Thursday, 8 May 2014

Top of the Pops 17th May 1979 is Prime Time

No tv schedules for this week I'm afraid ~ looks like they've gone down the Tubes ~

17-5-79: Presenter: Peter Powell

(29) DONNA SUMMER – Hot Stuff (and charts)
(45) THE TUBES – Prime Time
(24) EARTH, WIND & FIRE with THE EMOTIONS – Boogie Wonderland (video)
(10) BLONDIE – Sunday Girl (danced to by Legs & Co)
(12) THE POLICE – Roxanne ®
(5) PEACHES & HERB – Reunited (video)
(54) XTC – Life Begins At The Hop
(2) M – Pop Muzik ®
(17) THE UNDERTONES – Jimmy Jimmy
(4) ABBA – Does Your Mother Know (footage from Snowtime Special: Abba In Switzerland 16-4-79)
(53) JUDAS PRIEST – Evening Star
(30) LINDA CLIFFORD – Bridge Over Troubled Water (video)
(56) MAX WEBSTER – Paradise Skies
(1) ART GARFUNKEL – Bright Eyes (video)
(7) ROXY MUSIC – Dance Away (and credits)

Donna Summer ~ some Hot Stuff plays over the chart rundown.

The Tubes ~ were last seen in the charts (though not on the show) in 1977 with their biggest UK hit White Punks on Dope. Here they are now seemingly going much more mainstream, though Prime Time peaked at 34. Nice Fred Flintstone t-shirt though.

Earth Wind and Fire ~ and not forgetting the Emotions adding to an already heavily populated stage. A fabulous disco era song, adorned with equally fabulous outfits, this was the second of three consecutive top 5 singles for the band.

Blondie ~ Legs & Co slip into their slinkiest Sunday best black dresses for a quite elegant dance routine ~ and was that a key Patti was jangling in the camera at the end?

The Police ~ here's Sting not quite yet getting the hang of this miming lark. Number 12 was as high in the charts as Roxanne got, surprisingly, but the band was on the verge of some most arresting success.

Peaches and Herb ~ Reunited was about to move up one further place in the charts, but they would never have another hit again.

XTC ~ very disappointed that this debut performance was edited from the 7.30 showing - catch it at at 1.40 am tonight if you are an insomniac, or from tomorrow on iPlayer.

M ~ also edited out but we have at least seen this one before - it couldn't dislodge Bright Eyes, number 2 was its peak.

The Undertones ~ with an average age of just 17 Peter informs us, which is quite fitting since Jimmy Jimmy was currently at number 17 in the charts, though it did rather uncooperatively move up one more place.

Abba ~ it's the Snowtime Special performance again, where Benny mistakes his piano stool for a trampoline. This was the second of five top four hits for Abba in 1979.

Judas Priest ~ were also edited out of the 7.30 show. Somebody didn't pay their seven pieces of silver.

Linda Clifford ~ a suggestion from Peter that many thought this couldn't be done - but here's a top 30 disco hit of Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water. She does have a great voice and probably could have really belted this one out as it was originally written, but this version troubled the charts no further than number 28.

Max Webster ~ not a person but a group (like Alice Cooper was) came all the way over from Canada to perform a somewhat strange song that each time it promised to take off, instead came to a stuttering halt. And number 43 in the charts is where it finally flopped.

Art Garfunkel ~ for his final week at number one we get to see at last a slightly different 60 seconds clip.

Roxy Music ~ dance away for us over the credits.

Next up is the 24th May 1979 presented by David Jensen.


  1. What a show, albeit a week early, as BBC4 are one week ahead in the month.
    You could say that disco was in full force this week, and this was the best show of 1979 so far, as one hit after another were more or less a classic.

    The Tubes - in the same spirit as Racey, choosing to have the sexy chick alongside the lead singer, and a great way to start the show with the Flintstones outfits.

    Earth Wind & Fire - too much of a classic sound, and I am lost for words to say it is probably one of the top three disco sounds of all time, and what a video....I remember at the time that in school the next day, the kids were trying to make the same dance moves as Maurice White and Philip Bailey...I love this track, and forever one of my faves for the dance floor.

    Blondie - officially there was no video ever made for this song surprisingly so. I thought Legs & Co looked brilliant, especially Gillian and Patti, but Sue was more the sultry one this week.

    Peaches & Herb - similar comments to Earth Wind & Fire - simply brilliant, and it's great to see a husband and wife in Peaches & Herb showing the way to other couples on the romantic front. Could these two be more romantic? I think not, so men...get the roses out for your women!

    M - They got four appearances on TOTP as they seemed to be at No.2 and No.3 forever, waiting for Mr Garfunkel to slip, but it never happened. Must be a record for the number of appearances by a group in the TOTP studio for one song.

    The Undertones - what no anorak this time on Fergal Sharkey?? On the Jimmy Saville show two weeks earlier, he was proudly showing off his anorak. Where was it today??

    Art Garfunkel - and so we got a sixth week at no.1, and nice to see a different 60 seconds of the video, but why only until the last week at no.1 for this show to do it? Anyway, it was a good run for Garfunkel, but we were now ready for a change, even though it was not going to be M.

  2. The ITV listings for 17 May 1979 were as follows:

    5.15 Crossroads
    5.45 News
    6.00 Local News
    6.30 Emmerdale Farm
    7.00 Survival
    7.30 Makin' It
    8.0 Leave It To Charlie
    8.30 TV Eye
    9.00 Hazell
    10.00 News at Ten

    Two days earlier on ITV was their rival to TOTP - Get It Together. Hosted by Roy North and Linda Fletcher and in house band Mike Moran and his Band, the guests this wek were Mickey Dolenz, Joe Egan and The Sport. Not much competition.

    1. Ah well done!
      I remember Get it Together. It was on around tea time and was more in the mould of Cheggers Plays Pop, I'd say. Roy North would nearly always end up singing a song himself, most often as not it would be Ging Gang Goolie with him dressed up as a scout! (Best keep that one quiet!)

    2. Yes he did dress up a bit and for some reason the boy scout performance stuck in my mind. It's a long way from his day's as 'Mr Roy' with Basil Brush. Roy North is still going I saw him in a play in my local theatre a couple of years ago

    3. Ah, Crossroads, what an icon in British TV!

  3. Studio facelift on the way in a few weeks

  4. Nice pun about the TV listings going down the tubes – as has my internet at home. My modem packed up on Tuesday, I phoned BT for a replacement only to be told my contract (which had rolled along for eight years without any problem) had expired last week, and I could only get a replacement modem if I entered a new contract with them. BT had also billed me for the next three months’ internet usage (after my contract had expired!!!), and they wanted a £30 termination fee - which they’re not getting - when I cancelled their direct debit and signed up to another provider. Typically, though, for a company whose ad campaign’s fronted by the fastest man in the world, my new provider can’t install their cables till next Thursday! Looks like I’ll have to watch the show on my iPhone, type up some notes and send my critique from my work computer on Monday!

    I take it Peaches and Herb gave Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. a run for their money? Was the EWF & Emotions clip the one they used for the first tiebreak question on “Never Mind The Buzzcocks”? The teams were shown a clip of this song and then asked how many people had been on the stage. I remember the answer was 13!

    1. Yes indeed, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr were the other husband and wife team getting into the charts a couple of years earlier, but I thought the Peaches & Herb song was definitely on a par with them, if not better. P & H seemed more in love when comparing the two videos.

  5. Keep thinking the Tubes were a punk band and forgetting about their bid for the FM airwaves with Prime Time. Nice literal staging from the TOTP crew, and it's a really slick track, somewhat at odds with the band's image.

    Earth Wind and Fire and that video we've all seen about as many times as there are performers in the footage. If they could fit Gonzalez into the studio, they should have had a go with EWF.

    Blondie, with some interesting faces from Legs & Co. Patti was indeed holding a key, presumably one which fitted the padlock on the front of her dress for some reason, it wasn't exactly a Vivienne Westwood bondage outfit.

    Peaches and Herb, they're in a disco, framed by a mirrorball, the lights are flashing, but they're just standing there. Wouldn't a sun dappled field of poppies be more appropriate, or a ballroom filled with gauzy white curtains?

    XTC, hmm, had someone been drinking coffee before taking the mic? Very brown tongue there. Great to hear this one again, it's neglected compared to their bigger hits but I like its relentlessness.

    The Undertones, someone in the audience was enjoying it at least, that woman in the white T-shirt was having a fine old time. Never understood what this song was about, there aren't many lyrics and they're cryptic.

    Judas Priest going a bit AC/DC but not as tuneful. Nice Christmassy star motif. In May.

    Linda Clifford, this is the sort of thing getting the rock fans very angry about disco, but I think it's quite funny. Any old song was fair game for the disco juggernaut, I suppose we should be glad Ethel Merman or Max Bygraves and their disco efforts never made it to TOTP. Anyway, Linda doesn't sound very soulful, but nice to hear this on the same show as Arthur. Wonder what he thought?

    Max Webster, ah the old spot the tune competition. Trick question, there isn't one! Might as well have recorded a jam session.

    1. There’s a theory “Jimmy Jimmy” is about child abuse, what with him doing what he was told and lying awake (scared?) at night with no-one listening to his cries for help and, in the end, either Jimmy’s tried to take his own life or his abusers have done something very bad to him.

    2. maybe (to save money) they filmed peaches and herb at the same time as their last single "shake your groove thing"?

    3. I don't think that the TOTP studio would have been able to get Earth Wind & Fire as you suggested THX, because the whole group as per the video, would have needed the entire TOTP studio to perform anywhere near as well as the video.

      For me, the video was as good as it was going to get with EWF, and the song should be remembered in that way, because the stage performance and dancing, as well as the colourful costumes would have been very difficult to do all over again in a TOTP studio.

  6. host: all the usual tics - the over excited-ness, the mumbling, the balled up intros ("sunday girl" gets mentioned twice in the same breath), but i still can't help liking the guy...

    donna summer: not one of her best and hardly hot stuff in a musical sense. in fact everything she did after "i feel love" came as a great disappointment to me (although her cover of the jon & vangelis tune "state of independence" wasn't too bad)

    the tubes: i regularly did circuit training around this time, and the guy in charge always played the album this came from. so i got very familiar with it and quite got to like the mix of mainstream rock with added futuristic synths and sequencing, although not to the point where i sought out a copy. decades later i came across it again and played it in the hope it would still do the business. alas it sounded like the synths were just added at the last minute to try and be hip, rather than an integrated part of the sound (a bit like one of the keyboard players wearing some fancy shades in the unlikely hope of anyone noticing he was otherwise extremely uncool-looking)...

    earth wind and fire: all that has to said is: "how many people were onstage?" aarrgghh! i've just read the comments and arthur's beaten me to that punch! i do have to mention though if you add up the numbers of the various factions then the answer is in fact incorrect:
    no. of members in ew&f: 9
    no. of emotions: 3
    no. of phoenix horns: 3 (or maybe even 4)
    total: 15 (or maybe 16)
    a mate i have had for nearly half a century now (!) rates ew&f as his all-time favourite band - although i also think they're brilliant, we have bantered about the top-heavy membership, and the fact that (in my opinion) the (supposed) sax-player andrew woolfolk is the andrew ridgeley of the band inasmuch he never actually seems to make any musical contributions...

    blondie: like the above i rushed out and bought the 12" version of this. in this case it was because i loved "heart of glass" at the time and really wanted to like this as much. however. even the presence of an alternative version in french could convince me it was anything other than pleasant new-wave lite (i suppose the true "heart of glass" follow-up was "atomic")

    police: sting wasn't even trying to pretend to play his bass, which was a bit of a cop out. this may not be their best track but it's far from a plod-ding effort (okay, i'll stop with the police puns now)... i know sting has become probably the most ridiculed man in pop for his pretensions, but even his fiercest critics would have to agree he could a: write a tune, and b: had an incredible vocal range...

    peaches & herb: always seen as a bit schmaltzy and fingers-down-the-throat time (for boys, anyway), it cannot be denied this is a well-crafted tune. it probably gets played at most school reunions of this generation (although i never played it when i was DJ for mine a couple of years ago)... i see that peaches was reading "woman's own" at floella benjamin's hairdressers whilst precious from eruption was being coiffed/beaded ...

    1. I remember Peaches & Herb in the charts in 1979, and as an 11-year-old at the time going to school, it was the one that the boys in school liked for pulling the girls, and it was difficult to ignore this track which hovered around No.4 & 5 for a while and got three showings on TOTP, only one less than M with Pop Musik, in the top 5 at the same time.

      This Peaches & Herb track, in the years that followed, was a popular and unmissable track for the slow-dance at the end of the school disco, and for adult parties too, to see if they could get into a groove as much as Peaches & Herb themselves, and the song lingered well into the 80s at the end-of-the-party smooch.

  7. xtc: ...whilst at another salon across town bassist and sometime singer colin moulding (presumably this was one of his compositional efforts rather than usual frontman andy partridge's?) was next in line after 2 of the emotions for the then-trendy "mushroom" cut! i wonder if he has the same kind of hairstyle today? i wanted to like xtc but they always seemed to promise a bit more than they delivered. around this time i entered a competition in "sounds" magazine hoping to win some fancy musical gear, but in reality just to get a free badge for my collection. when asked why i should like the instrument of my choice, i said to start up a band that was a cross between the police and xtc as i knew the journo running the comp was a big fan of both. i duly got the badge sent to me and thought no more of it. then a couple of weeks later a got another letter telling me i had won an electric piano worth £700 (probably a couple of grand in today's money)! so i went up to the smoke on the train to collect it in a presentation/party event where bill nelson was guest of honour (i weighed a ton so it was bloody hard work getting it home!) and afterwards i appeared in the paper as part of the event write-up (fame at last). i still have the cutting but as you can imagine it is very yellowed now - i keep meaning to ask the photographer (jill fumanovsky) if she can print a copy for me, but it would probably cost me an arm and a leg!

    m: brilliant as ever and one i never tire of hearing. the follow-up "moonlight and muzak" got played to death on the radio but joe public seemed to agree with me that it was missing the "x" factor (as opposed to the "m" factor which was another track of theirs) that made "pop musik" so special, and thus missed out on a "mugshot" placing...

    the undertones: i never understood what all the fuss over "teenage kicks" was about (other than the lyrics making reference to onanism). this is a bit better and i always find feargal's tremulous tones of some amusement, but (unlike the band it seems who now see it as a musical albatross) the one i'm looking forward to is "my perfect cousin". i mentioned before that somewhat bizarrely the band are still operating but with a different frontman - maybe feargal is watching these repeats and is tempted to come out of "retirement"...?

    abba: they rock! well, by their standards anyway. i wonder if this was always intended to be a single, or was a there a groundswell of public opinion? thankfully lyrically bjorn seems to think better of the jailbait temptation being thrust in his direction, otherwise in the current crazy climate they might have airbrushed this from the broadcast! i found it amusing that at one point agnetha gives a look of disgust at bjorn (behind his back) as if she is the mum in question... or maybe because he's got the attention of a younger model?!

    1. There was a rather excellent Undertones documentary on BBC4 last year which interviewed the band and those associated with them - except for Feargal, who was asked to appear but declined. Which may or may not speak volumes.

    2. I was a big fan of The Undertones, especially their last two albums, but Feargal Sharkey's refusal to appear with them, and his blinkered attitude to the music business in general, has ruined their memory for me. Did you know David Cameron wants to put him in the house of Lords - seriously:

  8. blimey - (for the first time) a triple helping:

    judas priest: the return of tim brooke-taylor and his leather-clad chums! i know they had some moderately-successful single released between "take on the world" and "breaking the law" but there was no way i would ever remember it. this did nothing to dredge any such memory out of my gret matter: it's just another attempt to dilute their normally-heavier sound for the pop market. kk downing has wisely shaved his moustache off for this appearance, but sadly i think that was only temporary...

    linda clifford: i have always loved disco music, but as far as i'm concerned this is a bridge too far! especially as she was capable of far classier stuff like "runaway love". and i never liked the original version which probably doesn't help. however i suppose (to paraphrase a bit of the lyrics) when you're down and out, the lure of the disco dollar is difficult to resist...

    max webster: or the max webster band as pete insists on calling them (even though they have "max webster" on the kick drum). no wonder people thought that was the singer/guitarists' name rather than the band's, especially as he appeared on the front cover alone on at least one of their albums. i wonder if (like alice cooper) everyone now refers to him as "max" rather than whatever his given name is? probably not as unlike alice he henceforth disappeared into obscurity. musically this is five-years-out-of-date prog rock, but i suppose that was still super hip in a place like canada...? regarding alice, there was an amusing moment recently as he and the missus were at an england cricket match and were introduced to geoff boycott... who immediately shook he wife's hand!

    marks 9/10 - the best show of the reruns yet! even though i didn't like all the music, it all really resonated with me with regard to my youth...

  9. Not a great show for disco, this one. I have never been keen on Boogie Wonderland, and always wondered how so many people could produce such a weak sound! I have never heard that Linda Clifford cover before, and hopefully never will again. Some songs benefit from being discofied, but Bridge Over Troubled Water was so perfect in its original form that this just sounds like a desecration - good voice, mind you.

    It was also certainly a good week for ugly singers, thanks to the male vocalist of The Tubes and "Max Webster," whatever his real name may be. Canada was doing well in the ugly stakes at this time, thinking back to Nick Gilder last year. As for the Max Webster song, it's a pity it wasn't edited out instead of XTC in the early showing - utterly forgettable.

    I think the highlight for me was the remarkably classy dance to Sunday Girl, which really seemed to hit the right note. It isn't my favourite Blondie track though - as Wilberforce mentions, they wouldn't really match Heart of Glass until Atomic, which for me is their masterpiece.

  10. Disco versions of songs that were originally ballads, as well as show tunes, were rife at the height of the genre's popularity. Petula Clark CBE had appeared on a few TV variety shows the previous year to promote her disco version of 10cc's 'I'm Not In Love', so Linda Clifford's pacy cover of 'Bridge' didn't shock me.

    The Tubes made a respectable bid for acceptance by the AOR audience with 'Prime Time', though I remember reading in one of the music papers that Fee Waybill had injured a fan with a chainsaw at one of the band's concerts! I also heard about Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford driving a motorbike into the audience - Elfin Safety wouldn't allow those sort of antics nowadays, and rightly so. 'Evening Star' is a good, solid piece of melodic heavy metal, though; I've shared it on another site for the benefit of my Mum's family, most of whom are HM fans.

    As the only member of Legs to have had advanced classical ballet training, Patti was rightly appointed as keyholder in this week's routine. On its first broadcast, back in the era of the "Confessions" films and Benny Hill, it didn't raise as many eyebrows as it would today.

    Blondie's 'Sunday Girl' - the 4th single from their multi-platinum album 'Parallel Lines' - was the first sign of their metamorphosis into a new wave Abba, a career move that would be continued with 'Dreaming' and 'Call Me', and cemented with 'The Tide Is High'. Deborah Harry's funk-orientated solo album 'Koo Koo', released in '81 and produced by the Chic Organisation, might have been a greater success had it not been for its gruesome cover artwork.

    With the TOTP debuts of both Police and XTC, a whole new era of classy, post-punk British new wave was about to begin.

    1. i've mentioned this before, but an early example of elfin safety occurred concerning judas priest: on the tour they were doing at this time, apart from the motorbike routine rob halford was also cracking a whip above the audience's heads! the latter was quickly stamped out by the powers-that-be, but i did get to see rob ride his harley on stage - it turned out to be a bit of a non-event really, as it was going so slowly that he had to keep his feet on the floor to stop it falling over!

    2. A Judas Priest concert, eh? How were Dokken? Dokken! Madonna is a dick!

    3. Good grief! Who had the brilliant idea of taking a face like Debbie Harry's and pretned it's part of a magician's pointy-things-through-the-fizzog routine? They may as well have sawn Debbie in half for the LP's back cover.

    4. Yes, I think I prefer that funny squashed-up, upside-down Debbie on 'Def, Dumb & Blonde'...

    5. From memory the video for Judas Priest's Breaking The Law features Rob Halford riding a motorbike around a city and finally onto a stage where the rest of the band are playing.

    6. The man who had the idea for Debbie's album cover was Alien designer H.R. Giger, and he died the other day. RIP. He also designed Brain Salad Surgery for ELP (though that was slightly bowdlerised).

    7. copies of another of hr giger's works (usually referred to as "penis landscape") were also used for inserts in the dead kennedys' LP "frankenchrist", which earned singer jello biafra and his record company a date with the beak on obscenity charges...

  11. A good selection between two 'wtf' performances. Out of the chart rundown into a punk version of Dollar(!) and then before the No. 1, well what was it? Some of the crap they play in my local McDonalds (which to my ageing ears sounds like either a singing robot or something being played backwards) is more memorable than this. And I always thought that bands with the name of a singular person was a late '80s thing, like Danny Wilson and Del Amitri.

    Those 'evergreens' like Boogie Wonderland and Reunited have never really been my 'scene' but it was good to hear them in their original context.

    Legs & Co looked really classy here, but the sound was a bit ropey - wouldn't have mattered normally but it's an all-time fave!

    Life Begins At The Hop passed me by at the time - I can remember first hearing it on an import copy of Drums And Wires some 3-4 years later (it's a bonus track on the CD release), and the first time I can remember hearing of XTC (and thinking "what a funny name!") was their next charting single...

    The Undertones - well I make their average age about 20 in 1979. The live OGWT performance is better, with a brilliant piece of ad-libbing. Instead of "He'd stay awake at night" Feargal accidently started singing the third verse and deftly changed it to "Now little Jimmy's here"! Shame that their second single - Get Over You - never had an airing.

    I knew of the name Judas Priest in 1979 but Living After Midnight in 1980 was their first single to 'click'. Heard today, though, I like this. I'm beginning to wonder if I missed this show when first broadcast.

    And Linda Clifford - showing the guy at No. 1 how one of his earlier efforts should be done. Or maybe not.

    1. 20thc, sounds like mcdonalds play music to match the food...

  12. Blimey, it was difficult watching the show on a three-inch by two-inch screen with my reading specs. Can’t wait to get broadband at home again!

    I couldn’t work out from my iPhone if it was either Lee Mack or B.A. Robertson fronting The Tubes, but they spent way too much time on him and not his comely co-singer in the Thunderbirds hat and, erm, yellow dress. A catchy little tune which deserved a mugshot.

    How many people on the EW&F / Emotions stage were actually playing anything? A singer / musician ratio not far off the ‘Waddy by the look of it.

    Lovely outfits for, and a slinky routine by, the Leggers. Fitted the tune perfectly.

    Good old Andy Summers, at least he was taking the miming lark seriously.

    Confirmation that Peaches and Herb knocked Billy and Marilyn off the top of the smooch podium with some aplomb. It seems Francine’s nickname had been Peaches since childhood.

    Not one of XTC’s best, but an underrated band in my opinion. They were unlucky to run a place or two short of the mugshot with “Generals and Majors” and “Towers Of London”, and I loved “Mayor Of Simpleton” which barely made the top 50.

    Maybe Feargal got too sweaty under the lights in his anorak. Shame he’s developed a complex about the band that helped make his name.

    “Evening Star”? Sounds like a long gone local newspaper. This was “Standard!” metal light, only livened up by the oh-so-festive bauble. Had The Priest been on with this again, would we have seen the Beeb’s revolving Christmas pudding?

    Many thought it couldn’t be done and, having heard Linda steamroller over “Bridge”, I wish she hadn’t bothered. The Dickies would have made a much better job than her sacrilegious effort.

    If Max Webster thinks that’s paradise, give me Hell any day – or three minutes of “Bright Eyes” instead of this abstract stop-start third gear metal brought to us by a bloke in a Refreshers jumper. Their plugger deserved a medal! By the way, I think Del Amitri was just a made up name – there’s no-one called Derek in the band!

    1. Actually, The Dickies DID do 'Sound of Silence'

    2. I have to admit that I had my tongue firmly in cheek when I mentioned Del Amitri. It's actually Greek for 'in the womb' (it says here), not somebody's name at all.

  13. I too loved XTC's 'Mayor of Simpleton', which was a 'Modern Rock Tracks' No.1 in the US. Dave Gregory 12-stringed all over that single like the president of the Byrds Appreciation Society on speed.

  14. How weird it was seeing the chart that I will be counting down on my radio show this week in televisual form first!
    Many of the songs featured in this rather brilliant edition will be included on that show.

    The Tubes - But not this....shame really, though it's the simultaneously tragic but entertaining performance that really makes this fun. On the sound alone, well I can see why it only just got into the Top 40.

    Earth, Wind & Fire - One of those videos that has been shown so many times, that you forget to actually watch it, if you know what I mean.
    So, in context here and pretending that I was seeing it for the first time, I was surprised at just how many effects are employed in it. And (unusual at the time if so) is most of it recorded on steadicam? It certainly looks like it.
    Great song, of course.

    Blondie - Not their best single, but what a lovely Legs performance this was. Sexy, but not in a cheesy 70s way at all. The best routine we've seen in ages I reckon.
    Sadly, it seems almost impossible to get the proper single version on CD - even the 'Old Gold' (remember them?!) compilation that I've got it on has the French bits in instead. I'm pretty sure that Blondie's various Greatest Hits collections have usually contained that one too.
    Speaking of which, I notice they have another one of those out this week, combined with a new album. Some of the hits have been re-recorded as well. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    XTC - That hairstyle was presumably admired by most members of Inspiral Carpets. The song wasn't admired by me, I'm afraid. I like most of their other singles though.

    The Undertones - Nothing much to say about the song, which is pretty good. However, I do remember Feargal Sharkey, in one of his many 'the record industry really is a disgrace' rants saying that it was so easy to have a hit as a faceless dance act that he had made several under an assumed name.
    And then proceeded not to tell us who. Cheers then. Unless of course he was making that up.

    ABBA - Wrong version AGAIN!

    Judas Priest - Not great, really. The first single I remember liking by this band was (rather oddly perhaps) 'United' in 1980.

    Linda Clifford - This one WILL be on my show this week. I'd never heard it before I started researching this chart. Then I found it on Youtube and fell in love with it instantly. I think it's a great take on the song!
    It also makes sense of the dance version by PJB feat. Hannah and Her Sisters in 1991 which is not dissimilar to this version

    Max Webster - it 1973 again? Is Whispering Bob about to speak? Have pink trousers become cool?'s just one of those weird acts that turn up from time to time. Unfortunately this lot don't fall into the 'amusing' pot.

    Art Garfunkel - 'Oh, they're playing it from the start!' I thought. For one moment I considered the possibility that Auntie Beeb had cancelled Michael McIntyre's godawful chat show and spent approximately 0.00001% of the budget on the full video. But no.
    Sorry to mention this again, but on my radio show this week I will be playing exactly a minute of this in tribute.

    PS Not really.

    1. As far as I can tell, the single version of Sunday Girl is the same as the version on Parallel Lines, which is, of course, available on CD. I think there was a 12" version with French lyrics but it's the Best Of Blondie LP remix that seems to be common today.

    2. if the bassist in the inspiral carpets had admired colin moulding's hair, it would only have been with envy!

    3. Yes, of course Sunday Girl is on Parallel Lines - sorry I sounded a bit dumb there. I meant on the compilations. It's one of those that's suddenly turned into the 'single version' everywhere. There are probably many other examples, none of which I can think of right now.

    4. Yup, any 1960s hit that's in stereo...

  15. The Fully Monty and Prince Charles ruined Hot Stuff for me, I actually preferred Heaven Knows but that missed the Top 30 in February.

    I remember seeing articles about The Tubes in the music press and thinking 'that's not for me' but I was pleasantly surprised when I heard Prime Time. It put me in mind of Todd Rungren and should have been a big hit. Admittedly the male band members were never going to win a beauty contest but it's a lot of fun.

    I always loved Boogie Wonderland but was never that impressed by the video, I think it was the fuzzy quality but of course we've come to expect that.

    There are performances from European pops shows of Sunday Girl so they could have shown one of those and let Legs dance to Linda Clifford or something else. Oh well it's too late now.

    I didn't realise at the time that Sting was 27 at this point and Andy Summers was 37 but I can see it now. Considering Roxanne (or Rocks Off as my brother and I called it) was their breakthrough hit I would have thought that they would take more trouble to make it look as though they weren't miming but maybe they were told to do it this way. I was always bit unsure about the lyrics when Sting says "I won't share you with another boy". 1) you're not a boy Mr Sting you're 27 and 2) if Roxy is a prossie as you are suggesting then you won't be sharing he with one but with many "boys".

    I liked soul ballads but I never bought Reunited. I think it was during 1979 that I stopped buying soul and disco records and concentrated on new wave.

    I got into XTC and bought a few of their singles but not this one. Their chart success was limited and I always though they did a lot better than they actually did. Their best was Sgt Rock and Making Plans For Nigel.

    M only did two performances of Pop Muzik and this was a repeat of the first, I actually prefer the second but of course we didn't really see that did we. I do feel sorry for them stuck at number two behind Art, I bet Robin Scott hates rabbits.

    A second Undertones performance and very good with the band on top form. They know how to mime. I never really thought about the meaning of the lyrics beyond it being about an neglected child but the ambulance reference is rather sinister.

    ABBA's Bjorn proves that it's difficult to dance on a shiny surface with big brown boots on, Benny does a better job but he's sitting down.

    I was never that bothered about Judas Priest one way or the other. Living After Midnight and Breaking The Law were catchy hard rock songs which I happily listened to on the radio but I certainly never bought them. This one starts off well with a good verse but the chorus lets it down. I see they've visited the rock and roll dresser for the mandatory Lyrca strides, leather jackets and aviator shades.

    Bridge Over Troubled Water is a song that should never be covered and certainly not in a disco style. Linda Clifford made number 28 which is a lot higher than it deserved to get.I preferred her output on Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label the previous year.

    The stripey jumper, pink trousered person in Max Clifford is Kim Mitchell. He would'nt look out of place on Antiques Roadshow in those trousers. This sounds like a bad rehearsal with unfinished lyrics. It is truly awful.

    Back to the first slice of uncle Art's rabbit pie and fade with Dance Away..

    A good looking crowd tonight, lots of normal looking people of the sort that I remember from the time. And Peter Powell was less annoying than usual. A good show I liked it.

    1. the tubes record was actually produced by todd rundgren (that's to my recollection and i've decided to stick with that and risk humiliation rather than cheat and look it up on the internet!)

      some salient points about sting - regarding the first one, in his defence he may have written the song when he was a lot younger. regarding the second, if i were him i'm not sure i'd want to have a prostitute as a girlfriend as (even though it was just about pre-aids) you might be likely to pick up some nasty things. thinking about it, considering the subject matter i'm surprised in a way that this wasn't banned at the time... by the way, i think andy summers still looks pretty youthful even though he must now be in his seventies!

    2. M's 'Pop Muzik' did go to No.1 in the US, where Art Garfunkel's 'Bright Eyes' didn't even make the Hot 100!

    3. 'Max Clifford'? Freudian slip, or deliberate, Mr. Woogie?!

      Re The crowd being fairly normal - I'd noticed that too. For the first time ever, there was someone quite fanciable standing next to the presenter.
      The one with t-shirt and black leather (or PVC? not sure) trousers. She was made to look even better by the woman on the other side of Peter seemingly wearing a pair of curtains.

    4. It wasn't intentional, I was unconsciously joining up Max Webster and Linda Clifford. I suppose could have said Linda Webster.

  16. Sorry about that! I can see it now - Del Boy Amitri, the indie tribute band from Peckham

  17. Getting ready for a new No.1 next week when Blondie finally knocks off Art Garfunkel from the No.1 spot.

    Both are from the New York music scene, and so in that sense, nothing was to change at the No.1 spot if you see it from a Brit point of view. Our homegrown Racey and M couldn't jostle Bright Eyes, so it was to be the Americans hogging the No.1 spot.

    In fact for five straight months from the beginning of February until the end of June, the No.1 spot in the UK was entirely American, starting with Blondie's Heart of Glass to Bee Gees Tragedy to Gloria Gaynor to Art Garfunkel, then Blondie again with Sunday Girl to Anita Ward's Ring My Bell.

    Finally, finally, it was to be Tubeway Army after 5 months of American No.1's on the British charts to break the chain, with Are Friends Electric.

    I must say that I did not like the Tubeway Army No.1 through the whole of July, and I preferred the American run to continue, but it seems that by July, there was little American music in our charts to compete with Gary Numan, so he had it all his own way for a few weeks at No.1, while the Americans were taking a well-earned summer break from dominating our charts for the first half of the year.

    1. Um, The Bee Gees were from The Isle of Man.

    2. Thanks for correcting me guys, but let's put it this way: for the entire first half of 1979, from the beginning of January until the end of June, only three weeks of the number one spot was not American, i.e., one week with Ian Dury and his Blockheads in January, and two weeks with the Bee Gees Tragedy in March.

      This means from the first No.1 of the year with Village People YMCA until Anita Ward ringing her bell at the end of June, we finally called time on the American 6-month domination of the No.1 slot in our British pop chart if we count out three weeks of this period to Ian Dury and the Bee Gees.

      Tubeway Army however were not my idea of of a change to start the second half of the year with a homegrown no.1, as that record puts anyone to sleep!

    3. dory, i totally agree with you regarding "are "friends" electric" (why "friends" in inverted commas btw?) - what a dirge! the solo follow-up "cars" was miles better...

    4. Yes, it probably explains why Tubeway Army were changed to "Gary Numan" for the Cars hit, as they didn't come off well with Are Friends Electric.

      Perhaps we are jumping the gun, as we are a few weeks away from this No.1, and we still have Blondie and Anita Ward No.1's before Tubeway Army take over the No.1, and it will be interesting to see the comments on this track.

  18. Furthermore, the 'M' project wasn't entirely homegrown, as its line-up included renowned French keyboardist, composer and producer Wally Badarou.

    1. the lady backing vocalist in m was french too i think...