TOP OF THE POPS LP – Volume 22 SHM 780

Nicola Austin - Top Of The Pops LP Sleeve - Volume 22 Hallmark SHM 780.

This was actually the first Top of the Pops LP that I ever encountered, and it’s for that reason alone that I’ve decided to choose this particular album to get this blog category off the ground. When I first heard this record as a twelve year old in 1972, I absolutely hated it. In fact, it was because of this specific album that I decided I would never want to listen to a ‘Top of the Pops’ LP ever again (click here for the full story).
Listening to it now, 38 years later; I must admit that my denigration at the time was probably a little harsh. This is not the best ‘Top of the Pops’ LP by a long way, but it’s certainly not the worst. Yes, I still cringe when I hear the weedy introduction to ‘Telegram Sam,’ but can now appreciate that the vocalist’s impersonation of Marc Bolan is not too bad at all. I can’t help wondering though, how much effort these session singers put into actually singing the songs, as opposed to concentrating on impersonating the original artists. This LP provides a classic case in point with ‘All I Ever Need Is You’ where the female singer, while delivering a fine vocal performance, fails convincingly to sound anything like Cher (she lands much closer to Bette Midler actually), while her male counterpart at the same time, manages to produce a very believable impersonation of Sonny Bono.
Elsewhere on this LP, we get to appreciate what a strong vocal talent The Sweet possessed, when we sit back and cringe at the way the session singers on ‘Poppa Joe’ struggle painfully to cope with the numerous key changes that The Sweet tackled with ease on the original.
The album ends with a rather impressive version of Chicory Tip’s ‘Son of my Father’. This track actually provided Top of the Pops Stalwart ‘Tony Rivers’ with his first of many lead vocal roles on these wonderful LP’s. Which gives me the perfect opportunity to recommend Tony’s official website, which has a section devoted to ‘Top of the Pops’. It is there that you will be able to get a lot of first-hand information about the people and procedures behind the making of these much-loved/maligned albums.

TRACK LISTING – Side 1

 

Song Title

Composer(s)

Original Artist

1

Telegram Sam

Bolan

T.Rex

2

Horse With No Name

Bunnell

America

3

Where Did Our Love Go

Holland-Dozier-Holland

Donnie Elbert

4

Stay With Me

Wood-Stewart

The Faces

5

I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing

Cook-Greenaway-Davis-Backer

The New Seekers

6

Let’s Stay Together

Rodgers

Al Green

TRACK LISTING – Side 2

 

Song Title

Composer(s)

Original Artist

1

Poppa Joe

Chinn-Chapman

The Sweet

2

Baby I’m A Want You

Gates

Bread

3

American Pie

McLean

Don McLean

4

Have You Seen Her

Record-Acklin

The Chi-Lites

5

All I Ever Need Is You

Holliday-Reeves

Sonny & Cher

6

Son Of My Father

Moroder-Holm

Chicory Tip

CHOICE OF SONG – SUCCESS RATE

Part of the challenge for the producers was trying to guess which tracks would be riding high in the singles chart when these LP’s hit the shelves. Apparently, in a lot of cases, the original songs would have been released no more than a month before being chosen for inclusion. Don’t forget, this was back in the day when a single would usually take anything up to eight weeks to achieve its highest chart position.

With this volume, the producers chose their twelve songs well. Ten tracks made it into the UK top 10, with the other two getting very close. This particular LP also managed to include three UK chart toppers.

Here’s a rundown of the highest positions attained by the original artists with these twelve tracks.

Telegram Sam – No.1
Horse With No Name – No.3
Where Did Our Love Go? – No.8
Stay With Me – No.6
I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing – No.1
Let’s Stay Together – No.7
Poppa Joe – No.11
Baby I’m A Want You – No.14
American Pie – No.2
Have You Seen Her – No.3
All I Ever Need Is You – No.8
Son Of My Father – No.1

MOST CONVINCING COVER VERSION

There were two contenders for me on this LP. Danny Street,* a prolific ‘Top of the Pops’ contributor, turned in a great vocal performance on the fine cover version of Bread’s ‘Baby I’m A Want You’. But for me, this track was pipped at the post by a rather striking version of ‘I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing’. The lead vocal this time being delivered by session singer Jenny Mason.*

Comparison Sample – I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing

LEAST CONVINCING COVER VERSION

There are a number of less than passionate performances on this LP. But nothing causes me to cringe more than the ill-advised attempt by Lee Vanderbilt,* the unfortunate session singer who was given the task of reproducing the mainly spoken performance of the Chicago based Chi Lites’ ‘Have You Seen Her’.

Comparison Sample – Have You Seen Her

MP3 SAMPLE PLAYER

  • Click Play on the MP3 Sample Player to hear samples of any or all of the tracks that are featured on this LP.
  • All of the tracks featured on the sample player are available (at a price) as MP3 – DRM Free Downloads.

SLEEVENOTES

We issued our first Hallmark ‘Top of the Pops’ album some three and a half years ago and what has happened since then has been an uninterrupted run of success after success; fantastic world sales; Top-Ten-Topping; Gold Awards – a real success story based not on luck, but on hard work, imagination, and more hard work. We wanted to give the world public a high quality album of twelve current hit tunes recorded by the finest Session Musicians available to us; and at a price representing the best possible value. We believe we have succeeded.

Because……….

during the second half of 1971, not only did ‘Top of the Pops’ notch up unprecedented sales, but they also collected no less than four NO. 1 spots in the UK LP chart; gold awards in other European countries, and – most important of all – a sackful of mail from happy Pop people.

But we are not content to be complacent. We are trying, trying, trying all the while to keep up the very high standard we have achieved so far; and so we present this latest album ‘Top of the Pops’ volume 22, in the production of which we have burned much midnight oil. So, Pop fans everywhere, grab yourselves a copy and look at the sleeve, look at the tunes, listen to the singers, rave with our musicians; and, if it’s not the greatest in the series, let us know all about it.

HELP ME OUT

If anybody is able to help me out with any additional information about this specific edition, especially regarding the names of any musicians who played on this LP, then please leave a comment below or use the ‘Contact Us’ link in the Main Menu.

Of course, everybody is welcome to leave comments about this LP. If you have any memories or opinions (even if they conflict with my personal opinions above), then please feel free to do so.

Keith.

* A big thank you to Chris for his much appreciated ‘vocal-identification’ work.
* A big thank you also to Terry for identifying the Cover Girl.

Terry runs the brilliant ‘TOP OF THE POPS – The Definitive Website‘ which is undoubtedly the most in-depth ‘Top of the Pops’ website I’ve yet to see.
Check it out NOW!

PICKWICK POPS MENU


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3 Responses to “TOP OF THE POPS LP – Volume 22 SHM 780”

  1. me Says:

    makes me want to drink alchoholic beverages

  2. jennifer pryce Says:

    Hiya,
    I don’t know if anyone is going to read this, but I came across the Volume 22 album as I was looking for the albums that I sang on myself in 1972. I sang this version of I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing. I was a very young twenty two year old at the time.
    After singing a few songs on the Top of the Pops Albums, I went on to sing the lead vocal on Decca Records Production of Jesus Christ Superstar and then sang the lead vocal on Polydor’s Production of Evita.
    I am 58 now, and fondly look back on my days in London, gigging with my various bands and singing in recording studios all over London…. very very happy and exciting days they were too…

    Jenny Mason (my recording name)

  3. xanadu500 Says:

    I have posted “I get a little sentimental over you” by Jenny Mason.
    Great voice she has and a very good job she did.
    I will post “I’d like to teach the world to sing” for Jenny today (Saturday february 22 2014).
    Many TOTP songs are on my TOTP Channel on YouTube.
    I hope Jenny will read this. Name of the channel is “Top Of The Pops”
    ( http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV7hoNiNCe95fZU9XsDC9IQ )

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