Top of the Pops 1979 - 29.3.79

Shown on BBC4
Review by Chris Arnsby

Mike Read. "It's Thursday. It's gripping. It's exciting. It's the latest episode of... Top of the Pops."
Chart music: Chic, I Want Your Love [6].

Racey: Some Girls [34]. The scenery is all back. There must have been a dispute at the BBC last week. Also back is Racey although this song isn't anywhere near as much fun as Lay Your Love on Me. Four members of Legs & Co invade the stage during the instrumental to dance with Racey's lead singer. It's not clear if Legs & Co represent the girls who do, or don't.
Racey: They all had bad back problems on this day.

The Three Degrees: The Runner [30]. Also, also back are The Three Degrees with an infinitely catchier song than their last one; Woman In Love. They appear via the medium of grotty NTSC video conversion which has one unexpected benefit. When The Three Degrees move the sequins on their costumes overload the camera with bright spots. Some relic of the conversion process makes these spots hang around and The Three Degrees are surrounded by weird glowing artefacts, like the speed lines used in comics to suggest motion.
Rocky Sharpe & The Replays: Imagination [42]. Milking the last dregs of fifties nostalgia from the dugs of the Grease craze.
Neil Diamond: Forever In Blue Jeans [28]. Legs & Co dance on a staircase while wearing denim costumes designed to represent the six stages of womanhood. Yes, six. Not three like you and Jim Davidson think; not just the maiden, the mother, and the crone. For anyone unsure the six stages of womanhood are the toddler, the child, the bunny girl, the bride, the bride's mother, and the crone.
Gonzalez: I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet [28]. There's about 15 people on stage, it's hard to be precise because none of the cameras can get far enough back to fit everyone on screen at the same time. During the percussion break one of the trumpet players optimistically shakes his trumpet in time to the beat as if he expects it to make some sort of noise.
Art Garfunkle: Bright Eyes [19]. Cut from the BBC4 repeat no doubt on orders from Paul Simon.
Dana: Something’s Cookin’ In The Kitchen [69]. Singing from the Legs & Co staircase (now bizarrely decorated with pot plants and a pair of white ceramic snarling jaguars) this song is a mess of mixed cooking metaphors. The song is notable mainly for using the brand name Frigidaire rather than the more generic fridge, or refrigerator, both of which are difficult to rhyme. 
Showaddywaddy: Remember Then [70]. Showaddywaddy return to Top of the Pops to show Rocky Sharpe & The Replays how fifties nostalgia should be done. The final edit of this performance cuts between two different performances, one with the band on the stage and one with them among the audience.
Sister Sledge: He’s The Greatest Dancer [20] . The promo video for this song teases with a silhouette of "the greatest dancer" before he finally appears at the end. It's a disappointment. Still, given the build up of expectation from the lyrics -"Adonis... a face that would make any man cry... the greatest dancer...champion of dance...he wears the finest clothes," and so on, and so on- it would defy anyone to impress after all that.

Kandidate: I Don’t Wanna Lose You [45]. I've just spent half an hour trying to think of something, anything to say about this song. It's fine but it just kind of washed over me and left no impression at all.
Black Lace: Mary Ann [64]. A short repeat from the 15/3/79 edition. It's barely a minute long, have the BBC lost faith in the 1979 Eurovision contender?
Number one: Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive. Three weeks at number one and I can't work out why the roller skating lady is in the promo film. Is it symbolic, or a metaphor, or an allusion, or what?

Closing titles: The Jacksons, Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) [26]. Another electronic effects showcase, as we see a similar tunnel effect to last week but enhanced with a wobbling multi-coloured border like an electronic amoeba.
Performance of the week:  My god what a choice. A thin selection this week after some really good editions over the last month. It's Racey.

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