Oct 09

Popular ’85

FT + Popular/116 comments • 6,008 views

I give every entry on Popular a mark out of 10, and at the end of each year’s worth of entries you get the chance to vote for any YOU would have given 6 or more out of 10 to.

My highest rated tracks were Madonna and Dead Or Alive, with 9 each. Shakin’ Stevens, Midge Ure and UB40 all got 2s.

Which Of These Number One Singles Of 1985 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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Use the comments box to discuss the year in general, critics and readers polls at the time, etc etc. (Hopefully you’ll find plenty to talk about cos the next entry won’t be up until a week on Monday!)


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  1. 91
    hardtogethits on 16 Apr 2018 #

    Speedwell! I liked those references,a very good thing.

    Anyway, speaking of German people who seem (ioo) to interview well, may I try and persuade you of Faltermeyer’s value? He worked on PSB’s Behaviour! I don’t know if we’ll ever know how much Faltermeyer influenced Behaviour, nor Horn Introspective, but my oh my I was taken aback when I realised how much Thomas Dolby influenced Steve McQueen (the 1985 album).

    Anyway, BBC4’s accelerating through the TOTP repeats, and I’m slowing down in my watching of them (that’s what happens when you can’t work from home). I used to love it when I could spend time getting nostalgic, but those days are all gone. I’m looking forward to a time when I can look back.

  2. 92
    speedwell54 on 23 Apr 2018 #

    20/05/1985 Janis Long and, with no Peel, she is paired with Gary Davies.

    The Fine Young Cannibals are in the studio, and they kick off the show in fine style. They all do their thing, (quirky and bizarre Chuck Berryesque dance for Andy and David, and slightly more sedate crooner poses from beautiful Roland) until the end that is, when all three sink to their knees briefly in a rare co-ordinated moment. Looks better than it sounds. My friend queued up to get me some tickets for the lead singer’s first solo concert, I asked how much I owed him, he said it’s okay, it’s a gift. Finishing at the top, their last studio album was No1 in US, Canada, Australia and UK.

    Sting – “If You Love Someone Set Them Free” – also in the studio. Did you hear Sting was kidnapped? The Police still have no lead. Given the gift of freedom from the Police this was his first proper venture. They did seem to have a love hate relationship and with their male egos, you felt it’s just a matter of time of time till they split. They can all come across well, but seemed to rub each other up the wrong way. Maybe. I don’t know. Copeland is annoying. Tonight Sting is wearing very distracting glasses. The video, in common with Axel F and A View to a Kill, has really poor green screen type effects. People not in the same space at the same time. Last of the Summer Wine standards. Finishing at the top, the Police’s last studio album was No1 in the US, Canada, Australia and UK.

    Mai Tai- History. In the studio again, but I’m still not happy with them. To add to their odd glove thing, they have gone one matching dress and jacket (both blue) and the other two; one in blue dress and pink jacket and the other pink dress and green jacket. The song is good pop, but I can’t forgive their look. Interesting I used to go out with one of the members of Mai Tai, but she was a pyromaniac.

    Paul Young – Tomb of Memories. I like him, but this doesn’t seem to have a hook and the title is not good for me.
    Tears For Fears – Head Over Heels -Library video.
    Marti Webb – Ben – charity single.

    China Crisis – King In A Catholic Style (Wake Up) In the studio. No keyboard player present tonight despite the sound of them, all the way through. Actually, the clumsy band members came round my house for tea one afternoon.

    Alex F – Harold Faltermeyer. He has all of the China Crisis keyboards. In the studio. It is a bit dull so we get shots from the video, which includes shots of Beverley Hills Cop. Nmcot.

    That was ten, so the top 9, Mai Tai again, Obsession, Cherish, The Word Girl, Suddenly, Kayleigh, Crazy For You, Frankie, and to Number 1 – the Crowd.

    Out to Prince -Paisley Park – I do like this track and always link it with Raspberry Beret, which I think was a perfect partner. Seems hard to believe that Paisley Park wasn’t even released as a single in America.

    re Hardtogethits@91 – glad you enjoyed them, but it’s hardly Club Tropicana Bob.

  3. 93
    hardtogethits on 25 Apr 2018 #

    Deary me Speedo, I can only imagine the crockery catastrophe that must’ve ensued.

    I used to go out with a member of Mai Tai too. Though I admired her linguistic ability, I would often write to her with suggestions about how she might improve her grammar. Even so, certain things began to grate. I confronted her about it.
    I said “You use the present participle too much”.
    She said “What are you saying?”
    I said “There’s an example”.
    She said “Here’s another. I am finishing with you. Don’t be surprised when I’m having hit records with all the songs I have been writing about you.”
    I said “That’s three more.”
    But she wasn’t listening.
    But she did record those songs, and the rest is History.

  4. 94
    speedwell54 on 10 May 2018 #

    04/07/1985 TOTP Skinner and Bates present.

    Dead Or Alive- ‘In Too Deep’. Before and after this they had some decent singles which sounded original; this is so incredibly not. Music and lyrics dull. The It Bites start stop thing, sounds really dated.

    Tears For Fears- ‘Head Over Heels’. Introduced by Skinner wearing shades suddenly. The clip is from the Montreux Pop Festival which I remember as completely mimed, but Roland is singing live on this. Does a good job too, this track really is quite something. After the Hurting singles doing nothing Stateside all the singles from Big Chair did better there than here. ‘Shout’ and ‘EWTRTW’ to me, fit the American ethos, but for reasons passing understanding, this didn’t even make the top 10 here. Go figure.

    The Damned -The Shadow of Love. Almost hard to believe they’re still going now, with an album out this year. This is okay and I’ve just realised we missed Grimly Fiendish (Excerpt From a Children’s Comic) on these totp re -runs which is a shame.

    Fine Young Cannibals – Johnny Come Home. Back in the studio, but no co-ordinated kneeling this week.

    Breakers- Simply Red -‘Money’s Too Tight To Mention’, and so their lengthy chart career begins. This before he started annoying the hell out of people. He tries to say he’s not that guy. Third British act tonight with two US no1 singles, none of which made no1 here.
    Style Council – Come To Milton Keynes. Not surprisingly, overtly political lyrically, which might have been enough to limit the airplay, to say nothing of the fact of the strong imagery in the video; it’s not subtle.
    Opus -‘Live is Life’ our Austrian friends declare. Not for nothing, a one hit wonder over here.

    The top 10. Kayleigh, Mai Tai, Springsteen, Billy Ocean, The Crowd, Marti Webb, Kool and the Gang, Madonna -who is still all about Eve at this point, Faltermeyer, up to No1 – Sister Sledge with Frankie – rpt showing.

    Out to Glenn Frey – Smuggler’s Blues.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.
    @93. Indeed. Small world. This time a change.

  5. 95
    hardtogethits on 11 May 2018 #

    #94 Awesome observation. By my reckoning, on one show that’s 37.5% of the UK acts to have had exactly 2 US number ones neither of which made #1 in the UK! The other 5 were years apart. 2 60s, 1 70s, 2 80s.

    Those 8 acts fall into only 3 classifications, where there could be 4 or more – but one would not expect an even or normal distribution.

    4 Acts who had 0 UK number ones
    3 Acts who had 1 UK number one, but it wasn’t 1 of their US chart toppers
    1 Act who had 2 UK number ones, and 2 different US number ones

    As I say, that is by my reckoning.

  6. 96
    hardtogethits on 12 May 2018 #

    Oh boo. My reckoning was wrong. Tom, please can I edit that post?

  7. 97
    speedwell54 on 13 May 2018 #

    25/07/1985 TOTP Gary Davies and Dixie Peach- standard presenting I would have thought.

    Arrow – Long Time. How did he contrive not to have a hit with “Hot Hot Hot”? This seems like a consolation hit and I had convinced myself that people were buying this for the B side which was Hot Hot Hot- but not the case. This was his brief moment in the spotlight; over here at least. He released around thirty albums, the twist is, that doesn’t include 29 called “Hot Hot Hot” the Greatest Hits from Arrow, or some variant thereof; they look like proper albums.

    Madonna- Into The Groove. Her star was rising anyway, but Live Aid gave her a boost and this was a new entry at No4, when it was still noteworthy. On video as she’s not visiting the studio for a while. This was not a chart hit in the US.

    Fergal Sharkey – Loving You. Audience look vacant as this never really never gets anywhere and the title is shouted out randomly. Doesn’t really feel like a single. Also, stop flicking your head back and get a haircut!

    Breakers – In Between Days -The Cure come on and I feel better. We miss their full appearance next week due to Mike Smith, which is a shame. The Pointer Sisters – Dare Me. We get a clip from Montreux, from the video adverse sisters, although there was one made for this track. Decent song. Money For Nothing – Dire Straits. Concerning lyrics are expunged from this track and the video was often played back in the day. Spitting Image poked fun with a cover.

    Trans X -Living On Video I thought this was ok at the time but the music sounds old, old fashioned, cheap and rather thin. Ever get the feeling your weapon isn’t big enough? They have a bontempi and they really need a Roland or a Korg.

    Into the top 9. Graham,LaSalle,Opus,Madonna (CFY) Kool, Madonna (ITG) Faltermeyer, Sister Sledge.

    Eurthymics- There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) a repeat studio performance in white from a few weeks ago. Unfortunate they weren’t there for that single week at the top. Good to see a British act at No1. A few weeks ago didn’t have a single act in the top 5 for the first time in years. (more than 5)

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

    @95 Well, after thinking Deniece Williams might just have been born in the Isle Of Man and U2 were included as a UK act, I disabused myself of those notions and had PC,HH,RS,Q,SW. Stopped thinking, then saw @96. W?

  8. 98
    hardtogethits on 13 May 2018 #

    #97 “W?”? I suddenly attached myself to a fact that became untrue. My breakdown of #1s was based on Q’s 1 #1. I wonder if many others who got (their first) GBOHS between 77 and, say, 85 would misremember this? I reckon a good pub quiz question might now be “How many UK number one hit singles did Q have during FE’s lifetime?” Could do sthg similar with at least one other act, I think.

  9. 99
    speedwell54 on 14 May 2018 #

    08/08/1985 TOTP Bates and Skinner. No shades for Skinner anymore, though he has papers in hand.

    Home grown talent Amazulu- “Excitable” first top forty hit and their excitement has made them wear clothes for presenting Playaway. New Zealand Watch; they loved Amazulu. Their debut self titled album peaked higher here than anywhere else in the world! No31 – No97 at home.

    Home grown talent Dire Straits- Money For Nothing- On video. New Zealand Watch – they loved Dire Straits. All 6 studio albums made the top 3, no other country equalled or placed them higher.

    Home grown talent Princess – Say I’m Your Number One in the studio. Skinner introduces this as “Say You’re My Number One” and he never worked on Top Of The Pops again. Bit harsh. New Zealand watch -they loved Princess . This single made No2 and was the highest chart peak for this or any of her other singles anywhere in the world.

    American Maze Feat Frankie Beverly. Too Many Games- nmcot but I know they were well thought of, even if few seemed to buy their records.
    Home grown talent Phil Collins – Take Me Home on video. the one where jets around a lot. (Turns out they don’t rate him so much in New Zealand)
    UB40/Chrissie Hynde I Got You Babe. New Zealand watch – they love UB40. Their debut single went to No1 there. Nowhere else.

    Go West “Goodbye Girl” – This is a bit of a dirge. After only two hits it’s too soon for a dull ballad. Nicely dressed mind. Skinner notes that Cox didn’t want to release this as a single, and to a man the audience is going “not surprised mate!” New Zealand Watch -they loved Go West. They had their highest chart placing of any single there when “We Close Our Eyes” made No4.

    Top Ten Videos – Sledge,Opus, Kool and The Gang,UB40 +CH,

    Homegrown talent Billy Idol. New Zealand watch – they loved Billy Idol. Self titled debut album top 5 there, didn’t make the top 40 anywhere else. Singles ‘Hot in The City’ and ‘White Wedding’ both top 5 there without waiting for a re release to start a run of six top 10s. Madonna, Dire Straits, Tina Turner,

    Home grown talent Eurthymics . New Zealand Watch. They loved the Eurthymics, Sweet Dreams album placed higher there than anywhere in the world at No2. Madonna at No1 Into the Groove.

    Out to ‘Holiday’ and the rare but not unique occasion in the modern era of an act with two tracks back to back on TOTP.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

    @98. W=Wings – US No1s-Silly Love Songs and With A Little Luck- UK – Mull. I know a bit hair splitty as we have to ignore “Paul McCartney and Wings” stuff.

  10. 100
    Mark M on 14 May 2018 #

    Re99: Maze featuring Frankie Beverly had absolutely godlike status in south & east London and the places immediately beyond. As I think has been discussed on here before, people often underestimate how localised UK music audiences can be.

  11. 101
    hardtogethits on 14 May 2018 #

    #99 Well it’s funny you say that, I believe that at the time of Listen To What The Man Said, Sir Thumbsaloft was t/a “Wings”.

    FE’s lifetime? Yeah, wtf? I mean FM! Obv.

  12. 102
    speedwell54 on 18 May 2018 #

    15/08/19856 TOTP Peach And Powell. Peach has just come off the Miami Vice set, a bit more confident and they both seem upbeat introducing King.

    Alone Without You. I had forgotten what a funny bunch they were. All have been to 52 Festive Road on the way to the studio. They wear their garb with confidence so Na na na na nah na na na …….New album out in November “Spent the last two and a half months recording on the south coast of Britain” says Pete rather clumsily. Do you mean England, and, in a studio, or just on the coast. Unfair I know.

    UB40 and Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe – A match made in heaven. She kind of discovered them. They don’t add much, other than a new audience.

    Phil Collins- Take Me Home. In the studio and we lose about two minutes of the intro /outtro but still get a good 4 and a half. This is one of his drum solo and sing along numbers live, which go on even longer. They are not awful but he’s no Freddie. For quite a while he was the golden boy and pretty much at his peak here, the album No1 all over.

    Total Contrast – Takes A Little Time -nmcot

    Breakers – Dio Rock ‘N” Roll Children – no thanks. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy. Bloke singing, not the singer but a great pretender. But not for long.
    Kate Bush- Running Up that Hill. (will see this one again)

    Top 10 Don Quixote, Kate, the Cars- Drive (back again with Live Aid push. Idol – White Wedding, Eurthymics, Dire Straits, Tina Turner, UB40+CH. Madonna- Holiday.

    No1 Madonna, third of her four weeks at the top.
    Out to D-Train- You’re The One For Me (fatty) a remix of a track out a few years earlier, doing a bit better this time around.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

    @101 – Fred Bronson interviewed Paul McCartney about his side project with Youth called “The Fireman” in 2009. Oh how I wish I had been there. So I could ask Mr. Bronson why, in 1992, in his book “the Billboard book of Number One Hits, 3rd Edition, in the index, did he claim that “Listen What The Man Said” was by “Paul McCartney and Wings” and not as it should have been, “Wings”. Thus nine years later making me look like Mr Bad Guy. In my defence I did put “W?”

  13. 103
    speedwell54 on 20 May 2018 #

    22/08/1985 TOTP Wright and Davies.

    Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam- I Wonder If you Take Me Home. Not normally my cup of tea but quite liked this and bought the 12″ of a much later single that did nothing anywhere “Just Git It Together” which was very Technotronic but American. This single was overlooked Stateside, but they scored back to back No1s that missed the top 40 here. Both poor in different ways.

    Drive- the Cars twktc.

    Baltimora- Tarzan Boy. I am always quite pleased when charts all over Europe have something a bit trashy at No1 and we don’t. It didn’t miss by much though.

    I Can Dream About You – Dan Hartman. Body and Soul – Mai Tai.
    Stories Of Johnny- Marc Almond. This is an interesting one. Seems really out of time. When the time is giving us Tarzan Boy, it’s a good thing. Marc’s voice works well in his story telling and the backing choir and trumpet(?) -which follows the vocal line -lift this to something really special.

    Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill. In the studio this week. It’s good to see her back. I am always impressed by the effort she puts into everything. You know that they haven’t just turned up, it’s all choreographed. This is what you’re wearing, this is how you stand, this is the look you need to have on your face.

    Countdown with Davies up to 10 with Princess – Say I’m Your Number One. I presume this is Madonna influence but both Lisa Lisa and Princess basically dancing with shirt open and bra showing.

    Top Ten to Madonna with her last week at the summit.
    Out to Amazulu with Excitable over the dancing and credits.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  14. 104
    Lazarus on 8 Jun 2018 #

    Haven’t done this for soooo long, but attempting a liveblog tonight … even then, tuning in at least 5 minutes late, and straight away I’m confused – my Skybox says first aired 7/11/85, but that’s too late surely? I have this pinned for late summer/early September. But whatever …

    Far Corporation – vaguely recall this, a radio-friendly, handclappy version of the Led Zep standard. Did the Zep ever chart it as a 45, in the download era? If it only got to no 92 in 2014 it probably doesn’t count really does it, let’s face it.

    Level 42 – from their imperial phase. The first, I think, of three peerless singles from the ‘World Machine’ album. Is Prestatyn still seeking talent? They’ll have to wait a little longer I fear, although I believe Mark King resides on the not that far away Isle of Man.

    Should mention that Steve ‘Wrighty’ Wright and Peter Powell are our hosts. Charts. Start at 40 these days, makes for a long rundown. The we have ‘breakers.’ Simon May, first time on the show since ’76 I think? At least he doesn’t sing this time. I never saw this programme. Yachts appear to be involved. Eurythmics/A Franklin – twktc. Talking Heads, likewise, though good to see them back after four and a half years.

    UB40 – Don’t break My Heart, one of their better later original songs, and after ’85 there wouldn’t be many more to come. Obviously helped that they’d just had a number 1 smash with Chrissie, but without looking this up, I think it went top 5 didn’t it? Seems unlikely for such a laid-back number, but there it is.

    Top 10. “The sleazebag’ [Madonna} is down three this week at number 8.” WTF? Have I missed something there? Feargal and his good heart topwards. Elton with what might be his best single of the eighties (and his coming out single, given that Nikita is a man’s name?) at 3, and A-Ha (all of 5 seconds of it) at 2.

    Jennifer Rush – number 1. Memory serves that someone did her on ‘Stars in their Eyes’ in the days when you had to do a different song if you got to the final, which she did. Tricky when you do a one-hit wonder. Her version of ‘Ring of Ice’ unsurprisingly didn’t find favour with the voters in the final. Repeat performance, unless she wears that red leather jacket every week.

    Paul Hardcastle plays us out with one that I don’t remember. DJ up North Wales, or somewhere, these days, probably.

    Seemed like quite a short show, are the songs longer than they used to be, or more filler?

  15. 105
    speedwell54 on 10 Jun 2018 #

    3/10/85 TOTP Gary Davies and Paul Jordan. The later on his first outing. Gary has a tan and Paul goes straight into reporter mode; asking himself a question and then answering it. I think I’m going into pedant mode myself.

    Colonel Abrams – Trapped. Not actually a Colonel, and apparently his real name. Not heard this in a while and it’s fine. Not annoying, and doesn’t sound that out of date. This record was around for ages.

    Iron Maiden- Running Free (Live) you don’t really need to hear this or watch this. No surprises, distinctive vocals, guitars and drums. Delivers. Unusually in chart history, they released two live singles from the same live album, back to back, and both hit the top 40.

    Back to Paul in the studio introducing Cameo. “It’s their first television debut in this country” hmm, not their second debut then? “Single Life – This was a bit of a different thing, he’s not really singing and not really rapping, nice moves from the group. There’s a lot to like in this. Countdown.

    Breakers – John Parr -St Elmo’s Fire,The Smiths – Boy Thorn Side, Cure – Close To Me. The Smiths are on next week in full (a Mike Smith episode so not on these reruns) but the Cure not, which was a shame. Possibly the later remix was a nod to this chart under performance.

    Rene and Angela- I’ll Be Good. Good track. Rene is wearing a pastel blue suit with a white lacy shirt with frills a plenty. Very late 70’s garb. Into the top 10 countdown. Paul sounds just like Sanjeev Bhaskar btw.

    Trapped – military jacket, Lavender- military jacket, Rebel Yell – Leather jacket, Holding out of a Hero – no jacket required, Angel – Pink Dress (we get the video for Material Girl) Part Time Lover – jumper, Lean on Me – long clip, Dancing in the Street, green shirt, light tan full length jacket. The Power of Love. -jacket potato.

    Midge Ure. If I Was – Starting with the title and oft repeated line, please, “If I Were”. I know he probably thinks he can go ‘was’ as a past subjunctive of “to be” referring to the singular and to be fair, many are doing it. In this case it’s really subjunctive mood (coming under the wishful, hypothetical umbrella) therefore ‘if I were’. Other opinions are valid.
    Also “If I was (sic) a sailor, seven oceans I’d sail to her” so that’s the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic and which others Midge? Oceans 11? the yet to be written “Ocean Drive” perhaps?
    I could go on but won’t, music’s okay, lyric a bit not.

    Out to Five Star- Love Take Over. Welcome back Lazarus.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse. Edit isn’t working.

  16. 106
    Mark G on 15 Jun 2018 #

    My TiVo box just died over the last weekend, not much on it apart from a ton of TOTP episodes going back to 1977 or so. Does anyone here have (or know of) these things saved?

    I had been saving the “punk/new wave” bits to a DVD or several, but lost interest or something. Actually, once they started to do two repeats a week, there was too much to handle and then there wasn’t much that needed saving.

    The only one I really am bothered about is the FLying Lizards’ “TV”, didn’t see it at the time and I don’t see it on YouT. I reckon I can get it working for up to 30 mins at a time, so I could maybe get it copied off but.

  17. 107
    speedwell54 on 17 Jun 2018 #

    17/10/1985 Powell and Read (shades)

    Shakin’ Stevens – Lipstick, Powder and Paint- faithful cover and in the studio, Shaky does what Shaky does. On its way towards the top 10 says Mike. It didn’t quite arrive, stalling at No11, his third in recent years. He does turn up in person on TOPT an awful lot. Which is to his credit, but possibly also due to the inferior quality of his videos. The official video for this is so cheap.

    Unlike this next one. £100,000 was spent, claims Peter introducing “Take On Me” – A-ha. Today you might wonder exactly how, but I guess the computer power wasn’t quite there. Norway’s Led Zeppelin – 8 No1 albums in a row at home- get the hit eventually, after two previous attempts. Actor Philip Jackson is in the video.

    Nikita – Elton John. In the studio. His second biggest solo hit if you exclude reissues and charity singles, which I do. Includes a keyboard solo and Elton forgets to mime as we come out of it. Actor Andreas Wisniewski (The Living Daylights, Die Hard) is in the video.

    Countdown and into breakers – Something About You – Level 42 – Actor Cheri Lunghi is I the video. Slave To The Rhythm – Grace Jones. Actress Grace Jones (A View To A Kill) is in the video. Jan Hammer Miami Vice Theme – Actor Don Johnson is in the video.

    Colonel Abrams- Trapped- in the studio. No video. A bit lucky getting on again.

    Into the top 10, and actors in the video
    Hammer. As above
    Billy Idol – Actor (he was in the Wedding Singer),
    Simple Minds no actor.
    Madonna – Actor (kind of)
    John Parr – Actors in the video from film of the same name,
    Aha- Actor . As above,
    Redbox- some extras I venture.
    Colonel Abrams, No actor
    Midge Ure – he was in the Bogey Man 1992, two small parts and a Widow Twankey.

    Jennifer Rush in the studio, Second week at number one. Introduced by Peter who says “and now at number one, the second single to have a title the same, to go to number one this year so far” He runs out of steam himself with confusion. You realise, and not for the first time, for all his enthusiasm, his mouth is working faster than his brain. On the video for this, someone gets knocked over by a car, and I don’t think they’re injured; so I would call that acting. Out to Gambler

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  18. 108
    speedwell54 on 1 Jul 2018 #

    31/10/1985 TOTP Janice gets lumbered with Simon this week.

    Fergal Sharkey – A Good Heart- There’s a good song here somewhere but this seems to miss. I think it’s nearly there and I wish they would have another go at it. There are too many things that distract. Fergal is a bit too earnest, the guitar solo is out of place and has an unusual sound (like the synth sound in I Want To Break Free) which jars. The backing vocals I like, but the overall the sound is flat. He has better moments.

    Nikita – Elton John – on video. Let’s talk about the video. Thematically all over the place. Starts off- Elton taking photos of Nikita from a distance – forbidden love – East West stuff. He hands her his passport (by the way in this passport photo he is wearing a hat and big sunglasses which is, as we all know, totally acceptable; why not go the whole hog and get a false moustache!) she waves him through, cut to night time, he turns up again and sings. Next day turns up again, takes her photo with the same massive telephoto lens he used yesterday, despite the fact she’s now only 4 feet away. Access denied this time. Then into the dreaming, cut to Elton and Nikita in a nightclub with the most award slow dance. Cut to Watford and Elton in comedy platforms cheering on his team. Then ten pin bowling. Simon comes on and links the video to Elton being on his show saying he would like to play in Russia on his next tour. Maybe he was confused with the big fur hats on the video and forgot about the German signs everywhere.

    Matt Bianco – Yeh Yeh – Georgie Fame cover. Rather like Blondie in the US, Fame was all or nothing. All his top 10 hits made number 1. This cover doesn’t really add much for me. Missing a Basia.

    Chart countdown. The caption claims new entry for the Simon May Orchestra at 31 but Simon tells us it’s up 16 (which is was) but the other new entries are just referring to the top forty, even though they have been around a week or two; Communards, Talking Heads, Madness. I can’t remember anyone quoting climbs from outside the top 40 before.

    Breakers – Cities in Dust – Siouxsie and the Banshees. Cloudbusting – Kate ( a little obsessed with this track) Don’t Break My Heart – UB40.

    Taste Of My Tears – King – Very short career nearly over, just torture to come. So to speak.

    Top 10 – Simple Minds -Alive and Kicking
    Something About You- Level 42 – Long clip
    Jan Hammer- Janice says “Jan” as opposed to’ Yan’ that everyone else said. She maybe right.
    Acadia – Election Day
    John Parr – St Elmos Fire
    Madonna – Gambler
    Elton John -Nikita “Up 4 at 4 says Janice” up 5 at 4 actually- is this scripted? Can’t she read or can’t she subtract. I’m been mean here, I like her and forgive this stuff (although not totally or I wouldn’t mention it)
    Colonel Abrams – Trapped
    A-ha – Take On Me
    Jenny Rush – Power Ballad of Love stuff. Out to Stevens.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  19. 109
    speedwell54 on 10 Jul 2018 #

    7/11/1985 TOTP – Wright and Powell. Peter sounds like he has a bit of a cold on the first link. We kick off with Take on Me – A-ha, in the studio for a change, stuck at No2 here, but going all the way elsewhere in Europe. This lingered around for ages; 19 weeks in the chart.

    Stairway To Heaven – Far Corporation . They all put in sterling work in this live performance (sub Rolling Stones). We seem to join the song half way through, which is fair enough. This recording is close to the original, but maybe a little less trippier . They look rather dated and German, (a mulleted lead singer definitely not a rose between thorns, you wouldn’t want to meet him down some dark alley ) but they are collectively more or less British. Frank Farian (Boney M and Milli Vanilli) was behind this lot. Not diabolical, but I guess some people will disagree.

    Level 42 – Something About You – Peter decides to add “baby” to the title in his intro for no reason. I think at the time, I over reacted to this phase of their career. With their new found popularity this sounded so commercial and over produced, and certainly not trendy. Not that I ever was. Listening now it does appeal a lot more; I’ll go and get my cane and slippers.

    Steve’s back and we have the countdown, then breakers.
    Howard’s Way – Simon May Orchestra – on video. Instrumental that later had words.
    Eurthymics and Arethra Franklin- Sisters ADIFT
    Road To Nowhere – Talking Heads -video. Sporadic chart success, but a major influence on many acts in the UK and US; well, Beck certainly.

    The later two acts started off on small tours, gigging, by the way of a camper van, the Simon May Orchestra needed Pickfords from the off.

    UB40 – Don’t Break My Heart – In the studio, don’t they look young, 33 years have taken there toll. nmcot today. After the lofty heights of I Got You Babe it was a bit of a cheek to bring out this mundane old thing.

    Top 10 countdown
    Arcadia – Election Day. Simon’s reaction to keeping up with the Jones’ when the Power Station formed, and were having hits. Not sure if the decision was rather rash for Duran’s front man, they came and went rather quickly
    Jon Parr- St Elmos Fire
    Madonna – Gambler -Steve refers to her as a “sleaze bag” in the link, which seems rather unnecessary and a little early (was he really thinking this then) to chose a pre Erotica hill he was going to die on.
    UB40 – Don’t Break My Heart
    Level 42 – Something About You
    Colonel Abrams – Trapped
    Fergal Sharkey – A Good Heart -Very long clip. He’d had a couple of smaller hits but landed on his feet with this one going all the way to the top. Interesting that he decided to walk away from performance and into more behind the scenes stuff.
    Elton John – Nikita – Very long clip
    A-ha – Take On Me

    Jennifer Rush – The Power Of Love ” and yesterday it sold a million copies” says Powell. I know what he’s trying to say,( I presume it sold its millionth copy yesterday) but it’s not pedantry to pick him up for this casual laziness of misinformation. {nearly 18}

    Out to Just For Money – Paul Hardcastle – Tut.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  20. 110
    speedwell54 on 12 Jul 2018 #

    Shame about the result yesterday. Especially after sneaking a reference to most of the squad into the last TOTP review.

  21. 111
    hardtogethits on 13 Jul 2018 #

    Oh no! You deserve better, Speedwell. I wondered what {nearly 18} meant. I once asked you if you did cryptic crosswords. I think you said “working in reverse is a simple way of answering negatively (2)”.

    So. In (I saw or heard): Lingard, Sterling, Trippier, Stones, Rose, Alli, Kane, Welbeck, Butland, Pickford, (Loftus)-Cheek, Young, Jones, Rashford, Walker, Dier, Cahill. (17)

    I did not see (or hear): Maguire, Delph, Henderson, Pope, Vardy, Alexander-Arnold (6)

    Clicks on “Finish playing and view solution”.

  22. 112
    speedwell54 on 14 Jul 2018 #

    That game was over quickly; player one with all the correct answers. Well done. A combination of hidden words and homonyms if you want to try. I struggled with Delph going with Farian for Fabian, and although that wasn’t without merit, not really good enough, so hence “nearly 18”. I forgot all about Pope, and I think I would have been able to smuggle that one in under the radar. Alexander-Arnold on the other hand…

  23. 113
    speedwell54 on 16 Jul 2018 #

    21/11/1985 TOTP Janice and Paul Jordan host. Janice references an Eastenders storyline and then a clumsy introduction from both of them. Jordan says “we’ve got a great show. Before that, we’ve got Doug E Fresh …. (ie this lot are not great but you have to sit through them until we get to the great show bit )

    Madness – Uncle Sam. In the studio. First single not to make the top 20, after 20 in a row from debut. This stalled at No21.

    Wham! – I’m Your Man – On video, black and white affair filmed at the Marquee club. Both features I think, may be trying to gain a slightly older audience. Catchy and singable. There is nothing here not to like, but it just seemed very unexciting at the time. Straight in at No2 this week.

    Dee C Lee – See The Day – In the studio, with a band Not a single violin or a viola in sight mind, despite it sounding like there’s a full string section on the track. It’s very sweeping. The vocal line mirrors the music note for note in the chorus, unusual.

    Countdown from 40. Prefab Sprout get their first mention. A little banter and then breakers.
    Whitney “Saving All My Love For You” the first of 7 consecutive no1s stateside.
    That’s What Friends Are For- Dionne Warwick and Friends.

    Doug E Fresh – The Show – Inspector Gadget theme tune.

    The top 10 – Talking Heads – Long Clip,
    Eurythmics/Aretha- long. with clips of A Kind Of Loving, points from me for that.
    Level 42, short clip,
    Queen – One Vision, very short clip, hardly get chance to sing the title,
    Nikita, Aha, Jennifer Rush, UB40, Wham. Dull banter.

    Fergal Sharkey – A Good Heart at No1, on video, not massively different from the studio performance.

    Out to A Certain Smile – Midge Ure, and studio dancing.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  24. 114
    speedwell54 on 5 Aug 2018 #

    TOPT 28/11/1985. Powell and Peach. Peter looking rather hesitant tonight.

    Mated- Grant and Graham. Always thought the title was a bit blunt and rude. Song is not terrible and they can both sing but nmcot.

    Saving All My Love For You- Houston. On video. The song sounds nicer than it is. A love triangle and she is the one breaking it up? Aside from the awful keyboard sound in places, and her making “t-ry” and “c-ry” two syllable words, this is still a classic for me.

    Breakers – Sun City- Artists United Against Apartheid – I rather uncharitably thought, it wasn’t such a claim for many of them. I don’t think you were actually on their list. The practice seems unbelievably recent, combined with the general exponential pace of change.
    Spies Like Us – McCartney. Another one of his videos where he plays all the instruments in his band. We were part way though a period of charting soundtracks and film/pop cross overs. I guess mutually beneficial, but I wonder which way the money flowed. (see John Finnemore -Burger Chain youtube)
    Don’t Look Down – The Sequel – Go West – Ok.

    When Love Breaks Down – Prefab Spout. Second time round this makes the chart and should have gone higher. Paddy McAloon is an amazing songwriter. ‘Swoon’ is in my Top 10 favourite albums and ‘Steve McQueen’, from where this hails, is up there.
    For careless reasons Peach calls it “When THE Love Breaks Down”
    Separate Lives- Collins and Martin- Another film sound track. “White Nights” also gave us “Say You Say Me”

    Top Nine On Video
    Houston, Queen – 2nd week with the shortest clip ever,
    Doug E Fresh – The Show- with the line ‘Michelle, ma belle, something funky monkey, tres bien ensemble….’ This was on subtitles.
    Road To Nowhere- decent length clip. Rush, Dee C Lee, Sharkey
    To No1 Wham! on video twktc.

    Out to Starship – City building while the kids dance.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  25. 115
    speedwell54 on 6 Aug 2018 #

    TOTP 12/12/1985 Missing one episode due to Smitty, but we didn’t miss much, only Nik Kershaw – “When A Heart Beats” was unique to this show. Davies in an electric blue suit and Janice in a shiny light blue number.

    Bronski Beat – Hit That Perfect Beat Boy – Show opens and we have a new lead singer, but don’t know if that much had really changed. It’s all surface, but a good surface.

    Madonna- Dress You Up – On video, but a live performance and it does sound like she is live.

    Cameo – She’s Strange. This gets another outing on the back of the success of “Single Life”. I appreciate their effort, and they put on another very watchable performance if somewhat less choreographed.

    Breakers – Iron Maiden – “Run To The Hills (Live)”- clip. Princess (without her tiny top hat) “After The Love Has Gone”. Starship – “We Built This City”

    Shakin Stevens – “Merry Christmas Everyone” Up 28 to 10 this week and on its way to the top. He still does the same performance, but with a twist; he’s wearing a Christmas jumper!

    Top nine on video
    Pet Shop Boys – “West End Girls” just waiting for Christmas to be over.
    Lionel Ritchie – “Say You Say Me” (channeling his inner Chuckle – RIP)
    Feargal Sharkey- “A Good Heart”
    Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (2nd time)
    Phil Collins/Marilyn Martin- “Separate Lives”
    Dee C Lee- “See The Day”
    Wham! _ ” I’m Your Man”

    Whitney Houston – “Saving All My Love For You” first week at One.

    Out to “Last Christmas” Wham! (Second Time)
    In the pre down load era it’s seems strange records coming back just a year later after selling loads first time round. The effort and cost of buying a single. It can’t be a whole new audience, and they can’t have all sat on the copy they had last year. They can’t have all taken up disc jockeying, and they can’t all be in charge of the office party, and they can’t all be buying it as a gift. Maybe it’s the same people who bought Shape of You last week, in its 82nd week on the chart. What gives?

    Not my favourite bu there has been worse.

    This is the last one of the year that we get to see on these repeats; Mike Smith again ruling out next week, then a Christmas special, and that’s goodbye 1985.

  26. 116
    hardtogethits on 7 Aug 2018 #

    Back to 114 Speedwell! You make two hilarious points. Well, I laughed.

    Re: Sun City. I thought if that lot were playing Greenhead Park for free, I’d probably have stayed in.

    And the direction of money? Always puzzling and amusing. Freakily, today I went to Aberdeen Football Club, to be given a tour of the stadium. There on the wall of the kitman’s room was a framed statement of the finances from the club’s first venture into Europe.

    Wednesday, 6. September 1967. Aberdeen vs KR Reykjavik. The final line of a modest number of financial exchanges read “BBC TV … £250”.

    And the kitman’s assistant said “And you know, I’m not sure whether we paid them or they paid us!”

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