Top of the Pops – 1977 Punk vs MOR

Everyone watched Top of the Pops in 1977. Most kids watched it to keep up with the  fashionable music and know what to like. I had friends who bought every number one single, regardless of whether they personally liked it. There was the general idea that the bands and songs on TOTP were the best, and that you should love ’em all.

That was until I was 14, when I discovered cynicism, rebellion, musical snobbery and some kind of identity. Before 1977, the conversations usually went,

“Did you see Top of the Pops last night?”

“Yeah; it was good, wasn’t it?”

This was because Thursday night was for us. Any of the music – The Rubettes, 10CC, Brotherhood of Man – showed that I was virtually an adult and was no longer interested in The Magic Roundabout, Tom and Jerry, Nationwide or any of those early-evening BBC programmes. But 1977 marked a change, as the thrill of punk showed up the other middle-of-the-road acts as rubbish.

“Did you see Top of the Pops last night?”

“What about Eddie and the Hot Rods? Amazing! Everything else was rubbish.”

The seven punkiest bands to appear on TOTP in 1977, with our 21st century scoring are:

The Adverts – Gary Gilmore’s Eyes ****

Boomtown Rats – Lookin’ After no 1 ***

Blondie – Denis Denis ****

Eddie & the Hot Rods – Do Anything You Wanna Do ****

Generation X – Wild Youth ****

Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant *****

The Saints – This Perfect Day ****

The Stranglers – Go Buddy Go ***

So, only the Sex Pistols get the 5 star PGD award for 1977 Top of the Pops. Although I’ve now recognised the brilliance of some of the songwriters and soul artists from that era, there are some terrible acts too. We won’t bore you with the long list of middle of the road acts that get zero stars – there’s too many to name!

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