Whole Lotta Pop

If Sunday was the worst time for television, the best was probably Thursday night because that was when Top of The Pops was on. At 7:20pm the nation’s youth gathered excitedly in front of the set to watch their pop heroes while their parents made snarky comments about them like “Is that a boy or girl?” It was the one show we all watched and talked about at school the next morning.

If you’re roughly the same age as me this record will bring those nights back like a Proustian biscuit because it was the TOTP theme music from 1970 to 1977 and probably still the one most associated with the show.

CCS (short for Collective Consciousness Society — heavy, man) were a group of session musicians led by Alexis Korner and produced by Mickie Most. I’m probably not the only one who knew their instrumental version of “Whole Lotta Love” for years before I ever heard the original.

It may anger the Rock Gods to say it, but I prefer this to the Led Zeppelin version. Having a flute instead of Robert Plant’s tight-trousered moaning helps it be less of a thrusting Cock Rock record. With that riff it can’t help but sound sexy, but with the brass and Hammond organ it sounds more go-go groovy and designed for Pan’s People to shake their hips to while wearing silver hot pants.

Download: Whole Lotta Love – CCS (mp3)

To be young was very Heaven

This clip makes me so happy and I think everyone who reads this blog will get the same warm fuzzys from it. We can all feel the joy of these teens dancing so happily to a pop record, because that was us once upon a time.

Download: Lost In Music (1984 Bernard Edwards & Nile Rogers Remix) – Sister Sledge (mp3)

The TOTP audience was usually older and less “School Disco” than this lot, so I don’t know what’s going on here.

Something for the Weekend

When I first heard this on the radio I didn’t know who Electronic were and it took a minute for the penny to drop that it actually was Bernard Sumner and Neil Tennant singing and not some copycats.

This must be one of the few instances where a “supergroup” makes a record as good as the ones they did with their original bands.

PS: I fucking hated it when Top of The Pops got the audience to whoop it up to add more of a “live” atmosphere to the show. It sounded so bloody fake, the complete opposite of what they intended.

I See Dead People

Without wanting this blog to turn into LondonLee’s Book of The Dead I should mark the passing of Mott The Hoople drummer Dale Griffin. I posted this marvelous clip many years ago but it’s one of my all-time favourite Top of The Pops performances and well worth a replay.

As we all know Glenn Frey popped his clogs too. I know we’re supposed to hate The Eagles but they did have some good moments like this one. It sounds even better when you don’t have to look at them.

Something for the Weekend

This is like an erotic Laura Ashley catalogue.

Something for the Weekend

This was the first House record to make the charts in the UK but little did I know when I bought the 12″ back in 1986 that it would turn out to be as influential and game-changing as ‘Anarchy In The UK’. I knew it was a bloody great record though, with a beat and a vocal that leapt out of the speakers at you.

This performance by Darryl Pandy on Top of The Pops must have helped it make a splash too.

Something for the Weekend

I’m pretty sure 16-year-old me hated this in 1978, but in my old age I’ve developed a thing for that “clear as a village church bell” voice that a lot of female English folk singers have. Though I wish they wouldn’t all dress like a serving wench at a Renaissance Fair.

Something for the Weekend

“Peter Marinello has just been signed to Arsenal for the fantastic fee of £100,000!” Sadly Peter has fallen far from the glamour of giving out prizes to dolly birds on TOTP.

This clip is just great from start to finish. With the goofy charm of Tony Blackburn, the summery pop stylings of Edison Lighthouse, and the groovy dancing dollies during the credits, the TOTP studio looks like the happiest place on earth.

What’s it all about?

The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com





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