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TOTP2
Top of the Pops 2


Old Top of the Pops shows should be treasured and replayed as per the original. Unfortunately, in Britain there seems to be a conformist setup where even old favourite retro music is presented with cynical conformist commentary. This is the problem with TOTP2: It is dogged by a commentary which takes a sneering opinionated view. This spoils the show, and negates much of the original message of the art-from.

Imagine If Classical music was given the same treatment. Supposing there was a time-travelling video of Mozart performing his grand masterpieces, and meanwhile on a running commentary, someone was making fun of his wig throughout the pieces, and making jokes about his early death. How would enthusiasts of classical music react to such a philistine way of presenting the show? They would justifiedly condemn it. You can see why, can't you?

Yet, despite the obvious absurdity of making a conformist critique of the fashion of a bygone age, judging it by some stuffed-shirt arbitrary notion of convention, there have been television presenters getting away with TOTP2 for a long while.

Suggestion: If you're going to show retro music, show it for what it is, of its time, not pass inane commentary on it. Improve the show by making it a faithful repro of the retro, not a judgemental cynical stuffyfest.

There is a big lobby now to Bring Back Top of the Pops, and thanks to the Internet there's now getting to be knowledge of how you can get hold of the Original Top of the Pops shows without the stupid commentary.

I have heard there is a German TV satellite channel which broadcasts old British Top of the Pops in the original form, not ruined by daft comments.


Paranoid though I may be, heed well that I have the feelings that TOTP2 in its adulterated form is a dangerous form of vandalism of art and culture. It is a way of stick-in-the-mud opinionists having a way of telling you what to think about culture.

Youth culture is at its strongest when there is a new individuality. There have been previous eras when there were such cultures.


Update 2011/08: There is now a replay of the proper Top of The Pops 1976 on BBC Four. Well done to The BBC!