31/07/2013

Top of the Pops 78: 20/07/78



Originally broadcast 20/07/78. Watched by Chris Arnsby on BBC4.

Kid Jensen. “Good evening. Time once again to face the music on this week's Top of the Pops. Here's Gladys Knight and the Pips.”
Chart music: Gladys Knight & the Pips, Come Back And Finish What You Started [30].

Sham 69: If The Kids Are United [NEW]. Uh-oh it's the People's Poet Jimmy Pursey. It's not the new series of Nozin' Aroun', Sham 69 are opening the show with their anthem to doomed youth who are old enough to join the army, marry and have children but can't drink in pubs. To give Jimmy Pursey some credit he's generating enough energy to whip the young adults in the audience into, by their standards, a frenzy with lots of hand-clapping on the chorus.
Sham 69 found the audience more interesting than their own song


A Taste Of Honey: Boogie Oogie Oogie [10]. A Taste Of Honey must be pumping out some noise in the studio because this video is riddled with microphony (horizontal lines across the screen, you can see them on old TV programmes when a gun is fired). It must be those conga drums.

Justin Hayward: Forever Autumn [25] Top of the Pops has a new visual effect. It looks a bit like Omega's cruddy vortex from the Doctor Who story Arc Of Infinity. Overlaid on screen several times during this song, it's liable to make any watching Doctor Who fan wonder if Omega is attempting to break through from his anti-matter universe and bond with one of The Moody Blues.

Saturday Night Band: Come On Dance Dance [16]. For this Legs & Co routine Gill, Lulu, Patti, Pauline, Rosemary, and Sue have been given tracksuits with their names on the back. This is incredibly helpful for anyone like myself who can't remember which dancer is which. Legs & Co pre-empt the aerobics craze of the 1980s as they break out into a dancercise routine. The audience are distinctly unimpressed. With Legs & Co placed on a chest high podium for this routine the background of each shot is the motionless glowering heads of the girls in the audience.

The New Seekers: Anthem (One Day In Every Week) [60]. This starts out going down the a-capella route favoured by The Flying Pickets before some music kicks in about two thirds of the way through. The song never really comes to life as a result.

City Boy: 5-7-0-5 [23]. A repeat of the 'bored blonde' performance from the 6th July edition.

Electric Light Orchestra: Wild West Hero [24]. A repeat of ELO's animated epic promo video. There's a lovely melancholic tone to the majority of the song but it jars really badly with the honky-tonk guitar section. Each transition between the two different segments of the song make it sound like like a really awkward cut and shunt job.

Clout: Substitute [4]. And the third song in a row repeated from the 6th July show. I'm not surprised this has climbed from 25 to 4, it's got a really catchy chorus.

Raydio: Is This A Love Thing [38]. Kid Jensen's in voice over and Omega's vortex (augmented with funky false colours) is used as the visual for the transition between Clout and Raydio. Somebody up in the gallery must really like the look of the thing. Or perhaps we have caught a glimpse of Kid Jensen's true form? Raydio have crossed the Atlantic to make their Top of the Pops studio début. It was worth it, the audience really enjoy themselves with this song.

Marshall Hain: Dancing In The City [3]. Blocked from the number one spot by the unlikely  duopoly of Father Abraham & The Smurfs and John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John. Both pairs have been sitting unmoving at the number two, and one, spot for a month. This is a repeat of the Legs & Co Panama Hat/Leopard print leotard routine.

Child: It’s Only Make Believe [73]. Child were last on back in April with their début single When You Walk Into A Room. On that occasion someone handed out scarves emblazoned with the band logo. Sweetly, two of the audience have brought their scarves along with them this time. There's almost two seconds of half-hearted scarf waiving before embarrassment kicks in, as the two girls realise no one else in the audience cares that much about Child.

Number One: John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John, You're The One That I Want. Still hanging on at the top, and BBC4 is still sniping out the video and using the
Floyd and Legs & Co routine. The sole amusement now comes from the moment when on the line “meditate in my direction” [checks names on the back of tracksuits from earlier] Sue sticks her hand to the side of her head, index finger extended, in an Obelix these-Romans-are-crazy gesture.

Closing titles: Showaddywaddy, A Little Bit Of Soap.


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