Gallagher & Lyle – Every Little Teardrop
As with Sheer Elegance last week, this would be the last we'd see of the duo of MOR punchiness, new brooms and all that. They weren't to know, which was why they splashed out on a two man brass section, one a saxophonist in a big hat and Hawaiian shirt of low advisedness who seems to be miming along to a trumpet part. The presence of an organ as well as Lyle (or Gallagher)'s electric keyboard means they can spread out right across the front of the stage, but all the bopping on the spot in the world can't make it sound like someone heard a Steely Dan record I can't quite place right now, probably one from 1977's future for all I know, and decided to recreate it in a toned down fashion. Diddy reckons it'll be "a big one for '77". It reached number 32.
Barry Biggs – Sideshow
Performing under a spotlit spider, Biggs has left the pink ruffled shirt at home this time in favour of a soberly coloured suit but he's still wandering awkwardly up and down a very small area of a big stage. At the end a big pan out crane shot gives us a glimpse, sequestered away in a corner behind some loosely held in place boards, of Johnny Pearson and a couple of his orchestra, for the first time in this whole repeat series. Union demand?
Rose Royce – Car Wash
"And the splendid chassis you see belong to Legs & Company!" So put Diddy down as one who uses the full name. We start with Sue and
David Parton – Isn't She Lovely
"There's a very controversial record out at the moment - I don't know who started the controversy" says a man who must have somehow been aware that Anarchy In The UK had only the previous week been withdrawn by EMI and so on balance someone rush-covering Isn't She Lovely because Stevie Wonder wouldn't put it out as a single. Then again, we are talking about a middle aged man with a chicken in a basket cabaret circuit type walrus tache and largely pink striped jacket with clashing half-open shirt underneath whose facial expression as he sings suggests he's also in the middle of a bad bout of constipation, eyes closed and everything, though in this context that looks a trifle mocking. And he's not so much singing as shouting to a tune, not entirely capturing the subtlety and swing of Stevie's vocal style. Like Paul Nicholas, his idea of filling the break is to run round in a circle. He then blows a kiss to the audience, absolutely fails to get them to clap along with him and then picks out two unfortunate girls to kiss the hand of. At this stage he resembles a politician trying too hard to look populist at an overlit rally. By the end he's pointing at the camera.
Status Quo – Wild Side Of Life
Or "Wild Wild Side" as Diddy calls it. Same video clip as last time, Quo obviously being far too big for the show at this time. Unlike the 80s, when they became really successful and would pop in at the drop of a key change.
Liverpool Express – Every Man Must Have A Dream
Billy Kinsley, here bedecked in one of Slik's castoff US college jackets, was wearing the band's own T-shirt in their rundown shot. "There are quite a few new entries in the chart this week" commends Diddy, introducing a song we've already seen. Different performance, because all the festive touches wouldn't have made sense this far into January. The drumkit doesn't seem to have moved since Gallagher & Lyle set it up. Still, kit sharing makes it easier for visiting bands. Somehow the massive ending seems even more jolting against the rest of the tune this time.
Pussycat – Smile
Oh, they're back alright, for one last curtain call. It's much like the big hit, except less so. Everyone looks slightly more scary, we get better shots of the frontwoman's gap in the front teeth and there's lots of fringing on yellow dresses going on. Nowhere, however, is a gun used as a slide, and that's where their studio work falls down.
David Soul – Don’t Give Up On Us
Soul had a big 1977 and didn't come over for single promotion once. It's as if he had a big hit TV show to film or something. Lots of baleful looks to camera and overlaid shot fades going on, as well as a still photo of a man on a horse halfway through for no reason at all. Back in the studio the audience has formed a gangway in front of their beloved leader Diddy for the final link, although they're not so respectful that he doesn't have to admonish someone for pulling on his trouser leg. After he's made a very strange high pitched "woo!" noise waving us goodbye, I Wish under the credits gives Stevie a PRS double.
EDIT NEWS: Ah, an old friend. The video to Julie Covington's Don't Cry For Me Argentina was all that we lost, strange when there was a video we've already had on the show kept in the edit. We should see it again anyway, at Christmas if we don't contemporaneously.
(By the way, 1977 is the year on Pick Of The Pops this Saturday)