Pick of the Pops 56 (March 12th 1977)

There were only two 1977s in last year's POTP, so I'm at a loss as to why they've gone for this near repeat of last year's March edition.

I've covered a number of these songs (at length) before, so bear with me if you're still in mourning about my failure to appreciate the hidden depths of Showaddywaddy's When.


The Real Thing - You'll Never Know What You're Missing

One of the RT's lesser known hits and written by brothers and band members Chris and Eddie Amoo. The most underrated of all Liverpool groups.Tremendous. 8/10


Showaddywaddy - When?

Why? is a more pertinent question. 0/10


Racing Cars- They Shoot Horses Don't They?

A ponderous but frequently lovely pop song taking its title from the ponderous but frequently lovely Jane Fonda/Michael Sarrazin/Gig Young 1969 dance marathon film and late night Talking Pictures classic of the same name.7/10


ELO - Rock Aria

The Matalan Moptops mix rock and opera to less than thrilling effect. 

Fucking dreadful.  0/10


The Rubettes - Baby I Know

A deceptively simple and rather poignant song about the heartbreak of discovered infidelity. A pity that the go-to thought regarding the Rubettes is the image of those giant white Goodies Ecky-Thump flat caps. File under 'intellectual associative bathos'. 

Good song. 7/10


Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes - Don't Leave Me This Way

Good song - extra mark awarded for NOT being The Communards' wedding reception cretins' rabble-rouser. 7/10


Bryan Ferry - This is Tomorrow

I bet Manzanera, McKay and that Geordie drummer really f***ing hated 'Bry' when he went off on his solo jaunts.

A superb single. 8/10


ITV's big hope for the Spring season, Rich Man Poor Man Book Two

Julie Covington - Don't Cry For Me Argentina

Did this last year (see opening sentence disclaimer).

One of the many tropes of right wing publisher DC Thompson's /Tory 'know your fucking' place' newspaper The Sunday Post's The Broons comic strip was one of the family mis-overhearing some gossip about Grandpa Broon's adventures, so when they heard that Grandpa was 'going to Argentina' (during the 78 World Cup year) the family rushed round to Grandpa's house - only to discover the silly old fucker was actually going to see his old friends 'Arch and Tina'. It's quite a good gag now I come to think of it, but not as good as the Viz homage/parody where the (Mc)Broons family overhear that Grandpa "is having a fight":

Amyway  - the unbelievably beautiful voice of Julie Covington meets an ideologically dodgy as fuck song to (occasionally) startling effect. 6/10


Abba - Knowing Me, Knowing You 

Covered this one at great length last year. 


And RIP Gordon Lee. (See POTP 14) 9/10

David Bowie - Sound and Vision

Covered this last year. It's the reason why I have two Mary Hopkin vinyl albums. 

"There's none so daft as a Bowie vinyl completist. Bayyyyybehhh!" (Paul Shane, Pebble Mill at One, October 7th 1981.) 10/10

Mr Big  - Romeo

A band name invoking (possibly) the worst line in 'Friends', it took me ages before I realised that "Step back inside me, Romeo" was rude. Even at young age, I thought the line was figurative rather than, er, penetrative.

The "take me to your bed" rejoinder should have been a clue.

But as I say every week: I'm right naïve, me. 4/10


Mary McGregor - Torn Between Two Lovers

Unbelievably tedious, along with disingenuous lyrics of the highest order:

"There's this empty space inside of me that only he can fill." (No shit, Sherlock)

and seemingly going on forever.

It's what psychologists call 'having your cake/two sausages' (if that's your bag) and eating it/them.

'Lovers', indeed.

Terrible. 0/10


"There's a' heatwave' at number three," says the Dorothy Parker-like Gambaccini as he leads into


Heatwave - Boogie Nights

Did this one as well last year. Ace. 8/10


Leo Sayer - When I Need You

Anagram Time!

Offal of ye, sucker? (4,3,3,5) 0/10


Manhattan Transfer - Chanson d'Amour

When I was in some posh university town, my posh girlfriend insisted we to go see 'ManTran' in concert, claiming that I'd be pleasantly surprised.

Normally, I can't be coaxed to watch/enjoy any culture not chosen by myself, but I was young and 'in love' (see Mary McGregor) and thus compromised my somewhat spartan/spartacist ideals.

MT weren't for me, but I couldn't fault their evident vocal talents and their impeccable close harmonies. The only downside was that everyone in attendance was the epitome of middle-class, entitled wankyness, and I was getting in a nark waiting for their big hitters ('Chanson', 'Walk in Love' and 'You're Shit and You Know You Are') and clocking the badly-dressed, appallingly coiffed c**ts around me. Anyway, the longevity of the 'romance' was not to be (she was a Manhattan Transfer fan for a start) and pretty much ended on the spot when I called her father both a 'non-entity' and a "smug, talentless, Home Counties prick" when he said "I didn't know Scousers could be clever" on an ill-advised, far-too-early, "You MUST meet mummy and daddy" trip to a country pub.

I think the smug, talentless  Home Counties prick" was trying to compliment me in a back/cack handed sort of way, but prejudice is prejudice, so fuck him.

Next week: not one, not two, but THREE straighteners after the Barbara Dickson gig.



Gambaccini: his verbal segues are truly the stuff of genius. 1/10

Programme as a whole: 7/10

Best song: David

Worst: the shit teds/McGregor

Average song score: 5.2666