|By AVRO (Beeld En Geluid Wiki - Gallerie: Toppop 1974)|
[CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Sadly this is not how Leo was dressed on tonight's show.
It's being introduced by someone I don't recognise. Whoever he is, he seems happy to be there.
They're kicking off with the chart run-down but I'm refusing to watch it, so it doesn't spoil the surprise of what's number 1. It's probably Adele or One Direction or The Wanted like it usually is.
She's still got the leather.
She's still got the bass.
Sadly she's not got the song.
Whatever it is, it's not a patch on her early 70s' stuff.
Now she's got her foot up on the piano, trying to pretend it's unfettered visceral Rock and Roll she's doling out but, frankly, like a failed souffle, it's sagging badly.
Is she singing, "Tear me apart if you want to win my heart?" What kind of sentiment is that for a young woman to be expressing?
The anonymous presenter's back.
It's The Moments, with a song that might be called Jack in the Box. Unlike the Suzi track, I remember this from when it was first out. I've always had an affection for it even though I can't think of a single good reason why.
It's all starting to lose its way a bit. They're just stood there going, "Doodle doodle do," which is rarely a good sign in a song.
Now we've been introduced to someone called The Brothers. I must confess to having no memory at all of this, a sort of pop-reggae thing. Still, the drummer has a cuddly toy on his drum kit, so they at least have something going for them.
It's Boz Scaggs and his cast of thousands. I've always been slightly non-plussed by Boz Scaggs. I only know three songs by him and none of them sound like they were done by the same act as the others. Still, with the size of his band at least he was making a huge contribution to keeping America's unemployment figures down.
That really is a phenomenally large band and it seems to be getting bigger with every shot. At this rate of expansion, I just hope he gets through the song before it becomes physically impossible for the world to produce enough food to feed them all.
The mystery presenter's introducing Thelma Houston who may or may not be related to Whitney and therefore may or may not be in a bad place right now.
But this is way better than the Communards' version. Her chest, however, does seem to be out of all control.
It's the Rubettes but it's not the Rubettes as I remember them. I remember them being like a CinemaScope version of Mud, with wide-screen harmonies and epic production. This is some dull country song being sung by a bloke vaguely like Roy Orbison. And there's not a giant hat in sight.
Is this actually the same Rubettes or is it a different group with the same name? If it is a different group I prefer the proper Rubettes.
It really is dragging on for what seems like hours. Even a rather nice guitar solo can't save it.
Mr Big are the highest climber on the charts. I'm assuming it's not the Mr Big who did To Be With You or whatever it was called.
I've not heard this for decades. I seem to remember liking it at the time, though now it sounds ludicrous, with ridiculously overwrought lyrics. And just what does, "Step back inside me, Romeo," actually mean?
It's got a harmonica. That's good - even if it doesn't fit in at all with the mood of the rest of the track.
There's plenty of bare chests on show.
They're doing the Bohemian Rhapsody thing with all the band's heads all on screen at the same time. But, like fools, they've forgotten to up-light themselves. Personally, I make a note of always being up-lit. It's the only way I can preserve the air of mystery that so fascinates the internet.
Legs and Co are dancing to the sounds of Tavares. Lots of tambourine action.
It's not what you'd all classy but at least they're not "interpreting" the song, like they usually try to.
It does strike me that 1977 seemed to be a big year for random key changes. It seems like most of the songs so far have been flinging them in like they were handed out for free at the studio door.
Leo Sayer's at number 1.
I must admit to having a soft spot for Leo.
Well, when I say a soft spot, I mean a soft spot for I Won't Let The Show Go On, One Man Band and this one - When I Need You. It's easy to knock Leo for the hair and the jumpers and the name but you can't argue with a catchy tune.
You did always get the feeling that if Leo Sayer was made of chocolate he'd eat himself. But then, if I were made of chocolate, I'd eat myself. Except for my hands of course. I'd need those to use my keyboard.
Then again the heat from my keyboard'd probably melt my hands.
So that's what I've learned from this week's Top of the Pops. If you're made of chocolate you might as well eat your hands. Never let it be said TV can't be educational.
There's a girl staring at the mystery presenter, with her jaw clenched, as though she's offering him out. Like the true pro he is, he's ignoring her and concentrating on the camera. He's too busy introducing Earth, Wind and Fire to get into a punch-up with a schoolgirl.
Looking at the credits, it seems the mystery presenter was Paul Burnett. How strange. I used to listen to his show for all those years on Radio 1 but had no idea till now what he looked like.
Overall it wasn't a great show. There were no great signs of a wind of change sweeping through popular music. But my main disappointment was that Ken Morse wasn't the rostrum cameraman. I thought it was compulsory for Ken Morse to be rostrum cameraman on every TV show ever made in the past.
Still, I've learned many things from today's show. I've learned to always wear a bra on TV if you're a big girl and that it's OK to eat your own hands. I do feel such wisdom gained makes it a venture worthwhile.