Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Number One Song in Top of the Pops!

It's the 10th May 1979 already, and our host tonight is Mike 'Cliff' Read, but what's on ITV? ....

6.35 Crossroads 7.00 The Bionic Woman 8.00 Leave It To Charlie 8.30 TV Eye 9.00 Hazell 10.00 News 10.30 Inside Business

But we only really want BBC1....

6.55 Tomorrow's World 7.20 Top of the Pops 7.55 Blankety Blank 8.30 Living Legends 9.00 News 9.25 Wodehouse Playhouse 10 Omnibus

With thanks to @tv30yearsago

Duff, duff, duff duff duff duff...

10-5-79: Presenter: Mike Read

(13) THE BEE GEES – Love You Inside Out (and charts)
(26) THE DAMNED – Love Song
(57) ELKIE BROOKS – The Runaway
(41) THE SHADOWS – Theme From ‘The Deer Hunter’ (Cavatina)
 (3) BONEY M – Hooray Hooray It’s A Holi-Holiday (footage from Snowtime Special: Disco In The Snow 9-4-79)
(11) ERUPTION – One Way Ticket ®
(25) MONKS – Nice Legs Shame About Her Face
(20) ROXY MUSIC – Dance Away (footage from Snowtime Special: Abba In Switzerland 16-4-79)
(9) AMII STEWART – Knock On Wood (danced to by Legs & Co)
(21) GARY MOORE – Parisienne Walkways (video)
(34) SPARKS – The Number One Song In Heaven
 (1) ART GARFUNKEL – Bright Eyes (video)
(15) DAVID BOWIE – Boys Keep Swinging (and credits)

The Bee Gees ~ do the chart rundown music this week, with Love You Inside Out at its number 13 peak.

The Damned ~ had been around for several years by now but Love Song was their first UK hit - and here's a typically energetic performance coupled with Captain Sensible's eye-catching impersonation of Orville the duck.

Elkie Brooks ~ with a song written for her by Gallagher and Lyle, who also join her in the studio as her backing singers, but they couldn't find that song writing magic of 1976 and The Runaway came to a standstill at number 50. There's a 3 year wait now until Elkie's next hit.

The Shadows ~ Mike does his best Cliff impression to introduce the band's 28th 'solo' hit, but Theme from the Deer Hunter is their last top tenner to date.

Boney M ~ chopped from the 7.30 showing, but we have seen this one very recently.

Eruption ~ we've also seen this one very recently too, almost at its number 9 peak now, One Way Ticket was their second and final hit.

Monks ~ another 7.30 editor's casualty ~ shame.

Roxy Music ~ with the first showing of a song that's become quite a classic and Bryan Ferry, last seen solo and with heavy duty stubble, now back to his smoothest. And so many clips from Snowtime Special on the show at the moment.

Amii Stewart ~ by skipping the 3rd May edition we're seeing lots of songs we heard only last week, but this time we get a high kicking black lacey Legs & Co routine to Knock on Wood.

Gary Moore ~ trying to out-hank Hank Marvin its the much loved Parisienne Walkways ~ credited as a Gary Moore hit but all the Thin Lizzie gang are here to help out with this evocative tune.

Sparks ~ after a 4 year gap the unique Russel and Ron Mael return with a real eye-catcher ~ and those facial expressions, both funny and scary in equal measure, would not look out of place in that current trailer for Eastenders.

Art Garfunkel ~ you'd think they could show a different 60 seconds of the biggest hit of the year ~ one more chance next week.

David Bowie ~ plays over the credits, but we get to see the video in a couple of weeks time.

Next week it's the 17th May 1979 and our host is Peter Powell.


  1. Yippee! Less than a month until the annual Paul Burnett episode!

    I’ll watch this episode over the weekend, but I can regale that The Damned played a gig last week at The Forum (ex-Town & Country Club) in North London to celebrate their 40th anniversary, and it was also Captain Sensible’s birthday. Tickets were the cost of their first gig, a whole £1.70, and they sold out online within an hour.

    By the way, does anyone have any idea what that BBC1 programme “Living Legends” was, and who the subjects were each week?

    1. but arthur, was it the original line up with brian james on guitar and captain sensible on bass, the "hits" line up with the captain on guitar and algy "mike" ward (see below) on bass, or whatever the current line up is these days? does anyone else remember after james split that the rest had to call themselves "the doomed" for a while? also: (name-dropping alert) i went to a couple of the scala cinema all-nighters in king's cross in the 80's, where they showed old horror movies like "a bucket of blood", so perhaps no surprise that dave vanian was also in attendance...

    2. i seem to remember that it was the dimmed

  2. Legs & Covered up this week?
    Why were they doing Amii Stewart when we already had footage of Amii on TOTP two weeks ago on the 26th April show??

    Amii herself took a sexier look than Legs & Co who chose to be more covered up to this disco hit, but it goes to show that by now in 1979, Legs & co could no longer be employed in their traditional role for hits where no other footage was available, and had to have something to dance to.

    in this particular case, I preferred to see Amii again on that showtime special footage where she looked much sexier than Legs & Co looked on this hit.

  3. Greetings, commentators - after over a year's absence, I'm BACK! My last computer was incompatible with the blogs, but I've recently invested in a brand new laptop.

    Gallagher and Lyle's 'The Runaway' is well up to their usual high standard, though the lyrical content may have been too sensitive for Radio 1 at that time. That doesn't alter my opinion of the duo - which, as many of you will know, is considerably high.

    There was indeed a hiatus of almost 3 years before Elkie charted again - but when she came back, it was with a cover of Chris Rea's all-time classic 'Fool (If You Think It's Over)', which made the Top 20. Her biggest hit single, however, would come in 1986 with Russ Ballard's 'No More The Fool' - one of her best, IMHO. For most of her heyday, she chose her material well.

    Sparks deserved to make a comeback; their marked influence on Abba, as well as on many of the new wave bands, should not be forgotten. The Mael brothers' 1980 European smash 'When I'm With You' - not a British hit - was, arguably, the prototype for 'Super Trouper'.

    Roxy are at their smoothest in this week's episode. Who would have dreamt that bassist Gary Tibbs, less than 2 years later, would be backing the swashbuckling Adam Ant?

  4. As I said last time Michael Hurl directed all those Snowtime Specials so with these performances we are literally seeing a glimpse of the future of Top Of The Pops.

  5. I saw Sparks live once, by accident! It was sometime in the mid 1990's, I was just walking through Sheffield, where I used to live, on my way to sign on, when I happened to come across the Radio One roadshow in a park, and there on stage about to perform This Town Aint Big Enough were the two Sparks brothers! I say perform, they did sound remarkably like the record for just the two of them, but there was Ron still pulling his peculiar faces :-)

  6. The Damned were a great way to kick things off, really funny and obviously having a whale of a time. Mohair trousers, Captain? No wonder he couldn't keep still.

    Slight contrast with that and Elkie, she could at least have dressed up for the occasion, did she arrive at the studio after a quick jogging session?

    The Shadows, doing a very boring version of a very boring tune from a very boring film. I was very tempted by the fast forward button, but I resisted.

    The Monks: thought the church candles were a nice touch, because there's nothing more religious than this song, is there?

    Roxy Music, very classy but I kind of preferred them when they were doing their art school freakouts. Same Old Scene is the best song of their latter period, I think.

    Legs & Co really enjoying their routine this week, and Rosie singing along this time instead of Lulu, I note.

    Gary Moore, well it's Parisienne so I thought they could have Frenched it up a bit. Sure, there was a lot of wine and an outdoor café, but where were the strings of onions, stripy jumpers, Eiffel Tower, Jean-Paul Belmondo hoving into view giving a comme ci comme ça gesture? Missed opportunity.

    Sparks, terrific record and the Maels very much on form. Unfortunately seeing them on TOTP now reminds me of the Mary Whitehouse Experience sketch where they parodied them, asking a silently enigmatic Ron if he was all right and did he want to go to the toilet? Anyway, ties with The Damned for the best thing on this week.

    1. when are the beeb going to get around to showing the mary whitehouse experience again?!?! i loved that show at the time, and would love to take another look in retrospect...

    2. Supposedly it's boring old rights issues preventing even a DVD release. But if we can get Fist of Fun on DVD, then surely someone can sort something out for TMWE?

    3. maybe they can't show it because rob newman (remember - this is a guy who insisted the name of his consequent double-act with fellow TMWE-er david badiel be changed from "badiel and newman" to "newman and badiel") can't bear the thought of people seeing him in his laddish phase before he turned into a pious and sanctimonious git...?

    4. Captain Sensible - not mohair trousers, I think you'll find they're fun fur trousers!

      My mum and Dad know David Baddiel's mum and dad, in fact my mum used to babysit him when he was a kid.

    5. I sit corrected, the Captain looked like a punk Honey Monster in that get up, though.

  7. Re: Gary Tibbs' future - he started his career with the Vibrators (and the film 'Breaking Glass')

    1. I know he was in the Vibrators before Roxy, but he appeared to have mellowed in the wake of punk. When he joined Roxy, I thought maybe he'd moved on from raucous new wave - but, of course, I was proved wrong.

    2. Meanwhile Midge Ure went from Slik to Rich Kids to Thin Lizzy to Visage to Ultravox, a lot of different styles I'm sure you'll agree. What this tells us is that as teenagers were duped into thinking that musical genres mattered and we weren't allowed to like a lot of different things. But as far as working musicians are concerned it's work and they needed to earn a living and lots of musicians and producers worked with a variety of acts. It's all Showbusiness.

    3. i seem to remember the collected sharp intake of breath by punters and press alike when it was known that midge had become john foxx's replacement in ultravox. however, i think it was generally decided (with a great sense of relief) that the quality control was pretty much maintained for the "vienna" album. i very much liked it at the time, and the first single from their next album ("the thin wall") too. but then sadly they turned into midge ure and his backing band, churning out forgettable lightweight pop-rock (yes, i know it pays the rent!) with his horrible whining guitar playing becoming ever more prominent...

    4. One thing I always wonder when listening to 'Vienna'... did Midge undergo voice coaching between Rich Kids and Ultravox?

  8. host: it's the teacher-like tones of mister read again - he really should have been on programmes like "tomorrow's world" rather than this

    charts: plenty of new wave acts at the bottom end this week: generation x, siouxsie and the banshees, the damned, the undertones, the monks... it's alright - i'm just joking about the last one! the bee gees track has improved a bit on second listening as i've realised the verses are kind of funk-lite (still don't care for the chorus though)

    the damned: brilliant! not only competing alongside sham 69 for best visual punk band with their antics (i particularly love it when rat scabies holds the drum-muffler in his mouth - i actually remember that from the original transmission!), but a great record as well (very much in the vein of "the ace of spades" for me, but whilst that lives on forever this one has sadly got lost in the mists of time). the only minor criticisms are that a: it's over before you know it, and b: the bassist is very much the straight man compared to the rest (a bit like "mike" in the young ones)

    elkie brooks: i'm sure she's been on a mike read show before - perhaps more than coincidence as they both emanate from prestwich. although going from her attire she was a last-minute call up - surely there can be no other reason for that green velour tracksuit? oh, by the way the song was rubbish, despite the re-appearance of graham "lovejoy" lyle

    the shadows: this beautiful tune (which was one of the first i worked out on the piano by ear) was written some years earlier, but its use in "deer hunter" sparked a surge of popularity resulting in 3 charting recordings, the best being john williams' acoustic version, and the worst a dire vocal interpretation by one iris williams. a much better choice of cover than the dirge that was "don't cry for me argentina", but the shads do not good television make - given their limited appeal it seems amazing that they lasted as long as they did. i note the black bassist has been replaced by a guy who obviously has no idea we are now in 1979...

    the monks: or perhaps just "monks" if the flight case serving as a drumkit is anything to go by? maybe they were trying to revive the debate whether band names should have the definitive article or not i.e. (the) status quo, (the) pink floyd, (the) sweet and so on. if i ever play in a band again i would call it "the definitive article" (but as time goes on it would probably just become known as "definitive article" ho ho)... i love the way the audience persist in doing their stoney statue thing despite the band leaping about all over the place

    roxy music: now wer'e talking pure class, both aurally and visually. bryan ferry is at the peak of his suaveness, and he doesn't have a bad-looking sidekick either in bassist gary tibbs, who was last glimpsed on this programme in punk bandwagon-jumpers the vibrators. gary was used mainly for live work rather than the recordings, as that position was taken by the much less-cute (if perhaps better technically) alan spenner. shame they have to appear before such a cheap and tawdry backdrop far better suited for lightweight piffle like boney m though!

    part ii to come later...

    1. Elkie was indeed introduced by her Prestwich mate for one of her six TOTPs last year – er, 36 years ago! I haven’t seen the latest clip yet but, judging by the comments on Elkie’s garb, was she taking a futuristic punt on The Green Goddess’s job on breakfast telly?

      Didn’t they use “Cavatina” over the Gallery section of “Vision On”? (There’s a prize for all those we show). I also had the tune for the cake-cutting part of my wedding reception, followed for the ‘happy couple photo’ part with “Bean Bag” by Herb Alpert – that’s the theme to “It’s A Knockout” in more enlightened times!

      The comment about band names reminds me of an incident which happened last year three miles from where I live. A hoarding outside a pub for a gig the following week said “live music, 3AM”. The police were called by angry residents complaining about the prospect of loud live music at an unearthly hour, only to discover 3AM was the band’s name!

    2. The music played over the Gallery section of "Vision On" was actually a cool jazz piece entitled "Left Bank Two", which was performed by an anonymous aggregate known as The Noveltones.

    3. arthur, guess where i've just moved to? here's a clue: maybe i'll bump into mike read or elkie brooks at the local tesco...

    4. i always thought of the noveltones piece (probably originally library music) as the theme for "vision on", but i ithink julie is right in that it was played in the "gallery" section. i once actually played that tune on a glockenspiel with only piano accompianment in a school assembly! regarding the gallery, didn't they always put up a notice saying that the paintings could not be returned?

    5. The guitar theme from The Deer Hunter was indeed used for the gallery section - but not in Vision On, it was in the later Take Hart with Tony Hart.

    6. The opening theme to "Vision On" was "Accroche-Toi, Caroline" by the Claude Vasori Orchestra (sometimes billed as 'Caravelli'), while the closing theme was Bert Kaempfert's "Java".

    7. i believe "accroche-toi, caroline" was written by film-scoring legend francis lai. it would not surprise me if gary moore had him (or at least his style) in mind when he wrote the music for "parisienne walkways"...

  9. 'The Runaway' wasn't rubbish - AFAIC, the only instance of Gallagher and Lyle putting a foot wrong was their quasi-reggae effort from '88, 'You Put The Heart Back In The City', which was released to mark the launch of the Glasgow Garden Festival. That was, arguably, the worst record they ever released.

    It's Benny Gallagher, with that distinctive Western Irish appearance, who resembles Ian 'Lovejoy' McShane; Graham Lyle bears a closer resemblance to West End lyricist and broadcaster Richard Stilgoe OBE.

    1. Gallagher, Lyle, Lovejoy and Stilgoe - there's a supergroup begging to happen. Or a firm of singing solicitors.

    2. sorry julie - i always thought benny looked like a graham and vice versa... it doesn't change my opinion of the record though - maybe it's because i can't stand elkie brooks?

    3. Fair enough; Elkie's gravelly blues voice doesn't suit everyone's taste. Also, the practice of referencing nursery rhymes - such as 'Banbury Cross', one line of which is rephrased in 'The Runaway' - can grate on some ears. Maybe that's why the Australian band Icehouse failed to chart in Britain in '81 with their antipodean smash 'We Can Get Together', which quotes from 'One, Two, Buckle My Shoe'. They did eventually make the British Top 20 in '83 with the sublime 'Hey Little Girl', which put them on TOTP.

    4. julie i agree with you that "hey little girl" was sublime... even if it was more-than-somewhat influenced by the sultan of suave...

    5. Well, yes, that was one of several recordings by Icehouse that owed some debt to Roxy Music and, to a lesser extent, Japan.

      I must apologise to SIR Richard Stilgoe for demoting him to a mere OBE in one of my previous comments above! I forgot that the talented songwriter and humorist had been knighted in the 2012 Birthday Honours for his services to charity.

  10. Incidentally, on the subject of the Bee Gees, there's a great chapter devoted to them in Bob Stanley's fantastic book Yeah Yeah Yeah which really gets to the heart of their appeal (which was dropping off with the public in the post-disco hangover as the 80s approached). The whole book's worth reading (if enormous).

    1. if you want the bee gees in microcosm, then just watch the infamous clive anderson interview: barry (the main man, songwriter and prima donna of the group) takes exception to clive's comments and storms off. robin (who always thought he was as talented as barry but wasn't) joins him in protest. and maurice (the happy-go-lucky one for whom just being there for the ride is enough) is left on his own, so shrugs his shoulders and says somewhat apologetically to clive "well, if they've left then i suppose i'd better be going too..."

  11. after the break it's part ii:

    amii stewart/legs & co: definitely one of legs' better routines. i thought patti looked particularly hot in her shades...

    gary moore: the chords on this sound very french/continental, which is why i presume the title and (sounding somewhat hastily-scribbled lyrcis - "corner caff" indeed!) reflect that. i've always had a soft spot for this, and many years later when i played bass with a pub band i was pleased to cover it (some interesting harmonic variations plus of course that classic slide-down intro). i always wondered if if was gary who was singing along with phil lynott for the second verse an octave above, and now i presume from the video that is the case. noticed fellow lizzy-er scott gorham "playing" the accordian, but wasn't sure if the drummer was brian downey.. i too was a bit disappointed with the absence of stripey jumpers, strings of onions and berets, but i would personally have got alain delon in as the archetypal french film icon. having been raised in a town that was 99.9% white anglo-saxon i was intrigued by the exotic surname of the record's producer, chris tsangarides - only several years later did i realise that it must have been of greek origin...

    sparks: what was the point of readie making that girl hold his mike for the intro when he was hands free? and afterwards what was he on when he said "sparks have had five years of chart life". well to the best of my knowledge they had about 3 months of chart life 5 years earlier with "this town ain't big enough for the both of us" and maybe a moderately successful follow-up, and then nothing until this came along... which in my book ain't exactly the same thing! their interim absence was a bit of a shame really as i can't help cracking up whenever they do a close up of ron mael and his toothbrush tache (is it deliberately placed towards one side of his face rather than centrally?). musically it's just a euro-disco potboiler and certainly no classic like "this town..." was

    david bowie: hopefully they will get to show the video of this where the dame drags up not just once but three times over (dear lord or whoever is in charge please not let it a "banned" episode)

    mark: 8/10 - perhaps the best show yet?

  12. Mike Reid does not suit tweed jackets, he looks like a geography teacher.

    I remember this Damned performance from the time and back then I thought it was their first single but of course it was only their first hit. The bassist's Motorhead teeshirt rather suggests that punk rock and heavy rock were not total strangers.

    The Elkie Brooks performance looked like a rehearsal with Elk still in her tracksuit and looking from some angles like Nanette Newman. So Gallagher and Lyle wrote this and were doing backing vocal duties, shame they forgot to use a good tune because this is a bit limp.
    I thought for a minute Mike was saying that Boney M were from Bognor Regis but he was saying they well be dancing to this from Bognor Regis To Llandudno, I'm assuming he's talking about the up and coming 1979 Spring Bank Holiday.

    I don't know why Mike is doing a impression of Cliff introducing The Shads when he looks/sounds like him anyway. Cavatina was originally written for the 1970 film The Walking Stick, which is a fairly obscure but worth checking out. Obviously The Deer Hunter made it famous but I'm always suspicious of theme music being recycled. This whole performance is a bit lacklustre and Brian Bennett certainly had an easy job didn't he.

    Nice to see Eruption again, I had forgotten just how good this is.

    I prefer the first performance by (The) Monks as the habits made it obvious this was a tongue-in-cheek and not to be taken too seriously.

    Ah the start Roxy Music's second string of hits. I liked all of them even if this one does borrow part of its tune from Bohemian Rhapsody (even now after Bryan sings "Many times a fool" I follow it up with "And now I've gone and thrown it all away"). Bryan has clearly had his teeth whitened and has developed that special way of showing them off when he sings but he does put me I mind of Wallace from Wallace and Grommitt ("More cheese Grommitt?").

    Although Gary Moore's Parisian Walkways is credited to Moore and his girlfriend Donna Campbell it has been said that the lyrics were written by Phil Lynott who was born in the spring of '49 and is about the meeting of his mum and the dad he never knew who was called Cecil Parris. Lynott eventually met his dad in 1977 but the meeting didn't work out but he wrote the song as his vision of how his dad might have been in a perfect world.

    I like the video but it's odd that Gary Moore switches from his Les Paul to a different guitar halfway though but the sound is the same.

    The highlight of this show was Sparks. I absolutely loved Number One Song In Heaven and Beat The Clock, they were the future of music and obviously influenced many acts from Soft Cell to ABBA and The Pet Shop Boys. It's been suggested that the nightclub Heaven is named after this song.

    On Wikipedia they list the song's chart history as:

    U.K. Singles Chart: 14
    Irish Singles Chart: 5
    Heaven: 1

    That tickled me.

    Then once again one minute of Bright Eyes. Okay but is it Art? I'll get my coat...

    1. never mind brian bennett taking it easy (although if you are familiar with his library music productions you will know there's a lot more to him than meets the eye) - bruce welch must have had the easiest job in pop, just churning out simple chords on autopilot behind hank's soloing... anyway, thanks for the "waking stick" tip bama - i love obscure/cult films from that era so have added it to my "must see before i die" (!) list

    2. Wilberforce - I am familiar with Brian Bennett's library music albums and have a few on CD. Although some of them are quite heavy and funky, eg a lot of his Bruton music was used as background music in The Sweeney.

    3. Anyone recall Les from Vic Reeves' Big Night Out? He did a great Bryan Ferry impression, but only facially.

    4. sorry bama - that comment about brian bennett wasn't directed at you personally! i should have put "if anyone is familiar with his library productions..."

    5. No need to apologise, I like to discuss the backing musicians careers. I actually first encountered Brian Bennett via his library music before I realised his connection to The Shadows. I just thought it was a shame that he has so little to do in these Shadows performances. Bizarrely he crops up in the video For Lindsey Buckingham's Trouble where he is given a lot more to do even though he isn't playing on the record.

  13. The Damned - Good for a laugh I suppose, but I only really liked their later songs in their 'commercial' phase.

    Elkie Brooks - I'm going to be unpopular with Julie....not keen on this song at all, I'm afraid. It doesn't get me going. Nothing wrong with Elkie of course (except that outfit!)

    The Shadows - Zzzzzzzzz. Plus the inevitable ****ing awful Cliff impression from our wonderful host.

    Roxy Music - Now we're talking. The start of a fantastic run of singles which I really love. 'You dress to kill, and guess who's dying?' is one of my favourite lines of any song.

    I did originally wonder why they would appear on quite a cheap programme like Snowtime Special, then remembered that previous single 'Trash' had bombed out at No.40 only a couple of months earlier. So this single was a bit make or break for the album, unbelievably!

    Legs & Co's routine was a bit odd this week, didn't really go with the song. Would have been better if they'd continued the high-kicking line into the next song where it would have fitted better.

    Gary Moore - Good song, and I think there were quite a lot of French cliches in this, actually. Phil's 'laissez faire' attitude. Red wine - which was probably blackcurrant juice, but still. And let's ignore the fact that it was being poured into a BBC Canteen tumbler.

    And as ever Phil Lynott still looks cool, even when playing the double bass!!

    Sparks - In my opinion, the best thing that's been on for months. Or even the whole of the 1979 shows. I'm assuming that they must have recorded the performance twice because there can't have been enough cameras there to edit all the shots together!

    If only Sparks had bought the BBC like they sang about doing in the mid-90s, maybe we could see all of the TOTP repeats? (SATIRE)

  14. So, the first TOTP of the Thatcher era and both Sparks and Roxy were definitely pointing the way into the 80s, although I must confess I've always thought Dance Away a bit dull. In the snooze stakes, though, it couldn't hold a candle to The Shadows or that forgettable Elkie Brooks number . Had she been raiding the wardrobe of Sir Jim'll? Quite a contrast to the posh frocks she was wearing back in '77!

    The unquestioned highlight for me was the brilliant Parisienne Walkways, though The Damned were good fun too and Legs certainly rose to the occasion. Thankfully the production team didn't provide them with fake tree trunks to knock on...

    I thought for one moment that Mike Read was playing keyboards with the Shads, perhaps thinking that he was really Cliff!

  15. Thanks for clearing up the "Cavatina" gallery mystery!

    Sparks had been absent from the singles charts for three-and-a-half years before this stormer, but they did manage two top 10, two top 20 and two top 30 singles in 1974/75.

    As for Chris Tsangarides, one of his earliest recording jobs was engineer for "Naughty Naughty Naughty", which he hated.

  16. Captain Sensible must have been hot in that garb under those lights. Who’d have thought he’d end up having a solo number one which, at the time, made the highest jump to the top in its second week on the chart? And yes, I bought the picture sleeve with the Cap’n on it.

    Elkie was smirking a lot at the start of that song. Had she noticed from his trouser region that Benny seemed pleased to see her?

    They weren’t dancing to Boney M at Bognor Regis yesterday. There was an all-day soul event on the pier instead. Just thought I’d share that with you.

    That show Roxy Music was on – was there a flag representing the nationality of every act appearing on it? Bryan, mate, turn the volume on your teeth down! Reverting to Gary Tibbs, at first I thought the band member roll call on “Ant Rap” namechecked someone called Dairylea You remember – “Marco, Merrick, Dairylea”….

    That must have been the longest and narrowest stage yet for a Legs & Co routine. Nice to see a variation on the Van McCoy “Shuffle “ harem trews.

    Talking of trews, Gary Moore’s early pair in the video reminded me of Bernie Clifton’s ostrich costume. When Scott turned up with the accordion, I half expected to hear him break into the theme to “’Allo ‘Allo”.

    Unusual italic slant of moustache there by Ron Mael. Fine tune – can’t wait for “Beat the Clock”, though.

    1. The chorus of "Ant Rap" went, "Marco, Merrick, TERRY LEE, Gary Tibbs and yours tru-lee", Terry Lee being drummer Terry Lee Miall. The substitution of "Dairylea" for his name was a running joke in "Smash Hits" for a while. My dear Mum loved Roxy AND Adam!

      Re Elkie's performance: you're so bold, Arthur! Ha, ha!

    2. but julie did she like the vibrators too? (that's gary tibbs' other band of course)

    3. No, she wasn't a punk rocker - but she really did admire Bryan Ferry and Adam Ant!

  17. Now, now, we've only just got Julie back. Don't scare her off straight away! Brilliant pun, though, I have to say :-)

    PS to Julie - my own favourite G&L track is "Shine A Light". Slightly under-produced and not as punchy as it should have been, but a cracker to these ears.

    1. You won't scare me off, Wilberforce! You're right about "Shine A Light", Arthur - that single might have been a hit with a tighter production. I love the harmonica on that track, and on "Willie and the Lapdog", which is my favourite G & L album. Benny Gallagher can play so many instruments: guitar, piano, bass guitar, accordion, mandolin, ocarina and harmonica.

    2. julie, i liked "heart on my sleeve" when it was originally a hit... honest! in fact even before it was a hit - i've mentioned this before, but back in 1976 i saw g&l on a regional pop programme produced by tyne tees where they performed several songs from the then-just-released "breakaway" album. it's probably not available on dvd, but maybe on youtube...?

  18. Lyle and Gallagher certainly had a good crack at Top of the Pops. As part of McGuiness Flint in 71; Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance in 74; themselves in 76-78; now backing Elkie Brooks in 79. Have I missed any..?

    1. welcome back wellieman - are all the old gang here now?

  19. That was one hell of a transition from The Damned (in maximum "look, we're miming" mode) to Elkie Brooks. If this latter was live then it was bloody good, and shows that the TOTP Orchestra (or at least the bits that don't go 'parp' or 'oompah') could rise to the occasion if desired.

    I agree that the Shadows are not exactly TV friendly. Perhaps they should either play live or mess about like the Damned?

    Have to admit that this basic, 'demo-quality' version of One Way ticket is growing on me.

    Another performance from the Monks, and the one I can better remember. We won't see then again so thankfully there will be no more habit jokes.

    The intro on the record version of Dance Away features the sound of a fag being lit and then there was that smoke-laden promo for Parisienne Walkways. It was a different world back then. [cough]

    Sparks were a highlight for me - this is a fave of mine. I don't think they really went away between 1974/5 and 1979, at least in America. I do know they appeared in the film 'Rollercoaster' in 1977.

    And what exactly was 'Snowtime Special'??

    1. “Snowtime Special” was actually two shows recorded in the BBC big top in Leysin, Switzerland, for broadcast across Eurovision at Easter (Easter!!!) 1979, with a Christmas Special being taped at the same time. The songs recorded and used in one or both shows were:
      Abba – “The Name Of The Game", "Eagle”, "Mamma Mia”, "Kisses of Fire", “Lovers (Live A Little Longer)", "Chiquitita", "Does Your Mother Know" and "Thank You For The Music"
      Kate Bush - "Wow" and “December Will Be Magic Again”
      Roxy Music - "Dance Away"
      Boney M – “Mary's Boy Child”
      Leo Sayer – “When I Need You”
      The Jacksons – “Destiny”
      Bonnie Tyler – “It's a Heartache”

  20. Sparks performed Big Boy in Rollercoaster which may not have been a hit but is preferable to There's Got To Be a Morning After from The Poseidon Adventure if we're talking disaster movie tunes. Plus in the quickly forgotten remake Poseidon, it was Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas singing - and she gets killed! At least Sparks survived!

    1. i don't know if sparks made any contribution musically (did they appear in the film as themselves?), but the original soundtrack for "rollercoaster" was by the legendary lalo schifrin. the title theme is quality funky disco, although i prefer the re-recorded version on his "towering toccata" album...

    2. Yes, Sparks appear as themselves, I remember Russell's bare feet being rather disturbing to me as a kid for some reason.

      Lalo is a legend, of course, if only for calling an album There's a Whole Lalo Schifrin Goin' On.