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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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Aug 8, 2019

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: What's more important, the Taint or the Love?

Part Two of our Critics' Choice series, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and Our Neil has dragged us back to the idyllic summer of 1981, where the panel were a) replaying the 1970 World Cup with Subbuteo, b) wearing burgundy and c) playing The Omen in our bedroom respectively. And good Lord, what an episode he's picked! 

Musicwise, it's a ridiculous mix of soaring highs and plunging lows, where the new era of synthiness forces the old guard to shed their facial hair, pare back on the widdliness and learn to rollerskate. Marc Almond throws the sunglasses to one side and delivers one of the landmark TOTP performances. Some Dads pretend to be the Bee Gees. Midge Ure comes on all Peaky Blinders. The Rolling Stones have a glorious piss-about. Cliff gets wanged across a shopping centre in Milton Keynes for some Danger Skating. Legs & Co are shackled to ELO again. And the Number One is, er, a Futurist pan-Asian classic.

Neil Kulkarni and Simon Price examine the potato bag of '81 for signs of blight with Al Needham, veering off on such tangents as playing football with Action Men, the star power of Stan Stennett, The Rumour, The Oriental Riff, The Pickwick Top Of The Pops compilations, Specials cover versions at Butlins, and Manslaughter On 45. There's swearing. But you knew that anyway.

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