Chart Music



The podcast that rams its hand down the settee of the greatest pop TV show ever. Each episode takes one random episode of Top Of The Pops and breaks it down to its very last compound, from the tunes to the audience reaction to what colour silk bomber jacket the presenter is wearing that week. Hosted by Al Needham, with huge assistance from some of the UK's toppermost music writers, it's an unflinching gaze into the open wound of pop culture and a celebration of Thursday evenings past.


  • #45: August 2nd 1979 - Treat Dad To Joan Collins For Xmas

    08/11/2019 Duración: 04h50min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: who would win in a stage-show spaceship fight between Earth Wind and Fire, ELO and Funkadelic? It's the final furlong of the Critics' Choice series, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and Our Simon has dragged us back to the dawn of the Eighventies and pulled out a ridiculously bountiful episode with so much to talk about, making this our BIGGEST EPISODE EVER. It's the middle of the Summer Holiday Of Our Extreme Content, your panel have spent their downtime crying tears of laughter at the sight of nudists in supermarkets on telly, avoiding the Punk House, and having a break from the draconian private school system respectively, but are all clustered around the telly to see what Peter Powell has up his sleeve this Thursday eve, only to discover that he's not wearing any. But so what? Because musicwise, this could well be the greatest episode of TOTP we've come across so far, and a solid case for '79 being even better than '81. The Dooleys are gotten out of the way early doors.

  • #44: November 8th 1984 - Yo! Bum Rush The Quo

    10/10/2019 Duración: 04h05min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: is Simon Bates negging or cock-blocking? Into the penultimate stretch of the Critics' Choice series, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and Our Sarah has taken us all the way back to the time when her keen Pop sensibilities were hauling itself upright from the ooze. And she. Has. Chosen. Well. We're weeks away from Band Aid and the Eighties are already starting to ming of unwashed cock, but this episode - presented LIVE IN THE STUDIO by Geoffrey and Pigwanker General - is nowhere near as horrific as it could have been, even though there's some right catshit strewn about. Limahl has the last laugh, and is never heard of again. Status Quo are taken to the tip by the Council. Billy Ocean and Eugene Wilde give us a remake of Billie Jean and Sexual Shakin'. Gary Numan's weave makes its TOTP debut. But we get to see Depeche Mode's career turn on a sixpence while they bang on some hunks of concrete, and we get the best Number One of the year that doesn't involve Frankie. Sarah Bee 

  • #43: March 6th 1969 - Ah-Ha-Ha-Ha!

    06/09/2019 Duración: 03h33min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: Why didn't NASA do something for the old 'uns? It's the mid-point of our Critics Choice series, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and this time Our Taylor has taken us back - way back - to the spring of 1969, when two-thirds of Team ATVland weren't even thought of and the third was imprisoned in a cage made out of pallets, with all nails sticking out.  Musicwise, well: we are 301 days from the end of this decade - the greatest decade in history, mark you - and Top Of The Pops has failed to paint it black. Many things happen in this year, but mainly in America, and this episode is rammeth with Beat groups on their last legs, all expertly dealt with by the voice of Brentford Nylons. Dave Dee, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub celebrate ritual animal abuse. Love Affair awkwardly wink at the camera as the sand runs out on their career. Lulu swings an imaginary beer stein frothing with Schlager as she makes her bid for Eurovision glory. The Tymes do something really impressive at the end

  • #42: August 27th 1981 - Non-Stop Erotic Kattomeat

    08/08/2019 Duración: 04h17s

    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 Kulkar

  • #41: August 26th 1976 - From Acker Bilk To Chlamydia In Two Minutes

    09/07/2019 Duración: 04h01min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: can you remember a wazz you had 43 years ago? This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, is the beginning of a five-part mini-series where members of Team Chart Music run a finger along our TOTP collection and select one of their favourites - and Our David has kicked it off by pulling out an absolute plum from the very end of the Drought. Your panel were killing time during the summer holidays sitting in hot cars, playing Shove Matchbox, or trying to be the Lord Killinan of the ladybirds, but over in the BBC TV Centre, Noel Edmonds has graciously taken time out from getting ready for Swap Shop (and presumably counting the excrement passing through the piping system) to deluge us all with another massive dollop of brightly-coloured Pop gunge. Musicwise, it's a mainly above-par serving of the usual mid-70s melange: Manfred Mann turn up the knob on their synth. The Bee Gees lob a glitterball through the window of the charts. Robin Sarstedt - the Lothario of the Tea Dance -

  • #40: 4th April 1991 - You've Got To Earn Your Na Na Na Na

    06/06/2019 Duración: 03h18min

    The 40th episode of the podcast which asks: so how do you get your pills out of a Kinder Surprise egg while wearing long opera gloves? This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, takes us nearly ten years away from the glory of the last one and plunges us deep into the turquoise shell-suited heart of the Neighnties - and oh dear, our beloved programme is right up Arsehole Street. The ratings are dropping like a Shed Seven release in its second week, newer and savvier shows are undercutting it, and the BBC have pissed about with the scheduling to such an extent that middle-aged spods with a craving for Judith Hann are sitting there shouting; "Oh, what's this bollocks? WHERE'S TOMORROW'S WORLD?"  Musicwise, hmm: Gary Davies, in a boxy denim jacked beloved of the era, just about manages to not look like he's too old for this shit (despite dropping a few clunky Dad-phrases). Inspiral Carpets - the Freddie and the Dreamers of Madchester - pitch up, demonstrating the bad haircuts that were available to youths at the time.

  • #39 - May 21st 1981: Grill Equals Fanny

    23/04/2019 Duración: 04h45min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: did Phil Oakey ever have it out with the Undertones for coating him down on My Perfect Cousin? This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, is the longest EVER, but don't blame us - because there is so much going on in this episode of The Pops, and we take a concentrated blast of 1981 full in the face. No lie, it's wave after wave of late-Eighventies pop brilliance, broken up by assorted bits of rubbish, and Dave Lee Travis in an elongated hat. We've coated down the Living Gnasher Badge enough times, but in this episode, we step back and contemplate Dave Lee Travis: motorsport expert. Dave Lee Travis: Lennie Bennett-foil. Dave Lee Travis: Photographer. Dave Lee Travis: Renaissance Man. Musicwise, fucking HELL: The Undertones readjust for the Eighties. Teardrop Explodes - possibly off their tits - show the youth that there's more to life than chicken pancetta. Kim Wilde vandalises a dead nice public toilet. The Beat (again). Chicken Steven (again). Smokey Robinson invents

  • #38: April 29th 1971 - Everybody's Got The Clap

    20/03/2019 Duración: 03h30min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: Rod Stewart - a grower or a shower? This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, involves one of the grimmer aspects of Top Of The Pops, as it comes in the wake of one of the regular audience members comitting suicide, the subsequent tabloid coverage when it was revealed that she'd left a diary behind, and the fallout from it - which continued right the way up to this decade. And it's something we can't not talk about. Musicwise, it's a glorious mish-mash of fare from '71, the International Year of the Banjo. The beardiness is ramped up by McGuinness Flint. A man pretending to be R. Dean Taylor runs about in a quarry. Jonathan King lurks about. Pans People get busy to the Jackson 5, before showing up Lulu. The Mixtures give us an opportunity to have a good laugh at automobile fatalities. Ringo requires some Norwegian wood to stop his piano sinking into the snow. The Faces get the chance to plug their LP for eight whole minutes, but Dave and Ansil Collins steam in to drop

  • #37: August 11th 2000 - ITV Digital And Chill

    22/02/2019 Duración: 04h28min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: how did we manage to go on about 7 Days for 20 minutes without once adding the word 'Jankers' to it? Jesus in a jumpsuit, Pop-Crazed Youngsters - it's a Top Of Pops from THIS ACTUAL CENTURY, and your three contributors, who are by now frantially sucking at the bone-dry and chapped teats of traditional media, are still upset that there are no Massive Glam Robots on, and it's not available in pill form. Be warned: this episode contains a lengthy and unflinching dissection of the last days of Melody Maker, and it is not pretty.  Musicwise, it's not quite as grim as we were expecting, because this is the Garage version of the Madchester episode. Craig David pops up in a Statement Wooly to tell you who he is and how he got his end away - EVEN THOUGH HE'S NOT NUMBER ONE ANYMORE. Wookie and Lain and MJ Cole complete the hat-trick. But fear not, the Alternative Nation fights back with, er, the last knockings of Reef and Mansun. There's some properly good fire-breathing ov

  • #36: October 11th 1979 - Welcome, Welcome, Welcome Home To Chart Music

    24/01/2019 Duración: 03h53min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks; how would Mike Read get on in the WWF? and how long would it take before someone took his guitar off him and stoved his head in with it? It's been too long, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, but we're back from our spell of R&R at Pontins Camber Sands and are going armpit-deep into the cavity of one of the landmark episodes of Top Of The Pops - the one with the biggest TV audience ever. ITV are on strike, and the only other thing on the telly is carriage driving, of all things, leaving the field clear for Andy Peebles to make his TOTP debut in his ill-fitting suit. Musicwise, it looks as if the BBC have ramped up the fun-for-all-the-family aspect in a desperate grab for as many eyeballs as possible, meaning we get a load of acts who are nowhere near the Top 40 mixed in with the usual fare. The Headboys get lumped into the New Wave thing and are not pleased about it. Jacko and Chic provide a devastating one-two punch. Scabby cowboys - in the shape of Dr Hook and Charlie D

  • #35: December 25th 1976 - The World's Most Erotic Quality Street Tin

    24/12/2018 Duración: 03h56min

    A special-ish episode of the podcast which asks: why do we always leave the Xmas episodes to the last minute? Another MASSIVE examination of Pop-telly nirvarna sees us tucking in to the annual Xmas day selection box - this time from the year of Nineteen and Seventy-Six. And lucky us: we've been invited to the head table of Radio One, dominated by the bearded gorgons of The Happy Sound themselves - DLT and Noel Edmonds - as they give the nation an opportunity to watch them pretend to like each other, have one massive trifle EACH, fuck about with bread and grip a fork with a Yorkshire pudding on the end of it with sheer uncontained LUST at Legs & Co. Like all Xmas Day episodes, it's a look back at the flare-swingin' Sound of '76 - and as is its wont, the highs are stratospheric and the lows are subterranean. Abba remind us who the Dons of the era were with not one but two hits. Tina Charles cowers up in the lighting rig and wonders about her bloke. The Wurzels keep it rural. JJ Barrie angers every child acr

  • #34: December 18th 1980 - You Can Hear Them Shagging In Japanese

    18/12/2018 Duración: 03h52min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks; who is more important - a dead Beatle, or your Nana? It's cold and dark, pop-crazed youngsters, so it's time once again to binge upon one of our favourite eras of Top Of The Pops. Your hosts are simultaneously deciding which 50 badges to wear for the school Xmas disco, still in hiding from the fake accusation that they had a good cry about someone dying, and going about their business unaware that Santa is going to let them down big style in a week's time. But for a glorious half-hour, we're all distracted by the sight of Pig-Wanker General himself, perched on a gantry, giving us our weekly shot of Pop randomness. Musicwise, the highs are high and the lows are lower than low. The Beat and The Specials remind us who the daddies were in the Eighventies, but we also get the sickening one-two punch of the second most annoying singer with a lisp of 1980 and a festive celebration of drink-driving, sexual harrassment and homophobia. The Nolans have finally managed to get

  • #33: February 8th 1996 - It's Tarp Of The Parps!

    23/11/2018 Duración: 04h03min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks; if God were one of us, who would he hate more out of M People and the Lighthouse Family? The longest episode of Chart Music EVER sees us pitched into the second half of the Nineties for the first time - and oh dear, our favourite Pop show is beginning to enter its slow decline and being pissed about with big style. The guest presenters are still in effect - but luckily for us, this week's frontperson is Julian Cope, who has brought a giant It's A Knockout-style builder to help him stage a prime-time protest against the Newbury Bypass. There's not one but two of those live satellite broadcasts, which demonstrate that California's weather fluctuates like an absolute bastard. Everything's piling into the charts right near the top and then dropping down again. And where's the Britpop? Musicwise, this is an absolute lucky bag of randomness, minus the chunky ring you wanted. Some Bedouin tribesmen sit around on a Trancey 'tip'. Joan Osbourne bangs on about God. Billy Co

  • #32 - October 28th 1982 - Come To The Sabbat, Simon's There

    29/10/2018 Duración: 03h15min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: why didn't Top Of The Pops do a Bonfire Night special instead, the traitorous, British-way-of-life-hating bastards? Yeah yeah, we know: another early Eighties one. But if you thought we were going to wait another year before we got stuck into this particular episode, you don't know Chart Music. The Pops is entombed in its rah-rah-rah flags-and-balloons Zoo-wanker phase and has pulled out all the stops (i.e., gone through the BBC props cupboard) decided to do a Halloween special, even though Halloween means next to arse all in the UK in pre-ET 1982. And who else to guide us through this realm of piss-poor joke-shop terror than the Dark Lord Simon Bates? Musicwise, it's a pic n' mix of razor blade-tainted apples and cat shit in shiny wrappers, with a diamond or two lurking at the bottom. The tang of Pebble Mill is strong in this one: Dionne Warwick glares at us in a Margo Leadbetter rig-out. Barry Manilow is DTF. The Beatles arise from the grave. Blue Zoo demonstrat

  • #31 - August 11th 1983 - For No Bums Will Ever Tempt Me From She

    25/09/2018 Duración: 03h19min

    The latest edition of the podcast which asks: that thing with the earlobes - the entire country didn't just imagine it, did they? It's the summer of '83, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and your avuncular host is battling a series of crises: not only is he still recovering from a de-bagging on the school field and sulking over the re-election of the foul hag Thatcherax, he's fending off rumours about his sexuality before he's even had the chance to do anything with the bastard. Luckily, all that's about to change, as his spiritual guide Paul Weller has got a new record out. And there's a video. Oh dear. Musicwise, it's a proper pic'n'mix of early-Eighties confections, bagged up by elderly shop-lads Skinner and Vance, with a shocking lack of Dadisfaction. David Grant has a massive mid-life crisis and goes all Shakin' Shalamar. Mark King gives it some thumb. Toney Adleh Aaht Ter Spandaah Balleh ponces about in Spain. Siouxie goes all Jazzy, and wonders why she's the only woman on this episode. Robert Plant does some mos

  • #30: November 23rd 1989 - Hulk Get Jheri Curl!

    31/08/2018 Duración: 03h25min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: if Bummerdog was a band, what would they sound like? This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, is one of the absolute landmark moments of the long and storied history of The Pops - the week where all the rubbish of the Laties is finally driven into the sea by streetwise lairy youths with a malevolent shuffle and a drug-induced attitude. And as well as Big Fun, the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays are on too. Those of you who remember this episode as a full-on Madchester takeover - with 808 State on as well, and Vera Duckworth gurning away in the audience in a Joe Bloggs top - are going to be sorely disappointed, however, as the supporting cast is the usual Neighnties rubbish. Jakki Brambles and Jenny Powell come off like the Philadelphia Cheese Advert women. Bobby Brown thrusts his groin at a shockingly young girl who's probably wondering when Tiffany is going to come on. Aaron Neville comes dressed up as a character in a Sega beat-'em-up. The Fine Young Cannibals get bum

  • #29: January 22nd 1976 - Here's A Song About A Naughty Lady

    15/08/2018 Duración: 03h22s

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: if Midge Ure had become lead singer of the Sex Pistols, would we all still be wearing flares?  This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, was foraged from the very dustbin of History, being one from early 1976 which missed out on the BBC4 treatment. And, as we very quickly discover, huge chunks of it should have stayed there. Diddy Fucking David Hamilton wears a nasty Christmas-present jumper. Barbara Dickson warms up for her season on the Two Ronnies. Smokie - again! - dispatch another throat full of phlegm upon The Kids. Slik - AGAIN! - deliver the stalkiest wedding song ever. And Sailor encourage the youth to bang on the side of their Dad's drinks cabinet. As we all know, however, there is no such thing as a rubbish Top Of The Pops. Osibisa get properly togged up. Pans People pull one of their greatest performances out of their Quality Street Wrapper-panted arses, and the Number One has been there for so long it's practically the national anthem by now. Al Needham is

  • #28: August 31st 1995 - Find A Girl, Settle Down, Kill Salman Rushdie

    13/07/2018 Duración: 03h40min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: is there such a thing as a trendy wank? This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, drags us back to the dark  Civil War of the mid-90s, when brother fought against brother over whether Roll With It was slightly less rubbish than Country House, and Oasis-loving loving wives imposed a 'nookie strike' upon their Blur-supporting husbands. Yes, it's the aftermath of the Battle of Britpop, and we fly over the rubble, dropping crates of analysis and sniping at assorted wrongness along the way. If you're expecting non-stop Sons and Daughters of Albion adopting Mockney accents and walking about about monkeys, however, you're going to be sorely disappointed, as there are a lot of - gasp! - Americans on it, and even some Irish people. Dale Winton reaches the pinnacle of the journey he started when he was playing records in a biscuit factory. Berri and De'lacy provide an interesting - sort of - compare-and-contrast of Anglo and American House. Michael Jackson lolls about in a CGI G

  • #27 - May 6th 1982: We Form Like Voltron, And KGA Is The Head

    18/06/2018 Duración: 03h37min

    The latest episode of the podcast which asks: has there ever been a Good Bates? The year is 1982, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, and the world is waiting for England. Actually, no - what the world is waiting for is for Tomorrow's World to piss off, because this episode of The Pops is a bit special. No less than three football teams have been hitting the BBC bar all afternoon and rubbing a manky-jumpered shoulder with the Pop Elite and partake in an unforgettable half-hour-and-a-bit of flag-waving, scarf-brandishing, dirge-chanting palaver. It's not all footybollocks, though: Junior and Patrice Rushen get danced at by Zoo wankers. Original Junglists Tight Fit pretend to be Abba. Angry-yet-penitent Jim Diamond enters the fray. Bananarama get a leg-up by their mates Fun Boy Three. And Paul McCartney delivers a message to Racism: You Can Do One Right Now Please. And there's an actual war on. And fucking hell, it's Ken Baily! Simon Price and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham for a snuffle at the gusset of the Union Jack short

  • #26: August 9th 1984 - John Peel's Yummy Finger

    31/05/2018 Duración: 02h52min

    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

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