May 09

Popular ’82

FT + Popular/50 comments • 2,602 views

Now we have the peachy new VOTING SYSTEM on every track you might think we don’t need these polls, but they’re a nice way of summing up each year as we end it, so they stay. Every track on Popular gets a mark out of 10 from me – here’s where you tick any you’d have given 6 or more to (choose as many as you like).

No 1 Hits Of 1982: Which Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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My top mark this year went to “Come On Eileen” (10), and “Ebony And Ivory” and “Save Your Love” both got 1. Use the comments box to reflect on the year as a whole, if you like, and see you next week for 1983.


  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    A surprisingly high 13 out of 21 for me, but about seven of those are hovering around the six mark.

    Let’s see if I can find some other perspectives to look at 1982 from…

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 8 May 2009 #

    Not a great year for number 1 singles but not too bad either.
    The year was more significant for movies for me – with Blade Runner, E.T. and One from the heart released that year.

  3. 3
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    NME Critics’ poll singles of 1982;

    1. The Message – Grandmaster Flash
    2. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
    3. Shipbuilding – Robert Wyatt
    4. A Town Called Malice – The Jam
    5. The Look Of Love – ABC
    6. Money’s Too Tight To Mention – The Valentine Bros.
    7. Only You – Yazoo
    8. The Boiler – Rhoda & The Special AKA
    9. There It Is – Shalamar
    10. Man Out Of Time – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
    11. Walking On Sunshine – Rockers’ Revenge
    12. I Can Make You Feel Good – Shalamar
    13. Poison Arrow – ABC
    14. Don’t Go – Yazoo
    15. Inside Out – Odyssey
    16. Planet Rock – Afrika Bambaataa
    17. Young Guns Go For It – Wham!
    18. Temptation – New Order
    19. Beat Surrender – The Jam
    20. Straight To Hell – The Clash
    21. Just An Illusion – Imagination
    22. Fat Man/Moya – Southern Death Cult
    23. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? – Culture Club
    24. My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone
    25. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye – Soft Cell
    26. B-Movie – Gil Scott-Heron
    27. House Of Fun – Madness
    28. Ms Fine Brown Frame – Syl Johnson
    29. Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
    30. Know Your Rights – The Clash
    31. Buffalo Gals – Malcolm McLaren
    32. Stool Pigeon – Kid Creole & The Coconuts
    33. Slowdive – Siouxie & The Banshees
    34. Night Nurse – Gregory Isaacs
    35. Faithless – Scritti Politti
    36. I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll – Joan Jett
    37. Jump To It – Aretha Franklin
    38. Get Down On It – Kool & The Gang
    39. Mambo Bado – Orchestra Makassy
    40. Pinball Cha Cha – Yello
    41. Murphy’s Law – Cheri
    42. Promised You A Miracle – Simple Minds
    43. Head To Toe – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
    44. Wham Rap – Wham!
    45. State Of Independence – Donna Summer
    46. Party Fears Two – The Associates
    47. I Love A Man In Uniform – The Gang Of Four
    48. I Can’t Go For That – Hall & Oates
    49. Torch – Soft Cell
    50. I Don’t Wanna Dance – Eddy Grant

  4. 4
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    Sounds’ critics offered an end of year top 20 singles;

    1. The Message – Grandmaster Flash
    2. Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
    3. Straight To Hell – The Clash
    4. Buffalo Gals – Malcolm McLaren
    5. The Bitterest Pill – The Jam
    6. Feel Me – Blancmange
    7. Lumiere Urban – Champion Doug Veitch
    8. Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
    9. Back On The Chain Gang – The Pretenders
    10. Private Investigations – Dire Straits
    11. Uncertain Smile – The The
    12. Do You Believe In The Westworld? – Theatre Of Hate
    13. A Town Called Malice – The Jam
    14. African & White – China Crisis
    15. Heartache Avenue – The Maisonettes
    16. Love Parade – The Undertones
    17. Let Me Go – Heaven 17
    18. The Look Of Love – ABC
    19. The Peel Sessions – The Nightingales
    20. Klactoveesedstein – Blue Rondo A La Turk

  5. 5
    JimD on 8 May 2009 #

    I don’t remember ever hearing Seven Tears until it was covered here, but since I gave it a listen a couple of weeks ago, it’s been constantly popping back into my head, and I’m quite fond of it now. So it gets a tick from me. As do 12 others.

  6. 6
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    And here are the 1982 charts seen upside-down, ie the singles that peaked at number 40;

    6 Feb Do You Believe In The Westworld? – Theatre of Hate – 2 weeks
    17 Jul The Big Bean – Pigbag – 1
    28 Aug Backchat – Queen – 1
    9 Oct Athena – The Who – 1
    27 Nov Back To Love – Evelyn King – 1
    4 Dec I’m Alright – Young Steve & The Afternoon Boys – 1

  7. 7
    Erithian on 8 May 2009 #

    Yes, 15, with a couple of pretty borderline ones.

    A massive year for me. I lost both my father and my virginity in the space of a couple of months, got my first proper wage packet and the subsidiary part of my degree, saw the Stones at Wembley from so far away it seemed like a different postcode, and the Members at Royal Holloway from close enough to tell the time by Nicky Tesco’s watch. And began the best few months of my life over on the coast of southern Brittany, which makes this stretch of Popular a great nostalgia-fest.

  8. 8
    Erithian on 8 May 2009 #

    And the Radio 1 list of the top 30 best-sellers of the year (again the cut-off point of early December it seems, so tough luck R&R):

    1 Come On Eileen
    2 Fame
    3 Eye of the Tiger
    4 The Lion Sleeps Tonight
    5 Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
    6 Pass The Dutchie
    7 I Don’t Wanna Dance
    8 Seven Tears
    9 Ebony and Ivory
    10 Town Called Malice/Precious
    11 Golden Brown – Stranglers (2)
    12 Mad World – Tears For Fears (3)
    13 Mickey – Toni Basil (2)
    14 Love Plus One – Haircut One Hundred (3)
    15 The Model/Computer Love
    16 Oh Julie
    17 Goody Two Shoes
    18 Only You – Yazoo (2)
    19 Heartbreaker – Dionne Warwick (2)
    20 Don’t Go – Yazoo (3)
    21 Walkin’ On Sunshine – Rockers’ Revenge (4)
    22 Zoom – Fat Larry’s Band (2)
    23 I Won’t Let You Down – PhD (3)
    24 Just An Illusion – Imagination (2)
    25 Hard To Say I’m Sorry – Chicago (4)
    26 Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band (2)
    27 Starmaker – The Kids From “Fame” (3)
    28 Centerfold – J Geils Band (3)
    29 House of Fun
    30 The Land of Make Believe

    Save Your Love, Beat Surrender, Happy Talk, I’ve Never Been To Me and A Little Peace didn’t make the top 30 of the year.

  9. 9
    justfanoe on 8 May 2009 #

    I voted for most of the songs I knew, except that I forgot to vote for Kraftwerk and there were a few I really didn’t like. In fact, I have not heard either of those The Jam songs so it seems like that’s all I’m really missing out on.

  10. 10
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 8 May 2009 #

    and what WAS the time by nicky tesco’s watch?

  11. 11
    DV on 8 May 2009 #

    Now we have the peachy new VOTING SYSTEM on every track you might think we don’t need these polls,

    Don’t you have to register to take part in that peachy new VOTING SYSTEM? I feel that I have registered on enough websites.

  12. 12
    admin on 8 May 2009 #

    at risk of milestone inflation, that’s the first 30 years of number 1s dealt with :-)

  13. 13
    Billy Smart on 9 May 2009 #

    Here are the phantom number ones of 1982, that got to pole position on the NME chart, but not the Gallup one; One Of Us, I Won’t Let You Down, Abracadabra, Private Investigations, The Bitterest Pill, Heartbreaker, Mirror Man, Time (Clock Of The Heart) – all for one week except for two weeks of Culture Club over Christmas.

  14. 14
    lonepilgrim on 9 May 2009 #

    The Face review of ’82 in the January ’83 issue resists the impulse to aggregate its writer’s top singles of the year, instead opting to allow individual columnists to nominate their favourites – perhaps as a democratic gesture or more likely to keep their options open.

    Robert Elms chose:
    Jump to it – Aretha Franklin
    Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
    Shipbuilding – Robert Wyatt
    Money’s too tight to mention – Valentine Bros
    If you study long you’ll study wrong – J. Gayle Gaynor
    The message – Grandmaster Flash
    Reet Petite – Jackie Wilson
    The Apple Stretching – Grace Jones
    How we gonna make the black nation rise – Brother D with Collective effort
    My baby just cares for me – Nina Simone

    The issue also reflects the rise of the Pop-Cultural commentator – featuring an interview with Peter York and an article entitled ‘The age of plunder’ by Jon Savage which concludes:

    The Past then, is being plundered in Pop as elsewhere in order to construct a totality that is seamless, that cannot be broken. It is characteristic of our age that there is little sense of community, of any real sense of history as THE PRESENT is all that matters. Who needs yesterday’s papers? In re-fashioning the past in our own image, in tailoring the past to our own preconceptions, the past is recuperated: instead of being a door OUT of our time, it merely leads to another airless room.
    The Past then is turned into the most disposable of consumer commodities, and is thus dismissable: the lessons which it can teach us are thought trivial, are ignored amongst a pile of garbage. a proper study of the past can reveal, however, desires and spirits not all in accordance with Mrs Thatcher’s mealy-mouthed idealogy as it spreads like scum to fill every available surface and it is up to us to address ourselves to them. What pop does or doesn’t do, ceases to be important.

  15. 15
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 9 May 2009 #

    Elms was never my favourite writer (understatement alert!) and there’s boring and/or over-exposed records in that list (flash/simone) and round about this time he wrote a real tin-eared review of a record by james blood ulmer which i evidently still haven’t forgiven him for, but that list is very redolent of this year for me — i was so hungry for people who wrote well about the soulboy-club axis, about its flaws as well as its excellence (its flaws as explored from the inside, i mean: not outsiders hammering on them): what always struck me as curious was how defensive it always seemed, in reference to subcultures outside itself

    i know savage so this comes with bias but boy has he aged better than peter york

  16. 16
    rosie on 9 May 2009 #

    Interesting that those lists of best singles of 1982 include (at least) two from an era even before my listening days!

    (Hey, Mark, nothing boring about Nina Simone, that’s a terrific, timeless, track!)

    The rise of the pop-cultural commentator surely began with Richard Hoggart. The Uses of Literacy being published in the same year that Reet Petite was originally released.

  17. 17
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 9 May 2009 #

    nina’s is the over-exposed one i think — she made dozens of much better records

    not hoggart, orwell! his stuff on saucy postcards, billy bunter etc (though he didn’t discuss pop music that i know of)

    pop-commentator as mainstream columnist is what’s on the rise with york and savage (and julie burchill just off-stage: her face column started in 83 i think)

  18. 18
    justfanoe on 9 May 2009 #

    USA perspective:

    Hall & Oates – “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” (1 week)
    J Geils Band – “Centerfold” (6 weeks)
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – “I Love Rock n’ Roll” (7 weeks)
    Vangelis – “Chariots of Fire” (1 week)
    Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder – “Ebony & Ivory” (7 weeks)
    The Human League – “Don’t You Want Me” (3 weeks)
    Survivor – “Eye of the Tiger” (6 weeks)
    Steve Miller Band – “Abracadabra” (2 weeks)
    Chicago – “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” (2 weeks)
    John Cougar – “Jack and Diane” (4 weeks)
    Men at Work – “Who Can It Be Now?” (1 week)
    Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – “Up Where We Belong” (3 weeks)
    Lionel Richie – “Truly” (2 weeks)
    Toni Basil – “Mickey” (1 week)
    Hall & Oates – “Maneater” (4 weeks)

  19. 19
    justfanoe on 9 May 2009 #

    Probably the best remembered and most played of these in the US is, by the way, “Jack and Diane”. Was this even a hit in the UK?

  20. 20
    Jonathan Bogart on 9 May 2009 #

    First pop-culture commentator by my lights would be Gilbert Seldes, The Seven Lively Arts, 1924 (I may be wrong by a year or two). One of the foundational texts of my own pop-culture journey.

    Very nearly the first guy to appreciate in writing what the Tin Pan Alley composers like Gershwin and Kern and Berlin were doing — musically as well as commercially — and had a good if uninformed word to say for jazz (a 1950s edition abases himself over it). Also revered in the comix world for being the first essayist to laud Krazy Kat. Also recognized the brilliance of the silent comedians beyond Chaplin — Keaton, Arbuckle, Normand, Turpin, etc.

    In fact there was a whole pop project in the 1920s that’s mostly unseen today (because we’re not familiar with what it replaced), in which the virtues of vernacular, immediately accessible, and widely popular work were trumpeted over the self-consciously artistic and pretentious. Not unlike punk, except they dressed better.

  21. 21
    Conrad on 9 May 2009 #

    I voted for 9. A brilliant year for music – the last great year for pop music to these ears – but not a great year for Number 1s.

    FWIW, my Top 12 of 82

    1. Japan – Ghosts
    2. Scritti Politti – Asylums in Jersusalem
    3. Dexy’s – Come On Eileen
    4. ABC – Look of Love
    5. Soft Cell – Torch
    6. Madness – Our House
    7. Aztec Camera – Pillar To Post
    8. Shalamar – There It Is
    9. Patrice Rushen – I Was Tired of Being Alone
    10. Imagination – Music & Lights
    11. Dollar – Videotheque
    12. Simple Minds – Someone Somewhere In Summertime

  22. 22
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 9 May 2009 #

    vachel lindsay also, jonathan — who i first heard of on the sleeve of a pere ubu lp

  23. 23
    lonepilgrim on 9 May 2009 #

    Thanks Jonathan, for the heads up on Gilbert Seldes (and for your writing on music of the 20s and 30s over at your blog). The Seven Lively Arts is available online at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/SELDES/toc.html and it looks like an interesting read. There’s a fascinating quote:
    thanks to the cable and the efficacy of transatlantic mails, we now know virtually everything that isn’t so, and virtually nothing that is important, about Europe.
    that suggests that this forum is a development of an older conversation.

  24. 24
    Billy Smart on 14 May 2009 #

    NME readers’ poll best singles of 1982;

    1. The Jam – Town Called Malice
    2. Grandmaster Flash – The Message
    3. The Jam – Beat Surrender
    4. New Order – Temptation
    5. Robert Wyatt – Shipbuilding
    6. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
    7. The Jam – The Bitterest Pill
    8. Wah! – The Story Of The Blues
    9. The Clash – Straight To Hell
    10. Tears For Fears – Mad World
    11. The Stranglers – Golden Brown
    12. The Associates – Party Fears 2
    13. ABC – The Look Of Love
    14. Echo & The Bunnymen – The Back Of Love
    15. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing
    16. Japan – Ghosts
    17. Culture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
    18. The Special AKA – The Boiler
    19. Simple Minds – Promise You A Miracle
    20. Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

  25. 25
    lonepilgrim on 14 May 2009 #

    I seem to recall that Shipbuilding missed out on a TOTP performance because there was a BBC strike the week the song went up the chart. I had bought a copy at the shop in town which I knew was one of the select sample that fed data for the chart.

  26. 26
    Darren on 15 Aug 2009 #

    7/21 for me.

    When push came to shove I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either Culture Club or Madness. Culture Club’s follow up singles were much stronger and House of Fun doesn’t even make into my top ten of Madness singles.

    One of the number ones that I did pick was Buck Fizz’s ‘My Camera Never Lies’, which really surprised me. I’m sure I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I love that thirty second intro. It’s cheesy but it immediately grabs you by the 1982 circa burgundy tank top.

  27. 27
    Lazarus on 15 Oct 2011 #

    There were a few stinkers that year weren’t there! I managed to find 10 (I generally try to find 10) and Eddy Grant was the one who just made the cut. Gratifying to see None of Them! beating Renee and Renato – the last time such a stunt was successfully pulled, unless you want to count the Flying Pickets of course.

  28. 28
    Brendan on 30 Sep 2012 #

    Re the NME critics poll Wham ahead of Party Fears Two and it barely scraping into the Top 50 – wtf!! PFT is one of my all-time favourite records (I could listen to that gorgeous piano riff from now till I die and never get bored).

  29. 29
    punctum on 4 Jul 2013 #

    Didn’t put in a link to the first TPL post for 1982 so here’s one.

  30. 30
    punctum on 17 Jul 2013 #

    TPL does LOUD HEAVY ROCK METAL http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/iron-maiden-number-of-beast.html

  31. 31
    punctum on 3 Oct 2013 #

    TPL does UNEXPECTED SEARING INDICTMENT OF THATCHER’S BRITAIN: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/dire-straits-love-over-gold.html

  32. 32
    punctum on 6 Oct 2013 #

    Then Play Long, the mission statement: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/abba-singles-first-ten-years.html

  33. 33
    speedwell54 on 10 Jul 2016 #

    How much catching up?

    Peter Powell welcomes us to the first TOTP of 1982, dressed in a woollen burgundy waistcoat, over a white shirt with a wing tips collar. Most would go with a bow tie with that collar but not Pete, he goes with a college tie.

    Anyway, he throws himself in and introduces Philip Lynott and Yellow Pearl “attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, attack is what we lack”, it’s been on my mind a little recently. Despite his intro (and outtro) we don’t get Philip Lynott at all, but Zoo with some kind of traditional Russian dancing; which is exactly what I think of when Yellow Pearl comes on.

    Foreigner “Waiting For A Girl Like You” live performance video cut very short. Always the bridesmaid in the US with this one, ten weeks at number 2, mostly behind ONJ and Physical.

    Alton Edwards- I Just Wanna (Spend Some Time With You) -okay. Meanwhile some Twitter equivalent has told Pete to ditch the waistcoat.

    Dead Ringer For Love- Meatloaf (+Cher) famous video. Both later, separately, had year end best selling singles in the UK. Wonder if that happened before.

    Mobiles – Drowning In Berlin. I liked this a lot then and still do. She had that whole Toyah/Siouxsie thing going on. Peter with his kiss of death says they’ll be big in ’82.

    Countdown and then Shakatak with Easier Said Than Done. nmcot. I struggle with this genre.

    Jon and Vangelis – I’ll Find My Way home. Jon released a single called “Easier Said Than Done” in ’85. hmm, copycat.

    The Human League -Don’t You Want Me twktc, but brilliant.

    Good show overall.

  34. 34
    speedwell54 on 10 Jul 2016 #

    Kid Jensen hosts and we’ve skipped one, so some repeats from last time no doubt.

    Gillian open the show with ‘Restless’ and to me the mellow chorus seems rather at odds with the rest of the track.

    Jon and Vangelis first rpt and obviously not finding their way home. This goes on a bit. Yellow Pearl again, but not a repeat with the video this time, Phil with his Walkman. Mobiles again but not a repeat. Having said that it’s an almost identical performance. Kid also thinks this won’t be their last hit. Career over!

    ELO- with their double A side Ticket to the Moon/Here Is The News. We get ‘Ticket’ tonight and Zoo dance intercut with the video. A little bit different for ELO but after “Twilight” the most ELO type single had just failed chart wise, their days seemed numbered. ‘When I Was A Boy’ sounds pretty good to me even if it is Free as a Bird. The ‘Jeff Lynne’s ELO’ moniker, according to wiki, was his idea. Sounds so much like there were internal legal naming rights issues. There you go. Meatloaf rpt.

    XTC- Sense Working Overtime -without this no Goyte. Great.

    OMD Maid of Orleans- Was originally called Joan Of Arc, but they had called their last single that. Quite a few of their singles build quite slowly, tempo and instruments added (Talking LAC in particularl) Number 1 in Germany.

    Christopher Cross -Arthur’s Theme -Not sure if I prefer this or ‘Jump’. Foreigner rpt. Land of Make Believe at Number 1. Bucks Fizz in the studio, on a good day I like it.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  35. 35
    speedwell54 on 10 Jul 2016 #

    Simon Bates tonight introduces Tight Fit. Totally changing their line up since “Back To The Sixties” last year, and these three have nothing to do with what’s coming out of the speakers. Wiki says the Undertones did a cover of this! (I’ll save you the bother, not them Undertones.)

    ONJ- Landslide – I do like her singing here and the song is okay. The instrumentation dates this somewhat as does the video, which is not a criticism. Some songs hold up better than others.

    Haircut 100 Love Plus One- On the heels of Favourite Shirts, this eventually went one better and gave them their biggest hit, peaking at three.

    The Stranglers- Golden Brown. Seemed a great leap at the time, but through the eighties more pop and less punk stuff continued.

    Listen SLF- great single which I don’t think got on an album at the time. “Now Then” came out in the summer and doesn’t have a bad track on it.

    Fool If You Think It’s Over. Elkie Brooks – A Chris Rea cover and there is some weird coincidental fact about the chart careers of both versions which I can’t quite remember, but it will come to me. She had loads of singles but I can only see her singing Lilac Wine for some reason.

    Alton Edwards – nothing to add.

    Oh Julie – Shaky Number one and on a stage this time – no seated circle behind him doing the hand jive as per. He wrote this one so good for him. Simon says it’s his third consecutive number one, clearly not understanding the meaning of the word ‘consecutive’ or acknowledging the existence of ‘You Drive Me Crazy’ and ‘It’s Raining’.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  36. 36
    speedwell54 on 11 Jul 2016 #

    John Peel presents tonight – the first time in 14 years he informs us. He is self-deprecating and recognises viewers might not know who he is.

    Theatre Of Hate with’ Do You Believe in the Westworld?’ Kirk looking for all the world like he’s Rob Beckett’s angrier brother.

    OMD Maid Of Orleans – Andy without a bass tonight and even more gyrations. I hope he doesn’t catch a cold with that shirt, and sweater, and thick leather jacket.

    The Jets and they’ve ditched Boy George as their backing dancer tonight. That’s it for them top 40 wise.

    Soft Cell – Say Hello-my favourite track from them. His half singing, half conversational style reminded me of Jonathan Richman on Morning of Our Lives. Nice little earner for them too; David Gray having covered it on White Ladder, which was(maybe is) the all time best selling album in Ireland.

    Gillan – Restless rpt. it’s growing on me. Easier Said Than Done again.

    ACDC – Let’s Get It Up nmcot. XTC rpt. Charts.

    George Benson. Neve Give Up On A Good Thing .nmcot
    Chris Cross rpt.

    Kraftwerk – the Model – climbs to Number One. On black and white video.. Out to Meatloaf.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse

  37. 37
    speedwell54 on 12 Jul 2016 #

    Tommy the Vance is back and the show opens with the Fun Boy Three. A little more upbeat than Lunatics and they introduce the world to the delights of Bananarama. Terry tries his best to join in.

    Stranglers on video this week, sticking around this one.

    Bow Wow Wow- Go Wild in the Country, their first time on TOTP. It looks like Jon Moss on drums but there is no mention on wiki. Adrian Gurvitz also debuts with Classic. nmcot.

    Hall and Oates- I Can’t Go for That. I bought Rock N Soul – a greatest hit package and played it a lot. Haven’t got much else by them though. Jackson admitted lifting the the bass line for Billie Jean and there are a couple of mixes on You tube but I’m not completely convinced.

    Depeche Mode – this week they are going for smart, all wearing ties.

    J Geils Band and Centrefold- massive world hit. HIs vocal style is similar to Jagger in places “no one could ever stain”, “girlie magazine”

    Modern Romance re make Ay Ay Moosey with some rapping and the female sounds like she’s auditioning for “Allo Allo”. Charts and Elkie Brooks rpt. Haircut 100 again this week all in yellow jackets. Countdown and then Number One.

    The Jam straight in with “Town Called Malice” officially a double A but Precious never got played that much on the radio. I don’t think it’s great but there’s a lot to like. The drums, the opening lines, and the bass line. (if not totally original)

    Not my favourite but there has been worse

  38. 38
    hardtogethits on 17 Jul 2016 #

    Is Speedwell the only one watching / commenting? Here’s the Chris Rea / Elkie Brooks observation, at number 315


  39. 39
    Mark G on 17 Jul 2016 #

    I don’t know about anyone else, but these are going past so fast,its hard to keep up.

    There have been a bunch of highlights that I did want to comment on, (John Peel’s first TOTP in the modernish era, the farewell to Sue as part of Zoo, that time when Kirk Brandon called me a ‘diamond geezer’, etc, oh and the worst rap record of all time (you know the one)), but it all flies past so fast, like a tube train through Tottenham Court Station. (its open again? OK bad example but anyway)

    Still, it won’t be too long until my favourite ever episode will be upon us, and I shall be doing a full one. And I shall use the immortal catchphrase ..

    “My favourite, there have been worse obviously”

  40. 40
    speedwell54 on 18 Jul 2016 #

    Mr Read – bowler hat on head, and he wears Peter Powell’s bretton t-shirt as he introduces Madness. Cardiac Arrest was a brief departure from the top ten for them. The next single made up for it though.

    George Benson in Michael Portillo mode sings to himself on an empty train. nmcot.

    UB40 “new label and new song” says Mike but I’m not sure which new label that is. “I Won’t Close My Eyes” this is very very slow. From UB44 their only regular studio album not to give up a top 10 hit right through to 2000.

    Audience member hams it up completely as Mike introduces ABC, guess which jacket Martin is wearing? Classic – Poison Arrow.

    The Jets borrow Shaky’s producer on this hit. Enough already!

    Robert Palmer – Some Guys Have All The Luck. – If you watch nothing else, watch this. Great live vocal performance. Without this no Future Islands. Second coolest man in pop, made to look even better surrounded by the uncool.

    Mike sings the Lion Sleeps Tonight, then Tight Fit do rpt.

    Charts, and then Toni Basil and Mickey twktc , charts again to 10.

    Mike seems rather vague and waffles something about have some time and so he’s going to show us some good videos. It’s actually the top ten that follows. First up XTC which isn’t a video just a TOTP performance. Some quite long clips OMD and Soft Cell do well. Say Hello 20-18-3 some bizarre climb.

    Jam at No1 and they get to play both tracks this week.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

    Hardtogethits- thanks for Rea/Brooks thing, I knew I’d read something somewhere. I hope we get some returners from the Euro 16 sabbatical to pitch in soon on this thread.

    Mark G – looking forward to your favourite ever episode write up.

  41. 41
    Mark G on 22 Jul 2016 #

    1982 speeds by so fast, can it be only yesterday that Racey were a fixture here? Well, no but…..

    It’s the Jensen kid, and he leads us by the hand into .. Mickey! Well, it used to be Kitty when it was a Racey song, but now Toni Basil is the one who’s going to take it like a man. Um, OK, right.. Anyhow, I remember the first time I saw Toni was when she appeared with Davy Jones in the movie “Head” doing Nilsson’s “Daddy’s Song” and it got shown on the current version of Barry Norman’s movie programme. Not “Film ’68” as they hadn’t started it then. Some years later, I watched the DVD with Amber and Alice, and although they thought it wasn’t as good as the episodes of the TV series they had seen, Alice was quite taken with how Toni and Davy looked, and I had to break it to her that they didn’t become a real-life couple after that.

    On to Gary Numan and not Gary Glitter please keep up. Anyway, what’s surprising to me is that I quite like this one, possibly because it’s less ‘futuristic’ and more ‘modern’ sounding.

    Madness do a wacky video single about having heart attacks, and get their lowest charting hit since “The Prince” – This one has a ‘happy ending’ resolution, ah it’s a cautionary tale chaps. Not like the LP version which ends with a big clangggggg after “There’s nothing we can do”. It’s still pretty great though.

    Goombay Dance Band. There’s no dancing, and it’s not a dance track. Apart from that… What is this song about? None of it makes any sense. It’s sort of Boney M-ish, there is a fire-eating solo, and the moral seems to be “if dreams were like eagles I’d fly away, but they are not and that’s why.” uhhhhhh….

    Imagination Illusion – I used to hear this a lot in clubs around Windsor, and it still sounds pretty good. This is the age of the slide-bass. This is the aaaaaaaaaaaaage – “Of the Bass”. Oh, that’s old wassname, innit?

    Now, my cheatie cribsheet has it that there are three excerpt of vids from the US charts, but we don’t get those for some reason. Instead we get The Jets with the next in a series of not exactly rocknroll songs but done like they are. Shaking S had all these wrapped up at one point, but he’s moved on to vaguely cajun sounding stuff, and this bunch are too comfortable in cardigans to really challenge anything. A few more hits lower down the chart, but no TOTP for you sonny jims.

    Abba get a video of “Head over heels”, but the pop stops soon for Abba. Funny, they even look older here. It’s, you know, Abba. It’s OK.

    Now here’s an actual punk track, into the chart because it’s the Adam and the Ants imperial phase. The gals dance to um hang on, is it.. No, it’s the Zoo gals. This is very Legs and co, but replaced by six dancers all mugging furiously when the camera points in their general direction. It’s funny, how they recorded a ‘radio friendly’ version swapping “nazi” for ‘nasty’, and ‘camp 29″ for “Lover of mine”, but that’s forethought for you.

    ABC get the highest new entry, and it’s the golden suit days. Amber and Alice (in the modern day) recognise it immediately, which makes it the golden classic of this show. It’s been a bit light on “Golden Classics” this week, usually there’s two or three.

    Tight Fit do that mid-song musical interlude dance where the male dancer in the middle turns left and gives one to the left, and turns right and gives one to the right girl dancer. Alice is almost shocked. Number one for a bit anyway.

    And now we fade out to Robert Palmer’s pub singer version of “Some guys have all the luck”. Which is meant as a compliment.

    And there we have it. Did you miss me, hey, while I was away?

  42. 42
    speedwell54 on 22 Jul 2016 #

    Kid, trying too hard to be casual with one hand in the pocket of his white trousers. All live tonight claims Jensen- Toni Basil kicks off. She’s 38 here.

    Gary Numan- was this his last single to climb the charts? He was getting to a stage where fans gave him a chart place but no one was jumping on board. Musically I like it and I presume that is still Mick Karn on bass, but his vocals don’t do it for me.

    Madness and Cardiac Arrest. Video this week. No surprises.

    Alan Brazil well actually it’s the Goombay Dance Band. They had a euro hit a few years earlier with Sun Of Jamaica. Seven Tears is pretty similar with the humming backing singers.

    Imagination- Just an Illusion. nmcot but it’s okay.

    The Jets – who seem to get on this programme an awful lot with this minor hit. Anyway, no more I hear.

    Abba – Head over Heels – perfectly fine single that doesn’t sound out of place on Greatest Hits packages but this was obviously came out in that brief time in history when we seem to have fallen out with Abba. Peaked at a lowly 25.

    Deutscher Girls – Adam and the Ants – a track from a few years earlier so no performance or video. It might as well be Legs but actually Zoo. Unusually for Zoo they’re in matching outfits and no leather. Also dancing often the same routine. If the lighting had been a bit poorer I think we could have interested the Swede.

    Charts then Poison Arrow twktc. Then charts again, “still at 14, Cardiac Arrest” says Kid when it climbed but never mind. Don’t think he knows the Hall and Oates song with emphasis on the “go”. He also goes against the recent trend with DepeCHAY Mode.

    Tight Fit -Number one and I’m quite quite bored with this. His miming gets worse and if you look closely those aren’t real lions either.

    Out to Robert Palmer, highlight of the show. Not realised how bland Rod Stewart made this song sound.

    Not my favourite but there gas been worse.

    I was feeling a bit Eric Carmen for a while then. Welcome back Mark G. This not your favourite ever episode then, what a shocker!

  43. 43
    Steve Williams on 24 Jul 2016 #

    You won’t see the American chart rundown on BBC4 for the entire three and a half years this monthly feature runs. Because of who presents it, of course.

    It is incredibly convenient for BBC4 that the host never mentions it’s coming up and it’s not mentioned in the credits, so it can be very easily edited out.

  44. 44
    Mark G on 25 Jul 2016 #

    I thought that they’d decided Jonathan King was “OK” with regard his past TOTP appearances, or is that purely when he performed his hit singles? They apologised when “It only takes a minute” was edited out a couple of years ago.

  45. 45
    Steve Williams on 26 Jul 2016 #

    Indeed, but since then he has been arrested again.

  46. 46
    Lazarus on 30 Jul 2016 #

    Another sheepish returnee dips his toe in the water … Simes at the controls, and we’re up to late February already.

    Bow Wow Wow – with their biggest hit. A bit short on melody frankly, more shouted than sung. One so-so cover to follow, and that’s pretty much their lot. I guess this would have been around the time of the controversial LP cover, which imitated a famous painting with a decidedly underage Annabella. I wonder if she and the guitarist shaved each other’s heads.

    Fun Boy Three – in the studio for a meet’n’greet (Terry says nowt) and on video with the Banana girls, with their first chart entry after the wonderful ‘Aie a Mwana’ failed to trouble the scorers. This take on a 1939 song is from the FB3’s debut album but Bananarama’s first is well worth checking out.

    Depeche Mode – now down to a three piece and this is the lead-off single from their second album A Broken Frame. Dave looks so young and wholesome pre-tats and drugs. This, along with Blasphemous Rumours, is my favourite of their early songs I think. Subject matter resonated with me at the time.

    Julio – forgettable follow-up. Verses in Spanish, chorus in heavily accented English. I suppose he was popular with all the Beverleys who’d have been into Demis a few years before.

    Haircut 100 – “where do we go from here? Is it down to the lake I fear?” MAKES NO SENSE (unless Nick is afraid of said lake). Jaunty little number though, and again the album is well worth 40 minutes of anyone’s time. Lemon Fire Brigade! Woman with spiky blonde hair cropping up all over the place tonight.

    Countdown – so I’ve missed the Stranglers then.

    Associates – favourites of the much-missed Marcello and Simon appears genuinely pleased that they’ve made it. I discovered them the previous summer, when ‘Tell Me Easter’s on Friday’ got such a glowing review in Record Mirror that I bought it unheard. Collected all their 45s from that point up to 1988’s ‘Heart of Glass’ cover. Billy, a great lost talent of course.

    Chart 20-11 – ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’ already waving goodbye to the chart.

    Adrian Gurvitz – this old rocker has been knocking around since the sixties. I admit I liked it at the time, but it is a bit ludicrous, especially those forced half-rhymes. Why does he need to write in an attic, anyway? Chorus is basically a duet with his beardy mate. Drummer has Scouse perm and ‘tache – unfortunate all round tbh. But no doubt big in Germany to this day.

    Top 10. The Goombays are heading topwards. Run for the hills!!

    Tight Fit – number one, and talking of ludicrous … I believe they’re still going too, you don’t need me to tell you where they’re playing tonight …

    Back on the Beeb, Kenny Everett pops in to plug his new show. My favourite of ’82 (so far). No doubt there will be worse.

  47. 47
    Mark G on 1 Aug 2016 #

    Simes! We missed you! Oh, OK we haven’t, but hey.. Its TOTP so what the heck..

    Bow wow wow, and as Alice says she has a fashion look that would work right now. So, they finally get a hit proper, and it’s probably despite Malcolm rather than because of him. There’s a lot of interesting stuff that almost but not quite made it – the “WORK” single I felt was a missing classic. I do have some ads on tape (I think it was the sfx cassette magazine) where Malc shouts over the track playing, much like he did for the Sex Pistols (collected on the “Some Product” album). “I’m Sick .. SO AM I!!! sick of seeing signs YOU TELL ‘EM ANNABELLA!!” that sort of thing. So, eventually they became hitmakers, for a while anyway. More to come but not much more, it’s true.

    Standing behind Simes are the fun boy three, but seeing as Bananarama havent turned up (maybe?) it’s a quick chat and into the video – for one horrible moment it looked like Simon was going to ask them to start singing.. Anyway, it’s lots of shots walking through underground walkways but strange things keep appearing. Not seen this one, not often anyway.

    Depeche Mode, however you are saying it, and possibly the twee-est song for its time. Boy just wants to hang out with his ex. aww. Bless. Actually, I believe that Dave had already had his first herons by this point, but you know, Basildon and all that. There’s not that many bands that have hits over such a long period of time that runs from their ‘still teenage’ ness to being durtay blokey grungers – I do wonder if they still do “See You” in their sets occasionally. (note: Not to be confused with “See You (Jimmy)”)

    Awww, it’s Pluto! Loved this guy, he always seemed to pop up with a hit every 5 years or so. OK, not that often to make a pattern of it. Anyway, there is something vaguely sinister underneath all this, not quite in the “Bantam Cock” vein, but not so far behind. Anyway, it’s a Benny Hill joke stretched to 3 mins, and we’ll leave it there. I think we’ll just change the subject, and call it… whatever.

    Julio. For some reason, Terry Wogan would call this “Jaws” owing to his accent, but I can’t hear this here. Moving on..

    The haircut 100 do Love Plus One, which is an odd thing to have on yr guest list. The rest of the song consists of those general song cliches that seem to suggest that this is on purpose. Still, it’s not as irritating (to me) as “Favourite Shirts” thanks to not having bad rapping on it. Hear a call.

    The Associates! Now, I know there’s a fair few of youse have been waiting for these guys to be back on, so here you are. It’s pretty great, I will say, and I didn’t really get it back then so here you go. It sort of reminds me of those epic “Johnny Remember me” type things, I’m sure Joe Meek would approve, yes. And Simes gets to apply the kiss of death (the other kind, see below) with the “They’re going to be massive” statement.

    Adrian Gurvitz we’ll pass over, and Tight fit we’ve done to death already, so we’ll go to…

    It’s Kenny! And he’s dressed as Sid Snot the Biker bloke. But it’s all very bizarre, Kenny seems mildly drunk (or stoned – Legal dept, can I say that? Oh I can cause he’s deceased? I did say “Seems” so hey) and manages to throw in an absolutely filthy Julio joke that must have passed un-noticed thanks to nobody understanding it. And then they kiss. (that’s true, by the way. Check Kenny wiping his mouth when the camera’s pulled away).

    On with the Medley – It’s Stevie this time, and it’s a passable impression: The excerpt of “Isn’t She Lovely” even has a substitute crying baby as well! That’s attention to detail.

    I’m guessing that if I called the previous week’s appearance of the re-released (sort-of) Deutsche Girls as the final Punk-hit, I could complete my Punk/New Wave DVD set, but I’m running about four years behind now. Still, there’s a definite end for it, so I might actually get on with it. It started with Slik’s “The kids a punk”, and the only one I could not find was Plastic Bert’s “Sha-la-la-la-lee” but hey.

    So, where do we go from here? Is it down to the lake I fear? Well, I thought I told you to leave me while I walked down to the beach. Never mind, I’ll give you a ring when we get to Minchella’s.

  48. 48
    swanstep on 2 Aug 2016 #

    @Mark G, 47. According to setlist.fm DM last played ‘See You’ in 1985 (ditto ‘New Life’). From the early years only ‘Just Can’t’ still gets played regularly, although ‘Photographic’ turned up as recently as 2010.

  49. 49
    Paulito on 4 Aug 2016 #

    @47: I enjoy your commentary (and keep up the good work!), though I’m mystified as to how you consider “Love Plus One” to be a string of clichés. Perhaps this quirky little number has become overfamiliar to some, but I still can’t hear anything but youthful exuberance, brightness and originality. It sounds fresh as a daisy to me.

  50. 50
    speedwell54 on 11 Aug 2016 #

    Simon Bates has a over excited yelping teen, draped around his shoulders as he introduces Bow Wow Wow. Lwin does her fair share of yelping too. Pretty confident for 16. Looks like Jon Moss on drums but seemingly not. Perfectly fine.

    Bates confuses Lynval and Neville and makes up Nevilynn Bond as a name for some reason as Fun Boy Three (Fun Boy Two and Terry Hall actually) join him pre video showing. Bates asks a string of closed and inane questions. Fearne Cotton springs to mind.

    Depeche Mode in smart mode tonight; ties 4, leather 0. Interesting point up thread about this not making the cut in concert. It’s hardly “I Should Be So Lucky” and I would have thought they could do a Kyliesque re working.

    Sean Paul, well 70s version Pluto jets in with patois. I thinks dem songs is a bit meh. Simon tells us before and after he’s come in from Miami.

    Julio Doubleglasias (Little and Large) mncot Haircut 100 again,

    Then The Associates- total highlight of the programme. This is a classic. Just listened again to their version of Boys Keep Swinging and although the music is minimal the vocal is amazing.

    Gurvitz again, charts predicts more doom then, Tight Fit. Kenny Everett chats and plugs. Out to a Stevie Wonder medley. The teen from the beginning finds the camera again.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

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