Saturday, May 7, 2011

Top Of The Pops

Top Of The Pops, or TOTP was a British charts music tv show that aired on BBC 1 from January 1,1964 to July 6, 2006. Numerous hosts rotated at the show's helm, but the very first was disc jockey Jimmy Saville (above). The format was essentially performances by the top  popular music artists of the day with a countdown of the top 20 best selling records (or,in the later years,CDs) of the week. The show would always end with the week's #1 selling song.
Countless acts have appeared on the long-running show, many appearing multiple times. Status Quo stands as the act with the most appearances on TOTP. The nicknames for the Spice Girls (Baby,Posh Scary,Sporty and Ginger) were coined on the show and stayed with the act their entire carreer. In the beginning acts would mime their songs to a pre-recorded track, but due to various disputes with the Musicians Union, started in later years to alternate between performing fully live and singing live to a backing track and occasionally returning to full on miming. Many times artists who resented  the miming or simply didn't take it seriously would be seen obviously showing in various ways that they weren't singing or playing.
The following are some TOTP performances throughout the decades:


  1. Hi John. What a fantastic selection of clips. TOTP was always a favourite of mine, right from 1964 onwards. Don't forget the in-house dancers (Pan's People, Legs and Co etc) who were also part of the vibe! There is a great blog devoted entirely to them at

  2. thanks,music obsessive! I must apologize for using the wrong video by Suede.I have their TOTP appearance but got them mixed up...will definitely check out the site! Many thanks!