Thursday, 5 January 2012

5th January

1978: Eddie and the Hot Rods seemed an awkward fit in 1976 with their supercharged pub rock, but by 1978 they seemed like hangers-on to the coach and horses the interim year had driven through British music. Quit This Town saw them attempt to reconcile punk attitude with feather cut, big scarf headband and fringed jacket. As usual the first show of the year saw plenty of Pops debutants, so welcome Tonight, whose Drummer Man features little in the way of drumming as lead but is another of the late 70s' habitual attempts to make power-pop a proper thing. Peter's keen to mention where they're from, isn't he?

1984: The special twentieth anniversary show starts with a piece of inadvertent TOTP history itself, a pre-ban Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Relax just number 35 at the time (it was banned by the BBC within the week) and a fascinating choice as the first Pops performance of 1984. Clearly there was plenty of special attention paid to backstage refreshments, as it's this show where Status Quo's Rick Parfitt does his job on the drumkit. Quite a conclusive one too, kit, man, stool and all off the riser in one go, only a lone cymbal left standing. Jim Lea stood in for the departed Alan Lancaster on bass and his own Slade did a roaring trade in plastic scarves. Completely out of place with both time and occasion, a cut down version of the highly odd Christmas Countdown by Frank Kelly. Yes, that Frank Kelly. Feck, arse, that would be an ecumenical matter etc. As for special materials, they all came as clip montages - the 60s, co-introduced by Alan Freeman, and 70s up to date, beginning with Peel's tribute to the recently deceased Alexis Korner. Additionally, a Rhythm Pal'd up Video Top Ten.

1989: Nothing quite as odd half a decade later, but Inner City's Good Life is granted duelling keytars and some frantic arm-waving.

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