Sunday, 12 February 2012

12th February

1970: From one of those German clip shows that seems to hoard clips from otherwise wiped shows, Bobbie Gentry and her showy eyelashes apparently within a hot air balloon in the week three versions of Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head were in the top 50 at once. Why do they start clapping so early?

1976: Lesley Judd had been in the famed Young Generation dance troupe and before that part of the troupe on Dickie Valentine's 1966 series alongside Flick, Babs and Dee Dee, so once she became a Blue Peter presenter the call for a special appearance was but a matter of time. She got to solo on Manuel And The Music Of The Mountains, the elaborate pseudonym for celebrated television in-house band leader Geoff Love, which with its Spanish theme lent itself to, erm, Russian dresses. One of Guys 'n' Dolls has archived and uploaded some of that band's rarities, so we have You Don't Have To Say You Love Me at funereal pace With Noel going on about his ulcers. That one with the guitar thinks he's something special.

1981: And still the rockabilly non-rebels kept coming. What was Coast To Coast's secret? The maniac zeal and layered quiff of the lead singer? The chokers and spray-on legwarmers of the girls? Do you suspect the latter drew lots as to which started on the double bass? Quite a mental leap from there to Gillan going heavy on the metal pensive soloing with windmills, portentous we're-all-doomed lyrical content and headbands, but that's the glory of Top Of The Pops.

1987: "Very 1987 - Pepsi & Shirlie!" Can't fault Mayo for accuracy. Hair bows, puffball skirts, all that's missing is that Clothes Show Pet Shop Boys instrumental.

1999: Comes to something when you're getting famous people to record video messages telling you why the big hit you're about to see is worth your while. Even then Will Smith's appearance to introduce former co-star Tatyana Ali is completely, blithely ignored by the women (we think that year's UK Eurovision entrants Precious) standing around the set we're watching this through, so why should we care? Even so it's still a bit of the video with him that gets the audience interested.

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