(11) STATUS QUO – Paper Plane (and charts)
(23) THIN LIZZY – Whiskey In The Jar
(21) FOCUS – Sylvia (video)
(3) CARLY SIMON – You’re So Vain (danced to by Pan’s People) ®
(NEW) TONY CHRISTIE – Avenues And Alleyways
(17) ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – Roll Over Beethoven
(27) OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN – Take Me Home Country Roads
(1) THE SWEET – Blockbuster ®
(24) STEVIE WONDER – Superstition (crowd dancing) (and credits)
Noel Edmonds started his TOTP presenting career back on 20-7-1972 but due to the wiping of practically everything in 1972 this is the first available solo show of his. Noel does a pretty good job here, perhaps not quite as confident as we seem him later in the year on onwards and as for that tank top and bow tie look, oh dear. This is last full show in which we see the long "dumb-bell" stage home to many Pan's performances and in use since the start of 1971, and phased out around May. The set designers introduce a "bugs" theme which stays for about a month, the centrepiece of which is a giant spider web. Status Quo's Paper Plane plays over the charts, not one of their better hits but it is very Quo if you know what i mean. The band had performed this twice before.
Whisky in the Jar is a great track and Phil always looks cool up there on the stage, here is a colour picture of the performance. Those 2 girls dancing are pretty good to watch can we have them all the time please director?
More rock, this time its a more prog take by Focus who I'm not familiar with. Also in the charts at the same time was their single Hocus Pocus which a certain dance group will be performing to shortly. Sylvia is certainly pretty wacky and the band look very pleased with themselves. You're So Vain is another great addition in its own right, now at number 3, Noels rather wordy intro basically informs us 'its a repeat' and i'm very glad it is too as the original show is another wiped one. The literal actions put me off a bit for a while but now i love this routine. Solo crooner Tony Christie up next with a typical of its style track Avenues and Alleyways its catchy though and provides a nice alternative. The newly formed ELO rehash an old Chuck Berry song but in fine style i must say with the classical element melding nicely with the rock n roll of yesteryear. Jeff is sporting some kind of silver foil wig that makes him look odd to say the least, perhaps he was trying to compete with Roy Wood on that one?. The director meanwhile goes nuts with the overlays, probably looked great in colour.
And now for something completely different, Texan, sorry Australian gal Olivia goes all country with "take me home.." and yes its nice enough and adds to the variety of the show. Its 1973, and at last some glam rock, and what a bombastic tune Blockbuster is, making their earlier efforts seem fairly wimpy by comparison from the siren to the extra noisy guitars and some insane drumming. I still have no idea what the record is about though, does that matter?, probably not. Its a repeat from the 18-1-73 show i believe. Finally to play out a short slice of funky classic Superstition and the audience shuffle about a bit, Pans People will be dancing properly to this next week by the way, but we wont be seeing that. Does it always come back to Pan's with you Mikey?, yes it probably does...
Favourite - Blockbuster
Blockbuster = 2
Superstition = 1
You’re So Vain = 1
Glam Rock was very much at its silliest by now, even Tidybeard had succumbed with a comedy bow-tie. How we laughed at his wackiness! Great Quo track played over the charts, a memorable riff and one of their best. Less good was the rather tedious ELO cover of Roll Over Beethoven. The less said about Jeff Lynne's head wear the better. I mean, what was that all about, and how did he ever think it looked good? Avenues & Alleyways next, a good track which had plenty of plays over the closing credits of The Protectors, but, oh my, Tony Christie was very much a Pound Shop Tom Jones. I must admit I couldn't face sitting through Country Roads, but instead I'll present some ONJ trivia. Her scientist father worked on The Enigma Code with Alan Turing at Bletchley Park. Yes indeedee. Right, still at No.1 chirps Tidybeard, yes, for a staggering TWO WEEKS, is the ghastly (imo) Blockbuster by Sweet. How can there be a God when this hits the top while the stupendous closing track Superstition did not? Eh, answer that one all you theists out there!
I just realised I left out Sylvia by Focus and Thin Lizzy, the first I liked, the second less so. In fact, I can't say there is a TL track I really care for.
14 long years - what huge difference between what we're experiencing again from 87 and here in 73. Even though as if to try and disprove me we 'currently' have another Carly Simon number in the charts that sounds like it could have been written alongside YSV! 14 short years - compare the sounds and fashion of 2019 with those of 2005 and it seems to me that the only difference is in the detail - except for the exponential growth in tattoos!
A good rousing start to the show. Love the cutaways to the audience dancing that broke up the charts in this era and I applaud the unabashed lack of gender equality evident in the camerawork. The pictures of the artists used for the chart seem so much more iconic.
Whisky In The Jar is a bit Meh and the performance well-repeated.
I couldn't recall a word of Sylvia beforehand...now I know why. Focus seem a little too much for chin-scratching musos for me but I like this one from these occasional yodelers.
Pan's at their most (instant) classic. Unwavering 10/10 territory.
Like you Mikey I can't help thinking that Jeff Lynne was laying down a challenge to his old mucker Roy Wood in the weird department. Sorry Jeff, Roy looked wizard, you look a pillock. I agree the rock and orchestral elements go together well and find most strength in the orchestra.
I'd happily take ONJ home, her place or mine. A pseudo-Yank she may be, but she carries it off pretty well and it's a strong enough tune for me to overlook its slightly cloying wholesomeness.
Knew I'd heard the Tony Christie number on an old series, thanks for providing the answer ER. He's not my kind of entertainer but the song is alright.
Can't agree at all on Blockbuster vs Superstition I'm afraid ER. In fact now you mention it the respective positions are a revelation and I've already booked my pew for Sunday service. Difficult for me to understand how anyone who was a kid at the time isn't fond of Blockbuster, but on the other hand discussion is more interesting when we have differing opinions. Anyhow, Sweet would have my poll vote.
I actually quite like Sweet. Behind the make-up they were proper musicians, both Steve Priest and Andy Scott could read/write music, which is more than you can say for any of The Beatles. It's just I find Blockbuster really naff, a few of their records stalled at No.2 and it always felt to me that Blockbuster was put together solely to give them a chart-topper. It's all spectacle. But as you imply, GD, different opinions are healthy for a forum. In a poll for the episode I would go for Superstition, which, incidentally, did hit the top Stateside I'm pleased to report.
First and foremost thanks to Mikey for bringing this idea to us. I simply clicked on the link, then double clicked the second on the list and up popped the show in question.
I don't remember the last time i spent such an enjoyable 30 minutes watching an edition of TOTPs. I not going to list all the acts, but will just concentrate on two things on the show i really liked.
Thin Lizzy, the song is great and so is the performance. But what about those two audience girl dancers putting their all into their dancing when the camera focused on them. The simultaneous twirl they did (obviously rehearsed by them) got my attention. Maybe its something to do that i was a prepubescent boy of 9 back then, but my god aren't 70's girls the sexist thing ever. You can keep these stick princesses you get these days, gimme a 70's dolly any time.
One more observation about Thin Lizzy. AC/PD, you look a bit like the drummer !
As for the routine by Pans, well okay its a repeat, but seldom has a routine ever got better with every watch than that one for me. I consider myself a Legs & Co fan first and foremost, but that Pans routine is sheer perfection. I kinda get the cold sweats watching it, verging on emotional. The song is outstanding as is the routine.
Now for Noel's intro for this repeated routine and the problems i have with it. He says that every now and again they do such a good routine and we get so many requests we have to get it back, we have to.
It begs the question what other routines before this then were repeated. `My Sweet Lord` i think is one, any others we know of ? Hes talking as though its a common thing. I wonder if it was just a case of the Carly Simon song being popular they just gave the dancers a week off that week, repeated the very good routine and sent Noel out with the `audience letters` story.
Notice also when Noel readily admits its a repeat, he then finishes his intro and looks to his right. Whats he looking at, a monitor of some description or simply pretending to look at the dancers like any presenter would, but they are not in the studio. The people around him do not appear to look right when he does either. The point im making is i think this `presenter pretending to look at the dancers` was a well used trick that went on well into Legs & Cos tenure on the show. Call me a cynical all you want, but more often than not the dance routines were pre-recorded and the presenters simply pretended the dancers were performing. Its all part of making the show look seamless.
Anyhow, ive kinda moved away from the reason for the thread. Brilliant show, 10 out of 10.
I unconsciously disregarded Pan's from my vote consideration, maybe recalling the days when for the best of reasons Legs & Co weren't allowed in the weekly TOTP polls. I think I'll stick with Sweet anyway as Pan's are bound to garner more votes but it'll be interesting to see who comes out on top, maybe even it'll be someone else, though I doubt it.