racey and the Gal-grabbin’ midget. The Swede’s already been to hell and back over this. The dwarf can’t hurt me now. Move on.

    Supertramp – Surely one of the acts of the year. I played the album to death back in the day. PP tells us he loves the brass bit. So do I. Quality Street.

    Nice Pete is surrounded by hand-picked would-be herberts. The lad on the end to the left fancies himself. On come Sham 69. I think I’m on record as not ever liking this lot. It’s a JP thing. He’s mildly ridiculous and this performance scares absolutely no-one.

    Kandidate – Already seen. Over loaded band. Supernumeraries galore and a slappable lisping no-mark as front-man. “I don’t want to lose you?” I dunno about that, mate, just as long as the driver doesn’t lose the route back to Prestatyn.

    Sister Sledge – Still trying to pull the bloke who looks like a div. Give it up, love. He’ll come to you if he fancies you after he’s finished dancing. And take you home. You see, he never leaves the disco alone. I wonder why? I’ll stop now.

    I’ve never seen “Watership Down”. I have however sent one or two non-cartoon bunnies to the Promised Land whilst motoring up the A27 to Gatwick. It’ wasn’t my fault. Get out of the fucking road, you lop-eared little half-wits! Totalling that Albanian farm worker was less forgivable perhaps.

    Out to Wings with Goodnight Tonight. A simple but very effective track from Macca.

    Kate alone made tonight worthwhile.

  154. 154
    Lazarus on 14 Apr 2014 #

    Oh I’m sorry, I thought the invite said 8.30 … Peter P brings his usual joie de vivre, Three Degrees over the 30.

    Light of the World – Brit Funk also-rans extol the virtues of swinging. Whatever floats your boat, I’m as broad minded as the next man (etc) – actually they would have a better stab at it in a couple of years time.

    Kate Bush – second single from the hastily recorded ‘Lionheart’ after the flop Hammer Horror. She’s all alone on the stage … and spellbinding as ever. Going to be almost all videos from now on though.

    Pistols/Legs – camera work reminded me more of a routine from the Kenny Everett show. Must be one of the least remembered Pistols singles. Steve Jones on vocal?

    Neil Diamond – I really like the song but this live version does it no favours.

    Racey – the pride (??) of Weston-super-Mare. Some girls will, some girls won’t – these girls are being paid to. Richard Gower really did have one of the most slappable faces in pop. Btw I think ‘posh totty’ Gill is my favourite now – Sue is all yours Swedo (in your dreams!)

    Supertramp – superior AOR and the first hit off their biggest album. Facial hair overload.

    Sham 69 – I never had much time for them, but in hindsight this isn’t too bad – chorus puts me in mind of The Alarm. Their biggest hit is coming up soon.

    Kandidate – it definitely is a ‘k.’ Repeat. I remember liking this a lot at the time.

    Sister Sledge – video repeat. Said greatest dancer takes a while to put in an appearance, in fact in this cut he doesn’t even make it.

    Art – we get a bit of the second verse and a chorus – yes about a minute. It’s better that way.

    Wings get funky over the titles. Pretty much their last record. OK show.

  155. 155
    Jimmy the Swede on 25 Apr 2014 #

    Tis Keed

    Neil Diamond’s eternal trousers over rundown. They’ve really plugged this one. I wonder why? Perhaps money talks.

    Generation X – Valley of the Dolls. Dreary song and they all sound as menacing as school kids. But pretty Billy is certainly not helped by inane fuzzy lighting covering his starry dish.

    Supertramp – Repeat footage. Still wonderful. And that whole album still more than holds up today. I would urge our younger posters to investigate it if they haven’t already.

    Eruption – My Preciousss! She’s looking lovely but this is oddly Eurovision/Boney M and thus a slight disappointment following their sublime debut of a year earlier.

    Siouxsie – Staircase Mystery. This is fabulous and should have been huge but wasn’t. She was a serious trouser-arouser for the barely adult Swede back in the day. Sandwiched between Siouxsie and Bonkers Kate would have been a very agreeable place to die.

    Racey. Okay, I’m serious. Enough now. The only saving grace is that those pernicious rabbits kept the little rotter off the top. And it’s different footage at least. But please don’t let them out again.

    Amii Srewart – Very peculiar footage of Amii surrounded by misfits and no-marks. One tragic guy in a pink shirt is particularly out of place. This excellent Eddie Floyd cover was a US number one. I have to admit that I was looking at the oddballs in the crowd more than Amii before I noticed a particulary sexy high-kick from La Stewart and bang! the Swede was back.

    Boney M – Likely German footage of their holiday nonsense song, which swept the continent. Although it did well enough here, its release would have certainly have benefited from a delay of at least a couple of months in order to hit the summer holidays for our citizens who would have snapped it up as the defining record for their fortnight in Spain, Skeggy or Prestatyn. Dreadful shite, obviously.

    Monks – I had absolutely no idea that this was Hudson-Ford Plus Two. Clever little song about dickhead blokes taking the piss out of the “dogs” their mates have pulled only for them (or at least one of them) to ironically and deservedly face the same insult by a girl in a neat little twist at the end. Harmless fun but certainly of its time.

    Bee Gees – Gals give us “Love You Inside Out”. And boy do they give us! The record missed the top ten here but topped the charts in the US. As for the routine, it’s a palpable mouth-waterer. Our lovelies are in very short oriental numbers and they are all fingering small parasols. Legs are everywhere, quite literally, and Sue is immediately into her glorious stride spinning around on the floor and then entices the Swede by doing the splits more than once. Again it’s the Eternal Mistress’ show and she finishes the rather dull song with a smile and a twirl of her wee brolly. Blood magnificent, man!

    Number One. And we get another few pointless seconds of cartoon buns.

    Kid says goodbye surrounded by worrying manic-smiling girls and we’re out to Waddy and Remember Then. Dear God, I really thought that this one (and this lot) were buried ages ago.

    Bits and bobs.

  156. 156
    Lazarus on 25 Apr 2014 #

    I’ll give my comments in a day or two when I’ve seen the show but in the meantime – Legs and Co sing! (after a fashion)


  157. 157
    Mark G on 25 Apr 2014 #


    Forever in Blue Jeans over the chart rundown. It’s been a while singe the TOTP theme was used, but is it really any use having a song’s first 30 seconds or thereabouts used like this, we get to number one before anything approaching a title is reached..

    Into the Valley of the Dolls go the Gang of Four. For all this time, that was the only lyric I remembered from this. Thanks to SubTitles, I can now see what it was about really. Basically, the experience of being onstage in a band playing for an audience. Said band may or may not be the Gang of Four. But they never did make this TV show, see wikipedia (prob) for why…

    Logical Song is on, so this is clearly Supertramp. (Viz Comics reference for you guys..)

    Eruption do One Way Ticket, but this is way too stompy german schlager disco for me. Boney M would have said no. The song itself seems to be some sort of Elvis tribute, but the title references seem to wander off..

    Siouxsie rescues the show, finally. A ‘not often seen (unless you watch VintageTV channel, prob)’ promo video has to suffice as they are clearly too scary for the TV crew to handle..

    Racey go from strength to strength. Clearly the front-dude has had some ‘dance’ training in the past, as the gals wouldn’t be doing this dancing thing otherwise. (Some Popsingers can catch, some popsingers can’t, some popsingers say that they can catch but then they drop the girl and then admit that they can’t…)

    Now, Amii Stewart is of the same stable as Eruption, but the energy level here is undeniable. And, yes, there are quite a few ‘less than trendy’ souls in the film here, but they seem to be giving it some anyway. (Is this TopPop, the german ‘version’ of TOTP?)

    Here is Sham 69 with another crack at “Questions and Answers”, a live vocal but the backing track sounds like it’s out of a transistor radio.

    Boney M do the Holiday song. I notice that Bobby doesn’t get to do his “Well, I’m Game” bit, but the clip is quite long anyway. I was doing a clearout of the garage and passing on some stuff to Oxfam, and the yellow 12″ version of this was there, it was bought by the Kids at a carboot about 10 years ago. They didn’t seem to be too fussed about keeping it..

    The Monks. Yep, it’s a songwriters’ demo but whoever they submitted it to presumably said sod off, so the writers issue it themselves. The fact that it sounds like it was recorded for the total cost of £10 including the cost of the cassette is the only good thing about it, really. It’s a comedy number, casual sexism pervades until 10 seconds from the end. Never mind lads (“LADS? LADS? THEY’RE OLD MEN!!!” ahem.. I think that was the Dalai Llama) don’t make a career out of it. But they did! The follow up “I ain’t gettin any” continued the “worrr” sun reader punk accent, and was a mate of mine’s favourite single of the time but not a hit. And neither was the LP or the single after that. I get the impression it sold more in Europe..

    The Bee Gees love you inside and out. The song has a palpable desperation which is clearly on-purpose. I think the Legs did a dance with no trousers on and showed their pants in various ways, but I shall leave that to others to review. I was too busy typing the Monks’ entry above.

    Bright eyes is on again, and it’s about 45 seconds. I certainly remember this was not the case before, as you could have a wall-to-wall great TOTP and they’d put the film/clip on and you’d be asleep before the fade-out of the show!

    Kid says taraa, and ShowaddyWaddy remember then takes the fade with a fairly long play-out.

    So, Siouxsie saves the show as I say, that’s about all. I believe we are due another blinding show but who knows if we will get one… Oh yeah, and that was supposed to be the ‘unedited’ episode, but.

    EDIT:: Just watched the YouTube as linked above, yes you have to see it. Somewhat pointless, but you could forgive the Legs’ girls anything in a way. Who are the blokes? Anyway, onto either Lazarus’ review, or next week’s show….

  158. 158
    Lazarus on 26 Apr 2014 #

    After a week’s gap for stargazing – could ‘Sky at Night’ and TOTP really not be shown on the same evening? – it’s “a warm welcome from the home of the hits” and our resident Hoser, the Kid. Neil Diamond over the chart, Artie G seems to be playing Russian Roulette with his fingers.

    Generation X – one I haven’t heard since it was out. “Into the Valley of the Dolls go the Gang of Four.” Not sure what Roy Jenkins and Shirley Williams had to do with it all, to be honest. Some day-glo green lighting effects on this.

    Supertramp – same film. Their biggest hit both here and in the US, and a number one in Canada, as Kid might have been able to tell us. I thought the flop ‘Goodbye Stranger’ even better though.

    Eruption – yeah, very obvious Boney M influences. I think they were managed and/or produced by Frank Farian, too. Precious looks pretty in pink and has a fine set of lungs.

    Siouxsie & The Banshees – another one you don’t hear very often; we’d have to wait until 1980’s ‘Happy House’ and ‘Christine’ for more radio-friendly fare. Their first hits compilation Once Upon a Time was the first album I ever bought on cassette, still have it but not sure how it would play now.

    Racey – still at number two, so something to thank the bunnies for I suppose. Not a repeat, there’s a different dancer this time.

    Amii Stewart – from Washington DC, but based in Europe by this time I believe. The song’s a classic, this is one of my favourite disco covers and Amii looks stunning. Great stuff.

    Boney M – their ’79 singles were a mixed bunch. I liked ‘Gotta Go Home’ and I thought ‘Painter Man’ was OK … this was dreadful, but at least they dressed up for it.

    Monks – yes, Hudson-Ford, as an entry in ‘British Hit Singles’ states (or used to, I haven’t bought it in years). Did the phrase come first, or the song?

    Bee Gees/Legs & Co – they don;t seem to have bothered with videos for the ‘Spirits’ releases. Number one in the States, and their last there (‘You Win Again’ only managed 75). The Disco Sucks movement was about to turn the public against them.

    Art Garfunkel – holding off the Weston numpties for another week. Just the agreed 60 seconds or so.

    Prestatyn-bound Waddy show up for the closing credits.

    Decent show with Amii the highlight for me.

  159. 159
    Steve Williams on 28 Apr 2014 #

    No, we can’t have Pops and Sky At Night on the same night because there’s only 34 episodes of Pops from 1979 currently available to be screened, so we’d be finished by mid-September without taking breaks.

    Both Amii Stewart and Boney M came from the same programme (and same set), Disco In The Snow, a pan-European co-production that also featured Abba, Kate Bush and The Jacksons and appears to have been re-edited and repeated umpteen times during 1979. The Abba at the BBC show at Christmas showed about twenty minutes of it.

  160. 160
    Lazarus on 28 Apr 2014 #

    Fair enough, I hadn’t realised that. My concern was that a ‘valid’ show – one not presented by DLT/Savile – might end up not getting shown if it co-incided with a Sky at Night week. No need to worry on that account, clearly.

    Looks as if Sham 69 were the only addition to the extended show as it ran to a mere 33 minutes.

  161. 161
    Steve Williams on 28 Apr 2014 #

    No, they’ve never missed out an episode because of The Sky at Night. When they started this repeat run in 2011 they kept The Sky at Night going because various episodes had been wiped, now they’re sticking with it because various episodes can’t be shown. If it was ever possible to have shown all 52 episodes from a year (unfortunately the last wiped episode was skipped at almost exactly the same time Savile and Travis episodes became unsuitable) then almost certainly The Sky at Night would have moved to another day (as was the case before this repeat run started, it used to be on Mondays). But every episode we’re able to see, we’re seeing.

    This week’s episode was indeed in a 35 minute slot back in 1979. On original transmission we’d have got more Bright Eyes (which they’re chopping here for reasons we’ve discussed) but probably less of the closing credits which at the time would doubtless have been faded out much earlier, they simply kept running to give BBC1 a bit of leeway if they were over- or underrunning. We now skip another week and the episode we’re missing was the shortest of the year at only 25 minutes.

  162. 162
    Jimmy the Swede on 30 Apr 2014 #

    It’s been reported that an old never-shown-before episode of TOTP from around about this time has been unearthed from a warehouse in Lagos, Nigeria. It features guest presenter Cyril Smith and it was produced by Max Clifford. I wonder if Racey were on.

  163. 163
    speedwell54 on 1 May 2014 #

    A bit late but..
    Kid presents- sporting a shirt that makes me think he is also wearing Hai Karate.

    Supertramp – still sounds great. Long hair and beards to a man.

    Eruption – yeah fine

    Siouxsie – Like this a lot and as I think I’ve said before, the Long Blondes owe them. I have CD2 of Twice Upon a Time.

    Racey – Obviously never met Jimmy or Dave; they’re on every week! He’s still short.

    Amii – looks amazing and can dance the pants off everyone behind her. Bit of classic.

    Sham 69 – poor drumming, not a great performance.

    Boney M – one for the children.

    Monks – one for the children. Sounds like they are playing toy instruments too.

    Bee Gees – too busy again to perform.

    Art -yawn.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  164. 164
    Lazarus on 3 May 2014 #

    “Hello, good evening and welcome” – Mike Read emulates the late great Frosty. Bee Gees over the chart. M at number 2!

    The Damned – I have this on purple vinyl. Rollicking start. The Captain handles his guitar like Tarzan wrestling a crocodile. Instrumental break reminiscent of ‘Shot by Both Sides.’ Excellent.

    Elkie Brooks – and we come down with a thump. I only vaguely remember this, and then for the “rings on her fingers” part. Gallagher and Lyle themselves do backing vocals, fine golfers both, as Wogan always used to say. Radio 2 fare.

    Shadows – introduced by MR ‘doing a Cliff.’ Lovely tune, of course, and not the last of it we’ll hear this year, but we’re still very much in R2 mode. Other Jehovah’s Witnesses in music: Prince, Geri Halliwell (really?), George Benson, Dave Hill (who knew?)

    Eruption – repeat. We’ve missed a week, obvs, as this was on last time.

    Roxy Music – on the comeback trail after three years. Lead off single from Mainfesto, ‘Trash’ stalled at 40 but this was always going to be a smash. Great song.

    Amii Stewart – this time done by the Legs. All lined up this time, energetic routine with plenty of high kicks. Not sure what the sunglasses are for though. Song’s a good ‘un.

    Gary Moore – feat. Phil Lynott of course. A curious video with other members of Lizzy dropping in at times, and which ends with both GM and PL in evening dress. I always like to hear this though.

    Sparks – they’re back too, after a longer gap than Roxy I think. I’m not a huge fan of the Moroder era songs but Russell gives it plenty in chunky knitwear and Ron gazes inscrutably, as ever. We kids used to find him quite sinister!

    Art Garfunkel – week four now. Mike Batt’s pension pot swells.

    Out to Bowie and the lead single from an under-rated album. Plenty of it to make up for the paucity of animated bunnies.

    Not the best, frankly. The Undertones and the Police were in the Top 30. Put them in for Elkie and the Shads and we’d have had a good show.

  165. 165
    speedwell54 on 3 May 2014 #

    Mike Read -facts coming up! We’ve missed a week

    Bee Gees over the countdown. No doubt lack of video or turning up cost them a top ten position.

    Damned open the show proper and put in an energetic performance. The crowd are unmoved save four lads who jump around enthusiastically throughout. Video Star type effects are used sparingly – how things have moved on.

    Run away – Elkie Brookes – she’s wearing a green running suit. Not my cup of tea.

    Boney M – same as last week.

    Shadows – a so-so impression of Cliff introduces them. Ffwd

    Eruption – same as last week
    Monks- same as last week

    re Steve Williams at 159 – the Roxy Music video is from the same show. Agnetha and Frida introduced them which trumps Mike Read every day of the week. I remember playing “Street Life -20 Greatest Hits” on a loop whilst decorating but just playing side one and rewinding it so never got to this track.

    Knock on Wood – this time Legs and Co, more facts from Mike.

    Gary Moore – the guitar solo must have briefly over taken Stairway to Heaven with the teenagers of the day; see Wayne’s World.

    Sparks – looking back it seems strange that in the early 80s when this style of synthpop/new wave was most popular over here, they had rather a quite time hitwise.

    Art -yawn

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  166. 166
    Mark G on 6 May 2014 #

    Hip to the hits, here we are one more time, and this show bears a striking resemblance to last weeks, thanks to the exclusions.. So this weeks more edited than usual..

    The Damned get a welcome back from Mike, even though they’ve not been on before, but hey: They did split up and get back together (quickest reformation ever? Man did these days happen quickly. Nowadays, bands can go off-scene for longer and nobody even notices, let alone wonder of a split. It’s been quiet in Radioheadland innit?) Anyway, The Damned are suddenly a chart force, even though this is not the number one they deserved. No matter, no mind..

    Elkie Brooks wears a track suit, song’s called “Runaway” innit?

    blubalubalupadoobleup.. past Eruption, Monks and Amii for being like last time, and past the shadows for being boring..

    Gary Moore plays a languid style, Phil makes up some lyrics about wine and that, normally it’d just about pass muster but it’s almost exciting..

    Oh I nearly forgot Roxy Music.

    And highlight of the year number two (after The Damned) is Sparks! Welcome back! Yes! Ron invents David Ball, and Russell wears his Foffo Spearjig jumper and tells us all that he felt nowt. OK,that’s going into the save pile..

    And David Bowie gets a play-out which is just as well, really

  167. 167
    Lazarus on 8 May 2014 #

    The Powell lad’s in charge this week – no flies, or indeed files, on him … Donna Summer over the 30. Surprised to see Milk and Honey still there – perhaps Eurovision winners had a longer chart life then. It’s on Saturday isn’t it?

    The Tubes – now they were the ‘outrageous’ group from over the Pond with songs like ‘Don’t Touch Me There’ but now this just looks like good, melodic pop – somewhere between Jefferson Starship and the Scissor Sisters. Good start to the show.

    Earthm Wind & Fire w/ the Emotions – seen this clip many times. Song’s a classic. ‘I Am’ gets regular spins Chez Laz.

    Blondie/Legs & Co – the final single, and second Number One, from ‘Parallel Lines’ – the Legs in little black numbers. Swede will approve no doubt.

    The Police – their first time on the Pops – and this is turning into a corker of a show. Like ‘Sultans of Swing’ which we had recently, a re-issue from ’78. Personal note: the parent album was the first one I bought for myself, almost certainly at Woolworth’s in Coulsdon. Still have it, of course.

    Peaches & Herb – aah, this is alright. the sort of sentimental soft-soul duet done later by the likes of Champaign and Atlantic Starr. It’s an end-of-disco number.

    Undertones – their third single? ‘Teenage Kicks’ for all its exalted reputation, only reached the outer limits of the Top 40 – like ‘Anarchy in the UK’ – this was their first proper hit. Is it punk? Is it pop? Who cares, it’s got Pete tapping his feet. Sparky.

    Abba – clearly a live performance, with a very unfamiliar intro, but it’s ‘Does Your Mother Know?’ Bjorn on lead vocal, Benny bouncing around like Dougal. Nice outfits.

    Linda Clifford – one that divided opinion, I would guess. File under ‘Brave and Interesting.’ It’s no ‘Macarthur Park’ it’s safe to say. Maybe Paul Simon just cashed the royalty cheque and kept his opinion to himself, who knows.

    Max Webster – no ‘band’ in my book, so I’m not sure if any of them had that name. From Canada, this one just missed the Top 40 here. Singer looks a bit like Eno in daring pink jeans. Rock with prog leanings.

    Art Garfunkel – a different bit of film this week, but still not much of it.

    Roxy Music play us out. Better than average show I’d say.

  168. 168
    speedwell54 on 9 May 2014 #

    Peter hosts, still with his perm. This is from the iplayer so probably goes on a bit. Let’s see.

    The Tubes – Prime Time. Sounds like Kids From Fame/ a show tune. Awkward spoken bit in the middle but good keyboards nearly save it. Not the best start.

    EWF + Emotions – Boogie Wonderland. Brilliant song with great bridge from the Emotions “All the love in the world can’t be gone” The performance and the outfits are high energy and go perfectly with the song.

    Blondie – Sunday Girl – Legs and co- after watching Newsnight yesterday I’ll leave it with ‘good dancing’. Great song.

    The Police- Roxanne- he’s going to have someone’s eye out if he keeps swinging that bass around. Sting pretty much has his act nailed at this early stage. Things are looking good.

    Peaches and Herb -still can’t get over 1 Herb and 7 different peaches.

    XTC- Life Begins at the Hop – would guess their first outing on TOTP. It was Mouldings turn on lead vocals. Always nice to see them.

    The Undertones -Jimmy Jimmy- this is becoming a great show.

    Abba – Does Your Mother Know? twktc, but good.

    Linda Clifford -disco version of Bridge Over Troubled Water. Possibly a couple of years late.

    Max Webster Band – lyric is a bit meh. “Happiness is beginning to ride from the streets into paradise skies”
    nuff said.

    Art – yawn

    Went downhill somewhat at the end, but overall a pretty good show tonight

  169. 169
    Mark G on 19 May 2014 #

    Better late than never, right?

    The Tubes arrive TOO LATE for the really good stuff, but then again “White Punks on Dope” *might* have been too much for the Mary Whitehouses, so here we are with a song that’s part of a general “television” themed album, but can be mistaken for a totally straight rock-ballad, except Fee Waybill (real name John. Really? Apparently) and Re Styles (real name something completely different) can’t quite stare into each others eyes lovingly. Never mind, it’s great anyhow.

    Earth Wind and Fire, just here to note I used to think the line was “You dance and jiggle, hur hurhurrrhurr hurr hurrrr DANCE!”

    Blondie get the girls. It’s OK

    The Police. Not their first appearance, that was (or would have been) 2 weeks ago, you know why. Even then, they appeared last year in disguise as Klark Kent. No mistaking Sting there, though, in retrospect. (wonder who the 4th bloke was?)

    Peaches and Herb do a bit of playground acting, it’s cute anyhow..

    XTC put Colin up front and get the hit hooray.. Andy only slightly disgruntled watch this space ahoy.

    M do boogie with a suitcase again.

    Undertones are now TOTP regulars, and our Ambs likes the way Fergal tenses himself for the “ohhhh” bit.

    Abba lets Bjorn sing one, and Benny jumps up and down (at the piano) until you toss him a carrot. i.e. he is quite a big bloke like Brian Wilson was, about then..

    Judas Priest do a song, but it’s not “Breaking the law” so we don’t care in our house.

    Linda Clifford sings a song once performed by Art. Does it fit into a disco context? No, not really. But the bet is won..

    Max Webster. I must have been ne of the few that owned this before this show. Maybe not. Basically, this band got a massive push as being the new… whatever. In retrospect, they look like they come from the same scene as Rush. Once again, the show performance is less good than the single, but this time it’s the band’s fault I guess.

    Long show! A quick Bright Eyes, a Roxy Playout, and done..

    Blimey, this is a long show!

  170. 170
    Mark G on 23 May 2014 #

    Hello and welcome to it. Kid said that. I’ll let you be oh whatever..

    Richard Jobson brings his signature dance to the show as the do “Masquerade”. “Guernica is plaint” he sings. No wonder we couldn’t hear the words, most of them only feature in Skids songs. The two vocal line-up (this time) is like Paul and Bruce in places.

    Roxy Music – it’s that bought-in show again? Looks like it.

    Ah, Tubeway Army bring something new. The rest of the band are on notice but then again, most of them stayed on for the new band called “Gary Numan”. The dislocation dance.

    Legs do Hot Stuff. You know.

    Liner. Named after the bottom of a budgie cage. Song sounds like it took less time to write than actually record. Actually, less time than the video lasts. Verse two is cheating by being only “doo doo doo”

    ELO do funky with “Shine a little love”. Violinski is back in the fold..

    David Bowie and a paen to the simple life, if you’re a boy. But the backing singers are here to show that Life Just Is Not That Simple. There have been many cover versions of it, mostly by girls that have it as an ironic statement for girls. Which it can be. But this is someplace else really. Shocking stuff for 1979..

    Elvis gets to follow that. I’d say he’s settling into the Costello we all know and love now, previous he was the angry punk nerd and now he’s breaking out the luscious piano and so on.

    Blondie do Sunday Girl. Is this about a lesbian love? No-one mentioned it at the time. It all seemed so easy for them at the time.

    And we get to fade out to some obscure band called Cheap Trick, that had a minor chart hit with “I want you to want me” at the time. Never caught on, though. Don’t think they were bothered really.

    Yeah, it seems like every other TOTP show around this time was breaking musical ground. It was all happening so fast!

  171. 171
    pootle on 23 May 2014 #

    It’s hard to believe so many good songs could fit into half an hour. I love ‘Sunday Girl’ but still end up singing along with the French version, which I know better for some reason.
    David Bowie clearly did his own make-up there, because it was kind of rough. And disco ELO! Epic, although what on earth is that swirly orange stage?
    Credit to Gary Numan for turning up to the show already fully-formed and exactly as he was.
    I cannot take Richard Jobson seriously as a pop star. He was always lurking around the worthier ends of tv when I was growing up.
    (And I know intellectually that Elvis Costello is good but I have this life-long allergy to his voice. My problem, not his)

  172. 172
    Lazarus on 24 May 2014 #

    Finally got around to watching this on Catch Up … and yeah this was probably the best show of the series so far. Liner were the only Prestatyn moment really, no Chicago they. In fact some of them had been in Blackfoot Sue, who hit big with the Slade-like stomper ‘Standing in the Road’ in 1972. A few of these hits, like ‘Are Friends Electric?’, perhaps suffer a little from over-familiarity now, although I can well remember what an impact that one made at the time. Richard Jobson reminded me of Plastic Bertrand, and not in a good way. Elvis Costello, the second of only two singles from ‘Armed Forces’ – ‘Green Shirt’ was dug up a few years later to promote a ‘best of’ – too good for the Top 20, I’d say. And while I like the disco-style ELO that sound was starting to sound dated. I suppose we’ve missed the Dickies now?

    As for Bowie, I had to watch it a again – I take it the backing singers are all him? I wondered if the last one might be Quentin Crisp.

  173. 173
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 May 2014 #

    And the Swede is back after disappearing for a while in order to win Eurovision. Yep, folks, it was me!..

    Can’t, though, let The Tubes pass by. I loved Prime Time and bought the single in green vinyl. The cover showed the group in a Celebrity Squares setup. A fabulous record, which Peely pushed hard but it didn’t quite go where it should have done. Great to hear it again.

    Right…Keed. And Ain’t No Stopping Us Now. Er…that’s over the titles. It’s going to be a wonderful show tonight.

    Skids – The Swede should be drooling all over this but it’s pretty drab and Jobson’s numpty dancing is just annoying. Prestatyn.

    The blonde Hoser oaf thinks that Roxy’s hit at number two is called “Dance The Night Away”. Try again, mate. But then we get brilliant.

    The Kid seems rather intense. Why is this? He introduces the “exciting” Tubeway Army. I can only repeat what I said on the number one blog, this is one of those rare occasions of loving something back in the day and utterly hating it today. It is perhaps more usual for it to be the other way around but there you go. Numan also just looks a knob. But he’s on the way to the top with this. And it wouldn’t be his only one.

    Gals! Donna Summer. Hot Stuff. And by cracky, it certainly is. We first undoubtedly see the Eternal Mistress dancing in silhouette (Tales of the Unexpected has got nothing on this) before we get a full face of lovely Pauline, so full of desire it drives me mad. She blows softly downwards as she disappears…and an ambulance speeds out of its parking bay at Eastbourne DGH. Sue then takes command but frankly they’re all up for it, particularly Rosie, whose pins seem to go on forever. God, how they all shake and stare! It’s just wonderful. Man Alive! And I am, just barely, as the familiar comfort of the oxygen mask envelops me once again and somone says “Breathe normally, Jimmy!”.

    Okay. Liner. Any offers, anyone? The Swede certainly doesn’t have one. 1979 was for many reasons my year but I’d be fucked (which I eventually was to a future ’79 number one) if I claimed I knew this or them. I looked in Guinness and there they are right enough. And now they are – not even qualifying for Popular’s premier resort – probably in Butlitz in Skeggy supporting the Rubettes. God this is bad and it’s noticeable that some of the kids have turned their backs and are chatting. Bit rude really, to be fair.

    ELO. Shine A Little Love. Eurovision again. Stock fare from this lot. No harm really. Just bland and cheesy. And those harmonies are just so irritating now. Prestatyn please.

    Bowie. Boys Keep Swinging. Well, we do but if this came out today poor old Genie would be in big trouble. As for the Swede, I’m glad I’m a boy but “clothes always fit you?”, “you get a girl?”. Er…no.

    Elvis Costello – Right up Swedostrasse clearly. I swear to God he’s wearing the same bins I now wear for my computer and which I am wearing as I type this. I don’t wear pink togs though. And I’m not a pop star either.

    Debbie at number one with Sunday Girl. Hurry up. She’s looking as ravashing as ever. I never cared for the song but who’s listening to that?

    Out to something I didn’t recognise. Mark G gets the call out for Cheap Trick. Well done, Mark!

    A bumper do!

  174. 174
    swanstep on 25 May 2014 #

    @Mark G, Jimmytheswede. Hang on, are you guys telling me that Cheap Trick are little-known in the UK? They were pretty massive down under for a few years around this time and they’ve always received plenty of airplay in the US. Surrender is their ace, but at least Dream Police, I Want You To Want Me, and The Flame are also rock standards outside the UK at this point.

  175. 175
    Mark G on 25 May 2014 #

    #174, yes.

    #173, Cheers.

    #172, Blackfoot Sue? Really? The singles I remember were pretty good, I wonder if the album would be worth seeking out.

  176. 176
    Andrew Farrell on 25 May 2014 #

    I think The Flame was ‘the hit’ in the UK – my impression is that people are more likely to know Want You To Want Me than know who recorded it. Never heard of the other two – and after a quick dip I don’t think I’ve heard them before either.

    Steve Albini fell foul of this back in 2002 when he was curating a music festival at Pontins in Camber Sands. He put Cheap Trick on in the big venue upstairs, and some group of chancers called The Fall in the tiddly venue downstairs. Most packed gig I’ve ever been to.

    Reading back, that sounds like a fever dream, but it definitely happened – I’ve still got the T-shirt!

  177. 177

    no, cheap trick never broke here — i think their first emergence more or less coincided with punk, and they were too cheerful and powerpoppy to gain approval against that tide (bun e. carlos was feebly touted as the band’s sorta kinda devo-y quirk for his non hair-metal looks: this did not carry)

    i’ve always really liked them, and they’re a speed-education in what friends from the US remember fondly from their teens (including teens who basically identify themselves far more with e.g.the fall in mood and manner) (cf eg mr jess harvell’s twitter cognomen) (hi jess!)

  178. 178
    speedwell54 on 25 May 2014 #

    I’ll call him David for a change. He promises an all star studded Top of the Pops. Hmm we’ll see.

    The borderline apraxic and aphasic Jobson does his best, but comes across universally annoying. Song is okay and always happy to her Adamson’s familiar guitar.

    Roxy Music -repeat from the BBC in Switzerland, but still cool.

    Tubeway Army – Dave says “exciting”, subtitles say “extraordinary”. The sound is a jump forward from most of the disco/punk of the top 30. Still sounds good to me.

    Hot stuff – Legs do a bit of thrusting. I’ve used that guitar break at the end on a bits and pieces tape.

    Liner – David “all star studded”, I think not. To me it sounds homeopathically weak.

    ELO – Can’t agree with the ‘bland and cheesy’ Swede, but each to his own. I think they hardly put a foot wrong in the late 70’s with this pop/disco/glamish stuff.

    Bowie- Obviously know the song, but not this performance. That must have been tuck shop queue conversation the next day.

    Costello – not making the greatest effort with the miming. The Attractions, although I think still credited at the time -no one told Kid- were pretty much in the dark on this outing. Track is outstanding.

    Blondie – they are cool, and Debbie the coolest. I love the way she almost shouts “Baby, I would like…” I also know the French version, well the depeche-toi bit, I presume this got some radio play here?

    Out to Cheap Trick – “I want you to want me” I’m in the camp that everyone would know this song if not the artist. I would have thought a fair bit of airplay. I like it very much. “The Flame” was US number 1 much later, but not quite the same band, more AOR, Foreigner in their “I Want to Know What Love Is” type phase, and to me, dull.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  179. 179
    wichitalineman on 25 May 2014 #

    Bowie, with Grayson Perry, Rebekah Brooks and Colatelly Sisters.

    I’ve never got Cheap Trick – like the Tubes, I don’t really know what they’re meant to be. A new wave Sha Na Na? At least I Want You To Want Me was a big airplay hit, and I’m very fond of it in its powerpop way.

  180. 180

    Sha Na Na were 50s revivalists though, which CT are very much not. Plus CT formed pre-new wave — at a Slade show iirc! They’re pop-glam metal really, like a less stylised Queen maybe (tho probably not formed with Queen in mind). Or a guitar-based Sparks.

  181. 181
    swanstep on 26 May 2014 #

    I basically agree with Lord Sukrat’s characterization of CT, they always did their share of ’50s covers, e.g., both ‘Ain’t that a Shame’ and ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ were singles for CT. But they were ’50s-influenced not ’50s revivalists as such.

    Anyhow, I can’t emphasize enough how ‘Surrender’ is an absolute standard in the US. It didn’t do much in the charts originally, but it’s now a teen classic in roughly the way the Ramones’ Pinhead is: an anthem of inclusion for alienated teens. Hence, Green Day plays a tape of Surrender through the PA right before they go on most nights; the original stage-show of Hedwig and The Angry Inch concluded with Hedwig and Co bringing the house down with doing an encore of Surrender; and so on.

  182. 182
    Lazarus on 26 May 2014 #

    Their other (minor) UK hit was 1982’s ‘If You Want My Love’ – late-era Slade with Beatley ‘wooohs’ and a bit of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps.’ Just in time for MTV, too.

  183. 183
    Lazarus on 26 May 2014 #

    As for Liner (again) it hasn’t been mentioned that this and the follow-up, the more up-tempo ‘Keep Reachin’ Out For Love’ were both available on picture disc, still a real novelty at the time – but didn’t do as well as The Cars, probably because the songs frankly weren’t much cop.

  184. 184
    Ed on 27 May 2014 #

    @174 Yes. Even in my metal / AOR circle in 1980-ish, when Rush were huge, Boston, Journey and pre-‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ Foreigner were popular, and even REO Speedwagon were indulged, CT were unheard, and maybe unheard-of. I always bracketed them with Van Halen and Kiss as phenomena that didn’t make sense outside the US education system.

  185. 185
    Rory on 27 May 2014 #

    Cheap Trick, Van Halen and Kiss all did well in Australia. CT were number two there in 1982 with “If You Want My Love”, and number one in 1988 for three weeks with “The Flame”. I remember plenty of copies of Dream Police kicking around used record shops in the 1980s. Van Halen were big among my metal-loving friends in the early 1980s, and had a number two hit in Oz with “Jump”. Kiss were a big deal in the late 1970s there, too.

  186. 186
    speedwell54 on 31 May 2014 #

    Who will be Cheap Trick this week? Lazarus -‘ While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ spot on btw.

    Paul Burnett gets a go to host.

    QuantumJump – Lone Ranger – With that long word he was always going to struggle with the mime! Hines is wearing a badge that looks a lot like a rosette. I think it says “Creep is the Word” Wiki says we have Kenny Everett to thank for this charting.

    Peaches and Herb – repeat. Seven peaches….!

    Chas ‘n’ Dave – Gertcha- I had forgotten they mentioned Tottenham in this record. There began something.

    Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us – Legs and Co – I leave this.

    Sparks – repeat

    Voyager – interesting voice. They had a later single call something like ‘Love is Easy’ which Styx borrowed for Mr Roberto.

    Boogie Wonderland – repeat and still great.

    Squeeze -Up The Junction- Pass the mic. Another great track from the wonderful “Cool For Cats” album. There is a version with Jools Holland ‘playing’ the guitar but DLT was hosting so no repeats here.

    Fischer Z – When Paul introduces this, the girl behind him pulls a brilliantly comic face. Don’t know them other than the name, and that by leafing through records in second hand shops.

    Sunday Girl – video again, but that’s okay.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  187. 187
    Jimmy the Swede on 31 May 2014 #

    It’s the nice safe Paul Burnett. Always a good broadcaster, Paul, but a face for radio only rather like Jeremy Vine is today.

    Anita Ward over the rundown which she would soon quite rightly top with surely one of the best records of the period. Anita was a newly-qualified school teacher at the time with a degree in psychology and she went on to be a doctor or summit. Boing…Boing…Boing… Yeah.

    Quantum Jump – Speedwell is right. Kenny Everett kick-started this odd ball record. Not sure that the line about the Ranger being a “poofter” would get past the Guardian readers today, though. As for the group, I think we all know where they are now, don’t we?

    Peaches and Herb – They’re all over each other. Disgusing behaviour before the watershed. The bloke looks a bit girly to me. Hang on. Is that George Macrae?

    Chas and Dave – Many people get their Londoners mixed up. From most points north of Birmingham, we’re all called Cockneys, which I have always resented being a Sarf Londoner. Even Sarf East is decidedly different to Sarf West (me). Then across “The Water (Wor-ah)” you have your real Cockneys in the East End and then in the North you find Chas and Dave, the Tottenham supporters. We even had our own villians. The Nashes north of the Water. Ronnie and Reggie further across, and in my area we had the delightful Richardsons, “scrap metal dealers” from Brixton. And I never heard any fucker say “Gertcha!” The utterly bewildered look on the faces of the kids speaks volumes. But Chas and Dave were laughing as they used this awful song to sell Courage Best bitter.

    McFadden and Whitehead and Gals. All present and correct with the Eternal Mistress in a spotty one-piece. It’s always clear when the Gals appreciate the track they’re dancing to and this is such a case. It’s an excellent dance routine to a classic disco track. Nothing at all to dislike here.

    Sparks – Seen it.

    Voyager – Straight to Prestatyn numpties.

    Fischer Z – The Worker. Swede puts his hand up. I thought this was brilliant but had forgotten that it was on TOTP. It should have been massive. A song about the miseries of everyday life, the train journey to work and being sold a dodgy motor amongst other things. Instead of chiming with everybody, the record inexplicably flopped. What a waste of time.

    Chocs – One of their least remembered offerings but old Zeberdee has still got it, bless him.

    Sunday Girl is top. Any sight of Debs has to be good.

    Out to Linda Clifford defiling one of the greatest pop/rock songs ever written. Boo!

  188. 188
    Lazarus on 31 May 2014 #

    It’s Paul Burnett! This is his ‘once a year day.’ Anita Ward over the 30.

    Quantum Jump – not Leap, that was something else. Rupert Hine, producer of albums galore, and I see that this was first released in ’76, and banned by the Beeb! Interesting. I wonder how long he had to practice that Maori name for? I can make a reasonable stab at Llanfair PG, but I wouldn’t attempt this.

    Peaches & Herb – repeat. Old Herb is a bit touchy feely isn’t he! Still, consenting adults and all that – we’ll let it pass. Classic smoocher.

    Chas & Dave – I bow to the Swede’s knowledge of the various London tribes and assorted villains. Always enjoy seeing C&D on their annual Pops appearance though. What’s that before the title, sounds like “cow’s son …?” And this version seems to have been censored.

    McFadden & Whitehead – last week we had this over the chart and here it is with the lovely Legs. All in different (but mostly white) outfits, and yes always better to see them grooving, especially to a classic like this.

    Sparks – Ron lit in green, as if to make him look even more weird. Committed performance. The first synth-pop duo? I suppose the animated singer/statuesque keyboardist must have influenced the style of Soft Cell and Erasure.

    Voyager – I remember this well, have the 45 in fact, and still love it. Not the big hit Paul predicts, unfortunately. Video was directed by Storm Thorgesen, and can be seen on YT. Excellent AOR in the Todd Rundgren/10 cc vein.

    Fischer-Z – this, on the other hand, I don’t recall at all. A few chaps singing in high voices tonight. The lyrics do sound interesting, I want another listen. Band was bigger in mainland Europe than here, it seems.

    Hot Chocolate – nice bassline, weak melody, not a hit. Mentions the Jonestown massacre/mass suicide in Guyana earlier that year. “very strange” as Errol says.

    Blondie – video, and last week I think? But they wouldn’t be away for long – within months there’d be a new single and new album. And still going!

    PB says ‘by bye’ for another year and Linda Clifford gives us a quick burst of ‘Bridge.’ Not quite up to last week’s standard, it has to be said. But OK.

  189. 189
    wichitalineman on 31 May 2014 #

    In 1979, the BBC was perfectly happy with the word “poofter” but not “cowson.” Happy days!

    I’ve had Mindless Boogie stuck in my head for the last couple of days. “As the bomb goes neutron” is quite an opening line. Nihilist disco. Just dug out the parent album, and it sounds like a solid UK disco album, but sadly a little more conventional than the single.

    Voyager – I like their 10CC moves, and that needly octave-shifting guitar line, but the lyric has always sounded far too pleased with itself for me. Look at those mugs!

    As for Fischer Z – Ray Davies lyric with baroque/soft reggae moves. Intreeging. Does anyone know any of their other work?

    All this and Sparks too. I was so entertained I watched it twice.

  190. 190
    Erithian on 31 May 2014 #

    Hot Choc’s lyric about Jonestown is a link to Natalia Kills, one of the England team in the Pop World Cup – her lyric features the phrase “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid” which refers to Jim Jones’ followers drinking Kool-Aid laced with potassium cyanide.

  191. 191
    Mark G on 2 Jun 2014 #

    Who was that masked man? Oh, it’s Paul Burnett. Used to get DJ’s from Radio Luxembourg for a while.. Readie, Kiddy, Burnetty, ooh..

    Quantum Jump tell of a gay relationship maybe, but it’s ok its comedy not real life which would have got it banned in those days.

    Peaches/Herb do the playground acting thing again..

    Chas and Dave. Chas was in that Joe Meek biopic, as some bloke yelling “Gercha”and also being portrayed by Ralf Little. Apparently, our Alice has snapchatted this and said ‘Who is my dad listening to?” and answers came several back “Chas and Dave” so now everyone thinks Alice’s Dad sits at home playing Chas and Dave records…

    Macfad/White do the funk thing, the girls do a casual dance, it’s alright.

    Sparks! Hray! And PaulB announced it as being number one! I happy.

    Voyager, they were a Reading band, I used to know someone who knew them quite well. This is in that City Boy Pop/Rock block, and this sounds a lot like the New Radicals (“You get what you give”, you know yeah?) to the point I thought the NR’s were an old Voyager track when I first heard it.

    EW&F dance and jiggle hurhurhurhurhurrr. That’s two classic disco tracks they still play in discos now. Alice’s friend thought it was The Cure. All together now….

    Squeeze do a song that has No Repeating Lines At All. There aren’t that many you know.

    HAPPY radio, was going to say they don’t play this one nowadays, but Alice says she’s heard it. So, fair enough. Edwin spins the 12″ single on RCA records…

    Fischer-Z finally get a vague hit single after after all that hype and promo, and it’s a snooze and they go away. They look down onto the poor old Worker, just like the punks did but this lot look like they are filling in time until daddy’s shares come through.

    Hot Chocolate do ‘Mindless Boogie” and the albertos go “Oy!” but this is Errol having his cake and the eating. Social content in the lyrics. Doomed to fail, but better than I remember..

    Blondie do the immaculate with Sunday Girl of course. And Linda Clifford gets to the fade.

    Were there any actual duds here? It all sounded good to me..

  192. 192
    Mark G on 6 Jun 2014 #

    Mike Read continues the story,Sister Sledge run the chart.

    Thump thump goes a drum, is it Sham 69? No, it’s white funk band (fill in later) who look like they’ve come from Prestatyn to play this tonight. It sounds better if you don’t watch it. A bit of Frampton style voiceboxing, but it’s very average really. Match.

    And now some more funk by those that walk it like they play it, McFad and Whit. With the Ladybirds? Sounds like them. Anyway, it’s death by BBC orchestra, but they almost overcome..

    Legs and Lovitch. Did all her songs have no bass frequency to make them more pop? Ah,attention to detail: picture doubles the legs so the ‘count’ is correct..

    Girl looks really fed up in the Gerry Rafferty cue t-shirt. Himself is on the guitar this time for the film.. It’s ok.

    Quantum Jump. Repeat performance. Was going to repost my last time comment, but ah. Clearly one episode’s been skipped.

    Edwin Starr, again, ff->

    Gary Numan, repeat, ff again..

    Janet Kay, ah good something new now. Lovers Rock, and if I remember this TV performance was her first time singing in front of any audience at all. But she hits it perfectly, and there’s some peak notes in this..

    EW&F&:-);-):-O (Earth Wind and Fire and the Emoticons) I thank you.

    Chas and Dave repeat. Actually, most of their famous songs have some repetition involved. Only one Cowson though.

    Squeeze Repeat. Why did Mike Read bother, they could have reused the Paul Burnett links.

    Anita Ward puts away the dishes at Number one, and we fade out to Cavatina by John Williams, who does the difficult bit that Hank Marvin skipped.

    Well, that was different! Oh wait…

  193. 193
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 Jun 2014 #

    “Hello Chums!” It’s Mike Read. The sassy (and sissy) We Are Family over the rundown.

    Match – Boogie Man. Not a clue about this. A gang of white lads from High Wycombe with bad hair try to ape Heatwave. You really can’t fault them for trying but alas the North Wales coast gives them its siren call.

    Read, as was his wont, dangerously surrounds himself with young girls, one very pretty. They obligingly smile and applaud when Mike introduces McFadden and Whitehead. Now, this is pure comedy. First we see M & W dancing through the intro and then the camera pans across to a grinning old beardie oaf with earphones conducting the BBC orchestra. The camera pans further and like Mark G I swear we see the Ladybirds plus one singing the accompanying vocal. Turns out it’s the the Maggie Stredder Singers. Right…okay. Then, as the camera completes the circle and we see M & W again, some nincompoop floor manager marches into shot. He freezes and then steps back. It reminds me of a classic Michael Palin double-take. It’s all hilariously unprofessional but even this tomfoolery can’t destroy a terrific record and both M & W display camp greatness.

    Lena Lovich and Gals. We first get a face full of Pauline. This is becoming a very nice habit. Then a trademark blank stare from Her Muckiness, a big girly laugh from lovely young Rosie and a double-take from Lulu. Blue and Silver liotards are the order of the day. It’s a rubbish record but the Gals are loving it and so therefore of course is the Swede.

    Edwin Starr – Happy Radio. Endearing footage of Ed in his studio churning out a feelgood song. It’s the antithesis of his enormous hit from 1970. Nothing to dislike here.

    A very annoying girl completely over-eggs the thumbs ups and waving as she latches onto Mike. The prettier girl on his other side behaves. On comes Are Friends Electric, a record I now despise, I’m afraid.

    Janet Kay – Silly Games. Very pleasant little song and Janet can’t half nail a high note. Alas this was destined to fall just short of the top. Shame.

    Gertcha again. Gertcha!

    Squeeze. Up The Junction. A little bit of me, this one, as I was the boy from Clapham before we moved less than a mile to Stockwell when I was eight to a twenty floor lego set built by the council. A great record this but another to get stuck at number two as did Cool For Cats. Boo!

    Anita Ward is top with her ding a ling. It’s fabulous and so is she.

    Night Night from Mike and out to John Williams with a piece which first popped up on Vision On. Lots of brilliant music on that show, which was the mother of all ironies.

  194. 194
    Mark G on 6 Jun 2014 #

    Just a quick note: The Maggie Stredder singers are the same as the Ladybirds, only post a power struggle for complete control. Or something like that..

  195. 195
    Erithian on 7 Jun 2014 #

    Here’s the previous week’s Yewtree’d edition from 35 years ago today – warning: contains Savile – but notable for the first TOTP appearances of Annie Lennox and a solo Eddy Grant. http://vimeo.com/96951228

  196. 196
    speedwell54 on 11 Jun 2014 #

    Eventually – Mike Read, his clothes suggest there’s a straw boater not far away. Onwards.

    Match- Boogie Man. Not sure if it’s that bad, they certainly put everything into the mix. Burnt themselves out.

    Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now -Good spot Swede on the wandering floor manager. Great song. Their performance is more than camp, and drifts to comedy, this is the first Evolution of Dance. I didn’t know Deirdre Barlow was in the Maggie Stredder singers!

    Say When – Lena -I enjoyed this, not heard for ages. Good performance from the squad; Rosie edging for me in the jazz hands sequence.

    Rafferty- On video, they appear to have booked the small studio. Clear twisted lyric here – “Yes I get a little lonely when the sun gets low, and I end up looking for some weirder clothes.”

    Quantum Leap – repeat. Edwin Starr – repeat

    “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” Mark G mentioned the Squeeze song a few weeks back with no repeated lines, this is another I think.

    Silly Games – The Janet Kay high notes made me think of Minnie Riperton. Each had one number 2 hit and that was their lot chartwise.
    Minnie died the week this peaked.

    EWF+E – still great

    Gertcha- ok thanks

    Squeeze – small world

    Anita Ward – can’t believe he didn’t make some hospital joke.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse

  197. 197
    Lazarus on 20 Jun 2014 #

    It’s June ’79, Mrs T is in Number 10, young Laz is sitting his O Levels (with mixed results) and Peter Powell is fronting TOTP. Sex Pistols over the chart, which was about as near as they generally got to being on the show.

    Squeeze – love the band, not one of my favourites of theirs though. Can’t get past those dreadful rhymes and half-rhymes. Nice tune though. It was when their superb ‘Pulling Mussels’ a year later failed to crack the Top 40 that I realised there was something wrong with the charts.

    Lene Lovich – rarely seen video. Not sure how old she would have been then, but I wonder if another Lene, the future frontwoman of Aqua, ever saw this.

    Thom Pace – theme from ‘Grizzly Adams’ which I don’t recall ever watching. Pleasant MOR. Probably still gets the odd airing from Ken Bruce.

    Quantum Jump – repeat, I think. Ffwd.

    Janet Kay – nice song, exotic headgear. High notes. Definitely an under-played oldie, honestly can’t remember the last time I heard this on the radio (retro charts aside). “Really moves nicely” as PP says.

    Thin Lizzy – another VT. Video better than song, I think. Yellow jeans, eh? Was briefly tempted in Marks recently, before concluding that I’m at least 20 years too old for that sort of thing.

    UK Subs – didn’t know this. Actually a semblance of a song here. Singer looks pretty ancient though, old enough to have gone to school with Gary Glitter.

    Gerry Rafferty – nice song and a reminder that this is one of a handful of albums which I own and have never played (was part of a 2CD set).

    Tubeway Army – a record I like grudgingly, for want of a better term. Much prefer it to the next one, anyway. And that is a killer riff. There seem to be quite a few in the Army, did they all get laid off, including Uncle Jess?

    Slick – don’t remember this at all. Bit of a throwback to ’77 (Donna Summer influence) from what I heard. OK show.

  198. 198
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Jun 2014 #

    Peter Powell pops up again. Aren’t we lucky? Lots of deja vu tonight. Pistols over the rundown.

    Squeeze. Deja vu but still marvellous.

    Lene Lovich. Stage managed vid showing Lene in front of a super-hyped up admiring pogoing audience. I don’t believe it for a second. Get off, dear. Driver waiting!

    Thom Pace. Well done, Laz. I’d forgotten all about Grizzly Adams. It’s a nice song from this hairy no-mark from the States but nothing to trouble the scorers. Nor Ken Bruce to my knowledge. Not like Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat” and “On the Border”, which one hears every twenty minutes.

    Quantum Jump – Heigh-ho Silver again. Of its time. Not of this.

    Janet Kay – Deja vu.

    Thin Lizzy – Do anything you want to do. Bloody right. The highlight of the evening. Always quality with this lot. Gals but not ours. I think they were on holiday, entertaining the inmates up in Prestatyn. Good for morale. The Rubettes were particularly in need of comfort and reassurance. Most lifers usually are.

    Two leggy lovelies “strangle” Pete as we are introduced to UK Subs’ “Stranglehold”. A minor hit and you can see why. Totally agree that the singer looks old enough to have been the warm up act for Frank Ifield. It would have been much better had those girls strangled Powell with their thighs. Better for the Swede, that is.

    Gerry Rafferty – “Night Owl”. Some class at last. Completely fabulous as Gerry hits the studio. Just wonderful but then the tossers cut it.

    Number one – Are friends Numan.

    Out to Slick. No, not Midge. A US dance act. I have no memory of it.

    Well, it’s that time of year again when the Swede disappears for a couple of weeks for Wimbledon. No one will get rich backing the winners this year. My two cents are on Djokovic and Serena. A dark horse? Perhaps Sam Querry from the US. Anyone with a monster serve has always got a shot. Laters!

  199. 199
    mark g on 24 Jun 2014 #

    Syd rings in the pops! Syd is not a terribly lucky name for the pop star, is it? Anyway..

    Squeeze do up the junction, once more. Never really liked this one, preferred Cool for Cats, but this one was more the direction they would take.
    Lene Lovitch does a live gig and the single gets played over it. That’s what it looks like. Oh, but now they are all doing the same arm movements. It’s clearly a fakey.

    Thom Pace. I do remember the show and the song. I’d have scratched my head for the title though, I would have thought it was called “Take me home” but hey. Oh, and he sings badly flat in places, but he seems a nice bloke so we shall forgive him this time.

    Quantum Jump again, it’s not a repeat performance but oh snooze., These missing episodes are happening every other one at the moment, so these shows are getting very samey. And here’s Janet Kay again.

    Legs and co are actually on holiday, really. Ha.

    Thin Lizzy do a song that presumably would have been called “Do anything you want to do” but Eddie and the Hot Rods copped that one, so its “Do Anything you want to” and it’s raised the game.

    Yes folks, Charlie Harper is that old, and he has history. Stranglehold just about makes it. Fact time: Their debut album started with an A, their second with a B, they are still going and they aren’t that far off completing the alphabet!

    Anyway, Gerry Rafferty again.

    Bonnie Tyler does a disco song, and it’s not a good idea. Didn’t Mick Jackson do this one on TOTP as well? Probably embargoed. It’s a theme to a movie, I know..

    Chas and Dave without cowson.

    Gary Numan with an electric friend. These days it would probably *be* his cigarette.

    Peter promises the show will be with us next week. Surely no more Quantum Jump! And Slick play out with Space Bass. Doubtless a very long 12″ exists..

  200. 200
    Lazarus on 26 Jun 2014 #

    A white-suited Mike Read is our host for the latest edition … Slick soundtrack the Top 30.

    Siouxsie & The Banshees – was this a hit? Lower reaches of the Top 30, I’d guess. Nothing like the commercial appeal of HKG but it’s a record I like more now than then. Energetic performance, not least from the bass player.

    A pretty brunette in cerise is holding our Michael by the arm, we’re going to get a lot of that sort of thing – Thom Pace, repeat? Anyway, this was number one for 9 weeks in Germany! Or West Germany, as it would have been then of course.

    Beach Boys – their big comeback hit, although a re-recording of ‘Here Comes the Night’ scraped into the Top 40 earlier in the year. Simple, graceful and elegant turn from the returning Legs – no sauce, but plenty of shapely leg on show.

    The Police – a smash hit heading for the runner-up spot. Wasn’t Sting supposedly named after his habit of wearing a yellow and black striped jumper? Seems he’s given it to Stewart now.

    Rickie Lee Jones – her only hit of course, but still gets plays on oldies radio to this day. And she’s still going of course. I’d like to think she pops the red beret on for this one.

    Mike and the girls again – introducing Public Image Ltd – not really for me I’m afraid. I would guess this was Lydon’s first live appearance on the show, the song ‘Public Image’ having been shown on VT. Johnny’s not exactly engaging with the audience, although the guitarist (Jah Wobble?) flashes a goofy, gappy smile at the camera now and again.

    Mike and two more young ladies – the one in red has a huge rictus grin which seems to turn to a grimace as Supertramp start – the title track of ‘Breakfast’ on video. The hirsute combo were massive at this point, although the hits would dry up soon enough.

    Chantel Curtis – any idea? Mr Google had to help me out with this one. Forgettable disco number by a Tunisian-born singer who was tragically killed in Israel way back in 1985. Got in with a bad crowd by the sound of it. Sad.

    Judie Tzuke – now this is more like it. Stay with me till dawn, she implores – and who could say no? I always had a thing for toothy girls too, dedicated ‘Man About the House’ watcher in those days. The gorgeous follow-up, the accapella ‘For You’ somehow failed to trouble the scorers. Anyway, high point of the show for me.

    Tubeway Army – a riff we’ll be coming across again on Popular quite soon.

    Donna Summer over the credits. Interesting mixture tonight. The Ruts at number 7 would have been brill though, I’d have had them on instead of PiL myself.

  201. 201
    Mark G on 27 Jun 2014 #

    Mike/Chart/SlickSpaceBass.. Oh the pics are all in frames now..

    On come Siouxsie and the Banshees, the last time before the bust-up? In tribute to those pub gigs where someone forgets to switch/ turn down the jukebox before the band starts, Slick are still playing over the start of “Playground Twist”. This is still my fav S&TB era, long they did continue anyway. More hits than the Stranglers? Most successful punk act in terms of hit singles? Will have to lookitup.

    Thom Pace as per last time lets us know an episode has been skipped. Maybe the Ruts were on, so we say boooooo. Anyway, Thom looks like a cross between Nillson and Badly Drawn Boy.

    “they’ve done it with a new lady” thanks Mike. Read, I mean. Mike Love is doing the doing, I guess. Anyway, Legs are in diaphonous gowns, swishing about the place, you know.

    Police do that punk/new wave that it’s ok for the yanks to like. The world is now their oyster but before the world domination, they’re here in the studio. Or, they were, “two weeks ago” gross time.

    Rickie Lee Jones sounds a bit like Bjork on this occasionally? Just me, then. Chuck-e Weiss still living this one down, but with good grace judging by a recent interview.

    Tom McGuinness? McGuinness Flint are still going? (mild edit: it’s Stonebridge McGuinness. I guess Flint left, and another bloke got promoted to frontline name status, and McGuinness Stonebridge sounded too much like a conference). Its a perfectly pleasant piece of soft rock which could have been a hit in 1975 or maybe 1986 but not ‘now’, sorry. Actually, the intro is a dead ringer for “Show me the way” played slowly.

    Janet Kay returns, you know.

    John Lydon is allowed into the studio (not a coincidence that Mike Read is presenting I would say. They were clearly ‘pals’ on “I’m a celebrity/jungle” when they were both on it.) One of my favourite tracks ever, and probably the most disconcerting performance in the show’s history.

    Supertramp are ‘playing their joker on you’ so you’d better win and get double points for the team! This song’s a bit sexist, but we liked sexist in those days, didn’t we? (that’s irony by the way, don’t write in!)

    Chantel Curtis – I direct you to the post above and some great research. The song suffers the usual death by BBC orchestra but I don’t recall this otherwise so can’t tell the level of ironies. Ruinide, there’s a word. Used by a teenage McCartney on a song he wrote for Sinatra, “Suicide”. When he was famous enough, he demoed it and sent it to Frank, who promptly binned it as rubbish, and rightly so.

    Thin Lizzy can’t arf play the timpanis. Repeated video, still great.

    Judi Tzuke shows life is worth living for those rock fans that don’t like punk, i.e. Bob Harris, who was the resident Rock DJ on our local station. He played the heck out of this back in the day. And Hotel California, of course. He probably still is. Anyway, despite all that, it’s alright. That last bit gets sped up to become Thomas Dolby’s “Hyperactive” I reckons.

    Tubeway Army once more. Bored with this one now.

    Donna Summer does the Bad/Sad girls song to fade.

    A hodgepodge, if ever there was one. Some high spots, couple of clunkers, a couple of keepers, who could ask for more?

  202. 202
    Lazarus on 29 Jun 2014 #

    Yes the Ruts had indeed been on the week before, for the second time in fact – the first time ‘Babylon’s Burning’ was on a show presented by DLT, and on the second J Savile was the host. So it doesn’t look as if we’re going to see them. Looks like a decent line-up on that latter show too – it also included the Dooleys, the Knack, Eddy Grant, the Korgis (‘If I Had You’), the Sex Pistols (‘C’mon Everybody’), Amii Stewart (‘Light my Fire’) and Patrick Hernandez (‘Born to be Alive’), none of which we’ve seen in this series. Nothing can be done about the Savile shows of course but surely the business with Travis must be concluded once and for all soon.

  203. 203
    punctum on 30 Jun 2014 #

    From memory I fear that the Flying Lizards may suffer a similar fate to the Ruts; two appearances doing “Money,” each hosted by one of the above-named unshowables.

  204. 204
    wichitalineman on 1 Jul 2014 #

    I was rather keen on the Chantal Curtis song myself. More on her – she worked with Patrick Cowley on her album, had some of her songs released as ‘Michele’ while she was in jail on drugs charges (before Get Another Love), and I’m pretty sure this is her (even earlier) too: http://www.stars-on-7-inch.com/Listen/D/Bellaphon/000.18.000/bella_18.208.jpg

  205. 205
    Mark G on 4 Jul 2014 #

    Are we on? OK then..

    Kid opens, Sid sings the chart again (I guess the video of Sid riding a motorbike in his underpants won’t be shown: he’s not wearing a crash helmet)

    The Real Thing have a funky song called “Boogie Down (Get Funky Now)” but even they can’t keep a straight face. The music is alright, but the lyrics are pure placeholder stuff.

    The legs are bad girls, so they dress up as French prostitutes. Lots of gyrating with lampposts. Is JimSwede still on Wimbledon sabbatical?

    The Darts have noticed that Duke of Earl has not been a hit in the UK before, so they step up with a fairly reasonable cover. An odd song, really: the guy is clearly some sort of gang leader, and his manor is something he feels safe in thanks to his status within it. There’s a link to rap music here, isn’t there?

    UK Subs do Stranglehold. Interesting: the girl is 18 in this version, I’m sure she’s 13 on the single. It’s not sexual in content, but the watchdogs are tutting so here we are. The Lurkers’ “Just 13” won’t even get this far.

    Kid introduces Kid. The song is not actually about him, but the Pretenders have told him it is, cause they’re not daft. Great, anyway,

    The Knack, and My Sharona. It’s the closest the USA have managed to get to UK new wave, but the closing guitar solo, terrific though it is, is way offside really. There are lots of things to be said about this one, but I shall leave that to next time or to the next dude.

    OK now here come the Dooleys. Formerly the Rubbish Dooleys, but today they have figured out what’s wrong, and have promoted the two girls to the front line, and made them behave like an angry Abba. The usual singer bloke is miming badly behind a keyboard. Sit! Stay! But I fear this is the last we see of the Dooleys, beyond repeat perfs of this one.

    The Korgis prove me wrong and actually have hits. They were on a Saturday morning TV kids show promoting their 1st single, I was a pop panelist, I said it was awful, and it was. Anyway, they dropped the faux new-wave stylings and added some George Harrison slidey guitar. World meets oyster.

    Abba do the funky Voulez Vous, and it’s good. Mind you, the BBC could put videos on where it sounds like it’s been pressed off-centre, and that’s all right nobody minds. Well, it would drive me nuts, that sort of thing, even then. Would it not you?

    Four weeks at number one is quite a long stay. People are happy to get one, three weeks is the normal ‘big hit’ stay, so four means people are deciding that they like it ‘after all’. Enough now though, yeah? (tubeway army)

    Chic play out good times but Kid doesn’t add his “good love” no more.

    Highlights? Mmm, maybe The Pretenders, but that’s about it. Spoiled last time out, weren’t we?

    (p.s. Discovered the long version has Sparks and the Boomtown Rats. Are you insane, BBC edit squad?)

  206. 206
    Steve Williams on 4 Jul 2014 #

    Heavens, no, we are in the midst of absolute peak Dooley at the moment and they’ll be on again in a few months (several times) with their best single by miles. A couple more to come as well.

  207. 207
    Lazarus on 5 Jul 2014 #

    Here we go again, the Kid in charge this week, Pistols over the chart. I don’t think much of these titles. The pictures are too small and I haven’t got a great big telly like you lot.

    Real Thing – lame disco effort from an outfit who made some great pop singles and now seem to think that sticking a load of brass over this rubbish makes them Earth, Wind and Fire. Guys, the minibus is waiting out the back. Of you go now.

    Dave Edmunds – now this is more like it. Costello song of course and at this stage he could do no wrong as far as I was concerned. In fact I think he’d put out ‘Girls Talk’ as a B-side, although I can’t remember what on now. And the bass player was called Billy Bremner – an unlikely sport/pop namealike there.

    Donna Summer/Legs – she did put out a lot of singles didn’t she. Routine is fine. Kid sounded like he was attempting a sheep pun there, though.

    Darts – almost the last throw of the dice for them too. They’d had a good run, but this sort of thing was starting to date badly.

    UK Subs – second time on for them, they had more luck that the Ruts. Charlie Harper, wasn’t it. I suppose he thought if Ian Dury can do it …

    Pretenders – Chrissie and song equally gorgeous. I think this might be my favourite of theirs. How the hell wasn’t this Top 10?

    The Knack – one of Kid’s former records of the week, I like this more now than I did at the time. A band who suffered a very public backlash after only a couple of hits. A lot of good power pop never charted though (Sinceros, Rubinoos, Any Trouble, the Records) so at least they struck lucky.

    Sparks – a speedy follow-up and as I’ve said before I’m not a big fan of the Moroder era. I do prefer Russell singing in this range though rather than the usual shrieking falsetto.

    Boomtwon Rats – a new entry at number 15 and one on its way to the top. A song that polarises opinion, certainly. All I can say is that this was probably my song of the year; at 16 I wasn’t too bothered about political correctness. Of course I can see the bigger picture now but I can’t join in with the general condemnation for this one.

    Dooleys – yes their finest hour. ‘Angry Abba’ sounds just right. But I thought one of the Rubettes had escaped and joined the band there for a moment. Hadn’t noticed the third girl in the group before – was she new?

    Korgis – I have an old 45 of this that pre-dates this I think: ‘Young ‘n’ Russian.’ It’s not much cop frankly. But lush ballads like this would give them a living for a while. And I’m sure this still goes down well in North Wales.

    Abba – if not quite in their top tier, still sounds damn good – perhaps because it hasn’t been played to death like some of their others. Voulez-vous? Oui, s’il vous plait!

    Tubeway Army – fourth and, I think, final week. Time for demob.

    Good Times, but no good love. Over and out.

  208. 208
    Mark G on 11 Jul 2014 #

    It used to be, that there was no business like show business. Times have changed, now about 50% of business is like show business. Here’s Top of the Pops.

    It’s Peter Powell, and the Dooleys with the still pics and numbers that comprise the chart rundown. Watching bits of the World Cup, does anyone else miss the spooky effect of having scratchy pictures and/or David Coleman sounding like he’s doing the commentary down a telephone wire? Atmosphere, dudes..

    Here’s Sham 69 attempting to throw the skinheads off the track by producing a ‘farewell’ single with bits of country music yee-ha in it. This would not work particularly, so he famously joined a dance company and appeared on the Oxford Road Show or some such, mime-interpreting some such. I guess the performance of “You’re a better man than I’ got Savillegated. The 12″ of this was good value, an extended version and a bunch of live tracks. Mind you, the last album had an extra 12” of ‘long’ versions of “Borstal Breakout” and “If the kids..” of which I heard the latter at the local recshop: Boy it’s terminally boring…

    And now the Olympics sing “Bitch”. Nice… So, Bitch was OK, but Cowson was not.

    The Korgis return. My one Korgis tole has been tailed, see upthread. Yep it was “Young and Russian”. I think some of these were in Stackridge. So it goes..

    Voulez Vous. Abba. You know..

    B.A. Robertson with his wacky persona. His serious songs got farmed out to more serious performers. This is loaded with odd references to various people, but the sleeve of the single helpfully had the references. They’re probably on Wikipedia now.

    Dave Edmunds gets not-edited out this week. Now I see, they are avoiding the ‘exact programme’ syndrome by keeping ‘good’ ones back.

    Legs and co get all beachy (because of seagull sound effects on the track). It’s mostly Sue leading this time out. Is Jimswede back this week? I think the girls have been missing him.

    Sparks must have been living here, this is not the same performance as last week’s unedit. The BBC have been helpful by supplying lots of mickey mouse/alarm clocks.

    And now, genuine game-raising stuff: Gangsters by the Specials. It’s still great, but you know that, right? (stopped typing to watch it)

    Duke of earl. (Stopped typing to fast forward)

    Jimmy Pursey gets to introduce the Gibson Brothers. An odd one, this: This reads like some sort of manifesto from some political leader promising lots of lovely things if he gets elected. No more wars, crying, plenty food he does promise. Of course, the second he’s in power, he’ll be in the mansion with mega security and forget all about it. It’s a dangerous thing..

    Seventh week at number one? doesn’t time fly.. Hang on, it was Tubeway Army last time. Did Rolf Harris and Stuart Hall present shows as well?

    Fade to Born to be alive. born to be a live….. (edit: This has actually been on three times before, but as they were all DLT or Savile, this fade-out is the only time we will hear it. Seeing it is not available. Can we get some Ruts now, please, history?)

  209. 209
    Tim on 11 Jul 2014 #

    (Pretty sure he says “second week” not “seventh”.)

  210. 210
    Mark G on 11 Jul 2014 #

    Oh, one of my edits has gone south. Basically, I noted that it was the subtitler that got it wrong.

  211. 211
    speedwell54 on 25 Jul 2014 #

    Kid hosts in a overworked green shirt.

    Bellamy Brothers over the rundown. I think the double meaning kind of got lost over time. Their next single “She was only the bus driver’s daughter but she knew where to get off” fared less well.

    Secret Affair – Time for Action. Their first hit setting out their manifesto -‘Glory Boys’ smart clothes etc.

    I’m thinking Kid’s shirt might be a blouse.

    Dollar – Mainly Thereza on this one. Keep thinking her opening line is going to be “I know your eyes in the morning sun”

    Nick Lowe -classic

    Lost in Music- twktc Legs do what they do.

    I definitely think it’s blouse.

    Gibson Brothers- Kid says “Ooh! What a Life” It’s called “Ooh! What A Life” but they do keep singing ” Oh! What a Life” song is not my cup of tea.

    Cars – drummer seems a bit keen.

    Bang Bang – Bad Attitude Robertson talks his way through this ditty and I can’t forgive ruin/Fruin nonsense.

    Sail On – were they in the studio? Looks like they might have been, which was more than they managed for “Three Times A Lady”

    Duchess – Not heard this for ages. Sounding a little ‘Pictures of Lily’ here. Btw Wiki currently has The Who with 19 No1 singles and 11 straight No1 albums!


    Cliff – WDTA “And I aint counting sheep” I can see why B A Robertson started helping out. Not.

    Boney M play out with the one Duck Sauce borrowed years later.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  212. 212
    Jimmy the Swede on 26 Jul 2014 #

    Tis Keed

    Bellamy Bros over rundown with their song title nicked directly from Python’s wonderful Hungarian Phrasebook sketch. Bouncy Bouncy! Angleic Upstarts are at 29. Who would have thought?

    Secret Affair – Barely remembered by the Swede. A handful of minor hits over two years before they were confined to eternal chalet duty.

    Dollar – Pretty pretty pair nausea. But it’s a big hit for them. Thereze now takes the elderly campers for ballroom dancing whilst David is in charge of the model railway.

    Nick Lowe – Cruel To Be Kind. Wonderful. The standout act of the night for me. But that’s not difficult.

    The Gals are in cages this week pretending they are trapped. They are backing Sister Sledge’s Lost In Music. “Caught in a trap…” Geddit? This week’s is Pauline’s show again as he stares in heavenly close shot, glassy-eyed full of shuddering pouting desire, out at us. She looks unbelievable and has clearly been tutored closely by the Eternal Mistress in this discipline. Pauline and Lulu are in single cells whilst the other four are thrown in together. There are far too many changes of shot to get the full pleasure from this but the early ones of our dusky beauty easily seals the deal and the threat of a routine minor cardiac event for the Swede, despite being fully rested after his break for Wimbledon and the World Cup.

    Gibson Bros – The second set of bros for tonight. The front man had a belting great voice and he really nails this even if the song is not that marvellous. Oh, what a life, is it? I bet they’d trade it back in for nightshifts as camp cooks in September as the wind and rain howls in off the Irish Sea.

    Gary Numan – Punchable little prawn who fortuitously caught the wind. He’s here in his car and he’s heading for the top with this. Never one for me. Either he or the song.

    The Kid has his arm around a vacuous girl who could teach the Beckham creature how to over-egg the pouting lark, and then on comes the “veteran” Johnny Mathis, whom Jensen kindly tells us has been successful in the UK since 1958. Johnny borrows Jill to dance on the sidelines to an odd flute-infused little song Gone Gone Gone. And in next to no time, without offending anyone, it is.

    Stranglers – Duchess. Sounds more like a Kinks song to me, which of course is no bad thing. But having said that, it is a bit dull too, which sadly is.

    Cliff is number one. It’s his first chart-topper since 1968 and there is big lit-up pink sign above him confirming the record’s status. It all threatens to get a bit ridiculous but let’s be fair, this is a good pop song by old Webby and check out the name of the show, folks!

    Out to Boney M. Gotta Go Home. What a fine idea. Be seeing you!

  213. 213
    Erithian on 27 Jul 2014 #

    This TOTP was shown three days after the IRA assassinated Lord Mountbatten at Sligo and killed 18 British soldiers at Warrenpoint, the Army’s worst day of the Troubles. I remember thinking the lead Gibson Brother sounded particularly heartfelt singing that line “no-one to kill no-one” – but looking back it was probably a repeat performance.

    We’ve missed a few weeks owing to Yewtree and strikes, so we’ve missed the time of my summer holiday that year in… Prestatyn. Funnily enough I wasn’t tripping over pop stars all the time.

  214. 214
    Steve Williams on 28 Jul 2014 #

    Mathematicians will notice that this episode was from 30th August and, because we’re now so far ahead, rather than changing days during the Proms as in previous years BBC4 have taken the opportunity to rest it completely for a few weeks. Good one to go out on, in any case, and when we come back it’ll be very much a new era as Peter Powell will have had his hair cut and stopped acting the tit quite so much.

    The next few episodes are particularly interesting because the ITV strike was now in full swing and so Pops was getting at least fifteen million viewers. The highest rated episode of them all is in October which got over nineteen million viewers and is also the debut of a new presenter, quite a baptism. Amazing to think Secret Affair were being exposed to so many people. You’d have to go on an Olympics Opening Ceremony to get that many eyeballs on you these days.

    Love to know what Speedwell’s favourite and least favourite episodes are.

  215. 215
    Martin F. on 28 Jul 2014 #

    I guess this means Telex’s “Rock Around The Clock” performance is firmly Yewtreed. Boo!

  216. 216
    Jimmy the Swede on 28 Jul 2014 #

    # 213 – On the day that Louis Mountbatten got done, I was at Chelmsford watching Surrey playing Essex in a County match. Essex had just won the Championship for the first time in their history and had also stuffed my lot in the Benson and Hedges Cup Final in July. For many years around that time the bastards had our number and in another Chelmsford County match four years later, they bowled us out for fourteen (14)…

    On that Bank Holiday Monday in 1979, Essex were proudly displaying their County Championship pendant at the top of a flagpole. I remember very clearly pointing this out to my three mates and sneering jealously at it. As we were booing and howling, the pendant suddenly dropped slowly to rest at half-mast. “Somebody’s snuffed it!” I suggested. “Probably the Queen Mother.” (Brenda’s Mam, of course, lasted another twenty-two years). A few moments later, a guy comes over the P/A and tells us what had happened and to whom. It wasn’t exactly a Kennedy or 9/11 moment but it was pretty dramatic.

    Yes, we are well ahead of ourselves. Bannockburn played 1979 on POTP this week and the Rats were still top.

  217. 217
    Mark G on 10 Sep 2014 #

    Heard ya missed me, well I’m back..

    So, it’s 30th August 1979 and while we wait for the real date to catch up, and for DLT to be sorted out one way or the other..

    .its Kid (now great grandad probably) Jensen suggesting we watch the chart while ignoring the Bellamy Brothers. OK we shall.

    Secret Affair warm over a different youth cult and ride for a bit. Ooh look, it’s Jarvis’ dancing style, 15 years too early.. Of course we all know Mod more than we did back then, and we know now that this was no way as danceable as the best Mod tracks (recommended is “The In Crowd”, a 4cd box set I just dug out of the garage for our Alice who likes the mod style very much, but has ended up very disappointed in the girls fashions, and also how every mod book has 99% lads pics, and if you’re lucky one pic of Cathy Magowan. Any way, close bracket back to the main plot), but that is not to say its a bad record, its very good pop music. Moving on..

    At first it looks like Genesis, but we see its Dollar, with Thereze doing a whispery vocal. Does anyone remember a David Essex tv series around this time? He’d do some of his songs which were fine, then he’d introduce some unknown acts which were presumably custom made by some talent agency without a clue. One was called “The Office Boy” who would be wearing a suit and tie which was fash in 1974 and sing some dull ballad, and another called Tootsie Roll, who sang some whispery thing not unlike this track (which is why it was brought to mind) apart from one crucial aspect. Needless to say, all those acts disappeared into not-history and deny ever being those “pka”‘s

    Nick Lowe does Cruel to be Kind. Nice bloke, met him once.

    The legs do Lost in music. Jim Swede is unavailable for comment.

    The Gibson Brothers offer lots of food, love life, no wars and no tears. But only if Scotland vote no.

    Gary Numan goes solo, sounds and looks much the same. This hasn’t dated much but I can’t say I like it hugely. Its alright.

    B.A. Robertson repeats his cockney Scottish accent.

    Commodores do Sail on, see my previous review. Or don’t.

    The Specials are special once again. They were still The Special Aka at this point, but woof.

    Johnny Mathis does disco, and its death by BBC orchestra once more.

    The Stranglers sing. As opposed to snarl. “Success” is pretty great, really. If only for “..and the Rodneys are queueing up, God Forbid” amongst other great lines in it, too.

    Cliff celebrates 21 years in the chart by being number one. As opposed to celebrating 50 years in showbiz by trying to haul some dull number into the lower reaches thanks to the cliff fan club.

    So, Boney M do “Gotta go home” to the TOTP lights. Well, where do we go from here? Will the repeats return? Is the past a minefield where the salacious sex gods are actually the safer option? Answers on a postcard..

  218. 218
    admin on 10 Sep 2014 #

    Wait, did I miss TOTP repeats starting up again?

  219. 219
    Lazarus on 18 Sep 2014 #

    I don’t know, have they? I was out of the country last week, but Jimmy at 212 and Mark at 217 appear to have been watching the exact same show, some weeks apart. Did BBC4 just show it again by way of a recap?

    This evening we have the Sky at Bleedin’ Night, chiz. Only if there’s a comet heading straight for Earth would I be even mildly interested.

    I have to say I rather like the Dollar ‘third single=ballad’ number, by the way. And ‘Duchess’ always puts me in mind, just a little, of ‘If You Tolerate This …’

  220. 220
    Mark G on 18 Sep 2014 #

    I was just taking my time, because there was plenty time.

    Are there any shows forthcoming? I’ll check the satbox later.

  221. 221
    lonepilgrim on 18 Sep 2014 #

    It’s back on Thursday 25th September with a show from 6th September 1979 – as noted (with full line up) here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04j8w5s

  222. 222
    punctum on 19 Sep 2014 #

    I had rather hoped that BBC4 would have forgotten about the reruns. I wish they had, really. Proms much better.

  223. 223
    Lazarus on 26 Sep 2014 #

    Well, wanted or not, it’s back. Time once again to strut one’s funky stuff. Young Peter Powell is MC.

    The Ruts – not the big hit of course, that was twice Yewtreed, but this is fine. Singer Malcolm Owen not much longer for this world, though. They carried on without him for a while but it wasn’t the same.

    Randy VanWarmer – a man who looks as if he’s used to getting sand kicked in his face on a regular basis is backed by the Legs gals with their cases and going-away outfits. Originally a B-side, this was written in Cornwall, of all places, after a girlfriend returned to the States. “Something for everybody” claims Peter. Something for Radio 2, maybe.

    Madness – their Pops debut, and don’t they look young! About Prince Buster of course, but self-penned, written by sometimes airborne saxophonist Lee Thompson. I’m off to see them at Brighton in December, should be a good night!

    Roxy Music – a remix (or re-recording?) of a track from comeback album ‘Manifesto.’ The band are defunct now bar the odd nostalgia trip but Ferry is still active, Radio 2 played his new single just this week.

    Crusaders – with Randy Crawford and featuring the late Joe Sample. I reckon this one must have been sampled a few times over the years. A scampi in the basket classic. Some fetching pink outfits on the men.

    ELO – on video, not that much happens in it. The song is a big beefy stomper of course (Brrruce!) (is it?). They look like they had fun doing the clip anyway.

    Bill Lovelady – I can find nothing out on this one from Mr Google. I like the record though, have it on 45 – it’s a step or two up from Paul Nicholas certainly. I especially like the little harmonica licks.

    Boney M – one of their better later efforts. But the clock is ticking, and these days the ladies are to be heard serenading guests in our favourite North Wales resort. Bobby is better off out of it.

    PP sits at the edge of the stage to introduce Cliff, still at number one. Great song of course, and his first no. 1 since ‘Congratulations’ if I’m not mistaken, but everyone watching will have had similar thoughts I imagine.

    The presenter keeps his hands to himself and says goodbye as the Flying Lizards play us out.

    Above average show I thought, but with DLT getting a suspended sentence – and presumably still persona non grata – will it see another year?

  224. 224
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Sep 2014 #

    Well,well, it’s back. And it’s the hyperactive Peter Powell. And because of the Cornflake’s sole conviction, one assumes that he’ll be airbrushed out forever. At least he won’t be eating any Brendaburgers, though. I too, however, fear for the continuation of this series after the New Year.

    Frantique are over the titles, strutting their funky stuff up to number ten.

    The Ruts – Excellent new wave but we missed their biggie because of bad men.

    Randy Van Warmer and Gals – There’s lots that’s just wrong about this. A Bill Gates-esque dweeb, who would have even been denied entry at a Doctor Who convention, and who wouldn’t have lasted five minutes at my old school before receiving the benefit of a chalk ouline. And then we get the Gals in a pointless routine which sees them gliding around gloomily in period costumes and panama hats, whilst picking up and putting down suitcases. The whole thing’s a nightmare and the Swede is left thinking that the match-up of the non-routine along with the weedy Randy was a punishment from Flick for something. My conviction for thinking this is doubled after seeing what comes later. I’d like to think that the Gals pounced on Randy in his dressing room and “loved him to death”.

    Madness – The inugural outing for one of the UK’s best-loved and enduring bands with their tribute to Prince Buster. And an impossibly young-looking Suggs. He and I were born three months apart. Where on earth did all the time go?

    Roxy Music – Angel Eyes. Brilliant. Both Ferry and the arrangement are so cool. The two gorgeous (twin?) harpists don’t hurt either (Ferry was never slow in promoting lovely girls). But the track is savagely cut.

    Crusaders – In the studio doing Streetlife. Pete introduces it as “jazz funk at its best”. And he’s right. They’re miming to the track but it doesn’t matter. Both it and a much tastier and far less punchable Randy are fabulous.

    ELO – Good solid clunking rock heading for the top three. The song itself is a puzzle with Jeff pleading with somebody called Bruce not to bring him down. This too is cut short. Perhaps the band caught up with Bruce and gave him a good shoeing.

    Right, two things. First, is that Diane Louise Jordan standing there at the front smiling? Diane is simply delightful in every sense of the word. Second, Peter “whispers” to a young pretty behind him “If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me ?” to which the girl promptly says “Yes” and nods. “Ooo. What?” recoils Peter. He is of course introducing the Bellamy Brothers with their Monty Python song. To muddy the waters further, on come the Gals again, this time in silver ball gowns, all dancing lovingly…with a large teddy bear. This confirms the Swede’s belief that our lovelies must really have annoyed Flick for some reason. Rosie smiles as only she can but it’s been a disastrous night.

    Racey – WHA?!!…. The most annoying little elf in Christandom (until the arrival of John Bercow) has broken loose from his holiday home and is bouncing around again. This time no Gals, who had probably been sent to bed with no supper. A risible performance and along with Randy VM and Bruce, you just want to see violence.

    Bill Lovelady – A pleasant feelgood little jaunt with charming harmonica licks from a mixed race ensemble who look as if they’re having a ball, even knowing that only a large minibus awaits them outside rather than a career in the biz. Nothing wrong here.

    Boney M – Gotta Go Home. Too bloody right. Your minibus is behind Bill’s. You’re sharing with Racey.

    Cliff is at number one with a first rate pop song. The “similar thoughts” Lazarus speaks of are obvious but let us remember that Webby has not been arrested or charged with anything. If he ever is, there’s going to be be one hell of a job airbrushing the bloke out of everything in the future.

    Out to the Flying Lizards and their unique take on “Money” (not Floyd’s track, obv). Brilliant end to a strange show.

  225. 225
    speedwell54 on 28 Sep 2014 #

    TOTP Better make the most of it…

    Safe Pete – Frantique over the countdown -sho nuff.

    The Ruts – not perfect but has something about it. During the instrumental break the guitarist :-
    a) climbs on the bass drum and leaps off
    b) sits on a deckchair and pretends to fall asleep
    c) Uses a bow on his guitar in tribute to ELO
    d) jams with the bass player and causes injury

    Randy Van Warmer- 223 and 224 pretty much cover this. Bit strange that Legs and Co are dancing and you’re actually there. AND they’re not dancing with you! Not exactly an ego boost for Mr VanWarmer.
    Btw Legs not quite pulling off the Marcel Marceau magic suitcase mime. It’s heavy, it’s really heavy I can’t pick it up, now it’s getting lighter, actually it’s starting to float. I hope I can keep my feet on the ground! Now it’s stuck!
    Next week they’ll be trying to put up an umbrella in the wind.

    Madness- they stuck with that dance for quite a while.

    Roxy Music – cool as always – twins, or just a cleverly placed mirror? Unlike Suggs who was about twelve at the beginning, Ferry started at middle age and seems to age about one year in seven.

    Crusaders – third song in a row with a sax solo. Not my cup of tea.

    ELO- not in the studio but let’s face it, it would be exactly the same if they turned up; musically tight but visually the same performance every time. Having said that -and as if just to prove me wrong – I noticed no violins or cellos probably for the only time ever! “Bruce” wins the it on the subtitles, various lyrics websites go along with this or “Broosss” or “Groosss” what ever they mean.

    Bellamy Brothers – before David went solo. Flick blows her props budget for the second time in a week. (or got dead lucky at the fair) Why are the teddy bears all wearing their bow ties the wrong way round?

    Randy VanWarmer takes his glasses off – oh no it’s Racey. Three down, one to go.

    Bill Lovelady – this is good. Forgotten about this other than the chorus. Nothing special but it does give off good vibes. Lazarus, he’s on German language Wiki for some reason, which I know not. Don’t waste your time though.

    Boney M – Ooh Ooh -ooh ooh ooh Barbra Streisand.

    Cliff- Not his fault but we seem to circling the globe pretty fast these days. This was number one in my last post in July before we “lost” several episodes. Either this was Bohemian Rhapsody or the BBC are playing fast and loose with the dates these days. Rant over.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.
    Mark G, you’re up.

  226. 226
    Mark G on 29 Sep 2014 #

    What amazing eyesight you have..

    Peter, chart rundown, and a song that everyone will remember, sho nuff, but who by? Oh no. Aargh. Until the questionmaster says Frantique and we all go “I wouldn’t have got that one if I had a week”

    The Ruts do a minor hit and even though its barely memorable its still pretty great. What would these dudes be doing if they had started now, I wonder. Something else entirely I guess.

    Randy Van Warmer. I looked it up and no he was not a presenter of Bang Bus. Some kids programme I think. Anyway, what to do with a performer that has almost no stage presence? I sort of remember this, mainly because my mate Andy said “He’s like if you were on TOTP’ and I could see his point. I remember him being much more wobbly vocally and stuff, but apart from an “Oh yeah” on one of the last lines there’s nothing that marks him as being massively nervous.My theory is that the Legs were added on later, with their tribute to Les Bubb.

    Madness, I remember John Peel saying something about how he’d give it all up if he could only dance like Chas Smash. He goes from straight skanking to sort of becoming an early version of a Transformer!

    Roxy Music do Angel Eyes, probably the last time they had dissonant chords in their song like the old days. This is a very good thing, of course.

    Crusaders, and an early appearance for Randy Crawford. Tis great.

    Don’t bring me down, Grüß.

    The legs demonstrate ballroom techniques with teddy bears, and some people sit on tables with empty champagne bottles. Is that Martin Carr over there? Probably not. Oh, and the Belly Brothers play unobtrusively.

    Racey. Have they done yet? No, its still their early days so no. Another one of those where they had to wait for their new song from the writers, and when they got it they said Thank you oh so very much for nothing.

    Bill Lovelady does a convincing pop reggae. I remember an interview with himself where he claimed that this was actually some heavy social comment, based on the references to Lady Jane, and how she’ll bring herself down to the lower classes for the reggae. If you say so..

    Boney M do another alright single.

    And Cliff does that no talking anymore. He sings it with conviction but what does he know about it really?

    And the show is over and the best things in life are free……

    Anyway, been pondering: Is a 3 month suspended sentence going to let DLT off the naughty step in time for the Flying Lizards’ appearance to be shown? Well think of it this way, if he had got that sentence for that, at this point in 1979, would he still have a job at wunnerful Radio 1? I would guess not.

    Ok and now over to you……..

  227. 227
    Steve Williams on 30 Sep 2014 #

    According to Sue from Legs & Co (somewhere else on the internet, I don’t know her), 1980 has already got the green light and they’ve made the documentary to launch it.

  228. 228
    Mark G on 2 Oct 2014 #


  229. 229
    Jimmy the Swede on 4 Oct 2014 #

    We limp on with Mike Read. Only a few of us seem to care anymore. And it doesn’t start well as we have to suffer bloody Racey over the rundown. Surely enough’s enough now.

    Starjets – Straight to Prestatyn for a severely watered down Undertones. Pretty grim, really.

    Kate – Them Heavy People. She was really bonkers by now and utterly gorgeous. I don’t know who the two sinister-looking herberts were. And never mind “rolling the ball”, with that bare light-bulb swinging away, I was expecting Edward Woodward to pop up after it had blown.

    Madness. Prince Buster. Swedeostrasse.

    Mike caresses a willing young pretty and we get the whole Belly Bros thing again.

    Tourists – Early outling for Annie with one which hardly troubled the scorers. Sweet song. Perhaps just too sweet.

    Police – Sending out an S.O.S on the way to the top, of course. Cut and paste footage, which I found slightly annoying. Fabulous track, though. And the Swede saw them play the Nashville, a pub in West Ken, not long before this took off.

    Sad Cafe – I loved this. It’s a wooden performance but the song’s a belter and they stayed awhile before the campers claimed them. Forever.

    Rainbow – Since You’ve Been Gone. Now we’re cooking. “Der-Der-Der UGH! Der-Der…” Fabulous.

    ELO – Bruce. The Gals seem to be playing Celebrity Squares. A clear improvement from the privations of last week but far too much smoke. Also Pauline’s missing.

    Gary Numan is number one. Not for me, I’m afraid.

    Out to Bill Lovelady. Lots of deja vu this week.

  230. 230
    Lazarus on 5 Oct 2014 #

    I’m watching the long ‘un from last night … Mike Read in a stripey suit. Racey – don’t remember it at all. Their time’s almost up.

    Starjets – long haired wannabe punks. I was a few years past ‘Valiant’ by this time, but nice to hear mention of Captain Hurricane.

    Kate Bush – I think this was the one Pamela Stephenson had in mind when she did ‘England My Leotard’ on NTNO’CN.

    Madness – repeat of their first performance? Little did we all know the wonderful career they had ahead of them.

    Bellamy Brothers – two hit wonders, and ‘Let Your Love Flow’ was way better. A one-joke song, and it wasn’t that funny to start with. Ffwd.

    The Jags – now this more like it. Singer’s a Costello wannabe, sure, but the song is fine, and still sounds good on the radio today – guitar solo is tops. High point of the show so far.

    Tourists – first time on the Pops for Dave and Annie, I presume. I only vaguely recall this, but it’s not bad. They have bigger hits around the corner.

    The Police – perhaps a touch over-familiar, it probably gets played every day on Absolute, but good to see the video again. Bring on the Eighties!

    Sad Cafe – an absolute blinder, I loved this then and still do. They’d been around a while, I was always seeing their albums in Our Price. Singer Paul Young is going to have obvious problems in starting a solo career, but will find future success as a Mechanic.

    Rainbow – good show this, here’s a classic Russ Ballard song previously done by Clout and now sung by Graham Bonnet. Their breakthrough hit, and another one still often played. An angsty performance.

    ELO/Legs – gals in outfits you’d expect to see on Hot Gossip gyrate to Lynne’s tubthumper.

    Gary Numan – number one. I don’t mind this, but his appeal waned pretty quickly didn’t it.

    Read reminds us of ’275/285′ and we’re played out by Bill Lovelady. Pretty good show distinctly short of minibus material.

  231. 231
    speedwell54 on 5 Oct 2014 #

    Well at least we don’t have to see Racey this week as they accompany the countdown.

    Starjets – not a great name and the quality sounds like it was recorded live, but for all that, it’s not bad. Lead singer went on to write and sing on the most played song on Radio 1 in 1988.*

    Mike Read- so facts will be coming up at regular intervals. What’s he turned up in tonight! Bit of a Weller haircut too.

    Kate – love her, I mean this. Can’t really do wrong for me, even the Max Bygraves impression.

    Madness – The Prince – repeat.

    Bellamy Brothers again , this time no Legs and Co which is a shame.

    Jags – Back Of My Hand. A real classic and sounds great still. Couldn’t repeat the trick unfortunately.

    Tourists – This must have quite a brave release. Though from different albums I wonder if the more obvious single “I Only Want To Be With” had been recorded by then.

    The Police – quite timeless. Surprised me no end when I found out this didn’t make it in the US when it sounds made for them, and it was a big hit in Canada. Walking on the Moon did nothing either. Still, didn’t have too long to wait.

    Sad Cafe- I can’t keep writing a classic but it seems that sort of show. Not something I would buy/play but really top notch stuff.

    Rainbow -Since You’ve Been Gone – see above

    ELO – Legs and Co ignore health and safety regulations and dance all over the scaffolding. No hard hats either. Tut tut. Subtitles last week said ‘Bruce” this week it’s “Grroosss”

    Gary Numan -Cars. A number one with a tambourine solo.

    *the Adventures -Broken Land
    Not my favourite, but a jolly good show!

  232. 232
    Mark G on 10 Oct 2014 #

    Its Kid with a suitable non-mullet hairstyle, and the chart rundown is Madness. It sounds a little odd compared to the two appearances so far (not repeats, by the way up there) but bear in mind it was a demo released as-is..

    XTC do Nigel, their first performance of it, still great.
    Blondie do the Dreaming video, often seen yes.
    Matumbi do that one you don’t remember until they play it. Reggae with Tuxedo Junction undertones. Its fine stuff but it makes you wonder why this can’t get played as much as Nigel on good old MOR radio. Then again, maybe it does, how would I know I don’t listen to it, so hey.
    Buggles, you remember obviously, I remember this was knocking round for ages before it finally charted. Its the future again clearly.
    Sad Cafe do the ballad one, the stones copy is later. Nice enough but.
    Squeeze do a version of the Stone Roses’ “Begging You” oh wait.. See everyone raved about them when they got all Beatley and faux-country, but this is the stuff I like more. The song is the plot of the first bit of the “Quadrophenia” movie, isn’t it? Yes.

    Legs & co do Kate Bush’s “Them heavy people” in nighties. Nuff Said.

    Rainbow do “Since you been gone” in terrible sound quality, but it didn’t matter we all had ropey tellies back then.

    The Jags are here with Elvis Costello’s voice.. Trevor Horn is all over this one as well, by the way. There’s a guitar solo that the band never even heard until the single came out. VoxPhantom 12 string? On Video Tape. No its in the studio but the joke doesn’t work otherwise.

    Lena Martell. Run away! I blame Kris Kristofferson! And fast forward.

    Sting scratches his chin and sings the line “Message in a bottle” to Stewart. We all found that bit hilarious and used it as a greeting for months afterwards. Still, its a great record and now they were unstoppable.

    Andy Peebles gets introduced to us all. And he’s presenting next week, we can all be sure of that oh yes. Nick Lowe and oot.

  233. 233
    Steve Williams on 10 Oct 2014 #

    We’re on a run of fantastic episodes at the moment and part of the excitement for me is remembering that they were being watched by some eighteen million people because of the ITV strike. Eighteen million people listening to XTC and Matumbi! You’d have to go on an Olympics opening ceremony to get that kind of exposure now. In fact the next episode with Andy Peebles is the highest rated episode ever with 18.9 million viewers, though a fat lot of good that did Peebles as he then didn’t appear again for three years. Can’t wait to see it, and after the excitement of his unveiling we now have to wait an extra week because of The Sky at Night.

    I wonder if Lena Martell getting to number one is related to the ITV strike as a couple of million older viewers were watching Pops for presumably the first time.

  234. 234
    punctum on 10 Oct 2014 #

    Martell was largely down to the Scottish vote.

    Ah yes, Andy “Me Andy Peebles” Peebles, or Andy “I often wonder whether the unemployed really try to find work” Peebles. No thank you.

  235. 235
    Lazarus on 12 Oct 2014 #

    Da Kid introduces what looks to be a good show.

    XTC – I guess these days it’s Nigel who’s making the plans. Sung by floppy-haired Colin Moulding rather than Andy Partridge whose distinctive Wiltshire vowels gave the band the sound of a new wave Wurzels. Not their Pops debut in fact, that was ‘Life Begins at the Hop’ but I think that was Yewtreed.

    Blondie – just a few short months from ‘Sunday Girl’ they’re back with the first single from the new album. It’s OK. Debs gorgeous as ever.

    Matumbi – I didn’t know this one, smooth reggae with ‘Tuxedo Junction’ style horns. Nice.

    Buggles – another of those ‘modern pop starts here’ moments. Did they ever round up the little girl for one of those retro programmes? That’s quite a claim to fame I reckon.

    Sad Cafe – an Eric Stewart production, Kid informs us. Paul ‘the other one’ Young, soberly suited to fit the song. Bit of a classic.

    Squeeze – what a top show this is. Lots of hats being worn this week. Glenn on keyboard duties for a change.

    Kate Bush/Legs & Co – Whitehouse worriers in flimsy nightwear. A Swede-pleasing routine. No Lulu this week.

    Rainbow – video, repeat. Another good ‘un.

    The Jags – repeat (I think). Also the nickname of Partick Thistle FC. I recall Jensen used to claim to be a supporter of St Mirren. Doubt if he got to that many games somehow.

    Len Martell – “there’s a lot of variety in the chart” says Kid, by way of explanation for this being here. Some very young fans gather at her feet – I’m guessing the God-bothering Lena now does Sunday evening service in the chapel at Prestatyn, right?

    Police – second week at the top with the album just out. It’s all good.

    Kid introduces us to Andy Peebles, the man in beige, and it’s out to Nick Lowe. Above average show which even the Martell woman couldn’t put a damper on.

  236. 236
    speedwell54 on 13 Oct 2014 #

    It’s Kid.

    Madness over the countdown. (you’re right and well spotted about the two appearances so far Mark G- having just watched them back I won’t beat myself up about it though, pretty similar)

    Kicks off with XTC – Plans for Nigel – I do like this. Robbie Williams did an awful cover of this early doors just after leaving Take That. I think ‘Life Begins at the Hop’ was Yewtreed, but it snuck on to one of the iplayer versions.
    Claudia Winkleman fringe for Colin.

    Blondie -Dreaming – the fans on the bleachers look a lot more excited than most to the TOTP crowd do.

    Matumbi- good fact about the 18 million viewers. Conversion rate must be low for this one!

    The Buggles – VKTRS – Nicki (explicit) Minaj first big hit – “Check It Out” lifts the ‘ooh wah ooh’s nearly all the way through.

    Sad Cafe – again

    Squeeze – Slap and Tickle – Chris wearing white gloves years before Jackson. I do love the album Cool for Cats, every track is a winner and could have been a single.

    Music from Kate, and Legs and Co dancing, doesn’t get much better -Swedeheaven.

    Since You’ve Been Gone – vid repeat

    Jags – Back of My Hand – again

    Lena -One Day At A Time – well it takes all sorts.

    Police Message in A Bottle – Nice bow tie. Not exactly blowing the budget with the video.

    Is Andy Pebbles wearing a magnolia suit?
    Out to Nick Lowe – Cruel to be Kind. Some proper good tracks tonight.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  237. 237
    Jimmy the Swede on 16 Oct 2014 #

    Swede review in two parts this week. Sometimes I have to do some work!

    Bi Hi from Keed. Let’s just clear up his footy preferences according to what I personally remember. He first nailed his colours to the mast of QPR, mainly because of Loftus Road being close to the Beeb but switched to Palace when Rangers started using their plastic pitch. I cannot ever recall anything about St Mirren but stand to be corrected.

    Madness over the titles.

    XTC – Highly memorable great fun, which you would swear was a monster but only hit 17. It’s cut off before its hilarious finish.

    Blondie – Dreaming. Restaurant. Debutante. She is panting and sweatily ravashing. And looks stoned. Nobody cared. The Swede was glued.

    Matumbi – A minor hit which deserved better, lightweight though it be. The guy in the suit was a ringer for a young Lance Gibbs.

    Buggles – On the number one site for VKTRS, I explained why this record means so much to me. In a sentence, I underwent two rites of passage for a young man during the one week that this was top. Waldo will explain for anyone who gives a toss.

    Sad Cafe – Wonderful song with great harmonies. One of the chorus singers looks like Rod Temperton. They tried to get back to Manchester but the driver veered off west onto the M56. “Rod” has now got an act with a giant squirrel.

    Squeeze – Another young person poem of which they were such specialists. A very attractive ex colleague of mine called Kerry used to have two cats caled Slap and Tickle. I don’t suppose they knew.

    End of Part One.

  238. 238
    Jimmy the Swede on 16 Oct 2014 #

    Part Two.

    Kate rolls the ball again, this time to the Gals. And for the fiest time in ages, yon Swede reaches for his emergency button, as our lovelies in one-piece undies treat us to an uber-leggy feast. The Eternal Mistress leads but gorgeous Pauline is not far behind. In fact they’re all at it. Thrusts, botties and high kicks galore. Swedeheaven indeed, Speedwell. It’s bloody magnificent, man!

    Rainbow – We actually see him putting on his shoes right on cue to the lyric. How rock and roll is that? Brilliant!

    Jags – A firm Swede favourite with its clear Elvis C influences. Should have gone much higher. It’s been Good Morning, Campers ever since, alas.

    Lena Martell – 1979s major WTF moment to be sure. The kids looked bewildered as soon will the nation as ODAAT leaves everything in its wake (“Who the hell is buying this record?” snarled a surprisingly restained Geldof whilst guessting on Swop Shop/Superstore back in the day). “Scotland” appears to be the answer. In fact, I had no idea that Lena was Scottish. Swore she was a Septic. There is another Waldo anecdote on this train wreck’s number one thread for any of you with nothing better to do. It underpins just how angry this record made some people. Violence and crime indeed. Lazarus is quite right as to what mumsy Martell is doing now. Cliff will be joining her if the sky falls in on him.

    The Old Bill. Message in a wotnot. Number one, as quite rightly it should. Andy Peebles is introduced. Didn’t he shoot John Lennon or summat?

    Nick Lowe out with the excellent Cruel to be Kind.

    Bumper do this week.

  239. 239
    glue_factory on 16 Oct 2014 #

    The online St.Mirren forum claims the Kid as one of them, and even goes so far to say he was seen at Love Street at least once


    Squeeze and The Buggles on the same show. Desperately trying to watch this one before it drops off the iplayer but real-life keeps intervening

  240. 240
    enitharmon on 16 Oct 2014 #

    @239 Lingered long there, no doubt. Did he show his disdain for the Paisley Lions?

  241. 241
    Jimmy the Swede on 16 Oct 2014 #

    # 240 – Nice one, Rosie.

    Er…just in case you missed it, Popular Pals…


  242. 242
    Mark G on 16 Oct 2014 #

    You *have* been busy!

  243. 243
    Steve Williams on 17 Oct 2014 #

    That seminal tome, The Roxy Book (which for a while was in every single charity shop I ever visited, the print run must have been about a million) has chapter and verse on Kid’s footballing allegiances. He says that he used to support Notts County when he was on Radio Trent then when he moved to London he followed QPR, but stopped following them because of the plastic pitch. As for St Mirren, his auntie lived next door to the ground, apparently, and I remember someone writing into Q saying he only seemed to start mentioning that when St Mirren won the Scottish Cup. Then he was invited to a Palace match and enjoyed the atmosphere and liked the fans and started following them, and he’s certainly a fully paid-up loyal Eagle now, what with him being part of the consortium that brought them out of administration a few years back.

    As for other DJs’ footballing allegiances, the one I most remember is when Granada did a football quiz in the early nineties called Go For Goal, where every team in Granadaland was represented by two players and a “celebrity” “fan”. Bruno Brookes was drafted in to represent Crewe but, as you can see here, he doesn’t appear to have been a particularly rabid Railwayman – http://www.knowhere.co.uk/Crewe/Cheshire/Northern-England/info/celebs

  244. 244
    Mark G on 24 Oct 2014 #

    “Good face for radio” Peebles starts his TOTP career and we can get up and do our thing. Thanks, Al.

    The Rubbish Dooleys are back, with a song that brings to mind the “We’re OK’ song from Educating Rita. We are chosen, lucky, and don’t need “your” money or gold. But it’s useful you have some. The girls can’t quite keep a straight face. They sort-of dance like the automated bandstand at Thorpe park.

    And Andy Peebles announces that it’s his debut, and introduces The Headboys who are also rebutting. One of them will be back on the show but will have to wait a long time Sorry boys it’s not you. Oddly, they sound exactly like Kings of Leon. The song is pretty fine, and they make a good fist of it. What happened? Were their other songs not up to much? Anyway, were U2 watching? Bits of the chorus sound like “An Kat Dubh”, the live version on the NME cassette (forget which one)

    The legs are being leggy for “Don’t stop till you get enough”. A mate of mine back then would do a version of this where he’d do ‘misheard lyric’ versions that never repeated. “Take a horse, to the post office, don’t stop till you get enough, keep a trough and a bus stop, don’t stop etc ”

    And another one would sing “I am a forbidden lover” but he knew not what it meaned. So anyway, its Chic but you knew that.

    Dr Hook do their biggest hit “Are you staring at my bird?” He watches his friends, that’s his band it seems. He stares them all out and offers them all out.

    Tami Lyn does Gonna get a long mm can’t think of joke title never mind. Its nice enough, and it’s death by BBC orchestra time. There was a different version a bit before this one that was more perky, but I can’t remember who by.

    Charlie Daniels band do an interesting country tale. Have to say, the devil funk bit is the best part of this, a bit psychedelic ELO I’d say. We get the uncensored ‘son of a bitch’ version to boot.

    OK Fred. Great that UK pop reggae could be this true and get into the charts to boot, its great stuff. We knew not what a yaza yaza was,

    Cats UK coin in on how much loved Lorraine Chase was, or was it the airport? And yet, one of them became.. (fill in later)

    Dave Edmunds does Queen of Hearts so it’s country music week I guess. Still fine though.

    Dana does that old rinky dinky jazz thing. I remember she gets up for a slinky dance doesn’t she? Yep, there she goes.. The set is a bit “Music break on the Two Ronnies” but its alright, not a hit though I believe.

    Someone’s got Peebles in an armlock it seems. The Police do that scratch chin song, and home for butter.

    So, did Andy do all right? Well, why don’t you ask him what’s going wrong? He doesn’t want to be loved, he just wants to be wanted.


  245. 245
    Lazarus on 24 Oct 2014 #

    Ah, you saw the long one I take it. We don’t get the Headboys or Charlie D on this one.

    The largely charisma-free zone that was Andy Peebles makes his Pops debut. Al Hudson over the chart, and Al’s at number 15 – don’t remember it getting that high.

    The Dooleys are lined up boy-girl-girl-boy like the Brotherhood of Man. One of them looks a bit like Paul Nicholas. The song is sort of cod-reggae. The minibus awaits.

    Michael Jackson/Legs & Co – a little bit of history, the first week of the first release from ‘Off the Wall’ but MJ himself is nowhere to be seen, needless to say. It’s going to be mostly videos where he’s concerned. Does anyone remember him going on the show? Full complement of Legs this week, and plenty of leg on show. Swedo will approve.

    Chic are on next with the latest release from the Risque album. The ladies look lovely in cerise jackets, and the song is fine. After a run of top 10 hits though, this will stall at 15, their next at 21, and barring a remix that’s their last visit to the UK Top 40. They go down well on Funky Friday at Prestatyn though.

    Dr Hook … “when you’re in love with a beautiful woman … it’s hard.” that double entendre was employed in a recent episode of ‘Episodes’ with the ever-priapic Castor Sotto (if you saw the show you’ll know what I’m referring to). Anyway, number one bound, but they’ll have to wait.

    Viola Wills with an old Trini Lopez number. No longer with us, alas. Interesting biog: signed by Barry White, no less, when 21 and a mother of six!

    Erroll Dunkley – always heard it as ‘yagga yagga’ – some natty headgear for ED and his band. Seemed to demand an answer record from Fred, ‘here’s what you do, Erroll’ but it wasn’t forthcoming.

    Cats UK – yes from the Campari ad of course. I don’t recognise any of them, so I’m intrigued …

    Andy still hasn’t unbuttoned his jacket … Dave Edmunds, with one of several songs entitled ‘Queen of Hearts.’ Written by Emmylou Harris guitarist Hank DeVito, and not as I always thought Buddy Holly. Good performance by Dave and the Rockpile lads.

    Dana – yes I thought ‘Two Ronnies’ as well, would have been much more in place there. Song has a bit of a Thirties feel to it, going for the Manhattan Transfer market perhaps? Anyway wasn’t a hit, although Ms Scallon looks slinky in sequins.

    Police last week at the top with Horn and Downes waiting in the runner up’s spot. In the days when everyone liked Sting.

    Andy bids us farewell to Fleetwood Mac with the title track of a troubled album. Not a bad show, Status Quo in for Dana would have made it better. But you can’t always get whatever you want.

  246. 246
    Alan on 24 Oct 2014 #

    shameless plug for my TOTP twitter account https://twitter.com/ToTP79trufax

  247. 247
    wichitalineman on 24 Oct 2014 #

    Nice work, Alan!

    Dramatis were also known as the Continuity Tubeway Army.

  248. 248
    Jimmy the Swede on 25 Oct 2014 #

    Debutant Andy Peebles. He really is an odd looking fellow, isn’t he? Hell, let’s not kid ourselves. He makes Randy Van Warmer look like Errol Flynn.

    Al Hudson over the rundown. Routine disco turn.

    “The Dooleys have done it again!” proclaims Andy. Too true, I’m afraid. This is dangerously uncut Class A Dairylea. Yes, Lazarus, minibus of course. But absolutely no sing-songs on the trip north. Thank you.

    Headboys – “Shapes of Things to Come”. Nothing to do with the Yardbirds’ classic. I have no memory of this at all but it seemed rather good. This was their only moment in the spotlight. Then they headed back to Edinburgh but alas got detoured about half way up.

    I’m sure you’re all be fascinated to learn that those square panels hanging from the ceiling in the studio are exactly the same pattern as the tiles we had in our kitchen in our high-rise flat in Stockwell.

    Gals do a turn to Jacko’s “Don’t Stop…” For me, this was one of Michael’s finest, if not the best and was number one that week in the US. It’s something for our ladies to really get their legs into and they do. You can always tell when they are loving it and this is an outstanding routine with all six on parade. And the Eternal Mistress has a caution sign stuck to her left knee. A message through time to the Swede perhaps?

    Chic – Their forbidden love. If it’s forbidden, what’s the point? The three girls on the strings provide the clear Swede interest here. Otherwise, fairly dull.

    Doctor Hook with their cheeky one. This positively crept to number one like a snail and was even detained for an extra week due to another chart cock-up. I loved the sideways glances on “watch your friend” etc.

    Viola Wills – Jolly little cover of an old fifties song. And sweet Viola top-tens with it. Nothing to dislike here.

    Charlie Daniels – A brilliant record. But I (along with many I have discussed this with) feel strongly that the Devil definitely won, despite insisting that “he knew that he’d been beat”. This was the worst decision since Cooper/Bugner. Interesting too was the transmition of “son of a bitch”, a dreadful insult in the US, akin to the use of “c**t” over here.

    Errol Dunkley – As much as I love reggae, this one always moderately annoyed me. My assumption that it was aimed at children was re-inforced when Errol popped up on Basil Brush, who provides an excellent case for the re-instatement of the Grantleigh Manor hunt ball. Boom Boom!

    Cats UK – The song about Lorraine Chase, which had nothing to with her at all. This is a comedy record but you would never know it by looking at all the folded arms and blank looks from the audience, who were clearly far less amused than the performers. As for the Cats, they have of course swopped an airport for a holiday camp. A man needs a maid.

    Dave Edmunds – A very neat little rockabilly number a la Buddy Holly, which clatters along just swimmingly. It’s nearly nine years since his chart topper.

    Dana – She’s going all Connie Francis on us. I’m hearing “Carolina Moon” all day long. The record sank like a lead balloon. But Peebles is right. She is indeed lovely. It’s nine years since her chart topper too. Strange, that.

    The Police are still castaway at number one. But the Buggles are ready to pounce, as was the Swede in what was to be a momentous week for him.

    Out to Fleetwood Mac and the brilliant “Tusk”. Some little redhead is gripping Andy’s sleeve as he says goodbye. He’s as dull as dishwater.

    Duck, everyone. Lena’s fast approaching…

  249. 249
    enitharmon on 25 Oct 2014 #

    @248 What is traditionally known as a good face for radio.

  250. 250
    wichitalineman on 25 Oct 2014 #

    Andy Peebles looks like an animal. One that lives in or near a river.

    Dooleys. Ah. They’re enjoying themselves, at least.

    Gals/Jacko. Caution, indeed. Maybe they couldn’t find a “stop” sign for Lady Muck’s thigh?

    Chic coming off their run of solid gold hits, but this is solidly silver. Al Hudson’s watery You Can Do It over the Top 30 a good point of disco comparison. Yes Swede, the string section have haunted my dreams for 30-odd years.

    Dr Hook. “It’s hard.” That’s the joke isn’t it? It seemed to have six months worth of Radio 2 plays before it charted.

    Viola Wills is a cover of a super-winsome Patience & Prudence hit which I’m very fond of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4gQ6xwISRs Prudence grew up to marry one of the Standells, of Dirty Water fame (didn’t someone cover that in ’79 too?).

    Errol Dunkley. Apparently a cover of a song by the recently departed John Holt. It’s no Ali Baba. But I do like Errol’s yardie cardie.

    Cats UK were meant to have Lorraine Chase on lead vocals, which would have made more sense of it. What an odd song. Bit of Cool For Cats on the verse. It was written by Paul Curtis, a one-man Eurovision machine, credits incl. the Shads’ Let Me Be The One, 2nd to Ding A Dong in ’75.

    Dave Edmunds. Now THIS is how to write a 50s pastiche, a fabulous song that sounded instantly familiar in ’79. Why weren’t Showaddywaddy, Rocky Sharpe etcet on the phone to Dave? An even bigger hit in the US for the curiously named Juice Newton.

    Dana. Such a wrong crush.

    The Police. Very good.

    And out to the sound of Tusk, which reminds me of Dale Shaw’s Letters Of Not, and Stevie Nicks’s favourite hobby at the time:


  251. 251
    Lazarus on 25 Oct 2014 #

    Yes the Inmates did ‘Dirty Water’ – that was what they used to call r’n’b.

  252. 252
    wichitalineman on 27 Oct 2014 #

    This week’s banned DLT episode, for anyone who’s interested. It’s very good. No spoilers from me.


  253. 253
    Erithian on 28 Oct 2014 #

    Great stuff Lino, thanks. Oh god, The Ramblers – if you tolerate this St Winifred’s will be next…

  254. 254
    Jimmy the Swede on 31 Oct 2014 #

    Peter Powell has clearly had a losing fight with a lawn mower.

    Selector over the rundown. Good start. But oh no, The Ramblers are at #29. Surely not…

    Rescued for the time being by The Specials and their message. Not in a bottle but to Rudy. Ska is the rage. Fabulous. Swedolicious! Terry Hall looks about twelve.

    Viola Wills – In the studio this time (my kitchen tiles are still bloody well hanging from the ceiling!). It’s very likable, both Viola and the song.

    Queen – Crazy little thing called wotsit. Freddie in his pomp surrounded by dancers both boys and gals. But not our Gals. Did I ever mention that Brian May very briefly taught Maths and Physics at Stockwell Manor but had already left by the time I got there in 1972? The place was full of violent murderous nutters even then.

    Cats UK – Again. Truly risible. The only saving grace about it was indeed the Squeeze-esque tone to it. A harmless bit of fun, to be fair.

    Charlie Daniels – Again. Truly brilliant. But Harry Gibbs got the decision so wrong. The Devil wuz robbed!

    Pete pulls the lovely girl he’s hugging further onto him as he introduces the Gals and Chic’s forbidden wotsit. All six on parade and again it’s a great routine they’re clearly enjoying, as is the Swede. The long tight green botty pants may have something to do with it. Big smile from Mucky Sue to camera right at the end. Undoubtedly reassurance to Swedo after the caution sticker above her knee from last week.

    Doctor Hook – When you’re in love with a beautiful wotsit. Binding their time and some. Surely this must hold the record as to the longest path to number one? Certainly in the 1970s. A couple of you would know, I’m sure.

    Iris Williams – Puts lyrics to Cavatina, which first popped up on Vision On, courtesy of another Williams. I was never convinced that this worked. But it certainly laid the foundations for another “beautiful” song the following year which went all the way.

    Oh bugger, it’s the rubbish Dooleys again. Chosen wotsits. Truly cheesy. Prestatyn security breaks down again. If we’re not careful The Rubettes will also go over the wall. The word is they already have forged passes, maps and a supply of chocky.

    June Brown – I really don’t know what to say about this other than she looks and sounds like Maggie. Less than six months after she was elected, the law of averages tells us that many of the young people in the audience must have voted for her. But “The Iron Lady” was not the first record about a serving Prime Minister. Check out John Dowie’s “Jim Callaghan”. Priceless.

    Errol Dunkley – Again. Bully for you. Prestatyn.

    Lena Martell is #1 – Well I did warn you to duck. Without question one of the most mystifying number ones of all. And I look at her now looking all mumsie and smiley and blow me down, she’s my dotty maiden aunt – Auntie Lucy, who was always pinching me on the arm when I was about six and making me eat gingerbread men. The smile never left her face and I shit myself whenever she came near me. I always remember having to watch “Take Your Pick” and “Double Your Money” with her. I was given a fizzy drink called Hubbly Bubbly, whilst Auntie Lucy was on the Harvey’s Bristol Cream. My older brother would have nothing to do with the lunatic. Basically she was biblically evil. No wonder I became disturbed. Thanks for the fucking memories, Lena!

    Skinhead Pete waves bye and out we go to Abba and a full dose of Man after wotsit.

    Very mixed bag tonight. But that Lena makes me shiver. Sweet Jesus!

  255. 255
    Mark G on 3 Nov 2014 #

    Peter Powell picks a peck of pickled hair..

    Chart rundown to the sounds of “On my Radio” The Selecter. Great! Ooh look, a chart entry for “Sex Pistols Tenpole Tudor” that’s good, maybe.. And then into “A Message to you Rudi”. Just think, if we’d gone out to play footbal after that one, we’d have been thinking we’d missed a classic. OK, full disclosure: I watched the edit version and was going to live-freakytrig it but I had to stop and go out for some fresh air. See later on…. So, I’m doing my usual “review the long version” but that means I’m later than everyone. No worries.

    Viola Wills on non-repeat performance, we know cause there’s the Specials waiting to climb off stage, ah there they go. She seems more happy tan last time, and she was’t exactly miserable last time.

    Queen do that getting round to it song with lots of leather and some girls. It’s a fairly timeless number so we say fine and carry on. Whereas Cats UK do something that’s the very opposite of timeless…

    Charlie Dan’s video as per last time.

    Chic do forbidden lover, and the girls do seventies retro disco moves. Oh hang on.. Still, it all looks pretty good this time, some actual dancing and the girls look like they’re enjoying the chance.

    Dr Hook, repeat vid..

    Iris Williams. Heavy husky vocal. Still don’t know what to make of it, do not want anyway. Sort of belongs to the Royal Variety Performance really. Step up from the Benny Hill show..

    The Rubbish Dooleys (hey, nice that it’s catching on!) prepare us for the full horror..

    And here we are in that moment of history. That brief moment where we had a new prime minister, and there was this idea that she might actually be funny. It was not to be. It reminds me of the Woody Allen line (nicked from Elvis Costello’s new UnCut magazine anthol. where someone at a dinner party says “Hitler, oh yes, don’t you find humour is a very effective weapon against Nazis nowadays” and Woody says “no, Baseball bats are much more effective”. The moral being, basically, that what seemed a little bit funny and off-the-wall but a bit affectionate at the same time from Janet Brown (Hmm, June Brown? Dot Cotton? That’d have been interesting..) had no effect. Which is why Spitting Image had to ramp up the anger as well as the humour, there was no other way. In case you are interested, this single was trailing an album which you may look for on Discogs, there is a page for it but there are few details and no pictures of the cover or the record. Just the names on the label of the single indicate the guilty parties.

    There. That was much more wellmannered than what I was going to post on Thursday evening.

    OK Fred. Thanks for the yaza yaza. We needed some.

    Even Lena Martell passes us by. But no, make an effort Mark. OK, I will. Context is everything, and what used to be a Kris Kristofferson song about doubt and direction for a man who has had a not entirely blameless life becomes a song by a nice lady who feels she’s not worshipping Jesus enough.

    And so Abba take us to fade. I need a drink.

  256. 256
    Lazarus on 4 Nov 2014 #

    So, we’ve missed the Buggles’ sole week at number one, thanks to DLT and his ‘tactile’ personality – oh well … it’s the newly-shorn Powell boy this week. Suits him I think.

    Selecter (with an ‘e’) over the chart.

    Specials ft Rico – I saw Rico on the Jools Holland NYE show a couple of years ago. I pointed him out excitedly to my companions, “that’s Rico! From ‘A Message to You Rudy!” They seemed to know who I meant, I think.

    Viola Wills – the only performer this week named after a musical instrument. Yes she seems to act the song as much as sing it.Some rather lacklustre swaying from the audience, though I don’t suppose they were allowed to do much more.

    Queen with their rockabilly number. Like nothing else they ever did, or released on 45 at any rate. One of the most diverse acts of their time, compare and contrast this with Flash, Play the Game, Another One Bites the Dust, Under Pressure just for starters.

    Cats UK – well I’ve looked up the identity of the one who went on to further fame – it was Denna ‘Viv Hope from Emmerdale’ Payne. The black haired backing singer presumably. I did wonder if that was Michelle Collins, but the dates don’t really tally – the future Cindy Beale being only 17 at this point.

    Charlie Daniels Band – ” a band who’ve got a great album out at the moment” – did anyone hear any more about this album? I always had them down as strictly one-hit wonders, though no doubt they scored plenty of country chart hits over the pond.

    Chic/Legs & Co – someone mentioned the string section recently. The Oriental lady in the line-up was called Cheryl Hong, she’s the one I remember anyway. Proficient but not exciting outing for the Legs.

    Dr Hook – many-times-seen-before video.

    Iris Williams – strictly Two Ronnies Fare. Familiar tune, but the rendition is a bit Porgy and Bess somehow. She’s Welsh I gather. Should go down well well with the locals at Pontins, then.

    [interlude: where did the Prestatyn meme start? I have an idea it was Berni Flint. And the minibus came in for the Stylistics. It’s very sad that I know this, I admit]

    Dooleys – repeat. Talking of the minibus ….

    Janet Brown – “heavy metal at its best” … if only. Passable impression I suppose, but Steve Nallon on Spitting Image got the voice perfectly. Not a hit, thankfully.

    Erroll Dunkley – repeat? Not sure. A bit of dancing in the middle, he’ll need more of that to keep him warm in North Wales this winter.

    Lena Martell – the first of far too many weeks at number one. Too much to hope that some of them were hosted by Savile* or the Cornflake I suppose?

    Peter says goodbye and we’re out to Abba, who’ll be sampled for a number one more than 25 years later …

    (*we haven’t missed many 1979 shows of his as far as I know, and there can’t be too many more to come, although I have a feeling I’ve said that before)

  257. 257
    speedwell54 on 4 Nov 2014 #

    Last again- Powell with the announcing duties this week. I won’t mention his hair.

    The Specials and a pretty faithful cover with the exception of Rico who does his own thing. Incidentally Damon Gough later borrowed his hat.

    Viola Wills – Not my cup of tea

    Queen- On their way to Number 2. Incidentally it went all the way to the top spot in the US.Cool video.

    Cats UK- yes Squeeze and more specifically the bass from Cool for Cats- is that where they got their name? Having watched the video a couple of times, still no closer as to which one is Denna Payne off of Emmerdale. Incidentally saw her on screen fella a couple of weeks ago at a pop quiz in Manchester.

    The Devil Went Down To Georgia (or George Ear as Peter says ) Incidentally this is what you play in the shop when you go to buy a new violin.

    My Forbidden Lover- Legs do their stuff. Incidentally, nice trews by the way.

    Dr Hook – a bit yawn now I’m afraid. I’ve read somewhere this was briefly (a matter of hours) number one the week before it was confirmed at number one due to computer problem. Mundane info I know.

    Iris Williams – only performer this week to be named after part of the eye. Surely she only got on the Two Ronnies when Elkie Brooks ‘phoned in sick.

    Peter has a private joke and taps some chap on the head whilst delivering a bumbling link . Now share it with the whole class Peter!

    The Dooleys. That bloke thinks he’s Paul Nicholas and the woman next to him has come dressed as a Christmas tree. Incidentally, in places the backing vocals sound like they have been played backwards.

    OK Fred- Yaga Yaga to you too.

    Lena – NMCOT

    Not my favourite at all. Boooo.

  258. 258
    Jimmy the Swede on 5 Nov 2014 #

    # 256 – It may well have been Berni Flint who was first “banished to Prestatyn”. This whole thing started when it was suggested by someone not unrelated to the Swede that the resorts on the North Wales coast, Rhyll, Llandudno, Colwyn Bay and Prestatyn were regular refuges for discontinued pop acts and other redundant entertainers in their attempt to resume their careers. It was the thin end of the pier! Pretstatyn was singled out because of its Pontins camp famed for being the setting for “Holiday On The Buses”. What better (or worse) place to find Berni Flint and his successors?

  259. 259
    Lazarus on 5 Nov 2014 #

    Yes, it’s exactly what you can imagine an outfit like the Dooleys doing now, isn’t it? Either that or the cruise ships.

    And it’s Deena Payne in fact. Wiki says she was in this, anyway. Certainly not obvious which one she is, but the darkest-haired singer seems the most likely. I wonder why the Emmerdale producers cast a character called Bob Hope?

  260. 260
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 Nov 2014 #

    Oh God, the Rubbish Dooleys on a cruise ship?! Say it isn’t so, Lazarus! If I was on that ship and I was suddenly confronted by The Chosen Few, it would be Swede overboard! The beauty about Prestatyn is that the RDs would be captive inside the camp instead of the punters on board the ship. The “Prisoner” analogy is clear. The big difference is that whilst most of us would have sided with Number Six in the Village, in the case of Preststyn and the shite people sent there, we would all suddenly become Number Two.

  261. 261
    punctum on 6 Nov 2014 #

    Didn’t the Radio 1 Roadshow (cue squealing “ROAD! SHOW!” jingle) regularly visit Prestatyn? Case proved, I fear.

  262. 262
    Mark G on 6 Nov 2014 #

    Well, dear reader, I can confirm two things:
    1) I have seen Prestatyn! We did a lads’ holiday there back in 1980 or thereabouts. There were no Rubbish Dooleys there, it was strictly Northern nightclub style entertainment in those days, weirdly fascinating though. Halfway through the week two of us were running short of cash so we took the bus into Rhyl to visit the local cashpoint, and arrived just in time to see Mike Read’s Radio 1 roadshow wrapping it up.

    The point being, Prestatyn may be a big name in our collective consciousness, but, like Woodstock, its legend is much bigger than the town/village itself.

  263. 263
    punctum on 6 Nov 2014 #

    In the age of Woodstock and Apollo 11, stuff like this was still getting into the charts.

  264. 264
    Mark G on 6 Nov 2014 #

    “I remember this song as the tune of Steve Merike on Radio Northsea in 1971”

    I don’t. But I do remember Steve Merike, however. (goes off into the Pop Quest chapter of the nevertobe written autobiog…)…

  265. 265
    enitharmon on 6 Nov 2014 #

    Marcello @263

    In the age of Woodstock and Apollo 11 my Nanna and Granddad were still alive…

    Thanks, by the way, for reminding me of Centipede in Another Place. As a result I have obtained a copy of Septober Energy and have been enjoying it immensely.

    I went to Prestatyn a couple of times as a child. The poor person’s Rhyl, nice but not enough to fill a whole lunchtime.

  266. 266
    punctum on 6 Nov 2014 #

    I was at my grandmother’s in Italy when Apollo 11 landed! Recall watching the coverage on a tiny black-and-white receiver. Her opinion was that man was messing with matters of God and no good would come of it. Sometimes I think my mum still feels that way.

  267. 267
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 Nov 2014 #

    Rosie @265 – “I went to Prestatyn a couple of times as a child. The poor person’s Rhyl, nice but not enough to fill a whole lunchtime.”

    Let’s hope that for the Rubbish Dooleys and many others “lunchtime” will read “lifetime” and that it will indeed be enough!

    My dear old dad (b.1921) when he was called up for WW2 duty was ordered to report to the barracks at Prestatyn on what I am assuming are the grounds now occupied by Pontins (and the RDs).

    The Giant Leap still remains one of the most momentous moments of my life. But a very interesting (and no doubt very sincere) take on it from Marcello’s gran. For me, it was always Humankind’s instinct and duty to explore.

  268. 268
    Mark G on 7 Nov 2014 #

    Mike Read is plainly the new wave correspondent with the white shirt and skinny tie look. Chart rundown to Sad Cafe where the singer sees a light at her window, thinks she’s not home so goes to her room to ask why. Hmm, he’s clearly confused.

    By the way, tonight we have a song that describes an incident where someone or thing falls out of a tree while having sex. I shall leave that one with you..

    And hray, for it is Sparks. “Tryouts for the human race” has plenty of Kraftwerk-ness but was not a hit, so I guess it’s bye Sparks for now, we’ll have to wait a long time to see them here again. A shame, the beeb obviously liked them, there’s extra overlay bits added (Ron bashing his head)..

    The Ramblers get to be on the telly, and parents and relatives around the country get to buy it. OK its funny-ish the first time, but.

    The Darts have an interesting intro – lots of sitary guitar but the song is dull. “Can’t get enough of your love” is not the most original song title and its not that one, or even that one.

    The Jam sing a song so David Cameron can recognise himself, sort of. Tony Fletcher tells Paul where he got his jacket, he dashes off and gets four for some unknown group of lads to get their moment on the show. They sing hooray and hey.

    Lene Lovitch goes very Kate Bush for the intro. “Bird Song” is fine stuff but gets cut early the swines. I remember a friend being very into Lene and played me this single very loudly on his stereo, it does have grandeur, which the other singles didn’t.

    Legs do dancing to “Star”. I remember Danny Baker reviewing this and said the trumpet solo sounds like he just fell (or was pushed) off his podium.. Lets see.. Oh that’s cut as well.

    The rest of Thin Lizzy say how about making one copy and give it to Sara on her birthday? And Phil says I’m in charge, right? Ah, it’s too poignant really, there’s not much left of Phil for Sara now, apart from this..

    Suzi Quatro sings “She’s in love with you” and will it have the uncensored lyric? “And when she’s making love with you she’ll do what you want to do” becomes “when she’s so in love with you she’ll do what you want her to” yep there it is..

    B.A Robertson. Hmm. Actually, the music is quite good, the bass player has Tom Robinson’s smile, and I can hear the words. Ah. Why does he remind me of Jimmy Nail? He wasn’t so bad was he?

    Lena is dressed like she should be driving the coach to … (guess)

    Fleetwood Mac fade the show again. No video, plainly. You wouldn’t get away with that now. Another quick fade.

    Will have to check the long version, too much cut down. The Jam and Sparks, maybe Lene Lovitch ( and not Lens Logitech as my spelling autocorrector kept changing it to) were highlights, but that’s about it.

  269. 269
    Erithian on 7 Nov 2014 #

    Ha, well I spent many a holiday in Prestatyn in my youth, not least in 1979. The best thing about the town is undoubtedly the fact that it’s the northern end of Offa’s Dyke long-distance footpath. A day’s walk to Moel Fammau via Bodfari takes you over Iron Age hillforts and offers fabulous views of the Clwydian Hills and Snowdonia. You could even put up with Cats UK for that…

  270. 270
    punctum on 7 Nov 2014 #

    No video, huh? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umjYHLt56kg

  271. 271
    Mark G on 7 Nov 2014 #

    Ah, you know what? I thought I’d imagined this. It looks exactly like the video I thought that the record sounds like, if that’s not impossible to decipher. I now own both Tusk 2CD sets, Fleetwood Mac and Camper Van Beethoven. Will have to get around to playing them.

  272. 272
    enitharmon on 7 Nov 2014 #

    Erithian @269: There is a house in Bodfari they call the Rising Sun. I remember this because in that summer of 1964 it caused me much amusement. I was only just turned 10, mind.

  273. 273
    Lazarus on 7 Nov 2014 #

    Mike ‘Calypso’ Read presents the latest instalment. Sad Cafe over the chart, surprised they’re not on the way down by now, but no there they are at #3. And the Rubbish Dooleys at 7. We won’t be seeing much more of them though.

    Sparks – yes this one missed out after their two big hits earlier in the year. ‘When I’m With You’ was another that missed the boat from around this time. Russell’s pink jacket is the sort of thing worn by Michael Portillo on his railway journeys these days.

    Ramblers – a lot of out-of-sync swaying.

    Darts – don’t remember this one at all, and wasn’t expecting to see them again if I’m honest. Going for a bit of a new-wave vibe maybe? Or seventies, anyway. Only made #43 after seven straight Top 20 entries, so clearly they were on the wane … back in the minibus then!

    Jam – cut well short, but this was their biggest hit to date. I remember the guardsmen.

    Lene Lovich – “the second bird song on tonight’s show ” and for my money the best of her three hits of ’79. Dunno about Kate Bush, this put me more in mind of Patti Smith with a bit of added Gothic menace. Only just crept into the Top 40, but deserved better.

    Earth Wind & Fire/Legs & Co – one of our blondes is missing, I think it’s Gill. Song is OK, has some jazzy touches – the third 45 release from ‘I Am.’

    Thin Lizzy – only Phil Lynott of the band played on this in fact; there was a guest American drummer, while Huey Lewis contributed harmonica! And Sarah Lynott is also the grand-daughter of the late Leslie Crowther of course.

    Suzi Quatro – five years after her commercial peak and the hits have almost dried up, though this one would hang around until Christmas at least. Doubt if this is a Chinnichap number, it sounds a bit uninspired for them.

    BA Robertson – a fair follow-up to Bang Bang – tongue-in-cheek and semi-autobiographical, I guess.

    Lena Martell- the look of dismay on Mike’s face after introducing this says it all really.

    Fleetwood Mac – a good one for steering-wheel bongos.

    An underwhelming show, if BA Robertson is one of the highlights you know you’re in trouble really.

  274. 274
    Jimmy the Swede on 8 Nov 2014 #

    Calypso Mike indeed. Sad Cafe over rundown. Ok, fine.

    Sparks – Yes, good to see them back. But wasn’t the Hitler thing wearing a bit thin by now?

    Ramblers – I never remember the main singer being such a tub. Not that the Swede can talk, being twice the girl’s size and then some. It’s a simple calculation to out these wretched children as being in their mid/late forties now. I wonder how many of them have failed to break the grim news of their participation in this to their own offspring. Because, let’s face it, this was just plain wrong. I can’t for the life of me work out what the point of it was other than to annoy and scare. And why the devil didn’t they release it at Christmas? At least we could have put it down as a festive bit of fun. As it is, the cloud of devil-worshipping evil envelopes us again, as was the case with the alley-alley-ohs poisoning Brian and Michael. And of course, that same spawn of Satan were poised to take us towards the greatest horror of all. Save the fleet of minibuses. Just hire the fucking Pied Piper. That’s right!

    Darts – Perennial Pressy escapees. But Rita’s looking a dish and this is better, away from their 50s retro staple. It’s still the minibus, obviously, but a nice try.

    Jam – Eaton Rifles. Eton? Blimey. And I thought Stockwell was dicey. “Some of the lads will be back next week?” Not if you fancied a “row” in Stockwell you wouldn’t Paul, you stockbroker belt wanker.

    Lene Lovich – Betty Boop is back. She now thinks she’s Grace Slick. She ain’t . What she is is aboard the bus. Be seeing you!

    Earth Wind and Fire. Gals. Star. Legs abound and they’re smiling again as the great routines due to perfect choices from Flick continue. The Swede is comfy in his bungalow.

    Thin Lizzy – Sarah. Loved this. And have always loved the name Sarah too. This is a delightful little song. I sometimes still call Mrs Swede “baby girl” and she’s fifty next year. That’s either sweet or nauseating, I know.

    Suzi Q – She’s In Love With You – An obvious choice for the third punt on Ken Bruce’s “Three in Ten” if you forget “48 Crash”. She’s still Felicity Kendal on a bass. But scarily sexy as well. I certainly wouldn’t call Suzi “baby girl”!

    B A Robertson – Knocked It Off – Ian Dury might be an influence, I suggest but this is wonderful. A self-mocking little masterpiece of a footy song. But the kids in front of him are just bemused. The unquestioned highlight of the night, as Lazarus also seems to suggest.

    Number One – Mike has a lovely either side as he introduces Lena Martell with a nod of pure horror. And Auntie Lucy is back to torment the infant Swede in the black and white days of the sixties. This week’s bleak tale concerns a memory of me visiting Auntie Lucy twice in one week. The second time her bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream had clearly more in it than it had two days earlier. I asked my brother how this was possible. He gave me a look of contempt: “Work it out, you stupid little bastard!” he foamed. I sat down and eventually did. My brother might have not been scared of Auntie Lucy but the woman put the fear of Christ in me! Thanks again, Lena.

    Out to Tusk again.

    That’s right!

  275. 275
    Lazarus on 8 Nov 2014 #

    Not much info about the Ramblers has made it onto the Web – they were from Abbey Hey junior school in Manchester, the lead singer was called Lisa, and they also went on Tiswas where their performance was ended by the Phantom Flan Flinger doing his thing (worth seeing Jimmy, if only for a look at the delightful Sally James). And the producer of this misguided venture was one Kevin Parrott, aka ‘Brian’ from Brian and Michael! You were on the mark with the alley alley ohs, clearly.

  276. 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.

  277. 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?

  278. 278
    Mark G on 8 Nov 2014 #

    Dear Speedwell, go back three.

  279. 279
    enitharmon on 9 Nov 2014 #

    @277: Barry Island?

  280. 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.

  281. 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.

  282. 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!

  283. 283
    wichitalineman on 20 Nov 2014 #

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

  284. 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.

  285. 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…

  286. 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!

  287. 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.

  288. 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.


  289. 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.

  290. 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!

  291. 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!

  292. 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.

  293. 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.

  294. 294
    punctum on 1 Dec 2014 #

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

  295. 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.

  296. 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.

  297. 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.

  298. 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…

  299. 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.

  300. 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…

  301. 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.

  302. 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.

  303. 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.

  304. 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.

  305. 305
    will on 7 Dec 2014 #

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

  306. 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)

  307. 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.

  308. 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.

  309. 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.

  310. 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.

  311. 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!

  312. 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 …

  313. 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.

  314. 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 ….

  315. 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.

  316. 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.

  317. 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 …

  318. 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.

  319. 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.”

  320. 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…

  321. 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.

  322. 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 …

  323. 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.

  324. 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.

  325. 325
    enitharmon on 22 Dec 2014 #
  326. 326
    CriticSez on 12 Dec 2016 #

    Everything except the Boomtown Rats.

    Completely agreed on 1979 being very good. There are years most of us agree on, such as 1965 and 1979. A few were slightly controversial. (I found that 1956 and 1991 were two of the better years).

  327. 327
    Mac on 24 Dec 2018 #

    I was pretty pleased to discover this page. I need to to thank you for your time for this particularly fantastic read!!
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  328. 328
    Mark G on 26 Dec 2018 #

    Happy Christmas and/or Merry Birthday to all you Popular People.

    Haven’t posted a rundown in a while, but am still reading them. Might join in again, but when there’s something worth saying. Still, all the old Popular years threads make for diverting reading, and always good for a laff!

  329. 329
    Ben Wainless on 23 Jun 2020 #

    Literally voted for every song bar Lena Martell. Remarkable year for no.1s, amazing year in general (three of my four favourite singles only made no.3 or no.5) and the year pop music first captured my heart and mind.

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