Pick of the Pops 68 (18.56.79)

Thin Lizzy - Do Anything You Want to Do

Kettle drum-tastic! 'Gambo' eschews The Clash, The Ruts and other more challenging high climbers in favour of the more familiar (but not unwelcome) sounds of Thin Lizzy. 5/10

Coming soon: Gary Numan.

Lene Lovich - Say When

I always thought she was really beautiful. I know one shouldn't form opinions on personal appearance, but...

Say When? A lovely little slice of synthpop. 7/10

Dollar - Who Were You With in The Moonlight?

Gobshitercini decided to spoil the intro with some choice unfunny, snarky remarks - AND SPOILED THE FUCKING RECORD.
I like Dollar and wrote at length about them for We Are Cult a while back.
DVD will always be a prick, mind. 7/10

The excellent We Are Cult website.

John Williams - Theme from The Deerhunter.

Older readers will remember Cavatina being used as the theme music for The Gallery in Vision On - where it should have stayed.
Kinnell - I have aged ten years listening to this. Its one saving grace is that it'snot The Shadows version, or worse still, Iris Williams' ghastly effort. 0/10
Gerry Rafferty - Night Owl
Ace. 9/10
Edwin Starr - H.A.P.P.Y. Radio
I'm not someone who generally 'goes up' to celebrities, but I once saw Edwin Starr sitting alone and nursing a pint in the unlikely setting of The Stag and Rainbow pub in Berry Street, Liverpool. It being the early 90s, I had no phone internet recourse for photographic proof, but when I went up to the bar, I ventured a "Hi, Edwin!" to the solitary drinker.
He looked up from his pint, beamed a massive smile, and said: " Hi yourself, young man. Good to see you!"
"WHO was that?" asked my drinking partner when I brought the beers and snacks back.
"Edwin Starr," I replied.
"Oh," he said, and probably complained about the crisps or something.
Just like Gordie spotting the early morning deer in Stand By Me, I should have kept my own counsel. 8/10

"Fuck me - that's Edwin Starr! What's he doing in The Stag and Rainbow*?"

*Or whatever the ever name-changing pub was called in the early 90s, Liverpool pub-pedants.

ELO - Shine a Little Love

I'm enjoying this week's programme, so it's a generous 4/10 for the Farm Foods Fab Four.
Sister Sledge - We Are Family
Splendid stuff - and covered previously (at least once) here. Check out my Sister Sledge box set review for We Are Cult if you have a few moments to spare.
McFadden and Whitehead - Ain't No Stopping Us Now
I can only hear the terrible TOTP orchestra (and backing singers The Ladybirds) trying to recreate the lush Philly sound of this once excellent - but hideously-scarred-by-TV-advert-use - record. 6/10
Squeeze - Up The Junction
I can never quite figure out if thus is ace or shite, or, indeed, if Chris Difford's more 'problematic' lyrics are arch/ironic or just plain awful (rhyming 'telly' with 'smelly' doesn't help.
Suffice to say:
"The Devil came and took me
From bar, to street to bookie"
is one of the finest, most succinct examples of of lyric writing in British chart history. 8/10
Earth Wind and Fire/The Emotions - Boogie Wonderland
It's not my favourite EWF song, but if anyone postulated their theory that it's their best, I wouldn't disagree. A fabulous record made even better by the vocal stylings of The Emotions. 10/10
Blondie - Sunday Girl
I always thought this was one of Blondie's minor efforts ("Is she going to release every fucking track as a single?" says a wracked with envy Siouxsie Sue to a shocked Radio One teatime audience), but I've grown to love it in my dotage. 8/10
Roxy Music - Dance Away
Received wisdom is that Roxy Mark 2 were nowhere near as good as RMM1 (and there's much to back up this assertion), but f-me, I love this record and in 43 years, I've never tired of hearing it.
Superb. 10/10
Tubeway Army - Are Friends Electric?
The brilliant BBC4 doc Synth Britannia clearly demonstrated the devastating effect that Gary Numan's number one hit had on his synthpop rivals. There was a definite sense of "The Bastard!"  but also you could sense the grudging admiration from those thinking "Oh, well - you can't argue with that."
A stunning, game-changing single.
And never forget: "It's Gary Numan, Dad!"*

*Which I'll no doubt be performing alongside these very wonderful poets at the Old Bank Ale House on Thursday June 30th.

#shameless plugs

Anita Ward - Ring My Bell

Homophonic sexual practices puns apart, this is an OK piece of soul/disco, but a strangely disappointing number one in a chart jam-packed with ace songs. 6/10
Not played: The Skids - Masquerade; Sparks - The Number One Song in Heaven; The Shadows - Theme From The Deeerhunter (thank fuck); Quantum Jump - The Lone Ranger (one very naughty word sentences bad record to death).
Gambaccini: 0/10
Programme as a Whole: 9/10. Ace. (Mostly.)
Best: EWF (but it 'got the link' last year; 'Dance Away' has also 'been done', so it's step forward Gary Webb!
Worst: nothing hateful this week.
Click on the pic to hear the song...