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. 241
    wichitalineman on 24 Jul 2015 #

    Simon Bates (strikebreaker?) introduces. All videos, fake applause.

    XTC’s Generals & Majors, one of my favourite singles of theirs. Colin Moulding has a much more melodious voice than yelping Andy Partridge. Branson in the video. War was, indeed, drawing near and would the keep the Tories in power for the next aeon.

    Lovely Livvy! A proper co-host. Incredible to think this was 14 years after her debut single.

    Randy Crawford is the antithesis of Gerry Rafferty and the bloke from Nazareth, opening her mouth as wide as humanly possible when she sings. I dunno folks, One Day I’ll Fly Away sent me to sleep then and it sends me to sleep now.

    Livvy loves Stevie Wonder, and Masterblaster is maybe his last classic

    “Here’s a lady who did what you did…” What, go from Cambridge to Australia? No, Glasgow to London? Amid stiff competition Simon comes up with the clunkiest intro ever for Shhena Easton’s tedious Modern Girl. “Eats a tangerine… walks to the office like everyone else”. How “modern”. Sounds like a square. Prestatyn should have beckoned but instead Minneapolis was on the phone! Who’d have guessed?

    Tour news… the Dooleys and Cliff! Err, that’s it! And there’s no telly! Welcome to Tory Britain!

    Nick Straker – I was convinced that on the second verse he sang “the Nick Straker park”, but instead it sounds like “the sicker Straker park.” Either way, this stands up pretty well.

    Oh look, it’s Jonathan King! He’s introducing Britain to the Rubik’s cube and plugging his Radio 1 show. Luckily the press are too busy rubbishing Jeremy Corbyn to make much of a fuss.

    Madness’s Baggy Trousers… “fun” first single off their unexpectedly great second album, of which Embarrassment would be more representative. I think I spot the Market Estate off York Way in the video.

    Lynda Carter? Wonder Woman herself?? New single out on Motown??? Off course, they don’t actually show it, they show Billy Joel for the millionth time (“Next phase, new wave!” Well spotted Grandad). Does anyone remember Lynda’s Motown single?

    Livvy talks about her dogs and horses, then it’s the Top 10. We missed the Jam’s one week at no.1 (and Legs & Co dancing to Elvis’s It’s Only Love, bah). “Do you know Kelly Marie? Take a look and be amazed” says Si, with scary sincerity. I can’t stand her shrill voice, not helped by that kiss-me-quick bowler and that Pontin’s production, but there you go.

    Two Elvis songs in the Top 3, one of them sung by lucky recipient KM. If he’d lived I’m sure Elvis would have covered One Day I’ll Fly Away too. Maybe he’d have even done Another One Bites The Dust, which we go out to…

  2. 242
    anto on 24 Jul 2015 #

    @ 241 – This was a fascinating show, and weirdly timely in contrasting the problems the
    BBC encountered in 1980 (industrial action) with the problems they face nowadays (just about everything, bar industrial action).

    The most of-it’s-time moment was when Simon Bates was introduced by lookalike Jonathan King to the Rubik Cube – a novelty so new that he didn’t even put a name to it. Every time King appeared on television he seemed to have ‘just come back from America’ and always talked as though he was the only Brit who had ever been over there.

    The links by the DJs in general on these old TOTP shows are terrible. I thought the one redeeming feature of these idiots was a certain type of cheesy professionalism, but no they all sound illiterate even when doing something as basic as introducing the next song. On the Christmas edition from ’82, Mike Read went from Nicole to Eddy Grant by saying ‘from a Eurovision winner to someone who’s never won it in his life’, eh?

    I don’t know about the Lynda Carter record, but I do remember Sheena Easton appearing on Wogan in about 1989 looking and sounding totally different to the lady we saw on this show after several years out in Beverly Hills.

  3. 243
    Lazarus on 25 Jul 2015 #

    Morning campers! I’m watching the long ‘un on Catch Up … nattily attired Simon Bates and his big glasses, and an altogether more agreeable co-host than the last eejit.

    XTC – from ‘Black Sea’ I think? Don’t think I’ve seen the vid before, but the song is a cracker. Simes announces that “the BBC has just made a stunning film” about them – I wonder if that’s survived?

    Olivia Newton-John (for it is she) applauded by invisible audience, is charmed by the oleaginous Bates.

    Randy Crawford – I’d forgotten this got as high as number 2. Probably heard it a little too much over the years, but it can still send me to another place sometimes. And video of course – not that much is happening in it – so no death by BBC orchestra this time.

    Stevie Wonder – first single from ‘Hotter than July’ which took its title from the lyric in this of course. Yes coming to the end of his purple patch here. “Peace has come to Zimbabwe”, hmmm.

    Sheena Easton – following that excruciating link from Simon (and he also manages to get the name of the next release wrong), a repeat showing of ‘Modern Girl.’ I wonder if this would have been a hit first time round if they’d managed to get it on the Pops. Yes I recall she had a mini-comeback here in the late eighties, by then lean, tanned and of course blonde. She was never a punk rocker though.

    SB shows us the cover of ‘Zenyatta Mondatta’ and gives the thrilling news of Dooleys and Cliff tours. Chart 30-20.

    Nick Straker Band – repeat. Guitarist in overalls.

    Oh great, it’s Jonathan King and his perma-curled lip. Back from covering the US elections in which Ronnie beat the peanut farmer. Early showing of the Rubik’s cube. Chart 19-11.

    Madness – video of ‘Baggy Trousers.’ One of their best-known vids of course, thanks to airborne saxophonist Lee Barson. The kids in this, no stage school brats they, will all be pushing 50 now of course, nice little claim to fame for them.

    Simpering Simes now does a meet-n-greet with Lynda Carter. Her record flopped, despite his promised patronage.

    Billy Joel – repeat showing of dull studio video. Song’s alright though.

    ONJ is back, more chat with Bates. The time drags … oh here’s the top 10. Yes annoying to miss the Legs with ‘It’s Only Love’ the only Elvis 45 that I own (I do, of course, have the obligatory best-of)

    Number one time. Caterwauling Kelly Marie and her bodypopping sidemen. Kind of wish I’d heard Elvis tackle this one. ONJ takes her leave, and another one bites the dust.

    Underwhelming show – Straker and Kelly the only obvious candidates for Prestatyn. Just as well most acts were making videos by this time.

  4. 244
    Jimmy the Swede on 26 Jul 2015 #

    Safe, pleasant Simon Bates takes our hand. Thank God. It would have been a tragedy had this one been Yewtreed. After the rubbish of last week, this week’s is Swedolicious, even without the Gals again. Frank and Sally, my regular ambulance medics, are standing by after being alerted by buddy Erithian, who had seen the show before I got to it. Thanks, mate. Batesy’s got a mullet only a mother could love. An attentive mother. Mrs Bates. Union pinkoes still causing mischief. Sort ’em out, Maggie!

    XTC – No memory at all of this follow up to Nigel. Vid gives work to some jobbing old actors. It’s cut almost straight away but we do see a bouncy castle, which surprised me somewhat as I didn’t think these were around until a few years later.

    But I’m glad it is cut as, in a delightful surprise, up pops the Cambridge Kanga to join Simon. She looks simply breathtaking and talks about her latest movie but I’m not really listening. Just looking. She’s truly gorgeous and it’s difficult to believe she’s been around for years – nine years since top-tenning with Dylan’s “If Not For You” and then doing Eurovision for us three years after that.

    Randy Crawford – Christ, what a North and South! It’s a soporific dirge but Crawfy can certainly belt one out. With a cake ‘ole like that we shouldn’t be surprised.

    The devine Kanga pops up alone and pays due tribute to Stevie Wonder. It’s Masterblaster and it’s indeed a blast. But yes, the “Peace has come to Zimbabwe” line does sound very sad now. Evil old bastard. (Not Stevie obv).

    Beauteous but puzzled Kanga keeps it together as Simon has a wibble and rambles on about the “similarities” between Cambridge and Australia (Kanga) and Glasgow and London (Sheena Easton), who has finally hit the big time (geddit?) with what had first been a flop (“tangerine…magazine”. Just wrong). Pretty grim stuff really but some funster in the front starts pogoing to it. That tickled old Jimmy.

    Exciting news from Simon about the new Police album and tours by the Rubbish Dooleys and Cliff. Chart from 30-20 where we happily find Die Nick Straker Gruppe. Catchy little song but this appearance does nothing to advance its position. And a walk in the park becomes a walk out to the studio forecourt where a familiar vehicle is waiting with its engine running.

    Now things get very odd and this needs explaining in light of Savile and Cornflake. It’s Jonathan Bastard King, who now lives in New York and is covering the US Presidential Election. My five cents is on the B-movie ham actor. Anyhoo, King has in his paws a Rubik’s cube, which he calls an American game. Wasn’t it invented by a Czech? Don’t care. Middle bit of chart.

    Now Madness with Baggy wotsits. And you can’t get more 1980 than that. Oi!

    As if the Swede’s dream isn’t perfect enough, Linda “Diana Prince” Carter is standing next to Bates. Bloody Hellfire! Frank and Sally close in. Wonder Woman (Former Miss USA) lists cities and towns for her forthcoming tour. I don’t think she mentioned Prestatyn. Linda is not only ludicrously lovely, she’s utterly charming too. She declines to “spin”, which would have rendered Swede beyond the help of even Frank and Sally but she does introduce that former excellent welterweight Billy Joel. It’s still rock and roll to him. an admirable sentiment.

    We are treated to Kanga again (Swede is sinking fast) who chats about her horses and dogs and a duet with Cliff. Top ten. We get a few glorious seconds only of the Gals doing Elvis. Why wasn’t this in the show?

    Perfect Kanga is still here. Oh God! She honestly admits to not knowing end of pier act Kelly Marie who is number one. I needn’t tell you which bloody pier. She can take those two herberts with her an’ all.

    Light Blue for Cambridge says cheery-bye. You’re beautiful, olivia. Really beautiful. Bates, ever the gentleman, is polite to the last. When Kanga exits, he simply says “Isn’t she nice?” Er…yes.

    Another one bites the wotsit takes us out. Linda Carter is one thing, but Olivia was simply a vision from Heaven. Frank and Sally arrive at Bungalow Swede to be greeted by cat, for whom they leave food and water, as per usual. Turning to the comatose Swede, they detect a dreamy smile on his face. Happily, they also detect a pulse, which is a f’king miracle after that little lot.

  5. 245
    speedwell54 on 26 Jul 2015 #

    Si hosts – not sure about that jacket, some three piece suite somewhere must be short of cushions covers.

    XTC and Colin is very enthusiastic as he bobs, chuffed at getting the nod over Partridge up front again. He shoots he scores.

    Olivia joins Simon and they vaguely follow a scripted chat. I’m with the Swede on this one and not really bothered about the duff conversation; she is stunning. Next is Randy Crawford – gosh this gets the full 4 minutes something and I’m thinking go on then, get flown! Ffwd.

    Olivia is back and cues Stevie on video. Classic. Twktc.

    Simon thinks he’s Mike Read and gives a pointless link and story; anyway it’s Sheena. There were a few changes a direction with this career that most wouldn’t have seen coming.

    Simon then does some advertising; singles, tours, albums whatever. The rundown and into Nick Straker rpt.

    Jonathan King- Swede- I’m sure there used to be a fuller explanation on Wiki but something around having served time and being acquitted of later allegations. The ‘american game’ thing – avoiding the brand; is this about the BBC not advertising?…hmm. A somewhat selective policy.

    Baggy Trousers- Madness on video and again make the effort to entertain.

    Lynda Carter pops up to promote herself and introduce Billy Joel, surprisingly doesn’t mention she recorded She’s Always A Woman.

    She’s back again-ONJ, chats about her horses.
    Countdown 10-1. Including Legs. We only get a clip and just our luck the lighting looks perfect .

    Kelly at number one and she looks a bit Liquid Gold.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse

  6. 246
    BT on 29 Jul 2015 #

    Simes in full-on Alan Partridge mode here, esp. when interviewing the ladies. And Jonathan King “covering the US election for Radio 1” – srsly?

  7. 247

    Have the Beeb made any noises about when we might see the next episode? Bloody hell, we’re at the end of September ’80 already!

  8. 248
    Steve Williams on 30 Jul 2015 #

    After the Proms, same as last year. For the reason you allude to in your second sentence.

  9. 249
    Mark G on 2 Oct 2015 #

    We are all of us in the gutter, some of us are looking at the Radio Times. Yes, it’s Top of the Pops..

    It’s been a while as far as we’re concerned, but it’s merely one week back in 1980. Here comes the new-style what’s on the show! The Police! Completely silent! Oh, someone forgot to turn up the volume in 2015, presumably.

    Right, OK it’s Read Mike and he hands us to Black Slate and they’ve left the indie and signed to Ensign, a major apparently. Well, they do have the Boomtown Rats.. Amigo was pretty great, like a more ‘pop’ Bob Marley but that was it as far as hits were concerned, which they probably weren’t.

    Oh good, its Leo Sayer and he’s here to do comedy with Mike. Goes as well as Bernard Manning singing Nine to Five on “The Comedians”. Moving on..

    Split Enz make a hit single. They had been promoted over here before as weird, “Cardiacs” type angular pop but now the suits are better fitting, the strange make-up (and the spoons) are gone, and they now look like a proto-Crowded House, which is just as well, considering. Although they do look like The Wiggles.

    Leo does an intro for Diana Ross, but as he’s shown from the waist up he looks like CBBC’s Hacker. Anyway, the trade descriptions act is in force as Diana is in a large room and the piano is right in the middle. Clearly can’t play a note, though.

    Another Legs and Co Routine bites the Swede. Lots of jerky camera shots and vid effects but they’ve saved money by using those boxy things again. It’s OK i guess.

    Mike has the pop news, Toots has a live limited edition album out, one thousand copies only, if you want one Discogs has it for £12 or thereabouts (ignore the melted one), and I daresay you could do worse. Oh, and Alan Minter has a new walk-on theme out as a single soon. Slow news day i guess. Oh, and Russ Abbot is here too.

    Did I miss Splodgenessabounds or was it yewtreed? Oh, it’s DISCO. It’s funny, as later on in the song they run out of complimentary words to fit and use “Disastrous, Impossible, Superficial, Complicated” and they never got to an O word. Anyway, seek out Ted Chippington’s version, of course. She is O, o, oh dear.

    Black Sabbath are in the chart with Paranoid, but that’s not on. Instead we have Shalamar. “I owe you one”, which brings to mind the 68 joke. Anyway, it’s a live version and it’s pretty good. Even the sound quality is good enough, usually these things sound like transistor radios. While I’m here, check out the Wiki page and look for “.. and you can take that to the bank!”

    And now we have Linx, this is Brit Funk before David Grant and Sketch made the band into a duo, and had more hits of a more um, humorous style. The duo played the “we hate each other” double-act, and it lasted for a while. This however, seems to be a very specific pointy-finger song about old managers or something. It’s great, anyway.

    More Chart Rundown for the TopTen, I guess the rule is “only one legs-co repeat per rundown” as Randy Crawford is represented by a still photo.

    I’d forgotten that the Police had gone in at number one. Anyway, the usual ‘mugging’ video gets augmented with some actual dramatic framing. Funny, back then everyone loved Sting, the girls and the lads. It’s pretty undeniable, though, this one. Oh, he’s taken his top off.

    More comedy. That’s gotta go. And the audience get lurched on to dance to fade. They do look like they’re enjoying it though. Apart from one girl at the back who is clearly leaving with her handbag under arm.

    So, here we are all back on your web pages once again. Hopefully.

  10. 250
    Lazarus on 5 Oct 2015 #

    Yeah it’s back! Calypso Mike – as I still like to think of him – to present an uneven show.

    Black Slate – always enjoy hearing this but it’s a much neglected oldie where radio is concerned. Last time I heard it was on the Alex Lester early show – now sidelined to weekends – four or five years ago. I guess it might turn up on Absolute 80s’ ‘Alternative Eighties’ or whatever its called, though.

    Leo Sayer turns up, there’s a plug for his new single which stiffed, and then a less than side-splitting routine with him and Read (as Cliff). Let’s move on …

    Split Enz – like a Kiwi Showaddywaddy, all decked out in coloured suits, the drummer going tieless as per Corbyn and Peston. Is that Tim Finn in the green? He looks a bit underemployed, swaying around with his hands behind his back and just coming in on the chorus. But as I recall in Crowded House he came and went a bit too. Song’s a good ‘un, btw.

    Diana Ross – don’t remember this video. No she never plays it, ironically as the whole song seems to be about what a wonderful thing it is to have. There doesn’t seem to be that much piano on the song either, for that matter. Rodgers and Edwards again, of course.

    Back with Read – introduces Legs and Co dancing to Another One Bites the Dust. Much used at sporting events to this day of course. Legs gals have a bit of a New Romantic look to them this week. Nothing for the Swede to get too excited about.

    Russ Abbott comes on to flog what may or may not have been an actual release. Chart 30-20.

    Ottawan – from Guadeloupe or Martinique, somewhere like that … I occasionally listened to French radio at weekends so was familiar with this a good year before it charted here. Wedding reception favourite still. But by late 1980, DISCO was becoming a dirty word. Chart 19-11.

    Shalamar – think this might be the first time we’ve seen them on here; the sublime ‘Take That to the Bank’ either didn’t get on or was Yewtreed. Not one of their best, in all fairness, doesn’t really get going. Live performance with what seems like a series of ad-libs.

    Linx – David Grant and the enigmatically-named Sketch. One of the first of a series of Brit-funk hits that continued well into ’81. Another one not often heard now.

    Read introduces the Top Ten. And Randy at number two has been leapfrogged by a new entry …

    Few things date these repeats like the revelation that this is just the seventh hit (including Al Martino?) to debut at Number One. The Police with a well-known cautionary tale; its chorus surely should have been used to advertise deodorant at some point. Yes, we were still all allowed to like Sting in those days.

    Abbott and Sayer join our host at the end for a spot of frugging with selected audience members. All three are doing much the same at Prestatyn these days, needless to say.

  11. 251
    Mark G on 5 Oct 2015 #

    It actually was used to advertise deoderant, until Sting had it banned/injuncted/whatever.

  12. 252
    Jimmy the Swede on 7 Oct 2015 #

    Ah, we’re back. Wait a second, where’s the sound? Ah, there it is and it’s Mike Read with spoilers.

    Black Slate with Amigo. Swede fodder natch, if a little lightweight but it don’t ‘alf go on. Mike tells us that the lads come from Hackney and Jamaica. Pity. They were on the M40 and M6 after this, the poor fuckers. Amigo who?

    Christ! Like a jack in the box, up pops Leo Sayer, all 18″ of him and he and Read perform a mercilessly short “comedy” exchange involving Read pretending to be Cliff. It’s excruciating. Fortunately, Split Enz come on and they’re not bad at all. Kiwis. Let’s hope they win the World Cup if Wales don’t. I don’t know what England were playing but it certainly wasn’t rugby.

    Dwarfy introduces La Ross having multiple orgasms all over Sparky. Fucking worrying. She’d get a caution if she did that in Eastbourne. Read is equally puzzled. Just wrong.

    Gals in darkness to “Another One Bites The Wotsit”. The cinema noir doesn’t really work. A good idea wasted. We do get Pauline looking deadly and sexy like Miss Diketon ready to throw her knife but Rosie can only flash her lovely girly smile and the whole point has been lost. Purring cat curls up on rug.

    Read has a clipboard. On September 27th, Alan Minter is defending his World Heavyweight title against the American Marvin Hagler. Mike corrects his obvious mistake later but this does not save Minter’s title. Indeed the Swede was present that dreadful night at Wembley when Alan was destroyed in three rounds by a man on his way to boxing greatness. A grim night was made even worse by what happened in the aftermath of Minter’s defeat. I urge our younger posters to You Tube this. The Swede, I assure you, did not take part in these disgusting scenes. Back then, Alan ran a restaurant in Crawley where we had relations. My parents happened to visit shortly before the fight and the old man told me that they would be dining at “Minter’s”. I told him to pass on my concern to Alan that he had to be at his very best or Hagler would do him, not thinking for one second that he would be in there. When he returned dad said: “I told Mr Minter what you said. He told me to tell you not to worry”. I knew that this conversation had happened because the old man was simply incapable of making this up. I promptly paid for my ticket. I think it cost £17.50 for a seat in the heavens. Telly Savalas was present. Alan Minter was probably my last idol. Quite a bit died that night. But there was quite a bit of growing up too.

    Russ Abbot inexplicably appears. An end of pier comic all day long. Read quite rightly tells him to go away. Chart 30-20.

    Ottawan with DISCO. An irritating beyond belief piece of Euro pop, which just misses out of the top. Very pretty girl, though.

    Shalamar. One of their less known ones. This rolls along perfectly nicely but it’s not a patch on the indeed sublime “Take That to the Bank” and they’re clearly enjoying it more than we are. Russ Abbot indicates dissent bedore introducing…

    Linx, a pleasing little UK soft soul combo with their inaugural effort. They were to score with a couple of goodies in the next couple of years before the lure of the Irish Sea coast became too much.

    Top Ten countdown. Presley is at number 7 with the gals dressed as scantilly-clad cowgirls. Even the few seconds we get are glorious.

    Police straight in at number one, being the 7th act to do so, pants a dribbling Read. Get him a tea towel quick. Don’t Stand/Baby Jump connection obvious. Both blinding records. Oh yes. Sumner may well have been talking from experience with this one.

    We have a truly bizarre exit. Sayer is there along with Read who has a balloon up his jumper. Abbot appears as “Cooperman” and falls over, hurting himself. The floor is then filled with girls from the audience dancing to “Searching” by Change. Read has a right litle lambkin hanging off his left arm. Everyone looks ludicrous. A Prestatyn bounty indeed!

  13. 253
    Mark G on 7 Oct 2015 #

    I take it back: It’s good that Read did the Minter news, purely so SwedeJim could tell that story! Yes, I recall the aftermath too, there was so much entitlement from the white blokes regarding Hagler, that the genuine shock of Minter’s defeat was translated into total disbelief and all out war! Was Henry Cooper’s fight with Ali the same? Probably not: Henry was the challenger.

    Anyway, back to the show: I also have it on good authority that there were whole chunks of comedy excised from this modern-day repeat presumably because Russ Abbot proposing to ‘do’ the ‘five’ ‘Legs’ was too much for the modern era. Which was why the beeb forgot to turn up the volume at the start: The shorter repeat did not have the volume fail. Some were complaining about censorship, I was more of the opinion that what was there was too much anyhow. Laugh? We almost….

  14. 254
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Oct 2015 #

    Mark – No trouble at either of Henry’s contests with Clay/Ali. Unlike Minter with Hagler, nobody really thought that Cooper would win, especially the second bout in 1966, by which time Ali had already established himself as a great World Champion. The earlier more famous first fight in which Henry floored Clay was the last fight Clay had before he took the title from Sonny Liston.

  15. 255
    Jimmy the Swede on 13 Oct 2015 #

    Peter Powell on parade. The recurring theme, quite literally, is Ottawan’s DISCO. The show is infuriatingly punctuated by it each time Peter and guest pops up. If this isn’t annoying enough, Powell immediately tells us that the Police are still top. Cheers for that.

    The Mighty Quo – What You’re Proposing. What I’m proposing is that this is exactly why we all take great delight in ripping the piss out of this lot for their clear limitations. This song is wretched and could have been written by a ten year old. It’s all very well saying that it’s good time music but this was really bad. To be fair to them, obviously not all their catalogue was as grim as this.

    Peter tries to flog some TOTP T-shirts with the help of a couple of dollies. We then get Diana again with her alarming Joanna fettish.

    The first guest is Dennis Waterman. I think he had just started “Minder” back then but Peter still links him with George Carter. The Swede naturally gravitates towards Den, us both being Chelsea supporters from Clapham. A love of boxing too, his brother Pete Waterman was British and European Welterweight Champion way back when. Our boy is on tour with Gerard Kenny and Sheena Easton. Hmm.

    On with OMD before they actually called themselves this. It’s not secret that I loath this sort of stuff. I was only 19 but I was drifting slowly but surely away from TOTP at this point. Old before my time, perhaps. But there you go.

    Peter outlines forthcoming tours and we get the chart 30-19. Gals then do “Casanova” (his playing days being seemingly over). Sounds a bit like John Terry. It’s a wonderfully sexy routine, which not even a somewhat Downton Abbey aspect can’t spoil. Rosie and the Eternal Mistress appear to be dressed as Little Bo Peep. Not surprisingly, this does it for the Swede. There’s plenty of thighs and bums from all of them and they’re yelping in delight. You can always tell when they’re loving it. The cat looks across and sees the Swede smiling dreamily like Danny Kaye as Walter Mitty. No danger here for Puss.

    Chart 18-11. Black Slate. The deliberate favouritism from TOTP fails to advance the record above its current position at #9. Dennis applauds like a seal at the end but it’s Prestatyn for the group, I’m afraid. Dennis then talks about his charity footy team and then given a link from Powell indicates his carnal lust for…

    The Nolans. Fair enough, I suppose. The oldest, Maureen, has had a makeover (I’m not sure that term had been coined back then) and now looks more like their sister and less like their mum. Not that there was anything wrong with that.

    Paul Jones is introduced. This bloke is not only eternally young, even more so than Cliff, but is also one of the most pleasant people in the industry. Paul tells Peter he wants to do Blues on Sunday nights. Should be good. He announces another TOTP rescue job which fails. It’s Linx on repeat. They’ll be back with better stuff.

    Hello, hello, it’s Uncle Ray and suddenly we’re back in 1972. I say that but the melody is a direct lift from a track on Spyro Gyra’s first album from the year before. Gilbert hasn’t troubled the scorers for five years and afer dipping his toe it’s straight to North Wales after the show. Same bus as Black Slate.

    Top Ten countdown. Spoiler Powell has already told us that Teacher Sumner is number one. It’s the best record in the chart so who’s complaining?

    End of show. DISCO, which has been swirling around all night, takes us out as Dennis tries to pull one of the models in the T-shirts. He could be so good for her, apparently.

  16. 256
    Lazarus on 13 Oct 2015 #

    Gilbert O’Sullivan, who hadn’t been on the show for four years and to my knowledge wouldn’t appear again, was omitted from the Thursday show in favour of repeats from Diana Ross, Black Slate and Linx. Well maybe not all the performances were repeats but the songs had been featured before, only last week of course as we’ve clearly missed an episode. Dennis Waterman was at the point where he wanted to write the theme tune, sing the theme tune etc. I wonder if his brother Pete gets people berating him for making all those dreadful records with Jason Donovan and co.

    OMD was a classic of its time, heading for the Top Five despite the indifference of the Swede there, and still much beloved by radio producers to this day. I enjoyed the Quo as well, up to a point. We haven’t actually seen them much in the four and a half years these repeats have been running; I assume they had plenty of hits so perhaps they were unlucky with the culled episodes. Pete P was his usual jovial presence – he looked like he needed a bicycle, beret and onions though. And Casanova’s harem indeed looked in fine touch – I was half expecting Floyd to saunter on at the end in the title role. Jimmy would have been there like a shot.

  17. 257
    Mark G on 19 Oct 2015 #

    Who, me? Oh, all right then, TopofthePops..

    So we tune in and there’s a disco going on, there’s a song playing called “DISCO” and people are dancing on a dance area that looks like a kiddies paddling pool. But Peter Powell welcomes us in and tears us all away from the disco to tell us what’s on. I may mention some of them later..

    Status Quo are firmly into their ‘not bad but not good’ stream of hits, this ones about a friend offering cocaine of an evening. Runny Nosing. Maybe keep it for when you don’t have a cold otherwise you won’t get the benefit.

    Anyway, Peter’s knocking off some t-shirts which I don’t remember then doing. Wonder how they got on with that. One of my mates from way back was a show regular in the dance gang (way after the ensembles had group names), and he virtually had to sign his in and out.

    Never mind, Diana Ross seems to have a song called “Just get hold of this my old piano” which is only a bit bizarre.. Dennis Waterman gets to wave his up and coming single (which he didn’t write) and mumbles the title but its ok because it’s the theme from Minder so we’ll get to hear it enough.. Anyway, it was his wife that wrote the lyric, and you will see the songwriter credit of “Waterman/Kenny” which is accurate but misleading. I should have saved all that for when he’s on singing it, shouldn’t I? I should be typing about how great “Enola Gay” by OMD is (I should have typed the full name there but I don’t have time. Anyway, the waistcoat and leather tie look didn’t catch on in general so we’ll move on..

    And now its the not-news, The Crusaders are playing tonight so that’s not useful, and the shadows have a new album out so that’s not interesting. Chart rundown and then..

    Legs and co do “Casanova” and they enjoy it but there’s something seemingly hollow about it, I dunno its clearly only me so I’ll shut up and carry on..

    Peter tells us about how the next band did so well last time, they’ve invited them back on. Um, Peter: That’s not how it works mate. The single is selling more than it did then, that’s it. Anyway, Amigo is alright, moving on..

    Peter and Dennis chat, and the Nolans video starts abruptly so something got edited out I reckons.. Anyway, the Nolans do the nice pop music that Radio One like so its a hit.

    Paul Jones pops in and discusses Alternative Comedy, my goodness! There’s a distinct lack of the new wave effect on this show (beyond OMD) so maybe there’s a reason why comedy is about to become the new Punk.

    Anyway, Lynx repeat, and then Gilbert O’Sullivan does a nice romantic tuney which sounds like it should be sung in a pantomime by the principal boy to the princess. “I am your very own delicatessen” he sings in this song about one bodily fluid. Hmmm.

    Randy Crawford gets the prize for least convincing mime in the top ten rundown.

    Now, here’s a something to discuss.. The Specials single was banned off Radio One as the a-side mentioned VD and drinking too much, but the chorus admits that the whole song is a construct and none of it is true. Blur will pluralise the title while writing a song tjat does much the same thing. Anyway, this was crawling along the low twenties until this week it jumped up to number six for no apparent reason, and the next week it was back down again. Very Suspicious. I thought so at the time.
    The Police are still number one, you know it..

    OK, shows over, back to the disco, with the disco record called Disco. It’s a funny old point in time, one wave has passed, the indie sector hasn’t kicked in, and there’s a Ska thing happening but not much more at this visibility level. Ah well.. Is that a couple of 4 be 2’s in the audience?

  18. 258
    will on 19 Oct 2015 #

    I was off school with flu in the last week of September ’80 and I’m sure I remember Stereotypes being played on daytime Radio One around that time. Not sure any ban was official..

  19. 259
    Lazarus on 19 Oct 2015 #

    If there was no ban, they should have been on TOTP surely? From memory (and I’m sure this has been mentioned elsewhere) it went something like 22-6-21. So if they were going to be on the show it would have been this week, unless they were on the previous episode which was missed.

  20. 260
    Mark G on 19 Oct 2015 #

    Well, from polyhex, compare/contrast:

    24/05/1980 The Specials Rat Race/Rude Boys Outa Jail 18-8-{5}-7-11-10-33-42-75

    20/09/1980 The Specials Stereotype/International Jet Set 50-31-25-{6}-22-23-53-63

    They did not appear on the show with this one.

  21. 261
    swanstep on 20 Oct 2015 #

    Music from 1980 and 1981 is getting a big workout so far on American Horror Story: Hotel (Season 5 of the different-casts/stories-each-season American Horror Story series made by Glee-meister Ryan Murphy). The Season opened to Joy Division’s ‘The Eternal’ and used Bauhaus’s ‘Bela Lugosi’ later (Petula Clark and The Eagles to end also featured), and ep. 2. prominently featured New Order’s ‘In A Lonely Place’ and (to end and painfully misused in my view) Siouxsie’s ‘Spellbound’ (plus Chic, Ferry, and that bit of Delius that was used in Tony Scott’s The Hunger and True Romance). The show itself is a campy, self-aware melange of The Hunger/Shining/Se7en/Inland Empire/Saw/Barton Fink/The Innocents/Buffy/Devil in The White City that doesn’t give a hoot about basic believability, and Lady Gaga has a big role. After 2 eps I’m about ready to kick it to the curb; it’s not ‘for me’, but your mileage may vary. At any rate, AHS:H’s huge music clearance budget ensures it will always have some interest for music fans.

  22. 262
    Lazarus on 23 Oct 2015 #

    It’s TV on the, er, TV … the late Tommy Vance in a rare Pops outing. ‘DISCO’ once again playing in the background as we get under way. I miss the chart at the start of the show.

    Madness – in the studio for a change, which means that Mr Sax keeps his feet on the ground. This must be, along with ‘House of Fun’ and ‘Our House’ one of their signature tunes isn’t it? Top three answers on ‘Pointless’ I reckon. ‘Cardiac Arrest’ and ‘One Better Day’ would be the two to go for.

    Vance perves over Suzi Quatro, here to flog her flop single and album … awkward, but she can handle him. Cuts to Showaddywaddy, Dave Bartram in shocking pink and they run through their latest pointless retread before being hastily rounded up and despatched back to where they escaped from.

    Barbra Streisand/Legs – at number 9 this week on a speedy ascent to the top spot. Legs gals shimmer around to this, all look gorgeous of course but it’s all done in the best possible taste … Frank and Sally can rest easy for tonight.

    Meet’n’greet with Michael Palin, plugging a new Monty Python album. Goes on a bit too long. He does though get to introduce –

    Adam and the Ants! First time on for them I’m guessing, ‘Kings’ had been out in the summer but fell short of the Top 40. So for many of us this was the first sight of the onetime Stuart Goddard and pals. Tommy thinks they’re going to make it, and he’s not wrong – a year of chart domination follows.

    Yet another interruption, this time from Dollar – it’s getting tedious now. Another flop single duly plugged, as well as the news of their engagement. who cares? Their chart renaissance is a good 12 months away, it’s going to take a Buggle to transform their fortunes. Finally, we get to the chart, and at 21 –

    George Benson – twice Tommy calls him a singer and guitarist, but he’s not really playing that thing. ‘Love X Love’ though, song’s a good ‘un. A string of hits sustain him for the first half of the eighties. Chart 20-11.

    Matchbox – veteran rockers with a Buddy Holly-type number. Is it one of his? Their biggest hit anyway, if I’m not mistaken. A woman in green and white, not one of the Legs, sits midstage. Hopefully she didn’t have to join them in the minibus too.

    Bad Manners – the biggest hit for them too. This lot were huge for a while weren’t they! First time I ever went out and bought beer for myself, I didn’t really know what to get. ” ‘Special Brew’ I thought. That sounds all right.” I didn’t know to look at the strength on the can then. I think I got through them, though it may have been by way of a shandy.

    Top 10 – annoying that we haven’t seen Odyssey yet. Yewtree victims no doubt. What the hell was with that birdsong record? A year later we’d get another one of course!

    Number 1 – the Police. Sting does his best Humbert Humbert. They’re not done yet.

    TV, Suzi and Dollar say cheerio, it’s time for DISCO again. Decent show, seemed to be refreshing short on repeats at any rate.

  23. 263
    Lazarus on 23 Oct 2015 #

    Just seen this on Wiki: ‘In a bid to generate sales, Van Day and Bazar announced their engagement, but this was later revealed to be a publicity stunt.’

  24. 264
    Erithian on 23 Oct 2015 #

    A couple of WTF moments tonight. When David Van Day tells Vance the name of Dollar’s new single he adds ” ‘Ow’s about that then?” – the only place you’ll hear a Savile impression these days!

    And behind Vance as he links from George Benson to the middle bit of the chart rundown, you can see a character in a green shamrock T-shirt apparently giving a Nazi salute. According to the Top of the Pops Facts Twitter feed (recommended) this was a member of a skinhead band called the 4be2s, who included John Lydon’s younger brother Jimmy. Seems the 4be2s gatecrashed TOTP a couple of times, and on this occasion they picked a fight with Adam and the Ants, during which Ants’ bassist Kevin Mooney’s guitar was broken. One correspondent to the thread claimed they were all mates and it was a publicity stunt, but that’s not how it sounds here!:

  25. 265
    Phil on 23 Oct 2015 #

    The 4be2s were an Oi! band; “four by two” is rhyming slang for “Jew”, so make of that what you will.

  26. 266
    flahr on 23 Oct 2015 #

    #262: when they did Madness singles on Pointless, it was a sterling answer of “NW5” that won the round for the folk on podium 4.

  27. 267
    Jimmy the Swede on 29 Oct 2015 #

    The first shocker we get is that we haven’t escaped that bloody Ottawan record, as the bizzare balloon party continues. Tommy Vance is the clearly reluctant host.

    Madness are first up with Baggy Wotsits. Great fun of course and the kids are grooving with only a handful of party poopers sitting gloomily at the back.

    Vance, who looks like a Crimewatch photofit, quite rightly flirts with Suzi Q and the pint-sized sex bomb returns serve well. Promoting new single album and tour. Then we have to suffer Waddy, of whom we hoped we had seen the last. They obviously got over the wall and need to be rounded up before something bad happens.

    Tommy introduces the Gals dancing to Streisand’s number one bound Woman in Love. And dance they do. This is a beautiful routine and demonstrates just how professional as well as lovely they all are. A lingering shot of leader Sue gets the ball rolling and the others fall effortlessly into it. It certainly helps that they are working with such a strong record. And Lazarus is quite right, Frank and Sally are stood down and the cat sinks further into the rug in a deep slumber, purring luxuriously. It’s good news week.

    The second guest is Michael Palin (“the nice Python”) and he and Tommy have a very dull chat. A lad seated to the left cannot suppress a huge yawn. Palin is pressganged into introducing Adam Mit Ants with Dog Eat Dog. I never quite got this guy, I’m afraid. The best thing was when he was being introduced by the eternally horny Sally James on Tiswas. Sally pitched in with her first question: “How did the entire ant concept come about?” and before Adam could reply, he was brutally attacked by the Phantom Flan Flinger, who caught him with a bulls-eye. Ant was not happy. It was wonderful and was the best and most deserved treatment of a guest since Emu’s demolition of Parkinson.

    The yawning oaf is back as Vance rabbits aimlessly. He’s on the wind-up clearly. We then get Tereze and David from Dollar, who have got engaged and show TV her ring to prove it. Tommy very sweetly says “Good luck with the rest of your lives”. But I think it was all a publicity stunt. Didn’t David later run a hamburger van? No prizes for guessing where they are now.

    Chart 30-21. Footage of George “too cool for his own good” Benson. Love times Love. Nothing wrong whatsoever with this.

    Chart 20-11. The yawning wind-up merchant is back and then, bugger me, we are inflicted by bloody Matchbox. This risible poppycock is on its way to the top five, would you believe? The exchanges between the aged knackered singer and the young lovely he’s supposedly dumping is beyond ludicrous. Minibus now, please but leave the blameless girl.

    Bad Manners with a touch of Special Brew. As with Madness you can’t really say anything bad about this. Together they make up the biggest chart acts of the year.

    Top Ten and the Old Bill are still top. Exit then Tommy, Suzi, David and Tereze to the ever-present DISCO. No sign of Michael. Perhaps he had already left to go round the world? No. That for later.

  28. 268
    Lazarus on 29 Oct 2015 #

    No-one answered my question, but the Matchbox hit was clearly an old post-Buddy Crickets song. I suppose, when you ask about an old song on TOTP, it’s best to look it up first!


  29. 269
    Mark G on 29 Oct 2015 #

    Hi folks.

    Todays review is cancelled due to the show becoming very dull. The links are read off a script (at least Colin was honest enough to have his in his hand), The Legs dance was ok, Adam and Bad manners were repeats, Barbara Streisand is number one, and the only bit of excitement was the near riot when the crowd invaded the dance floor for the new record they started an ended the show with.

    Ah well, “Not my favourite but there have been worse”..

  30. 270
    Lazarus on 31 Oct 2015 #

    Well I just watched the long one, presented by Peter Powell and Radio 2 and Eurovision stalwart Colin Berry. DLT and Savile are still regular hosts at this point unfortunately so we lost the episode before this and will lose the next one too. Among those we lost from last week, Kate Bush with ‘Army Dreamers’ which hopefully we will see at some point, and Air Supply which we won’t. Some points of interest though:

    Adam & the Ants – not a repeat, and this time Adam manages to avoid hitting himself in the face with his sleeve hanky.

    Odyssey – just gorgeous. Only a number 6, peaking this week, but one of the Top 20 selling records of the year if I’m not mistaken. One of those US groups that did a lot better in the UK and Europe than in their homeland.

    Sheena Easton – don’t think I’ve heard this since it was out. The Waddy, good news for Jimmy is that this was their last Top 30 hit though I wouldn’t rule out further Pops appearances, I’m sure they were readily available.

    I wonder why Babs didn’t do a video for ‘Woman in Love?’ Surely the money was there. Some good clips anyway, even if I’m inevitably reminded of Miss Piggy at times.

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