Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Sweet Little 800th Top of the Pops

Ok before you get too excited, the whole edition of the 800th Top of the Pops from 26th July 1979 hasn't as yet materialised anywhere online, if it does I will of course post the link right here. Needless to say, it is of course a Jimmy Savile.

Here's the running order, courtesy as always of Popscene, with the links to as many individual performance clips as I can find on Youtube..............

You can't start the party without us!

Edit...... the link for the full show 800th has now arrived, and it's at Vimeo - please bear in mind that Jimmy Savile is the host so don't click if you will be offended:

Top of the Pops 26th July 1979

26-7-79: Presenter: Jimmy Savile   (800th TOTP)

(was there a chart rundown on this show?)
Yes there was, with the music provided by the Top of the Pops theme, Whole Lotta Love :-)

 (50) SHOWADDYWADDY – Sweet Little Rock ‘N’ Roller

 (30) JUDIE TZUKE – Stay With Me Till Dawn

 (35) BUZZCOCKS – Harmony In My Head

 (27) ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – The Diary Of Horace Wimp (video)

 (39) THE UNDERTONES – Here Comes The Summer

 (10) SUPERTRAMP – Breakfast In America (video)

 (41) TELEX – Rock Around The Clock

 (13) PATRICK HERNANDEZ – Born To Be Alive (danced to by Legs & Co in nappies)

 (23) CLIFF RICHARD – We Don’t Talk Anymore

 (15) THE POLICE – Can’t Stand Losing You ®

(43) SPYRO GYRA – Morning Dance

 (1) THE BOOMTOWN RATS – I Don’t Like Mondays (video)

 (18) RICKIE LEE JONES – Chuck E.’s In Love (and credits)



  1. Nice work, Angelo! I'll look at the clips when I get home tonight with any luck.

    Unusual to have a Buzzcocks single with Steve Diggle as vocalist. Despite his shouty efforts, I loved this song and bought it at the time. Yet another 'Cocks blinder which sadly just missed out on a mugshot.

    How prophetic Mike Read's words were about Judie Tzuke - "her first appearance on Top Of The Pops, it won't be her last". In the real world, Judie made three TOTP outings, but her first BBC4 turn will also be her last, as the other two were on banned shows.

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  3. Ooh, Telex!
    Do they get on again - because if they don't, I definitely saw this show on UK Gold. I remember seeing them perform and my jaw dropping open.

    Of the others we've not seen before and that I also like, I know we'll definitely get to see Cliff again and I would assume ELO and the 'Waddy too?

    1. I'm afraid that was the one and only transmission from Telex ~ Cliff we will see a few times, he had a good run at number one with this tune ~ but ELO and the Waddy are both on a DLT show so neither will be seen on BBC4.

    2. Damn! I'm not so bothered about ELO as it's only a video, but that is the last really good song from the 'Waddy so I'm disappointed that we won't see it on BBC4.

    3. Telex had previously released two intriguing singles over here, "Twist a Saint Tropez" and "Moskow Discow", and they took part in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest final singing, er, "Euro-Vision".

    4. Oh yes I remember Euro-Vision, they represented Belgium with it I think.

    5. Yep, I've got both their Eurovision song and 'Moscow Diskow' on my ipod!

      To be honest, they're much better than their hit single anyway.

  4. Showaddywaddy - although entering this week at No.50, this song only made it to No.15 in August at its peak, so the Waddy probably knew their time was up by now, as they were used to top ten status for so long, and now it didn't come for them. Not a bad song though.

    Judie Tzuke - I've been hearing this a lot recently cos it's so good, but the more I hear it, the more it sounds like Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin. Second appearance on TOTP, and bizarrely, still no higher in the chart than No.30.

    ELO - I'm fuming by the fact that both appearances of this video on TOTP have been Yewtreed, and so we will not see this on TOTP. Considering the worldwide appeal of this supergroup, it's so annoying what the Beeb have done to us licence payers.

    Supertramp - more supergroup Yewtree treatment by the Beeb, but at least we got a showing of the video on the Mike Read edition a couple of week earlier - phew!

  5. Thanks for putting up the links. Not a very exciting episode unfortunately, especially as it appears to be the 800th episode according to one of the clips. Obviously was transmitted on UK Gold as two of the clips are from that show. Jimmy with the dummy was a bit creepy given events....

  6. Here is the link for anyone who wishes to see a recording of the UK Gold broadcast of this episode.

    1. Must add my thanks too!

  7. Interesting that the chart rundown was the same TOTP theme used in the earlier part of the 70s, and a song from the weekly chart which was the way since around 1977 I think.

    Showaddywaddy - I noticed in the footage that a couple of the guys were doing a backflip towards the end of the song, probably to copy the success of Racey, but doing it between the guys instead of bringing a girly in.

    Judie Tzuke - I just realised that she is very pretty when she sings like that.

    ELO - thank goodness we get to see this video about a wimp finally plucking up the courage to ask a girl out and eventually getting married to her. The lyrics are very cleverly devised to capture an audience to wonder what is going to happen next.
    The cartoon video appears to copy the success of the cartoon video on Wild West Hero a year earlier with the same flying spaceship. Love it!

    Supertramp - Jimmy Savile introduces his older brother John before before the intro for Supertramp. How the two of them look alike. John must have been born in the early 1920's if Jimmy was born in 1926. John would probably be in his 90s by now if still alive. Anyone know?
    Nice to see the Supertramp played in full from start to final note. Well done TOTP.

    Telex - I don't seem to remember this at the time, but it's a lame version of a Rock 'n' Roll classic, and I think there might be a little depression by this group playing the sng in this dull style. I'm starting to feel a little depressed when I hear it, like being hypnotised by it.

    Legs & Co - I like the nappy hot pants, even though we didn't see Patrick Hernandez this time round.

  8. Back from holiday and so much catching up to do! The 12/7 show has, of course, been bombed off iPlayer but I managed to find most of it on the Great Tube of You, caught the 19/7 show with just 3 days left and now we're already onto the last show of the month! So, for what it's worth, a few observations of the last 3 shows, arranged in alphabetical order:

    ABBA: listening to this made me realise that I've been permanently scarred by the Stars On 45 version - I was expecting it to segue into SOS...

    Boomtown Rats: iconic song with iconic promo. I've a feeling I may be struck down by fire and brimstone for asking this, but was it all Johnnie Fingers' own work or did they get a session pianist in?

    Buzzcocks: nice bit of cymbal crashing right at the end - no plastic stuff for these guys! I think that this is the last we'll see of them but fear not, punk pop fans, Guildford's finest (OK, perhaps second finest after the Stranglers) take their place from February 1980...

    Chantal Curtis: appeared to be a tiny lady by the way the mic looked so big in her hand.

    Darts: how the heck did he lip-sync that intro??

    Judie Tzuke: ah yes, another one of those records which makes your innards go all gooey. In recent years I've come to appreciate toothy women - they're so 1970s (the short-haired Dooley sister looks similarly adept at opening beer bottles)! I guess that most people born from the 1960s onwards had their teeth fixed during childhood when necessary? Bit scary if you click the links on YouTube though - she's still singing this today, 58 years old and considerably heavier than she was in 1979.

    Kid Jensen: stylish way to end a show... was it his outstanding DJ skills, accidental or done in post-production?

    Korgis: never realised James Warren was so small.


    Production: they can now show the output from all 4 cameras on screen individually at the same time. Whoopee.

    Spyro Gyra: the first live band on stage for how long? I remember that Capital Radio were nuts about this jazz-funk stuff - after this they did Shakatak to death for at least 2 years.

    Telex: completely weird, but in musical terms I feel that this is more of a foretaste of the early '80s than Tubeway Army.

    Plus an honorable mention for Dave Edmunds, The Knack and The Undertones simply for great music ;o)

  9. Who was it who called The Undertones The Beach Boys from Derry? They weren't far off with this track, and nice use of elbows to play keyboard.

    Telex, loved this, maybe because it reminds me of Peter Serafinawicz and his one note New York New York. Deadpan humour and synths go together rather well, I think.

    Legs & Co, oh I get it, "born", in that case it could have been far worse. But not by much. Wasn't this their least favourite routine?

    Spyro Gyra, and coming up on BBC 1 this afternoon, Paul Coia and Catchword... Either that or test card music.

  10. I've just watched this and relived that 'What the f....' moment again when Telex came in. To be fair, it's presented quite well, it just goes on too long. It's also not immediately distinguishable from a Not The Nine O'Clock News pisstake.

    This might be a completely random punt, but the set that Legs & Co are dancing around looks awfully like one of the sets from the Doctor Who story 'The Horns Of Nimon'. Given all the strikes, could it be....?
    Nice to hear Patrick Hernandez without the orchestra's 'enhancements' as well.

  11. The Horns of Nimon was recorded a couple of months after this TOTP. Given that it was an ultra-cheap story, it is certainly not beyond the bounds of possibility that bits of set did get recycled...

    1. Ironically on my UK Gold recording the very next thing they showed was Dr Who, not The Horns of Nimon - that would be too spooky, but the last part of The Hand Of Fear.

  12. A pretty decent show to mark a big milestone in TOTP history, though Jim's comments about everything being OK now that the Police are here are now smothered in irony to say the least.

    Out of the "new" songs, I would have to give Cliff the highest marks in spite of his cringeworthy stage antics. This is a genuinely great pop song (apart from those silly she-e-e-eep bits), and a well deserved chart topper for the Peter Pan of Pop. It also set him up for a fresh run of chart success in the 1980s, and indeed he would release some of the best singles of his career over the next few years. I also enjoyed The Undertones and Buzzcocks - I had never heard the latter before, and while it was rather disconcerting to have a different lead singer I thought it was a great little tune.

    Telex were quite amusing, though I think the joke would start wearing thin if you had to listen to it too many times. At least they were memorable, which is more than can be said for Spyro Gyra's dull noodlings! I also find this particular ELO effort rather dull, a slight song that OTT production tries, and fails, to make epic (something that is also true for a number of other ELO tracks). As for Legs, it was rather startling to see them go from prostitutes to babies in the space of a week! However, it is a pity Flick's literalism stops the girls from giving a great performance here, as they could have done so with this song given more conventional costumes. At least there is a decent No. 1. I'm no great Rats fan, and certainly no fan of Sir Bob, but this is a quality song that still packs a punch, particularly if you are aware of the subject matter.

    Incidentally, why couldn't the designer have blended the 800 logo into the set behind the stage? With all the curly bits that were in the set at this time, it should have been possible!

  13. This one of the few episodes I recorded from UK Gold in 1993 so I can actually watch this on my telly which was a treat.

    It seems odd to hear the old Whole Lotta Love theme and as if in sympathy the Showaddywaddy song, which I have no recollection of at all, seems equally old fashioned. Except for those guitar solos which I never thought I'd hear on a 'Waddy track.

    Judy Tzuke scrapes into the Top Thirty and so nice to hear this again with live vocals. I like the way the drummer (Simon Phillips) shyly grins at the rest of the band when he (and they) don't have anything to do in the string instrumental break.

    The Buzzcocks with a very unresponsive audience. Having heard so many of the Buzzcocks singles later when I got into them post 1980 I forgot just how badly some of ther songs fared. This got to number 32 and with the exception of the Spiral Scrach EP was the last of their run of Top 40 hits.

    I love the way this show alternates between new wave and old school and here we go with ELO. I still liked ELO in 1979 and remember the video well which seemed cutting edge at the time but looks a bit naff now. Nice back up vocals from bassist Kelly Groucutt with his bubble cut.

    And then noo wave again with The Undertones. I remember buying this one at the time with its 'Postcard from Derry' cover and oddly we nearly went on a caravaning holiday to Ireland that summer. A superb tongue in cheek performance with Mickey hamming it up on the keyboards.

    And next more old school with Supertramp. What's not to like about this, and old hairy band with a carefully crafted pop song. They should have had more hits. However it's hard to imagine the lead singer has any type of girlfriend whether she had a lot or not. Someone send him a bottle of Silvikrin.

    And then electro pop. What is about the Savile shows that they always feature the obscure synth pop songs - remember John Forde's Stardance in late 1977? I remember Telex for Moskow Diskow which was part of a Dona Summer/disco I Feel Love megamix but I had never heard Rock Around The Clock before. Although I suppose I must have seen it because I remember this show for The Undertones performance.

    Oh no Legs dressed as giant babies on a Savile show how unfortunate. This performance is bizarre but it doesn't spoil what is a superb gritty dance track which was tuck at number 13 this week.

    The return of Sir Cliff clad in leather in a cloud of dry ice. This has number one written all over it and it pretty quickly began to get on my nerves with its catchiness. Even my granddad liked it although somehow would always get the words wrong singing "we don't walk anymore" which led to my brother making jokes about Cliff becoming a muslim ("we don't eat pork anymore"), eating with a knife and spoon only ("we don't use forks anymore") and so on.

    A repeat of that great Police performance and then Spyro Gyra playing live. Not sure I care for the bongo player's red vest but I like his animated style of playing and the guitar playing in octaves. Lovely slice of jazz for a summer's day.

    So the Rats make number one but Cliff's hot on thier trail. Having seen the show about banned records on BBC4 on Friday I'm surprised this wasn't banned considering the subject matter

    Ending with Rickie Lee Jones which is a low key way to end such a landmark show, I would have played out with The Knack or The Dooleys.

    This was the end of an era for me as during the summer I had just turned 17 and got into groups like The Specials as well as mod bands like Secret Affair which seemed new and exciting to me and less into groups like ELO and disco stuff which I had regularly bought up to that point. I guess you grow up and move on but I got into it all again later.

  14. Thanks from me as well for the chance to watch this episode.

    Two lots of vocoders in the show, from ELO and the Belgian Yello, and no Herbie Hancock in sight.

    Malcolm’s luxuriant beard made me think he’d be asking for a transfer from the ‘Waddy to Supertramp. Despite the title, not a hint of rock and roll in this sugary pop effort, and very pedestrian despite the axe solos.

    I preferred Judie Tzuke’s first performance without the echoey vocals, but still a beautiful song. An unexpected few seconds in the limelight for the backing singer. Didn’t the bassist look a knob during his few seconds of fame?

    They should have used Cliff’s dry ice on that frozen audience for snubbing The Buzzcocks. Actually, those morose kids deserved water cannon. Steve Diggle gave it some, didn’t he? I couldn’t get my head round Pete Shelley’s stubbly look.

    As for Cliff, I love his literal letting go of the mic lead when singing the words “letting go”. Much better than Simon Crowe’s mime artist act behind Bob Geldof in Trevor Horn “Stars I Their Eyes” mode.

    Telex were baffling and they produced better non-chart singles. As for trying to remember John Forde, the long established forumites here will recall we never got to see his TOTP outing and, due to the lack of any online photos of John, we discussed whether he was actually the song’s co-producer Judge Dread (turns out he wasn’t).

    Earnest musicianship from Spyro Gyra but, along with “Garden Party” by Mezzzzzoforte, this reminded me of lift music or the backing when ITV continuity announcers gave us a run down of the schedules. Now it’s time for the epilogue.