Sunday, 15 May 2011

Long form

In case you were wondering how to put May 1976 into pop cultural context, this was what was happening in the album charts in the week of that TOTP broadcast:

1 ABBA - Greatest Hits
Yes, already. Despite two proper albums from which came six UK singles to pick from this was spending the first of nine weeks at number one, plus two more before the year was out, and it stuck around until mid-1978. There's been eight proper ABBA hits collections now.

2 Rock Follies Original Television Soundtrack
The first album since the Beatles to enter at number one. Little Ladies' back catalogue by Roxy Music's Andy Mackay, novelty of the time supplied by a rock band heavy on women, even if it was fully acted.

3 Various Artists - Instrumental Gold
TV advertised covers of instrumental hits, including Popcorn, Apache and Telstar as much as A Walk In The Black Forest or Stranger On The Shore.

4 The Rolling Stones - Black And Blue
Ronnie Wood's first Stones album, promoted with this extraordinary billboard poster.

5 Various Artists - Juke Box Jive
It was when I started looking these up on eBay just for pack shots and tracklist ideas that I started wondering what I was doing with my life. Unsold, even at 99p.

6 Led Zeppelin - Presence
7 Wings - Wings At The Speed Of Sound
8 Eagles - Their Greatest Hits 1971-75
9 Diana Ross - Diana Ross
10 10cc - How Dare You
11 Rick Wakeman - No Earthly Connection
12 John Denver - The Best Of John Denver
13 John Miles - Rebel
No, really, John 'music of the future' Miles called his album Rebel.
14 Sydney Devine - Doubly Devine
"Scotland's very own rhinestone cowboy" says Wiki. "He is sometimes referred to as 'Steak and Kidney'" too.
15 Gladys Knight And The Pips - The Best Of Gladys Knight And The Pips
16 The Four Seasons - Who Loves You
17 Bob Dylan - Desire
NME's album of the year. The one with Hurricane on.
18 Pat Boone - Pat Boone Originals
19 John Denver - Windsong
20 Various Artists - Great Italian Love Songs
21 Pam Ayres - Some Of Me Poems And Songs
There's something wonderfully quixotic about finding this in here, especially with that couldn't-make-it-up title.
22 Status Quo - Blue For You
23 Brotherhood Of Man - Love And Kisses From
24 Genesis - A Trick Of The Tail
25 Santana - Amigos
26 The Beatles - The Beatles 1962-1966 (The Red Album)
27 Brass Construction - Brass Construction
27 Gallagher And Lyle - Breakaway
29 The Drifters - 24 Original Hits
30 Bob Marley & The Wailers - Rastaman Vibration


wilberforce said...

keep up the good work simon - i like it that you add these vaguely-related items as well as reportage on each edition of vintage TOTP...

however i note there's only about a half-a-dozen or so of us that actually respond to these blogs - hopefully we aren't the only ones dropping in...?

maybe you can give us some feedback on statistics, hits and suchlike?

Anonymous said...

Just to say I'm loving the blog- I just don't have anything to add!

Please keep up the good work!

Simon said...

I'll be honest, I'd expected it to become more viral by now. The new The Word features an Andrew Collins piece about the first show (he hadn't heard of Fox before) and what it means for nostalgia, but I suspect as far as the wider community goes it's still a largely unknown quantity. People keep linking to it on Facebook and I can't trace from the link URLs what sort of page it's come from.

Adam Maunder said...

Well, I'm loving it, and if it's OK with you sir, I shall put a link up on my Tumblr site, so people can at least come & have a gander from there (not that I've got followers in double figures, but hopefully it's the thought that counts!).

Anyway, while I'm here, I thought I might share something that may be of some interest, namely some further info on K-Tel's 'Juke Box Jive' album, which I was given by a friend a few years back.

Bit of a patchwork quilt, as was their wont; subtitled '40 All-Time Rock 'n' Roll Greats', the bulk of it is late 50s-early 60s classics and/or well-remembered perishables from the EMI catalogue (so, Liberty, UA, Imperial, Parlophone, that sort of stuff), but with a few odds & ends sneaking in - hence Jackie DeShannon's original of 'Needles & Pins' rather than the Searchers'.

The only ones that stick out from the general US Hot 100 run are some interloping UK hits from the later 60s, 2 of which were new to me, at any rate: 'Sitting on the Fence' by Twice as Much, a lesser-spotted Jagger/Richard number from a fly-by-night Andrew Oldham signing (it made No. 25 in '66, I think), and Amen Corner's 'Hello Suzy', written by Roy Wood in his usual manner, both the tracks mentioned coming from Immediate.

The discs come in a jukebox-shaped gatefold, with pictures of some of the artistes, and... a COMPETITION! 'Win a jukebox comnplete with 100 records!!!' All you have to do is answer these 4 questions (which I'll include here for fun, so anyone can have a crack if they know - they're not too difficult):
1. By what name is Shane Fenton now known? (N.B. In neither of his hit incarnations is he anywhere to be found on the album)
2. Name Bill Haley's first number 1 hit record in the UK.
3. What is the name of the lead singer of the group Amen Corner?
4. Complete the following in no more than 12 words:- 'I think K-Tel Records are great because...'

Name & address supplied, answers to K-Tel Int. (UK) Ltd, Western Ave, no later than July 31st 1976.

Well, have fun all, & keep up the good blog, sir!

nick779 said...

I don't have that many 'old' records being somewhat of a electronic/dance type so i was surprised to see i have three of those vinyl's, ABBA, The Beatles, and Pam Ayres, Whose poems i was introduced to at school, namely the 'I wish i had looked after me teeth' Oh how we laughed at the silly oldies. I might have the Diana Ross one too.

wilberforce said...

simon, thanks for the response regarding popularity of the blog - shame it doesn't appear to be really taking off, but then again until such time it does we can view it as our own private exclusive club ha ha!

ps - for what it's worth i've got a link to the blog from my own site...

Arhur Nibble said...

Keep up the fantastic work, Simon. I've mentioned this blog on my Facebook account - I've only got about 50 friends but they include a presenter on BBC Radio London and a DJ on Radio Helsinki, and I guess every little helps.

Anonymous said...

Hey Simon,

I love it, some of the clips have been brilliant especially the Fox, Yellow Dog and Sailor ones.

Keep up the good work.

Jim (Dubai)

Coolcat said...

As with several correspondents above, I'm enjoying your posts as much as I am the 1976 TOTP re-runs themselves, making a point of checking out your comments and context while I iPlayer each Thursday's showing. Keep up the good work!

Erithian said...

Don't know if anyone will read this, but I found this post while looking through the early days before I joined your online gang. I got the "Juke Box Jive" album as a 14th birthday present (I also got "Sgt Pepper" on the same birthday!) and the track listing is a pretty good grounding in the music of the period - I was absorbing Sir Jimmy's weekly musical history lesson too. Tell you who else must have had a copy - Showaddywaddy, judging by the number of tracks from this album that got the Waddy treatment in the next few years.