May 09

Popular ’82

FT + Popular/122 comments • 7,508 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.


  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    A surprisingly high 13 out of 21 for me, but about seven of those are hovering around the six mark.

    Let’s see if I can find some other perspectives to look at 1982 from…

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 8 May 2009 #

    Not a great year for number 1 singles but not too bad either.
    The year was more significant for movies for me – with Blade Runner, E.T. and One from the heart released that year.

  3. 3
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    NME Critics’ poll singles of 1982;

    1. The Message – Grandmaster Flash
    2. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
    3. Shipbuilding – Robert Wyatt
    4. A Town Called Malice – The Jam
    5. The Look Of Love – ABC
    6. Money’s Too Tight To Mention – The Valentine Bros.
    7. Only You – Yazoo
    8. The Boiler – Rhoda & The Special AKA
    9. There It Is – Shalamar
    10. Man Out Of Time – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
    11. Walking On Sunshine – Rockers’ Revenge
    12. I Can Make You Feel Good – Shalamar
    13. Poison Arrow – ABC
    14. Don’t Go – Yazoo
    15. Inside Out – Odyssey
    16. Planet Rock – Afrika Bambaataa
    17. Young Guns Go For It – Wham!
    18. Temptation – New Order
    19. Beat Surrender – The Jam
    20. Straight To Hell – The Clash
    21. Just An Illusion – Imagination
    22. Fat Man/Moya – Southern Death Cult
    23. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? – Culture Club
    24. My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone
    25. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye – Soft Cell
    26. B-Movie – Gil Scott-Heron
    27. House Of Fun – Madness
    28. Ms Fine Brown Frame – Syl Johnson
    29. Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
    30. Know Your Rights – The Clash
    31. Buffalo Gals – Malcolm McLaren
    32. Stool Pigeon – Kid Creole & The Coconuts
    33. Slowdive – Siouxie & The Banshees
    34. Night Nurse – Gregory Isaacs
    35. Faithless – Scritti Politti
    36. I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll – Joan Jett
    37. Jump To It – Aretha Franklin
    38. Get Down On It – Kool & The Gang
    39. Mambo Bado – Orchestra Makassy
    40. Pinball Cha Cha – Yello
    41. Murphy’s Law – Cheri
    42. Promised You A Miracle – Simple Minds
    43. Head To Toe – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
    44. Wham Rap – Wham!
    45. State Of Independence – Donna Summer
    46. Party Fears Two – The Associates
    47. I Love A Man In Uniform – The Gang Of Four
    48. I Can’t Go For That – Hall & Oates
    49. Torch – Soft Cell
    50. I Don’t Wanna Dance – Eddy Grant

  4. 4
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    Sounds’ critics offered an end of year top 20 singles;

    1. The Message – Grandmaster Flash
    2. Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
    3. Straight To Hell – The Clash
    4. Buffalo Gals – Malcolm McLaren
    5. The Bitterest Pill – The Jam
    6. Feel Me – Blancmange
    7. Lumiere Urban – Champion Doug Veitch
    8. Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
    9. Back On The Chain Gang – The Pretenders
    10. Private Investigations – Dire Straits
    11. Uncertain Smile – The The
    12. Do You Believe In The Westworld? – Theatre Of Hate
    13. A Town Called Malice – The Jam
    14. African & White – China Crisis
    15. Heartache Avenue – The Maisonettes
    16. Love Parade – The Undertones
    17. Let Me Go – Heaven 17
    18. The Look Of Love – ABC
    19. The Peel Sessions – The Nightingales
    20. Klactoveesedstein – Blue Rondo A La Turk

  5. 5
    JimD on 8 May 2009 #

    I don’t remember ever hearing Seven Tears until it was covered here, but since I gave it a listen a couple of weeks ago, it’s been constantly popping back into my head, and I’m quite fond of it now. So it gets a tick from me. As do 12 others.

  6. 6
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    And here are the 1982 charts seen upside-down, ie the singles that peaked at number 40;

    6 Feb Do You Believe In The Westworld? – Theatre of Hate – 2 weeks
    17 Jul The Big Bean – Pigbag – 1
    28 Aug Backchat – Queen – 1
    9 Oct Athena – The Who – 1
    27 Nov Back To Love – Evelyn King – 1
    4 Dec I’m Alright – Young Steve & The Afternoon Boys – 1

  7. 7
    Erithian on 8 May 2009 #

    Yes, 15, with a couple of pretty borderline ones.

    A massive year for me. I lost both my father and my virginity in the space of a couple of months, got my first proper wage packet and the subsidiary part of my degree, saw the Stones at Wembley from so far away it seemed like a different postcode, and the Members at Royal Holloway from close enough to tell the time by Nicky Tesco’s watch. And began the best few months of my life over on the coast of southern Brittany, which makes this stretch of Popular a great nostalgia-fest.

  8. 8
    Erithian on 8 May 2009 #

    And the Radio 1 list of the top 30 best-sellers of the year (again the cut-off point of early December it seems, so tough luck R&R):

    1 Come On Eileen
    2 Fame
    3 Eye of the Tiger
    4 The Lion Sleeps Tonight
    5 Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
    6 Pass The Dutchie
    7 I Don’t Wanna Dance
    8 Seven Tears
    9 Ebony and Ivory
    10 Town Called Malice/Precious
    11 Golden Brown – Stranglers (2)
    12 Mad World – Tears For Fears (3)
    13 Mickey – Toni Basil (2)
    14 Love Plus One – Haircut One Hundred (3)
    15 The Model/Computer Love
    16 Oh Julie
    17 Goody Two Shoes
    18 Only You – Yazoo (2)
    19 Heartbreaker – Dionne Warwick (2)
    20 Don’t Go – Yazoo (3)
    21 Walkin’ On Sunshine – Rockers’ Revenge (4)
    22 Zoom – Fat Larry’s Band (2)
    23 I Won’t Let You Down – PhD (3)
    24 Just An Illusion – Imagination (2)
    25 Hard To Say I’m Sorry – Chicago (4)
    26 Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band (2)
    27 Starmaker – The Kids From “Fame” (3)
    28 Centerfold – J Geils Band (3)
    29 House of Fun
    30 The Land of Make Believe

    Save Your Love, Beat Surrender, Happy Talk, I’ve Never Been To Me and A Little Peace didn’t make the top 30 of the year.

  9. 9
    justfanoe on 8 May 2009 #

    I voted for most of the songs I knew, except that I forgot to vote for Kraftwerk and there were a few I really didn’t like. In fact, I have not heard either of those The Jam songs so it seems like that’s all I’m really missing out on.

  10. 10
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 8 May 2009 #

    and what WAS the time by nicky tesco’s watch?

  11. 11
    DV on 8 May 2009 #

    Now we have the peachy new VOTING SYSTEM on every track you might think we don’t need these polls,

    Don’t you have to register to take part in that peachy new VOTING SYSTEM? I feel that I have registered on enough websites.

  12. 12
    admin on 8 May 2009 #

    at risk of milestone inflation, that’s the first 30 years of number 1s dealt with :-)

  13. 13
    Billy Smart on 9 May 2009 #

    Here are the phantom number ones of 1982, that got to pole position on the NME chart, but not the Gallup one; One Of Us, I Won’t Let You Down, Abracadabra, Private Investigations, The Bitterest Pill, Heartbreaker, Mirror Man, Time (Clock Of The Heart) – all for one week except for two weeks of Culture Club over Christmas.

  14. 14
    lonepilgrim on 9 May 2009 #

    The Face review of ’82 in the January ’83 issue resists the impulse to aggregate its writer’s top singles of the year, instead opting to allow individual columnists to nominate their favourites – perhaps as a democratic gesture or more likely to keep their options open.

    Robert Elms chose:
    Jump to it – Aretha Franklin
    Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
    Shipbuilding – Robert Wyatt
    Money’s too tight to mention – Valentine Bros
    If you study long you’ll study wrong – J. Gayle Gaynor
    The message – Grandmaster Flash
    Reet Petite – Jackie Wilson
    The Apple Stretching – Grace Jones
    How we gonna make the black nation rise – Brother D with Collective effort
    My baby just cares for me – Nina Simone

    The issue also reflects the rise of the Pop-Cultural commentator – featuring an interview with Peter York and an article entitled ‘The age of plunder’ by Jon Savage which concludes:

    The Past then, is being plundered in Pop as elsewhere in order to construct a totality that is seamless, that cannot be broken. It is characteristic of our age that there is little sense of community, of any real sense of history as THE PRESENT is all that matters. Who needs yesterday’s papers? In re-fashioning the past in our own image, in tailoring the past to our own preconceptions, the past is recuperated: instead of being a door OUT of our time, it merely leads to another airless room.
    The Past then is turned into the most disposable of consumer commodities, and is thus dismissable: the lessons which it can teach us are thought trivial, are ignored amongst a pile of garbage. a proper study of the past can reveal, however, desires and spirits not all in accordance with Mrs Thatcher’s mealy-mouthed idealogy as it spreads like scum to fill every available surface and it is up to us to address ourselves to them. What pop does or doesn’t do, ceases to be important.

  15. 15
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 9 May 2009 #

    Elms was never my favourite writer (understatement alert!) and there’s boring and/or over-exposed records in that list (flash/simone) and round about this time he wrote a real tin-eared review of a record by james blood ulmer which i evidently still haven’t forgiven him for, but that list is very redolent of this year for me — i was so hungry for people who wrote well about the soulboy-club axis, about its flaws as well as its excellence (its flaws as explored from the inside, i mean: not outsiders hammering on them): what always struck me as curious was how defensive it always seemed, in reference to subcultures outside itself

    i know savage so this comes with bias but boy has he aged better than peter york

  16. 16
    rosie on 9 May 2009 #

    Interesting that those lists of best singles of 1982 include (at least) two from an era even before my listening days!

    (Hey, Mark, nothing boring about Nina Simone, that’s a terrific, timeless, track!)

    The rise of the pop-cultural commentator surely began with Richard Hoggart. The Uses of Literacy being published in the same year that Reet Petite was originally released.

  17. 17
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 9 May 2009 #

    nina’s is the over-exposed one i think — she made dozens of much better records

    not hoggart, orwell! his stuff on saucy postcards, billy bunter etc (though he didn’t discuss pop music that i know of)

    pop-commentator as mainstream columnist is what’s on the rise with york and savage (and julie burchill just off-stage: her face column started in 83 i think)

  18. 18
    justfanoe on 9 May 2009 #

    USA perspective:

    Hall & Oates – “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” (1 week)
    J Geils Band – “Centerfold” (6 weeks)
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – “I Love Rock n’ Roll” (7 weeks)
    Vangelis – “Chariots of Fire” (1 week)
    Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder – “Ebony & Ivory” (7 weeks)
    The Human League – “Don’t You Want Me” (3 weeks)
    Survivor – “Eye of the Tiger” (6 weeks)
    Steve Miller Band – “Abracadabra” (2 weeks)
    Chicago – “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” (2 weeks)
    John Cougar – “Jack and Diane” (4 weeks)
    Men at Work – “Who Can It Be Now?” (1 week)
    Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – “Up Where We Belong” (3 weeks)
    Lionel Richie – “Truly” (2 weeks)
    Toni Basil – “Mickey” (1 week)
    Hall & Oates – “Maneater” (4 weeks)

  19. 19
    justfanoe on 9 May 2009 #

    Probably the best remembered and most played of these in the US is, by the way, “Jack and Diane”. Was this even a hit in the UK?

  20. 20
    Jonathan Bogart on 9 May 2009 #

    First pop-culture commentator by my lights would be Gilbert Seldes, The Seven Lively Arts, 1924 (I may be wrong by a year or two). One of the foundational texts of my own pop-culture journey.

    Very nearly the first guy to appreciate in writing what the Tin Pan Alley composers like Gershwin and Kern and Berlin were doing — musically as well as commercially — and had a good if uninformed word to say for jazz (a 1950s edition abases himself over it). Also revered in the comix world for being the first essayist to laud Krazy Kat. Also recognized the brilliance of the silent comedians beyond Chaplin — Keaton, Arbuckle, Normand, Turpin, etc.

    In fact there was a whole pop project in the 1920s that’s mostly unseen today (because we’re not familiar with what it replaced), in which the virtues of vernacular, immediately accessible, and widely popular work were trumpeted over the self-consciously artistic and pretentious. Not unlike punk, except they dressed better.

  21. 21
    Conrad on 9 May 2009 #

    I voted for 9. A brilliant year for music – the last great year for pop music to these ears – but not a great year for Number 1s.

    FWIW, my Top 12 of 82

    1. Japan – Ghosts
    2. Scritti Politti – Asylums in Jersusalem
    3. Dexy’s – Come On Eileen
    4. ABC – Look of Love
    5. Soft Cell – Torch
    6. Madness – Our House
    7. Aztec Camera – Pillar To Post
    8. Shalamar – There It Is
    9. Patrice Rushen – I Was Tired of Being Alone
    10. Imagination – Music & Lights
    11. Dollar – Videotheque
    12. Simple Minds – Someone Somewhere In Summertime

  22. 22
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 9 May 2009 #

    vachel lindsay also, jonathan — who i first heard of on the sleeve of a pere ubu lp

  23. 23
    lonepilgrim on 9 May 2009 #

    Thanks Jonathan, for the heads up on Gilbert Seldes (and for your writing on music of the 20s and 30s over at your blog). The Seven Lively Arts is available online at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/SELDES/toc.html and it looks like an interesting read. There’s a fascinating quote:
    thanks to the cable and the efficacy of transatlantic mails, we now know virtually everything that isn’t so, and virtually nothing that is important, about Europe.
    that suggests that this forum is a development of an older conversation.

  24. 24
    Billy Smart on 14 May 2009 #

    NME readers’ poll best singles of 1982;

    1. The Jam – Town Called Malice
    2. Grandmaster Flash – The Message
    3. The Jam – Beat Surrender
    4. New Order – Temptation
    5. Robert Wyatt – Shipbuilding
    6. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
    7. The Jam – The Bitterest Pill
    8. Wah! – The Story Of The Blues
    9. The Clash – Straight To Hell
    10. Tears For Fears – Mad World
    11. The Stranglers – Golden Brown
    12. The Associates – Party Fears 2
    13. ABC – The Look Of Love
    14. Echo & The Bunnymen – The Back Of Love
    15. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing
    16. Japan – Ghosts
    17. Culture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
    18. The Special AKA – The Boiler
    19. Simple Minds – Promise You A Miracle
    20. Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

  25. 25
    lonepilgrim on 14 May 2009 #

    I seem to recall that Shipbuilding missed out on a TOTP performance because there was a BBC strike the week the song went up the chart. I had bought a copy at the shop in town which I knew was one of the select sample that fed data for the chart.

  26. 26
    Darren on 15 Aug 2009 #

    7/21 for me.

    When push came to shove I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either Culture Club or Madness. Culture Club’s follow up singles were much stronger and House of Fun doesn’t even make into my top ten of Madness singles.

    One of the number ones that I did pick was Buck Fizz’s ‘My Camera Never Lies’, which really surprised me. I’m sure I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I love that thirty second intro. It’s cheesy but it immediately grabs you by the 1982 circa burgundy tank top.

  27. 27
    Lazarus on 15 Oct 2011 #

    There were a few stinkers that year weren’t there! I managed to find 10 (I generally try to find 10) and Eddy Grant was the one who just made the cut. Gratifying to see None of Them! beating Renee and Renato – the last time such a stunt was successfully pulled, unless you want to count the Flying Pickets of course.

  28. 28
    Brendan on 30 Sep 2012 #

    Re the NME critics poll Wham ahead of Party Fears Two and it barely scraping into the Top 50 – wtf!! PFT is one of my all-time favourite records (I could listen to that gorgeous piano riff from now till I die and never get bored).

  29. 29
    punctum on 4 Jul 2013 #

    Didn’t put in a link to the first TPL post for 1982 so here’s one.

  30. 30
    punctum on 17 Jul 2013 #

    TPL does LOUD HEAVY ROCK METAL http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/iron-maiden-number-of-beast.html

  31. 31
    punctum on 3 Oct 2013 #

    TPL does UNEXPECTED SEARING INDICTMENT OF THATCHER’S BRITAIN: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/dire-straits-love-over-gold.html

  32. 32
    punctum on 6 Oct 2013 #

    Then Play Long, the mission statement: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/abba-singles-first-ten-years.html

  33. 33
    speedwell54 on 10 Jul 2016 #

    How much catching up?

    Peter Powell welcomes us to the first TOTP of 1982, dressed in a woollen burgundy waistcoat, over a white shirt with a wing tips collar. Most would go with a bow tie with that collar but not Pete, he goes with a college tie.

    Anyway, he throws himself in and introduces Philip Lynott and Yellow Pearl “attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, attack is what we lack”, it’s been on my mind a little recently. Despite his intro (and outtro) we don’t get Philip Lynott at all, but Zoo with some kind of traditional Russian dancing; which is exactly what I think of when Yellow Pearl comes on.

    Foreigner “Waiting For A Girl Like You” live performance video cut very short. Always the bridesmaid in the US with this one, ten weeks at number 2, mostly behind ONJ and Physical.

    Alton Edwards- I Just Wanna (Spend Some Time With You) -okay. Meanwhile some Twitter equivalent has told Pete to ditch the waistcoat.

    Dead Ringer For Love- Meatloaf (+Cher) famous video. Both later, separately, had year end best selling singles in the UK. Wonder if that happened before.

    Mobiles – Drowning In Berlin. I liked this a lot then and still do. She had that whole Toyah/Siouxsie thing going on. Peter with his kiss of death says they’ll be big in ’82.

    Countdown and then Shakatak with Easier Said Than Done. nmcot. I struggle with this genre.

    Jon and Vangelis – I’ll Find My Way home. Jon released a single called “Easier Said Than Done” in ’85. hmm, copycat.

    The Human League -Don’t You Want Me twktc, but brilliant.

    Good show overall.

  34. 34
    speedwell54 on 10 Jul 2016 #

    Kid Jensen hosts and we’ve skipped one, so some repeats from last time no doubt.

    Gillian open the show with ‘Restless’ and to me the mellow chorus seems rather at odds with the rest of the track.

    Jon and Vangelis first rpt and obviously not finding their way home. This goes on a bit. Yellow Pearl again, but not a repeat with the video this time, Phil with his Walkman. Mobiles again but not a repeat. Having said that it’s an almost identical performance. Kid also thinks this won’t be their last hit. Career over!

    ELO- with their double A side Ticket to the Moon/Here Is The News. We get ‘Ticket’ tonight and Zoo dance intercut with the video. A little bit different for ELO but after “Twilight” the most ELO type single had just failed chart wise, their days seemed numbered. ‘When I Was A Boy’ sounds pretty good to me even if it is Free as a Bird. The ‘Jeff Lynne’s ELO’ moniker, according to wiki, was his idea. Sounds so much like there were internal legal naming rights issues. There you go. Meatloaf rpt.

    XTC- Sense Working Overtime -without this no Goyte. Great.

    OMD Maid of Orleans- Was originally called Joan Of Arc, but they had called their last single that. Quite a few of their singles build quite slowly, tempo and instruments added (Talking LAC in particularl) Number 1 in Germany.

    Christopher Cross -Arthur’s Theme -Not sure if I prefer this or ‘Jump’. Foreigner rpt. Land of Make Believe at Number 1. Bucks Fizz in the studio, on a good day I like it.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  35. 35
    speedwell54 on 10 Jul 2016 #

    Simon Bates tonight introduces Tight Fit. Totally changing their line up since “Back To The Sixties” last year, and these three have nothing to do with what’s coming out of the speakers. Wiki says the Undertones did a cover of this! (I’ll save you the bother, not them Undertones.)

    ONJ- Landslide – I do like her singing here and the song is okay. The instrumentation dates this somewhat as does the video, which is not a criticism. Some songs hold up better than others.

    Haircut 100 Love Plus One- On the heels of Favourite Shirts, this eventually went one better and gave them their biggest hit, peaking at three.

    The Stranglers- Golden Brown. Seemed a great leap at the time, but through the eighties more pop and less punk stuff continued.

    Listen SLF- great single which I don’t think got on an album at the time. “Now Then” came out in the summer and doesn’t have a bad track on it.

    Fool If You Think It’s Over. Elkie Brooks – A Chris Rea cover and there is some weird coincidental fact about the chart careers of both versions which I can’t quite remember, but it will come to me. She had loads of singles but I can only see her singing Lilac Wine for some reason.

    Alton Edwards – nothing to add.

    Oh Julie – Shaky Number one and on a stage this time – no seated circle behind him doing the hand jive as per. He wrote this one so good for him. Simon says it’s his third consecutive number one, clearly not understanding the meaning of the word ‘consecutive’ or acknowledging the existence of ‘You Drive Me Crazy’ and ‘It’s Raining’.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  36. 36
    speedwell54 on 11 Jul 2016 #

    John Peel presents tonight – the first time in 14 years he informs us. He is self-deprecating and recognises viewers might not know who he is.

    Theatre Of Hate with’ Do You Believe in the Westworld?’ Kirk looking for all the world like he’s Rob Beckett’s angrier brother.

    OMD Maid Of Orleans – Andy without a bass tonight and even more gyrations. I hope he doesn’t catch a cold with that shirt, and sweater, and thick leather jacket.

    The Jets and they’ve ditched Boy George as their backing dancer tonight. That’s it for them top 40 wise.

    Soft Cell – Say Hello-my favourite track from them. His half singing, half conversational style reminded me of Jonathan Richman on Morning of Our Lives. Nice little earner for them too; David Gray having covered it on White Ladder, which was(maybe is) the all time best selling album in Ireland.

    Gillan – Restless rpt. it’s growing on me. Easier Said Than Done again.

    ACDC – Let’s Get It Up nmcot. XTC rpt. Charts.

    George Benson. Neve Give Up On A Good Thing .nmcot
    Chris Cross rpt.

    Kraftwerk – the Model – climbs to Number One. On black and white video.. Out to Meatloaf.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse

  37. 37
    speedwell54 on 12 Jul 2016 #

    Tommy the Vance is back and the show opens with the Fun Boy Three. A little more upbeat than Lunatics and they introduce the world to the delights of Bananarama. Terry tries his best to join in.

    Stranglers on video this week, sticking around this one.

    Bow Wow Wow- Go Wild in the Country, their first time on TOTP. It looks like Jon Moss on drums but there is no mention on wiki. Adrian Gurvitz also debuts with Classic. nmcot.

    Hall and Oates- I Can’t Go for That. I bought Rock N Soul – a greatest hit package and played it a lot. Haven’t got much else by them though. Jackson admitted lifting the the bass line for Billie Jean and there are a couple of mixes on You tube but I’m not completely convinced.

    Depeche Mode – this week they are going for smart, all wearing ties.

    J Geils Band and Centrefold- massive world hit. HIs vocal style is similar to Jagger in places “no one could ever stain”, “girlie magazine”

    Modern Romance re make Ay Ay Moosey with some rapping and the female sounds like she’s auditioning for “Allo Allo”. Charts and Elkie Brooks rpt. Haircut 100 again this week all in yellow jackets. Countdown and then Number One.

    The Jam straight in with “Town Called Malice” officially a double A but Precious never got played that much on the radio. I don’t think it’s great but there’s a lot to like. The drums, the opening lines, and the bass line. (if not totally original)

    Not my favourite but there has been worse

  38. 38
    hardtogethits on 17 Jul 2016 #

    Is Speedwell the only one watching / commenting? Here’s the Chris Rea / Elkie Brooks observation, at number 315


  39. 39
    Mark G on 17 Jul 2016 #

    I don’t know about anyone else, but these are going past so fast,its hard to keep up.

    There have been a bunch of highlights that I did want to comment on, (John Peel’s first TOTP in the modernish era, the farewell to Sue as part of Zoo, that time when Kirk Brandon called me a ‘diamond geezer’, etc, oh and the worst rap record of all time (you know the one)), but it all flies past so fast, like a tube train through Tottenham Court Station. (its open again? OK bad example but anyway)

    Still, it won’t be too long until my favourite ever episode will be upon us, and I shall be doing a full one. And I shall use the immortal catchphrase ..

    “My favourite, there have been worse obviously”

  40. 40
    speedwell54 on 18 Jul 2016 #

    Mr Read – bowler hat on head, and he wears Peter Powell’s bretton t-shirt as he introduces Madness. Cardiac Arrest was a brief departure from the top ten for them. The next single made up for it though.

    George Benson in Michael Portillo mode sings to himself on an empty train. nmcot.

    UB40 “new label and new song” says Mike but I’m not sure which new label that is. “I Won’t Close My Eyes” this is very very slow. From UB44 their only regular studio album not to give up a top 10 hit right through to 2000.

    Audience member hams it up completely as Mike introduces ABC, guess which jacket Martin is wearing? Classic – Poison Arrow.

    The Jets borrow Shaky’s producer on this hit. Enough already!

    Robert Palmer – Some Guys Have All The Luck. – If you watch nothing else, watch this. Great live vocal performance. Without this no Future Islands. Second coolest man in pop, made to look even better surrounded by the uncool.

    Mike sings the Lion Sleeps Tonight, then Tight Fit do rpt.

    Charts, and then Toni Basil and Mickey twktc , charts again to 10.

    Mike seems rather vague and waffles something about have some time and so he’s going to show us some good videos. It’s actually the top ten that follows. First up XTC which isn’t a video just a TOTP performance. Some quite long clips OMD and Soft Cell do well. Say Hello 20-18-3 some bizarre climb.

    Jam at No1 and they get to play both tracks this week.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

    Hardtogethits- thanks for Rea/Brooks thing, I knew I’d read something somewhere. I hope we get some returners from the Euro 16 sabbatical to pitch in soon on this thread.

    Mark G – looking forward to your favourite ever episode write up.

  41. 41
    Mark G on 22 Jul 2016 #

    1982 speeds by so fast, can it be only yesterday that Racey were a fixture here? Well, no but…..

    It’s the Jensen kid, and he leads us by the hand into .. Mickey! Well, it used to be Kitty when it was a Racey song, but now Toni Basil is the one who’s going to take it like a man. Um, OK, right.. Anyhow, I remember the first time I saw Toni was when she appeared with Davy Jones in the movie “Head” doing Nilsson’s “Daddy’s Song” and it got shown on the current version of Barry Norman’s movie programme. Not “Film ’68” as they hadn’t started it then. Some years later, I watched the DVD with Amber and Alice, and although they thought it wasn’t as good as the episodes of the TV series they had seen, Alice was quite taken with how Toni and Davy looked, and I had to break it to her that they didn’t become a real-life couple after that.

    On to Gary Numan and not Gary Glitter please keep up. Anyway, what’s surprising to me is that I quite like this one, possibly because it’s less ‘futuristic’ and more ‘modern’ sounding.

    Madness do a wacky video single about having heart attacks, and get their lowest charting hit since “The Prince” – This one has a ‘happy ending’ resolution, ah it’s a cautionary tale chaps. Not like the LP version which ends with a big clangggggg after “There’s nothing we can do”. It’s still pretty great though.

    Goombay Dance Band. There’s no dancing, and it’s not a dance track. Apart from that… What is this song about? None of it makes any sense. It’s sort of Boney M-ish, there is a fire-eating solo, and the moral seems to be “if dreams were like eagles I’d fly away, but they are not and that’s why.” uhhhhhh….

    Imagination Illusion – I used to hear this a lot in clubs around Windsor, and it still sounds pretty good. This is the age of the slide-bass. This is the aaaaaaaaaaaaage – “Of the Bass”. Oh, that’s old wassname, innit?

    Now, my cheatie cribsheet has it that there are three excerpt of vids from the US charts, but we don’t get those for some reason. Instead we get The Jets with the next in a series of not exactly rocknroll songs but done like they are. Shaking S had all these wrapped up at one point, but he’s moved on to vaguely cajun sounding stuff, and this bunch are too comfortable in cardigans to really challenge anything. A few more hits lower down the chart, but no TOTP for you sonny jims.

    Abba get a video of “Head over heels”, but the pop stops soon for Abba. Funny, they even look older here. It’s, you know, Abba. It’s OK.

    Now here’s an actual punk track, into the chart because it’s the Adam and the Ants imperial phase. The gals dance to um hang on, is it.. No, it’s the Zoo gals. This is very Legs and co, but replaced by six dancers all mugging furiously when the camera points in their general direction. It’s funny, how they recorded a ‘radio friendly’ version swapping “nazi” for ‘nasty’, and ‘camp 29″ for “Lover of mine”, but that’s forethought for you.

    ABC get the highest new entry, and it’s the golden suit days. Amber and Alice (in the modern day) recognise it immediately, which makes it the golden classic of this show. It’s been a bit light on “Golden Classics” this week, usually there’s two or three.

    Tight Fit do that mid-song musical interlude dance where the male dancer in the middle turns left and gives one to the left, and turns right and gives one to the right girl dancer. Alice is almost shocked. Number one for a bit anyway.

    And now we fade out to Robert Palmer’s pub singer version of “Some guys have all the luck”. Which is meant as a compliment.

    And there we have it. Did you miss me, hey, while I was away?

  42. 42
    speedwell54 on 22 Jul 2016 #

    Kid, trying too hard to be casual with one hand in the pocket of his white trousers. All live tonight claims Jensen- Toni Basil kicks off. She’s 38 here.

    Gary Numan- was this his last single to climb the charts? He was getting to a stage where fans gave him a chart place but no one was jumping on board. Musically I like it and I presume that is still Mick Karn on bass, but his vocals don’t do it for me.

    Madness and Cardiac Arrest. Video this week. No surprises.

    Alan Brazil well actually it’s the Goombay Dance Band. They had a euro hit a few years earlier with Sun Of Jamaica. Seven Tears is pretty similar with the humming backing singers.

    Imagination- Just an Illusion. nmcot but it’s okay.

    The Jets – who seem to get on this programme an awful lot with this minor hit. Anyway, no more I hear.

    Abba – Head over Heels – perfectly fine single that doesn’t sound out of place on Greatest Hits packages but this was obviously came out in that brief time in history when we seem to have fallen out with Abba. Peaked at a lowly 25.

    Deutscher Girls – Adam and the Ants – a track from a few years earlier so no performance or video. It might as well be Legs but actually Zoo. Unusually for Zoo they’re in matching outfits and no leather. Also dancing often the same routine. If the lighting had been a bit poorer I think we could have interested the Swede.

    Charts then Poison Arrow twktc. Then charts again, “still at 14, Cardiac Arrest” says Kid when it climbed but never mind. Don’t think he knows the Hall and Oates song with emphasis on the “go”. He also goes against the recent trend with DepeCHAY Mode.

    Tight Fit -Number one and I’m quite quite bored with this. His miming gets worse and if you look closely those aren’t real lions either.

    Out to Robert Palmer, highlight of the show. Not realised how bland Rod Stewart made this song sound.

    Not my favourite but there gas been worse.

    I was feeling a bit Eric Carmen for a while then. Welcome back Mark G. This not your favourite ever episode then, what a shocker!

  43. 43
    Steve Williams on 24 Jul 2016 #

    You won’t see the American chart rundown on BBC4 for the entire three and a half years this monthly feature runs. Because of who presents it, of course.

    It is incredibly convenient for BBC4 that the host never mentions it’s coming up and it’s not mentioned in the credits, so it can be very easily edited out.

  44. 44
    Mark G on 25 Jul 2016 #

    I thought that they’d decided Jonathan King was “OK” with regard his past TOTP appearances, or is that purely when he performed his hit singles? They apologised when “It only takes a minute” was edited out a couple of years ago.

  45. 45
    Steve Williams on 26 Jul 2016 #

    Indeed, but since then he has been arrested again.

  46. 46
    Lazarus on 30 Jul 2016 #

    Another sheepish returnee dips his toe in the water … Simes at the controls, and we’re up to late February already.

    Bow Wow Wow – with their biggest hit. A bit short on melody frankly, more shouted than sung. One so-so cover to follow, and that’s pretty much their lot. I guess this would have been around the time of the controversial LP cover, which imitated a famous painting with a decidedly underage Annabella. I wonder if she and the guitarist shaved each other’s heads.

    Fun Boy Three – in the studio for a meet’n’greet (Terry says nowt) and on video with the Banana girls, with their first chart entry after the wonderful ‘Aie a Mwana’ failed to trouble the scorers. This take on a 1939 song is from the FB3’s debut album but Bananarama’s first is well worth checking out.

    Depeche Mode – now down to a three piece and this is the lead-off single from their second album A Broken Frame. Dave looks so young and wholesome pre-tats and drugs. This, along with Blasphemous Rumours, is my favourite of their early songs I think. Subject matter resonated with me at the time.

    Julio – forgettable follow-up. Verses in Spanish, chorus in heavily accented English. I suppose he was popular with all the Beverleys who’d have been into Demis a few years before.

    Haircut 100 – “where do we go from here? Is it down to the lake I fear?” MAKES NO SENSE (unless Nick is afraid of said lake). Jaunty little number though, and again the album is well worth 40 minutes of anyone’s time. Lemon Fire Brigade! Woman with spiky blonde hair cropping up all over the place tonight.

    Countdown – so I’ve missed the Stranglers then.

    Associates – favourites of the much-missed Marcello and Simon appears genuinely pleased that they’ve made it. I discovered them the previous summer, when ‘Tell Me Easter’s on Friday’ got such a glowing review in Record Mirror that I bought it unheard. Collected all their 45s from that point up to 1988’s ‘Heart of Glass’ cover. Billy, a great lost talent of course.

    Chart 20-11 – ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’ already waving goodbye to the chart.

    Adrian Gurvitz – this old rocker has been knocking around since the sixties. I admit I liked it at the time, but it is a bit ludicrous, especially those forced half-rhymes. Why does he need to write in an attic, anyway? Chorus is basically a duet with his beardy mate. Drummer has Scouse perm and ‘tache – unfortunate all round tbh. But no doubt big in Germany to this day.

    Top 10. The Goombays are heading topwards. Run for the hills!!

    Tight Fit – number one, and talking of ludicrous … I believe they’re still going too, you don’t need me to tell you where they’re playing tonight …

    Back on the Beeb, Kenny Everett pops in to plug his new show. My favourite of ’82 (so far). No doubt there will be worse.

  47. 47
    Mark G on 1 Aug 2016 #

    Simes! We missed you! Oh, OK we haven’t, but hey.. Its TOTP so what the heck..

    Bow wow wow, and as Alice says she has a fashion look that would work right now. So, they finally get a hit proper, and it’s probably despite Malcolm rather than because of him. There’s a lot of interesting stuff that almost but not quite made it – the “WORK” single I felt was a missing classic. I do have some ads on tape (I think it was the sfx cassette magazine) where Malc shouts over the track playing, much like he did for the Sex Pistols (collected on the “Some Product” album). “I’m Sick .. SO AM I!!! sick of seeing signs YOU TELL ‘EM ANNABELLA!!” that sort of thing. So, eventually they became hitmakers, for a while anyway. More to come but not much more, it’s true.

    Standing behind Simes are the fun boy three, but seeing as Bananarama havent turned up (maybe?) it’s a quick chat and into the video – for one horrible moment it looked like Simon was going to ask them to start singing.. Anyway, it’s lots of shots walking through underground walkways but strange things keep appearing. Not seen this one, not often anyway.

    Depeche Mode, however you are saying it, and possibly the twee-est song for its time. Boy just wants to hang out with his ex. aww. Bless. Actually, I believe that Dave had already had his first herons by this point, but you know, Basildon and all that. There’s not that many bands that have hits over such a long period of time that runs from their ‘still teenage’ ness to being durtay blokey grungers – I do wonder if they still do “See You” in their sets occasionally. (note: Not to be confused with “See You (Jimmy)”)

    Awww, it’s Pluto! Loved this guy, he always seemed to pop up with a hit every 5 years or so. OK, not that often to make a pattern of it. Anyway, there is something vaguely sinister underneath all this, not quite in the “Bantam Cock” vein, but not so far behind. Anyway, it’s a Benny Hill joke stretched to 3 mins, and we’ll leave it there. I think we’ll just change the subject, and call it… whatever.

    Julio. For some reason, Terry Wogan would call this “Jaws” owing to his accent, but I can’t hear this here. Moving on..

    The haircut 100 do Love Plus One, which is an odd thing to have on yr guest list. The rest of the song consists of those general song cliches that seem to suggest that this is on purpose. Still, it’s not as irritating (to me) as “Favourite Shirts” thanks to not having bad rapping on it. Hear a call.

    The Associates! Now, I know there’s a fair few of youse have been waiting for these guys to be back on, so here you are. It’s pretty great, I will say, and I didn’t really get it back then so here you go. It sort of reminds me of those epic “Johnny Remember me” type things, I’m sure Joe Meek would approve, yes. And Simes gets to apply the kiss of death (the other kind, see below) with the “They’re going to be massive” statement.

    Adrian Gurvitz we’ll pass over, and Tight fit we’ve done to death already, so we’ll go to…

    It’s Kenny! And he’s dressed as Sid Snot the Biker bloke. But it’s all very bizarre, Kenny seems mildly drunk (or stoned – Legal dept, can I say that? Oh I can cause he’s deceased? I did say “Seems” so hey) and manages to throw in an absolutely filthy Julio joke that must have passed un-noticed thanks to nobody understanding it. And then they kiss. (that’s true, by the way. Check Kenny wiping his mouth when the camera’s pulled away).

    On with the Medley – It’s Stevie this time, and it’s a passable impression: The excerpt of “Isn’t She Lovely” even has a substitute crying baby as well! That’s attention to detail.

    I’m guessing that if I called the previous week’s appearance of the re-released (sort-of) Deutsche Girls as the final Punk-hit, I could complete my Punk/New Wave DVD set, but I’m running about four years behind now. Still, there’s a definite end for it, so I might actually get on with it. It started with Slik’s “The kids a punk”, and the only one I could not find was Plastic Bert’s “Sha-la-la-la-lee” but hey.

    So, where do we go from here? Is it down to the lake I fear? Well, I thought I told you to leave me while I walked down to the beach. Never mind, I’ll give you a ring when we get to Minchella’s.

  48. 48
    swanstep on 2 Aug 2016 #

    @Mark G, 47. According to setlist.fm DM last played ‘See You’ in 1985 (ditto ‘New Life’). From the early years only ‘Just Can’t’ still gets played regularly, although ‘Photographic’ turned up as recently as 2010.

  49. 49
    Paulito on 4 Aug 2016 #

    @47: I enjoy your commentary (and keep up the good work!), though I’m mystified as to how you consider “Love Plus One” to be a string of clichés. Perhaps this quirky little number has become overfamiliar to some, but I still can’t hear anything but youthful exuberance, brightness and originality. It sounds fresh as a daisy to me.

  50. 50
    speedwell54 on 11 Aug 2016 #

    Simon Bates has a over excited yelping teen, draped around his shoulders as he introduces Bow Wow Wow. Lwin does her fair share of yelping too. Pretty confident for 16. Looks like Jon Moss on drums but seemingly not. Perfectly fine.

    Bates confuses Lynval and Neville and makes up Nevilynn Bond as a name for some reason as Fun Boy Three (Fun Boy Two and Terry Hall actually) join him pre video showing. Bates asks a string of closed and inane questions. Fearne Cotton springs to mind.

    Depeche Mode in smart mode tonight; ties 4, leather 0. Interesting point up thread about this not making the cut in concert. It’s hardly “I Should Be So Lucky” and I would have thought they could do a Kyliesque re working.

    Sean Paul, well 70s version Pluto jets in with patois. I thinks dem songs is a bit meh. Simon tells us before and after he’s come in from Miami.

    Julio Doubleglasias (Little and Large) mncot Haircut 100 again,

    Then The Associates- total highlight of the programme. This is a classic. Just listened again to their version of Boys Keep Swinging and although the music is minimal the vocal is amazing.

    Gurvitz again, charts predicts more doom then, Tight Fit. Kenny Everett chats and plugs. Out to a Stevie Wonder medley. The teen from the beginning finds the camera again.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  51. 51
    Lazarus on 31 Aug 2016 #

    Somehow I get the feeling that the appetite for this has diminished over the last year or so, but … let’s have another look – Peter Powell is our MC …

    Altered Images – virtually forgotten third single. CG in matching frock and dinner plate. And matches the accordion too, I guess. Further fine singles await, but this is their lot for now.

    Julio – vid. Repeat. Should have been cut after two minutes. Nexzzzzz ….

    Whats this? PP has a co-presenter. It’s not BA Robertson, it’s not Roger Daltrey! Turns out it’s footballer Garth Crooks (not Brooks) – don’t ask me who he played for, I have about as much interest in football as the old woman you saw pushing a shopping trolley back from the Co-op earlier. Anyway he stumbles over the title of the next hit, which is by –

    Bucks Fizz – their third and final number one, on its way up. And a good ‘un too. Both boys in dickie bows, the girls in stars and stripes (sort of). A springtime battle with Dollar ensues.

    Killing Joke – er, OK. Not sure the Pops of ’82 was the ideal environment for this. We listen in vain for a hook. People seem to be enjoying it, nonetheless. Plenty of ‘air claps.’ Chart 30-21.

    Pluto – “at 22, we find a man called Pluto, talking about his honour.” Er, no, not exactly, Garth. The said Mr Shervington is addressing the beak, before whom he’s up, I believe. Good to see the ‘Dat’ man back on the Pops after a long interval, though. Released some years earlier, apparently. Chart 20-11.

    Chas and Dave – was this an old song? It sounds like one. Anyway, still love this. White jackets and strings, this was their biggest hit by a mile. And ripe for a Two Ronnies pastiche. Going to Margate this weekend, by the way!

    Top 10. Did Julio really get to number 3 with that? Oh well …

    Number One – the Goombays – here I stand, head in hand, quite. Singer does his bit with the fire sticks. I bet they’re still making a living somewhere.

    Garth acquires a hat. We play out with the Associates. The bright new sound of ’82 indeed. But good ol’ Chas and Dave was this week’s highlight for me I’m afraid. Guilty what?

    Toodle pip!

  52. 52
    Steve Williams on 1 Sep 2016 #

    Well, my enthusiasm for the Pops repeats has only increased, and the next few months I really think are the absolute high point for the programme, lots of brilliant records and a wonderful atmosphere in the studio, plus regular appearances from John Peel of course. Coming up in the next few weeks are an episode featuring Bardo, Bucks Fizz, Dollar and the Trevor Horn-produced Spandau Ballet, surely the poppiest Pops ever, plus the Steve Archibald episode and the one and only occasion the guest presenter idea ever worked. And on the extended version of tonight’s edition – an April Fool!

  53. 53
    Mark M on 1 Sep 2016 #

    I couldn’t resist the idea of Garth Crooks co-presenting Top Of The Pops so I’ve watched on iPlayer. The funny thing is that he seems to have had a more relaxed TV presence back then than he has now after another 34 years or so on the box. Still doing odd things to sentences, too. Rather heftier these days, but then so are a lot of us.

    Grogan’s headgear is bizarre. Is she meant to look like she’s off to the races?

    The greatness of TOTP is surely captured by the Nolans (with parrot) being followed by Killing Joke …

  54. 54
    Chelovek na lune on 2 Sep 2016 #

    Gosh, just watched the 1st April 1982 edition. The atrocious number 1 apart, and one fairly average number by a three-chord 12-bar blues who were already bit tired out by 1982 apart – that was a pretty exceptional edition from start to finish. Much musical excellence, John Peel as presenter, and, as an added bonus, a really rather hilarious spoof comedy song made especially for the programme (and which perfectly fitted the flow and the occasion). Those were the days, my friends….

  55. 55
    Jimmy the Swede on 7 Sep 2016 #

    Decided just to nip back to comment on this latest episode. There was a very good reason why I did not see this back in the day. I was on a plane returning from a holiday in Australia. The day we left came the news that the Falklands had been invaded. My mate and I were realistically fearful that we would be greeted by call up papers when we got back, my mate had turned 21 and I was due to get there later in April. I say “due” because the last leg of our journey saw us suffer an emergency landing in Amsterdam. I can’t really say I was particularly scared as I watched all the emergency vehicles flying out of their hangers, looking like matchbox cars, as we made our approach and the oxygen masks falling on our heads. But I do remember thinking something like “what’s the f’king point of being dead before turning 21?” and actually feeling much more anger than fear. Fortunately, our pilot performed a happy landing and equally happily Thatcher sent a taskforce and my services were not required. They were however still required for jury service at Croydon Crown Court. I spent the whole time trying to get “Just an Illusion” out of my head.

    Strange days indeed.

  56. 56
    DanielW on 16 Sep 2016 #

    Not done one of these before, but here goes…

    8th April 1982 and I’m just over a week away from turning 8. Simon Bates is the host

    Haircut 100: “Fantastic Day” – Good, but I still prefer Love Plus One. The set seems to have been sponsored by Rainbow (the TV Programme not the Since You Been Gone lot)

    Bucks Fizz: “My Camera Never Lies” – I’ve always thought they were greatly underrated, having said that this is not one my favourites of theirs. One Of Those Nights and When We Were Young should’ve deserved to do better chartwise I’ve always thought.

    Chas and Dave: “Ain’t No Pleasin’ You” – More famed for their novelty records, it’s odd that they came closest to Number 1 with this played-straight effort.

    The Boomtown Rats: “House On Fire” – Much prefer their previous single Never In A Million Years which stiffed at #62. Is that really how you pronounce Kenyan? And what exactly are knick-knack eyes?

    Elton John: “Blue Eyes” – nearly 8 years old me didn’t think much of this at the time, but it’s definitely grown on me over the years. Appropriate video given how hot it’s been this week

    Shalamar: “I Can Make You Feel Good” – aka the song that Johnny Hates Jazz would totally rip off later in the decade

    Charts 30-19 – I thought Pig Bag was one word? Then it’s a WORLD EXCLUSIVE!!!

    Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder: “Ebony And Ivory” – Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person who doesn’t hate this record despite the cheese. It’s the 80’s equivalent to The Phantom Menace or No Man’s Sky in terms of loud fanfare followed by an equally loud raspberry. The funny thing is I don’t hate those either despite their fairly obvious flaws. What the hell is wrong with me??

    Charts 18-11: The scary Richard O’Brien-a-like from Classix Nouveaux is starting to give me nightmares…..

    Foster & Allen: “A Bunch Of Thyme” – ……but not as many nightmares as seeing these two. Having parents who love Irish music meant that these two were shoved on the record player every sodding Sunday, usually at lunchtimes so I couldn’t escape from the gruesome twosome. A bunch of thyme, a bunch of fives I’d give ’em. At the least producers decided to humiliate them by having them dress up as a pair of leprechauns ha-bloody-har-har-har!

    Charts 10-1

    Goombay Dance Band: “Seven Tears” – At least they’ve attended the Health & Safety course and stopped playing with fire. There’s still something punchable about that lead singer though….

    and out to Pigbag: “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag” – Completely passed me by at the time, seemed to be more of a club hit than a radio hit and I was bit too young to be going to clubs…

  57. 57
    DanielW on 18 Sep 2016 #

    15th April 1982 and the Kid is hosting:-

    Spandau Ballet: Another one that passed me by at the time, I didn’t really rediscover it until the 2000’s, it’s become my favourite of their early singles. Not sure about eating the meat that’s on the floor though, ew….. and stealing cake to eat the moon, how does that work?

    Roxy Music: Love the slinky dreamy quality to this, would’ve preferred this to be their only No.1 rather than Jealous Guy

    Shakatak: This soundtrack to a night at an 80’s wine bar is utterly forgettable for me I’m afraid. Next please….

    Dollar: Another dreamy record. Love the “la-la-la’s” from Thereza

    Simple Minds: First of many Top 40 hits for Jim and the boys. Not sure about the fashion though, it looks like he’s performing in a straitjacket.

    Charts 30-21: With added Kevin Keegan for good measure

    Monsoon: The lead singer’s in hospital. A bit different from the usual “the band are on tour in the USA so they can’t be with us” routine. Their follow-up single “Shakti” should’ve been just a big a hit as this one, but just missed out on the Top 40.

    Charts 20-11

    Bardo: One step further and I would’ve been there – an apt lyric for a No.2 single. They would only finish 7th in Eurovision though

    Charts 10-1: The Goombays have been knocked off the top

    Bucks Fizz: The Kid tells us this is their 3rd consecutive Number 1. Hmm…. The Kid needs to go back to school and look up the meaning of the word “consecutive” methinks

    and out to Altered Images….

    Pretty good show apart from those Night Birdzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

  58. 58
    DanielW on 24 Sep 2016 #

    22nd April 1982 and it’s a real party atmosphere. Hey, it’s not like there’s a war going on or anything

    Pigbag: Lots of sax, lots of drums, not so much rock and roll….

    Bananarama and Fun Boy Three: In a neat reversal the ‘nanas get top billing on this one. Did he really pinch her arse? You’d get arrested for that these days….

    Elton John: Blue Eyes, blue lighting – see what they did there? Such imagination, surely they can’t top that later on in the year….

    England World Cup Squad: I’ve still got the Panini Espana ’82 sticker album lying around somewhere, it’s a bit worse for wear though. Not the last appearance by Glenn Hoddle in the Top 30 (unfortunately). “Let’s hope they score lots of goals” says Peter, but two goalless draws sees them go out in the 2nd round still unbeaten. Possibly because of this it’s been a strictly knock-out tournament after the first round ever since.

    Kim Wilde: As Mr. Powell says it’s her 5th consecutive top 40 hit. Somewhat undeservedly IMHO her next single “Child Come Away” would break that streak and peak at #43.

    Haircut 100: Oh for the days when you get away with making a music video for a budget of about 5p. Worst. Rear. Projection. Ever.

    Phd: Loved this as a kid and I still love this record to bits. Always thought it was very similar to the sort of stuff Jon and Vangelis were doing, though

    Charts 30-21: The J. Geils Band win the Fashion Disaster Award for this week.

    David Bowie: Not one of Bowie’s better singles for me I’m afraid.

    Charts 20-11

    Shakin’ Stevens: singing Shirley aka the Shakin’ Stevens Top 10 hit that nobody remembers….

    Charts 10-1

    Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder: Nope, still don’t hate this. Music snobs really need to get over themselves…

    Peter wishes good luck to Bardo (they’ll need it) and it’s out to Shalamar.

  59. 59
    Chelovek na lune on 1 Oct 2016 #

    6th May 1982, not a classic episode by any means – too many football songs, above all, but the chart coincides with the first ever top 40 I taped, very capably presented by Tommy Vance, who was very good at giving background info on the acts, so it has a certain sentimental value to me. (A few fine songs between 31 and 40 that didn’t make it on here though…)

    Starting off with Junior (Giscombe) and “Mama Used to Say”, which is pretty OK as far as it goes. He appears to be singing live, which may not have been the best decision.

    Then onto Depeche Mode, which Simon Bates, at least, pronounces correctly, eschewing the “Depesh-ay” that several of his colleagues have gone for recently. He is very keen to tell us that they have a new lineup, so much so that he says it twice in about 30 seconds. They still look kind of fey and twee and very young. Is that a Duracell drum-playing bunny ticking away on their set. “The Meaning Of Love” is, it is fair to say, not quite the summit of their career, and really gives only very faint hints of what lies ahead…

    Next up are the England World Cup Squad with the better (and this is in strictly relative terms) of the two tracks on their single, “This Time We’ll Fly The Flag”. Some very unconvincing miming going on, but the thought of them performing it live is almost too horrid to bear. And as was the case then (pre-1996 really), a lot of England supporters there are flying the Union flag, rather than the St George’s one. Bates mentions that some women promoting British Airways are alongside the team – which is apt, as a different version of the song, sans footballers, was being used on a TV ad for the still nationalised BA at the time (which is presumably the only reason, in an age in which the word “sellotape” was banned on BBC airways, they may be mentioned). Inevitably there are bits of video excerpts from 1966. 16 Years of hurt, eh…

    Ph.D’s “I Won’t Let You Down” is probably the highlight of the show. As Depeche Mode did, Jim Diamond also looks terribly young.

    Leaving aside all the debate about who was in the group, who was actually performing, and their questionable taste in clothing, Tight Fit’s “Fantasy Island” is a very decent and refreshing bit of post-Abba post-Bucks Fizz post-Bardo pre-Sweet Dreams pop. Made for Eurovision, you might have thought.

    Then a couple of the England footballers run over and join Chas and Dave and the Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup Final Squad for a bit of Cockneyism, with well-placed interjections of “oi”!. Which is alright as far as it goes, I suppose, but that isn’t very far.

    Patrice Rushen’s “Forget Me Nots” is up next, and while it’s passable enough, is hardly so much of a classic that it warranted the various subsequent resurrections it made, from the probably forgotten one by Tongue N Cheek, via George Michael to Will Smith and quite possibly others. (Lower down in the chart, and almost forgotten entirely, Sharon Brown’s “I Specialise In Love” is very much the superior disco number of the time, I’d say)

    The Scotland World Cup Squad then do their thing, with John Gordon Sinclair narrating and BA Robertson doing something somewhere. I preferred this to either of the England songs at the time (being half English half-Scottish I have dual loyalties, and would generally prefer to support Scotland in World Cups, but the chance doesn’t often arise anymore….). But. My. This is pretty dreadful. Sentimental drivel. Lots of tartan on display, though, and then the inevitable bagpipes. Oh it has charm and warmth, I suppose, but I’d happily not hear it again…

    Quick chat with Joan Jett.

    Talking of sentimental drivel I’d happily not hear again, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney are still no 1 with “Ebony and Ivory”. Wonder seems hard done by: a incredibly talented performer with a back catalogue of depth and quality, yet his two early 80s number ones are quite, quite, dreadful. Macca, well, is Macca. And here he is in real life

    Dance out to Bananarama and the Fun Boy Three’s “Really Saying Something”, which is neither the best of their mutual collaborations nor among the better material put out by any members of either act by themselves.

    For a month in which there was a very great deal of top quality pop music around and in the charts, this is a pretty poor showing really…

  60. 60
    Steve Williams on 2 Oct 2016 #

    Well, it may not to have been much to write home about musically, but logistically that show was a triumph – all completely live and virtually a cast of thousands. I loved when the ‘rams were performing and everyone on the planet seemed to be on stage. It genuinely felt like the Pops studio was the centre of the universe. A remarkable episode, and one I’d been waiting to see since these repeats began.

  61. 61
    Adam Puke on 3 Oct 2016 #

    Sorry Chelovek, much as I like “I Specialise In Love” I think Patrice Rushen’s tune’s always been in a class of its own. It’s never sounded dated even during the 88-96 “fuck everything 80s” period that temporarily consigned many other early 80s dance classics to the dustbin. Probably why so many clueless buggers continued to sample it during that era, hoping some of its magic would rub off on them (George Michael aside- “Fastlove” I adore).

    On another note, what was Macca’s freakily prescient shout out to “Heather, who’s busted her leg” all about*?

    *I’m fully aware he’s referring to his daughter, just saying.

  62. 62
    Chelovek na lune on 10 Oct 2016 #

    20th May. Mourning the double yewtreeing of The Associates’ “Club Country” above all else. An extraordinary track.

    Peter Powell presenting in a multicoloured jumper that screams early 80s Brian Mills Catalogues. If he seems less self-assured that some of the other presenters, he also appears very much less pervy. Well, I wonder why that might be…

    Starting off with Rocky Sharpe & The Replays and “Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out)”, which is harmless enough, if not wildly interesting or appealing, retro revival fun I suppose. And the period of music it is reviving is at any rate a bit less remote from 1982 than 1982 is from 2016…

    Madness – “House of Fun”: fantastic video that demonstrates superbly both how the Nutty Boys were, indeed, Nutty, but also real national treasures in the full non-pejorative sense. Nice images of early 80s London too, off licenses and chemists shops. Great.

    ABC – “The Look Of Love”. Martin Fry et al shun gold lamé on this occasion for a more metallic grey that doesn’t quite stretch to silver. He looks a little stern, actually, surprisingly. (Maybe he is acting out the sentiments induced by the “And my friends say to me Martin….” bit of the track). Powell says the group are the British equivalent of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – which seems remarkably ahead of the game, all things considered…. Bring on their album, I say. And 2016 is a long way from 1982 for its (really quite superb) second volume….

    PhD – “I Won’t Let You Down”. A fine track, on video again. The video is kind of distracting, it’s a bit Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, a bit Just Good Friends, and is possibly a bit too playfully despairing to go with the lyrics. Maybe, I suppose there is a tradition of farce and exaggeration that this fits into. The song itself – Powell says now an international hit (I am also reminded an album track of theirs – “Little Suzy’s On The Up” was it? – was one of the first three – I think – videos to be played on MTV round about this time) – is superb, and the video offers more glances of a greyer and dirtier London than the slick and shinier 21sty century one.

    Adam Ant – “Goody Too Shoes”: a first rate, truly theatrical, performance from Adam and his associates (although not the Ants), bringing the track fully to life and wowing the crowd, whose applause seems anything but feigned, it being thoroughly deserved.

    Junior – “Mama Used To Say”: also on video, good enough to get me dancing, anyway. Better that his live-singing performance a fortnight earlier.

    In the chart countdown we see Genesis spelled as “Genisis” (Powell acknowledges the error), and there’s another of those references to “Depech-shay Mode”. But there’s no accent in sight!

    Iron Maiden – “Number Of The Beast” – also on video, and I suppose this is one you get or don’t. Somehow I don’t, even though there is a fair amount of the group’s repertoire I find fairly gripping. Seems a little out of place in the company it has here though.

    Tight Fit – “Fantasy Island”: a fine, if not flawless, pop song that really is crying out for revival – could Atomic Kitten have done it justice, I ask myself? Powell lets slip the video was filmed at San Tropez – which, whatever it is, is neither an island nor on an island.

    Nicole – “A Little Peace” at number one. Maybe I am just getting old (I have certainly listened and enjoyed a lot more folk music now than I had aged six in 1982) but I don’t find this as boringly repulsive as I once – well, more than once – did. Her performance seems rather wooden, still, but there is something in the whole sentimental shtick that is not entirely devoid of appeal, almost.

    The show closes to Patrice Rushen’s “Forget Me Nots”.

  63. 63
    sid on 13 Oct 2016 #

    I am compelled to emerge from lurker-dom to say that “I Won’t Let You Down” by PhD is absolutely brilliant! The glorious synthesizer solo and final chorus had me leaping up from the sofa in delight.

  64. 64
    Chelovek na lune on 14 Oct 2016 #

    ToTP 27 May 1982

    A short 25-min one because it’s FA Cup Final (or rather as it turns out, the replay thereof, Spurs v QPR) night, John Peel, looking more pervy than Peter Powell did last week, unsurprisingly enough, but well, he died at a convenient time.

    Genesis “Paperlate” from the 3×3 EP gets the show off to a lively start. Phil’s vocals a bit feistier than on much of his contemporary solo stuff, this has an insistence that grabs, nice use of brass

    Debbie Harry pops up to say that the video for Blondie’s “Island Of Lost Souls” was filmed in the Scillies -which at least means, unlike Tight Fit’s recent “island” effort, it was filmed on one. This is a fun track, a bit overlooked now, not quite firing on all cylinders as Blondie at their peak did, but enjoyable enough. More good brass use. Then the song is cut off rather too promptly.

    Japan provide superior art-pop with “Cantonese Boy”. The song’s not really in the same league as as “Ghosts”, but the presentation – restrained, talc-sprayed, sharp but slightly scruffy tailoring, no unnecessary movement, is as you’d expect.

    Video of Duran Duran “Hungry Like The Wolf”, which is very superior new romanticism, the video is a bit preposterous, as usual , with an Amazon – hmm, no there’s an elephant – Nile? – theme (more wolves in Romania, surely?) . Great song anyway.

    Soft Cell “Torch” – some classic performances of classic tracks on this show. Great style and attitude, and one of Soft Cell’s very best singles. Only slightly camp, but rather theatrical, and something that has stood the test of time convincingly.

    at no 1 Madness, “House Of Fun” video again dancing kids more fantastic use of brass, memories of when off licences described lemonade, cherryade etc as “minerals”, cut off rather too soon again…

    play out with Fun Boy Three “The Telephone Never Rings”, which is more about the vibe than the song really

    For such a short show, this has had a really high quality selection of tracks, and a pretty characteristic representation of the pop scene of the great musical month of May 1982

  65. 65
    Mark G on 14 Oct 2016 #

    From Echo and the Bunnymen to Charlene, it must be Top of the Pops! Well, what else could it be? It’s David Kid. First attempt to phase out the ‘kid’ monika? iirc, when he went to Capital, they brought it back for def. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves thanks to the pause button..

    ABC do the look of love, and are well within their comfortable zone and can do their Four Tops style dancing. The hunt for ‘true love’ a recurring theme that Morrissey picked up later.

    Adam Ant Goody 2 shoes, and a stark choice of butler for the video. Curious insert of the dandy highwayman at one point, masking something? Will have to check..

    Echo and the bunnies! Oh is that my guitar? Ah no it has a whammy bar, never mind. Can someone push the stilt walker over? That’d be good.

    Fireworks from Siouxsie. Don’t remember this one, its OK but. Might have liked it more if I’d heard it more at the time, but its too late now.

    No worries for the Fun Boy Three, who Radio 1 loved. Paranoia and depression dressed up in a boppy tune this time. Which never ends…..

    Charlene? No thanks. Except to say, this was on Motown. Yeah.

    Live link to Madness which is nice, then the video you all know so well. And Junior gets another go at singing live, and this time its a good one. We all had this one when it was on an NME cassette, but I guess a name like Junior Giscombe made him seem like a reggae dude..

    And so, the show ends. Content wise it was pretty much all great (bar Charlene (please)) but its funny how the more they try to make it look like a party, the less it looks like one. And now its the ‘Good old days’ which also looks less like the good old days than, oh, custard.

  66. 66
    Chelovek na lune on 16 Oct 2016 #

    ToTP 3 June 1982. Kid Jensen on duty, and evidently an element of a circus amongst the audience: a man on stilts, a juggler, a fire-thrower (the Kid says the latter must be something to do with the Goombay Dance Band)

    Starting off with ABC and “The Look Of Love”: a more energetic performance that their previous appearance with this, albeit with the same grey-silver suits. Great interaction for the call-and-response questions mostly, and the spoken word part is dramatised. Another plug for the quite brilliant, and still not released, album.

    Adam Ant – “Goody Two Shoes”: fun video that makes perfectly clear what he does if he doesn’t drink nor smoke. Pretty epic track, all in all.

    Echo and the Bunnymen – “The Back of Love”. The big hair. The band seem a bit intimidated by being on the show – pity really, as they’d earned their place, which Kid says is their first time on. The song’s OK at least.

    Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Fireworks” for a second indie-alternative number in a row, rather less punky and spiky than their earlier stuff. The appearance of the band is really not so very different from that of the Bunnymen. The track is a bit underwhelming, really.

    Fun Boy Three – “The Telephone Always Rings”. Still a bit left-field, interesting stage set, which refers to the curled-up wires that used to connect telephones back in the day.

    Charlene – “I’ve Never Been To Me”, being sung life, with a slightly watered-down arrangement compared with the recorded version. And criminally the spoken word part is skipped entirely. That can’t be right. Regardless, I love this song and always have done – such understated wisdom and experience in its words, well beyond what is typically found in chart pop. On Motown, of course – if not obviously so – the B-side “Somewhere in My Life” was pretty special too. And of course she was working in the tobacconists/newsagent next to Ilford station when this track, originally released in 1976, became a hit..

    Switch to quick satellite linkup with Madness in Japan, before going into the standard, brilliant, video.

    Show ends with Junior, again singing live on “Mama Used To Say”. I don’t mind this – but curse that this has now appeared on three occasions, while better tracks have been chopped from re-broadcast because of the curse of Savile and DLT.

  67. 67
    Lazarus on 20 Oct 2016 #

    Oh OK then, haven’t done this for a while … liveblogging tonight’s edition – Master Bates in the chair.

    Natasha – she won the Battle of the Iko with the Belle Stars, I seem to remember. Natasha England, I have a feeling she was some record company boss’s wife. Doesn’t have what you could call a distinctive voice. Old records and old songs were everywhere in ’82, but it’s baffling from this distance that this lame retread did so well.

    ABC – third time I’ve seen them on here with this, the first time with the video. I really enjoyed their Pops routine, this time around it’s all stripey blazers and boaters. Bought ‘Lex 2’ not long ago, btw. It’s OK. Needs more listens I think.

    Roxy Music – almost the end of the road for them with the title track of the third and final album of their second coming. The term here is ‘elegaic’ I think. Is this the only album of theirs not to feature models on the cover? I can’t think of another.

    Bow Wow Wow – video on the beach. Another old song revived, though I’m not sure many of the kids of ’82 would have known it. It’s OK, I quite like the guitar bits. What’s she up to these days I wonder?

    Queen – after the too-far-off-the-wall for most mis-step of ‘Body Language’ they come back with a much more traditional number. And they helpfully translate the title in the second line of the chorus. But Freddie in his tux just makes me think of Lord Lucan for some reason.

    Duran Duran – now firmly in the big league with top tenners guaranteed. Second single from platinum second album ‘Rio.’ And still going of course. First countdown. And at 21 …

    Toyah! I don’t recall this one at all. The video is a bit ‘Ashes to Ashes’ with its black sky. Cut short, it seems. Chart 20-11.

    Echo & the Bunnymen – they’ve been on before with this haven’t they, not sure if this is a repeat. I was sufficiently taken with them to go and buy the Porcupine album on its release, but barring a terrific comeback single in 1997 their chart success didn’t really outlast the eighties. Nice to see the dry ice back though. Top 10. Gary Numan’s new entry at 9 wasn’t enough to get him on, then?

    Adam Ant – second week at the top. Hard to dislike this although the hits would dry up soon enough for Mr Goddard. Starlet Caroline Munro is his co-star here. Credits over the number one this time. Decent show with only Natasha having to make the long trek to Prezzie – they can always use another chalet maid.

    Laters peeps!

  68. 68
    Steve Williams on 21 Oct 2016 #

    Gaz was on the full length show, with Simes quick to point out the video was directed by Pops director and Bates’ mate Gordon Elsbury. Incidentally Numan appeared on Top of the Pops every year from 1979 to 1987, so they were very loyal to him.

    The episode tonight, ie Friday, is particularly good, with two amazing records.

  69. 69
    Adam Puke on 23 Oct 2016 #

    It’s all in the lighting. We’re deep in the throes of the ultra-modernist shiny 1982 TOTP with its pop VIDEOS and its Depesshhhhh Modes then you get something like Charlene never having ‘been’ to herself chucking us back into a depressingly lit 1975. Then the same studio’s a quintessentially 80s glitzsphere again for Duran Duran moments later. It’s all in the lighting.

  70. 70
    Adam Puke on 23 Oct 2016 #
  71. 71
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Oct 2016 #

    It may all be in the lighting but it seems that poor Adam has switched himself off, an old expression from the Heath government during the bleak days of the energy crisis for those of us old enough to have lived through that.

    As for Charlene, there was a discussion when we talked about this as a number one about mishearing the lyric as “never been to Leeds” and the absurdity of comparing the city of Savile to paradise, which I’m sure is a place where that particular monster ain’t. On a much lighter note, a buddy of mine was convinced that she was singing “never been to Nice” and became particularly agitated by this: “WELL WHY DON’T YOU JUST F**KING GO THERE, THEN?!” A bit harsh, that.

  72. 72
    Chelovek na lune on 24 Oct 2016 #

    17 June 1982

    Natasha – “Iko Iko”: really not convinced this should have won the battle of the Iko Ikos with the Belle Stars (a few positions below them), this is just a bit lifeless, while the ostensibly African beat is from the same box of tricks as Tight Fit’s recent trips abroad.

    ABC – The Look Of Love video – Sheffield boys unconvincingly disguising themselves as part of the, erm, Club Country, set, back in Edwardian times I reckon. (Though Batesy’s white jacket is not so very different). With a bit of a threat of Morrisry (if not Morrissey) thrown in. And a parrot. What japes. Cut off before the meaningful spoken word part.

    Roxy Music – Avalon
    Blissful and brilliant, and Bryan Ferry and companions pass muster on dapperness spot checks. A lovely piece of music.

    Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy
    Playful and slightly mischievous video on sand dunes (I think the candy being clearly cake by the ocean), and a song that, while passible, does nothing to alleviate concerns than “Go Wild In The Country” is as good as it gets with them

    Queen – Las Palabras De Amor
    A fine track from the really underrated Hot Stuff period of Queen. Less funky funky that the previous single “Body Language” (or the next one, “Backchat”), which lost or bemused many of their long-term fans without really gaining them any new ones. This is slightly more conventional Queen, with careful layers of harmonies, a bit of shimmer, with the bombast being shared round a bit more equally than on the more Freddie-led funkier singles from this year. He has a bowtie on too. A solid and smart track.

    Charlene – I’ve Never Been To Me
    Singing live, and not, I think, always entirely in tune… And gosh the orchestration on the record is very much less weedy than in this version. Anyway I love the song and its wisdom and experience, and also its spoken-word interlude, which is missed, again, by TOTP, with its spendid discursion on the theme of “That’s true, that’s love”. C’mon BBC get your act together. A really poor performance of a cracking song and well-deserved no 1. (It strikes me that there quite possibly wasn’t a video made of this, given that it was from 1976, and she had since sunk into Ilfordian obscurity). Why are so many people waving red flags?

    Gary Numan – We Take Mystery (To Bed)
    New York video has Numan revealing his English teeth. Then usual numanoid moodiness and emotional – not so much restraint as constraint. Instantly recognizable as his sound, but a less strong composition that “Music For Chameleons” had been a couple of months earlier. Seems a bit complacent and rehashed, maybe not so surprising it turned out to be his final top tenner. Bates omits the “To Bed” bit of the title both times he says it. EDIT: All Three times, including the chart run. The curious BBC censoriousness of these days. Given we’ve had “subtle whoring” already, and later on subtle innuendos follow, this seems a bit curiously coy.

    Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
    More white jackets, lively, slinky performance, and with very superior rhyming lines, this is Duran’s version of new romanticism in full effect, and it’s a delight

    Toyah – Brave New World
    Another performer with a strong visual element, and the video has riding a white horse across a beach in some kind of dystopian estuarine landscape. I don’t recall the song at all, but it’s not dislikeable – I am reminded a bit of Lana Del Rey…

    Echo & The Bunnymen – The Back Of Love
    Seems to be the same rather fey and shy, in places, supremely confidence in others, performance from a couple of weeks before, mixed in with the video. Anyway, a great sound, not least because of the dreamy section in the middle. Oh and the Hammond organ.

    and at no 1 Adam Ant – Goody Two Shoes
    Talking of artists with strong visual aspects, with the video rather than his brilliant recent Pops performance. Really good fun. Great track which plays us out.

    A pretty decent selection of songs in all, and getting the worst of them out of the way at the beginning too.

  73. 73
    Chelovek na lune on 24 Oct 2016 #

    Jumping a yewtreed week. No Kid Creole for us.
    1 July 1982
    John Peel wearing a palm-tree-covered top and strawish hat, it’s all a bit Totally Tropical.

    Visage – Night Train
    Conversely, as slick and sharp in appearance as can be, all in white. A strange and more than slightly incoherent track, the verses largely spoken, echoing, reflecting, then the chorus goes all sort of – train-sounding, in fact, then there’s an instrumental interlude off somewhere else. More red-flag and (apparently) fez-waving from the audience. Is the ghost of Ataturk in town or what?

    The Jam – Just Who Is The 5 O’Clock Hero?
    Live video – checking my memories – was this a hit on import sales? Weller looks aggressive and scary in a Lonsdale top. The Jam terrified me as a kid, mostly as there was an overlap between their iconography and that of the National Front, who were pretty active round my way. Obviously not even close to being among their best singles, but the use of horns and some smart lyrics save it from being quite their worst.

    Queen – Las Palabras De Amor
    We saw this performance a fortnight ago already.

    Dollar – Videotheque
    More ridiculous “British people in hot weather in foreign climes” clothing on display. A very “1982” sound – I presume Trevor Horn on production – kind of stepping in the direction of a sound that became Europop, I suppose, or more directly, Propaganda. The song is a bit incidental and thin, anyway.

    Cheri – Murphy’s Law
    With dancing by Zoo. Kind of swamp-funk with speeded up vocals in the chorus. A bit of a curio, and complete one-hit wonder, but good fun to dance too, all these tales of misfortune and things falling apart.

    Midge Ure – No Regrets
    A bit of a reprise of the “Vienna” sound, moody dim-light video, while the song itself remains in a minor key and with a fairly limited tonal range. A little dull I would say.

    then at number 1 Captain Sensible – Happy Talk
    Peely says he was the first person to play it on the radio. The Captain has a stuffed parrot on his shoulders – surrounded by the Dolly Mixtures and others all dressed up as though they are in the South Pacific. This edition is beginning to almost make me think the current “cultural appropriation” furore might not be entirely illegitimate and nonsensical. Oh , my, there’s someone dressed as an octopus. As an adult I appreciate this as a fine bit of light entertainment, stylishly performed and presented. As a seven-year old the subtleties and wit passed me by. Maybe not the weirdest number 1 of the year, but I’m finally won round. Peely pretends the song is from “Oklahoma”, ha ha. Over watching kids’ heads, aimed firmly at their parents, I guess.

    Plays out with Natasha “Iko Iko” the same performance from a couple of weeks ago.

  74. 74
    Jimmy the Swede on 25 Oct 2016 #

    #73 – WOAH! I think you mean TYPICALLY Tropical…

  75. 75
    Paulito on 26 Oct 2016 #

    Re. the Battle of the Iko Ikos: Natasha’s version (which I’d never heard, nor heard of, before) is pretty inspid, and her TOTP performance demonstrates none of the charm or pop smarts of the Belle Stars. She looks fairly rough, in fact. Little wonder she hurtled back into obscurity so quickly thereafter.

  76. 76
    enitharmon on 26 Oct 2016 #

    Meh! None of them can touch the Dixie Cups from eighteen years earlier! The song of course is a good deal older than that and may well pre-date the UK charts.

  77. 77
    Mark G on 27 Oct 2016 #

    Me: Oh look TOTP
    Alice: (oh god)

    Now now, it might be good! Look, Imagination doing “Music and Lights” which is really good if you don’t watch them performing it.

    Now here is “Fame”, which is represented by the scene from the movie where it got played. Novel. I guess Irene will be along in a week or tomorrow or something.

    So, here is Jeffrey Shalamar, this was groundbreaking at the time but it looks a bit static nowadays, blame Strictly. Oh its a cup of tea. OK, in yr box idonwannagetinthebox..

    Odyssey appear after a clear edit, and its Inside Out. Disco heavy so far, but its all good, hray. I want it to be so deep that you b turning me.. inside out. ‘I’ll see what I can do’

    Just checked! They cut Trio!!! Noooo… (And AC/DC, tsk)

    Anyway, “Shy Boy” which always seemed like a sixties cover, but no its their own. You couldn’t do this now, three girls that sing without harmonies. Still, it has charm, and the small girls all around the country will be watching and loving it.

    Here’s Bucks Fizz, sounding like the Housemartins doing “Caravan of Love” I.e, a capella. Nice enough, can we ff? Oh its live. Alice has bailed. Think she might have enjoyed the next one. ‘Call me when POGDogs is on’, OK if I must..

    So, its the Captain and Happy Talk with the Dolly Mixture girls being cute and fluffy not hard and mean – hang on is that not Jah Wobble? Ah no, easy mistake.. And all the punks bought it. Because its Captain! The lightest song ever performed by a brothel madam in a musical. Then they abolished that Oscar category.

    Right, its Steve Miller to go out on. Glam video, and ropy BBC Paul Daniels stand in. Or, this guys big showbiz break. ‘As seen on TOTP’ it will say on his advert board in some holiday camp, name of which escapes me right now…

  78. 78
    Mark G on 28 Oct 2016 #

    Update – I did see the longer version, later. The AC/DC WAS oops, was a live video, very good. The Trio performance I understand now why it might have got bounced – I had forgotten how menacing the front man was, but it was probably because of the trick the guitarist did with his cig – can’t show smoking before nine, right? Anyway, the audience all got individual caricatures of themselves : Did Trio do all those? Blimey..

    Anyway, now we hand over to….

  79. 79
    Chelovek na lune on 30 Oct 2016 #

    8 July 1982

    And it’s the Kid, looking appropriately youthful.

    Imagination, “Music and Lights”, a pretty sublime sound and track that is far too good to be ruined by gratuitous hairy chest displays (and frankly odd costumes). The falsetto is far more where it’s at.

    Irene Cara – Fame
    Video, which is very grubby early 80s NYC. Much dancing on the streets. The song is not placed to the forefront, but could be, as it is alright.

    Shalamar “A Night To Remember”, a DLT-free, hence broadcastable, proto-moonwalk. Nice classy disco track.

    AC/DC – for those About To Rock
    On video. Loud.

    Trio -Da Da Da
    Slightly creepy, even totalitarian performance characterised by the audience waving card sheets with scrawled representations of faces on. Plus mini Nintendo action. Weird, avant garde, Germanic.

    Odyssey – Inside Out
    Another sublime disco classic, but with a more overly heritage-70s sound then those from Shalamar or forward-looking Imagination. A class act to get on TOTP for sure.

    Why are the audience (again) waving red flags? Not all the beeb staff are communists, surely?

    Bananarama “Shy Boy”
    The first one on this show I bought the single of at the time, but it’s really aged poorly compared with the dancier numbers we’ve already seen. A bit weak, even.

    Bucks Fizz – Now Those Days Are Gone
    Largely acapella, a gentle, sentimental, emotive song, this feels a bit more like Abba in tone than usual, and is all the better for it. The video – looking back to a wartime romance – is also interesting from a cultural history perspective.

    Captain Sensible – Happy Talk
    Dolly Mixture using enormous carrots as mikes while dressed as rabbits. Almost an Alice in Wonderland idyll as much as a South Pacific one. And the Captain looks disconcertingly like Wurzel Gummidge. No better beret for him this week. charming Good fun.

    Play out to Steve Miller Band “Abracadabra” accompanied by the Human Circus. Who daringly include smoking cigarettes among their act. It is all very early eighties.

  80. 80
    Steve Williams on 30 Oct 2016 #

    Bucks Fizz also including the name of one of their future singles in the lyrics too. They’re just like XTC.

    No, it wouldn’t have been the smoking that saw Trio get the chop. It’s all very much sods’ law based on what’s easiest to chop out with the fewest back references by the host.

  81. 81
    Chelovek na lune on 31 Oct 2016 #

    15 July 1982 Peter Powell looking fresh-faced

    Hot Chocolate – It Started With A Kiss
    Of course, a delight and an absolute classic, from one of the finest British acts of the 70s/early 80s. Guy in the front of the audience dancing enthuisastically in a shirt that appears to promote marijuana…
    Seems a bit odd that this should have been released after the rather inferior “Girl Crazy” but there you have it…Such a plaintive, touching song. Great start to the show…

    Paul McCartney – Take It Away
    It may be a world exclusive of the video, but it’s still hard work to raise any enthusiasm for this mid-tempo bland track.

    Cliff Richard – The Only Way Out
    Swanking it about on stage, and reviving, reasonably successfully, the attractive and energetic and contemporary sound that had brought “Wired For Sound” about the previous summer. Yeah this is pretty decent too. Part of one of his definite creative peaks there around the late 70s/early 80s.

    Yazoo – Don’t Go
    Great moody appearing, Alf in Black jacket, white scarfy thing, trilby-ish hat, Vince nonchalantly on keyboards with mass of blonde hair obscuring his face. All very early 80s outsiderdom. And the song is great to. Thank God for Basildon. Great demonstrative performance from Alf, too.

    David Essex – Me And My Girl (Night Clubbing)
    Another veteran performer, impeccable white suit plus crisp bow tie plus red carnation in top pocket. Such a distinctive voice, the song has an eccentric charm, highlighted by the brass parts. Not essential by any means, but passes the time.

    Japan – I Second That Emotion
    on video. Fab herringbone-type pattern bowtie and gold waistcoat combination from Sylvan. Certainly one can say that Japan bring their own style to a well-known classic.

    Dexy’s – Come On Eileen
    Easy to see immediately how and why this became such a party staple. Such a joyous sound, with real vocal and musical talent much in evidence. (it probably helps that not all the lyrics are readily comprehensible) Powell says they are like a breathe of fresh air, and he’s right.

    Leo Sayer – Heart (Stop Beating In Time)
    I really like this at the time, maybe in part because of its several shades of overemoting. It now seems very “mid-evening ITV entertainment show”. It’s more or less completely forgotten now (even Shazam doesn’t recognize it), but it still, to me, has a homely charm and appeal about it. His hairstyle has dated more than the song, just.

    Visage – Night Train
    On video, big hair, white coats, sharp style. Too incoherent a song to be quite briliant. Incidental, really.

    and no 1 Irena Cara – Fame
    video link to people in “Fame” thanking the British public for buying their record, and evidently promoting the show and the associated Kids from Fame LP, which,was if my memory serves me well, on BBC records.. Shameless plugging, in fact.
    A different video from last week, withoutincidental non-song-related stuff, and Cara to the fore, still (mostly?) in NYC. Solo rather than mass street dancing. The song is so insistent and so bubbly that it kind of forces me to like it, maybe against my better, and certainly my initial, judgement.

    Then we’re told by the Fame Cast to make sure we watch “Fame” straight after TOTP..

    Short fade out with Dollar’s retro-futuristic “Videotheque”

  82. 82
    Mark G on 4 Nov 2016 #

    So here’s a TOTP that’s been retrieved – because it was broadcast live the stored tape had muted DJ links, so what were the options? Get Simes back to re-record? Or find someone with a useable VHS tape? The latter, clearly. Wonder who had it? One of the Belle Stars? My moneys on Roger Kitter..

    Anyway, The Belles put the Iko behind them and get The Clapping Song out quickly before any other Label OwnersWives get wind. Its OK, does the job, but was it worth it? Mmmm.

    Simes fluffs his autocue and has Madness as having played “God Save The Queen” on Yazoo. Mental pictures available whether you want them or not. The Nutty Boys (actually that’s a different band of some madness affiliated people but not now it isn’t) do the nutty thing again, but freely admitted that this was as far as they could reasonably take it, and things got a little more serious from here on. Still, this video looks ‘missing’ from the ‘Complete Madness’ VHS set I got back in the day, but it was post that.

    So, Neville funboy helps to intro the Bananarama song, you could mistake for a repeat performance otherwise.

    Simon gives handy time indents which is confusing enough at 00:45 but if you were watching the edit,well. There’s a comedy song on now, The Brat. Chalk Dust. If this had made number one, there’d probably have been an album. That’s how it went those days.

    Trio got cut from the edit, but get the video on this time. Why the edit? No ciggie play, bloke gooses a waitress, maybe?

    Junior sings hit number two, its alright. They liked him on the beeb, he’d pop up on the kids pop shows well past his hits expiry.

    Stranglers continue their change in direction with their oldest song. JJ shows off an acoustic bass whoa cool I want one back then.

    ‘The Bibloteque! the biblioteque, we could read for ages” etc. Dollar. David Van Day’s not been well, so gets a pass from me this time.

    Fame. People will see me and cry. Yep, I want that. Still, all you need is a handheld steadycam , Irene Cara, and some movie footage to drop in, and you have your video for the BBC. If you have Times Square as a backdrop, that is. Doubtless this being the ‘good old, dangerous’ Times Square that people wax lyrical about but hey if it means I can go with my family and enjoy it then you can pedestrianise the high street all you like, for me.

    Finish is a choreographed “Stool Pigeon”by Zoo/Flick which amuses me because this was one of the few I sort of did the same in Turkey back in the days. It was mostly ‘acting out the words’ but hey I did the handshake but got a spin around for the ‘like a guy who will stab a friend’ – in the back, yeah?

    Now its.. CHELOVEK NA LUNE? Hot cha cha cha..

  83. 83
    Steve Williams on 4 Nov 2016 #

    Loved Bates’ suggestion the show had overrun. “Sorry the news is delayed, but it was vital we played Stool Pigeon IN FULL!” I also liked his suggestion people would phone up Top of the Pops to ask what the number one was about.

  84. 84
    Chelovek na lune on 5 Nov 2016 #

    OK Mark G, …..22 July 1982

    Batesy looking like Batesy

    Belle Stars – The Clapping Song
    Fun lively performance that brings the song (not a really great thing) to life. Prominent bloke in audience wearing a “Fame” T-shirt: blatant plugging and sponsorship for anything linked with (or as here bought by) the Beeb being the thing

    Madness – Driving In My Car
    On video. Nutty Boys persona very much played up, skeleton as xylophone in the garage, mock traffic warden beak, skulls borne aloft. The song is fairly incidental and minor by Madness standards though.

    Bananarama – Shy Boy
    Lively dancing from the Nanas, but I reckon they still have to really find their feet. Their collaborations with Fun Boy Three stood them in good stead, but they need stronger, more attitudinal, songs than this really. It’s alright. Star-shaped deely boppers evident in the crowd – those things terrified me as a kid.

    The Brat – Chalk Dust (The Umpire Strikes Back)
    As a comedy track-turned-morality-tale inspired by John McEnroe, this isn’t up to much, but the backing track could be repurposed somewhere. I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t been.

    Trio – Da Da Da
    On video, in a very old world mitteleuropan cafe, undeniably, insistently, catchy, avant garde brilliance. Music for all generations, says the vid.

    Junior – Too Late
    He’s on TOTP so often, Bates says “he’s an old friend of TOTP”: which leads me to ask – does he have dirt on Savile or something?. He’s not such a great performer or artiste, is he? And this song is nothing special at all, and the falsetto vocal touches are a bit painful. Deservedly forgotten.

    Stranglers – Strange Little Girl
    And the show takes a very quick upturn on the quality front. Very, fittingly, restrained, performance of a soft and tender song. They were called the Men in Black, were they not. As indeed they were here.

    Batesy plugging Fame again. Then the charts

    Dollar – Videotheque
    This grows on me every time I hear it. Trevor Horn of course has a lot to do with its appeal. Magnificient epic-modern production. Dollar are everyman and everywoman, and this is their moment in the sun. Good clean fun. At least one more guy in prominent position in the crowd in “Fame” gear. “Forget the gossip, they’re looking good” says Batesy enigmatically.

    Numerous mistakes and incongruities in the chart countdown that we won’t dwell on, two guys next to him in Fame tops, here’s the number 1 “Fame”, but the video is from the “Fame” film, not the “Fame” TV series – did you get that? “Fame”. Remember it’s name. etc Irene Cara. At least its the proper video that emphasises the song. Bates claims unconvincingly that the show has overrun “and he’ll be in trouble”.

    dance-out with interpretative dance to Kid Creole and the Coconuts “Stool Pigeon”, which still sounds great, sophisticated, and so on. Many more people in “Fame” tops

  85. 85
    Adam Puke on 6 Nov 2016 #

    Forgot the Firm song was styled as the somewhat Shamen-esque “Arthur Daley (‘E’s alright”). Went over mine and most of the nation’s heads at the time but I bet Marc Almond was pissing himself.

  86. 86
    Chelovek na lune on 6 Nov 2016 #

    29 July 1982

    Mike Read looking reasonably dapper,
    straight over to Dexy’s “Come On Eileen” looking authentic in denim, not quite overwhelmed by a new, and pretty oppressive stage set that seems to represent cog wheels and other circular objects. No doubt about the classic status of the song.

    Yazoo “Don’t Go” on video, shenanigans in a big old house and science lab. Vince Clarke convincing as mad scientist-cum-vampire. Another great tune.

    Deelyboppers in the audience

    Hot Chocolate reprise “It Started With A Kiss” back in the “spring” stage set ,which I suppose was daringly contemporary or something. No uglier than “The Orbit” in east London anyway. (so far: 3 songs, all that we’ve seen before. At least they’re all good songs)

    Cliff “The Only Way Out”, another repeat. Cheap show so far, then. At least this approach has kept the show free of dross thus far…

    Elkie Brooks “Nights In White Satin”, not seen before on TOTP, and another (I think) new stage set, all swirls. Would be a little harsh to categorise this as “dross”, but “pointless inferior cover version” seems reasonable. I’d quite forgotten how inferior this was to the Moody Blues version…
    I also notice, on the “cheap episode” front, all the songs are getting played in full or nearly, no premature cuts to fit in extra acts..

    Read goes all cockernee. The Firm “Arthur Daley (e’s Alright)”, inferior, probably to the Brat’s comedy record last week, but some nice proper cockney joanna action. Pipe-smoking while cocktail-drinking alert (How very transgressive and genderqueer), the other bloke really is smoking a fag. Can’t imagine we’ll hear any more from these bunch of chancers.

    Reed loves his cockernee, charts,
    Another repeat screening of the video for Macca’s “Take It Away”. It’s not become more appealing (nor to be fair more appalling) since last time.

    More charts

    David Essex “Me And My Girl (Nightclubbing)” Another one we’ve seen before, and it has a likeable eccentricity for sure.

    More charts

    Still Irene Cara “Fame” at no 1 which closes the show.

    Strange show. Only two previously unperformed songs (or in one case “songs”). The BBC don’t like Kid Creole, do they?

  87. 87
    Lazarus on 6 Nov 2016 #

    Hey ho, miss a couple of weeks, and another four shows have flown by – thankfully others have been more on the ball. I dare say it’s been all over social meeja, but Roger Kitter aka the Brat was somewhat better known (though perhaps not in ’82?) as Captain Bertorelli from ‘Allo Allo.’ You didn’t recognise him? What a mistake-a to make! Incidentally I much preferred the Firm’s effort, for me ‘Arthur Daley’ has the same foot-tapping appeal as, say, ‘Snooker Loopy’ but it’s hard to believe this is the same lot who came up with ‘Star Trekkin.’ ‘TV spin-off’ seems to be the only thing they have in common.

    Kid Creole and the Coconuts strike me as the sort of band who’d have been quite prepared to fly over and do the Pops – not too many US acts were. I suspect they were rather bigger here than in their homeland.

    Yes I too spotted the ‘God Save the Queen’ reference. Dear old Simon, eh? The video of course featured their former 2-Tone labelmates Fun Boy Three, hoping for a lift to Coventry.

  88. 88
    Mark G on 9 Nov 2016 #

    Was there any reason for an audience member to point a gun at Mike Read’s head?

    Highlight of this one was the subtitles just before Irene Cara – “AUDIENCE CLAP IN TUNE” blimey! Pay them double.

    Apart from that, nothing surprising. Bring on, um, I dunno.

  89. 89
    Chelovek na lune on 13 Nov 2016 #

    5 August 1982

    The Kid still looking youthful and wholesome

    Madness – “Driving In My Car”
    With a Maddiemobile in the studio, skeleton with fag-in-mouth, straw hats, nutty boys dancing, bloke purporting to play two saxes at once, it’s all a bit of a laff, but the song is not so very great still.

    Junior – “Too Late”
    A great success story in America right now, says the kid. Maybe, but the straw hats and deelyboppers worn by members of the audience are both more memorable and enduring than this weak imitation of soul music.

    The Brat – Chalk Dust (The Umpire Strikes Back)
    A joke that just about bears repetition. At least for as long as the Wimbledon season lasts. Rhythmic hand movements from the audience in abundance.

    Donna Summer – Love Is In Control (Finger On The Trigger)
    Danced to by Zoo , with Donna on the video projected on the wall,. Dancers have a topless guys vaguely “tropical” Hawaii type vibe at the front of the stage, with a cowboys (bearing guns) and Indians thing going on behind. Anyway, essential Donna Summer this is not.

    Belle Stars – The Clapping Song
    Along with a big hand attached to the end of a guitar, they would surely have been a great act to see actually singing live. Even on a mimed performance their energy and enthusiasm as well as talent comes through.

    Kid Creole & the Coconuts – Stool Pigeon
    More skimpily clad tropicana, August Darnell himself is stylish or something in a big straw hat and a green blazer and trousers out of Kipling. The Coconuts wear much less, and what they wear is shiny. Then it’s out with the megaphone. Something a bit Evelyn Waugh or Grahame Green about this. At the time this was my least fave of their three big hits this year, but it’s stood up well. Kid makes bad “lovely bunch of coconuts” joke

    Bad Manners – My Girl Lollipop
    Buster Bloodvessel in a big fur coat, everyone else in Black and white sort of camouflage gear, black shirts and white bowties and they are having fun. And so are we watching them. Proper summery ska-ish knees-up, not surprising they were still playing gigs regularly on Southend seafront a good 25 years later, long after most people elsewhere had forgotten all about them….

    The Stranglers – Strange Little Girl
    Real quality. Melancholy, sophistication, beauty, subtlety, understatement. This is fantastic.

    Dexy’s – Come On Eileen at no 1
    Another lively studio performance. It’s immediately obvious what a party classic this would be for long afterwards.

    dance out to Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger – the long-term classic status of which also seems pretty obvious right away

    Pretty decent show, save for Junior bloody Giscombe

  90. 90
    Chelovek na lune on 14 Nov 2016 #

    12 August 1982

    John Peel wearing something that looks like a black bag – bondage gear?

    Toto Coelo – I Eat Cannibals
    The slightly menacing swaying beat is matched by their dance moves, they appear to be dressed in bin liners themselves, in varying bright colours., with the same on their boots. Fun. Nice post-punk touches.
    There’s something a bit end of the pier show about this, but all the better for it.

    Yazoo – Don’t Go
    in the studio, wild hair a bit toned down now, loads of dry ice, still a fine little number.

    Boystown Gang – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
    A broadcast from a Dutch TV show, the boys-as-decoration predictably wearing just trousers and waistcoats, and there’s a sphinx at the side of the set, and a statue of a horse at the back. The soul singing woman is of course what it’s really about, camped up soul, and it’s all OK, if not

    Associates – 18 Carat Love Affair
    Well this is close to sublime, just one fine part of a superb double-A side single. That rare thing, a New Romantic Torch Song, languid, mid-tempo, mysterious, haunting, and ah – Billy Mackenzie’s extraordinary voice.

    Sheena Easton – Machinery
    Sheena breathes life into what at times is appropriately enough a bit of robotic Gary Numan-type of song, but the passion of the singer-character starts to blaze and out a bit. Forgotten now, understandably.

    Haysi Fantaysee – John Wayne is Big Leggy
    More cowbow stuff, cowboys with dreadlocks, at least. Still not sure whether this is Mclaren style pop genius or a disjointed experiment that doesn’t quite combine succesfully – but an instrumental dancing break and a fun chorus saves it from ignominy. Far, far, worse examples of pop-country crossover lay ahead…maybe one should still be thankful Rednex never covered this

    Wavelength – Hurry Home
    Forgotten and I fear forgettable ballad, a bit 80s wine bar. Earnestly sung verses and almost barbershop like choruses, there is a tenderness and fragility here.

    Kool and the Gang
    Zoo plus Moroccan tumblers dancing. The dancing is more enjoyable than the track, which is bland, sub-optimum K&tG.

    Fun Boy Three – Summertime
    An exemplar of “how to do a cover version of an acknowledged classic” . A haunting Two-Tone Coventry flavour, with violins added, all the melancholy required intact, yeah this is pretty good.

    The Firm – Arthur Daley (E’s Alright)
    Repeat showing from a fortnight before, and it’s the same as it was.

    Dexy’s – Come On Eileen
    play out to the end, and the song is the same as it ever was, and is.

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

  93. 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?

  94. 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?

  95. 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

  96. 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…

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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).

  105. 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.

  106. 106
    Mark G on 8 Dec 2016 #

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

  107. 107
    wichitalineman on 9 Dec 2016 #

    Seriously? Have you got any more details?

  108. 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..

  109. 109
    Steve Williams on 9 Dec 2016 #

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

  110. 110
    wichitalineman on 9 Dec 2016 #

    Man… I wonder if Sarah Greene could be petitioned.

  111. 111
    Mark G on 9 Dec 2016 #

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

  112. 112
    Steve Williams on 11 Dec 2016 #

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

  113. 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

  114. 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.

  115. 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!

  116. 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.

  117. 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

  118. 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.

  119. 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

  120. 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.

  121. 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.

  122. 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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