Pick of the Pops 14 (27.3.77)

Earth Wind and Fire - Saturday Nite: EWF's first hit in the UK. Superb. 8/10

Barbara Dickson - Another Suitcase in Another Musical: Evita was my first 'proper' musical - OK song, great voice, extremely dodgy ideology (the whole shebang). 5/10

Smokie - Lay Back in the Arms of Someone You Love: there's not an Eastern European city we've visited where there hasn't been some evidence of the popularity of Smokie and Chris Norman. Allegedly a huge favourite of Brezhnev, Yeltsin and Putin (Smokie have played the Kremlin). Bizarre. 5/10

Cliff Richard - My Kinda Life: As terrible an Americanised vocal as anything done by Elton ("That's bin mah kandah larff!") Shite. Do one, Cliff! 1/10

ELO - Rock Aria: Mary Thomas provides the operatic vocal for a strangely not-getting--on-my-tits-after-five-seconds ELO single. Still awful, mind. (Especially the list of classical composers and what they 'do'.) 4/10

Billy Ocean - Red Light Spells Danger: Billy's musical crimes largely took place in the 80s; RLSD presaged many of them. 2/10

Maxine Nightingale - Love Hit Me: Northern Soul melds with seventies disco. Decent. 7/10

Brotherhood of Man - Oh Boy: their best song. Not saying much, admittedly, but the closest they ever got to being their Swedish heroes. 6/10

Heatwave - Boogie Nights: tremendous, and written by Grimsby's own disco genius Rod Temperton. 9/10

Berni Flint - I Don't Want to a Hold On You: double negative (in the main lyric) notwithstanding, a rather lovely and underrated hit from Southport's greatest-ever former milkman and Opportunity Knocks winner. 8/10

Boney M - Sunny: not a huge fan of Boney M (named after Dorothy's emaciated auntie), but this is OK. 5/10

Elvis Presley - Moody Blue: his last hit before his death in August. Not his best, but it's Elvis. Extra point awarded out of respect for Frank W. 7/10

David Bowie - Sound and Vision: on many days 'Low' is my favourite album. Considered a disappointment to many when it first came out ("When's he going to start singing? I didn't pay 45p for effing MUSIC!"), Sound and Vision is just fabulous. I have two Mary Hopkin albums based on how much I love this song. 10/10

Showaddywaddy - When: I f**king hate this bunch of scruffs. 0/10

Manhattan Transfer - Chanson d'Amour: I saw them in the mid-eighties. They were ace! 7/10

David Soul - Going in With My Eyes Open: yet another fabulous David in the charts. He's practically family these days. 7/10

Abba - Knowing Me, Knowing You: such a pity that Benny and Bjorn licensed this to Partridge as it pretty much destroyed (yet another) very dark song by its acquired comedy signifiers.
It also reminds me of my dad driving me down to London for my first Wembley Cup final (Toffees v Villa). Fabulous pop music. 9/10

Programme as a whole: 9/10
Best song: Sound and Vision
Worst: the shit Teddy boys.

And don't get upset if I've 'dissed' your favourite pop stars - you shouldn't really be liking Cliff or Elton, anyway.