Friday, 19 May 2017

Marguerita Top of the Pops

Rub your rim with lime juice (ooh er missus!) and sprinkle on some salt, then shake a shot or two of tequila and triple sec over the ice in your cocktail glass and sit back and relax in your comfiest chair because you are about to watch the second most popular show on BBC1 this week (just behind the Two Ronnies) along with 11.35 million others ~ the December 15th 1983 edition of Top of the Pops!

When Christmas makes you happy from your toes to your dandruff


15/12/83 (Simon Bates & Janice Long)

Status Quo – “Marguerita Time” (25)
The Quo get the party underway and Alan's back on bass, although he looks like he'd rather be anywhere else! The song peaked at number 3.

UB40 – “Many Rivers To Cross” (24) (video)
Going a bit gospel with this third single from their number one album, Labour of Love, and it peaked at number 16.

Slade – “My Oh My” (3)
Looking confident of being the festive number one, but ten years on from Merry Xmas Everybody, Slade had to settle for number two.

Barry Manilow – “Read ‘Em & Weep” (20) (video)
Manilow the sad clown covers Meatloaf and makes it to number 17.

Pretenders – “2000 Miles” (23)
Chrissie has seemingly borrowed Noddy's sparkly top hat to perform this year's 'proper' xmas song which made it to number 15.

Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – “Islands In The Stream” (11) (US TV clip)
Ah, at last we get to see Kenny and Dolly perform the Bee Gee's best country song! And it peaked at number 7.

The Flying Pickets – “Only You” (1)
The might have melted at the end but they were going nowhere just yet!

Kool & The Gang - "Straight Ahead" (30) (audience dancing/credits)
Peaked at number 15.

No.1 magazine, 17th Dec. 1983


It is December 22nd next.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

What is Top of the Pops?

Have you ever wondered what is a hit anyway? What makes a soul want to sing along to a song? Dance to it? Tell their friends about it? What makes someone want it in their lives so much they are willing to go out and splash their hard earned cash on a round plastic disc? Well, all you have to do is join the 10.65 million viewers who tuned into Top of the Pops on December 8th 1983, and all will be revealed.....

Quick lads, back to the Tardis!


08/12/83 (Mike Read & Tommy Vance)

Thompson Twins – “Hold Me Now” (4)
Getting the show underway with the first single from their forthcoming massive number one album, Into the Gap, and it was now at its chart peak.

Billy Joel – “Tell Her About It” (22) (video)
This second single from his top two album, An Innocent Man, peaked at number four.

Paul Young – “Love Of The Common People” (2) (rpt from 24/11/83)
Now at its peak, but edited out of tonight's 7.30 showing.

Tina Turner – “Let’s Stay Together” (6) (video)
Also at its peak and also edited out.

Tears For Fears – “The Way You Are” (31)
With perhaps one of their least known hits, The Way You Are peaked at number 24.

Howard Jones – “What Is Love?” (23)
This Jed-less follow up to New Song made it to number 2.

Culture Club – “Victims” (11) (video)
What a sumptuous and hypnotic video for this captivating song which peaked at number 3.

The Flying Pickets – “Only You” (1)
The first of five weeks at number one for this A capella cover of the Yazoo number two.

Wham! – “Club Fantastic Megamix” (18) (audience dancing/credits)
George and Andy hated this so much they refused to promote it! But it still reached number 15.

Saturday shopping list


December 15th is next.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Top of the Pops in the Stream

Top of the Pops from December 1st 1983 will not be shown on BBC4 because one of the hosts is DLT. So a massive thanks to the uploader for making the show available here at WeTransfer

And also here at Vimeo.

It's nearly CHRISSSSSSSSSSSTMAAAAASSS!


01/12/83 (Dave Lee Travis & Steve Wright)

Slade – “My Oh My” (15)
With their biggest hit of the 80's, just failing to clear those melting snowmen off the number one spot!

Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – “Islands In The Stream” (26) (US TV clip)
A final top ten hit for both these two, and what a great one to sign off with! Peaked at number 7.

The Flying Pickets – “Only You” (9)
The battle for the Xmas number one could have only one winner, or rather six of them in this case! You can just imagine the big smile on Vince Clarke's face ...

Genesis – “That’s All” (23) (video)
Peaked at number 16.

Ozzy Osbourne – “Bark At The Moon” (24)
Ozzy's first solo top 30 hit, peaking at number 21.

Cliff Richard – “Please Don’t Fall In Love” (20) (video)
Cliff's christmas offering peaked at number 7.

Tracey Ullman – “Move Over Darling” (21) (video)
Rounding off a great year with her third and final top ten hit, reaching number 8.

Aztec Camera – “Oblivious” (18)
At its peak.

Billy Joel – “Uptown Girl” (1) (video/credits)
Final week at number one for Billy's only number one.


Back to BBC4 next for December 8th.

Friday, 12 May 2017

This Charming Top of the Pops

Well hello, how frightfully nice to see you, do come in and make yourself at home. How delightful that you are here, all 9.55 million of you, to enjoy this quite exquisite live edition of Top of the Pops from 24th November 1983!

I'm feeling gladioli all over


24/11/83 (Simon Bates & Richard Skinner)

Paul Young – “Love Of The Common People” (5)
Paul's already got his festive jumper out to perform this wonderfully atmospheric cover of  the Nicky Thomas hit from 1970. Helped out here by the simply gorgeous Fabulously Wealthy Tarts, Paul's version made it to number 2.

Tina Turner – “Let’s Stay Together” (16) (video)
Tina Turner was just two days short of her 44th birthday would you believe! This cover of Al Green's 1972 original was famously produced by Martyn Ware and Greg Walsh of Heaven 17, and it peaked at number 6 and totally re-ignited Tina's career beyond her wildest possible dreams.

The Smiths – “This Charming Man” (30)
Making their studio debut before rushing straight off back to Manchester to perform at the Hacienda that night, This Charming Man went up five more places.

Thompson Twins – “Hold Me Now” (14)
Peaked at number 4 but edited out of tonight's 7.30 showing.

Marilyn – “Calling Your Name” (9)
That's quite a pair of goggles he's sporting there and he saw the song go up to number 4.

Simple Minds – “Waterfront” (25)
Jim Kerr looking very smart in his suit here and the excellent Waterfront made a splash in the charts and peaked at number 13.

The Style Council – “A Solid Bond In Your Heart” (11) (video)
Originally this was going to be the Jam's final single, but Paul Weller changed his mind, and now it was already at its chart peak.

Billy Joel – “Uptown Girl” (1) (video)
Fourth week at number one for this clever Four Seasons homage.

Eurythmics – “Right By Your Side” (15) (audience dancing/credits)
Peaked at number 10.

The first ever Now album was released four days after this edition of Top of the Pops


Next up should be December 1st, but it's a DLT edition, so BBC4 will skip it in favour of December 8th.

Top of the Pops and the Rain

This edition of Top of the Pops from November 17th 1983 will not be shown on BBC4 due to one of the hosts being Jimmy Savile. So a very big thank you goes to Xrayfour for making it available
here at vimeo  Obviously do not click it if you wish to avoid Jimmy Savile!

When you find out that Billy Joel is still number one.....


17/11/83 (Gary Davies & Jimmy Savile)

Aztec Camera – “Oblivious” (29)
Making their debut on the show with a song that had peaked at number 47 earlier in the year, but this re-issue did better, reaching number 18.

Shakin’ Stevens – “Cry Just A Little Bit” (3) (video)
At its peak.

Madness – “The Sun & The Rain” (5)
Also at its peak.

Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson – “Say Say Say” (2) (video)
Here it is then, the Mac & Jack wonder video at long last! But number 2 was its peak peak peak.

The Assembly – “Never Never” (10)
Between Yazoo and Erasure came The Assembly, this was their only hit, peaking at number 4, but crickey, doesn't Feargal Sharkey scrub up well!

The Rolling Stones – “Undercover Of The Night” (11) (video)
With a swanky new video of their own, from their top 3 album Undercover, this single was now at its peak.

Billy Joel – “Uptown Girl” (1) (video)
Third week at the top.

Michael Jackson – “Thriller” (24) (audience dancing/credits)
The fifth single from Thriller, this peaked at number 10.


Back to BBC4 next for November 24th.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Top of the Pops Cats

You've licked up your saucer of milk, wiped your whiskers and now there's a furry rug and a warm fire in the front room for you to curl up and enjoy a purrrrfect night in watching Top of the Pops from November 10th 1983, along with 9.4 million others ~ miaow........

This is not a cheesy pop song


10/11/83 (David Jensen & John Peel)

Musical Youth – “007” (26)
We get this live show underway tonight with a song now at its chart peak.

Adam Ant – “Puss ‘N Boots” (5) (video)
Loving this mousy video and the Kate Bush lookalike thigh high boots lady leading Adam around by the collar! But number five was its pussycat peak.

Marilyn – “Calling Your Name” (32)
This would become Marilyn's only top ten hit when it reached number 4 ~ but it was edited out of the 7.30 showing tonight.

Eurythmics – “Right By Your Side” (27)
Going a little bit gospel here and making it to number 10.

Limahl – “Only For Love” (20)
With a couple of nice girls to keep him from being too lonely now he had no band, this song went up four more places.

The Cure – “The Love Cats” (10)
Here's Robert and his happy gang, doing it once again with feline ~ and they clawed up three more places for their efforts. Following this performance we had the return of the Top Ten Video Show, with Jensen and Peel amusing each other by having a who can hold the mic in the most eccentric manner contest, and it also gave us a first glimpse of the epic video for Say Say Say, which had suddenly rocketed into the top three, after a couple of weeks of actually falling down the charts. That's the power of the Late Late Breakfast Show for you.

Billy Joel – “Uptown Girl” (1) (video)
Second of five weeks at number one.

Joy Division – “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (30) (audience dancing/credits)
Re-entering the charts all the way up to number 19.



Next up is November 17th, but one of the hosts is Jimmy Savile. So BBC4 will skip along to November 24th instead.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Uptown Top of the Pops

Instruct your chauffeur to pull up the limousine, crack open the bubbly, fill your flute and join 8.95 million viewers for this November 3rd 1983 edition of Top of the Pops!

Billy begins to think about what he'd like for lunch.....


03/11/83 (Peter Powell & Mike Read)

ABC – “That Was Then But This Is Now” (25)
And so we reach this year's blog title song, we'll be needing a new one soon! Number 18 was its apple crumble peak.

Donna Summer – “Unconditional Love” (22) (video)
Glamorous Bonner Hill Road Girls School teacher Donna enlists the help of Musical Youth to reach number 14 in the charts.

Elton John – “Kiss The Bride” (20)
Er ... is it Lofty from It Aint Half Hot Mum? I'm not sure but the song got no higher in the charts though.

The Police – “Synchronicity II” (26) (video)
The third single from their number one album, Synchronicity, this single peaked at number 17. But edited out of tonight's 7.30 show.

Jonathan King – US charts: Edited out.
Stevie Nicks – “If Anyone Falls” (video clip)
Quiet Riot – “Cum On Feel The Noize” (video clip)
Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson – “Say Say Say” (video clip)
The Fixx – “One Thing Leads To Another” (video clip)
Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – “Islands In The Stream” (US TV clip)
Oh, I was looking forward to this, I can't believe they edited it out of the 7.30 show! Anyhow, it made it to number 7.

Status Quo – “A Mess Of Blues” (24)
With no sign of bass player Alan Lancaster here, this Elvis cover made it to number 15.

Madness – “The Sun & The Rain” (21) (video)
What a great video! And for what was, almost unbelievably, the band's last top ten hit of the 80's! Peaking at number 5.

Shakin’ Stevens – “Cry Just A Little Bit” (19)
Lots of cheers for Shaky in the studio, although he actually recorded the performance two weeks earlier, and this Bob Heatlie song (he also wrote Japanese Boy) made it to number 3.

Billy Joel – “Uptown Girl” (1) (video)
Such a memorable video, and the first of five weeks at number one; and the song that replaces it will be the Xmas number one!

Men Without Hats – “The Safety Dance” (6) (audience dancing/credits)
At its dansez peak.

Tonight's BBC1 schedule


Next up is November 10th 1983.