Thursday, 26 June 2014

Stay With Me Till Top of the Pops

It's the 12th July 1979 already, hosted by hello hello hello Mike Read, and a whole lotta lovely new performances on the show this week....

I need Top of the Pops tonight....
12-7-79: Presenter: Mike Read

(16) SLICK – Space Bass (and charts)
(33) SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES – Playground Twist
(17) THOM PACE – Maybe
(8) THE BEACH BOYS – Lady Lynda (danced to by Legs & Co)
(38) THE POLICE – Can’t Stand Losing You
(30) RICKIE LEE JONES – Chuck E.’s In Love (video)
(2) JANET KAY – Silly Games
(32) PUBLIC IMAGE LTD – Death Disco
(26) SUPERTRAMP – Breakfast In America (video)
(51) CHANTAL CURTIS – Get Another Love
(14) THIN LIZZY – Do Anything You Want To (video)
(58) JUDIE TZUKE – Stay With Me Till Dawn
(1) TUBEWAY ARMY – Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
(22) DONNA SUMMER – Bad Girls (and credits)
Slick ~ with Space Bass at its number 16 peak do the chart rundown this week
Siouxsie & the Banshees ~ looking very glamorous in her mackintosh raincoat, Playground Twist just about wriggled into the top 30.
Thom Pace ~ still a bit dull is this one, getting close to its number 14 peak now.
The Beach Boys ~ the Legs and Co ladies are back from holiday, although they seem to have landed in some remote sun tanned orange studio for this Beach Boys routine.
The Police ~ in the studio for a second time this year with their fabulous follow up single to Roxanne, the second release from their debut album, Outlandos D'Amour.
Rickie Lee Jones ~ this was her only hit single in the UK, reaching number 18.
Stonebridge McGuinness ~ were edited out from the 7.30 show, catch up with Oo-Eeh Baby later on BBC4 tonight at 1.30 am.
Janet Kay ~ was also edited from the 7.30 show, now in her peak number two position.
Public Image LTD ~ a debut in the studio for Johnny and the boys - Jah Wobble taking every opportunity here to show off his specially blacked out tooth
Supertramp ~ with the title track from their 18 million seller album, and a video that looked like it was filmed at the same time as their last one. Did they ever make it into the Top of the Pops studio? I think they did for Dreamer in 1975.
Chantal Curtis ~ 'zooming up the charts' at 51 but this French lady didn't get any higher and didn't get another hit.
Thin Lizzie ~ another 7.30 edit victim, but we have seen this video previously.
Judie Tzuke ~ now we're talking! An amazing performance of an amazing song, this was actually the second single from her debut album, Welcome to the Cruise (the first, which failed to chart, was a wonderful acappella tune called For You) - somehow, Stay With Me Till Dawn was her only hit single.
Tubeway Army ~ now in their 3rd of 4 weeks at number one.
Donna Summer ~ not such a bad girl, she sings us out over the credits this week.
Next up is the 19th July 1979, presented by David Jensen.


  1. Supertramp did indeed make one TOTP studio appearance, for "Dreamer".

    Fully agree about Judie Tzuke. "For You" was a fine song, but "Stay With Me Till Dawn" is an absolute cracker and deserved to be top five in my opinion, not top 20 as it turned out.

    (Proper critique some time over the weekend with any luck -,hopefully not as tardy as last week!)

  2. Stonebridge McGuinness rose from the ashes of the post-Gallagher & Lyle incarnation of McGuinness Flint, but actually sound rather like G & L. 'Oo-Eeh Baby' is a likable piece of country-flavoured pop, though not quite in the same class as the Scottish duo. Lou Stonebridge subsequently joined classic soul revival outfit The Dance Band, while Tom McGuinness is still performing and recording as a member of The Blues Band.

    I agree wholeheartedly about Judie Tzuke; her non-charting '81 single 'I'm Not A Loser', on Chrysalis, proved that she could rock, and should have been HUGE. Her Noughties protegee Lucie Silvas is another example of an immensely talented, but grossly overlooked, singer-songwriter - and Britain has produced plenty of them!

  3. A show full of ballads, in contrast to the previous week's Jimmy Saville offering with a disco and dance flavour.
    Great to have legs & co back from holiday, and some fine tracks.

    The show seemed to be VHS playback by BBC4, as I could have sworn that the pictures on some of the song had fading tape, and there is nothing wrong with my TV!

    Chart rundown in a new picture insert format did not go down well, where this week they changed it from a full screen format. There was no need really, cos i liked the traditional format.

    Slick (chart rundown) - the more I hear this, the more I'm liking it, and there doesn't seem to be any video footage of them anywhere online, so I wonder if this was back room outfit of some unknowns who were afraid to come into the public domain.

    Beach Boys - brilliant summer-long track, and great dancing from Legs & Co. How I love the name Linda, and Lady Linda, yes indeed. Great comeback hit for the Boys of the sixties.

    PIL - how could John Lydon leave the Sex Pistols while they were still scoring hits in the same chart? PIL was a poor venture, and I never liked his style.

    Supertramp - now that's more like it, I could hear this group 24 hours a day if I had to, and this song really typifies the group at their very peak in 1979 with this and The Logical song. Pure brilliance.

    Judie Tsuke - same goes for Judie, this song is just too romantic for words, I'm about to melt already, as it is coming up to midnight, and my wish is for Judie to stay with me till dawn to sing this song until the sun rises. Fat chance of that happening!

    1. Slick were the backing group for Fat Larry's Band including Larry James with vocals by Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson, Evette Benton, Brandi Wells and Doris James.

  4. Yes, there did seem to be a problem with the original 2 inch tape, a lot of white spots appearing in the same place on the screen..I'm now reminded that Simon Bates on the top 40 show one week skipped a climbing Judie Tzuke in order to find time play an extended Patrick Hernandez. Doubly wrong of him!

  5. Thought Mike Read was at his best so far this episode with the banter and chumminess at optimum levels. Good to see him more relaxed. Pity about the state of the tape, though, as mentioned above, maybe it was retrieved from one of the notorious BBC bins?

    Pity about the audience too, they started off befuddled at Siouxsie and never recovered. Goth being formed before their very eyes and all they could do was stand there.

    Channel 5 repeated Grizzly Adams when they started up, I think there was only one season made but it was repeated endlessly, so it's weird I don't really remember this theme tune. I sort of half do, half don't. Somewhere the Littlest Hobo theme tune creators were seething at their lack of chart success...

    The Beach Boys well into their naff period, always found this a real cheesy letdown with its "tasteful" classical riffing compared to what they used to be capable of. Brian wasn't in any shape to shake things up, alas. Still, it didn't seem too bad with the Legs ladies hoofing.

    The Police, hey, Stewart and Sting seemed to have the wrong tops on, Sting should have had the yellow and black stripes, surely?

    Rickie Lee Jones, kooky American extraordinaire. For years I thought there was a racial slur in the lyrics near the start, but I eventually saw that was not the case. To late to stop it spoiling the tune a little for me, sadly.

    Stonebridge McGuinness, reminded me of a white reggae version of Peter Frampton's Show Me the Way, if you can imagine such a thing. But not bad for all that.

    PIL: now here's how to use a classical sample, Beach Boys! Fantastically avant garde bit of rock, unfriendly, confrontational, and menacing. Even Jah Wobble's comedy stylings were slightly scary. Great stuff, really showed up the Pistols for the sad decline into covers band they became.

    Crunching gear change into Supertramp: this footage looked like it had been retrieved from the bin even before this episode was originally broadcast. Mr Tramp doesn't like his girlfriend much, does he?

    Chantal Curtis, funnily enough this was almost as "out there" as PIL, or at least it was after the TOTP orchestra had their hands on it. Couldn't really discern a tune.

    Judie Tzuke, it's been commandeered by a million Quiet Storm broadcasts over the years which takes the lustre off it a little, but it is a really nice, atmospheric tune, so well produced and very well recreated for the studio. Mylo did a great remix of this on his Destroy Rock 'n' Roll album.

    1. There were 35 regular length episodes of "Grizzly Adams", plus three two hour specials and, before all that, there'd been a "Grizzly" film. I was much more of a "Salty" fan myself. Great theme tune to that programme as I recall.

    2. surely the remarkable thing about (the aptly named) mr tramp's girlfriend was that he had one at all? to paraphrase mrs merton: "what attracted you to the millionaire rock star roger hodgson?"

  6. Some real safe stuff on here, and yet some pretty racy (not Racey!) stuff by TOTP standards too. Speaking of which...

    Siouxsie & The Banshees - Always entertaining to watch, but a bit like the last one, I wouldn't say that this is a classic single. Nice flasher mac though!

    Beach Boys - I hate this song. I'm not sure why, but I just find it really dull and...just lazy really, for a group who made so many classic pop songs. Suitably enough, the Legs routine is forgettable as well.

    The Police - A much better tune, and as a bonus Sting nearly whacks Mike Read around the head with his guitar. Try a bit harder next time Gord!

    Rickie Lee Jones - Oh god, the number of times I had to play this self consciously 'kooky' song on the radio is unbelievable. As a result, I detest it.

    Stonebridge McGuinness - I had a feeling that there had to be a McGuinness Flint connection. This was one of those average plodders that we seemed to get a lot of in the preceding 3 years on the repeats but are less common now.

    Public Image Ltd - Yes, Mr, Wobble, you've got nasty teeth, you don't have to do the 'joke' a dozen times!
    Shame they turned up for this one, given that it's not exactly fun to listen to. Not to worry, according to Ronco it's perfect for a 'Rock'n'Roller Disco' (TM) !!

    Supertramp - I do like their hit tunes, cheesy though they are. I love the saxophone player as well, he plays up for the camera like no tomorrow.

    Chantal Curtis - Sounded like it was going to be really interesting at the start, then it suddenly wasn't. She looks like she might be a bit of a cow as well, doesn't she? Not exactly full of charm.

    Judie Tzuke - Why did I think this was a middle aged woman who wasn't particularly attractive? She's actually a bit of a hottie! (albeit a bit toothy)
    What a tune as well, gorgeous in this form and in Mylo's reworking. Reminds me of my younger days with my first girlfriend listening to Capital late at night...

    As for the picture quality this week, those artifacts on the picture looked EXACTLY like the breakup that used to happen when I was recording the episodes from UK Gold circa 1993/4. Hmmmm....

    1. Chantal Curtis was shot in Israel in 1985 by a gunman who was intending to kill her drug dealer boyfriend, so don't be too hard on her.

    2. Bet she wished she had got another love!

  7. Interesting to know others were seeing white spots on the picture - I thought there was some interference on my box!

    It was good to have so many new songs this week, though some were more welcome than others. I have heard Chuck E's in Love so many times on the radio that I am sick to death of it, and the annoying drawly way she sings the song doesn't help. Breakfast in America I have likewise heard too often, and Chantal Curtis and PIL were just boring, even if Jah Wobble was doing his best to scare the kids! Interesting that Tom McGuinness was on just one week after his old compadre Manfred Mann, but I would have preferred to hear McGuinness Flint.

    On the positive side, The Police gave us a fun, dynamic performance of what is probably my favourite song of theirs - in fact I love all of the first three hits, but after that they started getting a bit tedious. The other standout was that superb live performance from Judie Tzuke, which matched the record for quality and certainly sent a tingle down my spine - how this wasn't a bigger hit, I'll never know.

    Another good hosting job from Mr Read, I thought. Interesting that he was getting up close and personal with some of the acts, though he wisely kept his distance from John Lydon. If Tony Blackburn had been presenting he would probably have done his link into PIL from the next studio...

  8. Shame we never get to see Slick in the flesh.

    I always thought Playground Twist was a song about British justice system with references to balancing the scales scales and swinging in the gallows but according to Siouxsie it's about the cruelty of children to each other. Unusual being in 3/4 time. I remember this performance well, it was the raincoat I think. Not very punk but then didn't Siouxsie once admit she got a lot of her clothes from BHS.

    Mike Reid's intro to Thom Pace with the fixed grin was a bit showbiz, especially when he was clad in a white suit. Thom look as like a stray Beach Boy or a chunky Benny from ABBA. Maybe.

    Talking of The Beach Boys I liked this a lot at the time and bought it. I also bought their previous single the disco version of Here Comes The Night. I wanted the 11miute US 12 inch of that and had to go to HMV in Oxford Street on one of rare trips to London. Not a very inspired dance routine.

    I like Sting pretending to laugh at Mike Reid's dressing up antics, I wonder what he was really thinking. I have seen this performance a few times and it's pretty good with them playing around giving it away that they are miming. I've only just noticed that all Police songs have the same format, with the chorus always in double time. Clever trick if you can get away with it.

    Mike gets it right and calls them Police during their intro but back announces them as The Police.

    The Rickie Lee Jones song seems remarkably modern, I had forgotten that it was as old as this. Okay performance video by her and the band marred by bad quality video and those static images.

    I have no recollection of Stonebridge McGuiness which is a terrible name but it is okay in a Gallagher and Lyle-ish sort of way and as THX says above it has the same chord changes and vocal phrasing as Show You The Way To Go.

    Lots of direct links this week making good use of the graphics but why-oh-why use the second Janet Kay performance when the first was so much better.

    PIL was awful really but I bought it at the time thinking that I was being cool and modern but I quickly grew tired of it. Jah Wobble has nicked his grinning at the camera with painted out teeth from Spike Milligan. John Lydon looks a proper nana in those massive headphones.

    What's not to like about Breakfast In America apart from the lead singer's greasy hair obviously. A top song which really takes me back to 1979 and being in the sixth form. They always fade when the sax players starts playing.

    Chantal Curtis sounded a bit like she was a cockney at the start of Get Another Love, like Lorraine Chase goes disco, but quickly it became obvious that she was French. (as Basil Fawlty would say "Oh you're French. I thought there was something wrong with you"). Standard disco fare, wonder how she got on with John Lydon and Co in the green room?

    Ah Judy Tzuke. I remember them playing this to death on Capital Radio and it being Roger Scott's daily listener's Top Ten for ages. There was always a discussion about how to pronounce her name was Zuke or Zukey? I too remember her previous a capella single and was blown away by both.

    Nice to see an appreciative audience this week who applauded at everything, even Chantel Curtis.

    Gary getting used to being at number one now and it's starting to show. Nice to see he's spent some of his earnings on a futuristic jacket.

    Unusual pan away from the presenter at the end, they usually cut straight to the familiar TOTP symbol which of course we never see at the start anymore.

    1. apparently "tzuke" was her polish family's name before they moved to blighty and changed it to something more indigenous-sounding. once she got some radio airplay it was always pronounced "zuke", but before that when i read of her in the music papers in my ignorance i always thought it was "t-zuke". the confusion probably didn't help her cause...

      does anyone remember the 80's british band huang chung who experienced similar pronounciation difficulties? they changed their name (which was supposedly not chinese-influenced but reference to the sound of their guitars) to "wang chung" so their american target audience knew how to pronounce it properly and consequently cleaned up stateside...

    2. bama's reference to schoolchildrens' cruelty reminds me of when the spastics society charity chain decided to change their name at least partially due to playground taunts of "spaz", "spazzer", etc. unfortunately, with the new brand name in mind the kids just started referring to their targets of derision as "scopers"!

  9. Mike Read had obviously grown into the presenting role by now. Not afraid to roam the stage at the start of studio turns, chummy and upbeat. Liked the way he mentioned Slick had climbed from just outside the top 30. Hated the miniature countdown photos, by the way. Also, yet another show where the studio audience were treated to a huge number of mugshot missers – six non-top 30 studio acts in this show, including one not even in the 75 yet.

    Siouxsie’s mac reminded me of happier times when Rolf Harris could sing “Jake The Peg” and some folk wouldn’t feel squeamish. An excellent live act, mind, with Steve Severin surely the most frenetic TOTP bassist alongside Bruce Foxton. Talking of bassists, I wonder how our old mate WeddingSuit (the bassist with Brendon, who gave us some fascinating behind the scenes insights on Simon’s initial website) is getting on these days? The saxless instrumental was a bit jarring – couldn’t they have borrowed Stonebridge McGuinness’s sax player for a laugh?

    After The Korgis, another show featuring a song which sampled a classical classic, in this case Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”. The Beach Boys track was named after the songwriter’s wife, and he re-wrote it with a new title after they got divorced!

    I agree the wrong Policeman was wearing the bee-style jumper. Remember the single’s sleeve, with Stewart Copeland hanging himself using a block of ice and a heater? I always thought the song missed a trick and should have had a missed beat to follow the line about the LPs being scratched, in order to replicate a scratched record effect.

    Never mind Judie Tzuke, I thought Rickie Lee Jones’s choppers were just as prominent. I love this song but it infuriated me as a 17-year-old with its obvious Yankee lyrics. Drug store? Pool hall? What the Hell are those?

    That must be the first and only time a band member’s been allowed to do a request on the show (who is / was Anna, by the way?)- and for his group’s own song to boot. Well, I say their own song. Having ripped off the beginning of “Show Me The Way”, Stonebridge McGuinness also lifted the “Ooh, you’ll wait a long time for me” tune snippet from 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love”.

    So. Mike, surrounded by attractive young ladies before PiL? What about the beanpole bloke at the back, then?

    Was John Lydon listening to a different song on those headphones? Maybe Thom Pace? “Maybe”, Thom Pace - see what I did there? Harumph! Still, at least PiL bothered to turn up and have a go. Looking past his Steptoe gnashers for this outing, Jah “No fillings today, Mum” Wobble’s best bassline must be on “Play Dead” by Bjork.

    Want to be in Supertramp? Applicants must have long hair and a beard to reach the initial interview stage.

    As soon as Chantal Curtis opened her mouth, I thought “Good moaning”! Was she nervous, sultry or just a bit of a misery? Maybe she was just acting out the mood of the song.

    The obvious highlight was Judie Tzuke. A sublime song, with all 235 seconds played out, and the backing band way back in soft focus letting Judie shine. I reckon her toothy problem was more due to her unusually semi-circular top lip which accentuated the top set of gleamers. To my mind, that was the most faithfully and sympathetically reproduced studio version of a song. Just lovely. By the way, tut tut, that photo of Judie’s from a different show to this! :-D

    1. tip to potential supertramp candidates: don't forget also to not wash your hair for several days prior to the interview...

  10. host: mr read will never really convince me that he's the right man for the job, but at least i suppose he tries with his (presumably pre-rehearsed) routines and props. however going by his stuttering link into janet kay some more rehearsal time was evidently required...

    siouxsie and the banshees: unlike their last effort i can actually make out some of the words that siouxsie is coming out with, but i still have no inclination to listen more carefully to find out what it's all about. musically possibly the strangest thing on the totp re-runs so far...

    beach boys: as someone pointed out, they ripped off some classical riff for this snorefest, but does anyone know what it was? our host informed us it was their their first hit for seven years - someone watching with me suggested their lengthy absence was because the rest were just sitting around waiting for brian wilson to come back from his drug holiday! around this time brian's beach boy replacement bruce johnston released a solo single called "pipeline" - knowing his background and probably having heard this drivel i ignored the many copies that were hanging around in ex/non-chart bargain bins, only many years later by chance discovering it was in fact a creditable disco effort...

    the police: by far the best bit of the show for me - i love the contrast between sting and the tiny andy summers bouncing about behind him! my favourite bit of this was the instrumental break that was alas all-too short - i discovered later that in their live performances they did an amazing extended version incorporating the mainly-instrumental "regatta be blanc", but sadly to my knowledge no studio recording of that arrangement exists...?

    rickie lee jones: did joni mitchell sue for appropriation of her look and sound? joni had much better tunes though. another one that got played to death on the radio at the time, but can't say i've missed not hearing it in the last 35 years since...

    stonebridge mcguinness: cod-reggae alert! actually this isn't too bad as soft rock goes, with some good harmony work and modulation going on - there's even a diminished chord thrown in at a couple of points. but why did they have to put that obvious "show me the way" riff in? mr stonebridge (of whom i knew nothing of but have now discovered was previously part of prog-rockers paladin) sports a regular west-coast rock dude appearance whilst (the presumably older) mcguinness goes for a faux new-wave look what with his skinny tie and jacket with badges on lapels. and the rest of the band are similarly disparate, especially the two keyboard players (did they really need two?) - surely the new-fangled herbie-hancock-style portable job should have been played by the pete docherty lookalike rather than the guy with the big hair and shades (is that mike moran btw)?

    public image: when the music weeklies reported this track being released, they enthusiastically but wrongly referred to the title as "death to disco"! in fact lydon was demonstrating that he had some respect for and interest in the genre with a discofied rhythm track, although the jagged guitar and in particular his howling put me off somewhat (ironically as a disco bunny i preferred the straight-ahead thrash of their debut single)...

    1. Yes, that was Mike Moran on the mobile keyboard with Stonebridge McGuinness.

  11. it's another two-parter...

    supertramp: a bit like the beatles, there were actually two singer/songwriters in this group who were equally prolific, but roger hodgson always seemed to get the singles which distorted that arrangement (and probably somewhat annoyed richard davies who was the other guy in question). hodgson left the band some time ago but they continue to tour, which begs the question: who sings his songs? does davies do them, or have they got a replacement soundalike in? i always wonder how such bands can even consider carrying on once their (main) frontman departs, but there seems enough people around willing to indulge them by attending their gigs. apart from supertramp, examples include: the undertones, slade, ELO, INXS, the animals, queen etc... have they all got soundalikes in? queen (or rather brian may and roger taylor) employed paul rodgers of free/bad company - a guy who couldn't sound any more different from freddie mercury if he tried! i always thought that if they were to carry on post-freddie then george michael was the obvious man for the job... in the case of slade, can anyone even begin to sound like noddy holder? maybe someone here has been to one of these kind of gigs and relate their experience? i did actually go to see the stranglers after hugh cornwell left, but in my defence m'lud i always felt the core of the band was dave greenfield and (in particular) jean-jacques burnel, so his absence didn't matter that much to me...

    chantal curtis: i loved this when it was around back then - they actually played it in a local disco i used to frequent, even though it was only a minor chart success. in the wake of the bbc orchestra's hatchet job i listened to the original again, and although massively superior the production is decidely messy and cluttered. great harmonica solos by sugar blue though (you may be aware he also appeared on the stones' "miss you" 45). back then i picked up several bargain bin 45's similar to this that were also on the pye label - they seemed to release stuff originally on foreign independent labels that presumably the likes of CBS weren't interested in: el coco, dc la rue, renzo fraiese etc. i have a sad habit of putting together themed CD compilations that i know will never be released (although some of them have actually been burnt for friends and acquaintances), and one such comp was entitled "a funky slice of pye", complete with the idea of commissioning a baker to actually make a pie with the round pye logo in pink and purple iceing! of course in true walter mitty-style that never happened...

    judie tzuke: i remember her stuff being pushed as "proper" music as opposed to vacuous pop, punk or disco, but although i tried to get into this i always found it a bit too dreary for my taste. the "live" performance doesn't help either - hope she was a bit better at her gigs...

    tubeway army: was this a new appearance by the numanoid and his chums? i've had enough of this now so couldn't be bothered to carry on watching to find out! looking forward to "cars" though...

    donna summer: was this released before or after "hot stuff"? both sounded the same to me i.e. slightly rocky in-one-ear-and-out-the-other disco that was extremely disappointing in the wake of the mighty "i feel love" - donna really should have died in a plane crash after that!

  12. Replies
    1. Good grief! A Judie Tzuke dissenter in the ranks! Mutiny! By the way, one of my earlier posts mentions the Bach rip-off by The Beach Boys.

    2. i did try to like judie athur!

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    1. Mr Anonymous has been spamming us for several weeks. Is this the same person?....

  15. Sorry, very late to this party. Never been a huge fan of that Judie Tzuke track either I'm afraid. But at least she later got a mention in a Half Man Half Biscuit song, which helps her live on for me.

    I wonder if Judie's briefly glimpsed bassist is John 'Rhino' Edwards. latterly of the Quo? I know he played with her.