Thursday, 12 July 2012

TOTP 16/6/77 (tx 12/7/12) open thread

Hello. Yes It's Number One can't come to the blog right now as he's on a business call* elsewhere. This is therefore your chance to fill in the details and ruminations without my giving you a head start for once. Kid's in charge, so remember to wish him good love back at the end, with the following:

John Miles – Slow Down
Olivia Newton-John – Sam
Hot Chocolate – So You Win Again
Andy Gibb – I Just Wanna Be Your Everything
Emerson Lake & Palmer – Fanfare For The Common Man
Gene Cotton – Me And The Elephant
Queen – Good Old Fashioned Loverboy
Archie Bell & the Drells – Everybody Have A Good Time
Bo Kirkland & Ruth Davis through the auspices of Legs & Co and special friends – You're Gonna Get Next To Me
The Foster Brothers – Count Me Out
The Muppets – Halfway Down The Stairs
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Anything That’s Rock 'N' Roll
Kenny Rogers – Lucille

(* in a wet field in Gloucestershire)

Oh, and as I didn't want to just leave you with nothing, here's a Spotify playlist of 1977 so far - everything that was performed in the studio or number one and is on there in original form.


Arthur Nibble said...

Taking the early show for now, I’m afraid Kid impersonated Tony Blackburn on occasions but was still his usual effervescent self overall.

’77-era John Miles must have been the inspiration for Keith Lemon. Check the hair and moustache and prove me wrong. John gets an early podium place for worst mimer of the year, missing several “oh yeahs” and ballsing up his voicebox-tube-thing – by the way, John, get with the times, that contraption’s so 1976!

Kid then promises this show has something for everyone to enjoy. Oh good! Punk? New wave? Nubiles? Simon May? (Only kidding on the last one.) No, it didn’t. Black mark, Kid. None of ’that sort of rock thing’ at all tonight, and we plough on with some pre-Grease ON-J MOR.

Then the next song, Hot Choc’s biggie introduced as “OK, You Win!” – sadly, Kid’s started to get the song titles wrong as well. Another black mark.

The next three songs get a smooth splice – Andy Gibb with his top 26 smash, then a video for “Fanfare for the Stout Manly Man”, then Gene Cotton, another never-hit-maker with “Me And The Elephant” which was on Radio 1 ad infinitum, and spent five weeks in the breakers peaking at a teasing so-near-yet-so-far unofficial number 51.

Kid then gives us a real DJ-style link by mentioning the Jubilee and Queen in the same sentence. Listen and weep, Blackburn! Clearly a case of “We’d better go in the studio otherwise they’ll never play this one either”, but who was playing the piano when Freddie was standing up? Can I assume that wasn’t live then?

Then it’s Delegation back in their green, it isn’t, it’s Archie and the lads! After two flops following “Soul City Walk”, this was at 44 when the lads were on but it only moved one place higher before leaving the chart. Surely the song was called “Do The Pelvic Thrust” if that routine’s anything to go by.’s Floyd! Even better, enforced audience participation, just like when you’re pulled out of your seat to join in with the holiday camp's disco act. They should have stood at the back of the crowd to avoid getting picked – movement that was more wooden than the carpentry department of B&Q!

We’re then treated to Keith Lemon number two as Elton John’s label, fresh from a ‘throw enough mud at the wall and some will stick’ campaign with Blue, try it again with The Foster Brothers. We’ll hear a lot more of them according to Kid - who’s starting to grow an infeasible black wiggy haircut by this stage – and, of course, we never hear of them again. Probably partly due to the showman getting our new award, guitar solo gurner of the year.

Betwixt Froggy Boy and the surprise number one (are you actually allowed to voice that sort of opinion, Kid?) and Jacksons fade-out, we get Tom Petty...or is that Simon Dee with long hair...or is it Peter Crouch...or is it Vic Reeves’ club singer? Can’t make the words out – must be club singer! Still, enough people understood it to get it to number 36.

I’ll probably wax lyrical about the three missing acts tomorrow, provided I stay awake long enough to watch them.

Steve Does Top of the Pops said...

I thought it was a decent edition tonight, nothing brilliant but nothing so bad as to make your eyeballs fly out in horror.

Arthur's right. It was indeed the night when all the Keith Lemons were let loose.

suedehead said...

Ah yes, I remeber that Gene Cotton song now. A little odd but pleasant enough.

Elsterpie said...

Just finished watching it and confirms my memory that 77 TOTPs were even worse than 76. This episode was simply awful. Some credit should be given for getting Tom Petty on though

Steve Morgan said...

Kenny Rogers being at number one on this week's edition reminds me of a little story.

Yes, he had four hungry children, but the crop in the field still had to be cut and brought in. So he took his tractor and cut it down and began gathering it in. While he was loading it onto the hay cart however, he noticed one of the wheels a little wobbly, but nevertheless decided it would be ok until he got back to the barn.
As he was travelling back, the horse panting with the weight of the load, he was relieved when he picked up a little speed on the downward slope towards the farm. Things though began to go a little awry when suddenly the wheel came loose and whizzed off down the track in front of him. Clutching his head he cried out, "Oh, you picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel"

Like Gene Cotton's elephant, I don't forget corny old jokes. It was a fave of our Cilla's too.
More of my thoughts on this weeks edition after I've seen the full rundown.

Now to log in and post this thing.

Steve Williams said...

Like that Gene Cotton song. Reminds me of elephants.

No, not Kid's finest half hour, that, if only for the cardigan, and some crap Noel-esque predictions. It was no surprise the Foster Brothers failed to make it given the lead singer's really odd performance style, but his moustachioed twin John Miles I really enjoyed, a million times more fun than his other snoozesome records (and like Bo Kirkland and Ruth Davis, another song I realised I knew but didn't know who did it).

Good to see Floyd back again, and I loved the audience participation, surely Flick's way of saying to the proudcers "Look, since we got rid of him I'm reduced to this if I want to get men in the routine". Gill's bloke was the most clod-hopping.

And of course Queen were audience-less and I don't think they're back in the studio now for five years when they also don't have an audience. When was the last time they faced the massed throng?

Arthur Nibble said...

Having watched the late show, time to plug the gaps.

Andy Gibb looked just like a thin beardless Barry. Didn't he go out with Victoria Principal, the Eva Longoria of their era, and pass away at a very young age? Particularly liked one chord Andy strummed - a bar chord using his thumb over four of the strings. What chord is that exactly?

Had ELP just played the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, were they about to, or did they simply hire it for the video? I know the single's cover has a similar photo to their chart rundown. In any case, it seemed strange watching them play to an empty snow-filled stadium. From memory, did Greg Lake have a mic stand? For an instrumental?

Gene Cotton's song was syrupy but had a decent lilting tune, even though it took about five minutes getting through the song's premise before reaching the fist chorus. You know who should have done a cover of that song? Johnny Morris, that's who.

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

Sorry, forgot to mention this. I'm sure Simon's already pointed this out, but next week's edition is on WEDNESDAY night at 7.30, brought forward a day because of the Proms. The show only has 11 acts, including the latest appearance of a reviled artist and the final appearance of another one, so the first re-showing at 1.30 on Thursday Morning (!!!) is the same length.

Anonymous said...

The show only has 11 acts, including the latest appearance of a reviled artist and the final appearance of another one,

Glitter and Bolan, I presume?

Not again, Arthur.... said...

Right with one, but I'm sure Marc was revered, not reviled. The bloke I'm thinking of (probably more mickey-taken than reviled, actually) has a bowler and cane. That's to come next week, though - I'm peaking too early.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

I always liked Kid Jensen, especially the way he pronounced his surname - Jen-Sen not Jensen.

The rundown. Interesting to see that they're still using black and white photos in 1977. Poor George Benson, Alessi, Van McCoy, The Trammps and Kenny Rogers looks drab compared to the others. Nice to see Honky have gone up, albeit two places (I bought that one at the time). Curly perms were very big (Barbara Streisand, Carol Bayer Sager, Jeff Lynne). They still haven't fixed the Rule Lenska caption (I think the BBC did it on purpose as Rock Follies was on the rival station).

John Miles. Nice Orange amps. The keyboard player's electric piano is really too low for him, he's standing like he's crapped himself. Not clever in cream trousers.

ONJ's gone for a look that's somewhere between Farah-Fawcett and Lesley Judd. She seems very lonely sat on those steps. Didn't Sam turn out to be a dog or am I getting mixed up with Barry Manilow's Mandy?

Hot Chocolate's Erroll Brown has opted for shiny bottle green trousers with matching cummerbund and has borrowed one of his wife's flowery blouses. The drummer's sporting a white suit with no shirt, not a good idea if he perspires a lot. Shame they faded the song before the strange synth siren bit at the end.

Toothy Andy Gibb looks wrong playing a guitar with no amp. Great falsetto vocals though.

"And now making a rare television appearance...". Does Kid mean ELP are rarely seen on TV or the Montreal Olympic stadium? Your guess is as good as mine. I like Carl Palmer's leather trench coat and wooly hat combination, much trendier than Greg Lake's buttoned-up fur-lined aviator jacket which looks wrong one one so wide. Shame we don't get to see Carl hit that MASSIVE gong.

Did Gene Cotton buy his waistcoat from the same shop where Kid got his cardigan? And is he wearing eye-liner?

Ah Freddie in that all-too-brief period between slap 'n' nail varnish and the leather/moustache years. Only he could make a white judo suit so cool (although Russell Mael gave him a run for his money).

I loved Soul City Walk but this is very average by comparison and all that thrusting is making me feel ill. "Let me see what the Soul Train gang can do with this!" yells Archie towards the end. This is Top Of The Pops not Soul Train. Get a grip love.

Great to see Floyd back in harness with Legs & Co but he's seems to be doing his own thing again (I met him once when he was in Hot Gossip and we went with some friends to a dodgy party in Holland Park and stayed up all night). I can't work out if those other guys are members of the crowd forced to strut their funky stuff or professional dancers mugging it up to look shambolic. The skinny guy in the checked jacket looks like a geography teacher. Good to see Flick is still trying out new ides even if they are naff.

The Foster Brothers. Presumably Foster is their surname and they weren't temporarily adopted by the same family. Some really nice guitar work here with the usual TOTP trick of the cameraman focusing on the wrong band member. The lead singer's borrowed the giant button hole idea from Les Gray a few weeks back.

Halfway Down The Stairs. Was this the song that inspired The Liberal Democrats?

Tom Petty. A good solid rock song and a great advert for Silvikrin shampoo. The bass player looks like Russell Brand which can't be bad.

Kenny Rogers spends his one and only week at the top spot (this only made number 5 in the US), then end titles with The Jacksons who would fill that spot next week.

Thus ends another slightly awkward edition albeit with a terrific line-up. Bet the audience were narked that they didn't get to meet Freddie.

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur

As you mention Gene Cotton getting to No 51, is there anywhere we can get highest chart position info for all the non-hits? Thanks.

Please can someone else have a go other than me? said...

I got Gene Cotton's 'chart position' from another sublime website dedicated to TOTP called Popscene, which lists all the breakers for the year (artist, song title, highest 'position', number of weeks spent between 51-60 in the bubblers) and also lists all the non-chart songs which got shown on TOTP. One of the previous threads on this forum gives a link to another labour-of-love site which gives a list of every non-hit shown on TOTP.

Re John Miles, he also recorded for the amplifier maufacturer's own Orange record label before moving to Decca.

wilberforce said...

thanks to arthur for acting as simon's unofficial deputy this week...

why wasn't that andy gibb song a bigger hit? after all it's just the bee gees under a different name.. and andy's a lot better looking than robin and maurice! my guess is it's in the timing - if this had been re-released in the wake of "saturday night fever" (and included in the soundtrack LP) it would have made top 10 at least...

i thought i heard the kid introduce the guy on the acoustic as "gene clark" and was expecting to see the ex-byrds vocalist... i've no idea who this guy was was his tune was so dreary i simply had to fast-forward it!

poor old archie bell and co got the full totp orchestra treatment - if you listen to the original record you'll hear the bassline sounds nothing like the one played here, and on the bridge it quite clearly doesn't know what to do so just comps on the same (wrong) note! i know johnny pearson and co probably didn't have a lot of time to work in, but had it been me in charge i would have a copy of the original recording to hand and play it in front of the orchestra to at least give them an idea what it's supposed to sound like, rather than just hand out hastily-scribbled transcriptions... i think the original record is one of the best disco tracks of all time, and remember playing it on the record deck in the 6th form common room... and whacking up the volume for the screaming guitar break!

the foster brothers plough that middle ground between soul and rock with their easy groove, much in the style of ace's "how long" (which nobody seems to dislike), so perhaps it should have made more impact than it did (maybe people were put off by the singer's gurning?). a look at discogs confirms that the cream of UK sessioneers who played on rock, soul and disco albums were involved (steve gregory of gonzalez, pete wingfield of the olympic runners, etc) - the album was also produced by fellow olympic runner mike vernon who was probably the country's leading exponent on the rock-soul crossover sound of the era

probably like others i was surprised by the appearance of tom petty and chums on totp - i didn't think they made any kind of impact in blighty until 1978 at the earliest... tom was actually thought-of as some kind of new wave act at the time, which is clearly preposterous as demonstrated by this typical bar-room boogie - i suppose with a simple undemanding sound like that it's unsurprising he's become a superstar (especially in the US), but like his similar-sounding compadre "the boss" it does absolutely nothing for me...

THX said...

I've always thought John Miles' Slow Down was a storming record, and if he proved himself a worse mimer than Betty Boo it didn't detract from the excellence of the song. Great way to start the show.

Pausing briefly to note that Kid and Olivia go to the same hairdresser, I also recall seeing the "video" for ELP's Fanfare way back when, because I thought it was really haunting with them playing to a huge, empty stadium in the freezing cold (Canadian, as Kid helpfully pointed out). Damn the punks, though, this was a great record too, I'm not a big ELP fan but you can see why their only hit was a big one.

Gene Cotton: when he sang at the start about going off to the zoo to kill... did anyone think he was going to say "An elephant"? He was just killing time, though.

Archie Bell and the Drells. Don't do that.

Penny said...

Kenny Rogers had another No .1 in February 1980 with Coward of the County which was at the top for 2 weeks .

Vintage Reading said...

Blimey, it's difficult to prove you are not a robot when you try to get a comment posted.

Loved Andy Gibb. Sad that he died so young. Not as good a song as the awesome Shadow Dancing but pretty good all the same. I agree with Arthur though that the guitar seemed superfluous.

Can't wait to read Simon's take on Legs & Co's 'partners'.

@Simon_Constable said...

"Shame we don't get to see Carl hit that MASSIVE gong."

Also we never actually see him hit those Kettle drums, even though they can be clearly heard :-)

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

John Miles - "a big in the discos" I should imagine only in the kind of "discos" where Radio 1 DJ's made appearances.

Hot Chocolate - as people have said they made some classics over the years (Brother Louie, Emma, put Your Love In Me, Heaven's In the Backseat Of My Cadillac, Going Through The Motions, Mindless Boogie the list goes on) and this is pleasant but I'm surprised it was their number 1

Queen - good to see these in the studio

Archie Bell- not one of their best and to think that one of their all time classics 'Let's Groove'(not the EWF tune and still played as oldie into the mid-80s in funk clubs)never even grazed the UK pop chart.

Kirkland & Davis - nice mellow groove

The Muppets - another TOTP rerun mystery why the hell play this twice on the shortened show and miss Emerson Lake & Palmer out completely? - I was looking forward to seeing the video which is are TOTP memory and fascinated me as a kid.

Tom Petty - very boring

Kenny Rogers - not a bad story song better than I remembered anyway - got in the UK charts due to unrelenting play for months beforehand on Terry Wogan's Radio 2 show - Me and the Elephant was another big Radio 2 song

Jacksons - at least we get to hear it all again soon

Darren said...

I just discovered (thanks to Wikipedia) that grey, beardy Kenny Rogers was only 38 at this time in 1977 (so presumably when the video was recorded) which makes me feel very old!

Darren (age 41)

nigeyb said...

Seems like eons since one of these popped up on the old hard disk recorder.

Totally mediocre it was too...

John Miles – Slow Down

A shocker and not a patch on "Music"

Olivia Newton-John – Sam

Another tedious ballad. Been on a few times already. Grease can't come soon enough.

Hot Chocolate – So You Win Again

Been on before too - but a breath of fresh air compared with what's been. I reckon most of the Hot Choc cannon stands up really well.

Andy Gibb – I Just Wanna Be Your Everything

No recollection of this first time round. Bland and dull.

Emerson Lake & Palmer – Fanfare For The Common Man

Always had a bit of a soft spot for this - but filming a video in a deserted Canadian stadium tells you why they were the enemy.

Gene Cotton – Me And The Elephant

Who? Only just watched it and forgotten it already

Queen – Good Old Fashioned Loverboy

See above. An unmemorable Queen single - didn't know such a thing existed.

Archie Bell & the Drells – Everybody Have A Good Time

Was this really the same band that gave us the genius 'Tighten Up'. Sadly the answer is yes.

Bo Kirkland & Ruth Davis – You're Gonna Get Next To Me

Probably the show's high point. Floyd makes a comeback meanwhile the rest of Legs and Co get to dance with very awkward punters from the crowd. Weird. Surreal. And completely compelling. More of this please BBC.

The Foster Brothers – Count Me Out

One of the worst front men ever. Looked like he'd wandered in from a wedding reception.

The Muppets – Halfway Down The Stairs

Rubbish then. Even worse now.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Anything That’s Rock 'N' Roll

So ludicrously derivative. Who bought music by this completely irrelevant band?

Kenny Rogers – Lucille

Country was pretty popular in the late seventies. I imagine maudlin pissed up blokes coming home to play this sort of song after a night drowning their sorrows. But why?

Not one punk band. Boo.

Neil Barker said...

It's a very short list I'm afraid :

Tarney & Spencer : 52

Heavy Metal Kids : 57

Rags : 57

Gene Cotton : 51

None of the other '76/'77 flops (by unknowns) that we've had so far even made the unofficial Top 60!

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

Oh and I meant to add if the Andy Gibb record is anything like mid-late '70s Bee Gees stuff it should be ok (we don't get to see it on the Iplayer edition)and yes now that I've heard it I think it's pretty good. I wonder if the Bee Gees wrote it for him it sounds like they produced it.

Noax said...

John Miles - A decent enough start I suppose, though it's no 'Music'. I'm not sure that this is disco, though it's borderline funk. The moustache is 100% 70s porn star.

Hot Chocolate - They look bored again, so either they're trying to play it cool or they really do dislike this song. Given that 3 years later they'll be singing about UFOs, I don't quite see why. What's with the weird multi-tracked sound on Errol's voice though? Sounds like he's singing on top of the recording.

Andy Gibb - Although he looks mostly like Barry, from some angles he looks spookily like Robin (His funeral was in the town I grew up in, you know) and the song's not bad.

ELP - This is high quality stuff, and I'm sure I saw this on the Pops first time round and being amazed. What I can't work out is whether it's actually snowing or not - in the shots behind the band it looks like it is. Certainly freezing by the looks of it. As Simon said the other week, they're real MEN so they can take it.

Gene Cotton - My new favourite flop, because it's so ridiculous.

Queen - One of my favourite Queen songs this (probably not many folk say that!) and it's great to see them in action for a change. Ironic that they appeared for one of their lowest charting singles though.

Archie Bell & The Drells - Soul City Thrustin'! No thanks guys, not keen on the tune and listen to the hit show of the moment and Kermit's sage advice - it's not easy being green.

Bo & Ruth with Legs & Co featuring Floyd - God, that makes it sound like a modern rap 'aggregation' as I believe the hip kids call them.

Anyway, the song is one that I thought I didn't know but do, and the dance partners are at least amusing, especially the tall black guy who has about as much rhythm as Bernard Bresslaw. Mind you, they all look like they're concentrating hard so as not to make a fool of themselves. You probably would be a bit overawed I guess!

The Foster Brothers - I thought this had a Climax Blues Band sort of vibe. I just wanted to shout at the lead singer to CALM DOWN though. Why was he shaking about so much? Talk about over-selling it.

Tom Petty - Pretty average really. When Sounds of the 70s did New Wave I was really annoyed that they put him on - actually, was it this song?
Not as bad as 10 minutes of Meatloaf in one of the other shows mind you.

Kenny Rogers - Hang on, shall we start a scandal about how Rod Stewart was disgracefully kept off Number One? Sounds like Kid's not buying this being at the top.

That's that then - let's hope Simon returns from his crop (or whatever) in the fields without getting washed away.

Steve Morgan said...

I was glad to see the ONJ clip again. it's been mentioned here once or twice that she looks quite lonely up there on that stage alone. But I think it's a stroke of genius on the part of the pops producer. The song is about loneliness and longing for an ex boyfriend, to put her on that stage and filming her with a low camera angle perfectly conveys the feeling and mood of the song.

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

Thanks for the link to the ukmix site and the thread about "breakers" - I've found it fascinating - full of classic funk tunes which I've always wondered how well they did over here - quite well really considering the majority of their sales would have been out of specialist shops.And in the mid-70s loads of northern soul tracks just missing out.If it'd been a Top 75 a few years earlier I'd have always known that all the early classic Kool & the Gang funk tracks, a lot of hard James Brown stuff and and things like Fatback Band's Wicky Wacky made a relatively big impression sales wise.

Arthur Nibble said...

Nicely put, Steve. In fairness, I thought Olivia did a good job vocally. Still having trouble realising she was Sandra Dee pretty soon after this, though.

wilberforce said...

by this time (at the age of 15) i had already got heavily into funky disco, and it was my good fortune that many such records only touched the bottom of the charts or never made them at all, and therefore became regularly available in the bargain bins of my local record shops - even in the small dead-end south-coast seaside town i lived in. classics i remember picking up for 30p or less included: kool and the gang "open sesame", crown heights affair "dancin", brick "dazz" and mass production "welcome to our world"...

regarding all those totp non-hits listed on the ukmix site, i've never heard of some of the acts, never mind the records (fat mattress, fairfield parlour, soft pedalling, eli bonaparte... and they're just from the 60's) - wouldn't it be great if the beeb trawled their archive from that period of 64 to 79 and put those that still exist together as a compilation?

Julie Joanne Bevan said...

Re Andy Gibb's unusual bar chord: like brother Barry, he used open D-chord tuning (DADF#AD) rather than the standard tuning (EADGBE).

Anonymous said...

So-so edition this week.

Rather poignant to see the younger Gibb trying to forge his own career mere months before the release of the album that would push his brothers into the stratosphere...

seekenee said...

ooouch, that's some vicious editing for a Pops fanatic - two unique in-the-studio performances and a previously unseen video sacrificed and 2 already seen "videos" retained.

Someone tweeted during the first showing that Freddie Mercury was the only male lead singer who wasn't sporting a moustache which is ironic really considering he was consistently moustached 81 onwards.

Looked like Hot Chocolate were laughing amongst each other regarding the overlaying of another lead vocal to be their "re-recording"(might be wrong) . Errol's outfits are ace. ..
Uh, TOTP 1977 where is rock band?

Penny pinching elsterpie said...

Wilberforce, i also got 'dazz' cheap. In Harrogate, there used to be a virus and bacterial breeding centre called the Market Hall, where downstairs resided Robell records (prop. A.Hitler). Here, if you could prize AH away from his tea, cig and chat with the vacuum cleaner bags shop keeper, one was often able to purchase goodies for next to nowt (eg Boston more than a feeling for 10p)

A year later, i would go to Manchester and the marvels of Bostocks: a pack of 100 singles for a quid (lots of shite of course but did get nina simone/baby , aerosmith/dream on, styx/lady and some others

Talking of styx, they did 'fanfare for the common man' about 5 years earlier than ELP. (wasnt very good either)

Erithian said...

John Miles: Yes, my first thought was Keith Lemon too – and I can’t stand Leigh Francis. Ten years on I still resent the way he ruined Channel 4’s Top 100 sales countdown with his chronically unfunny Bo Selecta characters (while the divine Sarah Alexander was limited to voiceovers, grrr). Miles possibly too versatile for his own good if you look at the range of his chart career.

Andy Gibb: If Miles was Keith Lemon, Andy Gibb reminded me strongly of Robbie Savage. Rather mediocre song though.

ELP: always great to hear again, except for the time my neighbour in my student hall of residence played it umpteen times running late at night on his oh-so-super sound system, leaving me bouncing in bed like Jerry in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Watching this (and Queen’s Spread Your Wings video) I’m distracted by wondering how they can move their fingers when it looks bloody freezing.

Gene Cotton: not heard this since it was out, but remembered it well because Noel used to play it to death on the breakfast show. He even got Cotton to do a jingle for him – “me and Noel Edmonds, we’ll never forget you”.

Archie Bell: their biggest and best hit “Here I Go Again” is another one I remember being played umpteen times running, this time by my sister’s boyfriend. Didn’t mind that so much as it was a reasonable time of day!! Very subtle dance routine there Arch!

Bo & Ruth & Legs & Co & Floyd & Others: not too many close-ups on this one, I wonder if any of the lads pulled out of the audience were “prominently affected” by being in close proximity to one of Legs…

Foster Brothers: have to admit I checked out during this one on the Thursday late showing!

Tom Petty: impressed that they were on but the actual song was a bit tedious wasn’t it?

Disappearing from view: last week in the 30 for the Eagles, Trammps, Bryan Ferry and Honkie. The latter were never to return, the Eagles and Trammps both had one more top 30 hit that peaked at 30.

CrewCut said...

Being just 7 when this was first shown ONJ, ELP and The Muppets are huge TOTP memories for me. I had all 3 singles after nagging my parents for the singles. A starnge mixture for a young lad, but that was the power of TOTP!

wilberforce said...

ah yes elsterpie, i'm sure you and i are not alone in recalling that many record shop owners and staff were (and still are!) social misfits and retards with all the friendliness of a scrap dealer's dog... the shop i picked up those singles up at was manned by a guy who was practically mute - however hard you tried to engage him in conversation he would just stare you out in return! it wasn't just me either - all my record-buying chums got the same treatment... maybe he despised us because he saw us as dingos and vultures who would never pay full price for singles, happy to wait until they reached the bargain bin - if so he was quite right ha ha!

i remember a few years after that when i had moved to another town and saw an ad saying "keyboard player wanted" - so i went to the record shop where advised to make enquires, and the guy behind the counter sniffily and curtly responded "that vacancy has now been filled"!

i've now been in manchester for over 10 years but i'm not familiar with a place called bostocks (of course there aren't anywhere near as many record shops now as there were 35 years ago), but when i first moved here i used to go to a basement shop in oldham street (long since superceded by some trendy clothes joint) where they sold packaged-up bundles of 45's as "lucky dips" - i wonder if that was the same place?

Floid Fan said...

A welcome return from Floyd to add a little professionalism to the male side of proceedings in the Legs and Co routine. Don't think the random blokes from the audience did too badly, considering they were probably desperate to ensure they didn't trip or over in front of 16 million TV viewers. They do look rather wooden and restrained though.
This TOTP edition was pretty interesting to watch all told because it had a curious mixture of forgotten and obscure songs and groups along with fantastic performances by Hot Chocolate, ELP and Queen.

Elsterpie said...

Wilberforce. Bostocks was up one floor in the arndale centre , upstairs from hmv and across from the virgin megatore (. ' i'm in love with the girl from the manchester virgin megatore checkout desk'). The one you describe in oldham street sounds the same. In my time, there was a big bloke behind tge counter who used to boast of all the concerts he used to go to that were totally crap , including going to sleep at an iggy pop one. Always time to retire to the bargain bin when that kind of rant started up. And hey presto a gem at a knockdown price so worth the ear pain.

Erithian said...

I think there was a branch of Rare Records off Piccadilly Gardens where I picked up a copy of Queen's "Keep Yourself Alive" for something like 20p. At my local record shop in Denton (which would also have been Mick Hucknall's) the staff were very friendly and once I became enough of a regular they'd entrust me with errands like going to the shops opposite for change. Wish I'd asked for a summer job there in retrospect.

Simon said...

Hang on, you've started without me!

Kid does the "weekly shot of rhythm and rock" line he first used in March and then does a strange sideways horizontal punching the air motion with the mike in his fist

I don't know if Miles and band are attempting to channel the theme from Shaft but that does go a little awry with Miles himself in a disco vocal phrasing mind and the Ladybirds seemingly having recorded their contributions before the recording, slightly off the BPM as they are. Miles' talkbox method requires some work too, screwed up eyes in concentration David Parton-style so he nearly doesn't spot it slipping out of his mouth mid-line. At least he was using it in a faux-guitar solo style rather than him from 5000 Volts just going "ooh ooh wow". I'm sure there was some explanation for the drummer's sleeveless vest with 'BB' imprinted in marker pen and snug shorts in matching British racing green. And then two girls ostentatiously walk away towards the backing off long camera shot before the music has finished.

Something for everybody this week, apparently. Even the bluegrass and zydeco fans?

Why do the audience at the start of Hot Chocolate seem to be shifting left every so often before the vocal starts? No floor manager is that pushy. Also, the guitarist singing his backing vocals into thin air while wearing a Slik castoff baseball shirt. Hopeless Kid error in the intro but just think, Noel would have called it The Story Of You Winning Again.

Then there's Andy Gibb fitting almost exactly into the family business while sporting a protoytpe for the late 80s Radio 1 Roadshow bomber jacket before ELP "making a rare television appearance". Except strictly it wasn't a television appearance, was it? Kid for some reason put the emphasis on the second syllable of 'fanfare'. Keith Emerson was of course taking time out from his day job manning the GPO telephone exchange. Back here Gene Cotton was clearly the "if wet" Bobby Goldsboro. Maybe the Ann Landers namecheck showed why it wasn't a UK hit.

Someone with more patience than me to look should check how many of Queen's twelve studio appearances were in front of an audience - I know of at least one other that was played to nobody. Kid mentioned the Jubilee as a link into that, and then for Bell/Drells (the Green Lantern/thrusting/Soul Train challenge have been covered, haven't they?) he excelled the tortured connectives with "even the Americans are getting involved in our Jubilee celebrations". No, Kid, they just wrote a song about enjoying yourself.

Enter Floyd and his glittery jacket - dancing, I note, almost exclusively with Pauline. Bill Cotton must have been in that week. The wonder of the auxiliary dancers is not one of them had any clue what they were doing, they must have been picked out with seconds to spare. Ringer for Yoko Ono in the crowd. (Sidenote: Pauline had the first line of dialogue in the first episode of [url=]Tenko[/url], as the houseservant of the British colonel's family. It was her only line in two episodes.)

Kid's powers of prediction go all Noel-like for the Foster Brothers, our frontman with an even more impressive walrus tache than John Miles (who was clean-shaven when doing Music, by the way) holding his guitar like a cocked weapon and then REALLY EXPRESSING HIMSELF with those solo faces. Someone right at the front of the audience was having an animated conversation and ignoring the band.

You can tell when Kid really likes a record from how much he bellows the title. I don't think he back-announced anything bar Miles all show either. Petty, of BBC4 documentary lasting several months fame, looks exactly the same now.

And of course, good love!

Arthur Nibble said...

Tell you what, Julie, I'm impressed by your explanation of Andy Gibb's fret alignments. Thanks for the info.

Julie Joanne Bevan said...

Don't mention it, Arthur. I passed Grade 4 Music Theory with Distinction!

Simon said...

Incidentally, between next week and the end of August ('77) only two original shows are longer than half an hour.

wilberforce said...

can anyone put their finger on why certain guitarists shun the standard tuning technique in favour of something else (keith richards and joni mitchell among others)? i would guess reasons include making use of open-string resonance, or simply not being able to play guitar competently with that arrangement... i wrote and played songs on an acoustic years ago, and found many ways of taking advantage of utilising open strings to get that "ringing" sound without ever having ro resort to re-tuning, but a friend of mine who was doing a similar thing used a different tuning with virtually every song he wrote. i remember asking the guitarist who accompanied him why he'd packed it in, and he replied "because it's f*cking hard work trying to remember all his silly tunings"!

btw that way of using your thumb over the top of the fret as a way of barre-chording is really cool, but sadly mine was not long enough (or pliable enough) to do so...

Erithian said...

There’s much more on the subject of open tuning in Keith Richards’ “Life” autobiography. I’m not a player myself but it was fascinating to read the account of a consummate musician on how he discovered the technique and applied it to Stones classics. Far more interesting than the drugs.

wilberforce said...

thanks for that erithian - there's actually a copy of that book in my home at the moment (my flatmate is a big stones fan), but i'm not sure i want to wade through keef's tiresome accounts of easy and copious sex and drugs lifestyle as a rock 'n' roll superstar just to find out how he tuned his guitar!

Erithian said...

Don't let it put you off - apart from the opening chapter which you can easily bypass, the drugs episodes come a long way into the story, and there's some marvellous stuff in between.

Anonymous said...

"Wet field in Gloucestershire"

Festival dad?

Simon said...

Slightly late in the day, just thinking of that full name credit for the Rock Follies single - did ITV have something against releasing records under show titles? The Tiswas single was released as The Four Bucketeers, after all (and of course The Muppets are the collective thing, The Muppet Show was the title)

Steve Morgan said...

The two singles released from the first series of Rock Follies, Glenn Miller is Missing and Sugar Mountain, are credited as "From Rock Follies" Both totally bombed, but Wikipedia says the album was a UK number one?? I can't find it in any of my books. Someone may correct me on this.
The third single, OK? from Rock Follies of '77, is credited,as you say, to all four main cast members. One wonders why they weren't just credited as "The Little Ladies" as per the TV show, or simply Rock Follies of '77? Wiki is vague on the success of the second album.

Arthur Nibble said...

Having checked the Chart Stats website, it appears that "Rock Follies" went straight in for the first of three weeks at number 1 and was top 2 for the first five weeks of its chart career. "Rock Follies of '77" spent just five weeks in the top 50, peaking at 13. It's a bit confusing, because the single was credited to the four singers but the albums are listed under the artist name of "Original Soundtrack".

....and up comes another half century, some light applause from the pavilion and the cucumber sandwiches are ready.....

wilberforce said...

i have to admit that at the time although i was aware of the "rock follies" series, as a disco bunny i decided it wasn't for me so never watched it - i may even have been put-off by the fact that i hated julie covington's "don't cry for me argentina" so much! however, now older and wiser (well at least older and with an unhealthy obsession with my past) i'm sure it would be very much of interest to watch now (and if nothing else to see rula lenska - and her amazing barnet - in her prime!)

for anyone else interested, both series are now available on dvd...

Steve Morgan said...

Shamfacedly Wilberforce, I have to admit that your post there is word for word what I would have posted myself.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

It's strange that the BBC were happy to promote The Muppets which was an ITV show but not Rock Follies. OK? got to number 10 but not even a showing of the video (and Rock Follies had some superb ready-made videos). Also why did the BBC miss off Sue Jones-Davies from the rundown caption, no room I suppose.

THX said...

Both Rock Follies series look pretty strange now, though you can imagine them looking and sounding very exciting at the time. What's most notable is how thin everyone is, they all look as if they needed a good meal inside them.

The music would have fit in nicely with TOTP, it's a shame they were never on. Did the Little Ladies appear on any other shows to promote their tie-in records, though? Could be they weren't available. Julie Covington was noticeably reluctant to show up when she was at number one.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Just watched the Archie Bell performance again and the TOTP Orchestra weren't on very good form. The electric piano sounds like it's in the wrong key and that sax blowout isn't much better. The BBC were clearly embarrassed so they kept the lads well hidden behind the Drells' crutch thrusting (apart from the occasional glimpse of Johnny Pearson's arms flapping about).

Also does anyone else think that Legs and co's Lulu looks like Stacey from Gavin and Stacey?

Stevis Beavis said...

That swine that danced with Lulu didn't appreciate his good fortune. I......hate him. Curse you, god, for making me to young to be there!