Love On A Mountain Top _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byRobert Knightand reaching number 10 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date20/12/1973Duration of dance - 2.19 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Louise, Ruth _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
Robert Knight (who will turn 70 on April 24) is an American singer who first charted in the UK with his 1967 recording of the song "Everlasting Love". The song peaked at No. 13 in the US but in Britain his version lost out to the recording by the group Love Affair which took "Everlasting Love" to the top of the UK charts while Robert had to settle for a measly No. 40.
"Love On A Mountain Top" was first released as the B-side of "The Power Of Love" in 1968. Even though the 45 did not trouble chart compilers, its danceable flip side gradually became popular in the Northern Soul circuit. This finally led to the single being reissued with reversed sides, garnering enough sales to enter the UK Top 50 in November 1973. It stayed on the charts for an impressive 16 weeks, peaking at No. 10 in its 10th and 11th week. The song would return to the charts 16 years later in a version sung by Sinitta, this time making it to No. 20.
The record had merely climbed a single place from No. 17 to No. 16, just enough to save it from being 'frisbee'd', when Pan's People performed their routine on TOTP 20/12/1973. The show was hosted by Jimmy Savile who appeared in a Womble costume, looking even more ridiculous than usual. Mind you, that was a whole month before the first Wombles single actually charted. Unfortunately, this is one of the few existing pre-1976 shows that were not aired by German TV broadcaster "EinsFestival", so most if not all copies available originate from VHS recordings of the UK Gold repeat during the mid-90's.
"Love On A Mountain Top" is a very colourful routine with lots of spins. In fact, the frequency of spins is so high that watching the routine could make you dizzy! I'm not quite sure what to make of the costumes though. To say the least, they are remarkable especially with the tinsel hanging down the girls' legs. It seems that rather long pieces of cloth are tied around the dancers waists, with each end of the cloth fixed to one hand. This creates an interesting effect although in my view it can also look a bit clumsy in spots.
The routine is not one that I watch very often. I can't quite explain why but all this whirling and twirling somehow doesn't appeal to me. The song is just about ok but nothing special. I don't think that any dancer really stands out in this performance. Yet the way I see it Cherry has drawn the short straw here, often placed behind the other dancers on her own platform. I also can't help thinking that she's sometimes a bit out of step (see the last but one of the screenshots above).
7.5 / 10
DotD: First I was going to vote for Babs again, but then I changed my mind and picked lovely Louise.
It was pointed out to me once that before the invention of Lycra (the elasticated fabric) it was very difficult to make body style outfits like this look good as the material did not hug the contours as it does now. Despite this, Pans look very good and the extra swirl of material attached to the hands elevates the costume above that of the plain versions as seen in Smarty Pants and Do You Wanna Dance.
The song is fairly simple but pleasing enough and there's a surprising amount of pace to the dance in places, possibly the cause of some faltering steps from a couple of the ladies. Everyone spread out across the stage but staying on the spot makes an interesting change to the norm and petite Cherry gets the single elevated position.
The swirls and twirls of colour add up to an 8 for me. DotD Louise
Not my favourite type of music so approached with a little reserve. Not one of Flick's imaginative dances but then who could develop new routines every week, for years. Its okay but not one of Pans finest moments, suggest 7. At the time Babs was the best known Pan and she gets my vote .
I must say Jimmy looks better in a Womble suit than he does in skimpy shorts. Anyway I agree in general with the rather lukewarm opinions given so far and this dance reminds me a bit of Legs' Mighty Power of Love in that the music is mediocre and the dance seems a bit limited in scope. The ladies look good and the spins and facial expressions are just fine but I just can't quite get into the whole spectacle, sorry. It's more like a dalliance at base camp for me. For DotD I like expressive Ruth here and the mark for me is 6/10. I seem to drifting back into my meanie ways and will try to do better in future but this one is not my opportunity for redemption I'm afraid.
BTW I really like the big horseshoe magnet decorations TOTP had at this time. Does anyone know how long they survived?
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Heaps of colour's what I like here, & once again, it's the Pan's People specific colour-coding that does it for me, because of the sense of individuality that it gives each dancer, whilest they are essentially parts of a collective.
To be honest, there's not much else of note happening in this performance. We have basically, on the spot dance moves, with most attention, for me anyways, drawn to their dress waving, it seems to be executed in such a way as if secret messages are bent conveyed to the audience, now I wonder what they'd be?
Its colourful, and the ladies all fill their outfits very nicely, but it never scales the heights. The song is weak, there's just too much spinning, and so consequently it is all too easy to get out of sync. Not one of Flick's most inspired offering and if this was a rush job to replace something else I wouldn't be at all surprised. I'm tempted to go for a six but the girls do look gorgeous so I'll go 6.5 with the especially gorgeous Babs as my Dotd.
Well they look beautiful. These routines where the dancers are in their assigned colours are always on a vibrant visual footing. Unlike some I find the song quite palatable, in a breezy-anonymous-snatch-on-the-childhood-airwaves-type way. But this is about as far as my appreciation goes of this untidy out-of-sync spectacle, which looks more like an early jam than a fully thought out routine. Shackling their arms at least prevents predictable hands-on-hearts literalism, but it handicaps the ability to express themselves. Rather than spinning like a top at the giddy peak of love, it's more like a half-hearted flounder to salvage a lost cause. A miss.