Top of the Pops 79: 28/06/79

Shown on BBC4
Watched by Chris Arnsby

Peter Powell. "Hi everyone! It's the show that counts and we give to you the chart! It's Top of the Pops!"
Chart music: Sex Pistols, C’mon Everybody [24].
Squeeze: Up The Junction [3]. There's a complicated bit of electronic trickery at the start of this performance. The camera output is framed on screen and as the picture zooms in the frame is also enlarged and slowly pushed off the edges of the picture. The intent is to look like the camera is actually moving through the electronic frame. It doesn't quite work but it shows how the electronic effects are getting more and more advanced. It's only just over a year since the Quantel DPE 5000 digital effects system was first used on Top of the Pops.

Squeeze are really up the junction without thier furniture.

Lene Lovich: Say When [19]. I was sniffy about this follow up to Lucky Number when it first appeared being danced to by Legs & Co. I was wrong. What makes all the difference is the concert footage used here as a promo film. The crowd shots and Lene's frenetic performance are infectious. The visuals of the film match the energy of the song far better than Legs & Co's standard crotch thrusting and thorax shaking ever could.

Thom Pace: Maybe [26]. Pity poor Thom. Coming straight after the Say When promo is a death slot. The cherry on this death slot pie is that Thom is singing the dull theme to the deeply boring television series The Legend Of Grizzly Adams. Sample plot: after a forest fire a family of beavers start building a new dam which threatens to flood Grizzy Adam's cabin. Audience: zzzzzzzzzz.

Quantum Jump: The Lone Ranger [5]. A second repeat of the 31/5/79 performance.

Janet Kay: Silly Games [23]. I heard an interview with Janet Kay where she talked about being on Top of the Pops. Finding something to wear for the first appearance was something of a panic. This is her second time on the programme and she's made use of the extra time to get seriously glammed up 

Thin Lizzy: Do Anything You Want To [29]. Thin Lizzy ending a song title with a preposition there. At the start of this video there's a moment when the song sounds like it's going to turn into The Boys Are Back In Town. This proves not to be the case. This video is set in a white void which leaves me expecting Thin Lizzy to be attacked at any moment by the robots from the Doctor Who story The Mind Robber.

U. K. Subs: Stranglehold [37]. The Quantel box gets a good cardio workout during this slice of bog standard punk. A shot of the drummer is tinted red and used as the background picture. Inlaid over the top is an electronic circle filled with a wide shot of the stage processed to reduce the frame rate and give a stutter effect.

Gerry Rafferty: Night Owl [10]. Will Gerry Rafferty's disappointing follow up to Baker Street be given a Say When style re-evaluation? No. Worst bit: the penny whistle instrumental which fails to be as iconic as the saxophone bit in Baker Street. Actually all it does is bring back terrible memories of recorder classes at school and thirty children plodding their way through the Grasshopper's Wedding. 

Bonnie Tyler: Married Men [36]. Bonnie Tyler's ode to sacred marriage vows and their subsequent breaching.

Chas & Dave: Gertcha [20]. I'm so fed up of hearing about Chas & Dave's old man.

Number One: Tubeway Army, Are ‘Friends’ Electric? One of the keyboard players has a huge loose thread dangling from his sleeve. It looks shocking in the close-ups. Gary will be furious when he sees it on Top of the Pops. I say furious but what he'll actually do is stare at the keyboard player in a really passive aggressive way and then leave the room without saying anything.

Closing titles: Slick, Space Bass [30].

Performance of the week: Another disappointing week. Thin Lizzy or Lene Lovich would have been a shoe-in had they been in the studio. Let's go with Tubeway Army, Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

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