Last time we were gathered here there was a national sensation lurking. This (thanks to jamesonedin from Popscene) is a scan of a page from The Sex Pistols File by Ray Stevenson, published first in 1978, then in 1982, a scrapbook of a great deal written about the band at the time, the centrepiece of which is a mock-lurid telling of the night's events from Sounds magazine's Giovanni Dadomo, who also wrote for ZigZag and The Face, co-wrote a Damned single and fronted cult punks The Snivelling Shits.
The proper big TOTP news from the week is the appearance of one of the great holy grails of 60s British music - Pink Floyd, Syd inclusive, playback-performing See Emily Play on the Pops broadcast 6th July 1967 (if it's too ragged for you, a homemade remastering has been done) The footage has been known to exist initially in private hands - an unknown rock star's collection, it's said - for three years or so and was shown at Kaleidoscope in January 2010 but this is the first time it's slipped into the public domain.
And so to 1977, where the leonine face of DLT greets us and throws to... a song?
John Miles – Slow Down
Yes, now there's a hit to kick things off rather than the rundown. This changearound lasted one week. Shame, as John came in especially. This week's little things: the bassist wearing a tie with an open shirt, Miles' vocal adlibs being adhered to in miming but unfortunately well off mike, and Miles shutting his eyes as tight as David Parton did when a-talkboxing. Four people rush towards the throng just in time for the track's end, and as the camera pulls away we find DLT in full air guitar mode with the mike cord. "He-hey! Is that magic?" is his ungrammatic question. It's left to him to explain what's happened to the rundown, which he does via a completely wrong rendition of the opening riff that sounds more like the end of the Countdown clock timer, followed by the top 30 plus Tavares. Yes, for the next few years Top Of The Pops had no regular theme tune, just another chart hit jemmied in to accompany all the latest action shots:
Bay City Rollers – You Made Me Believe In Magic
And while we're on the changing of the ways, the Rollers final fling, both in the chart and on TOTP. Neither DLT nor the girls surrounding him, one arm in arm with him, another clearly trying to plant their palm on his bum, two clearly mothers with brilliantly northern stereotypical nan perms and bottle-bottom glasses, can truly summon up the excitement over it. There's not a stitch of tartan anywhere on the stage either, as if to show this is the new, mildly funky Rollers, not the ones you like. It's all looking very grown up until the camera gets to Eric Faulkner, who's chosen a leather jacket, rugby shorts and knee-high hooped socks. Nobody mixes styles that much and hopes to get away with it. There's a weird little tableau off to one side of the front of the stage too, where a man who looks like a burly policeman is looking disconsolately at the floor as everyone else does the side to side shuffle, a similarly catatonic if more attentive girl by both sides. Maybe they heard about the last bassist too.
Brotherhood Of Man – Angelo
"Here's a song that's going to do well in the charts, definitely". It's already number five! What more does DLT want? Repeat, anyway.
The Jam – All Around The World
Ah, this'll be a youth explosion, then. Well, maybe outside. Apart from less jumping around this time, either from Weller, Foxton or two blokes at the back, it's pretty similar to their debut showing, as committed young men in suits play power chords to a largely clueless crowd, still moving around just as they had five minutes earlier. Introducing the ways and means of TOTP directing to the new breed, Foxton's interjections in the middle are matched to a tight close-up of Weller. But there is a difference, as while there are a gaggle of people looking bored at the front stage left they're singing along, one directing it at his friend. He could look at the blokes right in front of him if he's that committed, surely.
Alessi – Oh Lori
"Some people from Ireland, say hello!" DLT's next line, or more precisely the bad accent it's delivered in, is sadly inevitable. Weeks after they participated in an awkward chat the brothers get to perform, and Bobby Alessi gets to show off his little bicycle-riding mime. We've kind of already seen the pair of them performing, albeit on video with one mike and a camera stuck on close-up, and pans, the sight of Bobby giving Billy unreciprocated matey looks and a small audience don't add much to the experience. That doesn't excuse the pair visible at the back of the stage having a chat.
Barry Biggs – Three Ring Circus
"In the same sort of vein", according to DLT. Barry's left his ringmaster gear and his mysterious sidekick at home this time, instead sitting down swaying, thinking that now just the song will do. Given the distance he misses the first note by, this isn't the case.
Smokie – It's Your Life
Perhaps as tired with the usual TOTP routine as the rest of us by now Chris Norman is dressed like a flamboyant flamenco dancer, if flamenco ever lent itself to the colour lemon. Not as tired of repeating themselves, the cameraman gets his bottom-of-a-bottle filter out again for the mid-section and waits for everyone to gather around one mike
Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
In what we shall now call the Supertramp Slot, about a minute and a half of grainy live footage - this, should you be interested - chiefly notable for Mick Fleetwood grimacing at the end of every bar and Stevie fiddling with a piece of material throughout.
The Rah Band – The Crunch
"After a good meal on a Thursday, what do you need? A crunch!" Makes about as much sense as the outfits. Repeat.
Danny Willians – Dancin' Easy
Panning over a phalanx of girls in white jackets we find Williams doing a David Dundas, rewriting an advertising jingle, in this case Martini's Anytime Anyplace Anywhere, for fun and profit. Williams had had a UK number one sixteen years previously (with Moon River) and so can be forgiven for being out of the soul style loop, but Huggy Bear's castoff jacket and big hat is not it. Gill tries to provide a distraction in a familiar looking all electric blue small top and flamenco skirt, which by the look of the punters confuses things even further for people already trying desperately to remember where the tune comes from. In fact, so easily distracted are a number of them that a couple openly wave to camera while a third does poses of largesse.
Queen – Good Old Fashioned Loverboy
Well, Queen weren't going to come back in again for the same song.
Donna Summer – I Feel Love
"I forecast it last week" says DLT, before his usual orgasm. Well, it's not like we can prove it. And now the show has a problem, because I Feel Love looks cemented to that top spot for a while and there's no video and no hope of Donna coming over to perform it, so here comes the first of at least four seperate Legs & Co-centric presentations. One can only hope the others are better reflective of its spacey disco rush than this one, in which the effort put into obtaining a rotating colour filter for mood lighting effects seems to outweigh that put into the routine, in which the girls shake their shoulders and wave the hem of their big long dresses a bit, looking more like they're trying to keep up with the BPM rather than do anything clever. Then they run from side to side a bit. Rosie gyrates her bosom at the camera a bit in a solo spot but coming some way into the routine it's literally a busted flush. The whole thing doesn't really reflect the erotic charge of the record, just when you want them to, catatonic as it may have made DLT. "I can assure you our playout group does not refer to Legs & Co - boney? Mmmm...." Over the credits again? Did Frank Farian have photos, just not quite enough? The designers are busy amusing themselves by using the colour filters against the kaleidoscope lenses. It just resembles a blur.