Top of the Pops 78: 21.09.78

First broadcast on 21/09/78
Watched by Chris Arnsby in 2013

Paul Burnett. “Hello, I'm Paul Burnett. Glad you could make it because it's a great show lined up for you 'cause it's Top of the Pops!”
Chart music: The Motors, Forget About You [15].

Buzzcocks: Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) [49] “All the energy exploding on Top of the Pops!” was how Peter Powell back announced The Jam singing David Watts last week (on BBC4 at least, in Top of the Pops order we've skipped an edition presented by J**** S***** on 14/9/78). Perhaps Peter Powell was accidentally thinking ahead to this week. Buzzcocks go down really well with the audience. They get a well deserved round of applause at the end of the song.

John Travolta & Olivia Newton John: Summer Nights [11]. “Right now Brotherhood Of Man...” Hold it Paul Burnett! Don't you even know the running order of tonight's show? I do. It quite clearly says on the Popscene database that Summer Nights comes between Buzzcocks and Brotherhood Of Man. What's that? Cut out you say? But why? For the same reason BBC4 wouldn't show You're The One That I Want? But don't BBC4 know that Summer Nights is at number one for like a million years? So what are they going to do when it gets to number one next week? Stay tuned to find out.

Brotherhood Of Man: Middle Of The Night [NEW]. Uh-oh, it's the British Abba. For their new single the Brotherhood Of Man have been hitting the rhyming dictionary hard; there's, before/more, all right/night, door/more, do/you, etc. It's hard to escape the suspicion that more attention is paid to the choreography than songs. The dance for this song involves the two women (who are wearing vile leopard print jumpsuits) facing left and raising their right knee to waist height while patting their thigh, then reversing direction and repeating.
Brotherhood of Man: Come on, everyone join in with the dance while reading the blog

The Jam: David Watts [25]. The song introductions are getting more ambitious again. When Paul Burnett introduced Brotherhood Of Man the camera panned from his introduction straight into the song. At the end of that track the camera pulls right back across the studio to The Jam on stage beginning their song as Paul Burnett announces them in voice over.

Leo Sayer: I Can’t Stop Loving You (Though I Try) [29]. A side effect of skipping J**** S*****'s show is that we have The Jam and Leo Sayer back to back, exactly as they were on the last BBC4 show. Top of the Pops have put a rotating prism lens on one of their cameras so the screen is filled with the rotating permed head of Leo Sayer. It's a surrealist nightmare.

Abba: Summer Night City [7]. Ah, the Swedish Brotherhood Of Man. I'd forgotten about this Abba track, but it's great.

Stephen Bishop: Looking For The Right One [NEW]. Bearded man whines about not having a girlfriend. “I remember their faces/forget their names,” he grizzles.

Sylvester: You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) [20]. Who's that dancing on the catwalk with Legs & Co? It's Floyd! Legs & Co are wearing fishnets and black leather leotards; only a top hat away from dressing like the DC character Zatanna. Floyd has been squeezed into wincingly tight leather trousers and a vest with “eat at Joe's” written on it in sequins. The audience look dead. They stand glumly staring at the dancers. Maybe the floor manager has told the audience not to move but the effect is more distracting than if the audience were also dancing along.

David Essex: Oh What A Circus [3]. Another outing for the promo film.

The Three Degrees: Giving Up, Giving In [NEW]. This song is laced with those 'pew pew' sound effects. I always associate them with Glen A. Larson's series Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica when those programmes attempted to imagine the disco music of the future. Hearing them now makes me feel oddly nostalgic.

Number One: 10cc, Dreadlock Holiday. This?

Closing titles: Rose Royce, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.

Performance of the week: Buzzcocks.

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