“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.
This was a hit in 1971 but I only have a very vague recollection of it. There is something a bit “cult leader” about the lead singer, as if he’s preaching in front of his brainwashed followers. But I do like this, it straddles the thin line between sublime and ridiculous where a lot of great pop music lives.
In this clip you also get Ed “Stewpot” Stewart wearing an eyepatch. There used to be some bizarre stuff in the charts and TOTP could be quite weird as a result. Often marvelously so.
It might be sacrilege to say it but I’ve always preferred this version to Bill Withers’ original. Partly because it’s the first one I knew, but I also love its more expansive treatment of the song. That Jackson kid was a hell of a singer, too. Whatever happened to him?