Top of the Pops

Filmed: Wednesday 14 January 1976

Location: BBC Television Centre, London

Broadcast: Thursday 15 January 1976, BBC1, UK

Release status: See below

Shown in: UK

Additional information

Top of the Pops was the longest running weekly, music chart show featuring videos and performances on BBC1, UK which ran for over 42 years from 1 January 1964 to 30 July 2006 and featured around 2,000 episodes in total. The show saw many changes through the decades, in style, design, fashion and taste. Due to the BBC's former policy of deleting old programmes, the vast majority of the episodes from the first ten years of the programme's history have been lost. Of the first 500 episodes (1964–73) only about 20 complete recordings remain in the BBC archives. That's why only four of the seven ABBA studio performances exist in their full-length episodes). The 1976 Mamma Mia performance exists only in a Christmas retrospective episode; So Long from 1974 has been found thanks to the help of ABBA fans c/o this ABBA on TV website but it is feared the performance of SOS from 1975 is wiped forever.

Episode 629 - presented by Dave Lee Travis (DLT).

This episode has apparently been wiped, but the 25 December 1976 Christmas episode is still in the archives, so any repeated TV broadcasts of this clip is from Christmas 1976 episode and not the original 15 January 1976 one.

ABBA performed a  rare live performance of Mamma Mia -  sweet clear vocals over a pre-recorded backing track. Apparently two versions were recorded: firstly with Swedish musicians only (Caj Gunnar Högberg, Lasse Wellander and Ola Brunkert) and secondly with Swedish and British musicians.

A photograph of this performance was featured on the front cover of the The Pop Sensations of the 70s magazine.


Caj Gunnar Högberg posted his work permit for the London trip on his website. The work permit was valid from 13 to 18 January 1976 so the filming date of 12 January (according to ABBA - The Book by Jean-Marie Potiez) could not have been correct.


Other guests:

  1. Billy Howard - King Of The Cops
  2. The Miracles - Love Machine (video)
  3. Fatback Band - Do The Bus Stop (danced to by Pans People)
  4. 10cc - Art For Art's Sake
  5. ABBA - Mamma Mia
  6. Mike Oldfield - In Dulce Jubilo
  7. Roxy Music - Both Ends Burning (video)
  8. The Walker Brothers - No Regrets
  9. Barry White - Let The Music Play (danced to by Pans People)
  10. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (video) (end credits)


This performance has been released on the ABBA Deluxe Edition CD/DVD


Lyrics available on the Official ABBA site

Archive data from the BBC written archive:
Dec 25, 1976
Archive : BBC
Item Duration : 00:51:01.000+01:00
Catalogue : LONPROG
Copyright source : CHECK
Catalogue Page : 384752
Page Number : 1/1
Programme/Item : Programme
Special X-mas edition of pop chart show with Noel EDMUNDS & Dave Lee TRAVIS who intros SLIK, J.J. BARRIE, Tina CHARLES, THE WURZELS, Demis ROUSSOS, Cliff RICHARD, ABBA, Elton JOHN & Kiki DEE, PUSSYCAT & QUEEN + LEGS & CO dance seq.
>Stud perfs;film:NB:ONLY INCS PERFS WHERE ARTIST/GROUP IS KNOWN TO APPEAR STUDIO PERFS:SLIK - "Forever & ever"(3m34s) ; J.J. BARRIE - "No charge"(3m47s) Tina CHARLES - "I love to love"(2m31s) ; THE WURZELS - "Combine Harvester"(2m54s) ; Cliff RICHARD - "Devil Woman"(3m29s) ; Demis ROUSSOS - "Forever & ever"(3m34s) PRE-REC VT:ABBA - "Mamma Mia"(3m21s) ; Elton JOHN & Kiki DEE - "Don't go brea- king my heart"(4m6s) ; PUSSYCAT - "Mississippi"(3m40s) ; QUEEN - "Bohemian Rhapsody"(5m48s)

Thanks to Ian Cole, Carl Magnus Palm, Jozsef, Charles Patrick, Jun Seo, Eduardo Souza and Dario Brigmann.
YouTube link c/o mymusicfootage

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