Pick of the Pops 78 (24.9.80)

Black SabbathParanoid

Finished with my woman cos she…

Fuck knows and fuck cares. The return of some horrible sounding sexist shite some eleven years after it first stained the charts. You should know the score by now: male singer addresses/refers to a female as woman - record goes in bin.


ShalamarI Owe You One

Shalamar still exploring the rich seam of financial metaphors they mined in the rather splendid Take That to the Bank the year before. I love Shalamar – even their minor efforts like this. 7/10

David BowieAshes to Ashes

"This recent number one is turning to ashes. David Bowie…from seven….to fifteen…Ashes…to…Ashes."

Gambaccini’s on the form of his life. How on earth does he come up with genius word play like this, week after effing week?

Always remember kids: it's your licence fee.

Anyway, is this David Bowie's greatest single? Greatest track? Many songs have had the power to 'stop me in my tracks', but my goodness, after the best run of albums by any pop artist ever, he precedes the last decent one (for a while) with this astonishing single.

Brilliant. Always will be. 10/10

Billy Joel- It's Still Rock and Roll to Me

"What's the matter with the…"

Can I just stop you there, Billy?



Diana Ross - My Old Piano

From the Chic-produced Diana album. Not as good as its predecessor Upside Down - and lyrically a bit dumbass - but a splendid, joyous record, nevertheless.


Dreaming - Cliff Richard

It's odd the way that the serotonin levels change in my brain. I can't say I was paying much attention whilst Cliff's pretendy heterosexual ballad was on, but my subconscious decided that Dreaming wasn't worth kicking off over.

It's still shite, mind (Cliff's song, not my subconscious mind), but I'm assuming it was a sunny day when I was listening to this part of the programme. 2/10


Hazel O'Connor - Eighth Day

Like all of the late seventies/early eighties synthpop cognoscenti, I was very sniffy about this record when it came out.

Fast forward to my old age and it sounds ace, and - some ill thought out lyrics* apart - a great bubblegum/rock/synth record. 8/10

*"Let's make some germs - and poison the worms." Indeed.

Ottawan - DISCO 

I'd love to be able to look back on this with nostalgic fondness and say that the righteous indignation fires of my youth had been extinguished, but I can't. The young people who bought this record voted Brexit and enabled the 80 seat Tory/Nazi majority. 

The rivers and seas of MY beautiful British Isles are full of human excrement and spent prophylactics because 

She is D - delirious

She is I - incredible

She is S - super sexy

Ad nauseam.

The Triumph of the Cretins had to have started somewhere.

It started here. 0/10

Sheena Easton - Modern Girl

Terrible. 0/10

Kelly Marie - It Feels Like I'm in Love

Even worse. 0/10

Stevie Wonder - Masterblaster

Tremendous, but I covered this one last year. 8/10

Elvis Presley - It's Only Love

The King. Boss. 8/10

Randy Crawford - One Day I'll Fly Away

In the way that every shit 'comedian' generally has one gag that disarms you, every shit impressionist has one decent impression that makes you think: "That's quite good, that"; so in the way that Bobby 'Any Scousers in the room? Can I have my hubcaps back? Seeing as it's 2022 and I'm still paging and MySpacing about Hubcaps' Davro did a splendid (but silent) Brian Tilsley, so Gary Wilmot's pièce de résistance was his 'Randy Crawford'. Wilmot went on to appear in numerous prestigious West End musicals whereas (I would imagine) 'Dav' is cracking gags about 'Scousers' and 'Giro's' and even more hubcaps whilst touring old folks' homes and trying to make himself heard over the sounds of crashing bedpans and old people's farts.


Queen - Another One Bites the Dust

Jeremy Clarkson funk. Horrible. 0/10

The Police - Don't Stand So Close To Me

Creepier than a gross of cloned Michael Goves, Sting's Yew Tree-lite smash doesn't get anywhere near the opprobrium it deserves. 0/10


Gambaccini: 2/10*

Programme as a Whole: 5/10

Best - Ashes

Worst - Ottawan

*Force of circumstance has prevented me updating POTP lately. As much as I ridicule 'Gambo', his replacements (most notably Gary 'fucking' Davies) are infinitely worse. Looking on the Radio Two website, it looks like Steve 'fucking' Wright will be presenting two special albums-based shows over the next two weeks. I sincerely hope this isn't the BBC slowly insinuating him into a full time POTP hosting spot. If that's the case, I'll have to discover some other way of boring you.

There's no way I could sit through an hour (or possibly two hours) of that repulsive black hole of shiteness without destroying a large proportion of my own house.