Top of the Pops 78: 19/10/78

First broadcast: 19/10/78 / Words: Chris Arnsby

Peter Powell. “Wait no longer! Right before your very eyes another edition of Top of the Pops!”
Chart music: The Boomtown Rats, Rat Trap [9].

Showaddywaddy: Pretty Little Angel Eyes [NEW]. Showaddywaddy are old hands at Top of the Pops now. This is something like their fifth appearance this year. They've worked out a routine which involves the one dressed in purple and the one dressed in orange doing a little circuit of the stage before returning to point at the crowd on the “wop-wop-wop-wop.” 
Donna Summer in casual wear

Boney M: Rasputin
[2]. A repeat of the Schnitzeltime Special performance.

John Travolta: Sandy [4]. “Patti and her friend Martin,” according to Peter Powell are the two dancers who accompany one of the less memorable songs from Grease. As a Smurf obsessed 8 year old I remember thinking Top of the Pops spent far too much time playing boring tracks like this while overlooking Dippety Day Father Abraham's brilliant follow up to the classic The Smurf Song.

The Rolling Stones: Respectable [27]. A promo film where The Rolling Stones play their instruments in a set painted to look like a filthy hovel. Is this where Spinal Tap got the idea for the Hell Hole video?

Colorado: California Dreaming [59]. Who ordered a disco/flamenco version of California Dreaming? The result is as bizarre as you would expect. Best bit, the brassy trumpets which make this sound like it's going to turn into the world's most inappropriate James Bond theme.

Buzzcocks: Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) [16]. Hooray, it's Buzzcocks! Boo, it's a second repeat of their 21/9/13 performance.

Frankie Miller: Darlin' [28]. With his black waistcoat and turned up white shirt collar Frankie Miller looks like a hirsute Harry Hill.

The Three Degrees: Giving Up, Giving In [29]. Another repeat from the 21/9/78 edition; all sequins and pew-pew noises.

Sham 69: Hurry Up Harry [17]. 'ello it's 'ersham's 'ottest 'ouse'old name singin' 'is latest 'it; 'owzabout that then? Jimmy Pursey and the boys from Sham 69 do their best to drive the nations elocution teachers to despair.

Donna Summer: MacArthur Park [12]. What is this, insane cover versions week? The same people who requested a disco remix of California Dreaming have been out buying a disco version of the second worst song ever written (American Pie is the worst song ever, obv.). For this routine three of Legs & Co have been covered in leaves and put in a pantomime Ent costume while a fourth dances around dressed as Goldilocks in a yellow baby doll dress with a bow in her hair, while carrying a cake. Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up Mescaline.

The Jam: Down In The Tube Station At Midnight [25]. I keep expecting this song to turn into Going Underground. Best bit, the film footage of a 1970s tube train pulling into a station at the start. Forensic analysis of the clip suggests it is a Central Line train pulling into Marble Arch.

Number One: John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John, Summer Nights. This has been at number one so long I'm beg 5/10/78 beginning to understand the vastness of geological time.

Closing titles: Public Image Ltd, Public Image [21].

Performance of the week: The Jam: Down In The Tube Station At Midnight “going underground, going underground” I love this song.

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