Friday, 21 December 2012

Top of the Pops: 8th December, 1977.

Bing Crosby, 1942
Bing Crosby in 1942,
(Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia.
For one whose heart is as hard as mine, Christmas is always horrific. But it's just got worse - because I now have to review two editions in one evening, instead of one.

Needless to say, I shall meet the dread challenge head-on by totally ignoring it and covering the latter episode on some other day.

But what of tonight? What tinselly magic can Tony Blackburn sprinkle upon us as we fire ourselves up for the Festive Season?

The first piece of magic he can weave is turning winter into summer as Donna of that name does the chart countdown with probably my fave track by her; Love's Unkind.

Sadly, we barely get to hear any of it before we meet the night's opening act.

And it's a bunch of people who look suspiciously like Billy Idol and Generation X though I can't claim to have ever heard the song before. In fact, I didn't know they'd ever bothered the chart compilers before about 1980.

You can say what you like about Billy Idol but he really was the new Cliff Richard and, to be honest, this actually manages to make Cliff sound like the voice of youthful rebellion.

Billy keeps saying it's wild but the reality is it's not.

A raised eyebrow from Tony, as it ends, tells us all we need to know about what he thought of it.

Hot Chocolate are back with that song no one remembers and has a title that makes no sense.

I don't care what anyone says, I still like it.

It's mean, moody and magnificent.

According to Tony, the next track's by Chick, though, to my ears, they sound remarkably like Chic.

They're being danced to by Legs and Co who're wearing as little as they can get away with.

They're followed by Manfred Mann's Earth Band, with a song I've never heard before.

It's not hard to see why, as it's not exactly what you could call electrifying.

It'd be easy to say it's why Punk had to happen but, to be honest, it's more like why Bucks Fizz had to happen.

Bonnie Tyler's back with her Hard Egg.

"Love him till your arms break," croaks Bonnie, suggesting she struggles to tell the difference between love and self-destructive lunacy.

The Bee Gees are back for what seems like the millionth time, with How Deep Is Your Love?

And Graham Parker's back with the New York Shuffle. It's amazing how many times he got on the show despite never having had any actual hits.

Although I was a fan of Graham at that time, this song doesn't do anything for me. I do prefer it when he's being contemptuous about things.

Next it's The Banned who fail at the first hurdle by not actually being banned. It would appear the song's called Little Girl, which, with all that's being going on lately, means it's a miracle they've made the final cut.

Are these one of those groups who were famous under another guise - like Yellow Dog were really Fox without Noosha? They have that sort of air about them.

Whoever they are, they're truly dreadful.

But, Hooray! At last Macca's with us, and Mull of Kintyre has claimed its rightful spot as the UK's Number 1.

Paul's still on the fence.

He still scarpers the moment Linda shows up.

The pipers are still on that beach.

And then, with no warning whatsoever, it's all gone Wicker Man on us as everyone in the village gathers for the bonfire.

That's the magic of Macca for you. Just as you think he's being banal, he pulls the rug from under you by setting fire to Edward Woodward.

And, blimey, wouldn't you know it, Boney M are on again with Belfast, on the play-out. Someone at Top of the Pops clearly liked it.

It has to be said, it wasn't a vintage week. In fact, it was rubbish and, if not for Wings and Hot Chocolate, I'd say it had virtually nothing to distinguish it.

And, maybe I wasn't paying enough attention but where exactly was Bing Crosby, as promised in the listings? Did they really cut him out to make way for The Banned?


Simon said...

Half of The Banned were prog also-rans Gryphon openly cashing in. They failed to do so.

White Christmas, I assume, was cut for Holiday Inn clip licensing reasons.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Simon. Suddenly all becomes clear.


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