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Thread: TOTP on BBC4

  1. #51

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    TOTP on BBC4

    I've just caught up with the last few weeks - Slik with a young Midge Ure singing, was surprisingly good. Andrea True Connection's dancing looked like a 70's version of karaoke, as she's slowly realising that the rohypnol's kicking in. And that No Charge is awful.

    Still, my favourite moment has to be, in the early days of Jungle Rock being in the chart, and clearly not having a photo of Hank Mizell they could use for the chart rundown, they used a shot of the Pan's People routine. But not any shot - they used the shot of people dressed as kangaroo, and a camel, but the "camel" was the worst looking pantomime beat in the world.

  2. #52
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    TOTP on BBC4

    dalliance wrote:
    The salient nugget of information I always remember about Noel Edmonds came from John Peel. He was no fan of most of the Radio One DJs but I think he had a special loathing for Edmonds and DLT.
    I always thought it was Tony Blackburn that Peel had the ongoing feud with. He got on well enough with Edmonds to be a regular guest on one of his Saturday night programmes although I believe they fell out after somebody died when a stunt went wrong and Peel thought that Edmonds was more concerned with the impact on the ratings than the poor bloke who was killed.

  3. #53

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    TOTP on BBC4

    dalliance wrote:

    Peel said that whenever he went to someone's house he always wanted to check out their record collection, as you do, but was dumbfounded to learn that Noel Edmonds did not own or even have borrowed from the station a single record in his house.

    Danny Baker mentioned this same fact in passing about Chris Evans.
    I've never heard those stories before, but funnily enough I've always suspected that about Chris Evans. Despite the fact that he's earned a sizeable chunk of his fortune by spinning discs, he's never come across as an out and out music fan to me.

  4. #54
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    TOTP on BBC4

    Evans always struck me as the classic music bandwagon-jumper who (like one or two others that have passed through Radio One's doors) had little interest in seeking out stuff himself.

    Remember how he was all over the last dying splutters of Britpop, not to mention the grim 'Dadrock' era that followed Oasis's success (Cast, OCS, Kula Shaker, etc), as though these people represented some kind of imminent musical revolution?

    It surprises me more to learn that Edmonds didn't 'borrow' from the office, so to speak. His tastes were very conservative, but he seemed to dig out less likely names for his own shows. For some reason, I recall he was pals with Harry Chapin for a time...

  5. #55

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    TOTP on BBC4

    Melbourne Arab wrote:
    I always thought it was Tony Blackburn that Peel had the ongoing feud with. He got on well enough with Edmonds to be a regular guest on one of his Saturday night programmes although I believe they fell out after somebody died when a stunt went wrong and Peel thought that Edmonds was more concerned with the impact on the ratings than the poor bloke who was killed
    Close - it wasn't the bungee jump catastrophe death of Michael Lush that proved the catalyst, but the incident a few weeks previously in which another member of the public was badly injured when the car in which they were performing a live stunt crashed (footage available on YouTube but can't search for it right now). Peel was understandably too shocked to comment, but Edmonds carried blithely on.

    Apparently Peel once waited, with Kid Jensen, in the BBC car park after a Christmas do for one of the dinosaur DJ's to emerge (I forget which one, might have been Simon Bates) in order that they could beat them senseless. Not sure how that one turned out.

  6. #56

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    TOTP on BBC4

    Back to TOTP '76 - are there signs yet of anything vaguely punky or new wave? Or perhaps it's still a few months too early? Has Midge Ure's appearance with Slik been the clearest harbinger of the impending onslaught?

  7. #57

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    TOTP on BBC4

    Yes, some pretty rum stuff on there, no doubt about it.

    I don't expect to watch an old episode of TOTP to find Cliff Richard was by far the best thing on it.

  8. #58

    TOTP on BBC4

    I watched one last night with Cliff performing Devil Woman. Good god, David 'diddy' Hamilton was/is an unrelenting pervert and cunt.

  9. #59

    TOTP on BBC4

    I remember reading somewhere that Cliff's career was flagging a bit at the time and he brought in new people to give it a boost. Their informed view was that he needed to be a bit racier and they deliberately went after songs that were seen as edgier. I believe Cliff had a load of issues with this song and came close to refusing to do it because of the contentious lyrics and themes which he though were, well a bit satanic.

    Looked this up to see if I remembered it correctly and no mention on his Wiki page, it does give the surprisingly complex story about the song though:

    The song is told from the point of a view of a man jinxed from an encounter with a stray cat with evil eyes, and his discovery that the psychic medium (a Gypsy woman) whose help he sought to break the curse was the one responsible for the curse in the first place. The latter-mentioned have some notable parallels with Cher's 1974 hit single "Dark Lady".

    I must admit I never picked up a word of it beyond She's just a devil woman, with evil on her mind, beware the devil woman, she's out to get you.

    It could have been written about Una Stubbs or Sue Barker trying to get into his leather pants for all you can read into those couplets.

    These TOTP reruns are fascinating though and they do blow away to an extent the natural inclination we might have to assume that music back then was more about craft and playing and songwriting than it is in today's world of airbrushed and auto-tuned Barbie and Kens. The vast bulk of the episodes they have shown have been packed full of pretty awful stuff though, Abba's Fernando has stood several miles above pretty much everything else there.

    In some ways it is quite endearing that someone like Tina Charles could have had a career back then whereas today she would never have been allowed anywhere near a recording studio, my retro tinged munificence towards her was fading fast in that last episode I saw though as she harumphed and caterwauled her way through some half arsed disco number. The memory I will take out of that performance is that maternity wear is not meant for women who are not pregnant.

  10. #60
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    TOTP on BBC4

    Mumpo wrote:
    Back to TOTP '76 - are there signs yet of anything vaguely punky or new wave?
    If I remember correctly, there's nowt until an excerpt from Eddie And The Hot Rods live EP at the end of a show in September.

    I must get round to recording these.

  11. #61
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    TOTP on BBC4

    David Agnew wrote
    Andrea True Connection's dancing looked like a 70's version of karaoke, as she's slowly realising that the rohypnol's kicking in.
    Andrea True was a porn actress and paid for her initial recording sessions from the proceeds of the day (night?) job. This may have been an influence on her Quaalude deadened performance style.

    There was a great moment this week where two audience members were caught off guard and nearly knocked off a podium by the camera. The cheapjack amateurishness of the whole enterprise startles on a weekly basis.

  12. #62

    TOTP on BBC4

    dalliance wrote:
    In some ways it is quite endearing that someone like Tina Charles could have had a career back then whereas today she would never have been allowed anywhere near a recording studio,
    Well, letting people into a performing studio is one thing; letting them loose in public quite another. That was true then as it is now. When Tina Charles recorded the vocals for 5000 Volts' 1975 hit "I'm On Fire", she was surprised when some foxy blonde chick appeared on the single sleeve and on TV shows, mining to Tina's voice.

    It caused a bit of a scandal, and after a bit, Tina replaced blonde chick (Luan Peters, the Australian woman in that Fawlty Towers episode) in the photo.

    By then, the single had run its course, but the publicity opened doors that probably would have remained closed for Tina Charles, even in 1976.

    By the way, little known fact about "Devil Woman" is that it was first recorded by the woman who co-wrote it, Christine Holmes, under the rather porny moniker Kristine Sparkles. Apparently Holmes was a presenter on "Crackerjack".

  13. #63
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    TOTP on BBC4

    CRACKERJACK!

  14. #64
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    TOTP on BBC4

    That was a nice shiny new John Deere that the Wurzels were sitting on, but there's no way they could afford a tractor like that running just twenty acres, even if they are contracting out the combine harvester. It's no wonder he ended up marrying her just to get his acreage up.

  15. #65
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    TOTP on BBC4

    (If I remember rightly, Tina Charles was a protegee of Biddu, a semi-anonymous multi-instrumentalist/producer who had considerable clout back then...)

    Is it possible that The Wurzels might've been making money somehow else to fund their penchant for top-range farm machinery? Bootleg scrumpy seems a not unreasonable possibility.

    Or perhaps Adge Cutler (original Wurzels singer killed in a 1974 car accident) might've left them a bit of wedge?

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    Sorry to bring up BOM again, but the last line of that song. Did the Daily Mail not orchestrate a hate campaign against them, or had paedophilia not yet been invented? Were they still called strangers then?

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    TOTP on BBC4

    Sean of the Shed wrote:
    That was a nice shiny new John Deere that the Wurzels were sitting on …
    Reminds me of one of my favourite song titles:

    My John Deere Was Breaking Your Field, While Your Dear John Was Breaking My Heart

  18. #68

    TOTP on BBC4

    You want Jimmy Savile in a vest five years before he ran his first London Marathon? TOTP provides. Not as gruesome a sight as it should be either.

    Heavy Metal Kids with Wayne out of Auf Wiedersehen Pet as lead singer was quite a kick-ass way to start the show. Wikipedia claims that Nick Cotton took over after Gary Holton OD'd back in '85. Well, I was impressed.

    Soul City Walk, complete with routine, was also highly enjoyable. The spirit of Philly was definitely alive in 76. Bizarre choreography for The Thin White Duke mind, especially as one of them was dressed as a jockey. God knows what Flick (RIP) was inhaling that week.

    Great show, all in all. It speaks volumes for the rest that Savile is a less contemptible presenter.

  19. #69
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    TOTP on BBC4

    Agreed, EfA - this was a vast improvement on the last few weeks. Gladys Knight and the Real Thing took the honours for me. The 'lost contact lens' bit in Archie Bell's dance routine was especially entertaining.

    Never having heard the Heavy Metal Kids before, they were something of a disappointment - certainly nothing to touch Gary Holton's career high, the Sham-lite theme to Murphy's Mob.

    The Ruby Flipper dance routine with the guy dressed as a jockey was very odd indeed. What is a ruby flipper anyway? Sounds dubious.

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    Gary Holton sung the Murphy's Mob theme? I feel a lot better for knowing that. It's one of the best TV themes ever.

  21. #71

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    TOTP on BBC4

    I would give my right ball (or front one, I'm not sure which way this works, exactly) to watch Murphys Mob again.

    I will probably live to regret this statement.

  22. #72
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    TOTP on BBC4

    dalliance wrote:

    Against his better judgement he went along with the rest of them to a party that Edmonds was hosting. Peel said that whenever he went to someone's house he always wanted to check out their record collection, as you do, but was dumbfounded to learn that Noel Edmonds did not own or even have borrowed from the station a single record in his house.

    Danny Baker mentioned this same fact in passing about Chris Evans.
    Just catching up on this thread as last night's TOTP is the first one I've managed to see.

    The above story about Evans has a companion piece in that he once appeared on a TV show (possibly early Soccer AM) saying how much he was really in to this football lark but didn't support a side and inviting suggestions as to who he might follow.

  23. #73
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    TOTP on BBC4

    Bland, soulless, bandwagon jumper, uses more talented people to raise his own profile, thinks money is the solution to problems instead of hard work and starting from the bottom.
    He sounds perfect for the franchise.

  24. #74

    TOTP on BBC4

    Incredibly several members of the audience seem to be attempting some kind of ''dance'' to No Charge. Meanwhile Savile's presence is clearly making the girls in the studio uneasy.

    The greatness of Archie Bell and the Drells was further elevated by their dance routine.

  25. #75

    TOTP on BBC4

    Is the music for The Real Thing's performance by the BBC Orchestra? If it is it's the best one I've heard from them so far (look at what poor Lee Garrett had to work with a fortnight back).

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