Thursday, 3 April 2014

Hallelujah ~ it's Top of the Pops 5th April 1979!

So with Tony Blackburn about to present his only 1979 edition of Top of the Pops, what was on ITV.....

7.00 Bionic Woman 8.00 Robin's Nest 8.30 TV Eye 9.00 Ted On The Spot with Ted Rogers 10.00 News 10.30 Thames Report

But of course we want to watch Tony on BBC1......

6.20 Nationwide 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

(with thanks to @tv30yearsago)

Tony did seem to be in a very jovial mood
5-4-79: Presenter: Tony Blackburn

(24) THE SEX PISTOLS – Silly Thing (and charts)
(53) M – Pop Muzik
(2) VILLAGE PEOPLE – In The Navy (video)
(6) SQUEEZE – Cool For Cats
(8) DIRE STRAITS – Sultans Of Swing (danced to by Legs & Co)
(40) GENERATION X – Valley Of The Dolls
(4) CHIC – I Want Your Love ®
(44) THE MEMBERS – Offshore Banking Business
(23) THE JACKSONS – Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) (footage from TopPop 24-2-79)
(NEW) MILK & HONEY – Hallelujah
(16) THE JAM – Strange Town
(1) GLORIA GAYNOR – I Will Survive (video)
(28) SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES – The Staircase (Mystery) (and credits)

The Sex Pistols ~ play over the chart run down - two singles now for them simultaneously in the top 20 both from the movie The Great Rock n Roll Swindle
M ~ The Scott brothers and Brigitte with their ode to the sound of the late 20th century. Lead singer Robin Scott ran Do-It records, who would soon be releasing the first LP by Adam and the Ants.
Village People ~ it's the famous video this week, shot in San Diego on board the USS Reasoner. The song didn't quite make it to number one, docking instead at number 2.
Squeeze ~ no live vocal this time from Chris, and the word 'bleeding' is allowed now too. There's also the two dancing girls - is one of them Michelle Collins?
Dire Straits ~ this week it's the Sultans of Swing who get the Legs & Co treatment, with the troupe dressed like rather glamorous dinner ladies. This single had originally been released in 1978, but only became a hit when reissued a year later.
Generation X ~ no Billy Idol on the 7.30 edition, but catch up with him later tonight at 1am.
Chic ~ were also edited out of the 7.30 showing, but we have seen this performance previously.
The Members ~ with their 'very unusual titled song' most notable for featuring Rico Rodriguez on trombone - he would also feature on the show again later in the year this time playing for the Specials on A Message to You, Rudy.
The Jacksons ~ strange that this was the second choice single from their Destiny album, with the boys having already appeared on the show performing the title track a few weeks back, which only made it to 39. Shake Your Body was always going to be much more successful.
Milk and Honey ~ sing the song that had just won the Eurovision Song Contest for Israel. It's a typically nicey nicey Eurovision offering but there's nothing wrong with that if it's a good tune and this one is a good tune and also performed very well too.
The Jam ~ this was the 7th of 8 consecutive singles that failed to make it into the top ten for the Jam, but after that they seemed to find another gear and came up with nine of them that did, including 4 number ones.
Gloria Gaynor ~ in her final week at number one - but will we get to see the song that replaces her?
Siouxsie and the Banshees ~ play us out this week with a song that made it to number 24.
Next up is the 12th April 1979 presented by Peter Powell.


  1. host: one of tone's better efforts (he actually gets to correctly introduce us to the top 30 for a change) but i can't say i'll miss him. he really should have been on the last show aired rather than this one as the content suited the kid down to the ground... but then again most do

    charts: i noticed that a caracture of johnny rotten was featured for one of the two pistols entries, even though he had left them by this time. (no) thanks to talcy malcy for turning them into a travesty of their former selves...

    M: a clean bouncy danceable sound presented by a clean-cut (if not exactly young) chap looking like a some kind of corporate exec: surely the point where the 70's became the 80's, even though we're still in 1979? i loved it then and still do now. among those involved were future level 42 hitmakers phil gould and wally badarou...

    village people: tony almost gets the pronounciation right in the intro (it's "VILLAGE people" as in people from the village - not as many DJ's called them "village PEOPLE"... as opposed to village idiots!). the video is amusing (the legend is that the US navy actually wanted this to be their official recruitment tune until someone pointed out that it might not be in their best interests), but it still just sounds
    like a poor man's version of YMCA to me. question: what did the leatherman and bela lugosi have in common? answer: they were both buried in the costumes that made them famous...

    squeeze: practically ticks all the same boxes as "pop muzik" - the only dodgy point for me is that weird synth breakdown in the middle. why?

    dire straits: danced to by legs and co? no! no!! NO!!! they shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence! how can you devise any kind of dance routine to plodding bar-room rock like this (in an earlier life i played bass guitar on this far more times than i would have liked, so i know all too well what i'm talking about!). instant fast-forward time with barely a moment to check out legs' costumes (1940's charlady attire mixed with up-to-the-moment footless tights... that incidentally are now "in" again fashion afficionados!)

    generation x: billy idol always gives good face but the song was a non-starter

    the members: does this qualify as cod reggae? no doubt purists would be horrified, but i thought it was pretty good for that kind of thing myself (i'm not precious about who does it as long as it works for me). the title probably stunted its chances of commercial success though - being a political polemicist don't get the rent paid! does anyone remember a guy called ken morse who always seemed to get the rostrum camera gig for every television programme ever made? there were even comedy sketches done about it ("i'm the second-best rostrum cameraman in the country but i can't get any work!")... anyway, the 80's pop trumpet equivalent was dick cuthell who is in the background here next to rico...

    the jacksons: why does tito always try to appear with his guitar (although they wouldn't let him for that crap ballad that preceded this)? presumably he wants to make some kind of statement that he's a proper musician, but instead comes over to me as the andrew ridgeley of the group. another one who isn't michael makes a half-arsed effort to pretend to play the keyboard (which at least unlike guitar you can hear on the record) but soon ends up as another one of wacko's backing dancers...

    milk and honey: i think i stopped watching eurovision around this time - with rubbish like this hardly surprising. the videotape stopped halfway though me fast-forwarding as it had reached the end! fortunately it appears i've missed nothing of import (the jam are always fast-forward material, as is "i will survive") - phew!

    mark 7/10

    1. Wilberforce, I disagree for once with your comment regarding Milk & Honey singing Hallelujah.
      I think it is the greatest ever Eurovision song contest song, never mind winner! Their gentlemen and gentlewoman touch on the studio performance is something we we will never see again in today's and the future's obsession with the pre-requirement of sexed up men and women to go on to a pop show. No wonder top of the pops closed its doors for good in 2006.

    2. oh well, we can't agree all the time, and as they say: each to his own. to me, debating what is the greatest ever eurovision song contest song is (to paraphrase that immortal comment made when blighty and the argies were tussling over the falklands) like bald men fighting over combs...

    3. I did think that Bucks Fizz two years later came a very close second place to Milk & Honey for greatest ever Eurovison winner, on account of Jay Aston's dress coming off in the TOTP studio.

  2. M's Robin Scott also released one single on his Do It label, "Cry Myself To Sleep", under the pseudonym of Comic Romance. Both Adam and the Ants' singles on Do it, "Zerox" and "Cartrouble" were re-released and charted on the back of the band's early success on CBS. Adam and the Ants also had a brief spell at Decca, who released the cringey "Young Parisians" as a similar cash-in.

  3. That most half-arsed of half-arsed movies The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle must have been seriously packing them in at the local fleapits to get two of its soundtrack songs into the top forty (three if you count the double A side). Or was it a national outpouring of grief for the late Sid? Silly Thing isn't too bad as these things go, even with a bowdlerised title.

    M sounded like the music of the future, but what was with the lapel badges? I really liked In the Navy at the time, so much so that I was very keen to see their movie Can't Stop the Music as a kid, though by the time it was out the Village People's popularity was on the wane. I caught up with it years later and realised I'd had a lucky escape, a rollerskating Steve Guttenberg does not a movie make.

    Squeeze, those backing singers put Legs & Co to shame with their dynamo energy, they must have been exhausted. Speaking of Ver Legs, is this is only time anyone has done a bump and grind to Dire Straits? Thank goodness there were cameras to capture this momentous occasion.

    Was Billiam Idol a big fan of Jacqueline Susann or just trashy airport novels in general? I'd like to hear his take on Jackie Collins and Jilly Cooper. Yeah, I know, it was probably because he caught a screening of a Russ Meyer movie. Boring song anyway, not a patch on the Carrie Nations.

    A little bit of social commentary from the Members, really sticking it to the Man, and press barons. Where are they now we really need them?

    I'm of the opinion Michael Jackson went a bit rubbish after 1980, but Shake Your Body is a storming disco track, even if it sounds like a Mike track more than anything his brothers needed to be on.

    Milk and Honey, well that was an easy song to write, just get a couple of lines and repeat them with slight lyrical variations. I can picture the Eurovision crowd swaying with arms aloft.

    Weller chewing again, I thought his gum was about to fly out at certain points. Bleugh.

  4. Cracking episode! Thought my recording was on the blink for a while, before I realised the producer had a new toy.

    Pistols: Even though Swindle was a mish-mash, I really like Silly Thing - Paul and Steve really knew how to put down a riff...

    Village people: I don't remember the 'rap' near the end - 12" version, just for the video, or poor memory?

    Gen X, valley of the dolls: listening to the lyrics, I wondered whether this is a reference to the New York Dolls...

    Milk and Honey: Hard to believe there was a worse Eurovision song than Black Lace's that year, but there it was...

    1. Charlie, believe me, Black Lace was a lot worse

  5. Do my ears need unblocking, or did Tony say "I like your breasts" to his blonde companion? Maybe that's why he disappeared from the presenting rota after this! He still can't pronounce "Chic" right, either...

    Nevertheless, this was probably the best episode of the year so far, and even Tone seemed to be excited by all the fresh new sounds offered up. Mind you, I'm surprised the Beeb allowed the Members on with such an overtly political song. I'd never heard it before, but enjoyed it more than I might have expected. The version of Sultans of Swing that Legs were dancing to did not sound like the original recording - I would hazard a guess that it was lifted from Dire Straits' Whistle Test performance, as it certainly reminded me of that.

    1. Tony said 'I like your dress' but I had to rewind and check as my jaw dropped as well. He did muscle in a little close to her as the fade to the video was going on though.
      Dear Yewtree - if you've been watching this episode, you can have him if you want, we've seen all his shows now and Pick of the Pops is bloody awful anyway.

    2. There were different recordings of Sultans Of Swing on the single and the album - we only ever hear the album version in today's digital age.

    3. i heard only last week that "gambo" has now had his collar felt by the bottom inspec... sorry, yewtree squad. and yet he was sir jim's fiercest critic! fortunately for us i don't he ever actually presented any TOTP's, but surely the rest of those who did that are currently "in the clear" are now getting a bit more anxious? what i'd like to know is when are lemmy, jimmy page, bill wyman and the rest of the (allegedly) jailbait-loving wrinkly rockers going to get the knock?

    4. Noax - thanks for the clarification. I thought he must have said something else, but even after rewinding I still couldn't make it out! Tone did turn up again as co-host for a handful of episodes in 1983, but I very much doubt the repeats will still be going then anyway.

      20th Century Relic - thanks for the info re different versions of Sultans of Swing. I guess that explains why it sounded different, though the version played on this episode did seem to me to have something of a "live" quality.

  6. Agree completely with John G. in that this is the best episode of the year so far.

    Village people: A fantastic video which must have taken ages to get right. It's in the early days of pop video, and they did a splendid job in making the video just as memorable as the song itself. I still like dancing to it in 2014.

    Dire Straits: By this time in 1979, there were less and less songs without a video available, and so there would be episodes where Legs & Co were not really needed, but as they were a household name by now, we still needed their legs on the show, so why not?

    Chic: simply brilliant from Nile Rodgers and his band. It's always been my favourite Chic song, and it was their most successful chart position, even better than Le Freak which is what they are best known for.

    Millk & Honey: My take on this is that it is the greatest ever Eurovision song contact song, never mind winner. It went straight in at No.5 the week after this TOTP show of Tony Blackburn ,and they showed that they could indeed perform live on TOTP without being offered to mime like all the groups, so hats off to them. The live performance was so perfect and crystal clear, that they deserved their top 5 entry the following week. Gentlemen & ladies, this is your song, and for those of you who are not gentlemen and ladies, please watch the Sex Pistols with two songs in that top 30 chart of 5th April. Thank goodness they were not on the same show as Milk & Honey.

    1. I loved the 1974 Eurovision Israeli entry by Poogy called She Looked Me In The Eye. I recently found their album which is a bit proggy, it's called Poogy In A Pita and the group are pictured on the front in a giant pita bread. Brilliant!

  7. I managed to watch it in good time this week...

    Shot from above with strong back lighting Tone looks like a tree growing out of the stage in those flares, were flares still in in 1979?

    I feel in love with M's Pop Muzik the moment I heard it and went out and bought the 12 inch single with its double groove b-side. The only other record I had that had a double groove was Monty Python's Matching Tie and Handkerchief and funnily enough Robin Scott always reminded me facially of Michael Palin. I like the fact that all the band are wearing name tags and the song is sung from the point of view of a disc jockey who is controlling his audience.

    Village People. I didn't realise it at the time but the lyrics to In The Navy have a few gay related jokes in them, eg "signing up new seamen fast" and "Butt!, Butt!, Butt!" and "What am I gonna do with a submarine?".

    I like it when Tone tells those two ladies to "look just over there" and they completely ignore him. I found it hard to stomach Legs and Co dancing to Dire Straits but I guess they have to dance to the acts who don't turn up and haven't made a video.

    I read somwhere that Chris Difford wrote Cool For Cats after seeing an episode of The Benny Hill Show. Has the identity of the girls ever been officially revealed. Is the blond one Michelle Collins or Lesley Ash?

    "Straight into the Top 40" yeah at number 40. I could never see the appeal of Generation X but liked some of Billy Idols solo stuff. I see here he and Tony James are having a go at copying Bowie and Mick Ronson with the old arm round the neck thing that they did on Starman. Difference was that Starman was a classic whereas this is a bit naff especially with those off key backing vocals.

    Tone loves Chic so much but still pronounces their name as Chick. Oh dear.

    The Members using The Specials' brass section (Rico and Dick) a good few months ahead of Two Tone. Also the lyrics to Offshore Banking Business are very much ahead of their time perhaps slightly spoiled by Nicky Tesco borrowing Bob Geldorf's trick of talking to the camera and using a lot of hand gestures.

    The Jacksons song is a timeless classic but while the music is superb the visuals have dated badly. The Jacksons fell into the trap of buying nasty matching spandex stage outfits and looked a lot better in everyday gear when they did Destiny on TOTP.

    I had fallen out love with Eurovision by this point, Black Lace were awful and Milk and Honey were nothing more than an Israeli Manhattan Transfer. The crowd look pretty underwhelmed apart from a few who are swaying two-and-fro in the background and then don't know what to do when the song pauses near the end.

    Back in tree trunk mode after the number one, I love it when Tone says "I wonder if Gloria Gaynor will be number one next week?" the guy on the right shakes his head. How right you are sir. Not quite sure what is going on with those crowd members who keep falling off the stage edge. Unless that's the staircase mystery Siouxsie and Co are singing about.

    1. Slightly wrong regarding Dire Straits, in that they did make a video and it was shown in March on the show on the now banned DLT shows.
      The fact that Legs & Co were given this to dance to, is a reflection of the fact that by now in 1979, virtually every song in the chart had either a TOTP performance or a video to show.
      This particular first show in April seemed to have no songs where Legs and co would have filled in, and so they have to give them something to dance to, so it was dire straits.

      We saw a similar situation in March where Chic performed on the show, and then two weeks later Legs & co did their routine to it.

    2. if dire straits weren't available (why not? were they playing at the dog and duck that night?) and the producers felt compelled to play their track on the show, then it should have been over the credits at the end (and maybe legs should have done their thing to the banshees, although that might have been even more bizarre ha ha!)... it would be interesting to know how and when the decisions were made as to what legs would dance to that week - did they work on more than one routine, and if so how many never even got performed on the show? i gather sue is active on at least one totp-related forum - maybe one of us can do some digging and find out?

    3. Yeah I never got round to seeing that missing episode with the Dire Straits video but they could have shown it again and Legs could have danced to The Pointer Sisters or Voyage who were in the lower part of the Top 40 (I never did work out why it took TOTP so long to catch up with the fact that it was a TOP 40 and not 30)

    4. digging with Sue from Legs & co? What a fabulous thought Wiberforce. Like it!

  8. This is where we start to get the really good songs in 1979 entering the charts. The rest of the year from here is pretty damn good. I sometimes think it's the best year for music, but at other times I think it's 1982 or 1988.

    M - I definitely remember seeing this at the time and being fascinated by the woman who was (I think) pretending to be of Indian persuasion but I don't think she actually was from those parts, was she?

    Anyhow, great song and I think the name tags were part of a concept of sorts where 'M' were a kind of collective taking over entertainment in general. Unless I've made that up. I believe the Christmas show performance makes a bit more of a play on that from memory.

    Village People - Not as interesting as the performance from a few weeks ago as we've seen the video so many times.

    As for 'Can't Stop The Music' - it's a bit of a guilty pleasure. I have a friend who used to constantly play that and 'Xanadu' (another cheesy classic) and it's always amusing. I particularly enjoy the 'square' character who halfway through the film suddenly starts wearing crop tops and going 'this is fantastic!' a lot, in a highly realistic depiction of coming out.

    I hope we get to see Billy Connolly's 'In The Brownies' later in the year by the way!

    Squeeze - Much better than the live performance from before, and the girls (none of which are Lesley Ash or Michelle Collins I think) have turned up! Presumably because when they performed it live (or mimed to a live recording) they weren't allowed on stage as they weren't musicians on the recording or some such guff.

    Something no-one has mentioned - why does Chris Difford have a fish (kipper?) strapped to his guitar?!

    Dire Straits - Yes, a bad choice to give the girls, but more importantly, there is no way that is the single version so what on earth is going on there? It almost sounds like a re-recording done for the show, but surely it can't be?

    Generation X - Blimey, what a dull and plodding song.

    The Members - Definitely cod reggae for me. Bloody awful. They must have seen how better bands like The Clash had appropriated reggae and thought they could do a bit of that. They couldn't.

    The Jacksons - What I've learnt from this clip is that before flirting with Exeter City and Fulham, Michael clearly loved Coventry City best.

    Milk & Honey - wild extremes from other posters here! I'm actually in the middle. It's definitely better than Black Lace (not difficult) and is a pleasant enough song, but it's not one of my Eurovision favourites. The female singer is the best, with a bit of a Karen Carpenter sound to her (or maybe that's just because of the line 'sing a song'!)

    Siouxsie & The Banshees - Hmmm..a brave choice to end the show with I'd say. Or maybe they were just trying to annoy Tony, especially with all the other punk and new wave on this week!

    1. i am rather embarrassed to say i remembered the M lady's name was bridget something - a look at discogs says her full name is brigit vinchon and she was born in france... and was the partner of M mainman robin scott

    2. Maybe Chris Difford has the fish strapped to his guitar because of course he is a cat :-)

    3. Noax, I'm glad you're in the middle about Milk & Honey. For my part, I'm totally in love with the female lead singer singing live on TOTP so well, and that lovely dress!

  9. I almost forgot to mention. Ted On The Spot with Ted Rogers?! The mind boggles at trying to work out what on earth the format of that programme could have been....

    1. apparently they are now showing "classic" episodes of the ted rogers-fronted "3-2-1" on one of the freeview channels. i could never work out what the hell it was all about, so god knows how the great unwashed (that the show seemed to be aimed at) managed. ted was supposedly some kind of comedian, but i can't say i ever saw any evidence of that - dusty bin was funnier!

    2. Oh yes, I remember Ted from 3-2-1. I used to watch the repeats on Granada Plus (as was) years ago. They're now on Challenge.
      What I can't work out is why he would be 'on the spot' and whether it was a different quiz or some bizarre chat show type thing!

    3. Ted Rogers is a superb comedian and 321 was really a waste of his talent but it's not a bad show, they have some interesting guests on and Chris Emmett is also worth watching. I mentioned this a few weeks ago and the winner on the first ever episode was future Radio 1 DJ Janice Long - seriously. You can see it on Challenge every Saturday and Sunday.

      Ted On The Spot was a one-off 60 min satirical comedy special with sketches, stand up and music and the guests included The Barron Knights.

    4. I'm currently addicted to the 321 repeats on Challenge because even more than TOTP they're like something from another planet, never mind another time. Ted is a good host, really friendly, but unfortunately a massive racist judging by a routine he gave to a Tory fundraiser in the late 80s, which may be why 321 didn't continue into the 90s in spite of big ratings.

  10. Glad someone else noticed the seemingly random freeze frames, so it wasn't an iPlayer artefact then. Question is, were they there on the original broadcast or was it just BBC4 crudely covering up tape damage?

    I wonder if Tony was in a jovial mood because Blankety Blank was pulling in higher viewing figures than the ex-missus over on ITV?

    Kicking off with M and Pop Muzik, this was where I thought (here in 2014) that '1979 starts here!' - arty yet accessible, this is pure genius.

    In The Navy: best remembered for the 'alternative' lyrics offered by the older kids in school...

    Cool for Cats with the girls with 'SQU' and 'EEZE' on the backs of their jackets - this is the one I remember, and turned out to be the same as the promo (is that the promo illustrated here?).

    I haven't much to say on the rest of the show except that I can just imagine poor Flick with her head in her hands on being told that she had Sultans Of Swing for this week, and that the Members prove here that they're more than just another bunch of Surrey kids jumping on the punk bandwagon.

    The 1979 Eurovision Song Contest was the last to be held in March - looking at the dates it has got progressively later throughout its history. The UK entry for that year was a bit of harmless fun (unless you're called Mr. Chinn or Mr. Chapman) but I thought the Israeli entry was a worthy winner by comparison, same as the previous year, come to that.

    1. Yes indeed, it seems that Israel won Eurovision two years in succession in 1978 and 1979, but this one held in Jerusalem in '79 was a close dIng-dong battle with Spain, who lost out on the last the Spanish who could not vote for themselves, and so gave the winning points to Israel, and what a mighty fine winning song it was.......Hallelujah to one and all on TOTP. Still love it 35 years on......

    2. Best part of the TOTP show as they sang it live, unlike all the other performers on the show who mimed! Great courage, and well-deserved winner.

    3. 50 something here.

      I was wondering if the Legs and Co routine wasn't a last minute job when the intended song dropped down the chart unexpectedly. It's not a particularly sophisticated performance and, given the penchant for literal interpretation of the song, I would have expected a harem type costume if they'd had a full week to rehearse.

    4. Yes the Squeeze pic on here is from the promo ~ couldn't find one from the show :-)

    5. The freeze-frame thing started a couple of weeks ago with Lene Lovich, clearly they started experimenting then and got a bit more bold with it this week.

  11. Something tells me Dory likes “Hallelujah”!

    Apart from the lack of intro for The Banshee’s cryptically hypnotic fadeout song, that was arguably Tone’s best effort. Typical of him to save the best for last. Do you think Tone knew it would be his last time hosting for a while and there was joyous relief in his performance?

    “Silly Thing” is my favourite Pistols single. Brilliant. Can’t wait for Legs & Co’s routine to it!

    Were M’s ID cards the first on the show since Elvis Costello’s Musician’s Union card for “Red Shoes”?

    I’m afraid Billy Connolly’s top 38 single “In The Brownies” never made TOTP.

    The fish on the Squeeze guitar might have been a pun – as fish is cool for cats because they enjoying eating it. The unusual instrumental bridge was put in just to make the song and band stand out from the rest of the new wave gang. I reckon it worked.

    That was the first time I’ve fast forwarded a Legs & Co routine. Apart from “Romeo And Juliet” and “Your Latest Trick”, I can’t stand Dire Straits.

    I also couldn’t stand those regular namecheck logo flashes during Gen X’s performance. We know who they are! The lyrics’ reference to The Gang Of Four reminded me of the self-named Yorkshire band who walked out and relinquished a TOTP slot when the Beeb wanted them to remove the mention of contraceptives in the lyrics to “At Home He’s A Tourist”.

    What would The Members have made of RBS et al these days? Clever song, not quite cod reggae in my book, and deserved to end up one place higher in the chart for a caption shot - it peaked at 31.

    Michael Jackson tries to ruin the lads’ song with his breathy fill-ins and the vocal tics which put me off his solo stuff – all that “jam roll hee hee” nonsense!

    I have to say I fast forwarded Milk And Honey after 20 seconds or so – enough of the Kosher Carpenters for me, though I can see the song’s delicate attraction to others.

    Are you chewing, Weller? Did you bring enough for the rest of the class? And where’s your tie, boy? (Okay, not easy to wear a tie with a polo shirt). Still, great song so you’re excused detention.

    1. Yes, totally like the eurovision winner of that year. I was 11 years old at the time, and i needed to be kept away from the television set, because my brother wanted to watch the Bionic woman on ITV instead of TOTP. I managed to distract him and got to watch that famous last Tony Blackburn episode of TOTP.

    2. The Eurovision winner was actually billed as 'Milk and Honey with Gali' which sounds like a recipe but it was male trio Milk and Honey with guest female vocalist Gali Atari.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Wonder what she is doing now? Hopefully teaching the new generation of Eurovision how to sing, and not how to flash their bellies.

    5. She went into the video game business, didn't she?

      I'll get my coat.

    6. yeah, let's not go there

  12. I definitely remember seeing this at the time and being fascinated by the woman who was (I think) pretending to be of Indian persuasion but I don't think she actually was from those parts, was she?

    Woman? It was a woman????

    1. Which woman are you talking about Mr Anonymous?
      The only women of note on that show were all of Legs & Co, and the lead singer of Milk & Honey. Oh, and of course the Bionic Woman over on ITV for those who preferred not to watch TOTP. She can arm wrestle me to floor anyway, Lindsay Wagner I mean.

    2. But surely Miss Squ and Miss Eeze were notable by their presence too! :- )

    3. The cameraman certainly seemed to think so judging by the close-ups of their backsides at the end of the performance. We saw more of them than we saw of the band.

    4. I agree, and very fitting that they were called Squeeze.
      With those bums in our faces, no wonder they got to number 2 the following week after this show was broadcast!

  13. Sorry Dory, the "woman" I referred to was in M. She looked a bit Adam Appley to mine eyes!

    1. she was M mainman robin scott's partner, if that helps...

  14. in an effort to make our maiden half-century on this blog, and as a comment on the weird title of the siouxsie 45, i think the most nonsensical hit single entitled with brackets (without listening to the lyrics anyway) has to be the boomtown rats' "the elephants graveyard (guilty)" - can anyone beat that?

    1. Not quite what you're looking for but, in 1981, The Members released a single I loved and bought called "Working Girl", and the B-side's title has three sets of's called "(Holiday In [Tribute To Jimi (Pretentious ... Moi?) ] ) Tanga-nika".

    2. I think this may knock up the half century (hooray!)
      Surely the silliest song with brackets in has to be a Stranglers re-release, namely "Grip '89 (Get A (Grip) On Yourself)". First class, that.

    3. Interesting that Tony Blackburn's only show of 1979, and I believe his last TOTP appearance, gets the maiden half century on this blog. He seems to be able do what others cannot.

    4. that is probably more down to the quality of the acts on this show than the host. however, tone does get his fair share of comments sent in his direction... almost exclusively negative ones ha ha! in contrast kid jensen is obviously far better suited to present the show, and therefore far less likely to attract any flak...

    5. Yes, by quality you mean The Village People of course

    6. of course! actually i was thinking more of M and squeeze. and i suppose i should have said down to interesting nature of the acts rather than the quality. after all, the worst ones probably elicit far more reaction than the best!

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  16. Excellent commenting everyone!

    I can only really add a little bit about one of my favourite groups, Squeeze.

    The lasses in the Cool for Cats video (and presumably it's the same two on the show) are neither Collins or Ash. I think they were described as ' a couple of friends' on the excellent Squeeze Song by Song book.

    Given that this video was filmed at the same time as the one for Up the Junction, then I assume they are also the two ladies that vid. This time, making a cup of tea and minus spandex.

    I have heard that Michelle Collins is in the video for Tempted. There are indeed three ladies ...moving (I hesitate to say dancing) in there, although none of them look like her to me. It's murky quality though.

    Finally, on Cool for Cats, the book has Difford claiming that the BBC stopped him saying the line about giving the dog a bone, but it seemed pretty clear to me - was it on the first appearance?

    And finally finally, the instrumental break on the album version is about half an hour longer. Well, 30 seconds at least.

    1. My favourite line in this track is.......'in and out of Wandsworth....."
      Nowadays you would never get these lyrics approved for today's packaged bands, because they would require any final version to be signed off by the management before release.

      No wonder Jools Holland went on to his own Later with Jools show to this day in 2014, which I occasionally watch.

    2. the edited break on "cool for cats" 45 is still too long for me - when i put it in a school reunion mix a couple of years back i edited down to about half that length!

    3. Cool for Cats wasn't actually the first single they released from the album of the same name - Goodbye Girl came out near the end of 1978, but failed to make the top 50. It was used on a tv advert not so long ago, can't remember what for though. Terrific album is Cool for Cats, only got to 45 when it came out - a travesty really, and on the back of two number twos too.

    4. The give the dog a bone line was in the first performance, but the BBC made Chris sing always look the blimming same, rather than the bleeding same!

    5. I still don't understand what Cool for Cats is all about. I mean what is the message in the song? It isn't that obvious, no matter how many times we hear it.
      Does anyone know?

    6. It's just that real life never measures up to the cool cats portrayed in the media. The singer wants to be cool like in Westerns or The Sweeney, but is disillusioned when his life doesn't live up to them.

    7. Difford himself has said there's no real meaning behind the song, it was just an outpouring of lyrics. He wrote about 12 verses one night and the title was taken from a Canadian tv show.

      As someone upthread said, the tone and metre was inspired the kind of songs Benny Hill had in his shows.

      Although seeing as the Beeb banning the bone line is clearly not true, who knows what to believe?

    8. On the upside, what a tuition I've had today. Thanks Applejack.
      On the downside, it was their last TOTP appearance for this song, despite being at No.2 the following week, and No.3 the following two weeks.
      Not so cool for cats.