30 Jul 2006
So, farewell then, Top of the Pops 
Top of the Pops, the BBC's long-running music show, has now gone to the great musical tv graveyard in the sky along with The Tube, Wired and The Word. The last show screened this evening in the UK. Of the many tributes in print and in the media, perhaps the most notable for FAC fans is the Saturday Guardian's magazine which includes anecdotes from Paul Ryder (Happy Mondays) and Steve Morris (New Order) on perhaps their most famous (or infamous) appearances on the show.

New Order refused to mime, played 'Blue Monday' live and in the words of Steve "it sounded awful". But at least they had the balls not to mime.

Happy Mondays went down in legend by appearing on the same show as The Stone Roses. He recalls how a madcap plan to swap the bands' respective drummers nearly came off but was rumbled by the BBC.

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Peter Saville colour wheel
A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

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