Thursday, 25 October 2012

Top of the Pops: 29th September, 1977.

Golden Earring, 1974
Golden Earring in 1974 By AVRO
(Beeld En Geluid Wiki - Gallerie: Toppop 1974)
[CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
For  the most part, today's proven to be a battle with the madness of modern technology for me.

But will that deter me from tangling with yet more technology in order to sample the finest music the 1970s can offer?

Of course it won't.

And I'm not the only one, because Ed Stewart too is braving the latest hi-tech, in the form of a tiny spaceship that all my sci-fi geek instincts tell me has Mat Irvine's fingerprints all over it.

And it's not the only Space Age thing Ed brings with him, because, straight away, he launches us into Jean Michel Jarre, for the countdown.

And what do you know? Jean Michel works much better as countdown music than most records have lately.

But how futuristic the future sounded in the late 1970s.

I don't have a clue who the next act are but there's plenty of them and they've got the funk. Whoever they are, they're putting Honky in their place - and that's not a phrase I say every day.

Ed's back and he tells us it was Rose Royce, which gives some hint of the level of musical knowledge I have.

And this is David Soul.

Lots of meaningful looks from David.

I am really disappointed that, when the camera pulls back, it turns out the thing he's riding around on so moodily isn't a Raleigh Chopper. Just how great would that have been?

If he'd had any style, he'd have followed that up by whipping out a pair of Clackers.

But, now, not a Clacker in sight, he's out on the street, doing something that vaguely resembles the purchasement of druggage.

But David's cut off barely before he's begun, to make way for Legs and Co dancing to Bob Marley's I Don't Wanna Wait in Vain For Your love.

Needless to say, they've dressed appropriately for reggae by wrapping themselves in their local boarding house's net curtains.

Old Flick did like plenty of skirt waggling, didn't she?

You have to hand it to her, there's not many choreographers could come up with something quite this inane at such short notice.

But now Ed's back, and staying well away from females. After weeks of you-know-what, it is quite striking to be confronted by a presenter who shows no interest at all in the audience members around him. At the time, it must have seemed very stand-offish. No wonder he hardly ever got the gig.

And now it's the man who gave us the cover of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.

That's right; it's Peter Blake.

He's changed a lot since then, hasn't he? In fact, he's practically unrecognisable.

Hold on a minute. Is that Kirk St Moritz?

Whether he is or not, it does seem like there was a union rule at the time that every edition had to include a Rock and Roll revivalist with what looked like roadkill on his head.

In fairness, it may be hokey old rubbish but he's giving it a go.

And now it's Ram Jam with Black Betty.

Quite frankly, I've never really known what to make of either Ram Jam or Black Betty. I don't like to judge people on appearances but they do look like very dodgy people and it does seem a somewhat mean-spirited song. On top of that, it has one of the most ludicrously out-of-place guitar solos in history...

...which we don't get to hear, as Top of the Pops fades it just as we're about to receive its full glory.

David Essex is back and he's still Cool Out Tonight, a phrase that has as much chance of catching on as Kid Jensen's, "Good Love."

"Bump bad a boo boo," declares David, clearly out to capture the eternal angst of the human spirit.

Orville's back! with I Plead Guilty.

I wonder if he looked that permanently surprised in real life.

I wonder why bright yellow suits never caught on.

I wonder why this one sounds exactly the same as their last one.

Their bolt well and truly shot, they make way for a woman about whom you could never make that accusation. It's Donna Summer with I Remember Yesterday. Let's be honest, it's not that great an achievement. Most people do. After all, it was only a few hours ago.

It's not the greatest video I've ever seen either. In fact, a far crueler man than I might label it, "terrible," as Donna prannies around dressed like a bad magician who's lost a fight with a bottle of bleach.

And her hat doesn't fit.

And it's a totally pointless song.

Now it's Golden Earring and Radar Love, one of those records I've heard mentioned plenty of times without ever having encountered.

If it's to win me over, the singer has to make an effort to bear less resemblance to Bono than he currently does.

This is getting worryingly close to heavy metal for my enjoyment.

Nope. I've decided I don't like it.

Someone who doesn't care what I like is Elvis. After five weeks, he's still dead and still at Number 1. Sadly, the latter of those two facts is likely to change sooner than the former.

Legs and Co are still dancing to him. They must be completely knackered by now.

Here's a turn-up. We've just had the Number 1 but, instead of the play-out that we'd normally get, Ed's joined by a man in the Steve Wright envelope. Ed introduces him as, "Giorgio," a no-doubt obscure personage from Italy.

Apparently, he's the man behind a song called, From Here to Eternity.

And then, it's dawned on me.

It's Giorgio Moroder!

That's right, Top of the Pops has sandwiched Giorgio Moroder in as some sort of afterthought and not even bothered telling us his surname.

To be honest, up until now it'd never occurred to me that Giorgio Moroder actually existed. I'd sort of had the notion he only existed in anecdotes, like Gloria Swanson. It's a bit of a shock to see there's actually a man behind the legend. In this sense I should probably thank Top of the Pops but, in another, I should probably curse them for destroying my fantasies.


Arthur Nibble said...

Great minds think alike, Steve. You've actually mentioned FIVE things I'd written down in my script ready for Simon's blog (plus one I'd decided to skip, the David Essex scat thing, and i laughed out loud when I saw your comment)...amd yes, that IS Kirk St. Moritz!

the erotic adventures of sweet daddy parsnip said...

that grease reject was wretched - it just rubbed me up the wrong way.
firstly it sounded like a rip off of greased lightning, secondly the song made him sound like a sexist pig - basically talking about how all the women fancy him, and then it was his look - he looked like a 40 year old who'd had a rough life regaling us with his tales of teenaged life - while still dressing the same way.


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