Top of the Pops: Background information when reading Utopia Avenue

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Utopia Avenue

by David Mitchell

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell X
Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2020, 592 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2021, 592 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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About this Book

Top of the Pops

This article relates to Utopia Avenue

Top of the Pops LP, 1975 David Mitchell's novel Utopia Avenue centers around a fictional British pop band in the turbulent years of 1967 and 1968. Acts popular in both the United States and Britain included the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Who, the Supremes, the Byrds, the Kinks, Aretha Franklin… and the list goes on. Many of these stars (as well as the fictional Utopia Avenue) appeared on a BBC TV show called Top of the Pops.

Top of the Pops was the brainchild of its first producer, Johnnie Stewart, who modeled the show after a program airing on Radio Luxembourg called The Teen and Twenty Disc Club. Premiering on New Year's Day in 1964, the weekly show was televised live from the BBC's studio in Manchester (and later, London). The host (the job rotated between presenters) would count down the week's "Top 20" pop songs, some of which were performed over the course of the show by the recording artists in front of a studio audience. The first...

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