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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: 2018
Dec 24, 2018

A special-ish episode of the podcast which asks: why do we always leave the Xmas episodes to the last minute?

Another MASSIVE examination of Pop-telly nirvarna sees us tucking in to the annual Xmas day selection box - this time from the year of Nineteen and Seventy-Six. And lucky us: we've been invited to the head table of Radio One, dominated by the bearded gorgons of The Happy Sound themselves - DLT and Noel Edmonds - as they give the nation an opportunity to watch them pretend to like each other, have one massive trifle EACH, fuck about with bread and grip a fork with a Yorkshire pudding on the end of it with sheer uncontained LUST at Legs & Co.

Like all Xmas Day episodes, it's a look back at the flare-swingin' Sound of '76 - and as is its wont, the highs are stratospheric and the lows are subterranean. Abba remind us who the Dons of the era were with not one but two hits. Tina Charles cowers up in the lighting rig and wonders about her bloke. The Wurzels keep it rural. JJ Barrie angers every child across the nation once more. Demis Roussos - Fat Jesus himself - puts a tingle in the loins of Bev and Ange. The most unmemorable month-long No.1 in recorded history wafts in and out. Legs & Co slink about in bra and pants, with those ferrets on the last episode. Tony Blackburn is boiled alive, while being danced at by an alligator with tits.

Taylor Parkes and Simon Price join Al Needham to sneakily rip open a corner of the wrapping on the presents of 1976 to see what they are, veering off on such vital tangents as Hughie Green's Hard Right talking ballardry, Christmas cracker jokes about the Threat of Punk, the wrongness of England being in World Cup Subbuteo sets of the Seventies, and a heartwarming tale of getting pissed up and bothering Freddy Mercury. Apologies if the edit is rough as arseholes - we had considerable mither putting it together - but may it sustain you until we meet again in 2019. 

 

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Dec 18, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; who is more important - a dead Beatle, or your Nana?

It's cold and dark, pop-crazed youngsters, so it's time once again to binge upon one of our favourite eras of Top Of The Pops. Your hosts are simultaneously deciding which 50 badges to wear for the school Xmas disco, still in hiding from the fake accusation that they had a good cry about someone dying, and going about their business unaware that Santa is going to let them down big style in a week's time. But for a glorious half-hour, we're all distracted by the sight of Pig-Wanker General himself, perched on a gantry, giving us our weekly shot of Pop randomness.

Musicwise, the highs are high and the lows are lower than low. The Beat and The Specials remind us who the daddies were in the Eighventies, but we also get the sickening one-two punch of the second most annoying singer with a lisp of 1980 and a festive celebration of drink-driving, sexual harrassment and homophobia. The Nolans have finally managed to get them dead tight satin trews off, but have replaced them for even tighter designer jeans. Chas and Dave lob out terrifying animal masks. Jona Lewie sets himself up for life. Legs & Co are attacked by ferrets as they pay tribute to Ghandi John. There's the most un-arsed xylophone solo ever. And Little and Large are asked what they think about Pop at the moment. It's brilliant.

Simon Price and Neil Kulkarni join Al Needham a pass-around of the UHU-filled crisp bag of late 1980, veering off on tangents such as gerontophiliac porn line adverts, Terry Hall turning your back on you, why having 'OMD' printed on the back of your Harrington is just plain wrong, the Summer of Chinese Death Stars, the wrongness of Gideon, and being sexually initiated by Yoko Ono in a Nottingham council house while eating a 10p mix. The swearing is up to its usual standard, you'll be pleased to hear.

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Nov 23, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; if God were one of us, who would he hate more out of M People and the Lighthouse Family?

The longest episode of Chart Music EVER sees us pitched into the second half of the Nineties for the first time - and oh dear, our favourite Pop show is beginning to enter its slow decline and being pissed about with big style. The guest presenters are still in effect - but luckily for us, this week's frontperson is Julian Cope, who has brought a giant It's A Knockout-style builder to help him stage a prime-time protest against the Newbury Bypass. There's not one but two of those live satellite broadcasts, which demonstrate that California's weather fluctuates like an absolute bastard. Everything's piling into the charts right near the top and then dropping down again. And where's the Britpop?

Musicwise, this is an absolute lucky bag of randomness, minus the chunky ring you wanted. Some Bedouin tribesmen sit around on a Trancey 'tip'. Joan Osbourne bangs on about God. Billy Corgan arses about in a car with The Teens. East 17 phone it in. Etta James is forced outside in the wind in order to make giant ships disappear and have a good lech at some sailors. Michael Jackson's nephews emote by some driftwood. Terrorvision jump about a bit. Alien Mr Benn gets everyone excited with the opening bars for this week's No.1, and then turns the dial right down to 16 rpm. And OH NO THE LIGHTHOUSE FAMILY GODDD.

Sarah Bee and Neil Kulkarni join Al Needham on an euphoric extended chill-out Archers and Lemonade House tip for a long, hard stare at the bulging packet of 1996, veering off to discuss the comedy value of jacket potatoes, self-grooming tips from the stars, how to mix a Pina Kulkarni, full-on problem page questions in Nineties gay magazines, Star Trek Bhangra, and having homoerotic fever dreams about acts in the Chart Music Top Ten. Very long, very strong, very sweary.

   

Oct 29, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: why didn't Top Of The Pops do a Bonfire Night special instead, the traitorous, British-way-of-life-hating bastards?

Yeah yeah, we know: another early Eighties one. But if you thought we were going to wait another year before we got stuck into this particular episode, you don't know Chart Music. The Pops is entombed in its rah-rah-rah flags-and-balloons Zoo-wanker phase and has pulled out all the stops (i.e., gone through the BBC props cupboard) decided to do a Halloween special, even though Halloween means next to arse all in the UK in pre-ET 1982. And who else to guide us through this realm of piss-poor joke-shop terror than the Dark Lord Simon Bates?

Musicwise, it's a pic n' mix of razor blade-tainted apples and cat shit in shiny wrappers, with a diamond or two lurking at the bottom. The tang of Pebble Mill is strong in this one: Dionne Warwick glares at us in a Margo Leadbetter rig-out. Barry Manilow is DTF. The Beatles arise from the grave. Blue Zoo demonstrate why they're not going to be the next Duran Duran. Raw Silk pointedly ignore that they're performing to a room full of simpletons with net curtains over their heads and waving a cat on a stick. Eddy Grant gets round his horrible missus. Boy George has balloons thrown at him in an aggressive manner. Simon Bates rides a broomstick dressed as Ali Bongo. The Zoo Wankerage is jacked up to the absolute maximum. Meanwhile, in Newcastle, the crew of The Tube are rubbing their hands together with glee.

Taylor Parkes and Neil Kulkarni join Al Needham to suckle upon the throat early-Eighties Pop Mankiness, veering off on such tangents as the rubbishness of a British Halloween, being barred out of pubs in Nottingham for looking like Jimmy Savile, the truth about George Martin and the Mopfabs, Rambo Pumpkins, Cilla Back ramming chocolate into people's gobs, BBC4 butchering the only programme they run that anyone's interested in, having 40 Romantic Moments in one week, why we people never talk about Post-Disco, and an astonishing appearance on 3-2-1 by two Chart Music favourites. Penny for the Guy!

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Sep 25, 2018

The latest edition of the podcast which asks: that thing with the earlobes - the entire country didn't just imagine it, did they?

It's the summer of '83, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and your avuncular host is battling a series of crises: not only is he still recovering from a de-bagging on the school field and sulking over the re-election of the foul hag Thatcherax, he's fending off rumours about his sexuality before he's even had the chance to do anything with the bastard. Luckily, all that's about to change, as his spiritual guide Paul Weller has got a new record out. And there's a video. Oh dear.

Musicwise, it's a proper pic'n'mix of early-Eighties confections, bagged up by elderly shop-lads Skinner and Vance, with a shocking lack of Dadisfaction. David Grant has a massive mid-life crisis and goes all Shakin' Shalamar. Mark King gives it some thumb. Toney Adleh Aaht Ter Spandaah Balleh ponces about in Spain. Siouxie goes all Jazzy, and wonders why she's the only woman on this episode. Robert Plant does some most unsavoury frog-kicking in some Dad trunks. The No.1 is a bit rubbish. And bleddy Depeche Mode AGAIN.     

Simon Price and Taylor Parkes join Al 'The Cuppateano Kid' Needham for an awkward homoerotic roll-around upon the riverbank of mid-1983, breaking off to discuss such matters as being confused about Gus Honeybun, the boom in early-Eighties jumper technology, the fallacy of digging over a vegetable patch in calf-length white spats, being told off by the Mayor of Douglas, what leonine Rock gods have on their cheese cobs, and a very special episode of your favourite cartoon. Come for the incisive pop chat, stay for the swearing, and ram some money in our g-string.

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Aug 31, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: if Bummerdog was a band, what would they sound like?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, is one of the absolute landmark moments of the long and storied history of The Pops - the week where all the rubbish of the Laties is finally driven into the sea by streetwise lairy youths with a malevolent shuffle and a drug-induced attitude. And as well as Big Fun, the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays are on too.

Those of you who remember this episode as a full-on Madchester takeover - with 808 State on as well, and Vera Duckworth gurning away in the audience in a Joe Bloggs top - are going to be sorely disappointed, however, as the supporting cast is the usual Neighnties rubbish. Jakki Brambles and Jenny Powell come off like the Philadelphia Cheese Advert women. Bobby Brown thrusts his groin at a shockingly young girl who's probably wondering when Tiffany is going to come on. Aaron Neville comes dressed up as a character in a Sega beat-'em-up. The Fine Young Cannibals get bum-rushed by the cast of Dance Energy. The Martians pitch up to blare some Housey rubbish at us. The #1 is cat shit. And Holy Horrible Soundtrack LPs, Batman, it's Prince.

Al Needham is joined by Sorted Simon Price and Top Lad Taylor Parkes for a trawl through the car boot sale of 1989, breaking off to discuss such important matters as Top Hatting, raiding your Dad's wardrobe to look suitably 'Double Good', Ian Brown shutting down a bar, sniffing silage, and the introduction of the Chart Music Top Ten. Get on some swearing, matey!   

Aug 15, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: if Midge Ure had become lead singer of the Sex Pistols, would we all still be wearing flares? 

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, was foraged from the very dustbin of History, being one from early 1976 which missed out on the BBC4 treatment. And, as we very quickly discover, huge chunks of it should have stayed there. Diddy Fucking David Hamilton wears a nasty Christmas-present jumper. Barbara Dickson warms up for her season on the Two Ronnies. Smokie - again! - dispatch another throat full of phlegm upon The Kids. Slik - AGAIN! - deliver the stalkiest wedding song ever. And Sailor encourage the youth to bang on the side of their Dad's drinks cabinet.

As we all know, however, there is no such thing as a rubbish Top Of The Pops. Osibisa get properly togged up. Pans People pull one of their greatest performances out of their Quality Street Wrapper-panted arses, and the Number One has been there for so long it's practically the national anthem by now.

Al Needham is joined by Sarah Bee and David Stubbs for a furtle amongst the jumble sale of early '76, veering off to browse through the Music Star Annual of that year, whether calling someone a 'Lady' is acceptable these days, hitting your brother with a golf club for a tin of peaches, a giveaway of David's new book Mars By 1980, infant school bus trips to Africa, and the importance of not having a Cheepy. WE SWEAR LIKE BOGGERS.   

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/chartmusic/29-January_22nd_1976_-_Heres_A_Song_About_A_Naughty_Lady.mp3]

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Jul 13, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: is there such a thing as a trendy wank?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, drags us back to the dark  Civil War of the mid-90s, when brother fought against brother over whether Roll With It was slightly less rubbish than Country House, and Oasis-loving loving wives imposed a 'nookie strike' upon their Blur-supporting husbands. Yes, it's the aftermath of the Battle of Britpop, and we fly over the rubble, dropping crates of analysis and sniping at assorted wrongness along the way.

If you're expecting non-stop Sons and Daughters of Albion adopting Mockney accents and walking about about monkeys, however, you're going to be sorely disappointed, as there are a lot of - gasp! - Americans on it, and even some Irish people. Dale Winton reaches the pinnacle of the journey he started when he was playing records in a biscuit factory. Berri and De'lacy provide an interesting - sort of - compare-and-contrast of Anglo and American House. Michael Jackson lolls about in a CGI Greek temple with Elvis' daughter. The theme tune from Friends pops up. Fucking Boyzone show up for no reason whatsoever. Montell Jordan arses about in a theme park. Echobelly break up from school forever. Michael Bolton, looking like a giant Womble, asks if he can fondle us. Blur show off.

Sarah Bee and Simon Price help Al Needham to walk through the minefield of Britpop like Lady Di, breaking off to discuss the early days of Television X, our shameful careers in pornography, watching Friends whilst ripped to the tits on Leytonstone speed, all the awards we've won and what we do with them, and - finally - Simon gets to talk about Romo. And Oh! what swearing!

Jun 18, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: has there ever been a Good Bates?

The year is 1982, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and the world is waiting for England. Actually, no - what the world is waiting for is for Tomorrow's World to piss off, because this episode of The Pops is a bit special. No less than three football teams have been hitting the BBC bar all afternoon and rubbing a manky-jumpered shoulder with the Pop Elite and partake in an unforgettable half-hour-and-a-bit of flag-waving, scarf-brandishing, dirge-chanting palaver.

It's not all footybollocks, though: Junior and Patrice Rushen get danced at by Zoo wankers. Original Junglists Tight Fit pretend to be Abba. Angry-yet-penitent Jim Diamond enters the fray. Bananarama get a leg-up by their mates Fun Boy Three. And Paul McCartney delivers a message to Racism: You Can Do One Right Now Please. And there's an actual war on. And fucking hell, it's Ken Baily!

Simon Price and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham for a snuffle at the gusset of the Union Jack shorts of 1982, breaking off on such tangents as time travel-assisted infanticide, using members of the 1982 Brazil squad to insult girls you don't like, the incredible England 1982 LP, seeing Him Out Of Tight Fit in a Welsh nightclub, and how to make your own bra out of the contents of your pants drawer. This time - more than any other time - the swearing is outstandingly prolific.

May 31, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: that scrap between Reagan and Chernenko - whose coat would you be holding?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, sees us refraining from fretting about Armageddon for a bit and getting blasted full in the face by non-stop Rah-Rah-Rah American Olympic nonsense instead, revelling in the thrill of being able to watch BBC1 at four in the morning and indulging in golf ball-assisted masturbation while pretending to be Daley Thompson. But if the IOC think that Top Of The Pops is going to be moved from its rightful slot on a Thursday evening, Baron de Coubertain can fuck right off. And there's just been an episode of Monkey on BBC2. Skill.

Musicwise, it's full-on Eighties, but not in a necessarily bad way. John Peel and Dickie Skinner pull on some horrific shirts, Tracey Ullman does the Mashed Potato with the ghosts of the Atomic Age, overshadowed by a massive deckchair. Windjammer dance right out of the sportswear section of the Littlewoods catalogue. Hazel Dean pretends to forget about some bloke. Jeffrey Osbourne sweats his tits off in some awful 80 knitwear. Blancmange deliver the aural equivalent of a Vesta packet curry, without the grittiness. And because it's 1984, you know what's No.1.

Taylor Parkes and Neil Kulkarni construct a shelter out of back issues of Smash Hits while Al Needham prepares a bin for toilet waste and observe the mushroom cloud of 1984, picking through the fallout and veering off to discuss erotic art in chip shops, the decline of the V-sign, going to the same place every Saturday for six weeks without realising it was a gay bar, Great Crisps of the Eighties, and East Germany's most popular wank mag. We stare, we contrast and compare, and we swear, swear, swear.

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May 21, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: Top Of The Pops? On a Friday? Arseholes to that!

This episode of The Pops has been hand-picked by the Pop-Crazed Youngsters on our Patreon account, and they did us proud with this one: a episode from the Most Seventies Year Ever hosted by none other than Kenny Everett. He only did six of these, and there's only one left in the BBC archives, but the one we're pulling apart is one that has been yanked from someone else's private collection. So how does the mad scientist of the twin Grundig reel-to-reel come off when he's not doing his own show and is being told what to do by an exasperated floor manager? Open your tabs to our sexy, sexy Pop-blather and find out for yourselves.

Musicwise, it's not the Glam-binge we were hoping for, but it's a very sugary Pic n' Mix of Pop confectionery. Brian Johnson - the Andy Capp of Metal - pitches up with Geordie. Barry White in full rut is coupled with Svankmajeresque stop-motion mentalness. Peters and Lee pop up again. Mr You-Can-Do-It-Right-Now-Please helps Roger Moore get his leg over Solitaire. Slade deliver the Great Missing #1 of the era, just before it all goes tragically wrong, Dave Edmunds lives the karaoke singer's worst nightmare, and some white herberts in Arthur Mullard flares burst out of the Trojan horse. And Pans People pull on stockings and suspenders and still manage to not be particularly sexy about it.

Al NeedhamDavid Stubbs and Simon Price huddle around the flickering candle of 1973, veering off on tangents such as saying the wrong thing at Dad funerals, Leeds United-hating, hearing about death while watching people shagging on a podium, accepting an award for a Pop star and not bothering to give it to them, and what Noel Edmond's super-power would be. Oh, and two words: Bummerdog Update.

As always, there's loads of swearing, but it's all done in the best paahsable taste.

 

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May 3, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: no, really - how do you soil a bra?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, sees us getting our hands down the back of the sofa on another random episode of Top Of The Pops - but as it's 1986 - a year we haven't done yet - we're half-expecting to touch a maggot-infested rat, or an open pot of hair gel with all mould on it. We needn't have worried, though, this particular episode has real-life Indie bands that you only see in the music papers in it, and they've actually let an actual woman co-present the show, a mere 21 years after it first started. The downside being that she's stuck with Mike Read, looking like the third member of Black Lace.

Musicwise, it's the usual mid-80s bag of cat's arseholes. As Morrissey pointed out at the time, you weren't allowed on Top Of The Pops unless you were black, a fact borne out by there being no less than five non-Caucasian appearances - Doris out of Five Star, Stedman out of Five Star, and the other three people who were in Five Star. Spandau Ballet make their comeback. Paul McCartney gets in people's way on the Bakerloo Line. Stan Ridgeway has a flashback with a storeroom dummy. Chris de Burgh shits out what could be the worst No.1 of the decade. And Morrissey starts becoming a proper bell-end.

Al NeedhamSarah Bee and Taylor Parkes come together for a long, hard stare at the summer of '86, veering off to discuss the buttons that do nothing on the Tube, Melchester Rovers' turbulent 1985/86 season, how difficult it is to carve someone's name on a bullet, and the proper way of reacting to someone asking you why you're so fucking crap. We swear. A lot.

 

Apr 13, 2018

The latest edition of the podcast which asks: so how do you actually soil a bra, then?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, takes us back, back, back to the autumn of '77, and it's a proper Lucky Bag of Randomness - just how we like it. The wake for Elvis is still dragging on, Punk is everywhere (apart from on Top Of The Pops, or in the charts), and Noel Edmonds is very keen to tell you that he's the Lion King of Radio One and he has two hours of telly on Saturday mornings, in his Hepworths suit, like a bell-end.

Musicwise, it's a proper continental dog's breakfast. La Belle Epoque has a go at this Disco lark, Baccara pitch up for a bit of an undulating swoon, Danny Mirror indulges in a bit of Deadly Spanking, and Giorgio Moroder and Legs and Co pitch us into 1988. But fear not, there's plenty of Brit-stodge in the shape of Smokie and the Steve Gibbons Band, while The Emotions and Deniece Williams spell out the difference between our telly and theirs: the former whoop it up on Soul Train, while the latter gets bludgeoned by the piss-headed jobsworths of the BBC Orchestra. And The Stranglers get their fingers burned. And there's a girl in a massive Jubilee bonnet.

Neil Kulkarni and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham 'neath the fraying red, white and blue bunting for a rummage round the back end of 1977, gleefully pinging off on vital tangents such as Bummerdog's Reign of Terror on the streets and playgrounds of Top Valley, Spanish Prog bands recording Sex Pistols LPs without knowing what the fuck Johnny Rotten is going on about, praying to God that your dad wasn't roaring like a Jesse in the pub over Elvis, the eternal Tiswas v Swap Shop debate, being the pub-related go-between for Hutch and Huggy Bear, the return of the Kulkarni Sandwich Test, and some moderately sizeable news for our Patreon subscribers. And lots of lovely, lovely swearing.

 

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Mar 30, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: have you got crabs?

In this edition, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, we decided to give you the opportunity to watch our selected episode of Pops along with us (providing you keep a finger on the pause button, as we're over five times longer). It's just come out on BBC4, giving you an invaluable opportunity to tut to yourself and say; "God, they didn't even mention that Richard Skinner keeps saying "It's the way you tell them" to Simon Bates, the thick twats."

Yes, we're smack in the middle of the Eighties, and a mere nine days away from Live Aid - and no-one realises yet what a massive fault-line it's going to create in Popland, when the dinosaurs come marching back and cram everything around them into their gaping maws. Least of all us, as we're too busy skulking around in a post sixth-form haze, sitting through a Saturday detention due to Tipp-Ex-related obscenities, and pitching a Pants Tent to George Michael in Barry Island Butlins. 

Musicwise, however, this episode veers all over the shop, from Pete Burns taking the last stand for Pop Weirdness to Tears For Fears poncing about in Montreux to Paul Weller in his Pants to Oompah Reggae to Mick Hucknall annoying people trying to play pool to Roland Gift singing like he's got a hot bit of potato in his mouth to Ian Astbury dressing up like someone who reads palms in a caravan off Blackpool Pier. It's actually better than expected, although the No.1 is depressingly rammel. And as luck would have it, one of us - who was a Hip Young Cockleslinger at the Barry and District Times - has pulled out his scrapbook and treats us to his original reviews. 

Neil Kulkarni and Simon Price join Al Needham for a solid pick at the scab of 1985, veering off on the usual tangents, which include having to go to school with the Topless Lovelies, the correct procedures of cock-drawing, trying to dress like Paul Weller and ending up looking like Eric Morecombe, Quincy Punks, and the Treacherous Steph of Basingstoke. Naturally, swearing is deployed. Often.

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/chartmusic/22_-_July_4th_1985_-_A_Horrible_Year_For_Crisps_And_Pop.mp3]

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Mar 20, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: er, can you spare us a few quid so we don't have to do these through shitty microphones any more? Please?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, couldn't be more Nineties if it started off thinking England were a lock for the 1994 World Cup, and finished having a bit of a roar about Lady Di. We're smack in the middle of 1995, two-thirds of the panel were hammering out dispatches from the very frontline of Cool Britannia (while the other third was locked in a glass box, rummaging through bin bags filled with pictures of fannies), and one of us was actually in attendance when this very episode was filmed, sitting around with mopey young musos and slipping away for a crafty pull on a jazz fag when Celine Dion comes on.

Yes, there are a couple of Britpop acts on this episode, but it's a timely reminder that there was far more going on than that in '95, and most of it thick with of the tang of Hip-Hop. Montell Jordan rocks that urban Bully out of Bullseye look, Jonathan King introduces his latest proteges The Black Eyed Mushy Peas, some band we've never heard of drops an unexpected N-Bomb, Manchester United play Run-DMC to Status Quo's Aerosmith, and, er, Scatman John pitches up. And St Simon of Mayo emerges from the darkness every now and then like a Shakespearean ghost with some rib-tickling, cutting-edge 'burns' of the English Rugby Union and Bob Geldof's marital woes.

Naturally, because it's a Nineties episode, there's a chunk of blather about working in the music press, but the inevitable tangents include the death of the NME, the floppy-headed rubbishness of David Seaman, being sneered at by Menswe@r's roadie, an entire shopping centre being rammed out to see a radio presenter dressed up as a monk, Richard Desmond: Champion of Homosexual Media, and a plug or two for our new Patreon account. As always, there's swearing, swearing and more swearing.

Feb 27, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: an emaciated John Lennon in a boxing match with the six months-dead Elvis Presley - who wins?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, is mental. Come with us as we set the Time Sofa all the way into the very heart of the Eighventies, to a Bizarro-world where people actually thought – yes, with their actual brains – that Mike Read was sort of cool. Yes, it’s the Chart Music debut of Mr Blue Tulip himself, which may be touched upon at some point in this episode, we can’t remember.

Musicwise, it’s all over the shop, but always in a gloriously entertaining manner. Vaguely Punkish bands lumber about on their last legs, a giant hairy Belgian testicle in a muumuu has to jump up to reach his congas, Mike Oldfield’s sister and her mates break out of a Victorian asylum and pretend to be Martha and the Vandellas, Nazareth still think it’s 1973, Billy Joel has a cup of piss balanced precariously on his mixing desk, and a Birmingham taxi driver has a dark secret to reveal. And Debbie Harry looks down upon us all with her frosty hauteur as Legs & Co have to share four costumes between them. Meanwhile, at a party in New York, Sid Vicious is deciding to have another helping of trifle laced with heroin. End Of An Era.

Al Needham joins Taylor Parkes and Simon Price around the industrial dispute brazier of early ’79, veering off to discuss such important matters as wringing every last drop of juice out of your fledgling record collection, asking the Iranian kids at school if they were in the Shah’s or the Ayatollah’s gang, your Dad seeing the Sex Pistols kicking off about a lack of cabbage at a motorway service station, and a disturbing early internet craze called ‘Top Of The Pops Club’. And all the swearing you’ll need to see you through the month.

Feb 6, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: what’s the difference between a Cartoon Time and a Cartoon Club?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, sees the world’s No.1 authority on old episodes of a long-gone pop show casting its eyes and ears toward the summer of ’89 - but if you're expecting to see some Acid House tomfoolery or a full-on Madchester takeover, you're going to be massively disappointed: the only Acieeed references are on Sinitta's ears, and the only Manc in attendance is, er, Simon Parkin, who's been let out of the Broom Cupboard for his TOTP debut. And he looks like he's shitting himself throughout.

Still, this episode is a definite sign that things are getting better, as long as you avoid looking at the appalling shirts that men chose to wear in that era: Brit-Hop pitches up in the shape of the Rebel MC. REM finally escape from Student Discoland into our hearts and charts. Fuzzbox get all saucy with a massive pin . And Stock Aitken and Waterman finally admit defeat with the worst No.1 of the year that didn't involve a grown man in a rabbit costume.

Al Needham is joined by Sarah Bee and Neil Kulkarni for a ram of the critical arm up the cow's arse of '89, veering off to discuss being coated down by middle-aged Crusties, Mams who go into town wearing your favourite band t-shirts, suitable replacements for Africa pendants if you happen to be white and don't want to get battered, being stared at by Cyndi Lauper, and the disgusting lack of train etiquette displayed by second division pop stars. And - of course - all the swearing you could possibly need.  

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Jan 23, 2018

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: what, him out of Brotherhood Of Man with the ‘tache? How old? Fucking hell!

After an extended hiatus, the greatest podcast in the world about old episodes of Top Of The Pops roars back with its usual melange of incisive music criticism, flare-baiting, dodgy microphones and the language of the billiard hall. This episode, we’re on the cusp of The Great Drought, and Tony Blackburn is on hand, bearing the gormlessly smiley visage of a man who knows he’s going to be giving his next-door neighbour a seeing-to in a Kensington flat after the show is over.

Musicwise, this episode is pitted with British rubbishness, saved by the advent of Disco and the intervention of black America, who are repaid with comedy racism. Yes, Diana Ross and Gladys Knight drop two of the greatest tunes of the era, but we’re forced to listen to the Genuine Concerns of Paul Nicholas, an early appearance of Midge Ure trying to be James Dean, some Racist Animal Disco, and the most hated lorry driver of the Seventies who wasn’t Peter Sutcliffe. Oh, and because it’s April 1976, you already know what the No.1 is. On the upside, we get two appearances by Pans People. On the downside, it’s because this is the week they are made redundant, marking the very end of TOTP’s Golden Age.

Taylor Parkes and Simon Price join Al Needham for a rummage through the skip of mid-70s Pop, breaking off to discuss if you can actually wring any kind of enjoyment out of 70s grot films, Monk Rock, the futility of CB radio, the lack of Birmingham accents in Pop, having your 8th birthday ruined by Manchester United, passing out in a lion suit, and some quality swearing.

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