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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. 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.
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Chart Music: the TOTP Podcast
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Dec 15, 2017

The latest edition of the podcast which asks: if the Thompson Twins made you a sandwich, would you want to eat it?

It’s Christmas Time, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, but there’s no need to be afraid – because we’re a full year away from any Band Aid rubbishness. It’s the last episode of The Pops before Xmas of 1983, and the studio is festooned with balloons and party hats, making it just like every other episode that year. And what a line-up – sneered at by John Peel and jollied along by Kid Jensen – it isn’t!

Musicwise, this is the mankiest Selection Box of teeth-loosening dessicated cat shit we’ve come across in a long while. Out go the Synth-mentalists of a few years ago, and in come in bare-footed, frizz-haired Serious Musicians. Terry and Arfur pop up to flog one of the crappiest Christmas songs ever, a Breakfast TV puppet with johnnies for ears defiles hip-hop, and Paul McCartney has a war with himself. On the plus side, Billy Joel goes back 20 years to leer at some girls having a pyjama party, Slade go back ten years and ignore a couple of Zoo Wankers, and Culture Club put a full orchestra in serious danger.  And the No.1 is properly right-on.

Neil Kulkarni and Simon Price join Al Needham for this one, and have a good stare through the window of late 1983 like Dickensian urchins, breaking off to discuss such important matters as sex education videos of the 80s, running into Mrs McCluskey in a charity shop, asking lead singers how to get to Wales while they’re nobbing someone up against a tour bus, and the curse of Sta-Prest Fanny. With all the swearing you could ever want.   

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