May 09

Popular ’82

FT + Popular/122 comments • 7,469 views

Now we have the peachy new VOTING SYSTEM on every track you might think we don’t need these polls, but they’re a nice way of summing up each year as we end it, so they stay. Every track on Popular gets a mark out of 10 from me – here’s where you tick any you’d have given 6 or more to (choose as many as you like).

No 1 Hits Of 1982: Which Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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My top mark this year went to “Come On Eileen” (10), and “Ebony And Ivory” and “Save Your Love” both got 1. Use the comments box to reflect on the year as a whole, if you like, and see you next week for 1983.


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  1. 91
    Mark G on 14 Nov 2016 #

    Hi, I’m in Rome so I just popped in to say

    The Boys town gang: while the girl soul singer is great, she definitely is not what its all about.

    And Wavelength Hurry Home was a hit because it sound tracked the forces’ returning from The Falklands – literally I’m fairly sure.

  2. 92
    Jimmy the Swede on 14 Nov 2016 #

    #89 – Re Brat. The 5th August was a month after Wimbledon finished but I can recall Virginia Wade talking about this record on a morning show. She was greatly amused by it but stressed that she had every good reason to believe that McEnroe (then still mid-career) was less than impressed and was talking of calling for his lawyer (as Brat did in the record). Roger Kitter got round it by simply pointing out that Brat was not John and wherever did McEnroe get that idea?

    1982 was not a good year for McEnroe. Defending champion at both Wimbledon and the US Open, he lost both. First he was beaten in the Wimbledon Final by the hated Jimmy Connors and then lost the Semi at Flushing Meadow to the equally despised Ivan Lendl, who was himself beaten by Connors in the Final. But John McEnroe would come again!

    Incidently, there had been another record the previous year recorded by the posh guys who used to queue up in dinner jackets to see the Men’s Final. They were McEnroe fans, totally ironically of course. The rap record (simply called “McEnroe”) was privately produced and had the same on the B-side. Despite this, the record was great fun. I can’t remember what they called themselves, despite owning the record and Google doesn’t help. Nevertheless, the tone was far more complimentary to John McEnroe than “Chalk Dust”:

    “Jolly good forehand, jolly good backhand, McEnroe!
    “Jolly good forehand, jolly good backhand, McEnroe!
    “Jolly good service and that swerve is oh-oh-OH!
    “There’s only one description – John McEnroe! John McEnroe! John McEnroe!”

    The record then made a bold prediction:

    “In ’81 that son of a gun will win Wimbledon – ain’t that right, John?” (He did)

    It also included a re-enactment of McEnroe’s now renowned monologue during that same 1981 tournament, delivered in a perfect New York accent. The record was produced and released immediately after that particular outburst, a remarkable feat back then:

    “You can’t be serious. YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!
    “That ball was on the line!
    “The chalk flew up!
    “It was clearly in!

    The record failed to chart.

  3. 93
    Lazarus on 16 Nov 2016 #

    The late Bob Holness may not have played saxophone on ‘Baker Street’ but he did have two daughters in the pop world (briefly) – Carol had a minor hit as Nancy Nova while Ros was one-fifth of Toto Coelo, who had to change their first name to Total for the US after mutterings from the soft-rock giants (a bit of a cheek really, considering they’d pinched theirs from the Wizard of Oz, but there you go. Money talks). It’s easy enough to spot Baby Coelo, Scary Coelo and Ginger Coelo but which were the other two? I couldn’t make up my mind. Scary, incidentally, was one Anita Chellamah, who’d joined Legs & Co a few short months before they got the boot – so at least she got back on the show, and I guess was the only former member of a dance troupe to reappear as a performer, unless you know different?

  4. 94
    Girl with Curious Hair on 17 Nov 2016 #

    I Eat Cannibals is a (relative) contemporary of Slice Me Nice, a song by German singer Fancy which has a similar lovers-as-cannibals theme. Slice Me Nice’s central metaphor is that sex = baking. What exactly was going on in the early-to-mid-80s?

  5. 95
    Chelovek na lune on 21 Nov 2016 #

    I was really fond of another Toto Coelo single, not a hit, called “Milk From the Coconut”. Think it was the first 12″ I bought, actually..

    19 Aug 1982

    Modern Romance ft John du Prez – Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White
    The group, as we know, are a bit silly, and are a dressed a bit like imagined retro American sailors like never quite looked. Thankfully it’s mostly about the horn, and the lyrical and vocal excesses that make other records of the group rather annoying are thankfully absent

    Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger on video from the Rocky movie, all very cross-promotional, if less blatant that all the plugs for Fame recently. The song is strong enough to rise being used as an ad. Far more product placement in the video that the Beeb would usually be happy with, too.

    Haircut 100 – Nobody’s Fool
    In the studio, looking a bit more preppy than fey, this is very similar to their earlier hits, but less insistent, a little more autumnal rather than summery. A bit less memorable, too.

    The Kids From Fame – Hi Fidelity
    Bouncy little number that sounds as incredibly dated now as the hymn of praise to late-70s musical technology that it is. I’d quite forgotten how proggy some of the keyboard parts are. Somewhere along the road from ELO to Glee… Obvious BBC plus for the show, too

    Captain Sensible – Wot
    Eccentric building-site song with Dolly Mixture accompanying. After stumbling out of bed, the Captain encounters an Adam Ant lookalike who gets kicked to the ground and dissed lyrically. Mickey Mouse or a lookalike bounces along on a lit-up clock in the background.

    Talk Talk – Today – on video, described as their TOTP debut, good electronic haunting pop, with characteristically tonally-limited-and-smoke-machine effects in place. The moodscapes of their subsequent more experimental phase are already hinted at.

    Thomas Dolby – Windpower
    Another TOTP debut, in the studio, smoke machines a go-go, sharp suit, mad, controlling, scientist look, he brandishes a lightbulb like a priest presenting a communion wafer at the moment of consecration. This is the future, and it doesn’t have great tunes.

    Duran Duran – Save A Prayer
    on video in Sri Lanka. Not sure they ever surpassed this musically, the video is languid, for its flaunting of tropical beach scenes and elephants and monks and statues and wealth and status. Lush.

    Soft Cell – What?
    A What to match the Wot? earlier. Camp almost gothic-BDSM-hinting moody performance. Refreshing and sparse, this is the electronic sound of the early 80s at close to its finest. Almond’s emotionality provides the vital human accompaniment.

    Dexy’s – Come On Eileen
    Definitely the way to get the party going.

    dance out to the Belle Stars – The Clapping Song

  6. 96
    Chelovek na lune on 26 Nov 2016 #

    Peter Powell on the mike

    Evelyn King – Love Come Down
    Hard to go wrong with an indisputed club classic as this. Unfussy, rather than showy, performance. No backing dancers, no gimmicks, just the singer herself, dancing, hand movements. A pretty decent start.

    Dire Straits – Private Investigations
    video. Moody, understated, one of the more unlikely #2 hits of the year. The video, music and lyrics work well as a coherent whole, though it all seems a bit out of place in the frenzy of TOTP…

    Wonder Dog – Ruff Mix
    The first hit single that Simon Cowell had any involvement with – I think – which should have served as a warning. “The love story of Bark Kane and Lois Dane” says Powell. Barking, throughout, literally. Danced to by Zoo, mostly as cartoon canine characters. Wonder Dog himself knocks a rival to the ground and gets to carry a pretty girl away Not a patch on the Disco Duck. Dreadful, even.

    Natasha – The Boom Boom Room
    She wants to be Suzi Quatro (but with better contacts at the Beeb so as to get a substandard non-hit single onto Ze Pops), but her previous, chance and undeserved victory in the Battle of the Iko Ikos was clearly a one off. Could have been revived as a Transvision Vamp B-side.

    Gillan – Living For The City
    Stevie Wonder cover, and in earnest, and horribly so. This really was the end of the group, and rightly so. Second non-hit in a row on this episode – what’s going on?

    Shalamar – There It Is
    Danced to by (two of) Zoo. Mid-range Shalamar, not quite up there with their very best. Decent dancing though….

    David Christie – Saddle Up
    An unconvincing (and French) interpretation of “le far-West”. As he sings himself…”No use imitating the Lone Ranger”. Weird in its mediocrity.

    Shakin Stevens – Give Me Your Heart Tonight
    Almost a reggae beat underneath this, Shaky in a slick smart grey suit, black shirt, white tie, very smart, very 1982. The song is not without charm but falls some way short of brillance ,but still didn’t deserve to be cut off as it was here….

    No 1 Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger
    on video. Tough urban scenes in the vid before getting to the boxing and then finally the band. Song of course a classic.

    Dance out to Rockers Revenge – Walking On Sunshine
    Prime slice of electro, the future is now.

    A strangely unsatisfactory show overall, as even Powell appears to admit at one point…

  7. 97
    Chelovek na lune on 26 Nov 2016 #

    16 Sept. 1982

    Bates being Bates,

    Mari Wilson – Just What I Always Wanted
    Reviving the beehive, and what a cracking song this is. Sing-a-long and delight and wallow in one of the best pop songs of the year, the facile materialism of some of its lyrics notwithstanding, that goes well beyond its retro pretentions….

    The Jam – The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)
    on video, and what a delight this is too, chilling, intelligent, emotion-laden, melodious, proof that the Jam had grown in every way…. From a pretty solid catalogue, a real highlight. Vague hints of what might come later from Weller are present here too..

    Simple Minds – Glittering Prize
    There’s something almost goth-like in Jim Kerr’s presentation here – is that really black eyeliner and whiteface, an attempt to out-Sylvan Sylvan? Loads of dry ice pumped. But this is still decent enough Minds, with a proper hook for a chorus, from well before they fatally started to take themselves too seriously…

    UB40 – So Here I Am
    Bland reggae-ish wallpaper, “Here I am sittin at a bus-stop wishin I was somewhere else”. Yeah, me too. (And inferior to their later single “Here I Am” as it happens.) There is a groove here, sure, but not much else.

    Shakatak – Invitations
    Well they may be widely mocked, but they deliver jazz-funk like hardly anyone else. Already their third quality hit of the year. Slick and smooth and mellow. Ivories being properly tinkled. Such good fun. Delightful, even…

    Frida from Abba gets a short interview from Bates, claiming unconvincingly that ABBA are not spliitin up…

    ABC -All Of My Heart
    On video. Rivalling the Jam (both songs having similar themes) for moody London street scenes before switching to the orchestra (and it was the LSO playing on this, no?) and chandeliers. Who’s not to say this is the very best of the singles from a superb album, but cutting it where the editors of TOTP cut it here, not even two-thirds of the way through, verges on the cruel…

    Talk Talk – Today
    A past vision of futurism confusingly called “Today”, dry ice aplenty on stage, moody, ambient, brillance.

    Adam Ant – Friend Or Foe
    On video. And it seems a bit of a misstep after recent triumphs, almost a parody (thematically, lyrically AND musically, and the video as well as the song) of Adam Ant even… Maybe he took being dissed by Captain Sensible badly… Bates says “And they said that Adam Ant was finished”. A few more singles like this and he will be….

    Carly Simon – Why
    Danced to by Zoo. A bit of a minor classic, really.

    No 1 Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger
    Video as previously

    Dance out to Grandmaster Flash – The Message
    “the best rap of the year” says Bates, and he might well be right

    Musically, some real highlights and only a couple of downers.

  8. 98
    Steve Williams on 27 Nov 2016 #

    #96 Simon Cowell certainly had plenty of involvement with Wonder Dog – and that performance!

    Bloody awful episode, that, though. Worst of the year by miles.

  9. 99
    Paulito on 2 Dec 2016 #

    @97: Without wishing to over-analyse a simple pop song, I think the point of “Just What I Always Wanted” is that love trumps money. The “he” to whom Mari refers appears to be a sugar-daddy type who has given her lots of bling, but the narrative is directly addressed to her true love who just gives of himself – and *that’s* what she’s really wanted all along. A well-trodden theme, but done with great charm and not a little humour (the various material goodies are cited in a wry, tongue in cheek manner). As you say, it’s one of the finest pop hits of the year.

  10. 100
    Phil on 2 Dec 2016 #

    “A tune from Teddy, an Ashworth snap” – Ashworth is (presumably) music photographer Peter Ashworth. As for Teddy, step forward* Teddy Johns, Wilson’s writer and arranger – better known (to me at least) as Tot Taylor, formerly of Advertising. If power pop had been a thing, I’m sure Advertising would have been big – I got rid of their LP years ago, and I can still recite chunks of it – but it wasn’t and they weren’t. Nice to see him getting another bite at the cherry.

    *as indeed he did on TOTP

  11. 101
    Chelovek na lune on 3 Dec 2016 #

    23 Sept 1982

    Peely at least, claiming to have millions of humble admirers. Perhaps.

    David Christie – “Saddle Up”. Sounds no better than it did last time. Followed by Peely pretending to learn French.

    then over to Fat Larry’s Band “Zoom”, which is also a bit on the bland side.

    Dollar “Give Me Some Kinda Magic”. Obligatory quasi-Eurovision stylings, and I presume Horn production, and a kind of brief sing-along chorus bit, but this is some way below what they’ve proven to be capable of. And, oh God, clapping. “A top five record or I’m a Dutchman”, says Peel, curiously adding that “Peel” is a rude word in Dutch. Well, Goedendag!

    Shalamar “There It Is”
    Sadly keeping the theme of bland mediocrity and acts underperforming that is beginning to characterise this edition of the show well and truly alive.

    “Now the first of several Brian Clough lookalikes in this week’s progrmamme”: video of Depeche Mode “Leave In Silence”. Not sure about that, but they look so extremely youthful, even before they get on spacehoppers. Not their tweeist single of the year, anyway. Probably the best song so far

    Then, on video, to the really very young Musical Youth “Pass The Dutchie”. Video has some nice shots of Westminster and various forms of law enforcement, singing in a courtroom, and so on , and with radio equipment and a walkman of the early 80s. The track is jolly, at least.

    Now Peel introduces “A second Brian Clough lookalike” (later adding, no he dosn’t look much like him, only sounds like him) – ah, Boy George , logically enough: Culture Club – “do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” Stylish haunting lovers rock-reggae beats, and such a voice. Head and shoulders above everything else on the show so far.

    Chicago – “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” danced to, elegantly, by Libra and Leo. Their first UK hit for years. Mainstream American FM AOR, but a pretty decent exemplar thereof.

    Evelyn King – “Love Come Down” – repeat of the previous performance.

    Still at no 1, Survivor “Eye of The Tiger”, on video as usual.

    Dance out to Rockers Revenge “Walking On Sunshine” – quality electro the superior of most of what has been on earlier.

    For all that Peel was in a more jocular mood than typical, this was far from being a cheer-inducing edition.

  12. 102
    Adam Puke on 3 Dec 2016 #

    Haven’t heard “Just What I Always Wanted” since this era (AFAIK) and don’t recall it sounding quite so ‘synthy’- in my head it had a retro 60s-done-in-the-80s production ala Phil Collins’ “You Can’t Hurry Love”. Still a great tune, regardless.

  13. 103
    Chelovek na lune on 4 Dec 2016 #

    14 Oct 1982

    John Peel again. Playing games with act’s names. Not sure if it’s a play on “Depechay Mode”, but we get “Ah-Be-Kay” instead of ABC and “the Culture Clubs” along the chart countdown/

    Mari Wilson – “Just What I Always Wanted”, new performance, with notably unconvincing miming, muted horns and all, but it’s still great.

    On video live performance, Barry Manilow, “I Wanna Do It With You”. Peel says “this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for”. I suspect a certain insincerity in his words. Enuff said. A pity Bazza’s rather superior hit from earlier in the year “Stay” hadn’t made it to TOTP. This one lingers somewhere betweeen inane and banal and is very much less inviting than the title might inspire hopes of. Cue 80s sax interlude too for further repulsion. As for the slinky dancing of the backing singers…

    Debut appearance on TOTP of Tears For Fears with their first hit single – “Mad World”. This is very much more like it (as well as serving a useful reminder how much more complex and tension-laden this original version of the song is to the later no 1 cover). Great early 80s synth sounds. Lyrically the opposite of inane or banal. Pretty special…

    Pinkees – Danger Games
    Don’t recall this act or the song at all, although if what Peel says is true (a big if) they’re local to my childhood, “Basildon and Romford”. Very odd chart run 30-30-27-8-12-29 too. Hmm, some rumours of skullduggery about that. Musically, nondescript mid-period Beatles revivalism. Is there any need for this? Not particularly, although the lightness of touch is pleasing.

    Melba Moore – “Love’s Comin’ At Ya”
    Pretty undistinguished late disco.

    Pretenders – “Back On The Chain Gang” danced to by Zoo
    Cut off too soon, but otherwise a welcome step up in quality.

    Ultravox – “Reap The Wild Wind”
    Peel says they’ve had complaints about not playing this in full previously, so now they will. Apparently. A wartime story in the video, the single is crisp and appealing.

    Beatles – “Love Me Do” on video, of course.
    Well they went on to do better than this.

    Still at number 1 Musical Youth – “Pass The Dutchie” on video. Bi-di-li bi-di-li-bong, this has aged remarkably well.

    Dance out to a bit of Carly Simon – “Why”, which still sounds great

    Not a bad show, highlights outnumbering the lowlights anyway.

  14. 104
    Snif on 6 Dec 2016 #

    Since it’s been mentioned a few times recently, can I ask if any one knows….what the narrative thread to ABC’s “All Of My Heart” film clip was? I quite liked it, but could never be sure as to what exactly was supposed to have been going on (I’m legendary for being slow on the uptake).

  15. 105
    swanstep on 7 Dec 2016 #

    @snif, 104. I remember the vid. being greeted with ‘Huh?’s at the time (with the blood coming out of the power-point getting laughs). There was also a bit of relief expressed at ABC flubbing something, revealing their ‘feet of clay’. The fragments of ‘spy’ plot that peak through in the vid. are related to (though not I believe directly taken from) ABC’s mostly unseen, Julian Temple-directed “Mantrap” video-project of the time (all but the last ~8 mins or so of which is on youtube). From what I’ve seen of it, however, Mantrap is too much of a muddle to shed light on anything else.

  16. 106
    Mark G on 8 Dec 2016 #

    I just heard all the Mike Smith episodes will not be shown, apparently for contractual reasons.

  17. 107
    wichitalineman on 9 Dec 2016 #

    Seriously? Have you got any more details?

  18. 108
    Mark G on 9 Dec 2016 #

    Yeah. Here comes a mixture of fact and supposition..

    Seems that when the contracts come around, the DJs have something to sign which allows the BBC to re-broadcast old TOTP episodes in full or in part. And then they get a cheque, I guess. Which they are all too happy to do, free money and all that. Now, Mike Smith having given up the DJ ‘persona’ I guess, he wasn’t that bothered or was actively against old bits of TOTP popping up, especially when he was trying to cultivate a more, um, grown-up business style. Possibly.

    Anyway, he said no, and I guess his wife Sarah Greene knew and understood his reasons, for when the extension contracts came back around she again kept to his wishes.

    Most of that is cobbled together from “Missing Shows” blog, citation goes to (look this up later).

    Suffice to say, there are no Yewtree shenags involved. It does mean that you will not be seeing The Smiths appearance that got followed by Smitty’s painted chest..

  19. 109
    Steve Williams on 9 Dec 2016 #

    Well, you wouldn’t be seeing that anyway, because of another presenter.

  20. 110
    wichitalineman on 9 Dec 2016 #

    Man… I wonder if Sarah Greene could be petitioned.

  21. 111
    Mark G on 9 Dec 2016 #

    Its probably worth a go, who would be the people to know, I wonder?

  22. 112
    Steve Williams on 11 Dec 2016 #

    Well, you don’t have to petition her – you could just ask her nicely.

  23. 113
    Chelovek na lune on 12 Dec 2016 #

    21 Oct 1982

    Peter Powell on presenter duties in a thick jumper or two

    Piranahs – Zambezi.
    Mad keen Brighton and Hove FC supporters I think – is this the one with Boring Bob Grover on or was that the other one? I think it was – the singer looks like the might fit the description. Summertime quasi-school uniforms from the female singers + a straw hat, an animal mascot – ah a Brighton and Hove seagull I presume in blue and yellow, this is all good English slightly eccentric fun. Ah, no, Bob Grover was playing the trumpet, Powell informs us.

    The Kids From Fame – Starmaker
    Earnest, too earnest, sad that their time as the Kids together are over. From a musical p.o.v. this can surely only be a good thing. We’re happy now. One line in each verse only from each singer, before they nauseate listeners by all joining in on the chorus. Composition-wise though one could imagine Debbie Gibson having come up with this (“We Could Be Together” is in the same large field….)

    Imagination – In The Heat Of The Night
    After a few really goood singles from Leee John and Co, I suppose it was time for one that should have remained as an album track. (Odd how title tracks of albums often don’t seem to come off as singles.) It’s their usual sound, but lacks the appeal and oompth their capable of. Dull, even.

    Toyah – Be Proud, Be Loud (Be Heard)
    Aggressive prancing, wearing a super-hero style bright cape, amazing hair arrangement she looks like great, great fun, but….- oh none of this can disguise that, a few nice keyboard sequences apart, this is pretty thin gruel. Altered Images might have made a keen fist of it though…

    Kool and the Gang – Let’s Go Dancin’ (Ooh La La La).
    Wallpaper music really, passable in the background, but quite dull and featureless on closer observation. And man how it drags on endlessly, but this is barely reggae dancing, is it, however many times they say it?

    Bauhaus – Ziggy Stardust
    Oh great goth moodiness. This is great – and I think really is a tribute – hyped up and with attitude – to Bowie, rather than just a lazy cover version or means to get Bauhaus on the radio or TV…. majestic.

    Spandau Ballet – Lifeline
    Tweed jacket alert! Is this the birthplace of the Young Fogey, a couple of years before the Spectator caught on to it? Still boyish enough to get away with it. And musically this is pretty damn good indeed – bright, optimistic, a bit of depth and a fair bit of fun.

    Sharon Redd – Never Give You Up
    Fine early 80s disco sounds, an occasionally appealingly husky voice, they could have least feigned the appearance of some backing singers for miming purposes. The best dance track on the show tonight so far, by a long way.

    Shakin’ Stevens – I’ll Be Satisfied
    On video from a concert somewhere; Blackpool, I bet. In as full on hip-thrusting mode as the family favourite ever got, kicking balloons about. Hard to make a case for this being among his best singles, but is fairly representative of what he was often about – reviving Puttin On The Style aesthetics for parents to introduce them to a new generation…

    New number 1 – Culture Club- Do You Really Want To Hurt me?
    Boy George as St George to judge by his clothing? Well vaguely St George crosses anyway. A superb record, although it’d have been great to have had the dub version performed here…

    Dance out to Kid Creole – Annie I’m Not Your Daddy – which is way superior to most of the tracks that did get performed on this not incredibly brilliant edition

  24. 114
    Steve Williams on 12 Dec 2016 #

    They used to show that clip of Kool and the Gang on TOTP2 at least once a year, for some reason. It’s not even from Top of the Pops, of course, it’s from the Late Late Breakfast Show. I remember that being played in the stadium after France won a match in the 1998 World Cup, and Bob Wilson making reference to it. Obviously it’s Kool and the Gang’s most appropriate song for soundtracking celebrations. Wonder if the guy’s finger slipped when he was putting on the CD.

    Boring Bon Grover sings on both the Pirahnas’ hits, but this is the only one he gets a specific credit on for some reason.

  25. 115
    Lazarus on 14 Dec 2016 #

    I’ll take up the baton with Friday’s show, watching this for the first time (since 1982, anyway) – Simon ‘Batesy’ Bates is our compère this Hallowe’en night.

    Raw Silk – “three ladies from New York” as only Simes would introduce them. I do remember this, I’m guessing it sneaked into the Top 20. Cute and bouncy in an unthreatening sort of way. Looks like a few of the Zoo are joining in the fun, though it’s hard to tell these days. When the sax takes over you know it’s near the end.

    The Beatles – “here’s the Beatles … and it’s the Beatles.” Er … OK. It’s ‘Love Me Do’ of course. It was 20 years ago! It said so on the bus! Stock footage with band lip-synching the song in parts. Quite well put together, I think, as these things go.

    Blue Zoo – likeable one-hitters with ‘Cry Boy Cry.’ Not much info’ on the web about this lot, though they did reform in 2010 and subsequently toured the Philippines, of all places. Singer Andy O is still refusing to disclose his last name, it seems.

    Bates still hamming up the Hallowe’en stuff – starting to get annoying now.

    Dionne Warwick – a Bee Gees number of course, from a period when they couldn’t get arrested as artists. Di’s first solo hit for a good many years, though she did pop up with the Detroit Spinners in the mid-seventies. I have an idea I got my mum the album for Christmas.

    Tears for Fears – video. The artists formerly known as Graduate set off on the road to mega-stardom, though they seemed ill at ease with it. Saw them at the Hammy Odeon in ’83. Brilliant show which ended with ‘Memories Fade’ which rang in my ears all the way back to the tube.

    Chart 30-21. And at number 21 …

    Melba Moore – fairly anodyne club number, not a patch on ‘This is It’ and, I think, a repeat showing. Ffwd.

    Chart 20-11. ‘Jackie Wilson’ going down already?

    Eddy Grant – future number one, video. I think it was always the video wasn’t it? Seen it a few times over the years. Eddy’s girl paces the beach waiting for him to get off his boat. Forget it love, he doesn’t want to dance. Then it’s back to the village with a sack over his shoulder, evading her clutches – but is that her on the boat at the end, or someone else? Top 10. Kids from Fame peaking at number 3 – this was on the week before of course, a word about the video – I’ve often heard that the old bloke in the chair was dying in Real Life, so if the vid seemed a bit mawkish in places, perhaps it was with good reason? (assuming the cast knew); this may have all been dealt with on here before, I dare say.

    Number one – Culture Club – dads all over the country snort in disgust into their evening papers and silently wish for the return of Legs and Co.

    Not a bad show I thought, in spite of Bates. We had Blue Zoo, but no Zoo, though!

  26. 116
    Chelovek na lune on 16 Dec 2016 #

    28 Oct 1982
    Bates steps out of an Egyptian coffin for Halloween .Good grief.

    Raw Silk – Do It To The Music.
    Listening to this from the distance of 34 years, one thing that is clear: this has been sampled a lot. Another is that it is rather luscious: a mellow almost hypnotising start.

    Now Bates by a cauldron with a witch.

    Video of The Beatles – “Love Me Do”
    The first re-rerelease of almost their entire back catalogue of singles, 20 years after the event in each case. This is both the best and worst of them so far. Video of things from their earlier days.

    Bates now with mad scientists and an abysmal fake Germanic (Viennese?) accent. Give it up mate.

    Blue Zoo – “Cry Boy Cry”
    Who also go for funny accents, this is kind of uptempo art pop with a degree of sophistication and a lot of appeal and even some depth. A bridge between Visage and Friends Again. Perhaps.

    Bates in another coffin with vampire teeth and another weird accent. Not sure who thought this was a good idea.

    Dionne Warwick – “Heartbreaker” on video from somewhere singing live I think. V. Bee Gees composition-wise, and her first hit for 8 years. It’s a bit variety show, but good quality variety show. If pedestrian.

    Bates on a broomstick as a witch. FFS.
    Tears For Fears – “Mad World” on video. Really quite brilliant.

    Melba Moore – “Love’s Comin’ At Ya”
    Which is pretty unremarkable if inoffensive.

    Eddy Grant – “I Don’t Wanna Dance” on video, Eddy buried up to his neck in sand somewhere hot and tropical, then out at sea while the woman he’s uninterested in paces moodily onshore. Straightforward enough reggae

    Man in audience sinks his plastic fangs into Bates’ neck, and not before time

    More charts
    Still at no 1 Culture Club _”Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” this time on video then in the studio. Boy George even looks a bit camera-shy at times. Song is great.

    Apple bobbing, then dance out to the quite atrocious Barry Manilow “I Wanna Do It With You”

    Stupid gimmicks from the beeb apart, musically mostly not a terrible show.

  27. 117
    Chelovek na lune on 21 Dec 2016 #

    TOTP 11 Nov 1982

    (We’ve missed Mike Smith’s debut show, as he apparently didn’t agree to them being retransmitted. )

    The Kid taking a no-nonsense approach at kick-off, straight into Blue Zoo “Cry Boy Cry”, which still sounds and looks good. Not heard anything else by the group, but on the basis of this their one-hit wonder status sees them hard done by.

    Dionne Warwick “Heartbreaker”, a repeat show of the live performance form elsewhere we’ve seen already I think. Still alright.

    Zoo dancing to Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney “The Girl Is Mine”
    Three guys in plus fours! Never really thought about this song being set in St Andrews before, but I suppose why not? Hardly the apex of either of their careers.

    The Kid maintaining a respectful respectable jacket-plus-poppy, no groping, persona. On video Marvin Gaye “(Sexual) Healing”. Didn’t realise this wasn’t on Motown. Very fine, of course.

    A Flock of Seagulls – “Wishing (If I Had A Photograph of You)”. The first thing people always remember about them is the haircuts. Not sure if that is fair or not. This is one of their three (or so) really decent singles – but without the gimmick would they stand out from some of their peers? Not sure. Proper lyrics, proper melancholy, great early 80s synth sounds.

    Donna Summer “State Of Independence”. The best thing so far by a long way. Tension and restraint and a slow build

    Clannad – “Theme From `Harry’s Game'”

    No 1 Eddy Grant “I Don’t Wanna Dance” on video. Forgot this made no 1. Doesn’t strike me as being quite of that calibre. Alright but no more. And a very long way from his best.

    Dance out to (a short excerpt from) Raw Silk “Do It To The Music” which still sounds good

    An underwhelming show

  28. 118
    Chelovek na lune on 27 Dec 2016 #

    18 Nov 1982

    John Peel presenting, promising the episode has having “the best line up for a very long time indeed”. Let’s see if he’s sincere. The opening act, Modern Romance, might usually suggest mischevious sarcasm on Peel’s part – but no , “Best Years Of Our Lives” is, by far, their best single – and while being slightly ridiculous – , it is infectiously catchy and singalong. Not sure why their brass section is dressed like that, but whatever. Peel praises the “exotic Latin rhythms”, which is maybe overstating a point a bit.

    on video, Hall and Oates “Maneater”, a version with a long instrumental introduction. The video looks very dated, but musically it’s the fluent, well put-together blue-eyed soul that H&O so excel at. Yeah, good stuff.

    Human League “Mirror Man”. After some time away, the League return with some quality synthpop. Top marks for use of “oohs”, the boys are extremely cleanshaven, and this return marks a continuation of a chain of quite excellent singles. A classic sound.

    Duran Duran “Rio”. Pretty much the weakest of their three singles of 1982, but that speaks volumes for the extreme high quality of the other two. This drags very slightly – but such wonderful fluttery keyboard accompaniment – and it’s very good indeed

    Tears For Fears “Mad World”. We’ve seen this already, but if is still a very fine piece of sophisticated, emotionally complicated, mature-in-excess-of-the-years-of-its-authors, piece of symph-pop. Peel says it’s one of the singles of the year, and it’s hard to disagree. , still. I am beginning to think Peel’s statement about this being a very good show may have been true. But surely it will all fall apart somewhere?

    Blancmange “Living On The Ceiling”. A tree – presumably not a “bloody” one – appears on stage. Quite an intense performance of a fairly sui generis synth-pop-plus-sitar and other Indian elements number. And it is indeed very – even cuckoo – good, and not much like anything else..

    Charts. Renee and Renato “Save Your Love” hovering menacingly at no 24 threatening to lower the quality of the show….as indeed they do. Video is almost a comically bad very isolationist English parody of Italian and Roman cliches. There is little to say in its defence, but Peel cites its “achingly lovely melody”. Hmm. perhaps

    More charts – and up to Wham! and “Young Guns (Go For It)”. A classic performance, of course. Wham! are as excellent as Peel says they are. George Michael exuding star presence from the very start -it’s clear who has the upper hand here, nice rhythmic dancing among the audience and on-stage too. What a fantastic track, and what talent. Peel channels Yosser Hughes with a cry of “I can do that, gissa job” – harking back to the Wham Rap I think too…

    Top 10 charts.
    Play out with no 1 on video Eddy Grant “I Don’t Wanna Dance” – which is pretty much the weak link in this show. This and Renee and Renato apart, and with Hall and Oates not quite in the top league with the other acts, it has been indeed an outstandingly good lineup.

  29. 119
    Chelovek na lune on 27 Dec 2016 #

    2 Dec 1982

    Peter Powell

    Starting with Dexy’s Midnight Runners – “Let’s Get This Straight (From the Start)”. Slower, more insecure, than their summertime uptempo hits,. Some fine fiddle-work and moody vocals, it’s a decent enough start to the show.

    Introducing the first of three new R1 Djs – Wooh Gary Davies – stakes claim to credibility by saying his favourite chart acts are Culture Club, Blue Zoo, Kid Creole.

    Over to Human League “Mirror Man”, as before.

    2nd new DJ – Janice Long – promoting her first radio session with A Flock of Seagulls.

    Whitesnake – “Here I Go Again”
    Potentially superior piece of heavy metal, with such a gentle start, and emotional sensitivity throughout. But in this performance too much of the guitar sound is essentially unremarkable pub rock. Now if they were to rerecord this in a subtly different tone, slightly faster, slightly harder, t could be something really special – the essence of a fine song is here, but the delivery is too pedestrian to allow it to reach its full potential….

    3rd new DJ – Pat Sharp, who looks very nervous and shaky

    Bucks Fizz – “If You Can’t Stand the Heat (Keep Out Of The Kitchen)”
    What a great pop band they were. And yet how this sound – almost variety show with added oomph – was about to disappear… Curiously old-fashioned, small-c conservative, both musically and in their dress and dancing – but this is quality stuff.

    On video, Madness – “Our House”
    Video that starts out as a fairly straight performance video filmed in the front room of a London working-class terraced house, but with a few nutty boy touches – jerky movements, a nod towards cross-dressing, father setting fire to clothing with an iron – before the full nuttiness takes over. Anthemic, even, Lots of rainy shots of London streets, which suit the song well.

    Powell introduces a band “who have three records in the top 20 in Central America”, Modern Romance – “Best Years Of Our Lives”. as before Fun. The horn player is more conventionally – and elegantly addressed this time. Bowties and jackets nearly all round, in fact.

    More charts
    Duran Duran – “Rio” again, but on video this time. Beaches, babes, the tropics, boats, almost a parody of themselves now, the usual. Escapism.

    More charts
    New no 1 – a new entry, the Jam’s final single “Beat Surrender”. Lyrical skills, passion and anger – we’re really seeing how the Jam have been taken a new direction, towards, almost, jazz – but also how that was not sustainable in the long run. Rock-jazz tensions explode. By no means their best single. Not even their best single of 1982. But as a farewell tribute it’s more than tolerable.

    Dance out to Wham! “Young Guns” which is of course quite excellent.

    Pretty decent show

  30. 120
    Adam Puke on 30 Dec 2016 #

    We’ve been up t’cuckoo tree with bullfrogs who are bullfrogs in two consecutive episodes, the golden age of comedy censorship.

  31. 121
    Chelovek na lune on 1 Jan 2017 #

    #120 – but no more (see below). sanity finally prevailed, on the tree front at least. No doubt great moral injury was thereby caused to the nation, but…

    9 Dec 1982

    Shalamar – “Friends”, singing live I think. Despite some proper 70s disco orchestral flourishes lingering in the background, this is a long way from great. (and inferior to Watley’s post-Shalamar, rather more cynically worded, solo – + Rakim – single of the same name)

    Bates says every year at Christmas, there’s one gimmicky record in the charts “and here’s Renato”. Poor unmentioned Renée. “Save Your Love”. True enough. Same video as before, still a bit nauseating but above all ridic. Mind you Bates mocking someone for being uncool….he can’t get away with that.

    Yazoo “The Other Side Of Love”. Vince and Alf in the studio, looking less moody than before, their habitual fab early 80s synth and computer sounds (and green LED monitor), and three female backing singers to do kind of mini scatting thing. Seems a bit like this is Yazoo’s “forgotten single”, and while it’s not their very finest, it’s more than alright.

    Shakin’ Stevens “Blue Christmas”. One of the tracks from “The Shakin’ Stevens EP”. Making a claim to be a Woolworth’s Elvis. Not the Christmas release for which he is remembered, and rightly not.

    Junior being interviewed by Bates (for two lines): I still conclude that the guy must have dirt on Savile or the BBC would not be all over him constantly.

    Culture Club – “Time (Clock Of The Heart)” – We already knew that Boy George had the most beautiful voice, but it was unclear exactly what Culture Club would be about. At least we know now that their singles will not be carbon copies of one another .Luscious melodies, melancholy twinged with beauty, this is really very good. BG wears a top with Hebrew writing on, which, Wiki says, is an ungrammatical and incorrect translation of “Culture Club”

    Lionel Richie – “Truly”. Bates thinks this is the bees’ knees because it has great lyrics that apply to almost everybody. Can’t say I care for it myself.


    Soft Cell – “Where The Heart Is”
    Also a forgotten single. Forgotten largely because of its relative blandness, I fear, despite its portrayal of family tensions and a fairly catchy chorus. Almond and Ball no longer punching above their weight, as they had consistently done on the singles front up to now.

    Video (from 1977) David Bowie & Bing Crosby, not long before the latter’s death. – “Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy”. True talents, and a song with the best of the Christmas spirit. Would happily see this one revived annually alongside Mariah and the Pogues, etc

    Still at no 1 , The Jam “Beat Surrender”. Funny to see Weller swaggering around in a jumper as a kind of stylistic precursor of Ian Brown. A much, much, better lyricist, though. Truly the closure of an era, the final offering of an utterly vital band.

    Dance-out with Blancmange, who in their absence are permitted finally to ascend the bloody tree. Accept no alternatives. A good conclusion to a mostly mediocre show.

  32. 122
    Chelovek na lune on 1 Jan 2017 #

    23 Dec 1982
    The Kid being a bit overexcited.

    Maisonettes “Heartache Avenue”
    Powerful, briliantly retro, ex-ToTP faves City Boy bring out something memorable, oh and the female backing mimers seemingly had nothing to do with the record. This is pretty brilliant, driving, start to the show

    Bowie and Bing “Little Drummer Boy-Peace On Earth” repeat video from years past, as before

    Incantation – Cachapaya (Andes Pumpsa Desi)
    This seemed inescapable back then. Most creative miming on the show, surely, with recorder, panpipes and drums not to be played for real. Great to dance to. Fine bit of South American – via West London – fun.

    Shakin’ Stevens -Blue Christmas
    Still tedious.

    Imagination – “Changes”
    Clearly another act on the list of TOTP faves, this track is alright, like soapy bubble bath, but with a similar level of substance. Their earlier singles had been far superior. This retains the sound, but lacks the content.

    Abba “Under Attack” video performance.
    Certainly a “forgotten single”, although like many of their late singles, it stands up reasonably well without being among their classics. Fashion has mostly just moved on by 1982 though.

    “Christmas surprise hit” from Keith Harris and Orville – “Orville’s Song”
    Good grief. Good-hearted and body-swaying, I suppose. The Disco Duck after years of therapy has hooked up with a slightly strange and much older man. who at least genuinely seems to care for her. (Although, hmm,)

    No 1 , Renée and Renato, the same video as before. Oh nausea.
    The Renato turns up on the show disguised as Father Christmas

    Modern Romance “Best Years Of Our Lives”
    Which at least is high in energy and happy in keeping with the overall feel of what has not been an outstanding show.

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