Sep 09

Popular ’84

FT + Popular/94 comments • 6,617 views

I give every record on Popular a mark out of 10 (and if you’re registered, so can you). Here’s where, by the magic of polling, we look at the year as a whole. Tick any and all records you’d personally give 6 or more out of 10 to, and then we can use the comments box to discuss 1984 from various perspectives.

Which Of These Number One Singles Of 1984 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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My highest mark of the year was a 10 for “Two Tribes”: my lowest a (perhaps generous) 3 for Stevie W.


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  1. 61
    speedwell54 on 15 Sep 2017 #

    28/6/84 TOTP- Andy Peebles and Steve Wright. Wright’s dressed like he’s off to a regatta and has a tennis racket for no apparent reason.(well maybe Wimbledon)

    The Bluebells – Young at Heart. Cover of the Bananarama album track with the addition of a violin solo played, by a Clark Gable lookalike. Not a lot of number 1 violin solos are there. Can only think of Come On Eileen as I write. Answers on a postcard. There is a young lad on stage with a guitar who has the look of a competition winner. Don’t know if he is proper Bluebell?

    Nik Kershaw – I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me. On video this week which is mainly a live concert video. The audience sing along and scream quite a bit. He seems very popular considering he hadn’t been around that long. He sings ” I Won’t let the Sun Go Down” 14 times in a row at the end of the song, we cut to Wright in the studio and he says “finally a hit for Nik Kershaw “DON’T Let The Sun Go Down On Me” Arse.

    The Human League – Life On My Own -I saw this lot a few years ago in Halifax and was stunned at the set and the effort they put into it. I like Phil’s underplayed vocal on this track. Joanne and Susanne perform an Escheresque illusion as they dance and sing backing vocals. You would swear that Joanne is dancing twice as fast as Susanne but yet they get back in sync each time.

    Waiting In Vain – Bob Marley & and the Wailers – another re issue promoting newly released Greatest Hits package “Legend” Whatever happened to that? Video shot in what looks like Hawaii – the natural home of reggae. twktc.

    Billy Idol pops ups and Steve speaks. We don’t really get to the bottom of why he’s here but a single’s not too far away. Tina Turner – on video with her biggest hit. “What’s Love Got To Do With It” Charts down to “Love Resurrection” from Moyet.

    More charts and Scritti Politti – again with Absolute. Perfect Way was their only big hit in America and I really don’t get it at all. It is one of my least favourite singles by them, but hey.

    Countdown to No1 and a repeat run from a fortnight a go. FGTH and Relax is also back up to 3. Jackson with Farewell My Summer Love again gets the last slot.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  2. 62
    speedwell54 on 24 Sep 2017 #

    12/7/1984 TOTP. John Peel and Tommy Vance. Tommy has lost his leather jacket and shades and tonight has a light grey suit and a Granda shirt.

    Shakatak- Down on the Street- nmcot Jazz funk type stuff washes over me like departure lounge music, but great bunch of guys. Vance proves he’s no stranger to dad dancing before the camera quite pulls away.

    Tina Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It.- Biggest hit over here and back home in the US. That said she is now a Swiss citizen and pretty much retired; no studio albums this century.

    Neil – Hole in my Shoe. In the studio. I think he’s miming the song but adds loads of stuff not on the record. It cuts out before the line about Dennis Moore’s lupins that I didn’t get at the time and is a reference to a Monty Python sketch. Getting in touch with my inner Mike Read, this record was the highest chart debut since the fifties.

    Alison Moyet – On video- Love Resurrection – Heard her on a Desert Island Disc repeat from 2014 and she is a bit out there. Some demons over the years.

    Phil Fearon and Galaxy – Everybody’s Laughing. Not very memorable if inoffensive. It doesn’t really grab me and I find it hard to believe there’s enough there for anybody to buy a copy; but they did.

    Echo and the Bunnymen- Seven Seas- one of my early purchases. Still like it. Bunneyman bass player must of been on holiday or lost the argument ‘if Ian’s not wearing a stupid costume, I don’t see why I should’. Plus side, drummer gets to play up front for a change. Penguin looks okay, fish a bit weird. Countdown.

    Bluebells – Young at Heart. They have come back into the studio this week with different outfits, mainly waistcoats. twktc. Countdown to FGTH.

    Two Tribes- this is a different performance – Holly’s no longer doing his Norman Wisdom and his flat cap has gone. Out to Jacksons/Jagger with State of Shock.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  3. 63
    speedwell54 on 26 Sep 2017 #

    19/07/1984 TOTP Richard Skinner with Peter Powell. Let’s see how they do, the reliable Skinner and the variable Powell. Skinner tells us the music might be recorded, but the stars are all live and here in the studio. Sounds like a response to something?

    The Mighty Way! – Come Back- Pete Wylie can write an anthem and this is a natural follow up to The Story Of the Blues (even if there was another single in between) The 12″ has “The Story of the Reds” in brackets after Come Back. Great start, and I like the coordinated air violin playing. Did people do this in the discos in ’84?

    “Great week for American artist, Prince who has jumped to No5!” says Skinner like it was No 34 last week; it jumped from No8. On video tonight -which was good if you like Prince, which I do.

    Peter almost falls asleep introducing Billy Idol – massive pause. Bill in leathers and his lip curling throughout is comical. He’s turned up in the studio at least, and in his head he’s performing to a much faster rock track.

    The Kane Gang- Closest thing to Heaven- bit of a classic. Still played on some stations. Early releases on Kitchenware records -based in the north east, who had a decent group of artists at one time. Hurrah!, Martin Stephenson and the Daintees and of course Prefab Sprout. – Lead singer went on to write or co-write Lifted- Lighthouse Family among others.

    Blancmange – The Day Before You Came. Not that long since the Abba version came out. When Madonna borrowed the Gimme Gimme Gimme sample I remember it being an event that they had given her permission whereas this? Yet again their performance overplays the Indian sound which you really can’t hear. It’s a faithful cover, even if they did change the author to Barbara Cartland.

    Divine- the music sounds remarkably like Dead or Alive “You Spin…” and both were SAW productions so fair enough. nmcot Charts

    Thompson Twins -Sister Of Mercy on video, and we miss the first verse out and just get a short clip. Countdown to No1- Two Tribes . Out to Sweet Somebody- Shannon nmcot. Skinner and Powell displayed little chemistry tonight, the Kid is dead, but it’s not long live the Kid unfortunately. Maybe it’ll get better.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  4. 64
    speedwell54 on 29 Sep 2017 #

    02/08/1984 TOPT- Simon Bates and Gary Davies (or Davis -as the caption has it- you have one job!) Black Lace are in the studio with Agadoo nmcot. Apparently banned on Radio One- on grounds of credibility.

    Prince – When Doves Cry- not the video we got the other week but a very short compilation of clips from Purple Rain. Bates has a thing about Prince asking an older woman to accompany him to the premiere. And your point is?

    Kane Gang – again. In the studio, still a lonely boy and a lonely girl. Staged this week more like a duet than a plus one backing singer.

    Gary goes for a link; the closest thing to heaven in most men’s mind is Tina Turner’ really? On video rpt ffwd.

    A Flock of Seagulls – The More You Live the More You Love. Hair not quite so out there this time. Sounds good. Career went downhill after this, shame they couldn’t stick around a little longer. Bates second random comment tonight mentions that Paul the guitarist is half blind.

    Countdown. Gary introduces Trevor Walters with ‘Stuck On You’. At least Blancmange and Rod Stewart have left a little gap before bringing out a cover. Lionel Ritchie’s still in the charts with this one and Trev’s reggae-ing up his own version. (next to Gary on the intro is Nicola Bryant – one of the Doctor’s companions at the time.- he doesn’t say anything.)

    Countdown to George Michael, with chocolate around his mouth. Highest new entry at No12, and an exclusive first play of the video. Countdown to No1 and FGTH with a repeat of the gun performance. Out to Divine.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  5. 65
    Lazarus on 30 Sep 2017 #

    #63 re: Blancmange/Abba – unlike using a sample, as Madonna did, I don’t think you need permission to cover a song do you? After all there have been many cover versions over the years which didn’t meet with the approval of the original artist. Perhaps it was different in 1984, though.

  6. 66

    the purpose of copyright for music is to ensure that composers earn properly from music being performed, so cover versions do in fact require the composer or publisher to be informed, which can function as a granting of permission (as do public performances, tho actually this may only apply if money is being charged to view the performance, i forget and haven’t checked)

    on the whole artists prefer to earn the money even if they dislike the blasphemous approach, but permission is occasionally withheld on aesthetic grounds — a famous instance in the post-punk era occurred when leiber and stoller took offence at cristina’s version for ze records of “is that all there is?” and forced her to withdraw it (i remember peel playing and liking it, and then noting he wasn’t allowed to any more)

  7. 67
    flahr on 2 Oct 2017 #

    “so cover versions do in fact require the composer or publisher to be informed, which can function as a granting of permission”

    I’m not certain what you mean by this, but it conjures up the image of, say, Macca putting his fingers in his ears and yelling loudly to stop someone being able to inform him they’re doing a cover of “Silly Love Songs”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2009/jun/18/behind-music-cover-versions –> article and comments state that anyone can release a cover without getting permission (although you still need to give the composer their share of the moolah, of course); once you start changing the words is I think where things get trickier.

  8. 68
    Mark G on 2 Oct 2017 #

    So, when Blancmange changed the author to “Barbara Cartland”, surely that changes the mood/nature/context of the song?

  9. 69

    flahr, yes, i think you may be right: leiber and stoller sued to stop cristina’s version of their song bcz the lyrics were changed (i’d forgotten this element, i just thought they were reacting against her attitude as a performer; the way interpreted the song via delivery etc)

    all i meant abt being informed is that when the royalties come in from a cover version, as by law they must, then composer or publisher will discover the cover exists (and thus “be informed”) — at this point (generally after release), if they discover the version has been altered they can sue to suppress (and leiber and stoller did)

    (what i had slightly in my head, hence my muddle, was that playwrights can — and sometimes do — refuse permission for their plays to be performed; and of course as mentioned that samples require clearance)

  10. 70
    Izzy on 4 Oct 2017 #

    I think the distinction is that the composer/publisher has exclusivity over the *first* release of a song – but that thereafter anyone is free to cover it, and pays the appropriate royalty on doing so.

    I don’t know exactly how that feeds into the scuppering of samples or lyric changes. Possibly those count as new compositions, meaning the original writer/publisher once again gets a veto. More likely, I suspect, is that they are breaches of the original copyright, and the writer gets a veto that way.

  11. 71
    hardtogethits on 5 Oct 2017 #

    This is weird. Seems like so many have a different understanding of something that must be set out fairly clearly somewhere. My understanding is that composers are (in practice) signed up to licensing organisations (publishers) who administer their interests and rights. If I, operating independently of any such organisation, wrote a song and didn’t want anyone to record it, or I wanted to control who did, I am led to believe that in theory that would be my choice. In fact publishers are collectively so dominant that it’s a ‘closed shop’ and I would be likely to need their ‘clout’ to prove I’d even written the song in the first place.

  12. 72




    as the subliminal ridge post notes, there is variation from country to country and the exact details of US copyright law don’t hold everywhere

  13. 73
    Mark M on 7 Oct 2017 #

    The funny thing about Cristina’s Is That All There Is? is that, yes, the lyrics were changed (I’d forgotten how extensively), but it’s not really a cover that goes against the grain of the original. The point of the story is still the same, and the arrangement – bar a little squalling guitar – mostly pushes to the front the song’s inherent Brecht&Weilliness.

    So in the context of what that first article is imagining might draw publisher’s attention, it’s kind of the opposite of your metal standard redone as a wistful ukelele number or vice-versa.

  14. 74
    speedwell54 on 7 Oct 2017 #

    9/8/84 Skinner and Peel. New partner for Peel who seems quite chipper for the opening intro.

    Tracey Ullman – Sunglasses- She makes the effort as always and there is plenty of leg on show tonight, as she is flanked by a couple female backing singers. A sixties sound and routine. Last big hit for her.

    Windjammer- nmcot. All in white, they give s slick performance and it’s not that bad if a bit forgettable.

    Hazel Dean – Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go) She is flanked by a couple of male dancers, dressed all in white. Written by Stock and Aitken (no Waterman on this) and it’s very Blue Monday in places. Good track.

    Peel fluffs his lines ‘finger’ for ‘figure’ as he introduces Jeffery Osborne – dressed all in white (and black) On the Wings of Love is a bit too familiar and over played. He co wrote “All at Once” for Whitney Houston which despite not being a single is pretty familiar and has a similar feel to this.

    Countdown including Peel saying – on purpose I’m sure – the Thompson Twins by the Sisters Of Mercy. Blancmange who get lucky and get on again as a non mover. They are all in white. The subtitler didn’t know Blancmange had changed the author and it says Marilyn French instead of Barbra Cartland. I wonder how much of the lyric you have to change to get a writing credit. The trumpeter appears for the outtro and the song is faded immediately – poor guy.

    Laura Brannigan – Self Control- on video, and a slightly adult theme got past the censors this week. No longer with us, I was surprised to read.

    FGTH – last week at one and they are in the studio again this time, we follow Holly as he wanders round the the TOTP audience. They’re all in white.

    Out to Some Guys Have All The Luck- Rod Stewart. We get a long clip with the TOTP dancers and shufflers keeping it going. Nice enough but we lose the vocal interest that Palmer injected. If we had the video I could have said ALL IN WHITE again.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

    I have no idea why I confused sample with cover @63 but interesting comments followed. Given the general idea that you are allowed to cover why it isn’t more common? Are too many people writing their own stuff and not wanting to pay a percentage? An exception to the rule I read was if the cover is part of a musical that is not allowed. If you really didn’t want your songs covered, it wouldn’t take much effort to make any collection of songs part of a musical, however poorly put together.

  15. 75
    speedwell54 on 8 Oct 2017 #

    16/08/1984 TOTP. Good looking duo Wright and Peebles host tonight and we kick off with Tears For Fears – Mothers Talk.

    Roland taking over on lead vocals for a while on the singles. Not one of their bigger hits but the lead single over here from Songs From the Big Chair. That album was unfortunate not to be number one. Coming out alongside No Jacket Required and competing with Brothers In Arms, Born In The USA, Like A Virgin and Hits/Now compilations that were still in the main chart at this time.

    Howard Jones – Like to Get To Know You Well. – Cheap looking video of Jones wandering around sunny London shaking hands with fans/pensioners /workers. His hair is rather confused.

    Black Lace – Agadoo- Someone has spent money this week with people dressed as fruit as a shorthand for party. Guitar player has Limahl’s wig.

    Iron Maiden -11.58pm Not a metal fan but know this and it’s okay. Just missed the top ten, climbing 16 after this performance. Countdown with Peebles doing all by himself. Caption writer again gets confused at 28 thinking the group’s called Dr Beat but Peebles knows better.

    A Flock Of Seagulls- again, countdown to 11. Trevor Walters gets on again too. Countdown to No1. Careless Whisper – George Michael on video, we get a full version. twktc.

    Out to the Pointer Sisters – I Need You. They seemed to have been pushed to this end of the show slot a few times recently, but no video. Strange choice for lead single (of 6) from the album that contained Automatic, Jump (For My Love), and I’m So Excited (remix).

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  16. 76
    hardtogethits on 8 Oct 2017 #

    Hello again. Speedwell, there was something in your comment at 74 that mindblowingly reminded me that I once had experience of trying to get real permission for an unsigned band to do a cover version for the cd they wanted to hawk around record companies. It was so long ago it was like it was someone else, but it wasn’t. And in essence, my recollection was right, you do need permission, and the publishers are in charge of granting it.

  17. 77
    speedwell54 on 14 Oct 2017 #

    23/08/84 TOTP Read and Vance – joy. Both in black, and Read in shades again. Let’s see how they rub together.

    Alphaville – Big In Japan- Their only hit over here. I bought the album on the strength of the title track Forever Young. I liked the track so much back then, but on re listening it’s not quite as good as I thought it was. I didn’t get into the album at all, and pretty much just played that track.

    Next, Elton John- Passenger. On video this week. Dressing up and changing hats in the sunshine. He’s joined by a dance troupe who look like they’ve come off the set of Live and Let Die. Wanna get on.

    Bit of banter and into Break Machine – Are You Ready? . Not awful but same routine and they were lucky to get on, just being at No 40 at the time. Bye to them.

    Miami Sound Machine – Dr Beat. In the days before Gloria got a better billing. They’re in the studio and they splash out on medic’s uniforms and a hospital bed.

    Sunglasses- Tracey Ullman Machine. After being in the studio last time out she is on video, now with the help of Ade Edmondson on a beach somewhere. The song has a repeated chorus where the bass and drum hit on every beat (rather like Boxerbeat) which really drives the song.

    Charts countdown to Spandau Ballet Machine – I’ll Fly For You. Tony is earnest and sells the track. (he’s wearing an awful jacket btw) Kemp boys are a little annoying but on the whole I think it’s good. Nice middle eight.. I’m just an average boy… Charts with Mike.

    Rod Stewart Machine on video with Some Guys Have All The Luck – video. Cheap video for him – all in a studio and green screen. Too much time on Rod shows us he knows how to move but he can’t dance – guilty feet. I think he does a Mike Jagger at one point – in the blue suit.

    Top 10 to Number 1. George Michael-Machine in the the studio this week -Careless Whisper. Vance and Read seem to get a long well. Out to Laura BranniMachine- Self Control.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

    So Hardtogethits, what was the track then?

  18. 78
    speedwell54 on 23 Oct 2017 #

    06/09/84 TOTP Peel and Long. Buck Fizz get back to back performances which outside No1s was pretty unusual. Peel starts to explain why, but Jan interrupts. Last week’s episode which we missed due to Saville and Smitty, was partly on a train (!) Bucks were cut short before they Fizzed, and hence they get another go tonight.

    I remember All About Eve having some play back sound issues which gifted them a repeat appearance and lead to their only top 10. Back to Buck Fizz- this record seems a bit a change for them and the girls are almost redundant. The Weeknd borrowed a bit of the chorus on his last album and called it Secrets, but I presume he knew it from the the Romantic’s original rather than this. Unfortunately there have been many internal arguments over the years with this lot. Not happy bunnies.

    Spandau Ballet – I’ll Fly For You- On video this week and it looks like two videos. One a typical, on location shoot, and what looks like clips from a film. Unfortunately there have been many internal arguments over the years with this lot. Not happy bunnies.

    Sister Sledge – Lost In Music- this is a Nile Rogers remix. The girls look very happy here and start of with a routine for the chorus and then do their own thing dancewise. By this time they are far bigger over here, and their US chart career was pretty much over. We lost Joni Sledge- who takes the lead on this- earlier this year.

    Level 42 – Hot Water – I like this a lot more now, than I did then. They are all wearing long sleeved shirts with the sleeves rolled up. Mark wins, with them nearly rolled up to his armpits!

    Alphaville- Another studio performance. Two have swapped their trendy jumpers for trendy jackets. The lead singer finishes off the look with a red cummerbund and a black bow tie, maybe that look was big in Japan.

    Stevie Wonder – IJCTSILY – at No1 on video. The entire video being him, sat on a stool, next to a piano singing into a telephone. Halfway through he stands. Shed loads of people bought this, but try to find someone who likes it. The backing track sounds terrible and the last three notes are awful. He had 300 weeks of charting before this No1 and they were all better than this -which is a shame.

    Bruno Brookes pops up for a chat and we play out with Passenger by Elton John. The deaf Subtitler reverses the song meaning with the “deny the passenger, who want to get OFF”

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  19. 79
    speedwell54 on 24 Oct 2017 #

    20/09/1984 -Peebles and Wright together again after just a few weeks.BBC4 not showing last weeks due to DLT and we missed OMD, Aztec Camera, U2 and Depeche Mode among others -shame.

    Bronski Beat- hot on the heels of Smalltown Boy we get “Why” and another top 10. Not singing live this time.

    David Bowie – Blue Jean. The highest new entry and we get just of a clip of the full 20 minute Julien Temple video. I splashed out on the 12″ version and a big fan, not that there anything particularly exciting about it. TPL trash the album completely.

    Sister Sledge – Lost in Music- I said last time it was the Nile Rodgers remix but actually it doesn’t sound like the remix version at all. Not sure it wasn’t just on the 12″ version -which is what I presume people were mainly buying. Not that the original isn’t great. They turned up again and looked happy. Possibly the remix is too tricky for a mime.

    Hammer To Fall – Queen. Fourth track from the album and lowest charting. Bit old style with rock guitar riff, multi tracked vocals and guitar solo. Good. Live video with Roger in a Wham t-shirt. Choose Life.

    Nik Kershaw- Human Racing. Fourth track from the album and lowest placing. It sounds good to me. Countdown to Adam Ant at 28.

    Apollo 9 – Bought this too. Must have been flush. I do like this so much and played it loads. He definitely says ‘call me Adrian the gorilla’ Unusual structure with four repeated chorus 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 3 4 2 2 1.

    Hot Water- Level 42 -again- they came back for another studio performance. I am sure they must have changed fans from this jazz funk type stuff compared to their more poppy Lessons and Running that came later.

    Countdown to Wonder. twktc. Out to Love Kills and Freddie gets another shout. Crowd seem quite in to it and we get nearly the whole track. Another good track.

    Not so bad this week. No duffers apart from Stevie.

  20. 80
    speedwell54 on 27 Oct 2017 #

    04/10/1984 TOTP. We’ve missed another so a few repeats.

    Skinner and Bates host and we kick off the show (again) with Bronski Beat. They have come back; I know because Jimmy’s wearing different clothes and Larry Steinbachek hasn’t got that fat kazoo type thing in his mouth from two weeks ago. His t-shirt is a print of the single cover – man with head in hands. Steve looks bored in a Pringle jumper.

    Drive – The Cars on video. This got a second run just a year later with a rather more upsetting backdrop and went one place higher to No4.

    JohnWaite- Missing You
    None of his clothes fit him, he’s spent too much time on his hair and he looks like a taller, better shaven Chris de Burgh. (who also had a hit with Missing You )- different song. Other than that ok. Over played.
    Sims thinks it will be No1

    Giorgio Moroder and Philip Oakey – Together in Electric Dreams – from the film ED. Guess what, the video mixes bits from the film and bits of Phil singing. Moroder is in the video briefly.

    Culture Club – The War Song – what a dull chorus. How many people fell out of love with them when this came out. The rest of the song is okay but you can’t forget the chorus. Jon Moss plays the part of a backing singer/dancer – no drums in sight. Skinner suggest this might be No1 next week but he has a question in his voice.

    No More Lonely Nights – Paul McCartney- another song from a film. Film was a bit patchy and the soundtrack is better. This jumped 28 to 6, on its way to No2.

    The Stranglers- Skin Deep – Live in the studio and the first single from the album.

    Adam Ant – Apollo 9 – in the studio again and this week he is dressed as a cowboy, an astronaut wearing flying jacket, he really can’t decide. Call me Adrian the gorilla.

    Wonder at No1, and out to Love Kills (again) and they dance around their handbags. Moroder gets a second credit tonight, co writing this.

    Skinner does a good job and Bates is less annoying than usual.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  21. 81
    speedwell54 on 4 Nov 2017 #

    11/10/1984 Read (sunglasses inside) and Vance looking a bit trendy for them. Kim Wilde’s up first and a rather blokey intro seems of its time. The Second Time – not really her best but okay.

    Sade – Smooth Operator on video. Real actors tell a story. Sade seems to be the victim. I know a cover of this where some of the lyrics were changed “Coast to coast New College to Greenhead” but I don’t think we want to go down that road again.

    Wham! – Freedom. George is at his most energetic tonight and the band are all dressed up, including Noel Edmond’s doppelganger on keyboards. Pepsi and Shirlie are in their Supremes outfits on this slightly 60’s Motown number. Great track. No video for this at the time.

    Stephanie Mills – The Medicine Song- on video this week.

    Paul Young- I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down. In the studio this week, but without those two previously discussed backing singers. A good version of this, if you can forgive the keyboard players over use of the orchestra hit button, which I can’t.

    All Cried Out – Alison Moyet. Nothing wrong with this at all but nmcot.

    Charts to No11 and then the Style Council- Shout to The Top. Weller chews his way through this as he often did. Talbot still a mod on piano. Dee C Lee is there, ex of Wham. There’s a drummer too, but no string section visible on this string heavy hit. A new entry at 13, this climbed to peak at No7 week after, but then again, they never climbed more than once throughout their career. Sometimes not even once.

    Stevie Wonder for the last time– video again ffwd. Out to Bruce Springsteen with Cover Me.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  22. 82
    Speedwell54 on 5 Nov 2017 #

    18/10/1984 TOTP Janice and ooh Gary Davies. Hair immaculate and both have made the effort and are well turned out. They deliver their piece to camera and Janice is bopping away as the first track fades in.

    I’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep recently due to a bad back. The doctor made a home visit as he wanted to rule out workplace/environmental issues, before prescribing any medication. Any stress at work? No. Is it too light? No I have black out curtains. Any noise at night. No, quiet road and double glazing. What’s your bed like? Let’s have a look. This feels too firm. Let me have a look inside at the metal coils. I see your problem; they’re too Highly Sprung. I told Kemp G about this, and the rest is history. I think I was rather dismissive of this lot back I the day, but have listened again with these re runs. Lyrically occasionally questionable but the music and structure stand up well. Tony has a good voice and always delivers.

    Gordon Ramsay wasn’t always the great cook he is today. When I first started to work for him with my brother Alessandro we would often complain about the lack of variety. You see he didn’t like fish, so we never had fish. He didn’t like pasta so we didn’t have pasta. He couldn’t even cook vegetables without over boiling them until all the flavour had disappeared, so we never had vegetables. So for our evening meals we used to have sausages on Mondays, Hot dogs on Tuesdays, Frankfurters on Wednesday, chicken on Thursdays (he wasn’t a total loser) and weiners on Fridays. One day Alessandro just lost it and screamed at Gordon “No More Baloney Nights”. I told Macca about this and the rest is history. On video again- nothing to add.

    Whilst working for Gordon before he became famous he was still quite shouty, but because his mum worked in the same restaurant he was much less sweary. He was always very precise about everything and extremely controlling. I stopped working in the kitchen as there was too much pressure especially as we got closer to Christmas. I then waited on tables and on the whole that was much easier. At Christmas we did a set menu as it was quicker to serve when it was so busy. One night we had 15 work parties and it was pretty rowdy. Everyone being rather loud and wanting to get through the meal so they could get to the bar and have a dance to the local DJ. First course prawn cocktail, served and cleared. Next course turkey dinner, served and cleared. Then Christmas pudding, cleared and served. Then coffees. I went round with the large jug and filled everyone’s cup. This was all going well I thought. I went round for the second time for refills and people were leaving their tables and starting to dance. Then the music got a lot louder. I went back into the kitchen to put away the coffee jugs, and there on the side I saw the trays and trays of silver foiled encased treats, and realised I’d forgotten to serve these Christmas desserts . At that moment Gordon came into the back and saw me staring at hundreds of sweets. I eventually blurted out “shall I take these out now” – “No” he shouted it’s “Too Late For Mince Spies”
    I told Julian and the rest is history. I liked this a lot and bought this and the next single Valotte from the album of the same name. Forgotten how much Lennon Jnr looked like his dad. Seven years to wait for his next top 10 hit.

    Whilst still working for Gordon, me and my brother started would sometimes get a bit bored. Between clearing away lunch and before the evening guests arrived we had a few hours to kill each day. It wasn’t long enough to go home but too short to not do anything. Now in the kitchen, one of the cupboard doors right at the back of the room had come off, and rather than replacing it properly, there was a red cloth curtain pinned up over the front. The cupboard was just above head height so you couldn’t see in it without getting a two step. My brother invented this game where he put different foods on a plate and you had to identify them by reaching up and putting your hand through the curtain and touching the mystery food. After a while of blancmange and jelly, he became a bit more adventurous. It was my turn and I put my hand though the curtain and put my hand on the plate. What is this? We’ve had sponge before. What’s this, feels like soup, and this, carrots? I just worked out what it was when Gordon walked into the kitchen demanding to know what on earth I was doing. “I Feel for Stew” . I told Prince and the rest is history.
    Chaka Khan on video. Highest new entry at 22 on its way to the top. This means Stutter Rap can’t be far away.

    “Missing you”John Waite on video this week. In the video a lady storms out an apartment and he is stood behind the door as she bursts out. Cut to him rubbing his nose. I don’t think they were going for comedy but this is slapstick. Btw , he is missing you.

    Countdown and a bit of banter. These two get along together well.

    Meatloaf – Modern Girl – In places this sounds quite Steinman but it isn’t. He has the whole gang here in a studio performance, all guns blazing as they give it everything. Performance of the week.

    A few years later I was still working for Ramsay but his time in his new restaurant in California. One night Arthur Lee walked in. He use to be a regular there but was down on his luck and with no money coming in he became a little desperate. One night after he’d had a few he started talking to Ramsay at the bar asking him for a loan. Ramsay refused at first because he didn’t want to lose his money. Lee said he would put up future royalties from his back catalogue. I could not see exactly what was going on, but Ramsay produced a document that would detail the loan and the repayments. What have you got there I said?
    “Love’s Great Debenture” he replied.
    Ultravox in the studio tonight; the video was shot in Kenya the previous week we are informed. Don’t know if we’ll get to see it here though.

    Countdown to Wham! with Freedom. This is a recording from last week when they were in the studio. The dance out is Moroder and Oakey with Electric Dreams at No5. That bloke who looks like Duncan Norville gets a starring role tonight. We seem to be getting the full tracks on these playouts at the moment, tonight the record actually finishes.

    Gary and Janice did a good job tonight.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  23. 83
    speedwell54 on 9 Nov 2017 #

    08/11/1984 TOTP. Watched this one right through the other day and Bates was unbelievably annoying. Anyway here goes. We’ve missed two episodes DLT and Smitty the culprits. Heaven 17 is one we will never get to see but not missed too much. Skinner is the unlucky co host this week.

    Bates interrupts Skinner mid sentence on the very first link. Bates, and I quote “….Mandy, and she’s a Spurs supporter. She sings quite well, though. What are you talking about? He refers to Limahl’s sidekick on Never Ending Story. Bates also calls it Never Ending Song. Wiki informs me it’s not her singing anyway; just miming to the vocals of someone called Beth. They have a bit of a clutch during the instrumental bit. Limahl’s wearing a poppy. I think’s he’s the only one tonight; how times have changed.

    Next link from Bates introducing a video from Status Quo with the Wanderer. On the link he has a girl on each shoulder. The one with blue hair stares directly into camera the whole time. The other one is something very special. She is doing an audition to camera. Brilliant. Quo video is them on the back of a truck driving round London. Not totally unlike Howard Jones from just a few weeks ago. nmcot.

    Back to Skinner on his own and Depeche Mode with Blasphemous Rumours. I normally go into fashion police ‘mode’ with this lot. How out of step will Martin be is a common theme. He doesn’t seem too bad this time as they all seem to have some black leather element to their respective outfits. Hard to be definite but I think Martin’s leather has been fashioned into a skirt. Good track.

    Bates with some inane facts. And this is before google! Alf on video All Cried Out. Skinner introduces Billy Ocean with Caribbean Queen. He looks dapper in his suit and tie and throws a few shapes. Not a lot wrong with this. Seem to remember this coming out with different versions, African Queen, European Queen etc though never heard anything but this.

    Hard Habit to Break – Chicago. Never noticed till now that vocally it doesn’t sound that different to the Bee Gees. Cetera sings quite high. The video features women smoking e.g. a hard habit to break I think. Not subtle. They should have continued with the Hard prefix.

    Gary Numan- I think you have to listen to most of his stuff far longer than you want to, before you can like them. The seven strong band are all in white.

    Countdown to 11, but back the Eugene Wilde at No22. He’s been listening to Human Nature a little bit too much. Nice enough. Countdown to One. Bates talks out the time and Skinner doesn’t get a chance to say his piece. Chaka Khan with the same video from a few weeks ago.

    Out to ZZ Top with Gimme All Your Lovin’ – not heard this for a while. We get to see the girl with the blue hair again as the camera lingers for ages, but can’t see her mate.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  24. 84
    Mark G on 10 Nov 2017 #

    If music be the food of love, play on. If not, let’s have some Top of the Pops instead!

    And its our John Peel, looking for a proper oppo, but its Tommy Vance this time. Never mind, let’s have some Nick Heyward, and hey this one seems to have some actual life after the last few ‘This’ll do’ type singles. Laugh? I actually bought one! Well, the ‘Bullet in the head’ 12″ remix version. More of this sort of thing, and I’d have bought the album, but this was pretty much it for Nick. Moral of the story is : Make good singles all of the time.

    Chicago. Too boring to comment.

    The Kane Gang do a serviceable cover of “Respect Yourself” and there’s a bit of life in the place.

    Anyway, its the Human League up next, video for “Louise” looks like the river tour task off The Apprentice. I don’t recall the vid but I do recall the book-barge, was it in Camden? Oh, and there’s a bath I remember being in our hotel room in Edinburgh some years ago (but not this far back). Phil Oakley has normal hair! He bald now..

    Billy Ocean sings Carribean Queen. I believe “European Queen” was the b-side but I’ve never seen the version that supposedly came out first time that flopped until they changed the designation. Hmmmm.

    Murray Head. Gets onto the pops after donkeys years, and looks like he didn’t make the rehearsal. Runs out of lines, has to wait for choruses and stuff, doesn’t seem too bothered about it. Quite a lot between despair and ecstacy..

    John Peel could definitely do “I just called to say I luv yer”

    Shaking Stevens racking up the appearances – didn’t he get the all time top total? This sounds like an all time miss, but it actually made top five so hey. Bits of it seem very familiar without actually being the oldie, so they get to keep the money. Unless the writers of “Ivy will cling” by Arnold Stang get round to suing..

    Ok, a decent number one which still sounds great, but hey its got more ingredients than is good for it but it all works! A Prince song, a Stevie harmonica, a Melle Mel rap, a Wombat bass, keep going its good enough!

    And so the show ends, John introduces Limahl but its not him (or her) its two other people instead. And the lad dancer has just fallen off the podium.

    So, this is nineteen eighty four. When does it get interesting again?

  25. 85
    speedwell54 on 10 Nov 2017 #

    15/11/1984 TOTP – Mike Read and Bruno Brookes. The later came on as a sub a few weeks a go but he made his first full team debut tonight. Mike Read has gone from ‘my eyes are so good I need sunglasses inside’, to ‘I need glasses’. Both in dinner jackets. Read towers over Bruno as he does his Kid Jensen impression. They start an episode long exchange about going out after the show.

    Half a Minute -Matt Bianco in the studio and Basia plays up front on lead vocal for a change and Mark back in nets. Bruno says it’s cocktail bar music. Sounds like a Bossa nova, very pleasant without setting anything on fire. Their bid for a second top 40 hit and to pave the wave for a future solo career for Basia. Success, tick.

    Duran Duran – Wild Boys on video. Their bid for back to back No1 singles. No parent album out just yet, and following on from their last No1- The Reflex they must have had fingers crossed. Fail. Stalled at no2.Video won a Brit Award.

    Slade – All Join Hands- In their bid to a have another Christmas smash, this followed on from My Oh My the year before. Fail. Stalled at No15. Anthem writing again from Holder, real sing-a-long stuff. Came out two or three weeks too early possibly?

    Eurythmics- Sexcrime (1984) In a bid to make all things 4. Out in 1984, peaked at No4, second single from the album peaked at 44. It’s what Dave shouts when he make a poor shot in golf. Success.Tick

    I Should Have Known Better – Jim Diamond. In a bid not to be a one hit wonder via Phd. Success. Tick. Bit of a stutter though, I,I,I,I,I,I,I should have known …..

    Alvin Stardust- I Won’t Run Away. nmcot

    Nik Kershaw- The Riddle- In a bid to get people talking about a rather average single, the meaning of this song was much discussed. Success. Tick. Not by me I hasten to add. This would have been all over social media if it had existed.

    Chaka Khan. Video again, even though she’s right there, in the studio.

    I’m So Excited – The Pointer Sisters – Their bid to be perennial play out artists on Totp and to give this record a very long life. Success. Soundtracks, tv commercials and covers still continue.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  26. 86
    Martin F. on 16 Nov 2017 #

    We’ve now reached the point where I started watching TOTP as a just-turning-6-year-old, so it’s been great revisiting these episodes on the Beeb accompanied by the comments here.

    From the time, I remember thinking that “Louise” seemed like a terribly mysterious and grown-up tale. “The Riddle”, not so much. (Did like the melodee though – still do.) We’re still about 18 months from my first 7″ purchase, but by the end of ’84 I’ll have
    taken possession of my dad’s radio cassette recorder and will be killing music with my home taping exploits. Mostly from the Network Chart Show on Metro Radio, but the official chart of the year will also end up on a C-120 that somehow survives endless plays on car journeys in the years ahead.

    Anyway, I have nothing much more of substance to contribute right now, just wanted to show a bit of appreciation for the posts!

  27. 87
    speedwell54 on 18 Nov 2017 #

    22/11/84 TOTP Peel and Vance.

    Nick Heyward- Warning Sign. Heyward rings the changes again and this didn’t sound like him. It’s almost a duet, though uncredited, with two rapping sections on the track. Be a good snippet for bits and pieces. (the fun starts at 10 we’re live from 11) By good, I mean difficult.

    Chicago- Hard Habit to Break. -Video. These whinny guys again going on about the difficulty factor. Surprised they didn’t release “Hard, You’re the Inspiration” nmcot. It’s a duet. Peel seems a little more northern tonight.

    The Human League – Louise, introduced by Vance and he’s lost all concepts of size, “Let’s get on a ship and see Louise . -Cut to video and Oakey on a what is clearly a barge. I liked and still like this a lot. Peel gives it a thumbs up.

    Billy Ocean – Looks like a repeat from a couple of weeks ago, but it isn’t. Charts to 27 and…

    Murray Head. He’s singing live to a pretty wordy song so not that surprising it’s not perfect. Rather like House, this was bigger everywhere else, top 3 all over but not reaching the top 10 here. We miss the longer orchestral bit at the beginning and go straight to the vocal.

    Shakin Steven Teardrops – He’s in the studio in a black suit and shirt. The dry ice machine means I can’t confirm he was wearing his white trainers, sorry folks. He wrote this, but it still sounds like a cover. nmcot.

    Numer One- I Feel For You and then out to Limahl. As mentioned the featured dancer does fall arse over tit at the beginning, but then again, if you do wear a poncho.. The best bit is you can hear people laughing when he falls.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  28. 88
    speedwell54 on 24 Nov 2017 #

    29/11/1984 Long and Powell host tonight’s Feed The World t- shirt edition. The single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was recorded on the previous Sunday. Up for some free advertising, T-shirts were brought down to the studio and most of the acts present wore them. How well, we’ll see.

    The Riddle- Nik Kershaw- worn with braces (the holding up trousers ones, not the straightening teeth version) and slightly rolling up the sleeves. The rest of the band also partake.

    Eurythmics- Sexcrime(1984) on video so no t-shirts. Powell explains the t-shirt wearing and forthcoming single.

    Up next, Slade. Noddy, underneath an unbuttoned, patterned, black and white shirt, Jim with a cravat, Don au naturale. Shock horror, Dave’s not bothered to wear one. I wonder if he got any backlash. You think he would theses days, given the vocal poppy police brigade.

    Kool and the Gang – Fresh – first new track today. In the studio and all duly wear the t-shirts with their variously coloured shiny trews. We see the back print “Let them know it’s Christmas”

    Janice introduces FGTH – The Power of Love – on Video so no t-shirts. First outing on totp. This was anticipated and I think people were waiting for something a bit controversial, but it seems straight forward. I think the phrasing and orchestration work really hard at trying to make it anthemic. I think it probably ultimately failed on that score, being that it’s not churned out like One Day Like This or Let It Be at the end of a special gig. The video is the nativity story, but without the visuals I never thought the track especially religious, save the odd old testement style phrase.

    At the next link Peter is rather tactile and flirty, looks like maybe more than friends with Janice, but no mention on Wiki. To charts to Madonna on video. She is a little bit high pitched on this, I’d forgotten she used too be squeaky. She so nearly gets decapitated as she goes under a bridge whilst dancing on a gondola, but ducks down at the last second. Countdown to 11 and Alvin.

    In the studio and for some reason, he has decided to wear his t-shirt over the top of a pale blue denim shirt. He’s also tied a knot at the side which doesn’t do him any favours, but probably better than tucking it in his trousers. Top 10

    Jim Diamond at No1 and he’s rolled up the shorts sleeves on his Feed The World top, he seems rather happy to be No1 and not playing cool at all.

    Out to Black Lace and “Do The Conga” rather unusually they are there and other than the credits rolling it’s a normal performance, but after the No1.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse

  29. 89
    Mark M on 25 Nov 2017 #

    Re88: Long and Powell very much were an item at that point, which I remember finding slightly puzzling back in the day, what with him being so aggressively bland.

  30. 90
    speedwell54 on 3 Dec 2017 #

    20/12/1984 Totp Bates and Long.

    Well we’ve missed three episodes with Smitty, the Yewtree Crew and Gary Glitter, the guilty parties. It may only be a few episodes to you, but it nearly a careerful for some poor xfactor winner. Bates is keen to inform us this is not a Christmas programme; as he stands in front of a 20ft Christmas tree and introduces this…

    Roy Wood – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. Notably not Wizzard. Not sure if I buy into the ‘we lost the original Wizzard version of this so I’ve had to re-record it’ as reported on Wiki. There must be a few people missing out on some royalties somewhere. In the download era he has hit the top 50 with this version every year since 2007. Nice Choir. Pension sorted.

    Paul McCartney & the Frog Chorus- We All Stand Together. Janice introduces this one but has forgotten what a frog says. She goes with “nibbit”? Video of course, and another choir and another song that re-entered the chart another Christmas. We get a time check from Bates. What are you doing? You’re not on the radio now!

    Bronski Beat- It Ain’t Necessarily So. Starts with a long clarinet solo, to be fair, not many of the totp audience got out their air clarinets but it’s okay. It broke their run of top 10s, more a timing issue than quality control. We have yet another choir.

    Spandau Ballet – Round and Round- 4th single off the album and helped Parade climb back up the Christmas album Chart. Black and white video in a school. Plenty of children on show, but none of them singing. Have they not had the memo; choirless chumps!

    The Council Collective – Soul Deep – Surprisingly not banned, this political charity single features Jimmy Ruffin and Junior Giscombe . (it’s almost Band Aid!) Paul Weller raps on this track, which just, is a thing that should not happen.

    Charts to video of Foreigner “I Want To Know What Love Is” Bates predicts it’s a future number 1 and he was right for once. Janice informs us that Tom Bailey is playing on this. Also she renames it “I Want YOU To Know What Love Is” which totally reverses his position but hey, what gives? They have a choir!

    The Thompson Twins – Lay Your Hands. This track got a bit lost over Christmas and they weren’t quite as big as they thought. Like Bronski Beat they probably could have held off until after Christmas for another top 10 single. I think I hear a choir!

    Band Aid -DTKIC twktc. That’s definitely a choir though. And they came back next Christmas.

    Out to Ghostbusters, going back up the charts with the release of the film in December. Like the Thompson Twins, on both Hits 1 and Now 4.

    With Last Christmas at No2, George Michael was on the top 2 in the singles chart and the top 3 Albums (Make It Big, Hits 1 and Now 4) for 4 consecutive weeks. Now 4 uniquely the only one in the series not to make No1 to date.

    Thanks Mark M for the Powell/Long relationship info. More than just flirting then.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  31. 91
    Mark M on 3 Dec 2017 #

    Yeah, I was a bit stunned by just how explicit the politics on that Council Collective single is and the fact it made it on to TOTP – those lefties at the BBC, eh? I guess they could claim that if someone had put out a single called ‘Ian MacGregor’s Got The Economic Facts On His Side And Those Whining Malcontents At Orgreave Were Asking For A Beating’ and it had mysteriously got into the charts, they would have had that on the Pops, too. (In a similar way to Free Nelson Mandela, which, after all was in praise of a man considered a terrorist by the Thatcher government).

    Weller rapping is as wrong as it gets.

  32. 92
    Mark G on 4 Dec 2017 #

    Hi, I looked up the Roy Wood/Wizzard single – The sleeve has it “Roy Wood/Wizzard” but the record has it as Wizzard on both sides; this time it’s “See my baby jive” (p) Roy Wood, as opposed to “Rob Roy’s Nightmare” by Mike Burnley on the original issue.

    It looked a lot like Roy would give a band member the credit on each b-side that Wizzard did issue, from “Ball Park Incident” onwards, but I don’t know how if that was purely largesse and Roy did all the songwriting work, or that some members did actually do the majority of the work on it. But to be fair, whoever wrote the b-side to “This is the story of my love” lost out to the writer of this one’s original b-side who probably retired on the proceeds. Until Christmas 1984 anyway…

  33. 93
    heather on 7 Dec 2017 #

    That was an interesting early variant of the Band Aid backstage video with more smoking and drinking then the classic one.

  34. 94
    Steve Mannion on 2 Apr 2020 #

    A few mentions of Cristina (Monet-Palaci), in the comments above – awful news about her passing away.

    I can’t think of another artist more ‘deserving’ of UK chart presence that had none…that is to say, by the end of 1984, she ought to have been more commercially popular than Kid Creole with the hits to prove it.

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