Friday, 15 June 2012

TOTP 26/5/77 (tx 14/6/12): Japan to France via Cornwell

I really hope BBC Four have some sort of strategy for this run, we're a good few weeks behind now with only two wiped shows for the remainder of the year and The Sky At Night remaining in that monthly slot, with that double from last month seemingly a one-off.

DLT, sitting behind a drumkit, introduces with his usual verve a chart remarkable for the breadth of its many new entries. There's the Muppets, who'll we'll see on the show soon enough, and the Ramones, who we won't, plus...



They're no oil paintings, haw haw haw. One can only assume their handlers decided actually seeing a photo yet would be somehow transgressive. They could have at least paid more attention to their big printout of the chart. They wouldn't even appear on the show until Jeffrey Daniel walked against the wind five years later (that's coming up very soon on On This TOTP Day, for what it's worth)



We'll come back to what this was, but the focus has not been tampered with in any way. Is that Emlyn Hughes and Kevin Keegan bottom left? It's hard to tell. Clearly what Liverpool had in prestige and silverware they lacked in photographic ability and string. Nice wallpaper.



Rule Lenska, more successful in her acting career than her sisters Eraser and Protractor. This of course is Little Ladies of ITV's, and presumably thus BBC LE verboten, Rock Follies Of '77, with OK, featured on the show literally the week before release. Then half the series got delayed til November due to industrial action, so that was that nipped in the bud. Bob Stanley tells us he bought this very 7" last week for 25p. The B-side is called B-Side.


Blue – I'm Gonna Capture Your Heart
You again. Not often a song gets to open the show twice, much less that it's one with as undynamic an opening as this. This time the piano is so far forward on the stage someone could easily pull at it and bring the whole thing crashing to the floor, though note that would be quite dangerous and all told I'm glad they don't. Already before we're seconds in modernity is making a mockery of studio soft rock, as someone self-consciously jigs about at three times the speed of the song before sharing a laugh with his friend right in front of camera. The bassist is pulling rock poses, the drummer looks like a lost member of Gabriel-era Genesis and Hugh Nicholson begins giggling two thirds of the way through at apparently nothing but a very private joke with the bassist.

Olivia Newton-John – Sam
Grease being a year (to this week, in fact) away, it's easy to forget how long before then Neutron-Bomb had spent performing doe-eyed ballads while seated, in this case on some steps left over outside the prop cupboard from Deneice Williams' visit. DLT, flanked by two girls wearing T-shirt bearing the legend 'DESERT', calls it "lovely" and the orchestra seem on safeish ground with a country lament, but it's been a rather crowded field for this sort of thing of late.

Piero Umiliani – Mah Na Mah Na
Those who've been fearing how DLT might introduce this, luckily he restrained himself to inviting a call and response. Again, have to ask whether Sue was choreographed individually or just told to do whatever the suit allowed in the overlaid single shots.

Frankie Miller's Full House – Be Good To Yourself
"Sensational number", no less. Well, clearly the work of people au fait with the Faces, as much with their positioning and stance as their rollicking rock'n'roll strut. Clearly over time the audience has learnt, as by now when the camera charges through the middle of them towards the stage they get out of the way sharpish. "Was that fantastic or was that fantastic?" DLT enthuses.

Kenny Rogers – Lucille
"Stop pushing! I get nervous, I tell yer!" warns DLT before referring to this not by name but as being "one of my favourites at the moment". After the reception he gave the last one? Seems like damning with faint praise even more. Same video as last time.

Liverpool Express – Dreamin'
"It's going right up there" DLT confidently predicts, and sure enough it stalled at 40. This would be the last we'd see of the 76-77 hardy perennials with the mid-tempo locked down, all with their Richard Beckinsale hair. In what may constitute an attempt at forging an image Billy Kinsley, looking more and more like an exact scientific cross between Eric Idle and Jasper Carrott, has a very thin and ragged looking scarf on, while the guitarist has brought his motorbike jacket and the keyboard player has gone for the white suit jacket and Dave Hill hair combination. None of this makes it sound less country-Rubettes-could-have-this-any-day like. There's a fading away fish-eye lens shot to end, and then DLT wanders onstage. "Just one thing, I want to apologise for the fact Manchester United whacked your team on Saturday" he offers, in reference to the FA Cup final. Then the band make to beat him up. This they do by having one of them growl and two grab lightly hold of his arms.

Bryan Ferry – Tokyo Joe
Legs & Co, under some Chinese lampshades - well, close enough geographically - struggle here only because the lighting is only on the back of the stage so they spend almost all the routine in elusive shadow. Because this is the era of Mind Your Language everyone (bar an absent Lulu) is in too short kimonos with at least one set of permanently visible knickers, doing a bit of bowing and a lot of that shuffling-with-hands-clasped thing, and everyone has their hair in buns or side ponytails. In fact pretty much the entire routine is based around the prayer gesture, with few exceptions including a wide swinging running motif on which one member is noticeably leading with a different arm to her colleagues. "That was not Legs & Co, that was Legs Ah So" remarks DLT, laughing at his own joke. At least he didn't do the slitty eyes.

The Stranglers – Go Buddy Go
"Watch out for this lot coming in the charts next week" DLT says with some confidence in front of a man wearing a fez, before growling something like "they are supremmmmmme!" like that means anything to anyone, most of all himself. So, more of this new music called New Wave. Or something. Taking the glam band adage of three out of work bricklayers and their hard looking mate and pushing it into new frontiers, Hugh Cornwell and Jean-Jacques Burnel are, frankly, having a bit of a lark. Cornwell is playing his riffs on Burnel's bass, while Burnel 'plays' attack rhythm on a guitar sans strings. Burnel, wearing a T-shirt with the Triumph motorbikes logo in the Ford style, is leaning forward like he wants to chin someone, anyone, but as we've seen on this show on pre-punk occasion it's more straightforward rock'n'roll than anything too far ahead, especially when the overjaunty pub piano solo kicks in. The audience are, as last week, stunned into silence. One man looks directly at the camera, glances back as if in late realisation, then decides that's enough of that and resumes looking back. The two people right at the front between the lead two are having a conversation during Cornwell's vocal part. Burnel just gives up pretending long before the end, which clearly comes long after he'd anticipated, ending up gathering up his guitar cord.

Marie Miriam – The Bird And The Child
"Something completely different, as they say in musical circles, for you now". No, DLT, that's Python you're thinking of. This was the French entrant that beat out Rock Bottom at Eurovision, presented here in a typically Eurovision Second Language translation which in its open line refers to its singer as "a child of creation" as opposed to a couple of lines later "a bird flying in motion", presumably as opposed to flying by osmosis. Miriam, decked out in varying shades of brown, including a scarf with a massive knot, can only try in getting it across, helped by the orchestra having a whale of a time building up the brass fanfares and getting a big showbiz finish, much as the Ladybirds try to take over the thing. Miriam then just neglects to sing the last bit, standing back and admiring a relatively lively crowd. "Ooh la la!" says DLT, of course.

Electric Light Orchestra – Telephone Line
"That famous Yorkshire group", with comedy pronunciation, are on video, all second hand half washed out colours, slightly dry iced string section and meaningful close-ups.

Brendon – Rock Me
"And now we have a few words from our sponsor... he's been eating at the BBC canteen!"



I'm not even going to try. It looks slightly blurred because DLT is bouncing both and his croak-emitting friend up and down in time to the intro. Surely this is what friend WeddingSuit, this time all in white, meant by "an unexpected intro"; presumably it isn't Brendon and band leading the the audience in a clapalong to begin this Abba B-side cover, as he did that last time to similar acclaim, and almost throughout hands clapping, unclear whether superimposed or reflection, appear in silhouette on the big round set design screen next to the stage. See, punks, look and learn. Looks like Brendon's got the same denim shirt on too. See, Liverpool Express, that's how you go about building a lasting image. (Not that it worked, this is his last appearance on the show too, but nevertheless) That all said, despite visuals this clearly isn't a three guitar song, though by the second verse one of them, in a Rubettes cap, seems to be 'playing' the brass section instead. "A bit of fun music" is the best DLT can come up with.

Rod Stewart – The First Cut Is The Deepest
And back to Rod's guitar soloing gluteus maximus. For once the last link and credits song are really quite interesting, as is DLT's body language: "We must add from all the team here on Top Of The Pops our congratulations to Liverpool (thumb up) for winning the (screws face up) European Cup (makes funny circular hand gesture) final!" That final was played on Wednesday night, so during the recording of this show. One assumes two endings were recorded, one with a straightforward goodnight message followed by Good Morning Judge. What we get instead is We Can Do It, Liverpool's Cup final song, a lyrical rewrite of a Rubettes song ("do you remember '65, we really had the place alive!") to charging glam riffs. Now that's who should have been performing in the studio next week. (Apart from that the single immediately started dropping down the chart, but you know what I mean)

59 comments:

THX said...

Hearing the Liverpool FC version of I Can Do It reminded me of Ron Manager on The Fast Show who broke into the lyrics of the Rubettes version for no apparent reason in one sketch. Was that intentional and I've just realised a hitherto unknown depth to that joke?

The director was intent on making Olivia look as tiny as possible, she looked absolutely miniscule.

Kenny Rogers seems about to fall asleep in that clip, but isn't it nice to know www.menwholooklikekennyrogers.com is still going after all these years?

Well done for not using the word frog - in the description of DLT's friend (from the Royal Ballet's Beatrix Potter, perhaps?) that is, not for Marie Miriam. In her way she was as unrelenting as The Stranglers were, sort of a Eurovision runaway train, nothing would stop her charging through those lyrics.

Steve Does Top of the Pops said...

It's a source of great disappointment to me that Kenny Rogers was cut out of the early edition and not Liverpool Express. I've always loved Lucille.

Matra Rancho said...

I've gotta say Brendon's guitar was one of the biggest I've ever seen. And somebody might have to check cos it flashed by so quickly, but I'm sure the Bay City Rollers caption photo in the chart rundown was hopelessly mis-framed.

Vintage Reading said...

Rod Stewart: I'm getting fed up with looking at his behind now.

Legs & Co: Chinese set, Chinese costumes and the song is called TOKYO Joe.

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

Thought this may have been a contender for the worse repeat of the lot so far.

Can't work out the logic behind the edits the BBC do for the I-player edition as why do we get stuff like Blue twice and no Kenny Rogers or Frankie Miller (which may be boring but at least it's never been on before?).

ELO (and especially Jeff Lynne)pioneering the look adopted by the stereotypical late 1970s or 1980s European rock band.

I think my favourite tune this week (and that's not saying much!)was the French one - I thought it was ok for Eurovision this late in the 70's.

How did the BBC let the blatant mention of doing speed on the Stranglers record get through their censors? - what the BBC let go or otherwise always seems completely nonsensical to me.

The Legs & Co slot was cheap even by TOTP 1976/77 standards - those white paper globe lampshades (of the kind that that you still see in cheap rented flats in 2012) as Chinese lanterns?! You're local amateur dramatic group wouldn't try to get away with something that crap!

Cheap all round tonight they couldn't even spell Shalamar right.

Angelo Gravity said...

Great to see the Stranglers debut - terrific band.

Its weird that Rod is already settled in at number one but there's still no sign of the Pistols in the top 30 yet ~ and why do they keep showing First Cut is the Deepest when the really great song was I Don#t Wanna Talk About It. ?

And as for the frog, I'm going to go for kermit - wasn't the Muppett Show LP number one around this time?

Hiiiiya!

wilberforce said...

oh no, it's blue again with their dreary and instantly-forgettable pop, unsurprisingly still struggling to make the top 20 despite a third appearance... they seem one of those outfits (hello smokie!) who just sat around waiting for the totp call after the bigger and better groups dropped out, either because they were away on tour or just couldn't be bothered...

"sam" came back to me almost immediately after ONJ started singing it, even though i haven't heard it since it was a hit. it's a brilliantly-crafted song and she's obviously a talented singer too (are you watching twiggy?) but probably due to the lyric it's just a bit too schmaltzy for me. however i can recommend her version of lesley duncan's "love song"...

like blue and smokie, liverpool express are more journeymen squad players waiting to come off the bench when the superstars aren't available - i can't remember anything about this other than noting that they persist in having hairstyles rooted in 1972 even though we're now half-way through 1977...

when the new legs & co routine started up to some cod-oriental riff i wondered "what the hell is this?", but as soon as ferry came in it was obvious who it was! someone was detailed to nip down to britsh home stores and buy a few of those football-shaped paper lampshades for the backdrop - i know this as we has some in our home at the time! not one of ferry's better efforts and as such not surprisingly people started losing interest in him to the point where shortly after he had to reform roxy music, and like the dance routine, despite the title he doesn't seem bothered whether the far-eastern touches employed are japanese or chinese as long as it's generically vaguely oriental - when aneka had a UK no. 1 hit with "japanese boy" a few years later, apparently it flopped in japan as it actually sounded much more chinese than japanese!

obviously the bbc censors didn't spot the line "i've got me some speed and i'm doing fine" in "go buddy go" - they must have presumed that jj burnel was referring to his hobby of riding fast motorbikes! also, wasn't he wearing the infamous t-shirt with the "f*ck" ford-style logo on it that bandmate high cornwell was also partial to wearing? at one point he pulls back his jacket to ensure we get a good eyeful but sadly it's still not clear... talking of naughty lyrics that got past the censor, others that evaded detection were squeeze's "i give the dog a bone" in "cool for cats" and of course the vapours "turning japanese" (that also by coincidence featured the generic "oriental riff"). sadly though the gang of four never made it past the morality police with their reference to "rubbers" (that could well be interpreted as those things you used to erase pencil mistakes with at school) in their bubbling-under 45 "at home he's a tourist" and unlike the kinks with "coca cola/cherry cola" they refused to modify the lyrics and consequently never appeared, which quite probably damaged their career at that point...

regarding the rather feeble liverpool fc fa cup effort (the original lyrics have hardly been changed other than replacing "blue suede shoes" with "football boots"), one can imagine kevin keegan standing right at the front in the recording studio giving his all (indeed he went on to have a near-miss as a solo singer shortly after), and i don't suppose emlyn hughes was lurking at the back mumbling either. however, i somehow can't see tommy "iron man" smith being quite so enthusiastic...

Simon said...

Angelo: God Save The Queen, which I probably will do a full post about in the fulness of time as there's some fascinating stuff surrounding that whole tale, came out the day after this was broadcast. Presumably there was no footage of IDWTTTAI and Rod was off swanning about somewhere rather than pop by TV Centre.

WeddingSuit said...

So farewell then. Another one never seen in 35 years and that's it from us. At least i finally got to do the big hair cheesecloth thing and that was the uriah heep bass... I'm off to Wednesday night to watch old whistle tests as even then I couldn't bring myself to buy 7" singles. It was me who recorded the burps at CBS (we did 2 versions with and without) as still being at school somehow meant I was able to summon them at will during chemistry practical. Dave (rubettes hat) had recollections of the stranglers getting bollocked by the floor manager for excessive messing around in rehearsal and Brendons black mike meant another live vocal. It's an odd song and really our label had no clue what to do with us. We got a year or so gigs out of it then got real jobs. It was a load of fun though and I kept the whole thing under wraps in polite conversation for many years. Thanks to the beeb for a "last chance to see" and sad that Mick the drummer didn't get to.

Best wishes
Dave

Bobby Morrow said...

Nice to see Olivia again. She was always seen as a pretty face but without much actual talent. 'Weak' was the most used word to describe her admittedly light voice. But she does give an excellent live vocal on Sam and often had the ability to get right inside a song despite not being a 'belter'. These 1977 appearances (Val Doonican Show! Silver Jubilee Variety Performance!) were her last engagements before heading back to LA to begin shooting Grease.

Farewell to Brendon then. I wouldn't have known Rock Me at that time but it does feature on the Abba album which I got later . Not the greatest Abba tune though it's not a typical song for them. Brendon did a good job on it though. Dave/ Wedding Suit, do you still have all that hair?

Neil Barker said...

I've always thought that DLT introduced the Stranglers with the words "they are very brave - Stranglers!" but it still doesn't make a great deal of sense. Also, did anyone else notice that JJ Burnel mimed the word 'bollocks' instead of 'woogie' during the intro? They were miming to a re-recorded version of the song though.

babblingmouth said...

Hmm, not the most exciting edition, even with The Stranglers. It's a shame as there were some exciting things going on, such as The Ramones, Rock Follies and The Muppets. Even Alice Cooper was around at this time (44 with Love at Your Convenience).

Ah well, we got a bit of pre Grease Olivia, a bit of Eurovision (which peaks at 42), our friend in Brendan (no, that doesn't quite sound right), and the 400 children and a crap in the fields from Kenny. It is strange what gets past the censor.

Oh, and Blue go down the following week, but are yet to peak. Ah, 1977, how sneaky you were.

charlie cook said...

Knew I recognised the Brendon's song, but couldn't place it. Wasn't rock me the b side of Waterloo - why didn't they do that instead?

Loved the Stranglers. Anarchy in the uk indeed.

charlie cook said...

Just checked - it was Watch Out. Why didn't they cover THAT instead!

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

re Wilberforce: The t-shirt Jean Jacques Burnel had on said 'Trotsky'.

And the Liverpool version also changed "1955" to "1965" which seems to be the nearest they got actually giving it some thought as they won the FA Cup that year.

And of course the Wurzels obviously got past the censors with something that completely passed me by as an 11 year old ie "I drove my tractor through your haystack last night/I threw my pitchfork at your dog to keep quiet" which is obviously extremely naughty but the BBC probably thought stereotypical yokels (confusing the group's act with reality)were too lacking upstairs to come up with something that clever!

Things looking grim on the TOTP front at this point but in a matter of weeks we'd have Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder solo, Jean Michel-Jarre and Space (all except Giorgio) in the top 5). The modern era/late 1980s arriving 10 years early.

The Man said...

Strange how the Stranglers didn't do the other A side (Get a) Grip on Yourself. Maybe the Beeb considered it a bit...suggestive? I now know why this single flopped...

babblingmouth said...

^ The other A side was Peaches.

Simon said...

And it far from flopped, it reached number eight. But apart from that... (Actually there seems to be some debate on whether Peaches was banned from Radio 1, but presumably the family audience consideration led them to the other half of the double A side)

Kitten Kong said...

I'm sorry if you've answered this before Wedding suit but how much did Brendon record?

Maybe one day it'll be popped onto a CD (I hope)

Love, light, Peace

KK

S said...

There was already a radio version of Peaches. "Oh no" for "Oh shit", "summer" for "bummer" and "Bikini for, er, "clitares". (You can be pretty sure it was banned before the re-record...)

Tyrone Jenkins said...

The Brendon version of 'Rock me' was not half bad, certainly more robust and enjoyable than some of the dreadful, meandering soft rock than afflicted the charts. I'm surprised it was not a hit (I'm being genuine and not simply saying this because of the presence of Weddingsuit!). The trademark hands-above-the-head clapping gesture would have been a crowd pleaser for any audience other than the TOTP chapel of rest extras!

WeddingSuit said...

Kk there was an original folk album before we all met up them GImme Some, Rock Me and a third single (beegees cover) How Can You Mend A Broken Heart which tanked without even making the breakers plus the current SCF material.

You know it's all gone horribly wrong when you turn up at at the birds nest club in Tiverton and the hand made poster has to justify your presence with "as seen on top of the pops" or the "Enford FC Xmas dance and prize draw" had a similar tag line on the ticket. Still got all the hair though.

Arthur Nibble said...

Hi folks! Back from Bosnia, where the Euro 2012 coverage was ace but I didn't have access to a PC, and I still haven't see this week's show so I'm diving in at the deep end hear without waterwings...

Why no picture or caption mention of Sue Jones-Davies, the 4th member of The Little Ladies? Not OK in my book. The series and album had Roxy Music's Andy Mackay as musical director if I remember correctly.

I must be going mad but, with the speed reference removed and a gentler surf sound employed, I can imagine The Beach Boys covering "Go Buddy Go"!

I can't hear Marie Miriam now without subliminally hearing Stewart Morris bellowing "Cue the roller!" ad infinitum. Simon, you've got a lot to answer for! :-)

Sad to reach the finale of Andover's second finest after The Troggs, and annoyed to hear that DLT (Daft Lary Tool) buggered up the intro for the lads. I'm beginning to look forward to his replacement by Peter Powell.

Finally, message for Dave Levy...come back, WeddingSuit! You're one of the gang now, and your insight and sense of humour have been vital to this forum. If you don't return, I suggest we bombard the website of Simple Country Folk (Dave and Brendon's current act). Maybe we could have a forumites get-together at some village hall and book them as the entertainment?

Simon said...

If you get to see the full version again, look out for the girl in a blue and white knitted beanie hat and pigtails after Frankie Miller looking sternly away from the stage with arms folded but still launching into applause on cue.

WeddingSuit said...

Just watching away the last 3 minutes of the allotted 15 minutes of fame (4 totp + 1 crackerjack which I imagine got bulk erased along with John pertwee ). Not sure if Saturday night is the full show. Liverpool express were on the rod Stewart tour that year. I was backstage at Southampton gaumont. Rod Brit and LE came back to ours for a party hosted by our (and troggs) manager they allegedly paid big bucks for tour expenses. That was how you got to be support. We had a similar issue as we were booked on the slade tour as support and refused to pay. Spot was given to "liar" and I never got to play hammersmith odeon. Never mind... Ps on andovers finest. Don't forget James Blunt although I guess he wasn't born yet. Here we come for one last 3 minutes once. ELO get out of the way.. Night night.

Arthur Nibble said...

WeddingSuit, we know where you are, don't just disappear into the ether. PS on that fifth TV appearance...CRACKERJACK!!!

Now then now then (sorry, wrong presenter) having watched the full edition, a few further missives.

Is Blue's drummer cross-eyed? Look again at his close-up shot. Maybe I need to go to SpecSavers, but...

Terrible CSO for SueBee, not landing her on the top of that bench but leaving her hovering. Was this the only TOTP dance routine shown three times, i.e. repeated twice?

I reckon Rosie must have a long body - either that or the costume designer and/or producer fancied her and gave her a shorter, more exposing costume for "Tokyo Joe". Can't really blame them!

Very good live performance from Frankie Miller - loved the
'huagh's - and was his band the prototype for Bob's Full House?

As for Liverpool Express, was that an early version of Autotune disguising Billy's voice, and is Daft Lary Tool a plastic Moan U fan from Buxton in Derbyshire? LE should have applied more pressure in that case!

Remember, kids, Jet Black (i.e. off-licence owner Brian Rankin) of the Stranglers was already late 30's at this stage.

Did ELO appear in the TOTP studio again after the elusive flop that was "Knightrider"?

Finally, our mate Brendon (and I wholeheartedly admit I was the first on this forum to take the piss which I regret), that was probably his most assured TOTP showing - far less tongue for starters. The song's production was on the weak side, and it might not quite have been the best song to release as a follow-up, but high marks for perseverance and studio performance. Can I suggest Andover for the forum's virtual get-together and gig?

wilberforce said...

it's an interesting proposition from arthur for us "forumites" to get together sometime, but then again it might be like meeting your pop heroes in the flesh (who often turn out to be a disappointment... if not complete arseholes ha ha!)

Ian Beresford said...

Just found this blog and loving the posts, hope to add some of ny witterings in future.

Simon said...

Three times, Arthur? Mah Na Mah Na's only shown twice - this and two weeks previously.

ELO never did appear in the studio again, but looking through they did make a video for pretty much everything and Legs & Co were often willing to fill the gaps.

(Speaking of two shows back, listening to the second part of Radio 2's Radio Luxembourg documentary, there's an archive clip from some time in the 60s where the DJ introduces himself as "Jimmy and Percy, the Savile twins". Jimmy seems to have been repeatedly keen to give his brother that break)

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

Oops, sorry about the Piero / Legs & Co gaffe. Also forgot to mention that I liked the lyrical nuance in Marie Miriam's translated Euro winner, where the last word of nearly every fourth line was used again as the first word of the next line.

The Man said...

Ah, so it was Peaches! Same reason to have the other A side I suppose. Conversely, that single done well despite not being featured on TOTP!

wilberforce said...

re: my earlier comment on the gang of four's "at home he's a tourist" - purely by coincidence the totp no-show incident was featured in detail in the last part of "punk brittania" (i didn't know about it, honest!), and perhaps the most tragic thing about the whole affair was GO4 vocalist jon king recounting (and i quote "to his eternal shame") that dire straits bagged the now-vacant spot despite their debut single "sultans of swing" struggling, and (unfortunately for those of us who don't care for stultifyingly boring plodding and bland mainstream rock) the rest was history...

Simon said...

Yeah, funny he should have said that, given Sultans Of Swing a) left the top 30 more than a month before At Home He's A Tourist came out and b) was never performed in the TOTP studio. I know "...and we were replaced by Sniff 'N' The Tears, who didn't even reach the top 40" doesn't sound quite as mythology building, but there it is.

Arthur, let someone else have a go... said...

Brilliant piece of trivia about the 4th 'Little Lady', Sue Jones-Davies (whose name appeared on the label for "O.K.?"), courtesy of the 45cat website. Sue appeared naked in "Life of Brian", which was banned by some towns including Aberystwyth. By quirk of fate, Sue later became Mayoress of Aberystwyth and was instrumental in getting the ban lifted after many years...and was then invited as guest of honour to the town's first screening of "Brian", where she had to watch herself au naturel!

Noax said...

Thanks to Simon for proving that punk revisionism isn't just 'THE SEX PISTOLS WERE KEPT OFF NUMBER ONE, IT'S A DISGRACE!' type nonsense.

Anyway, this week's show, a bit late from me as I had TV problems so had to wait for Saturday's repeat.

Top 30 Rundown - Apart from those items already mentioned, they've replaced a lovely picture of Peter Gabriel with one that is utterly terrifying!

Olivia Newton-John - Ah, memories of being at home with Mum as I had chronic asthma. This was on Radio 2 all the time, so feels like an old friend.

Frankie Miller - No 'Full House' according to the CD I've apparently got this on (I say apparently as it made no impression on me whatsoever) or the chart book for that matter.

Kenny Rogers - Don't care for the song, but DLT's clothesline on the member of the studio audience at the start makes me wonder how far he could have got as 'The Hairy Monster' in the WWE/WWF if it had been invented then.

Bryan Ferry - Ahhhh...that's racist

The Stranglers - It's not every day that you see a green boiler suit so that was nice. The song's not bad either. Weirdly, you can sing the chorus to the tune of the next song, I think.

Marie Myriam - Getting the chart books out again, this is listed as the French version only which is odd as presumably the English version would have been the A side? Anyhow, this is quite decent and she gives it plenty.

ELO - Was Jeff Lynne some kind of bighead? I mean, I love ELO, but why not ever bother to come back to the studio?

Brendon - Firstly, the frog. He looks like Freddo to me - given that DLT mentions a 'sponsor' were Cadburys giving out free choccies that week that couldn't be mentioned on Aunty Beeb?
Probably reading too much into that...

The song itself is alright, a bit underproduced as Arthur said. When I discovered it as an ABBA album track at the age of 7ish I was obsessed with it but to be honest, there are many many better album tracks of theirs. And 'The King Kong Song'.....

Liverpool FC - I'm sure that Ron Manager quote must have been deliberate, even though Paul Whitehouse is (SPIT!) a Spurs fan.

Simon said...

Just to say I wasn't happy with the original most artist appearances post so used a different source and have rejigged the list accordingly.

johnlyons121 said...

I thought that Marie Maryam was impossibly lovely and that L'oisea et L'enfant was a worthy winner of Eurovision - not that Rock Bottom was difficult to improve upon.

But was Marie reading the English lyrics off cue cards? Her gaze seemed to linger a lot on the floor in front of her.

Darren said...

Hi, thanks for your blog, I read it every week and all the comments as well, it makes compulsive reading! This is the first time I have contributed.

I wanted to jump to the defence of Shalimar (sic) as per the image at the top of the blog entry. Back at this time, there was no group, just some session singers that were assembled to record the "Uptown Festival" LP, and in fact what you see in this image is part of the LP cover.

Whether or not the image is a painting of the session singers, some models, or just fictional people, I don't know; but the full LP cover makes them look about 20 feet tall with long, long legs, hence why it wasn't a photo I suppose.

The Shalamar line-up we are familiar with I think came about for the follow up LP, Shalamar Disco Gardens - "Take that to the bank" from that LP appears to only get featured once as the backing to a chart rundown in early 1979, although will appear in 4 chart rundowns.

I can't forgive the spelling error though; not the first I've seen on the chart rundown, not the only one this week, and not the last either, I should think.

The Man said...

re: Wilberforce

To be fair to Dire Straits, they were as right on as Gang of Four were...

Steve Williams said...

Gosh, you go off on Friday morning and return to find 39 comments. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is how tiny and cramped the studio looked this week, I know we had the fish-eye lens for Liverpool Express but the stages looked dead small - and of course there was only one camera with Legs and Co.

Sadly we couldn't get a decent idea of the geography as the playout was faster and higher up than usual. I like how The Stranglers ended up setting up shop in front of Blue's grand piano, a fabulous contrast.

It's been mentioned by Marie Myriam's song doesn't sound right without Stewart Morris shouting "run the roller!" all over it.

WeddingSuit said...

I don't consider DLT and the frog as buggering up the intro Arthur as the alternative would have been yours truly miming the burps and that as a lasting image preserved for ever on 2" quad would have been more than sad. Probably some stunt cooked up by JK who I have lasting memories of at the 3 hour session bashing an aluminium music stand with a drumstick for the intro cowbell sound.

On the revisionist nature of the current spate of historical features about the incoming tribe. It is of course the first time the art school and humanities mafia have had their own puppets in the spotlight and they are still bleating on about it. Punk brittania attempts to pin the rise not only on TOTP blandness but also on OGWT navel gazing and even went as far as to finger Little Feat (surely Lowell George is up there with the greats). Frankly most of it is wannabe fodder and longhairs I knew who auditioned successfully for the new acts were told "gigs yours if you get a haircut" . Thank goodness for Gabriel and his ilk. Honesty was in short supply then as now.

wilberforce said...

ooops - looks like i was led down the garden path by the selective memory of mr king of the gang of four (don't believe everything you read - or hear ha ha!)... even though i'd still like to believe the story was true - as far as i'm concerned someone has to get the blame for dire straits' success!

regarding shalamar: i'm sure this like most things can be confirmed by wiki/internet these days, but without cheating and looking i seem to recall they were named after a brand of perfume called shalimar that was popular in the US at the time, but changed the spelling slightly to avoid being sued...

Arthur Nibble said...

So why didn't we join in over here and have disco outfits called Brute and High Karate?

Kitten Kong said...

Thanks Weddingsuit for the info.

As for a meet up, I'd invite you to my upcoming wedding but we'd just end up in a corner talking Pops!

Gimmie some WILL be on the playlist!

Kitten Kong said...

Just listening to the SCF tracks on their site, Nice!

Old Applejack said...

Aargh, I've had a 'Rock Me' earworm all day you know. Damn those Swedes, they could write a catchy tune alright...

WeddingSuit said...

Took me 35 years to realise it was "I can teach you how to rock all right" and not "I can't teach you how to rock or write".

Arthur Nibble (yet again) said...

(Making up for lost time, aren't I!)

WeddingSuit, just out of interest, can you explain what had happened to JK's UK label by this stage? I noticed that Brendon released 4 singles on UK including "Gimme Some" in '76, then it seems UK ceased releasing singles under their own label and licensed songs to other labels instead (e.g. the re-issue of "Gimme Some" in '77 bore the credit 'a UK record' on the Magnet label).

I know, I really should get out more!

WeddingSuit said...

Correct. Proto-outsourcing

wilberforce said...

my sleep patterns are all over the place at the moment so i'm sitting here at half 6 in the morning...
anyway, as nobody else has taken the opportunity i thought i'd dispatch a quick "single" to bring up our second half-century (another smattering of applause from the pavillion...)

Old Applejack said...

I noticed recently that site favourite Mike Moran is currently providing the music for CBeebies favourite 'Everything's Rosie'. Theme tune is sung by Harriet Moran.

Actually, I may have posted this factoid weeks ago. Apologies if I did.

wilberforce said...

are they related by any chance?

Old Applejack said...

Aha! All is revealed

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/proginfo/tv/2010/wk18/feature_everythings_rosie.shtml

Erithian said...

Those were the days – the FA Cup Final was the only game of the day and the last domestic game of the season (as promotion had been decided by league results alone). And the European Cup Final saw 14 Englishmen in Liverpool’s 16-man squad and 15 Germans in Borussia Monchengladbach’s!

Disappearing from view – this was the first and last week in chart for Shalamar and Tina Charles, the last for now for Elkie Brooks and Stevie Wonder, and the last ever for Delegation and Dead End Kids.

WeddingSuit said...

So we'll never walk alone in so many ways.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

I know I'm coming to this a bit late (I've only just found your blog) but this is a question to WeddingSuit - why was there a different drummer on the last two Brendan appearances? The original drummer had shorter hair (and big boots with puttees) and was replaced by a guy with longer hair. Which was the real drummer?

Arthur Nibble said...

Sadly, I think WeddingSuit's disappeared from the forum now his four TOTP appearances have been shown - real shame if that's the case - but he mentioned previously that the original drummer preferred a much different type of music and couldn't carry on betraying himself, so he left the band.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Thanks Arthur. That's been bugging me for weeks. I should have guessed from the fact he had shorter hair and looked more at home in a punk band.

Arthur Nibble said...

You're welcome. The drummer wasn't a punk, though. He was more of a conventional rock fan from what WeddingSuit told us (as indeed was WeddingSuit, who wished whe was in Genesis instead, and Brendon started out as a folkie). Sadly, the drummer's no longer with us.