Thursday, 27 September 2012

TOTP 25/8/77 (tx 27/9/12): your super soaraway show

So you've heard the news? A continuation onto 1978 confirmed by two well placed sources, documentary (gnnh) and all?

Yeah, another year of my having to bash this out every Thursday night. The precious days before death never pass by so quickly.

It's the 700th TOTP, not that anyone mentions it. Instead Noel begins by giggling at something unstated before Donna Summer's Down Deep Inside soundtracks, at a more leisurely pace than usual, the rundown. "What with all the rotten weather we're having at the moment we could do with a bit of Summer" Noel overreaches, while also somehow predicting the exact climate during which this show would be first repeated. He must be some sort of warlock.

The Rods – Do Anything You Wanna Do
Back in the opening slot for the third time, only this time with an actual hit to call their own. Barrie Masters' stage schtick we all know about by now, chest proudly flashed, eyes glaring through the lens, springing back and forth from and to the stage's edge. The band don't quite look as right, though, as amid the feather cuts and mirroring shades one of the guitarists is wearing bottle bottom glasses and bears a blank expression, giving him not the appearance of a rock'n'roll monster but a well-meaning pharmacist involved in a hilarious mix-up. Not that that's any bearing on Masters and his wrist sweatbands, coming right up to the camera at one stage like he's cajoling us personally in between the space commanding, which in a way he always was. It's later revealed the cameraman has taken up the front centre position, possibly to avoid a repeat of last week's Midge Girl fiasco, though force of show repetition means plenty of movement. Hang on, who's that on the other stage clearly visible in the background - well, it's a group of women in matching hot pants, given time and place there's a limited number of options here - with their backs to all the action?

Elvis Presley – Way Down
There's a lot of lighting around a Gill Rosie-free Legs & Co's little play area too, set up as a kind of lit catwalk with Toppotron™ repurposed at one end for stills shots and close-ups of bulbs. All they've been hiding is T-shirts with 'ELVIS' in sequins and, for some reason, chiffon chokers. The routine sees them take it in turns and in various permutations to variously bounce, shimmy and soft shoe shuffle down the runway - at one point Rosie Gill runs up to its edge looking for all the world like she's about to dive full-length off the end. The main query is how come the ultrabaritone "way on dowwwwn..." close to each chorus is marked by the troupe sticking their hands in the air. Optimism clearly abounds, though that'd be inherent in having an upbeat dance routine as a tribute to someone's recent death. Having watched three minutes of leggy kicking and scampering amid bright bulbs, which seems to end with all five turning to face Elvis' image and giving a Hitler salute, Noel's tone suggests we've actually just been watching a state funeral.

The Boomtown Rats – Lookin' After No. 1
The Rats' official site claims they were "the first new-wave band to be offered an appearance on Top Of The Pops", which must be news to, oh, loads. Ask Jensen. "There's a mystery badge sticker, well, there's badges..." Noel has two, but declines to say where these might have been cropping up. "Bit of social comment for you, listen to the lyrics" he advises, which may say a little too much about his psyche. There was a time when the other things people came to know the Rats experience for - Johnny Fingers' pyjamas, a manaical looking Pete Briquette smaller than the drum kit (or a huge riser) - were new. In half-done up tie, smartish leather jacket and manageable hair there's something a little too precise about Bob on this first exposure to the big time he will eventually claim as his own. Not that the catalogue rebel or Ayn Rand-rock angle seems to matter, as the reaction to this outbreak of energy and nerviness is massive, most of the audience actually bouncing just three months after the same behaviour to the Jam was getting solitary people glares as Geldof air guitars around his knees, does more exuding straight into a nearby camera (one we clearly nearly lose at one point so much does it wobble) and then completely disappears from the director's view for nearly a whole verse, which makes you wonder what he must have been doing. Rather suspiciously they all join in, even the man in the boater, with the pointing towards the stage/punching the air on the power chords of the chorus of a song most of them, were this a normal cross-section, can surely have never heard before. Still, as Bob drops to his knees at the climax its new broom aura is hard to deny. Noel looks vaguely displeased.

Deniece Williams – That’s What Friends Are For
In what can only be described as a tightly cut dress Deniece appears in the middle of a floral frame design and delivers some easy soul lovin', nowhere near as slow as you'd think.

Thin Lizzy – Dancin' In The Moonlight (It's Caught Me In Its Spotlight)
"They've got that little bit extra style" Noel marvels as if they're a brand new group who need barely workable aphorisms of praise rather than a third appearance for this one song that's still only at 23. This sense of style apparently extends as far as Phil's massive shiner - could be makeup, but it seems unlikely - caught in harsh unforgiving extreme close-up for quite some time at the very outset as if someone really wanted it to be seen. Two open shirts, an actual sax player in a 'THIN LIZZY READING '77" T-shirt which I'd like to think was a specially commissioned one of a kind just to show off and, again, as responsive a crowd as you've ever seen on this rerun.

Space – Magic Fly
"It's fairly unusual for instrumentals to do so well" remarks Noel on a programme that has an instrumental still to come on a show, and about a chart, that's recently had The Crunch and The Shuffle on at the top end. Lots of people seem to recall this video of fractals and soundwaves on visors, heavy analogue keyboards played like keytars, gold girl dancer and some very brusque drumming, which both looks and sounds like the sort of thing ITV used to put on when programmes underran but, like so much else this week, as we go back to a shot of Noel from behind next to the video on Toppotron™ to some indifferent bopping, you can't help but feel here is the future in microcosm.

The Adverts – Gary Gilmore's Eyes
As in its own way is this, and this is by any yardstick A Bit Of That Sort Of Rock. This repeat has already quashed an urban legend, that the show couldn't find a picture of the Adverts when they charted so put in the rundown a shot of Australian cricket Gary Gilmour; now, they look like they're putting another to rest with a live in-studio vocal. Not a very well mixed live vocal, TV Smith nearly inaudible for the first two lines, but a live vocal nonetheless. Smith proves one doesn't have to approach the camera, or let go of the mike stand come to that, to resemble an epitome of seething frontman energy and barely harnessed anger while wearing a jacket absolutely festooned with badges and accessories. What looks like miles away from everyone else, early black nail varnish adopter Gaye Advert smoulders in a leather jacket looking, almost certainly deliberately, one middle button away from emulating Masters and Lynott's style tip. Howard Pickup, who gets far more screen time than her, has a badge on that is wider than the tie it's affixed to. Drummer Laurie Driver's T-shirt depicts either a sex doll or a shocked Frank Sidebottom. Even those who went nuts for the Boomtown Rats don't know what to make of this beyond some distracted minor bouncing.

Page Three – Hold On To Love
In case you thought the show's batting average was rather too high this week.. That'll be three actual Page Three girls, then, in skintight leopardskin bodysuits off one shoulder. Gaye Advert, would that you were here today. Now, for those of you thinking along Glamourpuss lines, don't be so hasty, as it's far more Surprise Sisters level. It's not that Rula Lenska-haired frontwoman Felicity Buirski can't sing per se - in fact she later became a singer-songwriter and has some sort of connection with Leonard Cohen - it's that, also singing live, her voice has something but it's unsuited to the style. And it's not that her colleagues can't si...oh. They can't really do their dance actions, such as they are, together either, the two at the back reaching for the sky just out of sync as Buirski does some sort of tiger clawing action, which I suppose is appropriate for the attire. Having been slow to the uptake for the last band there's definite mass boppage now, which presumably means they were either up for anything or stylistically unfussy. Noel looks confused. "Wash your brain out from all those naughty thoughts" he adds. DLT would never have said that.

The Floaters – Float On
No show without punch. Astrological pulling as seen last week follows. "I'm on BBC2 in a couple of minutes but don't tell anybody" Noel drops in - curiously, as part of a season of the best BBC programming since the Jubilee, BBC2 showed an eighty minute Swap Shop compilation at 7.40pm that evening, thus elevating a show less than a year old. Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene plays us out under a tracking studio shot not through the kaleidoscope prism this week but through some sort of reflective cone, as if they'd sawed the end off a trombone and used that in a special effect emergency.

131 comments:

the erotic adventures of sweet daddy parsnip said...

space had an incredibly trippy video - now i know where daft punk's helmet image came from.

Steve Does Top Of The Pops said...

I loved it. Apart from the dire Page Three, easily the coolest edition of the year - even if Noel Edmonds did look noticeably out of place amidst all that punk and euro-pop.

Simon said...

Oh, except to note Noel's comment "unusual for an instrumental to do so well" after we'd had The Shuffle and The Crunch and Oxygene was to close the self same show.

Steve Williams said...

I don't normally get to watch the show live so I thought I'd dive in. As mentioned, an ace show, the audience must have thought they were at the 100 Club with the Rods, Rats and Adverts. I liked that Rats clip when it was on the compilation at the beginning of the year, you can really see the energy they brought to the show and I like the way they all seem thrilled to be there and look a right raggle-taggle bunch of herberts. There's a great bit when Bob slides into shot a milisecond before they cut to another camera and grins right down the lens.

I've always enjoyed Way Down as well, I think it's one of Elvis' best, and a pleasingly upbeat dance to it too. We'll get sick to death of it, though.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news. Thank you, Sue - thank you, Auntie!!

Next week's RT shows the 10/11/1977 show being screened next Wednesday. So presumably we're going to carry on as we are on Thursdays, reaching the 3/11/1977 show on 20/12/1977, while the shows from 10/11/1977 to 22/12/1977 run on Wednesdays, maybe not every week as that's 7 shows for 12 weeks, before the 2 Christmas episodes at Christmas.

Strange way round to do it, but let's just rejoice that we're getting them all.

Simon said...

No, 10/11/77 was listed because the Captain Kremmen video was in it, but as mentioned in last week's comments that's now been changed to an Everett-fronted Pops from 1973.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Chart stat alert: Is this week's Top 30 unique in that it features the number one (Float On) plus no less than 3 previous number ones (You Win Again, I Feel Love, Angelo) and 2 [Spoiler alert] future number ones (Way Down and Silver Lady)? Can any other week beat that?

A very punk heavy show with no less than three punk bands plus two superb doses of French electro pop. The show had a curious dream-like quality as thought this was the future. Which it was...

The chart rundown with an oddly low key Donna Summer track which meant she had two Top 30 hits at the same time. A strange choice as the follow up to I Feel Love, did anyone see the film? I didn't.

The Rods, Barrie Masters shirtless in another BIG belt. Relax girls he's married (to the mic).

Sadly no footage of Way Down was ever filmed so we have a photo of The King with Legs dancing in front in tight shorts and tee shirts with 'Elvis' picked out in glitter which Flick must have got at the same shop as the 'Midge' girl last week. I don't know why but I thought the deep bass vocal was by Thurl Ravenscroft (the guy who was the voice of Tony the Frosties Tiger) but it turns out to be J.D. Sumner who was a legend among gospel singers.

From The Rods to The Rats. Punk posing at its best, a very powerful performance. Love the crowd pointy thing and the uber fans including a Johnny Fingers clone in pyjamas. The Rezillos nicked this tune (and some of the words) for their hit Top Of The Pops (their "Take the money - Leave the box" is a bit like "I'm gonna take your money, Count your loss").

Denice Williams looking more mature and a lot more glamourous than when she was doing Free.

Thin Lizy. I see the blond beardy bloke is back in the crowd again. He must be security, he's there so often. I thought Phil's shiner was a gimmick until I read the comments on the net.

Noel + Thin Lizzy = Toppotron time, this time used for the end of Space. What a shame we don't get to see the whole video. That is Wei Wei Wong dancing, she was a presenter on The Golden Shot. My brother who's a TV producer worked with someone who knew her. She sadly died of a cancer in the 1990s.

Page Three. No leopards were harmed in the making of this performance. Bizarre that they allowed a group to use this name when a song by The Lambrettas 4 years later had to be renamed because The Sun wouldn't let them use the name. The guy in the crowd in the straw boater - a young David Cameron?

The Floaters. We always laughed about this at the time because to us at school a floater meant something else. I never thought a song that features the word 'cancer' would get to number one (until Snaps' Rhythm Is A Dancer of course).

Oxygene Part IV on the playout. I bought the album a bit later and played it to death. Wasn't this used as the theme tune to some TV show?

What show was Noel presenting on BBC that night. Come Dancing? Top Gear?

Chris Barratt said...

Pure magic!!
Aside from this weeks "Payola Slot" (chortle!) and those leopard-skin tarts, this edition of the show is exactly "Formula 1977" as promised by "The Story Of 1977" and all those "the future starts here" inferences. In both musical content and imagery, what was presented by Space, The Adverts, The Boomtown Rats and (to a lesser extent) The Rods, plus Jean-Michel Jarre's playout hit lays the foundations on what the next 7 years (and then some) would bring. Commercial punk/new wave and Continental Synthpop, plus a liberal sprinkling of soul/disco from Donna, Deniece & The Floaters.
The Space & JMJ tracks have barely dated, and that Space video is the best quality 'promo' we've seen on the TOTP repeats thus far - it wouldn't have looked out of place 10 years ago in the Daft Punk/Air era and still looks pretty 'cutting edge' now.
I was 4 in late 1977, and had been watching Top Of The Pops every week as a "treat" regularly by now - The Boomtown Rats were probably my favourite band of 77/78, and tonight's debut performance show exactly why they appealed so - high energy quota and high entertainment factor, lessons learned from the glam era and (most certainly frontmen like Mick Jagger for Bob Geldof)

It's like 1975/76 never 'appened!!!

Old Applejack said...

Enjoyed the show like everyone else. Will never tire of the Rods song, as written previously.

What was the story behind Phil's black eye then? It was a quality example of the genre!

And anyone know the identity of the Lizzy's saxophonist? Looked a bit like the guy who played the same instrument with Ashton, Gardner and Dyke doing 'Resurrection Shuffle' on TOTP a few years earlier...

darnall 42 said...

Did Phil Lynott Have A black Eye,Or Was He Into Purple Eye Shadow :)

THX said...

I was half-surprised to see Legs & Co grinning their way through Way Down, I expected black armbands at the very least. But although it doesn't seem to be a popular Elvis track, I like it a lot, deep voiced backing singer and all.

@Chris Barrat: If you'd asked me in 77-78 who my favourite band were, I'd have said The Boomtown Rats as well! Watching this I can see the high energy appeal, wasn't it great to see the audience so into it after months of grudging swaying for the other acts. But what did it say on his hat? Darned out of focus camera...

That Space video used to scare me, terrific tune but those blank faced spacemen fair worried me. Something about the way the drummer is really going for it was unnerving too.

Adverts, a bit of an overplayed clip now, but it does have one of the great final lines of any punk song which are always worth looking forward to.

Page Three, I don't mean to be unkind but if I opened my paper to see that in the morning I'd be rather disappointed.

The Floaters, anyone remember Simon Mayo using this as a backing track to read out the beach cleanliness reports before the Radio 1 Roadshow back in the early nineties?

Dory said...

Best track on this show has to be Way Down, and Legs & Co performed mighty well in front of Elvis's picture and the surrounding disco lights. Elvis & disco!
The Magic Fly video by Space is groundbreaking for its time, as this type of audiovisual was not seen until the late 80s and early 90s, and the awesome oriental chick was the only face, as the band members had no face under their helmets - weird for 1977! However for an instrumental to do so well in the charts was, as Noel said, unusual, so bravo to them......
It must have set the trend for Jean Michelle Jarre, as the outro track for this week is a classic of classics, and as commented in this thread, i seem to remember was used as the track for a TV show at the time, but I too can't remember which one......please can someone put us out of our misery!
If the Page Three group thought they were any competition to Legs & Co, well they were mistaken, cos even in those tiger costumes, they were not as slim and athletic as Legs & Co.
Finally the No.1.....how could the Floaters ever get to No.1 with such a dreary song? There is no catchy beat, or strong tone, so how did they do it, even for one week at No.1 before the Elvis domination of the whole of September at No.1?

Dory said...

Oh, and we haven't got to September 1977 yet, so we are a month behind where we should be....it's not fair!
Will we then have the Xmas 1977 shows at the end of Jan or early Feb 1978??
Come on, let's catch up with two shows a week before Xmas!

Neil Barker said...

Wasn't that the sax player from Supertramp with Thin Lizzy tonight?

Also, "Oxygene (Part 4)" was used as the theme tune to "Where There's Life" presented by Dr Miriam Stoppard.

Steve Does Top Of The Pops said...

@Old Applejack and Neil Barker; he did look like John Helliwell from Supertramp.

Arthur Nibble said...

Bloody Hell! I watch the edition live, type up my bit in anticipation, go to the pub with an old mate, come back...and find half of Britain’s got there before me! As revenge, this is a novel in two parts.

It’s probably fair to say that “Way Down” wouldn’t have been a big hit without Elvis dying, as it had previously spent two weeks scrabbling round in the 40’s. This made it four consecutive top ten singles in a row for Elvis, and he'd somehow got back in vogue after a nightmare run of singles with peak positions of 23, 15, 36, 33, 40, 5, 9, 31, 29 and 37. In the weeks following Elvis's death, seven of his old hits re-charted but only one managed to scrape into the top 40.

Talking of scraping, how on Earth did the Leggers get into those shorts, especially Patti? Not that I’m complaining! Was Rosie absent despite an end credit due to an injury trying to pour herself into the costume? Good to see a bit of the Tiger Feet dance in the background.

Excellent show tonight, one of the best so far, hosted by a very hirsute and complementary Noel. Plenty of ABOTSOR tonight. Good thing old Tone wasn’t presenting this edition, he’d have had kittens having to introduce The Rods, The Rats and The Adverts. Talk about a new broom sweeping.

Barrie Masters had got a new front tooth for the occasion and absolutely loved peforming the Essex “Born To Run”, grinning away in disbelief – hundreds of editions being the first act on TOTP and finally they get a deserved top 20 smash at this stage. Old Bob gave us the second Mick Jagger impersonation of the evening, and that has to be the best audience participation for years. Not just badges advertising the band, either – the guitarists were also wearing Rats armbands. As for The Adverts, proof that punk had reached North Devon – and, God, wasn’t Gaye cool?

We’ll be back after this break...

Arthur Nibble (part 3) said...

And welcome back!

At first I thought Phil Lynott had gone all Bolan and Bowie-like with some eye make-up, then realised it was a black (well, deep purple) eye, and a real shiner at that. Did Brian give it to him? If not, I’d hate to see who came second! I wonder if Phil was tempted to wear a Dr. Hook patch for effect?

Funny how we see several acts or songs over and over (anyone else glad to see the back of "Angelo"?), yet we’ll see no more of The Floaters – one wiped edition and just two other fleeting appearances for an act who never made the UK singles chart again so, from hereon in, The Floaters went down the pan (ouch, sorry). Lovely bit of soul from Niecy too, as sublime and florid as that daring dress of hers. Talking of dress sense…

Now for this year’s Glamourpuss…only slightly more glamorous! Stephanie Mariann (the exotic looking dark haired gal) was the very first topless page three girl in 'The Sun', though I have little recollection of Claire Russell (blonde) or Felicity Burski (the lead vocalist, a sort of liplicking Twiggy but not quite as twiglike!) – I had to Google them to find out who they were. They weren’t the only ‘Sunettes’ appearing on record, mind. Apart from Sam Fox who made it big - erf erf - there was also a duo called Blonde On Blonde (Nina Carter and Jilly Johnson) who released several records but didn’t sing on all of them, and Linda Lusardi released a single in ’86.

Plenty of ABOTSOEED as well tonight – Donna at the start with a song whose lyrics and vocal phrasing was raunchier than her chart topper, Space (the missing link between The Rah Band and Apollo 13) with their migraine-inducing visuals apart from the Goldfinger gal, and Jean Michel calming us down after all that collar-steaming punk at the end like a Gallic Horlicks. Niiiice! Now I’m ready for next week’s double header, Kenny on Wednesday and how to cram 17 songs (yes, seventeen!) into half an hour on Thursday.

eightiespopkid said...

Noel's barely concealed look of disgust as he linked out of the Rats was an amusing moment... They brought some great energy to TOTP and don't really deserve the flack they got/still get.

This had to be the most enjoyable edition of the entire run so far - only Deniece and Page Three brought down the mood at our house.

Great news about 1978 - well done everybody!

Oxynibble (part 6) said...

Bamaboogiewoogie, I remember Wei Wei Wong, she was in The Young Generation or a 60's prototype. Simon mentioned elsewhere the BBC2 show featuring Noel was a Swap Shop retrospective!

Arthur again said...


Spoiler alert...

Having looked at the gargantuan list of acts on next week's show (and I won't spoil it any further), I noticed that "Magic Fly" is the end credit song next week and the video's on the following week though, sadly, we've seen the last of the video as its other appearance is in the fabled final wiped TOTP edition.

That means "Magic Fly" got played in one form or another for four consecutive weeks on the show, surely a record for a single that (tantalisingly) never made number one. Obviously someone(s) involved with the show loved that song with a passion.

Old Applejack said...

Here's something I remember reading. Was the future Quo bassist John 'Rhino' Edwards involved with Space? I remember recall reading that he at least 'appeared' as part of the line-up as they promoted Magic Fly.

Over to you...

darnall 42 said...

@Arthur Again..We See The Magic Fly Video Again On The christmas day Edition Of TOTP With Noel Tidybeard And The Kid :0

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Apparently this was the 700th TOTP not that Noel mentioned it on screen.

I can't believe Noel presented a compilation of Multi Coloured Swap Shop clips at 8pm at night, it was a kids show. Strange time to show it.

According to online sources Phil got that shiner in a bar fight in Turku, Finland after a gig (part of The Ruisrock festival with with among others Trex and John Miles - yes John Miles!!), the date being August 6th. But would he still have a black eye 17 days afterwards?

@Arthur - it's extraordinary that Magic Fly got played four weeks in a row, no wonder it got to number two. One of the members Jannick Top was formerly in French prog band Magma who snooker king Steve 'interesting' Davies was always banging on about. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Didn't Space they have a follow up vocal hit called Deliverance. I seem to remember it being on the soundtrack album to The Stud or The Bitch (one of those Joan Collins films). I'm sure I also remember hearing it on the French/European chart rundown on Radio Luxembourg in late 1977. I think it was Sunday nights the French language service broadcast their chart. Is there a good site covering Luxembourg?

Linda Lusardi - before or maybe it was after she was a Page Three girl she did other types of modelling including a shoot for a holiday brochure for The Channel Islands which my dad helped design.

Simon said...

And it's at this point I appended the recap proper.

Colm said...

I hate doing this (believe me), but you've got Gill and Rosie mixed up again. Gill was among the "Way Down" melee, Rosie was on her first week off.

THX said...

Legs & Co looked like they were doing the funky chicken to the King - one of his favourite meals?

Also, in the list of TOTP-related Page 3 Girls, one of them presented the show for a while in the 1990s: the lovely Jayne Middlemiss.

wilberforce said...

i was almost on the verge of not bothering contributing to this edition's comments (for the first time ever?) because most of what i noticed had already been covered (i too thought it was supertramp's sax player sitting in with lizzy), but thankfully bamaboogiewoogie has handed me a lifeline:

i think steve davis was such a huge fan of magma (unlike many) that he financed/underwrote at least one of their gigs in the uk, if not a whole tour (or did he pay for an album to be recorded?)... anyway, whatever it was it was at least a refreshing change from overpaid sporting superstars buying fleets of fancy sports cars because they don't have the imagination to spend their ill-gotten gains on anything better!

whilst i'm here: the florid dress modelled by deniece williams is the same one as on the cover of her album "this is niecy", where she stands in front of a wall decorated in an identical pattern, thus possibly inspiring those hip and trendy artists who like to paint themselves into backgrounds? noel recommends it, but having listened to it in more recent times when i came cross a copy i wouldn't agree with his opinion - just like the floaters' album, apart from the number one hit it's complete rubbish (in this case consisting of earth, wind and fire's cast-offs, including "that's what friends are for")...

i only gave the page three performance one viewing, but i didn't think it was that bad and having checked it out on youtube i think the actual recording backing track is pleasantly lightly funky (apart from an ill-advised cod-samba interlude - they made a bit of a boob there)... even if the vocals aren't any better (obviously not their prime assets):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXbUyPkc0Pc
i too have a mammory (sorry, memory) of stephanie marrian as a page three "bird", but going by her totp appearance it didn't look like she had enough where it counts to get the gig! anyway, i shall now exhaust my breast-related puns by giving you this pic for your titilation:
http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=2480097

wilberforce said...

colm: i always get rosie and gill mixed up!

Simon said...

Changed. Incidentally, if you look to your right you'll also see the blog now has its own email address, should you feel so inclined. (Any suggestion it's been started right as I hear about the rerun continuing into '78 and the possibility of the BBC looking for external content providers is merely coincidental)

nigeyb said...

A trawl of the internet re Page Three suggests that Stephanie Mariann (the dark haired gal) was the very first topless page three girl in 'The Sun' accompanied by Claire Russell (blonde) & Felicity Buirski (lead vocalist).

You'll love Felicity's website...

http://www.felicitybuirski.com/

She does a bit of counselling and psychotherapy too...

http://www.gotosee.co.uk/practitioner/Felicity-Buirski-Counselling-Psychotherapy-Richmond-Surrey.htm

And she's a folk singer too...

Colm said...

Thanks Simon, from now on I'll use e-mail should the need arise.

Noax said...

Wow, what a corker this show was.

Fleetwood Mac still bouncing up and down in the rundown I see, plus 2 lots of Donna Summer (shame the 'other' one that they play over the countdown is drivel) and forgive me if I've forgotten, but did we ever get The Commodores song on the show at all?

The Rods - Another slightly terrifying performance, though they seem a bit restricted on the stage somehow even though it can't be much smaller than last time?

Elvis - Of course, there can be no finer way to commemorate Elvis's death than dance around in your knickers to his latest release which suddenly and unsurprisingly isn't a flop any more. Probably not many other flops around after this performance either, hem-hem...

The Boomtown Rats - This may not officially be punk, which is probably why I like it. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's the most exciting thing that's been on in weeks.

The band look simultaneously delighted and terrifying, the director seems to actually 'get it' for once, and Bob has presumably scared the crowd so much (altogether now, 'We're scared of Boooob, we're scared of Geldoooof') that they're even joining in.

Not sure why the drummer is dressed as a sailor though, perhaps someone told him Jim was presenting this week.

Deniece Williams - And it was all going so well. A dreary song with Deniece surrounded by a similar backdrop that Dorothy Moore had for her equally tedious tune about a year ago.

Thin Lizzy - At first I thought Phil had make-up on! That must have been the result of a fight, surely. I hope it was that and not a trip over an amp or something mundane. It's good that he sings it live again too.

Space - Awesome, though more than a couple of minutes would have been nice. It's pretty unbelievable watching this now, what must it have been like in 1977?
Actually, as I vaguely remember seeing this on Pops at the time, not that incredible now I think about it. But then, being 5 at the time, everything looked and seemed shiny, bright and new (in reality, it was the 70s so most things would of course have been browny-beige)

Those of you who own some Disco Discharge CDs will know other Space songs, but none I've heard are anywhere near as good as 'Magic Fly'.

The Adverts - Here is some proper punk, which will be why I don't like it. Sorry all you punk fans on here, but this does absolutely nothing for me with it's weedy shoutiness.

Page Three - Oh yes! We haven't had such marvellous nonsense as this for quite some time. Like a night down the bingo hall after some Bacardi Breezers really, though in a way I'm disappointed that the singing wasn't slightly worse - that would have topped it off nicely.

The Floaters - Seeing this again and drifting off into thought, I was wondering whether the boys are working as a team to snare their imaginary lovers or going solo.

I then got to thinking that if I was one of their imaginary 'sexy ladees' to be, which one would have the requisite charm. Definitely not Larry - too toothy and he sounds mental. Probably Paul, he's got nice hair.

Having Jean-Michel Jarre at the end really does make it seem like the future's arrived, perhaps Legs & Co were right to metaphorically dance on Elvis's grave after all.

Arthur Nibble said...

Wilberforce, don't you dare thinking of opting out any week! You're one of the alumni on this forum. Even if you're repeating other comments, your thoughts are valuable.

Noax, "Easy" gets a solitary outing danced to by Legs & Co, which is very small beer compared to the blanket coverage of "Angelo" or even "Magic Fly".

Talking of which, it appears Space had seven singles released in the UK but only the one massive hit.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

@Simon - great write-up as always - NB: The Adverts' drummer is wearing a Rocky Horror Show tee shirt featuring the face of Little Nell. I'm not sure she would be flattered to be compared to Frank Sidebottom. Maybe she'd be okay with being called a sex doll!

Searching through the recesses my addled brain I remember seeing that Swap Shop compilation and I recall that after a while they had to put up messages saying 'Don't ring in now - this is a repeat', something they're used to doing today with +1 and watch again but then it was a novelty to see a live show repeated less than a year after it was shown. Some people clearly thought it was live and rang in so desperate were they to swap a Sindy doll for a Adverts LP. I can just see Cheggers chortling as only Cheggers can.

@winlberforce - did you say "this is niecy" album, dangerously close to Smashey and Nicey. Noel Tidybeard indeed.

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

Two of The Shadows were involved in the production and arrangement of that Page Three single. Tough job. Bet they requested several unnecessary takes. Hank Marvin wasn't involved, though - under the circumstances his glasses would probably have steamed up and he might have ended up like Les Dawson's Cosmo Smallpiece character.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

When Steve Davis started to make a bit of money he also spent it on loads of rare and sort after records (latin-jazz Brazilian imports, rare jazz-funk etc) like the Essex soul boy he was. I actually saw him DJ once - at an all-dayer in Woking back in the 1980s - he seemed like a decent down to earth bloke. Ironic that one of the few sportsmen who actually has interests away from sport is called "interesting" ie boring when he was anything but.

With Space & Jean-Michel Jarre both on this feels like its already about 1988 to me.

Donna Summer - quite like this single (but jarred badly with the charts it just didn't feel right being used in that way to me). I'm not sure this was the "official" follow-up to "I Feel Love" as IIRC she may have had 2 record companies putting her singles out around this time to confuse things.

Boomtown Rats - just made me cringe with its obvious jumping on the bandwagon and getting it all wrong and obviously not fooling anyone over about 15. Less punk than the Charlie Drake punk single.And surely the only reason they've got people jumping around is because they've stuck some of their friends in the audience.

Adverts- I suppose this is 'real' punk and every bit as crap as I'd expect it to be.

Deniece Williams - completely classy in every way.

Page Three-is this the first complete flop we've had for a few weeks?



The Floaters-love the song and like the video too - like the little dive down to the floor at the end.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

One of the reasons this show has a fresh, urgent feel is due to the use of new hand held cameras of the kind we see in the middle of the Rods performance. Up until the mid 70s the BBC only ever used those massive bulky cameras and this seems to be the first time they used the smaller hand held ones, certainly on TOTP. This is why they were able to do those extreme and shaky close ups of Barrie Masters and bob Gelfof.

The first time I ever saw them being used was the live 1976 Supersonic Xmas special which was filmed in a theatre. It seems like the BBC eventually caught up and the cameramen were still getting used to them hence the shake and wobble.

TOTP would never be the same again.

Noax said...

Arthur - Yes, I'd forgotten the Legs & Co routine to 'Easy' which must have been weeks ago now!

Bamaboogiewoogie - When I saw the Rats performance (somehow I didn't twig when the Rods were on) I shouted out 'Ooh, they're using a Steadicam!' which - although I'm hardly technically minded - I believe is the correct term?

Anonymous said...

Some comments on YouTube have said that Phil Lynott's shiner was fake, done as a tribute to Robby Krieger who sported one during a performance of The Doors' Touch Me single on the Smothers Brothers show in 1968. Supposedly given to him by Jim Morrison during an altercation.

According to Wiki it is Supertramp's John Helliwell on sax.

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


80sblokeinthe70s, you're absolutely right about Donna Summer. At this stage, for some reason, she was releasing singles on both GTO and Casablanca, the latter label probably best known over here as the outlet for facepainted glam metal outfit Kiss. Donna released a duet with Barbra Streisand which was released simultaneously on Casablanca and Barbra's label CBS. One label released the 7 inch version and the other did the 12 inch but I can't remember which way round it was.

We've had a few scrapers in the 40's in recent weeks (e.g. Delegation, JALN Band), and the last complete flop we had was Dana's dirge from four weeks ago. As it happens (spoiler alert again, sorry, but it is relative to the query) next week's show has two complete flops, one of which is the BBC debut of my idol and the fact the song failed to chart is a massive black mark on the British public's taste. In my opinion, you understand.

PS - I'll be nowhere near a PC for most of tomorrow and until Sunday afternoon, so you can breathe easy. Sorry to take up so many posts on the forum - it isn't deliberate, honest.

THX said...

Wouldn't be the same without you, Arthur.

@Noax: it was just a handheld camera, if it had been Steadicam there would be no wobble at all, think of all those roving shots through the hotel corridors in The Shining.

As for The Deep, the only reason anyone remembers it is because of Jacqueline Bisset's wet T-shirt in the first five minutes, after that it's excruciatingly boring. I do like the song though, but I think I'm right that they use the instrumental in the film, no Donna at all (another mark against it).

A bit of that sort of Arthur said...

Thx, THX!

I can't believe I'm going to share this with you, and I apologise immediately if you're offended.

Having looked for a bit more info on Glamo...er, Page Three, it appears that Stephanie Marrian did the cover for an album by a band called Boxer. The cover, with Stephanie in star jump pose and naked apart from a boxing glove covering a certain place, was banned in the US. I also received an unexpected pic of our Steph in, erm, well, not that leopardskin outfit for starters. My PC seems to think I'm Robin Asquith.

Vintage Reading said...

Best moment on the show was Noel holding up a Boomtown Rats 'tin street badge' as though it were a ticking bomb.

Darren said...

Donna Summer was signed to Casablanca Records in the USA right from when her career began properly with "Love to Love You Baby", up until the turn of the decade when she left disco behind and went to Geffen Records. For some reason, though, GTO had the rights in the UK to market Donna's first four LPs and associated singles, this ended with the LP "I feel love" was on, "I remember yesterday". "Down Deep Inside" was released on Casablanca in the UK, as were singles from the follow-up "Once upon a time", so over the next 6 months or so in TOTP-land we've got Donna singles a plenty, including two in the Top 10 at the same time at one point!

Casablanca Records did also have Kiss on their roster; but most of their acts through 1977-9 were disco. If you are seriously into disco like me, I can recommend the book "And party every day" which tells the larger than life story of Neil Bogart, the label, and the acts, including Kiss, Donna, and the Village People.

No-one's mentioned, by the way, that "Down deep inside" was written by John Barry, and Moroder/Bellotte were not involved at all (unique amongst her other 1970s hits).

Keeping on the subject of disco - what's the connection between the Dooley's performance last week, and Page Three this week?
.....
Well, the answer is that "Think I'm gonna fall in love with you" and "Hold on to love" are consecutive tracks on the 1978 LP "Belle De Jour" by Saint Tropez, a USA female vocal disco aggregation put together by prolific producers Rinder & Lewis (some of you may have heard of El Coco and Le Pamplemousse from the same stable). This LP and group are very well known amongst disco aficionados, and consequently the Saint Tropez versions of both songs are more widely known worldwide, if not in the UK, than the originals that we have seen on TOTP. In fact, whilst I knew about the Dooleys, I had no idea whatsoever that Page Three did the original of Hold on to Love until this week!

Here's the Saint Tropez Versions:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=655humNhOjA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkwbqBOy_dM

Mikey said...

The screening of Swap Shop at 7.40pm on BBC2 that evening was not a "compilation" as such - just a heavily-edited screening of a single edition from the first series (December 1976, I think). When a cartoon was being shown (or other insert or overlong boring item), a caption came up saying "Hong Kong Phooey (or whatever) continued for another 20 minutes, and then..." before returning to the show as the cartoon ended. Similarly, as has been mentioned, there were also captions telling viewers not to ring or write in to the competitions or "Swaps".

wilberforce said...

darren, thanks for the tip on saint tropez (i thought i was well-informed on disco!) - thankfully no cod-samba segment in their version of "hold onto love", and the vocals (unsurprisingly) are a lot better! i still hate the dooleys tune though, whoever does it...

el coco's brilliant disco 45 "cocomotion" came out in the next couple of months, and despite hardly any promotion or airplay nearly made the top 30 - had it been given a spot on totp i think it could have gone on to become a big hit...

having seen a link for this track by space on youtube i gave it a listen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD-yJNZTdKI
great production, and i think actually better than "magic fly"... and yet i'm sure i gave the album a listen a while back and found it more prog-rock than disco...?
there's also this ace remix on youtube if anyone's interested:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QqX7o4gk9E
it sounds very similar to cerrone's "supernature" (another french disco musician/producer, but despite being a leading light of euro-disco he actually recorded in blighty with the likes of session keyboardist supreme alan hawkshaw and new wave oddball lene lovich)...

casablanca's other big disco act the village people were for some reason having their records released in the uk on the djm label, despite the fact that "down deep inside" and other stuff by the likes of cameo was now being put out on the casablanca label - can anyone shed any info why?

regarding the "punk" records on the show this week, to my ears the boomtown rats sounded just as punky as the adverts, even though people are sneering because "saint" bob is involved - had they gone the way of the latter and disappeared into the sands of time after their 15 minutes of fame rather than go on to have massive hits showing their true musical nature as springsteen copyists (and of course not forgetting bob's post-rats career), i'm sure the punk purists would be more appreciative (for my money, their best track was "mary of the fourth form" - again, no less punky to me than the likes of the clash and the damned)...

ps - thanks arthur for your kind comment, and feel free to post as often as you like - your contributions are always of interest and usually amusing too!

wilberforce said...

oh yes, i forgot to mention that purely in the interests of academic curiosity i checked out the boxer album sleeve mentioned above... and discovered that there's a "full frontal" shot of the page three model on the back cover - cripes!

http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=774108

Tyrone Jenkins said...

I agree with many of the others that this was the best show of the run ao-far. The combination of Punk/New Wave/eurosynth could almost have been put together by a latter day 'mood of 1977' programme producer, with PAGE THREE representing the 'Wheeltappers and Shunters' end of the pop spectrum. The lead singer was Rula Lenska meets Bet Lynch!
In common with another blogger the SPACE song/performance reminded me of DAFT PUNK.
The audience's finger-jabbing gesture during the BOOMTOWN RATS performance was identical to audience reaction to any number of early 70s SLADE TOTP performances (e.g the Christmas 73 episode). Presumably this was one of the first signs of life in the charts/on the show since the high point of Glam. Incidently, did anybody notice the scrawled 'Boomtown Rats' graffiti on the back of an audience members shirt? Truly the barricades are being stormed! It must have been enough to have set old Robin Nash's bowtie revolving at high speed!
With regards to the imagery in the SPACE video, SCI-FI lyrics and graphics were trendy in the late 70s, especially in disco and synthpop but also elements of the New Wave. Consider Sarah Brightmans '(I lost my heart to a) Starship Trooper' (the delights of which await us now that 78 has been confirmed!), all bacofoil jumpsuits and Buck Rogers graphics. There was that Boney M album,The Buggles 'Video Killed the Radio Star' and of course the android-like Gary Numan. Of course Bowie had got there first during the earlier part of the decade. That's enough waffle from me!

Ian Wood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
80sblokeinthe70s said...

Wasn't part of the problem with the Boomtown Rats the fact that they really weren't anything to do with "punk" or even credible rock until Bob Geldof decided he'd hitch a ride on the bandwagon? I believe they were virtually an Irish showband until not long before this. Less punk than Emerson Lake & Palmer and even more annoying to actual punks.As I've made clear I can't stand punk but I sort of understand why so many punks were pissed of by them. And they wangled an appearance when they were at number 47!

THX said...

Geez, that Boxer album cover! The first time I ever went into a record shop that was on display, and it mightily confused me as a little kid - was it supposed to be sexy?! Why was it disturbing, then?!

Also in that shop for little kids to be scared by was the cover for The Scorpions' Lovedrive, and if anything that was worse. Friendly advice: don't Google Scorpions album covers.

wilberforce said...

i agree with thx that the "lovedrive" sleeve is somewhat disturbing (not to mention tacky), but the scorpions LP cover that i can't help be amused by is "animal magnetism", where a young and attractive woman kneels before some macho beer-swilling geezer alongside a canine companion... and on the back sleeve the dog (not the woman) moves in for some "action"! who said that germans don't possess any sense of humour?

btw, i've never noticed this before, but if you look closely at the two pictures (against the advice of thx ha ha), you'll notice that on the front the guy just wears a shirt, whilst on the back he has put his jacket on (a quick change!)

http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=579951

wilberforce said...

i've just realised i've made an unintentional pun with the description "tacky" - sorry!

getting back to the argument that the boomtown rats were charlatans and punk imposters, at least bob geldof wasn't a son of a diplomat and had a public school education, or played in a dodgy pub-rock band before becoming one of punk's "working class heroes" at an advanced age...

80sblokeinthe70s said...

I've just been looking at the extremely very worthwhile UK Chart Archive site and seen from the Top 50 of this week why to actually get artists in the studio TOTP sometimes had to resort to records not even in the charts and which often became "the complete flops" we mention.

This week aside from what was shown on the show the only eligible records in the Top 50 were Black Gorilla 'Gimme That Banana' (50), La Belle Epoque 'Black Is Black' (48), Meri Wilson 'Telephone Man' (46), Bruce Johnston 'Pipeline' (45), Nilsson 'All I Think About Is You'(43), Four Seasons 'Down The All' (42), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers 'American Girl' (40), Philadelphia International All Stars 'Let's Clean Up The Ghetto'(37), DeEtta Little & Nelson Pigford 'You Take My Heart Away' (36), Yvonne Elliman 'I Can't Get You Out Of My Mind'(33), THe Jacksons 'Dreamer'(31) and David Soul 'Silver Lady'(30).

That may seem quite a few but every one aside from Black Gorilla and La Belle Epoque were American and hardly likely to fly over for a record that lurking in the 30s or 40s.And La Belle Epoque were European I think.

Maybe they could have shown the David Soul video seeing as it was obviously going to be such a massive hit.

And personally it'd been nice to have heard You Take My Heart Away Dreamer, Let's Clean Up The Ghetto and Down The Hall


PS you can also see the not listing most fallers in positions 40-50 rule coming into effect there with the bottom 6 of the Top 50 all new entries.

wilberforce said...

i remember the bargain bins being stuffed with copies of bruce johnston's "pipeline" that had faltered in the charts, but despite that and them being cheap i didn't bite... maybe because i knew the guy had been in the beach boys? anyway, in much more recent times i came across it on youtube and was amazed to discover it's actually a quite pleasing and credible instrumental disco workout...

Shyelsterpie said...

This forum is not punk friendly it seems but heh ho. For what it is worth i still fly the flag as i also do for electro house grime, led zep, t rex and northern soul. i still play a trio of Adverts singles on my ipod along with gems such as this perfect day, anarchy etc. Although the rats are obviously not punk, at the time many thought they were : it was the renewed energy they brought that mattered. (its only trad jazz, country and reality show type ballards that i cant be doing with)


Last week in the states at dinner with british customer, american/british/swedish colleagues . Wierdly for an american restaurant (large quantities, loadsasalt), they were playing an eclectic selecton of hits that i didnt expect: as well as reostyxforeignerkansaschillipeppers, they played echo, joy d, dizzie r bonkers, new order, they might be giants, muse and elbow. I could name almost all and at some point mentioned ( though not by name) this site and told them that i am a pygmy in the knowledge stages compared to many on here.

' you read such blogs?' said one (a direct report) in barely concealed disgust. Just occasionally i responded before moving on to telling a roy chubby brown joke ( a non racist one i add). Anyone else suffering a social stigma for this?

Tyrone Jenkins said...

Punk Rock and its derivatives brought an energy and urgency to pop/rock that had been missing since the high-point of Glam. As a consequence TOTP was transformed between 1977-79. Think of the goodies in store; Buzzcocks, Ian Dury, The Banshees, Blondie etc. The Boomtown Rats, irrespective of the opinions of the punk purists,were very much a part of this energy and are one of the reasons why this episode was the best of the run so-far. The same applies to the iventive Euro/Synthpop of the period.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

@Darren - you're right about Donna Summer's label change at this point but because she released no less than five albums in two years we still have two further singles from the GTO I Remember Yesterday album to come (released almost simultaneously with her Cassablanca singles), namely I Remember Yesterday and Love's Unkind. At least they made video for the first of these so we get to seer Donna in the flesh (the first time since Winter Melody) rather than Legs and Co, crowd dancers or chart rundowns.

@Tyrone Jenkins - loved your description of Page Three's singer as Rula Lenska meets Bet Lynch, I was thinking along similar lines. Also your comment about Robin Nash make me chuckle. I remember seeing him on a 1980 youth programme called Something Else introduced by a young Phil Cornwall. Some of the kids were moaning about the 'rubbish' on Top of the Pops and he sat with them looking very smug - in a bow tie - defending the show saying that it merely represented what was in the Top 40. He was right up to a point but someone should have shown him a list of all the acts on the show who went no where near the Top 40 (including Page Three - but we know why he booked them).

Also re your comment about space-sci-fi themed songs the one that sticks in my mind (and I'm really looking forward to seeing it in April 1978) is Automatic Lover by Dee Dee Jackson. If you thought Glamourpuss and page Three were kitsch, wait till you see that!

@wilberforce - I loved disco instrumentals and bought Bruce Johnston's Pipeline at the time. He does a great version of his beach boys song Disney Girls on the flip. Shame it never got an airing on TOTP.

wilberforce said...

elsterpie: first of all, i can't speak for fellow contributors, but i'm not totally anti-punk (for instance, i like most of the pistols and stranglers singles). however i think it over-rated compared to disco, that i see as the true musical and social/cultural phenomenon of the era.
secondly, i think your fellow diners are getting us mixed up with facebook and twitter users and similar airheads (in which case i share their derision!) - i think of this as the virtual equivalent of getting togther with a few old friends in the pub (or maybe in the curry house?) to chew the fat and ruminate on what i call "intellectual bollocks", which i am also pleased to say i still get to do in the "real world" from time to time...

Darren said...

@Bamaboogiewoogie - Yes, sorry if I didn't make it clear that Donna still had three GTO singles left to go (you forgot "Back in love again"). This was my point with these being intermingled with releases from "Once upon a time", and the odd film theme to boot; which was the basis of my comment that there'll be plenty of Donna between now and April 1978.

By the way, I presume your user name is a tribute to the single of same name by Cleveland Eaton, which I have on blue 12" vinyl. :-)

Angelo Gravity said...

Fantastic show this week really ~ I know that Page Three may have their knockers, but it was nice to hear them get their songs out for the lads ~ and talking of big hits, what an amazing year for instrumentals this was ~ from disco to prog rock to space disco ~ all we need next is some brass band from Yorkshire to top it all off :-)

AndyMac said...

I assumed that Noels intro into the Boomtown Rats advising us to pay attention to the lyrics was simply a sneer at Geldof's poor diction

Simon said...

Within ten of the record already. Watching the Twitter hashtags, it's very interesting/odd that in this time of disco and punk, debuting future stars and forgotten chancers, both weeks they've been on it's the Floaters who by far have attracted the most comment, as if despite being a number one and a radio Loveline favourite everyone's forgotten it.

Matra Rancho said...

I did like Noel's "listen to the lyrics" instruction, reminded me of Lee & Herring's "Listen to the words, they weave a message" pisstakery in the 90s. Especially when it was followed up by Sir Bob's "I'm on the ruddy rotten dole!" observations which seemed a little tame. I suppose it was a different time. The Adverts song is still incredibly awesome though, great idea, splendidly "executed" hohoho.

babblingmouth said...

I loved this edition and own all the songs featured on 7" apart from Thin Lizzy and Page Three. I bought 3 of them the day after transmission together with Gimme Dat Banana! I was 14, forgive me.

Loved The Adverts, saw them support Iggy Pop later that year, and loved Boomtown Rats too - for their energy and songs. Space, Jean Michel-Jarre and Donna Summer are awesome, and I remember playing Float On over and over again, and just sort of, er, floating off. It's a great backing track at least :)

Really happy it's continuing into 1978, and really love reading the comments on here too. All round, very happy this week :)

wilberforce said...

i've spent the last 10 years trying wherever possible to replace my old vinyl and cassettes with digitalised recordings, but although i knew someone who used to flog cheap CD compilations at car boots (from which i would plunder most of the big 70's disco and pop hits), i could never find one with "magic fly" on it (i still have the 45 knocking around somewhere but transferring it remains on the "things to do" list)... anyway, in the wake of all this talk about space, last week i just happened to visit a friend who had some of these disco comp CD's lying around, and i asked if i could borrow a few to fill in any gaps i may have missed before... and reading the tracklist of one of them, lo and behold "magic fly" was there! is that synchronicity or what?!?

wilberforce said...

i have just discovered something that will probably take us to a new record in the number of comments submitted, but sadly it's not because there's anything to celebrate...

apparently there is a documentary on itv next week that supposedly finally "outs" jimmy savile for the pedo he has always been suspected of being... some of you may remember that a while back i mentioned doing a JS routine for my upcoming school reunion, and indeed last weekend i did a "dry run" at a friend's gig (costume, fake cigar and all) in readiness for the occasion which is happening next weekend. not only that, but i was hoping if it went down well then i could actually get some regular kind of work out of it. but if this programme sets public opinion against him, then were i to do it again in the future it would be more a case of avoiding a lynching than making a living!

Arthur Nibble said...

Really? How much evidence have they got against Sir Jim'll?

By the way, just to clarify an earlier query about when the last total flop on the show was, Page Three was our latest example of the genre.

Simon said...

Here's the details. Which does of course raise various side questions, including about how the BBC will react once the documentary has been on and the reaction gauged vis a vis... well, TOTP77.

Noax said...

Who knows how the BBC will react? I mean, we didn't get Jonathan King and yet we did get Gary Glitter so there's no pattern there.

I guess it really depends on how het up the Daily Mail get about it, given their decision on whether to ban things or not seems to depend on what that bloody paper says. Unless the new DG is a little less reactionary, I certainly hope so.

Isn't it all a bit odd that this is being revealed now though, why not when he was alive?

Simon said...

Because that would have constituted libel?

We got Glitter because we didn't get King, or at least because before the former had appeared King was cropped, complained to the papers and BBC when he found out (a couple of months later, as memory serves) and then let on the DG had said he wouldn't be edited out of any more TOTP repeats. This is different, I think, because it's the presenter involved and also it's contemporary and thus fresh on the agenda (the next Savile-fronted show is the one after next) whereas, while still popular evils, those two cases were some years ago now (Glitter 1999, King 2001 - and not that the world is suffering for his work not being at the forefront of pop culture but King still has quite some media clout, he had the Indy on Sunday magazine cover earlier in the year and went to the Mail on Sunday over TOTP)

Anyway, it's the same night as the Kenny TOTP so I'll probably be too busy writing that up to watch.

eightiespopkid said...

Wilberforce: what's the name of the 70s CD with "Magic Fly" on it? I have been searching for this on CD for a while myself.

wilberforce said...

eightiespopkid: this is the CD comp that "magic fly" is on:

http://www.discogs.com/Various-100-Hits-Disco/release/1872285

hope that helps...

Simon said...

And we've beaten the comments record! May I add to it with news of another addition to Kenny Everett Night, at 10.30pm: "In a rare piece of BBC archive from 1973, the outrageous Kenny Everett gives a quirky tour of the Top of the Pops studio and answers children's questions about his taste in pop music, his radio show and killing Tony Blackburn."

charlie cook said...

Blimey, I haven't even watched it yet and already know all about it!

Arthur Nibble said...

In this day of multicommunication and high definition everything, let's remember that the Kenny TOTP and new find were made just five years after BBC1 and ITV went colour in London, the north west and the midlands (although BBC2 had been colour since 1967), so it would still have been a big deal back then. It took a while for transmitters to be replaced or upgraded in order for other regions to get colour, and I believe the last area to get colour telly was The Channel Islands in 1976.

PS - A new comments record. Well done, everyone!

eightiespopkid said...

Thanks for your help Wilberforce! Slightly embarrassed I already own that CD but never noticed "Magic Fly" lurking there on CD4! I am in the process of transferring all my CDs to iTunes which will hopefully improve my organisation...!

Arthur Nibble said...

Oops, got my dates wrong. Suddenly remembered BBC1 and ITV1 had only been colour for four years - they turned colour on the same day in Autumn 1969. 1968 was the year of the ITV franchise renewal which saw the loss of ABC and Rediffusion (ask your parents) and the forming of the giant that was Thames and the birthn of the tall 'un that was Yorkshire.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

I hope the ITV documentary doesn't overshadow The Kenny Everett night which I'm really looking forward to. Kenny was my hero when I was 14 having discovered him via his Capital Radio shows. I also hope the BBC sees sense and doesn't cancel any Savile shows because after all he can't be found guilty.

@Darren - thanks for reminding me about Donna Summer's other GTO single, she certainly dominated the charts around this time. It was as though the two record companies were in competition with each other but all her releases wee on Cassablanca in the USA so it simply appears that they were trying to capitalise on her success by blitzing the chars with singles - in this case 6 in six months. They certainly made their artists work hard for the money (that gives me an idea for a song!).

And yes I was a big fan of the Cleveland Eaton song and a lot of other disco-funk songs of the period. I had a fascination for songs in the lower echelons of the Top 40 that rarely got radio airplay and thus didn't make it to TOTP and often used to buy stuff on the strength of the titles. I was usually pleasantly surprised (and played all the b-sides as well) but I couldn't afford the 12 inch versions though and had to buy the 7 inch single. One of my great joys is to find 12 inch singles and albums at car boots and to finally hear the full length versions (although in some cases they aren't always better). One of the best things I found was a mega rare DJ-only 12 inch of the 14 minute Donna Summer I Feel Love Mega Mix Trip which uses I Feel Love rhythm as a base with other tracks mixed in including Earth Wind And Fire - Let's Groove, Poussez - Never Gonna Say Goodbye, Santa Esmeralda - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood,
Telex - Moscow Disco, Donna Summer – Our Love and The Quick - Zulu

You can here it here (be warned - it's brilliant!):

http://soundcloud.com/tuchelen/donna-summer-i-feel-love-mega

Zygon said...

I Hope the JS Doc will prove to be BS and quickly forgotten.

Can't wait for the Ev night, it's about Bloomin' time!

Simon said...

Of course, the Savile documetary is happening because he can't be found guilty. Not that I really want to go into all this here, but I do wonder about the TOTP after next which is Savile-fronted, set for the 18th (yeah, Sky At Night gets in the way again), because it's not as if the accusations are going to go away quickly - it's not like it's a passing story, it was the second story on BBC's own News yesterday - and there could well be some negative reaction to the BBC, especially under the new DG, pressing on as if nothing has been said so soon.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

The Jimmy Saville allegations are more in line with Jonathan King (ie underage sex) than Gary Glitter or Michael Jackson (paedophilia) and as been noted on another site said if all the rock and pop figures who'd messed around with underage girls were removed from the air shows would be somewhat decimated.

And anyway it'd be ridiculous when as has been said he can't be tried.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, you do wonder about whether these TOTP repeats, wonderful though they have been, have got a future in the light of recent findings and witht he likes of Glitter/King/Savile, it is a particularly dodgy era.

Sometimes the past is often left in the past for a reason...

Anonymous said...

@Arthur Nibble:

BBC1 & ITV moved to colour on 15th November 1969...

Simon said...

Well, they've got a future as they've just been confirmed as having one into next year, and the world has just about coped with Glitter three times (and once on BBC2, which I still find odd) this year. What makes this potentially different is the allegations are contemporary with the repeats. (I doubt the Savile estate gets repeat fees, in any case, as apparently the members of Legs & Co don't)

Simon said...

Anyway, let me throw in something else to spur conversation along as we get tantalisingly closer to the century. I've started thinking about the best way to wrap up 1977 - I've already mentioned the possibility of a musical year in review piece, but what else if anything would you like to see alongside that?

Tyrone Jenkins said...

Bamaboogiewoogie; thanks for your comments! With regards to old Robin Nash; usually I would cherish bow-tied Frank Muir lookalikes as wonderful manifestations of British eccentricity! Unfortunately he really did seem pompous and smug, as your reference to the 1980 tv appearence seems to testify. No doubt his woeful influence can be seen in the cabaret-style of mid-70s TOTP, with its overeliance on end of pier warblers and semi-comatose audiences! TOTP? More like gleetime at the mortuary!
Having said all this, perhaps this is part of the charm?

DSP said...

further to the correct reports of John Helliwell playing sax for Thin Lizzy, I would point out that Supertramp's drummer, Bob Siebenberg, is the brother-in-law of Scott Gorham, the Lizzy guitarist with the long straight hair..

I have the Space's Magic Fly LP, and very good it is too :-)

David H said...

Before now I never really understood a comment made by someone that "Daft Punk were the Showaddywaddy of the 1990s", but after seeing this particular show it all starts to make sense; certainly Daft Punk, etc., in 1997 were basically revisiting what had been done 20 years earlier just as Showaddywaddy were likewise doing in the '70s.

Anyway, a fine edition all round even if you don't like punk, and a worthy snapshot of popular music in an important transition phase. Plus I'm really looking forward to the Kenny Everett night on Wednesday with a (more or less) unique chance to watch someone who could arguably be the best TOTP presenter of all time.

Noax said...

Maybe the Sky at Night repeat will prove a blessing in disguise for once, it might be just enough time for people to stop caring and move onto the next inevitable scandal.

I think we all knew that Jim was not exactly a normal person, but muck-raking after his death does seem particularly pathetic, and sadly (but inevitably) the Daily Mail haven't hung about.

Depending on how many Savile fronted shows there are left in 1977 it would also be a nice easy way for the BBC to clear the backlog, but let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Simon said...

There's four left, but as far as I can tell if there's a Sky At Night every month and no extra shows they'd be six behind.

The other note about this Kenny show that's just occurred to me is it's never been repeated, so nobody's seen a proper Everett TOTP link since 1973.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Please don't even suggest they cancel any shows, why should they? BBC4 showed The Story of Light Entertainment on Sunday and Jimmy was in a large chunk of that. The Daily Mail piece doesn't even make sense. You had to be over 18 to visit the Top Of The Pops studio so how could any of the visiting girls be under age?

Moving swiftly on, in reply to Simon's request I would like to suggest the following:

In honour of Kenny Everett's Worlds Worst Record Show (which aired on London's Capital Radio in 1977 and led to an album) I think we should compile a votable Worlds Worst Rundown Pics Top 30. We could all vote for our 5 favourite worst (or should that be least favourite) pics and Simon could present the Top 30.

Plus how about a feature on the best/worst audience members.

Arthur Nibble said...

39 years of hurt? Not long to wait!

Legs & Co don't get repeat fees? Ludicrous to the point of being discriminatory. Like building a house and refusing to pay for the mortar between the bricks.

Sir Jim'll always did seem a bit of a rum fellow / weird uncle, but it's such a shame that it's taken till after his death (if at all) for this to make headline news...and I see that well known model and shrinking violet Esther Rantzen's stuck her oar in as well she might.

As a huge footie fan, bearing in mind the number of my comment in this thread, I've become the first member of the 92 Club!

President Obamaboogiewoogie said...

There is a tiny clip of Kenny (and Jimmy!) on TOTP here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XK7iDyuns4

Arthur, Mr. 93 Club... said...

Bugger! I was 92nd in the queue when I started typing! I like Bamaboogiewoogie's suggestion but I'd also add the worst act (Simon May, perhaps) and worst 'camera shy' stage member. So far this year, the octogenarian stand-in drummer for Gary Glitter's in pole position.

Noax said...

Bamaboogiewoogie - that isn't my wish you understand, just what my low impression of the BBC's ability to fight back leads me to believe!

Anyway, your rundown pics suggestion is a great one. My favourite is still Archie Bell & The Drells with their strange cross-breed of a human boxing ring / Escher print.

Simon said...

I think at some point I'm going to have to do Stars Of TOTP76/77 As They Appeared On The Never Mind The Buzzcocks Identity Parade. I've already found Eddie & The Hot Rods, 33.3% of Legs & Co, one of the blokes from 5000 Volts and Delegation represented, not to mention this rather remarkable reference point.

wilberforce said...

regarding the JS furore, i'll throw this in amongst the pigeons:
having slept her way to success with a considerably-older ordinary-looking joe who was already well-established in the entertainment industry (as mrs merton might say: what attracted you to the tv mogul desmond wilcox?), esther rantzen is a fine one to comment on the morality of old and/or ugly slebs being unable to resist the temptations of starstruck nubile jailbait throwing themselves at them...

i think 80'sblokeinthe70's has got it right by saying that this is a case of "underage sex" (if anything) rather than paedophilia... nature has its own "age of consent" which is puberty, but our "civilised societies" can't accept that and have to enforce artificial ones that vary depending on where you live (in france it's 15 for example, so jim would have been alright there!) - if everybody was prosecuted for having sexual relations with someone under the "legal" age of consent, then half the country would probably have to be put away! i hasten to add i've never been one of them, but when i was at school quite a few of the girls in my year had older boyfriends when "under the age of consent"... and i don't suppose they were just holding hands!

Tyrone Jenkins said...

Bamaboogiewoogie and Wilberforce's comments vis JS are measured and sensible. Unfortunately the tabloid press (and its TV equivalents) probably will not engage in a a proper debate in this matter and will resort to the usual hysteria.

Simon said...

100!

100 reached via debate about the nature of underage sex despite two seperate attempts to change the subject, but 100 nonetheless.

Steve Morgan said...

One hundred and one! WOW!!!
All these comments on what is arguably the best edition of Pops shown so far, and I've enjoyed each and everyone of them.
My favourite act/performance this week ahd to be The Adverts and Gary Gilmore's Eyes, an understated single that should have been a bigger hit. But never mind, it was good to see it here knowing it got that little bit of extra exposure.
I'm looking forward now to seeing the shows from 1978, but first, that Everett fronted show from 1973, that'll be a rare treat.

wilberforce said...

although i for one feel a sense of achievement that we've finally made it to three figures, it's tempered somewhat by the likelyhood that it's down to the current controversy surrounding jimmy savile... but at least i suppose you could say that jim fixed it for us to get our maiden century...

babblingmouth said...

And not the only maiden he fixed it for by all accounts. Sorry! :)

Simon said...

One quick thing before we head Kennywards - I've now seen a breakdown of the 1973 show tape and it actually is an unedited studio recording, presumably with countdown, titles and credits attached but with retakes included, which lasts about fifty minutes plus 10-12 of Kenny messing about and answering a couple of kids' questions, which may not have ever been seen before. I don't know for sure but I think the original slot may have been 35 minutes, so this is an entirely fresh edit rather than an original cut for time, which could make for something fascinatingly disjointed.

wilberforce said...

synchronicity II: last night i was watching something on telly and found myself falling asleep, so stuck an old video in and pressed record before i turned in. when you do that the tape rewinds once it reaches the end, so today i had to manually find the programme i'd recorded... anyway, i stopped the tape at one point to find out how near i was, and actually came across an old recording of city boy on totp 1976, performing that song that everyone thought sounded like "hot pedo" - how weird is that in the light of what's going on?!?

Arthur Nibble said...

Hapkido!

City Boy fact number 426 - Roy Ward of said band did the high pitch male vocals on Tight Fit's "The lion Sleeps Tonight".

Chris Barratt said...

Enjoy Everett tonight - it's now being reported that, due to the cunts at ITV and the "News"papers, not to mention Esther Rancid & Gambochichi that this is all more trouble than it's worth. Pathetic
Fucking great, eh.

Simon said...

I don't think Rantzen is to blame entirely for Met Police getting involved with what seems to be proper evidence. Can we not somehow accept that (alleged) raping underage girls is quite a bit bigger and more important than missing some episodes in a rerun?

wilberforce said...

arhur - you mean it wasn't the good-looking guy with the headband and string vest who sang on "lion sleeps tonight"? i'm shocked - i don't know if i can ever listen to it again having now been made aware of that! in fact i'll have to bin my copy, and if they ever won any grammies or anything for it then rest assured i'll be forming a lynch mob to make sure they get their just deserts for having the effrontery to deceive us all...

Arthur didn't fix it for Wilberforce said...

Sorry to burst that bubble, Wilberforce. Headband boy Steve Grant did sing on the follow-up (and in my opinion vastly superior song) "Fantasy Island", which had previously been a Eurovision flop having only come fifth in the Dutch national heats. One of the female singers in Tight Fit, Denise Gyngell, ended up marrying, having a kid with and later divorcing Pete Waterman!

Zygon said...

Ms Rantzen - creator of Childline knew about underage sex - Hmm, doesn't that make her something beginning with H?...

Thank grief it's EV night tonight, It's about time we saw more of this legend

Arthur Nibble said...

Right, I’ll get the Savile stuff out of the way before we enjoy Kennykins tonight.

If the rumours are true that any programmes including Jimmy Savile are banned while investigations are taking place, as Simon’s mentioned on Twitter, it means up to three 1977 TOTPs will be lost, meaning less of a backlog to catch up, but not how I’d like it to have happened.

If we lose all three editions, on the down side we’ll miss the only solo performance by Noosha Fox (the single did far worse than expected and future solo plans were shelved), yet another performance by Yvonne Elliman (after all trace of her first hit had been wiped), a performance by Generation X, and the only showing of a complete flop by John Ford (who?). On the plus side, depending on your point of view, we’d miss two turns by The Dooleys for different singles, a complete flop by Brotherhood of Man (“Highwayman” – they denied it valuable publicity by performing “Angelo” instead on the Royal Variety Performance) and that horrible Elvis cash-in piece of shit by Danny Mirror.

Now, let’s hope for something in the best POSSIBLE taste!

Darren said...

So it seems that now we've come to the end of the wiped editions, we are now going to have to content with the "Savile" editions.

I've been looking at the 1978 schedules to see what effect there will be if the ban is permanent; it seems he presented 6 editions that year.

And as if it's not disturbing enough that Jonathan King is performing on a Savile-fronted edition in October 1978, the fact that Jonathan is performing the song "One for you, one for me", well....

wilberforce said...

arthur, i hope you realised i was poking mild fun at the milli vanilli scandal where they also didn't actually sing on their records...? of course after that, MV were banished to the wilderness for their crimes along with gary glitter, jonathan king, peter wyngarde, michael barrymore, chris langham and big ron atkinson... but will sir jim (or as i've read today, possibly soon-to-be-ex-sir jim) join them on the sidelines for his (supposed) misdemeanours, or will he make it through despite that, like wacko, george michael, bill wyman, pete townhend et al...?

A little bit of that sort of David H said...

If the BBC is definitely skipping over the Savile-fronted editions at least just for 1977, perhaps they can be persuaded to somehow repeat them in a late night slot sometime next year, which is likely be a good compromise given the circumstances. Perhaps people could contact the BBC to suggest this, but ONLY if they actually are skipping the Savile-fronted editions (as yet nothing has been 100% confirmed, to my knowledge).

Anyway I'm really looking forward to tonight's Kenny Everett evening which will hopefully be a strong antidote to recent events.

Simon said...

Yeah, nothing's actually been confirmed about the Savile shows, largely because the BBC has bigger fish to fry than the scheduling of a run of repeats. There's actually four of his to come - Arthur might have missed the 23rd December, which presumably he got in lieu of one of the two Christmas shows, choosing to front a Fix It special instead. And we would get Danny Mirror, he came back a few weeks later.

Anyway, I think we'll let this comments box be the sum total of discussion over the stories as it's not quite in the intended spirit of the blog. Onwards!

Arthur Nibble said...

Still looking forward to seeing how many of the 17 songs in tomorrow's edition BBC4 manage to cram into half an hour!

Simon said...

*cough* Well, technically two of those are rundown and playout, so it's fifteen in 45 minutes, and we've seen how they cram ten into 30...

Anonymous said...

When's Arthur Mullard coming on?

Noax said...

This Ev night couldn't have come along at a better time for us all, could it?

I guess if we have to do without certain shows, a fair amount of links are usually available in the usual places, which I'm sure Simon could point us towards.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

I can't see why they're "banning" the Saville shows as they've already banned and then seen the error of their ways and reinstated Gary Glitter and Jonathan King appearances. And it's not as if he's still alive and there's going to be a trial in which case there'd probably legal reasons to not show then until after it'd finished.

Or is it just to appease The Sun and The Daily Mirror?

Simon said...

As I've already explained, this is completely different to the Glitter/King cases because it's happening now. When allegations that Savile abused an underage girl in a TOTP dressing room in 1977 are being heavily reported (and the subject of a Met Police investigation, which suggests people who are alive were involved too, and to which the BBC have offered full support according to a statement issued yesterday) and clearly aren't going to go away, it's not a great leap to imagine the BBC actively promoting Savile-fronted TOTPs in 1977 isn't going to look good. And besides, Glitter would have been banned had King not gone to the Mail On Sunday three months after his sole appearance so far had been cut.

Simon said...

Bugger, my recording cut the start off so I'll have to wait for iPlayer.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

@Arthur - John Ford (on the Oct 13 show) is Judge Dread under a different name, or at least I think he is. I was hoping to find out having heard Stardance on the French Top 30 on Luxembourg in 1977 and I have been wondering if they were one and the same person ever since (the song is written by Alex Hughes, Judge Dread's real name) so it's a strong possibility. It was quite a big hit in the discos in Europe.

But I hope they do see sense and broadcast the shows because they were happy to put up with the shame caused by Eric Gill -

He was the man who designed the statues of Prospero and Ariel outside Broadcasting House was Eric Gill (who also designed the Gill typeface/font). His personal diaries describe his sexual activity in detail including the fact that he sexually abused his own children, had an incestuous relationship with his sister and performed sex acts with his dog. Seriously!

All this came out in the 1980s and he was guilty by his own admission. But the BBC haven't seen fit to tear down the statues outside Broadcasting House.

Simon said...

Oh, one more quick thing and then I hope to leave it, or I have a fit of pique tomorrow and delete half the messages here - with this, 1978, Glitter, the David Hamilton recovered show etcc, I'm sensing a sense of entitlement around, that somehow the BBC *has* to show everything it has. It doesn't have to show anything of a 35 year old repeated series if it doesn't have to. It's not so indispensible to BBC4 that they don't take it off once a month.

Arthur Nibble said...

Even if you delete half the messages on this thread, Simon, we'll still be near the old record! ;-)

Erithian said...

John Ford – could that be the ex-Strawb who teamed up with bandmate Richard Hudson and had a couple of hits as Hudson Ford in ’73-74, then jumped on the punk bandwagon as The Monks with the timeless “Nice Legs Shame About The Face” in ’78?

Funny that Judge Dread has been mentioned in this thread though. I’ve been strongly reminded this week of an interview with Judge Dread circa 1975 in Record Mirror in which he said “... I’ve seen a few 14-year-olds I wouldn’t mind giving one to”. That quote has stayed with me over the years for some reason…

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Yes people in the music business said a lot of odd things in those days. And that includes John Peel. Let us not forget that when he was in the USA in the 1960s he married his first wife when he was 26 and she was 15. And in this article here, which quotes an interview he gave in 1975, he boasts of having sex with lots of teenage girls.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/1999/jan/23/weekend.julieburchill

wilberforce said...

simon - please indulge me on this matter one last time, as another thought has now occurred to me: bearing in mind what's now happening, i wonder if any of those who successfully bid on something at the recent JS auction are thinking about demanding a refund?

seekenee said...

comments wise, I think you would have well broken the record regardless of any other news from the "world of entertainment".
Yes, this was a fantastic show, i was grinning from ear to ear - a full on visceral musical payoff after 18 months of guffawing and social analysis. Looking back the distinction between Adverts and Rats/Rods/Jam/Stranglers seems academic - certainly something specifically decided by arbiters of "taste"- let's think for ourselves now - everyone rides on the coat tails of something - that's a big part of how pop works.
Great to get another performance of the Lizzy song - Scott Gorham is selflessly ROCK STAR here, also looking v cool - Gaye Advert.
Glad you mentioned the insignificance of a few pop shows in comparison to the rape of anyone, Simon, and I'm not having a go at any other commenter when i say that, and i say it as a fully paid up pedantic collector/archivist, i will say no more about it.
I uploaded this show here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLEbqFlz7f8&feature=g-upl i will do more

Arthur Nibble said...

It seems Page Three finished one position (arf) off an elusive top 50 placing! So, they did have some support...unlike those outfits!