TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

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TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

AC/PD
25-12-79: Presenters: David Jensen & Peter Powell  (Thanks to POPSCENE for the listing)

(-)    BONEY M – Mary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord (clip of TOTP 25-12-78)
(-)    IAN DURY & THE BLOCKHEADS – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
(-)    JANET KAY – Silly Games
(-)    GARY NUMAN – Cars
(-)    ROXY MUSIC – Dance Away
(-)    ANITA WARD – Ring My Bell (danced to by Legs & Co)
(-)    BUGGLES – Video Killed The Radio Star
(-)    B.A. ROBERTSON – Bang Bang (with Pauline and Rosie)
(-)    BLONDIE – Sunday Girl
(-)    M – Pop Muzik
(-)    THE BEE GEES – Tragedy (danced to by Legs & Co) ®
(-)    ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS – Oliver’s Army
(40) LENA MARTELL – One Day At A Time
(-)    SQUEEZE – Cool For Cats
(21) DR. HOOK – When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman
(-)    BLONDIE – Dreaming
(-)    TUBEWAY ARMY – Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
(-)    RACEY – Some Girls (featuring a Legs & Co. compilation)
(-)    CLIFF RICHARD – We Don’t Talk Anymore


The penu-...the penul-..the penult-....last-but-one 1970's edition of Top Of The Pops is fortunate free of the strike action which restricted Noel Edmonds to a presentation swan-song from a hastily-convened 'BBC office' set.
Strangely, a performance shown on that particular Christmas edition is one which begins this one. Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord was the 1978 Christmas No.1 and come the dawn of 1979 it had fallen from the top spot. Curiously, for a song which was in the charts for only eight weeks, it amassed sales around the 1.85 million mark and, as of 2012, was the eleventh biggest UK chart seller of all time. Boney M  were replaced from the top spot by Y.M.C.A., a Village People song represented by an extremely enjoyable Legs & Co. dance routine on the second Christmas edition of 1979, which was broadcast in the final Thursday slot of the year. Unfortunately, as the show is hosted by the partnership of Mike Read in a Union Jack(et) and Dave Lee Travis wearing a Starsky-type piece of cosy knitwear it won't be shown on BBC4 due to the Corporation's 'fear' of displaying a man with a suspended sentence hanging over him and it remains to be seen the stance they'll take when the sentence concludes in September 2016...just in time for the fag end of Legs & Co's TOTP era, which really is tragic in more ways than one.
The only Tragedy in this Christmas Day edition is a reshowing of the Legs & Co. routine in which their Pierrot clown appearances cause slight confusion over which lady is which, but that particular puzzle has largely been previously solved by the good folk on OFTD.
Ring My Bell's an entirely fresh dance routine and one which could be seen as an upgrade on the first one from June because this particular routine is not so restricted and is the first one 'allowed' to be shown in improved quality on BBC4.
The ladies are not exactly appropriately dressed for the Christmas snow but who would you rather see on top of of a chimney: Father Christmas or Legs & Co.?
A liberty has been taken with the listing appropriated from the essential Popscene website because Legs & Co. make appearances in two further routines, the first one being B.A. Robertson's Bang,Bang where both Pauline and Rosie provide the relevant bangs courtesy of big bass drums affixed to their mid-sections. Appropriately, Some Girls does what it says on the record label and features the racy ladies in flashback. Thanks to the video effects department, several clips and screen-grabs from several 1979 dance routines float and rotate around the screen allowing the viewers a reminder of how varied their costumes and dance settings were in 1979.
Goodbye to the 1970's!
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

sueforever
Another great Preview PD, nice main meal to watch after the Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawn on BBC One.
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

RYAN
Administrator
As ever PD your TOTPs previews are a top notch read and i hope we shall see you carry on into 1980. Talking of Christmas shows, depressingly tonight's show on BBC4 will be the last time we see Legs & Co take part in Christmas show on BBC4. In 1980 only the one show was filmed and that was co-hosted by you know who, just our luck.

RYAN
JEZ
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

JEZ
Yes thanks pd for the review of tonights totp , this was another xmas day edition i remember watching  on christmas day back in 1979 waiting eargerly by my grans black and white telly waiting to see what legs and co had been given record wise to intterpretate , even though the bee gees routine was a repeat back then  it didnt matter to me because id only seen the routine at the begining of 79 and it was good to have another showing of it , it wasnt like today when we have the chance to watch things again and again
JEZ
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

RYAN
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Yeah good point about the repeat of `Tragedy`. Back then these routines were in a way consigned to being stored in the can forever more, so it certainly wouldn't have been frowned upon by giving them a second outing at Christmas.
RYAN
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

RYAN
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RYAN wrote
Yeah good point about the repeat of `Tragedy`. Back then these routines were in a way consigned to being stored in the can forever more, so it certainly wouldn't have been frowned upon by giving them a second outing at Christmas.
On saying that though i did think the repeat on the 1980 show `Woman In Love` from the end of October was a bit to soon to be re-showing it. Indeed the 1980 Christmas show was a touch disappointing with only that and `Funky Town` on offer. Guess we had chocs and toys, so that made up for it in a way. Sorry to digress from 1979 by the way.
RYAN
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

RYAN
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I wonder what the lowest placed record in terms of its final chart position was to ever appear on a TOTPs Christmas show. Was it an unwritten rule that they had to have been a number one or at worst a number two ? Maybe Vin territory this.
RYAN
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

RYAN
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Surprised they didn't put split `Cars` and `Are Friends Electric` onto the two shows.
RYAN
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

RYAN
Administrator
I cannot ever foresee a time again when i will have to sit through 3 minutes of Lena Martell banging on about the birthday boy JC. Please lord, make that the last time.
RYAN
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

PattiForPM
RYAN wrote
Please lord, make that the last time.
Is this a direct quote from the Crucifixion?
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

RYAN
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Putting aside the Lena gripe, that was a really enjoyable way to spend an hour. Well done BBC4 for bringing it to us. Such a shame we cant see part two.
RYAN
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

RYAN
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Should be the Queens Christmas speech now shouldn't it, directly after Pops.
RYAN
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

Colm
In reply to this post by RYAN
I'm glad the better of the two Christmas '79 shows was able to be broadcast on BBC Four - better songs (apart from the Scottish one) and three-and-a-third times the ladies.

And at least bits of routines like "Morning Dance" and "Strut Your Funky Stuff" just about get some airtime on UK TV in 2014.
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

sueforever
In reply to this post by RYAN
A really good show and the montage of our ladies was fantastic. The song is not one of my favourites to listern too.
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

Colm
In reply to this post by RYAN
Until recent times, Christmas editions of TOTP usually focused on Top 3 hits.

The only instances in the "classic" era when songs that missed the Top 10 were shown, off the top of my head, include:

Roberta Flack "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" in 1972
Kirsty MacColl "There's a Guy Works Down the Chipshop Swears He's Elvis" in 1981
Dave Stewart and Colin Bluntstone "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted", also in 1981
Cliff Richard "Little Town" in 1982
Johnny Hates Jazz "Turn Back the Clock" in 1987
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by Colm
Colm wrote
I'm glad the better of the two Christmas '79 shows was able to be broadcast on BBC Four - better songs (apart from the Scottish one) and three-and-a-third times the ladies.

And at least bits of routines like "Morning Dance" and "Strut Your Funky Stuff" just about get some airtime on UK TV in 2014.
Id agree that in terms of musical acts the Christmas day show was indeed better (and also longer in duration), and even though we had 4 helpings of Legs, i still think the best two Legs performances were on the second show which the casual television viewing public and potential Legs fans will not get to see. Most of them wont even realize a second show was filmed and remains in the can.
RYAN
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

PattiForPM
In reply to this post by AC/PD
Thanks again PD.  Legs & Co appropriately dominate your introduction and the music on this Show was high quality too with only two or three exceptions in my book.  My only other complaint is that they should have dressed up Peter Powell as a Christmas Elf but you can't have it all your own way I suppose
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

Old Grey Whistler
In reply to this post by AC/PD
Thanks once again PD. A very enjoyable show.
Ring My Bell was one of the rare occasions that a Christmas routine surpassed the original.
I didn't mind them repeating Tragedy as the only other time it was shown on BBC4, it had pictures of the BeeGees supplanted over it.
The Some Girls compilation gave us a tantalising glimpse on BBC4 of some of the Yewtreed routines. I know we have seen them before but a shame that they have been deprived to the wider audience.
There can't have been many routines from 1979 that didn't feature on the compilation.
Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

Mikey
Very good show, liked the wacky new sets (ready for 1980?) and all new performances particularly Debbie's and Gary Newman.

Shame there was no audience, athough lots of (added in later) cheers after the songs.

Hope the second part will be up online soon.
♥♥♥♥ Cherry, Louise, Patti and Ruth Alliance ♥♥♥♥. If there's a cure for this I don't want it.

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Re: TOTPs 24/12/14 (Originally aired 25/12/79)

Paperboyplod
In reply to this post by AC/PD
I've just watched this edition, whitest the current one broadcasts, it's of course like a compilation of the best of TOTPs '79, with a bonus of the Christmas '78 #1 single from Boney M, but I did notice the distinct lack of a studio audience, & it made it look like everything was coming at us off-tube, rather than have live studio appearances, but it was great to see Deborah Harry performing Sunday Girl live in the studio, the other highlights for me were, the other Blondie performance, Dreamin'Squeeze, sounding a bit different with Cool For Cats, a live perforce by the sounds of bit, but nonetheless, just as good as in the recording studio, Gary Numan, avec & sans Tube way Army. Ian Dury & the Blockheads,that reminds me of Jonah Louie, that we'll see next year In The Kitchen At Parties, & BA Robertson, with a bit of assistance from Rosie & Pauline.
Speaking of Legs & Co., there was plenty to go around, & I was scratching my head, whilst trying to indentify each of their dance routines during Racey's performance.
The only real let down was, you've guessed it correctly, Lena Martell.
The co-presenters David 'the Kid' Jensen, & Peter Powell, were okay, the Canadian, rather the greater of them, on this occasion.
Justin
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