Little Bit Of Love _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byFreeand reaching number 13 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date22/06/1972Duration of dance - 2.32 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Andrea, Babs, Dee Dee, Louise, Ruth _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
Free was an English rock band formed in 1968. At the time, their youngest member Andy Fraser was just 15 years old, lead guitarist Paul Kossoff was 17, and both lead singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke were 18. They released two albums in 1969, "Tons of Sobs" and "Free", but both sold rather poorly. Their third LP "Fire and Water", however, contained the one song that would make them superstars not just in their homeland, but also in the US. "All Right Now" spent five weeks at No. 2 in the UK and peaked at No. 4 in the US, but it was also a No. 1 hit in over 20 territories.
The follow-up single "The Stealer" surprisingly bombed and it seemed the momentum was gone. The band broke up in 1971, but before they split, Free recorded four more tracks. One of them was "My Brother Jake" which put them back into the charts (No. 4 in the UK). Early in 1972, the band reformed and recorded another album, "Free At Last". The track "Little Bit Of Love" (also known as "A Little Bit Of Love" for single release) would become Free's third entry in the UK singles chart, peaking at No. 13.
For some reason, the reformed Free never appeared on TOTP (neither for this single nor for its successor "Wishing Well"). After "Little Bit Of Love" had climbed from No. 28 to No. 19, Flick Colby received an order to prepare a Pan's People performance for the following week's show. However, when the new charts were revealed on Tuesday, the single had dropped one place to No. 20! Contrary to its alleged rules, the routine was shown on TOTP nevertheless.
As you all know, 1972 is one of the dark periods of TOTP, as only one show survived the wipings (28/12/1972). Several years ago, though, an incomplete recording of 22/06/1972 was found in the archive of BBC Scotland. The quality is not quite on par with the original as the colour is somewhat out of sync but it is certainly much better than nothing. Copies of the tape, which includes the Pan's People performance to "Little Bit Of Love", found their way into the "collectors circle" and thus the performance is now available on our YT channel. However, the picture quality sadly leaves a lot to be desired.
This was one of the first Pan's People routines I ever saw, and I instantly liked it. From the opening shot of Louise to the climax with all five in line holding up their right arms and pointing to the sky, this performance never gets boring. It has a hippy-esque style to it which is clearly early 70s, but at the same time there is so much variety that you keep wondering what will happen next. I also love the many close-ups of the girls. Several dancers shine in this routine, and I presume there should be at least three different nominations for DotD. My favourite here is Louise with her expressive gestures, although Dee Dee comes as a close second.
Before preparing this introduction I intended to rate this dance 9.5, but after watching it again, there's no way I could award less than full marks.
What a stroke of luck that this one ended up existing as part of the recovery of most of the 22nd June 1972 episode, even if the recording is sub-par. It's certainly the highlight of that edition and gave a well needed boost to the the worst represented year for Pans in the TOTP archives since they became regulars. Interesting too that this performance was the one represented on the cover of a BBC Records compilation LP - one of the few examples of the corporation recognising the visual appeal of the dance troupe to help sell a product. Boy they missed some opportunities there!
I've always puzzled over Ed Stewart's introduction, "as you've never seen them before" and wonder what he could be referring to. The costumes are indeed very eye-catching and the routine itself quite raunchy in places but not more so than some existing 1970 outings like Green River or Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Of course in the pre-internet, pre-home video days of 1972 those would have been a very dim and distant memory at best, so possibly this was seen as something of a development. All very dependant upon what tracks Pans were dealt and if we look at the ones we know about from 1972 then this may well have been quite a contrast to the previous month's performances - certainly this was no tweeting Rockin' Robin!
Great costumes that do a good job displaying all the feminine curves but it seems that the full colour designation hasn't quite slotted into place yet with only Dee Dee and Ruth in their trademark colours. Louise has a nice shade of purple that suits her rather well, with Andrea in green for now but dear Babs has to settle for an unusual dark brown or black. Flick seems to have made Dee Dee the central point of this routine and consequently it is difficult not to focus on her for the majority of the performance despite the usual very good turn from Louise. I think the sections where four dancers carousel around one central figure work very well. A great routine, well matched to a reasonable track. 9/10 DotD Dee Dee
I really like this. Free were always one of my favourite bands but they certainly had their personality clashes and a bit of a bumpy career. Back to this dance which shows the ladies in fine form and the costumes show the Troupe in all their glory, bringing to my mind a beautiful pack of she-wolves (perhaps I'd better stop here). A pity it's not quite full colour but we're lucky to have it to admire at all so there it is. Anyway all the ladies perform well here but I agree Louise and Dee Dee are most prominent (sic) and in the end I have to give DotD to Dee Dee for leading the pack. The ending is wonderful and I'm giving 9.5/10 and I do wonder how many more high-scoring dances are hiding in the massive 1972 black hole.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
You wouldn't wanna mess about with these feisty ladies, I like how they're brimming with confidence, & charging across the stage, & posing for the cameras, like they own the place, the outfits are great, just suitable for being beneath the hot studio lighting, although, this dance routine, was most probably not for the eyes of Mary Whitehouse, & their people of that ilk.
Yeah great this routine was recovered, and both the song and routine are very likable. But i feel i cant go as high as some and award a maximum due to the wishy washy colour of the clip we have avaible. Maybe in pristine colour condition i would. As i say though, great we do have the clip to watch, unlike lots from 72 which we sadly don't.
DOTD-`Andrea` (like her hair in this).
Rating-`9 out of 10`
Well Free's brand of not too soft, not too hard rock certainly lends itself well to a dance routine, its an enjoyable oasis in the barren desert of 1972 although one i don't frequent too often. I guess the bleached out visuals do distract somewhat if it was in b&w i probably wouldnt notice, but a 'little bit of colour' is not enough. The outfits are a triumph though, those distinctive dancer colours occasionally shine through and the dancing is well delivered throughout including the big 'point to the sky' style finish. 8.5/10 DOTD Dee Dee
A crop-tops, shreds and silver boots day is never to be sneezed at, though PansLegs' photo really brings home how much colourful vibrancy we're missing. A good number with the sitar sound hanging on from the sixties. Sometimes the girls are kept in line, a common feature of early Pan's. But often they're a human kaleidoscope of shifting patterns. A good balance in the moves between love from the heart and the body. Like the closing salutes. About the best it gets in this era for me, the benchmark of its known kind. DOTD Dee Dee 9.5/10
This is quite an enjoyable routine to watch - it veers away from the normal standard formation dancing a bit and there are some good close ups. A real shame that so much from 1972 has been lost. That said, I'm not quite as enthusiastic as many of you about this, hence my score is at 8.5 out of 10.
DOTD is Dee Dee.
I remember reading a article from the time about TOTP, where they didn't wipe the tapes, they collected all the hits from the tapes for the xmas show, and the tapes were literally skipped, what a terrible waste.
Great track, sadly a wash out on the routine colour wise, again i suppose better than nothing, the likelihood of getting anything pre 1973 is really remote.
Super sexy outfits which compliment the track very well....
A pretty good routine let down by the poor quality of video that's currently in the wild. I've managed to find the last 30 seconds of the dance in fairly good quality (similar to Panslegs picture) and it looks substantially better and consequently much more enjoyable. 9/10.
Dotd: Dee Dee.
Thanks Legsfan and welcome to the Pan's People Comments Section, rather belated but I was on holiday the past week and had no access to my PC with the ratings sheet.
Of course I hope you will return to the Pan's People routines as there are so many good ones just waiting to be discovered!
This was a very good routine and full of energy. The outfits were very raunchy and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My only problem is that the version I have the colour is poor. If it had have been in black and white I may be would award it the maximum points. I will award this eight out of ten and the best dancer is awarded to Andrea. She looked beautiful here.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
Not really a fan of that macho rock sound of the early 70s which existed in parallel with the more chart-friendly glam. Not really a Free fan, it was rock music by numbers as far as I'm concerned (Wishing Well was by far their best record imo). I think this raw music is inhibiting for a dance troupe as they feel compelled to do that rock chick thing. Some nice moves nevertheless, so this was probably about as good as they could have done given the source material.
Not really my thing I'm afraid: 7.5/10 DotD: Dee Dee looks rocktastic in this one.
Are you a Pessimist or an Optimist? Is the glass half empty or half full? I ask this because the Pessimist within me worries that very few, if any, early Pan’s People routines still exist waiting to be re-discovered, and allowing me to view them again. I think this is especially so for the 1970- 1972 period. The liquid in the glass seems ever lower there. But from 1973 there are many more videos held in private hands which still survive, that many on the Forum will have seen but are not publicly available, meaning I have not had the chance to view them myself and are not open for me pass comment upon in a review such as this. For the 1970- 1972 era, using Vin’s lists, there are 9 routines surviving that we are not able to review, and from 1973 to 1976, there are roughly 36 dances that exist somewhere or another that I have not seen again since my re-immersion in the complete Pan’s scene. Hopefully, one day I will- my optimistic side has looked up very briefly.
Now we come to ‘Little Bit Of Love’ by the great band Free- one of the best British rock bands ever, with one of the most gifted guitarists of all time in Paul Kossoff. His early death in 1976 was a such a sad and severe blow to all concerned, family, friends and fans. Does anyone remember his father David Kossoff, an actor, who embarked on speaking tours warning young people about taking drugs? And this is Pan’s People in smoulderingly hot form, like the coals burning in a furnace. From the available routines we have left, this would be one of the last of my very favourite ‘hippy-style’ numbers. ( Thinking about it there may be a couple more which include those elements ). And this is one of their very best. Beautifully staged and performed all the way through. The costumes look very sensual and eye catching, with high brassieres revealing a large amount of the body, lovely silver boots and skirts of- well they look more like belts with attachments descending from them, all in different colours but in variation of the usual scheme. Andi in green, Louise in purple and Babs in black, along with Ruth in her famed yellow and Dee Dee maintaining her red plumage as a centre of attraction. With the five members of the group, the inter-play between the two blondes and three brunettes seems very noticeable. They all look extremely adorable as they march up and down the stage with beautiful hip shaking movements at 00.18. And they seem to skate across the stage about 00.28 in rhythm to the music, with more delectable spins and shakes up to 00.42 where Dee Dee is encircled by the others as they move effortlessly and evocatively round her, as Dee Dee herself charms me with some up and down, and leg kicking moves. The rest of the routine continues with more of the delightful stylised movements one should expect from such a professional and oh-so-watchable troupe of stars, including more fantastic hip shaking at 01.37 and a beautiful squat at 01.42. This is a thoroughly enchanting number to watch right up to the end as they draw back and thrust their right arm skywards, pointing directly up above, as if to point out to anyone not already convinced- should there be such foolish people- of their own immortality and stardom. We belong in the Heavens and we will return there directly, as the subjects of your undying devotion! The most delicious group part for me is at about 02.00 when all five Pan’s shimmy and shake to absolute perfection. Thus proving to me, their unending status as Mother Earth Divinities in my eyes. Throw down your ploughs and swords the Maternal Lights of Truth hath beckoned thee.
Should we not hold love for all these girls? They are all so superbly and effortlessly charmed here. This number is an unfailing joy to watch repeatedly. Individually, all five bring something substantial to the dance. From that very moment when Louise’s gorgeousness fills the screen we are on to a winner. Babs spins and prances superbly well at 00.47 and her lovely motions about 01.00 impress again. Andi spins and head tosses ever so well at about 01.33. Ruth surpasses all the others with her body wiggling at the front of the row at about 02.00 and is in top form all the way through here, though she is sadly missed at the point up to 02.16- where she reappears from the back of beyond with a saucy look on her face. What was she doing, I wonder? But this routine has to be between Dee Dee and Louise. Dee Dee voices the lyrics admirably at 00.21, leads the group so proficiently throughout this routine, especially with her lovely countenance at 00.34, and also at 01.15 as she becomes the centre once again. Her captaincy is not in doubt for a moment. However, Louise steals her thunder and goes even better. From the very commencement when she fills the screen with her supreme beauty to the final denouement as she lines up with the others, her head shake and movement the most attention grabbing of all, she is impeccable and so his her loveliness. At about 00.28 when she skates in behind the others, and afterwards with her delectatious movements at the fore front. And when she becomes the full focus of attention again at about 01.47 with some of the most gorgeous smiles or movements anyone could ever wish for she sends me in raptures of delight. I feel I should stand up and applause right there and then. Her lustrous radiance, her splendour shines so brightly all the way through this routine. Just to see her is to love her. Now and forever.
DOTD- Louise. I could think of no other here. Louise the skilled dancer at her best. Louise looking lovelier than as ever she can. Louise- a verified Mother of the Earth in the guise of Enchantment.
Mark of dance 10/10. I like this routine very much, a justified favourite of mine which we must feel blessed has survived, even in this less than ideal condition. When this was first seen again, was this not how Howard Carter felt when discovering the tomb of Tutankhamun?
The awards for my benefit come to;-
Andi- 7, Dee Dee- 5, Louise- 5, Ruth- 5, Babs- 3; - Flick- 6 ( 31 routines )