Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Top of the Pops: 7th July, 1977.

Boney M, 1981
Boney M by TROS
(Beeld en Geluidwiki - Gallery: Showbizzquiz)
via Wikimedia Commons
Last Friday night's Olympic opening ceremony magnificently proved to me the UK has a musical heritage to be proud of.

I have faith that this week's Top of the Pops 1977 will do its level best to prove we don't.

Not that Tony Blackburn cares about that. He's too busy introducing us to this week's chart.

What he doesn't introduce us to is the opening act.

Fortunately I don't need him to. With my vast knowledge of popular music, I know the act to be someone with a keyboard.

When the director shows us who's actually playing that keyboard, that's when I'm in trouble because, as always with the first act of each edition, I don't have a clue who it is.

It's all a bit glam rock.

It's all a bit Goldfrapp.

Whoever it is, they look like the world's worst-dressed terrorist organisation.

I take it the keyboard player's a producer pretending to be a group. And I'm not at all convinced that any of the others are really playing those instruments.

Tony finally comes to my rescue and tells me it's the Rah Band. Were they the people who did Clouds Across the Moon?

Olivia Newton-John's back.

Sadly for her, Sam's not. She's still sat there pining for him. “Sam, Sam, you know where I am,” she bemoans.

Of course he does, woman. You never move. You've been sat there for weeks. That's probably why he left you.

Smokie are on next with It's Your Life. I don't think I recognise this.

They've gone a bit reggae - in the Paul Nicholas sense of the word.

It might be reggae but it's the same song they always have hits with.

This is strange. For no noticeable reason, it's suddenly changed tempo and turned into Baby You're a Rich Man.

And suddenly it's turning back into reggae again. Frankly I don't have a clue what's going on. It's all a bit daring and experimental by Smokie standards.

All it needs is for Suzi Quatro to appear and it's had everything.

Sadly Suzi doesn't put in an appearance.

Happily, The Brotherhood of Man do.

Seeing the looks on their faces as they sing of suicide does remind me of when Westlife appeared on Top of the Pops and grinned their way through every moment of their cover of Seasons in the Sun.

But I like to think this is where Steve Nieve stole the piano sound for Oliver's Army from.

Bob Marley's back with Ecksidass. You really do think someone should've told him he was saying it wrong.

It doesn't matter how hard he tries, he'll never be able to do reggae like Smokie can.

It's the Alessi Brothers with Oh Lori. I assume they're no relation to the Alessi Sisters from Neighbours, even though they too were twins.

To be honest, it's not one of my favourite songs, being the musical equivalent of candy floss. And, for some reason it's giving me the urge to stand in a lift.

But forget the Alessi Brothers! We don't need them any more.


Because we've got the return of Barry Biggs!

God alone knows what he's dressed as. He seems to be auditioning for the part of Harry Secombe's stand-in in the worst-ever version of Oliver.

Showing the level of daring that even Smokie could only dream of, he's singing Life is a Three-Ringed Circus, clearly not at all sticking to the format that gave us Sideshow. Personally I've always found life to be a three-ringed lemur.

Does it say bad things about me that I'm quite enjoying this?

I think I'll be singing this in bed tonight.

And now Legs and Co are dancing to Boney M and Ma Baker.

This is driving me up the wall. When are we actually going to be allowed to see the band the world knows as The M? I want to see Bobby dance, not these bums.

I really don't understand what's going on. There's a granny dancing on the screen while the rest of them're sat rogering chairs. What does any of this have to do with a female Chicago gangster?

It's Andy Gibb.

This is very Bee Gees. Did they write it for him?

Hot Chocolate are still at Number 1 - which means they've won again.

Errol shows his class by managing to sing the last line with his mouth shut.

And we play out with Donna Summer and I Feel Love.

This pleases me because I do recall watching this play-out upon first broadcast all those years ago, making it one of the few moments since I started watching these repeats that I actually remember seeing at the time.

So, as predicted, Top of the Pops did indeed fail to play any of Britain's rich musical heritage. Instead it gave us a tale of the familiar with the odd surprise.

I'm not sure if it reflects worst on the show or on me that the act I missed most on tonight's show was Boney M and the one I enjoyed most was Barry Biggs. If only they'd let me choose the soundtrack to that opening ceremony, what a show it would've been.


The erotic adventures of sweet daddy parsnip said...

I radther likes the live performance of the crunch by the rah band totp orchestra and all. I always thought it was the perfect tune to hold a worst dance contest to. Was ma baker a granny in real life? It was a rather bizarre routine.

Steve W. said...

According to Wikipedia, Ma Baker (Barker) was only 61 when she died. Judging by their photo, she certainly didn't look like her portrayal last night.


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