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Top Of The Pops 1978 - BBC4


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Old 04-01-2013, 23:05
Rich Tea.
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I thought it was Richard Jobson but I could be mistaken (this is like 'Screen Test' )
Yes, it was Squeeze's Chris Difford.
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:08
faversham saint
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Wasn't that Chris Difford from Squeeze?
That's a third option: I think I will have to stay up and watch the repeat to find out
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:08
pedrok
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Was disappointed in the Story of 1978 programme. It started off with some of the stuff we had seen on the Story of 1977 programme last year, particularly the stuff about Robin Nash, they even showed a couple of clips that were shown last year.

And then, before I knew it, it was over, only 50 minutes.

The BBC also seem quite confused about the DLT issue also. They are not showing DLT TOPTP's, but happy to include him in the 1978 programme

I am happy with their decision not to show him on TOTP, until his legal difficulties are out of the way, however if he is not appropriate for TOTP at the moment, is he appropriate for a programme about TOTP's? Particulalrly when there was no particular reason for him to be seen. Would the Story of 1978been a different programme had he not appeared? I don't think so.
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:10
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Well, I'm not going to moan too much, as it is great that tonight plus the re-runs to come are happening at all, given recent events.

I found the documentary a bit tiresome, more so than even the 1976/77 ones; with regards the overstating of the importance of punk. The insinuation that the Christmas special was somehow deliberately ignoring the Buzzcocks, etc., for example, was rubbish. Its remit was to play the biggest hits of the year, and no punk songs that I recall made it into the Top 3 (unless you count the Boomtown Rats, and I'm sure they were on it).

Most of the punk songs featured tonight were Top 20 at best, maybe a few in the lower half of the Top 10. Punk never even had much in the way of large selling LPs (except NMTB). It was very much a minority influence, it wasn't like everyone was walking around with mohicans!

Disco was far bigger, and Pop bigger still in 1978, whether the makers of the programme like it or not. TOTP was not the Old Grey Whistle Test, it was designed to showcase the biggest hits, and despite any insinuation of bias with regards Robin Nash, that was exactly what it did, within the bounds of artist/video availability.

Last edited by darren1090 : 04-01-2013 at 23:11. Reason: Grammar
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:10
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It was sure intriguing in the recent context of his missing episodes and his yet to answer bail. I'm not sure how to read it in all honesty. As far as Savile was concerned, no surprises there, but even if none of his behaviour had emerged I am not sure he would have featured at all in a 1978 inspired TOTP anyway, as he was on the decline in presenting terms by then, and nothing near as relevent as just a couple of years earlier in '76 when the repeats began.
Despite the usual 'punk changed everything' nonsense, it wasn't that bad - even if it didn't perpetuate the myth that 'der kids' were only interested in punk ...

Only one other major clanger: the comment that TOTP didn't know how to deal with Siouxsie & The Banshees so they layered their performance with special effects. Clearly someone hadn't done their research as that clip is a promo video - the Banshees never performed 'Hong Kong Garden' live in the studio, as I recall ...

I couldn't help find the sly digs at Robin Nash a but misplaced: I'm sure he was very much old school light entertainment but isn't this the same guy who quite happily gave away 'new release' slots to Eddie & The Hot Rods and Generation X?

I too am hopeful DLT being featured might be a positive sign. Unless the documentary was locked off before his arrest and BBC Four decided to just go with it rather than pay the cost of re-editing the show?

Lulu was barely recognisable ... But Sue has aged very well!

Very much looking forward to the repeats in full - and hoping that the late night repeats will be unedited ...
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:11
VincentH
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What's really striking is the variety of songs and genres. Not having a pop at today's chart, as there are some good artists around, but in '78 there was pretty much everything in the charts, and makes you wonder why the likes of reggae, new wave, punk...well actually anything other than pop and dance is no longer in the top 40.
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:11
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Wasn't that Chris Difford from Squeeze?
That's the one!
It must be the drugs
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:11
Rich Tea.
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That's a third option: I think I will have to stay up and watch the repeat to find out
It was deffo Chris Difford from Squeeze Fave St, because he had dark hair and eyes and had aged pretty damned well in my opinion.
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:16
Rich Tea.
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What's really striking is the variety of songs and genres. Not having a pop at today's chart, as there are some good artists around, but in '78 there was pretty much everything in the charts, and makes you wonder why the likes of reggae, new wave, punk...well actually anything other than pop and dance is no longer in the top 40.
It is a very good question that I do not understand, especially now we are firmly in the download era of music with instant availability of not just current but archive material too of all genre's, like me saying I'd recently bought What A Waste. It's not as if downloading music is the unique preserve of the under 25's is it. People over 70 are easily using computers nowadays, and many 60+ can download tracks as simply as any younger person.
You only have to look at the Christmas charts since downloading, when every year now we get Shaky, Slade, Wizzard and even Dean Martin and Brenda Lee returning into the chart.
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:44
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I thought it was Richard Jobson but I could be mistaken (this is like 'Screen Test' )
Just image googled him to find out what Richard Jobson looked like.

It was not him, thanks for your reply.



Wasn't that Chris Difford from Squeeze?
Yes, it was him.

He just seemed to be one of the few who actually didn't look so bad nowadays!!
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:50
davie1924
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I thought it was Richard Jobson but I could be mistaken (this is like 'Screen Test' )
Nah, Jobson was the Scottish guy who was doing a few soundbites. (Noticed his teeth were in better shape than they were in his Skids days).
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:56
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Posted this earlier but think it got lost amongst all the blogging at the time...

Good news! Digiguide has updated and here's the schedule for Top of the Pops 1978

Thursday 17th 7.30pm - 8.00pm
Sunday 19th 12am - 12.30am (Repeat)
Sunday 19th 12.30am - 01.20am (The Story of 1978?)
Sunday 19th 01.20am - 02.25am (Big Hits?)
Thursday 24th 7.30pm - 8.00pm
Friday 25th 01.30am - 02.00am (Repeat)

As for tonight, i think it's been brill! The documentary was a real nostalgia fest. I don't think they overdid the importance of punk this time, I think it covered all the genres of music that were on TOTP. It showed how much great stuff there is to come, a better year IMO than 77. They didn't even mention Suzi Quatro tho who had a great song in 78, If You Can't Give Me Love. And good to see Sue and Lulu from Legs and Co, prob my fave two from Legs and Co but unfortunately the years haven't been too kind to them I'm really looking forward to seeing the episodes!!
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Old 04-01-2013, 23:59
Phoenix Lazarus
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They didn't even mention Suzi Quatro tho who had a great song in 78, If You Can't Give Me Love.
She had two: the other was She's In Love With You.
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Old 05-01-2013, 00:11
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Well, I'm not going to moan too much, as it is great that tonight plus the re-runs to come are happening at all, given recent events.

I found the documentary a bit tiresome, more so than even the 1976/77 ones; with regards the overstating of the importance of punk. The insinuation that the Christmas special was somehow deliberately ignoring the Buzzcocks, etc., for example, was rubbish. Its remit was to play the biggest hits of the year, and no punk songs that I recall made it into the Top 3 (unless you count the Boomtown Rats, and I'm sure they were on it).

Most of the punk songs featured tonight were Top 20 at best, maybe a few in the lower half of the Top 10. Punk never even had much in the way of large selling LPs (except NMTB). It was very much a minority influence, it wasn't like everyone was walking around with mohicans!

Disco was far bigger, and Pop bigger still in 1978, whether the makers of the programme like it or not. TOTP was not the Old Grey Whistle Test, it was designed to showcase the biggest hits, and despite any insinuation of bias with regards Robin Nash, that was exactly what it did, within the bounds of artist/video availability.
Its not just the records that get to number on that have the greatest influence and, even if a number of new wave songs only made the top 20, punk and new wave had an influence that you can still hear today.

The same though can be said of disco. Its not a competition of one vs the other. Both new wave and disco had significant influence in the same year. One key difference is that, with some notable exceptions like Chic and Rose Royce, disco artists tended to be one or two hit wonders. Few dance artists had a long term chart career even if their individual tracks had great influence
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Old 05-01-2013, 00:28
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This is a really good Saville episode. Shame we won't get to see it on BBC4. Foreigner Feels Like the First Time doesn't get repeated on any other episodes
That's a real pity. One of my favourite songs of the 70s is that Foreigner track - how it didn't get into the top 20 baffles me.
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Old 05-01-2013, 00:30
Phoenix Lazarus
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Foreigner Feels Like the First Time doesn't get repeated on any other episodes
Brilliant track-one of my favourites! I Want To Know What Love Is, also by them, but from 1984, was the opposite end of the spectrum, in terms of mellowness, musically, but is another of my favourites.
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Old 05-01-2013, 00:32
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She had two: the other was She's In Love With You.
... which begat He's A Sports PA on GKM.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88hsBHuw5yc
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Old 05-01-2013, 00:38
tortfeasor
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'She's sooo....1970's!!'

Always made me chuckle that line.
That line and the 'la la la laa' or 'ga ga ga gaa' (or whatever the heck he's screaming) before the guitars kick in - who else would have done that?

"Why aren't you smurfing in key?" Oh dear....
What baffles me is that for 6 weeks of early summer 1978, that Smurf song and 'You're the One that I Want' were the best-selling records in Britain and outsold classics like 'The Man with the Child in his Eyes,' 'Airport' 'Don't Fear the Reaper' and 'Satisfy My Soul' amongst others. Not good!
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Old 05-01-2013, 00:56
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What's really striking is the variety of songs and genres. Not having a pop at today's chart, as there are some good artists around, but in '78 there was pretty much everything in the charts, and makes you wonder why the likes of reggae, new wave, punk...well actually anything other than pop and dance is no longer in the top 40.

The variety is little short of incredible really and sadly I don't think we're going to see that sort of variety in the top 30 (if we confine it to the top 30) in the charts for a while yet... if ever. The variety and discovering songs that got into the charts in the late 1970s and early 1980s but rarely appear on compilations has kept me busy the last few years so these repeats of TOTP have been brilliant for me.

You raise a good point about why it's rare to see anything other than pop and dance in the top 40. There are a few reasons. One of the obvious ones is that there are fewer record labels now when compared to 1978 and that the majority of stuff comes from the big 4* super labels now. If you look at a top 20 from 1978, there were so many labels around and quite a few of them were at the time independent from the larger companies that existed in 1978. The fact that the majority of stuff now comes from the super labels and fewer independent labels has certainly had a detrimental impact on the diversity in the charts.

My other opinion is that the record companies (and radio stations that play the majority of Top 40 songs) have become incredibly conservative in recent years and they've resorted to spending all the attention/money/airtime on songs that conform to a formula that has proved popular and sells well since the early 2000s; it's largely either ballads and/or pop music with elements of dance or contemporary R&B. Occasionally there are a few things that buck this trend but they don't seem to last. The reason for this conservative approach is because the recording industry isn't in the best shape and I think there's a lot of uncertainty over its future. Therefore, fewer risks are taken because they can't afford to spend money paying for things to be recorded, released and the costs of promoting the material that is perhaps different if they don't feel they'll get a worthy return from it.

*big 4 - of course, now pretty much big 3 with the takeover of EMI.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:14
Rich Tea.
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The variety is little short of incredible really and sadly I don't think we're going to see that sort of variety in the top 30 (if we confine it to the top 30) in the charts for a while yet... if ever. The variety and discovering songs that got into the charts in the late 1970s and early 1980s but rarely appear on compilations has kept me busy the last few years so these repeats of TOTP have been brilliant for me.

You raise a good point about why it's rare to see anything other than pop and dance in the top 40. There are a few reasons. One of the obvious ones is that there are fewer record labels now when compared to 1978 and that the majority of stuff comes from the big 4* super labels now. If you look at a top 20 from 1978, there were so many labels around and quite a few of them were at the time independent from the larger companies that existed in 1978. The fact that the majority of stuff now comes from the super labels and fewer independent labels has certainly had a detrimental impact on the diversity in the charts.

My other opinion is that the record companies (and radio stations that play the majority of Top 40 songs) have become incredibly conservative in recent years and they've resorted to spending all the attention/money/airtime on songs that conform to a formula that has proved popular and sells well since the early 2000s; it's largely either ballads and/or pop music with elements of dance or contemporary R&B. Occasionally there are a few things that buck this trend but they don't seem to last. The reason for this conservative approach is because the recording industry isn't in the best shape and I think there's a lot of uncertainty over its future. Therefore, fewer risks are taken because they can't afford to spend money paying for things to be recorded, released and the costs of promoting the material that is perhaps different if they don't feel they'll get a worthy return from it.

*big 4 - of course, now pretty much big 3 with the takeover of EMI.
In a way you have illustrated the modern stagnation which also applied to the middle 1970's period before the pressure blew and the landscape changed. This will happen again at some point, things do change, there comes a point where enough is enough.

Curiously I'd like to compare your comment about just 4 major labels, with what were just 3 channels in the UK in 1978 and TOTP being the one and only mainsteam pop show on British TV week in week out. As I was watching it tonight, the thought did cross my mind that infact the show probably did have far too much power for the good of popular music, in an almost monopoly kind of way, especially in association with Radio 1 of course. That amount of power to decide and control the agenda is in itself not the greatest thing, and that was the case in 1978.

Having said all that however, comments have been made about the producer of the time Robin Nash, who was in charge from 1974 to 1981, which is a 7 year period which is un-recognisable from one end to the other, so he produced the show during maybe it's biggest transition, whether by choice or being forced to do so by events beyond his ultimate control. Who knows what kind of TOTP he was more comfy with producing? The shows of 1974-77, or the ones from 1978-81?

One final thing about the documentary. I did not like Sue Perkins narration. Annie Nightingale would have been perfect as a female, or Janice Long. Failing that, one of the old 70's presenters themselves. Perkins delivery just irks, and she has no personal association either which could have added extra depth.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:54
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That's a third option: I think I will have to stay up and watch the repeat to find out
Just to say I did read your post on the 1977 thread about the mildly pornographic video for Call On Me, and agree wholeheartedly with your assessment. Even now at the dawn of 2013 (the 21st century has become a teenager itself!) I think that stuff like that simulated sex nonsense is utterly inappropriate, never mind back on Saturday mornings in the late 70's! God knows what age they have in mind when they make these things. I wonder if it was ever shown on any BBC or ITV Saturday morning childrens shows in 2004 when it was a hit. There was another particularly loathesome one in early 2008 from a group/act called H20 feat. Platnum, What's It Gonna Be which was horribly crude, and the song was shite too, yet a big hit.

I'm not posting on the 1977 one now, as we have moved to 1978.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:37
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1978
".......it's me your Cathy, I've come home, I'm so cold, let me in your ..ndow..."
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Old 05-01-2013, 13:57
Rich Tea.
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Does anyone else have every single 1978 mention throughout every post on here highlighted red? Very odd!

Seems to happen only if you go via the link posted over on the '77 thread, and not direct to '78.
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Old 05-01-2013, 14:08
faversham saint
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She had two: the other was She's In Love With You.
'She's In Love With You' was a hit for Suzi Quatro the following year (1979)
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Old 05-01-2013, 15:21
Servalan
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The variety is little short of incredible really and sadly I don't think we're going to see that sort of variety in the top 30 (if we confine it to the top 30) in the charts for a while yet... if ever. The variety and discovering songs that got into the charts in the late 1970s and early 1980s but rarely appear on compilations has kept me busy the last few years so these repeats of TOTP have been brilliant for me.

You raise a good point about why it's rare to see anything other than pop and dance in the top 40. There are a few reasons. One of the obvious ones is that there are fewer record labels now when compared to 1978 and that the majority of stuff comes from the big 4* super labels now. If you look at a top 20 from 1978, there were so many labels around and quite a few of them were at the time independent from the larger companies that existed in 1978. The fact that the majority of stuff now comes from the super labels and fewer independent labels has certainly had a detrimental impact on the diversity in the charts.

My other opinion is that the record companies (and radio stations that play the majority of Top 40 songs) have become incredibly conservative in recent years and they've resorted to spending all the attention/money/airtime on songs that conform to a formula that has proved popular and sells well since the early 2000s; it's largely either ballads and/or pop music with elements of dance or contemporary R&B. Occasionally there are a few things that buck this trend but they don't seem to last. The reason for this conservative approach is because the recording industry isn't in the best shape and I think there's a lot of uncertainty over its future. Therefore, fewer risks are taken because they can't afford to spend money paying for things to be recorded, released and the costs of promoting the material that is perhaps different if they don't feel they'll get a worthy return from it.

*big 4 - of course, now pretty much big 3 with the takeover of EMI.
I was pretty much with you until the last two sentences (BIB) ...

The music industry isn't in the best shape because, I'd argue, 15-20 years ago it stopped seeing artists as long-term investments. Everything became geared towards making a quick buck and exercising as much control over artists as possible. Faith in their talent was completely overshadowed by accountants' spreadsheets - and while I fully agree record companies aren't charities and need to make money, the pendulum has swung so far away from musical creativity that it's no wonder the likes of David Guetta, will.i.am and Calvin Harris are pretty much seen as the only producers in town, and what I'd call corporate songwriters have eclipsed genuine songwriters with something to say.

So, thanks to the music industry's short-sighted greed, we now live in an era where it's virtually impossible to imagine the likes of Kate Bush, David Bowie or Prince ever getting a record deal. Or, if they did, they wouldn't be allowed to grow and mature in the ways those artists did. There are artists not unlike them out there - Janelle Monae would be one - but she clearly isn't a priority for her record company, hence its willingness to give away her best chance of a hit single as an iTunes freebie of the week and its dismal failure to capitalise on her featuring on one of 2012's biggest selling singles.

It is hugely ironic that the UK's best-selling artist of the last few years - nationally and internationally - is Adele: signed to an independent label and allowed to do what she wants artistically. You would think the major record companies might see the merit in this given the financial rewards at stake ... but no.

That we are having this debate as the 1978 TOTPs start is, of course, highly pertinent, too: this is the year responsible for five of the UK's best-selling singles of all time and I'd hazard a guess that no other year can come close to that claim. New talent abounded that year and much of it would flourish creatively and artistically in the following years. If the music industry wanted to learn anything, it could start looking at what happened in 1978, take a few more risks and give artists more creative control. This was, after all, the year that spawned Kate Bush, the Human League and the Police - to name but three ...
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