1973: Some fondly remembered Pan's People, Ike & Tina Turner, not involving church houses, gin houses, schoolhouses or outhouses but a foreshortened team doing lots of shaking in colourful sports bras and full length skirts.
1974: Before the clip's rediscovery twenty-nine years after the fact the stories regarding Robert Wyatt's appearance had become legendary, and not just because he seems to still have his duvet on. Wyatt was told by the producer (presumably Robin Nash) his wheelchair was unsuitable for family viewing ("it was genuinely the first time I had realised since the accident that I might be considered unsightly"), which led to his reputedly suggesting the whole band take the stage in similar chairs (some accounts still state this happened despite evidence), and then according to some accounts the BBC received a record number of complaints that stood until James Dean Bradfield got his balaclava on. Spot Pink Floyd's Nick Mason on drums and future Police-man (then of Curved Air) Andy Summers on bass.
1979: Why so hesitant, Mike Read? The Starjets' singer may be sporting a Ramones T-shirt but they're not getting more than three audience members worked up. That's more than Madness managed, and to cap it someone glued all but Suggs' feet to the floor. The Jags were into pointing and looking directly into camera wherever it went. We were still just getting to know Annie Lennox as leader of The Tourists, wielding some sort of cross ornament with never fulfilled malice. Electric Light Orchestra had the Legs & Co franchise in a routine based on... scaffolding? A badly constructed apartment complex?
1984: Audiences had loosened up considerably within five years and a change of producer, luckily. Bronski Beat surround Jimmy Somerville as he mimes the "kiss his lips" lyric as much as he can given thin air to work with. Sister Sledge are "wearing those skirts", apparently, though they don't appear to be anything special. Maybe they are in Steve's head, as well as the compulsion to wear a silly hat introducing Nik Kershaw. Snood and braces, a perfect combination. 'Bacofoil Captain Scarlet' was not Adam Ant's most successful costume theme.
1990: Someone jumps off a balcony as Twenty 4 Seven start. Good choice. Rarely will you see an outfit who don't so much as bother with looking like making music or engaging with the bulk of the record.
1996: As Tony Mortimer, not it's fair to say the most charismatic of televisual presences, eventually spits out before throwing to Belinda Carlisle it's the 1700th TOTP, the first, says Tony, being when he was "a very eager swimmer, and most of our fans weren't even born yet". Mortimer was born in 1970, so none of that really makes sense. Sheryl Crow wisely keeps her distance and most of herself hidden behind a big furry coat, but Phil Collins is there in the sort of yellow polo shirt he'd usually save for the hotel bar.