Friday, 29 June 2012

TOTP 9/6/77 (tx 28/6/12): we love our queen, god save

Tony greets us in his usual slicky cold way, and we're off in Jubilee week. Keep that detail in mind. The Eagles on their way down marks up one of the great inconsistencies of entirely living 1977 through these repeats, in that we've almost completely skipped the presence of one of the great rock classics were it not for Legs & Co's Spanish interpretation. Now here's some stout manly MEN:



SPOILER: the Sex Pistols aren't number one here either.

Osibisa – The Warrior
Always going to be a tricky sell when a show begins on a close-up of a bongo which reveals its player seems to be wearing a small child's toy on a necklace. It's energetic Afrobeat, which means a smiling drummer and someone wearing a headband and cape but no shirt employed to play a huge shaker when he's not manfully miming a trumpet part. The Ladybirds are complete fish out of water attempting to add vocal chorale light and shade. The bongo player's more of a worry, all sticking out elbowy in his actions, never going to get proper force downwards like that. At the end our extraneous friend picks up a clarinet, with which he seems to be making the sound of a recorder. Tony comes on laughing, as always.

Electric Light Orchestra – Telephone Line
"Let's keep the holiday atmosphere going" urges a post-bank holiday Tony. With a ballad. Video repeat.

Berni Flint – Southern Comfort
"It's even better, it's going to go even higher (than his first hit)" beams Tony. Obviously, it didn't. This isn't that surprising, not being a touching folk ballad but a jaunty strum with an unfortunate touch of the Richard Digance about getting it together in the country that seems about a decade out of time in 1977. The second verse is about himself - "they put me on a programme and the votes came flooding in, and they told me you're a winner, you're a star" - with a conclusion that suggests he doesn't want any part of the fame really. The record buying public concurred. Be careful what you wish for.

Frankie Miller's Full House – Be Good To Yourself
Frankie belts it out once more, still not getting over the suspicion they've watched the Faces a bit too much given their stage positions, his craft and the general choogling undertow.

The Wurzels – Farmer Bill's Cowman
Not before time, they literally face down Tony. The problem with Farmer Bill's Cowman - well, apart from the obvious - is following Brand New Key and Una Paloma Blanca it's based on a song with no lyrics and thus no vocal melody to rearrange, I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman by Whistling Jack Smith (and incidentally, if any of you are looking to adopt a new dance style...) All the mugging in the world - cockerel impressions, looks to side camera of disgust donning a top hat, referencing Burlington Bertie - isn't going to convince the audience that these people are doing anything useful any more, quite some change from the days people would fight each other with balloons to get in shot with them. To their credit they're singing live; to nobody's credit one of them puts the mike out to various audience members and is met by stony silence. They're all wearing election-style rosettes. They lost their deposits.

Gladys Knight & The Pips – Baby Don’t Change Your Mind
Horrible 1977 edit at the start of this, cutting without warning from Tony to a shot of some sort of disc a young Knight had been awarded at some undisclosed time. The amateur hour at the VT suite feel carries on through the video, which features the Pips rehearsing moves in their own clothes in what could either be someone's oversized studio flat or a provincial leisure centre, being watched by Gladys wearing her own band's T-shirt. Then there's Knight and band recording their vocals seemingly without studio facilities but with bright orange plastic-seeming headphones, which they're all holding under their chins. Surely eventually someone would realise there's an inbuilt way they could keep them on while freeing a hand or two. Eventually we get some cursory shots of a balding man at a soundboard, but for someone attempting to record four lead vocal takes at once he seems very relaxed.

Neil Innes – Silver Jubilee
"You're probably wondering what this little bit of string is here" enthuses Tony, next to a piece of string that hasn't been seen before and you may not have spotted until Tony predicted you'd be wondering about. It's to set off a load of balloons on top of... oh my. Neil Innes, second in command of the Bonzo Dog Band, author of the Rutles, most plausible seventh Python candidate, man behind the long-demanded-for-DVD-release series The Innes Book Of Records, auteur of The Raggy Dolls. Him. He turns out to be the anti-Rotten. Imagine if this was the only thing you now knew about him. Now, his real intentions are kept straightfaced as to potential subversiveness and, presumably after being tweeted at by half the viewers, he claimed this morning "Jubilee song was a dare", but there's precious little irony inherent when you're standing under a flotilla of balloons entirely surrounded by young people waving Union Jacks singing "sailing in the yacht Britannia, nowhere in the world would ban ya" to a frankly reggaefied backing track that makes Paul Nicholas sound like King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown. Then there's his conduct during the short break, which in its jauntily skipping to the back of the stage, picking up a flag and waving it to either side isn't too far from the David Parton model. Top marks for working the word "highfalutin" in, mind.

The Stranglers – Go Buddy Go
"We're gonna change tempo a little bit now", although that is at least rather jaunty and not too far from this sort of pace. Then it becomes clear Tony cannot actually physically say the magic word (or two, right Kid?) yet in this Pistolian of all weeks: "a bit of that sort of, er, a bit of rock now". Same as two weeks ago. A royal tribute followed by this? That's got to have been deliberate.

Demis Roussos - Kyrila
"We'll conjure up the lovely island of Demis" promises Tony, which seems a bit personal. It's the fulcrum of a thought about people going on holiday, because he's Greek, see. This clearly hasn't been filmed at the same time as everything else as the blue smocked Demis is in front of a big off-white wall like it's Pebble Mill or something, no sign given of the usual Pops studio sets, with a wind machine to one side and, to denote the luxury holiday content, two potted plastic trees in front of him, not so much carefully arranged to give the impression of far off desert islands as grabbed out of reception and hoping for the best.

Honky – Join The Party
"I've got two ladies here, you come from Blackburn, aren't you? What a sensible place to come from!" So there you have it - Blackburn, says namesake, is "sensible". Such positivity. Odd that this repeat made the early edit when two new songs and a third that hasn't been on at 7.30 before, but we're long past the stage of second guessing the editing intentions.

The Jacksons – Show You The Way To Go
Tony recalls seeing the Osmonds in Vegas "who were sensational" and spotting the Jacksons in the audience. See, the jet set lifestyle. This seems to be the same set as Demis, with a single line of the backs of people's heads in front of the stage, some of whom are wandering about throughout, but somehow with a setting sun projection behind them the trees look just a little more convincing. The blue slit dresses don't fit the routine that seems generic and half-arsed as it is, as if this was one of those late replacement song weeks and they had the set built so they may as well kill two birds with one stone.

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus
Well, this is no Neil Innes. Tony impresses on us that "wherever you go they've had smash hits", this being Marley's debut (and penultimate) appearance in the studio. Just for that it's something of a landmark and the moment clearly gets to the director, who halfway through cuts to some lights for too long, then very briefly to the bassist with his mouth open, then back to the I-Threes where he started before finding Bob again. Even more jarringly, it takes ages for the audience to get into it - there's plenty of strutting at the back from the well dressed older kids but down the front the best they can manage is some half hearted Union Jack waving, which shorn of context seems almost adversorial. Also note that just like any band unwilling to cart a full backline around they're kit sharing, sharing stage space and an organ with Osibisa

Rod Stewart – The First Cut Is The Deepest
One more week of waggling from the rear and emoting with the forehead. (Alright, stop that, we all know the story by now). Tony hopes we join him for Seaside Special and over the aforesnowed Emerson Lake & Palmer there's the rare sound of a fulsome round of applause over the start of the credits. They're supposed to be dancing, right?

53 comments:

Dory said...

Not one of the best TOTP shows of 1977, as I struggled to find a good tune, and even when I thought ELO was the feature track, there was a stitched up version this week (even on the late show), compared to the fuller version two weeks ago on DLT's show. But the closing tune by Emerson Lake & Palmer seemed to be the finest on the show for me.

Arthur Nibble said...

Who's responsible for the scheduling, editing and internet set-up of these editions? The first re-run of this show was shoved back to 1.35 on Friday morning to shoehorn in yet another whimsical historical programme, BBC iPlayer hadn't got the show up by 11.30 last night so I gave up, and The Wurzels were shown in the preview picture on BBC iPlayer and apparently also mentioned before the 7.30 showing, yet they were cut from the show which had been bludgeoned rather than spliced. Piss-up and brewery. Incidentally, in the schpiel on BBC iPlayer, Tony Blackburn is credited under "key talent" for this edition. I despair.

Don't know why The Ladybirds didn't join Osibisa on stage - we all know it can take the weight of 13. Shame I didn't get to see Berni's top 48 smash early doors, but excellent to hear my fave Gladys and Pips song, with Van the man McCoy's trademark orchestral stamp all over the song. Now those were what I call headphones!

I nearly needed a bucket for that Neil Innes slop. The record label shows the song title as "Silver Jubilee (A Tribute)" and, as we know, tribute equals cash-in, e.g. Roxy Music's cash-in on John Lennon's death by covering "Jealous Guy". Why was he singing about a high for Luton? Loved the pun... er - spikey haired lad betwixt Innes and camera near the end.

I got a bit bored by the end of the early show, wondering if Demis Roussos looked like a fat George Best, and thinking the group performing "Exodus" was a mixture of Osibisa and Honky's ultra-thin singer. As for Honky - absolute rubbish. Bring Back Brendon!

I must remember to get a torch for the next time Legs & Co are on. They've been badly or partly lit for three routines in a row now. The last time we could see them all properly, Sue was in that bee costume, probably wishing the lights had gone out so we couldn't see her!

Dory said...

Me again. We seem to be falling behind the schedule, with recent Sky at Night programmes having eaten into the TOTP run, we're approaching July now, and stuck on early June 1977 still. I mean this was supposed to be BBC4 showing this very week 35 years ago, but now it's this week and one month ago in 1977. When will we catch up to July?

Simon said...

There was only one actual edit this week, taking out three consecutive songs in one go, and the original cut pre-Pips was clunking enough in its original form. But yes, the Wurzels were specifically mentioned in the 7.30 continuity.

It's only actually three weeks behind at the moment with two wiped shows to account for, but there's a Sky At Night break again next week. As I keep saying, I really have no clue what BBC4's plan is here, especially as next week's TSAN is an hour long followed by, er, Richard Wilson Learns To Drive for half an hour. They're fixated by this Thursday 7.30 being the traditional slot idea, but that's dragging the whole thing down.

Arthur Nibble said...

My 'bludgeoning' remark was really aimed at the awful edit during ELO (done with some crimping scissors, methinks), but I don't get why they'd mention an act then disregard them or decide Frankie Miller didn't deserve an early showing when Honk-up got two.

Angelo Gravity said...

My Wurzel fan son was gutted at their non-appearance - editing the Wurzels out of anything should really be a criminal offence.

I note that Kenny Rogers replaces Rod at number one next week - this after slipping down from 2 to 3 - while the Pistols, who entered at 11 and shot straight to 2, looking for all the world like a certain number one, somehow manage to drop down to 4. Very odd - potential H-bomb...

Steve Does Top of the Pops said...

I really don't think I'l ever get over the full horror of the Neil Innes track but at least we got Gladys Knight's Pips to cheer us up and a second helping of the Stranglers.

The lack of Wurzels in the early showing was a major disappointment to me.

Honky were just plain disturbing.

Simon said...

It's no great shock the Pistols drop - the whole idea was to be top or thereabouts in Jubilee week. That whole chain of events is fascinating for reasons I think I'll blog about next week - suffice to say, everything you know is wrong...

I don't know offhand whether the ELO edit was in the original or not - given the original cut half a verse off Dancing Queen last year anything is possible - but I know neither channel nor arts department is responsible for editing.

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

Yes the edits are beyond all logic - and what is so difficult about putting the whole of the show (exactly as broadcast in 1977) on I-player?

I quite liked this edition (after 2 distinctly dodgy ones).

Osibisa - an "so that's what that was" moment for me in that this is one of those tunes I've had in my head but never knew what it was - in other words it must have been played on either Radio 2 or Capital radio a lot at the time to burrow itself into my brain good and proper. Probably Radio 2 tackle I should imagine.But the fact that it's stayed with me all those years doesn't mean I like it unfortunately!

Gladys Knight & the Pips - absolute classic (my favourite track by the group), amazing Van McCoy production (who we got to see in the video unlike on TOTP in his own right supporting his own big Top 10 hit in the last couple of weeks).
I actually thought the video was very watchable and interesting.

Honky - I've changed my opinion about this think I think it's actually a pretty good funk groove.

Bob Marley - I didn't expect this - another very pleasant surprise akin to seeing Michael Jackson suddenly appear the other week.Amongst all the mundane stuff the popping up of a legend in the flesh (in the studio)so to speak is always very welcome.

Neil Innes - I even hated this as a 12 year old - one of the worst things I've ever seen on TOTP

Demis Roussos - not one of his best (I think this is off his chart EP) but still pretty nice.You won't get cutting edge dance producers remixing this so no "I Dig You" by a long chalk!

ELO - never been a fan of the group but that weird strangely ethereally synth breakdown bit needs to be sampled and have a nice dance or chill-out track made around it.

I think Tony Blackburn's definitely improved from how he was a year ago in the summer of 1976 - but I think that was the time when when his wife Tessa Wyatt left him and he famously cracked up on his Radio 1. If you look at him presenting in mid-1976 and talking complete nonsense even by TOTP presenters' standards you see a recently heartbroken man with his mind preoccupied elsewhere.

wilberforce said...

with the following exception, most of the performances this week were as bland as the host (i think i may prefer tony blackburn when he's got personal problems!)

whatever neil innes' intent, sucking up to that freeloading parasite brenda really makes me want to vomit... i'm pleased to say there were no street parties "celebrating" that event on the estate i lived on at the time (maybe because it wasn't a council estate)... and even had there been, i felt the same way even back then so wouldn't have been there!

they put up some flags over the entrance to a housing association estate across the way from me to celebrate brenda's recent "milestone"... and (probably because the bastards can't be arsed) they're still hanging there - i'm thinking about creeping over under cover of darkness to shin up the lamp-post and cut them down...

Vintage Reading said...

Loved Gladys Knight and the Pips. Fresh and fun video and I think one of those Pips is her brother.

Classic Legs&Co literal interpretation of the lyrics, pointing for 'Let me show you' and clasping hands for 'Come together' ... Lulu and Patti get to strut their funky stuff and Pauline gets stuck behind a palm tree.

Classic Bob Marley. The real deal.

Tyrone Jenkins said...

Seeing the Neil Innes (seemingly)irony-free jubilee cash-in I was reminded of another BBC junket from that same week, the Brucie-fronted 'Royal Windsor Jubilee big top'! This was a 'Seaside special'-like affair featuring examples of the 'cream' (irony intended)of light entertainment, including (from a 35 year old memory) Little and large, Boney M,some sort of acrobat troupe and Olivia Newton John! The Latter performance (or part of)is the only bit available on youtube. Weather this is a blessed relief or not I will leave to the opinion of others! I recal that during the Golden jubilee schedules of 10 years ago the BBC broadcast an evening of repeats from the Jubilee holiday of 25 years earlier, including part of the Brucie big top thing. At the intro he sang a song about the clouds of (economic?) gloom departing and everyone being thankful to the Queen for this brief respite of joy. I bet these radical sentiments gave Neil Innes a run for his money? Talking of which, it would (perhaps) be interesting to hear Innes's views on the Sex Pistols/God save the queen mularky?

Julie Joanne Bevan said...

I LOVED the song by Neil Innes; in fact, I like everything he's done. I hear he's compiling a DVD of highlights from his TV series 'The Innes Book of Records' - and not before time! The production number 'Mr Eurovision', featured in that series, is essential viewing for anyone who believes Michael Barrymore was an original talent; the musical side of his act was a pathetic imitation of Neil's style.

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

I think I remember that jubilee thing with Bruce didn't it tie in with the lighting of the beacons starting at Windsor Great Park.

Simon said...

Perhaps interesting to note that the one nod towards events on the Golden Jubilee week TOTP was Billy Bragg in the studio singing Take Down The Union Jack (and a reissue of God Save The Queen, while not featured on the show, was openly promoted by Lydon everywhere, which didn't help it even into the top ten)

THX said...

Was that a blue swallow tattoo on Berni Flint's arm? Bit of class. Although weren't they usually sported on the hand? Why did men have those tattoos anyway?

Think someone might have had second thoughts about playing the Wurzels when they noticed the lyrics. It's political correctness gone mad! Or political correctness gone sane, because who wants to have an image of them milking a bull in their minds? And the bull coming back for more with a John Inman impersonation?

Gladys Knight and the Pips, sublime record, video was entertaining but I'm not sure about the Pips' training kit. Why wear a T-shirt when you've rolled it up above the navel? Bizarre.

Neil Innes - this is why The Rutles had to happen. But I don't think they were on TOTP. Never knew there were actions to the Jacksons. Hey, that rhymes. Maybe they should have had Legs & Co. doing the hokey cokey one week. I note Bob Marley got a far better musical deal than Althia and Donna ever did in the studio.

Tyrone Jenkins said...

80sBlokeInThe70s: You have just rekindled another memory! I think you are right about the Brucie big top special being tied-in with the lighting of the torches.

With regards to Neil Innes, there is an online partition to try and persuade the BBC to repeat/release on DVD 'The Innes book of records'. The link to this is on his twitter/blog sites. It would be great if it was released.

Arthur Nibble said...

I found a less then mint condition version of "Southern Comfort" on YouTube and gave it a listen. The clicks and scratches of the vinyl were far more interesting than the song. Funny how Berni sang about going home to Southern comfort when he comes from Southport - maybe he was angling for a free supply of the spirit? Didn't realise he won "Opportunity Knocks" for a record 12 weeks in a row - twice as long as muscle man Tony Hollands!

David van Kemenade said...

That balding man behind the sound desk in the Gladys Knight video bears a striking resemblance to Hector Savage in The Naked Gun 2½!

Simon said...

Incidentally, how odd a chart year this was - First Cut/I Don't Want To Talk About It spent five weeks at number one and another four in the top five, yet in the official end of year total sales chart it's at number 22 (that may be an error, but going on latter day estimates it's still comfortably outside the ten biggest sellers of 1977)

Stegron said...

Gladys Knight & The Pips - fantastic!

I'll never tire of that Stranglers performance, JJ Burnel seemingly on a one-man mission to put the sh*ts up as much of the audience as possible.

Marley in the studio never gets old, great stuff.

Honky are really growing on me, not a bad tune if you can get past the way they look...

ELO can do no wrong in my eyes (in another universe 'Mr Blue Skies' is the national anthem).

But Neil Innes... oh, Neil, Neil, Neil. Pretty much all of my respect for the man dwindled to nothing, like the health bar in a video game, as I watched this. Rubbish song, rubbish performance, rubbish sentiment.

mick ronsons 72 haircut said...

Oh dear, another turkey with a few exceptions.osibisa, tired stuff. Elo a bunch of schoolteachers out for a laugh! Bernie flint toss! Frankie miller the very poor man's paul rodgers. The wurzels had'nt they taken this joke too far? Gladys not one of her best! Neil innes this was once the 'urban spaceman' god save! The stranglers A classic performance! Honky,demis,legs''yaw'. bob marley pure class, icon. Louis XV1 'tosser'! Elp john peel said it all.

Steve Williams said...

Gosh, this blog gets busy quickly, I didn't have to comment last night and now everyone's had a go. I think I'm going to pack in my job and become a Pip because they seem to have a brilliant time, especially the one who's always on the right who's laughing it up. Second choice would be drummer in Osibisa. My dad didn't have that one on 45 but it was amiable enough and I ended up singing it when I woke up this morning.

I like the use of the phrase "jaunty strum". That Legs and Co performance was on a stage woefully unsuitable for it, we saw more of the pot plants than the girls, though presumably it saved a bit of cash to reuse the stage.

I'm always annoyed when the credits are just over some lights because I like to see the geography of the studio. I wonder whose job that was.

Simon said...

Quick bit of housekeeping: The Sky At Night next week, then two weeks later live Proms start messing with BBC4's schedules as they did last year. I believe TOTP is on Wednesday 19th in that instance.

Oh, and the Pops in between those weeks is an open thread as I'm away.

Noax said...

The Beeb really made an effort for Jubilee week Pops didn't they?
Sets that are even cheaper than usual, and a less than stellar line-up. They could at least have wheeled the Toppotron out!

Osibisa - Like another poster, this sounded vaguely familiar. Perhaps I heard it on the radio when I was young as well. Fairly perfunctory stuff though really.

Berni Flint - Oh dear, what's with the Country & Western style voice? Enough to drive you to drink, and ironically enough I have a bottle of Southern Comfort around to help there.

The Wurzels - More disturbing than usual somehow, although the John Inman reference I wasn't expecting. The one on the left is utterly rubbish though, isn't he? In all the live performances he never seems to do much.

Gladys Knight & The Pips - Nice to see a lot of love for this, as it's a fantastic tune. I enjoyed the video in all its demented glory, and I've got to believe that this was the inspiration for ABBA's similar video for 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' though that had less dancing in sportswear and slightly more sensible headphones.

Neil Innes - I didn't mind this actually! I mean, surely he was taking the piss for a start, and the odd look aside (at an autocue or at Bob Marley shaking his fist?) made it seem as though he was making it up on the spot. Ages ago when we were thinking of bad cod-reggae songs we forgot this, didn't we?!

Anyway, I can forgive Neil anything for the TV gold that was Puddle Lane. Pom pom, pom pom pom!

Demis Roussos - The budget's gone. Look at the bare floor at Demis's feet! Mind you, this song didn't deserve too much thrown at it.

Bob Marley - Still quite amazing, though it's been on TOTP2 often enough to render it less exciting than it should be.

ELP - I think we get to see the video in all its majesty soon, don't we?

Ooh, majesty - topicality there. I thang yew.

wilberforce said...

stegron: i think the b-side of honky's "join the party" is actually better and funkier than the a-side...

there's another track of theirs on youtube called "can't sit down" and makes references to seeing a doctor - sounds like they're suffering from the old "farmer giles" ho ho!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8Vi5waVcBE

The Man said...

The Pips looked about 10 years younger than they were in their suits, which is presumably why casual clothes are so common these days...

I though Rod Stewart's #1 was a double A-side, so why do TOTP insist on not showing the other one?

Simon said...

Nothing to show for it if Rod's not coming in to the studio - the First Cut clip comes from the previous year's A Night On The Town TV special.

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

THX

I didn't get to see Bernie's blue swallow as I watched it on I-player but yes they're usually on the hands or occasionally on the neck - a barman in my local back in my teens had them there.
I've heard loads over the years about what they mean - "these fists fly", also to mean getting your freedom after doing time I've even heard they mean the owner is "light-fingered" but why you'd want to announce that I don't know!
Very old-skool now though and I don't think you'd find many on anyone born after the 1950s at the latest. Even older-skool than borstal spots...

THX said...

@80sBloke: Thanks for that, although it does suggest Berni had a chequered past, doesn't it?

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

The shame of it...I watched the Saturday edition on telly and was horrified to note that what I thought was a punk lad in the crowd for Neil Innes when watching BBC iPlayer on my PC was, in fact, someone wearing a party hat! Would you like me to retire from the forum now?

In reference to Neil Innes's effort (as it happens, not as bad as The Wurzels' embarrassing pop cowpat), does anyone know where the phrase "cod reggae" originates from?

wilberforce said...

i think the word "cod" as a way of describing something fake (or faux/phoney/ersatz) has been around for a long time i.e. "he spoke in a cod-british accent"... i don't know who actually originated the phrase "cod-reggae", but i do remember it being used in the weekly uk music press in the late 70's (especially the nme and sounds) to savage white rock bands' attempts to play that style... so why has that particular phrase stuck, and not "cod-soul" or cod-jazz"? probably because most the rock hacks of the time regarded reggae as almost sacred (thanks to its punk connections - personally they always seemed rather odd bedfellows to me!) and would never miss an opportunity to mock anyone in that manner who dared to take its name in vain by trying to copy it!

for those interested, i have found this article on "cod-reggae" on the the internet:

http://www.hecklerspray.com/cod-reggae-britains-totally-tropical-taste/201051260.php

The Man said...

Wasn't there a Rod Stewart video/performance of him performing "First cut is the deepest" in front of a roaring fire?

Tyrone Jenkins said...

Perhaps Rod Stewart in front of a roaring fire was his attempt at appealing to the Perry Como/Val Doonican/andy Williams market? I remember a number of roaring fire/logs acrackling tv performances; apart from the aforementioned Como/Doonican/Williams cosy-fests Donny Osmond performed 'Young Love' with the flames arising in the background on TOPT(admittedly it was the 1973 Festive special). In similar vain John Denver (tailor made for this sort of homespun treatment)did the cracling fire/log cabin routine and I'm sure David Soul engaged in the same conceit in one of his video's. Of course I could be mistaken and these could be the confused ramblings of a jaded mind!?

wilberforce said...

by pure chance i was browsing in a charity shop yesterday, and heard jeremy vine ask a phone-in question on his radio show: what is the next line of the national anthem after "god save our gracious queen, long live our noble queen, god save the queen"? he also mentioned that in order to be a resident of our green and pleasant land you were supposed to know the words of the first verse - not only did i not know the next line (i thought it was "long to reign over us" but turned out to be "send her victorious") but i had to look up the first 3 lines to reproduce them here!

watching the european football championships, i was so envious of the likes of the french and the italians lustily belting out their national anthems (whilst "our boys" mumbled ours into their boots - maybe that's why they played so badly!) - not only are their tunes much more rousing than our dirge, but the lyrics express great inspiration to die for their country and overcome tyranny - unlike ours which toadys up to our tyrant!

Simon said...

But the winning country's national anthem has no words to belt out at all.

Tyrone Jenkins said...

with regards to Wilberforce's comment about our sycophantic nat anthem: You are quite right. Only in a society as snobbish and class-ridden as ours would such a toadying dirge of an anthem have any resonance. For years we have been fed propaganda about our supposedly meritocratic 'classless'society; this recession exposes such utter crap. I'm off to listen to the Neil Innes jubilee song!

wilberforce said...

simon - yes you're right, but even though the spanish national anthem is known as the royal march, due to its lack of words it still reflects the pride of a country as a whole, rather than pay deference to those who rule it as we do (even the fascist dictator franco sanctioned this tune as the national anthem, albeit under its original title "the march of the grenadiers")...

here's to the revolution...

Arthur Nibble said...

The English nstional anthem is actually "Land Of Hope And Glory", which is ignored by both the national football and rugby teams. That's the main reason why I don't sing "GSOQ" - nothing anti-monarchist, it's just that England only seems to use the correct anthem for the Commmonwealth Games. Do either Wales or Scotland sing "GSOQ" before rugby of football internationals? I rest my case.

Simon said...

Talking of anti-monarchism, here tomorrow will be the full story of this week's chart vis a vis God Save The Queen, including some evidence that it may have been kept off number one because, well, Rod Stewart sold more copies that week...

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

Sorry for the Ronnie Barker mis-spellings just now, Horrible day, down the pub tonight, wish I wasn't here (or anywhere).

Tyrone Jenkins said...

Is Rod Stewart on the record as having commented on his inadvertant part in the great Sex Pistols controversy or has he kept his council? I don't recall John Lydon subscribing to the 'we was done' conspiracy theory.

Simon said...

Well, the blog in question is up now, but as far as I could tell Rod wasn't even aware until it was put to him a few years ago. No reason why he shouldn't have missed it, he was heading across America repeatedly at the time and presumably wasn't up to speed with punk's development.

Arthur Nibble said...

Thinking about it, Neil Innes's record company made a real hash of it. "Silver Jubilee" should have been on TOTP a week or fortnight earlier so people could buy the record prior to the jubilee celebrations if they desired. Who'd want to buy a single commemorating a royal event which had happened the previous week?

As for stout manly men, interesting (to me at least) that Keith Emerson and Greg Lake had solo hits but not their drummer Carl Palmer, and when the band later re-formed without Palmer, Emerson and Lake recruited Cozy Powell, a drummer with three 'solo' hits to his name.

Steve Morgan said...

The only artist I can comment on this week is the Gladys Knight/Pips song which I see is a favourite of Arthur Nibble.
The song was originally recorded by The Stylistics a year previously on their album Fabulous, the one which contains their 1976 hits Can't Help Falling In Love and Sixteen Bars. I always thought Baby Don't Change Your Mind would make a great single and when Gladys Knight's version was released it was a justifiable hit. The track, both versions produced by Van McCoy, has a virtually identical arrangement, Knight's being bouncier and with a stronger vocal than Russell Thompkins' falsetto. A great track, reaching number four on the UK charts.

Of the rest of the show this week, sadly it left me underwhelmed.

malmo58 said...

Sky At Night again tonight. When TOTP 1977 comes back next week we'll be 4 weeks behind, with 5 more Sky At Nights to come and only 2 more missing episodes. So by the end of the year we've 7 weeks to make up.

Perhaps we'll have a run of daily episodes at Christmas to catch up? That would be a real yuletide treat.

Alternatively I'd have no problem with just carrying on in sequence at the current pace. Seeing the 1977 Christmas episodes in late February is better than having episodes skipped!

Simon said...

Five TOTPs in a week? Shall I book the doctor's appointment for exhaustion now?

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

Going back to Neil Innes, The Rutles were the unluckiest band when the Tuesday lunchtime chart rundown was extended. In the last week of the old top 30 countdown, "I Must be In Love" was at 39. The next week, the first of the newly expanded top 40 rundowns, they'd dropped out.

Simon said...

Pick Of The Pops played I Must Be In Love a little while ago and Tony didn't say anything else about who they were before or after, presumably leaving a few people confused.

Yes, Arthur again... said...

Reverting back to ELP solo singles, it appears Keith Emerson's "Honky Tonk Train Blues" (which the pre-watershed viewers missed in the re-run) was used as the theme tune to an Italian TV show and subsequently toppped their national singles chart for several weeks. There's a brilliant YouTube clip of Keith performing it live on Italian station RAI with the song pre-announced as "Honky Tonky Train Blues". "The Fast Show", Channel 9, where are you when we need you?

(Cue Brian Johnston)...and up comes the fifty, with some polite applause from the pavilion....

wilberforce said...

that's three consecutive half-centuries on the (jonathan) trot! here's hoping we make our maiden century sometime soon...

does anyone else remember those oscar peterson shows that were on bbc2 around 1977? he always featured guests who were usually fellow-jazzers, but on one occasion keith emerson appeared and i think not only did he perform "honky tonk train blues", he actually duetted with oscar as well (why can't the beeb dig those out of the archives and show them on bbc4?)

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

Wilberforce, will this do?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvQIobg0BwU

wilberforce said...

thanks arthur - i watched a bit of it but i'm still very much "old school" when it comes to watching films, videos and stuff on the telly (including vintage TOTP) i.e. i actually want to view reclining in my favourite easy chair from a distance with my feet up rather than staring at a screen 18 inches away whilst perched on a swivel chair! (in times to come when all forms of viewing are accessed from a central point, people will laugh about this in the same way we do about a man with a flag leading along early automobiles)...