Jul 09

Popular ’83

FT + Popular/146 comments • 6,157 views

Every Popular entry has a mark out of 10 – here’s where you get to choose which you’d have given 6 or above to (and make any general comments on the year in the comments boxes, of course). The highest 1983 mark I gave was 9, for Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” (pre-death!). The lowest I gave was 3 apiece for UB40 and Rod Stewart.

Which Of These Number One Singles Of 1983 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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  1. 101
    Chelovek na lune on 15 Apr 2017 #

    11 August 1983
    Skinner n Vance (the latter in v questionable red blue and yellow patterned jumper that is all a bit “Tony the Tiger”)

    David Grant “Watching You Watching Me”
    Very dull soulless soul (or RnB-less RnB if you prefer) to start with. Very dull. ToTP could do with fewer balloons flying around really too. Slick choreographed dancing is marginally more interesting than the song.

    Style Council “Long Hot Summer” on video
    The Council’s third single, each of the three being quite different in character and style from the others. This might be the best of them (it’s certainly not the worst). Nice vid of lounging around on and by the Cambridge back waters. it really is a much nicer city than Oxford, if a bit too puritanical. As with Bananarama’s contemporaneous hit, there’s a case for the 1989 remix being superior, but actually this is damn good. And very unlike anything the Jam did.

    Level 42 “The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up)”
    Still post-funk, and expressing concerns about potentially impending nuclear war, and despite finding some slightly later 42 tracks to be pretty superb, I find this difficult to love. I’m thinking: were these the prime precursors of Jamiroquai? If so how unfortunate.

    Spandau Ballet “Gold” on video
    Yeah, i know. I love it, still. Video a twist on the Duranie love of exotic locations thing. Deserts and sunflower fields and Middle Eastern/Islamic decor. Morocco? (Oh no: Wiki says southern Spain. al-Andalus I guess). One of their signature tunes, deservedly.

    The Creatures “Right Now”
    In the studio this time. Powerful as well as retro – a convincing update, thus. Goth appearance with very un-goth music. Yes. Fab.

    Lotus Eaters “First Picture Of You”
    Yeah there’s competition from the likes of Jimmy the Hoover et al, but can we crown them the best one hit wonders of 1983 (at least) and be done with it? Melodious delightfulness. Sweetness and assertiveness perfectly married. The flowers really are screaming their joy.

    Charts (hmm don’t remember the Bruce Foxton track at all. will have to check it out)

    Depech”ay” Mode “Everything Counts”
    Still so young and boyish, Vince Clarke has no shirt on, and discernably little body hair. Musically and lyrically, an enormous step forward for a maturing act of some capability.


    Robert Plant “Big Log” (on video)
    A song that takes itself very seriously. It might be better if it didn’t.

    KC & the Sunshine Band “Give It Up”
    Vastly better than the David Grant record, anyway.

    Danceout to Herbie Hancock “Rockit”
    A proto-Axel F bit of instrumental electro. Far from unattractive. Zoo have no clue how to dance to it any more than the audience do.

    Mostly a pretty decent edition, once David Grant was out of the way.

  2. 102
    Chelovek na lune on 15 Apr 2017 #

    1 September 1983
    The Kid and Peel (the best presenting partnership by far) dressed as cowboys,because.

    Modern Romance “Walking In The Rain”
    Mellower, vaguely reggae beat, a bit more characterful than wine bar pap, and less blatantly or exceedingly irritating than, well, most of their other singles. Their final hit though. Thankfully.

    Madness “Wings Of A Dove” (on video)
    Gospel choir bit and steel drums on a plane. Then the nutty boys, literally, like, ON, a plane. On top. Then inside and in the cab. And elsewhere. Wacky good fun, great steel drums bit which must have pissed off the NF-affiliated bit of their fanbase. Hardly the best thing they did, but a burst of joyous energy.

    Gary Numan “Warriors”
    Classic Numan sound and ambience, and not a wildly accessible song. Good keyboard bits. His final top 20 hit of the century (excluding two remixes of “Cars”), which suggests the appeal of his shtick was already wearing off (still, the abuse he got from the musical press, in part because of his politics, couldn’t have helped.) But this does seem “fans only”

    Peel in Paris doing the Eurochart
    No 9 in Europe Righeira “Vamos A La Playa” – another superficially jolly pop song about nuclear war. We only hear it very briefly, and only the repeated chorus line, but seems OK.
    No 10 in Europe: Rose Laurens “Africa, the Voodoo Master”
    Hmm, people complaining about “cultural appropraition” or “orientalism” might maybe just occasionally have a point.
    No 12 in Europe Ryan Paris “Dolce Vita”. Europop, no Europap, in English. Oh dear. Sub-Eurovision.
    No 8 in Europe Berdian Stenberg “Rondu Russo”
    Flute much in evidence, instrumental.
    No 1 in Europe Mike Oldfield “Moonlight Shadow”

    Genesis “Mama” (on video) introduced by the Kid pointing a toy gun at the camera.
    Now this really is a work of art, powerful, haunting, atmospheric. Cut off a bit early.


    Big Country “Chance”
    Less in your face than their two recent singles but no less rewarding. Brooding, and solemn, joining an honourable list of Scottish rock melancholia.


    Stray Cats “(She’s) Sexy + 17”
    Dull rockabilly revival style that would have better sent to bed long before.

    No 1 UB40 “Red Red Wine”
    In retrospect, the first step on the journey towards a formerly hot and insightful political act becoming an idiot jukebox. But they’ll still OK here, and their talents are quite clear.

    Dance out to New Order “Confusion”
    Which is incredibly exciting and futuristic (a wee “football chant” element too perhaps) without being overwhelmingly brilliant.

    A curate’s egg edition, although the good parts really were good.

  3. 103
    Lazarus on 16 Apr 2017 #

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard it in full – was ‘Vamos a la Playa’ really about a nuclear holocaust – as per Nena – or was Peely having us on there? Channelling Nevil Shute, were they?

    Oh and CNL @ 101 Pedant alert – Vince had left the Mode by then of course.

  4. 104
    Chelovek na lune on 16 Apr 2017 #

    @103 – yes, Lazarus (having just looked up its entire lyrics), I think I may have foolishly fallen for Peely’s joke….

    And yes, also – urgh – I did mean to say “Martin Gore”…..

  5. 105
    weej on 16 Apr 2017 #

    From the Vamos A La Playa wiki page;

    “Due to the meaning of its title and its lighthearted melody, Vamos a la playa has become a summer and holiday anthem in many countries. However, the song deals with the explosion of a nuclear bomb in the ocean. The people in the song all wear “a sombrero” to prevent the “radioactive wind” from “messing up their hair”. The singer states that finally “the sea is clean,” and instead of fish there is now “fluorescent water”.”

    It’s one of the first singles I owned, aged 4 or 5, and I still rate it. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTsVJ1PsnMs

  6. 106
    speedwell54 on 23 Apr 2017 #

    Back to back episodes for a change. Powell very smartly dressed in a suit and tie, Peebles less so in a mustard body warmer. He introduces Heaven 17 but whatever he says, he comes across as the disinterested judge.

    Glenn is wearing a black and white checked shirt that was everywhere for a few years. Whoo Whoo!

    Rod Stewart hot on the heels of Baby Jane and another big hit with What Am I Going To Do? On video tonight with a less arty version of Duran’s Rio from the year before. Rod goes bigger and has a schooner not a yacht. Barely scratched the singles chart for the last 20 years but albums still pretty much top tens all the way.

    Another 70’s act and Status Quo with Ol’ Rag Blues. This is the blue print single and performance. No alarms and no surprises. Rossi waistcoat, Parfitt white top, Lancaster black cap sleeved t-shirt. (denims+white trainers -obvs) wide leg stance and synchronised guitar swaying. It has a really nice ending; very ELO. They had been consistent if not ground breaking for a decade but ‘Marguerita Time’ was just around the corner and that was a line crossed.

    Jo Boxers and Johnny Friendly, seems to be almost there. Possibly trying too hard and has too many ideas for one track. The instrumental part sounds good. Bye to them.

    Peabo/Roberta – Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You. twktc. Chart countdown.

    Ryan Paris- Dolce Vita as heralded by Peel last week. “We’re living LIKE in the Dolce Vita” so is this LIKE where the whole LIKE thing came from? Hired dancers are vogueing throughout.

    Countdown from Peter. The guy standing behind him is -I’m pretty sure- Duncan Norvelle – before he was famous (well kind of).Anyone?

    Paul Young _ Come Back and Stay- Originally by Jack Lee who also wrote “Hanging on the Telephone” Great bass again and nice routine from the backing singers – a bit of swedeheaven me thinks.

    Red Red Wine at No1 and out to Level 42.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  7. 107
    Steve Williams on 23 Apr 2017 #

    “Is that Duncan Norvelle?” has taken over from “Why don’t they edit the presenters out?” as the most asked thing on social media when Pops is on. It isn’t, Duncan Norvelle was already famous in 1983, he had starred on the ITV series Saturday Royal earlier that year and certainly had enough work to not have to turn up to Pops every week for fifty quid a throw.

    As Richard Marson, former Top of the Pops floor manager, confirms, it’s a man called John Goldsmith, who we’ll continue to see regularly on this programme for the next few years. A lovely bloke, apparently.

  8. 108
    chelovek na lune on 23 Apr 2017 #

    8 September 1983
    Inexpicably sharp-suited Powell and inevitably deadpan Peebles

    Peebles makes a joke “a record that could be bigger than the TUC conference in Blackpool” (Back when newspapers still had industrial relations correspondents too. Before Arthur Scargill comprehensively overplayed his hand, anyway)
    Heaven 17 “Crushed by the Wheels of Industry”
    After a couple of really quite excellent singles earlier in the year, this is a bit weak. Very weak, even. Might have better suited as an ABC rejected B-side during their “…Zillionaire” period. Some of Zoo dressed in labourer’s overalls dancig on a podium in their characteristic irrating manner.

    Rod Stewart “What Am I Gonna Do” on video
    More than mildly OTT and ridiculous nautical tropical sunshine with Rod prancing about video, but noone looks to Mr Stewart for subtlety The track is jolly enough – there is something to prance to, and where better than on a boat in the sun? Fly the Scottish lion rampant too.

    Obvious cut thanks to the Doors’ lawyers denying us Annabel Lamb’s not wildly brilliant sub-Eurythmics take on “Riders on the Storm”

    Status Quo “Ol’ Rag Blues”
    Lighter and a bit poppier than sometimes, kind of classic early-80s Quo sound otherwise. When their critical reappraisal eventually comes this will probably be assessed as a light-hearted and attractive interlude (but which will refuse to prove to be memorable in any way). Would sound good in a pub, probably with Double Diamond and Roast Ox crisps.

    JoBoxers “Johnny Friendly”
    Slowed down compared with their earlier hits, has a bit of a Living Colour vibe about it. Funky, and sharp. But with a distinctly English character. Much less astounding than “Just Got Lucky” – it does say “minor hit” – but no denying it’s both innovative and not unattractive.

    Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love” (on video)
    Bit of a classic slow-dance number, no?


    Ryan Paris “Dolce Vita”
    Robotic dancing. Some decent synthesised instrumental bits between the verses are probably, nay certainly, the highlight of this inoffensive number.

    Paul Young “Come Back And Stay”
    Great 80s synths and moodiness, the haircut and the black and white angular not-quite splatter top he is wearing have aged much less well than the song. Fine chanting from the women. Yeah. Rather appealling.

    no 1 UB40 “Red Red Wine” (on video)
    Vid being set mostly in a boozer, before they sold much in the way of wine.

    dance-out to Level 42 “Livin’ It Up (When The Sun Goes Down)”

    Not a brilliant edition, but kind of quite representative of the musical trends and concerns of 1983…

  9. 109
    speedwell54 on 23 Apr 2017 #

    Thanks Steve @107 for the info. No idea I was being so obvious. I don’t feel too bad if it’s a ‘thing’ he must look something like him. I thought it would be a tiny shaded area in the Venn diagram ‘people old enough to know who Duncan Norvelle is’ and “use social media’, but there you go.

  10. 110
    chelovek na lune on 23 Apr 2017 #

    22 September 1983
    Bates n Read

    Howard Jones “New Song”
    Legendary performance with chained dancer alongside HJ. Capable and still fresh and then still futuristic mid-80s synth-pop.

    David Bowie “Modern Love” (on video. mostly of a live performance)
    Competent and capable poppier but not quite over-poppy Bowie. Drags a little bit, maybe.

    Hot Chocolate “Tears On The Telephone”
    They’ve still got it, musically and performance-wise, one of the best singles acts of recent years. This song is not essential, though.

    Toyah “Rebel Run” (on video)
    Vaguely sci-fi futurism, but with sound effects and a general soundscape that were ubiqutious around this period. OK. But more style than substance? Perhaps.

    The Alarm “68 Guns”
    The energy of the performance is maybe a bit ridiculous given it just underlines that they are miming. Gah, so much posturing in so few minutes.

    Nick Heyward “Blue Hat For A Blue Day”
    Sweet and sensitive, but rather nondescript. Disappointing.

    Status Quo “Ol’ Rag Blues” (on video)
    Alright as far as it goes.

    Mike Read plays the chorus of “Ol Rag Blues” on kazoo.
    Clearly no photo of the act at no 30, Unique

    Soft Cell “Soul Inside”
    Ball and Almond being recognizably Ball and Almond in their nuances and styles of performance. Not their strongest song though. Maybe the string of brilliant singles in 81/82 was a fluke after all. Chaos and turmoil evident, but more eloquently expressed on other occasions. There’s a bit for a minute or so in the middle of th song, where the tension that has been building up, is released, that’s the best part of the song.

    Heaven 17 “Crushed By the Wheels of Industry” (on video)
    Considering this isn’t even climbing the charts any more, something better could have been on than this. The video, which explores various different perceptions and realities of “work”, is better than is the song.

    No 1 Culture Club “Karma Chameleon”
    Boy George dressed in Yellow with a hat that is almost like a crown out of Alice in Wonderland; ther rest of the band dressed as American Footballers or cowboys for reasons unknown. Quality pop that hides its lyrical tensions and pains behind a bright singalong surface. Very good.

    dance out to Hot Streak “Body Work”
    Not a notably distinguished bit of electro. Zoo could have justified their existence by doing some break-dancing to this, but they don’t, so.

    A more than tolerable edition.

  11. 111
    lockedintheattic on 24 Apr 2017 #

    @106 & @107 – those backing singers are the wonderful ‘Fabulous Wealthy Tarts’ and sadly this was their last outing with Paul Young. They totally made this one and ‘Love of the Common People’, everything he did after was a hell of a lot duller.

    More about them here: https://ifyouwerethere1980s.wordpress.com/tag/the-fabulous-wealthy-tarts/

  12. 112
    Mark G on 25 Apr 2017 #

    So, is that not them on The Regents’ “17” single?

  13. 113
    Adam Puke on 25 Apr 2017 #

    Loved the Numskulls tribute in the Heaven 17 video, never seen that before.

  14. 114
    speedwell54 on 25 Apr 2017 #

    @112 The backing singers on the Regents “7 teen” single are named on “So it Goes” blog as Kath Best and Bic Brack. After Regents split Martin Sheller (Regents) worked with Bic and Ben Brack(?) writing and producing. “Musica Pop” a single by ‘the Bic’ is on eBay. Only one source for this info but seems ok.

  15. 115
    Lazarus on 26 Apr 2017 #

    #111 But doesn’t Powell introduce ‘Come back and Stay’ as Paul Young and the Royal Family? I don’t remember that at all, how long did he use that for? Were they credited as that on the record, and if not why mention them? It would have been like saying “here’s Elvis Costello, and Afrodiziak.” I do remember the Fabulously Wealthy Tarts though.

    Ryan Paris was OK, at least you could (sort of) dance to it. I much preferred it to FR David’s effort from earlier in the year. A later single of his was ‘Harry’s Bar’ – not, I assume, the surprise Xmas hit from Gordon Haskell of a few years ago (which we’ll come to eventually on Popular, I suppose).

    We missed a week of course (hence Status Quo being on twice in a row) with Jimmy Savile, still, being one of the presenters, and for similar reasons (DLT) we will also miss the following show, that of 29 September, when the largely unlamented Zoo made their final appearance. As remarked on the start-of-year doc, there was no real need for them once everyone was doing videos.

  16. 116
    speedwell54 on 29 Apr 2017 #

    Jensen and John present this week’s edition dressed as Roman soldiers. Kicking off with Freeez and Pop Goes My Love. More scratching on this and less jazz funk. To my ears it doesn’t really work, and their chart career was over save remixes. White gloved dancers try and fail to distract you from Rocca’s awful cardigan.

    Bowie on video again twktc.

    Kid is still saying Depech-ay Mode and “Love In Itself” . A bit less catchy and a bit less a hit. Martin is wearing clothes you could walk down the street in- for the first time. The freestyle bit at the end is a bit weird. John refers to them as Depech-ay too.

    Meatloaf and “Midnight at the Lost and Found” and he commits to the performance as always. It’ a video, but a performance in a much bigger space than totp could provide. He must win the league of number of words per hit. He turns up in an episode of Elementary this year.

    Nick Heyward and “Blue Hat for a Blue Hat” pleasant enough but a bit background. He brought out some great stuff post Haircut but this isn’t a favourite. A new album, trailed years ago does seem to be coming out this summer called “Woodland Echoes” -has to be worth a listen.

    New Song – Howard Jones on a rather LD video with a cast who look like they won a raffle. Song 7 video 3.

    David Grant – Love Will Find A Way. This is rather dull and nmcot at all. Kid says “a-prancing” as he introduces him but I don’t think he’s being negative. He definitely is prancing about.

    Charts, and there are a few acts that passed me by -‘Unique’ and ‘Body Work’ mean nothing. The Alarm and “68 Guns” up next, a repeat from a couple of weeks ago I think. Drummer Nigel Twist signed my copy of “Rain In The Summertime” in HMV Middlesbrough in 1987.

    New Order – “Blue Monday” Live performance repeated from a few months ago. Amateurhour. Chart countdown to number one and Culture Club the performance from a fortnight ago. Out the The Rock Steady Crew. John Peel smiles; it might have been false.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  17. 117
    chelovek na lune on 30 Apr 2017 #

    6 Oct 1983
    Kid n Peel as Roman legionaries

    Freeez – Pop Goes My Love
    Weak and forgettable, and forgotten, follow-up. Almost some proto-scratching among mid-80s generic pre-programmed sounds. A b-side at best.

    David Bowie – Modern Love (on video)
    Very much better.

    Depech”ay” Mode – Love In Itself.2
    Continuing down the road away from tweeness, but still poppy alongside incipient melancholia. Retaining bibbly-bobbly keyboard bits. This is pretty decent, bodes well for the future, etc. Hints of being masterful, even. Playing a keyboard sitting on top of a grand piano is a statement.

    Meat Loaf – Midnight At The Lost And Found (on video)
    More electronic-sounding than it might be, and the drum machine sounds haven’t aged well either. No rhyme is too obvious to be avoided. Motorbikes on stage, but surprisingly little leather on display. Pretty poor show for Mr Loaf, really, all round.

    Nick Heyward “Blue Hat For A Blue Day”
    The instrumentation is probably the most interesting thing about this. But ultimately the Colour Field did this sort of sensitive moody pop more proficiently. As, with more energy and intensity, did the completely overlooked Friends Again. This is pleasant enough in itself, just a bit disappointing given what Haircut 100 had appeared to promise.

    Howard Jones “New Song” (on video)
    Factory workshop vid, and on the grimy 1983 London Underground – I bet that’s the same Holborn platform that Aqua visited much later on., then in an anarchic school classroom, complete with master in gown and cap & mortarboard. Truly a disappeared world all round. The song looks to the future admirably, though.

    David Grant – Love Will Find A Way
    Just remembered he did have a connection with Junior Giscombe – through Linx – who also seemed to get inexplicably frequent appearances on ToTP with mediocre material. This is a not terrible bit of contemporary and vaguely slinky R&B-cum-soul, but it is,at best, inessential.


    The Alarm – 68 Guns
    A burst of energy, at least. Big Country were doing this sort of thing much more convincingly though..

    Charts. Black Lace!

    New Order – Blue Monday (repeat of their earlier live performance from TOTP)
    A bare performance, Hooky’s bass in full effect.

    Charts. Tracey Ullman new at no 9

    No 1 Culture Club – Karma Chameleon
    repeat I think of previous TOTP performance with American Football Players disguise. Quality pop.

    Dance out to Rocksteady Crew “(Hey You) Rocksteady Crew”) which is really not good. Not at all. Poor electro + atrocious rap. Nice synth rhythms running in the background though.

  18. 118
    chelovek na lune on 30 Apr 2017 #

    13 Oct 1983
    Peter Powell & Richard Skinner

    Roman Holliday – Motormania
    More unremarkable revivalist retro Americana of sorts from this lot. One week at no 40. Sounds about right.

    Tracey Ullman – They Don’t Know (no video)
    Also with a retro feel, and a Robin Reliant in the video (not a brand that Roman Holliday had mentioned in their track), man in gold lamé top at a bowling alley. Superior and even beautiful pop, and the doo-wops fit in well. Classy.

    Black Lace – Superman (Gioca Jouer)
    “A sensation in the clubs” says Skinner. Hmm, the usual “make the actions that the shouting guy tells you to do” thing. Dreadful. Notable mostly for the keyboardist with a sooty puppet on his left hand.

    Siouxsie & The Banshees – “Dear Prudence” (on video)
    Goth moodiness showing how a cover can be done effectively. A fine thing, and giving them a commerical success that some of their – no less brilliant – recent self-compositions had somehow escaped.

    George Benson – In Your Eyes (on your video)
    A likeable and warm bit of soul.

    Bucks Fizz – London Town
    Still exactly the same sound they were churning out some blinders in 81 and 82. Worse, there a bits that are almost a lift from “If You Can’t Stand The Heat”. But – urgh – it’s just not much of a song, despite having charactestically attractive Fizz features. Time has moved on and left them behind. Also fails to portray London in anything like a recognizable way…


    Lydia Murdock – Superstar
    An answer song to “Billie Jean” and based around similar beats and tune. “I’m Billie Jean, I’m mad as hell”. A curio, essentially, but the performance even verges on the haunting in places.

    Lionel Richie “All Night Long (All Night)” (on video)
    Powell’s favourite record in the chart, he says. Maybe I just find it tiresome through excess repetition over the years, but I find it difficult to care for.

    Culture Club “Karma Chameleon” (on video)
    Strangely the video (“set in 1880s Mississippi” says Wiki) mostly doesn’t do the song any favours, or bring out neither its emotional complexities nor its colour.

    Dance out to Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson “Say Say Say”
    which is a really unimpressive song

  19. 119
    speedwell54 on 1 May 2017 #

    13/10/83 Powell got some feedback about his suit last time out so he’s got a birthday jumper on tonight. Skinner joins him as co host and co jumper wearer.

    Motormania – Roman Holliday- I had a quick look on their website. 1981 four gigs, 1982 c50 gigs, pubs mainly, 1983 c250 gigs, nightclubs and universities. The week after this TOTP they did a twelve date, six country tour of Europe supporting Culture Club. A week off and thirteen date tour in the States supporting the Stray Cats. 1984 it drops off completely back to clubs and that was about it. Typical pattern of many I guess. This track is not great and Mr Jinx Powell gives them praise and a bright future.

    Tracy Ullman- “They Don’t Know” Sixties video and Ullman displays her acting skills in this film which features a cameo from McCartney. Writer MacColl sings backing vocals and the “baby”s on this.

    Superman- Black Lace. Powell becomes factual on his link. (If he likes something he always says) Rather like Matthew Kelly on “Stars In Their Eyes” -mainly the celebrity ones – after some talentless performance that the best make up and costume can’t disguise, he has to say something and falls back to the classic “you looked like you really enjoyed yourself there”

    Siouxsie and The Banshees – Dear Prudence staying close to the original but adding enough to make it worthwhile. Katfish had a small hit cover in the States with a slightly rockier version in the 70s.

    George Benson “In Your Eyes” nmcot. but good.

    Bucks Fizz – London Town. Bobby G voice sounds pretty strange at the beginning. The song has the right ingredients but somehow fails. And not for nothing London is a city.

    Lydia Murdock- She’s not rapping but talking. Curious as to these “answer” songs as to who signs off on the copyright element. Countdown.

    Lionel Ritchie- “All Night Long (All Night)” the graphics don’t quite get the song title correct. The girl on Peter’s left shoulder is preening herself as the cameras move round and then she starts to clap too early and has to stop. Peter does his stilted speech pattern which he falls into with three word titles/groups. All, pause Night, pause Long. It jars when the double comes up Pet Shop Boys with “West End Girls”. “Throw a-way the work to be done” is the line that sticks in my head. Video is really well put together and very slick compared to a lot of British stuff at the time. Song nmcot.

    Charts Culture Club on video. Everyone dressed up in period costume apart from Boy George, who looks like he’s just mugged Claire’s Accessories.

    Out to Say Say Say MaCartney/Jackson – I like this song but the video helped a lot. Chart career bit unusual as they didn’t co-ordinate release dates of single and video and it probably cost them a number 1. Chart career starts 25-10-13-14-3-2-2.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  20. 120
    Mark M on 1 May 2017 #

    Seeing/hearing that Roman Holliday track made me think of The Mavericks, a bit later in history – in theory a lightweight, poppy variation on those ingredients could be a good thing, but here, in practice, it’s cloying and annoying.

    On They Don’t Know, I’m trying to think of other examples of what I’m going to clumsily call the fully authorised cover, i.e. with the involvement of the person who made the original. Sandie Shaw’s Morrissey-initiated, Marr/Rourke/Joyce-powered version of Hand In Glove is an obvious case, and Mary J Blige’s take on U2’s One, but I’m sure there are many more.

    I didn’t know that the video for All Night Long was directed by New Hollywood heavyweight Bob Rafelson. Can’t say there are any obvious traces of Head or Five Easy Pieces in it – not quite sure why Lionel wanted him for the job. Rafelson – who knew Huey Newton – apparently laid down the law on race-and-class issues on the shoot, which sounds a bit like whitesplaining.

  21. 121
    Mark G on 1 May 2017 #

    Last time Roman Holliday were on, I remembered that they cited John Peel as helping them with the offer of a session, etc, and that it was on the 2nd disc of a double single. So I looked it up on discogs, and found that the trumpeter was an old school friend who I caught up with on FB not that long ago. Well, you’d have thought I’d have known it at the time, but no. Anyway, he had longish brown hair last time I saw him in 6th form, so thaw my excuse..

    Anyway, I would add that Kirsty did the high-note ‘bay-beh’ bit on Tracey’s version, and there is a bit of Morrissey warble on Sandie’s version of “I don’t owe you anything”

  22. 122
    Steve Williams on 2 May 2017 #

    You’ve got to admire the cheek of Freeez following a song with the chorus “A-E-I-O-U” with one with “1,2,3,4,5,6” in the lyrics.

    I loved that Howard Jones video because I love old clips of the Underground. Of course, everything looks grotty and old on film, much like the Euro Chart looked like it was direct from 1953. I wish location stuff was still on film on telly shows these days.

  23. 123
    Mark G on 2 May 2017 #

    I miss distant football matches being broadcast by beaming just-about-ok pictures along with the commentary coming down a telephone line. It made it feel like a long way away, because it was.

  24. 124
    AP on 3 May 2017 #

    Roman Holliday ended up as Sam Fox’s backing band later in the 80s, iirc

  25. 125
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 May 2017 #

    Just nipping back to comment on Men Without Hats and their wonderfully dotty “Safety Dance”. This ticked all sorts of boxes for me. The song itself is brilliantly delivered by Ivan Doroschuk in a rich baritone not unlike Phil Oakey’s against the backdrop of an excellent arrangement. But of course it’s the video which grabs the attention – the bonkers dwarves and the mad goings-on straight out of The Wicker Man. But whereas that great, if totally disturbing, film featured three beautiful women dancing wildly alongside the procession, this time we have just the one, albeit an extraordinarily lovely one. Back in the day I assumed that she was a Canadian but it has since turned out that she is English and a future editor-in-chief of “Cosmopolitan” – one Louise Court. She has, amongst other things been listed as “Lunatic Blonde Girl in the Safety Dance Video” and happily coughs to indeed being the gal in the vid. She is still beautiful today in her mid fifties. Meanwhile, just to even the score, Janice Long declared Ivan “gorgeous” too. Something for everyone on this woefully underrated offering.

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