This repeat run is evidently proving so successful BBC4 have to keep moving it around to give other programmes a chance. No messing about for Tone, a fade from a spotlight into his face and small medallion, a simple "hello and welcome" and we're off. Incidentally James & Bobby Purify never appeared in the TOTP studio, perhaps because their label was worried about their cardboard selves getting damaged in transatlatic transit.
The G Band – Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep
The G Band? They did it by themselves, the leader was not present, Tony confirming they've "changed their name since Gary Glitter retired, of course". Glitter would, needless to say, go on to have another five top 40 singles, though none in the rest of this year, so on that score he kept his promise. Fair to say that without the leader's influence the Glittermen have come a little unstuck. For starters they've decided one drummer is enough, though whether the displaced sticksman the one with a Panama hat or the one in what seems to be a judo top with wings wielding a banjo isn't clear. Their idea of stage decoration for something that manages to neither be one style (glam) or another (MOR) is two totem poles, one seemingly painted as a parrot, and small fake cacti. This wasn't a hit. They never had one again, so ruining the reputation of the Glitter Band.
Dolly Parton – Jolene
Clearly too many lights for anything but a US country show and too much taffeta for TOTP styling. Someone seems to be trying to grow a full garden out of window boxes behind Dolly, even though that's clearly not the local fauna of Nashville.
New Edition – Sunshine Saturday
No, not the Bobby Brown one. Tony has two girls with him, Trish and Jackie by name, and it's as if he isn't thinking of informing an audience 35 years into the future as he refers to their appearing "a lot of times on television last year" and "the theme music to a particular show I'm going to tell you about in a moment". In fact they were Mike Batt's studio band, Chris Spedding and all, allied to the resident dancers from Seaside Special, the BBC1 prime time ratings killer for which this was that theme, in which a big top would be transported to a Torbay-level seaside town for a variety showcase typically involving Dana, Mike & Bernie Winters, dog obedience-based humour and Tony Monopoly. Getting some of the 'band' to introduce the rest of the 'band' is a new one, so it's no wonder the audience don't know where to look. In fact, not only are they in the studio, they're also out on the road doing the same routine. A man who looks the embodiment of the 70s pub singer right down to the dark glasses and is wearing white trousers so tight you can, as they say, see his religion sings about how he can't wait for the evening sun over still photos of the dankest, murkiest British (Brighton?) pier, people not so much lapping up the experience as there out of force of expediency. Meanwhile back on location our man is missing coconuts, performing with circus elephants at their back and perform some sort of pushing-based routine on a bus. Then we see lifeboats leaving massive wakes followed by water skiiers and powerboats, all under those same leaden skies that would go on to make Triangle such a glamorous hit. It looks like variety as decreed by communists. You are having fun. You are having fun. You are having fun. Seaside Special is back June 17th. You will have fun.
Gallagher & Lyle – Heart On My Sleeve
Ruby Flipper time, and the timeshare continues as it's just the four this week against a supposed moonlit sky with some very flimsy... are they meant to be palm trees? The choreography this time: walk around in unison a bit like the Monkees, twirl occasionally, then pair off in the middle for a bit and ballroom. It doesn't help that there's no discernible groove to dance to, but if the boys could get through TVC15 the thinking evidently was they could get through anything. Regular readers will not be surprised to learn Cherry's involved and giving it the little eyebrows to camera given half a chance. They will also not be surprised to hear Tony call them Ruby Slipper and make a reference to David Hamilton.
Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back In Town
It's Mr Thin Lizzy! This is pretty much where the withering goes on hold trumped by the weight of subsequent status, except to say that to the oft seen and clearly not TOTP as-live footage of the song footage of the audience hoofing nervously has been added. One girl is being gently moved by the hips by the arms of her boyfriend behind her, aware the camera is closing in on them and desperately not wanting to show that she wants this to stop as she only came in case Mud were on again.
Our Kid – You Just Might See Me Cry
Now this is what we can do. "Two of them are 12, two are 15" Tony approvingly states. You couldn't get away easily with using that age group for pop purposes now, even on Britain's Got Talent. An apposite comparison as Our Kid won the viewers' vote for New Faces about six weeks earlier, beating "Paul and Avis, young brother and older sister, singers and guitarists from Walsall; Chris North and Jill from Norwich, a speciality magic act; Johnny Hammond, a comedian and singer from the North-East; Simone, a singer from Exeter; and Cops, a five-man group." Hammond actually won the panel vote and has since been described as "the best stand up comic of our time" and "the comedian’s comedian, ahead of his time and completely unaware of his talent". By Chubby Brown and Jim Davidson respectively, it should be stressed. Our Kid, meanwhile, seem conflicted about whether they're meant to be a British teen soul sensation, though the orchestra might have given them an undue push in that direction, or are so laden with variety club cheese they should have cut out the middleman and book a lifetime's worth of Seaside Specials now to appeal to the mothers. In fact they pretty much did the latter, a horde of promotion for this single and summer season runs, and before long they'd worked far more days than they were supposed to under local authority rules and couldn't promote their follow-ups. By their big tie knots and lapel roses were we forced to judge them.
The Rolling Stones – Fool To Cry
The same studio-live footage that's been on the full version a couple of times and has got no less ponderous in the interim.
JJ Barrie – No Charge
Yeah, we sent it to number one. TOTP repay us with another studio performance with all the smarm elan of a used car salesman, a really marauding camera dolly and, to add spice, some intercut pictures of children from Pears Soap boxes. Maybe he was promised them for next time if it went to number one. At the end, a different boy smiles. Barrie never had another hit, despite recording with Brian Clough (or, more accurately, Clough recording over him). Here's Tammy Wynette's even sappier version, and here's Billy Connolly's. Chris White's Natural Rhythm plays out the light scan, and we're all back next Thursday wherever in time we are.
EDIT NEWS: Perhaps confirming our suspicions that no song will be allowed on these edits more than twice unless it went to number one, Cliff and - that girl will be happy - Mud hit the cutting room floor.