Top of the Pops 78: 05/10/78

First shown on 5/10/78
Words: Chris Arnsby

Kid Jensen. “For all that's best in the chart welcome to Top of the Pops and this week's chart countdown is to the tune of Abba!”
Chart music: Abba, Summer Night City [5].

Mick Jackson: Blame It On The Boogie [32]. Mick Jackson? Retreating to Wikipedia I find Mick Jackson is one of the original authors of this song, which was subsequently played to and recorded again very quickly by other more famous Jacksons. Both versions were released within a few days of each other and the press covered this battle of the Jacksons with interest. How about that! In 1978 my mind was on higher things. Namely whether Keith Chegwin would ever bring Swaporama to Ripon*. There's a shot of the audience dancing at one point, a straight cutaway to a gaggle of self-conscious teenage girls dancing to the camera. It's not the type of shot Top of the Pops normally does. I wonder if it's being used to cover an edit, or a problem with the recording of Mick Jackson's performance?

Dean Friedman: Lucky Stars [6]. This is odd. A call and response duet where Dean Friedman sings an argument with his girlfriend (sample chorus: Do you still love me/Yes, I still love you/You mean, you're not just being nice/No, I'm not just being nice/Do you feel sleepy/Aw, you're so sincere. Yes, I feel sleepy). It's like overhearing a couple having a row. Fortunately the song ends before they begin having making-up sex.

Third World: Now That We’ve Found Love [18]. It's another one of those Legs & Co routines where nothing matches. The girls are dressed in skimpy skin-tight leotards with ruffles, and are dancing on podiums in front of a star background rejected by Blake's 7 for  being rubbish. Meanwhile the lighting director is trying to light the set all the colours of the rainbow, and the vision mixer's response is to occasionally mix in that false colour effect Doctor Who used when Jon Pertwee pulled out the crystal from Metebelis III. The result is hilarious and migraine inducing.

Buzzcocks: Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) [30]. A repeat of the Buzzcock's first brilliant performance of this song from the 21/9/78 edition.

Elaine Paige: Don’t Walk Away Till I Touch You [NEW]. Wooomb, wooomb, goes the electric guitar in the background as the Top of the Pops orchestra do their best to mimic the sound of Elaine Paige's original single. It turns out that this silly noise is the most memorable feature of this song.

Boney M: Rasputin [9]. Oh my. It's strange to see the low key introduction of a song which has become an byword for seventies kitsch. Boney M aren't even in the studio, instead we get a video clip from, I'm guessing, a German variety show; probably their version of Seaside Special. It's not clear but to judge by the various audience members chewing away the format is some sort of variety show in a bierkeller. The most notable thing about the clip (apart from the song obv.) is the laid back reaction of the watching audience to Bobby Farrell's insane barefoot dancing .

Marshall Hain: Coming Home [NEW]. A dull song which suffers from following Rasputin in the running order.

Sham 69: Hurry Up Harry [NEW]. “'urry up 'arry c'mon,” sings Jimmy Pursey dropping his consonants and making Professor Higgins bite through his hat in frustration. How the name Harry has changed. In 1978 Harry was a salt of the earth bloke you'd take down the pub, now he's fourth in line to the throne.

Sham 69: He was so hungry waiting for `Arry that he started to eat his microphone

Leo Sayer: I Can’t Stop Loving You (Though I Try) [7]. Another outing for the first performance of this song from Top of the Pops 7/9/78 rather than last week's (BBC4 pace, we've skipped another D*v* L** Tr*v*s edition) nightmarish floating Leo Sayer heads version.

The Boomtown Rats: Rat Trap [NEW]. I really liked the last two Boomtown Rats singles, Like Clockwork and She's So Modern, but this one seems all over the place. Maybe I'll like it better when I've heard it a few more times.

Number One: John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John, Summer Nights. For anyone wondering how BBC4 would deal with Summer Nights when it gets to number one here's the answer. The official promo film is snipped again in place of a Legs & Co/Floyd routine from the 1978 Christmas show. Disappointingly this routine misses out my 8 year old self's favourite part of the song where one of the T-Birds says “Tell me more, tell me more/
Could she get me a friend?” and is flicked with a comb.

Closing titles: Electric Light Orchestra, Sweet Talkin’ Woman [17].

Performance of the week: Boney M. When a man is tired of Rasputin he is tired of life.

*he never did.

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