Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The disappeared: 18/11/76

After the Legs & Co naming ceremony on the 11th another piece of TOTP history this week as David 'Kid' Jensen made the first of 69 appearances as host. While most famous for the sixteen with John Peel in 1983 and 1984 he turned into an entirely useable if not all that initially authoritative host (that'll be down to the nickname, I'll wager - he held onto it until 1980) He only joined Radio 1 in September in the drivetime slot but had made his name in a late night slot on Radio Luxembourg and more importantly had pop TV experience with ITV, firstly 45 alongside Emperor Rosko in 1974-75, so well thought of it got a Christmas Day special in 1974, and then parallel with this stint the Yorkshire TV junior quiz show Pop Quest alongside a pre-Tiswas Sally James - here's the 1976 final. And now he's graduated to the top table and been granted...

Mud – Lean On Me
Here we find the great loss of 1976. Not the song, on which the new kings of disco retreated to a limp Bill Withers cover, but the fact this was on the show three times, reaching number 7... and all three have been wiped. Perhaps out of pity. Don't worry, they'll surely make it up with the next hit sing... oh, there wasn't another.

Bonnie Tyler – Lost In France
As we've just seen.

Showaddywaddy – Under The Moon Of Love
As we've just seen. Though the element of surprise has gone.

Yvonne Elliman – Love Me
As with last week the studio work knocks off early and the rest of the show is videos and dancing. Elliman was a Broadway musical actress who'd have her biggest hit, If I Can't Have You from Saturday Night Fever, in 1977 but for now took another Barry and Robin Gibb song of desperation to number six.

Electric Light Orchestra – Livin' Thing
Jeff Lynne works through more of his Beatles obsession for what would become their biggest hit until 1979.

Dana – Fairytale
We'll see this video later in the year, but suffice to say it's not as balladic as you're probably imagining. Quite Cliff-like, actually.

Peter Frampton – Do You Feel Like We Do
Kind of guessing Legs & Co didn't do all nine minutes... They're on a run of being given rock songs to interpret, there's a cracker next week, but they haven't quite settled in enough yet. Also this is a really awkward pace for getting movement out of.

Chicago – If You Leave Me Now
Three weeks at number one, two of which have been wiped. How's your luck?

21 comments:

Arthur Nibble said...

I’m fascinated by how certain minor hits got loads of TOTP plays while some much bigger hits received fewer, due to the nature of their chart runs. At one extreme, “Nice And Slow” managed no less than four studio appearances and a fade-out, Mud’s penultimate hit got four bites at the cherry, and even Twiggy and Slik's "Requiem" were granted more appearances (three each) than their chart runs deserved.

At the other extreme, apart from “Lean On Me” being obliterated by the wipers, arguably the unluckiest hit singles of the 1976 run were The Manhattans’ top 5 hit “Kiss And Say Goodbye” with just a solitary airing, and Leo Sayer’s - having vaulted from 30 to 2 in three weeks, it got stuck behind two chart-topping monoliths and only managed two showings despite selling massively. Not far behind in the walking-under-ladder stakes, Yvonne Elliman (six weeks in the top 10, four of them moving from 8 to 6) and ELO (a fairly rapid ascent to 4) also only managed a couple of clips apiece.

Simon said...

Might as well stick this in here, as BBC4 have announced their festive schedules which include the two 1976 Christmas shows at 8pm on Tuesday 20th and Thursday 22nd. What that means is the regular show on 23/12/76 is for the want of scheduling being completely passed over.

Noax said...

That's pretty demented. Will we be missing much? And surely it would make sense to schedule at least one of the Christmas shows over the actual Christmas period.

As for this missing show, I've never heard of that Peter Frampton song. I have heard Fairytale by Dana though. A lot. Because it's magnificent pop.

Simon said...

I'm doing (well, already written, actually) a Disappeared on it but it's all on YouTube as it is. There's not much reason why they couldn't have shown them on Christmas Day and Boxing Day as on original broadcast unless they wanted both to be pre-watershed.

Wellieman said...

Love the Mud song... One of my favourite "Christmas" songs. Bloody unlucky to have all the three appearances wiped. Just have the limp Supersonic version to watch which cuts off just before all the good jingley stuff cuts in.

Like Noax I also love Fairytale by Dana, so magnificent in fact that I spent my hard earned pocket money on the 7". Nice bob too!

Livin Thing and Love Me were mighty fine songs too, particularly for 1976, so all-in-all a pretty decent show that we won't get to enjoy. Damn.

Simon said...

No! Sorry, I'm wrong, someone else has just pointed out that that last proper show is on at 8pm on Monday 19th.

Arthur Nibble said...

Three shows within three days?
Get in!!!

The Man said...

Now that's a Christmas treat! :)

Bobby Morrow said...

Fairytale was one of Dana's best singles. I was so impressed with it back then I shelled out for it's parent album, Love Songs And Fairytales. What a crushing disappointment it was. Full of dull covers of the likes of I'm Not In Love, If, Rose Garden and the dreaded Over The Rainbow. Obviously Fairytale shone like a diamond...

Wellieman said...

Bobby, yeah reminds me of when I bought Toni Basil's album on the strength of Mickey. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. At least now with iTunes we can preview all the album tracks...

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

Maybe it's my eyesight, part 28...It wasn't until I saw this video clip that I realised how much Yvonne Elliman looked like Cat Deeley!

Simon said...

Maybe Deeley by way of Rachel Stevens. If you crossed Elliman with Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy, perhaps that'd work.

Erithian said...

So tonight we presumably have the edition dated 25 November, and a chart containing six new entries including three of the Christmas top four. Meanwhile, slightly out of sync with our TOTP broadcasts, it should be noted that 35 years ago today one of those chart acts, Queen, pulled out of a scheduled appearance on Thames TV’s “Today” show. The EMI plugger Eric Hall (later to become the archetypal football agent) saw a chance to replace them with another EMI act for an interview with Bill Grundy, and the rest is history!

Arthur Nibble said...

I missed that live Sex Pistols interview by a matter of seconds! We'd been tuned to BBC1 and turned over to ITV so my sister could watch 'Crossroads' (oh, the shame) and caught the bit where Bill Grundy said "I'll be back tomorrow - they won't be".

Taking things a bit more mellow now, Bonnie Tyler wasn’t the only female pop star with vocal problems at the time. It appears Dana recorded a video for “Fairytale” rather than perform on TOTP because she’d lost her voice and needed an operation on her vocal cords.

Bobby Morrow said...

Didn't Dana actually have throat cancer? I seem to remember she kept it quiet at the time but revealed the truth many years later.

Angelo Gravity said...

Gutted to miss Mud's last hurrah. I have a memory of them performing the song on the show - they were all wearing bright blue suits, and all standing in line like a boy band, rather than playing instruments. Les Gray had a solo top 40 hit in 77 I think, I dont' know if he got on the show with it though?

Arthur Nibble said...

One of Dana's vocal cords required surgery to remove a growth which was reported at the time as non-malignant, and part of the cord was also removed. Didn't realise Dana changed course and became a Christian music artist later in her career.

As for Les, we'll see his solo effort in February, and we'll see Mud once more with a flop for their new label. They released quite a few 50's and 60's styled singles afterwards, but I reckon a mixture of punk / new wave and the sixteen-legged Teddy Boy retro machine did for them in the end.

Angelo Gravity said...

I actually bought a Mud single in 1978 ~ Cut Across Shorty.
I really liked it though it didn't make even the slightest of a dent in the charts. I think a woman took over as lead singer from Les after that!

Arthur Nibble said...

You got me thinking, so I’ve done a quick bit of research on Mud.

Soon after “Lean On Me” they left Private Stock – and never made the chart again. Les released his minor solo hit on Warner Brothers in early ‘77, which makes one assume Mud would have gone there but, instead, three months later they released their first single on RCA.

In Autumn 1977, a year after they could have made a bit of a financial killing, Private Stock released a Mud single from their back catalogue and the B-side was...“Under The Moon Of Love”! Bit late there, lads!

Les eventually left Mud, who recruited another bloke and a woman(!), ended up on Carrere and fizzled out. Big shame.

Simon said...

Well after the event, part of the Frampton Legs & Co routine has been found. Yes, that definitely looks like a late replacement from here.

Andee Bee said...

Simon

Again upgrade for this and 'Night on broadway' and extended 'Oxygene' will be soon