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.


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  1. 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.

  2. 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”.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 70
    Adam Puke on 23 Oct 2016 #
  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 74
    Jimmy the Swede on 25 Oct 2016 #

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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….

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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”

  22. 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..

  23. 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.

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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?

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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

  30. 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.

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