Mar 11

Doing It For YOU

Popular77 comments • 3,401 views

An upcoming Popular special event!

Coming up soon – we’ll have to just tolerate spoilers here – is Bryan Adams’ “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)”, which as every schoolkid knows is the longest-running number one of all time. Sixteen long weeks, to be exact.

So my review of it will be a little different from normal. I’m going to listen to it sixteen times on the trot – one for each week – and live blog as I go. (With a minute or so break between each to finish typing). The whole thing will take about 60-70 minutes 90 minutes, and at the end I’ll hand out a mark.

Of course comments will be open all this time, and I’ll announce before exactly when it’s going to happen (early afternoon on a weekday, I should think) so you commenters can follow along too. There’s still a few entries to go before that, too.

(This idea is stolen from an old comics fanzine from 1991 in which Andrew Littlefield and Hasan Yusuf did something similar, so credit to them!)


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  1. 61
    Mark G on 5 Apr 2011 #

    iplayin the totp1976…

    Now I remember “I’ll never love anyone anymore” and “I’m your man rock and roll”

    People talk about punk killing off the prog dinosaurs, but actually it was poplite acts like these that found themselves totally unwanted past mid 1977…

  2. 62
    Mark G on 5 Apr 2011 #

    Are they cutting these down? I remember them being 35 min shows!

  3. 63
    Billy Smart on 6 Apr 2011 #

    No, we’re getting the complete shows – Hurray! The duration of TOTP expanded and contacted at times in the 1970s due to the length of surrounding programmes in the schedule.

  4. 64
    punctum on 6 Apr 2011 #

    I’ll believe we’re getting the complete shows if they don’t cut out One Hundred Ton and a Feather. Not to mention the US chart slots from the eighties. Or GG for that matter.

  5. 65
    Mark G on 6 Apr 2011 #

    Just seemed odd when Abba’s “Fernando” was the highest new entry, and they only played (what seemed like) one minute thirty of the (presumably) then-as-yet unseen video. Also, “Save your kisses” seemed to speed up in the middle (without alteration in pitch), but that might have been the iplayer.

    I don’t have a problem if they truncate the ‘oft-seen’ vids like Abba and the Beatles in favour of the complete Tarney/Spencer and Lawrence Andrew performances, but we may be in a minority regarding that one.

    Purely conjecture, obviously.

    Also, I wonder if Lawrence was sat at home with his grandkids saying “there you go, told yer”

    Funnily enough, the act is “Laurie Andrew and Zero” on the record. That must have confused the record-buying public.

    *final edit* Laurie Andrew
    Profile:Brother of Keith Forsey

    So, there you go.

  6. 66
    Conrad on 6 Apr 2011 #

    Mark, the fact that Abba were already booked to appear in the studio the following week may have influenced the decision to keep the video short.

    Also, as essentially a performance programme TOTP would always prefer to show an act performing their single for longer than the promo vid equivalent.

    One slight quirk though – I guess the rule that you couldn’t appear on 2 consecutive shows (unless you were Number 1 of course) didn’t apply in 1976? Or at least not if you were as high profile as Abba?

  7. 67
    Mark G on 6 Apr 2011 #

    Well, there was another rule that said that you couldn’t appear unless your single was actually in the chart. Often, that was breached, but this show seems to be a rarity in featuring two.

    (re: Abba, the video wouldn’t count as an appearance)

  8. 68
    Billy Smart on 6 Apr 2011 #

    Here’s the first of what may possibly become an ongoing series of detailed commentaries on these BBC4 TOTP repeats;


  9. 69
    Erithian on 6 Apr 2011 #

    Look forward to more of these Billy, and you will correct “Archer” to “Andrew” won’t you?!

    “Jungle Rock” came out on Charly Records, which was a specialist reissues label. Somebody wrote to Sounds about a year later seriously suggesting it as the best label to handle the Pistols’ fortunes.

    Wichita #59 – the lyric to “Music” is not only trite but pretty much incidental – just eight lines’ worth of a device to punctuate the various instrumental movements. Works well for me!

  10. 70
    vinylscot on 6 Apr 2011 #

    COmment removed – covered in full by earlier poster – Sorry!

  11. 71
    Conrad on 6 Apr 2011 #

    69, has anyone noticed the startling similarity between one of the full blown orchestral sections on Music (about 2 or 3 mins in) when it slows down, to the theme tune to Blake’s 7?

  12. 72
    vinylscot on 7 Apr 2011 #

    Although TOTP generally played chart music, there were often (short-lived) spots in the show dedicated to other things. There were many attempts to feature album tracks, or “new” artists, or the US charts, or even at one time a rather dubious “European” chart.

    I think there must have been an editorial decison at this time to feature more new artists (possibly to get away from the “music hall” of the charts), as a look at what’s to come in the next few BBC4 TOTP’s throws up a few which most people outside of this blog will never have encountered (1776, Glamourpuss, Bo’Flyers, to name but three!)

  13. 73
    Mark G on 7 Apr 2011 #

    Blatantly cheating, but a quick check on Youtube (no sound) reveals:

    1) You’re right, I dont remember any of these…
    2) Bo’Flyers one appearance was dated 1/1/1976, so I guess we won’t be seeing them

  14. 74
    AndyPandy on 8 Apr 2011 #

    A few thoughts after watching on Iplayer:

    Unlike there being no(?) footage of 70s footballers actually saying “Sick as a Parrot” or “Over the moon” Tony Blackburn actually says “Sensational” on this within a few minutes.

    As someone who literally doesn’t remember missing a TOTP from about 7 or 8 until 15 or 16 I can’t imagine what my 11 year old self would have made of the 2 very unvisual and to a kid very boring non chart acts on that TOTP – I definitely don’t remember them – probably went back to my Subutteo or something

    When it’s remembered that Tony Blackburn was always more of a soul fan (wasn’t he supposed to be responsible for certain 60s and 70s soul becoming hits)it’s probably not that surprising he’s remained opposed to something as unfunky/unsoulful as punk.It also comes back to that split in British musical tastes between those into dance sounds and rockier sounds – you’ll meet many far younger people than Tony Blackburn on the various dance scenes who would never think of punk but if they were pushed to say anything about it would be pretty dismissive too.

    Anyway as a none-regular telly watcher thanks to FT for enlightening me as to these TOTP repeats…its all about the obscure performances not the videos which we’ve all seen a thousand times since (glad TOTP did cut the videos down – didn’t realise they did it at the time but it makes sense). Can’t wait for the next one …amazing television!

    PS no act of the BBC’s vandalism pisses me off as much as its wiping of all those TOTP’s from the late 60s early 70s – well I can still live in hope they might all be found languishing in some obscure foreign channels vault one day…

  15. 75
    Kirsty Young on 14 Apr 2011 #


    No matter how much you plug my show, you’re still not getting a fucking invite. Sod off.


  16. 76
    Rory on 3 May 2011 #

    *gleeful anticipation*

  17. 77
    Tom on 3 May 2011 #

    I need to work out when I’m actually doing this! Thursday afternoon looks possible.

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