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Chart Music

The podcast that rams its hand down the settee of the greatest pop TV show ever. Each episode takes one random episode of Top Of The Pops and breaks it down to its very last compound, from the tunes to the audience reaction to what colour silk bomber jacket the presenter is wearing that week. Hosted by Al Needham, with huge assistance from some of the UK's toppermost music writers, it's an unflinching gaze into the open wound of pop culture and a celebration of Thursday evenings past.
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Now displaying: December, 2017
Dec 24, 2017

A moderately special episode of the podcast which asks: so what did Tony Orlando do to get banged up for three years, then?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, is a massively-flared, clompy-heeled, zebra-printed celebration of one of the greatest traditions of any British Christmas Day: the opportunity to force the rest of your extended family to sit through an end-of year episode of The Pops and revel in the torrent of tutting coming out of your Nana’s mouth as she works their way through the Quality Street. Fourteen chart-toppers from The Most Seventies Year Ever are trotted out, from a time when the Number One single was either astoundingly brilliant or absolute cat shit.

Your hosts – Tony Blackburn and Noel Edmonds – really get into the Christmas spirit by shoving tree branches up each other’s arses and donning massive Lenny Kravitz-style scarves of tinsel as wave after wave of alternate Glam nirvana and easy-listening rubbishness floods the screen. On the downside, Donny Osmond spends Christmas alone, David Cassidy has a big sulk around Kew Gardens and we discover that Santa is actually an obnoxious American child with big teeth, but Dave Hill mutates into a Chicken Angel! Roy Wood plays a vacuum cleaner! Steve Priest radges up the grandparents of Britain in a sexy Nazi Bismark rig-out as Andy Scott whips out his third leg! And some dog-flouncing-off action!

David Stubbs and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham for a gleeful ripping-down of the gaudy paper chains of 1973, veering off to discuss Jody Scheckter Racing, the infinite superiority of the Beano Book over the Dandy annual, grandparental fantasies about Roy Wood being made to peel potatoes, Opportunity Knocks winners who were massive racists, what breaks Donny Osmond’s heart, a flick through the Music Star Annual 1974, being sang at by an entire factory when you’ve had an over-long shit, and so much more, with swearing.

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.   

Dec 1, 2017

The latest edition of the podcast which asks: what is the least Mod Dungeons & Dragons character?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, has been cursed by the tang of man-flu and dodgy microphones, meaning it’s not at the usual hi-fidelity standard you’ve come to expect from Chart Music. But what an incident-packed go-around on the morbid carousel of Pop it is! There’s wave after wave of guest appearances from people who really shouldn’t have bothered, such as Cliff, his specky henchman Hank Marvin, and none other than co-host KEGGY KEEGLE HIMSELF facing down DLT in a perm-off.

Thanks to Simon getting an unexpected birthday present, we have possession of a full shooting script of an episode from The Popses’ post-strike regeneration, and we try to break the codes therein. Musicwise, the Mod revival rides itself right off the cliff, Kelly Marie and Sheena Easton put on their best Bingo Jumpsuits, Cliff does his Danger Dancing routine next to a keyboard player in Alan Partridge shorts, Randy Crawford’s heartbreakingly brilliant performance is ruined by a vision mixer who makes her look like the alien off Alien, and Nicholas Lyndhurst, Martin Shaw and Dennis Waterman rule over the charts.

Al Needham is joined by Simon Price and David Stubbs for a good hard leer at the autumn of 1980, veering off – as always – on tangents such as trying to be a 12 year-old Ace Face when everyone’s seen your Dad drag you out of a boating lake at Skegness Butlins, why adding the Poo-Poo drum machine over Joy Division records in clubs will never get old, having a good laugh at younger brothers who get beaten up in town for wearing the wrong badges, pathological hatred of Plastic Mods, and flares. And swearing, swearing, all the time swearing.

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