Chart Music #21: May 11th 1995 – Lisa’s Dad Is Well Brexit

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The latest episode of the podcast which asks: er, can you spare us a few quid so we don’t have to do these through shitty microphones any more? Please?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, couldn’t be more Nineties if it started off thinking England were a lock for the 1994 World Cup, and finished having a bit of a roar about Lady Di. We’re smack in the middle of 1995, two-thirds of the panel were hammering out dispatches from the very frontline of Cool Britannia (while the other third was locked in a glass box, rummaging through bin bags filled with pictures of fannies), and one of us was actually in attendance when this very episode was filmed, sitting around with mopey young musos and slipping away for a crafty pull on a jazz fag when Celine Dion comes on.

Yes, there are a couple of Britpop acts on this episode, but it’s a timely reminder that there was far more going on than that in ’95, and most of it thick with of the tang of Hip-Hop. Montell Jordan rocks that urban Bully out of Bullseye look, Jonathan King introduces his latest proteges The Black Eyed Mushy Peas, some band we’ve never heard of drops an unexpected N-Bomb, Manchester United play Run-DMC to Status Quo’s Aerosmith, and, er, Scatman John pitches up. And St Simon of Mayo emerges from the darkness every now and then like a Shakespearean ghost with some rib-tickling, cutting-edge ‘burns’ of the English Rugby Union and Bob Geldof’s marital woes.

Naturally, because it’s a Nineties episode, there’s a chunk of blather about working in the music press, but the inevitable tangents include the death of the NME, the floppy-headed rubbishness of David Seaman, being sneered at by Menswe@r’s roadie, an entire shopping centre being rammed out to see a radio presenter dressed up as a monk, Richard Desmond: Champion of Homosexual Media, and a plug or two for our new Patreon account. As always, there’s swearing, swearing and more swearing.

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Will Talk About Old Episodes Of Top Of The Pops For Money.

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ATTENTION, Pop-Crazed Youngsters: we now have a Patreon account, in an attempt to upgrade our equipment, force us into putting out episodes on a properly regular basis, and think about doing more things. All contributions welcome. More reward tiers to follow.

https://www.patreon.com/chartmusic

Chart Music #20: February 1st 1979 – Not My Favourite DJ Of All Times

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The latest episode of the podcast which asks: an emaciated John Lennon in a boxing match with the six months-dead Elvis Presley – who wins?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, is mental. Come with us as we set the Time Sofa all the way into the very heart of the Eighventies, to a Bizarro-world where people actually thought – yes, with their actual brains – that Mike Read was sort of cool. Yes, it’s the Chart Music debut of Mr Blue Tulip himself, which may be touched upon at some point in this episode, we can’t remember.

Musicwise, it’s all over the shop, but always in a gloriously entertaining manner. Vaguely Punkish bands lumber about on their last legs, a giant hairy Belgian testicle in a muumuu has to jump up to reach his congas, Mike Oldfield’s sister and her mates break out of a Victorian asylum and pretend to be Martha and the Vandellas, Nazareth still think it’s 1973, Billy Joel has a cup of piss balanced precariously on his mixing desk, and a Birmingham taxi driver has a dark secret to reveal. And Debbie Harry looks down upon us all with her frosty hauteur as Legs & Co have to share four costumes between them. Meanwhile, at a party in New York, Sid Vicious is deciding to have another helping of trifle laced with heroin. End Of An Era.

Al Needham joins Taylor Parkes and Simon Price around the industrial dispute brazier of early ’79, veering off to discuss such important matters as wringing every last drop of juice out of your fledgling record collection, asking the Iranian kids at school if they were in the Shah’s or the Ayatollah’s gang, your Dad seeing the Sex Pistols kicking off about a lack of cabbage at a motorway service station, and a disturbing early internet craze called ‘Top Of The Pops Club’. And all the swearing you’ll need to see you through the month.

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Chart Music #19: June 15th 1989 – Remember Double Trouble’s Shirts? They Were Really Stylish

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The latest episode of the podcast which asks: what’s the difference between a Cartoon Time and a Cartoon Club?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, sees the world’s No.1 authority on old episodes of a long-gone pop show casting its eyes and ears toward the summer of ’89 – but if you’re expecting to see some Acid House tomfoolery or a full-on Madchester takeover, you’re going to be massively disappointed: the only Acieeed references are on Sinitta’s ears, and the only Manc in attendance is, er, Simon Parkin, who’s been let out of the Broom Cupboard for his TOTP debut. And he looks like he’s shitting himself throughout.

Still, this episode is a definite sign that things are getting better, as long as you avoid looking at the appalling shirts that men chose to wear in that era: Brit-Hop pitches up in the shape of the Rebel MC. REM finally escape from Student Discoland into our hearts and charts. Fuzzbox get all saucy with a massive pin . And Stock Aitken and Waterman finally admit defeat with the worst No.1 of the year that didn’t involve a grown man in a rabbit costume.

Al Needham is joined by Sarah Bee and Neil Kulkarni for a ram of the critical arm up the cow’s arse of ’89, veering off to discuss being coated down by middle-aged Crusties, Mams who go into town wearing your favourite band t-shirts, suitable replacements for Africa pendants if you happen to be white and don’t want to get battered, being stared at by Cyndi Lauper, and the disgusting lack of train etiquette displayed by second division pop stars. And – of course – all the swearing you could possibly need.

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Chart Music #18: April 29th 1976 – Dave Lee Travis Stamping On A Human Face, Forever

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The latest episode of the podcast which asks: what, him out of Brotherhood Of Man with the ‘tache? How old? Fucking hell!

After an extended hiatus, the greatest podcast in the world about old episodes of Top Of The Pops roars back with its usual melange of incisive music criticism, flare-baiting, dodgy microphones and the language of the billiard hall. This episode, we’re on the cusp of The Great Drought, and Tony Blackburn is on hand, bearing the gormlessly smiley visage of a man who knows he’s going to be giving his next-door neighbour a seeing-to in a Kensington flat after the show is over.

Musicwise, this episode is pitted with British rubbishness, saved by the advent of Disco and the intervention of black America, who are repaid with comedy racism. Yes, Diana Ross and Gladys Knight drop two of the greatest tunes of the era, but we’re forced to listen to the Genuine Concerns of Paul Nicholas, an early appearance of Midge Ure trying to be James Dean, Racist Animal Disco, and the most hated lorry driver of the Seventies who wasn’t Peter Sutcliffe. Oh, and because it’s April 1976, you already know what the No.1 is. On the upside, we get two appearances by Pans People. On the downside, it’s because this is the week they are made redundant, marking the very end of TOTP’s Golden Age.

Taylor Parkes and Simon Price join Al Needham for a rummage through the skip of mid-70s Pop, breaking off to discuss if you can actually wring any kind of enjoyment out of 70s grot films, Monk Rock, the futility of CB radio, the lack of Birmingham accents in Pop, having your 8th birthday ruined by Manchester United, passing out in a lion suit, and some quality swearing.

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Chart Music #17: December 25th 1973 – The Old Songs Are The Best

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A moderately special episode of the podcast which asks: so what did Tony Orlando do to get banged up for three years, then?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, is a massively-flared, clompy-heeled, zebra-printed celebration of one of the greatest traditions of any British Christmas Day: the opportunity to force the rest of your extended family to sit through an end-of year episode of The Pops and revel in the torrent of tutting coming out of your Nana’s mouth as she works their way through the Quality Street. Fourteen chart-toppers from The Most Seventies Year Ever are trotted out, from a time when the Number One single was either astoundingly brilliant or absolute cat shit.

Your hosts – Tony Blackburn and Noel Edmonds – really get into the Christmas spirit by shoving tree branches up each other’s arses and donning massive Lenny Kravitz-style scarves of tinsel as wave after wave of alternate Glam nirvana and easy-listening rubbishness floods the screen. On the downside, Donny Osmond spends Christmas alone, David Cassidy has a big sulk around Kew Gardens and we discover that Santa is actually an obnoxious American child with big teeth, but Dave Hill mutates into a Chicken Angel! Roy Wood plays a vacuum cleaner! Steve Priest radges up the grandparents of Britain in a sexy Nazi Bismark rig-out as Andy Scott whips out his third leg! And some dog-flouncing-off action!

David Stubbs and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham for a gleeful ripping-down of the gaudy paper chains of 1973, veering off to discuss Jody Scheckter Racing, the infinite superiority of the Beano Book over the Dandy annual, grandparental fantasies about Roy Wood being made to peel potatoes, Opportunity Knocks winners who were massive racists, what breaks Donny Osmond’s heart, a flick through the Music Star Annual 1974, being sang at by an entire factory when you’ve had an over-long shit, and so much more, with swearing.

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Chart Music #16: December 22nd 1983 – Hold On, Here Comes Jism

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The latest edition of the podcast which asks: if the Thompson Twins made you a sandwich, would you want to eat it?

It’s Christmas Time, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, but there’s no need to be afraid – because we’re a full year away from any Band Aid rubbishness. It’s the last episode of The Pops before Xmas of 1983, and the studio is festooned with balloons and party hats, making it just like every other episode that year. And what a line-up (sneered at by John Peel and jollied along by Kid Jensen) it isn’t!

Musicwise, this is the mankiest Selection Box of teeth-loosening dessicated cat shit we’ve come across in a long while. Out go the Synth-mentalists of a few years ago, and in come in bare-footed, frizz-haired Serious Musicians. Terry and Arfur pop up to flog one of the crappiest Christmas songs ever, a Breakfast TV puppet with johnnies for ears defiles hip-hop, and Paul McCartney has a war with himself. On the plus side, Billy Joel goes back 20 years to leer at some girls having a pyjama party, Slade go back ten years and ignore a couple of Zoo Wankers, and Culture Club put a full orchestra in serious danger.  And the No.1 is properly right-on.

Neil Kulkarni and Simon Price join Al Needham for this one, and have a good stare through the window of late 1983 like Dickensian urchins, breaking off to discuss such important matters as sex education videos of the 80s, running into Mrs McCluskey in a charity shop, asking lead singers how to get to Wales while they’re nobbing someone up against a tour bus, and the curse of Sta-Prest Fanny. With all the swearing you could ever want.

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