15th April 1976
BBC Four transmission: 14th April 2011, 19:30
Full chart details
Full chart details
Overseeing proceedings this week is the Hairy Monster himself, Dave Lee Travis ("DLT"), best known for looking a bit like a minor member of the Electric Light Orchestra ("ELO") thanks to his impressively full beard ("IFB"). Still four Beatles songs in the top thirty with Hey Jude still climbing and now outselling Yesterday, but there's no sign of the Fabs this week as the BBC ("BBC") has decided to start editing the 40-minute episodes down to a tidy half hour, which means we also miss out on The Three Degrees and Silver Convention. Meanwhile, after four weeks in the top thirty, still nobody knows what Hank Mizell looks like. Or is he just too ugly for prime time TV?
Fox - "S-S-S-Single Bed" (#18)
Now that the single's in the top twenty, Fox have smartened themselves up for their second performance of the song. The bassist is no longer dressed like a maths teacher, while Noosha (not her real name) has taken the "'70s Goldfrapp" comments to heart and ditched the hot pants in favour of a far more demure black dress. Still unconfirmed at this point is Ben Goldacre's assertion on Twitter that Noosha (not her real name) is in fact his mother. They certainly have the same hair.
The Stylistics - "Can't Help Falling In Love"
Amazingly this was about to become The Stylistics' thirteenth top forty hit in under four years, a run which included top five smashes such as You Make Me Feel Brand New, Sing Baby Sing and the number one hit I Can't Give You Anything (But My Love). This song had been a chart topper for Elvis Presley in 1962 (from Blue Hawaii, one of his less objectionable films) and would top the charts again for UB40 in 1993, annoyingly retitled (I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You. For some reason this performance sees one of the Stylistics sitting on a stool, apparently awaiting his chance to come on as a substitute should one of the other four members injure himself due to a particularly energetic finger snap.
Diana Ross - "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" (#7)
Showing solidarity with the fifth Stylistic, DLT also plonks himself on a stool to introduce Miss Ross, who is still too important to grace us with her presence, but instead of the holiday video we saw two weeks ago, this week Pan's People have been drafted in to interpret the song in their own imitable way. Flick Colby's Literal Choregoraphy™ sees the girls wandering aimlessly in some kind of polystyrene maze - they don't know where they're going to, d'you see? - while Cherry twirls around in front of a tree - Cherry, tree, wood, mahogany, d'you see? Flick doesn't just throw this stuff together. "I know where I'm going to after the show," announces DLT in his best Cosmo Smallpiece voice. We don't want to know, D.
Brass Construction - "Movin'" (#23)
When Travis promises us "the sound of Brass Construction" you may be forgiven for expecting some mid-80s Depeche Mode, but in fact he's talking about the funk band from Brooklyn, NY, formed back in 1968. This was their first UK hit, short on lyrics but high on multi-coloured spangly suits and general funk. Number 23 was the highest this single, and indeed this band, would ever reach; their second biggest hit was a 1988 remix of the same song which peaked one place lower.
Sailor - "Girls, Girls, Girls" (#9)
Hello again Sailor, with what ladies' man DLT describes as "a list of my twelve very favourite things." Surprisingly this list does not include beards, pipe smoking or darts on the radio, but mainly girls. This performance of the song seems to have been recorded at the same time as the previous one, with the Siamese piano still very much in evidence.
Isaac Hayes Movement - "Disco Connection" (#17)
"Well, what's better than one helping of Pan's People?" asks the hirsute one. "Two helpings of Pan's People!" he reveals, not at all predictably. This time we find them gyrating to the musical stylings of Isaac Hayes, the soul legend who had reached the top five with Theme From Shaft in 1971 and would eventually top the charts - as the voice of South Park's Chef - with Chocolate Salty Balls in 1998. Sadly Isaac's velvety smooth vocals are not in evidence here, as the song is a nondescript instrumental. With no lyrics on which to base her Literal Choreography™, Flick Colby has clearly latched onto the phrase "disco connection" and made her girls dance in front of a backdrop of circles resembling the input sockets on the back of an amplifier. Disco connection. D'you see? Don't worry, they'll be gone soon.
Smokie - "Wild Wild Angels"
To anyone under the age of thirty, Smokie are probably only known for Living Next Door To Alice, their 1977 hit which was "updated" with the "help" of "comedian" Roy "Chubby" Brown in 1995, but more of that in January. The Bradford band had already been together in form or another for over a decade before their first hit If You Think You Know How To Love Me in 1975. After a couple of hits as Smokey, the band changed the spelling of their name following disgruntled noises from the direction of Smokey Robinson's lawyers. Altogether the band had eleven top twenty hits in the latter half of the '70s, but this wasn't one of them. Worth it for the drummer though, who appears to be 75% hair, like The Muppet Show's Animal on downers.
Eric Carmen - "All By Myself" (#26)
It's South Park frenzy on the show tonight - we've already had Chef and now here's Cartman. Ah no, hang on., it's just the fella Noel Edmonds was talking to last week. Formerly of power pop band The Raspberries, Carmen finally gets to sing his song and guess what? It's an overwrought self-pitying ballad based on Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. You may play your "This Is Why Punk Happened" card here.
Brotherhood Of Man - "Save Your Kisses For Me" (#1)
Here's Hairy Dave again, flanked by two young ladies plucked kicking and screaming from the audience to plant a kiss on each hairy cheek as he introduces the 'Hood, still riding high on their Eurovision success. This week we're treating to a promo film which shows the group walking around some unspecified ornamental garden, looking at flowers, gazing meaningfully into each others' eyes, standing by a puddle and pretending to have two Abba-style relationships going on within the group. The overall impression of a low-budget Abba isn't helped by the extreme close-up of The Blonde One whose forced grin clearly reveals a missing tooth. The final shot of the film suggests that, as well as flowers, peacocks and a large puddle, the 'Hood have come to stare and point at a little girl who appears to be one of the attraction's main exhibits. Even DLT isn't impressed. "Aw, innit lovely?" he sneers.
Rodger Collins - "You Sexy Sugar Plum (But I Like It)" (#30)
Finally, half a minute of funk from American one hit wonder Collins, who opened for Elvis Presley in Las Vegas for a time, before he gave up performing and turned to Islam. Rodger Collins, not Elvis Presley.