Pick of the Pops (16.1.81)

Yarborough and Peoples - Don't Stop the Music: Calvin Yarborough affects a Stevie Wonder vocal for the duo's only hit. Pedestrian but classy. 7/10

Racey - Runaround Sue: like a shit Rocky Sharpe and the Replays. Now doing cover versions. 0/10

Stevie Wonder - I Ain't Gonna Stand For it: the second single from the splendid Hotter Than July album. I once heard some bloke start singing 'Lately' (unaccompanied, and apropos of nothing) on the New York subway - it was genuinely one of the musical highlights of my life. IAGSFI? Pedestrian but classy (2). 7/10

The Nolans - Who's Gonna Rock You Now?: there's the germ of a good song here (albeit a Sheena Easton 'good song' , but it's spoiled by the terrible lead vocal. It's easy to get all cosily nostalgic about the Noles, but they were crap. 3/10

The Look - I Am The Beat: I'm pretty sure they won a Battle of the Bands-type competition and earned a record contract. Mere words would not be able to convey their/this record's quotidian awfulness. 0/10

Status Quo - Lies: these f***ers seem to be on here every week. I keep thinking of the HeebeeGeebees' 'Boring Song' every time I hear them. Terrible. 0/10

Queen: Flash: "Freddie/John/Roger/Brian: I love you but you only have fourteen seconds to sign this Sun City contract!" Currently being used to flog washing powder. Who'd have thought it of such an ethical band? 2/10 (Two points for the plaintive "Just a man with a man's courage" line.)

The Police: De-Do-Do (etc):  The Police's 'gobbledoogook classic' according to Partridge. I'm not sure if the r-word has any place in entertainment - particularly cheap and nasty pop songs like this. 0/10

Chas and Dave - Rabbit: abysmal sexist rubbish. The sort of thing that Dave Lee Travis could endorse and play (on the hour, every hour). "You've got more rabbit than Sainsbury's" (that legendary purveyor of all things rabbit). F*** off. 0/10

The Beat - Too Nice to Talk To: Minor Beat admittedly, but a good song from a great band. A pity they didn't have a song called 'I Am The Look'. 7/10

John Lennon - Starting Over: not exactly Premier League Lennon, but just a lovely, undemanding pop song. 7/10

The Specials - Do Nothing: a double A side with the anti-Thatcher 'Maggie's Farm (guess which song 'Red' Gambaccini played?), Do Nothing is just brilliant, and should have been released in December for the Christmas number one spot. 10/10

John Lennon/The Plastic Ono Band (many others) : 'Happy Christmas (War is Over': it sounds better 'in season' : (obviously), and its impact is dulled with over-familiarity, but ace nevertheless. 9/10

Adam and the Ants - Ant Music: what a great pop star! Much as I liked the Dirk Wears White Socks Adam, the Kings of the Wild Frontier incarnation was best. A great album (which was dismissed by critics at the time), and this is an OK, if somewhat silly pop song. 7/10

John Lennon - Imagine: the last time we were in Paris, a pleasantly drunken Frenchman tried out his English on me while I was trying to savour the ten Euro pint I'd just purchased. I insisted that he spoke French - just to get rid of him - but it didn't work, and after a number of "parlez lentements", I found out he was France's unofficial number one Beatles' fan. 'Merde', I thought (in fluent French). I made the mistake of telling him that my children had all attended George's and John's old schools.
He started crying.
I made my excuses and we found a Happy Hour pub a few streets away, determined to holiday in Finland - where nobody ever talks to you.
Anyway, 'Imagine': what a f***ing dirge. 3/10

Gambaccini: 0/10 (just BECAUSE)
Programme as a whole: 5/10
Worst Record: that Sting and Co effort.
Best Record: The Specials (click on pic for song) 

And never forget, kids: don't get upset.

It's only pop music!