22nd April 1976
BBC Four transmission: 21st April 2011, 19:30
Full chart details
Full chart details
Ignoring the old maxim "Never turn your back on the audience" is former TV continuity announcer turned DJ David Hamilton, resplendent in freebie Radio 1 sweatshirt. Only two Beatles singles in the top thirty this week, but good news! Hank MIzell has turned up safe and well, with photographic evidence of his existence. Less good news is that the BBC scissors have been out again, leaving Keith Emerson, the Sutherland Brothers & Quiver and Pan's People on the cutting room floor. We start, however, with...
Jimmy James & The Vagabonds - "I'll Go Where Your Music Takes Me" (#42)
Not the original Vagabonds, who broke up in 1970, but a selection of the fifteen people who have passed through the ranks of the group since James reformed the band in 1973. James gives a convincingly energetic performance but his backing group has the appearance of having been supplied by the BBC after the real band got lost somewhere en route. This was the second of three hits for JJ and his Vs, the first of which had been a version of Red Red Wine all of eight years previously.
John Miles - "Music" (#3)
When Pulp won the Mercury Music Prize for their Different Class album in 1996, Jarvis Cocker's acceptance speech went thus: "Music was my first love and it will be my last. Music of the future and music of the past." And so on. Twenty years earlier, the softest man in Jarrow continues to delight with his over ambitious piano-led epic. Perhaps surprisingly, Miles wasn't a one-hit wonder; he had reached #17 with High Fly the previous year and would return to the top ten in 1977 with Slow Down.
Harpo - "Movie Star" (#35)
Sweden's Jan Harpo Torsten Svensson takes the stage, wearing a prototype "See you Jimmy" hat and carrying a walking stick with a bicycle bell on it, and stares unsettlingly into the camera throughout his performance. A staple of "Gold" radio stations to this day despite only ever reaching number 24, this was Harpo's only UK hit, although internationally he has released over a dozen albums, scored numerous hit singles such as Horoscope and Motorcycle Mama and remains inexplicably popular in Germany. In a brave act of conceptual continuity, backing vocals on this record were performed by Frida from...
Abba - "Fernando" (#2)
Breathing down the Brotherhood Of Man's collective neck, here come the Super Swedes, still standing at awkward angles around that camp fire. They must be getting very warm by now. Note to everyone peddling the "they were shining there for you and me, for liberty, for Nando's" joke: the Nando's restaurant chain wasn't established until 1987, although it was named after its founder Fernando Duarte. We'll be humourlessly debunking other interpretations of the lyrics as the weeks go on.
Sheer Elegance - "Life Is Too Short Girl" (#17)
By way of a link, our host "Diddy" David Hamilton informs us that Abba are visiting Australia and New Zealand later in the year. "They're going Down Under," he confirms in what is still, let us not forget, a pre-Men At Work world. "This next group are not going down under," Diddy continues, already beginning to lose control of the sentence, "they're going under and up the chart." Whatever that means. The trio of Bev Gordon, Dennis Robinson and Herbie Watkins run through their biggest hit again, still clad in the same disastrous lemon and brown outfits as last time without a hint of shame.
The Rubettes - "You're The Reason Why"
Arriving unannounced, thanks to the BBC4 scissors, and thus drawing unfavourable comparisons with contemporaries Crème Brulée from the Twitter crowd, this was in fact the seventh of nine top forty hits for the Rubettes, who started out two years previously with their biggest hit Sugar Baby Love. Adding to the confusion, lead vocals on this one were supplied by bespectacled guitarist Tony Thorpe rather than regular vocalist Alan Williams, who hadn't actually sung on Sugar Baby Love anyway. Even more confusingly, The Rubettes was the title of a single by The Auteurs in 1999.
Hank Mizell - "Jungle Rock" (#4)
"Good news for the fellas, we're off to the jungle with Pan's People," smirks Hamilton. "With any luck, we might even get lost." You can certainly get lost, Diddy. A reprise of the routine from three weeks previously, with the girls still stranded in a plastic and crepe paper jungle. By now Hank Mizell had seemingly been found, but had declined to participate in Top Of The Pops. Or maybe he hadn't been asked; he certainly did a performance of the song for German television around the same time. The song has since been covered by such luminaries as Shakin' Stevens and The Fall.
Gilbert O'Sullivan - "Doing What I Know"
The erstwhile Raymond O'Sullivan (what do you mean it's not his real name?) had been a prolific hitmaker through the first half of the '70s but fell on hard times in the second half of the decade. Having scored back to back number ones with Clair and Get Down in 1972-3 (the latter provoking Pan's People's legendary dog-scolding dance routine), 1975's I Don't Love You But I Think I Like You was his last hit single for five years, putting this effort well and truly in the failure zone. Gilbert would score one further top twenty hit What's In A Kiss in 1980 and would unexpectedly tickle the top 75 with dance-flavoured single So What a decade later, but he continues to record, releasing his latest album Gilbertville in January 2011.
Brotherhood Of Man - "Save Your Kisses For Me" (#1)
Here they are again, having now sold five million singles "all over the nation...s." This week the 'Hood are back in full denim, thumbs in belt-loops mode. In an attempt to keep the regular SYKFM entries fresh and exciting, here's a cover of the song by Kenickie, featuring erstwhile popstar and now broadcaster Lauren Laverne.
Andrea True Connection - "More More More" (#29)
Playing out with yet another disco classic. Don't worry that there's only a few seconds of this; in a few weeks you'll see more of Andrea True than you ever wanted to.