Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Alternative TOTP Canon #3: The Firm - Arthur Daley (E's Alright)

As I say, anything could get on TOTP if it charted. The Firm were John O'Connor, a session guitarist who went on to co-write the music for King Of The Hill, and Graham Lister, who knows doctors, dentists and architects. Sorry, I mean Grahame Lister, Australian-born country singer-songwriter. Anyway, they put this out themselves to catch the Minder zeitgeist and did rather well out of it. They had a few more shots and, if this is anything to go by, a brief attempt at becoming an Eighties Barron Knights, then came extraordinarily good with Star Trekkin' selling a million YES IT DID in 1987. Peel was on Pops duty this week but chooses merely the facts, bar a curious reference to Spurs in the FA Cup final - was Daley a known Spurs fan? - given there's enough bizarre and unusual stuff going on in the loose narrative of the song. Things to watch out for: the scrolling chorus lyrics on the screen (watch for the girl attempting to read them at point blank range at 2:09), the row of kids from 1:47 clapping along while seated with their back to the stage, some kid shouting "e's alright!" too early during the gap at 2:23, the visual comedy with the phone at 2:54 and, oh, all of it, idea, performance and fact that the BBC wiped loads of Z Cars and Doctor Who stories but this is still in the archive.

Lest we forget, George and Dennis made the trip to Elstree for some festive crosstalk the following Christmas. Yes, Waterman did write it.

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