Chart Music #29: January 22nd 1976 – This Is A Song About A Naughty Lady

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The latest episode of the podcast which asks: if Midge Ure had become lead singer of the Sex Pistols, would we all still be wearing flares?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, was foraged from the very dustbin of History, being one from early 1976 which missed out on the BBC4 treatment. And, as we very quickly discover, huge chunks of it should have stayed there. Diddy Fucking David Hamilton wears a nasty Christmas-present jumper. Barbara Dickson warms up for her season on the Two Ronnies. Smokie – again! – dispatch another throat full of phlegm upon The Kids. Slik – AGAIN! – deliver the stalkiest wedding song ever. And Sailor encourage the youth to bang on the side of their Dad’s drinks cabinet.

As we all know, however, there is no such thing as a rubbish Top Of The Pops. Osibisa get properly togged up. Pans People pull one of their greatest performances out of their Quality Street Wrapper-panted arses, and the Number One has been there for so long it’s practically the national anthem by now.

Al Needham is joined by Sarah Bee and David Stubbs for a furtle amongst the jumble sale of early ’76, veering off to browse through the Music Star Annual of that year, whether calling someone a ‘Lady’ is acceptable these days, hitting your brother with a golf club for a tin of peaches, a giveaway of David’s new book Mars By 1980, infant school bus trips to Africa, being discovered buying Sven Hassel paperbacks at the age of seven by your Mam, and the importance of not having a Cheepy. WE SWEAR LIKE BOGGERS.

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Chart Music #28: August 31st 1995 – Find A Girl, Settle Down, Kill Salman Rushdie

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The latest episode of the podcast which asks: is there such a thing as a trendy wank?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, drags us back to the dark  Civil War of the mid-90s, when brother fought against brother over whether Roll With It was slightly less rubbish than Country House, and Oasis-loving loving wives imposed a ‘nookie strike’ upon their Blur-supporting husbands. Yes, it’s the aftermath of the Battle of Britpop, and we fly over the rubble, dropping crates of analysis and sniping at assorted wrongness along the way.

If you’re expecting non-stop Sons and Daughters of Albion adopting Mockney accents and walking about about monkeys, however, you’re going to be sorely disappointed, as there are a lot of – gasp! – Americans on it, and even some Irish people. Dale Winton reaches the pinnacle of the journey he started when he was playing records in a biscuit factory. Berri and De’lacy provide an interesting – sort of – compare-and-contrast of Anglo and American House. Michael Jackson lolls about in a CGI Greek temple with Elvis’ daughter. The theme tune from Friends pops up. Fucking Boyzone show up for no reason whatsoever. Montell Jordan arses about in a theme park. Echobelly break up from school forever. Michael Bolton, looking like a giant Womble, asks if he can fondle us. Blur show off.

Sarah Bee and Simon Price help Al Needham to walk through the minefield of Britpop like Lady Di, breaking off to discuss the early days of Television X, our shameful careers in pornography, watching Friends whilst ripped to the tits on Leytonstone speed, all the awards we’ve won and what we do with them, and – finally – Simon gets to talk about Romo. And along with the usual swearing, there’s a deep discussion of Michael Jackson’s accusation-related mither. And then more swearing.

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Chart Music #27: May 6th 1982 – We Form Like Voltron, And KGA Is The Head

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The latest episode of the podcast which asks: has there ever been a Good Bates?

The year is 1982, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and the world is waiting for England. Actually, no – what the world is waiting for is for Tomorrow’s World to piss off, because this episode of The Pops is a bit special. No less than three football teams have been hitting the BBC bar all afternoon and rubbing a manky-jumpered shoulder with the Pop Elite and partake in an unforgettable half-hour-and-a-bit of flag-waving, scarf-brandishing, dirge-chanting palaver.

It’s not all footybollocks, though: Junior and Patrice Rushen get danced at by Zoo wankers. Original Junglists Tight Fit pretend to be Abba. Angry-yet-penitent Jim Diamond enters the fray. Bananarama get a leg-up by their mates Fun Boy Three. And Paul McCartney delivers a message to Racism: You Can Do One Right Now Please. And there’s an actual war on. And fucking hell, it’s Ken Baily!

Simon Price and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham for a snuffle at the gusset of the Union Jack shorts of 1982, breaking off on such tangents as time travel-assisted infanticide, using members of the 1982 Brazil squad to insult girls you don’t like, the incredible England 1982 LP, seeing Him Out Of Tight Fit in a Welsh nightclub, and how to make your own bra out of the contents of your pants drawer. This time – more than any other time – the swearing is outstandingly prolific.

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Chart Music #26: August 9th 1984 – John Peel’s Yummy Finger

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The latest episode of the podcast which asks: that scrap between Reagan and Chernenko – whose coat would you be holding?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, sees us refraining from fretting about Armageddon for a bit and getting blasted full in the face by non-stop Rah-Rah-Rah American Olympic nonsense instead, revelling in the thrill of being able to watch BBC1 at four in the morning and indulging in golf ball-assisted masturbation while pretending to be Daley Thompson. But if the IOC think that Top Of The Pops is going to be moved from its rightful slot on a Thursday evening, Baron de Coubertain can fuck right off. And there’s just been an episode of Monkey on BBC2. Skill.

Musicwise, it’s full-on Eighties, but not in a necessarily bad way. John Peel and Dickie Skinner pull on some horrific shirts, Tracey Ullman does the Mashed Potato with the ghosts of the Atomic Age, overshadowed by a massive deckchair. Windjammer dance right out of the sportswear section of the Littlewoods catalogue. Hazel Dean pretends to forget about some bloke. Jeffrey Osbourne sweats his tits off in some awful 80s knitwear. Blancmange deliver the aural equivalent of a Vesta packet curry, without the grittiness. And because it’s 1984, you know what’s No.1.

Taylor Parkes and Neil Kulkarni construct a shelter out of back issues of Smash Hits while Al Needham prepares a bin for toilet waste and observe the mushroom cloud of 1984, picking through the fallout and veering off to discuss erotic art in chip shops, the decline of the V-sign, going to the same place every Saturday for six weeks without realising it was a gay bar, Great Crisps of the Eighties, and East Germany’s most popular wank mag. We stare, we contrast and compare, and we swear, swear, swear.

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Chart Music #25: June 22nd 1973 – Peppa Pig Versus The IRA Pub Bombers

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The latest episode of the podcast which asks: Top Of The Pops? On a Friday? Arseholes to that!

This episode of The Pops has been hand-picked by the Pop-Crazed Youngsters on our Patreon account, and they did us proud with this one: a episode from the Most Seventies Year Ever hosted by none other than Kenny Everett. He only did six of these, and there’s only one left in the BBC archives, but the one we’re pulling apart is one that has been yanked from someone else’s private collection. So how does the mad scientist of the twin Grundig reel-to-reel come off when he’s not doing his own show and is being told what to do by an exasperated floor manager? Open your tabs to our sexy, sexy Pop-blather and find out for yourselves.

Musicwise, it’s not the Glam-binge we were hoping for, but it’s a very sugary Pic n’ Mix of Pop confectionery. Brian Johnson – the Andy Capp of Metal – pitches up with Geordie. Barry White in full rut is coupled with Svankmajeresque stop-motion mentalness. Peters and Lee pop up again. Mr You-Can-Do-It-Right-Now-Please helps Roger Moore get his leg over Solitaire. Slade deliver the Great Missing #1 of the era, just before it all goes tragically wrong, Dave Edmunds lives the karaoke singer’s worst nightmare, and some white herberts in Arthur Mullard flares burst out of the Trojan horse. And Pans People pull on stockings and suspenders and still manage to not be particularly sexy about it.

Al NeedhamDavid Stubbs and Simon Price huddle around the flickering candle of 1973, veering off on tangents such as saying the wrong thing at Dad funerals, Leeds United-hating, hearing about death while watching people shagging on a podium, accepting an award for a Pop star and not bothering to give it to them, and what Noel Edmonds’ super-power would be. Oh, and two words: Bummerdog Update.

As always, there’s loads of swearing, but it’s all done in the best paahsable taste.
 

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Chart Music #24: July 31th 1986 – Toneh Adleh Aht Ter Spandaah Balleh

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The latest episode of the podcast which asks: no, really – how do you soil a bra?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, sees us getting our hands down the back of the sofa on another random episode of Top Of The Pops – but as it’s 1986 – a year we haven’t done yet – we’re half-expecting to touch a maggot-infested rat, or an open pot of hair gel with all mould on it. We needn’t have worried, though, this particular episode has real-life Indie bands that you only see in the music papers in it, and they’ve actually let an actual woman co-present the show, a mere 21 years after it first started. The downside being that she’s stuck with Mike Read, looking like the third member of Black Lace.

Musicwise, it’s the usual mid-80s bag of cat’s arseholes. As Morrissey pointed out at the time, you weren’t allowed on Top Of The Pops unless you were black, a fact borne out by there being no less than five non-Caucasian appearances – Doris out of Five Star, Stedman out of Five Star, and the other three people who were in Five Star. Spandau Ballet make their comeback. Paul McCartney gets in people’s way on the Bakerloo Line. Stan Ridgeway has a flashback with a storeroom dummy. Chris de Burgh shits out what could be the worst No.1 of the decade. And Morrissey starts becoming a proper bell-end.

Al NeedhamSarah Bee and Taylor Parkes come together for a long, hard stare at the summer of ’86, veering off to discuss the buttons that do nothing on the Tube, Melchester Rovers’ turbulent 1985/86 season, how difficult it is to carve someone’s name on a bullet, and the proper way of reacting to someone asking you why you’re so fucking crap. We swear. A lot.

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Chart Music #23: October 6th 1977 – Soul Rail Replacement Service

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The latest edition of the podcast which asks: so how do you actually soil a bra, then?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, takes us back, back, back to the autumn of ’77, and it’s a proper Lucky Bag of Randomness – just how we like it. The wake for Elvis is still dragging on, Punk is everywhere (apart from on Top Of The Pops, or in the charts), and Noel Edmonds is very keen to tell you that he’s the Lion King of Radio One and he has two hours of telly on Saturday mornings, in his Hepworths suit, like a bell-end.

Musicwise, it’s a proper continental dog’s breakfast. La Belle Epoque has a go at this Disco lark, Baccara pitch up for a bit of an undulating swoon, Danny Mirror indulges in a bit of Deadly Spanking, and Giorgio Moroder and Legs and Co pitch us into 1988. But fear not, there’s plenty of Brit-stodge in the shape of Smokie and the Steve Gibbons Band, while The Emotions and Deniece Williams spell out the difference between our telly and theirs: the former whoop it up on Soul Train, while the latter gets bludgeoned by the piss-headed jobsworths of the BBC Orchestra. And The Stranglers get their fingers burned. And there’s a girl in a massive Jubilee bonnet.

Neil Kulkarni and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham ‘neath the fraying red, white and blue bunting for a rummage round the back end of 1977, gleefully pinging off on vital tangents such as Bummerdog’s Reign of Terror on the streets and playgrounds of Top Valley, Spanish Prog bands recording Sex Pistols LPs without knowing what the fuck Johnny Rotten is going on about, praying to God that your dad wasn’t roaring like a Jesse in the pub over Elvis, the eternal Tiswas v Swap Shop debate, being the pub-related go-between for Hutch and Huggy Bear, the return of the Kulkarni Sandwich Test, and some moderately sizeable news for our Patreon subscribers. And lots of lovely, lovely swearing.

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