28 December 2013

Retro Random Video: Rod Argent plays Top of The Pops

Imagine, if you will, a time in Britain when the theme to a World Cup programme on TV could be written and performed by someone you've never heard of. Certainly that used to be the case before the BBC and ITV went all out for ratings supremacy by enlisting the help of top acts like Jean Michel Jarre and Luciano Pavarotti.

Knowing which musicians could conjure up a tuneful melody to enhance the viewer's pleasure of some far-flung tournament was a skill in itself. Luckily one man was often on hand during the 1970's and 80's that could envisage the Latin passion of a World Cup in Argentina or the searing heat of Mexico. That man was Rod Argent - a man who would enter a Football Attic Hall of Fame if one existed - and his first association with football TV themes came in 1978.

Argent, under the name of Rodriguez Argentina (Rod Argent - geddit?) was part of the group San Jose that performed 'Argentine Melody (Cancion de Argentina)', the BBCs World Cup theme that year. The piece of music was released as a single on the back of positive viewer feedback and it reached number 14 in the UK charts.

Few World Cup themes from British TV can claim to have been so successful, but Argent had success eight years later with another top tune, ITV's 'Aztec Gold', which got to number 48 in the UK singles chart.

Anyway, if you're still unsure who Rod Argent is (let alone what he looks like), here's a rare chance to see him perform on Top of the Pops back in 1978 - the master at work, albeit in a silly hat.


4 comments:

  1. yeah it and all the bog roll, confetti, streamers etc at the River Plate stand out that year, and wee Archies goal too

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    1. Iconic images, all of them... :)

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  2. Rod Argent was the keyboard player in The Zombies,and later in the Rock group that bore his name,Argent.The 1978 World cup,was to my 10 year old eyes the greatest football tournament ever.We got our first colour TV a few months before the tournament started,so to see all the games,ticker tape welcomes,crackling commentaries,and the cream of World football was a dream come true.Kids today will never understand the thrill of these moments.Have watched many of the games on youtube,and the memories are as good as ever.Great site,keep up the good work.

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    1. Thanks very much, BanburyCake! Great memories there... Wasn't it all so exciting back in those days of primitive technology? :)

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