Top of the Pops 1979 - 2.2.79

As watched by Chris Arnsby on BBC4

Mike Read. “Hello and welcome to another star studded edition of Top of the Pops."
Chart music: Edwin Starr, Contact [27].

Nazareth: May The Sun Shine [51]. "Nice to see them back on Top of the Pops, celebrating six years of hits," claims Mike Read. I've never heard of Nazareth. Am I revealing some terrible gap in my education? The song itself is good, although there's a mismatch between the band and the lyrics. Watching Nazareth, (a group of hard-looking hairy men) singing a song about sunshine is like watching Napalm Death cover Sugar, Sugar.

The Three Degrees: Woman In Love [3]. A repeat from the 18/1/79 Peter Powell edition.

The Members: The Sound Of The Suburbs [37]. Mike Read introduces this while clowning around with Nazareth's gong. It's a storming performance of a brilliant song so I'm going to forgive the lead singer who seems to have learned his performance ticks from Jimmy Pursey. The audience really get into the song as well, at one point a bloke in a red top can be glimpsed at the edge of the screen having a whale of a time and grinning; an actual human emotion from a member of the Top of the Pops audience! There's also a couple of shots of a multi-coloured crop-haired punk in the audience; the first time the BBC has allowed one of them into the studio.

The Members got hungry during gigs

Sally Oldfield: Mirrors [19]. Another repeat performance, this time from 11/1/79. Coming straight after The Members really emphasises how this otherwise inoffensive song sounds about six years out of date.

UFO: Doctor Doctor [39]. Not to be confused with Mankind's version of the Doctor Who theme, or that song which goes "Doctor, doctor, can't you see, I'm burning, burning..." UFO are all black leather and hair (this is turning out to be quite a hairy edition of Top of the Pops) they should have taken inspiration from the Gerry Anderson series UFO and dressed in string vests and purple wigs.

Billy Joel: My Life [14]. Another outing for the promo film of Billy Joel sitting at his piano. Billy Joel is about 5'5'' so although he's not tall I can't make the six inch pianist joke work.

Two Man Sound: Que Tal America [52]. According to Wikipedia one of the men on stage was responsible for Ça Plane Pour Moi. Was it the mumu-wearing bongo player or the bloke dressed in the white sailor costume who stands on one leg and hops for the entire duration of the song? Sadly we will never know.

Generation X: King Rocker [28]. And this week Generation X have come dressed as New Romantics. Apparently it's 1981 already and time for me to stick sellotape (sorry, sticky-backed plastic) on my nose and pretend to be Adam Ant.

The Pointer Sisters: Everybody Is A Star [61]. Half of this song is placeholder lyrics,"ba-ba-ba ba, ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba, ba-ba, ba, ba-ba, ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh. Ba-ba-ba ba, ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba, ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba, ba-ba, ba, ba-ba, " (according to the subtitles). 3/10 The Pointer Sisters. Don't come back until you've got some proper words.

Driver 67: Car 67 [7]. A second repeat, also from 11/1/79, for this smashing tune. I'd chuck Driver 67 some money for an MP3 of this song but the only version for download is a hideous cover by a group of chancers called Top Hits Group. The bloke who wrote Car 67 has a blog here http://driver67.com/

Number One: Blondie, Heart Of Glass. Blondie can't make it to the studio so Legs & Co fill in. There's an odd trouser heirarchy going on. One of Legs & Co wears a full pair of trousers, two others get an asymetrical look with one full trouser leg each (a left one, and a right one), another gets a pair of hot pants, and one only gets a sparkly leotard. Does trouser length or shortness denote seniority?

Closing titles: Abba, Chiquitita [8].

Performance of the week: The Members, The Sound Of The Suburbs.


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