HERE WAS ME THINKING ONLY CHART SONGS WERE ON TOP OF THE POPS

A few days back I was flicking through You Tube looking for a vintage Jonathan Richman clip from a Whistle Test appearance when I found this:-

TOTP 2 was a show that used to fill up time on the schedules of BBC2. It was basically clips of old Top of the Pops shows from the 70s and 80s with the occasional new song thrown in. The fact that they showed a clip of Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers performing New England in April 1978 baffles me. The song never made the Top 75 and yet seems to have been recorded and aired. Unless of course the recording was made while the band happened to be in London and kept for use in case the song did become a hit. I was an avid viewer of the show in the 70s as it was just about the only music shown on TV in those days of just three channels and I don’t remember seeing the clip before finding it on t’internet. Does anyone recall differently?

Anyways, I love this particular song. There’s something utterly joyful about its sentiments and the tune matches it perfectly. I don’t own a copy of the single but both it and its b-side can be found on the Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers LP from 1977.

mp3 : Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – New England
mp3 : Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – Here Come The Martian Martians

Great fun.

Oh and I did also find the clip I was hunting for. It was shown on Whistle Test at some point in the 80s and captures perfectly the sheer enthusiasm of Jonathan as a performer.

JC

3 thoughts on “HERE WAS ME THINKING ONLY CHART SONGS WERE ON TOP OF THE POPS

  1. I will always see Jonathan Richman when in town! The guy is a singular performer unlike any others. A total one-off delight. His joy in playing is infectious. I first went to see him in 1993-4 and never stopped. The one thing about Richman that drives me crazy is that when he plays, he never sells merch. The stores in town that always stocked his latest release were Naspter casualties. The newer ones which have sprung up don’t know from Jonathan Richman [philistines!]. So the last album of his that I was able to buy was “Not So Much To Be Loved As To Love” and there’s [looks] five more albums I haven’t heard! Dang!

  2. New England was on the TOTP episode aired on 27-04-1978. It probably wasn’t shown on the BBC4 re-run in 2013 due to who the presenter was. Also on that show were Buzzcocks with I Don’t Mind and Legs & Co dancing to Patti Smith’s Because The Night. I’ll get my anorak…

  3. Cheers for the info.

    Just watched the Legs & Co clip for ‘Because The Night’. It’s utterly bizarre…..

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