Even Better Than The Real Thing: The Top of The Pops Albums
Noddy Holder looks back at the 1970s phenomenon that was the Top Of The Pops albums which, at their peak, enjoyed buoyant sales and topped the UK charts. They were cheap and cheesy with a pouting girl on the sleeves and 12 of the "hottest hits" covered by anonymous studio musicians.
The name was a masterstroke (The BBC had neglected to register "Top Of The Pops" name for the TV show) and their success was such an embarrassment to the industry that the major labels quickly ganged up to get them kicked out of the charts.
Once the songs were chosen the producers had two weeks to get them in the shops, and the singers would get to the studio to be told they had to record a perfect impression of Johnny Rotten, Marc Bolan or Freddie Mercury.
The show features the producers, musicians and singers (including Tina Charles) whose job it was cover songs like Bohemian Rhapsody in a couple of hours, as well as Jilly Johnson - one of the pouting models who enticed teenage boys to buy a copy.
Noddy celebrates one of the forgotten musical successes of the 70s and revisits the happy days when you could buy all your favourite tunes in Woolworths for the price of a single - just not quite the real thing!