Thursday, 13 December 2012

TOTP 24/11/77 (tx 13/12/12): all the fun of the pharoah

If I knew earlier that a TOTP that wasn't shown would be so much more immediately popular than discussing so many that were, this blog might have taken a different course. Regardless, onwards.

Kid, wearing the sort of mid-length jacket-cum-robe that goes best with a long cigarette holder, a chaise longue and a louche disposition, welcomes us to "the hit music scene". Belfast under the charts, which at 29 includes The Tubes (White Punks On Dope - no, curiously TOTP didn't go near it) with a photo featuring loads and loads of people, surely including people who weren't in The Tubes - on the Old Grey Whistle Test set! Caring and sharing, that's the BBC. Meanwhile Wings are lumbered with the single sleeve, which with the fading of the distinction between photo and photo-in-photo looks on screen like the worst Photoshop you've ever seen.

The Carvells – The LA Run
I don't know what image comes to mind when you try to imagine a song from the mid to late 70s called The LA Run, but I doubt it's this. It may well start with a close-up of a bass, metronomic drumming and some Moog squirting, but before long it's headlong into the world of early Beach Boys pastiche we go, leading-on bass vocalist and everything. Except... about skateboarding. In fact the Carvells, nom de rock for prolific backing singer Alan Carvell, have a board and helmet on the amp and keyboard, called 'their' subsequent album Skateboard Rampage and this is one of only two tracks on that album without the word 'skateboard' in the title. Fad cash-in much? Almost all clad in white trousers they're apparently a three guitar band without sounding anything like one, but they won't let us see the guitar solo as we cut to some stock footage of skateboarders doing their underdeveloped thing next to Tower Bridge - which, you may know, isn't in LA - on parapets and in bowls. And ny sheer amazing coincidence someone in the crowd has brought a skateboard with them! Lofting it above their head they resist any temptation to either try out some moves or chuck it at them. The director gets bored with the overlong outro and puts the skater footage back on, after which we see the keyboard player dancing with the board. You know how Dennis Wilson was the only Beach Boy who could surf - was he the only Carvell who could skateboard?

Wings – Mull Of Kintyre
"A long, long way from the skateboard scene" comes Paul near a cottage, then near a beach, then pipers on a beach. Macca gets up just as Linda approaches so he can go on a wander with Denny Laine. He must have had some explaining to do after that. "That must stand a big chance of being this Christmas' number one sound" Kid predicts, accurately by the show's standards in a stopped clock way, while surrounded by the apparent winners of a Brotherhood Of Man Dress-alike contest.

Bonnie Tyler – It's A Heartache
We've seen Bonnie before on here but this is the first appearance since throat nodules gave her the full cement-gargling treatment. "That sad sweetheart from Swansea", as an onomatopoeic Kid is keen to point out, Bonnie's voice actually seems to be rougher even than we've become accustomed to, borderline laryngitis. Footballer-resembling keyboard player in green T-shirt aside her entirely functional backing band are all in different shades of classic mid-70s brown, keeping it low key for now until the John Milesalike guitarist gets his solo and goes for his moment including a foot up on a non-existant monitor. A very odd moment right at the end, as while Kid confidently states her to be "my tip for success in 1978" - she didn't have another top 30 single until 1983 - Bonnie's voice on its own suddenly appears at seemingly louder volume than during the song for two and a half words, literally cutting off mid-syllable. Cut like that it can't have been a live vocal mistake, but surely a pre-record would have played in the whole band. Curious.

Darts – Daddy Cool/The Girl Can't Help It
"Those darlings of the doo-wop" have their first visit, falling Hegarty and all, repeated. Kid vouches for their live reputation, as if we hadn't just had a taste of it.

Leo Sayer – There Isn't Anything
Kid chooses to deliver his link not so much with his arm round a young woman (stop it) as restraining her with his forearm round her throat. Is she gurning and glancing round the studio out of choice or for assistance as the oxygen depletes? A carefree Kid tries her out as straight woman regardless of her situation. "There isn't anything... isn't it?" is his question to her at the end, again trying to work that particular charm of his, to which she can only say "no" and laugh because the question doesn't make sense without the song. Leo's on his own, as he has been before, a service we've only recently seen granted to Queen. To think there was a time when both would be of the same level of prestige. A blacked out studio highlights the brightness of his top and also the fact that he's basically trying to recapture the big ballad emotion of When I Need You only to find his big notes are just shouting before, using the magic of perspective, he wanders into a large picture frame towards a mike stand. He is, of course, on a part of the stage well behind the frame. What the point of that little sojourn was isn't clear but it keeps us guessing a little. Afterwards he's with a different woman, the stud, making a pointed remark about "beautiful Britain". No, Kid. Not now.

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – Egyptian Reggae
Ah, paydirt. Kid cracks it's "the music a few English football managers are dancing to these days". Presumably that's a Don Revie joke, but he went to the United Arab Emirates. Still, all the same to Kid, isn't it? Anyway, the quixotic Richman instrumental gets the Legs & Co treatment. Treatment is the operative word. No words can do justice.

I described this on Twitter a couple of weeks ago as Legs & Co's equivalent of Pan's People's Get Down, not only in that it's probably the most likely of their routines you'll see on nostalgia clip shows but it's also people doing what on the face of it is a quite stupid looking routine with a great big animal-based elephant in the room with absolute poker faces and total commitment to their craft. In case you were wondering, according to the former it's Sue front end, Lulu at the back, and you have to say that Ms Cartwright's let the side down a little at the end there, assuming her end tableau position half a bar early while Sue's still wobbling her/its head, though she's also half a second late in the climactic head drop. And see the venomous power of that snake! I really have no idea how Pauline didn't run cowering. Or alternately piss herself laughing. "I'm sure Jonathan Richman would like that" Kid says, giggling. Well, he might.

Hot Chocolate – Put Your Love In Me
The graphical wizards have already moved on from their rainbow coloured circles and seem to have constructed an oval out of coloured lights and wires to project close-up shots of instruments into the middle of. A little moving about and the effect is quite psychedelic for the 20p budget's allowance, though the CSO framing could do with some steadiness. Errol's ever emotionless face mostly gets the full screen treatment, of course, but after he's started there's some judicious wipes from the centre so we can be reminded who's boss round here. There is an audience at this taping, but they're only glimpsed once in a long shot in complete silhouette. Eventually they end with a pan to the lights, like they want to finish already.

The Bee Gees – How Deep Is Your Love
The intro to the video, the one with all the spotlights you're probably aware of, sees Kid take to the Egyptian set and hoists a hitherto unused novelty tiger head print stole over his shoulder. With it in place he tries an Eric Morecambe routine and gets it wrong. Honestly, we shouldn't expect that sort of prop-based fallacy from anyone. Apart from DLT.

Santa Esmeralda & Leroy Gomez – Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Odd demarcation, given "high stepping", as Kid refers to him, Leroy Gomez was the singer in the group Santa Esmeralda. It's Gloria Estefan And Miami Sound Machine before its time. Perhaps in protest Santa Esmeralda haven't shown up, which means fewer people to take issue when Kid in voiceover tells us they're "from the land of flamenco guitars, the group Baccara and Manuel". Just say Spain, Kid, we've heard of it. Leroy's up for it regardless, doing some frantic clapping as an intro before a full stage shot reveals it to be him plus three dancing girls - I don't think they're Legs & Co members, though I stand to be corrected, from other European TV performance clips it seems to be more like Leroy's personal harem - performing a routine big in standing side-on in pleated Spanish-type skirts, just to ram it home. Two of them are in their bras. The other probably counted as the demure offering. Gomez, in his afro, half-shaved goatee beard and half-open shirt with sleeves that resemble the shape of tin foil immediately after it's been removed to reveal the buffet sandwiches underneath, tries his best but it can't be helped that he's been placed out to one side of the stage so the dancers get most of the central space.

ABBA – The Name Of The Game
Still there, still at deadlock in their Ludo game. "The Kid", as by now he's calling himself, is back on that new "exotic "set seemingly surrounded by the entire audience, some of whom are in ties, some in rollnecks. Ahead of the Jacksons' Goin' Places he has only one thing left to wish us - "good week and good love!" What? Don't mess with a winning formula!


Arthur Nibble said...

Another bitty show for me. Again, it featured two classics which I can’t stand. Another thing I can’t (under)stand is the constant mis-spelling on the rundown captions. Why only one “y” in Crystal Gayle? Didn’t anyone ever check the record sleeves or labels or the music press? While I’m at it, is it me or was Kid a little too flirty and up close and personal in this show?

From the label that gave you Honky (and Ruby Winters), Creole presents a cutting edge cash-in which made it all the way to number 31. A boringly repetitive take on the Beach Boys (“Kerb’s Up”?!) played by men 20 years too old to get on a skateboard.

Linda’s approach from the other side of the island reminded me of “The Fast Show”, where Ralph used to walk across the lower field to get to Ted. Very glad it wasn’t a windy day for all those men playing cat, bagpipes. Could’ve been nasty!

“It’s A Hard Egg”! Bonnie’s chainsaw vocals left my throat hurting in sympathy. “Love him till your arms break?” What sort of relationship or lyric is that? Loved the AC/DC stylings of the posey axe murderer.

Aha, so they found the first take of “Daddy Cool” more interesting. Den Hegarty, professor of psychology (yes, really!), guest artist on The Clash’s “Sandanista!” and piano machine wrecker.

Most of Kid’s predictions were spot on, but not Leo’s chart charger which became a pre-Christmas non-charting turkey. The record company were obviously upset at “Thunder In My heart” not being such a big hit and plumped for “When I Need You” Part 2, only drab, boring, lacking a dynamic video and featuring a singer whose head really should have dropped off with all that sideways nodding.

Cameltoe alert! At the end of the camel’s feet – boom boom! Poor Sue! First the wasp and now this. Great co-ordination by the camel girls overall. I was worried they’d slip on that rug in classic public information film “polish a floor, put a rug on it, you may as well set a man trap” mode. Loved the way that snake was left hanging in mid-air at the end of the routine.

I’d forgotten Hot Chocolate’s classy little number. Maybe because it’s too ‘film noir’ and not immediately catchy enough to get airplay, sadly. Sounded like an attempt at a Bond theme or intro to a series like, say, “The Persuaders”.

Following the cheapest video ever made – just walk around the set and lights, lads, and try not to disturb those technicians on their tea break – Kid gives us “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and misunderstands the singer’s name. It’s Leroy, not Larry! Weren’t the audience mesmerised at his warblings and the hotel-style entertainment from Los Legs Y Compania? Had Pauline used that snake charmer on the crowd? Not surprisingly, this was at number 41 and didn’t get any higher.

Yet more superb audience participation by the audience when Kid asks if they’re going places, followed by almost the entire Jacksons single. Abba got chopped (number 1, and 25 places higher, lest we forget), as did Wings and Bonnie and The Bee Gees, just so we could get a cosmic testcard and a single that had reached its peak.

You’ll have plenty of chance to drown me out next week. It’s the local football club’s Christmas disco on Thursday night, so I won’t join this particular party until Friday at the very earliest. Enjoy the silence!

the erotic adventures of sweet daddy parsnip said...

i rather enjoyed this edition.
the camel had me laughing like a drain - and then the snake appeared! liked the hot chocolate song - not overly familiar with it but the synths were dreamy and atmospheric and errol was as big a pimp as ever. the more i see abba videos the more they look like the output of the color climax corporation in the 1970s - but with singing instead of sex and urination.

Old Applejack said...

Have to admit I spent most of Leroy trying to work out if those ladies were Legs and Co-ers, and came to the conclusion 'probably not'.

Enjoyable as ever, but some unmemorable moments from those I expect better of. I'm looking at you, Sayer and Brown.

daf said...

Ooh skateboarding - obviously the big new craze (film stock covered in all sorts of detritus as usual - clean out that tank, man!)
At least one too many guitars though - one for Bass, one for rhythm, and one for doing all the twiddly bits - that's the rules, chaps!

Leo Sayer's peddling almost a carbon copy of 'When I need You' without actually being half as good. Needs more bagpipe!

I can't believe my two favourite Legs - Lulu and Sue were inside that flippin' camel costume (I though at least one might pop out of the sarcophagus or snake basket at some point). Boo!

"Hope you like our new direction" this Hot Chocolate song seems to be saying. Unfortunately despite a promising Jean Michelle Jarre-ish beginning, this never gets off the ground. Also where's the sodding chorus? As for the title . . . hmmm, what can it mean?

Surprisingly long post credits sequence here - I'd have expected the 7:30pm edition to trim it a bit, but it goes well over the 30 minute mark - which is nice.

Angelo Gravity said...

I remember watching that Legs and Co routine, not on TOTP but on Swap Shop. I hadn't been watching Pops for a while for some reason, but had just about reached that age when Legs and Co were no longer that slightly annoying girl dancers bit of the show, but rather something that could very much tempt me to start viewing again!

THX said...

Apparently the only way you can get a copy of The Carvells skateboard-tastic album is to visit Mr Carvell's shop and buy a CD off him. Wonder how many he has left?

Loved Mull of Kintyre as a kid, but most strongly remember the studio performance where the region was recreated in the studio.

I'd say Kid's intro to Bonnie was more alliterative than onomatopoeic, or else he'd have called her the "Crash bang wallop gargle" - talking of crashing, she certainly upset the outro, as if she wasn't finished and wanted to make a point of it.

Leo Sayer: says a lot that I was most interested in his jumper design, which looked like a cross between a Pontiac Trans Am Firebird and a ZX Spectrum.

Legs & Co, now the sensible thing to do would be to dress them all up as Egyptian dancing girls, so obviously two are in a galumphing camel suit. So ridiculous it's almost sublime - stuff like this is a lot of the reason I enjoy these repeats!

Hot Chocolate were a bit scary sinister, but not a bad tune, just a bit too ominous for their usual style. Sad to think two of those Bee Gees are no longer with us now, though Barry and his majestic barnet live on (I'm always reminded of his Rock Profiles appearance as a lion when I see him now).

Just ask Quentin Tarantino, that Santa Esmeralda cover is a storming disco tune - on the record, alas when the TOTP orchestra get a hold of it, it's strictly chicken in a basket time. I too was trying to identify the dancers, but couldn't.

Think the end credits was an attempt to hypnotise us - but to what end?

Anonymous said...

The moment I realised 'It's a Heartache' is pretty much EXACTLY the same tune as the verses of 1994's 'I'll Stand By You' by The Pretenders was a bit of a mind-blowing one.

Dory said...

Mull Of Kintyre is an eternal Christmas favourite with me. I just about recall this video, and their famous performance on The Mike Yarwood Christmas show was truly the best performance of all.

The video on this edition of TOTP was cut short before the famous night gathering around the fire. I hope we get to see the whole video over the next few weeks.

There seems to be some sort of cut/edit just before introducing the Abba number one, but I can't figure out what it is, as there is no song missing after Leroy Gomez. Is there a UK Gold version of this show so that we can see what Kid Jensen says in full between these two songs?

Simon said...

I have no idea what happened with the end sequence, it continued a good while after 8pm like continuity just forgot to turn it off so we got all manner of flaring experiments.

As I say, I don't believe Leroy's friends were Legs & Co for the reason there's a MusikLaden performance on YouTube which appears to feature the same women. Dory: it was on UK Gold, and that bit's on YouTube with the same edit. We already know from Tyler that they were essentially cutting the tape while wearing boxing gloves.

You're right, THX, I did mean alliterative - that's what comes of making hurred notes while the show's ongoing.

Steve Williams said...

That Jacksons track is really growing on me, though I wonder if the effects might have put the willies up some viewers because of course this was also the week of Ashtar Galactic Command where some "aliens" (ie bored students) hacked into Southern TV on Saturday afternoon.

As has been suggested, disappointing to see Sue and Lulu out of vision in that Legs performance, though at least Lulu gets a week where we don't have to see her hair during this awkward halfway period it's currently undergoing. The rug really was rucking up, it looked like an absolute deathtrap.

I was wondering what Errol Brown was wearing, initially it looked like a smoking jacket with silver cravat but later appeared to be a leather shirt under a tanktop. That picture frame effect made Leo Sayer look even shorter than he actually is.

70's Boy said...

As Simon mentioned, what was going on with that strange loud Bonnie vocal over Kid's link? The forgetable Carvells and Leo Sayer songs aside, an enjoyable mix of performances I thought. But never alter a catchphrase, Kid. 'Good week and good love' just isn't the same.

Arthur Nibble said...

Leather shirt. Now that's a touch of class. Only lads like Errol could get away with it.

Just how weak was Southern's signal to be over-ridden? Mind you, I miss Southern (well, I miss ITV as it was before 1990). "Runaround", "How", the barnstorming theme tune to "Freewheelers". Happy days.

Leo Sayer looked absolutely tiny in that photo frame effect. It reminded me of the Dennis Waterman character in "Little Britain".

THX said...

@Steve Williams: Fantastic bit of trivia! I must admit when I read about Ashtar Galactic Command in a book of weird thingies as a kid, it sounded terrifying. After plucking up the courage to listen to it on YouTube years later, it turned out to be hilarious.

Arthur Nibble said...

Could be a very busy week for us all. If Neil very kindly downloaded the next DLT-fronted episode before the double-issue to keep it in sequence, we'd have four 'Pops' to dissect in eight days...and then there's the 22nd December 1978 Jim'll-fronted edition to contend with!

Mind you, quite how I'm going to fit in watching them and then boring you all is beyond me - I've now got Xmas do's every midweek day next week except Tuesday!

Chris Hughes said...

I couldn't get over The Carvells. The very definition of the 1970s shameless cash-in. Especially when keyboard man started waving a skateboard over his head. I wonder what sort of career they thought they might get off the back of this? Or even whether they thought they'd get one at all. I loved the grainy footage of skateboarders in 1970s concrete structures, though. Especially as they showed it twice.

Mull Of Kintyre is a strange thing, isn't it? It was the best-selling single in the UK for seven years, but it's all but faded from the canon now: never really feted as one of the all-time big hits, rarely played on the radio, and I wonder when Macca last had anything to do with it. The Mike Yarwood performance is one of two things burned in my brain from Christmas Night 1977 (the other is the Starkers and Krutch intro to Eric and Ernie).

I loved Kid's intro to Leroy Gomez. It reminded me of a Clive James review of the Eurovision Song Contest, where David Vine had described Spain as "the land of the package holidays", but as Clive pointed out, it was also (then) "the land of institutionalised fascism", but then some concepts are too complex for a ten-second link.

And the endless closing credits were not the sort of thing you'd have wanted to watch straight before going to bed.

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

It seems that Hispanic disco shaker was released as some sort of medley called "Don't Me Misunderstood + Esmerelda Suite".

Courtesy of the exemplary 45cat website, check out the record sleeve. Even Page Three would blush at this!

wilberforce said...

don't worry carvells fans - contrary to what thx has said, there are some copies of their albums available on discogs... although they're not cheap:

"mull of kintyre"? a dreadful plodding acoustic dirge featuring a ropey-looking hawk-faced blonde

"it's a heartache"? a dreadful plodding acoustic dirge featuring a ropey-looking hawk-faced blonde

"egyptian reggae" was not just the best thing on the show by miles, also the best thing legs and co had done up to this point. when it came to being the camel, obviously pauline's ethnic duskiness would keep her out of the frame, and the same thinking could be applied to patty, so presumably the others drew straws?

maybe hot chocolate had been listening to "magic fly" and "oxygene" and decided they'd have a bit of that, except they had to shoehorn errol in somewhere with a non-existent melody that was obviously the last thing to be added - a deserved flop

in the summer of 1996 i was working in the kitchens of a holiday camp and the radio was on all day, so i was subjected to innumerable plays of take that's infinitely inferior karaoke cover of "how deep is your love" - each time it came on i used to think "for f*ck's sake can't you play the classic original just once"? the same also applied to that appalling fugees demolition of "killing me softly with his song"!

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Kid's sadly dropped his 1930s James Herriot look for a style somewhere akin to Noel Coward. All he needs is a cigarette holder.

The Carvells song has nicked its tune from The Ohio Express' bubble gum anthem Yummy Yummy Yummy which wouldn't be a bad thing if this wasn't a naff cash-in song about skateboarding. I hate the way the keyboard player turns to look directly into the camera when it pans round him, I hate their massive white flares and I'm glad we were spared most of the guitarist's OTT solo where he took it upon himself to stand legs akimbo in front of the drum kit. Not that anyone was taking much notice of him.

Looking carefully at the skateboard Kid is holding at the end it actually has The Carvells logo (designed to look like like a skateboard) printed on it so the record company must have blown any royalties the band made on promotional skateboards. I bet they're worth as much as two pounds today on eBay.

Not the entyre Mull Of Kintyre video but we will have plenty of opportunities to see it in the coming weeks.

Gaynor Hopkins in full throat throttle. I quite liked this at the time but never bought it. The audience seem strangely unmoved by the guy dressed like a giant turd who poses madly during his guitar solo.

The sound and vision mixer have clearly been on the juice because not only do they forget to fade Gaynor's mic but when Kid does his uber dramatic intro The Darts they forget to cut to VT straight away making him look like a plonker. The lead singer of The Darts still reminds me of Don Mclean from Crackerjack ('Crackerjack!') and I bet he and Peter Glaze did a cracking version of this in one of their musical finales.

There Isn't Anything little Leo tells us, perhaps the most confusing song title until Meatloaf's I would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do that). Is Leo referring to the thunder In his heart - he thought it was thunder but it turned out to be nothing. Competing with The Ladybirds' off-key backing vocals Leo Sayer says he's going to "fly like an eagle and carry you so far away". I don't see Leo as an eagle, more like a sparrow.

The panto season comes to TOTP early with Eygptian Reggae. I had hoped for a Wilson, Kepple and Betty style sand dance but this works almost as well as is certainly better than seeing Mr Richman and his band perform the song. Do you think Sue and Lulu and got the hump?

The start of Put Your Love In Me does sound like Oxygene Part 6 but turns into a beautiful spaced-out, love song. We get to see glimpses of the TOTP Orchestra's violinists sporting their ubiquitous mustard coloured roll neck sweaters which slightly ruins the effect. Doesn't the keyboard player have long fingers, puts me in mind of ET.

The video for How Deep Is You Love always looks like a rehearsal to me, like they filmed it as a try-out in their everyday clothes with the lights and cameras in shot but never had time film the real thing.

Santa Esmerelda - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood. Okay, you're Mr Understood (boom, boom). This was a big hit in Europe and I never realised this got an outing on TOTP. The break from this was sampled in that 14 minute Megamixtrip of I Feel Love that was played in the gay clubs circa 1981. You can hear it here (Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood kicks in a 3:06):

ABBA's 111th week at the top and then The Jacksons. I love the girls' half-hearted response to Kid's suggestion that they're all going places. Kid: "RIGHT?!!! The girls: "er right, yeah"

Arthur Nibble said...

I hate to break this to you, Wilberforce, but that Hot Chocolate single made the top 10.

Gaynor Hopkins? Didn't know that was Bonnie Tyler's real name, and I'd have preferred it as her stage name, though it's probably a bit too close to Mary Hopkin for comfort.

Was that a skateboard under the name "Carvells" on the bass drum skin? Did they go on to record "Skate, Rattle and Roll" with Skate Bush?

the erotic adventures of sweet daddy parsnip said...

i work with a man called B tyler - i like to tell him i saw his mum on top of the pops everytime she's on there - oh how we laugh.

Julie Joanne Bevan said...

wilberforce - Hot Chocolate's 'Put Your Love In Me' was hardly a flop, as it reached No.10 in the UK. It has largely been forgotten, though.

THX said...

Although Kid was keen to point out Santa Esmeralda's Spanish-ness, I did a bit of reading online (you'll never guess where) and they weren't Spanish at all! They were French! I suppose accordions didn't go with disco.

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

Completely forgotten things like The Carvells are what make these re-runs such an enjoyable experience for me.I think the guitarists are obviously taking the piss.

It's probably hard to for younger viewers to realise just how all-pervasive skateboarding was for a short period back then in 1977.

Wings - oh no we've got 10 weeks including this performance of this dirge. What a bloody thought...that's me turning off before the number 1 for the next 2 months!

Darts - like these the more I see them and I usually really dislike anything rock n roll.Wish the camerawork was as good as the performance.

Like Brotherhood of Man and Highwayman another complete flop from big stars straight after big hits. Suppose it may have made the bubblers (51-75) though.

Hot Chocolate - they've made some very nice singles (Emma, Back Seat of my Cadillac, Going through The Motions etc) over the years but if I had to pick the all time best I think this is it. And I didn't know it until a couple of years ago when I heard people raving about it on other blogs.

Bee Gees - obviously a classic - pity the BBC didn't see fit to actually show it all

Santa Esmeralda - I think it was the very long version that was big in the clubs.Another classic instance of a complete TOTP orchestral destruction of a good tune. Almost plumbing the depths of the Rah Band and Lee Garrett 'You're My Everything'

Abba - like the Bee Gees a genuine
classic in any era.

Nice presentation from the Kid too but no 'Good Love'

Arthur gets tough said...

Simon, don't be so down about the success of the thread for the last show's blog and what might have been in the past. You forget that last week's was the first Disappeared edition we've actually been able to watch, with big thanks to Neil. Of course, once us piranha-like forumites saw the opportunity to interact on a contraband edition, we did. And don't go doubting your valuable place in our lives either. A different tangent, but I'll miss fellow blog "Steve Does Top Of The Pops" which finishes on or by New Year's Eve. I really don't think you realise your place in the scheme of things. It's like you're an egg in a Pyrex bowl, us forumites are grains of flour and seasoning, and you bind us together and make something tasty.

80sBlokeInThe70s, don't switch off your set before the end of an edition. You never know what gem lurks under the end credits. As I've bored people with twice already, BoM's "Highwayman" made an unofficial number 60 which probably meant it really made number 80 or so, though it was exhausted of TV oxygen when they performed "Angelo" instead of their latest single (i.e. the last flop) on the Royal Variety performance.

Name withheld to avoid forum monopoly said...

Sorry, (don't let me be) misunderstood 80sBlokeInThe70s' query - Leo Sayer's effort spent one week in the breakers peaking at 55 (i.e. somewhere in the 70's once you've taken into account the 41-50 deletions and other shenanigans).

Andee Bee said...

And it looks like according to Digiguide - that TOTP 78 starts 17th Jan, no details yet.....

charlie cook said...

Hate to go against the general feeing of everyone else, but I quite liked the Carvells track. Better than many contemporary 'cash-ins' - yes, Mr Mirror, I'm looking at you!

Slightly creepy feeling picturing Leo 'feeling her heartbeat inside'...

LOVED the Camel

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

Simon I think the reason there were so many comments for the last show was because we were able to see it and like being given the keys to the sweet shop we overdosed. Plus you kept your observations to a minimum giving us room to get carried away. And to be fair a lot of the comments were about starman Patrick Moore.

I loved your comment about The Carvells' keyboardist being the only band member who could skateboard.

And Arthur your observation that Pauline must have snake-charmed the crowd during Santa Esmeralda made me chuckle, they did appear to be transfixed.

Which reminds me - a Yuletide joke:
Q: What happened when Quasimodo's girlfriend dressed up as Father Christmas?
A: Santa Esmeralda.

I'll get my coat.

Simon said...

Ah, I wasn't really referring to the comments, that I'd expected, but the sheer number of message boards that seemed never to have noticed the blog before but were posting because I'd put restricted material online. DigitalSpy provided the most hits but they got a late week run for their money from the forum of - yes indeed - David Icke's official site. Let's see what happens after Monday when 1/12 is showcased.

Simon said...

Andee: is that definite? Last update I saw was up to w/e 11th and there's, obviously, a Sky At Night on the 10th.

Noax said...

A bit late this week, I bet you thought I'd been blown away in a gayle (satire)

The Carvells - Just what we want in the middle of winter, a summery Beach Boys type song!
If this had been done as a parody in a comedy show it wouldn't have been as funny as this.
"I've just eaten a whole packet of Toffos!"

Wings - I HATE bagpipes. When Tony Blackburn was doing the Pick of the Pops 60 years of the chart thing and playing the biggest sellers of the year, he played The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards 'Amazing Grace' right after the news. I think it took me approximately one second to switch over.

Bonnie Tyler - And here's where she gets annoying. I only really like Lost In France.

Leo Sayer - Oh dear. Why does he only turn up for the slow ones?
As others have already pointed out, this isn't terribly good.

Jonathan Richman - What can you possibly add to this piece of televisual genius?
Presumably when they drew straws for the camel they must have said 'Lulu, Sue - the hump. Lulu, Sue - the hump hump'.
Erm, sorry.

Hot Chocolate - Strangely hypnotic. Possibly because Errol was dressed like a disco dracula. Mrs Noax liked this very much, and it is odd that this one has been totally forgotten.

Bee Gees - Yes, we've all seen this before, but not in this picture quality. As the music video channels have all played their copies to death, this looks much better! (the opposite is true for Abba, strangely)

Santa Esmeralda - Disco! Crazy! Sexy! Baby! Hot! Yes, it's Fast Show territory again.

Outro with The Jacksons - If that isn't a special effects camera test at the end, I don't know what is.

Darren said...

I knew that Santa Esmeralda weren't Spanish when Kid said it. It has been said by others that they were French; well in fact the two producers who put the group together and arranged the songs were French. Leroy Gomez himself comes from Massachusetts, and the dancers could have come from anywhere.

The TOTP Orchestra managed to erase a lot of the magic from this performance. DLMBM matched the peak reached by the Animals' version on the US Billboard Charts, and was also a big hit across Europe. Maybe it was the TOTP Orchestra's fault for its failure here? The song is best listened to in its side-long glory (my CD copy is 16:15).

Leroy actually had a big falling out with Santa Esmeralda's producers, and was replaced for the group's other albums. Their next big song was another Animals cover, in the same style - "The House of the Rising Sun".

I have both of Leroy's solo LPs he released in 1978 and 1979; his second album opens with a track "Little Girl"; the lyrics go "Goodbye, So long, bye bye, now I'm moving on. Bye bye, so long, Esmeralda - little girl!"

Andee Bee said...

Hi Simon

it was posted on OFTD yesterday that TOTP is scheduled for 17th, I think the member has a 30 day viewer on Digiguide

wilberforce said...

as i had absolutely no recollection of that hot chocolate record (to be frank, most of their mediocrity went straight in one ear and out the other at the time) i assumed it failed to trouble the chart compilers - must remember to check out my copy of the guinness book of hit singles before i make such bold comments in future! still, my gaffe at leasts proves that some are actually reading my comments...

i checked out leroy gomez on the internet and discovered he was actually an american of cape verde descent (as were the tavares - in fact he was an early member of their group). so why did everyone think it was spanish? presumably because of the name... i don't regret buying many of the records i acquired back then, but this single was definitely one of them - although it was obviously more discofied than this appalling totp version, it still wasn't very good in my opinion (like much of my collection back in those days, i probably picked it up unheard from the chart-flop bargain bins on the recommendation of "blues & soul" magazine)...

Steve Morgan said...

Noax isn't the only one who hates bagpipes, my wife has joked that not only will I be buried ( I want cremation) but that she will get bagpipes played at my funeral. I never bougth The Royal Scots Draggons Guards version of Amazing Grace, but oddly enough bougth Mull Of Kintyre, Yes!! I was one of those who kept it at number one for so long ;)
One line, yes, just one line of a song epitomises that part of the seventies for me, "carry me back to the days I knew then" believe me it really does.
Good show this week people, take it from one who was there and knows these songs like the back of my hand, and liek Wilberforce don't regret buying a single record record back then, my only regret is in getting rid of some of them once I got them on chart topping K-Tel albums, what a plonker I was. Got them all back now though.
Anyway onto the show, and talking of K-Tel albums, the Carvells track turned up on Disco Stars along with the oft mentioned here, Noosha Fox's Georgina Bailey and Meco's Star Wars Theme, I Will, From Here To Eternity, Needles And Pins, Daddy Cool, Dancin' Party, the excellent Run Back from Carl Douglas and a great Four Tops cover of For Your Love, all from this period of '77.
Anyway, that Carvell's track, just what you need in the middle of a cold, dreary winter a taste of summer surfin', move on please.
Have to disagree with Noax about Bonnie though, she's from my neck of the woods, well quite close, I bought that single back then and still think it's a great one now, her performance though? To be fare she's only just had that throat done.
I said I knew the seventies singles like the back of my hand, but had totally forgotten the Leo Sayer track until he started singing, then he had me wholeheartedly singing along, it's not bad but I can see why it this When I Need You clone wasn't a hit.
His next hit was much better, but that had the added publicity of a series of shows on BBC2 late in '78, one of which had Kate Bush as guest performing Don't Push Your Foot On The Heartbrake with dustbin lids.
Loved the Legs dance this week, that camel had a wonderful expression on its face, especially as he leered over the girls at one point, the Johnathan Richman track's good too.
Everyone's saying they don't recall the Chocolate track, I recall it perfectly well, although it was one I never bought it turned up on my aforemetioned Disco Stars album, not one of the Chocolate's best, but it was a top ten hit nevertheless.
With How Deep Is Your Love Saturday Night Fever has well and truly arrived. The film was released on 16th December 1977 in the US and soon took the disco scene by storm, as we'll see in 1978. How Deep Is Your Love is a truly sublime track, one of the Gibbs best.
The Santa Esmeralda track passed me by, I know there's a humoungus 12 inch version I was well inot those, but I just never really like that one.
ABBA's Name of the Game is getting a bit wearing now, we never get to see the full video though which is a shame, thankfully, like one or two others from this show, it's commercially available.
We fade with The Jackson's Goin' Places,a superior piece of disco, this one should have been a bigger hit, they've had worse.
There may be some mixed views about this particular show, but I loved it, for me it epitomised this part of '77, as the year drew to a close the show seemed to have it's finger on the pulse with a fair mix of New Wave and Disco, all the hallmarks of waht the coming year was all about.

Steve Morgan said...

Oh God! just read my last post back, forgive my typos, I've had one or two Stella's while trying to play a few singles from '72, I think I'm Hi Hi Hi.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

@Steve Morgan - "Kate Bush... with dustbin lids" - I didn't know she had any children back then.

I remembered the Hot Chocolate track very well. The single was nearly 6 minutes long. The official video which is very similar to the TOTP performance can be seen here:

Steve Morgan said...

Have to be honest Bama.. I don't remember that Chocolate vid, although it was undoubtedly shown on Swap Shop a couple of times. Have to say about Errol's performance on Pops, it had to be one of his campest appearances ever, what with all that leather.

FishyFish said...

Please be right Digiguide. Please be right Digiguide. Please be right etc...

MUSIC: Top of the Pops
On: BBC 4 (116)
Date: Thursday 17th January 2013 (starting in 31 days)
Time: 19:30 to 20:00 (30 minutes long)

The week's best-selling UK singles, live performances and pre-chart exclusives from the world's most famous pop music show.
(Repeat, Subtitles, 4 Star)
Excerpt taken from DigiGuide - the world's best TV guide available from

Copyright (c) GipsyMedia Limited.

Ok, so no mention of 1978 in the details, but hopefully a good sign...

Simon said...

Just removed the blog's first ever spam post. Makes you feel strangely proud.

That is a good sign, but I'm slightly hesitant until the details actually update as this far in advance with only a skeleton schedule to work off (well, it's four weeks away) they might have stuck a template from 2012 in there.

80sBlokeInThe70s said...

I wonder if the Leo Sayer song was such a flop because it was the final single from a massive album that everyone who wanted the single already had. As unlike Brotherhood of Man he was a big big star who actually sold loads of albums back then.

Glad someone mentioned the long version of 'Put Your Love In Me' as it makes an amazing tune even better.
And as someone said it is strange it has been forgotten by things like oldies radio. Maybe it's too subtly classy for them.
As I said above i was one of the people who didn't know it myself until I read about it on a blog a couple of years ago.
The weird thing is that despite its relative obscurity to the general music lover on all the blogs I've seem it mentioned on everybody can't stop raving about what an amazing single it is.

wilberforce said...

if anyone's looking for more synthy/spacey disco then check this out: