Pick of the Pops 39 (2.10.78)

I'm not sure why a person can like one year better than another. Nostalgia - the ache for the past - is patently ridiculous and indicative of a mind and spirit that have given up, gone soft or simply don't shine as brightly as they once did. I Iook back fondly on 78 in a way that 85 and 86 automatically leave me cold. I often convince myself it's because the charts of the late seventies were much healthier than those of the mid to late eighties.

Judging from this week's pile of crap, my theorem seems to lack heft.

Status Quo - Again and Again.
Indeed. 0/10

Third World - Now That We've Found Love.
My goodness, what a dreary, ball-aching record. 2/10

ELO - Sweet Talkin' Woman
Jeff Lynne has a certain ear for melody, but if I'm correct he sings:

"You gotta slow down (slow down), sweet talkin' woman (slow down)
You got me runnin' (run run)
You got me searchin'" 

- which, on any scale of aesthetic value, is truly, truly terrible. Admittedly, he's apostrophised all of his present continuous usage - to make his song more 'street' in the face of the fierce punk onslaught going on around him - but good punctuation doesn't necessarily make great pop music. The fact that he's providing his own background vocals in a band with about three hundred members tells you all you need to know of the man's vanity and control freakery. 1/10

Crystal Gayle - Talking in Your Sleep
A song that clocks in at three minutes and thirty four seconds and yet lasts for four or five hours. A bloody awful record, but breaking the space/time continuum is no mean feat. 0/10

Leo Sayer - I Can't Stop Loving You
What's worse than that stab-in-the-back, useless, vision-free, cornish pasty with a turd on top excuse for a Labour Party leader Keir Starmer?
Keir Starmer writing for The Sun.
What a c*nt.
Even by Leo Sayer's dismal standards, ICSLY is joyless, tedious dirge.
His only saving grace this week is that he's not Keir fucking Starmer 0/10

David Essex - Oh What a Circus
Gambaccini proudly boasts that this crappy musical offcut (with its swindle-the-kids warmed-up tune) was his Record of the Week in October 1978. Yes, in the same week that the Banshees released their debut single, 'Gambo' chose this dreadfully stale offering as the record that floated his particular boat. It's worth listening to the clumsy and quotidian lyrics from Sir Tim Rice (if you want a masterclass in how not to do it) as it will give you an indication of what affords a knighthood in this appallingly corrupt nation of ours. (See also Sir Jeffrey Archer, Sir Michael Parkinson and - of course - Sir Keir fucking Starmer.) 1/10

Exile - Kiss You All Over
I'm rapidly losing the will to live.
And to think: I was looking forward to this week's POTP.
A horrible, horrible record. 0/10

Boney M - Rasputin
In the manner in which 70s theme nights and bars have Stalinised the decade into a fairly codified world of fancy dress and the same thirty or so songs,  it's easy to forget just how EMBARRASSING Boney M actually were to anyone who didn't join want to join in with Frank Farian's vision of what constituted 'fun'. As I said the other week, Gotta Go Home is a good record, but otherwise Boney M's idiot Euro disco was about as 'fun' as impacted haemorrhoids and created a genre all of its own: dickhead music. 0/10

Sylvester - You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) 
At last - a good record! No "Is he or isn't he?" with Sylvester James Jr. Just out and out gay and proud. Mighty Real makes everything else sound mighty shitey this week. 9/10

Dean Friedman - Lucky Stars
Oh well, that lasted long, didn't it?
It's easy to knock Dean Friedman because he's a sort of a metonym for awfulness, and this drippy song doesn't help. I'm not sure why he didn't credit fellow vocalist Denise Marsa for her contribution (more vanity, I guess), and as for the line:

"She walks around as if -
She's always stumbling off cliffs",

- what the fuck is that supposed to mean?
Could you imagine your immediate reaction to stumbling off a cliff - arms out and flailing; legs desperately trying to reach imaginary solidity; death screams; immediate soilage?
Next! 0/10

Abba - Summer Night City
Although it was (easily) Top 10, this was seen as a failure for Abba after their run of number one records. It's OK, but even their staunchest fans would see SNC as (relatively) minor 'Abba', and - for once - Joe Public got it right. 7/10

10cc - Dreadlock Holiday
Joe Public deemed this worthy of getting to number one. It just goes to show what they know. Terrible and borderline racist.

Frankie Valli - Grease
I still haven't seen the film all the way through yet. Mind you, it's only been 43 years. This is alright as  quite a languid introduction to the film, and a decent enough accompaniment to the poor quality animations of the titles. 5/10

Rose Royce - Love Don't Live Here Any More
A good song, only partially blighted by the ghastly versions of Jimmy Nail and Paul Weller. 7/10

Olivia Newton-John/John Travolta - Summer Nights
Some rude lyrical ambiguity helps to pep up this rather splendid musical number (it CAN be done, Messrs Rice and Lloyd-Webber), and only partally spoiled by the (terrible) last fifteen seconds. 7/10

Gambaccini - 0/10
Programme as a whole - Grim. 2/10
Best Record - Sylvester
Worst: Starmer

Click on the link to hear the song: