17-11-77: Presenter: Jimmy Savile O.B.E.
(23) JONATHAN RICHMAN & THE MODERN LOVERS – Egyptian Reggae (and charts)
(30) BRIGHOUSE & RASTRICK BRASS BAND – The Floral Dance
(44) THE BOOMTOWN RATS – Mary Of The 4th Form
(7) THE BARRON KNIGHTS – Live In Trouble
(24) ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – Turn To Stone (danced to by Legs & Co)
(39) NOOSHA FOX – Georgina Bailey
(8) SHOWADDYWADDY – Dancin’ Party ®
(2) QUEEN – We Are The Champions (video)
(34) THE DOOLEYS – Love Of My Life
(3) STATUS QUO – Rockin’ All Over The World (video)
(1) ABBA – The Name Of The Game (video)
(25) DAVID BOWIE – Heroes (and credits)
Not as many skipped editions for 1977 so this is the first one to feature. Strangely the announcer on this UK Gold copy (who probably hasn't seen the show) thinks Pan's People are still there, do keep up, its Legs & Co now! Saville is the host but don't let that put you off.
A somewhat eccentric show kicks off with the chart rundown and a certain oddity from Jonathan Richman called Egyptian Reggae which we are all familiar with by now. Its difficult to know what to make of this one. Luckily next week Flick and Legs & Co are on hand to turn this into a sand dancing masterpiece of wackiness. Bring on that camel!, but for now we'll have to make do with the chart pics.
So lets start the show proper with a classic, something rocky, moving and emotive...oh (bleep) its a brass band!!. Not just any brass band mind its The Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band with The Floral Dance, where are the morris dancers when you need them?. Catchy tune though I cant lie. The audience are reduced to waving coloured dusters while the band 'do their thing'. It must be getting close to Xmas when this sort of stuff is getting in the charts.
Now something more 1977, the shy and retiring Bob Geldolf and The Boomtown Rats, I don't know this one at all, Geldolf is shouty and animated as you might expect, enjoying the frontman limelight a little too much. Its an ok slab of punk but TBR will do better, particularity I don't like Mondays which was great.
I'm sure the popularity of The Barron Knights is lost on a lot of people, but they found their own niche in doing these medley-parodies (or are they parody-medleys?) that rely on you knowing their original source, but they are still mildly amusing, even if the stop/start nature is a bit annoying. This one is at number 7 though so they must be doing something right. No excuse for those outrageous collars and carpet-rite jackets though, be off with you!
At last Legs & Co (ok we are only 10 minutes in but its hardly a classic show so far), with one of my favourite routines, the cave dwelling Turn To Stone (cave..stone-age.. geddit?). Ah this is just so entertaining, and rather clever too, despite all the running round and dodging plastic stalagmites. I could probably watch this on a loop but no there's more show to do. Lots of ELO routines of course and they were all good, this track in particular has a real drive to it with that buzzing synth and funky bassline you wouldn't really call it disco, but it does provide a great dance soundtrack.
Noosha Fox has gone solo!, and come dressed as school girl and the backing band are dressed as stereotypical Frenchman (I said this would be an eccentric show). Noosha was a bit too distracting to pay much attention to what she was singing about, something about a girl going to live in France (hence the French theme), its quite nice but doesn't match her earlier Fox records, I did spot a flash of stocking at the end, Noosha you naughty thing!
Showaddywaddy are here (well ok its a repeat) with probably a carbon copy of their last song, and the same teddy boy look as always. Its probably too much to expect these guys to be any different they have found their niche and sticking to it.
Queen never a band to rest on their laurels use a nice B&W opening to the video for this classic track, shy & retiring Freddy (with new hairstyle) stares into the camera until things kick off good and proper in heavy Queen style to reveal the video is actually a live concert performance. Freddy is wearing a ridiculous black and white one piece outfit, well he would wouldn't he, as he belts out the vocals on this one. Its strange that when we see the audience they appear to consist of scarf waving teenage girls like at a Bay City Rollers or Osmonds concert, surely Queen were not lumped in with them at this time?
From one big, nee huge, sounding record what could possibly follow that, well unfortunately this honour has been given to The Dooleys with a run of the mill effort. I don't know anything about this group and this one didn't interest me much.
Status Quo on next with one of their most recognisable hits, with a typical live performance video, theres not much to say on this, its a very well known hit, surprisingly only up two places in the two weeks it was last shown, kept off the top by Queen and the slightly less rocky Abba, who are on now.
Despite spending a month at number one, The Name of the Game isn't an ABBA record you hear that often, which is a shame as its a very good one. A slightly cheesy video sees the group playing a board game (ludo?) whilst pretending to enjoy themselves, with some more arty soft focus shots thrown in for good measure. Its not the most imaginative video really is it?. With so many good records they made its easy see why some might get overshadowed and that the same for a lot of successful groups, having said that its a worthy number one for me.
Ending the show is a very short play of David Bowie's Heroes, which has been around a month and is stuck at a lowly 25, the public don't always get it right as this has gone on to be seen as a classic.
My love must be a kind of blind love, I can't see anyone but you...
This post was updated on .
Sir James of Savile tells us to prepare for an "unbelievable" show. And he's proved right by the end. Egyptian Reggae plays over the charts, a tune dear to us all on OFTDs I think I can say without fear of contradiction. And a message to the Beeb, update your picture of Roxy Music. By this time Eno hadn't been in the band for four years.
Anyway, we crash straight into The Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band - The Floral Dance I wonder if TotPs has ever kicked off with two instrumentals before? The rather enthusiastic conductor ensures it bounces merrily along. Heavily promoted by Sir Terence of Wogan, I believe. Who said 1977 was all about punk.
Nevertheless, time for some punk then, eh kids! Er, not quite. The Boomtown Rats - Mary Of The Fourth Form They tried hard to be edgy, but Gelfhof and his mates never really cut it. I wonder if the eponomous "Mary" really existed?
The Barron Knights - Live In Trouble Pt 1 They had their fans, but this is really end of the pier stuff. I'll pass on Pt 2.
ELO - Turn To Stone The announcer at the beginning of the show makes the ultimate faux pas of confusing Legs & Co with Pan's People. I hope his children were openly mocked at school the next day for this inexcusable error. Anyway, shame-faced announcers apart, this is great fun. Stylishly chaotic, with the novel idea of having the girls deliberately out of sync. Caving enthusiasts will recognise this subterranean chamber as Wookey Hole, if I'm not mistaken. And I'm assured no stalactites were harmed in the making of this picture.
Noosha Fox - Georgina Bailey The exotic Noosha has for no obvious reason dressed herself as a schoolgirl, complete with Benny Hillesque stockings and suspenders. Not that I'm complaining. An offbeat ballad about a naive young woman who goes to meet a man in France only to discover he's gay. Have I got that right? Strange. Very strange.
Showaddywaddy - Dancin' Party More end of the pier stuff. Never took to this lot with their neverending cover versions. Though this might be an original song, for once. Really can't be bothered to check.
Queen - We Are The Champions Typically anthemic stuff from Freddie and co. Still gets played constantly to this day, especially at sports events. The audience look very young. But, oh my, what is Mr Mercury wearing? Those of a nervous disposition look away now!
The Dooleys - Love Of My Life Ah, this is more my cup of tea. Perfect pop from ol' Pa Dooley and the girls. Love it. And if you don't like their music they can still tarmac your drive. Cash up front, of course.
Jimmy has found himself a Noosha Fox lookalike. The old devil.
Status Quo - Rockin' All Over The World Not one of my Quo favourites, but arguably their most famous track. Rick provided that perfect bridge for teenage girls to get into proper music, didn't he.
ABBA - Name Of The Game Quality track from Sweden's pop megastars. But wait. That video clearly shows Agnetha needed her roots doing. Has she been decieving us all these years? Hold the front page. "Agnetha In Bottle Blonde Shocker!"
Playout is David Bowie - Heroes classic track from his Berlin Trilogy days, which became the unofficial anthem of the London Olympics 35 years later.
What a show. Special mention to Jimmy who often gets on my nerves, but when he drops the silly stuff, can be an excellent presenter.
Thanks for the upload, Mikey. Really enjoyed it. So much better than the current repeats from 1988.
Queens of My Soul
Thanks ER i think we are on the same page with this one (apart from The Dooleys, lol). Interesting you mention Terry Wogan since he was about to inflict his own version of The Floral Dance on everyone in January.
My love must be a kind of blind love, I can't see anyone but you...
Thought id better give this one a quick bump in case anyone else would like to comment on this show.
My love must be a kind of blind love, I can't see anyone but you...
I have begun to write up my review, and hope to have it completed at the end of this week, or early next. I fully intend it to be quite a short one this time, and will work on it as my free time allows.
I'm looking forward to reading it
I'm on it too
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Thanks, looking forward to it. Hanway likes a build up
My love must be a kind of blind love, I can't see anyone but you...
In reply to this post by Mikey
Another Top Of The Pops, and another chance to go back to 1977. An offer I would never want to refuse. But time is pressing, and I plan to work my way through this edition at a velocity not known by me normally. Am I a hare or a tortoise? I shall find out in very good time.
No time is wasted here on the chart rundown, completed at a furious pace. To the strains of ‘Egyptian Reggae’ by Jonathan Richman & his Modern Lovers. A period piece that can always take me back to the year 1977, and me at 17 and almost completing my first year as a Post Office Messenger Boy. As this was broadcast in November ’77, it would be about the same time as the ‘Miss World’ contest of that year- when I would be interested in watching such things. I can remember walking round Grosvenor Square in London and all the contestants were gathered inside the square. I think they were staying at the ‘Britannia Hotel’, on the south side of Grosvenor Square, and my colleagues and myself delivering greetings telegrams to the place. Sadly they were taken in at the Reception Desk, and we did not get to hand them personally to any of the International Queens of Beauty! Anyway, one pointless digression over, what is in the charts? Old and new as ever rubbing shoulders in serendipitous positions, Rod Stewart at 6, Tom Robinson at 5, and Baccara at 4 seemed ever so exotic to me back then, with their far away Latin graces. And Abba is at number 1, the Swedish Powerhouse at full blast.
BRIGHOUSE AND RASTRICK BRASS BAND- FLORAL DANCE:- What a way to start the show. Is it Folk Music, is it not Folk Music? Is it Folk Music but not as we know it? Questions I could not answer then, being I was already interested in the genre, and have no idea how to answer now. Of the track itself, as I watched, against my better inclinations I rather enjoyed it. Showing the variety that could be found in the top 30 at the time. If the flag waving audience and the brass band musicians all looked to be having a good time, the white jacketed conductor seemed to enjoy himself twice as much as anyone else. Good For Him! But please, nobody mention Terry Wogan and his lyrical version, yet to come. That is definitely not to my taste.
THE BOOMTOWN RATS- MARY OF THE FOURTH FORM:- After music for old fogeys, come something for youngsters out there. And doesn’t Bob Geldof look young here? I don’t remember the words to the song from back then, but they are of interest. And there was no equivalent of Mary in my School, I feel it necessary to add. Whatever the content, a slice of brisk new wave pop to brighten the evening. All the band perform well, none more so that Bob himself, before his fame for other things. And all from Dublin’s Fair City, as we are told. Good if not great.
THE BARRON KNIGHTS- LIVE IN TROUBLE:- Who else besides me can remember The Barron Knights, The Grumbleweeds and their ilk on Television Variety shows in the dim and distant past? Maybe fun to see in that setting, but who would buy their records? Some people did clearly, but I plead innocence in this case. Broad comedy is difficult to pull off on a single, and at 40+ plus years remove, the humour feels blunt and heavy. I have moved on, even if the song has not. Leo Sayer, Kenny Rogers and The Brotherhood of Man in short bursts of comedy setting. I probably did find it funny then, the young man inside the old soured head opines.
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA- TURN TO STONE:- But no Jeff Lynne or Orchestra here to be found. Top Of The Pops has done better and given this track over to Legs and Co. And here they are dancing among some stones, or stalagmites and stalactites. Or is this dance in homage and a worship of wobbly phallic symbols? Certainly Rosie seems pleased with herself for finding a long one. Was Flick behind this, we know how unusual her mind can be at times? A more searching review will appear in time from me. So I will only hasten to add that I like this routine very much, all the members look fantastic- though none better than Our Lady in Green, Patti. And the girls look like they are enjoying themselves in abundance, smiles and happiness all around the stage. And it is nothing short of miraculous how one ‘stone’ managed to survive the closeness of Legs and co. without imploding. More in the future from me on this, if you can be patient. The song is quite good too, I must add.
NOOSHA FOX- GEORGINA BAILEY:- How quickly the World moves on. A short two years since her fame with well-known band Fox, but a mere three or four years from the glorious but less well known folk baroque pop of Wooden Horse- recommended to anyone who likes err.... folk baroque pop, we have Noosha solo. Susan ( Noosha Fox ) Traynor, dressed up as a rather saucy schoolgirl- could she be any other way- with a tale to tell of how men are not always as they seem. Isn’t that the truth, even if we are not John-Paul the talk of Marseille? A very enjoyable few minutes in the company of Noosha follows, though admittedly Noosha is not really solo but has a backing band of Marseille Sailors to support her. Did they know John-Paul too? Was this song ever the subject of bans or speculation? As it should have gone higher than 31, it’s furthest peak. Perhaps as high as Noosha’s knee at the end of the song. Was this Noosha’s last appearance on Top Of The Pops? If it was, fare well and thank you for so many fond memories, Susan.
SHOWADDYWADDY- DANCIN’ PARTY:- Jimmy Savile and Showaddywaddy, the foundation of many a joke. A repeat from an earlier performance, I think. Dave Bartram and massed brigades of ‘Waddy dressed in salmon pink Teddy Boy suits with white brothel creepers, at a Dancin’ Party. Not bad really, but after Legs and Co. and Noosha I want to move on speedily. All I feel required to say is ‘nice moves boys and I am sure I will see you again, sometime soon. Good Fun you always are’. Now who is next?
QUEEN- WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS:- The strong gaze of a famous face soon puts me in the picture. Freddie Mercury stares out of the screen and as the camera pulls back in this video, here is the man in a ‘natty’ black and white catsuit. Not every man could wear such an item, and I am sure I am not only one pleased that Brian May didn’t try to squeeze into a similar item. Perhaps they only had one to go round. One of Queen’s most memorable songs, and an interesting film to promote it. With a teenage audience cheering them on, how could Queen fail on this? And they don’t. Not my own favourite track from the band, but still a good one. And I always feel the band were coming to the end of their glory period, as the 80s come onto the horizon their output dipped, and dimmed, and they became a parody of themselves. But not here. Well done Freddie, Brian, John and Roger. Champions of the mid 70s you all were.
THE DOOLEYS- LOVE OF MY LIFE:- Ah The Dooleys! Who could say anything bad about The Dooleys? Not me here neither. Who can remember the BBC adult literacy programme ‘On The Move’ shown on Sundays in the mid 70s, which brought such people like Bob Hoskins to prominence? I do, certainly. And The Dooleys sung the catchy theme tune, which I always liked to listen to. But here are The Dooleys in a different guise, their evening job. Lightweight, inoffensive pop taking over, perhaps, from Guys ‘n’ Dolls who were about to shuffle off the mortal coil. I recall mostly three female Dooleys and we are short changed here with two. But the third may have been a later addition. And silver bloused Dooley looks ready to be the love of a young man’s life with some eye popping moves. Trouble is, I could never work out which one she is. ( A little research suggests Kathy, or it could be Anne, I am not certain still. No, I am sure it is Kathy Dooley ). And I hardly notice brother Jim at all, which is no bad thing. Lightweight and uncontroversial it may be, and dismissed by many, The Dooleys, as this record shows, could bring out good little pop songs to while away the twilight hours. High praise, I feel.
STATUS QUO- ROCKIN’ ALL OVER THE WORLD:- Can you ever have enough Quo? No sir!! Well not, for me, up to 1978. On the show with a good videoed performance of ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’, and almost bringing to an end their glory days. This cover of ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival leader John Fogerty’s song is probably their most famous track, done in true Quo style and substance. And was a sure lot of fun in 1977, certainly Francis Rossi thinks so. I wrote in an earlier review how young teenage boys in the 70s were big fans of the band, and their elder 17 year old selves had not strayed very far from the path. Isn’t it Ronseal that tells you that it does ‘Exactly What it Says on the Tin?’ Status Quo could have trade marked that phrase in the 70s, and everyone knew they were correct. The twin guitars of Rossi and Parfitt and the solid back beat of Lancaster and Coughlan- Quintessential Quo!!
ABBA- THE NAME OF THE GAME:- This is the number 1 sound, from the Ubiquitous 70s Swedish Superstars and Power Juggernaut. Abba were enormous by this time, and still very much on top of their game, releasing classical tracks at will. Their music may not have been to everyone’s taste, but you could not deny their ability, professionalism and continued high standard. This would not be one of my own favourite Abba songs, but the video shown here to promote the track is quite engaging with the group sat round a board game and looking inquisitively at each other. However, as this was the third week at number 1, we receive little more than a smidgen of the piece. But enough to remind us of the cumulative talent of this happy foursome. And that is this week’s top track. ‘Howsaboutthatthen’!
DAVID BOWIE- HEROES:- All this has left us little time for the play out track from another 70s Superstar in David Bowie. His track Heroes sounding out over the credits and the revolving globes and lights. I would have liked more time to listen to David Bowie and his swimming dolphins, but no matter. It is one of my favourite tracks of his from this later 70s period. Long since having shed the skin of Ziggy and Aladdin, and any lingering gnomes. The credits are as expected, with legs and Co., and Flick Colby receiving their due acknowledgements. And another Top Of The Pops passes into History. If only we could see them again, TV recorders are expensive, but I am sure the BBC has them all safely stored in their archives. One day in the future people will welcome the chance to see David Bowie and the like, as presented on the programme.
It is difficult to fairly summarise the presenting duties of any edition of Top Of The Pops hosted by Jimmy Savile, but in truth he does little wrong here. This would be one of his more low key performances, bar a kiss or two. Did the girls with whom he is seen on screen have any cause for complaint? Unless we can ask them, we may never know. But JS is outwardly at his least offensive in all manner of things in this show- even his costume sense. For my own favoured part of the show it is hard to say. Nothing truly outstanding, and nothing completely unworthy. I like the Legs and Co. routine very much, and The Dooleys and Queen and the Quo, only feeling the Barron Knights were the weakest part, looking at them with my 40+ years distance. Therefore, putting the Dancing Queens to one side, I would have to savour most Noosha Fox, dressed as a Schoolgirl. And the song may have upset a few old blowhards to boot. A very good show, I feel, with a lot of highlights. That was how TOTPs was in 1977, on reflection.
Awesome Post Hanway!!!
In reply to this post by Mikey
A really lovely show here. I remember this been broadcast as Noosha's outfit brought it all back. Loved the Jonathan Richman track and the charts were fairly good too. Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band was never my kind of music. Very Brassed off. Terry Wogan would then make a record with the vocal version of this later on. Boomtown Rats and Barron Knights not my thing at all. Loved the dance routine even though I call into question the size of those stones. Did look very much like male members all around the stage but the girls looked lovely. Noosha Fox gets my favourite part of the show. She had a lovely voice and performed this song so beautifully. I was a big Fox fan and always felt she would go off on her own but chartwise this was a big let down. As a Group they had a lot of airplay on Radio 1 both with album tracks and singles. Her voice was so sultry. Showaddywaddy were good but again not my type of music. Queen excellent. A really good song that should have been No.1 really. I think if they had placed the b-side as a double-A it would have captured more sales. We Will Rock You was really the best anthem they recorded and still gets airplay today. Really clever. Dooleys were definitely not my thing. Something to sing a long to when you are doing housework chores. Status Quo excellent again with their anthem. Abba's video was good but always felt this was not worthy of number 1 slot. It sort of played mediocre and lacks vim. As a first track from The Album I felt there were more tracks from there that were worthy of single release but not this. Always felt Eagle should have been a first release (which incidentally was in 1978 in some parts of Europe). David Bowie's Heroes was just fantastic. Always felt this song should have got to No.1 or Top 5. I presume David was an albums artist and fans purchased the latter given that version is over six minutes long and there were no additional giveaways with his singles yet but it really is a fantastic track.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
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