Dec 08

Popular ’80

FT + Popular/311 comments • 11,223 views

I give every song on Popular a mark out of 10. This is your opportunity to pick any that YOU would have given 6 or more to from 1980 – and you can talk about the year in general in the comments box.

Number One Hits of 1980: Which would you have given 6 or more to?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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  1. 271
    speedwell54 on 31 Oct 2015 #

    From reviews upstream (Mark G’s shockingly short review and only highlights from Lazarus) I’m not overly looking forward to this, but it’s been a while so..

    Live review of the long one – so that’s what Colin Berry looks like (a fifth Bee Gee).
    What is Peter on about; Adam and the Ants ..”because they’re going on tour currently.” They’re either going on tour or they’re on tour, pick one.
    Adam and the Ants vs the Shadows me thinks with that Marco twang.

    Embarrassing interview follows with Peter plugging the TOTP t shirt again.
    Into Odyssey and “If you’re Lookin’ For A Way Out”, a fine song indeed. I can’t find my Tony Jasper Top Twenty book, but Lazarus I think you might be mistaken. “Use It Up and Wear it Out” was in the top 20 best selling singles of the year, but I think that was it for them. I did hang around a bit though. (if anyone knows for definite please chip in)

    Bad Manners doing their best to look like Madness. Quite surprised the saxophonist didn’t levitate.

    Colin Berry gives us some news before the countdown. How long did they carry on with this I’m wondering. I don’t think I will watch out for Geraldine Hunt, thanks all the same. Legs do their thing to Fashion. Countdown.

    One Man Woman- Sheena Easton. I really don’t care for this at all. There is very little to the song. Next.

    Cliff and ONJ -I don’t remember this video at all. They do look like they are together. Were they? I do like her voice on this.

    Showaddywaddy – again, did they never meet Savile or DLT. Enough already. Countdown.

    Barbra – “My nose is narrow and long” well something like that. Something for everyone in the top ten this week. A poor show overall musically and links often quite awkward which is a shame as Peter is normally ok.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.
    Can’t bring one to mind though!

  2. 272
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Nov 2015 #

    I echo Mark’s comment about the show becoming very dull. Still…

    We gatecrash on the party and this time Stephanie Mills provides the theme until Peter Powell condescends to join us. With him is Colin Berry, a wonderful broadcaster and Eurovision legend. Colin is going to help Peter with the rundown. So he is.

    Adam’s Ants in the studio this time. Naughty girls are behind Peter. Up steps a sultry brunette modelling one of those pesky TOTP tops. Where can we get them? On-line? No. From the Radio Times. Wow!

    Odyssey are looking for a way out. Sort of. Yes this is delightful.

    Bad Manners again.

    Colin reads the “news” off a sheet like the good radio man he is. He then counts down from 30-20. Fabulous.

    At 20 we find Jonesy with Fashion and the Gals dance to it. This could have been so mouth-watering but flashing lights and obscured pictures destroy it. Pork chops without the apple sauce. Great track though. Beep-Beep!

    Colin, who’s doing a fine job, counts down from 19-11 and androgenous Sheena Easton insists she’s a one man woman. I think she should be singing “I’m one man-woman”. Harsh? Well, no. Have a look at her and then tell me she’s not a clone of Gary Numan. Not that I’m having a pop. I’m a clone of a fucking Toby jug.

    From Xanadu, here are Cliff and Kanga. I’d forgotten about this duet and it’s most odd. Kanga as usual looks breathtaking and Webby clearly thinks so too as he’s all over her. It’s clearly the closest he’s got to a proper love scene and he’s picked probably the loveliest girl of the time to do it with so fair play to him. Kanga meanwhile is not slow in grabbing him back. The performance ends with a genuine tender kiss. Feelings. I’d like to think that they would have got a room after that but I don’t suppose they did.

    Waddy again. Kill.

    Back to Peter for the top ten.

    Barbra the Beak is top. We get footage and stills of her carrying on with some hairy blokes. Oh, and Ryan O’Neil too. It’s a strong ballad and it tops the charts in the US too.

    Peter and Colin say goodbye along with the t-shirt model. Stephanie Mills bookends and then there’s nearly murder on the dancefloor.

    The Swede is beginning to lose interest now, I’m bound to say.

  3. 273
    hardtogethits on 1 Nov 2015 #

    Re: Odyssey. Way out. #26 at year end.

  4. 274
    Paulito on 3 Nov 2015 #

    @271: No, that wasn’t it for Odyssey – there were two major UK hits yet to come in ’81/’82 (‘Inside Out’ and ‘Going Back to My Roots’) and a few minor ones too.

  5. 275
    Steve Williams on 3 Nov 2015 #

    Can I assure everyone that if they just bear with this ropey format of Pops for just a few weeks, by the new year we lose all the crappy bits – the menu, the endless videos and repeats, the audience being either bored witless or getting on everyone’s wick, the “news” and, hooray, the interviews – and they add a ton of neon and streamers and the Michael Hurll Golden Age finally gets off the ground. Helped by British pop booming, of course.

  6. 276
    speedwell54 on 3 Nov 2015 #

    @275 Steve, that is good news.
    @274 Paulito. To clarify, I meant ‘that was it for them’ in terms of being in the top 20 selling singles of the year, not that was it for them, period. ‘Use it Up’ was their only top 20 selling single of the year (20th to be precise). I shall try to be clearer in the future.
    @273 Cheers for that, obviously did stick around a bit.
    @270 Lazarus, pretty damn close.

    And another example of how these posts can be misunderstood; for at least a minute I thought that Hardtogethits was implying the assertion that ‘If you’re looking for a way out’ was a top 20 selling single of the year was ‘way out’ when it was actually the 26th best selling single, was a bit tight. Then it dawned on me, ‘way out’ was just a shortening of the song title and not a criticism. Or was it?

  7. 277
    Paulito on 4 Nov 2015 #

    Don’t apologise Speedwell – you were perfectly clear. The reason I misinterpreted your comment was because I hadn’t properly read Lazarus’s earlier post. (FWIW, I also misinterpreted Hardtogethits’s comment in the exact same way as you did, except that I thought he was referring to ‘UIUAWIO’ rather than ‘IYLFAWO’….)

    Anyway, roll on TOTP’s imperial phase and the second golden age of British chart pop! Come ’81, I for one shall be tuning in to the reruns a lot more often. (With any luck Savile and DLT preside less and less frequently as time goes on, but maybe that’s too much to ask – not least given that my earliest TOTP memory is of a 1984 show hosted by the tracksuited blinged-up cigar-chomping crazy-eyed paedo-monster himself).

  8. 278
    glue_factory on 5 Nov 2015 #

    Powell and Berry’s comments about the European charts being *very* different from the UK ones got me wondering; did other European countries have their equivalents to TotPs and what were they (so I can look for them on YouTube, basically)? Or was Top of the Pops a symptom of the peculiarly British obsession with the charts.

  9. 279
    Mark G on 5 Nov 2015 #

    Well, it would be apparent if there was some website that had the charts for each country, historically. But there’s the UK ones (everyhit, polyhex, etc), I think there’s a US one but I don’t know for sure, and that’s yer lot.

    Unless you know diff?

  10. 280
    Speedwell54 on 5 Nov 2015 #

    @278 Glue_Factory
    I can’t help you much with the rest of Europe but in Germany they had Beatclub, which was then followed by Der Musikladen. (which is repeated now in some edited form rather like Totp) Youtube has Musikladen 58 which was December 1980. Includes Telly Savalas and a version on Legs and Co dancing to Special Brew. Also there’s a fair number of English language acts. Not sure how chart related the programme was.

    In terms of charts..
    WorldCharts.co.uk has quite a few different European charts and currently you can get at least the top 10 for the first or second week of November 1980. Barbra Streisand was doing pretty well everywhere.

    Lescharts.com – the French Charts, lists up to the top 200, going back to 1984. It links to ‘autre pays’ and there you can pick the week, but they tend to only go back to June 2001.

  11. 281
    Mark G on 6 Nov 2015 #

    Ok Simon, let have some!

    Iron Maiden! They still have the other vocalist and the snare drum is the loudest sound here. I shall pass over only to note that Legs and co might have had a bunch of uniforms to present if they’d done this one.

    David Bowie in a sort-of performance vid for Fashion. Do they play this loads on Vintage? I don’t think I’ve seen this since this this prog was last shown. Fine stuff anyway, ok television programme you can stay. See, it isn’t the framework that was the problem last time, it was that none of the tracks prompted anything interesting to say about them. Anyway..

    Dr Hook are back after all! And now they are gone. Gladys Knight does the funky thing (as opposed to the ballady thing. Bourgeousie. Didn’t fit. Still, it sounds good too.

    Simon has news of Ian Dury, U2 and Kate Bush! Blimey! News worth knowing! Things are getting better! And Stu Francis. Ok it couldn’t last I guess, this weeks merch spot is a TOTP branded LP. Line up folks, ere dahnt mess it abaht if you ain’t buyin!

    Legs and Co do John Lennon’s “Starting Over” but it looks like Joy Division’s “Atmosphere” video! Oh wait, it doesn’t now. Reminder: John is still alive at this point. I doubt he saw this though. When someone told John (Richard Lester maybe) that he could actually be a great actor if he carried on doing it past “How I won the war” he replied “Yeah, but it’s .. Silly”. Not as silly as this dance but hey.

    Spandau Ballet are here. Blitz kids! Duran cannot be far behind. Oh great. I guess I like this more than I did at the time. But not by much.

    Supertrouper. A song about large spotlights. And Glasgow. On the road ennui. Funny how they gave it all up. Well, it isn’t really.

    And so, the rundown gives us the Tide is high. Now, why did the BBC do this? A couple of short excerpts of the actual video with various bits of older vids and a number 1 floating around. Its terrible. Was there any need?

    And back to Young and Co. And a much more well behaved dance crowd. Yes, best episode for some time, thankfully. OK YOU LOT!! TAKE IT!!

  12. 282
    Lazarus on 6 Nov 2015 #

    OK then, what have we here? A tune with a lot of sax, which I don’t recognise, and simpering smoothie Simon ‘Batesy’ Bates. The usual previews.

    Iron Maiden – with original vocalist Paul Di’ Anno, who would shortly be sacked for what sounds like some spectacular drug consumption. Perhaps not surprisingly, his voice is quite rough and bluesy, and not really suited to a HM band. Couldn’t imagine him tackling ‘Run to the Hills’ somehow.

    David Bowie – Bates favours the ‘rhymes with Zoe’ pronunciation, as opposed to the ‘rhymes with Howie’ employed by Peter Powell last time. No I don’t remember this video at all, though I surely must have seen it at some point. Same director as ‘Ashes’ I wonder? We have that black sky at points. Album’s a good ‘un, but how often does anyone play side two?

    Dr Hook plug new album. “Can you sing Top of the Pops?” “What’s the melody?” Pass.

    Gladys Knight – her imperial phase long behind her, and I think this might be the last UK hit with the Pips. From now on she’d only be sighted with famous friends, or solo with a Bond theme. Not bad, though. I’d forgotten about this one tbh.

    Bates with news, and Stu Francis from Crackerjack. CRAC-KER-JACK! Presents the presenter with a TOTP LP. “It’s got legs on the front” observes Simon. Not THE Legs, though, it appears.

    John Lennon/Legs & Co. Founding Fab on the comeback trail after five years. Needless to say, didn’t pan out quite the way he’d have hoped. Routine is OK, once they ditch the vampire look. Chart 20-11.

    Liquid Gold – edged out of the Thursday show, and what must have been their final appearance on the show before the minibus claimed them for ever. It’s ‘Dizzy’ part 3, obvs, Harmless enough though. I’m going to miss them I think.

    Spandau Ballet – when these repeats first started airing four and a half years ago we were still getting the likes of Pilot and the Bay City Rollers – now that we’ve had the Ants and the Spands on in successive weeks it’s starting to feel a lot more ‘modern’ to me. I shall be following ’81 with interest, if we get it. First hit for this North London mob of course, I prefer their early stuff on the whole, as I do for Duran for that matter.

    Abba – odd that they had to jump to number 13, didn’t come in at a high position. Back then even superstars often took three or four weeks for their hits to peak. “When I called you last night from Tesco” etc. Fire-eaters pre-empt the Goombay Dance Band. ‘Super Duper’ on NT9O’CN, of course.

    Top 10. Stephanie Mills on a boat, I rather like that one. No video for Dennis?

    Blondie – yes a bit of a cut’n’paste job. I thought that Dale Winton knew his music, but he played this a few years back on Pick of the Pops, and said “you’ll remember Atomic Kitten had a hit with that recently, well there’s the original, by Blondie.” Oh well. They made it their own I guess.

    Out to Young & Co, apparently. Decent show I thought.

  13. 283
    speedwell54 on 6 Nov 2015 #

    Simon reads the news, oh no it’s Top of the Pops…

    Iron and Maiden kick off with ‘Women In Uniform’. A song that doesn’t mention the title in its lyric, well maybe once. Vocalist sounds strange to my ears.

    Bowie art house video for a great track. Two of Dr Hook come in and Simon does all the work in promoting them. I think they may have been alone in the green room too long. Gladys Knight. The Pips pretend they are the Four Tops without the synchronisation. Song is not that bad but what is Bourgie?

    Stu Francis comes on a to advertise a ‘top of the pops’ album. Must have sold out of the T-Shirts. Legs all do their own thing to Starting Over.

    Liquid Gold – always the same performance on Totp, but a different song about dancing. Drummer still daft.

    Spandau Ballet – don’t they look young. Tony Hadley’s hairstyle is coming back in. Not without merit this track.

    Abba – Super Trouper “..what I have to tell you now is something that has amazed even the record company that belongs to Abba, because they have gone to number 13…” says Simon. Abba owned Epic! – who knew? Clumsy intros aside this was the first viewing of a very familiar video. They hardly put a foot wrong but the “Super per per” lines comes close. Songs lyric includes ‘number one’ and they get to number one.

    The Tide Is High – song lyric include ‘number one’ and they are number one. Also curious as to why BBC did this funny edit with the video. Did they do it back then or just for the repeat, like Grease hits?

    Not my favourite but there have been worse.

  14. 284
    Mark G on 7 Nov 2015 #

    I can authoritatively state that the cut&paste job was from back then. They showed a brief piece of the proper vid the week previously which looked interesting, I guess someone hit the blue pencil to it. The vid proper is on the blondie hits collection vhs (probably on dvd now)

  15. 285
    Jimmy the Swede on 10 Nov 2015 #

    Master Bates. God this format is annoying now. Spoilers.

    Iron Maiden. Women in Wotsit. Fledgling metal outfit. So what? I’m already surfing for an old “To The Manor Born” episode by now. That Marjorie Frobisher! Grrrr!

    Bowie. Fashion. Commendable vid akin to Ashes. A gleaming gem in a very ordinary show. Beep-Beep!

    Ray and Dennis from Doctor Hook stop by to chat with Simon. No Ned Flanders, though. Pity. New album from the Hookies. Okay.

    On comes Gladys Knight and the Greenwich Time Signal. I think she’s singing about Mrs Slocombe’s Pussy Pussy. I could be wrong. Don’t care. Do you?

    Pop News. Bates thinks we’re interested. Stu Francis, a latterday Harry Worth (a “comic” with only one gag) comes on. There’s not a doubt in my mind of his whereabouts now. I’m now looking for an old episode of “The Organist Entertains”, a guilty pleasure for the Swede along with “Pointless”. Dear old Nigel Ogden rocks more than this garbage. So does that professional dweeb Pointless Richard for that matter.

    Chart 30-20. Okay. Here we park, coz at 20 is Lennon, who feels like he’s been turned over. Which he soon will be. Mark Chapman is getting into place. But that for later. It’s the Gals now. And what a sexy dance to a track which will soon only signify sadness. Rosie looks extraordinary and she takes the game with ease.

    Chart 19-11. Now those delightful loons Liquid Gold return. We were denied another top tenner of theirs because of the beasts and this is their third hit, sounding just like their first. But they’re having an absolute ball, particularly the bonkers gal. And the ballroom is where they are now.

    Spandau Ballet on debut. To cut a long wotsit somewhere. I could never stomach this lot. Or Duran Duran, ABC, Depeche Mode etc. All the same to me. Identical dross. It will soon be time for the Swede to say goodbye. I’m getting very close to snatching the pebble from the old man’s hand. Perhaps a personal plea from Mucky Sue (or Rosie)…

    Abba. Supertrouper. Nothing to do with Sarah Brightman but a song about a lamp. And being sick and tired of everything when she (Freda) called him last night from Prestatyn. Feeling like a number one. And so it was. Heading for the top with this.

    Top Ten. Blondie are indeed “numb-brr-won” with the Tide is High. Very lightweight indeed. Only Debbie makes it worthwhile.

    Okay, I going to try to snatch the pebble again…Drat! Nearly got it.

  16. 286
    heather on 21 Nov 2015 #

    I’d never seen the UB40 video before – and it’s a cute idea for the time, especially the mixed-face guy. Looked unfortunate as a still on the chart rundown though. Also the ‘spoilers’ at the start are awful, but exactly what every documentary does these days. I always mute the first three minutes, even on BBC4. When the Lennon stuff first came up the other week, I was surprised how casual it was for a tribute until I realised I’d got the month wrong. I had always wondered why his first ‘tribute’ single war so ordinary before!

  17. 287
    Jimmy the Swede on 21 Nov 2015 #

    Safe but dull mid-Atlantic Tommy Vance greets us with Stephanie Mills warbling in the background.

    Bloody Hellfire, it’s Waddy again. Say it isn’t so, Ethel! They’re doing Blue Moon. Vance is convinced that they will emulate the wonderful Marcels who topped the charts with it in 1961, the year of the Swede’s birth. He’s wrong of course, it flops, but oddly they make a good fist of it. It’s a killer of a song anyway. But three more flops and they’re gone, praise the Lord!

    UB40. The flip on the double A to the much superior Earth Dies Screaming. The band are dressed as minstrels black, white and mixed. Not a problem at all back in the day but they’d have their work cut out today even though their intention was supposedly to outline racial harmony.

    Superstars Alert! Tommy waves forward no less a personage than Hall and Oates. Swede a huge fan, even though John does look like a psychopath on day release. Single, album, tour. For once the interview is not embarrassing and these two are soft rock royalty, particularly in their homeland where they were super-massive.

    Robert Palmer is looking for clues. He doesn’t quite find them with this, alas, but Bobby has some golden times ahead. Quality bloke.

    Bev Bevan is introduced. As mentioned (see Swede passim) he is an alarming doppelganger for the guy who was to lose the Wimbledon final to 17 year old Boris Becker five years later. Bev plugs a book and ELO’s latest single which is gifted to the Gals. It’s a delightful tasteful routine where each of them play an equal part to camera. They all look breath-taking.

    Chart 30-21.

    Stray Cats on debut. I’m beginning to enjoy this show. Imaginative little rockabilly band. Vance likes them and so did I.

    Chart 20-11.

    Spandau Ballet. No thanks. Not for Swede.

    A couple of no-marks from the Motels are introduced. Who the hell are you? Then, a very memorable vid of an angst-ridden Suggs suggesting embarrassment. The mad lads are on a roll and the top ten hits continue non-stop in sequence. Excellent stuff. What a good show this has been.

    Top Ten and Abba are at the summit, wishing every show was the last show. For once I disagree. It’s been a bumper do tonight and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    All the guests are lined up as we say ta-ra. Hall and Oates are foolin’, which is their right as fucking superstars. Elsewhere, autograph hunter Mark David Chapman is now in New York.

  18. 288
    Adam Puke on 21 Nov 2015 #

    Tommy Vance was quite dull during this era wasn’t he? A far cry from his later excitable thunder-voiced incarnation. Did Live Aid endow him with the power of Zeus or something?

  19. 289
    Lazarus on 22 Nov 2015 #

    Tommy Vance with the waif-like Anne-Marie – an audience member, not a co-presenter. I hope she was watching!

    Showaddywaddy – still on the downward slope but this isn’t too bad. It’s a song that needs a lot of voices of course and they have enough to cover. Tommy was mercifully wrong with his prediction though.

    UB40 – OMFG. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen this before, I think I would remember. I have the 45, I don’t think it’s on an album is it? I really like the early stuff.

    Meet-n’greet with Hall and Oates, their major UK commercial success just a year or two away. ‘Kiss on my List’ will crack the Top 30 soon. Robert Palmer, like Hall and Oates has been around for ages, a succession of well-received albums but precious few hits. This is the follow-up to the sublime ‘Johnny and Mary’ which somehow failed to make the Top 40, this one only does a little better unfortunately.

    The tall and generously coiffeured Bev Bevan plugs a book, and introduces his own band – ELO with the Legs, the big ballad from ‘Xanadu.’ Not their most energetic routine, seems to consist mainly of the gals walking around, looking aloof and demure, and looking from side to side like spectators at a tennis match. We still get a smile from Rosie, of course.

    Chart 30-21. A rare appearance from Barry Manilow, another with his best UK success ahead of him. Stray Cats – three-piece rockabilly outfit once likened by a writer at Record Mirror to Snap, Crackle and Pop from the cereal packet. One of them got together with Britt Ekland I seem to recall. Yes this is fine.

    Chart 20-11. We haven’t had Rod Stewart’s ‘Passion’ yet, thankfully. Not his finest hour. The Motels come on. I remember them actually, West Coast noo wavers I suppose. ‘Whose Problem?’ is quite a good number. They were featured a few years ago on VH1 I think, a series in which they tried to get 80s bands to reform (Frankie Goes to Hollywood and A Flock of Seagulls also featured). Never made much of an impact here though.

    Madness – another prime effort. Written by sax player Lee Thompson about the reaction to his sister’s unexpected pregnancy. Perhaps that’s why he gets two solos! Keeps his feet on the ground this time though.

    Top 10 countdown. You don’t hear that Boomtown Rats song very often. Bowie is stuck at five. If you haven’t heard it – or seen the video – check out his new song ‘Blackstar’ on Youtube. It is extraordinary. And Abba at number one of course, complete with acrobats, jugglers, fire-eaters, Uncle Tom Cobley and all. Their time’s almost up.

    Fact-filled show – it’s almost as if TV was trying to outdo Read – but very good, content wise. Only the first act on were required to take the ‘bus.

  20. 290
    swanstep on 23 Nov 2015 #

    The Motels had a quite a bit of success down under. ‘Total Control’ was their signature tune; do get hold of the 6 min original single and album track and avoid the the shortened version that’s on Greatest Hits and other collections. TC got to #11 in NZ and spent 18 total weeks in charts. Largely on its strength The Motels’ debut album spent 30 weeks on the charts and got to #4.

    In general, however, The Motels were a problematic band. They had a moody, slightly alternative, slightly conceptual (lots of pulp and noir and film references) vibe which normally would suggest ‘Album band’, but their albums were mostly disappointing beyond the singles. Anyhow, their best songs all showcase their distinctive singer, Martha Davis, and TC in particular is all-time great.

  21. 291
    Mark G on 25 Nov 2015 #

    Time flies. Two of them. With a stopwatch. Oh, hi.

    We are back to the sandpit that is the TOTP studio that thinks its a disco. Lots of The Kids sitting round not saying much while a disco tune plays and a tape of excited hubbub suggests an excited crowd, off camera. Tommy still looks like a fish out of water but presses on..

    So, here’s Showaddywaddy turn up and do the usual cover, its a classic oldie we all know which is usually a bad idea as we all know how good the ‘original’ is, but they just about pass the ‘ok’ flag. Mind you, ‘Blue Moon’ has had a few different arrangements, Elvis’ version is from some other place. Anyway..

    I do remember this “Dream a lie” which is being promoted as a less scary a-side to “The earth dies screaming’ I guess. The song is somewhat overshadowed by the B&WMinstrel show, but thanks to good old modern tellys the sound comes over better than it did.

    Hall and Oates. Into Robert Palmer. Always came over as an OK dude, and he started gently having hits from this point on. They still sound great, so that’s fine.

    Bev Bevan! With his book. Sounds like an autobiog with pics. Tom seems a little happier talking to a rock dude. And the legs are here, looking fine but the dance is basically them walking away. Well done.

    Chart rundown then its the Stray Cats, who manage to do that one thing that the other rocknroll revival acts can’t: Be Young. Which gives them the edge which they use to great effect. Yes, they could pull this three-handed act live as well. Wish they were still doing it, somehow. The White Stripes managed this, but we’ll have to wait a long time for that here.

    Spandau Ballet. Right, mentioned them, lets ff->

    Tommy has a painful conversation with The Motels, who seemed to have some hits by default if not design. Anyway, Madness get their often played video, um, played.

    Top ten, and look there’s a bit of Blondies proper video which looks too cool for this school. And here are Abba with those big lights song and the called you last night from Lidl song.

    Tom says thanks to his guests, and tells us all that Bev Bevan is a decent novelist for some reason. Beats me..

    Yes, some halfway decent stuff on tonight. Lets do it all again then, um, tomorrow?

  22. 292
    Lazarus on 29 Nov 2015 #

    The ever-enthusiastic Peter Powell. Young & Co AGAIN. Rather that than Ottawan I suppose. Spoilers.

    Eddy Grant – haven’t seen him much in these parts. Did Living on the Front Line get on? Anyway this is stompy reggae in a similar vein. Bigger hits await the ex-Equal a couple of years down the line.

    Oh good, guests already. Maurice and Verdun from EWF. Their album has just gone silver. After the mega-million selling I Am, they must be absolutely thrilled. Dull interview.

    Jona Lewie – “you might recognise one or two faces” teases Pete. Er, no actually. Were there hidden celebs among the platoon? It’s hardly the Band on the Run cover. Anyway, Chrissie classic. “Wish I was at home for Christmas” he sings these days from you know where.

    Chart 30-22. Yes 22, for that’s where we find Kenny Rogers with a Lionel Richie song. It’s not bad if you like that sort of thing. Legs in olde worlde costumes. Twirling wimples aplenty. But can we have them grooving again next week please? Ta.

    Chart 21-17. It’s stopping in odd places now, AC/DC up to the plate this time. Geordie Johnson on the mic. It soon becomes clear that they’ll be just fine without Bon. Another three decades of giving the fans what they want duly follow.

    Chart 16-11. And then back to 16. “At Christmas, all sorts of things happen” offers Pete by way of apology for the dreaded St Winifreds. Why in the name of sanity was this on when there was no need for it? Mike Oldfield in to plug flop single, surely wondering if he’s still in the right business after seeing the previous act. Introduces –

    Boomtown Rats – and as I mentioned last time this is one that radio has steadfastly ignored these last 35 years. Listening to it now it’s inexplicable that this piece of sub-Dreadlock Holiday cod-reggae (were they going for a Clash vibe?) got to number three. Bob in his beret looks like Citizen Smith. Not far from the end for them now, alas.

    Top 10 time. Lennon has slipped a couple, but that’s about to change in dramatic fashion. Spands flying high at five. Abba still on top. I make it just one more week for them though – ever. Nice Xmas jumper, Frida!

    Mike Oldfield struggles to raise a smile. The White brothers have flown. And out to Diana Ross. She’s coming out, but it meant something different in those days. Laters!

  23. 293
    Jimmy the Swede on 30 Nov 2015 #

    Please may I just begin by outlining a remarkable weekend for UK sport. The Heavyweight Championship of the World followed by the Davis Cup! Who would have thunk it? As Erithian put it to me in a text, “That’s SPOTY sorted out (Main and Team award)”.

    Tiresome entry again, as if we are gate-crashing on a party. I’ve had enough of this formula now. It’s Peter Powell again. Of course it is.

    Eddie the Equal Grant continues a successful solo comeback. Do we feel his love? Probably, yes. A good opener.

    Neil Diamond. Love on the “racks”. I was never his greatest fan to be honest. This was from the Jazz Singer. The clearly agog woman in the sound booth sends Neil clear signals that he’s on a certainty that night.

    A couple of herberts from Earth Wind and Fire are introduced by PP. They clearly don’t want to be there. They are smiling like loons and answer Peter’s questions as quickly as possible in order to get away. They maintain their false grins as Jona Lewie pops up to deliver what is the Swede’s most loved Crimbo pop song. Utterly delightful.

    Chart 30-22.

    At 22 is Kenny’s Lady. A US #1. We get the Gals for this one but it’s not one for their hard-core fans (eg Swede). It’s a yawningly boring slow dance and there are no legs at all as they are all covered up from head to foot dressed as Guinevere and looked pained. WTF? I can’t be doing with this old carry on. Even the cat is suitably disgusted.

    Chart 21-17.

    AC/DC. Rock and Roll ain’t noise pollution. Never said it was. Routine metal rant.

    Chart 17-11.

    Grandma. The least said about this the better. I would only overdo it!

    Mike Oldfield, painfully shy genius, stops by and speaks in tongues. I saw him tour back in the day. Bonkers but brilliant. Mike waves at the Boom Town Rats and gets a muffled cheer back before they launch into Banana Republic. God knows there were plenty of those around back then and still are today. Finland’s a complete mess! Belting track.

    Top Ten. Lennon is down two places. Abba are feeling like a number one. which is just as well.

    Oldfield politely plays the game and waves goodbye with PP. The two EWF dudes, however, are long gone, the rude bastards. Out to Diana Ross, who’s coming out and wants the world to know. Berry Gordy will be gutted.

    The cloud of St Winnie’s is closing in…

  24. 294
    Jimmy the Swede on 30 Nov 2015 #

    Sorry, folks. Mistake. Beer kills brain cells!

  25. 295
    Mark G on 1 Dec 2015 #

    Tomorrow? Ummm.. Anyway. Peter Powell is here, the disco sandpit looks more animated but the music is tastefully turned down.. It must be Totp! Yeah!

    right… Pete feeds us Eddie Grant by ANNouncing THE title with emPHAsis.. “O you feel my love” is the one that sounds a lot like “Living on the front line” but I guess that must have been yewtreed. Its alright. I guess if Mike Red had been here we’d be chock full of facts but I think PPowell only goes back two weeks if at all.

    Neil Diamond. “Love on the rocks” apparently was done as a punk track by Paul Nicholas in the movie just before Neil does this one. “Yeah, very nice, now sod off” says Paul. Something like that, not seen it.

    Guests are here. They went out of their way for twenty seconds of promo. Oh no don’t go earth wind and fire I need desperately to play you a single by this new band: Jona Lewie

    Yes it’s him, with more pals. John Otway clearly, Will Birch of the Records apparently, and one bloke who had hits but Jona can’t remember his name (yeah, really) so help a Jona anyone?

    Kenny Rogers does a ballad, Legs and co in historic costume drama, soporific effect. A pear is plucked from a tree by someone who manages not to crack up.

    ACDC do a song that’s slower that usual but just as forceful. Its Brian J now, obviously, its not my thing but its a highlight today.

    Dawn Ralph and the gang hit the high notes with as much intensity as ACDC. Lots of pink. A few boys. Mostly girls. Needs more dancing.

    Famous recluse Mike Oldfield makes low key tv appearance plugging single that’s not in the chart “yet”. But the Boomtown Rats are, and they get the word “whore” onto the show – there is another hit song that does that in quite a few years time, also irish fella. This song sneaks quite a few strange concepts in as well.

    Chart rundown, John is still alive. Blondie get that dumb “number 1” video back, boo. Abba still there at actual number one.

    Nothing terribly exciting, there it lies, bereft of actual wind, it lies like a kite.

  26. 296
    Mark G on 4 Dec 2015 #

    OK, this thing is on! And its Richard Skinner, allowed out on his own without the friendly local pervert to hold his hand and well anyway.. The youth club disco looks as fun as it ever did, its the lack of drink that’s the giveaway and the mood killer. Still..

    Its the Ant Brand! It all seems so obvious now, but then it seemed that A&tA were the punk last chickens that never broke out of division 2, and it was pretty much over: Check out “Maxine” from The Photos album, a top twenty smash (hey, I bought one!) . But look! He’s young, good looking, dresses well, and he wants you to join him in his crusade. This is Glam, back with a vengeance. Unstoppable. Of course!

    Whereas Showaddywaddy..

    Richard Skinner has lots of hair! I don’t remember him like this! Jermaine does too, but he still does if his Big Brother appearance (a while ago I guess) is anything to go by. He’s here to meet people. 25! Looks 15? No, Richard, that’s you that is.

    And Madness are here to do Embarrassment! I don’t recall this performance! Great.I notice the music is now DI’ed as opposed to sounding like its playing somewhere on speakers behind the band/performer. They don’t look too enervated, it must be cold in there.

    Oh, no Legs it seems, they are rehearsing. A likely story. Still, here’s Status Quo to do one of their memorable hits lets sing along to the lies in yr eyes of a thousand flies or thereabouts. Its more like their mid-seventies style than their eighties hits, but its .. Um.. Passable I guess.

    Its news time. John Lennon is dead, and Jon Anderson is on tour. Here is Gary Numan to do that quitting live shows not really thing.

    And here is Matchbox trying to do Gene Vincent covering “Over the rainbow” and failing. Its not a terrible idea, they just fail miserably at it. Its Prestatyn time, but only the reception area while all the families check in.

    The Police do that doo doo they doo so well. Lots of complicated long words in the verses but this one got them lots of stick for the ‘meaningless’ lyric thanks to the chorus. Its not a great idea but they actually do it well, which is much better than the other way around. Anyway, they channel the Beatles’ “Help” snow vids, but the ‘compadres together’ larks are not as convincing.

    Queen! Ahhhhh.., they stand for every oneof us. Thirty seconds of actual song (the “just a man” bit) and lots of atmos, they succeed! How about that!

    Stray Cats are here once more, a repeat, so I guess they don’t get to meet Matchbox. Doubtless they are watching this repeat performance while packing their gear away. And thinking.

    So, we run down the top end of the chart, and its Abba still number one. And the show ends.

    A dignified pause to a black backdrop, and Richard pauses to give John Lennon’s tribute and its Imagine. This was that Tribute to Lew Grade that Lennon was forced to do. BOMF indeed. The band wear two-faced masks. Lennon wears a red jumpsuit with lots of zips. And then its over.

    Well, I have to say Richard Skinner made presenting look very easy indeed, never looking uncomfortable or out-of-place, beyond the fashion statement anyway.

    Right, over to …

  27. 297
    wichitalineman on 4 Dec 2015 #

    The short version cut ‘Waddy and Matchbox. I enjoyed Richard Skinner’s dry but friendly presentation – my kinda BBC. A very good episode.

  28. 298
    Lazarus on 4 Dec 2015 #

    Thanks for letting me know who was cut Lino, means I don’t have to bother with the late night instalment … Richard Skinner in his school jumper, Pops debut for him no?The usual previews.

    Adam & the Ants – speedy follow-up with ‘Dog’ still in the Top 40 at this point I believe.Yeah this is the biz. Very unlucky not to top the chart, denied by a sudden turn of events, but they’d put that right before much longer. Lyrics come up on a screen karaoke style, for the audience’s benefit presumably.

    Birthday boy Jermaine Jackson presented with a cake. That’s not Delia Smith is it?

    Madness – in the studio this time. Would that be the McPherson tartan? Almost certainly not, since all the band are similarly attired. And in cricket trousers for some reason. Dunno if it’s been on before, but Suggs is on BBC4 later tonight in a programme about ageing pop stars, could be one for the iPlayer.

    Status Quo – this is very much in the ‘Caroline’ mould isn’t it – the other side (this was a double A) was ‘Don’t Drive My Car’ – a slower-paced warning to the little woman. Tour news.

    The Police – I must have seen this vid before but I don’t remember it. Then again, most of them were just the band goofing around weren’t they? OK single with lyrics (“their logic ties you up and and rapes you”) that they were maybe lucky to get on to daytime radio. Chart 30-20.

    Queen – performance video cut with scenes from film. Gordon’s alive!! Was last reminded of this film when I saw ‘Ted.’ We only have fourteen hours to save the earth, better get on … chart 19-10.

    Stray Cats – at the number 10 spot. Rockabilly rebels young enough to be the sons of Matchbox, if not Waddy. It was bass player ‘Slim’ Jim Phantom that married Britt if I’m not mistaken.

    Top 9 countdown, and Abba are still at the top. St Wins lurk ominously. Agnetha keeps pointing at the ceiling as if she’s firing a starting pistol. Frida turned 35 shortly before this show went out, and recently of course she reached her three score and ten. Looking good on it though.

    And so to the finish. Good choice of clip, it would have been so easy to show the ‘white room’ film that we’d all soon become so familiar with. Am I right in thinking it was Skinner who interviewed Lennon in New York just a few days before his death?

    Another good show, with the Pressy brigade sidelined until well after the watershed.

  29. 299
    Steve Williams on 4 Dec 2015 #

    No, it was Andy Peebles, who found out he was dead as he got off the plane with the tape. Skinner’s part in the story, as he recounted on the BBC4 documentary to start this year, is that he phoned up Macca to see if he might come on Radio 1 to talk about it and one of his people said it was the first they’d heard of it and they’d call him back – and Macca did a bit later.

    It was indeed Skinner’s debut as solo host but he had done two earlier this autumn which we didn’t see because he was being trained up by a certain other presenter. Not the best week to make his debut but he did a decent job of it, imagine some of the other hosts having to do the obit. In fact Travis did the show the week Elvis died but they used an unclearable film clip so we didn’t see that bit on BBC4.

  30. 300
    Mark G on 10 Dec 2015 #

    “One last trip back to 1980” ? Don’t mind if I do but that’s our card marked! Back to the sand pit, which seems more animated as its the Stray Cats playing.. And three girls have actually bought the t-shirt so they get to stand next to Simon Bates!

    But its already shaping up because its the true disco sound of The Beat doing “Too nice to talk to” which is probably their best single, I think so. The 12″ is a thing of wonder.. The bass player looks like Brad from the Specials.

    Oh, its Little and Large! The re-release of “Rock Steady” got nowhere in the ska revival, Ray Dorset’s lawyers didn’t bother, so its a plug for the summer season and an Eddie Waring joke, and that’s it for Rock News for now.

    And now its The Specials! The Drummer looks like Brad from The Specials. And you wouldn’t think they were a year away from splitting from their good time jumping up and down and cheerful disposition. They were obviously used to playing small clubs so they have no problem fitting eight (or nine) on the small stage there. Anyway, this is great. So.

    Album has some Simes to flog. Never mind all that, I’ll give you a fiver for the Chas and Dave badge.

    Gary does one that gets passed over on hits radio, but that’s not fair this is just as good as the, um, other one. Moi Wokario he sings. Not Lou Macari, no.

    Rabbit. Chas and Dave are here and Legs and Co breathe a sigh of relief. Times change, and now any shop or person has more rabbit than Sainsburys as they don’t stock it any more.

    More charts, and into The Nolans and “Who’s gonna “Rock” you now?” which follows on from “Don’t rock me too hard”, and that nolans soundalike called “Ooh, get it over with, over with, just make it quick” (and I’m not kidding)

    More chart, and its a fairly lively bunch with Ants, Cats, Rats, Police and Madness. I mistyped just then “Pillice”, Johnny and Sting? It couldn’t happen in any parallel universe.

    And Jona repeats his Cavalry.

    And Legs and co are here to represent John Lennon’s first solo number one. Respectfully. Pics and some gentle dancing. And into the credits. I guess Dawn Ralph and the gang are written out of “Number One” history by the time we reconvene in 1981.

    Anyhow, its been one of the best shows for some time. The short version, obviously. Might add some later if the missed acts were worth the effort..

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