Top Of The Pops 40th Anniversary (2004)
In 2004, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Top Of The Pops on BBC1, a DVD was released, which featured various highlights. Now I do get frustrated when people claim that this show has become “toxic”, and I think that we should try to reclaim it, as this is a rather large part in documenting the history of British pop music, and that shouldn’t be left to go to waste.
Whenever a genre was at its peak, or a new pop group came on to the scene, this show was designed to cover it. One performance from every year of the four decades is featured, although of course a lot of material from the early days has regrettably long since been lost. So we begin with the black-and-white era of the 60s, which then moves into the colour of the 70s.
And then with the 80s, we have not only what is now supposedly The Greatest Era Of Pop Music, but also the greatest era of the show. And then things go on into the 90s and beyond. Everybody will have their own favourite moments, and there are a huge amount of memories that will be guaranteed to come back. I mean, how could anybody ever forget “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”? Er, right.
Performances can also be watched with facts appearing on the screen in a TOTP2 style, that are (not very) informative as always. There are also plenty of extras. There is a look back at the various dance troupes from the early days. There are also some photos from the archive, now the only evidence that the lost shows did happen. There are also some opening sequences, I’ve always been rather fond of “The Wizard”.
We can even look at some performances with the introductions from the hosts left in. And there is a quick look behind the scenes at the current version of TOTP with then-producer Andi Peters. And well, he may have hosted lots of popular CBBC shows including Live & Kicking, but he did more than most to push the regular weekly show to its end with his constant changes, but we wouldn’t have known that at the time during these celebrations.
Now I’ve never worked in TV, but actually featuring some songs that were on the chart might’ve been a good idea, as that was the actual reason that this show existed. But I mustn’t keep going on about that now, although the monthly magazine still continuing to this day does baffle me. And if you’re lucky, some Easter eggs can be found, offering even more insight into the show.