Saturday, 7 January 2012

TOTP 6/1/77 (tx 6/1/12): ring in the new

1977 - the year of Evita, Keith Richards' drugs bust, Studio 54, Saturday Night Fever and punk breaking. Chris Martin, Kanye West, Ronan Keating, Shakira, Danger Mouse, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Richard Archer of Hard-Fi and Claire from Steps were born. Elvis, Marc Bolan, Bing Crosby, Ronnie Van Zant and Maria Callas died. Also, not a single Top Of The Pops making it into the top 20 of the weekly TV ratings all year, something that didn't happen again until 1985. Truly the alpha and omega of an era, as we'll come to learn better together throughout 2012.

Oh god. This goes on all year.

No need to take too long discussing The Story Of 1977, except it's an odd form of marketing to preview a series which runs all year in prime time with an hour long trailer telling you nearly all of it is shit until punk arrives and changes everything (which obviously explains why Mull Of Kintyre, released in November, became the best selling single of the whole decade), making sure first to tell you you wasted your time over the previous eight months watching the previous year's output being rerun. Too much block revisionist history (1977 was a relatively calmed year in terms of inflation, unemployment and strikes, certainly nothing like the three day week of 1974 or the Winter Of Discontent of 1978) and plain deliberate ignorance of Pops' role - it's a family entertainment show based on the biggest selling records of the day (or in Story Of terms the old guard "clinging on"), not a rival to So It Goes - to discuss, but whoever got the reliably rotten Sue Perkins to claim the bulk of its guests "were all novelty acts" over a clip of Jonathan Richman needs taking far away from a place of pop culture influence.

Anyway. Here it is on iPlayer for the next week and another couple beyond that due to repeats, and if you don't mind spoilers here's Big Hits 1977.

So what had BBC4 got to offer the part-timers, those making a night of it who'll forget about the rest of the run and mildly irk those of who sat through Glamourpuss to get to this moment, godammit? Unusually we start with the rundown followed by the first surviving appearance of Kid Jensen - that's how he's referred to in the credits, so like Floyd/Floid that's only how this blog will refer to him - who remarks that there just wasn't a new chart published that week. Actually there was, and one of those you're about to see was on the way down. Boo, TOTP. BOO. Also, John Christie had entered the top 30. It happened, ladies and gentlemen, though he immediately started falling so the temptation to call him back in was averted. And it's with that inaccuracy ringing in our ears we embark upon the pint/quart activity of cramming eleven songs and a playout into 35 minutes.

Sheer Elegance – Dance The Night Away
And here's how to get a new year off to a flyer. This would be Sheer Elegance's last appearance, which is a shame as they've finally learnt the value of not colour clashing in alarming ways. Not that this getup isn't alarming by itself, as the red shirts with large white patch and ruffled plunging neckline are augmented by white trousers so tight Cliff Richard would wince. The hook this time is classically soulful but limited by only having one really able member the trio were never destined as anything other than a footnote, especially given the not inconsiderable US competition on the same show.

10cc – The Things We Do For Love
Without a link - no idea whether by cut or design - we're into a video shot in an overspotlit performance space of a band we last saw on the second BBC4 show of 1976. Some nice close-ups of some tambourines at one point. "Broken up but not down" Jensen points out, this being their first single without Godley or Creme.

Tina Charles – Dr Love
"A real disco delight" Kid calls it, which can only mean another singer held hostage by the orchestra's overemphasis. Actually despite the ever eager trombones they're getting the hang of the rhythm, largely through so much practice you'd imagine, and Charles is in full voice. She's also in full figure, not unreasonably given she was four months pregnant, but the cumulative effect of the lack of movement and the large kaftan means the audience are having to provide the movement visuals for her. Dr Love seems to be a similar type to Dr Kiss Kiss. Maybe they're related.

Smokie – Living Next Door To Alice
Stop that. "The pride of Bradford" - Kid's not entirely comfortable in his early Pops days, but he knows the value of a brief description - have invested in a lightbox with their name on. It finally adds something to their stage presence, though it's undeniable that Chris Norman's hair is lustrous, shiny and full of vitality more than ever. Definite extra Rod Stewart tinge to his vocals too.

Gladys Knight and the Pips – Nobody But You
Interesting staging here, as the orchestra, all in orange shirts, are visible behind Jensen during his introduction. For her own protection from the British winter Gladys is sporting a lurid green scarf over her red top. Three minutes later, an indication of why all British cod-soul should just give up on the spot, and with the Pips in matching grey jackets and light blue trousers the male groups could learn a lot too. The audience are unsure whether to look on in envy or jig about slightly to the gospel tune. "Didn't I tell you we had a special show?" Jensen appraises, though the appreciation is dimmed by the thought presenters say something like that every week.

Jethro Tull – Ring Out Solstice Bells
Very appropriate that the last of the Christmas songs would be shown on Twelfth Night. Jensen calls them "unpredictable", something immediately undercut by this being a repeat.

David Soul – Don’t Give Up On Us
"I think this next sound will be the next big number one" A correct prediction! A Top Of The Pops presenter got a chart prediction right! Stopped clock being right twice a day and all that, but see, it's the youth that really know the chart score. As big as this was there's some awkwardness around its presentation as Soul never came over to promote it, nor indeed any of his other 1977 hits. Legs & Co are thus pressed into service in their nighties for a routine based around a large circle, maybe based on Soul's assertion "it's written in the moonlight". Before long the early tactic of lying, standing and running about in a circle is abandoned in favour of the usual formation emoting for a couple of minutes until all six gather back in a circle to get down on their elbows and, through the faerie majick of CSO, admire a picture of Soul himself. Phh. Never gave Bill Nelson of Be Bop Deluxe that extra treatment.

The Drifters – You’re More Than A Number In My Little Red Book
On video and amid a misty studio setting, this week's Drifters do their supercharged cabaret suit routine.

Clodagh Rodgers – Save Me
"A sound that's got all the ingredients for success" is as maybe, but Rodgers has found an extra pitch in the shape of a dress with a spectacularly plunging neckline. Twenty-plus years ahead of her fashion time, maybe. And maybe it's to distract from the song, which sounds like Smokie on their fag break.

Boney M – Daddy Cool
Now then. Boney M becoming huge European stars is attributed to this late 1976 performance on Germany's Musikladen, where young people who'd never seen such wild movement and outfits went mad for the single release. So they get to Pops and are told they have to either re-record the song without Frank Farian or sing live over the orchestra's rendition. Ah.



First thing you'll notice is Bobby Farrell trying not to panic too much that people might discover it was Frank Farian rather than him providing the vocals on the recording. He sounds nothing like himself, essentially. In turn the girls' lack of harmony practice is also shown, someone definitely singing flat, and the die is cast. The dancing and synchronised movements can't be as energetic since they have to retain some energy for the singing, and they've been put on a tiny stage with people behind them as well as in front. Before the singing proper has started Farrell has already nearly fallen off the back, severely limiting his wild abandon potential. The sequence at 1:40, where Farrell either forgets the words or is embarking on an emergency self-regulation attempt. Checking the recording there doesn't appear to be a mariachi section in the equivalent moment at 2:26 (it's actually strings, big drums and one trumpet in the middle), but put that down to the arranging invention of Johnny Pearson. Just after that, presumably covering for the heavy breathing bit as there's kids watching, Farrell is required to fill for an English speaking audience requiring all the bi-linguality he knows. He doesn't do it very well. We don't see them right after finishing. They might well have run away. The woman next to Jensen (his evaluation: "something new and different". Yeah, you could say that) at the end is a visiting Donna Summer, whose interview requirements are to name her new single, thank Jensen for his happy new year welcome and introduce...

Johnny Mathis – When A Child Is Born
Mathis is still in his jungle hideaway for one more week. Money Money Money is the credits playout, Jensen's final words being "Goodbye and good love!" Um, if you like.

25 comments:

Angelo Gravity said...

I liked the Boney M performance ~ there's something exciting about a warts and all live performace - much better than watching somebody mime.
I thought the Kid did a good job - kept things ticking over nicely giving the show a swift pace to kick off the new year.

Wellieman said...

Yeah, good start to the new year, already feels like 77 is more vibrant than 76. The biggest improvement for me was the 'new' presenter, 'Kid' Jensen. He's definitely more in tune with the kids than dear old Uncles Tone, Jim'll, Diddy and Stewpot. Cripes, he even got next weeks No 1 prediction right!

Very brutal editing at times, the repeated performances from Tina C, Smokie and Jethro were all cut very short. Yet, yawn, Auntie Gladys was given a full outing. She may have had plenty of class but what a dreary old song. I even thought our old friends Sheer Elegance's song was much better.

The two highlights for me were Clodagh Rodgers' plunging neckline and Boney M's extravagant performance. That Clodagh song is one that I liked at the time then promptly forgot about for 33 yrs until I stumbled across it a couple of years back on Supersonic. I agree with Kid that it had all the ingredients of a hit, but perhaps poor old Clodagh was just too long in the tooth by then to pull it off. And that dress... well if you've got it flaunt it, but dear Clodagh just didn't have anything to flaunt! Still it was only her second worst wardrobe faux-pas... Remember those hot pants she wore at the 71 Eurovision final??

Now I agree with Angelo above about Boney M's performance. It was shaping up to be as embarrassing as Glamourpuss, Chanter Sisters et al but they managed to stay on right side of the intriguing and credible line. Again, a career-defining performance as it set them off on an astounding few years of success. I bet their UK singles sales in the two-yr period 77-78 is second only to the Beatles in 63-64.

Mikey said...

Yes, although he had presented a show in 1976 that we haven't seen, it was refreshing to see the Kid present the first show of the new year - made quite a contrast with the quartet of Savile, Blackburn, DLT and Edmonds.

I wonder what Robin Nash had been doing over the previous 8 months.

I remember that Boney M performance - as I didn't listen to pop radio at that time, I didn't hear the proper version until much later, the Pops performance in many ways is how I remember the song.

The lack of DJ links between some of the songs might have been an early experiment of director Stanley Appel - he later of course had many links "out of vision" in the early 90s.

Thanks Simon for the fun of this blog last year - glad to have it continuing into the new year.

Noax said...

I did enjoy this one, for the music and for the Kid's simple presentation, plus the different idea of having 'clean' links between some of the songs (presumably not edited unless the voiceover lady who introduced the programme was lying?)

One thing about the chart positions though - this is only from a very vague memory but wasn't the first new chart after Christmas in those days announced late ie they wouldn't have had it in time for recording. That would also explain why it's listed as a Top 30 only in the chart records.

10cc - Really good tune, but they didn't believe in popping in at this point, did they?

Tina Charles - Great performance and a decent effort by the Orchestra for once. An expert flick of the head to disperse the hair that had got into her mouth. Eat that, woman out of 5000 Volts! I'd like to think Tina had that thought too, given her history with that lot (PS She wouldn't have)

Gladys Knight & The Pips - Nice performance, but a dreary song. Previous single 'So Sad The Song' didn't get on at all did it? Which given that it's miles better, is a shame.

David Soul - THIS IS WHY PUNK HAD TO...oh sorry, thought I was showing off on a documentary there for a minute. I actually like this song. And 'Silver Lady'. I know how 'wrong' that is, but I don't care.

The Drifters - Another good tune. Is the guy with the afro on the left a new member? These guys had squad rotation worked out way before The Premiership was invented.

Clodagh Rodgers - Oh dear. It's in a club style that's for sure, and I don't think the dress is helping.

Boney M - Two words for this. Car. Crash. I'm surprised that they had any hits at all after this. They clearly don't know what on earth to do, and is the lady (mostly) on the right present for their entire career? I'm also struggling to work out the real singer - I know it's Liz Mitchell but can't remember if she's the one in the black or white .

All in all a good start to the year, and I'm really looking forward to some of the tunes to come. It's a shame that we have to miss a week straight away, much as I like Patrick Moore and astronomy I'd rather see some other stars instead (I'm here all week etc)

Arthur Nibble said...

I enjoyed the 1977 documentary, though I agree its tone was awry at times and I noticed they re-hashed a couple of clips from the 1976 documentary, like the producer putting a record on and jogging in rhythm. I see Gary Glitter got shown in this documentary, so I assume he won’t be given the Jonathan King treatment this year? Also, they mention the possible difficulty of showing the first TOTP with a banned number one if the Sex Pistols made the top – wrong, wrong, wrong. Serge Gainsberg and Jane Birkin had made number one some years back with the breathily banned “Je TAime (Moi Non Plus)”, so what happened on that occasion?

Well played to BBC4 for somehow cramming all 12 songs into the programme, even if it meant a half-cut Ian Anderson, probably in more ways than one. I was wrong in a previous post, by the way, when I called “Solstice” a proper Christmas single. It’s a hippy effort symbolising the shortest day of the year, an opposite to Stonehenge’s biggest day of the year if you like. Still love the song regardless.

Not impressed by Kid’s crystal ball – David Soul had jumped from 37 to 11 so the chances of him making number one were very high though (spoiler alert – sorry, Simon) he was a non-mover at 11 the next week and then took two more to make it. Kid then ruins his prediction reputation by bigging up Clodagh’s single which didn’t chart – in fact, her very last hit was in 1971, though I remember this song was a definite ‘turntable hit’ on Radio 1.

Sad to see the end of the Sheers but I agree, the smoothness of the American soul acts (how many versions of The Drifters are there currently playing cabaret in the Balearics?) and the quirky Germanic sound hitting our shores at the time really put our home grown efforts in their place (Can’t wait to relive the awfulness of “Let Your Body Go Downtown”). To my ears, though, Boney M’s effort was definitely the second best single of this era with ‘Daddy Cool’ in the title. Strange there was no link after the Sheers to 5cc (no Godley and Creme), but I agree Kid was a breath of fresh air. We could have done with another of his like joining, instead of the impending ‘Key! Kids! Wow!’ presence of Peter Powell.

Steve Williams said...

Good to see everyone likes Kid Jensen, and certainly his slick and agreeable style seemed just right for this show, given how they darted through it. No wonder they used him so much. It'll be some contrast to go back to Diddy next week. I liked his "well done" when Donna announced the number one.

As for the chart, the actual chart for that week is in all the reference books, but presumably with the Bank Holiday it wouldn't have been published until the Wednesday so I suppose they just couldn't be bothered. I think only Abba of the songs played were actually going down, and they went back up the following week.

What it does mean is that this show was the second pick of a chart, so it's surprising how the line-up seemed rather better than the show of December 23rd using the same chart (though Smokie, Tina Charles and 10cc weren't eligible for that show, having been on the previous week).

Of course the way it worked out meant we got Daddy Cool played twice in ten minutes on BBC4. It's sort of appropriate Boney M turned up on the first show of the year given how big they got. I liked the Drifter third from the right winking at the camera, that looked really slick, and the Pip on the right still laughing it up.

I liked the documentary, Pete Paphides was a bit irritating but there was some good stuff in there, it was worth it for those outtakes, and it was good to see Den Hegarty is wearing so well. Obviously we'll come to the clips in the compilation as they appear throughout the year, but the link from Baccara to the Boomtown Rats was fantastic, the Rats just barging in at a hundred miles an hour, you could see the energy and irreverence they brought to proceedings. There's a great shot where they're focusing on the guitar and Bob slides in and managed to grin straight down the camera for about a second.

wilberforce said...

i agree that kid jensen is a much better presenter than the usual smarmy/barking motley crew, but with regard to the jolly japery of this blog, the trouble is that there's not much about him you can take the piss out of!

regarding the acts, a bit too much cabaret soul on this edition for my liking - was the sheer elegance tune a drifters' hand-me-down? just like demis roussos, tina charles's voice is so shrill it actually hurts my ears! like many i appreciate a nice bit of decolletage but clodagh takes it a bit too far, and the guy from boney m dances like he's got earplugs in and can't actually hear the music...

Bobby Morrow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobby Morrow said...

Pretty diverse show this week. The Elegance performance was a little treat though someone on here did mention they turned up again. A very PG Elegance was this. The song wasn't amazing though I didn't think it was so dire it should have totally missed the chart... I'm just an old fan!

I was a bit young back then to have seen the best of Clodagh Rodgers. I have a dim memory of Jack In A Box but all her other singles were before I started listening to the charts (mid 1973). Not a bad song. I'm sure I've heard it by someone else. Clodagh gave it her all and it had a catchy chorus but perhaps the mumbled rather tuneless verses did for it. Clodagh was sexier than I recall. I always thought of her in the Lynsey/Dana/Olivia realm but she seemed to owe more to Rihanna here!

Don't Give Up On Us at least got rid of When A Child Is Born, but like others I always preferred the rockin' Silver Lady! Soul was a huge star back then and 1977 was an amazing year for him. I remember his debut album being dreadful featuring dismal country/folk covers and a few self-penned horrors. And if I'm not wrong, DGUOU wasn't on it!

Boney M, eh? What a year they had, though 1978 was even better. Words fail me on the performance though I don't think they ever got much better...

Quite like the abridged Tull song this week...

I was 14/15 in 1977 and have to say that the show and the doc really took me back. It's more the audience than anything. I remember the girls at our school having unfortunate pageboy hairdos and being indistinguishable from the lads who had them too! The clothes, too. God, we were a frumpy lot. It doesn't get much better in 1978 when I recall a plague of perms-for-boys surfacing!



I watched the documentary and thought they did a pretty good job. The 76 one was better, however. Should be a good year. For every Angelo there's a Peaches, for every Sam there's an In The City. Bring it on!

Anonymous said...

So farewell to The Elegance. Does anyone know what happened to them subsequently?

Arthur Nibble said...

According to another website I frequent, the Sheers had released a complete flop after their top 41 hit "It's Temptation" and we never got to see it on TOTP, then they released the single we've just seen which was just outside the fifty at the time but never charted, then they released at least one more flop single, way ahead in spring 1978, bu which time the tide had changed and they were probably considered 'old hat' or maybe 'old dungarees'. The lads released at least seven singles in all, then I guess they were dropped by Pye International, at which point either they split up or decided to carry on doing cabaret stuff for a short while. As with many 1976 acts I've recently re-watched, I absolutely hated the Sheers at the time but I'm going to miss them now.

Not now, Arthur... said...

Sorry, I don't mean to hog this week's issue...I might be slightly wrong about David Soul as I'm getting mixed up about the festive charts - this edition may well have been at the time when old Hutch was spending his second week at number 11 - but he still took more than one week to reach the summit.

Was Clodagh wearing that dress back to front, and did anyone else think Gill (my joint favourite 'Legger' along with Patti) does a Bobby Farrell, and stumbles and just about recovers when she's halfway through that firat skip round the circle?

The Man said...

Funny how David Soul didn't come over to England to promote his big hits as he's been quite the Anglophile in recent years!

Sadly we'll have to wait a fair few years before we get the Kid Jensen/John Peel pairing...

Boney M, Donna Summer, David Soul. The late 70s has arrived!

@Simon_Constable said...

This is about the time I started watching TOTP and I was listening to radio in large doses at the time.

Stand out performances of the week for me had to be Tina Charles (Delightful performance from the "Little Lady." Can't say I remember the song) and Gladys Knight (Who is to my mind, one of the best female vocalists of the time).

Still hard to hear that Bloody Smokie song without thinking of that "Other" version.

WBS said...

Only two lines on t'Drifters? I don't think we've seen anyone actually sweat so far on the reruns, but goodness me, the cameras spared absolutely nothing - zooming in on the dripping pate of the second Drifter from the right, while the bald lad next to him had such an intense case of the quivers... he looked like a small-town mayor spotting his wife and his mistress in the same restaurant. Scariest thing since Ruby Flipper's cruise into oblivion with Gallagher & Lyle.

Anonymous said...

In part answer to the query about the week Serge and Jane were No 1 in '69, the instrumental version of the tune, Love at First Sight by Sounds Nice (charting lower down) was used during the photo chart countdown (back then the No 1 was used, so that got round that "nice"ly), and I think the show simply ended without playing the number 1.

Chris Barratt said...

I know I was definitely watching TOTP every week as my 'treat' (I turned 4 in the October) by 1977 as I clearly remember Whole Lotta Love being the theme tune, and they stopped using that (save for twice in 1979 & for the chart rundown in 80/81) in the summer of 77.
I personally think Bobby Farrell is a God, and as such found the Boney M performance rather charming, I also enjoyed The Drifters (their last hit, and in my ignornance I never realised Johnny Moore - the one with the horse-shoe hair - shared lead on any of the Bell hits, so to see Clyde Brown do the verses was something new to me), Smokie (always one of their better songs), Tina (soft spot time) and 10cc (though why those 70s promos always look so badly lit/shot I'd love to know). Sheer Elegance & Clodagh were lame (though before she was Two Ronnie'd in the 70s, she was an absolute pop fox). If I'm going to use the hammy term 'guilty pleasures' I would apply to David Souls hits (all 5 of them) and he was very much the 'Face of 77', as Kid Jensen also represented a very welcome 'face of 77' for the TOTP team

Arthur Nibble, for the nth time said...

Sorry to seem thick about this (and for yet another post this week, I'll try to be more on the ball from now on)...piecing it together from what Simon and Wellieman have said, does this mean the first TOTP of 1977 covered an old chart (i.e. the festive one) and not the most recent one, and this new 'ignored' chart was completely skipped in favour of the latest one when the next TOTP was recorded? Seems a bit weird - and a waste of time for the chart compilers - if TOTP completely skipped a chart.

Regarding how TOTP dealt with a banned number one, it seems that TOTP went through a phase of starting and finishing with the number one, played over the chart rundown to begin with and again as the programme's last number. On the week when "Je T'Aime" made number one, an alternative instrumental version by the TOTP Orchestra was played over the chart rundown, but the number one was skipped completely at show's end.

Wellieman said...

Dear Arthur... fret ye not.... it all got a bit complicated. Let's try and piece it together.

From Tuesday 21st Dec to Tues 4th Jan (2 weeks-worth, as was normal back then) we had the Christmas chart. Our man David Soul had moved up from 37 to 11.

We think there was a bank holiday interference so the new chart was not published until Wed Jan 5. In this chart David Soul had moved up to No. 8.

However, Kid Jensen had to record his show on the Tues or the Wednesday before knowing the new chart. So, as we saw, they used the Xmas/New Year chart positions. But by the time it was broadcast on the 6th Jan the new chart was in-play.

For some reason this new chart was a Top 30 only (normally a Top 50) so I reckon all the chart compilers were having an extended Christmas break!

Hope that helps.

Vintage Reading said...

I found the documentary slightly smug. It's easy to say - with the benefit of hindsight - that Punk Needed To Happen. I thought TV Smith was good on the whole punk thing though.

Enjoyed this episode. Gladys Knight was my favourite. Anyone know which Pip was her brother?

Steve Morgan said...

I really enjoyed that edition too. New "Kid" on the block Jensen gave us a cheery presentation and the show was all the better for it.
Even though what we got was basically the same as 1976's output, the line-up was a pretty good selection, Sheer Elegance in their last performance came out with a better song than their last ditty, this was one I felt could have been a chart contender, neer mind.
Good to see a video for 10cc's track, shame they couldn't have provided a studio appearance.
Tina Charles gave her all for what would be her last top ten hit, Dr Love was originally a single for The Pearls back in 1974, Charles' collaboration with arranger Biddu for her first two singles must have prompted her to take his Dr Love and make it one of her biggest, and best, hits. This performance was excelelnt, despite the lack lustre production from the TOTPs orchestra.
Good to see Smokie again, this too was a cover, it was originally recorded by New World in 1972, check it out if you want to hear a superior version, even though Smokie's is great.
Now we come to Gladys Knight, a dirge of a song? I don't think so, Gladys and her Pips knock spots off any other soul singer that appeared in the charts during this period. I've always loved Diana Ross, but Knight could sing her under the table anytime. Their next one, Baby Don't Change Your Mind is a biggie, and a lot more uptempo. Written by Van McCoy, it was originally recorded by The Stylistics for their album Fabulous in 1976, the arrangemnet is very similar, but Knight's is the superior vocal and it made number four in mid '77.
Couldn't understand why Tull were included this week, it wasn't a really high climber, it's an obvious Christmas song, Christmas is over I felt it was out of place here this week.
And now we come to the best male singer of 1977 (so he was voted), David Soul. Didn't make it to the UK to promote his hits eh!, too busy with Starsky and Hutch no doubt, didn't stop him bringing out a best selling album in Playing to an Audience Of One though, which is actually quite a good album and includes three of his four 1977 hit singles. The album also includes my favourite, Black Bean Soup, Don't Give Up On Us' B Side and one which was featured briefly in an episode of Starsky and Hutch. One thing that irked me though, and it did at the time, that video plays the song too fast.
Sadly, we come to The Drifters last hit, they'd had good innings with some great singles since the early sixties, and with differnet line ups too, this line up, ususlly with the iconic Johnny Moore on lead is the most memorable though.
Now, I know that Clout (Substitute 1978) recorded Save Me later in 1977, but I'm not sure that Clodagh's is the original, I'm sure I remember this song earlier than '77, internet sources say I'm wrong, and I'm willing to admit that, but Clodagh's song is great and should have been a bigger hit. Lovely dress too.
The least said about Boney M's performance here the better, god only knows how thay became so huge later on.It's a Marmite one this, love it or hate it. Love the song, hate the performance.
And so we come to number one, still the Christmas one, time for a change, come on Hutch, bring it on.

wilberforce said...

apologies for late posting on this, but i somehow contrived to miss the original broadcast for the TOTP 77 overview, and have only just watched a recording of the weekend repeat...

overall i thought it was highly enjoyable, and was especially pleased that they made some effort to clear up the mystery of how backing tracks were provided (and how the wool was pulled over the eyes of the MU enforcers!)... eric hall seemed particularly keen to enlighten us, but unfortunately i could hardly make out a word he said!

as for den hegarty of darts, he appears to be a victim of "eric idle" syndrome, where the ravages of age (and possibly an excessive lifestyle) have rendered him unrecognisable from his more youthful self (fellow "sufferers" include keith richards and david hemmings) - in den's case it seems he has transformed into music journo/OGWT presenter mark ellen!

Arthur Nibble said...

...while, at the other end of the scale, Gaye Advert still looks fantastic.

wilberforce said...

personally i thought gaye looked a bit peaky - maybe she should have revived the old "panda-eyes" look for the occasion? however i did find her smirking, eye-rolling and other facial reactions to tv smith's comments quite amusing...

talking of iconic slap, this may sound rather silly but i whenever i see an old clip of roy wood, i can't stop myself conjuring up an image of him now retired living in a mansion somewhere in the west midlands, sitting around sipping tea from a bone-china cup in full wizzard drag!

The Man said...

Personally, I thought both TV Smith and Gaye Advert looked like they had perhaps indulged in a few "calming" substances in the interim...