I'll keep a running total of favourites in the first post. Ryan i've put you down as 'You’re So Vain' hope that's ok.
Yikes, i didn't realise we were voting on favourites on the show. If my vote for Pans isn't allowed i will almost certainly go for Thin Lizzy. But if im allowed the dance routine, im sticking with that.
Yes I agree Ryan, I myself have questionned where they were looking. Tony Blackburn for instance was not very good at been discreet because he looked up when they were on or was looking up when the camera came back to him. I do think it was going on for years. I always wondered if they were scared of stage invasion or just time element. Good to know how many were repeated though.
I have to be in the mood for this routine to be fair that was shown on here. It is a song I can like one day and hate the next. The girls did an excellent routine to it but it would not be a desert island routine at all.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
I can't remember the last time I watched this edition in full, but I must say it was nice to watch it again. Highlights for me were Thin Lizzy, Pan's People, The Sweet and the Stevie Wonder playout.
It's a shame that it is only a B&W film print, but I guess it makes it feel more authentic for 1973 as I doubt everyone watching Top of the Pops watched it in colour in February 1973.
Overall, I would rate this edition a 8/10
Don't worry I'm still here!
Devoted to Pan's People & Legs & Co.
First of all, Mikey thank you so much, thus is brilliant. I really enjoyed the show, it's my favourite decade. It struck me how much quality there was and as each song came on it immediately became a contender for my vote, if we are voting? So wonderful seeing the girls too.
In the end I went with Blockbuster as I remember it being one I liked back then and it's an absolute Glam Rock classic too.
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)
Fantastic show and thank you Mikey for uploading it. Love the music from this era. Tony Christie's voice is just beautiful. Any song he recorded he made it his own. Not keen on the number 1 at all but everything else perfect.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
There's bits of this shown that I seem to remember. Maybe I've seen clips of some of the acts from this show over the years, but the bust of Ludwig van Beethoven sticks in my mind for some reason, as well as the messing about with the wooden stringed instruments bows
Anyway, the show is absolutely brilliant and I cannot remember the last time I watched an entire TOTPs and enjoyed every single performance from it. I particularly liked seeing Focus and the ELO. The best record on the show was the playout track although we didn't get to hear enough of it. I'll need another re-watch to decide on a best performance. Noel's tank top and Burberry pattern frilly bow tie look is a bit Steve Wright, and the audience dancing is fabulous.
STATUS QUO – Paper Plane
I’ve recently taken up a musical instrument, and being of limited abilities, I’ve discovered the benefits of playing the same chords to all songs, with a few twiddles to entertain/fool the listeners, to date my entire listenership being my SO. I saw the band famous for supposedly doing this on their 2015 tour at a benefit performance, with Rick Parfitt still in the band – as you would expect, they stuck to the hits, and it was great. Rick Parfitt played on in Status Quo in poor health and died still actively performing, not the only one in this show to be in this position. This song is not one of the most familiar, but they are always easy on the ear and I enjoyed it.
THIN LIZZY – Whiskey In The Jar
Phil Lynott died young due to the lifestyle that often comes with stardom – a shame as at one stage he had the showbiz life sorted in other ways, married to a celeb’s daughter and family man (I even seem to recall him on ‘Whose baby’, though my memory may be playing tricks). “Ireland’s top band” always left me cold, though undoubted good performers and nice to see them in the studio with the classic slightly awkward audience dancing round them, but Whiskey in the Jar doesn’t float my boat.
FOCUS – Sylvia
I’ve tried and failed to work out why this near-instrumental is so familiar (near as a bit of yodelling intervenes) – must have been on an advert at some time. Pleasant song but instrumentals always feel as if they could do with a few lyrics, and yodels don’t cut it.
CARLY SIMON – You’re So Vain
Carly Simon is from a family of those successful in other fields – she is the daughter of Simon and Schuster’s Simon. I’m afraid You’re So Vain is grossly overplayed on the radio and I’m not a fan. Rather like “Where do you go to my lovely” it puts the singer in a worse light than the singer’s subject, sounding very bitter, and it’s hard to know who to sympathise with, the guy sounds well rid. Though maybe that’s the point, the song may be actually be mocking the singer-character rather than complimenting. That’s my theory anyway. The PP routine is entertaining enough, but don’t like the lip-synching.
TONY CHRISTIE – Avenues And Alleyways
The days of crooners/ballad singers were already passing in the early seventies, though I recall still beloved by light entertainment shows into the eighties. Certainly I fail to see the appeal of this song, the slightly uncomfortable performance or the genre.
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – Roll Over Beethoven
ELO is a group active from when I start to remember pop music and of which I’ve always been a fan. My memory doesn’t go back as far as Roll over Beethoven, though I like songs that have a sense of history (referring from a ’56 viewpoint of the new forms of music coming in) and this is an excellent version (never fond of the Beatles version, feels by the numbers). My second favourite track of the edition.
OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN – Take Me Home Country Roads
I’d always thought I’d met Olivia Newton-John in 1973 when she made an appearance at a school fete, but checking this week with my elder siblings, it turns out they’re now not sure I went along with them. To be fair, one took me to see Grease 5 years later in a literally ‘blockbuster’ queue. In this show she is her phase as an Australian-accented country singer, before being a pop singer & actress a few years later, and jumping forward to today a purveyor of complementary remedies.
Country Road (a joint composition Noel, not just John Denver) is a solid performance, ONJ had worked on her trade and already a veteran, and this is my favourite track of the show, though not a country fan. Like Carly Simon she has famous relatives that she has eclipsed -– this series of tweets by the author of the obituary of a doctor mentions how he used ONJ’s name to juice his article on the worthy medic. ONJ’s remarkably distinguished connections in science makes it surprising that she dabbles in the herbal cure business.
THE SWEET – Blockbuster
Another to have suffered the flip side of fame – Brian Connolly’s later life and demise is well known. Blockbuster itself I do really like, and the ‘Sweetie pies” were simply great performers. The whole glam thing is a bit of a side-show, it’s a classic piece of soft rock that pushes all the right buttons, regardless that it has little discernible meaning.
A few years ago, a younger colleague told me the word blockbuster can from the queues for the famous late-seventies films, which I had personally experienced, I told him that there was a song from 1973 that used the work blockbuster, to say nothing of the WWII bombs, and I got a 'before my time, Ken' look.
Blockbuster leans very heavily on Bo Diddley’s 'I'm A Man, - though not as much as Blockbuster’s cousin in the chart at the same time, Jean Genie, which is a much clearer lift of the Yardbird’s version.
STEVIE WONDER – Superstition
Unlike ONJ, alternative remedies is not a business Stevie Wonder is likely to be involved in given his disapproval of non-evidence-based beliefs displayed in Superstition. The spectre of Jeff Beck hovers faintly again as he came up with the initial drums (though this bit was cut on TOTP), and he was meant to release the song first, but it was not to be. I’m afraid my general disinterest of Motown, soul etc holds good and I’m not keen.
Overall, a great show with lots of interesting performances – like them or not, it’s nice to be able to see them all.
Favourite performance (not song) – ONJ
Interesting review Willoway. You're not mistaken about Phil Lynott appearing on Whose Baby? Though the 'Baby' in question was host Leslie Crowther's daughter Caroline, causing extra audience amusement as Leslie barely tried not to give the game away. Caroline was married to Phil Lynott and he put in an appearance on the sofa once the identity of the famous parent was revealed.
I think we're really lucky that this show is among the survivors as it's certainly a good one. I was a devoted pop music listener and chart maniac when this was aired, remembering (almost) all of the songs very well. Therefore I intend to bore you with a couple of lengthy comments - it's just impossible for me to be brief!
Status Quo - Paper Plane: I really liked the early 70s singles by the Quo, I even bought "Tune To The Music" (which was a complete flop every time it was released), and I still think that Paper Plane sounds pretty good. You have to keep in mind that this single was basically the start of what became their trademark sound later, their return to the charts after a two years absence. So it wasn't like, 'are they releasing the same song again?' because this was new at the time.
Thin Lizzy - Whiskey In The Jar: The beginning of TL's career and a good record to begin with. I liked it back then but it has worn off a bit. The single version is OK, the album version is much too long though.
Focus - Sylvia: Growing up very close to the Dutch border, and listening to Dutch radio for most of the day, all these Dutch artists were familiar to us (Note: 'us' and 'we' relate to a group of me and a few classmates who shared a similar interest in music). There were the cheesy ones like Mouth & MacNeal, The Cats or The George Baker Selection who we derided, but also a number of good ones like Golden Earring, Earth & Fire, Kayak and of course Focus who blended pop, rock and jazz. I preferred Hocus Pocus (and bought the single which I played to death), however Sylvia is also a fine record. Thijs van Leer and Jan Akkerman were great musicians and the yodelling doesn't bother me at all (it's a bit of an ethnic touch actually).
I'm not sure but this may still be the only example when a band had only two hits and both charted at the same time. In the same week that Sylvia reached the peak position of No. 4, Hocus Pocus also peaked at No. 20.
Carly Simon - You're So Vain: I have to agree that the song is somewhat overplayed these days but it was really one of her best. And the Pan's People performance is nothing less than a 10. Absolutely fantastic!
Tony Christie - Avenues And Alleyways: The only song I had never heard before I saw this show (or couldn't remember it). I didn't miss anything. Tony Christie was always one for the mums! All his records sound the same to me.
ELO - Roll Over Beethoven: ELO had first charted in 1972 with the bombastic 10538 Overture, a record so unusual you do wonder how it ever got into the Top 10. Probably because it was great! In contrast, this was a bit of a disappointment, lacking the originality of its predecessor. Still sounding unlike anything else in the charts though, and it proved that Jeff Lynne could do without Roy Wood.
ONJ - Country Roads: Livvy was a cutie back then, and i guess that was a vital part of her success. The song was OK but didn't do much for me. Before long she would conquer the US with similar styled country-pop records while, as a side effect, her career in the UK would dwindle (not least because of her dreadful Eurovison entry in 1974).
The Sweet - Blockbuster!: Soon The Sweet would be keen on becoming a real rock band and drop the "The", but then they were still "The" Sweet. Well, The Sweet was one of the bands we viewed as teenybopper or kiddie bands, manufactured to release singles and appeal to kids who didn't have a clue what really good music was. Really good music was of course the progressive rock music of Pink Floyd, Yes, The Moody Blues, or, for that matter, Focus. None of us would take The Sweet serious and we all broke out in laughter when they said they wanted to be regarded as a rock band like Deep Purple! That was like David Cassidy wanting to be David Bowie!
Needless to say that I wasn't impressed by Blockbuster! back then (its elder sister "The Jean Genie" was good though as it was Bowie...). Meanwhile I think the record is OK, but it's certainly not a favourite.
Stevie Wonder - Superstition: Now that is a truly great record and one of the early seeds of my love for soul music. Stevie's first big hit of the second part of his career, and a groundbreaking one for sure. Still love it. It's a pity he visited the TOTP studios so rarely.
I'm not going to go for favourite performance as this would be Pan's People every time, but instead choose my favourite record from the show which in this case is Superstition.
If I only had one love yours would be the one I'd choose
As someone who rails against modern day popular music, and shows much disapproval of the music of 1987, as shown on the Top Of The Pops repeats on BBC4, I now have the perfect opportunity to review shows from my golden age. The music of the early 70s with this show from 1973. A show that I am very sure that my 12 year old self was watching when it was first broadcast, and in this state of glorious monochrome, on the black and white television at home. Some of these performances are so familiar, not from seeing them later, but seeing them then. If only we could see it in colour now, but at least we can see it at all. Presenter Noel looks rather dapper with his neatly trimmed beard, resplendent in a plaid bow-tie and sleeveless sweater. And gives a clean and crisp showing as the amiable, but not too jocular host. The sets of the period have become very familiar since joining this website, with the pictures in the relevant section on the site, showing how they looked in colour. The fruit, bells and bars and other symbols of a one-armed bandit, and the bug themes with an enormous spider’s web glowering behind and above the audience. And what an audience they are. It has been noted how beautiful the girls look, in their own clothes, and in a mostly natural state. And maxi skirts and dresses seemed very popular and desired by them this week, I cannot complain about that- my old hippy predilections rising within me once again. Dancing simply and naturally, they, the girls of the 70s show us what a special time it was for us boys of the 70s. On the men in the audience there is less concentration, and shown in fewer number, a plus for those like me, but others may feel short changed. I say let it pass. And a few of the girls are more concentrated on than others, especially a dark-haired beauty with curly hair, silken blouse and long patterned skirt, dancing to the forefront of Thin Lizzy, and seen on various other shots throughout the programme. The rapacious eye of this soured and cynical watcher, certainly brightened at the sight. There was something of the feeling of Top Of The Pops at the period, that would soon be lost and ne’er regained, me thinks. A community, a willingness to enjoy what was on offer, a trust that this was as good as it could be. Lower horizons, perhaps, but a better view.
Let us sit back and enjoy the show. Some of these performances are available as separate entities on internet sites such as YouTube, and I have seen them, but it can only be a plus to see the whole episode. The iconic musical introduction, to a re-recorded version of C.C.S’ attempt at ‘Whole Lotta Love’- surely the best introductory music to the programme of all, certainly the most memorable. And the images of the girl in an automobile and a helicopter, images that revive so many memories, as do the flickering numbers as they count down to 1. And, of course, it is refreshing that there is no need to keep any suspense about the act to be found at number 1. About this period in time many people would have listened to Radio 1 earlier in the week to hear the charts being announced, when there was the suspense. ( Myself included at school when someone always brought in a transistor radio to listen to the chart programme ). So we already knew by the time Top Of The Pops was broadcast. The chart run down features many legendary figures. Legendary then and legendary still. ( Would it be foolish of me to surmise that the same will be said, 46 years hence, of the modern day )? And inter-cut with scenes of the audience dancing, naturally with enthusiasm and abandon- a glory to see, the youth of the time in whatever clothing they thought satisfactory, and with whatever moves they felt appropriate, to the music of Status Quo and ‘Paper Plane’. And here is the number one- band pictured through a fish eye lens, with no name, but known by all.
Thin Lizzy’s version of the song ‘Whiskey In The Jar’ has been a personal favourite of mine ever since I first heard it back around the time it was originally released. Propelled by Brian Downey’s fantastic drumming and reinforced with Eric Bell’s sublime guitar work, all the more supporting Phil Lynott’s glorious vocals, it must rate as one of the greatest examples of a folk song reinvigorated with a rock backing. And done in a way to ensure commercial success. I could quote other instances, but they would not have made the charts in a million years. And here we have it played out before us, if minus some of the guitar solo, and the third verse- Captain Farrell getting both barrels! Others more knowledgeable than me can tell whether any artists were playing live, miming or singing to a pre-recorded track. And at that time I did not care, but was sure they could play well if needed. Phil is always the consummate front man, backed by his cohorts, and no matter how many times I watch this performance, I gain inevitable pleasure. The dancer during the solo has been noted, plus her equally well dressed and watchable companion. And a shiny waistcoat like Eric’s is surely de rigueur for any man’s wardrobe. All told a wonderful piece, that I will always enjoy- only marred by the appearance of an old codger in matching tie and shirt dancing in there as well. Who let him in?
It should not be surprise to anyone that The Netherlands was a hotbed of talented bands and musicians during this period, with well-known acts like Shocking Blue and Golden Earring to the fore. Here is Focus with ‘Sylvia’, a very melodious track. Here shown in a grainy film of the band in action in front of a headbanging audience. Modern day commentators may disparage the style, but what style do they have. May we not guffaw in astonishment in what they would have us support? Focus were a classy and individual band at the time, which the clip suggests, and are no outsiders to the party in this programme. Another piece to bring a smile to the old knowing heads.
Were Pan’s People routines repeated now and again as Noel suggests? The evidence we have before us at this remove is no, unless it was a very infrequent now and again. But, by Heaven’s Thunder, aren’t we pleased that it was done on this occasion. A review of the routine I have already submitted in the Pan’s People ‘Have Your Say’ section. Suffice only to add here that every time I see this routine, I like it a little bit more. I catch a facet of the number not noticed before, and truly appreciate Flick’s craft and vision as Choreographer and admire the members of the troupe for bringing that creativity to life- to a reality that we will enjoy, and that will endure, as long as the Human species retains any sense of intelligence and wonderment. The girls all look stunningly adorable as debutantes at a ball, and the gossipy and fun nature of the routine is a marvel of ingenuity and wit. Why cannot we have something of this kind today? It is worth more to me than a million of modern day spectaculars, which numb the brain and deaden the senses. We deserve better, but must delve into the past to attain it. And here it is laid out before us, and we should not let the opportunity go begging. An unlimited joy!
Tony Christie- and the return of the old codger. That isn’t Tony, but the man in patterned tie and shirt, glimpsed dancing at the back of the stage once again. Of Tony, even with lesser material such as ‘Avenues and Alleyways’, which is not as good as ‘Amarillo’ and ‘Maria’- as mentioned by Noel- but shows what a warm voice and professional style he had then, and I expect has now. It is interesting to note that Tony was not yet 30 at the time of this Top Of The Pops, but would already have the feel of an older performer. And showing the variety of the charts of the period, to include such artists among those preferred by the younger customers to audiophilia of popular music. More power to his elbow!
As stated, I am sure I watched this edition of the programme at the time. The most vivid and remaining memory for me being the performance of the Electric Light Orchestra, and in particular that bust of Beethoven! Strange how such things linger in the mind above all others. The sight of Jeff Lynne adorned in a headpiece of glitter- is it gold or silver- singing Chuck Berry’s ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ is noteworthy too. Is he trying to resemble former band member Roy Wood, then making his was with Wizzard? The good natured fun of the whole performance is to be admired- the unusual wig and clothes of Jeff, the clearly miming cellists playing one instrument or not playing at all, but scraping the side of the instrument. And the severe stare from Beethoven himself- is he expressing disapproval of his name being used for such an exhibition, I wonder? Also I like very much a couple of female dancers shaking their stuff, and moving divinely, behind the soberly dressed bassist. How such things catch my eye. Another performance to enjoy and savour.
Another song I remember very well from the time, if not this performance, is Olivia Newton-John and ‘Country Roads’, and this is undoubtedly my favourite version of this great song. How would fame take Olivia on a surprising path in the next few years. I like the slow build up to the song, as sung here by The Ladybirds and a trio of male singers, as the camera pulls back to reveal Olivia on the right of the screen, in profile. Looking very young and graceful, she breezes through the song in a charmingly reserved fashion, eschewing any attempt to become overly sweet, sickly and cloying in her rendition. Was this the actual performance I remember from back then, or one so similar that it makes no difference? With the crowd offering support with their movement and by clapping, it enhances the entire effect and soaring melody of the song seems perfectly suited to her voice. It is noticeable how she barely looks at the camera during the number. Supporting a theory I have long held that up to and passing this period of time, most acts on music shows on Television sang to the live audience, not to the camera. Clearly there are exceptions, but their performances were all the better for it, when this manner and approach were taken. And miming or not, this showing is a great pleasure to see. Another high mark to the strength of the show.
And now it is time for the number 1, for what is noted as a repeat performance. But my general edict about the show still runs true. The Sweet, every boys second favourite band it seemed at the time, as we talked about them in school, and the epitome of glam rock- or was there something else, something deeper and darker hidden within the band. We know now how heavy they could go, if let off their poppy leash. Steve Priest- the bassist- and his appearance were always worthy of note. What would he be wearing and doing this time? And what we he be putting on his face? We youngsters would think it was fun, but I suspect our parents were horrified. And here he is more subdued than on other occasions- apart from the mascara! The whole track and performance seems over in the blink of an eye. With Brian Connolly as the archetypical figurehead to a band, and an attraction to both boys and girls in different ways, the band pull off their routine with well-structured aplomb. Steve’s asides to camera, Mick Tucker’s drumstick twirling all feature here. A worthy number I at the time, as the many weeks at that position show. The audience participate to maximum effect with their own natural dances and natural rhythms. The whole number, indeed the whole show, has a natural vigour that seems unimaginable to the over rehearsed, over produced, over glamourised fare thrown in our direction in this, the 21st Century.
And now on to the closing number of the show, ‘Superstition’ by Stevie Wonder. I do wonder had the ‘You’re So Vain’ routine had not been repeated, if this would have been a candidate as a dance for Pan’s People. Stevie not being seen in the Top Of The Pops Studio that week, to perform his great number for us in person. As he is not there, we are treated to a play out of lovely, 1970s, female audience members dancing- including my favoured member of that audience, as noted above. Whoever she, and her friend, were, the cameramen and producer seemed to value her presence. But the crowd dancing is over oh so quickly and we must bid farewell to this edition of the show. And from my viewpoint in 2019, a sigh deep within as I return to the present day. Many are those who regard the 1970s with an alarming negativity. Those who were there, such as me, know to treat them with disdain. An expression from me that something reminds me of the 1970s, is a high praise for it is not given lightly that I compare anything new with my favourite decade. I know the truth and will take that knowledge with me, everywhere.
For a favourite performance it is hard to judge, given that I like everything on the show. Or is it hard, on reflection? It would be easy to consider the Pan’s People routine as the highlight of any Top Of The Pops, and it was certainly worthy of enormous adulation here. But I have decided in these reviews of the programme to divert my gaze elsewhere. Pan’s I love then and Pan’s I love now, and my separate reviews on their performances will bear that out through inspection. However it is to the supporting cast I will bestow my favours in any analysis of these episodes. And for this one I have pared the number down to Olivia Newton-John, Electric Light Orchestra and my ultimate choice on this occasion Thin Lizzy. For me there is so much to enjoy from them. The song fits, the band fit and the coverage of the band fits- supremely well to my mood all the time. Thin Lizzy were a stellar band at this period of their formation, and would continue to be so right through to the end of the 70s. Wasn’t it grand to be alive and witnessing this at the very time? For which I must and will remain eternally grateful. Providence blessed me to be there, and providence blesses me to remember.
Do I like this- yes. Do I like this a lot- again yes. I will aver that it is fantastic to be transported back to early 1973 for 30 minutes. Those of us who remember the times will surely jump at chance to do so. I restate that the whole programme seems to have a naturalness long lost from modern broadcasting. Will these editions of Top Of The Pops all be as good as those old enough remember them- probably no. Will they be better than any shows served before us from the 80s onwards- probably yes. We should enjoy them as they are, from a time that lives gloriously in the memory of those that recall. We cannot return to 1973, more is the pity, but for half an hour we can still be there.
This thread has inspired some terrific reviews. It seems to have awoken a sense of loss that immersion in the eighties repeats had to an extent desensitised us to. A reminder that we went and have gone again from essential to non-essential viewing.
Just watched the show, and it was brilliant from beginning to the end. We have the debut of Thin Lizzy playing that great song. And nice to see ELO first great bit. Two good solo performances. All the acts were great to watch. And I must say about that bow -the that Noel was wearing. Was a act by its self on that show. Waiting for the next one you will be put up.
Often, those of us who wax lyrical about how much better chart music was in the Seventies are ribbed for our nostalgic musings; that we’re hearing the past through ‘rose tinted headphones’. But having watched and (thoroughly) enjoyed this show, I feel quite vindicated: it’s more than a visual juke box; it’s a celebration of Pop music and Pop culture.
I’d have been six when this show was aired, but even at such a tender age, I was already an avoid music fan who had quite clear ideas about what he liked, and though I don’t specifically remember watching this edition, there’s every chance I did. And if I did, there’s every chance I’d have been stood in front of our black & white Murphy TV, rockin’ out on my toy guitar.
If I may, I’ll offer a few thoughts on each of the acts featured:
Status Quo - Paper Plane: Quo at their best! This track would’ve had be practicing correct application of the Rock Guitarists’ Stance.
Thin Lizzy - Whiskey In The Jar: A superb reimagining of the classic Irish ballad. Each member of this early lineup contributes so much to the whole. Eric Bell’s guitar playing, though, makes the track for me. He’s a man of musical principles: his reason for leaving Thin Lizzie being that they were moving away from his beloved Blues. A good decision? Maybe not, but I do know from experience that being in a band where you’re ‘just doing it for the money’ is soul destroying.
Focus - Sylvia: Not as keen on this track as “Hocus Pocus”, but Jan Ackerman’s lyrical guitar playing makes this a worthwhile listen. Their VT seems a little out of place on the show - they’re not exactly extroverted - but the fact they were included highlights how important TOTPs was.
Carly Simon - You're So Vain: I’ve always loved this song, and enjoy strumming it on my guitar. A guy I used to teach guitar to actually lives with Carly, and works with hers and James Taylor’s son, Ben. But none of this is important. What IS important is Pan’s People’s utterly FABULOUS routine — one of my very favourites, and certainly this show’s highlight!
Tony Christie - Avenues And Alleyways: The only track/performance about which I’m not that fussed. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, it’s just a wee bit too overwrought for my taste.
ELO - Roll Over Beethoven: I’ve been a fan of ELO since first hearing “Showdown” in 1973, but if I’m honest, “Roll Over Beethoven” isn’t one of my favourites. The performance on this show, though, was certainly very engaging. Incidentally, I was lucky enough to see ELO back in October last year. They were fantastic, with the experience being enhanced by the fact a friend of mine was playing keyboards!
ONJ - Country Roads: Not being the world’s most enthusiastic Country fan, I’m not too keen on ONJ’s work in this genre. But I AM a fan of ONJ, with a particular fondness for her late Seventies/early Eighties material. Her contribution to the “Xanadu” soundtrack is stellar.
The Sweet - Blockbuster!: A band who were FAR more than their chart material: If you have an interest in Rock music (and haven’t already), do give their album tracks a listen. “Blockbuster!” Is a great number though I do prefer “Ballroom Blitz”. It has to be said, though their songs/productions were rather ubiquitous in the Seventies, there’s no denying Chinn and Chapman’s genius.
Stevie Wonder - Superstition: If I had a Quid for every time I’ve played this song live over there years, I probably have about £632.00. Unusually, though, despite having jammed it so many times, I still enjoy hearing the song — Mustang Sally, on the other hand is a very different story! So, to conclude, a great, nay, brilliant show which brought back many happy memories!
Favourite performance? Without hesitation, Pan’s People. But if I’m required to choose another performance, I’ll go with The Sweet, as this would be the performance the five-year-old-me would’ve picked