The Rolling "Top of the Pops" BBC4 Revival thread.

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Because, the first one (tonight) is 1976, where we get :

01/04/1976
With Abba, the Brotherhood of Man, the Beatles, Fox, John Miles, Diana Ross and Sailor. (R).

Then after that they are on Thursday night, 7:30pm, and basically are running weekly, each
episode being from (exactly) 35 years ago (near enough)..

Until BBC4 sack it.

Mark G, Friday, 1 April 2011 15:36 (nine years ago) link

Brilliant idea. I can relive my childhood. My earliest musical memories (from pre-school days) are stuff like Abba, The Wurzels, Showaddywaddy and Hot Chocolate.

in a wonderful balloon! (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 1 April 2011 20:50 (nine years ago) link

This docu that's on now makes grim viewing.

The docu made some interesting points, and for all that I'd have loved if they'd started in 1964 (or whenever), 1976 is a good year to kickoff from.

The big point made was that the charts had become a 'variety' show source, as opposed to the 'teen hit parade' of the sixties. So, loads of Mathis, Roussos, BroMan, Abba and Radio DJs having comedy send-up hits.

It'll be like this for a while, but one I do remember being somewhat of a life changing moment was when Eddie and the Hot Rods did "Get out of Denver",and I went straight out and bought the (expensive) ep the next day.

I know, thesedays peopple decry the rods as being "not as seminal as Dr Feelgood", but I saw a repeat on TOTP2 and it was as good as I remembered. So, soon come, that show which showed the juxtaposition of this band against the other acts on that night.

(also, it means that the quality of dodgy Punk TOTP compilation DVDs are going to shoot up. If they get that far, of course)

Mark G, Monday, 4 April 2011 09:27 (nine years ago) link

What tickled me most was the former TOTP producer saying that they didn't get the Pistols on for "Anarchy In The UK" (which peaked at #38) because it didn't chart high enough, very important that we always stuck by the rules etc etc... followed by an April 1976 show featuring two (useless) acts which never charted at all.

The Hot Rods did well to get a TOTP appearance for "Get Out Of Denver", as a) the Live At The Marquee EP peaked at #43 and b) it was the lead track on the B-side.

mike t-diva, Monday, 4 April 2011 09:43 (nine years ago) link

It was track 2 on the a-side, but yeah.

Also, the funny was having Dave Bartram saying "yeah, a TOTP appearance guaranteed you a top 10 hit" and demonstrating this with a screening of their massive top (fillinasecond) hit "Trocadero"...

Mark G, Monday, 4 April 2011 10:08 (nine years ago) link

32

Mark G, Monday, 4 April 2011 10:09 (nine years ago) link

xpost - Aaargh, so it was!

mike t-diva, Monday, 4 April 2011 10:25 (nine years ago) link

The big point made was that the charts had become a 'variety' show source, as opposed to the 'teen hit parade' of the sixties. So, loads of Mathis, Roussos, BroMan, Abba and Radio DJs having comedy send-up hits.

Am I misunderstanding? cos the 60s had big hits for Ken Dodd, Englebert Humperdinck, the Barron Knights etc etc

Boobage Dirtbag (Noodle Vague), Monday, 4 April 2011 10:32 (nine years ago) link

Oh sure, but the theory being that those were in the minority, show-content wise.

Mark G, Monday, 4 April 2011 10:42 (nine years ago) link

oh on the show. yeah probly fair enough. chartwise it was variety a-go-go

Boobage Dirtbag (Noodle Vague), Monday, 4 April 2011 12:00 (nine years ago) link

Yeah, I don't think the point was that the charts had become (more) like a variety show, but that TOTP had.

in a wonderful balloon! (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Monday, 4 April 2011 12:09 (nine years ago) link

fuck Noel Edmonds and his 'comedy' links

did you notice "you spin me round" was playing in the background? (snoball), Thursday, 7 April 2011 18:37 (eight years ago) link

fuck Noel Edmonds and his 'comedy' links

I know, what a dick. Still we had the Four Seasons doing "Silver Star" this week. Also Eric Carmen's "interview" with Noel Edmonds, where you couldn't hear a word he was saying, don't be shy Eric!

Tom D (Tom D.), Friday, 8 April 2011 08:50 (eight years ago) link

Interviews on TOTP? that's a rarity...

Mark G, Friday, 8 April 2011 09:12 (eight years ago) link

"Inteview" not really the word.

"You wrote a song for Dana didn't you?"
"Mumble mumble mumble"
"What's the best song you've ever written?"
"Mumble mumble mumble All By Myself"
"Well all the best with the new single"
"Mumble"

Tom D (Tom D.), Friday, 8 April 2011 09:15 (eight years ago) link

Don't know what song he wrote for Dana

Oh and Noel was saying what a good album "Eric Carmen" was: a rare display of good taste from Edmonds there!

Tom D (Tom D.), Friday, 8 April 2011 09:17 (eight years ago) link

Noel had to say he liked it cos he didn't want to blow a raspberry.

ridic beau (NickB), Friday, 8 April 2011 09:21 (eight years ago) link

My god that it horribly formed.

ridic beau (NickB), Friday, 8 April 2011 09:22 (eight years ago) link

*is*

ridic beau (NickB), Friday, 8 April 2011 09:22 (eight years ago) link

OK so Google tells me Dana covered "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again" from the aforementioned "Eric Carmen" album

Tom D (Tom D.), Friday, 8 April 2011 09:26 (eight years ago) link

Is Dana the one who did some religious kids programme called 'Wake Up Sunday'?

in a wonderful balloon! (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 8 April 2011 10:18 (eight years ago) link

Sounds likely

Tom D (Tom D.), Friday, 8 April 2011 10:23 (eight years ago) link

10CC, "Mandy Fly Me" was on too. Fantastic!

Tom D (Tom D.), Friday, 8 April 2011 10:34 (eight years ago) link

NEdmonds always had his love of singer-songwriters, to be fair.

Mark G, Friday, 8 April 2011 10:48 (eight years ago) link

Big fan of Harry Chapin, yer Edmonds.

mike t-diva, Friday, 8 April 2011 14:40 (eight years ago) link

Balderdash certainly describes droll Noel's career.

This was easily the most WTF song on this week's show:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iISUroWbu2U

in a wonderful balloon! (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Saturday, 9 April 2011 22:17 (eight years ago) link

I watched last night's 1976 episode, it was amazingly and compellingly bad. Lots of odd-looking folks I've never heard of awkwardly performing novelty songs, and one of Pan's People doing some remarkably gratuitous ass-shaking in the direction of the camera. I need more.

Antoine Bugleboy (Merdeyeux), Friday, 22 April 2011 14:22 (eight years ago) link

70s was the golden age for ugly blokes, you could still end up in a band on TOTP with groupies galore. Rubettes' (sans caps) song sounded more like the Beatles than the Rutles!

None'll come and then a lot'll (Tom D.), Friday, 22 April 2011 14:27 (eight years ago) link

I'm watching this now. LOL at the male members of the Vagabonds miming the female backing vocals. Something massively depressing about second tier disco groups though, like they're trapped in time, it's as if they're composed entirely of all the bits of late 70's disco that don't influence music today.

grill 'em bake 'em fry 'em burn 'em (snoball), Friday, 22 April 2011 14:57 (eight years ago) link

Shoeless and carrying a walking stick with a bicycle bell on it? Fucking hell, Harpo could teach Lady gaga a thing or two.

grill 'em bake 'em fry 'em burn 'em (snoball), Friday, 22 April 2011 15:00 (eight years ago) link

Sheer Elegance one of the most misnamed bands ever judging by what they were wearing, the uglyness of the Rubettes & their overcocky drummer, the utter WTFness of Harpo. mandatory viewing from now on!

/人 ◕ ‿‿ ◕人\ (zappi), Friday, 22 April 2011 15:23 (eight years ago) link

I'm sure Punk would never of happened if Sky+ would of been available in 1976...ended up fast forwarding most of last night's show...bring back Noosha Fox...become a little obsessed with s-s-single bed...

sonnyboy, Friday, 22 April 2011 16:27 (eight years ago) link

^^^ same goes for watching it on iPlayer. I don't know if 'compellingly bad' is the term, or just 'bad'.

grill 'em bake 'em fry 'em burn 'em (snoball), Friday, 22 April 2011 16:50 (eight years ago) link

the uglyness of the Rubettes & their overcocky drummer

Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx-aH0oBscw

Ned Raggett, Friday, 22 April 2011 16:51 (eight years ago) link

definitely 'compellingly bad' for me. and Fox lady really reminded me of Alison Goldfrapp which is a Good Thing.

/人 ◕ ‿‿ ◕人\ (zappi), Friday, 22 April 2011 17:10 (eight years ago) link

Noosha F missing link between Clare Grogan and Goldfrapp. Love that record.

Michael Jones, Friday, 22 April 2011 17:16 (eight years ago) link

Ah, been catching up via good old iplayer on the wii.

Old enough to remember these episodes quite clearly in some cases.

Sad that they haven't gone back far enough in time to have Sparks on.

Still, don't recall that Gilbert O'Sullivan song though I must have heard it then.

Mark G, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:30 (eight years ago) link

Oh, last I heard, they are definitely doing this run for a year.

After that? Who knows...

Mark G, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:30 (eight years ago) link

Still, don't recall that Gilbert O'Sullivan song though I must have heard it then.

He was long gone as commercial proposition by 1976. That song sounded like a demo, did artists have to re-record tracks? I know they had to re-record vocals, hence the ubiquity of the Ladybirds. But then other acts obviously just mimed to the record.

None'll come and then a lot'll (Tom D.), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:37 (eight years ago) link

They did 'have' to.

A lot of them switched the tapes post-session, apparently.

Mark G, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:59 (eight years ago) link

ooooooo-oooooooooooooh Vienna it's Slik

grill 'em bake 'em fry 'em burn 'em (snoball), Thursday, 28 April 2011 18:32 (eight years ago) link

It's Midge Uuuurrrr...

sonnyboy, Thursday, 28 April 2011 18:35 (eight years ago) link

And Paul knickerless

sonnyboy, Thursday, 28 April 2011 18:36 (eight years ago) link

Jesus Christ, superstar?

grill 'em bake 'em fry 'em burn 'em (snoball), Thursday, 28 April 2011 18:37 (eight years ago) link

DLT looks like Badly Drawn Boy.

grill 'em bake 'em fry 'em burn 'em (snoball), Thursday, 28 April 2011 18:47 (eight years ago) link

This is sooooo much better than last weeks....

sonnyboy, Thursday, 28 April 2011 18:50 (eight years ago) link

Only one novelty act so far.

grill 'em bake 'em fry 'em burn 'em (snoball), Thursday, 28 April 2011 18:51 (eight years ago) link

Shit Brotherhood Of Man are still number one...

sonnyboy, Thursday, 28 April 2011 18:52 (eight years ago) link

That might have been down to the backing musicians:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hale_and_Pace#%22The_Stonk%22
Brian May playing keyboards and guitar, (...) David Gilmour and Tony Iommi on guitar, with Neil Murray on bass guitar. Cozy Powell, Roger Taylor and Rowan Atkinson – appearing as his character Mr. Bean – performed on drums. Joe Griffiths and Mike Moran contributed on keyboard.[

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 7 February 2020 21:15 (one month ago) link

Madonna fails to unseat Jason Donovan from #1 - I'd forgotten how totally obsessed the public were with him at the time. Also I think this is the first Guns'N'Roses appearance on TOTP despite them being huge for two years by this point.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 14 February 2020 20:02 (one month ago) link

catching up...

i guess if you're going to mime playing synth on totp then mime using a 'cost the same as a house at the time' fairlight.

> Also I think this is the first Guns'N'Roses appearance on TOTP

GnR was the playout video a couple of episodes ago too. lots of wasp and poison(?) recently too

> lol Lenny Henry fucks up his link "I'd rather jack Profumo" or was that what he meant to say?

iirc he said Supremo, corrected to Profumo by the other presenter. the comic relief thing was an entire show of comedians fluffing their lines or saying them off mic.

lol at reynolds girls dissing the olds and being followed by dusty springfield.

koogs, Saturday, 15 February 2020 13:16 (one month ago) link

The main riff from Kon Kan's 'I Beg Your Pardon' seems to be the same as Spagna's 'Call Me', except played on a cheap Casio keyboard. Also this single seems to be equal parts Jive Bunny and The KLF, with some can't-be-arsed early 90s Eurodance vocals.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 21 February 2020 20:03 (one month ago) link

seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 21 February 2020 20:24 (one month ago) link

Madonna snipped at the end there because of 'controversial' black Jesus? I know the Pepsi advert was pulled very last minute that same week (or the previous week).

piscesx, Friday, 21 February 2020 20:37 (one month ago) link

It's been short every time I've seen it, like little more than a minute each time, but longer tonight, if anything. Oddly it does seem to be the black Jesus part, ie the end.

The The, tonight, but nothing like their best. Fuzzbox ditto. The Cult ditto.

Kon Kan sound to me like a cheap new order.

koogs, Friday, 21 February 2020 21:02 (one month ago) link

Can you keep a secret? Brother Beyond are shit. Oh wait that's not a secret.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 21 February 2020 21:04 (one month ago) link

xp I think we're entering the TOTP era where if you were #1 and couldn't/wouldn't appear in the studio, the producers wouldn't play more than 2/3 of your video the first week, then the merest suggestion of the video on subsequent weeks.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 21 February 2020 21:05 (one month ago) link

They were really big on the whole "Look!!! Bands and singers appearing in the studio!!! Still (mostly) miming, but in the studio!!!" at this point.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 21 February 2020 21:06 (one month ago) link

seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be seems to be

which Blue ft. Elton remix is this from? sounds rad!

breastcrawl, Friday, 21 February 2020 21:19 (one month ago) link

The shit-arse Ritzy's nightclub I used to frequent as a student just two years after tonight's episode would play Simply Red's version of 'If You Don't Know Me' as the last record of the night.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 21 February 2020 21:21 (one month ago) link

INXS reminding me of how much I loathe 'band in the studio recording the song you're listening to' videos.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 28 February 2020 21:14 (one month ago) link

also live footage badly synced to the recorded version

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 28 February 2020 21:16 (one month ago) link

I turned violently against TOTP at the end of 1988 and I think I only saw it twice* in 1989 so I'm seeing these for the first time and often don't seem to have any memory of the tracks.

*I have a vague memory of seeing the Beautiful South doing that "I love you from the bottom of my pencil case" song shortly after we moved house that summer and I'm pretty sure I saw Black Box doing 'Ride On Time' in the autumn, but that's it

the salacious inaudible (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 28 February 2020 23:19 (one month ago) link

The first half of 1989 was even more of a renaissance than I’d remembered. So much good stuff. I think it continues for at least another year or so; there was a solid run of Number Ones at the start of 1990.

mike t-diva, Saturday, 29 February 2020 00:47 (one month ago) link

I don't remember seeing Roland Gift's cartwheel into a piano riff.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 6 March 2020 21:19 (four weeks ago) link

Wasn't expecting Metallica the other week.

chap, Saturday, 7 March 2020 12:29 (four weeks ago) link

I'm pretty sure nearly-15-year-old snoball saw that and said "FUCK YES!!! METAL!!! RAAAAARRRRRRWWWRRRR!!! WIDDLY-WIDDLY-WIDDLY-WIDDLY-WIDDLY-WIDDLY-WIDDLY-WIDDLY-WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!" and then went out and bought a black t-shirt.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Saturday, 7 March 2020 14:33 (four weeks ago) link

Yeah cudos to the editors for playing the thrashout half rather than the ballad half!

chap, Saturday, 7 March 2020 14:41 (four weeks ago) link

*kudos

chap, Saturday, 7 March 2020 15:07 (four weeks ago) link

According to Bill Drummond's intro to the reprint of 'The Manual', Edelweiss followed the instructions in the book to get this hit.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 13 March 2020 19:33 (three weeks ago) link

and it's godawful. looks like the skits they do on red bull soap box races.

koogs, Friday, 13 March 2020 20:56 (three weeks ago) link

Somehow that tie doesn't suit Freddie Mercury at all. A couple of fairly duff episodes in a row, but IIRC 1989 was like that generally.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 13 March 2020 21:13 (three weeks ago) link

Stefan Dennis' 'Don't It Make You Feel' is the worst Neighbours related single and in some sense simultaeously the best, because it's so brazen in it's awfulness.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 13 March 2020 21:35 (three weeks ago) link

Haven't seen the latest ones yet, but feel like taking a few minutes off from coronavirus-gloom to talk about last week's ones. As I've said before, I scarcely saw any TOTP in 1989 so these repeats are filling in gaps for me. I bought 'Rok Da House' by Beatmasters/Cookie Crew in early '88 and until the last few weeks assumed it was a one-hit-wonder for both groups, so it's been a pleasant surprise to see both of them had more chart success the following year. I knew the Beatmasters one, just didn't know it was by them (and was convinced as a 15-year-old that it went 'Wolves in the house!'). 'Eternal Flame' is a guilty pleasure of mine. Whenever I hear it, I'm transported back to that weird period where secondary school has kind of half-finished but not completely - all the 16-year-olds who weren't going to college fucked off at Easter and those of us who were left had two or three weeks of cramming before the GCSE exams started.

the salacious inaudible (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 13 March 2020 23:07 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah that Edelweiss thing is horrific.

chap, Saturday, 14 March 2020 12:07 (three weeks ago) link

I quite like "eternal flame" now but it was bloody EVERYWHERE at the time

Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Saturday, 14 March 2020 14:23 (three weeks ago) link

I'll see your Stefan Denis and raise you the theme to cell block h.

Acapella thing was on twice yesterday, hadn't heard it before.

Aside from those, there's a lot in the chart that you still hear, usually on radio 2.

koogs, Saturday, 21 March 2020 15:19 (two weeks ago) link

Wow, this (terrible) Live Report song I am hearing for the first time here, apparently came 2nd in Eurovision with 130 points… amazing how the UK’s popularity has fallen so much.

Chewshabadoo, Saturday, 21 March 2020 16:25 (two weeks ago) link

Never heard that Stefan Denis thing before. It was a special kind of awful, but I think the London Boys one a week or two before was possibly worse.

the salacious inaudible (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Sunday, 22 March 2020 21:07 (two weeks ago) link

As a bit of a connoisseur of Hi-NRG I enjoyed that one.

Chewshabadoo, Tuesday, 24 March 2020 13:24 (one week ago) link

Yes the Stefan Denis song is admirably terrible.

chap, Tuesday, 24 March 2020 14:32 (one week ago) link

I was surprised by that London Boys track in that it seemed like the kind of thing that would've gotten some meme revival or brought up more in lol 80's discussions so I googled them and, well, that explained that.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 26 March 2020 10:42 (one week ago) link

Come on, Requiem is a masterpiece compared to Stefan Denis

or something, Thursday, 26 March 2020 12:15 (one week ago) link

You are referring to their untimely deaths in a car accident?

Chewshabadoo, Thursday, 26 March 2020 13:44 (one week ago) link

Didn't know that, blimey.

Mark G, Thursday, 26 March 2020 15:03 (one week ago) link

'I Drove All Night' - I always thought the line was "crapped in your room".

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 27 March 2020 19:51 (one week ago) link

"Is that alright?"

Mark G, Saturday, 28 March 2020 09:59 (one week ago) link

the Beautiful South doing that "I love you from the bottom of my pencil case" song

'Song For Whoever' - this song illustrates my general problem with The Beautiful South, in that lyrically they frequently risk sounding like they think they're being clever in self-congratulatory way.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Saturday, 28 March 2020 13:47 (one week ago) link

How do you distinguish between a songwriter who sounds like they think they're being clever, and one who sounds like they are clever? "Song For Whoever" is fantastic.

the grateful dead can dance (anagram), Saturday, 28 March 2020 14:11 (one week ago) link

Or a songwriter who is clever even though they don't (immediately) sound like they are? It's not that 'Song For Whoever' isn't a great song, because it is. It's that I can see the scaffolding, and for me at least that's a bit distracting. Soft Cell's 'Say Hello Wave Goodbye' (similar in that the character singing the song is a shithead) works better for me because the writing is less noticeable, even though all lyrics are written. I prefer the lyrics of Duran Duran as they are clever even though they frequently sound stupid. Compared to Spandau Ballet, where the lyrics are obviously written. I guess I like songs best when the lyrics don't sound like they were written, which is ridiculous.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Saturday, 28 March 2020 14:22 (one week ago) link

Urgh I hate the Beautiful South. Clever lyrics sure, but so musically beige.

chap, Saturday, 28 March 2020 15:15 (one week ago) link

lol Simon Parkin

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 3 April 2020 18:31 (two days ago) link

Way too much Bono these past two episodes.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 3 April 2020 20:40 (two days ago) link

Yes, the Clannad thing is rubbish. I only know them from Robin of Sherwood.

chap, Friday, 3 April 2020 23:50 (two days ago) link

Back to Life though - what a fucking tune to this day.

chap, Friday, 3 April 2020 23:51 (two days ago) link

Goes without saying, but watching old ToTP generally demonstates that the songs that endure do so for reason.

chap, Friday, 3 April 2020 23:55 (two days ago) link

"back to life, back to reality" - if only eh!

boxedjoy, Saturday, 4 April 2020 08:40 (yesterday) link

Goes without saying, but watching old ToTP generally demonstates that the songs that endure do so for reason.

Absolutely. Also noticeable just how much doesn't endure or even exist as a bad memory despite being ubiquitous at the time. Before all these reruns I would have guessed Kim Wilde had had about three or four hits, but she seems to be on TOTP every week. As for Shakin' Stevens, he seems to have had dozens, but does anyone actually remember them? I'd have been able to name This Old House, Green Door and that Christmas one and then I'd have been struggling.

The Rampaging Goats of Llandudno (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Saturday, 4 April 2020 20:29 (yesterday) link


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