Top of the Pops 78: 10.08.78

Originally broadcast 10/08/78 as watched by Chris Arnsby on BBC4

Peter Powell. “Welcome to the 750th edition of Top of the Pops but we're still the youngest at heart! Here's the chart run down!”
Chart music: Voyage, From East To West [16]

The Rezillos: Top Of The Pops [64]. Yes a song named after the show on which the band are performing. Opening the 750th edition with this song must have been irresistible. The Rezillos' have a Top-of-the-Pops-through-the-years style going on; with the lead singer wearing a sixties style dress, the drummer and guitarist looking more Mod, the other guitarist wearing denim and a baseball cap, and the backing singer has a touch of Glam Rock and a Gary Glitter quiff. It's a catchy song performed with great humour (there's a brilliant bit where the music goes “da-da-da-da-da” and the band follow up with a fist pumping “oi”, like a Gary Glitter track, this is repeated twice but third time round the lead singer goes “eugh!” instead of “oi”; it plays better than it reads). At the end of the song the camera man crash-zooms out to show us the band and the audience, and the vision mixer cuts in the Top of the Pops logo as the band gets a well deserved genuine round of applause from the audience; rather than the usual sight of a static and bored looking crowd with applause dubbed over the top.
Foreigner: Cold As Ice [30]. It's that song, with the “you're as cold as ice/you're willing to sacrifice,” riff that M.O.P sampled a few years ago. The promo film consists of footage of Foreigner performing the song at a concert. It's scratched and covered in dirt. And the footage is just as bad! (then I got off the bus/etc).

Hi-Tension: British Hustle [41]. The audience get a bit boisterous at the start of this performance. A couple of girls and a lady who looks like someone's mum wave at the camera and then giggle a bit. Bless them, they're probably still taxed and overexcited from The Rezillos. Hi-Tension have all got their own band t-shirts with a little lightning bolt between the Hi and Tension. The lightning bolt reminded me of the Chegger's Plays Pop logo and in one of those odd moments of synchronicity the edition I looked up on Youtube (May 1978) included Hi Tension playing their previous song.

Bob Dylan: Baby Stop Crying [21]. There's no way Bob Dylan is going to appear in the Top of the Pops studio so instead it's time for Legs & Co's weekly appearance. This is one of Flick Colby's more arty routines, so there's lots of silhouettes.(ed: Bob Dylan is actually a brilliant street dancer)

Raydio: Is This A Love Thing [27]. We've jumped a couple of weeks to skip back to back shows with Jimmy Savlle and Dave Lee Travis which is why Raydio seem to have returned so quickly. Raydio appear on promo video this time which seems odd. I'd have expected a repeat of their studio performance from the Kid Jensen edition. Still it gives us another chance to admire their remarkable stage costumes; covered in frills, and feathers.

Raydio: A few years later one of these men will be Ghostbusting, because it makes you feel good.
Renaissance: Northern Lights [11]. Another repeated song, but a new performance because Renaissence have come into the studio. This edition is unusual in having no repeated performances (well, except for the number one song; can you guess what is it?).

Jilted John: Jilted John [37]. The song that ruined playtime for anyone unlucky enough to be called Gordon. The audience don't quite know how to take Jilted John. Amused tolerance seems to be the best way to describe their reaction. The set backing for this song is really odd. It's a white tarpaulin, akwardly hung and covered in creases. Whether it's there to cover something up (damage to the main set?), or whether the intention was to light it differently isn't clear but the end result is something which looks unusually amatuerish for Top of the Pops; ironically it fits perfectly with the song and performance so maybe that was the intention all along.

Number One: John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John, You're The One That I Want. To mark 750 shows there's some business with a giant cake and candles after the number one song. Disappointingly no one tries to blow the candles out. And that's your lot. After some of the mammoth 45 minute editions recently the 750th show barely makes it to 25 minutes.

Closing titles: The Commodores, Three Times A Lady

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