Archive of ‘Top of the Pops’ lost performances goes under the hammer on

One of this week’s auctions will prove especially nostalgic for fans of 1970s music.


An archive of Top of the Pops recordings from 1971-76 that were previously believed to be lost are going under the hammer at Omega Auction’s two-day sale of music memorabilia and vinyl records (September 8-9) with an estimate of £5000-8000.

Omega Auctions in Merseyside is offering a previously unknown archive of Top of the Pops (TOTP) tapes recorded from 1971-76.

It features lost footage of more than 150 performances by artists such as Elton John, Rod Steward, Elvis and Slade.

They films were by a Welsh gentleman who was a fan of the long-running BBC programme. The archive includes on 34 domestic tape reels filmed from the television via a 405 line system using a Sony CV-2000, one of the first video tape recorders produced for home use.

The TOTP fan later sold the tapes to a firm that transferred the performances to digital recordings. These were catalogued and collated for various record companies with the monochrome recordings having been digitally transferred. The recording company is now selling the original tapes through the auction house. 

Offered at Omega’s two-day sale of Music Memorabilia and Vinyl Records (September 8-9), the archive has an estimate of £5000-8000. The lot includes a digital DVD backup copy of the tapes, which includes all the recordings in the collection.

TOTP ran from 1964-2006 on the BBC. Despite the show’s large following, the BBC taped over or disposed of many of the earlier episodes. Two complete shows from 1967 previously thought lost were discovered in 2009.

In addition to TOTP performances, the archive includes recordings from shows such as Lift Off, Benny Hill, Dick Emery, Dave Cash, Saturday Variety.

View and bid for the 1970s TOTP archive here.

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