Saturday, 28 December 2013

Whole Lotta Xmas!

Sometimes we forget that Top of the Pops is actually still a current BBC show, albeit now reduced to just two new episodes per year! But hey, its two better than nothing! And while this tiny beat of life still, er, beats, there has to be just a little hope that one day a full recovery can be made to bring Top of the Pops back to full health :-)

So Christmas Day 2013, with the show on the verge of its 50th anniversary, we had this line up:

25-12-2013: Presenters: Fearne Cotton & Reggie Yates (New Titles)

(40) JOHN NEWMAN – Love Me Again
(-) CHASE & STATUS feat. MOKO – Count On Me
(-) BOYZONE – Love Will Save The Day
(-) RIZZLE KICKS – Lost Generation
(-) WILL.I.AM & BRITNEY SPEARS – Scream And Shout (video)
(-) MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS feat. WANZ– Thrift Shop (video)
(-) ONE DIRECTION – One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks) (video)
(-) JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – Mirrors (video)
(69) PASSENGER – Let Her Go (video)
(78) DAFT PUNK feat. PHARRELL WILLIAMS – Get Lucky (video)
(60) ROBIN THICKE feat. T.I. & PHARRELL WILLIAMS – Blurred Lines (video)
(45) TOM ODELL – Another Love
(-) JESSIE J – It’s My Party
(66) BASTILLE – Pompeii (footage from Radio 1’s Big Weekend)
(-) THE SATURDAYS – What About Us
(-) NAUGHTY BOY feat. SAM SMITH – La La La
(47) JAMES BLUNT – Bonfire Heart
(27) AVICII – Wake Me Up (video)
(68) ONE DIRECTION – Best Song Ever (video)
(15) KATY PERRY – Roar (video)
(42 MILEY CYRUS – Wrecking Ball (video)
(24) LORDE – Royals (video)
(6) LILY ALLEN – Somewhere Only We Know (video)
(-) RUDIMENTAL feat. ELLA EYRE – Waiting All Night
(7) ELLIE GOULDING – How Long Will I Love You?
(22) ONEREPUBLIC – Counting Stars
(1) SAM BAILEY – Skyscraper (video)
>> A new title sequence and logo make their debut

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And yes indeed, that legendary Top of the Pops theme tune, Whole Lotta Love, makes its long awaited 3rd coming, along with a shiny new logo ~ signs of hope surely?

Even though I'm one of those stuck in the pop past BBC4 people glued to 35 year old repeats of a long gone golden era, I have to say I was totally impressed with this brand new show. Obviously the return of THAT theme tune helped get me in the mood, but actually the songs and performances presented were all impressive in my opinion. I shan't go through them all, but standing out of the crowds for me were John Newman, Chase & Status, Rizzle Kicks (not normally a fan of hiphop type stuff, but enjoyed the silliness of the performance and costumes ~ anyway, even 35 years ago there was music I wasn't too keen on, that's the nature of a show like Top of the Pops really, you're never going to be able to please everyone all the time), James Blunt (well I am old school, and I think so is he), Ellie Goulding and OneRepublic. The obligatory X Factor winner number one had a nice voice but the song and video was pretty much the same as all the other X Factor winners. But that one aside, an excellent show that I thought stood up well to anything from 35 years ago. All that was lacking maybe was a nice dance routine ~ maybe they could have roped in a few people from Strictly?

Don't forget there's another new show on New Year's eve and I would highly recommend it ~ come on its a chance to put some faces to some of these somewhat anonymous modern pop stars, and will confirm that pop music did not die on 30th July 2006, but is still well and truly alive and in fact is in not too bad shape.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Top of the Pops Christmas Day 1978

25-12-78: Presenter: Noel Edmonds

(-) DARTS – The Boy From New York City
(-) BONEY M – Rasputin
(53) JOHN TRAVOLTA & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN – Summer Nights (danced to by Legs & Co)
(-) WINGS – Mull Of Kintyre (video)
(-) FATHER ABRAHAM & THE SMURFS – The Smurf Song (video)
(-) THE BEE GEES – Night Fever (video)
(-) BRIAN & MICHAEL – Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs
(-) KATE BUSH – Wuthering Heights (video)
(-) SHOWADDYWADDY – I Wonder Why
(57) BONEY M – Rivers Of Babylon ®
(-) THE COMMODORES – Three Times A Lady (danced to by Legs & Co)
(-) ABBA – Take A Chance On Me (video)
(-) ROSE ROYCE – Love Don’t Live Here Anymore (video)
(-) JOHN TRAVOLTA & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN – You’re The One That I Want (video)
(1) BONEY M – Mary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord ®
(-) JAMES GALWAY – Annie’s Song (and credits)
>> After presenting 72 editions, Noel Edmonds makes his last regular
appearance on TOTP.

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The opening credits and the wonderful Whole Lotta Love theme is heard once again......

DArts ~ great song but they were never the same after Den left :-(

Boney M ~ love this song and this performance of it! The band got their name from Boney, an Australian TV drama about a part-aboriginal detective called Bonaparte.

Summer Nights ~ so here's the dance routine in its rightful place - but of course we've already seen it many times due to it being edited into the reruns in place of the video clip they couldn't afford to show! The roles of Danny and Sandy in Grease, incidentally, were originally offered to Henry Winkler (the Fonz off Happy Days) and Marie Osmond!

Wings ~ I personally never grow tired of this one ~ its a quality tune and I prefer this video clip to the one where they are wandering around in the field. This song was the UK’s bestselling single of all time for 7 years, until Band Aid's Do they Know its Christmas in 1984. It’s still 4th in the list with 2.07 million sales.

Figaro ~ a new clip - filmed for Swap Shop maybe - as indeed this whole show had a Swap Shop feel about it :-)

The Smurfs ~ absurdly catchy tune ~ liked Noel's references to the Wombles and Kermit in his introduction. Dutch musician Father Abraham’s real name is Petrus Kartner!

The Bee Gees ~ its the naughty but nightie dance routine edited in here instead of the clip from Saturday Night Fever they couldn't afford to show

Brian and Michael ~ always puts a smile on my face this one :-) The duo went on to write & produce 1986 novelty hit It's 'Orrible Being in Love (When You're 8½) by Claire & Friends!

Floral Dance ~ another showing for the brass band number - preferred at Xmas by the Beeb no doubt to the Boom Town Rats.

Kate Bush ~ the first showing on TOTP for this wonderful video. Coincidentally, Kate Bush shares a birthday (30 July) with Emily Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights.

Showaddywaddy ~ They were Christmas regulars by now and altogether had 23 UK chart hits, including ten in the top 10.

Rivers of Babylon ~ the performance from earlier in the year, with the slightly weird percussion. This song is a cover of a 1970 song by Jamaican reggae outfit The Melodians, and is the seventh bestselling UK single of all time with 2.02 million copies.

The Commodores ~ Another routine by Legs and Co ~ they did well out of this show. The Commodores picked their name out of the dictionary at random and almost became The Commodes!

Abba ~ nice clip of them sending a tv greeting to Noel, again is it a Swap Shop thing? And then the video of the song. Singer Anni-Frid married a German prince in ’92. Her full title is Her Serene Highness Princess Anni-Frid Synni Reuss, Countess of Plauen!

Rose Royce ~ the video of this great song shown for the first time.

You're the One that I Want ~ its Floyd and the Legs again instead of the Grease clip - they must have all made a few bob out of it this year ~ happy Christmas :-) You’re The One That I Want is the fifth bestselling UK single of all time with 2.04 million copies.

Mary's Boy Child ~ Boney M with the Xmas number one ~ originally a number one for Harry Belafonte in 1957 this version is the UK’s 11th best-selling single of all time with 1.86 million sales.

James Galway plays over the credits, with Christmas fairy Sue doing the ballet dancing. Annie’s Song was written by John Denver, as an ode to his wife of the same name. It was a no 1 for him in 1974. James Galway’s wife at this time was also called Annie!

And that's it for 1978, but the good news is 1979 will begin in January :-)

Also, if you watched the new Christmas Day 2013 edition, which included some terrific songs I might add, no matter what you may think of modern pop, you will perhaps have rejoiced like me at the return of the fabulous Whole Lotta Love theme tune :-)

Wishing you all a very happy and top of the popstastic new year!

Friday, 20 December 2013