Top Of The Pops

 

Jeff Lynne on Top Of The Pops

An in-depth look at the UK TV program performances


Comments and Observations

Running from January 1, 1964 to July 30, 2006 and producing well over a thousand episodes, Top Of The Pops was a UK produced weekly musical television series that broadcast on the BBC (running on BBC1 for most of that time). It is also popularly known by its acronym, TOTP. The format was to air performances by the week's top pop charting artists each week. Each episode featured a BBC personality host to introduce the various musical acts as well as a presentation of that week's top charting songs.

Jeff singing Roll Over Beethoven on TOTPThe types of performances varied greatly, with some being fully live acts, while others were sung live to a backing track and others were completely mimed. Sometimes footage was even lifted from other musical programs produced outside the UK. And in later years, the use of music videos became more and more common. Jeff Lynne, as part of the Move and the Electric Light Orchestra made many appearances on the show, Several of these appearances were live performances. By 1976, however, all appearances of Jeff Lynne, under the Electric Light Orchestra or as a music producer (George Harrison, Roy Orbison, etc.) was by music video or playing of the disc only.

Unfortunately, many of the early performances, including the rare live performances, are lost. This is due to the BBC practice of destroying the recordings by "wiping" them. More on this practice by the BBC (and others) can be found HERE.

As a member of both The Move and Electric Light Orchestra, Jeff Lynne appeared on the program several times in the early 1970s. His previous band, Idle Race, never appeared on the show. Of these appearances, there is a mix of completely live performances, live vocals and some live instrumentation to a taped backing performances, and completely mimed performances. By late 1976, with ELO's Livin' Thing, only promo videos were used on the show and Jeff never made a personal appearance on the show after that. Various promo videos were shown for ELO's commercial peak and later years, the Jeff Lynne production era (George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty) and Jeff's final "appearance" via promo video was with The Beatles Real Love in November of 1996. In several instances, the promo videos were not actually used, but instead the record was played while the show's resident dance troupe, Legs & Co., danced to the song.

Because of the BBC wiping policy, there remains some uncertaintly about the types of performances on the early appearances on the show. The first appearance was in April of 1970, performing The Move's Brontosaurus. Unfortunately, this performance and all repeats have been wiped so little is known about it; it is thought to be completely live, but that remains unconfirmed. A completely live performance of The Move's When Alice Comes Back To The Farm in late 1970 is also wiped. A Move performance of Tonight in 1971 is also completely wiped, but it might be a rebroadcast of another German TV program'd mimed performance; but again this is unconfirmed. A performance of Chinatown is also completely wiped; it is assumed to be a completely live performance. A Move live vocal performance of California Man survives from a June 1972 repeat and a completely live performance of 10538 Overture by ELO survives in audio format only. An amusing mimed performance of Roll Over Beethoven also survives, which is a bit of a blessing in disguise; although it is a mime only performance, it features Jeff at his most wacky-- wearing a silver wig, a pink boa, and heavy blue eye shadow. Also surviving are mimed performances of Showdown and Nightrider and live a vocal performances of Evil Woman. A performance of Ma-Ma-Ma Belle (assumed to be mimed) is not available, although it's unclear if this performance was wiped or simply has not been re-broadcast since the 1970s.

Due to copyright issues, I cannot provide full versions of any of the videos on this site. However, I have provided YouTube and other links to online content for these performances (under the "Broadcasts" section). As this site and anyone associated with it do not maintain these videos, no guarantee of working, complete or accurate videos or links is made.

The source of information for the above details and the table of broadcast information below is taken from available bootleg material, the TV.com website, the BBC website, and recollections from fans. This detail is only as good as the sources and every effort was made to be accurate. There are likely a few errors, so any corrections are most welcome.

Broadcasts

The table shown here is all of Jeff Lynne's known appearances on the show, including the particular songs performed at each show. Although there is reasonable confidence that the broadcast dates, hosts and songs performed are accurate, because of limited resources, actual details about the performances (e.g. repeats, lip-synchs, etc.) are sometimes surmised from the known facts. Songs marked in RED are original, live performances on the show. Songs marked in BRIGHT BLUE are original, lip-synched performances on the show. All others are either promo videos, playing of the disc only or repeats of earlier performances.

Episode
Number
Broadcast
Date
Show Host Song Type Comments
330 April 9, 1970 Jimmy Savile Live
unconfirmed
Brontosaurus
The Move
This performance and all repeats of it have been wiped from the BBC archives, therefore there remains a lot of uncertainty about it. It is believed to be a fully, live performance. It is reported that this performance, the first with Roy Wood as frontman of the band, was the first use of Roy Wood's outrageous stage make-up and costume, which he would later use with Wizzard. This might be incorrect, though, as some reports say that Roy Wood first used the make-up on a show called Colour Me Pop instead.
333 April 30, 1970 Tony Blackburn Repeat
unconfirmed
Brontosaurus
The Move
This is believed to be repeat of the original April 9, 1970 performance, although that remains unconfirmed. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives.
335 May 14, 1970 Tony Blackburn Repeat
unconfirmed
Brontosaurus
The Move
This is believed to be repeat of the original April 9, 1970 performance, although that remains unconfirmed. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives.
? November 12, 1970 Tony Blackburn Live When Alice Comes Back To The Farm
The Move
This is a completely live, original performance for Top Of The Pops. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives.
? June 24, 1971 Tony Blackburn Mimed
unconfirmed
Tonight
The Move
This performance and all repeats of it have been wiped from the BBC archives, therefore there remains a lot of uncertainty about it. Although unconfirmed, this is thought to be a rebroadcast of from Disco '71, a German music program originally broadcast on ZDF in 1971. This Disco '71 broadcast can be seen HERE.
? July 8, 1971 Tony Blackburn Repeat
unconfirmed
Tonight
The Move
This is believed to be repeat of the original July 8, 1971 performance, although that remains unconfirmed. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives.
? October 14, 1971 Tony Blackburn Live
unconfirmed
Chinatown
The Move
There is very little known about this performance as it and all repeats have been wiped from the BBC archives. It assumed to be a fully live performance.
? November 4, 1971 Jimmy Savile Repeat
unconfirmed
Chinatown
The Move
This is believed to be repeat of the original October 14, 1971 performance, although that remains unconfirmed. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives.
400 November 11, 1971 Tony Blackburn & Jimmy Savile Repeat
unconfirmed
Chinatown
The Move
This is believed to be repeat of the original October 14, 1971 performance, although that remains unconfirmed. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives. It was celebrated as the 400th episode of the show.
? May 4, 1972 Unknown Live Vocal California Man
The Move
This is a live vocals (and probably some instrumentation) over a taped backing. What's interesting is that although the vocals (at least) are live, it's not an instrumental backing track, so that when Jeff and Roy sing, they are sometimes heard harmonizing with themselves as the tape volume is brought up on or down.

The original May 4, 1972 show featuring the first airing of the performance is wiped from the BBC archives, but the repeated from the June 22 episode is still available and commonly available. This rebroadcast can be seen HERE.

? May 25, 1972 Unknown Repeat California Man
The Move
This is believed to be repeat of the original May 4, 1971 performance, although that remains unconfirmed. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives.
? June 8, 1972 Unknown Repeat California Man
The Move
This is believed to be repeat of the original May 4, 1971 performance, although that remains unconfirmed. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives.
? June 22, 1972 Unknown Repeat California Man
The Move
This is a repeat of the original May 4, 1971 performance. The original episode's performance has been wiped from the BBC archives, although this episode featuring the performance has survived and is commonly available and can be seen HERE.
? June 29, 1972 Unknown Repeat California Man
The Move
This is believed to be repeat of the original May 4, 1971 performance, although that remains unconfirmed. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives.
? July 27, 1972 Tony Blackburn Live 10538 Overture
Electric Light Orchestra
This performance is the first appearance of ELO after Roy Wood left the band. In this performance, Jeff sings all lead vocals, including Roy's parts. Curiously, although the original broadcast video and all repeats of this performance were wiped from the BBC archives, an audio recording exists and was released on the First Light CD in 2001.
? August 3, 1972 Jimmy Savile Repeat
unconfirmed
10538 Overture
Electric Light Orchestra
This is believed to be repeat of the original July 27, 1972 performance, although that remains unconfirmed. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives.
? August 17, 1972 Jimmy Savile Repeat
unconfirmed
10538 Overture
Electric Light Orchestra
This is believed to be repeat of the original July 27, 1972 performance, although that remains unconfirmed. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives.
? December 25, 1972 Unknown Repeat California Man
The Move
This is believed to be repeat of the original May 4, 1971 performance, although that remains unconfirmed. The episode has been wiped from the BBC archives.
? January 25, 1973 Jimmy Savile Disc Roll Over Beethoven
Electric Light Orchestra
This is a disc only broadcast, playing over the show's closing credits, with the audience dancing to the song.
? February 1, 1973 Noel Edmonds Mimed Roll Over Beethoven
Electric Light Orchestra
Although this performance was a mimed only performance, it's one of the most memorable because of Jeff's appearance. Apparently Jeff was continuing to experiment with Roy Wood's outrageous stage appearance, as he wore heavy blue eye shadow, a pink boa, multi-colored striped pants, and a silver wig during the performance. It was quite outrageous. The original broadcast video of the performance in color was wiped from the BBC archives, but a black and white print that was prepared for foreign markets survives. Color images of Jeff in the outfit only survive in still pictures. This performance can be viewed HERE.
? February 15, 1973 Jimmy Savile Repeat Roll Over Beethoven
Electric Light Orchestra
This is a repeat of the original February 15, 1973 performance.
? October 11, 1973 Kenny Everett Mimed Showdown
Electric Light Orchestra
This is a mimed performance with ELO sound man, Rick Pannell, again miming cello due to Colin Walker recently leaving the band. The episode survives and this performance can be seen HERE.
? November 1, 1973 Noel Edmonds Repeat
unconfirmed
Showdown
Electric Light Orchestra
This is a repeat of the original October 11, 1973 performance.
? March 14, 1974 Noel Edmonds Mimed
unconfirmed
Ma-Ma-Ma Belle
Electric Light Orchestra
Apparently this has been wiped from the BBC archives. This is only assumed to be a mimed performance.
? March 21, 1974 Tony Blackburn Repeat Ma-Ma-Ma Belle
Electric Light Orchestra
This is a repeat of the original March 14, 1974 performance.
? January 8, 1976 Noel Edmonds Live Vocal Evil Woman
Electric Light Orchestra
This performance features live lead vocals by Jeff and live unidentified female backing vocals over a taped backing. The tape backing, and thus the performance, are edited, cutting the second chorus and the entire piano part from the instrumental bridge that follows as well as fading early. The performance can be seen HERE.
? January 22, 1976 David Hamilton Repeat
unconfirmed
Evil Woman
Electric Light Orchestra
This is a repeat of the original January 8, 1976 performance.
? January 31, 1976 Unknown Repeat
unconfirmed
Evil Woman
Electric Light Orchestra
This is a repeat of the original January 8, 1976 performance.
? February 12, 1976 Noel Edmonds Repeat
unconfirmed
Evil Woman
Electric Light Orchestra
This is a repeat of the original January 8, 1976 performance.
? April 29, 1976 Tony Blackburn Mimed Nightrider
Electric Light Orchestra
This is a mimed performance to the basic single version of the song. The performance can be seen HERE.
? November 18, 1976 David Jensen Promo Video Livin' Thing
Electric Light Orchestra
? December 2, 1976 Ed Steward Promo Video Livin' Thing
Electric Light Orchestra
? February 24, 1977 Noel Edmonds Promo Video Rockaria!
Electric Light Orchestra
There are two slightly different Rockaria! promo videos; the version broadcast features the start with the opera singer on the window balcony above the stage.
? March 10, 1977 David Jensen Promo Video Rockaria!
Electric Light Orchestra
There are two slightly different Rockaria! promo videos. The version broadcast is an edit of the version that features the start with the opera singer on the window balcony above the stage. The edit removes the middle portion jumping from the opera singer's second start in the song to the third part instead.
? May 26, 1977 Dave Lee Travis Promo Video Telephone Line
Electric Light Orchestra
? June 9, 1977 Tony Blackburn Promo Video Telephone Line
Electric Light Orchestra
? November 3, 1977 Jimmy Savile Promo Video Turn To Stone
Electric Light Orchestra
? November 17, 1977 Jimmy Savile Disc Turn To Stone
Electric Light Orchestra
Dance troupe Legs & Co. danced over the playing of this song.
? February 9, 1978 Peter Powell Promo Video Mr. Blue Sky
Electric Light Orchestra
? February 23, 1978 Dave Lee Travis Promo Video Mr. Blue Sky
Electric Light Orchestra
? July 6, 1978 Peter Powell Promo Video Wild West Hero
Electric Light Orchestra
There were two different Wild West Hero music videos produced. The video shown is apparently the cartoon version and not the "cowboy on stage" version. The beginning and end of the video is clipped by presenter Peter Powell in the studio.
? July 29, 1978 David Jensen Promo Video Wild West Hero
Electric Light Orchestra
There were two different Wild West Hero music videos produced. The video shown is apparently the cartoon version and not the "cowboy on stage" version.
? October 5, 1978 David Jensen Promo Video Sweet Talkin' Woman
Electric Light Orchestra
? October 12, 1978 Jimmy Savile Promo Video Sweet Talkin' Woman
Electric Light Orchestra
? October 26, 1978 Tony Blackburn Disc Sweet Talkin' Woman
Electric Light Orchestra
Dance troupe Legs & Co. danced over the playing of this song.
? May 24, 1979 David Jensen Promo Video Shine A Little Love
Electric Light Orchestra
There were two different Shine A Little Love music videos produced. The video shown is apparently the Discovery videos version (performed on stage) and not the recording studio version.
? June 7, 1979 Jimmy Savile Promo Video Shine A Little Love
Electric Light Orchestra
There were two different Shine A Little Love music videos produced. The video shown is apparently the Discovery videos version (performed on stage) and not the recording studio version.
800 July 26, 1979 Jimmy Savile Promo Video The Diary Of Horace Wimp
Electric Light Orchestra
This episode was celebrated as the 800th episode of the show.
? August 9, 1979 Dave Lee Travis Promo Video The Diary Of Horace Wimp
Electric Light Orchestra
? September 6, 1979 Peter Powell Promo Video Don't Bring Me Down
Electric Light Orchestra
? September 20, 1979 Mike Read Disc Don't Bring Me Down
Electric Light Orchestra
Dance troupe Legs & Co. danced over the playing of this song.
? November 22, 1979 Dave Lee Travis Promo Video Confusion
Electric Light Orchestra
? August 7, 1980 Peter Powell, Elton John Promo Video Xanadu
Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra
This features clips from the Xanadu film only.
? August 14, 1980 Roger Daltry, Tommy Vance Disc All Over The World
Electric Light Orchestra
Dance troupe Legs & Co. danced over the playing of this song.
? November 27, 1980 Tommy Vance Disc Don't Walk Away
Electric Light Orchestra
Dance troupe Legs & Co. danced over the playing of this song. The song was preceded by a short, live interview with Bev Bevan, promoting his new book, The ELO Story.
? August 13, 1981 Simon Bates Promo Video Hold On Tight
Electric Light Orchestra
? August 27, 1981 Richard Skinner Disc Hold On Tight
Electric Light Orchestra
Dance troupe Legs & Co. danced over the playing of this song.
? November 5, 1981 Peter Powell Promo Video Twilight
Electric Light Orchestra
? January 21, 1982 David Jensen Promo Video Ticket To The Moon
Electric Light Orchestra
? June 23, 1983 Simon Bates, Peter Powell Promo Video Rock 'N' Roll Is King
Electric Light Orchestra
? July 7, 1983 David Jensen, John Peel Promo Video Rock 'N' Roll Is King
Electric Light Orchestra
? October 29, 1987 Gary Davies, Steve Wright Promo Video Got My Mind Set On You
George Harrison
There were two different Got My Mind Set On You music videos produced. The video shown is apparently the "George-playing-guitar-in-a-room" version and not the "picture box" version.
? November 5, 1987 Janice Long, Mike Smith Promo Video Got My Mind Set On You
George Harrison
There were two different Got My Mind Set On You music videos produced. The video shown is apparently the "George-playing-guitar-in-a-room" version and not the "picture box" version.
? November 26, 1987 Simon Bates, Gary Davies Promo Video Got My Mind Set On You
George Harrison
There were two different Got My Mind Set On You music videos produced. The video shown is apparently the "George-playing-guitar-in-a-room" version and not the "picture box" version.
? February 25, 1988 Mark Goodier, Peter Powell Promo Video When We Was Fab
George Harrison
? December 31, 1988 David Jacobs, Pete Murray, Alan Freeman, Kenny Everett, David Jensen, Simon Bates, Mark Goodier, Peter Powell, Tony Blackburn, Mike Read, Paul Gambaccini, Jimmy Savile, David Hamilton Promo Video Mr. Blue Sky
Electric Light Orchestra
This was a special episode celebrating the show's 25th anniversary with Radio 1 DJs doing the presentations. It is unclear which DJ introduced ELO's part.
? January 12, 1989 Simon Mayo, Sybil Ruscoe Promo Video You Got It
Roy Orbison
? January 19, 1989 Bruno Brookes, Richard Skinner Promo Video You Got It
Roy Orbison
? February 2, 1989 Simon Mayo, Steve Wright Promo Video You Got It
Roy Orbison
? June 15, 1989 Mark Goodier, Simon Parkin Promo Video I Won't Back Down
Tom Petty
? November 23, 1995 Nicky Campbell Promo Video Free As A Bird
The Beatles
? November 30, 1995 Jack Dee Promo Video Free As A Bird
The Beatles
? December 14, 1995 John Peel Promo Video Free As A Bird
The Beatles
? March 14, 1996 MN8 Promo Video Real Love
The Beatles
? January 14, 2005 Reggie Yates Promo Video Shine A Little Love
Electric Light Orchestra
There were two different Shine A Little Love music videos produced. The video shown is apparently the Discovery videos version (performed on stage) and not the recording studio version. The video was aired just after the Lovefreekz cover version was aired.

None of these original performances have been released in any format other than the audio only release of 10538 Overture on the 2001 First Light CD.


This page is intended to be a complete record of information on Jeff Lynne's Top Of The Pops appearances. If you notice any errors or omissions, please contact me at jefflynnesongs@gmail.com and let me know. I strive for accuracy.

Robert Porter
November 2017