Top of the Pops 78: 31.08.78

Originally broadcast 31/08/78

Watched in 2013 by Chris Arnsby

Tony Blackburn. “Hello. Welcome once again to Top of the Pops and right now here's the brand new top twenty.”13/7/78: “Hello. Welcome to Top of the Pops and right now here's that brand new top twenty.”25/5/78: “Hello. Welcome to Top of the Pops and right now here's a run down of the brand new top thirty. 13/4/78: “Hello and welcome once again to Top Of The Pops, and straight away here's the brand new top thirty.” 9/3/78: “Hello and welcome to another edition of Top of the Pops, and right now here comes that brand new top thirty.”

Tony Blackburn really isn't trying any more. And it's top THIRTY Tony Blackburn. THIRTY not twenty.

Chart music: Herbie Hancock: I thought It Was You [27]

The Dooleys: A Rose Has To Die [62]. The internet has rejected this song. I went searching for lyrics for A Rose Has To Die, but even Google can't reach anyone who cared enough to transcribe this song. “As a rose has to die/Every time you tell a lie,” is almost certainly what the blow-dried lead singer is crooning. In this melodramatic song, we have sentient roses who self destruct each time they detect untruth, and mention of a lonely world of rain, plus autumn leaves which took away the love [the couple] found. It has to be said the lead singer of The Dooleys doesn't seem too upset about the whole affair. He's written the jauntiest pop song ever about dead love.

Siouxsie & The Banshees: Hong Kong Garden [25]. A promo video, but shot and treated with visual effects to look as if the band might be performing on Top of the Pops. If they could have got the band in the studio this would have made an infinitely better opening track than The Dooleys.

10cc: Dreadlock Holiday [4]. A repeat from the 17/8/13 edition.

Klark Kent: Don't Care [54]. Klark Kent, if that is his real name, stands at the microphone occasionally jerking his guitar forwards and backwards for emphasis. About 1 minute 15 seconds into the performance a lady in front of Klark Kent jumps in shock as one of these lurching movements knocks into her hat; the audience around her laugh as she readjusts her headwear. Klark Kent has his face painted silver and green. The rest of the band wear masks; let's see there a gorilla, a sort of blue-cat-thing, Richard Nixon, but who's the mask on the end? It looks a bit like Mr. T, but it's several years too early for him. (ed- Klark Kent is actually Stewart Copeland of The Police)

Klark Kent: Don't stand too close to him

Andy Gibb: Everlasting Love [19]. If you were making a dreadlock wig (possibly for a performance of a 10cc song) then you'd reach for the material Legs & Co are wearing this week; yes, it looks like Legs & Co are wearing hair. The set is dominated by a large glittery foil cube and the idea of the routine is that different members of Legs & Co dance on different sides of the cube, and pass through the cube while off camera. Unfortunately on several occasions the camera is set too far back and the viewers can see the dancers running through the cube to get to their next position, or waiting for their cue. Thus the magical illusion is spoiled for the watching kiddiewinkies.

Exile: Kiss You All Over [33]. About halfway though this song the camera is angled so we can see the Legs & Co stage, and a light fades up to reveal Tony Blackburn jiggling away. At first it looks unintentional. The sort of behind the scenes glimpse you occasionally get when a camera wanders too far from its mark, but when the shot is repeated twice more it starts to look like another attempt by Phil Bishop to make the Top of the Pops studio into a place with its own geography.

The Rezillos: Top Of The Pops [24]. Another engaging and fun performance from The Rezillos. We get a repeat of the “da-da-da-da-da oi!/ da-da-da-da-da oi!/ da-da-da-da-da eugh!” moment from their last appearance on the 10/8/78 edition; the single just repeats “oi” third time round which isn't as funny.

Darts: It's Raining [2]. Another repeat for Darts, accompanied by Mike Jefferies bright yellow lighting.

Cliff Richard: Please Remember Me [NEW]. Cliff Richard's been stood on a podium with the audience pressed tightly around. On first sighting it looks like the audience have chased him up on a stool. Cliff Richard is in his wilderness period between Devil Woman and Mistletoe And Wine, so the title of this song seems like an ironic cry for help.

Number One: The Commodores, Three Times A Lady. This week we see the entire promo film for this song, without interruption by Legs & Co. In the new sequences we see The Commodores go to HMV to sign records, and drive around some more in their car; with a lady! (ed- they should drive round three times surely?)

Closing titles: Hi-Tension, The British Hustle [17] On the credits everyone is changing places this week. Phil Bishop is credited as Director, last week he was Producer. Robin Nash drops back from Executive Producer to Producer. Has he just come back from holiday? Credits for The Ladybirds also seem to have disappeared at some point.

Performance of the week: The Rezillos. Top Of The Pops becomes my third downloaded single of the 1978 repeats along with Squeeze, Take Me I'm Yours and Plastic Bertrand, Ça Plane Pour Moi.

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