Thursday, 4 October 2012

Top of the Pops: 1st September, 1977.

Yvonne Elliman 1975
Yvonne Elliman in 1975; by Matt Gibbons
 [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Last week brought something of a conceptual break-through into our musical lives. Will this week see the trend continue or will it be back to the mould we all hoped had been broken for good?

Like a herald of the new age, Tony Blackburn welcomes us through the airwaves.

And we leap straight into it with Meri Wilson and her legendary track Telephone Man playing over the chart countdown.

I may be a dirty old man but I think I spotted a momentary moment of subtle innuendo in the lyrics there.

Sadly, the innuendo doesn't last long, as we very quickly launch into... ...erm, someone.

Whoever they are, they sound lively.

This is all very funky. I approve of this.

It has a hint of John Miles, the Bee Gees and ELO about it.

Despite the seeming banality of its lyrics, this is threatening to be my favourite track ever by an opening act I've never heard of.

Apparently it was by Hudson Ford. I don't even know if Hudson Ford's the singer or the band.

According to Tony, it's Noel Edmonds' record of the week. No wonder I've never heard of it.

But now it's someone whose career even Noel Edmonds wouldn't be able to sink because it's Yvonne Elliman with a song that's not by the Bee Gees.

Admittedly, when I say it's not by the Bee Gees, I don't have a clue if it is or not but I'm assuming it isn't as it lacks their usual drama.

Also lacking drama is the video, which isn't the most imaginative I've ever seen, even by the standards of its day. It's basically Yvonne motionless as the camera points at her upper half.

It would seem the song's called I Can't Get You Out Of My Mind and I'm trying to work out if you can sing Tommy Steele's Little White Bull over it.

I decide I'm not sure if you can.

But a man who could rarely be confused with Tommy Steele is Elvis Costello who's singing (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes on what I believe to be his first Top of the Pops appearance.

This makes me happy, as I was a very big fan of Elvis at the time and had been ever since I'd first seen him on TV one afternoon being interviewed by Mavis Nicholson.

It's Legs and Co dancing to Silver Lady - my favourite David Soul track.

It took me many years to realise it but this is about the Virgin Mary, isn't it?

Admittedly he does call her, "Baby," at one point but David's a big star and big stars do things differently from the rest of us. He probably calls Jesus, "Dude," as well.

This is exactly the sort of track Legs and Co should be dancing to. It's hard for even them to mess it up.

We've got to the chorus. I'm singing along with it. The neighbourhood cats are no doubt suitably impressed. They accept me as one of their own.

The acceptance of cats means more to me than life itself.

Just as I say that, I lose reception again. Those dagnabbit cats. It's them. It must be. They're trying to cut me off in my prime. But, damn their vertically pupiled eyes, they won't succeed.

I defeat the local cats in time for the Steve Gibbons Band to return. Is this the third time they've been on?

Now it's the Jacksons and a track with which I'm unfamiliar. This is strange, as I would've thought all Jacksons singles from this era would be famous enough to grant instant recognition. It seems to be called Dreamer and bears some lyrical resemblances to the Supertramp song of the same name.

But didn't there used to be more of the Jacksons?

To be honest, this is rubbish. It's in the same league as the Floaters - and Michael's moving around too much for such a mellow song. He's starting to get on my nerves.

Mink DeVille are back. After all these years, I still don't know what the Spanish bit of this song means.

According to Tony; on Tuesday, David Essex starts the first of his new series. I shall be watching.

Actually, I really shall. In our house, we used to watch the David Essex show and all those other programmes hosted by pop stars like Leo Sayer, Lulu and Cilla Black. I wonder if we'll ever see those days return, with the likes of Adele and Jessie J hosting middle-of-the-road TV for an audience of a certain age?

The track he's doing right now seems to be called Cool Out Tonight.

To be honest I'm not a David Essex fan. Even I can spot his twinkly eyed-charm but his records always seem so wooden to me. Rock On was of course the exception. A genuine classic.

This presumably isn't a classic, as I've never heard it played on the radio ever.

Tempo change. It's all gone a bit Beatles.

And now it's all gone a bit David Essex again.

That guitar solo's very Pilot.

But what does this song remind me of? It's driving me up the wall.

It's time to pass me my Union Jack parachute because we now get Carly Simon and Legs and Co.

To the surprise of no one, Elvis Presley's Number 1 with Way Down.

Legs and Co are getting a good work-out tonight, because they're back, doing a continuation of their earlier David Soul routine. Their sheer energy gives me great pleasure although too many of their moves seem to have been taught them by a chicken.

Some less than flattering photos of Elvis appear on the giant screen, one or two of which give the impression he was inflated with a bicycle pump before the photographer showed up.

But enough of Elvis because we play out with Magic Fly.

Well, apart from Elvis Costello making his debut, it was definitely a return to type for Top of the Pops but I did feel that, despite the anonymous nature of many of its songs, it did get away with it.

And how ironic that Elvis Costello should make his first appearance just as the other Elvis was checking out.

A better man than me would be able to find symbolism in that.


Dougie said...

All I gots is "Rosita,something... You know I want you... something tv and radio... come(over)here, something... Rosita."

the erotic adventures of sweet daddy parsnip said...

i always thought spanish stroll seemed like a primark copy of walk on the wild side - although chances are it came first and i'm an idiot.


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