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Feb 10

Popular ’86

FT + Popular/109 comments • 4,046 views

AND ABOUT BLOODY TIME. Finally finished 1986 – I know there’ve been slower years but this one really has dragged – thanks for yr patience. Here’s a poll, and add your usual lists, reminiscences, discussions of the year etc in the comments box. As ever this is where YOU get your chance to say which tracks you’d have given 6 out of 10 or more to.

Which of the Number Ones of 1986 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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My highest marks this year were 9s for “West End Girls” and “Papa Don’t Preach”, my lowest a brace of 1s for Nick Berry and the Horned Beast of County Wexford.

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  1. 91
    speedwell54 on 20 Aug 2018 #

    TOTP 13/02/1985- Steve Wright and Gary Davies. Gary in another outsized jacket – it must have been the fashion.

    Belouis Some – Imagination. In the studio this week. Heavily influenced by Bowie in the vocal and guitar sound. Not a bad job. He supported Queen on the 1986 Live Magic Tour

    Whitney Houston – How Will I Know. Davies introduces the video without telling us what it’s called. Video choreographed by Arlene Phillips who also did “I Was Born To Love You” by Freddie Mercury.

    Latin Quarter- Radio Africa -nmcot tea- struggling…. Radio Gaga?

    Su Pollard – Starting Together on video -Christmassy with clips of the tv show. Helped by regular plays on reality documentary on BBC called The Marriage.
    Su Pollard won Rear Of The Year in the late 80s- as did future wife of Brian May; Anita Dobson.

    Chart countdown to 11 and then Breakers. Paul Hardcastle + Carol Kenyon – Don’t Waste My Time. Survivor – Burning Heart. Diana Ross – Chain Reaction.

    Shakin Stevens – Turning Away – his 51st appearance says Steve; are they going to keep counting. 50, fair enough, 51, not so much. This is a Crystal Gayle cover which is pretty similar. Roger Taylor plays drums on his future single “Radio”

    Countdown to Number One
    Billy Ocean – When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going. In the studio this week. Covered by Boyzone who also covered Queen songs in two medleys. Also Caribbean Queen.

    Out to Borderline. Queen of pop.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  2. 92
    speedwell54 on 23 Aug 2018 #

    TOTP 20/02/1986 Mike Reid and Janice Long host. We seem to be mixing and matching the presenters at the moment. I think Reid is in leather trousers.

    Paul Hardcastle -Don’t Waste My Time. I don’t mind the song and Carol has a great voice. I do find Mr Hardcastle annoying in mores ways than are reasonable. His is playing one of those keyboard guitar things which never once in history looked good. Doing a guitar solo on a guitar you are treading a fine line, on one of these, instant ridicule. His suit is shiny. The button on his jacket is far too low and the lapels are a style that frequently comes and goes in Top Man, but never enters the more superior establishments. He has rolled up his sleeves, he thinks he’s Crockett or Tubbs. To finish of the look he is wearing shoes without laces, but tassels, and the ones that show far too much sock. And the socks are white.
    Let’s move on to his dancing. He’s trying too hard and he can’t carry it off. It’s not that is technically bad. It’s just naff. Carol is almost doing the same moves, but looks totally cool. I can’t recall hearing him being interviewed; he’s probably a nice bloke.

    Diana Ross – Chain Reaction. Written by the Bee Gees when they couldn’t put out stuff, and or, they were out of favour in the early 80s. Famous video. Both her UK number ones did nothing in the States, but her 6 US number ones all did well here.

    Depeche Mode – Stripped. I got into them a lot more at this time. Black Celebration is the only studio album by them I own. To me they seemed to add another layer. The backing vocals on this album and percussion on some of the track leaps forwards. After 6 albums in 7 years at the outset, from 1993 to date, they release them with Olympian regularity. Janice raves about them.

    She introduces Survivor – Burning Heart, and basically slags it off for sounding like Eye Of The Tiger. Video of course – Live performance and clips from Rocky IV. Chart countdown.

    At 11 PIL with Rise. Angry and energetic performance. More immediate and tuneful than other stuff, his angriness seems a bit out of place on this. Worst miming for ages. Countdown.

    Billy Ocean at Number 1 WTGGTTTGG, repeat from the other week.
    No breakers this week. Out to the Damned – Elouise, not the most obvious track to dance to and the song finishes before the programme does,

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  3. 93
    Mark G on 24 Aug 2018 #

    I was watching this episode, did ff> through “go and get stuff”, when I noticed that the Tivo box has this new feature where you can press “OK” while re-viewing and it plays faster while not dimming the audio. Back in the day, if you did that the sound would be “pinkyandperky” (Technical term), but no – listen to Eloise like that, and it sounds more like The Ramones. In fact, it sounds More like The Damned. Try it! I might upload it to Youtube if I get one of those round things they sell in novelty/souvenir shops…

  4. 94
    hardtogethits on 24 Aug 2018 #

    #93. That’s hilarious! It reminds me of an occasion when I was listening to ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ in the car, with the satnav on.

    “Are the stars out tonight?
    Turn left! Turn Left!
    I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright.
    At the end of the road, turn right!”

    It sounded more like the Fugees than the Fugees. I wonder if any other readers have had experiences where modern technology has interacted with a recording to create an amusing parody of another recording artist?

    I’ll confess, though, I don’t know what you mean by “those round things…” A ball? A lollipop?

  5. 95
    Mark G on 27 Aug 2018 #

    A round tuit…

  6. 96
    speedwell54 on 27 Aug 2018 #

    TOTP 27/02/1986 Paul Jordan and Steve Wright. Polar opposites in their levels of desire to be in the TOTP studios. I believe we say goodbye to Paul on TOTP with this one, leaving Radio One around this time. He went on work for radio Stations in the North West.

    Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missile F1-11. Are they ridiculous or preposterous? Like PIL the previous week, they have one extra drummer. The hype worked briefly but was unsustainable.

    Talking Heads – And She Was – On video. Visually not totally original in style, but maybe for a music video. Director Jim Blashfield went on to make ‘Boy In The Bubble’, ‘Leave Me Alone’ and ‘Sowing The Seeds Of Love’ -amongst others- which very much have a similar look about them. Last hit.

    Audrey Hall – One Dance Won’t Do – Pleasant enough and you would have put money on ‘One Hit Wonder’ status, rather like Sophia George from a few weeks earlier, but we will see her again soon. Lucky to get on tonight really; sticking at 27. Chart countdown with Paul Jordan.

    Alexander O’Neal – If You Were Here Tonight. Nmcot. He has put a few pounds on since the photo they used for the countdown.

    Breakers- Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love – Video. In the studio next week. Tavares- Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel. In full next week.

    The Bangles – Manic Monday – Prince penned track hit number two both sides of the Atlantic, kick starting their career. Prince himself kept this of the No1 spot in the US with ‘Kiss’.

    Billy Ocean ‘WTGGTTTGG’ -On video this week, though slightly edited. Danny DeVito no longer plays the sax solo. Although due to bad editing, you do see him about to play it, and he walks behind Billy afterwards, sax in hand. I presume the Musicians’ Union (or maybe just the musician) had a word. The rather underfunded Backing Singers’ Union let all the other miming actors off.

    Out to Colonel Abrams – I’m Not Gonna Let You. Bit forgettable really.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  7. 97
    https://www-uktvnowapk.com on 30 Aug 2018 #

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  8. 98
    lockedintheattic on 30 Aug 2018 #

    #93 you wouldn’t need to upload it especially – YouTube has a function that allows you to speed up videos – click the cog logo at the bottom of the video and can play at 1.25, 1.5 or even double speed. Think Eloise works especially well at 1.25…

  9. 99
    speedwell54 on 10 Sep 2018 #

    TOTP 6/03/1986. No dodgy, or contractually contrary presenters for a while and this is the sixth consecutive programme which feels like a record in the modern era, Smitty back next week so it won’t be extended. Gary Davies and Dixie Peach host tonight.

    Mike + the Mechanics – Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground) It’s all a bit Genesis. Paul Carrack was not dissimilar to Phil, height wise, hair wise, and sound wise. Peach adds Mike’s surname in the intro. There were two different sleeves widely available for the single which seemed to happen every so often. Can only think of Kon Kan at the moment. I thought the production sounded a bit American and for an older generation. Rather like Stevie Windwood stuff.

    Gary introduces a “new” bit. We are having numerous changes at the moment. Halfway through the Tavares – Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel (remix) video we get the top 40 countdown – part one. Gary is not bothering to read the fallers.

    Kate Bush – Hounds of Love. Kate in the studio with her band. Rehearsed and intense performance. The band are earnest and you get the impression well drilled. Another act with a second drummer; becoming a thing. A big fan of hers, it is all the more surprising to me, that I like the Futureheads cover, which I think is top.

    Frank Sinatra – Theme From New York New York – on video (really!) The definition of twktc.

    Jim Diamond- Hi Ho Silver- He un one hit wonders himself with this. Since last time his has grown a mullet. Theme from ITVs Boon (featuring another chart topper -Morrissey) Neil not Stephen if you were wondering. Looks like Sam Brown is one of his backing singers.

    Breakers – Mr Mister -Kyrie. Well I always thought this was a girls name but no, “Kyrie eleison” is Greek for ‘Lord have mercy’. Prince – Kiss.

    Whistle – (Nothing Serious) Just Buggin’- in the studio. Well..

    Diana Ross – Chain Reaction- gets to the top this week after a record breaking (at the time) gap since last hitting No1. On video.

    Out to Huey Lewis “The Power of Love”. Gone are the studio dancers and we get the video. This change I don’t mind.
    Whistle aside this is a very middle aged episode, with slim pickings for the youth.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  10. 100
    speedwell54 on 12 Sep 2018 #

    TOTP 20/03/1986 . Bates does the voiceover and we’re straight into Jim Diamond and Hi Ho Silver in the studio. He’s had his mullet cut off this week, but Sam Brown’s returned for the performance. The rather large band are in an array of formality. Suit and tie, suit and t-shirt, suit and flat cap, leather jacket. Jim is wearing a coat far, far too large.

    As Jim is faded out we find the unlucky partner for Bates, it’s Janice Long. The Rolling Stones with Harlem Shuffle on video. Bates name checks the director. The video mixes live performance with animation, a bit like Opposite Attract. We miss the beginning and the cover is reasonably faithful, other than we don’t get the horns that House Of Pain lifted for Jump Around.

    For the second week they have the chart run down scrolling over a video. Both hosts take turns in reading out. It’s all a bit of a rush. Video plays out then…

    Simon Mayo appears and Janice introduces him. He is so at ease compared to the over eager puppies of Paul Jordan and Dixie Peach. For his first ever link he gets the Pet Shop Boys “Love Comes Quickly”. They’re in the studio and the performance is rather low key. This sounds like it fits right alongside their other hits, but peaked at a lowly 19, and must have made people nervous for the next single.

    Breakers – Overjoyed – Stevie Wonder. I don’t mind this clip, it may be an over reaction to it not being as annoying as its predecessors. His last solo top 20 hit over here. From 1983 onwards the B Sides of Wonder’s singles are nearly always an instrumental version of the A-side. Moving into the cd age extra tracks are ‘versions’. Not great. Next, Siouxsie and the Banshees with Candyman. Another act with biggest hits being covers.(save Hong Kong Garden)

    Straight into “Living Doll” Cliff Richard and the Young Ones new at No4 on video. This got played a lot at the time. First Comic Relief single and there were a lot worse to come. Though not heard for ages it all comes back “which instruments do you want us to break?” etc

    The Real Thing “You To Me Are Everything”. If the Tavares can do it, so can we. Remixed but not in a DJ Otzi way. Sounds like mainly the drums have been updated. I say drums, obviously a synth. Countdown. Sinatra at no9 this week was the oldest chap to have a top 10 single. Bowie’s Absolute Beginners at No2, but we missed out last week due to Smitty. Shame.

    Diana Ross with Chain Reaction- last week at No1, on video. Out to Kyrie; ffwd.
    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  11. 101
    Paulito on 20 Sep 2018 #

    @90: to paraphrase the great Kenneth Tynan, I doubt if I could love anyone who did not wish to hear “The Captain of Her Heart”. It’s a gorgeous song.

  12. 102
    Speedwell54 on 4 Oct 2018 #

    TOTP 3/4/1986. New graphics and new theme tune; The Wizard. Janice on the voiceover and we’re straight into Big Audio Dynamite – E=MC2. This is good. Don Letts is a less bendy legged Bez, and stands near the keyboards, which seems as far as he wants to go to join in with the miming lark. John Peel co presents and introduces..

    George Michael – A Different Corner. On video and we get a simple black and white rather none video, I think deliberately being undistracting of the vocal. The drumless and chorusless nature forces the listener to hear the lyric and places it front and centre. The personal tone relates, even if the situation isn’t just the same. Peel tells a dad joke but he has enough in the bank to get away with it.

    A-Ha – Train Of Thought. In the studio, less poppy than the first couple but there’s a strong chorus.

    Janice chats to Paul Hardcastle about the new theme, dull. The Real Thing also in the studio. None of them has bothered dressing up and don’t even look like a group. Into a countdown and hoorah! we’ve gone back to the usual numbers and pictures with the ‘Wizard’ buzzing away underneath.

    Falco – Rock Me Amadeus. Introduced by Peel, who tells us it’s number 1 everywhere else and “come on Britain” well, he gets his wish, but at 10 this week. In the studio and they are different, in their staccato sound.

    Top 10 and Peel has a pop at Queen at No7, Sam Fox is at No3 which we have missed on these repeats thus far. The Young Ones and Cliff at no1 again. On video.

    No breakers this week in an ever changing TOTP format.
    Out to the Style Council -‘Have You Ever Had it Blue’ on video.
    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  13. 103
    Lazarus on 4 Oct 2018 #

    Watching tonight’s show presented by Peel and Long. 29/5/86 which means I’ve probably left a load for the rest of youse to fill in – sorry about that, but these days if I miss ’em, I miss ’em.

    Dr and the Medics – familiar tune, only 16 years old at this point, and not given a massively different treatment. There have been many doctors in pop over the years, haven’t there. Has there ever been a chart act with real medical qualifications, though, like Harry Hill? Graeme Garden is the only one that comes to mind.

    Robert Palmer – he’s from Yorkshire, Peely. Iconic and much-spoofed video. Doubt if it could be made now, even in an ‘ironic’ way. Band is like a 1970s Roxy Music album cover come to life. The song – triffic, of course, though ‘Bad Case of Loving You’ and ‘Every Kinda People’ should have been just as big.

    The Real Thing – frankly unnecessary 10-year-anniversary remix. Nice to see them getting another go on the Pops though, and the song is great. Did they release any fresh material in the wake of this? If they did, it bombed.

    Charts 40-11. Includes old songs from Marvin Gaye, The Cure and B52s. Breakers: Nu Shooz, Cashflow (nope), er, that’s it. Highest new entry:

    Tears for Fears – back with a rejigged version of ‘Rule the World’ in aid of Sport Aid. When did that stop being a thing? Doesn’t seem to have lasted long. Come to think of it, when did the Comic Relief records stop? Did Westlife kill that one? Lots of familiar sports stars feature in the video.

    Pete Wylie – the artist formerly known as Wah! (in many forms). Straight down the line guitar pop. Pretty much his last chart showing apart from a one-off appearance with The Farm. Why did Janice introduce this as “our mate Josie Jones [presumably the blonde guitarist] backed by Pete Wylie?” An in-joke there. And Peel gets in a line that reduces Long to hysterics but which he was slated for at the time.

    Top 10. And Spitting Image at no. 1. I haven’t actually watched this in years, so I’m going to play the ‘who do I recognise’ game. Enoch Powell, Esther Rantzen, Jimmy Greaves, and of course Lord Lucan, who seemed to be hiding in plain sight every week.

    Play out with Peter Gabriel and another memorable video. What a great number one this would have made.

    OK, I’ll let someone else fill in the gaps …

  14. 104
    Lee Saunders on 6 Oct 2018 #

    I’ve also been watching TOTP 86. Can anyone explain why Rock Lobster was in the top 20? I assumed it was a greatest hits tie-in but it doesn’t seem to be. And surely 1986 is just a tad too early for advert hits that weren’t Levi.

    Never cared for the Robert Palmer song or video but it was nice seeing both it and (an abridged) Sledgehammer on the same episode as both are seminal videos. IIRC Invisible Touch was still on the rise on the charts whereas Sledgehammer was already peaking, which I think was the opposite than in the US.

    Unless I’m mistaken, Comic Relief records are still going (?) They’d only just begun a couple of months before of course. Live Aid’s immense legacy playing out quickly on the charts. Though ignored by TFF compilations, Run the World was on the one-off Now ’86 CD (that I’m fortunate enough to own) from when the Now series were still dipping their feet in the CD market but not just yet releasing full Now albums on the format.

    Dr and the Medics – shame it wasn’t Fuzzbox.

  15. 105
    Mark G on 8 Oct 2018 #

    Well, “Rock Lobster” was the track that everyone knew the B52s from, but as it was their first single it was not a hit as such – doubtless it sold plenty over a long time period.

    So, the powers that be decided to give it a big push, seeing as how the band themselves didn’t seem to be around at the time. As for a “greatest hits” tie-in, there seemed to be plenty based around the multiformat versions of this single – “Planet Claire” was the nominated b-side, “Song for a Future Generation” was on the 12″ along with “Give Me Back My Man”, and “52 Girls” was on the double 7″ single version. Oh, and if that wasn’t sufficient, you could buy a three-part rectangular set of pic-discs that fit in the same plastic folder, all with the same A and (nominated) B side tracks.

    They tried to do the same thing for the next single “Wig”, but people said “Hang on, we’ve got “Song for a future generation” already!” – funnily enough I had already bought the “Future Generation” 2×7″ a couple years before, which also gave me “Planet Claire” and “There’s a moon outside”…

    The “mangled together from clips” video for “Rock Lobster” was mmm OK, but I do recall seeing an early live-recorded video on “Vintage TV” which would have been really much better to have seen at this time, but hey. Anyway, a couple years later they did “Love Shack” and they had a brief moment of imperial.

  16. 106
    speedwell54 on 12 Oct 2018 #

    17/04/1986 TOTP. Gary Davies on the voiceover and Big Country return with a new single from the forthcoming album The Seer. One of their more catchy numbers, but they seem to be on a downward spiral hit wise here on in. Not sure about Stuart’s long coat in a rare foray into fashion. Gary flying solo.

    Falco – Rock Me Amadeus. On video and twenty seconds in we get the charts. No longer scrolling vertically on top of the video, but old school, a footnote. He reads out all the numbers fallers as well as climbers.

    A-Ha – Train Of Thought. Back in the studio and it’s white shirts and sleeves rolled up to the elbow that seems to be the order of the day. Good drumming and unusual woodwind backing. (via a keyboard obv)

    Breakers are back. Suzanne Vega – Marlene On The Wall. First time on TOTP. First track I heard from her was Small Blue Thing which I liked mainly due to the unusual phrasing and pace changes. This is a bit more poppy. When Luka was such a stand out hit in the US – No3 (nothing else did anything to speak of) I wondered why she didn’t ‘rock up’ her other tracks. Other than the fact she probably had some integrity.
    Grange Hill Cast – Just Say No – Video, in school, in a studio, in a gym. Director Amma Asante features towards the end.
    Janet Jackson – 10 singles and 2 albums in, she worked out how to have a hit. Control gave her hits peaking at 1,2,3,4,5 and wait for it….14 in the US.
    The jerky shoulders dancing and shoulder pads both dated, song however not so much.

    It’s Immaterial – Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune) in the studio, performance is a bit dull, ( all those talky lyrics hard to mime) but the song is ok.

    Top 10 countdown to George Michael and his first week at one. He’s in the studio with extensions, tasselled leather jacket, jeans and cowboy boots. It’s all a bit too much. I’ll close my eyes.

    Out to Whitney Houston- The Greatest Love Of All. She belts this one out. Sadly the sentiments didn’t quite happen for her. I always thought the double ‘are’ ‘our’ (I believe that children are our future) sounded a bit clumsy and to continue the stuttery theme, the following line should be ‘teach them well and let them lead lead the way’.

    Gary did a pretty good job here on his own. Some of the double acts worked but some did not. We get a bit of mixed bag for a while.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse .

  17. 107
    Lazarus on 18 Oct 2018 #

    I hadn’t realised that Vintage TV was no more! (or no longer on my package, in any case). Shame, I used to enjoy their made-up videos of past hits. Can’t remember them doing anything else, apart from something with Mark Ellen …

  18. 108
    Mark G on 19 Oct 2018 #

    Yeah, Vintage TV went “online-only” to Virgin Media viewers. Don’t know about other platforms.

  19. 109
    Kinitawowi on 19 Oct 2018 #

    Vintage TV died on Freeview as well, although it’s still hogging the Channel 82 slot (“This service is currently unavailable”)…

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