Review : Top Of The Pops – The Story of 1977

1977 was a year to be remembered for me in music. I got my first real stereo system that year. Now I could hear George Martin’s production of The Beatles sound perfectly. Punk music all of sudden just grabbed my attention, from being a quite shy school kid I gradually changed into the music man of today. My cousin on the other hand was into the other new music to emerge to centre stage, disco. Michael would enter many dancing competitions in London and win most of them just like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. I just can’t dance!

The BBC show ‘Story of 1977‘ was very informative showing how it had alienated it’s aimed audience – teenagers. Instead now it was parents and children who mostly watched it. With worn out stars hanging on to grim death (some literally) to their status. But music was changing, DIY music of young punks deemed deviants by the tabloids. 1977 year of the Silver Jubilee where the Sex Pistols‘ ‘God Save The Queen‘ mysteriously didn’t make it to the UK number one spot. Strange though as it outsold Rod Stewart song ‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It’ and this I was reliably informed by a person in the music business who had shipping details a few years later on to be true.

Artists like the aforementioned Pistols, The Jam, The Stranglers and The Clash (the latter refused to perform on TOTP) were now crashing into the charts and were now taking up vast amounts newspapers’ columns. Singles were still the best-selling medium in those days and the B-side was often a decent song and not just a filler. Also in this year Elvis and Bolan both died causing an upsurge in their records. Fashion sense was awful and I think I wore quite alot of those now I’d cringe at wearing. Even rock’n’roll was given a kick up the backside with the slapstick of Darts.

Also producers were experimenting with synthesisers like Giorgio Moroder who also wrote Donna Summer’s Number One hit ‘I Feel Love‘ which would change dance music forever. The highlight of the show for me was John Otway and TV Smith of The Adverts accounts of the audience and studio. Likewise martial arts fanatic JJ Burnel (The Stranglers) gave an insight of the farce for recording back tracks. Paul Cook did surprise me with his admission that The Sex Pistols wanted to get on the show to sell records. By the end of the year we had a far more diverse music scene and youth culture had again regained the shows content. Miss this at your peril on the BBC i-player – if nothing else look at the daft TOTP audience clothing.

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About Stevo Music Man

Music fan (Worked in music 79-92, gigs, collector, Indie DJ) Football (LCFC Season ticket), Travel, Read, Swim, Cycle & Internet.
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