Chart Music #69: December 27th 1974 – The Ramadan #1 Of 1974

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; have any of Team Chart Music done a streak?

It’s late January, but the inflatable Jimmy Savile-as-Santa is still hanging off the roof of the Chart Music house and the wreath that looks like DLT still hangs on the door as we prepare to tuck into another end-of-year splurge of Pop, as our favourite Thursday evening pop treat gets shunted to a Friday teatime and another Selection Box of the hits of the year gets ripped into.

‘Tis the arse-end of 1974, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and a definitely end-of-era feel hangs over this episode. Glam is in its last knockings, the teenybop icons are starting to fade, the brickies in Eyeliner are just brickies now, Mock n’ Roll is in the ascendancy, the Pop Famine of 1975/6 is beckoning, and although there’s much to love here, this could well be the very last episode of the Golden Age of Top Of The Pops. Noel Edmonds and Dave Lee Travis are on hand to take us through the smash hits of the year that weren’t introduced by Tony Blackburn and Jinglenonce OBE on Xmas Day, and are fucking unbearable.

Musicwise, like all end-of-year shows, it’s your typical running-away-from-a-crocodile episode. The Rubettes pitch up for a victory lap with a flashing bow tie. John Denver goes on about his missus again, before he takes a chainsaw to their bed. Alvin displays the most amazing standwork ever on TOTP if you discount Brian Connolly breaking one over his knee, before George McCrae attempts to introduce the TOTP Orchestra to Disco as he stands over a leftover turkey carcass. Stephanie De Sykes represents the Kings Oak Massive, and then Sparks completely go off. The Glitter Band do a Nazi love gesture at Bad King Gary as he performs his great lost Number One. Sylvia tells a load of underaged Osmonds fans about how she got her end away in Spain this summer. Queen set down a marker for their dominance of the next few years. Ray Stevens fails to get his cock out. After Suzi Quatro says goodbye to the massive bluescreen, the most perfect #1 single EVER is desecrated by the TOTPO. Terry Jacks reminds us that he’s still dying, and we close with the Blokes Of Pop taking over and claiming dominance of the year, while Travis plays a Christmas Tree. So long, Early Seventies, you were MINT and SKILL and we’ll never see your like again.

Taylor Parkes and Rock Expert David Stubbs join Al Needham for a celebration of all things ’74, veering off on such tangents as blind West Ham left-backs, Noele Gordon’s musical career, five year-olds demanding to be let into sex shops, the era-defining genius of Yus My Dear, disturbing scenes at Wombles gigs, a re-imagining of Do They Know It’s Christmas written by Chinnichap, and the introduction of the parlour game that’s going to sweep the dinner parties of 2023 – Pantomime Horse. HAPPY NEW SWEARING, POP-CREAZED YOUNGSTERS… 

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Noel Edmonds, Dave Lee Travis, The Rubettes, John Denver, Alvin Stardust, George McCrae

Part Three: Stephanie De Sykes, Sparks, Gary Glitter, Sylvia, Queen

Part Four: Ray Stevens, Suzi Quatro, Carl Douglas, Terry Jacks, Mud

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Chart Music #68: May 1st 1980 – The Ken Of The Eighventies

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; have any of Chart Music ever had to deal with a Hard Lovin’ Woman?

As listeners to the World’s Greatest Podcast About Middle-Aged Hacks Banging On About Old Episodes Of Top Of The Pops, you’ll be fully aware of the general consensus on Nineteen Eighty, Pop-Crazed Youngsters; that it was the trough between the stratospheric peaks of ’79 and ’81. But in this episode, the case for the defence is comprehensively laid out, and if you’re here for the coat-downs, you’re going to be disappointed, because this episode is a bit SKILL.

We’re on the cusp of the Great Pop Famine of 1980 – which cost us six issues of NME and MM each and nine portions of our Favourite Thursday Evening Fizzy Pop Treat – and into the final month of the reign of Robin Nash. But although he’s on his way out, he’s already attempted to drag the show into the Aydeez by raiding the petty cash till for a new set – including a gun tower – and giving a debut cap to the Vicar of Rock himself, a 39 year-old Tommy Vance, who immediately puts himself about and makes a good account of himself, with one or two exceptions.

Musicwise,it’s a broad and diverse spread of 1980 fare. Leon Haywood gives the youth some timely advice about pegging. New Musik finally get their moment on Chart Music. There’s a chance to see American Pipou on Soul Train. The Chords represent the Mod Revival by disguising themselves as Generation X, before we’re hit by a megablast of Dadisfaction broadcast live from Bodie and Doyle’s living room. Then it’s a one-two-three punch of RRRROCKK from Whitesnake, Saxon and Motörhead, interrupted by Errol Brown’s mashed potato-mountain of a single, an obligatory dollop of the Nolans, another chance for us to drool over the Beat, Kate Bush being a clingfilm foetus, and a thrilling Number One where the Kids get hit in the face with a holdall, which they deserve for being so sullen and bovine.

Simon Price and Neil Kulkarni join Al Needham for a rampage through the middle of the Eighventies, and the tangents come thick and fast, including the correct way to modify a Harrington, the Nagasaki Hellblaster, Skinhead Discos, which living room accoutrements would make the best weapons against a home invasion of Street Punks, how Sham 69 got their name, tales of Machete Max, was Lemmy the Father Seamus Fitzpatrick of Metal, and the introduction of The BPT. SWEARING!

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Tommy Vance, Leon Haywood, New Musik, Narada Michael Walden, The Chords, Rodney Franklin

Part Three: Whitesnake, Jimmy Ruffin, Saxon, Hot Chocolate, Motörhead

Part Four: The Nolans, The Beat, Kate Bush, Dexys Midnight Runners, Johnny Logan

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Chart Music #67½: May 17th 1977 – The Nationwide Jubilee Song Contest

In the last episode of Chart Music, we broke down Nationwide’s Jubilee Fair – an astonishing melange of forelock-tuggery, Trad Jazz and moaning that things were better when we had an empire and National Service, which offered its viewers both an opportunity to revel in the past and a chance to experience what it was going to be like in the entertainment room of a care home in the future. But we stopped short of mentioning one thing: the ending, where the winner of the Nationwide Jubilee Song Contest got the chance to reprise their tune. And we’ve seen the final – 15 and a bit minutes of musical astonishment.

So, let us take you back to the post-teatime haze of Thursday May 17th 1977, as the hundreds of musical tributes to the Queen have been whittled down to five, and a nation – or at least, the part of it who isn’t watching Crossroads – baits its breath for a Jubular soundclash of monumental proportions.

Eric Smallshaw of Eccles gets the party started with a sultry Lancastro-Cuban call to Rhumbic Bacchanalia. The youth of Hucklow First School, Sheffield, praise the Queen with balalaikas for her ability to get on a massive boat and go around the world. Richard Gwyn and Cameo let an entire Principality down with their ‘rocking’ music. The Farringdon Infants School of Sunderland produce an indecipherable dirge of xylophone-bonging and recorder-blaring. And the Singing Butcher and the Coventry Kids shout their fealty to the Monarchy in a way that only 70s youths and a ginger meat-man can. But who will win? Only Richard Stilgoe knows…

Team ATVLand – Neil Kulkarni, Taylor Parkes and Al Needham – sit down and tuck into one of the most gloriously mental slivers of British TV we’ve ever come across, breaking off to discuss Other People’s Children, the Hexham Heads, the difference between United and City fans, the Asian Jubilee Song Contest, and lifeboat crews rescuing a rugby ball in tribute to the Queen, or summat. SHIMMY AND SHAKE TO THE NUMBER, POP-CRAZED YOUNGSTERS!

See all acts – and the voting – HERE   

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Chart Music #67: June 9th 1977 – God Save Chart Music

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; are the Wurzels going to float in an eternal hellscape of bodily waste and toenails for singing about turning bulls gay?

This episode would have been perfect for the other month while Shakin’ Jubilee was occurring – but no matter, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, because we’re going right back to the apogee of the Silby Joobs, which no-one ever said in 1977 because people weren’t as rubbish as they are today. Flags! Bunting! Street parties! Massive patriotic Yorkshire puddings! Blatant chart-rigging! Your hosts are a) giving thousand-yard stares over some sausage rolls and praying that their father isn’t going to run off with a Characterful Dad in a dress and some balloons up their shirt, b) communing with nature with a Jubilee coin in their grubby paw and c) watching some Caledonian ultra-violence outside a pub and pretending to be asleep under a Union Jack listening to their Dad banging on about Elvis again, but they all unite on Thursday evening to witness Tony Blackburn – who has just invented Fathers 4 Justice – introduce a decidedly mixed bag of Pop treats.

Musicwise, it’s a veritable trifle of Pop, layered with West Midlands Safari Park Hi-Life, Ormskirk Americana, Southampton Funk, and a thick, satisfying custard of Black American Pop. Frankie Miller pulls a mic stand about. The Pips warm up for a night at the rollerdisco. The Stranglers piss about and stomp on someone’s fingers. Demis Roussos lies to us about an island. Neil Innes drags TOTP into 1982. Legs & Co have to make something up on the spot. Bob Marley celebrates Jubilee week by telling us that Britain is rammel and we should clear out as soon as possible. The Wurzels bring us another unflinching examination of rural life. And we get ‘treated’ to Little Rabbit Arse. But there’s an elephant in bondage trousers in the room, isn’t there?

Neil Kulkarni and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham for a gargantuan street party of critical analysis, with tangents ahoy – including a trawl through the Nationwide Jubilee Fair, 35 hours of Triangle, Demis Roussos’ £30,000 bed, Retirement Pop, the dark link between the Wurzels and the Radio 1 Roadshow, and cycling tips from Simon Bates’ massive floating head. If you’re a fan of the Monarchy, best skip the first hour – and yes, swearing a –plenty…

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Tony Blackburn, Osibisa, ELO, Berni Flint, Frankie Miller

Part Three: The Wurzels, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Neil Innes, The Stranglers, Demis Roussos, Honky

Part Four: The Jacksons, Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Sex Pistols, Rod Stewart, ELP

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Chart Music #66: March 15th 1990 – De La Stoke

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; has anyone ever lost their virginity while listening to a Jive Bunny record?

It’s the long-awaited return of Our Sarah and Taylor after their encounter with the Spiteful Armoured Bollock, Pop-Crazed Youngsters – and to welcome them back, Al allowed them to pick out an episode. Consequently, we’re heading deep into the heart of the Neighties. Your panel are a) being Arthur Seaton in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning without the sex, b) hovering over the pause button during the Top 40, and c) playing Human Frogger on the way to a Blue Boar, while the music scene is awash with flares! Pob faces! That dance where you look like you’re walking on a bouncy castle with a pint in each hand! Ridiculously misplaced optimism! And BLEDDEH DRUGS, of course!

Musicwise, crikey: we’re promised a Rock n’ Roll episode by Simon Mayo, who looks absolutely shagged out having been up since 5am, but the overriding theme tonight is British people finally coming to terms with dance music whilst plundering as much of the late Sixties as possible. Wayne Hussey warms up for his date with James Whale with some Pub Goth. New Kids On The Block do something pointless and futile with a basketball. Candy Flip – the Jedward of Madchester – cause the Kids to hysterically scream as if John Lennon had ripped himself from the grave and turned up at the studio to have it out with them. The B-52s have a better night out than you. Big Fun, Fish and Wet Wet Wet get about 20 seconds each. Bobby Omnishake prances like an absolute tit, everyone whoops at an Inspiral Carpets suicide anthem, Jive Bunny throws down some hardcore Dad-Hop, Quentin fancies Lindy I.D.S.T., and we get some actual House music at the end. For about 30 seconds.

Sarah Bee and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham for a clinically intensive rummage through the Spring of 1990, veering off on such tangents as a comprehensive drill-down into Mike Read’s Heritage Chart, what not to do when cleaning out a Fleshlight, the Stone Roses/New Kids war in the Smash Hits letters page, Showaddywaddy’s Bloods/Crips dilemma, how the Martians wisely self-isolated and wore masks for a couple of years, and some remarkably graphic sex talk. And swearing!

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Simon Mayo, The Mission, New Kids On The Block, Candy Flip

Part Three: The B-52’s, Big Fun, Fish, Wet Wet Wet, Primal Scream

Part Four: Inspiral Carpets, Jive Bunny, Beats International, 49ers

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Chart Music #65: July 8th 1982 – Dancey Reagan

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; if Steve Miller is in a consensual relationship, and keeps away from certain designated areas, and he’s not just doing it to show off in front of his mates, is it acceptable in today’s society to reach out and grab her?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, sees your panel – who are currently toting huge consignments of heroin around Leeds, swiftly climbing up the class system of Coventry and still getting over the terror of finding someone’s undergarments in a sex-grafitti’d public toilet in St Pancras station – on the horns of a dilemma; on one hand, a premium-strength episode of Yellow Hurll-era TOTP. On the other, a World Cup semi-final. The latter doesn’t kick off until we’re 30 minutes into this episode, but at what point do our heroes break and succumb to the boot-on-ball surrender? And will Al have to watch all of this on a black-and-white portable with a coat hanger for an ariel, or will his Dad slink off to the pub and let him watch it downstairs?

Musicwise, it’s a game of two halves, with two landmark events occurring and a blizzard of Huge Eighties Things being introduced to us for the first time ever. Imagination are at the top of their flouncy, slinky game. Bruno’s Dad lamps someone for ripping a speaker off his cab. Jeffrey Daniel reprises the Starman Moment of the Eighties and makes the Weetabix throw their Doc Martens in a skip. AC/DC get their cannons muffled. But just when you think this could be greatest TOTP episode ever, Jonathan King crashes in like Toni Schumacher on Patrick Battiston in order to curl off another dollop of rubbish American rammel  (although he introduces the UK to Mr T. And Deeleyboppers)

But then! Out of nowhere come the Good Germans – Trio – who produce one of the greatest TOTP performances ever, followed by Odyssey slamming home one of the greatest singles ever, and all is well. But oh dear, that ‘3’ button is about to take a hammering as Bananarama pitch up in big nappies, Bucks Fizz take time out from bombing the Ruhr to cheat on each other, Captain Sensible ducks out of the pub to pretend to be the bastard son Worzel Gummidge and Toyah, and some magicians do their underwhelming pieces to the Steve Miller Band. Everything astoundingly life-affirmingly right and groin-punchingly wrong about early-Eighties TOTP is here, and it gets picked over in the usual manner.

Rock Expert David Stubbs and Neil Kulkarni join Al Needham for a dance on the car roof of 1982, veering off on such tangents as being nestled against Mr C’s packet, the Line-dancing community of Birmingham, being at a loss about what to say to Jimi Hendrix, wondering what ‘Eagle Farm Today’ actually means, and Top Of The Pops getting Bobby Gee to fight some swans in a cage in a desperate attempt to keep watching BBC1. And all that lovely swearing, too!   

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Kid Jensen, Imagination, Irene Cara, Shalamar

Part Three: AC/DC, Jonathan King, Juice Newton, Survivor, John Cougar, The Human League, Trio

Part Four: Odyssey, Bananarama, Bucks Fizz, Captain Sensible, The Steve Miller Band

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Chart Music #64: April 26th 1984 – Metal Mickey Dropping His Guts

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; does playing Legend by Bob Marley constitute a hate crime?

Finally, Chart Music gets off its fat arse, gets on its bike and starts looking for a job, and it’s a particularly fraught one: rummaging through an episode from the arse-end of the Yellow Hurll era in an attempt to find anything nourishing and skill. It’s the other side of Easter ’84, and your panel are a) not bothering to revise for CSEs which are useless in Thatcher’s Britain, b) failing to understand the Greek alphabet and wondering why anyone in Coventry would need to learn it, and c) playing gigs in a Barry shopping centre and trying to make acoustic guitars sound like the Jesus and Mary Chain. The good news is that Top Of The Pops is still a beacon of Pop Nowness. The bad news: over a year ahead of schedule, the Dinosaurs of Pop have come lumbering back and Simon Bates – frighteningly – doesn’t look out of place in the studio for the first time ever. This, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, isyour Dad’s Top Of The Pops – a half-hour Radio 2 of the soul. 

Musicwise, oh dear; there’s only one teenager on stage in the entire episode. Morrissey shows how right-on and inclusive he is by letting Sandie Shaw borrow his band for a while. A cursed Mayan mask with the mouth of Phil Collins soundtracks some horrific morning dog-breathed snogging. Belle and the Devotions prepare to be booed at in Luxembourg. Island Records de-Rastacise Bob Marley by 110% and recreate the opening credits of Pigeon Street. Duran Duran make their long-awaited return to the UK and demonstrate that reports of their demise are premature. Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias practically come on to each other. Our Bands are represented by Echo and the Bunnymen. The Flying Pickets have one last warm against the brazier of the charts before the Massive Clay Head pulls us into its orbit.

Neil Kulkarni and Simon Price join Al Needham for a long, hard stare at 1984, whirling off into such tangents as having Xmas ruined by Ed Sheeran, the majesty of studded gauntlets, recreating images of Bob Marley with football mascots, getting punched in the stomach by Eurovision winners, Effing and Jeffing in an Osmonds’ house, now not to commence that vital gig in a Chilean prison, petals in beer at Cardiff Uni, and the proud parents of Alien Sex Fiend. GO FOR IT, Pop-Crazed Youngsters – and enjoy all that lovely swearing…

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Simon Bates, Janice Long, Sandie Shaw & The Smiths, Phil Collins

Part Three: Belle and the Devotions, Bob Marley, Duran Duran

Part Four: Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesias, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Flying Pickets, Lionel Richie, The Pointer Sisters

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Chart Music #63: December 28th 1972 – Thank God For Belgian World In Action

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; Singleton Noakes Purves and Judd, or Baxter Woollard and Rodd – who was the better Prog band?

Santa has come once more to Chart Music, Pop-Crazed Youngsters – but this year he’s decided not to curl one off into our stocking, and has dropped off what is indisputably the greatest episode of the Pops we’ve chanced upon thus far in our five-year odyssey, plucked from the very dawning of the Golden Age. No, it’s not a Xmas Day one – that year’s episode, featuring Jinglenonce OBE introducing Clair by Gilbert O’Sullivan, has been plunged into the memory hole – but as always it’s an opportunity for the show ponies of Our Brand New Favourite Year For Pop to have a trot-about, egged on by Tony Blackburn and his foul nemesis Edmonds.

Musicwise, GASP: a combination of old chancers and young upstarts team up to drag Pop away from the foul mung of the Sixventies, the Heads are chased off by unkempt youths in spangles, and the result is a glorious year for singles – and this episode of TOTP is a non-stop barrage of banger after banger after banger after banger. Mike Leander invents the DNA of Glam. Donny Osmond demonstrates why eleven year-old girls turn up at his hotel with sledgehammers. After some KID’S LIB INNIT, Hilda Woodward casts an eerie spell and enchants the Kids into the worst occurrence of Granny Claps ever seen on Top Of The Pops. Roberta Flack takes over on piano. THE PEOPLE’S BAND shake a silvery top hat. Benny Hill delivers last year’s Xmas #1. Chicory Tip whip the silver and gold-booted hooligans of Sheffield into a frenzy. Cherry Gillespie’s three-day ordeal in wrapping paper bondage mercifully comes to an end. Mary Whitehouse’s masturbatory nightmares are relived once more, with the assistance of Rolf Harris. Then it’s the three-punch knockout of Utah Valhalla, the Jackson 5 and the Blessed Marc before Ringo pitches up at the end.

Neil Kulkarni and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham for a celebration of Top Of The Pops at its most godlike, gleefully veering off on such tangents as famous pianos we have played on, schoolkids in London being forced to watch The Third Ear Band, Saddam Hussein’s choice of Christmas chocolate, why Americans are so rubbish when it comes to Christmas #1’s, Levi Stubbs fails to get a good night’s sleep, and a brief chat about some film that the Beatles are in. TUCK IN, POP-CRAZED YOUNGSTERS – and treat yourself to some lovely festive swearing…   

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Tony Blackburn, Noel Edmonds, Gary Glitter, Donny Osmond, Alice Cooper

Part Three: Lieutenant Pigeon, Roberta Flack, Slade, Benny Hill, Chicory Tip, Nilsson

Part Four: The Osmonds, Chuck Berry, T Rex, Ringo Starr

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Chart Music #62: November 3rd 1977 – WHOO! HEY!

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; if David picked potatoes on Jack Heap’s playing field for one hour, how many Fumanchews would he able to cram into his gaping maw?

Once again, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, Team Chart Music has returned to the safety of the late Seventies, and your panel is a) having their crayons thrown out of the window after an incident that could have been ripped from The Shining, b) being disappointed by Scalextric, and c) getting their arse tanned over an art installation on some concrete staircases. And all the time, the terror of Punk is looming, and no-one – particularly the canine population – is safe.

As it turns out, the only Punk-free zone at this time is the episode of The Pops we’re about to get stuck into. Like David’s Scalextric, the show – in Robin Nash’s safer-than-safe pair of hands – is running on rails by now. Unlike David’s Scalextric, everything fits together, and nothing is skidding off the table and smashing against the wall. This is Top Of The Pops in its purest form, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and we savour every mouthful of it for over six hours.

Musicwise, it’s a veritable bestiary of Pop Gargantua, with Xmas on the way, some huge LP drops this week, and the Monsters of the Hit Parade already starting to fight over your forthcoming record token. Paul Weller makes a doomed attempt to get the BBC to post his guitar to his girlfriend. The Carpenters say hello to some aliens. The Barron Knights dare to have a pop at The Old Sailor. Freddie Mercury pitches up dressed like a bottle of Sheridan’s. Legs & Co hit up a sari shop in Shepherds Bush for a game of Sexy Lady Croquet. Status Quo predate Abba with an avatar bassist. Actual David Bowie pitches up to the studio, but can’t be bothered to button up his cuffs. Showaddywaddy have a group huddle. And Abba get down to a proper session of Scandinavian Sorry. All brought to you by Peter Powell in his debut TOTP appearance, and he immediately hits the ground running, even if he has to be nudged by the gallery into putting himself about with the maidens of the studio.

David Stubbs and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham for an intense drill into ’77, veering off on such tangents as the Great Dog Collar Crimewave of Coventry, why trying to crush a tennis ball on the school playground in order to impress girls is a wrong ‘un, NASA convincing aliens that British people are big Medieval jessies, the ELO-Faust War, Dave Lee Travis annoying Brian May, a review of Dave Bartram’s 2005 travelogue of caravan parks, Bruce Foxton stroke fiction, and the GOLDEN FLEECE OF CHART MUSIC has been located. Oh, the swearing in this one…  

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Peter Powell, ELO, The Jam, The Carpenters

Part Three: The Barron Knights, Queen, Dorothy Moore, Status Quo

Part Four: David Bowie, Showaddywaddy, Abba, Smokie

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Chart Music #61: July 25th 2003 – The Arsethropocene

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; has Al ever been tossed off by a robot?

Yes, Pop-Crazed Youngsters; after putting it off for ages, it’s finally time for another rare excursion into The Most Rubbish Century We’ve Ever Lived Through. It’s 2003, and your panel is currently 1) Doing a Sex in the Daily Mirror, 2) Baiting David Blaine with a Whopper, and 3) getting their head together in Lancaster by burying their face into a load of dogs. Top Of The Pops, on the other hand, is faring less well; we are in the Poochie Era of TOTP.

Pulling down the kind of ratings that would have ill-befitted a repeat of Top Cat on a Tuesday afternoon in 1978, being absolutely kicked to buggery every Friday night by Gail Platt and Vera Duckworth, being stalked by CD:UK and Popworld, and being threatened with permanent exile to BBC3, it’s a grim, grim time for our fave weekly Pop treat.  But in this episode we finally get stuck into the tenure of Chris Cowey as Boss Of The Pops – an era which brought a shiny new studio, a spurning of videos and a modular, bolt-on, Ikea-like approach to scheduling which ensured that anyone who came remotely near the charts at the turn of the century has to pass through the TOTP studio.

Musicwise, it turns out that 2003 was possibly the last golden age of Pop, but this episode is a proper Lucky Bag of Randomness. Wayne Wonder is slight, and a bit rammel. Murderdolls have decided to employ a manky potato as their lead singer, who hairballs his way through White Wedding. D-Side get ambushed by the Mrs McClusky of reality shows. Super Furry Animals are dead good. Benny Benassi pitches up with some Oven Ready Women for some Ladisfaction. And Beyoncé crushes everything we’ve seen into dust with one mighty shake of her arse and the best single of this century. And possibly the next one.   

Sarah Bee and Simon Price join Al Needham for a through evisceration of 2003, veering off on such tangents as how to create half a johnny, people trying to be erotic with  lathes, the perils of running a club night in a venue owned by Sex Nazis, getting a love bite off The Strokes, James Brown’s opinions on fish supper accoutrements, Rock Star Death Fashion Shoots, and working with the Jimmy Savile Tweenie. Come for the discourse, stay for the swearing…

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Chris Cowie, Liz Bonnin, Fearne Cotton, Wayne Wonder, Murderdolls

Part Three: D-Side, The Star Bar, Fame Academy, Super Furry Animals

Part Four: Benny Benassi, The Coral, Beyoncé,

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