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)

63 comments:

Richard said...

In the light of the revelations of the last couple of weeks DLT's behaviour certainly left me feeling uncomfortable tonight.

Richard

the erotic adventures of sweet daddy parsnip said...

really like thunder in my heart by leo sayer - but what a lame ' video ' ! - it was just the curly one wandering on a beach and a pier - a letdown after the previous how much love video with multiple dancing leos.
i like the belle epoque track too but the lead singer looked a bit mutton dressed as lamb! - like a 50 year old who wished she was 20.
bit too much of the hairy cornflake hugging young girls too given recent .. happenings.

daf said...

HANK THE KNIFE & THE JETS – Guitar King :
Jeepers what the heck's this - Someone tune that man's guitar!

BACCARA – Yes Sir I Can Boogie :
Totally live i think, although only one of the microphones seems to have been switched on. The Top of the Pops Orchestra make a good fist of it.
Still going, but like Bucks Fizz, these two split then reformed with different partners (luckily, David Van Day isn't in either version).

MERI WILSON – Telephone Man :
I'm not sure if she's actually talking about having a telephone installed here, or it's an elaborate code for having sex.

ELVIS PRESLEY – Way Down :
Wisely replacing 'The Legs' controversial Nazi salute at the end with a diamond portrait of The King at the end.

Steve Does Top Of The Pops said...

Loved the Stranglers. Not convinced by Hank and Stardust. DLT - plain disturbing.

dunkiep said...

Agreed. I've always dismissed the cuddles with teenage girls as harmless TOTP banter before. But looking at it now, you just squirm. There've been some ugly bands on recently, but Hank the knife & the Jets lower the bar still further. That HAD to be a rug he was wearing BTW. Backing singer on the left in la belle epoque really needed a bra - couldnt concentrate on the song. Nice letchy comment from Dave Jiggle Travis at the end. Great Stranglers track - notable for Hugh Cornwell's solo with deliberate bad miming. But why'd they have to cut it so short? Legs & Co's strategically placed sparkly bits did little to throw the pervy cornflake off the scent... Someone get a bucket of water, PLEASE! Love the Leo Sayer track. Bizarely, I'm sure that video footage was used as a video for a later hit, 'I love you more than I can say'. Baccara were Eurotastic, its always goid to hear the TOTP orchestra struggle with boigy basslines & funky Wah wah guitar. Therats try a bit too hard to convince us they're punks, before Meri Wilson comes over all neurotic 70s erotica with her tales of which rooms shes been shagged in by the bt engineer. (honestly, listen again). Travis approved though, as he did of some bloody awful eurotrash from Stardust. Watching him bounce about with his Les Paul & wavy hair just serves to remind of the sad waste of Marc Bolan's life so recently in 77 land. Same old legs & co routine to Elvis at number one followed by a quickly faded out cliser from Stevie. All in all, good show, just keep her 'ands to yerself Dave.

eightiespopkid said...

Was that a young Camilla Parker-Bowles singing the lead for La Belle Epoque?

YessirIcanbamaboogiewoogie said...

Space with Magic Fly AGAIN! They really loved this one didn't they. The chart looks so different from when we last saw it, so many new faces and Jean Michele Jarre has leaped to number 4. The sauce box. Angelo's still in the chart after what seems like three years. Come on where's Figaro?

Hank The Knife is very similar to Hank C Burnette (although they're not the same person) but they were both on the Sonet label are promoting a song that was several years old. Sadly unlike Spinning Rock Boogie this didn't make the Top 30. The guitarist (the 'king' in question perchance?) looks like an undernourished Rhys Ifans and gets to do a lot of posing in aviator shades despite the fact that he's in shadow for the first verse. The drummer and bass player are clearly pug ugly and are kept in shadow all the way though. I like the way Hank shouts "'come on" just as it fades sadly giving no one in the crowd a chance to do so.

I see DLT's ginger bearded mate is in the audience, again. Doing very little, again.

La Belle Epoque live from the Postojna Caves in chroma key hell. All three ladies look the wrong side of 30 but the lead singer, clad in black shiny disco rights, a belt Barrie Masters would die for and a metallic green glittery jacket has a look of Lucille Ball and is maybe the same age: "We like the music, we like the disco sound" they half-whisper in a French accent on a neat little preamble to the song before those nasty bass synths kick in and you realise it's dance take of the old Los Bravos song. "Black is black, I want my arrows back" my dad used to sing in mocking tones.

While they seem to have put away those hand-held cameras for the time being (no one wants to see Hugh Cornwall in close up) they are now experimenting with unusual wipes as we dissolve from DLT to Hugh and Co in an interesting multi-square dissolve (perhaps some techno type can tell us what that's called)

I love The Stranglers keyboardist Dave Greenfield's sartorial eloquence consisting of a greasy hair, a Zapata moustache and a green boiler suit making his are look MASSIVE. It really was all about the music with them. One of the men in the crowd seems to be mouthing something obscene to DLT.

Legs and Co dancing to The Emotions going for a similar disco look to La Belle Epoque. Their dance move for the line "Best of My Love" seems to consist of them thrusting their foil-clad crutches to the camera. Flick knew what the lads wanted. After all these years I'm still not sure if The Emotions really are singing "Wino, wino" in the chorus.

Little Leo Sayer all alone and lost in Brighton like an embryonic Phil Daniels in Quadraphenia. That's The Palace pier he's walking on as The West Pier had closed it's doors to the public in 1975. This is a great song and really deserved to be a huge hit but only got as far as number 22 at the time (it was of course remixed in 2006 and made number one). It would be a whole year before he had another hit

Ah Baccara the only song apart from Elton John's Your Song that mentions what they sung in the first verse. The girl in the specs in the crowd at the start who turns to look menacingly at the panning camera has a look of David Walliams "Computer says no" character. Maybe she coughed at the cameraman

Meri Wilson has got very strange taste. That telephone man looks like Robin Williams. Not exactly the bronzed hunk you'd expect her to go for. But heh ho. She wrote this while she was on a life support machine.

Still can't work out what it says on The Rat's drummer's hat.

Chris Barratt said...

Can't say I'm bothered by the DJ's getting girls from the audience in links with them - I was born in 73, completely absorbed in pop music from around 4 years of age and yet lived an childhood of idyllic innocence, and then steadily grew into a balanced intelligent adult - something that seems to be beyond the children of today. Given a choice of raising children in the 70s/80s or now, I would go back in an instant. So I am never going to feel uncomfortable with any old TOTP links whether ther're Mr Lettuce & Tomato or Jimmy The Ripper - I'll take my childhood exactly as it was then thank you very much, with no subversion from Mr Savile's old allies the Gutter Press.
Having been deprived of the 15/9/77 show due to some hypocritical phone hackers trying to crush the BBC, it was nevertheless very amusing to see The Hairy Groper "chasing" after Legs & Co (this week of all weeks) 35 years ago, as well as Fifty Shades of Meri Wilson - The Filth & The Fury!

YessirIcanbamaboogiewoogie(again) said...

continued...

Stardust have got the lot haven't they. Permed hair, zip up flared jump-suits, a bass player with Max Wall haircut and a hot-to-trot girl in a satin jumpsuit and headscarf who plays the marracas. I thought it would make more sense if the band was called Ariana and the song was called Stardust but either way it wasn't a hit Near the the lead singer who looks like Paul Whitehouse in a wig finally gets into his stride and does a leap in the air of the kind that we won't see again until Golden Earring (next week in fact).

Elvis again and then Stevie Wonder with Another Star. This was the last hit he had from Songs In The Key Of Life and it stalled at number 29. Hardly surprising really, was there anyone who hadn't bought the album by that point? But it didn't stop him trying because As was also released as a single and didn't even dent the Top 50. Then it was the 2 year wait for The Secret Life of Plants by which time we all realised that without Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff he wasn't as good.

C'est la vie.

the erotic adventures of sweet daddy parsnip said...

stardust were utterly rotten - bet that wasnt a hit.
i liked the bit where DLT had some black girls with him and asked them ' are you the supremes' - well they are black mr travis so of course they must be.

David H said...

Yes it's true that DLT was a bit too 'pally' for comfort given recent events, but someone older than me said that as a general rule the so-called "personal space" between adults and children was much smaller back in the '70s (and earlier) compared to what it is today, so bear that in mind when judging someone based on their public behaviour. (I'm not condoning the past behaviour of presenters or anything/everything they did at the time.)

Anyway, tonight's show could have almost been mistaken for a Eurovision Song Contest heat with its predominantly mainland European content and flop releases. The Stranglers' No More Heroes has been played so often over the years its impact has perhaps been dulled as a consequence nowadays. Leo Sayer's Thunder In My Heart sounds better in the Meck remix version but its potential was easy to spot all things considered.

I have a soft spot for the Baccara single, which the TOTP Orchestra made a valiant attempt to replicate despite the difficulties in doing so. (And disappointingly cut short as well.) Stardust's Ariana triggered a deluge of "the music doesn't sound better with them" jokes and for good reason (it was awful). Great to see the Toppotron™ again even when festooned with lights as an Elvis shrine.

Dory said...

The Leo Sayer video with the walk along the pier does seem to been copied from the video of When I Need You, but the official video for Thunder In My Heart is this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOJPh-oea-Y
which is on the video collection compilation on VHS/DVD, but wasn't shown on TOTP while in the charts. I'm not sure what TOTP had available for Leo Sayer at the time, but the one on today's show was not great when you think it was really the video for When I Need You.
The Meri Wilson video made up for not seeing it on the David Jensen 'wiped' a couple of weeks earlier, but this was a very short video anyway, about a woman's amorous adventures with her telephone technician. Meri's great voice was apparent again in the early 80's when she appeared on top of the pops singing Just What I Always Wanted. She died in 2002 aged only 53 when she lost control of her car in an ice storm in the USA. What a loss to the music industry.....

Fuller said...

Dory - sorry but you got that wrong - MARI (beehive hair-do)Wilson sang "Just What I Always Wanted." MERI Wilson sang "Telephone Man." Similar names I know but two different ladies. Anyway great to hear double entrende "Telephone Man" again.

Wonder what that chap in the audience mouthed during The Stranglers ? Any lip readers out there ?

Too much fuss being made about these DJ's on TOTP - I'm just enjoying reliving my youth with these old episodes, and long may they continue.

Erithian said...

Hear hear, Fuller! The DJs aren't the most important thing - as Bama said upthread, it's all about the music (although that has come to sound like a Louis Walshism through repetition!)

Seconded about the wonderful Mari Wilson, who should have had many more big hits besides JWIAW - Guinness indicates she had half a dozen hits in '82-83, but only her lovely version of Cry Me A River pierced the 30. And her backing group included Michelle (Cindy Beale) Collins. Anyway, great to see Meri, I don't even remember that video although I loved the song.

Steve Williams said...

I make it that Holland, France, Spain, Sweden, Ireland and the USA were all represented on the show this week. Hank The Knife didn't look much like a guitar king, he barely looked like he knew how to play it. He had a touch of the Bob Wilsons about him, I feel.

The 7.30 showing, you'll note, was billed on the EPG as an edited version, although the only changes on the repeat were a much longer playout (and I do love that Stevie Wonder track) and about twenty seconds more of Baccara, removing that atrocious edit at the end. The drummer of the Boomtown Rats has "something DUBLIN" on his hat. HMS Dublin? SS Dublin?

The highlight of the whole show was, natch, Stardust. The subtitlers had a go at the first bit of the chorus (ra-ni-ra-ra-ni-ra-ni-ara, all that) but gave up for the second bit. I loved how the gap before the chorus was that little bit too long so you could hear the singer thud back on the stage after his jump completely off the beat. The Nutkins-esque guitarist could have done with the woman's headscarf, and that shot of the keyboard player leering at the camera while astride his organ certainly was a powerful image. I love the clunky English-as-a-foreign-language lyrics too, including the brilliantly specific "rock and roll music band".

On the down side, though, I don't much like Lulu's new hair. Makes her look a bit too much like, er, Lulu.

Steve Williams said...

Oh, also, that Leo Sayer video reminded me very much of those bits in Seinfeld where Jerry has to make a decision so goes and wanders around a pier looking pensive for a bit. I was half expecting Leo to run into a flock of seagulls at the end. I like how they didn't bother to ask the vagrants to move.

Chris Hughes said...

I did wonder why the 7.30 showing only clocked in at 26 minutes. I checked the BBC1 schedules -
TOTP was in a 30 minute slot between Tomorrow's World and Happy Ever After. I wondered if Terry had hit his head on stuff more often than usual that week.

Loved Magic Fly over the chart countdown - it would have made an ace permanent TOTP theme/rundown bed.

Like everyone else, I was bemused by the lame Leo Sayer video, so it's interesting to learn it wasn't the real deal. It didn't exactly scream "thunder". More a spot of mild drizzle. I love it when ordinary people turn up in videos.

I thought I'd be alone in enjoying the TOTP Orchestra's stab at Yes Sir I Can Boogie. They were really going for it at the start, loads of wah-wah, although they seemed to get a bit tired halfway through.

I was more amused than anything else by the Lairy Cornflake. If you didn't know any better, you'd swear they'd selected that episode specifically to make him feel awkward. And of course, "are you The Supremes?" No, Dave, are you Henry VIII? I mean, you've got a beard and a large country estate.

Was the 'Bored Teenager' badge related to anything in particular, or could you just buy generic 'Bored Teenager' badges in 1977?

I love Meri Wilson.

Zygon said...

Wasn't the Bored teenagers badge a reference to an Advert's song?

Hank - Duane Eddy guitar but bland as hell

La Belle Epoque - Very nervous boogie moves from vocalist, well at her age...

Stranglers - classic

Emotions - Legs & Co looking hot tonight

Leo - One of his best tracks with an odd video - not so much thunder in his heart as a deep depression.

Baccara - One from my recent wedding playlist, for some reason got a soft spot for this, think it's the accents maybe I just like to boogie voogie..

Rats - whats on the straw hat in the audience? It looks like a ram?. think the Drummers hat says SS

Tap on the chin...Groan

Meri - weird, weird, but slightly wonderful - can't be about S*x it's about phones and there installers...

Stardust - just odd - they looked like they'd be doing covers at the Wheeltappers & Shunters! and sounded like it too...

Elvis - Love this track anyway - Sue in short shorts just adds to it!

Chris Hughes said...

So Dave is wearing a badge referencing an Adverts b-side. Strange days.

wilberforce said...

With regard to what has been said regarding the differences in attitudes how children are treated now as opposed to back then, as the s*vilgate affair has proven, there is so much hysteria about children being treated in an “inappropriate” manner these days, that as a middle-aged single guy I never have anything to do with them if I can help it for fear of being accused of being some kind of pedo! Even if I saw a person under the “age of consent” knocked down by a car and lying bleeding in the street, not only would I not help them, I wouldn’t even go near them! a sad state of affairs as I see myself as a good Samaritan in that sense, but I’m not willing to risk taking flak from the baying mob who might misinterpret my good intentions…

About 15 years ago I had a semi-casual job as a kitchen porter in a kid’s adventure holiday camp, and even back then it was made clear to the staff that if the kids reported you for what they considered “inappropriate” behaviour you would be bundled out with no chance to justify your actions. So as a result if staff were alone and a kid passed them by, rather sadly they would have to blank them. I had a “near miss” myself: I had to get up at the crack of dawn to start work and the staff showers were over the other side of the camp which was a bind. However, practically right outside my front door was another shower block that was supposed to be for the kids, but I reasoned as they weren’t likely to be using them that early I’d take my chances. Anyway, this was alright for a couple of weeks or so, but then one morning I realised some kid was hanging around by the wash basins, which really freaked me out! I immediately got dressed and walked out pretending I’d never noticed him, but was still shitting myself that he might say something and that a witch-hunt would begin… with me being identified as the witch, even though I never even made eye-contact. Fortunately nothing was reported, but it still shook me enough to use the staff showers from then on, even though it was a pain in the backside… later that summer, one guy (who had seemed perfectly normal and easy-going to me) was kicked off the site for allegedly acting inappropriately, and of course the entire staff were gathered together and informed about it, to make sure none of us made the same mistake of getting too “friendly”… whatever our intentions!

charlie cook said...

Interesting to see someone smoking in the middle of the audience during the Stranglers - health and safety anybody?

wilberforce said...

having just been able to get around to watching the show this week, here's my musical review (with absolutely no reference to s*vilegate or any associated themes):

hank the knife: whoever said that guy was wearing a syrup, i definitely concur

la belle epoque - strangely enough there was another disco cover of this around at the same time (by another french act: cerrone)

the stranglers: didn't they have another hit ("something better change") in between this and "go buddy go"? if so that one seems to be escaped the clutches of totp... i built up a nice little collection of the stranglers' early singles, and then had to sell them off to a mate to help pay the rent! that is with the exception of "no more heroes" which i considered their best at the time (these days if i had the same dilemma which one to keep it would probably be "5 minutes"...)

leo sayer: i don't remember this at all, but then again i used to go out of my way not to have to listen to his music... i gather this is the track that some DJ exhumed a few years back and remixed for a "guilty pleasures"-style hit?

baccara: whenever i've looked at these two ladies i've always thought that despite their glamour, neither were classical beauties or drop-dead gorgeous - the one in black looks slightly prettier, but the other one looks a lot more sexy (and dirty!) - perhaps they should have swapped dresses beforehand...

stardust: dear oh dear, with drivel like this no wonder disco got a bad name! i used to think "yes sir i can boogie" was naff, but compared to this it sounds like "disco inferno"...

THX said...

I really liked the Belle Epoque version of Black is Black, great Eurodisco, but having seen them and been reminded of nightmarish clips of Brigitte Nielsen's singing career, now I'm not so sure.

The Stranglers: was that dry ice they were frantically wafting offstage at the beginning? Best not to ask. They were more intent on the fumes than they were on the miming.

I was lost in thought during Legs & Co - that was until DLT lurched into view, what a shock. I avoid the tabloids, so can only imagine what they've been saying about him, though this episode gives me a hint.

Leo Sayer looked like a man who's forgotten where he's parked his car. Liked the song at the time, but the recent remix took the shine off for me, much as Leo's borderline insane behaviour on Big Brother put me off him.

Baccara, fantastic Eurodisco, though the TOTP orchestra were no match for the sweeping strings on the original recording.

Meri Wilson and the Incredible Shrinking Telephone Man, it seems. Was that an official video or one specially made for the show? Takes all sorts.

Stardust, sheesh.

Steve Williams said...

Something Better Change has been on, it accompanied the rundown on Travis' last show, the week Elvis died, and they performed, I think, the B-side on the wiped show before the last one at the beginning of August. They fair churned out the singles, didn't they?

My other other favourite bit of Stardust - it's the performance that keeps on giving - was that they didn't have their name written on the bass drum, but the snare drum in tiny type.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

The BBC don't seem to be putting TOTP on Iplayer anymore - is that to do with them not really wanting to show it anymore after the Savile business and doing there best to hide it without actually pulling it and having to change the schedules?

Couldn't agree more than what Wilberforce says about the hysteria about inapprpriateness these days. It's ended up with people up here in Wakefield being banned from taking photos when they're birdwatching at Pugneys lake in Wakefield in case a child strayed into the shot and no photos at school nativity plays.

I believe this weirdness has been noticed and commented on by the rest of Europe who think we're obsessed with paedophilia.
What a sick country we have become in the last few years.

Noax said...

In a few weeks we'll be begging for DLT leching about when we're faced with Peter 'Pogoing tw*t' Powell, believe you me.

Anyway..

Hank The Knife - It's almost like they saw 'Tulane' on nearly every week and decided to cash in. Given how quickly The Stranglers were banging out singles, maybe they did. Or maybe, because it could have been a bit about Elvis, sort of, it got on the show.
It was rubbish, whichever way you look at it.

La Belle Epoque - "We like the music, we like the disco sound". So begins a classic single. Unfortunately that was 'Can you dig it?' by PWEI and not this. The badly accented English puts me off a bit, something that Starsound would truly perfect a few years later.
The vocals were a bit muddy on this , but I think that was the record itself, not the video!

The Stranglers - Great live vocal, I agree that this has been a bit overplayed but it's still a good song.

Legs & Co - Very out of time this week, the girls were all over the place. Perhaps they were a bit jumpy as DLT was being so randy.

Leo Sayer - I barely knew this song until I got to play it in my radio DJ days. Then I absolutely loved it and always said they should re-release it. Blow me if they then did, and the remix wasn't bad at all (no, I'm not Meck in disguise)

As for the video, well....for some reason it reminds me of the Tom Fun and Derek sketch from the end of The Smell of Reeves of Mortimer where they're wandering on the beach with 'Oh Yeah' by Roxy Music playing.

Baccara - The TOTP orchestra rendition seems to have split opinion. I thought it was absolutely awful, particularly the 'funk' bits. I'm amazed it got to Number 1 after this, frankly.

Meri Wilson - Extraordinary. I *think*, and I may have got this slightly wrong, that she may have been singing about nookie!

Stardust - More foreign accents, and they seem to have let a gypsy in. The lead singer looks a bit like ABBA's Bjorn I think, shame the music's not like them as well. I was amazed to see that this nearly got into the Top 40!!

Elvis - Was it my imagination, or were the Elvis pictures different this time. Early (Mahogany) Elvis seem to have disappeared. Or maybe the colour was a bit off this week.

Playout - Nice Venn Diagram effect!
Next week I'm hoping for rhomboids.

YessirIcanbamaboogiewoogie said...

Noax - re Hank The Knife single, it was originally released in 1975, but maybe it was re-promoted in the UK on the strength of Tulane. It got to number 3 in Holland in 1975 and spent 10 weeks on the chart.

As for Way Down I think Simon said it was a partial repeat so maybe some of the pics were different.

@Dory - re the Leo Sayer video for Thunder In My Heart on YouTube, it's a bit boring like most videos from that time. I think I prefer the Brighton version at least we get to laugh at the extras.

And DLT, he was a bit too leery this week but but you can't rewrite history. A lot of male presenters acted like that including Michael Aspel on Miss World.

I thought it was interesting that despite all the presenters and producers, designers, etc, being maen at the end of The Stranglers we saw a young woman wearing headphones in the crowd who I guess was either a production assistant or the floor manager. So they did have some female production crew (or at least one!).

I could be wrong but it looked like the guy who mouthed something was holding a handkerchief up to his nose afterwards suggesting he had a nosebleed and there had been a fight/scuffle and someone had been ejected. Any ideas?

The girl with DLT at the end was wearing a home made tee shirt that said IAN RULES with a tartan scarf. Presumably that was Ian Mitchell from The Rollers but hadn't he left by that point? Perhaps no one told her.

John G said...

I'm very surprised no mention was made of Marc Bolan in this edition, as he had died about five days prior to recording. Thunder in My Heart and No More Heroes were the highlights for me, though in the case of the former I'm glad to learn that it wasn't the official video - talk about being unsuited to the music. Stardust were mesmerisingly awful, though the audience did a decent impression of getting into it!

S said...

one of my pals had one of those 'Bored Teenager' badges. Not sure if Ver Cornflake knew its origins.

May also have missed discussion of the Boomtown Rats armbands - pretty sure these were cut-out-and-keep from Sounds. We 'laminated' ours using the polythene sandwich bags of the day. Ahem.

Arthur Nibble said...

In terms of blog charts, this feels like I’ve had several chart busters then only just managed to scrape into the 30 with my next release! Still, couldn’t be helped. This is my first draft as I haven’t seen this edition yet and, as at 10.25 on Friday night, it still isn’t on BBC iPlayer. Is this the thin end of the wedge?

Very European show this week. Can we have your votes, please? Where's Katie Boyle when you need her?

Space? For the fifth time in six weeks??? Dave Greenfield’s still wearing that green boiler suit? That’s the third single in a row! We did get a video of The Stranglers’ last hit, but just the one showing as opposed to the myriad screenings of that fabled first sighting of ABOTSOR.

The chart turkeys will get rarer as we go on, so just the one this week in the form of Syrup and The Jets. Stardust were French, partly singing in Spanish (?) and they made 42 with their effort. La Belle Epoque were another unusual addition to the roster of former prog stalwart label Harvest.

Ah, the only chance we’ll get to see Meri Wilson. As mentioned earlier, spooky to think her fate was decided by two separate car crashes. The first changed Meri’s life (recovering in a body brace, she discovered her penchant for songwriting) and the second ended it. As for Mari Wilson, it seems she shared actress / backing singer Michelle Collins with Squeeze, circa “Cool For Cats”.

I’d forgotten that Stevie Wonder track. Checked it out on YouTube and really enjoyed it, and I’m surprised it only peaked at 29. Stevie’s last top 30 hit for three years. I’m amazed how honest and open his lyrics are – along with “Lately” (a cracking ballad in my book), he sings about what he feels through seeing something. I honestly don’t know how Stevie manages to find the strength, courage or whatever to purvey those emotions given his lack of sight.

Stegron said...

Belle Epoque, Legs & Co: This was the TOTP episode when everyone left their bras at home (even my girlfriend said 'didn't they wear bras in the 70s?').

Stranglers were fantastic as always.

Good old Leo - great song, totally inappropriate video!

Always loved that Baccara song :)

And Telephone Man is probably the worst song in the entire 76 & 77 run so far. Seriously. I've despised it since I was a nipper, and hearing (and seeing) it again only reinforced my view. Utterly dreadful (I never knew about her tragic car crashes until now, though - very sad).

Old Applejack said...

Previous posters can rest easy that there are thousands of people up and down the land, myself included, who are happily working and volunteering with kids without a baying mob in pursuit. The tabloids have not brainwashed everybody!

Angelo Gravity said...

Ah at long last I get to see the wonderful Telephone Man - he was a bit smaller than I had imagined, but I guess that's how he managed to fit it in so many of Meri's places :-)

Not only that on this edition, but also the wonderful Yes Sir I Can Boogie ~ which at 18 million sales is incredibly the 8th biggest selling single in the entire world ever!

Terrific show all in all really, what with the Stranglers and the Rats and lots of disco ~ and of course all cheekily finished off by the lovely Meri.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

The BBC have finally put it up on Iplayer.

Hank The Knife & The Jets – Guitar King
The week's complete flop I don't think it even made bubbling under so in other words it didn't even
make what would become the Top 75. Funny how many of these flops are on first.

La Belle Epoque – Black Is Black
Quite like this. If you read up about the lead singer she started having hits in Europe in the early 60s so yes she must be in her mid-late 30s at this stage.

Leo Sayer – Thunder In My Heart
I really enjoy unglamorous videos like this one - filmed in a England in the 1970s and including various passers by etc. The fact that it looks like a cold and dull day makes it even more atmospheric. The song's no 'Orchard Road' though.

Baccara – Yes Sir I Can Boogie
For some reason as a 12 year old I thought these were the very ultimate in attractive ladies.

The Boomtown Rats – Looking After Number 1
So bad in every way I have to fast forward it. I thought with all the missing shows lately we might have avoided being subjected to this twice but no such luck.

And not the merest hint of Yes and the extremely good 'Wondrous Stories' although it's already as high as 15 or something in the charts - thought they could have had it as the playout or over the charts. Having said that I agree with whoever said 'Magic Fly' went well with the charts.

Thought it was quite an interesting show overall today.

Arthur Nibble said...

Haven't seen the show yet, but thought I'd mention that the stream of sub-consciousness 'brother' site Steve Does Top Of The Pops is calling it a day at year end. Shame. Catch Steve while you still can.

Andee Bee said...

Best of My Love up on my YT channel

Andee Bee said...

i have two copies of the Baccara hit, don't know what possessed me to get two....

Elsterpie said...

Andee, what possessed you to get even one?


How many times does anyone need before they prove they are not a robot? I always need at least one

Catchpole Elsterpie said...

Germany more advanced in many ways but not in leaving groping behind, this was 2009
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtDuzbi1JQg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

wilberforce said...

talking of groping: at the risk of raising simon's ire, i'd like to point out to those not aware already that the beeb are showing their own investigation into "s*vilegate" tonight (monday) with a panorama special - just when you thought the furore was finally dying down...

Simon said...

Writing this without looking at the existing comments, sorry for potential repetition etc.

Yes are in the top 20, Jean Michel Jarre is in extreme close-up, but surely this is the highlight of the rundown. A triumph of the prop department's art.

What sort of band name is Hank The Knife & The Jets anyway? Hank & The Jets maybe, Hank The Knife is stretching it a bit, The Knife & The Jets a foreign language version of West Side Story perhaps, but all together, not least in a rock and roll vein... no. Weird thing is, have a look at this German TV footage, apparently from 1975 so the single has quite possibly been repromoted here on the back of Elvis on the offchance. There they're a five-piece - look carefully, the bassist is right at the back - led by a Max Wall-type balding man. On TOTP, a Dirk Benedictagram whose vocal tone is subtly different. What's gone on there? I liked the drummer joining in on a Beatles "whooo" with head shaking.

Ooh, it's the bit off the start of Can U Dig It! Sticking all personnel in front of a blue screen was evidently big business for video directors in the pre-MTV era. Someone remind me what the strings have been sampled/copied on too. The lead Epoque must have had her trousers built for specific tight fit, you can't imagine her voluntarily removing them without someone pulling. Note that instead of mirroring the original performance everyone just danced to it again for the CSO overlay bit.

You know, the Stranglers could just have asked for the dry ice machine to be turned off. After swapping instruments last time Cornwell and Burnel, who's wasting a perfectly good paper there and resembles a mod Paul Merton, have the right kit on but just don't bother miming along for the intro. Regardless, Hugh's sweating before the first chorus. Dave Greenfield plays a one handed solo while sporting his work boiler suit.

Speaking of made to measure, as we were before then, it's probably a trick but Legs & Co seem to have on what are known in the trade as 'pasties'. Disco in luminous trousers otherwise, Lulu having made the unwise decision to grow and crimp her hair, her transformation into Gill's double underway. DLT makes his entrance from the back and sneaks up behind Pauline, eyes on her posterior all the way. Do you remember when we could view such moments with a mere reminder to self that some played their part up too much? As if in sympathy, the camera that's been in one position for the previous thirty seconds goes out of focus.

"You're gonna love it!" DLT assures of Leo Sayer. We'll be the judges of that. Having shrugged off the other three Leo wanders around Brighton beach looking pensive at a pace of movement and editing that doesn't match the song in the slightest. Might work for If I Need You. Someone get to that re-edit.

(to be cont'd)

Simon said...

DLT has a baccara rose, much like Noel making up the drell spoon last year. If only Jean-Jacques Burnel had joined in on the "boogie" here too. The duo try their best but the orchestra can't even carry this one off. Wah-wah guitar licks? Really? Afterwards our host has his arm round a young woman commenting on "the wealth of beautiful ladies on the show" before introducing the all male and non-model-like Boomtown Rats. I refer you to a previous comment. At least he doesn't demand we listen to the words.

"Someone gave me a tap on the chin" says DLT in relation to... well, he's got something affixed to his beard but the mike's in the way so we never see what. He then calls Meri Wilson - and when discussing her story, please remember this - "mental, absolutely mad", and he sang Convoy GB so he should know. Or something. Wilson denotes the bits sung by the telephone company operative by putting on a hard hat. Phone engineers need headgear protection? Health and safety gone mad. Also, he looks more like a pilot.

Frampton Comes Alive! Or at least Frampton as portrayed by Paul Whitehouse. Stardust's headscarved backing singer is the focal point of fascination here, she resembles the singer from Manhattan Transfer and has the most vigorous maraca action I think I've ever seen. Maybe the Jets shouldn't have been so willing to hide their bassist, Stardust's is even balder on top with equally long hair and he gets a big chorus close-up. This, then, is how come Baccara ended up being taken so seriously in comparison.

Arthur Nibble (at last!) said...


Finally got round to watching this edition, which I enjoyed more than I expected.

Couldn’t work out if that was a syrup on Hank. Strangely, he reminded me of a chap in an old Grecian 2000 advert. As far as the song goes, more like too late than “Tulane”. Seems there was only room for one sort of king in the charts back tgen.

The beginning to “Black Is Black” is a dead ringer for “I’m On Fire” by 5000 Volts. Wonder who ripped who off there? Loved the blonde woman’s dance tribute to Leo Sayer.

Speaking of whom, Leo acted like the bored teenager mentioned on DLT’s badge. Thought Leo was going to do a Neil Kinnock at the start of the video. Anyone else notice the “Look, there’s a camera down there” expression on one of the women in the street shot?

Give DLT credit, he’s definitely at home introducing The Stranglers. He gave them a good intro first time round too. Cracking song, obviously the single’s backing track with live vocals, but cut way too short.

Loved The Emotions, Boisterous, vigorous and energetic, and that goes for both the song and the dance routine. Unusual 3 x 2 colour co-ordination for the outfits, which suited Singalong Rosie best.

Talking of outfits, the white clad Baccara woman wins the latest Thelma Houston award for best first impression. There was apparently another woman on stage singing the main vocals. Mind you, it always grated with me that they couldn’t pronounce “Woogie”. I realise my Spanish is far worse than their English, but “Boogie Voogie” indeed!

Fashion templates over the years – matching blouse and headscarf for Meri. A diminutive song, less than two minutes, and off she disappears much to Angelo’s anguish. I was shocked that the object of her affections looked like Bob Carolgees.

I made a right Horlicks of Stardust’s nationality earlier (proves I hadn’t seen the show before). The lead singer looked like a cross between Benny from Abba and the bloke in The Krankies. They certainly win the award for most audible stomping by a band, but they lose marks for referring to a rock ‘n’ roll music band in a prime slab of cabaret pop.

I was enraged when Gill was cut early doors in “Way Down” for a picture of old burger chops, but perked up straight away when Patti turned up with her double half moon impersonation. Reminded me of the old joke – guy says to gal “How do you get into those shorts?”, gal replies “A double gin and tonic's a good start”. Boom boom tish!

YessirIcanbamaboogiewoogie said...

@80sblokeinthe70s - The Hank The Knife single was not a flop in Holland it made number 3 there albeit back in 1975 so this was not a new song.

@Simon - I know you said you hadn't read the comments but thank you for saying that the lead singer of Stardust looked like Paul Whitehouse, I said the same thing (there's a Fast show character who has exactly the same hair style). But I though the headscarf lady looked more like Cassandra from Only Fools and Horse.

Surely Hank the Knife is surely a play on Mack The Knife. BTW Hank and the boys are still going, they have their own website. Hank is an own-up baldy.

@Arthur - I guess your comments count as a re-entry in the chart blog. I used to love chart re-entries when I was a chartophile (are you still allowed to say that?) and non movers.

Loved your comment are Meri's telephone man looking like Bob Carolgees. I thought there was a look of Robin Williams about him but ether way she's (very) easily pleased. He must have a big telegraph pole.

The Stranglers. I noticed that Jean Jacques Burnel's jacket zip had come disconnected from his jacket and was waving about like an antenna.

Any theories yet on what the grumpy guy in the audience is mouthing and whether or not he got in a fight?

Arthur, aka Stanley The Knife said...


Great spot by Simon regarding Hank The Knife's German TV clip. It looks like the same chap, who ditched his 1975 'Jim Lea meets Terry Nutkins' look for a shagpile syrup in a more vibrant colour. The German TV clip also shows the drummer to be yet another Keith Lemon lookalike...or was it John Miles moonlighting?

Arthur Nibble said...

Schoolboy error - got my Slade members mixed up. That Hank identikit should have read "Dave Hill meets Terry Nutkins". Sorry, Jim!

Dear God, Baccara were incredibly jammy. I've just discovered this was a non-mover that week at 50 when they got the TOTP gig. Of the the ten singles immediately above them, eight were new entries and the other two were climbers (only three of which had been on this or a previous show), and these included Kenny Rogers, Rainbow (imagine them in the studio!), Gladys Knight and the Pips, George Benson and, er, "Bee Sting" by Camouflage. To think we could have been spared.

Incredibly, it appears there are two separate Baccaras going! The ladies eventually split a couple of years after one of them complained massively about a 1980 single which was mixed to sound like a solo single for the other gal, and took the record company to court for breach of contract.

Simon said...

I wonder what happened with Hank - obviously we'd never have seen that footage at the time so he could fully reinvent his image for a different time and audience but he actually seems to have ditched any post-Elvis pretence, sideburns gone and accent dimmed. He looks in 1975 like he wants to be the Dutch Les Gray. The UK sleeve isn't pictorial so no clues there.

Arthur Nibble making up for lost time said...


Funny you should say Dutch Les Gray, because The Netherlands was the main (probably the only) mainland European country which embraced glam rock - "Dyna-Mite" and Tiger Feet" were chart smashes over there.

Hank and the lads released two other singles in Germany, and all three have picture sleeves showing Hank with his Shredded Wheat combover. At the time, with that hairstyle Hank could have had a good alternative career as a winger or centre-half in the English First Division.

As for Baccara, they can boogie but they need a certain song. Does that mean they spend all night dancing to the same song over and over again?

When I first saw the trousers on La Belle Epoque's lead singer, I immediately thought of "Grease", as Olivia Newton John's fairground trousers were sewn tightly onto her, making it impossible for an 'excuse me' moment without getting the seamstress out again.

YessirIcanbamaboogiewoogie said...

Hank and co are still going and have there own website. Hank Bruysten was the guitarist by the way (he had been in Long Tall Ernie & The Shakers), the singer was Pierre Beek. And this series of photos shows that he changed from combover to wig to Van Morrison-style Fedora hat over the years. There's also a 70s advert showing that the band were dressed in 'Landlubber Jeans'. Nice.

http://www.hanktheknifeandthejets.nl/img/stages/Historie/index.htm

They had two other Top 20 hits in Holland but the Dutch charts were different from ours. Here's a Dutch chart from 30 September 1977 and it's interesting to compare with the UK. It included Dillinger with Cocaine In My Brain!

1 I remember Elvis Presley ; Danny Mirror
2 Remember ; Long Tall Ernie & The Shakers
3 Muss i denn (Wooden Heart) ; Elvis Presley
4 Sorry, I'm a lady ; Baccara
5 Float on ; The Floaters
6 Don't let me be misunderstood ; Santa Esmeralda
7 Give a little bit ; Supertramp
8 Let's clean up the ghetto ; Philadelphia International All Stars
9 Dreams ; Fleetwood Mac
10 Baby what a big surprise ; Chicago
11 Hello Josephine ; The Scorpions
12 You don't have to say you love me ; Guys & Dolls
13 Another star ; Stevie Wonder
14 Cold as ice ; Foreigner
15I feel love ; Donna Summer
16Ik ga weg hier ; Dingetje
17 Standing in the rain ; John Paul Young
18 We're all alone ; Rita Coolidge
19 I'll play the fool ; Original Savannah Band
20 Way down ; Elvis Presley
21 Cindy ; The Cats
22 If I have to go away ; Jigsaw
23 Speak up mumbo ; Manhattan Transfer
24 Best of my love ; Emotions
25 Ramona te quiera ; The Walkers
26 Je wordt ouder papa ; Peter Koelewijn
27 Cocaine in my brain ; Dillinger
28 I'm still in love with you ; Oscar Harris
29 The Deep ; Donna Summer
30 Dancin' easy ; Danny Williams

Arthur Nibble said...

I have a hunch Hank’s record label, Sonet (yes, them again!), saw the success they’d had with Hank C. Burnette, looked at the success Steve Gibbons was having and tried to cash in with no success.

Intriguing Dutch chart rundown. Thanks for that. I wonder what the rundown music would have been? Pussycat? Golden Earring? Teach-In? By the way, I agree that “Magic Fly” would have been a great TOTP rundown theme replacement.

That Guys and Dolls track had been a hit over here the previous year, just prior to the start of this re-run. Phew, that was close! The Philadelphia International Allstars (including Lou Rawls, Archie Bell and Teddy Pendergrass amongst others) sang “Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto”, a paen to improving the ’hoods and whose lyrics start by mentioning a garbage collection strike in New York! Despite having very little in common with the British way of life back then, the single spent five weeks in the UK top 40 and peaked at 34. We’ll see Santa Esmerelda’s disco version of an Animals track later this year – it spent five weeks in the 50, peaking at 41.

Thank you, pavilion.

Simon said...

And also Dr Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, who never had a UK hit but bassist August Darnell's alter ego Kid Creole (and their percussionist Andy 'Coati Mundi' Hernandez) would make up for that, and their Sunshower is apparently sampled on A Tribe Called Quest's Can I Kick It? and definitely interpolated into MIA's Sunshowers. Presumably The Cats are why the Luton Airport chancers of 1979 were Cats UK.

charlie cook said...

Dutch Top 30: Lets Clean Up The Ghetto - one of my faves!

Noax said...

They certainly liked their soft rock, didn't they? Songs I've never heard of by Chicago and (eek!) The Scorpions plus Supertramp in the Top 20!

Nice to see Jigsaw's falsetto flop doing so well, and interesting choice of Elvis song to re-release as I wouldn't have thought that was the most obvious one to pick.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

Chicago's "Baby What a Big Surprise" is a pretty good tune - miles better than what they got into in the mid-80s in my opinion.It was a reasonably sized hit in this country too I think. And before they did deteriorate we still had to look forward to the disco/funk album (very sought after in the club world) they did with "Streetplayer" on it famously sampled by the Bucketheads on "The Bomb" and a few other house tracks.
And talking of samples there's Foreigner "Cold As Ice" sampled by numerous hiphop and hardcore/jungle tunes over the years.

Incidentally I wouldn't call the Scorpions of the 1970s soft-rock it was out and out heavy metal.


Good chart though with Dillinger, Philadelphia International All-Stars, Chicago, Stevie Wonder and Fleetwood Mac all getting much higher than in the UK.

And until now I always did wonder why Cats UK had such a strange name. Wouldn't English Cars or something been much better?

Noax said...

The Chicago song got to No.41 here but wasn't released until November so may still be on TOTP perhaps?

I had no idea that it was their song sampled on "The Bomb"!
It's quite surprising how many rock artists went disco, there's Kiss of course, plus Alice Cooper's slightly odd efforts.

I'd forgotten that the Scorpions were proper rockers back then, their 'Wind of Change' does tend to stain your memory.

Arthur Nibble said...

Sorry, no Chicago on TOTP this year.

Kiss's disco track's recently made the UK top 100 after being used in a coffee advert. I would say "how times change", but we've recently seen similair exploits by David Dundas and Danny Williams, and there's another one on the way (though only a minor hit) very soon.

80sblokeinthe70s said...

RE: rock/pop acts going disco we've still got things like ELO 'Shine A Little Love' and Wings 'Goodnight Tonight' to come amongst others.

With Chicago and their jazz-rock origins and early albums going towards disco wasn't really that much of a surprise especially in the light of some of the members having admitted to having preferred to have stayed in a jazzier funkier style and not being over the moon with Peter Cetera's pop ballads direction of the early-80s onwards.

Julie Joanne Bevan said...

Arthur - 'Black Is Black' came first; it was originally a million-seller in the mid-60s for the Spanish/German band Los Bravos, long before 5000 Volts appeared on the scene.

wilberforce said...

re: pop stars wearing syrups - perhaps the most most notable serial offender was the drummer in the hollies, who went from comb-over to hats before adorning a variety of luxuriant wigs in different colours in the late 60's and early 70's (although his rug-wearing days are now over, the guy still insists on wearing a hat of some kind when performs nowadays)... i remember when i played in a band 30 years ago, and a guy in another band on the scene always wore a hat of some kind - me and my bandmates used to joke that he did so because he was a slaphead despite his youth!

re: bands having to change their name abroad - among others, the ska band the beat suffered from this problem: their "solution" was to give themselves the extremely lame-sounding name "the english beat". it's a good job a certain english prog supergroup didn't have competition for their name elsewhere, otherwise they might have had to have called themselves UK UK...

re: the dutch chart - what a coincidence that danny williams williams is also in "the anchor position", as DLT described as such when he was at number 30 in our own charts... going by the number 16 entry, maybe the reason all dutch people apparently find it so easy to master the english language is that in comparison to their own mangled tongue it's a breeze...?

re: chicago - despite being a veteran of the original disco scene, i too never realised that the bucketheads had sampled "streetplayer" until i heard it played for the first time at a 70's revival disco afterwards (that coincidentally featured two old chums from totp: tony blackburn and diddy). perhaps more embarrasingly i had the same experience with "dance with you" by carrie lucas (now one of my all-time favourite disco records despite having missed out on it when it was a minor hit): i checked it out in a record shop a few years back and was grooving away when i realised that part of it was instantly familiar to me as a sample used in a number one house hit called "you don't know me" by duane something or other... strangely enough i don't mind it when this happens, but when these talentless bastards sample something i already know and love then it really pisses me off!

re: rock and pop stars leaping on the disco bandwagon - don't forget the rolling stones' "miss you", dolly parton's "baby i'm burnin", and abba's several later attempts such as "voulez-vouz" and "gimme gimme gimme", neither of which i remember being played at any discos i went to at the time, despite their obvious intentions. even jazz rockers weather report had a go with "river people", that i always thought was rather good...

Arthur Nibble said...

Bands having to change their name abroad: Squeeze, renamed UK Squeeze in Australia. The subjects of a recent themed BBC4 night, featuring a superb hour-long documentary with Glenn Tillbrook and Chris Difford (I seem to recall Tilbrook went to jail due to problems with a building company he set up, but no mention?), and then an hour dedicated to Squeeze bit player Paul Carrack! Chas 'n' Dave get an hour's worth on BBC4 tomorrow night, which I'll watch. Never any problems about them being renamed UK Chas 'n' Dave!

Noax said...

Re Artists renaming themselves I always wondered why it was Gary 'US' Bonds as there was no Gary Bonds having hits here. I think that was just a gimmick though, wasn't it?

The Charlatans had to add 'UK' to their name for the US market as well I believe

wilberforce - the Carrie Lucas sample would have been 'You Don't Know Me' by Armand van Helden featuring Duane Harden I think. A Number 1 hit in the days when there was a different one every week.

wilberforce said...

by chance i've just come across a sky LP, which reminds me that an american disco band called skyy was around at the same time - their record company felt compelled to rename them new york skyy for the UK market (despite the extra "y" in their name) lest they be confused with john williams, herbie flowers et al...

Arthur Nibble said...

Just checked again and discovered Hank The Knife and The Jets spent two weeks in the breakers, peaking at an unofficial 59. Taking into account all the singles dropping into the 41-50 places which were scratched from the chart, plus all the singles dropping immediately below them, Hank's single was probably about number 80.