99 episodes

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. Created by Sarah Bee, Neil Kulkarni, Taylor Parkes, Simon Price and David Stubbs (who all wrote for Melody Maker) and hosted by Al Needham (who didn't), it's an unflinching gaze into the open wound of pop culture and a celebration of Thursday evenings past.

Chart Music: the TOTP Podcast Chart Music

    • Music Commentary

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. Created by Sarah Bee, Neil Kulkarni, Taylor Parkes, Simon Price and David Stubbs (who all wrote for Melody Maker) and hosted by Al Needham (who didn't), it's an unflinching gaze into the open wound of pop culture and a celebration of Thursday evenings past.

    Chart Music #54: 25.5.1978 – Nineteen Seventy Gibb

    Chart Music #54: 25.5.1978 – Nineteen Seventy Gibb

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: would you go to see Panties at Canning Town Bridge House?

    Unbelievably, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, this appears to be only the second time we’ve chanced across 1978 – which is a shameful way for a podcast about Top Of The Pops to act, because this year is rammed with cultural behemoths dominating the landscape, with the musk of all the things that Chart Music cherishes hanging thick in the air. We're right on on the perineum ‘twixt Saturday Night Fever and Grease, Tony Blackburn has just slid into his Tony Manero outfit, and your panel are a) becoming massively disillusioned by school dinners, b) fancying Carol Chell, and c) drawing a picture of Hitler in a Mexico strip and getting ready to ice down his groin with some peas a week from now.

    Musicwise, practically everything good – and bad – about ’78 is here. The Real Thing help Legs & Co recreate one of the scenes in The Stud that didn’t involve grubby pre-Eighventies Percy Filth. Jimmy Pursey says hello to Mum again. Yvonne Elliman and Tavares keep the SNF end up. Legs & Co – on their second shift – look as if they’ve been caught short or have had a serious wardrobe malfunction. Debbie Harry’s face splits like a spaceship door. Heatwave take jumper technology to the next level. ITV Quisling Cilla has a go at Disco. James Galway makes his first appearance since being run over by a motorbike in Switzerland. Ian Dury becomes the nation’s favourite Hard Bastard Uncle. The Scotland World Cup Squad have to sing around a disembodied cardboard cut-out of Rod Stewart. And the UK’s seventh biggest-selling single ever is Number One.

    Team ATVLand – Taylor Parkes and Neil Kulkarni – help Al Needham fill out the wallchart of late May 1978, veering off on such tangents as the thought of Dave Bartram giving Joan Collins one in a lift, a forensic examination of the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest, urban myths about Melody Maker editors being whipped by chains, an inter-Journo fight over who liked Dexys Midnight Runners more, and – finally – the recasting of Prisoner: Cell Block H that the Pop-Crazed Youngsters have been crying out for. OVER SIX HOURS, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and rest assured that a considerable amount of that involves both Effing and Geoffing…
     
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    Chart Music #54 (Part 4): 25.5.1978 – Nineteen Seventy Gibb

    Chart Music #54 (Part 4): 25.5.1978 – Nineteen Seventy Gibb

    We’re into the final stretch for an outstanding episode of The Pops, and Al Needham, Taylor Parkes and Neil Kulkarni strain every sinew as they navigate Disco Cilla, avoid Jimmy Pursey as he tumbles to the floor, bow to the true bosses of 1978, and join Joe Jordan and Kenny Burns for a geographically incorrect carnival, just before they fall on their faces like Bobby Davro in front of Keith Chegwin and Jim Bowen…


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    • 1 hr 57 min
    Chart Music #54 (Part 3): 25.5.1978 – Nineteen Seventy Gibb

    Chart Music #54 (Part 3): 25.5.1978 – Nineteen Seventy Gibb

    The twin cultural juggernauts of 1978 collide in this episode of Top Of The Pops, and Taylor Parkes and Neil Kulkarni beg Al Needham to slow down so they can have a good look at the splintered and mangled carnage. A second shift for Legs & Co appears to catch them with their pants down, the TOTP Orchestra lay off the Party Fours for a bit, and your Mam can’t take her eyes off Phil Lynott’s shiny trousers...
     
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    • 1 hr 31 min
    Chart Music #54 (Part 2): 25.5.1978 – Nineteen Seventy Gibb

    Chart Music #54 (Part 2): 25.5.1978 – Nineteen Seventy Gibb

    Uh oh – The Pops has finally got some competition, as the pilot episode of Revolver crashes into ITV’s Saturday teatime schedule, so naturally Neil Kulkarni and Taylor Parkes have a look at it while Al Needham chivvys them through the opening shots of this week’s episode. Get ready for top-drawer critical analysis on disco strippers, late-Seventies jumper technology, a list of potential Oliver Tobias understudies, and razor-sharp criticism on whatever rubbish band photos are in the chart rundown this week…
     
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    • 1 hr 24 min
    Chart Music #54 (Part 1): 25.5.1978 – Nineteen Seventy Gibb

    Chart Music #54 (Part 1): 25.5.1978 – Nineteen Seventy Gibb

    Team ATVLand – Al Needham, Taylor Parkes and Neil Kulkarni – reassemble for a catch-up about posture correctors, run down the brand new Chart Music Top Ten, leaf through that week’s NME, and gird each other’s loins in preparation for a massively intense burrow into a Top Of The Pops from the very the heart of 1978…
     
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    • 1 hr 28 min
    Chart Music #53: May 12th 1988 – Boing! Boing! Boing!

    Chart Music #53: May 12th 1988 – Boing! Boing! Boing!

    This episode – THE LONGEST EVER, Pop-Crazed Youngsters – finally sees us slipping the surly bonds of this rubbish century to touch the smiley face of 1988. We’re on the very cusp of the Second Summer of Love, but your panel are a) leafing through Athena posters and avoiding Neighbours, b) Gothed up to buggery and living with elderly Greek widows, and c) sifting through their own vomit in the Market Square. And Top Of The Pops is reacting to the Acid House and Hip-Hop explosion by, well, playing the shittiest examples of it they could find, hosted by two people going in opposite directions. Simon Mayo: hungrily eyeing the alpha-male position of Radio One. Mike Read: he grows old, he grows old, he shall wear the sleeves of his leather jacket rolled.

    Musicwise, it’s a Pic ‘N’ Mix of the late Eighties – The Lateies, if you will – speckled with not one, not two, but three joke dance records. Harry Enfield and Star Turn On 45 Pints remind us what a progressive and hardcore act Jive Bunny was. Bill Shankly assumes the Malcolm X role. Derek B gets paid in pounds, not dollars. Belinda Carlisle slinks about on a beach. Ringo Ringo Ringo pass round the hat for Esther Rantzen. The Asda advert is Number One. And Prince and Prefab Sprout rush in to save the day.

    Sarah Bee and Simon ‘Sorry, Girls – He’s Engaged’ Price don their Sun Bizarre Acid House t-shirts and dance around the abandoned warehouse of 1988, veering off on such tangents as knowing people off Withnail and I, Tony Blackburn’s face on a stick, how to cross our palm with Bummerdog, and Tony of Sneinton’s secret longings, painted on a living room wall in 1968. GET ON SOME SWEARING, matey!
     
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    • 5 hrs 48 min

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