Continuing to plumb the gold mine of Top Of The Pops programs this week. This one from December 22, 1967 features (as always live performances) by The Who, during their Who Sell Out period, Lulu, playing her worldwide hit To Sir, With Love, The Troggs with Love Is All Around, The Gun, a three-piece featuring the Gurvitz Brothers who would score a top 10 hit with Race With the Devil before splitting in 1970 to become May Blitz and Three Man Army. And Gene Pitney who was catching on in the UK after a few years of moderate hits.
Typical of the wide range of music genres, Top Of The Pops represented a mix of bands on the rise as well as chart hits, all performed live and subsequently in considerably different versions than their commercial releases. Luckily, a number of these shows have survived because they were offered as part of the BBC Transcription service, a radio station subscription program where the BBC released a vast number of shows of different types for broadcast by radio stations all over the world. The show continued to be available through the 1980s, although the format of playing strictly live versions was dropped and the music played was canned, making its appeal to collectors drop considerably. This show, along with the BBC In Concert series, and several other music programs have proven crucial in a historic sense, not only from hearing a different version of a song, but also interviews and performances by bands who otherwise had very little or no record of live performances otherwise.
But the bottom line is, this is just great to listen to and offers yet another glimpse into rock n’ roll history which may not be overly examined.
Crank it up and enjoy. (and thanks to Gray Newell for helping make the week bearable).