Top of the Pops 79 - 18.1.79

BBC4: Top of the Pops 1979 18/1/79
Watched by Chris Arnsby

Peter Powell. "Hi! It's Top of the Tops! And also the chart run down! Here is Shalamar!"
Chart music: Shalamar: Take That To The Bank [30]

Olympic Runners: Sir Dancealot [53]. Sir Dancealot is a song forgotten by history. None of the usual lyrics websites contain the words to this song. Via the cunning ruse of turning on the subtitles I can exclusively reveal that this song is about a man known as Sir Dancealot (not to be confused with Sir Oinks-a-lot the pig mascot of Springfield A&M from The Simpsons) and we should watch him dance because he's giving it all he's got. The tambourine player looks distractingly like Gil Gerard from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Anne Murray: Lay Your Love On Me [28]. "Here's Anne Murray at 28," says Peter Powell. Apparently he means 1928 judging by the state of this faded and murky promo film which looks like a hand-tinted telerecording of The Quatermass Experiment. That's not Anne Murray. It's Reginald Tate defending Westminster Abbey from an alien life form.
In her later career Anne Murray recorded more serious songs.

Racey: Lay Your Love On Me [3]. It's Racey. Still moving up the charts. Still doing their little dance. And still a really catchy song.

Dan Hartman: This Is It [27]. Sterling work by the costume designer Jan Wright who manages to dress Legs & Co to look naked when they are actually reasonably well clothed; by their standards. It reminds me of William Ware Theiss, who worked on Star Trek and judged the success of an actress' costume by how much it looked like it would fall off at any given moment. The work by designer Roger Cann is less sterling. He has produced a set which looks like flayed giraffe hides.

Frankie Millar: When I’m Away From You [54]. When my school ran a jumble sale it would put up a sign saying something like, "jumble sale next week, playground. If wet in school hall." Frankie Millar is the "if wet" Rod Stewart. No doubt these days all the boss fly young people would call him the Lidl Rod Stewart. It must have been some comfort to Frankie Millar that he found success once he gave up singing and wrote The Dark Knight Returns.

Olivia Newton-John: A Little More Love [5]. Still claiming "no is a word [she] can't say". Until I hear studio out-takes of her going "nnooooo,", "neeeer," "niiinnnooo", "ningi", etc, I'm confident to call her bluff on this one.

Ian Dury & The Blockheads: Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick [2]. As Ian Dury & The Blockheads finally make an appearance in the Top of the Pops studio it's anarchy; well as close to anarchy as the normally lethargic crowd can stir themselves. The audience have been issued with streamers - no idea why it seems like a terrible idea to give people something they can throw at the performers- and at one point nearly seven rain down on the saxophonist. Then a few more stick to Ian Dury, and the saxophonist starts spraying snow-in-a-can across the stage. Better yet we get a glimpse of the fabled rhythm stick, it's about four to five feet long and forked at one end. Luckily no one gets hit with it.

The Three Degrees: Woman In Love [18]. Not a tribute to the Ken Russell film with the nude wrestling scene. That's Women In Love.

Billy Joel: My Life [26]. Okay, I guess. I liked Uptown Girl.

Chic: Le Freak [7]. Unless I'm mistaken Chic keep promising to show me the way to do this new dance called Le Freak, but they never actually get round to telling me anything specific. Chic, it's not enough to tell me to just freak out on the dance floor, you need to be more detailed. Still it's a great song so I'm willing to let this one go.

Number One: Village People, Y.M.C.A. I'm not convinced the guy in the middle is a real Native American.

Closing titles: Chaka Khan: I'm Every Woman [11].

Performance of the week:  Ian Dury & The Blockheads: Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

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