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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