Which decade is Tops for Pops? – the results: 2nd place.

2nd place – The 1970s. (36 points)

2007: 3rd place, 31 points.
2006: 1st place, 38 points.
2005: 3rd place, 30 points.
2004: 2nd place, 31 points.
2003: 1st place, 35 points + 1 tiebreak point.

10. Sorry I’m A Lady – Baccara. 2 points.
9. Love Is Like Oxygen – The Sweet. 4 points.
8. Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra. 5 points.
7. Uptown Top Ranking – Althea & Donna. 5 points.
6. Wishing On A Star – Rose Royce. 5 points.
5. Hot Legs – Rod Stewart. 2 points.
4. Come Back My Love – Darts. 4 points.
3. If I Had Words – Scott Fitzgerald & Yvonne Keeley with the St. Thomas More School Choir. 2 points.
2. Figaro – Brotherhood Of Man. 2 points, least popular.
1. Take A Chance On Me – Abba. 5 points, most popular.

Tiebreak round:
Substitute – Clout. 2 points.
You’re The One That I Want – John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John. 3 points.
Three Times A Lady – The Commodores. 1 point.

wd1978For the second time in Which Decade history, our leading decades have been obliged to submit to the rigours of a tie-break. Five years ago, the 1970s came out on top – but this year, the combined might of Clout, Grease and The Commodores were not sufficient to save them.

Like our 2008 chart, there’s something prematurely old-fashioned about the selection from 1978. There’s straight-up 1950s revivalism from Darts, which is echoed in the rather mangled take on the decade from Travolta and Newton-John. There are some well-established hit-makers (Abba, Rod Stewart, ELO), doing their well-established thing, and there’s even an unexpected last gasp from The Sweet. Disco is poorly represented by Baccara, and new wave isn’t represented at all. Instead, our one nod towards the contemporary comes from Althea and Donna, representing a fluke break-out for a habitually underground culture.

So for the most part, it all feels like business as usual – which makes the changes that were shortly to sweep over the charts all the more unexpected, and all the more welcome. Yes, chart pop was about to drop another generation, but you’ll have to wait another year (at the very least) to find out how the first representatives of that generation – hell, of my generation – made that change.

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