115 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
    • 4.7 • 10 Ratings

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.

    #57: 11.10.73 – A Balloon Full Of Gravy

    #57: 11.10.73 – A Balloon Full Of Gravy

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: would you let your daughter marry this episode of Top Of The Pops?


    It’s the first episode of the year, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, so the ever-forward-looking Chart Music throws itself all the way back to the glorious year of ’73, where the hair grows wild and free, Bacofoil androgyny is at its peak, Look-In can operate as a dating service and no-one bats an eyelid, and – to quote Karen, aged 12 from Formby, The Colour Brown Is All Around.


    And yet! All is not well in Top Of The Popsland. They’ve just come off their 500th episode and suffered a double-shoeing from the so-called Mainstream Media for a) encouraging ten year-old girls to get pregnant and b) being full of rubbish songs where you can’t make out what they’re saying performed by men who look like women and God help us if there’s a war. So how do they react? By wringing the last droplets out of Kenny Everett before he defects to Capital Radio and bunging on something for the Old’Uns inbetween the good stuff.


    Musicwise, it’s a proper bag of Tiger Tots, with a few cubes of Oxo bunged in. David Cassidy gets his straw boater on. Slade finally – and fatally – learn how to spell properly. Elton John arses about with some oranges on Hollywood and Vine. Pans People transmogrify into five sexy Steve Austins. There’s a lad off Opportunity Knocks who isn’t Neil Reid. Jeff Lynne goes all UberTravis. Leicester Man is unveiled to a bemused audience. And the Top Of The Pops Orchestra earn some beer money on the side.


    Simon Price and Neil Kulkarni – Jesus and Buzz themselves – get down to ’73 with Al Needham, breaking off on such tangents as fending off Brexity Oasis Bots, listening in silent awe to the sound of a soul legend’s toilet activities, Concerned Parent of Exeter, the art of making tapes for girls, and the glorious resurfacing of a 27 year-old demo tape about Eastenders. Swearing a-plenty!       


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    • 5 hrs 11 min
    #57 (Part 4): 11.10.1973 – A Balloon Full Of Gravy

    #57 (Part 4): 11.10.1973 – A Balloon Full Of Gravy

    Simon Price, Neil Kulkarni and Al Needham bring this Golden Age episode of the Pops home, as Slade finally – and fatally – learn to spell single titles correctly, Limmie and Family Cookin’ do something that isn’t You Can Do Magic, the Top Of The Pops Orchestra earn some beer money on the side, and we get treated to one of the greatest singles of the year – for 29 seconds or so, because they’ve overrun. Sigh.
     
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    #57 (Part 3): 11.10.1973 – A Balloon Full Of Gravy

    #57 (Part 3): 11.10.1973 – A Balloon Full Of Gravy

    Simon Price, Neil Kulkarni and Al Needham watch Kenny Everett patronise a choirboy, thrill to the sight of Status Quo in their natural environment, watch Pans People caper about like five sexy Steve Austins – the half-robot, not the wrestler – and stare aghast at the voluminous head of Engelbert Humperdinck…
     
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    #57 (Part 2): 11.10.1973 – A Balloon Full Of Gravy

    #57 (Part 2): 11.10.1973 – A Balloon Full Of Gravy

    Simon Price, Neil Kulkarni and Al Needham examine the case of Kenny Everett – the Problem Child of Radio One – as he embarks upon his final stint on The Pops, while David Cassidy arses around with a dog, Jeff Lynne carries a hundredweight of hair on his head, and Elton John is stalked through the streets of Hollywood as he nips out to buy some cowboy gear…
     
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    • 1 hr 29 min
    #57 (Part 1): 11.10.1973 – A Balloon Full Of Gravy

    #57 (Part 1): 11.10.1973 – A Balloon Full Of Gravy

    Simon Price, Neil Kulkarni and Al Needham reunite for a new year of picking at the open wound of random episodes of TOTP, discuss being a news item on Twitter for saying Oasis were lumbering and ponderous, and prepare the ground for a vintage episode by perusing that week’s issue of Melody Maker, paying particular attention to Welsh Glam tours and the rancid t-shirt adverts in the back pages…
     
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    • 1 hr 38 min
    #56: 25.12.1983 – Oh Dear!! A Bat Bit You

    #56: 25.12.1983 – Oh Dear!! A Bat Bit You

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: why do we always leave the end-of-year episodes to the actual end of the year?

    Warning: if you listen to this episode, your ears will be breaking the Rule Of Six, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself, because Al has decided to throw a New Years party with all manner of special guests who will be dropping in, sitting by the fire, contemplating the meaning of the season, and – most importantly –picking at a Christmas Day episode of Top Of The Pops like a child picks at the scab on its knee.

    And what an episode it is! We’re at the tail-end of 1983, a year Chart Music has deemed the beginning of the decline of New Pop, but on further examination turns out to be much better than we’d realised. The accounts department of Radio One – Gripper Peebles, Twankey Smith, Pigwanker General and ‘All Night’ Long – are in full effect, the Zoo Wankers are kept on a leash, and we are assailed by wave after wave after wave after wave of the top rank of ’83.

    Musicwise, thwap! It’s bangers and monsters all the way. Freeeze drop the summer hit of the year. Michael Jackson reveals a hitherto-undiscovered love of Billy Britain and SWANT. We discover that just when you think you’ve got the measure of Shakin’ Stevens, he reveals new and unchartered depths as he jumps upon and seizes the white heat of Technology. Men At Work batter us with Australiana. Bonnie Tyler runs into a mirror. Miss Lennox glares at the classroom. Some American woman runs about a lot. Adam Ant begins to fade away. The Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boys of Quality Street look upward. Bucks Fizz give Larry The Lamb a go at lead vocals. The Lionel King puts on his best Jafakan accent. Carol Kenyon makes your dad drop his Satsuma. Bowie launches a nuclear attack on Sydney. Billy Joel looks at your big end and shakes his head. Death joins in on a Yazoo cover. And Jahwaddywaddy pinch out a loaf of Breggae.

    The entire Chart Music team – Sarah Bee, Neil Kulkarni, Al Needham, Taylor Parkes, Simon Price and David Stubbs - link up for our longest episode ever, veering off to discuss ghosts appearing on sex tapes, a righteous loathing of the Big Light, satanic kangaroos, the contents of UB40’s fridge, Simon Bates partying down with The Green Goddess and Stu Francis, and – finally - the comprehensive review of Comrade Shaky’s Sinclair Spectrum game that the podcast world has been crying out for. Happy New Swearing!
     
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

tindermark ,

One of the best

I love it when this drops every few weeks: it's informative, hilarious and the pop knowledge of the (ex Melody Maker) contributors is exceptional. Plus, they rip the p*ss out of self-important BBC DJs like it's an Olympic sport. Frankly, this podcast should be a much bigger affair than it is. If you like 70s and 80s music and social history you won't be disappointed (unless you're Dave Lee Travis, I guess)...

aaautobahn ,

The Most Poptastic Podcast This Side Of Yewtree

This is quite simply - pants-down -compulsive podcast listening. If the hairy cornflake were alive today, he would no doubt call this the most airwave-tastic pop sensation ever produced! I only wish these were produced weekly, but then I am quite needy and this review shouldn’t be about me.

Janetleonard 2831 ,

What a podcast !!!

Thank you so much for giving us Chart Music , you bring me straight back to my childhood with so many memories!! Not to mention your great insights, wit and great humor and sarcasm, I save every episode when I know I will not be disturbed so that I can relish every minute !!!!!

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