Monday, 29 October 2012

Chart the week

On the back of recent chart discussion in a couple of comments sections, a panorama of charts contemporaneous to the week we've just seen, starting with that week's album chart. Note, by the way, that when Stewpot said David Essex's album was at 29 he was actually referring to the chart for the following week, officially published week commencing that Sunday. Can't keep a secret, Ed.

1 Diana Ross And The Supremes - 20 Golden Greats
Third of seven weeks at number one for a pointedly credited UK-only compilation of eighteen hits and two mid-60s songs that hadn't been released as singles here. 40 Golden Motown Greats, released in 1998, has exactly the same cover but that couldn't fool an audience.

2 Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene
This was as high as it got, though it did stay there for five weeks.

3 Elvis Presley - Moody Blue
His final studio album hadn't even charted on release in July but a posthumous surge sent it this high. In fact the surge was more catalogue-based, nine Elvis albums appearing in this week's top 40.

4 A Star Is Born Original Soundtrack

5 Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Very much a slow burner, charting at the end of February but not peaking until the start of September at number three and making it to number one in January 1978. Oddly this didn't apply to the singles, Dreams having just peaked at 24. This was one of its 31 (non-consecutive) weeks at Billboard number one.

6 Joan Armatrading - Show Some Emotion
New entry, her second highest peaking record.

7 Frankie Laine - The Very Best Of Frankie Laine

8 Yes - Going For The One
Coming back from two weeks at number one. So much for punk's year zero. Referred to as a return to shorter songs, though given it features five tracks, one comfortably clearing fifteen minutes, all things are relative.

9 Connie Francis - 20 All Time Greats

10 Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus
A year in the chart, never got above number 8.

11 Space - Magic Fly
Is there a correlation between Star Wars' release in May 1977 and the rise of 'space disco' shortly afterwards, do you think? See also the Rah Band and more directly the US chart underneath.

12 David Soul - Playing To An Audience Of One
A singles hitmaker of consistency that year he may have been, but this was already on its way down from a #8 peak.

13 The Eagles - Hotel California
Its last week inside the top 20 but it had had a very decent run, entering at the top for Christmas week 1976 and returning for a five week stay at number two when the title track was released as a single.

14 Elvis Presley - Welcome To My World
A filler compilation released in March, so after a slow start as the most available ostensibly greatest hits compilation it flew off the shelves, gold in the US by the end of September.

15 Linda Ronstadt - Simple Dreams
Her biggest album in the UK, peaking at this entry position, but five weeks on top of the Billboard chart, selling more than three and a half million copies within a year in the States.

16 Donna Summer - I Remember Yesterday
As mentioned in the comments for the last show this was essentially a concept album, the first side disco reinterpretations of previous decades, closing with the sound of the future in I Feel Love.

17 Elvis Presley - 40 Greatest

18 The Boomtown Rats - The Boomtown Rats
And that's where it peaked.

19 Elkie Brooks - Two Days Away

20 Various Artists - New Wave
Giving the lie to the modern idea everyone called all this stuff punk at the time, the Ramones, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, the Damned, the Boomtown Rats, the Saints, Dead Boys, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Stanley Frank and Little Bob Story. Philips' rights department might have been running a little slow by the end.

21 Rod Stewart - The Best Of Rod Stewart
Not only was there a volume two but a second compilation by this name twelve years later. Oddly this one only spent two weeks in the top 20.

22 Thin Lizzy - Bad Reputation
Straight up to number four the following week.

23 Johnny Mathis - The Johnny Mathis Collection

24 The Stranglers - Stranglers Iv (Rattus Norvegicus)
On its way out after nearly five months in the top 12.

25 ABBA - Arrival
...which is nothing compared to this, as it fell out of the top 20 for the first time since release the previous November.

26 Elvis Costello And The Attractions - My Aim Is True
How come Elvis was on TOTP when Red Shoes came nowhere near the chart? Because this was riding perhaps surprisingly high at the time, peaking at 14.

27 Leo Sayer - Endless Flight

28 Iggy Pop - Lust For Life
New entry and peak, it's said it would have done better but for RCA focusing on shovelling Elvis product out. Bowie co-produced in the Hansa studio Low and the forthcoming Heroes were made in and clearly the lure was rubbing off, as he's never charted higher with any form of album. The rhythm section later reappeared in Tin Machine.

29 Camel - Rain Dances

30 Barclay James Harvest - Gone To Earth

Meanwhile, what was happening in America? You'd think there'd be a proper Billboard chart archive available to all somewhere but as it is all that can be found online is the singles top ten, and for the uninitiated that's not the original at number one and the number ten had been a big chart topper, the most played track on US radio that year:

1 Meco - Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band
2 KC And The Sunshine Band - Keep It Comin' Love
3 Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop
4 The Emotions - Best Of My Love
5 The Brothers Johnson - Strawberry Letter 23
6 Carly Simon - Nobody Does It Better
7 Electric Light Orchestra - Telephone Line
8 Shaun Cassidy - That's Rock 'N' Roll
9 Foreigner - Cold As Ice
10 Andy Gibb - I Just Want To Be Your Everything

Elsewhere, France's chart topper was the genuinely legendary chansonnier Mireille Mathieu's Mille Colombes, replaced during the week by Santa Esmeralda's cover of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, which we'll get before the year is out. Germany were in the midst of Baccaramania with Sorry I'm A Lady, Australians had four chart-topping weeks to ask each other exactly what Carol's subject does with bread, while Sweden's number one was Yes Sir, I Can Boogie. For twenty weeks. TWENTY WEEKS OF YES SIR I CAN BOOGIE AT NUMBER ONE. Unsurprisingly, a record for their chart. No wonder it's reckoned to be the seventh biggest selling record worldwide ever. It was eventually replaced come January (!) by our friend Danny Mirror, who was knocked off for a four week run by... the Tom Robinson Band! Clearly record buyers there had a highly developed sense of fashion.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

TOTP 29/9/77 (tx 25/10/12): goodbuzzingcoolwalkinghightalkingfastlivingevergivingcoolfizzin... Stewpot

An actual recap by me of a show actually that went out! I know!

We start with a close-up of... some sort of robot. It's being held, it turns out, by Ed Stewart, who pretends it actually is Tony Blackburn before hurredly adding before Oxygene drowns him out "Tony's lost his voice, I'm here instead, so welcome!" It must be some tonsil problem Tony had as he didn't reappear on the show for two and a half months. Unless there's something else... he did seperate from Tessa Wyatt in autumn 1977*, it says here... As for Stewport we saw him cadging for names for the new dance troupe eleven months ago and he did a wiped show in December '76, but this would be his thirtieth and last TOTP fling before concentrating on Junior Choice and Crackerjack, two shows you'd imagine would require quite some concentration.

(* Tony says the famous on-air breakdown was in October 1976 but he seemed quite chipper doing a show that month, even having time to pop down the T-shirt printers, so who knows really)

Rose Royce – Do Your Dance
So none of them are actually half-cleaned Escorts? I feel I've been lied to. No excuse for a file photo any more, they've come mob handed, big horn section, guitarist and bassist grinning madly at each other, Rose Norwalt/Gwen Dickey - one and the same - and her exotic braids seemingly singing into a rose (do you see?) at first, though it's just next to the mike. Backing vocalists sprout up all over the place, from congas to middle trumpet. There's the mark of a band not taking any chances with the orchestra.

David Soul – Silver Lady
Still no sign of him in this country but he's happy enough walking the streets and hills of... somewhere American. In the grand mid-70s tradition we saw Leo Sayer also uphold last week it's a clip made entirely by pointing a camera at the star and getting him to wander aimlessly, pausing at one point to shake somebody's hand. That's how famous he is, and also how casual he slips into his fame. Like Leo, lipsync and matching the edit to the song's rhythmic pace are for other people. Unlike Leo, he's got a motorbike to swank about on for a bit and some well tended gardens to shepherd his lady through.

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Waiting In Vain
Legs & Co, and nothing says Rastafari irie like some waltzing in dresses made from net curtains. Cream jackets offset all the skirt swishing about and transparency. What this has to do with the song or rhythm... maybe they didn't have too much time.

Peter Blake – Lipsmackin' Rock 'N' Rollin'
Not that Peter Blake, but the one who would go on to play Kirk St Moritz in Dear John. You remember. Introduced as "a newcomer to TOTP" for now he's a stereotypical rock and roll revivalist and one who's aware of what that means at this precise moment too - studded leather jacket, pompadour quiff, vintage Levis - to distract from the fact that he's also a poor second to Danny Williams as a song derived from a drink advert. The audience in the round are for their part swaying gladly and Blake's going to play to them, running his hand through one girl's hair in passing, realising that wasn't the wisest option and seemingly slapping another upside the head. Intriguingly, the verse tune is practically identical to the following year's Greased Lightning, pre-chorus pauses and all. You can definitely sing one over the other. There's even a dubious car reference towards the end. Hmmm...

Ram Jam – Black Betty
"Tomorrow Radio 1 is ten years old and so is Radio 2. Welcome Ram Jam at number 18!" Surely there was supposed to be something in the middle there. TOTP did actually have a special edition for the station's fifteenth birthday, from which show the celebrated DJs dancing to Adam Ant clip comes (and Jocky Wilson Said, actually). As for Ram Jam they're playing in someone's garden being watched by all manner of dubious characters, including two girls on a stationary motorbike, one holding a plastic cup, and one man dancing and clapping wildly above his head who seems to have invegilated himself among the band. He's actually standing next to the drum riser. Ram Jam look much as you'd imagine they would. Just before the end we see two men off to the far side having a chat while leaning against some abandoned amps, apparently unaware that rock is occurring just next to them.

David Essex – Cool Out Tonight
The show's moving at a fair old clip tonight, without apparent extra modern editing we're six songs in after twelve and a half minutes. Playing in front of a humungous glitterball and a two thirds as large baseball David's permanently got his guitar on tonight and the saxophonist still isn't touching the instrument that's strapped to him when there's a tambourine to shake instead. The middle eight sees David's head briefly encased in an oval frame, because that's what successful people get. Probably. Something else that happens to famous people is nobody advises them not to ad lib "ba boom ba dum" mid-line. "A good year for David" Stewpot surmises.

The Stylistics – I Plead Guilty
It doesn't bode well that the orchestra turn the intro into contemporary family sitcom incidental music, I know that much. Stewpot's link is entirely off camera, which kind of fits the commercial and critical downslide the band are on - this didn't chart and they'd never make the top 75 again, though being TOTP they'd be back in the studio once more in 1978. Russell Thompkins Jr still looks permanently surprised but he somehow fits the band uniform of canary yellow better. Incidentally the Stylistics are in the country for the whole of November. Two of these five, not including Thompkins Jr, remain. It's unclear whether the one sporting the same hair and beard arrangement as Peter Sutcliffe is one.

Donna Summer – I Remember Yesterday
What at first looks like a video purely of stills turns into Donna in full white suit with bow tie and top hat doing cabaret dancing on the spot in a spotlight. Her miming clarinet playing would do Flick proud. It's all very nice but this isn't the futuro-diva we were promised a couple of months back.

Golden Earring – Radar Love
"A sound with a difference" Stewpot calls this, which is curious for a show that's already featured Black Betty. They may actually be playing live, there's certainly the ballsy commitment and muso concentration to suggest so as singer Barry Hay thrusts forward in his red wrapround shades. The drummer fancies himself for notice in a Bruce Lee (later Kill Bill) replica tracksuit. Of course the audience are unsure what to make of this rhythm and rock explosion. How's he got his hands wet inside the car? Window broken?

Elvis Presley – Way Down
And this week's iteration of Legs & Co sees Sue and Rosie... not there. Maybe they got bored of the same song again and again after weeks of I Feel Love too. The remaining Legs are paired off, one on the stage opposite Toppotron™, one on the nearer side, all in a very thrown together outfit of pink bra and pants with remnants of a grass skirt attached to the latter. We know they're not averse to digging out old costumes but such is the half-light they're performing in it really wouldn't make a difference here. In the audience one couple embark on what looks like the full American Smooth. There's a couple of others pairing off, but the overall dancing message is confused. And that's it? Not quite, as Stewpot has one last guest, a "young man" responsible for both this week's playout and the chart still of the week:

With a shirt on this time, though. That'll be Giorgio Moroder, then, pleased to report it's "number one in the discos in the States" and mentioning he "found Donna in Munich three years ago" like she was lost property. Stewpot hopes he'll be "doing well with her and yourself" before a tremendously camp "OK? Byeeeeee!" flourish to finish his stint. Somewhere Tony Blackburn opens another packet of lozenges and phones his lawyer.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

TOTP 22/9/77 (tx 18/10/12) open thread

I'm not being much help at the moment, am I? Two missing weeks and now being away on 'business' for a few days. So it's another comments box free for all as, having neatly skipped a fortnight's turnaround, we find a load of new-to-BBC4 clips, though the same old number one's there.

Hank The Knife & The Jets – Guitar King
La Belle Epoque – Black Is Black
The Stranglers – No More Heroes
The Emotions – Best Of My Love (Legs & Co)
Leo Sayer – Thunder In My Heart
Baccara – Yes Sir I Can Boogie
The Boomtown Rats – Looking After Number 1
Meri Wilson – Telephone Man
Stardust – Ariana
Elvis Presley – Way Down (Legs & Co semi-repeat)

Monday, 15 October 2012

The disappeared: 15/9/77

Well, sort of. You know the circumstances, let's just get to this one and try to ride out the inevitable flamewar together, shall we?

Dr Feelgood – She's A Wind Up
Despite their previous album success we'll have to wait until 1979 before they crack the top 30 but they'll make a good handful of appearances before then. Lee's bought a new, specially patterned jacket for the occasion.

Yvonne Elliman – I Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind
The video again.

The Dooleys – Think I’m Gonna Fall In Love With You
Don't know whether this is a repeat or not, but if the latter I can't imagine it's going to look or sound all that different.

David Soul – Silver Lady
Video, repeated in time.

Donna Summer – Down Deep Inside (Theme From The Deep)
This Legs & Co routine was on YouTube literally days ago but the account has been closed. Hmm. I can tell you it's Sue's turn for a holiday and the standard seems to be "floaty dresses".

Danny Mirror – I Remember Elvis Presley
Philips, the label which put this out, must have put all leave on hold, Elvis died on August 16th and this entered the top 50 for week beginning 11th September. Mirror was actually a Dutchman by the name of Eddy Ouwens and had co-written 1975 Eurovision winner Ding A Dong. Unfortunately this will be on again.

Elkie Brooks – Sunshine After The Rain

Generation X – Your Generation
Another sole appearance for the song, but far from Billy Idol's only visit (or the band's, come to that) Would the lighting effects here clash with modern strobe/epilepsy warnings?

Patsy Gallant – From New York To L.A.
It seems this is pretty much a French-Canadian equivalent of Cliff going disco. It's said Gallant turned up to introduce this herself, which seems sporting to give someone such a lift on their first and only hit the week it entered the top 30, though it's possible she arrived at the studio and only then found her work permit didn't allow her to perform. She can't have made much of an impression as despite peaking at number 6 we don't see it again. I don't think this is the actual video but it's the best YouTube can do.

Elvis Presley – Way Down
Via One For The Dads. For some reason they're wearing their Roadrunner outfits.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The disappeared: 8/9/77

So we reach the final actually wiped TOTP of them all, unless there's some been misplaced or not left in good condition since then. There's weeks not represented in the TOTP archive in future, whether through strike action (for more on which, wait til 2015) or sporting action - three in 1978, for instance - but from here on the document of pop music is pretty much complete. For now we lose Kid in a pink pinstriped T-shirt introducing first The Emotions' Best Of My Love over the rundown, and subsequently...

The Motors – Dancing The Night Away
Somewhere between rhythm and rock and the kind of Chris Spedding-influenced earnest drivetime fare we're seeing every so often, this would make its, but not their, only appearance. Kind of imagine it'd be a lot of men looking hard.

Space – Magic Fly
Mummy, make the spooky aliens and their funny wavey lines go away.

Rosetta Stone – Sunshine Of Your Love
Yes, that Sunshine Of Your Love. Rosetta Stone were other charges of Tam 'Rollers' Paton and included Ian Mitchell, who'd been a Roller for seven months of 1977. What they're trying to be (Smokie) and what they are (Dead End Kids) are very different things.

Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygene Part IV
Legs & Co... what do we reckon? Too early for robot dancing and bodypopping, but lots of stiff limb movements and head turning? Lots of blue flourescent light, surely. EDIT: Actually we don't need to ask, as thanks to One For The Dads' Andee Bee here's just under a minute of it and, of course, it turns out to be not much at all of the above.

Blue – Bring Back The Love
For all its TOTP exposure and chummy looks to camera Gonna Capture Your Heart only reached number 18 and this didn't chart at all, becoming the last we'd see of them. More playing to the gallery, that's what they needed. Also, not this song.

The Boomtown Rats – Lookin' After Number 1
And...punch! And back! And...punch!

Meri Wilson – Telephone Man
Not to be confused with Mari Wilson, as even her Wiki page says. Video for post-Chanson d'Amour/post-My Ding-A-Ling trimphone jingle novelty hit which we'll see soon enough.

Black Gorilla – Gimme Dat Banana
Ah, thanks to newfangled technol we've got this one, its only appearance:

See, not as Black & White Minstrel Show-still-on-telly dubious as it sounds, if still proving unlikely to be covered any time soon. Described as 'krautrock disco' on, which is ambitious. A couple of them went on to become prolific session men.

The Rods – Do Anything You Wanna Do
As you see at the end of that clip, Kid's a bit smug about his rhythm and rock predictive skills. Repeat.

Elvis Presley – Way Down
Crowd dancing next to Toppotron™ stills, it says here. You'd expect little less. Good love!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

TOTP 1/9/77 (tx 4/10/12): the long one

Tony greets us straightforwardly into a countdown backed by Meri Wilson's Telephone Man. Meri Wilson's Telephone Man! It's unlikely the show ever chose a less comfortably fitting track for a fastpaced chart rundown.

Hudson-Ford – Are You Dancing?
In which two former Strawbs attempt to get hep. Hang on - big curly mass of fair hair and at least developing facial hair, big dark glasses, prominent cellos, hint of disco being taken on board... Jeff Lynne? Is that you? He's got the better look than his colleague, who seems to have pioneered the look of Andy from Little Britain. They actually do go back to back for the instrumental break, but that doesn't hide they have a third guitarist doing the solo. When does he get his name in the business title? Tony announces it'll be Noel's record of the week, just to put the mockers on it completely.

Yvonne Elliman – I Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind
She seems to have been in the top 30 for most of these eighteen months but this video is the first we've actually seen of her. The video format is of course very much in its primacy, hence this is Elliman in all her a-bit-like-Coolidge form, or possibly what Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy would actually look like as a woman, standing in front of a lightly blowing wind machine in a kaftan, and then during the second verse someone turns the front lights out for a bit.

Elvis Costello – Red Shoes

No, hang on, that's not it. Costello's debut, backed by the Attractions, and I wonder if the TOTP reworking was his first recording with them - they made their live debut with Elvis seven weeks earlier, the US band Clover (most of whom became Huey Lewis' News) back him on the original and they're not on the following single either. Playing in front of what is a white spiral this week, Elvis is the angry nerd of early infamy, staring down the camera sneering and angry as he goes, taking advantage of every close-up and pull shot, as if all this was somehow our fault. Drummer Pete Thomas' T-shirt reads 'ELVIS Original P(something)' and he's in firing mode too, drumrolling and cymbal crashing well into the link out. "Why not? You can't get done for it" claims Tony. About the wearing, not the drumming.

David Soul – Silver Lady
Legs & Co without Lulu or Rosie but with... go on, guess. Yes, silver outfits. Flimsy chain mail skirts and bra tops, in fact. Despite much early promise of bum-waggling it's fairly standard prancing and the two increasingly common move, holding up the arms while moving sideways and striding forward with chest forward like a Tex Avery suited cartoon villain. Tony plugs Starsky & Hutch, Saturday 9pm on BBC1. Don't actually watch at that time in expectation.

Steve Gibbons Band – Tulane
The original is 45 minutes long yet they kept a repeat (the first appearance) of this in?

The Jacksons – Dreamer
A close-up of some lights provides a divider between that film and this video. No Randy, for some reason, and he's not missing a lot as the other four, Michael very much in the foreground and getting to hold a yellow mike that looks like a ball and cup game, sit on stools in bow tie, frilly shirt and blue suits against a green screen backdrop achieved by panning across some stretched out wallpaper patterns. They're all sitting in different ways, interestingly, Michael side-on to be better in the full band shots, one at 45 degrees, one bandy-legged, one with the left leg casually around the side. At no point do they get up from the stools and walk towards the camera. Look and learn, modern bands.

Elkie Brooks – Sunshine After The Rain
Back in her finest overalls. Well, not back per se, as it's a repeat. Tony draws particular specific attention to the melody.

Joe Dolan – I Need You
And you thought Enge seemed out of place in 1973. Big cabaret night pop had a presence throughout the decade and Irish easy listening hero Dolan, whom Tony notes "hasn't had a release out in this country for a long, long time", knows his place when it comes to theatrical stylings. On a stage not long vacated by Costello, for contrast, this essential rewrite of Demis' Forever And Ever is patterned by moments of Dolan bursting into big flamboyant phrases pitched several keys above the tune before experimenting in alarming laryngitis-esque falsetto. Gesturing in the backing vocals, pointing at the camera - he knows his showbiz alright. The audience even look slightly engaged. "Wow, some of those high notes!" Tony muses as the four women around him clap appreciatively in a way we've never seen the people gathered around a presenter do before.

The Dooleys – Think I’m Gonna Fall In Love With You
Repeat. She'll catch her death.

Nazareth – Love Hurts
Soft rock's turn to strike a blow, big Marshall amps and all. Dan McCafferty, clad in white trousers and what can only be described as a flowery blouse, emotes like a man hurt. The drummer in his big beard and shrunk-to-fit-naturally cap sleeve vest seems like he came from central rock casting.

Candi Staton – Nights On Broadway
More flashing lights lead in the video, so even more flashing lights. Consider it a glamorous take on road safety Public Information Films.

Mink De Ville – Spanish Stroll
Tony suggests we've never been to Spain with him. Well, no, Tony. Video again. "I didn't understand a word of that, did you?" Tony mugs afterwards.

David Essex – Cool Out Tonight
Tony has some more plugging to do. "Tuesday, eight o'clock, I want you to remember this, on BBC television, David Essex starts the first of his brand new series of six shows". Yes, but when does he finish it? And again, don't actually watch at that time in expectation. Well versed in showbiz performance as he is, David has full command of matey side-on looks to camera and keeps the power of surprise, producing a rhythm guitar halfway through. Shame he's forced his saxophonist to come along as the man has nothing to do with the instrument despite keeping it strapped on - union getting uppity? - and has to increasingly listlessly shake a tambourine, being positioned right behind Essex's left shoulder in straight on shots not helping his cause much. And one more blow for light entertainment, David's elaborate bow to the audience in the background as Tony starts talking again.

Carly Simon – Nobody Does It Better
A Legs & Co repeat, maybe to prove that they really were well covered after all.

Elvis Presley – Way Down
And a third Legs & Co appearance! It's not so long - months, come to think of it - since they wouldn't let us see more than one dance on the same show edit, possibly thinking we'd all get overexcited, hyperventilate and black out. But here they are again in the same outfits as for Silver Lady, shot entirely from one stage right and from the back with Sue in the foreground, doing at least three different routines at once to begin with before falling into formation prancing, facing a Toppotron™ slide projection of his photos as between those two points kids shuffle awkwardly. At least one teenage male seems to be doing it ironically. It briefly looks like the girls are going to keep going regardless of what the music's doing but they notice and slowly gyrate to a standstill before applauding everyone else for dancing, which is big of them. Tony continues his one man Radio Times recital by plugging his morning Radio 1 show and Magic Fly plus lots of close-ups of lights sees us out.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

TOTP 11/10/73 (tx 3/10/12): an intermission

Kenny Everett*'s Top Of The Pops record is a slightly odd one. He had a one-off go in November 1967 as co-host with Pete Murray, at a time when the show was working its way through the whole Radio 1 roster checking who might be good on telly - Tony Blackburn had debuted two weeks earlier. Clearly Everett's groundbreaking style hadn't transferred well to the screen just yet but in 1973 there was a sudden outbreak of activity which saw him present six TOTPs in six months, of which this was the last and is the only known survivor. This was almost exactly the length of his final stint on Radio 1 on Sunday afternoons before jumping ship to the breakfast show on the newly minted Capital Radio, which launched on 16th November, and being replaced on the Pops roster by DLT. Bar a cameo on the 25th anniversary show and a play for a video of his later in 1977 this was it for Everett's contribution to the show.

This is additionally TOTP number 501, Kenny having been one of four hosts for number 500 (the majority of which no longer exists - why would you wipe a special 500th edition?), number 499 having seen the debut of the celebrated circular logo. What's more this isn't taken from the original broadcast tape but from the unedited studio rushes, with retakes and errors, and as the original slot was 35 minutes this is an entirely new sort-of-director's cut. Exciting, isn't it?

(* Note for confused future readers: BBC4 made a Kenny Everett docu-drama and this was dredged up to make it a theme night alongside a couple of compilations of his BBC1 shows)

The gaudy-glam titles (which had been introduced those two weeks before, and look like this) are followed by a shot of the entrance, various people milling about before racing out and onstage comes...

Oh, we're off alright. David Cassidy's Puppy Song underpins the rundown, intercut with people dancing awkwardly as was their wont. As a man who looks like Brian Murphy from George & Mildred in a yellow bobble hat stands warily behind Kenny claims he's been "milking things I daren't mention" on the farm until being called to London. It's already fair to say nobody else presents like this.

Electric Light Orchestra – Showdown
There's a transparent umbrella on a stand at the back and the cellists are in full evening dress but the most glaring thing on stage is the breadth and depth of Jeff Lynne's facial hair, covering the entire circumference of his face with extra room to grow outwards, giving him the look of a hirsute deformed doughnut. The back of the set should be mentioned too, presumably a nod to the glamour of the gypsy dancing girl of the titles but instead seemingly based on a weak Barbarella cartoon:

Someone is literally bouncing up and down as we go back to Kenny, who is propositioning a female audience member STOP IT with a phrase that changed some of its intended meaning in the subsequent two decades: "what you doing after the show? We've got a rave going on in the pigsty if you fancy..." His mock attempt to regain composure leads him calling the song Raining All Over The World.

Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Then he calls this Goodbye Yellow Rose Of Kentucky, which means you can't tell whether that was deliberate or not. Not so much a video as a travelogue, this, as Elton stands in a variety of rooms, walks around an orchard, wanders around Sunset Boulevard, puts his arm round a man in a cowboy hat outside the Nudie Suit manufacturers and lets the camera linger a little too long on a Hollywood Boulevard shop called Drug King.

Michael Ward – Let There Be Peace On Earth (Let It Begin With Me)
Would have been here, except being longer than the slot (with no repeat) something had to give, and the youngest winner of Opportunity Knocks was it. Seems we also lost an interview, which is a shame just for how that would have played out between manaical in-character Everett and naive Ward.

Status Quo – Caroline
"Tony Blackburn gets fresh sets of teeth every day, but me..." One of Quo's 728 show appearances or whatever they're claiming now causes a number of youngsters at the front to hop from foot to foot, this presumably how rock was greeted in the days before the loudness wars, except for a small child in a tank top right by the back of the stage who is running on the spot. It should have caught on. A girl on the opposite side attempts to make small talk with her David Essex-resembling partner to little effect. Drummer John Coughlan, looking exquisitely bored at the front, looks the model for Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap. Throughout Quo are denimed and ready to go.

The Detroit Spinners – Ghetto Child
For some reason Kenny is in a star frame. Cuddling Camera 1 he throws to Pan's People, here in their classic Babs/Dee Dee/Ruth/Louise/TOCG lineup. They begin by... spinning across the stage, there, then back. Nothing gets past Flick. In full red jumpsuits with flared trousers, which is pretty much what you'd expect from a fully covered Pan's People wardrobe, there's some lining up and moving out in order, then some fun with raising arms against a backlit sheet which means spending whole choruses looking away from us.

Engelbert Humperdinck – Love Is All
Kenny noisily kisses one of the wall adornments ("cheese and onion!" Not unreasonably at least one audience member looks disturbed at this) as Brian Murphy grins his features off. Why didn't they keep this caption on?

Because it doesn't make sense, I suppose. Enge, face of woodstain and days in heavy wind, sideburns big enough to hide woodland mammals in, stares down an audience that looks oddly small in number and big ballads them into pliant submission. When he hits the break and the orchestra brass section is blaring away he gazes contentedly into the lighting gantry and then straightens out the mike lead. Massive notes, massive cymbals, Vegas ending, but even those swaying gently at the start are making like Easter Island heads, apart from the man in a leather jacket who chooses the apex of the climactic held note to check his watch ostentatiously. The applause is notable sparing. "Eee, what a grand song! What fun we're having!" Kenny lies. Then he collapses.

Slade – My Friend Stan
People don't tend to remember the period Slade experimented with John McCririck as singer.

Jim Lea's piano has two MY FRIEND STAN stickers on, as does Noddy's underused guitar. Yeah, but when you come to the next single (Merry Xmas Everybody, as it goes) you try getting all the bits off. By his standards Dave Hill is toned down in a kimono and sporting his infamous 'SUPER YOB' guitar. Not as much stomping as you'd imagine but a lot of moving and clapping along, including one woman out on her own in a floor-length gown. She must have thought her partner was taking her somewhere better.

Limmie & The Family Cookin' – Dreamboat

Oh, but they had money to burn on graphic design in those days. After complementing a woman's "fine set of udders" - ohhhh, everyone - Kenny, reading off the script in his hand, introduces their "second in a long series of two hits", which is as unintentionally cutting as anything Noel would later come out with. The camera then moves from gantry to stage like a guided missile, a floor manager in its path attempting to half-heartedly duck before almost literally running for his life. Some sort of graphical representation of rainfall threatens to get in the way but disappears as the vocals start, leaving a very clean shot - three singers on stage, audience awkwardly shuffling in front. It's when the director gets clever and, say, closes in out of focus on someone's hoop earring that overcomplicates things. Helpfully we see the camera encroach on that side of the trio shortly afterwards, surely blocking lots of people's view. The pan back finds five young men not quite sure what they're doing being looked at like that, before the reveal that Kenny is sitting on the floor. "Can I bring some cows next week? They're housetrained" he supposedly asks the director via a yellow box of indeterminate source.

Simon Park Orchestra – Eye Level
"Here's a group that's just like a violin, all varnished and covered in string". None of that makes sense, but given the time and no prior knowledge neither does an orchestra of men in mustard coloured jumpers being number one. The theme to Van Der Valk, of course, given the full live treatment, and it's fair to say Park does his job better than Martyn Ford later would. Kenny does a strange bandy legged walk, gibbers before falling over by way of exit, and Nutbush City Limits over the credits as the camera focuses largely on another camera. That was 1973, then. Can't we stay here?