1972: Apparently this is a rehearsal recording rather than from the live show of the Pan's People The O'Jays routine, which would explain why this bit of a wiped show has survived, the two blokes standing at the back right at the start and the general air of everyone concentrating on following each other and not quite up to tight speed on the routine. The 70s curtains for skirts are however from the finished article.
1978: Something seems very out of time while also in fashion terms entirely on cliche point seeing Lindisfarne this late in the day. The bassist flew in from 1900s Paris especially. Rose Royce's classic demanded a special method of shooting as an intro, but who'd have foreseen that wrapping the inside of a toilet roll with kitchen foil would work. Rare to see Chris Rea at the piano, rarer to see a man quite as underused as the man furthest stage right when he's not playing clarinet. Meanwhile someone at the front ignores everything in favour of frenzied waving. No time for that sort of thing among the mighty frugging to The Ramones. Now, we always talk about literalism in Flick Colby routines, but for Frankie Valli's Grease theme she's outdone herself on two simultaneous levels. Sadly Patti died of exposure to harmful chemicals three days later. (No she didn't.)
1995: Things you can't quite get your head around: someone - well, Chris Cowey in all likelihood - decided what TOTP and by extension family viewing really needed as a guide to the pop world was Steve Lamacq. Alright, Cast drummer, enough of the whole Keith Moonisms. If, like Shirley Manson of Garbage, you're not going to suit a feather boa at least make other use of it. And it's 1982 returning as TLC do their own medley, except with a consistent disco beat so not as good.
2001: Faithless build the largest percussion rig known to man while the BBC remind us who the song is named after. In a particularly luridly coloured top Ian Brown does that marching on the spot thing he always does even though they've cleared loads of space for him. Kylie Minogue fills the space with dancers making creative use of filters, the bits where they're not all working together being best as they look like nobody ever bothered to choreograph them.