Thursday, 26 April 2012

Top of the Pops: 14th April, 1977

Jolene Blalock, of Star Trek Enterprise, in Cairo
The same old troubles finding a Free-Use Image of any of tonight's acts, so
here's a shot of ex-Star Trek sexpot Jolene Blalock in Cairo.
Jolene was in  Star Trek Enterprise. Popular music is a form of private
enterprise. Therefore Jolene has many valid links with Top of the Pops.
Photo by Jolene Blalock (Canon Eos)
[GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
A wise man once demanded we, "Clunk click every trip."

That man was Jimmy Savile.

That man is our host tonight.

And that's good news, because we're on a trip to the past and, on previous TOTP form, the odd clunk can be practically guaranteed.

As always, I have no idea who the first act is, as they and I haven't been formally introduced. By the looks of things, they come with no shortage of frills but will they be equally well-stocked with thrills?

Seemingly not.

It is the first time I've ever heard this, so I may be being premature in my judgement but, so far, it sounds terrible. I would say they have a singing drummer but, to be honest, I'm not sure that, whatever it is those strange noises are that're emanating from his mouth, that they qualify as singing - or any other form of communication known to man. The last time I experienced such sounds coming from a human being, I was reading an HP Lovecraft novel, and a giant space octopus was involved.

I do know though that someone's beautiful.

I know that because the main singer – the one who's not the drummer - keeps saying it, over and over and over again. I think he's after the world record for the most number of times anyone's ever said the word, "beautiful," in one lifetime.

Thankfully Sir Jimmy's back to tell us they were The Brothers, who I seem to remember having been on a few weeks ago, although I'm sure they seemed like a totally different group of people back then.

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr are back with You Don't Have to be a Star.

It's the same vid as before.

As we've already seen it, I think I can gloss over it all, other than to say the spinning Dalek's still with them and that the pair of them still remind me of the Chanter Sisters, with their moves.

Good grief! It's Brendon again! Who'd have thought he'd get to appear on Top of the Pops quite so many times?

He's playing a guitar! This is what I like about him. He introduces a new element every time he appears. Last time, it was smiling. This time, it's playing an instrument. Who knows what wonders he might unleash on us if allowed a fourth visit?

He does have a look of Stan Boardman about him.

It's a terrible admission for one of my intense musical credibility to make but it's actually starting to grow on me. This is mostly because - God bless him - Brendon's doing everything he can to sell it to us.

David Soul's still at Number 2. And this time we actually get to see him.

He still looks like the kid in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But, then, he probably feels like the kid in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with all the records he's selling lately.

Now Jimmy's with a strange looking man in dark glasses. It's not Roy Orbison and it's not the bloke from the Rubettes.

The Stylistics are back and, right from the off, the singer looks startled.

I really have never seen a man look so permanently surprised.

They seem to be dancing a bit faster than they were last time.

I'm starting to realise why. Is it my imagination or is the track accelerating as they go along? Like the tape deck's out of control?

It literally seems to be getting too fast for them to keep up with comfortably. No wonder the main man looks startled. The way it keeps velocitising, it must be all he can do to keep from bursting into flames.

From that oddly frenetic thing, to something far more sedate, as John Williams and Cleo Laine give us Feelings.

Sadly it's not the Star Wars John Williams. It would've been great seeing Cleo Laine trying to sciddly diddly daddly doodlie her way through Darth Vader's march of menace.

To be honest, I think this must've been the part of the show when everyone was expected to go and put the kettle on.

My dad was always a big fan of Cleo Laine but, on her performance here, she seems completely mental. Frankly, she's scaring me - especially when she look straight at the camera. It's like she can see right through the screen and at me. I'm starting to worry she's going to climb out of the TV, crawl across the floor and get me, like that woman in The Ring.

"I wish I'd never met you, boy," she's singing. Personally, I'm glad she's never met me.

This is rotten. I mean, seriously, why's she singing like that? It's like she's some weird form of human theremin.

This is more like it. It's Andrew Gold with Lonely Boy. He may never have been fashionable but Goldy knew how to bang out a catchy tune. Of course, he is currently suffering the handicap of being danced to by Legs and Co.

I really don't see what this cheery routine has to do with a song about loneliness.

Now it's all gone a bit, "At the Hop."

It's like, in their heads, they're dancing to a totally different track from the one we're hearing.

Billy Ocean's back. It's the performance from a couple of weeks ago, which means there's no new developments on the collars-and-cuffs front. But it's a great song and a great performance. If only all acts on TOTP had Billy's gusto.

ABBA are still Number 1. It's still that video. You'd think they'd have got cold by now and decided to go somewhere warm.

I've just realised, the bloke in ABBA who doesn't have a beard reminds me of Bill Mumy who had a sort of hit with the magnificently bizarre Fish Heads and played an alien in Babylon-5. I think he was also Will Robinson in Lost in Space but don't quote me on that.

I wonder if anyone else in ABBA reminds me of anyone?


They don't.

That game didn't last long. :(

They're playing out with Boney M and Sunny. I love Boney M. I love Sunny. This means that, as far as I'm concerned, the show's going out on a high.

Regardless of whatever musical highs and lows it may have had, the thing that most sticks in my mind about tonight's show is a feeling of dread.

Dread at the disturbing tour de force of madness that was Cleo Laine. But also at the audience members Sir Jimmy was hanging around with throughout the show, who seemed to get more and more menacing as it went along. If the past really is a foreign land, it seems it's a foreign land we must sometimes mark with just three words.

"Here be dragons."


Dougie said...

I am pretty sure that was indeed the same Bill Mumy who also co-created Marvel's Comet Man. A series which crossed-over with the FF when Steve Englehart was at his most bonkers around 1987/88.

Steve W. said...

I like to think there's no limit to Bill Mumy's range of talents. :)

Aggy said...

I'd like to think I had a little to do with the choice of pic this week (although Jeri Ryan would of been a better choice IMO).

Bill Mumy was indeed the person behind Comet man. As well writing Lost in Space for Innovation (a much missed company) wonder how he got that gig...

As for Cleo Laine I met her many times over the years through work. She and her husband when he was alive are "jazz" in all senses of the word. I'm not really sure that you ever hear her at her best in recordings like "Feelings". Performing live is where she still shines, she is a performer completely unsuited to lip syncing.

wilberforce said...

by coincidence i watched several episodes of "lost in space" on dvd this week, and yes bill mumy was indeed will robinson (but in a ricky/rick nelson scenario he was billed as "billy mumy")...

i think the brothers were "out-worded" by bill withers and his song "lovely day", which i recall actually made the guinness book of records (pre-sampling obviously) for the feat of repeating the same word (or words) most often in a song...

keep up the good work steve, yours is a worthy addition to the totp blogs that i follow...

Steve W. said...

Aggy, you were indeed the inspiration behind the blog's descent into the world of Blalock. I feel like I should award you some sort of medal for it, along the lines of Sir Jim'll's famous Fix-It badges.

As for Jeri Ryan, given my habitual problems finding relevant Free-Use images for the blog, it's always possible she may turn up later.

Wilberforce. Thanks for the praise. It's much appreciated. :)

David said...

The one thing that got me was that guy who was grinning inanely next to Jimmy at the end of the show. He reminded me of someone I saw on holiday a few years ago who had that same permanent grin.

Steve W. said...

Jimmy had a remarkable knack for finding the strangest of people.


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