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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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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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