Pick of the Pops 16 (17.4.79)

Last week's programme (1981) was replaced as part of the BBC's astonishing, sick-making, blanket fawning over Prince Philip's demise; on the plus side, it saved me having to listen to a truly hideous chart - on the minus side, Gambaccini's always interesting programme was replaced by six hours of Steve Wright. Yes, SIX HOURS! Of Steve f***ing Wright!

They've cancelled today' s programme again so that the one minute's silence for the Royal racist is properly observed (don't know what they expected Gambaccini to do), so it's iPlayer time.

Wings - Don't Say Goodnight Tonight: a surprisingly good (if repetitive) single from 'only the band The Beatles could have been'. 7/10

Neil Diamond - Forever in Blue Jeans:
"Money talks,
But it can't sing and dance -

F**k off. 0/10

Chic - I Want Your Love: effortless, classy and great. Music with swagger and style. 8/10

Kate Bush - Wow: I'm in the minority in liking 'Lionheart' best of all Katie's albums. 'Wow' is a bit 'drama school', and much has been made of the 'hitting the Vaseline' line, but the idea that it's in some way homophobic is laughable (check out 'Kashka from Baghdad' on the same album). Of more interest is the fact that
'Wow' is one of two singles this week that name checks 'The Sweeney', and - even better - it was m'chum Jim Martin who pointed out the final pulsing synth rips off the spinning wheel sound from Tom O'Connor's legendary 'Name That Tune' gameshow from the same year. 7/10

Pop Muzik - M: just a brilliant single that refuses to age. 9/10

Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing: it took me decades to avoid being physically sick when I heard this song. It's still horrible of course, but years of aversion therapy have helped me to be able to be in the same room as 'Sultans', albeit with me crouched in the corner and trembling like a recovering heroin addict. 3/10

Kandidate - I Don't Wanna Lose You: Liverpool's Radio City had a nightly show called 'The Peaceful Hour' in which the lovelorn and STD-ridden youth of the area would send in hopeful requests for their unrequited 'loves'. 'I Don' t Wanna Lose You' was one of its flagship songs. Lovely. 8/10

Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive: I have a ridiculous number of Gloria Gaynor albums. She's ace. (Unlike many of those albums, unfortunately.) Paul Weller nicked the intro of IWS for 'Beat Surrender'. One of those songs that's lost its impact due to its ubiquity, but a great,important 'Number One' record. 8/10

Village People - In the Navy: if you're really keen to hear a homophobic single from this year, check out Billy Connolly's desperate 'In the Brownies' 'pastiche' from 'this year'. ITN is nowhere near as good as YMCA (what could be?) but it's a jolly, genuinely subversive single, nevertheless. 7/10

Sister Sledge - He's the Greatest Dancer: I've written at length about Sister Sledge for James Gent's superb We Are Cult website. It's an OK record, but by no means my favourite. 6/10

Milk and Honey: Hallelujah: this year's Euro winner, and a song with more truck driver's gear changes than a truck driver with many, many gears at his/her disposal. 3/10

The Jacksons- Shake Your Body Down: a splendid pop song. 7/10

Racey - Some Girls:
"Some girls will, some girls won't;
Some girls need a lot of loving
And some girls don't."

(See Neil Diamond comment.) 0/10

Squeeze - Cool for Cats: I still have my pink vinyl copy of this record. Not sure why I bought it. The Stupidity of Youth, I suppose. The second song to mention 'The Sweeney' this week. Chris Difford's autobiography 'Some Fantastic Place' is (for the most part) tremendous, but 'Cool for Cats' is horrible and riddled with sexist language (that's never been acknowledged), which is only matched in its vileness by 'It's So Dirty', the b-side of their follow-up single 'Up the Junction'. Apart from their singles, I've not heard much of Squeeze. I hope these two songs were aberrations - due to the Stupidity of Youth. 3/10

Art Garfunkel - Bright Eyes: so many ex-football hooligans I've spoken to over the years have talked about out how much they enjoy the 1978 animated version of Watership Down - particularly the General Woundwort/'Big Dog' fight at the end. I can't say I can listen to Art's mournful song for any length of time, but I really like some of the metaphysical qualities of the lyrics (from legendary metaphysical poet Mike Batt) - particularly its languid ruminations on the inevitability of death. 7/10

Gambaccini: The Jam and The Pistols were in the charts. He didn't play them. 5/10
Programme as a whole: some bangers (as 6 Music presenters are contractually obliged to say every other sentence) this week. 8/10
Best Song: Pop Muzik
Worst: Diamond; Racey

Et souvenez: c'est juste 'pop musik'!

Right: I'm off to the pub now - for the first time in five months.

Huzzah! 😎