Chart Music #13: November 16th 1978 – The Demon Prince of the Third Division

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The thirteenth go-around of the podcast which asks: Showaddywaddy? Again? Really?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, finally sees the good ship Chart Music sail way past the three-hour exclusion zone – but it can’t be helped, because the episode of Thursday Evening Pop Valhalla we dissect here is a classic.

Some of the big guns of the Seventies are pulled out, but are immediately bricked by snotty New Wave oiks in charity shop clothes, the foul spell of Revolting and Neutron-Bomb is banished forever, and Kid Jensen looks on from his Fortress of Solitude in approval and then asks some girls if they think he’s sexy. And they say ‘No’.

Musicwise, everything you’d expect from ’78 that isn’t caked in Grease is here. Freddie Mercury points out that he likes big butts and he cannot lie, Child pitch up in Brian Tilsley haircuts, Elton John looks like a droog suffering a mid-life crisis as Cathy McGowan sits at his feet, Elvis Costello calls Tony Blackburn a ‘silly man’ while pretending to take drugs, Debbie Harry stares at us unnervingly over a carrier bag, Heatwave drop an era-defining wedding song while dressed up as Turkish waiters, and the Boomtown Rats bring the Ted-Punk wars of the Kings Road into every playground in the country. And there’s Toast.

Al Needham is joined by Neil Kulkarni and Taylor Parkes for a rigorous examination of a classic episode of The Pops, veering off on tangents which include worrying about your Dad being got at by Peter Sutcliffe, cardboard cut-outs of Roy Race, the time when the BBC made you put stickers on your radio, and a discussion on Dean Friedman’s seduction technique that went on a lot longer than it really needed to. Swearing a-plenty!

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Chart Music #4: April 12th 1979 – The Rabbity Angel of Death

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The fourth episode of the podcast which asks: what the fuck is a ‘Baby’s Treat’?

This episode takes us back to the absolute cusp of the Eighties, a mere three weeks away before Margaret Thatcher starts wiping her arse on the country delivers strong and stable leadership. No synthy palaver or 2-Tonery in the charts just yet ? it’s a lucky bag of randomness consisting of Punk bands at the end of their tether, Disco behemoths, and Ted revivalists clinging on for dear life. And Peter Powell is ridiculously excited by all of it, but especially the brass in Supertramp’s The Logical Song.

Highlights of this episode include Kate Bush having her arse removed by the BBC, Legs & Co channelling the spirit of Punk by sticking their tongues out, Racey having a Gail Tilsley lookalike as their lead singer, Jimmy Pursey skidding on his arse and influencing Indian wedding videos of the 1980s, and Art Garfunkel’s Kurt Cobain Gun Fingers.

Al Needham is joined by Melody Maker scribes Simon Price and Neil Kulkarni for a severe going-over of the Sound of ’79, breaking off to reminisce about listening to the new Top 40 in the bushes of a private school, being tormented by older sisters who can do Kate Bush’s eye-bulge trick, and keeping away from local youths in double-denim trying to smash park benches in time to the drum bits in Hey Rock n’ Roll.

(Warning: we were severely bum-rushed by the Skype goblins during the recording of this one, so the edit might be a bit shonky and heavy-manners)

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Follow us on Facebook here. Link up with us on Twitter here. Subscribe to us on iTunes here.