Just to say the usual cut and thrust of the active comments box will have to do without me for a week or so (that's why this is up so early, almost all of it had to be written in advance off YouTube uploads so I could get it up tonight), but for next week's repeat-blank week I've dragged in a regular commenter of televisual archival note to electronically reproduce some excellent written archive material.
It's another Dave Lee Travis conceptual opening, I'm afraid. Using some doors, the purpose of which you'll see later, he opens a door outwards on one half of the screen and says hello to himself coming inwards through the same door on the other half. At least it shows mirror image effects are quickly progressing.
Hot Chocolate – Heaven Is On The Back Seat Of My Cadillac
It's a Brit-funk odyssey with which to begin, and one that at the off uses the changing tones effect we last saw on the 5000 Volts backline on their fabled first appearance. Errol has bought a portable mic stand like Freddie Mercury's and has decided on his own form of outre garments, sporting loads of necklaces and a Olympic medal size-besting medallion as well as a sparkly bolero jacket and silver trousers with the sort of tremendously high waist that we seem to be learning was incredibly fashionable back then. They're not as tight as some have managed, but they're getting there. Well out in front of his bandmates it's already clear that he's being groomed as the face of some interchangeable men. He and most of his band's crazy feet just can't keep still to the rhythm either. Some late fish eye lens work demonstrates... that... the BBC had a fish eye lens and they wanted to use it, but we already knew this from a year of closing credit abuse. Given the vigorous thrusting he's carrying off with it we must just cut away before Errol can consider actively grinding the mike stand. Awkwardly, DLT does his next link from between audience front and stage with a crane shot swooping in from the back of the room, which means we get to see his own unsure bop. He lands his cue perfectly from range, though.
David Dundas – Jeans On
"Hit sound three", a new iteration of the more common "number three sound" line, with "a few young people you may well recognise". Same as we saw last week.
5000 Volts – Dr Kiss Kiss
"I'm very sad to say this record stayed at number eight this week - it's got to go higher next week, it's fantastic!" DLT chides, before delivering the band name in an approximation of Barry White's tone. Amazingly/desperately they actually came into the studio on four seperate occasions even though their box of stagecraft tricks was pretty much up after two. Linda, the Lynn Faulds-Wood of lover's disco, has trousers on. Guitarist Martin Jay, of errant talkbox fame, is sporting an open mustard coloured waistcoat and nothing underneath. It was the times. For the record, as this is where 5000 Volts and TOTP part company after a storied run: Jay later helped out Tight Fit and is now in a corporate entertainment band, his CV listed therein claiming work with Take That, Jason Donovan, Sonia, Michael Ball, David Essex, Cockney Rebel, Buggles, Twiggy, Mike Batt, P J Proby and Bombalurina (Timmy Mallett, then). Sadly Kelly died in 1998.
ABBA – Dancing Queen
A new entry at 26. The video, which surely everyone knows. It's too obvious! There's nothing to be gleaned or learnt from it! Well, except for DLT's outro line, "I'll dedicate that one specially to David Hamilton, he loves that record". Did he? Or is that a 'Queen'-related diss? If so it's not lasted the ages.
Bryan Ferry – The Price Of Love
And still Bryan can't be bothered to come into the studio. He's lost his own pimp tache but not Jerry Hall's attention as she gets to wave a cushion around as other women generally look coquettishly to camera in slow motion.
Wings – Let 'Em In
Here's perhaps the most unrepossessing thing DLT has ever said, and there's plenty of competition.
Ringing the bell apparently caused temporary but virulent seasickness in the mid-70s. Those of you with 42" plasma screen sets, let us all know how that bit came across. There's really too much stuff to discuss in so scattershot an interpretation, the fourth in just this run of Macca-related songs. Still no Cherry (I think we can do away with TOCG if she's not going to be omnipresent and nobody on the show mentions a thing about her exits and forthcoming re-entrance), so everyone's trying to take her crown as expressive ruler. Having made a fine effort last week Lulu seems to be less than convincing (what is she doing at 2:31? Dietrich as a defrocked nun?) and despite Patti's best come-on efforts it seems to be the men making the headway, specifically Philip at 1:18 - a future as a Duncan Norvelle stunt double eluded that lad - and then the sequence starting at 2:33 with implied Dr Hook-style homoeroticism then, after some vigorous arse-waggling, Floyd... well, you tell me, but it might be connected to his 3:05 hustling. Wonder whose insistence the bit just after that came from. A routine for this must have been decided well in advance as I can't imagine those doors were just lying around in a BBC stock cupboard in those designs but there's not that much actual dancing in it. There's some leaning and forearm work, and then about halfway through some fancy walking after which Floyd tries to style it out while heading backwards. Opening and closing doors does not qualify as dancer choreography. DLT says something about a cat flap, perhaps as distressed as the rest of us.
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel – Here Comes The Sun
After that we needed familiarity, and the video shot on the cloudiest day possible gives us that. DLT makes some gag about needing a security guard around Harley's props, suggesting erroneously that this was somehow made at the BBC's expense when we've just seen what extra levels the LE department can reach given the right musical impetus. "Here comes the rain should be the title of the next one!" DLT ungallantly suggests.
Jesse Green – Nice And Slow
Firstly, flagrancy from the drummer has to be pointed up. He's playing above his hi-hat! It's not at all moving. Green doesn't come across as the most charismatic performer, and when TOTP has played the instrumental version of your song over the end credits last time out maybe you need to be forceful, which may have been why he has a flautist with a droopy moustache standing right next to him. Unusual instrumentation and of its time facial hair is always a winner. The only other detail that can add light and shade to a fairly rote disco makeweight is that Green, who you may also note is the only person making his debut on the repeat run tonight, and 5000 Volts share a Best Of for no connective reason I can work out.
Twiggy – Here I Go Again
DLT is leaning on some bongos as "my knees are going to go weak", apparently because Twiggy has grown her hair. As he then goes on to highlight her "gorgeous voice" he might just be being kind above and beyond. She's changed into a purple dress and red boots and her vocal's been turned up a bit but very little is otherwise different, right down to her placing on the set and the picture montages against lights and second angle shots.
Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Look, I haven't got much time this week to mess about with this again. Even DLT sounds bored, complaining "do I really need to tell you?" Afterwards is a curiosity, though, as while wearing a glittery hat with elastic under the chin he tells us "there will be a new number one next week". Eh? Without spoilering he couldn't have known whether there would be. Maybe he meant 'may be'. Or maybe he had a touch of the Ortis Deleys. Anyway, the Stylistics' 16 Bars sees us out. Next time out on the 15th there's only one song you'll have seen before on here, and not before time.
EDIT NEWS: Edits within edits, for the most part, as for some reason BBC4 decide to squeeze as much of the whole show on as possible, maybe out of repeat-fuelled boredom. That's surely the only reason they'd keep Steve Harley in again. Oddly, though, Dancing Queen losing half a verse seems to be in the original broadcast, though it's not as if nobody's ever heard it and doesn't know that it comes out of the introductory chorus with "anybody could be that guy". Johnny Wakelin still misses out, though, which is a shame if only for the intro where DLT has two girls on each arm and nearly drags one backwards off the stage as he tells us kids are resultantly rushing out to buy tom-toms. Are they? Are they really?