Chart Music #54: May 25th 1978 – Nineteen Seventy Gibb

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: would you go to see Panties at Canning Town Bridge House?

Unbelievably, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, this appears to be only the second time we’ve chanced across 1978 – which is a shameful way for a podcast about Top Of The Pops to act, because this year is rammed with cultural behemoths dominating the landscape, with the musk of all the things that Chart Music cherishes hanging thick in the air. We’re right on on the perineum ‘twixt Saturday Night Fever and Grease, Tony Blackburn has just slid into his Tony Manero outfit, and your panel are a) becoming massively disillusioned by school dinners, b) fancying Carol Chell, and c) drawing a picture of Hitler in a Mexico strip and getting ready to ice down his groin with some peas a week from now.

Musicwise, practically everything good – and bad – about ’78 is here. The Real Thing help Legs & Co recreate one of the scenes in The Stud that didn’t involve grubby pre-Eighventies Percy Filth. Jimmy Pursey says hello to Mum again. Yvonne Elliman and Tavares  keep the SNF end up. Legs & Co – on their second shift – look as if they’ve been caught short or have had a serious wardrobe malfunction. Debbie Harry’s face splits like a spaceship door. Heatwave take jumper technology to the next level. ITV Quisling Cilla has a go at Disco. James Galway makes his first appearance since being run over by a motorbike in Switzerland. Ian Dury becomes the nation’s favourite Hard Bastard Uncle. The Scotland World Cup Squad have to sing around a disembodied cardboard cut-out of Rod Stewart. And the UK’s seventh biggest-selling single ever is Number One.

Team ATVLand – Taylor Parkes and Neil Kulkarni – help Al Needham fill out the wallchart of late May 1978, veering off on such tangents as the thought of Dave Bartram of Showaddywaddy giving Joan Collins one in a lift, a forensic examination of the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest, urban myths about Melody Maker editors being whipped by chains, an inter-Journo fight over who liked Dexys Midnight Runners more, and – finally – the recasting of Prisoner: Cell Block H that the Pop-Crazed Youngsters have been crying out for. OVER SIX HOURS, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and rest assured that a considerable amount of that involves both Effing and Geoffing…

Part 1: Preamble

Part 2: Tony Blackburn, Yvonne Elliman, The Real Thing, Blondie, Heatwave

Part 3: Izhar Cohen & AlphaBeta, James Galway, Thin Lizzy, Tavares, Black Sabbath

Part 4: John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Cilla Black, Sham 69, Boney M, Rod Stewart & the Scotland World Cup Squad

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