In 1974 Wayne Bickerton, the then head of A&R at Polydor, and his songwriting partner Tony Waddington hired session men to play a song they'd written, "Sugar Baby Love." Bickerton recalls in 1000 UK #1 Hits
, "We had Paul DaVinci singing in that incredibly high falsetto voice and then a vocal group sings 'Bop-shu-waddy' over and over for about 3 minutes. Gerry Shury, who did the string arrangements, said, 'This is not going to work: you can't have a vocal group singing 'Bop-shu-waddy' non stop.' A lot of people said the same thing to us and the more determined I became to release it. The record was dormant for six or seven weeks and then we got a break on Top Of The Pops
and it took off like a rocket and sold 6 million copies worldwide. Gerry said to me, 'I'm keeping my mouth shut and will concentrate on conducting the strings.'"
Rubettes guitarist Tony J Thorpe recalls in the same book, "We were very lucky to get on Top Of The Pops
. We were only at number 51, but the work permits for Sparks fell through at the last minute and we got on in their place."