Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Nah pop no style, I strictly roots

"Somewhere there's heaven; how high the... waist?"

Timeslip moment again, dear reader - our first of the year...

...and John Beck's Time Machine has deposited us in the wilderness of January 1978, the year of the shakiest PM ever Jim Callaghan, of Evita, Brian Clough, the first "test-tube baby", Grease, "The Hillside Strangler", Wuthering Heights, "post-Punk" and the three Popes; the year that Ben Cohen, Zoe Saldana, Nelly Furtado, Space Invaders and - ahem - Katie Price (aka Jordan) were born, and Charles Boyer, Louis Prima and Keith Moon died.

Making the headlines this month forty years ago: dramatic storms destroyed the historic piers at Herne Bay, Margate, Hunstanton and Skegness; the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet cemented his rule after a referendum on the country's constitution; the Yorkshire Ripper's reign of terror continued, with the discovery of victim #8; in the ascendant were The Holy Crown of Hungary (returned to its home country after three decades in the USA), Bülent Ecevit (re-elected as President of Turkey) and Harvey Milk (the first openly gay person elected to public office in California), but an Air India jumbo jet crashed near Bombay, killing 213 people. In our cinemas in the UK: Star Wars, Julia and The Deep . On telly: An Audience With Jasper Carrott, Blake's 7 and All Creatures Great and Small.

In our charts this week in '78? The seemingly unstoppable Mull Of Kintyre by Wings was in its eighth week (out of nine) at Number 1 [NB quite likely this was the record that spawned the Human League classic "The Black Hit Of Space, lyrics: "As the song climbed the charts, the others disappeared, 'til there was nothing but it left to buy; It got to number one, then into minus figures, though nobody could understand why"...]. Also in the mêlée of contenders were some big hitters including Donna Summer, Bonnie Tyler, the Bee Gees, David Soul, Odyssey, Chic, Crystal Gayle and, errr, The Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band.

But it was the estimable talents of a completely unknown duo of Jamaican teenagers, performing their one and only hit - and what an unforgettable one! - that was destined to kick Mr McCartney and his mournful dirge off the top slot. Thank heavens for "one-hit-wonders" Althea Rose Forrest and Donna Marie Reid [and whatever happened to them?!] I say!

Watch how we chuck it an' ting
Inna we khaki suit an' ting
Love is all I bring
Inna me khaki suit and ting



  1. I was in high school at the time. I remember the era well.

    1. I was also in my teens and in senior school at the time - raving about Saturday Night Fever and Grease, (about to become) obsessed with Blondie, and wanking like frenzy... Jx


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