Who: The Hot Forties
What: Theme From Firepower/ Smack in the Middle of Love
Where: Music and Video Exchange, Camden High Street
"Theme From Firepower" is the piece of library music which was used to accompany Tony Blackburn's Top 40 rundowns on Radio One during his stint as our main man who told us what records we'd been buying in any given week. It's a job he took on with a certain degree of pomp, circumstance and drama, as can be noted in the theme here, which sounds rather as if it should be the backing track to some small ex-Communist country's evening news headlines. Of course, the suspense was thoroughly unnecessary, since by the time Tone saw fit to read the charts out on Sunday, they'd already been released five days before, and been declared on both Tuesday lunchtime and "Top of the Pops" on Thursday night - the Sunday charts weren't on-the-hour, up-to-the-minute business then as they are now.
The single we see before us here, then, was the poor relation to Phil Lynott's "Yellow Pearl" or CSS's "Whole Lotta Love", and unlike those two particular efforts, wasn't a hit as a result. Listeners doubtless associated it with the Sunday teatime doldrums, as jaded a presence on the airwaves as "Last of the Summer Wine", and it was a rather unloved record.
Still, the B-side "Smack in the Middle of Love" has been causing me endless childish amusement over the last few days purely for sounding like a chirpy lifestyle advert for heroin. "Smack!" coo the ladies sexily and inappropriately, as a jaunty backing track, not unlike the kind you'd find on a tampon advert, bounces away in the background. "Smack! Ooh-a-hoo!" they sing again, bringing images to mind of people stopping to chase the dragon after a particularly exhausting session of doing the splits around the rollerdisco rink. Or perhaps it's just me and my peculiar mind.
Filthy, dirty Tony Blackburn.