Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Top of the Pops: 14th July, 1977.

Dave Edmunds 1980
Dave Edmunds by Canada Jack aka Jeremy Gilbert
(Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0
or GFDL (],
via Wikimedia Commons
Like Usain Bolt on speed, the nation's favourite music show flings itself into action and we launch straight into it with Kid Jensen giving us an intro I didn't understand, before we get the first act of the evening.

Is it the Real Thing?

It doesn't seem to be.

There seems to be one too few of them.


Hold on.

I think it is the Real Thing. I 'd recognise that nipple-bearing dress-sense anywhere.

Although now convinced it is indeed the Real Thing, I sadly don't recognise the song. My guess, from what they keep singing, is it's called Love's Such A Wonderful Thing.

Someone who'd no doubt concur is Rita Coolidge and what Kid tells us is the Boz Scaggs song We're All Alone.

It's weird that, up until now, I never even knew what this track was called but it's one of a handful of songs I automatically associate with 1977, along with Magic Fly and Nobody Does It Better.

Now it's the Saints, from Australia, and This Perfect Day. It's punk but from the wrong side of the world.

How weird that the first genuinely punky sounding thing to ever appear on Top of the Pops is by an unknown Australian band who don't even look like punks.

As if to celebrate this conceptual breakthrough, there's someone in the audience sort of pogoing.

Now it's Legs and Co dancing to Easy Like Sunday Morning by the Commodores. I always thought this came out a couple of years later.

Dave Edmunds is back with I Knew The Bride When She used To Rock And Roll. Nick Lowe looking vaguely like a Ramone.

“If you were wondering what happened to Jigsaw,” says Kid. I know I was. I've not been able to sleep at night for worrying about it.

In fact I wasn't. I've never heard of them but, whoever they are, they're back again.

It quickly becomes clear just what happened to them. They were busy visiting their singer in hospital after he got his nadgers destroyed by an industrial-strength vice. It's the only possible explanation for that singing voice. He manages to make the Bee Gees sound like Barry White.

On reflection, did Jigsaw do that song that goes, "You've blown it all sky high," or was that someone else?

Whatever the case, with their New Faces manner, they do seem strangely like a band out of time.

Then again, so did Supertramp and that didn't stop them having their greatest commercial successes at a time when they should have been at their least fashionable. This time they're on with Give A Little Bit which is one of my Supertramp favourites.

Roger Hodgson still looks like Jesus and still sounds like Roddy McDowall.

Argh! They didn't play the ending. I love the ending.

But now the unexpected's hit me between the eyes because it's Cilla Black.

Without having yet heard it I suspect that, like the Supertramp song, my favourite bit of this is going to be the end – though not necessarily for the same reasons.

But it is bizarre to see Cilla Black on Top of the Pops in the late 1970s, especially as the song sounds like it was recorded in the 1960s.

A band who could only have been from the 1970s are the Sex Pistols, making their debut with Pretty Vacant, the song they wrote for the Olympic opening ceremony. How angry will they be when they realise they were beaten onto Top of the Pops by the Saints? I bet John Lydon's still bitter to this very day.

It's weird that, after all this time, they seem strangely like a boy band.

So now Top of the Pops does the obvious segue from the Sex Pistols to Kenny Rogers, giving us one of the show's legendary blink-and-you'll-miss-it interviews. It's a noticeably longer interview than we're used to and tells us more about our hero than usual but not anything that's likely to change our lives.

Seemingly not having had their lives changed at all since last week, Hot Chocolate are still Number 1 with So You Win Again, and Errol's still wearing his amulet of power.

Kid gives us his, “Good Love,” sign-off and we play out with Emerson Lake and Palmer.

So, I think we learned two valuable lessons from tonight's show. 1, that Australia was the true heartland of punk and, 2, that Kid Jensen won't give up on it until the entire nation's saying, "Good Love," to each other.

Somehow I suspect he's going to have a very long wait.

1 comment:

Aggy said...

The Sex Pistols performance here is pretty disappointing, your boyband comparison really sums it up. They take it so seriously. Rod Stewart had previously played football whilst John Peel mimed on stage. A couple of years later Madness would play plastic instruments. But the premier pioneers of punk mime like good little boys. I wonder what agreement Mclaren made to get them on the show?

Rather scarily the 77 Cilla Black looks exactly the same as the 2012 version...


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