Thursday, 27 February 2014

Keep on Dancin' ......... it's Top of the Pops 1st March 1979 :-)

ITV tried to tempt us with the following distractions ~  6.35 Crossroads 7.00 The Bionic Woman 8.00 Robin's Nest 8.30 TV Eye 9.00 Show jumping From Birmingham 10.00 News At Ten

But meanwhile over on BBC1 ~ 6.55 Tomorrow's World 7.20 Top of the Pops 7.55 Blankety Blank 8.30 Potter 9.00 News 9.25 The Good Old Days 10.15 Omnibus

So it just had to be......

1-3-79: Presenter: Mike Read

(29) THE CARS – Just What I Needed (and charts)
(20) THE SKIDS – Into The Valley
(4) GLORIA GAYNOR – I Will Survive (video)
(46) THIN LIZZY – Waiting For An Alibi
(23) GARY’S GANG – Keep On Dancin’ (danced to by Legs & Co)
(28) QUEEN – Don’t Stop Me Now (video)
(25) CHIC – I Want Your Love
(40) VIOLINSKI – Clog Dance
(8) LENE LOVICH – Lucky Number ®
(26) BONEY M – Painter Man (video)
(55) DAVID ESSEX – Imperial Wizard
(1) THE BEE GEES – Tragedy (danced to by Legs & Co) ®
(24) THE SEX PISTOLS – Something Else (and credits)

The Cars ~ 'drive' over the credits this week, with a tune that parked at number 17.

The Skids ~ very aptly following the Cars, with a particularly energetic high kicking performance - goodness knows how it would have sounded if frontman Richard Jobson was singing this live, but for a band who hated the show, here they were for a second time looking like they were having quite some fun.

Gloria Gaynor ~ the disc slipping roller disco former B side karaoke classic emotionally pirouetting its way here to the number one slot.

Thin Lizzie ~ were named after 'Tin Lizzie' a character in the Dandy comic. This particular korker made it to number 9.

Gary's Gang ~ a New York outfit with their only UK top 40 hit, danced to here by Legs & Co wearing what seems to be a cross between air hostess uniforms and wedding dresses! The song reminds me more than a little of Van McCoy (the Shuffle/Hustle).

Queen ~ Freddie looking a little uncomfortable playing the piano whilst standing, you either need very short legs or very long arms to pull that one off. This driving tune classic only made it to number 9 for Queen but McFly put their foot down and took it to number 1 in 2006.

Chic ~ with a very strong follow up to Le Freak, infact this song became their biggest UK hit reaching number 4.

Violinksi ~ was edited out of the 7.30 show ~ gutted about that I love this tune - I had my clogs on all ready to dance to it and everything! You'll have to stay up till quarter to two in the morning to see it on the unedited version ~ or just wait for it to come on iplayer.

Lene Lovich ~ oh oh uh oh! - also edited out, but a least we have previously seen this performance.

Boney M ~ clearly expecting some very cold weather judging from their apparel - maybe this performance was from 'Snowtime Special' ? - singing a song co-written by Kenny Pickett, who also co-wrote the lovely 'Grandad' for Clive Dunn

David Essex ~ I don't recall ever hearing this song before, but tonight I thought it was really quite impressive. David had 19 top 40 hits in the UK, this one just about became one of them, when it reached (a far too low surely) number 32.

The Bee Gees ~ it seems all they sent along for the show was about 3 photos of themselves, so it's down to a repeat of Legs & Co (from last week's banned DLT show) to interpret this week's new number one. And they did it as sad clowns, with one of them (Gill?) being shot in time to that explosion noise that Barry made when he got too near the mic. But it was ok because she woke up again with a big smile at the end :-)

The Sex Pistols ~ play out over the credits, with a song featuring the vocals of the totally infamous Sid Vicious, who had died a month earlier.

Next week it's the 9th of March, and David Jensen is the host.


  1. will i be the first to respond this time? depends on how long i take to write this...

    host: sorry mike read but even leather trousers will not persuade me that you are the right man for the job

    charts: the sex pistols seem to be represented by some red explosion - i assumed that they had been banned visually as well as aurally, but the end of the show (see below) proved otherwise. note to the relation of the producer that cropped the pictures: stevie wonder would have done a better job! not only have some of the blockheads been expunged, but also poor old kk downing of priest. a tip for members of large ensembles: make sure you are in the middle at your photo shoots so you don't suffer the same ignominious fate as these unfortunate souls...

    the skids: last time i said that richard jobson looked a lot like ray winstone. in fact he looks more like the ray winstone everyone seems to love today than ray actually did when he was a youngster! the drummer still gets stuck at the front whilst the much-more charismatic stuar adamson is anchored at the back, but at least the guy joins in with a few of the "ahoys" this time instead of just chewing gum throughout...

    thin lizzy: now (unlike our host) here is a geezer for whom leather trousers were invented! the song's a good rocker too, especially the twin guitar assault near the end. i'm sure i am not alone in noticing that the skins were handled by the boomtown rats drummer? although he had made some effort to replicate the playing of brian downey (does anyone know the reason for his absence?), he hardly looks the part. it would have been slightly amusing had the rats also played on the show and the drummers had switched bands...

    gary's gang: much like "contact" i always thought the start of this track was disco dynamite, but the longer it went on the more disinterested i became. however i did listen to an extended mix of it again recently and managed to do an edit of the best bits. excellent performance from legs, but had we been allowed to watch last week's show we might have noticed that the costumes had the same material as that used for "tragedy" (maybe the beeb bought in a job lot?)...

    queen: yet more leather trousers, but freddie can't quite steal pole position from phil lynott (mike read is a very distant third). note to the video director: i realise that you asked for a realistic performance from freddie even though he was miming, but do we need to see the spittle coming from his gob in close-up? also on a musical front, brian may doesn't actually seem to do anything other than the guitar solo on this pot-boiler...

    chic: not as good as "le freak" but without doubt the funkiest thing on the show this week. however our studio audience seem have had superglue applied to their soles before the performance started (at least a girl on the left was singing along with the chorus at the end)... the chinese lady violinist also appeared when they performed "le freak", so presumably she and other fiddlers were part of the touring ensemble (either that or this was recorded at the same time!). on the ladies' fashion front, those concertina tops must have been somewhat uncomfortable to wear..

  2. like the average isley brothers' 45 or a thrilling "batman" adventure starring adam west (well the earlier ones anyway), it's another 2 parter:

    lene lovich: i know this is a repeat, but can anyone confirm that the keyboard player is wally badarou of m, grace jones and level 42 fame?

    violinski: talking of fiddles, although i have a strong memory of ELO's encumbent having this one-off (novelty) hit, i had no recollection of how it went. however, having only watched the show an hour earlier i still have no recollection of how it went, so perhaps no surprise there. i missed opportunity to show off his skills on what has always been a sadly under-represented instrument in rock music (does anyone remember that early 70's compilation called "fill your head with rock" that featured a fiddle player on the front when they could have picked any one of dozens of guitarists that were on said LP?), but there seems as much guitar and other stuff as fiddle-scraping, not helped by the fact that the axe-wielders shared front-of -stage with mik, rather than behind him. what was really disturbing about this was that the audience seemed slightly more animated for this baloney than they did for chic!

    boney m: surprising that puppet-master frank farian chose to cover an obscure 60's hit, rather than use one of his own songs or some "traditional" thing he adapted - as recently-seen alan price will be all too happy to tell you, he got credited as sole arranger for the animals' "house of the rising sun" and copped all the songwriting royalties as a result! but the real shocker here is that bobby is standing second from the left! yes, not at his usual station of third-from-left! and yes, the lady that usually stands there has swapped places with him!! wow - how off-the-wall is that?

    david essex: oh no, not the pretty boy with the ugly voice again! i usually leap for the fast-forward button whenever he appears, but this time i though i'd give him a chance.this was slightly better than his other stuff, but that's not saying much. as a result my attention wandered to his backing musicians, and i noted that herbie flowers (who coincidentally was the other co-writer of "grandad") was there for what must have been his umpteenth appearance. also that a keyboard (did they really need more than one?) also had a redundant saxophone around his neck (maybe he was worried it might get nicked if it was left in the dressing room?), and at one point allowed a small piece of paper to fall off his keyboard. what was the purpose of that small piece of paper? was it some sort of prompt or reminder? does anyone need a small piece of paper to remind them to mime on top of the pops? that rather amusingly reminds me of paul "the guvnor" ince (a self-styled nickname which tells a lot about the guy) and his brief tenure in football premier league management: like this guy, he had a small piece of paper, in his case for making notes whilst watching the game. unfortunately for him a camera managed to get a close-up of it, and the only thing written on it was "shoot"! perhaps no surprise then that he got the boot shortly thereafter...

    bee gees: as mentioned earlier, it seems the clown costumes were made of the same stuff as the gary's gang outfits this week. not only were the stills of the brothers clumsily interspersed, they weren't even in colour!

    sex pistols: as all their original material was obviously inspired by eddie cochran riffs, it was only a matter of time before they actually did one of his songs. as this demonstrates, it was tragic that the pistols were allowed to go on once johnny rotten quit, but that was "talcy malcy" for you... on that point: does anyone else think that session musicians were used for the "bollocks" album? my belief is that steve jones did the donkey-work rhythm guitar, whilst chris spedding was roped in for the solo overdubs...

    verdict: 6/10

  3. They do seem to have the only photograph in existence of Hank Marvin looking miserable for the Shadows rundown pic, instead of his usual fixed grin. Is that because the record was going down the charts?

    I thought Dickie's shoes were going to fly orf with those high kicks. Then Phil Lynnot's dazzling guitar, just like the kid in class who thought it was hilarious to reflect the sun in your eyes with the face of his digital watch. Didn't distract from the song, fortunately.

    Gary's Gang, always thought it ironic this was all about dancing to the funky music when it was actually the weediest disco around. Graham's Gang might have been preferable.

    Thanks to Shaun of the Dead, Don't Stop Me Now is up there with I Will Survive as one of the most overplayed records known to mankind. I might have liked it once... Chic's I Want Your Love on the other hand never gets old, just a pity they were faded before the sublime violin break.

    Violinski, I too really like this, and so do countless brass bands, it is naff but I hesitate to call it a guilty pleasure because I'm not guilty. Boney M sure had some strange, eclectic influences, didn't they? This isn't too bad, mind you, although the video looks to have been quickly shot while they were on a skiing holiday, spending their millions.

    Legs & Co being literal minded again for Tragedy, weird to see them not beaming as usual. All in all, I liked most of this show.

    1. perhaps it should have been called "eric's gang", as the head honcho of this "disco aggregation" was a guy called eric matthew... whose given name was actually joe tucci (perhaps he thought using a WASP name would enhance his career?). so perhaps it should really have been called "joe's gang"?

    2. Salient points, but the Graham's Gang I was referring to as preferable was a hilarious BBC sitcom for kids which I watched avidly in my youth and has never been repeated or released on video or DVD, in spite of many requests by its fans. The one where they made a film was side-splitting.

    3. Gary's Gang? Nah, Jossy's Giants!

    4. sorry thx, never saw graham's gang so didn't get the joke - just thought it was a comment on how lame the track was! i got hold of a series of the 70's kids adventure show "freewheelers" recently in the hope of enjoying it as much as i would have as a kid, but it turned out to be unspeakably awful, so careful what you wish for in that department...

      by the way, when i listened to "keep on dancin" again recently i noticed that there is an acoustic guitar in the mix - perhaps unsurprisingly the only disco record i can think of to have such a completely unsuited choice of instrument featured

  4. I really enjoyed this edition, though was amused to see that the roman numeral year on the end credits was 1978! Mike Read was also a bit dozy this time, talking of the Bee Gees knocking "them" off the charts and then hastily remembering to say "Blondie" just before the new number 1 kicked in...

    There was hardly a bad track this time, with even the David Essex number (which I had never heard before) impressing to an extent. Chic stood out as the highlight for me, though. I wonder if this was recorded at the same time as the "Le Freak" performance, or whether by good fortune they just happened to be back in the UK? In response to Wilberforce's comments on the Thin Lizzy drummer, I must admit my attention was on the guitarists, as I am pretty certain one of them was Gary Moore. Parisienne Walkways can't be far away now...

    Contrasting Legs performances. The dance to Gary's Gang was pretty impressive, though the song itself was the one duffer in the show - Gary Glitter's gang would probably be more enticing! As for Tragedy, what was Flick thinking? She might have got away with it for a Leo Sayer number, but not with this tune!

    1. definitely gary moore with lizzy...scott gorham appeared to be mr ever-reliable, but the "other" guitarist berth was always a revolving door, usually due to the self-destructive nature of those involved. they even had to get midge ure in at one point due to a falling out - i remember reading that he had so little time to acquaint himself with their material, he had to learn it on concorde when he was flying over to join their american tour!

  5. Re; Violins in Rock - Jimmy Lea of Slade played a mean fiddle.

    1. the following also played violin from time to time in their respective bands, but also had to double up as keyboard players to justify their membership:

      billy currie (ultravox)
      darryl way (curved air)
      eddie jobson (roxy music - check out the blinding solo on "out of the blue")
      simon house (hawkwind - also on-call sessioneer for bowie, japan, etc)

      papa john creach was somewhat bizarrely a member of jefferson airplane for a while, although his solo efforts were much more soul/rhythm and blues oriented

      and not forgetting dexy's midnight runners: when kevin rowland wanted to change their sound from soul to folk, at first he apparently made existing members switch from horns to strings, but when he realised that wouldn't work he recruited violinists from the local music academy and gave them cod-oirish names as part of dexy's new rustic image (helen o'hara's real surname was bevington!)

      other than the above, the only other fiddlers i can think of are more related to jazz (michal urbaniak, jean-luc ponty) or folk (dave swarbrick)...

    2. Kate Bush did a fantastic song called Violin, which would've made a sensational single had she released it as such (from her Never Forever album in 1980)

    3. as i recall, it went like this: "violin! violin! violin! violin! violin! violin! violin! violin!"

    4. oops - put in one "violin!" too many!

    5. that's the one ~ memorable lyrics, catchy tune - that's all you need :-)

  6. wilberforce - by mentioning Ray Winstone in the same breath as Richard Jobson, you've called out 2 people who I think are utter pricks! I can't fault Jobson's dancing, or the tune, but I still can't watch him without being enraged by the man's extremely high opinion of himself and low opinion of everyone else unless they are a) Scottish or b) 'Punk'

    Thin Lizzy - On the other hand, here's one of the coolest musicians ever to give us another star turn! I'm not that keen on the tune, but the flashing guitar at the end didn't annoy me at all, I thought it was utter class.

    Gary's Gang - Weedy disco, though the beginning of this was sampled on 'Flawless' by The Ones, wasn't it?

    Queen - The second housewife classic on the show after Ms.Gaynor's song. I think this was overplayed well before Shaun of the Dead by the likes of Heart FM.

    Chic - This is better. MUCH better, because it's my favourite Chic song of the lot. Full of slinky loveliness, though they annoyingly cut it off before the violin break!

    Violinski - ...for a song with loads of violin. This is total cheese (and not visual in the slightest) but I do love it. I even use it as backing music on my radio show, fact fans.

    Boney M - Loved this song when I was a kid, and I still think it's pretty decent now, They just look totally wrong with the ski outfits on though, and it certainly did scream 'Snowtime Special' to me too.

    David Essex - Now, what he's done here is actually release a prog rock tune about 5 years too late. It's more musically in tune with his earlier slightly other-worldly songs such as 'Lamplight' and 'Rock On'.

    Bee Gees - Mark me down as another who quite liked this routine. Given some of the cheap outfits we've seen recently (including earlier on this show!) the costumes at least look good, and it's quite an unusual approach.

    Sex Pistols - Would have been so much funnier if someone had overdubbed that 'Mr Grimsdale! Mr GRIMSDALE' thing from the piss-take TOTP over the song instead.

    1. when i was living in the smoke in the early 90's richard jobson presented a (comparatively) late-night regional listings show called "01 for london" - the title of which (as some will remember) referred to the capital's dialling code. unfortunately soon after BT decided to junk that and replace it with 0171 and 0181 (depending on what part of london you lived in), and possibly as a result said programme disappeared... with regard to ray winstone, i agree with noax - i just can't understand what all the fuss is about as the guy's a one-trick pony... other than when he was totally miscast in the indiana jones revival as some sort of posh spy and was excruciating! before his travolta-style second coming (another guy i can't stand!), after a promising start in the business his star was fading fast in the eighties - despite already having a small recurring role in "minder", when dennis waterman chose to pack it in he was apparently never considered as his replacement, despite his now-obvious "talents" for the part...

    2. as i hadn't heard it for such a long time, i never considered that the beginning of "keep on dancin" was sampled for "flawless"... although i did assume that they pilfered from "wordy rappinghood" (can anyone confirm?)...

      i personally don't mind samples being taken from old records as long as it is done in a creative way (i love "flawless"!), but what really does my head in is when some talentless twats just sample a few bars of someone else's music, loop it and then rap over the top. yes, puff daddy or whatever you call yourself: i'm referring to you and your sidekicks mutilating "let's dance" and "every breath you take"! and shame on you mr bowie and mr sting for allowing that prick to do so, just so you can keep in with the kids...

    3. I hate too hate it when they sample old songs and take all the credit.

      Also I'm not that keen on Ray Winstone either. When he gets smacked about by the warder (Nigel Humphries) at the start of Scum I kind of think he deserved it.

  7. Gary's Gang - was going mention that the xylophonie bit sounded like The Hustle, then saw i had been beaten to it!

    Violinski - weirdest sounding violin ever - sounded that it was going to break into a Morris Dance, then a hornpipe...

    Boney M - I was a bit of a closet Boney M fan, back in the day. Don't remember the film. Still confess to tapping my foot...

    David Essex - diabolical doublet of spoke and broke.

    Bee Gees - i remember when this came out there was a half hour 'recording of...' programmes late one night. In that, they explained that the 'explosion' noise was done by blowing down a microphone, and then demonstrated it several times with camera shots from different angles. Half an hour I never got back again...

  8. A few problems sight- and sound-wise with that rundown. No apostrophe in Gary’s Gang, the Letraset had faded for Leif Garrett, and Mike evolved into Tone mode by mentioning the current 20! The best thing about the rundown for me was The Cars’ best song by some distance.

    I wonder if the cameramen drew straws to see who’d have to keep track of Richard Jobson? Liked the 60’s / 70’s style ‘drummer up front’ set-up for a punk / new wave band.

    Unfortunate segue by Mike. Into Gloria Gaynor? Er, no thanks. Rita Ray or two of the Three Degrees, I’d consider it! Oo oo (Mister Peeveley), I must share the news that an old mate’s having a 50th birthday bash in a pub soon and he’s hired Darts as the entertainment, Can’t wait!

    Fair play to Phil Lynott, he was always willing to do live vocals on the show, so I’ll forgive his guitar flashing. My favourite Lizzy track, this single came with a cartoon insert (a comic strip depicting the lyrics and caricaturing the band) inside the sleeve.

    Hmm, I’d marry any of Legs & Co wearing those outfits – them, not me! Shame they wore them for a hideously insipid own brand disco number which wouldn’t know funk if Parliament or Funkadelic slapped it round the chops.

    “Don’t Stop Me Now”? I stopped this and hit fast forward. I liked early Queen and hated the rest.

    A great song by Chic, apart from the lyrics’ reference to a peg on a ladder. It’s a rung over here! Why do those girls look so bored? Would this song have looked better with The Dooley girls miming instead?

    I’m pretty sure “Clog Dance” was used as background music on some episodes of “Not The Nine O’Clock News”. Who was Joe Beech, mentioned on the guitar sticker?

    I very rarely listen to the song repeats, but “Lucky Number” was a deserved exception. Very clever lyrics, distinctive appearance and vocals, top notch.

    Boney M’s song started with a deliberate rip-off of “Milk And Alcohol”. Didn’t think much of Germany’s mixed bobsleigh team – and Liz, the camera’s to your right!

    “Imperial Wizard” needed to be sped up and done as a new wave mickey-take. Anyone remember my previous burblings about the artwork for the picture disc and sleeve, depicting a wizard but forgetting to join his wrist up to the rest of his body?

    Hopeless Bee Gees inserts for the number one. The first photo was taken with the BG carpet logo the wrong way round, and who had the great idea of inlaying those Godawful shots during the clever pass-the-chair part of Legs & Co’s routine? Tragedy indeed!

    As for the Pistols, can’t wait for the Leggers’ version of “Silly Thing”. So bad it’s brilliant!

    1. arthur, your mate must have a few quid if he can afford to hire darts! when you see them, don't forget to mention how much you're loving seeing them on the totp repeats...

      on a similar theme, a friend of mine once played "kung fu fighting" in a pub with his band... and carl douglas himself stepped up to sing, having been in the audience - he carries his heaband around in his pocket to wear for such moments! the performance is on youtube somewhere...

    2. My mate runs a very successful genealogy business and has been seen on daytime BBC1 in that programme where they trace people who are beneficiaries of wills. Funny enough, another old friend (who's boss of 2,500 people and is minted having coming up with the company name Ocado) is having a birthday party where the entertainment is The Alibi. To shoehorn a Lizzy link in here, I'm not waiting for The Alibi!

  9. Potter, starring Arthur Lowe, now there's a sitcom that came and went, whilst on ITV there was Robin's Nest starring (the former) Mrs. Blackburn I do believe.

    Great Skids performance with the drummer at the front and the cameras stuggling to keep up with the highly animated Richard Jobson! Of course, the best thing about Skids music was the guitar...

    Waiting For An Alibi was one of those performances that has long been familiar thanks to its inclusion on the 25th Anniversary compilation, but I never noticed the drummer, was it really Simon Crowe? The engineers must have been cursing Phil during this recording (one of the features of The Tube in the '80s was the burn marks on the cameras caused by pointing them at the spotlights).

    At least Legs & Co were 'back to normal' this week. If those awful costumes from the previous week had indeed been cut up to make something more feminine, that's fine by me.

    This Chic performance does look very similar to the last one so maybe they were recorded together. When you think about it, Rodgers and Edwards were very much 'the sound of 1979'.

    The one thing I've always thought about Clog Dance is that, despite the band's name and its frontman, there's not much violin!

    So Mike Read did tell us that Painter Man was originally recorded by The Creation, but it obviously went in one ear and out the other at the time, because I never knew this until I started listening to Radio 2 on Saturday mornings in the mid-90s. Boney M's version is a fascinating example of Kenny Pickett's lyrics being translated into another language and back into English (well that's what it sounds like).

    David Essex - I too saw the piece of paper fall off the keyboard and someone very helpfully putting it back. What was it? It's not going to be a set list in this context...

    As for the Bee Gees - who always had a very distinct vocal delivery - hindsight shows us that in majoring on Barry's falsetto they were opening themselves up to parody of a less than affectionate nature. Angus Deayton and Philip Pope were listening, and thinking....

    1. Thank you for explaining about the marks on the camera lenses on The Tube. I noticed that and always though that the cameramen were too lazy to clean them properly and it turns out to caused by the lights.

    2. No problem Bama :o)

      Reminds me of my very first place of work, when during my time there they installed an outdoor CCTV camera with pan and tilt controls. We were then given strict instructions to never, NEVER point it at the sun. Of course, it wasn't long before somebody did and scarred it for life!

  10. having read the comments on "tragedy", i hade to listen to it again properly on headphones... and found myself very disappointed with it all: unlike their other singles from the album whence it came, the production is very flat and underwhelming, and it sounds like they were adding things like the wheezing synth to (unsuccessfully) try and beef it up. as a sage once said: if you've cooked a shit sauce and try and rescue it by chucking some spices in, all you're going to end up with is a shit spicy sauce! i actually ended up preferring the b-side "until" which is a soppy but haunting ballad with minimal instrumentation (and in particular liked the strange way it ended)...

    phil pope and his future heebeegeebees colleagues were at this time apparently doing their bee gees skits for the benefit of their chums at university parties - presumably it went down well enough for them to take it further...? yes, their impressions were more in jest than tribute, but it is clear that they took the time and trouble to research their "victims" thoroughly - not just vocally, but the manner in which the songs were written and produced, to the point where someone who wasn't listening to the lyrics that closely might even wonder if that was that particular act's latest single!

    1. The HeeBeeGeeBees made number 2 in Oz with "Meaningless Voices".

    2. Pedant alert - 'Meaningless Songs' (in very high voices)

  11. Ah, good, you spotted my deliberate mistake! Looks like The HeeBeeGeeBees ensemble released at least four singles and two albums, comprising lovingly crafted mickey-take stylings of The Police, Status Quo, Michael Jackson and myriad others.

  12. All the HeeBeeGeeBee tracks are gathered on a CD 'All The Hits And More' - a curate's egg collection, but above average hits to misses for this kind of album.

    1. (another) pedant alert: tracks by men relaxing and the kids from shame are in fact missing from said CD, also the b-side of the original 45 (presumably due to lack of space). but don't worry - if you buy it (and it is well worth it in my opinion) you won't be missing much...

  13. Probably a bit of tabloid-style worrying on my part, but the BBC's intention to axe terrestrial BBC3 (and pass £30 million of the savings over to BBC1!) makes me wonder if something similar will hit BBC4 in the future...or is it seen as a more arty and highbrow channel? Personally speaking, I can't see why the corporation can't cut costs elsewhere in the first place, like the ridiculous salaries of the pundits on "Match Of The Day" or the cost of sending so many commentators and production crew to Sochi.

    By the way, as of lunchtime today (6th March), I see the revamped Retro blog is one banned show and one transmitted show behind this bespoke website.

    1. I'm hoping that now BBC3 is being cut back, that BBC4 will be safe for some time.

      Even ignoring the Pops repeats, there are loads of shows that I watch on BBC4 and it seems to be doing what BBC2 used to do (as someone I know said, if any channel is truly redundant these days, it's probably 2 actually!)

      Although I can understand the reason why the BBC3 lovers are angry, I do feel that its time has gone. For all the talk about Little Britain, Gavin & Stacey, Torchwood etc, those shows debuted on 3 a very long time ago now, and there hasn't been much of worth on there recently. The only time I watch it is late at night for Russell Howard / Family Guy type stuff and that is only when there is nothing else on at all and because the TV in our bedroom is Freeview only.

      You're bang on about Match of the Day Arthur - the pundits are now so bloody awful that I can't watch it any more quite honestly. Top Gear is also getting very tired and must eat up loads of money, but then it is one of the Beeb's big sellers overseas so probably makes BBC Worldwide loads of money back.

      Oh, and BBC News is a joke now too, with multiple reporters in locations sometimes (eg the floods) for no reason, and the BBC News channel itself is pretty poor. I welcome the idea of there being an alternative to Murdoch's Sky News mob, but honestly - if you can't do it well, don't bother.

  14. Better late than never -

    I cannot take Mike Read seriously in those trousers. Did he not turn up, see Phil Lynott leather-clad and think to himslf "I look a proper nana in these"?

    Just like The Dooleys last time The Skids get their name up in lights. Another great performance from Mr Jobson but I'm not sure about the Nat Jackley jacket. By the way I'm 50 and I can still do those high kicks. Love the way that the cameraman true-to-form focuses on the nonplussed drummer during the guitar solos.

    The Gloria Gaynor video was pretty new then but the video tape already sounds knackered on this. It was at the end of February 1979 that my geography class at school were away on our field trip this week in Durham staying at the University so I'm pretty sure I missed this show as we had no access to a TV. We did have access to the local off license, the local Chinese takeaway (where my friend made a naughty remark about the young lady behind the counter looking like Wei Wei Wong in thigh length rubber boots) and the local ice skating rink. A large group of us ended up at the latter and skated round the rink to music being pumped through the speakers including Sylvester, Chic and Dan Hartman. I was quite good considering I had never skated before and when I Will Survive came on we all drunkenly tried to copy the girl from the video somehow forgetting that she was on roller skates and not ice skates. We fell over. We were all 16, forgive us.

    God Thin Lizzy are good, the consummate rock band. What a great track this is and I love what Phil does with his bass at the end, literally dazzling us with his talent. Cut to Mike Reid looking like a complete nerd.

    I had forgotten this Gary's Gang track and I can see why but the dance routine helps it. Legs remind me of bridesmaids in those outfits.

    Mike really wasn't on form today was he, kept getting his words mixed up : "From 23 to nowhere" he said of Gary's Gang when it should have been the other way round. I bet Gary's Gang were cursing him afterwards as he was wishing them out of the chart.

    Freddie has more or less morphed in the full leather biker by this point while John Deacon seems to have been influenced by James Herriot with his sleeveless pullover and slacks.

    It's so nice to see the full Chic band represented here even down to the whole string section. It always confused/annoyed me how some acts were backed by such a small band (or no band) when there were clearly loads of instruments on the record and they never explained.

    I bought the Violinski single, it served us very well waiting for the next ELO album to come along.The B-side is a great proggy piece called Time To Live (check it out on Youtube). Mick Kaminski seems to have a touch of the old James Galways about his eyes. Must be a beardy thing.

    Lene Lovich again and always good to hear.

    Boney M. I must admit I always preferred this and Belfast to the big Boney hits. Not sure about the routine in skiwear. I like Bobby's beard though, suits him.

    David Essex entering Rick Wakeman territory. I half expected Dave to be attired in a wizard outfit, meanwhile Herbie Flowers has clearly been to the same 1930s outfitters as John Deacon.

    Hard to believe that the Bee Gees were comfortable being represented in such a naf way but with no video what did they expect. The Legs girls look like those creepy souvenir pierot dolls you could get back in the 70s.

    I too noticed the date at the end still says MCMLXXVIII which is 1978. You could get away with MCMLXXVIIII but usually 1979 was displayed as MCMLXXIX.

  15. Wow, doesn't it get Disco-ee around this time? I often wonder does the memory play tricks on you when you look back on these repeats (e.g. life might have been sh*te then, but you look back with fond memories), and I generally think the same as what I thought at the time. Does this mean I haven't grown up or matured? Do I still like pogoing, or putting my velvet jacket on at The Mayfair in Tottenham? Am I still the same age? I cannot help now looking at these programmes and picturing every single person on it, presenter, performer, or audience member, and realising they are all 35 years older now (that's half our expected lifetime, wow). Where are they all? A lot are no longer with us.

    At this time, I was feverishly rehearsing with my first ever band, ready to unleash ourselves on an unsuspecting world. Our first "gig" was a talent night, with ourselves, a comedy/punk band doing a medley of Early One Morning, Here We Go Loopy Loo and The Grand Old Duke of York, up against another band, and 3 Elvis impersonators. We came 4th behind the Elvisisis. But great joy was had in beating the other band. And then we learned Oliver's Army. Not an easy middle section, I can tell you.

    Drifting? Me? I remember 79 as the year when Disco, disco balls etc. just enveloped everything, with even Queen and Abba being sucked in to trying out disco hits.

    Re he comments on BBC4, I love that channel, as I do Sky Arts, for all the old documentaries on singers/bands, even those I was never a fan of. Pray, leave it alone, gentle Beeb.

  16. Why does it say I did the last comment at 13.38? I did it at half nine pm...

  17. I'm surprised no one noticed the new TOTP logo at the end. Was this a one off because it looks like it was redesigned by an art student.