Monday 15 November 2010

I have a list

I love the 70s as much as the next man. But it's only when you take a look in the rear view mirror that maybe, in the eyes of some, it was a wee bit overrated. Now, I'm only playing Devil's Advocate here: I know that this sort of heracy could get you locked up in certain quarters - but I give you the following evidence (taken from end of year NME polls - yeah, I know, I was a Sounds reader too) - so you can make your own mind up.

First up, Best New Group/Most Promising Arist:

1970. McGuinness Flint
1971. New Seekers
1972. Roxy Music (UK) Focus (World)
1973. Leo Sayer (UK) Golden Earring (World)
1974. Bad Company
1975. BeBop Deluxe (UK) Bruce Springsteen (World)
1976. Eddie & The Hot Rods
1977. Tom Robinson
1978. Public Image Limited
1979. The Specials

OK, so far so good. You can see the end of the old guard and the arrival of the new kids on the block. But what happened when the voting public were asked to take a punt on their fave guitarists? Let's take a look:

1972. Eric Clapton
1973. Eric Clapton
1974. Eric Clapton
No, my keyboard hasn't stuck. Though not that you'd know:
1975. Jimmy Page
1976. Jimmy Page
1977. Still bloody Jimmy Page
1978. Mick Jones
1979. Paul Weller.

You don't even want to see the bass players. Oh, you do?

1972. Paul McCartney
1973. Paul McCartney
1974. Paul McCartney
1975. Chris Squire
1976. Paul McCartney (1975 was probably a typo)
1977. Jean Jacques Burnel
1978. Bruce Foxton
1979. Bruce Foxton
Bruce's mum must have been on a roll: she went on to make sure little Bruce went on to win it again in 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Right then. What were we all watching on the little box in the corner of the room?

1970. Top Of The Pops
1971. Top Of The Pops
Then from 1972 thru 1977 we went all proggy as The Old Grey Whistle Test cleaned up six years on the bounce.
1978. Revolver*
1979. Fawlty Towers (what took the NME readership so long to discover Basil?)

No need to bore you with the Disc Jockey category. Apart from 1970 and 1971 (Jimmy Saville) and 1974 (Noel Edmonds?) Peely was, quite literally, the only show in town.

* What do you mean, you don't remember Revolver? Take it away Pete:


  1. I've got an 80s update on these lists in the back of some old end of year Flexipops. I'll try to dig out and scan..

    Another state of the nation snapshot is seeing the full length 'So It Goes' with the Pistols TV debut, which, it's more well~worn denim, cheesecloth and beards rather than safety pins and spikes

  2. I'm pretty sure that Mid-70s NME would have boasted a disproportionate number of crinkle-cut-hair, nodding dweebs who broke off briefly from picking the lice out of their afghans ( the coats not the dogs) in order to vote for Plant, Clapton and Macca, while Da (real) Kidz were busy down the Manchester Free Trade Hall, gobbing at the Pistols. I know that's where I was (honest! I wasn't at home doing my Latin homework at ALL).

  3. Mick Jones beats Page? Hmmm. The Clash = The Damned for social workers. Terrible band.

  4. Disappointed by the lack of Bernie Flint or Leif Garrett in the Best New Act list.

  5. I remember when Kate Bush used to win 'best uk female vocalist' every year for about 15 years. She didn't release bugger all for about 7 of those years! There was just nobody else to vote for I don't think!

    Bernie Flint!! Great call!!!


    1. And wasn't 'Brothers in Arms' best album for a similarly tortuous length of time?

  6. I never thought my blog would get rickrolled. So, for all you Bernie fans: fill yer boots.

  7. Believe it or not (and you should, coz it's true), Bernie Flint pipped my uncle to the post for a slot on Opportunity Knocks back in the day. It was between those 2 and ol Bern got the nod. As a result we always f**kin' hated the Flintster in this family!!!!