Top of the Pops 1979 - 9/3/79

Watched on BBC4 by Chris Arnsby

 Kid Jensen. "It's hit music designed with your weekend in mind. Welcome to a specialriday edition of Top of the Pops."
Chart music: Herbie Hancock, You Bet Your Love [19]

Inner Circle: Everything Is Great [46]. Not an early slightly less enthusiastic version of Everything Is Awesome from The Lego Movie. During the "everything is great" line of the chorus there's a weird squelchy electronic effect at the back of the mix which reminds me of the processing added to the voice of the actor playing Saymon in the Blakes 7 episode The Web. Proof positive that Inner Circle were fans of late 1970s BBC science fiction.

 Elvis Costello: Oliver's Army [2]. Top of the Pops is playing around with video effects again. There's an electronic mix into this repeat performance from the 8/2/79 edition which looks like a vault door sliding open. Inner Circle had the last few minutes of their performance covered in what looked like howlaround but was probably some sort of Quantel trail effect. This edition of Top of the Pops was moved to Friday because A Song For Europe was broadcast on Thursday 8th March. Presumably that move has put Top of the Pops in a different studio, one fitted with cutting edge technology.
Elvis Costello is not pleased with his blueberry drink. He probably doesn't want to go to Chelsea either.

The Sex Pistols: Something Else [7]. Legs & Co do punk. This means wearing coloured wigs, dresses, and shoes. I'm getting flashbacks to the 1979 Euston Films version of Quatermass; this must be caused by seeing Legs and Co done up as Planet People. For some reason Legs and Co are dancing on a set done out like a financial graph from The Money Programme. It's also a terrible, terrible song.

Buzzcocks: Everybody’s Happy Nowadays
 [46]. There's some frantic camera work on display. During the chorus the cameras zoom back along the length of the studio. I think the idea is to visually compliment the swooping sound of the chorus and match the energy of the performance but it doesn't quite work as the band get reduced to tiny figures in the distance. Something else which doesn't quite work is when a side shot of the drummer is mixed into a close up of Pete Shelley. It looks like Pete Shelly is having his head bashed in

Dennis Brown: Money In My Pocket  [26]. "A woman needs a man to a cling to", claims Dennis Brown. I think that would be inconvenient for both the man and the woman.

Late Show: Bristol Stomp [46]. The violinist is wearing a foul pink suit. The lead singer is power dressing early for the 1980s in red and green. The drummer looks like the lead singer from Racey. The song is yet another fifties throwback a-la Showaddywaddy, Darts, etc. Bilge.

The Real Thing: Can You Feel The Force [5].George Lucas' favourite song. There's more electronic effects malarkey with a smoky effect superimposed at the top of the screen. Presumably it's meant to represent this mystical energy field The Real Thing are singing about but it kind of looks like The Real Thing are giving off some sort of stinky fug.

Cliff Richard: Green Light [NEW]. Singing about his "keen sight," Cliff Richard keeps pointing at his face and looking from side to side like he's Eagle Eyes Action Man. Cliff Richard's eyesight isn't as keen as the people who sold him this song; they saw him coming from miles away.

The Dooleys: Honey I'm Lost [27]. It's been pointed out that referring to The Dooleys as the Coelacanths of Top of the Pops could be insulting to bony fish (not to be confused with Boney M). Coelacanths are well adapted for their environment and have survived for millions of years. I am happy to make this correction.

Motorhead: Overkill [63]. This sounds a lot like The Ace of Spades.

Gene Chandler: Get Down [11] Listed on the Popscene database as footage from the American series Soul Train but inexplicably edited from this repeat.
Leyton Buzzards: Saturday Night (Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees) [66]. Blur from alternative universe number 230.

Number one: Bee Gees, Tragedy.  It's the Legs & Co/clowns routine again. Unrelated to Tragedy but I may as well ask: does anyone remember a joke which involves the Bee Gees being devoured while shrieking "aah ahh ahh ahh, eaten alive, eaten alive"? It sounds like the sort of thing Kenny Everett or The Goodies would do, but it's not something I can place.
Closing titles: Gary's Gang, Keep On Dancin’ [14].

Performance of the week: Buzzcocks.

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