Monday, 19 September 2011

The disappeared: 2/9/76

Another of the wipeouts comes next, this one with Diddy David Hamilton in charge, which is interesting for reasons I'll get to.

Pussycat – Mississippi
Unusually, at least so far, this is already in the top 30 and, though we haven't seen it yet in repeat run time, features a rundown shot featuring about as disturbing a shot of the three sisters' faces as could be managed. We'll see this anyway in due course.

Hot Chocolate – Heaven Is On The Back Seat Of My Cadillac
And we've already heard this, with Errol brandishing that mike stand as a weapon.

Tina Charles – Dance Little Lady Dance
And this will be on again too. It's that sort of chart season. It's a bit like I Love To Love and may not be given that sympathetic a reading by the orchestra.

The Real Thing – Can’t Get By Without You
This is on agai...oh, wait, only on another wiped show. Introducing lover's soul to the wah pedal of disco, we can only imagine what new mismatch of clothing is on show here. Well, we'll have to.

Barry Biggs – Work All Day
Biggs' next single is on, but this in context of what we've seen so far might have proved an interesting staging, an early lover's rock hit made for gesticulating with arms outstretched to an uncomfortably shifting audience of girls.

Wings - Let 'Em In
The second half of the show being four videos and a repeat. Did someone else need the studio at short notice?

Jesse Green – Nice And Slow
The repeat, not that there was much to really say about it last time.

Bryan Ferry – The Price Of Love
Jerry and all Bryan's other glamorous friends get another turn.

Rod Stewart – The Killing Of Georgie
And here we come to the true crux. Hamilton had the foresight to keep videoed copies of eleven of his twelve appearances on the show (between January 1976 and March 1977), finding some believed wiped in his archive in recent years and returning them to the BBC as part of one of their occasional appeals. The only such show still missing is this one, and if you ask us that more than likely is due to an incident he talks about now where a record company executive spiked his lunchtime drink and he took about twenty takes at this introduction as he kept calling the song The Killing Of Georgie Fame. The show's official tie-in book says he was sacked from the presenting rota after this. According to actual fact he was back six weeks later and another three times after that before moving to Radio 2 and out of youth culture. THE OFFICIAL BOOK, BBC. YOU HAVE FACTS AT YOUR DISPOSAL SO WHY NOT USE THEM. Here's all six minutes plus of the video, surely not all of which can have been shown. It's not exactly a laugh riot, especially when you know it's based on a true story of a friend of Rod's.

ABBA – Dancing Queen
As mentioned last time, when it entered the chart the BBC seemed to have an incomplete copy of the famous video that cuts the first half of the first verse out. Of the two shows currently on YouTube that cover their number one run the first takes a clip from another source, the second reverts to the proper video. This could be anything. Tommy Hunt's Loving On The Losing Side plays us out.


Wellieman said...

To this day something has always puzzled me about Dancing Queen's rise to the top. By summer 76 they were easily the most popular group in the country... two earlier number 1s and their Greatest Hits album which was in the top 10 all year since its release in the spring. And who can forget that poster of Agnetha and Frida in their "cat" suits, which most teenage boys had on their wall. (Little did we know Agnetha was already a mum and Frida was into her 30s with two kids well behind her..!)

Anyway Dancing Queen entered the chart at No 23, had the video played on TOTP and, love or loathe it, it is a very infectious song. So it is still totally baffling how it only rose to No16 the next week..??

We have already mentioned on here how the charts of 76 were unpredictable; e.g. several songs like Mud Shake It Down yo-yoing up and down. And wasn't there one week earlier in the year when they published the wrong chart positions and had to correct them several hours later? Anyway for my money the Abba one is the oddest of the lot.

Of course matters were rectified the next week as it jumped to the No1 and stayed put for six long weeks. As an aside I was a Macca fan then (still am of course) and was absolutely gutted when Let Em In stalled at No2 due to Dancing Queen. I was convinced Sir Paulie would get his first solo chart-topper. Ho-hum, roll on Mull Of Kintyre...

Arthur Nibble said...

There was indeed a rogue chart, just before this TOTP run started, when Manuel and his Music of the Mountains were pronounced number one in a Tuesday lunchtime chart, only for an almost immediate announcement that there'd been a computer error, and the amended chart was read out some time between 6.30 and 7.00 that evening. Manuel (in reality Geoff Love, Max Bygrave's orchestra leader) was erroneously number one for less than six hours. The Four Seasons were named as the correct number one.

The charts were a bit of a mystery back then. These were the days of the BRMB compiled chart, where record shops kept a diary list of the number of singles sold (or 'sold' as the case may be) and the chart was compiled from a cross-sections of the diary returns.

Then, of course, there was the old controversy or urban myth as to whether the Sex Pistols were denied number one over the Queen's jubilee week.

Wellieman said...

Yes, our local independent record store claimed the Pistols outsold Rod Stewart 10 to 1 that week. Which was probably true as it was the only place you could buy it, what with Woolies and WH Smith banning it. And therein lay the problem, the local high street shops being the majority of chart returns outlets. I guess we'll never know from chart returns figures, but has anyone any info from the record companies who must have known roughly how many had sold that week?

Steve Williams said...

I read, er, somewhere else, that the chart movements during 1976 are a bit weird because for economy reasons the chart ran Saturday to Friday, rather than Monday to Saturday, for a bit so anyone who went out on the Saturday to buy the song they'd heard on Pops would be influencing the chart for the week after next, hence Mud continually going back up and ABBA taking a while to climb the chart.

Simon said...

Richard Branson has apparently said that the Pistols never topped Rod's actual sales - the only chart to claim they did was the NME's own sample. Rod was at the very height of his popularity promoting a song with heavy radio play released from the album due to public demand, and some think it got outsold by a record banned from all media and most leading record stores?

Noax said...

Coming a bit late to this, but I've been holiday this past week.

Arthur - being pedantic, but I think you mean BMRB rather than BRMB who are one of our local radio stations!

I can't believe I've not mentioned this before, but in my teenage years I worked for Gallup Poll who at that time compiled the singles charts and was very excited to be doing the 'back-up panel' which involved phoning up lots of independent shops (as the big ones were by that time sending data electronically)

It wasn't quite as exciting as it sounds as many shops didn't answer the phone (!) and had sales of some tunes in single figures. It was also during the tedious period where 'Everything I do' was Number 1. If I had a fiver for every time someone asked me to 'accidentally' add a zero to sales of 'I'm too sexy'....

Anyway, as mentioned, in the days when independents weren't represented, I guess in theory the Pistols could have outsold Rod but I doubt it to be honest.

Dyonn said...

Interesting. I worked at Millward Brown for a short time, compiling the charts.

I wonder why we haven't seen Wings in the studio yet?