MAID IN HEAVEN -- TOTPs dance number 6 by Legs & Co. _______________________________________________________________
Performed by Be Bop Deluxeand reaching No 36 in the UK charts _______________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date25/11/76 -- Duration of dance on the blog -- 2.21 minutes _______________________________________________________________
Dancers -- Gill,Lulu,Patti,Pauline,Rosie,Sue. _______________________________________________________________
Link to the dance-- http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x25kipk_legs-co-maid-in-heaven-totp-tx-25-11-1976_creation _______________________________________________________________
By a fair distance my favourite Legs & Co dance from their early period. There is nothing i dislike about this. If a may use a football way to describe it, a solid, dependable midfield four, with the skillful two wing backs pushing forwards. But which of those two `Heavenly Maids` on the wing do my eyes fall upon most, well i just cant choose. I cant say i know to much about Be Bop Deluxe or what other tracks they did, but this one was a real barnstormer of a song and how it only got to No 36 is very surprising. I have absolutely no hesitation in awarding this dance 10 out of 10.
Brilliant.............what a track, what a routine, at least this piece of magic survived the cull. Be Bop Deluxe as I am sure alot of the users know were a 70's British rock act driven on by the powerful guitar riffs of Bill Nelson. This dance to it sets the track alight and when I see it now it's like I am seeing it for the first time over again, there always seems to be something new I haven't noticed before, a stunning routine. 10/10
Never in doubt ..........I know it could never happen but why couldn't every routine leave you feeling like that after you've watched it. I know it was demanding on Flick devising new routines every week but when she got it right .............boy was it on the money.
Yes indeed a very fine performance and entrancing action. Not an easy beat to dance to this one either. As for Be Bop Deluxe tracks I preferred Ships in the Night and bought a couple of their albums in times gone by. There was a time when the "solid dependable" description would have raised some dander but I know you mean well Ryan and there's no denying the Goddess is prominent and on form in this one as is the lovely Lulu, even if there are some nice shots of the strikingly skilled Raven-haired ex-ballerina. This is 9/10 for me (sorry but there are very few 10s I can award)
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
No P4PM, i certainly wont be dishing out many 10 out of 10s, but this one is so special. This dance of course won a poll on here last year by a country mile for our `Forums favourite dance`. I do accept that having my two fav dancers in the prominent wide postions certainly helped my choice of awarding top marks. I certainly wasnt being mischievous in describing the other four as `solid and dependable`, indeed they were just as integral as the other two in making this one a dance that i can watch over and over again without tiring of it.
Legs & Co gives us a piece of the action with the aptly titled play on words ‘Maid in Heaven.’ Maid(s) in Heaven they to do so appear to be. This dance routine is almost as fast-paced as ‘Black Betty‘ but look how smoothly performed and cohesive their performance here is in comparison. Legs & Co are a tight unit all through the dance number, unlike the BB Routine were they look to be in part all over the place. As per usual with Flick it employs many hand gestures more so than ‘Black Betty’ yet accomplished immaculately, a tribute to their skill in maintaining the speed and fluidity of the dance while fitting in the hand elaborations so beloved by Flick. Even giving us a Legs & Co version of the Royal Hand-Wave near the end of the Routine.
This is a colourful, energetic spectacle that presents the Legs Ladies as being glamorous too. Lulu has a lot of time in front of the camera so she is in our attentions for the majority of the Routine. But where be Rosie? And Patti too who after her masterclass in ‘You Should be Dancing’ for Ruby Flipper is another odd choice not to be included in the front row. Rosie pushed at the back, who with her strikingly tall figure so apt for a dramatic Routine as this. To neglect Rosie as a visual resource I consider it a misjudgement on this occasion.
Lulu who after more viewings of the Legs & Co Routines I think is for many of us the not so hidden star of the dance troupe...I’ve grown accustomed to her lovely face. Lulu was trained, in fact was an understudy to Cherry at the same Dance School and I see similarities between those two. Both of a slender build, but perfectly suited for the profession of Dancing and having a masterful control of their physique.
Legs & Co are provided with enough stage lighting this time to enable us to see them in all their glory. There is a lot of flesh on display but it comes across as being natural, as if with the hot lighting and colourful costumes they could be dancing in a tropical climate at an outdoor carnival and is not self-consciously voyeuristic for the onlooker.
Hmmm oh dear. I think I'm going to upset some people again now! Oh well...
I'm not overly thrilled by this one I'm afraid. I think the two reasons are firstly, they're all pretty much routed to the spot. Either because of the small stage - or maybe that's the reason for the small stage. I rather see more movement.
Secondly, as has been mentioned there's lots of head-flicks and hand movement - probably because those type of moves don't need any extra floor space - but (and I feel awful saying this...) they could be tighter. When 5 lovely heads all flick forward together or 10 slender arms shoot skyward they really have to happen at the same time and when they don't it is quite noticeable. Don't shout at me! I acknowledge that some of the hand movements are very complicated, but am just saying what I see! Eg. at 2'04" Sue's kick is a bit behind and is really obvious.
A couple of other minor points - I don't like the jaunty slanty camera angle on the wide shot, and the close-up of Sue is ruined by the 2-camera mix.
But... on the plus side - it's energetic and bubbling over with energy. Shamefully I don't mention Sue as much as I should but she looks fantastic here. Lulu chucks in a couple of winning smiles as per normal thankfully. Patti manages one little pout - I guess this dance is so fast and frantic they sadly have got better things to do than make eyes at me!
It's fun and colourful and it's matched by outfits that ooze sex appeal.
All in all not bad but far from heaven for me. 7/10.
I'm happy with the positioning of the girls for after all it was still early days for the three newcomers and none are exactly hidden from view. Further, one of the recurrent hand gestures speaks 'cute' and at this date there could only ever have been one girl to play cute and so she is deservedly front left as we watch the dance. And front right we find Sue, and who else would Flick have picked to lead from the front! As Clive, or rather Derek, would have said, "this deserves a ****** 10.
I'm afraid I can't leave ratings or DOTDs at the moment because my internet allowance is up so I can't watch videos. The good news though is I've got myself a much better deal, starting next Thursday. I certainly want to rate this as I have over 60 Bill Nelson albums, including Be Bop Deluxe. This routine has been posted more than once on Bill Nelson's forum and on the first occasion Bill himself commented on it. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the appropriate thread so I can't provide a link. I just remember he wasn't negative about it and he said he had completely forgotten about it.
I wonder how many other artists' thoughts on the TOTPS dances to their songs are out there?
Hope I did right posting this here rather than on the corresponding DOTD thread Ryan!
Firstly GD, thank goodness you are getting a better internet deal. It would be great to read Bill Nelson`s comments on this fine dance and i hope you can dig them out. Thats quite a good point about artists and how they feel about Legs or Pans for that matter dancing to their songs. Ive often wondered if fans of singers/bands like or dislike how Flick interpreted the songs. Be interesting if say devoted websites to bands such as Queen, Blondie, Bowie have discussed Legs TOTPs performances to their favourites.
Yes this is the correct thread, for comments on `Maid In Heaven`, the DOTD thread is really self explanatory. Hope when you have decent internet you can watch far more clips and give comments on a lot of these dances.
The thread where Bill Nelson reacted to the Maid In Heaven routine seems to have disappeared. I have found another thread from seven years ago where Bill mentions Legs and Co, but no specific address bar appears so I've been unable to provide a link to the thread. I have though copied the text of the entry, as below:
William's World Topic: Now here is an Ebay item worth looking at. :)
[ Jump to post ]
Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:31 pm
Hmmnn...Legs and Co! I can remember watching them from the floor of the studio when Be Bop did Top Of The Pops but, for some strange reason, I can't remember their faces...'
I believe he is mistaken here. The one time Be Bop Deluxe performed on TOTPs was in February or March '76 with Ships In The Night, near the end of the Pan's People era, so it must have been them he saw. We just missed Be Bop Deluxe's performance at the beginning of the BBC4 repeats, possibly by as little as one show as they were in the chart countdown.
Popscene says they were on TOTP on 05/02/1976 & 18/03/1976, both are wiped and non-Diddy editions Fortunately they also performed 'Ships in the Night' on Supersonic 24/01/1976, which has been kept in the archives.
I'm amazed about the number of Bill Nelson albums you mentioned (60!), I never knew he recorded so many!