Sep 09

Popular ’84

FT + Popular/93 comments • 6,030 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?

View Results

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.


  1. 1
    TomLane on 6 Sep 2009 #

    It’s not a bad list of #1’s. The only ones I didn’t vote for are Stevie, McCartney and Jim Diamond and “Power of Love”.

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 6 Sep 2009 #

    Seven for me – although one or two only just made the cut. This was Frankie’s year for me. I’ll dig out my old copy of The Face later to see what they rated.

    BTW – could there be a permanent link to all the year end polls in the ‘Links for popular’ section to the right?
    I don’t know when they started but I’d like to go back through previous years’ polls at some time – and I imagine other late comers may wish to do the same.

  3. 3
    Billy Smart on 6 Sep 2009 #

    Ten for me, though perhaps missing out ‘Hello’ is a little mean of me. I don’t think that its just because I was 12 at the time, but this does strike me as being one of the most memorable year’s songs. Only Pipes Of Peace and I Should Have Known better seem to have faded into relative obscurity.

  4. 4
    Billy Smart on 6 Sep 2009 #

    The NME critics list for 1984 doesn’t include all that many bona fide chart hits;

    1. Love Wars – Womack & Womack
    2. I Wanna Be Loved – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
    3. Free Nelson Mandela – The Special AKA
    4. Don’t Look Any Further – Dennis Edwards
    5. Slippery People – The Staple Singers
    6. Yah Mo Be There – James Ingram
    7. What Difference Does It Make? – The Smiths
    8. Dancing In The Dark – Bruce Springsteen
    9. When Doves Cry – Prince
    10. Jump – Van Halen
    11. I Feel For You – Chaka Khan
    12. No Sell Out/Malcolm X – Malcolm X
    13. Hey DJ – World’s Famous Supreme Team
    14. War Is In The Dance – Frankie Paul
    15. And I Don’t Love You – Smoky Robinson
    16. Love Has Finally Come At Last – Bobby Womack & Patti Labelle
    17. Bachelor Kisses – The Go Betweens
    18. Keep On Keeping On – The Redskins
    19. Somebody Else’s Guy – Jocelyn Brown
    20. We Need Money – Chuck Brown
    21. You’re The Best Thing – The Style Council
    22. Venceremos (We Will Win) – Working Week
    23. Taxi – J Blackfoot
    24. Madam Butterfly – Malcolm Mclaren
    25. Track Three – Scott Walker
    26. What Presence? – Orange Juice
    27. Tinsel Town In The Rain – The Blue Nile
    28. Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
    29. Calamity Crush – Foetus Art Terrorism
    30. Small Town Boy – Bronski Beat
    31. What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend – The Special AKA
    32. In The Ghetto – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
    33. Dark Streets Of London – The Pogues
    34. Sensoria – Cabaret Voltaire
    35. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
    36. Don’t Go Lose It Baby – Hugh Masekela
    37. Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    38. Peace In Our Time – The Imposter
    39. It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World – The Residents
    40. Pride (In The Name Of Love) – U2
    41. Ain’t Nobody – Rufus & Chuka Khan
    42. I Bloodbrother Be – Shock Headed Peters
    43. Do The Square Thing – The Three Johns
    44. The Big Music – The Waterboys
    45. The Killing Moon – Echo & The Bunnymen
    46. Michael Caine – Madness
    47. Abele Dance – Manu Dibango
    48. Honey At The Core – Friends Again
    49. Each & Every One – Everything But The Girl
    50. Out Of The Flesh – Chakk

  5. 5
    Billy Smart on 6 Sep 2009 #

    The Melody Maker critics list is perhaps a bit more in tune with what general pop consumers of 1984 were actually listening to;

    1. Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Two Tribes
    2. Womack & Womack: Love Wars
    3. Echo & The Bunnymen: The Killing Moon
    4. U2: Pride (In The Name Of Love)
    5 The Special AKA: Nelson Mandela
    6. ZZ Top: Gimme All Your Loving
    7. Orange Juice: What Presence ?!
    8. Bronski Beat: Smalltown Boy
    9. The SOS Band: Just Be Good To Me
    10. The Human League: The Lebanon

  6. 6
    Rory on 6 Sep 2009 #

    Seven of this year’s UK number ones went on to reach the top in Australia (counting Nena’s “99 Red Balloons/Luftballons” as the same song), which was only the second time that that had happened. (The other was 1967. I’ve made a spreadsheet. Sad, eh.) Australia only saw five of them in 1984 itself, so some of the impact was felt the following year for us, but whichever way you slice it, the international chart impact of the UK at this moment was huge. From 1981 through 1984, 70-80% of UK number ones each year were by UK acts, and most of them went on to chart success elsewhere, reaching if not number one then close to it in Australia, New Zealand, and often the U.S. and Canada as well. It was a second British Invasion, with Band Aid its crowning moment; and, in hindsight, its endpoint. UK chart dominance diminishes noticeably from here on, and although there will be other years when the Australian and UK charts have as many number ones in common, they won’t often be British exports.

    This also marks a reasonable endpoint for my own obsession with the charts, and its softening to mere interest. Throughout 1984 I had been exposed to many other musical influences than Countdown and AM radio, and late in the year a friend gave me a C90 that took me off in a whole new direction: one labelled “White Album”. I still watched Countdown, though, and followed the charts for several years yet, so our relationship wasn’t over. We were just seeing other people…

  7. 7
    Tom on 6 Sep 2009 #

    11/14 – one of my favourite years, though of course that’s partly my age. But I’m a sucker for Event Pop and there was plenty of that.

    No FGTH in the NME list! Was this a fear of nepotism, or a “fuck you” to Morley? :) (or of course maybe they just didn’t like the records…)

  8. 8
    Jonathan Bogart (but as they say logged out innit) on 7 Sep 2009 #

    Point of reference: would “Dancing In The Dark,” “When Doves Cry,” “Jump,” and Cyndi Lauper not count as bona fide chart hits in Britain? Because they’re the definition of the thing in US84.

    A relatively low-scoring year for me, even though I voted for all but two of the songs I’ve heard; this may be the most unfamiliar year of the 80s yet for the average American listener.

  9. 9
    taDOW on 7 Sep 2009 #

    usa #1’s 1984

    paul mccartney & michael jackson – say say say (2 weeks)
    yes – owner of a lonely heart (2 weeks)
    culture club – karma chameleon (3 weeks)
    van halen – jump (5 weeks)
    kenny loggins – footloose (3 weeks)
    phil collins – against all odds (take a look at me now) (3 weeks)
    lionel richie – hello (2 weeks)
    deniece williams – let’s hear it for the boy (2 weeks)
    cyndi lauper – time after time (2 weeks)
    duran duran – the reflex (2 weeks)
    prince & the revolution – when doves cry (5 weeks)
    ray parker jr – ghostbusters (3 weeks)
    tina turner – what’s love got to do with it (3 weeks)
    john waite – missing you (1 week)
    prince & the revolution – let’s go crazy (2 weeks)
    stevie wonder – i just called to say i love you (3 weeks)
    billy ocean – caribbean queen (no more love on the run) (2 weeks)
    wham! – wake me up before you go-go (3 weeks)
    hall & oates – out of touch (3 weeks)
    madonna – like a virgin (2 weeks)

    except for wham! and stevie i’d go 6 or higher for all of them, 8 or higher for 7 of them (voted 6 for 6 or higher on uk list, would go 8 or higher for 3 – nena, chaka, frankie says relax).

  10. 10
    taDOW on 7 Sep 2009 #

    that phil-lionel stretch is right in the heart of prom season btw

  11. 11
    Tom on 7 Sep 2009 #

    #8 yup, they were all smashes here too, top 5 except for Van Halen, which was top 10.

    #7 and of course there is Frankie in that list. I assume both Billy and I could look no further than Foetus Art Terrorism.

    Why did the NME so wildly rate “I Wanna Be Loved”?

  12. 12
    Billy Smart on 7 Sep 2009 #

    Was Mark voting by this stage? He should be able to tell us.

    Personally, I reckon that the NME’s love for ‘I Wanna Be Loved’ is a combination of several factors; the excellence of the song and the interpretation, the scarcity value of Costello singing something so emotionally direct and unembellished with puns and trickery (especially in the context of the album ‘Goodbye Cruel World’, where you rather suspect that even Costello didn’t understand what he was singing about anymore), but also because it fits in with a critical agenda, an authentic rock/soul fusion.

    I think that its a wonderful single. I rather fear that “A foolish man, for a lot of my life” would be my ideal epitaph.

    I’ve never heard the original, though. Is it as good?

  13. 13
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 7 Sep 2009 #

    My first music-related feature wasn’t till 86: I’m sure I didn’t get a vote before then. I don’t know the answer to the Frankie question: my guess is conflict of interest — certainly there were pro-Frankie writers, the LP got a good-ish write-up (as event-pop) from R.D.Cook.

  14. 14
    Erithian on 7 Sep 2009 #

    The Radio 1 top thirty best-sellers of the year:

    1 Do They Know It’s Christmas?
    2 I Just Called To Say I Love You
    3 Relax
    4 Two Tribes
    5 Careless Whisper
    6 Hello
    7 Agadoo – Black Lace (2)
    8 Freedom
    9 Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr (2)
    10 Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
    11 Last Christmas / Everything She Wants – Wham! (2)
    12 I Feel For You
    13 White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It) – Grandmaster & Melle Mel (7)
    14 99 Red Balloons
    15 The Reflex
    16 Take A Look At Me Now (Against All Odds) – Phil Collins (2)
    17 What’s Love Got To Do With It? – Tina Turner (3)
    18 I Want To Break Free – Queen (3)
    19 Hole In My Shoe – neil (2)
    20 No More Lonely Nights – Paul McCartney (2)
    21 The Power of Love
    22 I Should Have Known Better
    23 Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper (3)
    24 Radio Ga Ga – Queen (2)
    25 Together in Electric Dreams – Giorgio Moroder & Phil Oakey (3)
    26 When Doves Cry – Prince (4)
    27 Doctor! Doctor! – Thompson Twins (3)
    28 Self Control – Laura Branagan (5)
    29 Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (2)
    30 The War Song – Culture Club (2)

    Again, the cut-off point before Christmas means that a Christmas hit isn’t properly ranked in the list, although this time it affects the number 2 hit. “Last Christmas/Everything She Wants” is the 26th best-selling single in the UK in the period from 1952-2002, and the biggest selling number 2 hit ever. Note that George Michael sings on five of the top 11 singles of the year.

    1984 is one of only two years (the other being 1997) to have seven entries in that all-time top 100: “Ghostbusters” (92), “Careless Whisper” (34), “Last Christmas” (26), “Two Tribes” (22), “I Just Called To Say I Love You” (13), “Relax” (7) and of course “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (2).

  15. 15
    lonepilgrim on 7 Sep 2009 #

    The Face’s Top 60 singles for 1984:
    01. Free Nelson Mandela – The Special AKA
    02. When Doves Cry – Prince
    03. I feel for you – Chaka Khan
    04. No sell out – Malcolm X
    05. Cockney Translation – Smiley Culture
    06. Ain’t nobody – Chaka Khan
    07. Venceremos – Working Week
    08. Breakin’ Down – Sugar Samba
    09. Wood beez – Scritti Politti
    10. What difference would it make – The Smiths
    11. Somebody else’s guy – Jocelyn Brown
    12. Small town boy – Bronski Beat
    13. Don’t look any further – Dennis Edwards
    14. Two Tribes – FGTH
    =15. Dr Mabuse – Propaganda
    =15. Automatic – Pointer Sisters
    =15. What Presence – Orange Juice
    18. We need money – Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers
    =19. I wanna be loved – Elvis Costello
    =19. Caught you in a lie – Louisa Marks
    21. Change of Heart – Change
    =22. You’re the best thing that ever happened – Style Council
    =22. The Glamorous Life – Sheila E
    24. Stay with me tonight – Jeffery Osbourne
    =25. Renegades of Funk – Afrika Bambaataa
    =25. Todos Menina Bahiana – Gilberto Gil
    27. Love Resurrection – Alison Moyet
    28. Love Wars – Womack and Womack
    29. Rockbox – Run DMC
    30. The Medicine Song – Stephanie Mills
    31. Don’t go loose it baby – Hugh Masekela
    32. The Girl from Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto
    =33. Why? – Bronski Beat
    =33. Small Town Creed -Kane Gang
    =33. Ave Maria – The West India Company
    36. Room 123 (She’s so strange) – Cameo
    =37. Long enough – The Last Poets
    =37. It’s raining men – The Weather Girls
    39. Lip Service – Beatmaster
    40. (Return to the valley of) Out come the Freaks – Was not was
    =41. Hello – Lionel Richie
    =41. Diorella de Fontaine – Lightnin’ Rod
    =41. Re-Ron – Gil Scott-Heron
    44. Give me tonight – Shannon
    45. You think you’re a man – Divine
    46. Hand in Glove – The Smiths
    47. Let’s stay together – Tina Turner
    48. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now – The Smiths
    49. Perfect Skin – LLoyd Cole & the Commotions
    50. Let it Blow – The Dazz Band
    51. Smooth Operator – Sade
    52. Your love is King – Sade
    53. Menergy – Sylvester
    54. The Reflex – Duran Duran
    55. Master and servant – Depeche Mode
    56. The Day before you came – Blancmange
    57. Me God, Me King – Papa Levi
    58. Slippery People – The Staple Singers
    59. Strike – The Enemy Within
    60. Praxis – Bill Laswell

    It’s an interesting list with a strong soul/dance emphasis. Looking at how many of these records in this list (and the NME one too) I either owned or at least had a strong opinion on makes me realise how significant the year was to me musically and the extent to which The Face shaped my tastes.
    It’s good to remember some forgotten (by me) gems like ‘The medicine song’ which is part of a long line of innuendo laden R&B/Soul/Dance hits.

  16. 16
    Billy Smart on 7 Sep 2009 #

    Aha! Further researches reveal that the original ‘I Wanna Be Loved’ was written by Farnell Jenkins and performed by Teacher’s Edition, and released on Hi in 1973; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u9KRErL-BA

  17. 17
    LondonLee on 8 Sep 2009 #

    The video of ‘I Wanna Be Loved” helped it connect with me, wasn’t too keen on it at first but that pushed its emotional directness (still preferred the b-side ‘Turning The Town Red’ though)

    Nice to see ‘What Presence?’ on so many of those lists, that might be my favourite OJ single.

  18. 18
    punctum on 8 Sep 2009 #

    #13 – it’s possible that music writers in general might have felt a bit Frankied-out by the end of ’84; also I recall at the time of the readers’ poll in early ’85 Danny Kelly saying shamefacedly that Pleasuredome would probably have topped the NME album poll (it came joint top with Born In The USA with the readers) if it hadn’t gone to press before the thing came out (see also Zen Arcade and the first Run-DMC album). Then he started slagging off the readers for not voting in sufficient numbers in the Best Soul Act and Best Reggae Act categories, which wasn’t really a wise thing to do.

  19. 19
    LondonLee on 8 Sep 2009 #

    I do remember being surprised at the NME making ‘Love Wars’ single of the year (didn’t the album top that chart too?) I mean, it’s a terrific record and all but not sure if it was the best of the year, especially the album. Have the writers of a pop paper ever been further away from the tastes of their readers?

  20. 20
    punctum on 8 Sep 2009 #

    Close – NME’s album of the year was Poet II by Bobby Womack, the first three tracks of which redefined deep soul for the eighties, while the remainder is very fine but scarcely album of the year material. Then again, my own choice would have been Treasure by the Cocteau Twins so what do I know?

  21. 21
    mike on 8 Sep 2009 #

    The Face’s end of year list is well-nigh immaculate, and (any number of belting Hi-NRG floor fillers excepted) bang in line with my own listening pleasures of 1984.

    This was my own Top 20 at the time:

    1. relax – frankie goes to hollywood
    2. rocket to your heart – lisa
    3. two tribes – frankie goes to hollywood
    4. why? – bronski beat
    5. strike – the enemy within
    6. beat box / diversions 1-4 / moments in love – art of noise
    7. i feel for you – chaka khan
    8. rock box – run dmc
    9. lost in music (1984 remix) – sister sledge
    10. holiday – madonna
    11. let the music play – shannon
    12. william, it was really nothing / how soon is now? – the smiths
    13. somebody else’s guy – jocelyn brown
    14. song to the siren – this mortal coil
    15. unity – afrika bambaataa & james brown
    16. slippery people – the staple singers
    17. hip hop bommi bop – the incredible t.h. scratchers starring freddie love
    18. give me tonight – shannon
    19. you think you’re a man – divine
    20. cockney translation – smiley culture

  22. 22
    punctum on 9 Sep 2009 #

    “Hip Hop Bommi Bop”! “Dumbkopfs. DUMB-kopfs! You guys must be from Dusseldorf!” Somebody reissue that on CD please.

  23. 23
    punctum on 9 Sep 2009 #

    Oh, and a word for the elephant in the 1984 singles living room: “Upside Down” by the Jesus and Mary Chain.

  24. 24
    DV on 17 Sep 2009 #

    There are some good songs here, but a lot of duffers. Looking back, this may have been the year I started thinking that there had to be more to life than chart music.

  25. 25
    Billy Smart on 24 Sep 2009 #

    NME Readers’ Poll 1984. Best single;

    1. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax
    2. The Special AKA – Nelson Mandela
    3. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes
    4. U2 – Pride
    5. Cocteau Twins – Pearly Dewdrop Drops
    6. The Redskins – Keep On Keepin’ On
    7. Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
    8. The Smiths – What Difference Does It Make?
    9. Echo & The Bunnymen – The Killing Moon
    10. The Style Council – You’re The Best Thing
    11. New Order – Thieves Like Us
    12. The Smiths – Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now
    13. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – I Wanna Be Loved
    14. The Men They Couldn’t Hang – The Green Fields Of France
    15. Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark
    16. Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
    17. The Smiths – William It was really Nothing
    18. Loyd Cole & The Commotions – Forset Fire
    19. Wah! – Come Back
    20. This Mortal Coil – Song To The Siren

  26. 26
    punctum on 30 Mar 2014 #

    TPL opens its 1984 account, but don’t tell anybody: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/eurythmics-touch.html

  27. 27
    punctum on 13 Apr 2014 #

    TPL update: the Big Music, the North’s proud and defiant response, as Scotland refuses to let pop, or rock, lie down and die: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/simple-minds-sparkle-in-rain.html

  28. 28
    punctum on 14 Apr 2014 #

    Yet another TPL update: yes, I even found something of merit (and newness) here – http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-thompson-twins-into-gap.html

  29. 29
    punctum on 15 Apr 2014 #

    TPL examines a road not very well travelled: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/howard-jones-humans-lib.html

  30. 30
    punctum on 27 Apr 2014 #

    “Oh, will you quench me when I’m thirsty?”: TPL reaches Jamaica: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/bob-marley-and-wailers-legend-best-of.html

  31. 31
    punctum on 4 May 2014 #

    TPL reaches its 300th post; whoopee! But pop music is never just a matter of life and death. It’s much more important than that (where have I heard THAT before?): http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/various-artists-now-thats-what-i-call_4.html

  32. 32
    punctum on 6 May 2014 #

    The worst number one album to (1984) date? Worse than Star Sound, 101 Strings and the Minstrels? TPL uncovers an album with no redeeming features whatsoever. Who the hell bought the damn thing?

  33. 33
    punctum on 25 May 2014 #

    TPL on Big Country, Scotland and my relationship with both: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/big-country-steeltown.html

  34. 34
    iconoclast on 26 May 2014 #

    Beautifully written as ever, Marcello; as a fellow Scot I know exactly where you’re coming from.

  35. 35
    punctum on 26 May 2014 #

    Another TPL update, and yes, this might actually be a worse record than Tonight.

  36. 36
    punctum on 10 Jun 2014 #

    TPL update; end of 1984 days.

  37. 37
    Paulito on 9 Jun 2017 #

    On to TOTP ’84. 5th Jan, 20th anniversary edition with Peel and the Kid at the controls.

    And it’s off to a roaring start with Frankie and a pre-ban “Relax”, in at #35. Tremendous excitement in the audience and no wonder – nothing like this had been seen or heard before. And it still sounds incredible.

    Back down to earth with Rod Stewart’s “Surrender”. Harmless but dull.

    “Fluff” Freeman appears briefly for a segue into a selection of clips from surviving ’60s/early ’70s episodes.

    Quo – “Margarita Time”. Country-inflected MOR rock, almost Eagles-lite. Not a bad song – and a variation from their usual formula, at least – but spoilt. by nasty and tacky production values. Rick does an amusing pratfall across the drum kit, sending both he and the drummer to the floor.

    More oldie clips, 70s-early 80s.

    Charts 40-26.

    Frank Kelly (later famous as Jack on ‘Fr. Ted’) performs “Christmas Countdown”. Not bad as such things go, but a real oddity for the UK charts.

    Charts 25-11.

    Video chart:
    – Howard Jones – “What Is Love”. Still great synth pop.
    – Macca – “Pipes of Peace”. Much maligned, but I like it.
    – Thompson Twins, Kenny & Dolly, Billy Joel. Nowt wrong with any o’ them toons.
    – Quo again.
    – Culture Club – “Victims”. Decent,but a bit overwrought.
    – Paul Young – “Love of the Common People”. Probably his finest hour.

    Back to the studio and it’s Slade stuck at #2 with “My Oh My”. A singalong soft-rock ballad, badly dated by inelegant 80s-at-their-worst production “techniques”. A nostalgic early ’70s-styled approach would have suited the song far better and might even have helped it become something of a standard. Instead it’s utterly forgotten.

    Flying Pickets (on video) still at #1. Hard to begrudge them, but the novelty wears off after a couple of listens. Purportedly acapella, but there’s a fair bit of synth in the background and lots of effect-heavy overdubs (some of which almost sound autotuned). Contrast with the simplicity and purity of sound in “Caravan of Love” by the Housemartins.

    FGTH the only standout (but what a standout!) in an otherwise forgettable show.

  38. 38
    Lazarus on 15 Jun 2017 #

    Always a bit of a shame I think when an episode goes by unreported, so I’ll step in for last Friday’s (as there’s no show tonight) … originally aired on 12/1/84, it’s Read and Wright (geddit???!!!) The calypso kid is channelling Jacko with one white glove and, for some reason, dark glasses.

    Icicle Works – if memory serves (and I’m going to avoid looking loads of stuff up here) they were from Liverpool, and this was their only Top 20 hit. I bought the one that came out the previous summer, whose title escapes me – but I think it had brackets in it. Has quite a big sound, this. Bit of a Pete Wylie feel to it. Decent start.

    Howard Jones – now at #2 – his biggest hit. On VT this time. Still gets a fair few plays on the likes of Magic, Smooth and radio 2. He was featured, inevitably bracketed with Nik Kershaw, on the recent ’84 overview. Good album, as I may have said before.

    Shaky and Bonnie – a Welsh duo with ‘a song from the fifties’ that I doubt if many would have recognised at the time. Familiar territory for Shaky, but Bonnie is slightly out of her comfort zone here – this is a long way from ‘Total Eclipse.’ Harmless fun.

    Roland Rat – I thought we’d missed this. Utter vermin. Pass.

    Snowy White – I think he’d been in Thin Lizzy at one point? Pleasant power ballad. Prestatyn-bound though, natch. (if we’re still doing that)

    Mike Read invites us to vote for our favourite video of ’83. Then the chart. ‘Sweet Surrender’ by Rod Stewart, anyone? Not the Bread song, presumably.

    Lionel Richie – rocking it up a bit for his follow-up to ‘All Night Long’ – it’s not bad. But a megaroonie is just around the corner.

    Read now has a hat on. Chart 20-11.

    Joe Fagin – not the bloke who broke into the Queen’s bedroom, hur hur – but a Jeremy Beadle lookalike who sings the theme from ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet’ (getting the title into the lyric) surrounded by balloons. Again, it’s harmless, if not particularly PC.

    Top 10. And Paul McCartney, a new number one (Flying Pickets having plummeted to #10) – and as well as all the combos mentioned, he also hit #1 as part of a five-piece (the Beatles with Billy Preston!). Video already seen of course – Macca wasn’t coming into the studio by this time. Holds up well though I reckon.

    Billy Joel sees us out. And while trying to write on here I’ve been interrupted at least ten times by pop-ups which change the page – anyone else getting this? Perhaps the long-absent host could sort it out at some point.

    Laters – hopefully …

  39. 39
    speedwell54 on 22 Jun 2017 #

    19/01/1894 Top of the Pops

    Powell and Bates host and we kick off with Whitesnake who had a fair few line ups; Coverdale the only ever present member at every reunion. In my memory they always had such mundane titles, or titles that were similar to other songs. Case in point, this is called “Give Me More Time” but he actually sings “give me just a little more time” The opening guitar riff sounds a bit Brian May, but I can’t place it. The guitar solo is not delivered at breakneck speed and the chorus is pure pop.His voice is much heavier than the song. Not awful but predictable.

    Shall we get something new from Big Country? Well it’s not off The Crossing but could have been. Wonderland -On video and outside on location in – I’m guessing -Scotland. With snow underfoot Stuart braves it in a jumper, whilst the rest wimp out with thick coats.

    Fiction Factory -(Feels Like) Heaven – total classic, but take it all in guys as this was it unfortunately. “High high new entry” says Peter, not that “high high” at 28 with four higher.

    China Crisis- Would argue another classic if not a little more subtle. In 2017 appearing with Paul Young and Toyah, but not calling in at Prestatyn.
    Part of a small group of acts where their biggest hit is the one where the usual lead vocalist took a back seat.

    Charts – notable for the first appearance of Madonna at 40 with Holiday.

    Gloria Gaynor – “I Am What I Am” -from the Tony Award winning score the La Cage Aux Folles. Too much eye shadow and eyeliner on Glors but it doesn’t matter anyway. Anthem with many fans.

    Charts again. John Lennon – Nobody Told Me – on video (really) another archive clips edited production. Pipes of Peace- Paul McCartney. I know there’s not much love for this one and it has it shortcomings, but it is undoubtedly well crafted and put together. It has the alternate tune like Uncle Albert and Live and Let Die. These two back to back tonight and I don’t know if John and Paul are so far apart. John out of his mind about the future and questioning what kind of world we have to look forward to, and Paul begging for people to stick together. (pre Heather obvs)

    Out to King of Pain- No video from the Police for this one and after a 32 to 17 climb last week it took a dive to 21 and that was it. We were denied seeing Stewart drumming some furniture too.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.
    Wiki says there was a vid for King Of Pain. No memory of this. You Tube suggests it may not have been available Jan 1984. Pass.

  40. 40
    Mark G on 29 Jun 2017 #

    In the midst of life, we are in nostalgia. Or, at least, what we get confronted with along with the fast-forward button.. Its TOTP, a Peel and Jensen one..

    Musical Yout’ have a hit but not many left I’m guessing. They do the cute meet, and sing along with Jody Watley about being 16, its OK but.

    Here comes the video for Radio Gaga. I’d forgotten the montage section in the middle. So, all these years later, did radio have its finest hour after this? Has it had it yet? Or is it all YouTube Gaga now? Ummmmmm

    Here’s a 1983 video montage. Best Video? Madness, Bowie, Eurythmics, Police, AdamAnt or .. Rod Stewart? Really? That’s the best? Pffff. I vote Madness but yes woah.

    Fiction Factory do that modern pop with deep vocals and a falsetto bit. Brrrrmb. Umumumum….. Next.

    And now maybe the best bid of 1984! Hyperactive. Dolby. Sort of cheaper than ‘Sledge Hammer’ but that’s OK too. Oh, and the girl singer is not who you think it is..

    Thompson Twins Doctor x2. Also burning up.

    Charts, then an edit into more charts, then a Duran vid for New Moon on Monday. Is that Prague? Thought I recognised it..

    Top ten, then no number one because banned! Ironic, now its just TOTP presenters that are banned. Oh, and two pop stars too.

    So, in closing, I shall say; Nothing.

  41. 41
    speedwell54 on 1 Jul 2017 #

    2/2/84 – John and the Kid host. We’ve skipped a week due to Smitty so missed the Smiths and Joe Fagin; that’s a dictionary definition of swings and roundabouts.

    Kid introduces Musical Youth with”Sixteen” as a toe tapper- move over Grandad. The song’s not awful, but the instruments sound terrible. Plinky plunk.

    Queen Radio Ga Ga- on video. I first heard this down the phone, on a Sunday in a phone box on Wakefield Road. Waiting for a lift to some freezing cross country run. I don’t know if this was a thing for a while and don’t remember where I got the number from, but I was quite excited. My other memory of this was Gary Davies comparing the cost of this video to that of the Weather Girls “Its Raining Men” and basically bashing Queen a bit. Anyway we all enjoyed the Weather Girls at Live Aid so all’s well.

    Matthew Wilder -short career, big hit, twktc. – John Deacon and Matthew Wilder same haircut. A plug for the British Rock and Pop Awards with Kid hosting.

    Fiction Factory (Feels Like) Heaven -back again. The Manics covered this quite recently.

    Thomas Dolby on video. Entertaining video and no doubt a bit of main stream leap back then. Thompson Twins – Doctor Doctor- nmcot.

    Duran Duran- first viewing on video. I like this song but the chorus lets it down a little. Video not their finest, luckily we don’t get to see them dancing at the end.

    No FGTH obvs. Both John and Kid were playing them well before Relax came out.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse

  42. 42
    speedwell54 on 2 Jul 2017 #

    16/02/1984 -Simon Bates and DJ Powell tonight.

    Slade- Run Runaway, taking a leaf from Big Country, and they sound like they’re from over the border with the guitar bagpipe sound. Second hit from a second mini revival. With the last days of disco behind them, they had a brief return with We’ll Bring the House Down a few years earlier and this followed on quickly from My Oh My.
    This was their biggest and only top 30 hit in America.

    Thompson Twins – and their record- “Doctor Doctor” on video still nmcot.

    The Style Council- My Ever Changing Moods – I first heard this when I was 17, and I was 27 when I first listened to the album version -which is just piano and vocals. I was rather stunned by it, less is more for me in this instance, a really impressive song. Found it a bit weird I knew nothing about it as well. I wonder how this version would have charted? 72 singles into his career and twenty five year later in 2009, Paul missed the top 100 for the first time.
    This was their biggest and only top 30 hit in America.

    Charts then Matt Bianco- Get Out Your Lazy Bed- this is a record I’ve got. Your musical taste can often be questioned and they weren’t cool to like. I was quiet keen on Basia too, who had a couple of decent singles. Charts.

    Nena – 99 Red Balloons- Captain Kirk gets his first name check on a number single. We have back to back artists tonight who name makes you think it’s the lead singer rather than the band name. Where’s Toyah when you need her for a hat trick. Nena and Toyah both being both at times. And guess what; this was their biggest and only top 30 hit in America. Pretty predictable I know.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  43. 43
    speedwell54 on 10 Jul 2017 #

    23/02/1984 Janice and Michael introduce the action tonight on TOTP.
    Hot Chocolate – I Gave You My Heart (Didn’t I) – Mike informs us that it’s their thirtieth hit. So they’re no amateurs, but with that jinx from Read they had no more new hits after this.

    Rockwell – on video – he references the shower scene from Psycho. Michael Jackson gets credited (on the album at least) for vocals on this track. I don’t know how much that got pushed at the time.

    Back in the studio for Marilyn- Cry and Be Free- was surprised when I found out he wrote this, was convinced it was a cover. I don’t know if it is that good but if you’re soft like me, to summarise it sounds like his version of “I’m just a girl standing in front…”

    Joanna – Kool and the Gang- his new thing in the video is a leather shirt -which can’t be comfortable. Nmcot but made No2 here, and the States.

    Nik Kershaw- in the studio and cut with the video for the pretty long instrumental bit. Sporting a matching lime green snood.

    Charts and then Carmel- More More More – the more you know, the more you know you don’t know. Carmel the name of a lead singer and the band – didn’t know that last week – or I would have mentioned it.

    Howard Jones – Hide and Seek- rather a strange choice for a single; much slower than previous hits. Did ok mind.

    Charts top ten run down and uneven length clips- we get almost a minute of the Style Council and Thompson Twins. Janice mentions Jacko’s input on “Somebody’s Watching Me” so scrub that bit earlier. Nena at No2 and a week in the language lab and 99 Luftballoons became 99 Red Balloons. No Relax and out to the Politics of Dancing- lead singer has a Pat Sharpe wig, keyboard player has a Nick Beggs wig. We’re all finished here.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  44. 44
    Lazarus on 12 Jul 2017 #

    Some observations:

    Rockwell – I think pretty much everyone knew MJ was singing on this as soon as it came out – his voice is not easily mistaken after all. Rockwell himself was the son (or at least a near relative) of Berry Gordy IIRC, so clearly no nepotism at all there. I doubt if listeners in the UK were struck dumb with terror at the mention of the IRS, mind.

    Kool and the Gang – Joanna turns out to be a comfortably built middle-aged cafeteria waitress prone to a wistful, faraway gaze – Sister Sledge with ‘Frankie’ would pretty much do this in reverse a year later.

    Howard Jones – Yewtree permitting, we should be getting a live version of this shortly. I’ve said so before I’m sure, but the album is well worth a listen. Bound to be on Youtube.

  45. 45
    speedwell54 on 23 Jul 2017 #

    1/3/84. Jensen/Peel in yellow tartan jackets and they both have a bit of a topical go at the French; football, drivers and farmers.

    Matt Bianco return- She’s still taller than him. A fair few of the crowd are wearing black trilbys; what’s to come? Sax player didn’t turn up and we get a brief clip crowbarred in at the appropriate solo.

    Van Halen- Jump. The keyboard bit of the video was such an after thought and we only get a clip for the solo despite its constant presence. The drummer’s got more drums than you can shake a stick at. I briefly shared a house with a guy who wanted to be Dave Lee Roth including trying to sound American which makes me ffwd this stuff still. You can judge a book by the cover.

    Alexei Style with “Ullo John! Gotta New Motor” The tight suited Marxist-Leninist with his biggest hit. Still performing on Radio 4 now, a little less political and a little less angry, which is a good thing.

    Soft Cell- “Down in the Subway” On video. A more soulful cover of the original by Jack Hammer who we lost last year, goodnight Jack.

    Street Dance- nmcot. And lightning stuck twice when they re recorded this but called it Break Dance Party for another top 10. Chart countdown and they sneak a couple of lines from the still banned Relax into their banter. Elbow Bones and the Racketeers fail to make it five weeks at no 33.

    Dance Hall Days- Wang Chung- the lead singer couldn’t look anymore German. The lyric sounds clumsy enough to be a translation but no, all British. It’s ok. Countdown.

    Slade at 10 on video- They make a fun video which is very un-American with Noddy gurning thoughout but it must have gone down well.

    Top 10 countdown and Billy Joel at No8 still fails to get an appearance.

    Out to Nena and 99 Red Balloons climbing to Number 1.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  46. 46
    speedwell54 on 24 Jul 2017 #

    8/3/84 Richard Skinner – dressed as a darts player, and Gary Davies all in white host tonight.

    What Do I Do? – a bit of profile creep from Phil going on here. Originally billed as “Galaxy”, then “Galaxy featuring Phil Fearon”, then “Phil Fearon and Galaxy” (which is the correct one for this track), then just “Phil Fearon”. Skinner introduces them/him as “Phil Fearon Galaxy” which has never been used, but after the performance goes for just”Galaxy”. The track didn’t quite reach the highest heights, checking out at no5. Everything flows but nmcot.

    Kool and the Gang – “direct from the USA” says Richard. With that I thought they might be in the studio but no. They’re on video again – calico coloured leather shirt and trousers! In the diner, extra cheese please.

    The Weather Girls-“It’s Raining Men” nmcot. Martha Wash went on to sing on some Black Box singles and also Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now).

    Tracey Ullman- My Guy’s Mad At Me. Good song, good version, good video, thought it should have been top ten but ended up some place else. Shame

    Sade- Your Love is King. Or Slade as they were billed on the chart countdown. In the days before autocorrect some ol’ duffer must have thought Sade was a typo. Classic track still sounds great. She has more time off than Kate Bush. Gaps between albums 1,3,4,8,10 years so 2022 for the next one?

    Bananarama- Robert De Niro’s Waiting.. Their biggest hit so far and still is although equalled. Before chart restrictions limited different versions this came out in multiple 7″ picture disc and 12″ coloured vinyl, at least 9 versions.

    Howard Jones – sings and plays live. This record didn’t climb after this performance. “Pearl in the Shell” made No7 if it had made No8 he would have had 2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16, in his first 9 hits. Ifs and buts.

    Billy Joel still at no8 and still not a sniff – no video, I wonder why? Top 10 in US too.

    Nena at No1 and we get a repeat from last week. Out to Mel Brooks and this is where U2 got the Acthung Baby title?

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  47. 47
    speedwell54 on 29 Jul 2017 #

    22/3/1984. We’ve missed a week and we’re back with Janice (big hair) and Pete (double denim) introducing tonight’s mix of winners and also rans. Pete can’t stop himself with his three word title pauses. People….Are….People..

    Depeche Mode -the original cool kids of death all dressed in black, open with People Are People. This industrial pop mix is for me, nudging perfection. They have never looked more confident on Top of the Pops, and this seems far removed from their earlier rather nervous and serious performances. They all crack a smile, knowing this is something special. Indeed their first hit in the US, and No1 in Germany where this was the start of great and prolonged success over there. Girl in the leopard print top is playing to the cameras. Gold Medal.

    The Weather Girls on video. nmcot. Fell at the first.

    Shakin Stevens – “A Love Worth Waiting….. For” I think Pete’s got a bet on with someone. Stevens wearing white shoes. Written by Slush and Leathwood. The lyric is cliche ridden nothingness. They wrote a Song for Europe entry for a group called Midnite which is even worse lyrically. If it took more than five minutes to pen I’d be surprised. Great bunch of guys though. Plucky fourth.

    Culture Club ‘It’s A Miracle” the beginning of the end for me. Compared to some of their earlier output this was so disappointing. DNF.

    Video. Bananarama on video this week. Qualified fourth, finished third.

    UB40- doing what they do. This time, a faithful cover of Eric Donaldson’s original adds little for me. It’s no longer in their hands.

    Countdown. Sade- in the studio again but not a repeat.twktc. Highly commended.

    Countdown then the new No1.
    Lionel Ritchie – Hello- we get the full video with the acting at the beginning and talking snippets throughout. The bust looked nothing like him, but then again she was blind so fair enough really. Will have to wait and see if they are one of the two fastest losers.

    Out to “Do What I Do” and unusually we get a video (rather than the crowd dancing and balloons falling) Second in the group so will face one of the tougher teams in the semi final.

    Not my favourite but their has been worse.

  48. 48
    speedwell54 on 31 Jul 2017 #

    TOTP 29/3/1984 Mike Read(sunglasses indoors) and Andy Pebbles.

    The Special AKA -open with the acapella bit, which starts before Read’s finishes his intro. Three of the four singers have different, awful coloured, matching fluorescent t-shirts and headbands with black jacket and skirt/trousers. Other one looks cool. She must be the bride. The main part of the song starts and I don’t recognise the vocalist. First political message tonight.

    Borrowed Time – John Lennon – on video(really). Various clips including the Amsterdam Hotel bed- in from Dutch TV. The TOTP graphics department give Yoko a credit but not Read. Pleasant enough.

    Captain Sensible- Glad It’s All Over -Political message song two- Falklands. Trade mark red beret. (couldn’t go for the black one -Spencer had that one sown up years ago) Had forgotten Dolly Mixture backed Captain Sensible ’til I recognised Debsy there, a vision in yellow.

    Simple Minds- They could have been OMD – I Travel etc, then they could have been more new wave but went for U2 – (simplifying a little I know). Kerr is wearing a judo outfit that’s been cut off just above the waist. He’s got two belts on as well. Mimes with the microphone for a while then is more bothered about pointing and clapping. I liked this enough to buy the 12″ mind. I think I’d been listening to Under A Blood Red Sky a bit too much.

    Third political song of the night Swimming Horses _ Siouxsie and The Banshees.
    Countdown, to Madonna. Lucky Star. Peaked at No14 and it was over a decade and 34 singles until she next missed the top 10.

    The Thompson Twins- You Take Me Up. ” I work on the frontline, I work to survive” The opening line that led to Fieldbeat’s debut single. Tonight they’re all in black leather showered in diamante. Too much. They didn’t bother the top ten after this.

    Countdown – the top 10, and all of the top 6 are at their peak positions this week, which was /is pretty rare. Lionel at number one again – Hello.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  49. 49
    hardtogethits on 31 Jul 2017 #

    Wow, Speedwell, I never realised that about “Work To Survive”! I presume you’d be able to give an authoritative view on whether it was a conscious or sub-conscious influence on Fieldbeat? Or were you just joking / pointing out a coincidence? I reckon Fieldbeat must have been playing “Work” from the outset, but AFAIK it really was 1986 before it was given its full release.

  50. 50
    speedwell54 on 1 Aug 2017 #

    re 49. Hardtogethits – The title for “Work To Survive” came from this Thompson Twins line, but I think that was the full extent of the influence. It was written in the summer of ’84 and featured in Fieldbeat’s live performances from that time, but you are right with the release date of 1986, a double pack single, and then on their debut album later the same year.

  51. 51
    speedwell54 on 6 Aug 2017 #

    19/4/1984 TOTP. A fortnight since the last show, but no episode on 5th April due to a strike(?) and there was a shortish episode last week with someone inappropriate so we missed out on The Caterpillar -Cure and Wood Beez -Scritti Politti, which is a shame.

    This week we have Powell and Davies. They introduce the Special AKA during the instrumental bit after the song’s intro. I remember this happening on the radio as well. The ladies have a more relaxed dress code this week and look all the better for it.

    Thompson Twins on video this time, and it’s not just a cheap one. Outside shots, abroad.

    Blancmange- back with Indian musicians although this sound is rather far back in the mix. It’s okay. Dances like he’s been watching Andy McCluskey.

    Queen – I Want To Break Free. Rememberable video which has two key parts, but is forever noted for the cross dressing Coronation Street tribute. Splits opinions but I think broadly if you liked them before you like them a bit more, and if you didn’t like them, you liked them a bit less. The video helped this to stick around in the charts for ages- as did the four different covers of the 7″ single.

    The Bluebells- I’m Falling. This is a great single and was unlucky not to crack the top 10. The guitar work at the end sounds very like the Alarm. The countdown with Peter.

    Nik Kershaw – Dancing Girls- He dances like he’s been watching Andy McCluskey. Countdown.

    OMD – The Locomotion – after the relative commercial failure of Dazzle Ships and the singles from it, this is much more pop. It worked. Dazzle Ships is a brilliant album which takes a tiny bit of effort to get into. Junk Culture the follow up was a bit more accessible. I like them both. The have a new album out at the beginning of September this year – The Punishment of Luxury. The tracks I’ve heard so far sound great.

    Lionel- Hello- video yet again- seems like he was too big to come over for a performance.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  52. 52
    speedwell54 on 12 Aug 2017 #

    26/04/1984 – Janice – in another off the shoulder, strapless number – and Bates, looking a lot more ‘with it’ than usual.

    Sandie Shaw and some Smiths- Shaw and Marr giving it their all, Joyce and Rourke showing less emotion. Sandie is suddenly on the floor (Vic I’ve fallen) and then she’s back on her feet, nothing broken. Hard to see but Sandie seems to be the only one wearing shoes. ~Class

    Phil Collins Against All Odds- nmcot- On the film soundtrack Big Country do a track which is pretty good called Balcony which sounds very U2 in places, don’t know who was nicking whose guitar sound at the time.

    Love Games-Belle and the Devotions – it’s quite a shang-a lang song isn’t it.

    One Love- another classic – uncharitable fact -Marley had three children to three women all born within 30 days. Macca pops up in the video, among other celebs.

    The Reflex – Duran Duran -in the studio this week. Highest new entry at No5. Third single from the album but remixed by Nile Rodgers so sounds quite different. Rogers still working with them 30 years later on Paper Gods.

    Julio Iglesias (Totp spelling his name correctly this week) and Willie Nelson – To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before. Nelson – the Lil Wayne of country; turning up on singles by other artists all over the place, excessive output, but hardly any hits over here. They make an odd couple. On the video Julio is in a tux, Nelson T-shirt and jeans. Charts.

    Echo and the Bunnymen with Silver sounding a little like the Cutter mixed with Seven Seas. Not quite as successful as the other singles around this time. Charts.

    Flying Pickets – When You’re Young nmcot
    Hello – Lionel Ritchie – last week at one and then out to a video again, this week Automatic which sounds great but looks awful, well just dated badly to be fair.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse

  53. 53
    speedwell54 on 13 Aug 2017 #

    3//5/1984 Read (again with the dark shades inside) and Wright- casual jacket.

    OMD – Locomotion. Andy is wearing a shirt almost identical to the one Simon Le Bon wore the week before. Black and white strips and blocks of red. This week he’s swapped his army trousers for jeans and he manages to get through the whole song without losing the microphone.

    Blancmange- Don’t Tell Me on video. A lot of smirking on this- abroad in the sun -staring a ladies in national costume. ok.

    New Order – Thieves Like Us. I bet it’s called ” It’s called love” on the running list stuck to the floor at gigs. They go for a live performance and it’s all gone horribly wrong, Apart from Hookie who thinks he’s in an entirely different band they’re playing statues and Gillian’s playing more statues (apart from a single arm) It’s rather amateur and there’s a lack of action -Hookie apart. Vocally it’s stretching for Bernard who’s doing it all eyes closed. If they stop and think it over, after last time, would they they want a repeat? Errors and nerves on Blue Monday previously on TOTP resulted in a poor performance. Despite all this I have mixed feelings, if you’re soft like me the fralities kind of make it endearing and it is a contrast to the smoothness and sleek production elsewhere.

    Kenny Loggins- Footloose. This joins Against All Odds on the list of films I’ve never seen. Massive stateside, less so over here. Countdown.

    Jocelyn Brown- Somebody Else’s Guy – nmcot but that is too dismissive of a proper decent track.

    The Human League- The Lebanon . In the studio. That guitar sound again and for a few seconds it’s U2 and then it clearly isn’t. This sounds great. I know they got some stick about the “shops” line but I don’t care. Surprisingly it didn’t get banned by the beeb. Countdown.

    No 1 Duran Duran The Reflex – on video, and like the video for the Lebanon it is kind of a mix of a fake live performance. Mike Read does a Kid Jensen impression (Cliff not around so much) and out to Dancing Girls- NK

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  54. 54
    Lazarus on 13 Aug 2017 #

    ‘Thieves Like Us’ presumably took its name from Robert Altman’s 1974 crime caper starring Keith Carradine and Shelley Duvall – I haven’t seen it but it doesn’t sound like a very ‘arty’ film for the Factory funsters, you’d think they’d have gone for a Fellini or Bergman number really. Like ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘Confusion’ this was only available as a 12 inch. The ‘follow-up’ if you can call it that, ‘Murder’ was with typical Factory perversity only released in Belgium, forcing diehards to fork out for import copies.

    I agree that the live rendition wasn’t very effective, Bernard singing with his eyes shut seemed to struggle with the higher notes.

    Read’s Jensen impression was not bad at all I thought, though the indoor sunglasses were becoming decidedly irritating by this point.

  55. 55
    Stuart Copeland on 14 Aug 2017 #

    I agree the New Order performance was pretty poor; many songs seemed to be playing at once. I thought in the documentary Stephen said after Blue Monday they decided to only do the vocals live.

    Having said that, the “variable” nature of their TotP (and the Roxy!) performances was part of what meant their appearances were quite an event in my household. Even towards the end of the decade, by which time they’d seemed to have tightened up, you were never which New Order would appear.

  56. 56
    speedwell54 on 14 Aug 2017 #

    10/05/1984 Jensen and Peel present. For the first time in a while I have nothing derogatory to say about either host’s appearance/dress. Both look normal!

    That’s more than I can say for Belle and the Devotions who are wearing awful clothes in awful colours. This isn’t an age thing either. They looked dire then. Song-wise I think it’s okay and in Eurovision you have got to be pretty immediate. You know everything about the song within 30 seconds. I think it did okay?

    Queen sticking at No3 get on again, and it’s the (whole) video of course.

    The Flying Pickets- When You’re Young – Sticking at no 7. I think even they would agree they are not conventionally good looking blokes. I go as far to say a little creepy. (no offence). So this week they’re all dressed in pyjamas! That hasn’t made them look more creepy or anything. Song’s not terrible just need to turn the pictures off.

    One Love – Struggled to find a complete list of “celebrities” on this video. Have read George Roper aka Brian Murphy is in the video (red gingham shirt and yellow background) but I am sure it’s not him. Any ideas? James Cossins perhaps. Countdown.

    Peel’s gone back to saying Depech-ay Mode. I do think they have a bet on around mispronouncing or going for strange emphasis; Nelson Man-day-lar.

    Terri Wells – I’ll Be Around – vaguely remember this, but not her. She has an unusual hairstyle-her suede shoes would be quite safe if it started raining.
    Countdown including Marillion with Assassing- is that a word?

    The Pointer Sisters – Automatic. Earlier I said the video was poor and the guys at the Beeb agree and think it’s too dull and we can’t manage to stomach the whole video. It needs to be broken up with some fan dancers (blokes), a guy doing robotics and Baltimora type dancer. Eventually we go back to the video. On youtube there is a video from Soul Train which is a bit more exciting. Wiki doesn’t mention the video we are watching tonight. With a half decent video this would have been no1.

    Duran Duran- The Reflex on video -No1 again. Why-y-y-y-y why why why-y-y-y-yeah? Well it stopped Collins being No1 and that’s enough.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse,

  57. 57
    speedwell 54 on 6 Sep 2017 #

    Back after my international break, and with nothing Yewtreed recently, we have the fifth TOTP in a row. Bates and Powell.
    Break Machine with Break Dance Party- which is pretty close to their last hit, including the whistles. They don’t really bother us again.

    Pete introduces the next track- He comes up with such a clumsy turn of phase that written down is a question, but he says it as a fact. “…Street Dance, and that is now a world wide hit, AND SO IS THIS GONNA BE, everyone’s tipping it for the top, it’s Deniece Williams. blah blah. Everybody’s wrong, especially Simon who alludes to this as a future number one at the top of the show. Songs ok.

    Marillion- Assassing – Video- I found a fan website that quotes Fish saying he had no idea why he put a “g” on the end. Rather serious and not my favourite by them; but not awful.

    Hazel Dean- Searchin’- before SAW got their hands on the production. Bit of a classic, but sounds less exciting now.

    Womack & Womack -Love Wars- this one the other hand, to my ears a least, sounds amazing today. In the studio and Cecil is playing a right handed guitar left handed. I can’t tell if he’s changed the strings over though.

    Ultravox – Dancing With Tears… In My Eyes, Pete and his weird inflections again. On video. Sounds upbeat but subject matter is rather more earnest as per.

    Duran Duran in the studio this week with the Reflex- still at number 1, and out to Loggins with the audience bopping away to Footloose. Camera lingers on a couple of blondes who look like they were on the books.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  58. 58
    Lazarus on 7 Sep 2017 #

    Evenin’ all. Haven’t watched one of these in ages, so live-bloggin’ (almost) tonight’s show. Steve Wright and the lesser-spotted Andy Peebles are our hosts.

    Bluebells – familiar to everyone from its 1993 ad use and re-issue. Good lively start to the show. The hits pretty much dried up after this, surprisingly.

    Human League – mid-period mediocrity. I bought this 45 at the time but frankly they were just one of my ‘pet bands’ (Orange Juice and the Associates among the others) – I would just buy everything they released. ‘Louise’ the next single is an underrated masterpiece however.

    Bob Marley/Wailers – reissue of ‘Waiting in Vain.’ I don’t recall this re-release and as Peebles says it was to promote the multi-platinum ‘Legend’ compilation. Vid filmed in Hawaii with, I presume, one of Bob’s kids. The beach ladies are lovely, for sure.

    Tina Turner – Billy Idol helps to introduce this, for some reason. Standout track (along with the title track) from Private Dancer. Very much a daytime radio favourite, I heard it on Magic just a few hours ago actually. TWKTC, or something. Charts.

    Alison Moyet – lead single from ‘Alf.’ Her chart career was disappointingly short wasn’t it, two albums basically with the prospect of endless slots on Eighties retrospectives and Sara Cox’s ‘Sounds of the Eighties’ show (on too late for me, but I have a pretty good idea of the content). This is OK if maybe a bit formulaic. Long time since I played the album if I’m honest. Charts. Gary Glitter alert!

    Scritti Politti – follow-up to the sublime ‘Wood Beez’ – that’s a mullet and a half on Mr Garside and the music follows suit. Bad miming and girl drummer. Not sure what else to say about it. I do like them/him though as a rule. Top 10.

    Number One – Frankie – not sure how long this has been up here though know it did 9 weeks in total. These days that’s a fleeting visit by Drake/Despacito standards. Maybe it has lost a bit of its power over the years, but at the time it was as much an event as a record. Much like ‘Ghost Town.’ I remember the video much better than this performance, though perhaps that was too hardcore for TOTP.

    Out to an old Michael Jackson song. Farewell my summer 2017. You were good while you lasted. OK show, though the content seems a bit bland (over-familiar, perhaps?) these days.

  59. 59
    speedwell54 on 10 Sep 2017 #

    07/06/84 Rhythm pals Kid and Peel host for the last time before Kid leaves for Capital Radio a few weeks later.

    Spandau Ballet – Only When You Leave. Nmcot really, but didn’t sound too bad. They, on the other hand, are over styled and have moved from looking confident, to looking a bit smug.

    Howard Jones – Pearl In The Shell. The title is mentioned in the song somewhere, unlike Hide and Seek and New Song, but I struggle to think which ones they are, until I hear a bar or too. I wasn’t a fan of the mime he used to have and this new one is no better.

    Evelyn Thomas – High Energy twktc, but it is great. Ian Levine produced this and later remixed stuff by the next two acts; Bananarama and Bronski Beat.

    Bananarama – despite all their hits -and even post SAW -they still had their fare share of misses. Rough Justice, no, justice.

    Bronski Beat- Smalltown Boy – Don’t think he sings the title on this stunning track. Unlucky timing, as this would have been number 1, but stumbled on FGTH and Wham who were stoppable at this time. 35-13-4 was a pretty rapid climb.
    Peel is genuine in his praise for this debut hit.

    John laughs, as he teases Snow Goose Kid, when they share the countdown to Wham. George not singing live. His t-shirt logo is covered in diamontes which weigh a tonne and make him look like he’s eaten too many pies. Not the case in ’84.

    Shame to loose Kid on TOTP; he did it well, and he has been consistent in not being annoying. Peel teams up with Janis Long in the main from now on.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  60. 60
    speedwell54 on 10 Sep 2017 #

    14/06/84 Read and Powell host. Peter casually sat on some railings.

    Susanna by The Art Company. Called VOF de Kunst in their native Holland, fair enough, change your name for the English market. Changing the title from Suzanne, hmmm? Lead singer has got ‘the boys from the black stuff’ look about him. He gets the crowd involved and it’s a good performance. Song’s hardly cool but I don’t mind it.

    Sad Songs – Elton John. On video. It’s the one when he has a brightly coloured waistcoat and a straw boater. Bit of dancing, a bit of acting, goes black and white for a bit. Wears funny glasses; you know the one. Not in the mood.

    Smiths – in the studio. It’s the one with Morrissey at the front, hearing aid, specs, half a tree hanging out the back of his trews. Marr, shades, looking cool, other two, just there,
    you know the one.

    Rod Stewart – Infactuation on video of course. It’s the one where he’s looking at a pretty lady, he’s dressed in clothes that he’s a bit old for, more ladies in bikinis, some ladies taking clothes off, you know the one.

    Scritti Politti – Absolute – In the studio. Like him and this. Saw him (Green) a few years ago supporting someone at Fibbers in York, playing stuff from the White Bread Black Beer album, which had some great tracks on it.

    Ozzy Osbourne – So Tired- good song, hammer house of horror video. A few more sweeping strings and it’s an ELO album track.

    Nick Heyward- Love All Day – “best single of the summer” says Peter and I’ve gone off him again. It really is just for the fans. I like him generally around Kite time but this is not him at his best. His miming here is poor.

    Nik Kershaw – I Wo(n’t)Let The Sun Go Down On Me- a hit second time round.

    Two Tribes- FGTH in the studio with lots of flags. This was exciting. Hype city of course and multiple 12″ mixes kept this atop the charts for longer than necessary, but still an event. It’s really the Holly and Trevor show. Having been deprived of Relax on radio and tv for so long there was a real eagerness for this.

    Out to an embarrassing Read impression -of Peter I think- and they show no chemistry on the final link. Motown release back catalogue Jackson stuff again. nmcot.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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)

  67. 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.

  68. 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?

  69. 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)

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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?

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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?

  85. 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.

  86. 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!

  87. 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.

  88. 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

  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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…

  93. 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.

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