(-) GARY GLITTER – Rock And Roll (Part 2) – Not on this copy.
(46) DONNY OSMOND – Puppy Love (video)
(-) ALICE COOPER – School’s Out ®
(31) LIEUTENANT PIGEON – Mouldy Old Dough
(-) ROBERTA FLACK – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
(-) SLADE – Mama Weer All Crazee Now
(-) BENNY HILL – Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West) (video)
(-) CHICORY TIP – Son Of My Father ®
(-) NILSSON – Without You (danced to by Pan’s People)
(5) THE OSMONDS – Crazy Horses ®
(2) CHUCK BERRY – My Ding-A-Ling (footage from Sounds For Saturday 22-7-72)
(-) MICHAEL JACKSON – Rockin’ Robin
(-) T-REX – Metal Guru
(-) RINGO STARR – Back Off Boogaloo (crowd dancing) (and credits)
So we get to the final edition of 1972 and probably the only 'properly preserved' show of the entire year!. Even the xmas day edition has gone so we don't get the chance to see how Pan's would have danced to Popcorn by Hot Butter, that would have been interesting for sure. The second of the xmas specials sees the usual mix of new studio performance, repeats and videos, this time presented by Noel in his first year and old hand Tony. As expected Gary Glitters studio performance has been erased from history so the only way to watch this one is via a youtube copy.
The first of two Osmonds records on the show (thankfully we are spared Little Jimmy) is Puppy Love credited to Donny, but here its a group performance on video. Not really my cup of tea this, way too slushy, leave it to the teenage girls who no doubt bought this in droves (how many is a drove anyway?).
Something much better next Schools Out from Alice Cooper, not a frequent chart visitor, but no doubt an excellent showman this performance in nothing short of brillant with Alice waving around a sword and also that most deadly of weapons, a red balloon, careful with that Alice!. In his usual horror make up he looks quite a sight, but this fun track brings out the exuberence of the crowd particularly one young lady who seems determined to get in on the action, and succeeds.
I'm not exactly sure how you would classify Mouldy Old Dough by Lieutenant Pigeon, its an odd one indeed, still the crowd seem to enjoy it. Its a jolly old tune until you get to the lyric (yeah lyric), as if spoken by a drunkard whos been awoken on a victorian dockyard and this the first thing he shouts at passers by in his stooper state. Oh and the band have raided the dressing up box, although i think maybe they dressed like that normally looking at them.
Bringing some sensabiliy back to the show its Roberta Flack. A classy song and a nice respite from some some of the madness on the rest of the show. Speaking of which its Crazee Slade up next with one of the their badly spelt hits.
Slade have turned up for the show in the kind of wacky outfits you would expect from them. I noticed a few Slade t-shirts in the crowd, so must have brought a few fans in with them. For me though this is too similar from a lot of their other hits and i'm not all that keen.
The inclusion of Benny Hill's Ernie (the 1971 xmas no 1) is a bit of an odd one, not becuase its bad but did people really need to be reminded of this as it had been usurped by The New Seekers at the start of the year. Cleverly written in the usual bawdy Benny Hill way, the battle with Two Ton Ted (from Teddington) for the love of Sue, is a joyous piece of entertainment, with double entendres aplenty. I don't think ive ever seen a horse and cart milk delivery service (perhaps they died out with Rag and Bone men?) so thats an interesting slice of (early) 70s life. In a wild west style bakery vs dairy shoot out, unfortunatly the bad guy wins and poor old Ernie bit the dust and ascends to heaven, happy xmas folks!. I wonder what happened to Trigger.
Chicory Tip on next (repeated from January) with a catchy bit of proto synth pop. The singer features a fairly impressive mullet, must take ages to dry, if ever washed. I digress, very good tune and thankfully not wiped because of this repeat, hurrah.
For the last couple of months Pan's People had been down to four following Andreas maternity, but secretly waiting in the wings all this time was a certain Cherry Gillepie, quite why they waited this long for her i have no idea. The present unwrapping was an inspired idea, and no Tony shes not here to dance through 1973, shes here to stay, hurrah again!. So on to the 'lumpy dresses' performance of Neilsens Without You, this is one that has grown on me over time, i do like the song to start with and the white dressed dancers on the stark black background is very well done. The dancing is good too, but the camera shots are often so far away a few more close ups could have helped particularly new girl Cherry who despite getting a bit of a solo is otherwise not featured much.
Its those Osmonds again, pretending to be a rock band with the second crazee, sorry crazy, song of the show Crazy Horses. You'd have to be pretty harsh to dislike this though, its full of energy and had a really catchy riff throughout, one wonders why they didnt do more like this than the slushy stuff they usually served up. Also danced to by Pan's People a few weeks earlier.
Ok if that was crazy then the next bit is downright loopy, its rock n roll legend Chuck Berry with his comedy effort My Ding A Ling, but they can't just show the video as is can they. The BBC seem too embarrased to be showing this, and so have drafted in Rolf Harris (Rolf Harris??) to do some random doodles and they only show about half of Chuck who seems to be doing an improvised version calling out those in the audience who wont sing a long. I don't really understand the controversy over the song anyway its so tame as be no more suggestive as the Benny Hill record on earlier. Of course the presence of Rolf means its even less likely the BBC would show this episode again.
A youthful Michael Jackson here with the other Jacksons (so basically its a Jackson record then?). Its interesting Michael is already being billed as a solo artist, they were clealy building him up for bigger things ahead, although really its not until Off The Wall 7 years later that things went steller for him. This one is all right, good of them to turn up for a studio performance.
Were not quite done yet and T-Rex appear next with their second xmas performance (Telegram Sam was on the xmas day show), this time its Metal Guru a raucaus classic. There is a lot going on in this peformance and the producers want to overload us with effects at times, but this is probably the highlight of the show from the acts appearing in the studio.
No appearance for Ringo Starr to finish off proceedings so instead they drop a load of balloons on the crowd during the playout. Its all somewhat chaotic but strangely it works and its a very memorable end to the show and even Noel and Tony hang around.
My love must be a kind of blind love, I can't see anyone but you...
This is really a tremendous edition of TOTPs although I had to skip over a couple of performances because, for me, The Osmonds are such an anathema…. I must be “pretty harsh”. Tony Blackburn doesn’t get the name of their song right either, calling it “Pappy Live” or something
Lieutenant Pigeon were probably the best on the show, especially as they performed live. It was all going so well for them until the penny whistle solo with all the bum notes.
Also good were Chicory Tip. “Son Of My Father” is a significant milestone in music development as it was the first record to predominately feature a synthesizer. Unfortunately, it seems Chicory Tip didn’t have a spare Moog available to showcase for this performance and had to make do with a Hammond instead (not any disrespect to Hammonds of course and a Hammond should never be considered second best).
The Pans People girls look very pleased to see Cherry, although I'm not sure Tony deserves as much of the credit for her joining the dancers as he's making out. I like Nilsson's "Without You" but it’s just such a pity the routine is so badly filmed, and as for those long white dresses…. enough said.
I’ve seen the Benny Hill video, My Ding-A-Ling and Rockin’ Robin many times before so it was on to the excellent T-Rex. “Metal Guru” is a great record and this is a super performance that’s full of 70’s style video effects and chromatic distortions.
I also really enjoyed Roberta Flack who brings a touch of class to the show, and I also enjoyed Slade who brought their fan club along (or five of them at least).
Thanks for posting this Mikey. It was a really great watch.
You only need one 'ism' in your life, and that's Luluism
I haven’t forgotten about this Top Of The Pops, and I will write up a review after I have found the time to watch, which I have not done so yet.
There are many items of interest and much that is favourable to me. Hopefully, I will have the chance to watch the show in the next week or so. And a review will follow shortly.