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Top Of The Pops 1978 - BBC4


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Old 06-02-2013, 18:56
chemical2009b
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TOTP became a fixed 30 minutes in September 1985 when an East End soap opera was moved into the 7.30-8.00 slot, so TOTP was forced to slot in before it. Before that it would normally vary between 30 and 45 minutes depending on what else was in the schedule that week.
The moment when the decline really kicked in although I thought it was still a good show until 1988.
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Old 06-02-2013, 19:21
HughJasss
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OK Apologies, back some years ago, there was someone called Rich and someone called Pete that always used to annoy (probably too strong a word) each other on the BBC TOTP boards, but it's not you two so OK.

So I remember seing a few of the BBC4 repeats at the full length time, but haven't seen any at the full time for a while now. has there been any comment on why they do not show the full episodes
?
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Old 06-02-2013, 19:24
Servalan
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The music scene at the start of 1975 must have seemed so bleak! I love it when articles like this get recalled and are so patently wrong on a grand scale.
I'm not sure if 'bleak' would be the word I'd use - but I would say 1974 was a real year of flux thanks to the rise of disco (arguably linked to the MU strike which took TOTP off air for part of that year - see previous post ... ) and the demise of glam, with T Rex and The Sweet failing to make the Top 30. Thank goodness for Bowie, Roxy and Queen ...
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Old 06-02-2013, 19:35
Robbie01
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I'm not sure if 'bleak' would be the word I'd use - but I would say 1974 was a real year of flux thanks to the rise of disco (arguably linked to the MU strike which took TOTP off air for part of that year - see previous post ... ) and the demise of glam, with T Rex and The Sweet failing to make the Top 30. Thank goodness for Bowie, Roxy and Queen ...
A theory that has been suggested is that the MU strike in 1974 that took TOTP off air for several weeks was both responsible for the death of glam and the rise of disco. The theory is that the lack of a promotional vehicle (TOTP) for glam was also responsible for the rise of disco (kids going to a disco on a Thursday night rather than watching TOTP). I'm not sure I agree but the timing does tie in with this theory.
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Old 06-02-2013, 19:52
The Gatherer
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A theory that has been suggested is that the MU strike in 1974 that took TOTP off air for several weeks was both responsible for the death of glam and the rise of disco. The theory is that the lack of a promotional vehicle (TOTP) for glam was also responsible for the rise of disco (kids going to a disco on a Thursday night rather than watching TOTP). I'm not sure I agree but the timing does tie in with this theory.
I think it was merely that Glam was coming to a natural end - musical phases did not last long in those days. 1974 was also the first year that men's hair got shorter, after it getting longer and longer since the mid 60s. Also, discos of the day played all sorts of music, not just "disco" music. As for 1975 - great start to the year with January and Make Me Smile being Number 1s.
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Old 06-02-2013, 20:26
Robbie01
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I think it was merely that Glam was coming to a natural end - musical phases did not last long in those days. 1974 was also the first year that men's hair got shorter, after it getting longer and longer since the mid 60s. Also, discos of the day played all sorts of music, not just "disco" music. As for 1975 - great start to the year with January and Make Me Smile being Number 1s.
Perhaps the lack of TOTP saw record labels holding back on releasing singles by acts that were in a genre that was already on its way out? If the theory is correct then when TOTP returned and acts had singles to release perhaps that was far too long a break for them to have had?

I agree with you though, glam was coming to an end, perhaps the absence of TOTP just helped hurry it along?
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Old 06-02-2013, 20:50
faversham saint
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Certainly 'SOS' was quite heavily promo'd, with the group making at least one appearance (if not more) on Summertime Special before the single reached the upper echelons of the chart.
BIB - the original signature tune of this show was Summertime City which writer Mike Batt performed on stage with the New Edition on Seaside Special in 1975.

Here is a link to the 'SOS' appearance referred to in your post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfZdskHLFSE
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Old 06-02-2013, 21:19
Neil_Handerson
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Hi Neil, this edition was actually shown on BBC4 last year. Did you see it then at all? It was the notorious one when Gary Glitter made an appearance, in a very un-1977 look, almost creepy, and was presented by Kid Jensen. Cannot recall if it was his first ever TOTP. If you google Top Of The Pops 3rd Feb 1977 it takes you to the BBC iPlayer site of this edition, but alas it's no longer available, but you can see who appeared.

I'm sure other regulars can be more use than me for you!
Regrettably, I missed it, but would appreciate the chance to view it.
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Old 06-02-2013, 22:20
Servalan
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A theory that has been suggested is that the MU strike in 1974 that took TOTP off air for several weeks was both responsible for the death of glam and the rise of disco. The theory is that the lack of a promotional vehicle (TOTP) for glam was also responsible for the rise of disco (kids going to a disco on a Thursday night rather than watching TOTP). I'm not sure I agree but the timing does tie in with this theory.
I never said (nor would I ever say) that the MU strike resulting in TOTP going off-air was wholly responsible for the death of glam and the rise of disco. Both were already in the wind - but disco's ascendancy was almost certainly assisted by TOTP's absence. The same effect was felt on the charts in 1980, when the MU staged their other strike that derailed TOTP.

Slade and Gary Glitter both had respectable chart performances in 1974, but T Rex had faltered outside the Top 10 at the end of 1973; and The Sweet's feud with Chinnichap hit its peak in 1974 with them walking off stage at TOTP at the end of 'Teenage Rampage' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6grs9Aj5NOw). The glam boat was sinking and the smart cookies had already jumped ship.
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Old 06-02-2013, 22:26
Erithian
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The music scene at the start of 1975 must have seemed so bleak! I love it when articles like this get recalled and are so patently wrong on a grand scale.
That's what was so much fun about compiling my Record Mirror scrapbook in the early 80s from the editions I'd been hoarding since 1975! There was the review saying the Bee Gees had really lost their way with that disco style in "Jive Talkin'", the article suggesting that Slade were succeeding in breaking America, and best of all the review which read (and this is from memory): "It's unthinkable that this six-minute extravaganza won't give Queen a hit, but in all honesty it's the most unlikely serious chart contender ever. There's scarcely a shred of a tune and certainly no one hook to latch on to. There are snatches sounding like Sparks and David Cassidy, but the whole is less than the sum of its parts." You don't need two guesses with that one, do you?!
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Old 06-02-2013, 22:31
darren1090
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A theory that has been suggested is that the MU strike in 1974 that took TOTP off air for several weeks was both responsible for the death of glam and the rise of disco. The theory is that the lack of a promotional vehicle (TOTP) for glam was also responsible for the rise of disco (kids going to a disco on a Thursday night rather than watching TOTP). I'm not sure I agree but the timing does tie in with this theory.
Disco was already on the rise in the USA and Europe at this time; it was a juggernaut which The UK wasn't going to avoid whether or not TOTP was shown or otherwise! In fact, I would argue that disco was a bigger force Elsewhere, with many well respected acts having hits overseas but none here.
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Old 06-02-2013, 22:36
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I never said (nor would I ever say) that the MU strike resulting in TOTP going off-air was wholly responsible for the death of glam and the rise of disco. Both were already in the wind - but disco's ascendancy was almost certainly assisted by TOTP's absence. The same effect was felt on the charts in 1980, when the MU staged their other strike that derailed TOTP.

Slade and Gary Glitter both had respectable chart performances in 1974, but T Rex had faltered outside the Top 10 at the end of 1973; and The Sweet's feud with Chinnichap hit its peak in 1974 with them walking off stage at TOTP at the end of 'Teenage Rampage' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6grs9Aj5NOw).
Love that Sweet song. Brian Connolly (sp?) was a stunningly good looking man in his hey-day.
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Old 06-02-2013, 22:40
darren1090
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Am I alone in thinking that the Eurovision winner for Abba in 1974, Waterloo is actually one of their worst records, admittedly out of a fantastic bunch? The British jury clearly held my opinion back then because amazing as it seems the UK did not give the winning Abba song a single point so I have heard! How very bizarre in the context of the history of what followed.
1974 was the last year of the previous voting system - yes, there once was no such thing as "douse points"!

In those days, each Jury had 10 members, and each voted for their favourite song. Therefore, each jury simply awarded one point per juror. In 1974 the UK gave 5 out of the 10 to Italy, who came second. The other 5 points were scattered amongst Israel, Finland and Ireland, possibly one other country. But yes, it's surprising that not one of the 10 had Abba as their favourite!
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Old 06-02-2013, 22:42
Erithian
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If you'll indulge me I'll quote myself from the Popular discussion of "Merry Xmas Everybody":

"... Christmas '73, and in between the turkey, the tinsel and the rest of the happy memories, I imagine there was Leslie Crowther in a children’s hospital, Billy Smart’s Circus, a film to follow the Queen, and Eric and Ernie in the evening. And the centrepiece being the classic Xmas TOTP of ’73, the apotheosis of glam. Two fantastic Christmas singles at 1 and 4, Wizzard remarkably kept out of the top 3 by Gary Glitter, holding on for Xmas no 2, and at three the first new number one of 1974 on its way up. Another perennial from Elton further down, and don’t forget “Gaudete” by Steeleye Span, which I didn’t get at the time but appreciate now.

"But this peak was followed abruptly by a changing of the guard. The established pop firmament of David-Donny-Gary-Slade-Sweet-Wizzard was about to depart. Of all the acts that had a No 1 single in 1973, only one returned to the top any later than the mid-point of 1974 – and if you’d asked that Xmas TOTP audience to nominate which one, I guess not many would have picked out 10cc. Two four-piece bands which made their chart debuts within a month of each other in spring ’74 would be the biggest chart acts of the next decade, and the dominant chart music genre of the next decade was gaining strength on dancefloors across the world.

"And as for Slade, who would have thought this would be their last number 1? The following years saw them produce intelligent and thoughtful songs and many more cracking singles, but the likes of “The Banging Man”, “Far Far Away” and “How Does It Feel” never emulated the feats of what were in some cases inferior tracks pushed out during their commercial peak."
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Old 06-02-2013, 23:43
SgtRock
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As I mentioned early in this thread, 1978 was the year I first started taping songs from the Top 40 show on Sundays. Looking back to what remains of those tapes, the oldest one I can find starts with Dan Hill's "Sometimes When We Touch", continues with "Come Back My Love" - the neatly-written track listing clearly betrays that it is the chart of 8th April.

Or at least I thought that was on the tape - having just played it back, unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) everything after Dan Hill has been overwritten, with a random selection of (unlisted) tracks from 1979/80 - most I think taped from Capital Radio.

Most of the songs I know, but one has completely left me baffled. It's a vaguely mod-style track, probably 1979 and possibly called "Girl On The Dancefloor". I've tried Googling some of the lyrics, but not having any luck. Here's the opening verse:
"Hey you, girl on the dancefloor
Yeah you, with the fine friend in the leotard
Well, I don't like this record, can't dance anyway
But if I came to you would you send me away?"

Does anyone have any idea who this might be?
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:00
Rich Tea.
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That's what was so much fun about compiling my Record Mirror scrapbook in the early 80s from the editions I'd been hoarding since 1975! There was the review saying the Bee Gees had really lost their way with that disco style in "Jive Talkin'", the article suggesting that Slade were succeeding in breaking America, and best of all the review which read (and this is from memory): "It's unthinkable that this six-minute extravaganza won't give Queen a hit, but in all honesty it's the most unlikely serious chart contender ever. There's scarcely a shred of a tune and certainly no one hook to latch on to. There are snatches sounding like Sparks and David Cassidy, but the whole is less than the sum of its parts." You don't need two guesses with that one, do you?!
I love this post Servalan, I'd sure love to know who was writing such clueless tosh in the music press at the time! Classic.

Love your take on the pre and post Christmas 1973 / New Year 1974 period too. Being only 4 at the time and about to start at pre-school playgroup all I know is that it was a very bleak time in the country, which the great music over Christmas at least does not reflect from that period of power cuts, short working weeks and TV ending just after 10pm.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:18
Erithian
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Aha, step forward (for the Queen review at least) Sue Byrom, who as I recall was always a good read even if the antennae weren't always working!

On googling her I came across this delight - a scrapbook of music press coverage of Slade in 1975:
http://www.sladescrapbook.com/cuttings-1975.html
Scroll down to the bottom for extensive coverage of their travails in the States, during which Noddy says "We've decided to stay here until we can crack the market - we've never been here long enough, that's the trouble." A look at Slade's UK chart stats shows you how poignant that statement is.

Oh, and for more Christmas '73 reminiscences, here's our discussion in full:
http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2007/1...verybody/?cp=0
- including a digression on Mott the Hoople superfan Benazir Bhutto!
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:11
Robert Williams
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So I remember seing a few of the BBC4 repeats at the full length time, but haven't seen any at the full time for a while now. has there been any comment on why they do not show the full episodes
?
They are still showing the full length versions (unless they have to cut something for rights reasons) - it's just that in late 1977 and early 1978 almost all of the shows were only 30 minutes long. 40 minute episodes resumed in April 1978.
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Old 07-02-2013, 18:33
merrim01
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I think it's fair to say that we still go through similar phases of music genres now like in the 70s. For example in the early 90s we saw euro dance become really big along with other house tracks. From 95-97 britpop saw proper bands return. From 98-2000 we saw boybands, house and eventually Garage music dominate. Things got very R&B between 01-03 while there was still a lot of boybands, girls groups. Again 05-07 saw saw acts like Keane, Scissor Sisters, Razorlight, Kooks bringing back guitars again. House went very electro for 2 years. Then most recently we've seen UK urban acts taking over at times along with an R&B dance combination. Dubstep has been massive since 2010 whilst many acts have that trance sound in their tracks. There are signs that more bands will break through again as taste alters again. Music is like fashion, it evolves but repeats itself and that's what I love about it.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:21
Rich Tea.
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I think it's fair to say that we still go through similar phases of music genres now like in the 70s. For example in the early 90s we saw euro dance become really big along with other house tracks. From 95-97 britpop saw proper bands return. From 98-2000 we saw boybands, house and eventually Garage music dominate. Things got very R&B between 01-03 while there was still a lot of boybands, girls groups. Again 05-07 saw saw acts like Keane, Scissor Sisters, Razorlight, Kooks bringing back guitars again. House went very electro for 2 years. Then most recently we've seen UK urban acts taking over at times along with an R&B dance combination. Dubstep has been massive since 2010 whilst many acts have that trance sound in their tracks. There are signs that more bands will break through again as taste alters again. Music is like fashion, it evolves but repeats itself and that's what I love about it.
Apparently the controller on Radio 1 is meant to have said that this year guitar music is going to be making a comeback? I think the current genre that has dominated is surely saturated and sure to wane very soon, as well as the now saturated list of X Factor chancers in the karaoke puppet genre. Some have been saying that rock music is dead during the past year or so. Hardly likely in the long term is it. Only 5 years ago this month one of the biggest hits of 2008 called Rockstar by Nickelback was lingering in the charts for months, close to the top spot for weeks. This was a proper mainstream rock single. I personally just crave the day when (c)rap music finally goes totally out of fashion and goes back to it's little ghetto again. Genie back in the bottle springs to mind on that hope I fear.

Good links you posted Servalan, nice one.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:52
wrighty65
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When the 'So Long' clip from 5 December 1974 surfaced on YouTube last year it was the first time I had seen it since its original broadcast which I also clearly remember (a discussion started on page 107 of the TOTP 1977 thread about this on 07-06-12):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFYcbKoztz0
baffled as to why this wasn't a hit!
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:32
The Gatherer
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Apparently the controller on Radio 1 is meant to have said that this year guitar music is going to be making a comeback? I think the current genre that has dominated is surely saturated and sure to wane very soon, as well as the now saturated list of X Factor chancers in the karaoke puppet genre. Some have been saying that rock music is dead during the past year or so. Hardly likely in the long term is it. Only 5 years ago this month one of the biggest hits of 2008 called Rockstar by Nickelback was lingering in the charts for months, close to the top spot for weeks. This was a proper mainstream rock single. I personally just crave the day when (c)rap music finally goes totally out of fashion and goes back to it's little ghetto again. Genie back in the bottle springs to mind on that hope I fear.

Good links you posted Servalan, nice one.
Richard, I am loathe to get into another argument with you, but you just can't help yourself can you as your nasty streak is shown yet again in the two highlighted parts above. Neither of which are at all relevant to TOTP 1978. The reference to ghetto is particularly offensive and reeks of racism. And you have the nerve to criticise me!
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Old 08-02-2013, 13:25
Servalan
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I think it's fair to say that we still go through similar phases of music genres now like in the 70s. For example in the early 90s we saw euro dance become really big along with other house tracks. From 95-97 britpop saw proper bands return. From 98-2000 we saw boybands, house and eventually Garage music dominate. Things got very R&B between 01-03 while there was still a lot of boybands, girls groups. Again 05-07 saw saw acts like Keane, Scissor Sisters, Razorlight, Kooks bringing back guitars again. House went very electro for 2 years. Then most recently we've seen UK urban acts taking over at times along with an R&B dance combination. Dubstep has been massive since 2010 whilst many acts have that trance sound in their tracks. There are signs that more bands will break through again as taste alters again. Music is like fashion, it evolves but repeats itself and that's what I love about it.
While I'd agree that music is cyclical, I'd also say, with the greatest respect, that while recent times may well draw on the 70s, they can in no way equal them. Not only were the charts extremely diverse then, there was an incredible creativity that generated glam, disco, punk, 2 Tone, heavy metal, hip hop and electronic music. The last fifteen years may echo or even mimic those genres, but have not matched them with equivalent musical revolutions with mainstream appeal - primarily because the music industry is now so obsessed with profit over creativity. That is why the boy band/girl group model of the 90s persists and has never really gone away (it's certainly not a trend, more of a constant) - because it's an easy way to make money.

I don't think there are any signs that more guitar-based music will return - just a lot of people talking about it as if that makes it real. It doesn't. What's actually needed right now is something even more seismic than disco or punk in shaking up the singles chart and making it relevant again ... but whether or not a music industry still clinging to Simon Cowell would tolerate anything like that is highly questionable.
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Old 08-02-2013, 15:52
UrsulaU
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I personally just crave the day when (c)rap music finally goes totally out of fashion
Yeah - I can listen to most genres of music - but could never get my head round rap music - Except for the wonderful Scooby Snacks from The Fun Loving Criminals!! - Was that rap?
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Old 08-02-2013, 15:57
UrsulaU
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While I'd agree that music is cyclical, I'd also say, with the greatest respect, that while recent times may well draw on the 70s, they can in no way equal them. Not only were the charts extremely diverse then, there was an incredible creativity that generated glam, disco, punk, 2 Tone, heavy metal, hip hop and electronic music. The last fifteen years may echo or even mimic those genres, but have not matched them with equivalent musical revolutions with mainstream appeal - primarily because the music industry is now so obsessed with profit over creativity. That is why the boy band/girl group model of the 90s persists and has never really gone away (it's certainly not a trend, more of a constant) - because it's an easy way to make money.

.
Exactly!! - I'm so lucky to have grown up in the late 70s/early 80s as the music then was truly unique and groundbreaking - I feel sorry for the young of today with their manufactured pop and near x-rated videos to try and sell mediocre music!!

- In our day you didn't need sexy videos to sell the music - it sold by itself!!
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