Thursday, 4 December 2014

It's My Top of the Pops

It's the 6th December 1979, the strike at the BBC is over at last and Top of the Pops celebrates with a confident new presenter....

They're playing our tunes
6-12-79: Presenter: Simon Bates

(5) THE GIBSON BROTHERS – Que Sera Mi Vida (If You Should Go) (and charts)
(54) DARTS – Reet Petite
(57) DOLLAR – I Wanna Hold Your Hand
(36) U.K. SUBS – She’s Not There
(26) THE THREE DEGREES – My Simple Heart
(64) M – Moonlight And Muzak
(41) THE STRANGLERS – Don’t Bring Harry
(22) MICHAEL JACKSON – Off The Wall (danced to by Legs & Co)
(12) THE SUGARHILL GANG – Rapper’s Delight (footage from Soap Factory)
(46) THE DAMNED – I Just Can’t Be Happy Today
(50) STORM – It’s My House
(42) MOTÖRHEAD – Bomber
(48) MARIANNE FAITHFULL – The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan
(1) THE POLICE – Walking On The Moon (video)
(2) PINK FLOYD – Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) (and credits)
The Gibson Brothers ~ at their peak now of number 5, play over the charts (in colour!)
Darts ~ with the first of three golden oldies, but this wasn't such a glistening version and didn't make the top 50.
Dollar ~ fare much better with their slightly odd Beatles cover set to become one of the first top ten hits of the 80's
UK Subs ~ a punk 60's cover next but it got no higher than 36 after this performance.
The Three Degrees ~ looking sophisticated in their white suits, My Simple Heart would be their final top ten hit.
M ~ with their overdue follow-up to Pop Muzik, but edited out of the 7.30 show.
The Stranglers ~ didn't bring Harry, and it was just as well because they were also edited out.
Legs & Co ~ after a two week lay off the girls return with a performance in front of a more enthusiastic audience than usual, especially one chap who seemed to be leaping out of his seat with excitement. The blueprint for the 80's was here.
The Sugarhill Gang ~ the fastest climber of the week, in a time when rap music was still a very new thing, but again the 1980's (and beyond) were arriving now.
The Damned ~ were cut from the 7.30 show.
Storm ~ another sophisticated group in white suits, Its My House was their only chart hit but it didn't enter the top 30, despite knocking on the door.
Motorhead ~ in sharp contrast Bomber exploded from the stage, their biggest hit to date but still not a top 30.
Marianne Faithfull ~ Simon informs us that Dr Hook tried and failed to have a hit with this song, which was now Marianne's first chart hit for 12 years, but it got no higher than 48 after this Top of the Pops performance.
The Police ~ walked to number one for just this week, because Simon's prediction that they could be replaced by Pink Floyd proved to be correct.
Pink Floyd ~ who also happened to be the ones to play out over the credits.
Next week then, the 13th December 1979, is the last regular edition we will see on BBC4 of the 70's, because the edition from the 20th December is a Jimmy Savile.


  1. Just a quick comment before I make more noise after the long version's shown.

    So, do we prefer DLT or Peter Powell in voice over, or Simon Bates in both sound and vision? Compare and contrast.

    As pointed out on TV Cream, this show had a bewildering number of non-rundown acts whose chart positions look more like a granny’s winning bingo card. Surely the first time TOTP had featured four songs not even inside the top 40 in succession.

    The Stranglers’ EP had a ‘festive’ picture sleeve depicting the head and feet of a dead turkey no doubt being hung in readiness for the Christmas table. Talking of turkeys, this was the first of six Stranglers singles which peaked between 36 and 42 (at least they were consistent), with at least one complete flop in between. They only appeared once more on TOTP between this showing and their big smash in early 1982 which, apparently, missed the top spot due to not enough copies being pressed, then the band lost momentum by releasing a slow follow-up sung in French!

    Sadly, we’ll only see two of the remaining 1979 shows, as the other two were solely presented and co-hosted by him and him. By the way, has anyone heard any news about 1980 yet?

    1. Top Of The Pops 80 is being shown. 2nd Jan, I'm guessing.

  2. Arthur, sorry to be a pedant, I think it's the first of 5 not 6 inexplicably minor hits for The Stranglers plus none hit just like nothing on earth

    1. I had to double-check my source, and this was actually the second of six consecutive lower chart hits for The Stranglers. They'd peaked at 36 with the follow-up to "Duchess" called "Nuclear Device (The Wizard Of Aus)", then this made 41, then they had four more lower case hits in a row with "Bear Cage", "Who Wants The World?", "Thrown Away" and "Let Me Introduce You To The Family".

  3. P.S Classic edition which the BBC ruined at 7.30 by culling 3 of the best tracks

  4. did some house-sitting tonight for a friend who's away (and much warmer than my own place!) so actually got to watch the late version "live"...

    host: not only a face for radio, but one just begging to be smashed in with a lumphammer as well! despite that and his odious manner, i have to grudgingly admit that slimy did a better job of presenting than at least one of his colleagues...

    gibson bros/ charts: listening again i remember i really liked the intro "if you should go - go - go...", but then thought the rest of it was rubbish. same things applies now. the skids still have their old drummer even though he left two singles ago

    darts: it seems my advice to showaddywaddy to stick with covers of the well-known rock n roll stuff was taken up by darts, but to no avail. their look is of far more interest than the sound: i think i've said this before but griff looks like a cross between jaws and simon cadell of hi-de-hi fame. mr bass man's got the same white whistle as last time, but it seems they got short notice to come on the show as his shirt appears to be still at the dry cleaners. rita has done a "purdey", but is that her own hair or someone else's? also it seems hammy's been let out of the loony bin at last...

    dollar: this bizarre arrangement (is trevor horn on board yet?) really exposes this tune for the lightweight ditty it is. in fact it's as weedy as theresa's vocals!

    uk subs: as santana had done the definitive cover version (in fact the definitive version) only a couple of years earlier, just what was the point of this? and why did the bassist "sing" it rather than charlie?

    3 degrees: disco cabaret schmaltz

    m: finally something cutting edge... not a patch on "pop muzik" but still better than much of what was around at the time, so why wasn't it a bigger hit? as i did at the time, i find myself thinking "are robin scott's temples really grey or is it dye"? however, back then i thought it looked quite cool and even toyed with the idea of doing it myself, whilst now i find myself cutting my sideboards ever shorter to get rid of the grey bits! oh yes, his lady friend has gone from indian to chinese - will whoever pondered before still think she's a transsexual?

    stranglers: i went off them somewhat after "walk on by" and i'm sure i wasn't alone, which could explain why their singles floundered for some time afterwards. i don't even remember this, but listening now it sounds like its inspiration was the then 10-year old "randall and hopkirk" theme. i find it quite amusing that unlike the rest dave greenfield always pretends to play "for real". knowing that jj is at least bisexual (well, according to steve strange's autobiography anyway) i assumed it was a song about his (ex) boyfriend... but looking it up i've discovered it's about heroin!

  5. cont...

    wacko/legs: loved the sequinned leotards but not the hair. i wonder if the girls ever messed up when they were actually dancing in front of a "live" audience and the whole thing had to be done again? also, was slimy sitting as part of the "lads triangle" throughout this? musically another impressive tune from "off the wall" (didn't rod temperton write this one?)

    sugarhill gang: i remember thinking of this "yeah, it's alright for a novelty number but this rap thing won't last for more than 6 months". sadly i was wrong - very wrong. proof that even at the beginning of rap's seemingly never-ending reign, its talentless practitioners were reduced to ripping off others' music - ex singer and label boss sylvia robinson may have been one of the few female entrepreneurs in the music biz, but she was no lady - even though the chic organisation had to take (or at least threaten) legal action to get due credit for the blatant lift of the "good times" bass line (hopefully they copped all the royalties), it didn't stop her from trying the same trick again a few years later with "white lines"...

    damned: another good effort from the captain and co, both musically and visually - i was thinking it wasn't a good idea for rat to have his cymbal positioned where it was as it looked like his head (and half-way through it appeared he agreed as he pushed it away). did anyone else notice the colin moulder clone at the front of the stage?

    storm: was this a cover version? i have a vague familiarity with it but no more. it would have made more sense for the lady not playing bass to take the lead vocal (and perhaps something smaller than a rickenbacker special might have helped the lady playing bass not look so awkward). the guy on the left obviously forgot about the agreement beforehand to wear white...

    motorhead: not in the "the ace of spades" league, but better than what they did on totp before. good to see the old late 60's/early 70's "put the drummer at the front" ploy again

    marianne faithfull: if i had recorded this show rather than watched live, this would probably have been the only thing i would have fast-forwarded. she can't carry a tune to save her life, and she's not even much of a looker in my opinion!

    mark: even with a host i despise and too many cover versions, still one of the best shows so far - 8/10

    1. The Storm track was written by Ashford and Simpson of "Solid" fame, and Diana Ross had released a version which was a minor soul / R&B hit in the USA and was in the UK chart the same time as Storm - Diana's version reached number 32.

      I went to a superb Northern Soul night recently and heard a great Ashford and Simpson tune called "Top Of The Stairs" sung by an act called Collins and Collins. I was going to buy their version but got put off by the fact that Collins and Collins (singing a song about nipping up top for some nookie) were a brother and sister act!

    2. arthur, by coincidence earlier today i noticed a sign outside a boozer just around the corner from where i live saying "motown and northern soul disco tonight"... but rest assured i won't be going! however another local pub has a "70's/80's disco and boogie" night on tomorrow and i'll definitely be at that one!

  6. Griff's lip-synching was a bit disastrous on Reet Petite, wasn't it? He looked woefully unfamiliar with his own vocal.

  7. Dollar's hit was actually produced by Christopher Neil, who subsequently oversaw international chart-toppers for Sheena Easton ('9 to 5', aka 'Morning Train') and Mike & The Mechanics ('The Living Years'). Theresa has never been the strongest of singers, but David Vain Day [sic] turns out one of his finest performances on this remake, the second of the duo's five top ten hits. Trevor Horn CBE would take over the producer's chair in '81.

    Marianne Faithfull may not be everyone's favourite (though she is a big favourite with Morrissey!), but she made a respectable bid for renewed chart success with this electronically-backed Dr Hook cover. Alas,the years of heavy smoking, drinking and drug abuse had noticeably lowered and roughened her voice, thus curtailing her range as a singer.

    With punk on its way out, The Stranglers would not be a major chart force again until their remarkable transformation into a polished, melodic post-punk outfit at the height of the New Romantic era with hits such as 'Golden Brown' and 'European Female'.

  8. Here he is, large as life and twice as ugly, whenever I hear Simes introduce a "slowie" I expect it to be following a sob story. The 80s were well and truly arriving with this episode.

    Weird to hear him describe Reet Petite as a Little Richard song when we all know it as the Jackie Wilson hit, did Simes get it wrong? Can't say I've ever heard Little Richard's version. If he did do one, it had to be better than Darts' try, seemed twice as long as it was. What was up with Rita's crowning glory?

    Dollar, a bit of a plod, never really saw the point of slowing down jaunty tunes to make them more "classy", can't think of a time it's ever succeeded.

    UK Subs - that's three covers in a row! Nobody could mistake this for class, anyway. Were they taking a leaf out of Sham 69's book? Best left on the shelf, in that case.

    The Three Degrees, after their assault on the world's discos this saw them reverting to their more usual stylings, which was a shame, I really like their disco stuff.

    M, hmm, Bowie fan are we? Not bad, but lacked that big hook their hit had. Dropping the microphone mere seconds before he started singing wasn't a good sign. Back to the Bond movies with you.

    The Stranglers, good grief this was dreary, I don't know why half the band showed up. Check out the guy in the audience giving a rueful smile to the camera.

    Legs & Co, that red jumper bloke looked as if he thought he was one of the troupe, did he think he was at a wedding? Neither one thing nor the other costumes. Always good when they dance to disco, though the showcase solo moves were rather naff.

    The Sugarhill Gang, RIP Big Bank Hank. Classic bassline, so why not make further use of it? Sounds so quaint now in these days of Lil' Wayne, but every music genre has to start somewhere. According to Simes, this was called "The Rapper". Did he think it was about a packet of crisps?

    The Damned, didn't much recognise it beyond the title, but it wasn't half bad, fun to see Captain Sensible going nuts on the keyboard. Rat Scabies using that innovative playing drums without hitting them technique, there.

    Storm, what did these polite young ladies think sandwiched between The Damned and Motorhead? Is there a Guinness Book of Records category for tallest bassist? She'd be a shoo-in.

    Also fun to see Captain Sensible joining Motorhead, albeit in an interpretive dance capacity. All their songs pretty much sound the same, but they could sell them with incredible force. Only about three of the audience know what to make of them.

    Marianne Faithfull, as noted above her voice was shot by this time, but I think that adds a lot to the downbeat lyrics. It's Thelma & Louise this is used in, isn't it? Was Marianne still living on her wall at this point? What was the significance of the number 17 on her brooch?

    The Police, re soundtracks, Walking on the Moon was of course played in that massive blockbuster Riding High, the Eddie Kidd movie. Its the bit where he's zooming about the beach in the sunset (on his motorbike). Check it out on YouTube.

    1. i've never heard of "riding high" - looked it up on IMDB but there's no plot outlined (is that because there is no plot?). however it doesn't take much to guess that eddie kidd is (surprise) playing a stunt rider. one of the other characters in the film is called "judas s. chariot" (ho ho!)

    2. I was only joking about Riding High being a blockbuster, it was a flop really. It's about Eddie challenging voiceover man extraordinaire Bill Mitchell (playing Judas as a sort of fat Evel Knievel) to jump a big gap in a bridge to prove which one is the best. Guess who wins.

      Anyway, it'll never be on DVD because the cost of the rights to all the pop songs it uses (like the Police's) would be astronomical these days. As I say, the Walking on the Moon bit is on YouTube.

  9. Did Simon Bates ever look young? Even in 1979 he had the appearance of an oleaginous middle-aged bank manager. Maybe that's why it took him a while to get on the TOTP roster, as he had been doing the Radio 1 mid-morning show for a couple of years by this point. Truth be told, I did not think this was a very auspicious debut, what with the assertion that Reet Petite was a Little Richard song, the awkward holding of that girl in a virtual headlock and the bizarre description of The Police as "stars of 1980 who have had a number 1 in '79" - I think you'll find, Simon, that they were already very much stars of 1979!

    In general, this was a rather weird show, thanks to the dominance of minor hits. However, some interesting stuff was thrown up, notably from The Damned and The Stranglers - the latter sounded like a Lou Reed knock-off, but was still pretty good. Legs had a fun, lively routine this week, and it was nice to see the audience looking enthusiastic for a change, even if the weird guy in the red jumper was rather off-putting! The highlight for me, though, was Marianne Faithfull. I love The Ballad of Lucy Jordan, and her cracked vocals really add to the sense of menace, tension and despair that pervades the song. It came from her excellent comeback album, Broken English, which also features a very memorable closing track seething with sexually explicit lyrics...

    The rest was much of a muchness really. The opening brace of covers did little for me, and Darts made Reet Petite sound pathetically weedy - no wonder they were on the skids by this time. Storm were pleasant but slightly dull, M were different but ultimately unmemorable, and the Three Degrees were plain boring, and also sounded distinctly out-of-tune in this live performance. Motorhead, meanwhile, sound like they always do, though nice to see Captain Sensible enjoying himself in the crowd! The appearance of Rappers' Delight does at least give this show some historical significance, and listening to it in context like this does highlight what a radical new sound it must have seemed at the time. Trouble is, I've always hated rap and it is only the Chic sample that makes this listenable...

  10. Okay then - its been a couple of weeks since record pluggers had the chance to 'encourage' ToTP producers to grant their clients a spot on the show so, surely, this edition would literally be crammed to the gills with the best the music world could offer. Wouldn't it?

    First up its a new presenter Simon - No One Calls Me Si - Bates. As John G mentions above, Bates' links were littered with errors including mis-naming Rappers Delight. Hardly the finger-on-the-pulse performance expected from one of Radio One's finest.
    Onto the music.

    Darts - weak vocally and so-so musically. This is a band whose engine is running on fumes only.

    Dollar - if anything this features weaker vocal performances than Darts, which is some kind of achievement.

    UK Subs - why, God why?

    Three Degrees/ M/ Stranglers. Just a prolonged snoozefest, the majority of which was edited out of the early screening. Now if only I could edit them from my memory.

    Legs dancing to 'Off The Wall'. Bates calls the dance troop 'Legs And COMPANY' Is that right? I can only ever remember them being called Legs and CO. Is this another example of a Bates mistake? The Off The Wall album was massive around this time and spawned loads of hit singles. I vividly recall the Record Mirror review of his follow-up LP -something called Thriller- which was slated as being 'not a patch on Off The Wall'. !!

    Sugarhill Gang. Rappers Delight seemed part of a brave new world back in 79, yet the rapping now seems slow and ponderous, like something Michael Buerk concocted in the jungle. And were they rapping different lyrics on this? Seemed like to me.

    Motorhead - loud and proud but yawn inducing. Storm - not a patch on the Diana Ross version. Marianne Faithful - not a patch on Dr Hook's version.

    And we end up with current number 1 The Police and next week's number 1 Pink Floyd.

    So, in conclusion then. A poor show. A weird presnting job, five poor cover versions, a couple of not-as-good-as-they-were acts. Only the Sugarhill Gang could hold their heads up.

    C- must do better next year.

    1. Noel Edmonds often called them "Legs and Company" too - it rather fits with the personalities of both men that they should choose to do so...

    2. I also thought this show was a comedown on the shows of the previous couple of weeks with no presenters, but better hits.

      The only thing I could pick put that was good, was Rappers Delight, which like Cuba by the Gibson Brothers, had a goods 20 years of longevity until the new millennium before fading to a new generation of DJs who did not remember 1979/1980 for this track being in the charts, and lack any association with it.

  11. I didn't think 'Simes' was too bad, and considering he was (I think) doing the Top 40 on Radio 1 at this point, it would be a bit mean for him not to be given a go.

    Shame about the music really...the first 3 songs were pretty bad. I have nothing positive to say about Darts and UK Subs. The Dollar cover I liked at the time but now it sounds utterly terrible - Trevor Horn couldn't arrive soon enough based on that evidence.

    The Three Degrees I'm not a big fan of, although 'My Simple Heart' is one of their better ones. Not the best performance though, struggling against the TOTP orchestra I think.

    The M and Stranglers songs were far too odd to be successful, and it needed a bit of good era Jacko to liven things up for a bit after those. I loved the performing gibbon..sorry, the guy in the red jumper at the end. It was like he'd never seen women before.

    The Sugarhill Gang rap is surely just the long version chopped off at a random point, which does beg the question - did The Soap Factory show all 9 minutes of it? (there are at least 2 other edits common to compilations, one of around 3'40" and another of 4'50")
    Also, I thought Simon Bates said 'The Rapper' as a means of introducing the person doing the rap, rather than the song itself. Almost as if he was thinking of them as another race of people.

    Songs from The Damned and Storm both passed me by, and at least Motorhead woke me up. It's not a song I know very well, but I rather liked it. Did Simon not tell us what it was called in case his crazy DJ voice made it sound like 'Bummer'?

    Marianne Faithfull I've always thought of as a talentless hippy hanger-on and that clip did nothing to change my opinion.

  12. Well, that was an eclectic show, a bit like a tin of Quality Street. So many different flavours, but only so many you actually like. The problem was that so many of these tracks were either really weak follow-ups (Darts, M, Dollar) or poor choices for a single in the first place (UK Subs, Stranglers).

    Sadly, Simon Bates took to this lark like a duck to water and, despite dressing like Val Doonican and making a few cock-ups, I thought he was polished, unfazed (even by Motorhead) and inscrutable with his closing gambit. Bugger.

    No sitar for Darts this time, and no decent hairstyle for Rita either. At least Griff gave it his best shot. As for Dollar, nice Sixties touch with the duo’s outfits but that was about it.

    Could Charlie Harper actually play guitar? And why let a band member with a really weak voice handle the vocals? At least this was quick.

    Even The Three Degrees sounded like a soul disco version of Bananarama. Still, nice to see Hot Helen get the middle perch this time round.

    I really wished they’d dubbed on the sound of Robins Scott’s mic hitting the floor to give it a smidgeon of authenticity. M’s track sounded like a disco prototype of Landscape’s “Einstein A Go Go”.

    Why didn’t they give Jet Black a bass drum, again for a bit of likeness? That must rank with Don Powell’s stint on Sue Wilkinson’s “You’ve Got To Be A Hustler” for most criminal underuse of a famous drummer on the TOTP stage.

    Aha! Legs & Co in leather jackets and sequinned swimsuits. Always a winner! A fun and frenetic routine, complete with that 1930’s ‘hands crossing over knees’ shimmy. Hook that bloke in the red jumper off Cosmo Smallpiece style!

    I gave The Sugarhill Gang the F-F-W-to-the-D.

    Despite Rat’s mid-song mucking about, I enjoyed The Damned’s purposeful track – and didn’t that crowd love it!

    Storm’s bassist must have always been first pick at Netball in PE. An unusually long bass guitar there, but she’d have looked daft with a ukulele. If Storm comprised five young people from North East London as Simon said, where did the sixth member come from? And were they an old scrote? I bet it was the rebellious non-white wearing guitarist both times.

    Was Lemmy singing “It’s Obama”? He can see into the future! Loved the fan in the red coat slapping the stage in glee. Anyone else think Fast Eddie Clarke looks like Jasper Carrott’s harder brother?

    So, Si, Marianne Faithful will take that song into the charts? She already had - at number 48! I like a good story song every now and again, and I thought Marianne did a good job miming this, though I couldn’t help keep thinking of Mars bars for some reason!

    1. Wasn't the fan in the red coat Captain Sensible, joining in to show his appreciation?

      Don't think of Mars Bars when you think of Marianne, that rumour was entirely made up by some dodgy geezers, better to think of her zooming down the country roads in Girl on a Motorcycle, a film she hated, but does feature one of the funniest endings of all time. OK, it wasn't supposed to be, but...

  13. Anyone else getting an occasional signal dropout on BBC4 ? Not the HD version. It happened on the playout of this edition of totp but I also get it on other beeb4 progs I have recorded. Just me?

    1. I was getting such a bad signal on the BBC Four HD channel that I decided to get a new (cheap but effective) aerial and that fixed the issue. Granted that wasn't the standard channel, but they could be connected.

    2. Just complained to the wife that the pictures keeps dropping out - so in answer to your question - yes!

  14. Blimey, all the claws are out for Simon Bates aren't they? He's never been anything more than 'a bloke on the radio' to me, but I've heard that he wasn't popular with his colleagues.

    This must be the strangest show we've seen so far. There can't be another which kicks off with three cover versions in a row, surely? And an unusually high proportion of low-charting forgotten 45s.

    Three Degrees - this didn't look like a TOTP performance, in fact it didn't look very 'BBC' at all. It shows that other TV orchestras can murder a Giorgio Moroder production just as thoroughly.

    The Stranglers - it's hard to believe that this was the same band of No More Heroes fame two and a bit years ago. Don't remember this one at all.

    Sugarhill Gang - I agree with Wilberforce when it come to (c)rap. Shouty black Americans talking when they should be singing (although to be fair these early guys had an air of friendliness about them). Even worse are stupid white middle class English people pretending to be shouty black Americans.

    The Damned - once again, another one eclipsed by the OGWT performance. The funny thing is that I have no recollection of watching OGWT in 1979 but clearly remember Rat Scabies trashing his kit so I must have seen it. By the way, I'm fairly certain that we had our new telly by now!

    Storm - another one I don't remember, although it sounds like the typical kind of thing Capital Radio would wear through to the B-side!

    And finishing up (after the lady with the knackered voice - well it worked for Bonnie Tyler and Chris Norman didn't it?) with one of the great promos of the time. Stewart Copeland playing the rocket cone is etched in my mind for life - although not in quite the same way as the promo for the next chart-topper...

    1. perhaps the ultimate statement on rap was made on (by all places!) "the saint and greavsie" show - liverpool fc had released "the anfield rap" as the then-traditional fa cup final cash-in single, and the video was played on the show. whereupon the saint asked his equally-bemused colleague "so what do you think of that then greavsie"? "well, put a "c" in front of it saint and its says it all really"...

    2. marianne faithfull obviously hadn't been anywhere near a mars bar for some time, as if she had (thanks to the smooth mixture of nougat and caramel) she wouldn't have been so rasping!

  15. Hey - I've just come across the complete 12/07/79 show which I missed because I was on holiday! If anyone else is interested:

    1. Just watched this Mr Relic, and the highlights for me were Lady Linda, Breakfast In America, and Stay With Me Till Dawn. A real summer fest of delicacies on that show, much better than any chocolate eclair.

    2. Yup, Judie (stay with me till dawn and open my beer bottles), Janet (who just seems to come across as a very nice lady), Chantal (homely) and Siouxsie (mysterious). And Rickie Lee Jones - the Darwinian link between Joni Mitchell and Sheryl Crow.

  16. Legs and Co's routine - that's Danny Baker that is. Next to the guy who falls off his seat.

  17. Just watched the full length video of Rappers Delight on Utube, and was shocked to hear of the death of Big Bank Hank only last month, who played Imp The Dimp, the second rapper on this song, you know the one with the burger belly and the yellow t-shirt. Died 11th Nov 2014, from kidney complications of cancer. RIP Hank. Let's all have a minute's silence for a true icon of rap.

  18. Been away for the last two weeks so I'm catching up. This was the weirdest show I've seen for a long time.

    Firstly Mr Bates. The first time my mum saw him she laughed saying he looks like a knitting pattern and I know what she meant. I didn't mind his presenting style at the time but gradually grew to hate him. I like the way his massive shirt collar moves up and down in time with his adam's apple when he introduces the show.

    Darts and Dollar are both jumping on the sixties bandwagon not only with their covers but with their dress sense too, Dart's sax player Nigel wearing a Fred Perry and a pork pie hat while Teresa B is attired in an opt art dress. I have no recollection of these and no wonder as they're so dire. Teresa is clearly no Karen Carpenter as she's unable to keep time in her faux drumming during the intro.

    I never knew the UK Subs had more that one lead vocalist, now I wish I didn't know. This one looks like the actor who played Vince Pinner's brother in Just Good Friends. Interesting that the camera doesn't focus on Charlie H once.

    I always called this Three Degrees song Bicycle For Hire. because it sounds like that's what they're singing.

    I loved M to bits at the time and eagerly bought this and it still sounds good today. I got their album the other day in a charity shop. The drummer Phil Gould (later in Level 42 of course) looks about 12 while Robin does indeed look about 50, not unlike George Hamilton when he was in Love At First Bite which was doing the rounds at the time.

    I quite liked The Strangers slow stuff, this reminds of the later La Follie although it's no surprise that it wasn't a hit.

    Every six months someone gets the idea to film Legs in the round or in this case the triangle. Of course the fun is to be had looking at the audience. I hadn't realised one of the crowd was Danny Baker, I was too distracted by the creepy balding guy in red at the back who appears to have taken some speed. He crops up over and over after this and spends most of his time staring at the camera.

    At this time I went to my great aunt and uncle's 40th wedding anniversary and my cousins encouraged me to dance to Rapper's Delight which I herd for the first time. It sounded like the future of music and I liked it enough to buy even though I hadn't got a clue what they were talking about.

    And the non-hits just keep on coming. I have no memory of this Damned song at all but I like the organ sound which gives it a sixties vibe.

    Storm are more of a passing shower but I like the female bassist who plays a Rickenbacker which is I'm informed a very un-reggae bass to play (it was popular with Paul McCartey in the sixties),

    I hated Motorhead at the time but this is a lot of fun now. Interesting use of hand held cameras to show the crowd.

    I remember feeling sorry for Marianne Faithful at the time as she was being painted as a Judy Garland style wrecked has-been but this is actually quite good and ahead of its time. This should have been a big hit.

    The Police song stands out here as the best thing on the show, okay equal with Jacko, and should have stayed at number one. I didn't understand or want to understand the Pink Floyd song at all at the time and hated it being at the top at Christmas.