Chart Music #57: October 11th 1973 – A Balloon Full Of Gravy

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: would you let your daughter marry this episode of Top Of The Pops?

It’s the first episode of the year, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, so the ever-forward-looking Chart Music throws itself all the way back to the glorious year of ’73, where the hair grows wild and free, Bacofoil androgyny is at its peak, Look-In can operate as a dating service and no-one bats an eyelid, and – to quote Karen, aged 12 from Formby, The Colour Brown Is All Around.

And yet! All is not well in Top Of The Popsland. They’ve just come off their 500th episode and suffered a double-shoeing from the so-called Mainstream Media for a) encouraging ten year-old girls to get pregnant and b) being full of rubbish songs where you can’t make out what they’re saying performed by men who look like women and God help us if there’s a war. So how do they react? By wringing the last droplets out of Kenny Everett before he defects to Capital Radio and bunging on something for the Old’Uns inbetween the good stuff.

Musicwise, it’s a proper bag of Tiger Tots, with a few cubes of Oxo bunged in. David Cassidy gets his straw boater on. Slade finally – and fatally – learn how to spell properly. Elton John arses about with some oranges on Hollywood and Vine. Pans People transmogrify into five sexy Steve Austins. There’s a lad off Opportunity Knocks who isn’t Neil Reid. Jeff Lynne goes all UberTravis. Leicester Man is unveiled to a bemused audience. And the Top Of The Pops Orchestra earn some beer money on the side.

Simon Price and Neil Kulkarni – Jesus and Buzz themselves – get down to ’73 with Al Needham, breaking off on such tangents as fending off Brexity Oasis Bots, listening in silent awe to the sound of a soul legend’s toilet activities, Concerned Parent of Exeter, the art of making tapes for girls, and the glorious resurfacing of a 27 year-old demo tape about Eastenders. Swearing a-plenty!       

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Kenny Everett, David Cassidy, ELO, Elton John

Part Three: Michael Ward, Status Quo, The Detroit Spinners, Engelbert Humperdinck

Part Four: Slade, Limmie & Family Cookin’, The Simon Park Orchestra, Ike & Tina Turner

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