Chart Music: the TOTP Podcast

The podcast that takes one random episode of Top Of The Pops - the greatest TV Pop show ever - and breaks it down to its very last compound.

  • 162. #70: April 17th 1986 – The Rishi Sunak Of Top Of The Pops

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks; has Rock Expert David Stubbs come from The Sky?After all the lovely Pop trifle we’ve had in recent episodes, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, it’s time for some necessary roughage, as we take a tentative walk down Nineteen Eighty Six Street once more. And yes, it’s stillone of the most rammel years for 20th Century Pop, but somehow we managed to find one which doesn’t have the whiff of the dog's arse about it.It’s only four months into ’86, but our Favourite Thursday Evening Pop Treat is having another of its regular crises, this time brought on by the after effects of Michael Grade taking over at BBC1 and pissing about with the scheduling, meaning that ten whole minutes have been lopped off, and the results are not pretty; everything has been crammed in like a Japanese tube train at knocking-off time, videos have been cut off at the knees, there’s a neon set better suited for a Miss Wet T-Shirt competition in Romeo & Juliet’s Doncaster and the chart rundown – the whole point of the show, mark you – has been utterly defiled.Musicwise, it’s better than it has any right to be. Gary Davies – a man bursting with so much sexual potency in 1986 that the sex workers of Amsterdam are pitching themselves through windows to get at him – has been given the chance to run the show solo for the first time in years, but we don’t see that much of him, because there's no time. Big Country pitch up in Success Coats. Michael Hurll practically rips the wig off Falco’s head and wipes his arse with it. A-Ha continue their spell as the premier teeny band and get creative with a bit of masking tape. Suzanne Vega gets judged by a poster of a German sex-colossus. And then, oh God, it’s the longest examination of a single EVER on Chart Music. Janet Jackson stares her ponce of a boyfriend out. It’s Immaterial look absolutely knackered and wonder why their label didn’t make a video. George Michael drops the weirdest Number One of the decade, and Whitney Houston spoils everything with a huge dollop of mawk.Sarah Bee and Neil Kulkarni join Al Needham to gingerly pick through the wreckage of 1986, veering off on such tangents as Nick Ross’ Drug Buffet, Neil’s Gin and Vomit Shame, being mistaken for Pete Docherty’s stalker, the best way to tell an interview subject that their new album stinks of unwashed cock, how the Ukraine War would have shagged up TOTP if it was still going, an appreciation of Euro-Ponces, how the BBC thought Bob Monkhouse, Barry Cryer and Nigel Havers could stop youths on dingy estates from taking heroin, and a huge Birmingham Piss Troll update. You know the swearing is going to be intense on this one…Video Playlist | Subscribe | Facebook | Twitter | The Chart Music Wiki | Patreon*** Listen to Sarah’s new podcast HERE ***
  • 161. #70 (Pt 4): 17.4.86 – The Rishi Sunak Of TOTP

    Neil Kulkarni, Sarah Bee and Al Needham finally claw their way up the final furlong on an episode of TOTP that’s been better than any episode set in 1986 has a right to be. Neil issues a come-and-get-me statement to Janet Jackson, It’s Immaterial look knackered and bemused on the big new set, George Michael delivers the weirdest Number One of the entire decade, and then the real ’86 presents itself as Whitney Houston fills the Harlem Apollo with a concentrated blast of mawk. ALL YOU GOTTA DO IS BE YOURSELF, POP-CRAZED YOUNGSTERS… Video Playlist | Subscribe | Facebook | Twitter | The Chart Music Wiki | Patreon 
  • 160. #70 (Pt 3): 17.4.86 – The Rishi Sunak Of TOTP

    Sarah Bee, Neil Kulkarni and Al Needham plunge deeper into the 17.4.86 episode as we hit the Breakers section. Suzanne Vega slaps it about with assorted extras from Bonfire Of The Vanities, and then we get hit with REAL KIDS ISSUES as Grange Hill become child conscripts in the War On Drugs…Video Playlist | Subscribe | Facebook | Twitter | The Chart Music Wiki | Patreon
  • 159. #70 (Pt 2): 17.4.86 – The Rishi Sunak Of TOTP

    Neil Kulkarni, Sarah Bee and Al Needham get stuck into the hellscape of 1986, and discover that it’s not that rammel, actually. We gaze upon the even-toed ungulate splendour of Gary Davies – a man who divides his time between going out on the pull with Brian Tilsley, bringing peace upon the houses of Fine Young Cannibals and Matt Bianco, and making the sex workers of Amsterdam plunge through windows to get at him, only to discover that he’s got a horrible jacket on. Big Country prepare to get properly massive, but und up buried under the weight of their record company’s expectations and really expensive Success Coats. Falco gets reduced into a tiny box, like the baddies in Superman. And A-Ha get all creative with a keyboard and some masking tape… Video Playlist | Subscribe | Facebook | Twitter | The Chart Music Wiki | Patreon
  • 158. #70 (Pt 1): 17.4.86 – The Rishi Sunak Of TOTP

    Sarah Bee and Neil Kulkarni join Al Needham and prepare for some serious loin-girding as they prepare to tackle an episode of The Pops from the unappealing middle bit of the Aydeez – a neon wasteland where the Dinosaurs of Pop are running rampant in their Success Coats with sleeves a-rolled. But first, a flick through that week’s NME, and a vital BPT update…   Video Playlist | Subscribe | Facebook | Twitter | The Chart Music Wiki | Patreon
  • 157. #69: December 27th 1974 – The Ramadan #1 Of 1974

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks; have any of Team Chart Music done a streak?It’s late January, but the inflatable Jimmy Savile-as-Santa is still hanging off the roof of the Chart Music house and the wreath that looks like DLT still hangs on the door as we prepare to tuck into another end-of-year splurge of Pop, as our favourite Thursday evening pop treat gets shunted to a Friday teatime and another Selection Box of the hits of the year gets ripped into. ‘Tis the arse-end of 1974, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and a definitely end-of-era feel hangs over this episode. Glam is in its last knockings, the teenybop icons are starting to fade, the brickies in Eyeliner are just brickies now, Mock n’ Roll is in the ascendancy, the Pop Famine of 1975/6 is beckoning, and although there’s much to love here, this could well be the very last episode of the Golden Age of Top Of The Pops. Noel Edmonds and Dave Lee Travis are on hand to take us through the smash hits of the year that weren’t introduced by Tony Blackburn and Jinglenonce OBE on Xmas Day, and are fucking unbearable. Musicwise, like all end-of-year shows, it’s your typical running-away-from-a-crocodile episode. The Rubettes pitch up for a victory lap with a flashing bow tie. John Denver goes on about his missus again, before he takes a chainsaw to their bed. Alvin displays the most amazing standwork ever on TOTP if you discount Brian Connolly breaking one over his knee, before George McCrae attempts to introduce the TOTP Orchestra to Disco as he stands over a leftover turkey carcass. Stephanie De Sykes represents the Kings Oak Massive, and then Sparks completely go off. The Glitter Band do a Nazi love gesture at Bad King Gary as he performs his great lost Number One. Sylvia tells a load of underaged Osmonds fans about how she got her end away in Spain this summer. Queen set down a marker for their dominance of the next few years. Ray Stevens fails to get his cock out. After Suzi Quatro says goodbye to the massive bluescreen, the most perfect #1 single EVER is desecrated by the TOTPO. Terry Jacks reminds us that he’s still dying, and we close with the Blokes Of Pop taking over and claiming dominance of the year, while Travis plays a Christmas Tree. So long, Early Seventies, you were MINT and SKILL and we’ll never see your like again.Taylor Parkes and Rock Expert David Stubbs join Al Needham for a celebration of all things ’74, veering off on such tangents as blind West Ham left-backs, Noele Gordon’s musical career, five year-olds demanding to be let into sex shops, the era-defining genius of Yus My Dear, disturbing scenes at Wombles gigs, a re-imagining of Do They Know It’s Christmas written by Chinnichap, and the introduction of the parlour game that’s going to sweep the dinner parties of 2023 – Pantomime Horse. HAPPY NEW SWEARING, POP-CREAZED YOUNGSTERS… Video Playlist | Subscribe | Facebook | Twitter | The Chart Music Wiki | Patreon
  • 156. #69 (Pt 4): 27.12.74 – The Ramadan #1 of 1974

    David Stubbs, Taylor Parkes and Al Needham conclude their excavation of the last TOTP of 1974. After Ray Stevens lets us all down by refusing to lob it out, Suzy Quatro drops the last ever Glam Bomb and then – YESSSS! Carl Douglas gives another demonstration of Chinese-lettered-pyjama funk with the most perfect Number One EVER. Terry Jacks reminds us that he’s clinging on to life. And then the winners of 1974 – along with West Germany and Harold Wilson, twice – pitch up to remind us that for the next few years, the charts are going to be under the reign of the Blokes of Pop…  Video Playlist | Subscribe | Facebook | Twitter | The Chart Music Wiki | Patreon
  • 155. #69 (Pt 3): 27.12.74 – The Ramadan #1 of 1974

    Taylor Parkes and David Stubbs go deeper on the last TOTP of 1974 with Al Needham, and recoil at Dave Lee Travis looking none more Gnasher-like as he salivates over Stephanie De Sykes and then we’re hit with Another Chance To See the debut performance of Sparks, the Great Lost Gary Glitter Number One, Another Chance To See Sylvia telling some very young Osmonds fans about how she slagged it about in Spain this summer, and some very unfair jokes at the expense of Brian May…Video Playlist | Subscribe | Facebook | Twitter | The Chart Music Wiki | Patreon
  • 154. #69 (Pt 2): 27.12.74 – The Ramadan #1 of 1974

    David Stubbs, Taylor Parkes and Al Needham begin their odyssey into the second part of TOTP’s review of ’74, but not before another few rounds of Pantomime Horse and having to deal with the rampaging egos of Noel Edmonds and The Living Gnasher Badge. The first #1 single that ever enraged Al is up first, then John Denver bangs on about his missus eight years before he ends up taking a chainsaw to their bed, followed by world-class mic-standsmanship by Alvin, and George McCrae gets into even more trouble with his missus as he emotes over a turkey carcass, and we don’t. Know. Why.Video Playlist | Subscribe | Facebook | Twitter | The Chart Music Wiki | Patreon