Thursday, 22 January 2015

It's Different for Top of the Pops

It's January the 10th and David Jensen is the host for the second edition of Top of the Pops of 1980, with Christmas now firmly behind us and no more festive songs for eleven months!

"Good welcome"

10-1-80: Presenter: David Jensen

(14) MADNESS – My Girl (and charts)
(63) UFO – Young Blood
(2) ABBA – I Have A Dream (video)
(13) ROSE ROYCE – Is It Love You’re After (video)
(50) JOE JACKSON – It’s Different For Girls
(28) SHEILA B. DEVOTION – Spacer (video)
(21) THE SKIDS – Working For The Yankee Dollar WATCH
(7) K.C. & THE SUNSHINE BAND – Please Don’t Go (danced to by Legs & Co)
(30) DOLLAR – I Wanna Hold Your Hand ®
(20) THE NOLANS – I’m In The Mood For Dancing
(1) PINK FLOYD – Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) (video)
(26) BOOKER T. & THE M.G.’S – Green Onions (and credits)

Madness ~ play over the credits despite being on the show last week, but they did have two records currently in the top 30.

UFO ~ Young Blood was produced by George Martin but the record remained unidentified from the top 30.

Abba ~ at number 2 for a third week running, you'd have thought the kid with the runny nose in the video might have wiped it by now.

Rose Royce ~ were the only edit casualty tonight, with Is it Love You're After at its peak in the charts.

Joe Jackson ~ performs his excellent follow up to Is She Really Going Out with Him, and the Kid rightly predicts a big hit for this one.

Sheila B Devotion ~ or was it now Sheila and B Devotion? Disco classic Spacer was of course written and produced and played on by Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards from Chic.

The Skids ~ on the same show again as their arch enemies, the Nolans, this seems to have been around an awfully long time for a record that only just made the top 20.

Legs & Co ~ are all jilted brides this week as they dance to Please Don't Go. KC himself is in the studio to tell the Kid how much he enjoyed watching them.

Dollar ~ a repeat showing of their performance from several weeks ago for another song slowly climbing the charts.

The Nolans ~ take over the studio as they show those spitters The Skids what a top 3 hit looks like.

Pink Floyd ~ it was the fourth and final week at number one for this classic song which David informs us was only the band's third hit single in 13 years.

Booker T and the MGs ~ play us out with Green Onions, a track originally recorded in 1962.

Next week then, its the 17th January 1980, hosted by Simon Bates.


  1. Sorry to be pedantic, but that wasn't Joe Jackson's follow-up. He'd released the title track of his second album "I'm The Man" between these two hits.

    By the way, did anyone catch the first part of that documentary "Sound Of Song"? Absolutely fascinating. See it while you can.

    1. I saw that documentary, and it was really interesting, making you look at music in a different way. I am looking forward to the remaining episodes, as it moves on into the rock and pop era.

    2. i liked "i'm the man" at the time, and remember being a bit disappointed when it flopped chartwise...

    3. Right enough, the magnetic tape episode of Sound of Song was fascinating. It's great even at this stage some people can find a new way of presenting the old stories.

    4. Have watched the first episode of this, will watch the second in the next few days. It would make a fascinating radio series, i.e. without the typical modern visuals of dark, murky pictures and that stupid 'film look' - thankfully less apparent when watched on a computer which reduces everything to lowest common denominator. A classic example of why I fail to see the point of splashing out on the latest all singing all dancing HD mega flat panel TV.

    5. I wonder if they'll manage to shoehorn that footage of The Ronettes into the third episode as well as the first two? I have to say I think Neil Brand's a fine presenter of the series, telling the story with an effortless authority and explaining some of those musical nuances nicely with his ivory tickling.

  2. UFO, was this New Wave of British Heavy Metal, then (the longest music genre name ever), or was it rather dated legs akimbo axe-wielding plod rock sticking out like a sore thumb? You decide!

    ABBA, there was definitely a craze for children's choirs around this time, anyone know why? I suppose it's like every other rock song these days having blokes going "Woaah wooaaah woooaaaah!" on them.

    Rose Royce, still enjoying the fancy footwork of the guitarists. Then Joe Jackson, a strangely threatening song in the guise of reflective pop, was his jazz period right around the corner?

    Sheila B. Devotion, a Chic record in all but name and a great one, they were offered a huge cheque and couldn't turn it down so rustled up a whole album (which I also really like). This track was inspired by Hot Gossip's Starship Trooper - do we get to see Legs & Co dancing to this one? The video's stuttering effect was yet another instance of "Is there something wrong with my TV?" TOTP viewing.

    The Skids seem to have been on more times than Status Quo by this point, let's hope Richard (in Freddie Mercury's cap?) had learned how to behave himself around ladies this time.

    Legs & Co, with a very sensual Gill getting a solo, erm (adjusts collar nervously), though they all are dressed as fairies on top of the Christmas tree for reasons best known to themselves. I note Macca was at number 18 this week and ask again, who still buys Christmas records so long after the big day?

    The Nolan Sisters guest starring some bloke's arse in the foreground, not the most glamorous look. Were those energetic dancers the camera crew cutting a rug? They should have gotten Richard Jobson to do some of his skipping to the tune.

    The next we'd hear that Pink Floyd track featured would be in their movie a couple of years later, one of the most depressing rock 'n' roll films ever. Not exactly Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter, was it? Which reminds me, we should be getting Hazel O'Connor's hits from another depressing 80s rock movie soon.

    1. That 'stuttering effect' would manifest itself in music during the 1980s, probably reaching its zenith with Jive Bunny.

      No I don't remember that either.

  3. Joe Jackson's Jumping Jive album was issued in late 1981. Before that, he released "Beat Crazy", an album which he didn't tour with his band - it failed to make the top 40 and none of its the singles made the top 75. After this album, Joe split the original line-up and they didn't reform until 2003.

    We don't get Legs&Co weaving their magic to "Spacer" - just one more showing for Sheila's video.

    I remember seeing a YouTube clip of Herman's Hermits performing "Mrs Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" where the ukelele effect was achieved by sticking a towel between the guitar strings and the fretboard.

  4. While there weren't many new songs to enjoy on this edition, it was still quite an entertaining one. Joe Jackson was the standout performer, with an absolute classic - I've always loved that insistent guitar line. It was amusing to have Kid talking about how the French had now become good at disco, given that Spacer is essentially the work of two Americans! An excellent song though, once again showing how infectious the Chic sound is. UFO, by contrast, were so forgettable the director helpfully put the band's name by the side of the stage, doubtless in the hope somebody might remember them!

    Kid was as professional as always, and even managed to conduct the mini-interview with KC in a non-embarrassing manner. I'd be interested to know what KC's real views on the Legs routine were - I thought it was pretty enough, but lacked the emotional intensity of the song.

    I was sure Kid was about to say "good love" at the end, but he seemed to change his mind at the last minute!

  5. Who'd have thought KC and the Sunshine Band's Greatest Hits album would have their greatest hits on it? Essential interview as always, TOTP!

    1. As Dave Gorman pointed out in one of his programmes, Scouting For Girls 'Greatest Hits' should actually have been called 'a few hits, several misses, some non-singles and two new songs'

  6. ufo: you couldn't buy a copy of "sounds" music magazine" without this band getting mentioned in it somehow - they were considered big movers in the world of hard rock at the time, but this single probably shows why they've now been washed away by the sands of time

    rose royce: i liked the way the stage was designed for the band, and the choreographed pseudo go-go dancer routines. but i was really annoyed by the percussionist hitting a bongo in imitation of a syn drum!

    joe jackson: always somewhat-derided as an elvis costello clone, but at least he could open his mouth without making me cringe. i haven't heard this for years, but it all came back to me how much i liked the chorus with its clever chord progressions and harmonies

    sheila: kids, (in contrast to what others say) don't buy the album this classic track came from - it's absolute rubbish! it's shame this was wasted on her... and that was probably a good reason for its poor chart showing. i remember shopping regularly in an asda about 10 years ago, where i kept on hearing the opening riff regularly on "asda fm"... and then if course some talentless tw*ts who had sampled it would sing their own shit melody over the top! every time i had the misfortune to hear that i used to think "just for once, can't you play the original?", but of course that never happened. a good reason why i prefer to shop at tesco now as (other than at xmas) they don't play music in their stores!

    skids: a friend watching this with me who is not familiar with them said "this sounds like big country"...

    kc: why are legs dancing to this when the man himself is in the studio? sadly this dirge was the parting of the ways for harry and i...

    dollar: what the hell's this doing on again?

    nolans: looks like tabloid favourite colleen (their equivalent of "little" jimmy osmond) is still yet to join the family act. this is absolute shite as far as disco goes (and i hated it accordingly at the time), but having heard it so often i've sort-of at least grown to respect the songwriting aspect of it (like the rose royce track, another example of modulation!)

    booker t: this track already had some kind of mythological status even before it was re-released in the wake of the quadrophenia/mod revival thing. i remember listening to it for the first time expecting fireworks and thinking "well, it's pleasant enough, but when does something interesting actually happen?"... which never did!

  7. Madness start us off this week over the chart rundown - and as mentioned above, Macca still in the top 20 meaning some one (or rather, several someones) went out to the shops to buy a Christmas song AFTER the decorations were taken down.

    UFO. Really? Never heard the song before and had only the vaguest recollection of the band as being a second rate rock outfit. This performance (with the singer being strangely sited at the back of the stage) did little to dissuade me of that opinion.

    Repeat shows for the Abba and Rose Royce vids before the needle-thin Joe Jackson steps out on stage with his band. (Where they ever known as The Joe Jackson Band? Surely the album cover just said 'Joe Jackson') Anyway, this is one of my favourite tracks of the year - a close sibling to the previous Is She Really Going Out With Him and just really, really cool sounding. It was just a pity JJ was visually less enticing than his music otherwise he would surely have had the success he deserved.

    The Skids. Jobson still looks and acts like a dick. Great song tho.

    KC - Please Don't Go as danced to by Legs. The 4th song of the week that I owned although this one was on the Greatest Hits album mentioned in the Kid/KC interview. ( The others, incidentally, were Madness, the Skids, and Joe Jackson) In my mind this is eternally linked with the soon-to-chart Babe by Styx.

    A couple for the mums and dads up next. Dollar proving it is possible to ruin a Lennon & McCartney song and the Nolan girls with a song that would go on to be a Wedding DJ's regular floor filler for a third of a century.

    And we play out with Booker T's Green Onions but why was this charting again? I seem to recall it being played in a scene of a Dan Ackroyd film (Spies Like Us?) but I'm not sure if the dates tie in, or if the film was big enough to warrant a re-release. Was it on an advert?

    All-in-all a fairly good start to the year (6 out of 10 for the show - 8 for Kid)

    1. OOps, thank you Wilberforce. Quadrophenia is quite obviously the reason for Gren Onions charting.

    2. In a perfect world, Green Onions is what the three leads would be dancing the Madison to in Jean-Luc Godard's Bande a Part. Quadrophenia will do, though.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. expand on my deleted comment above...
      Two things - Abba repeat showing...this time we see (most of) the third verse with the kids which was chopped previously. But WHY do they tinker with it and include some silly flashing lights in the instrumental lead up to it? The untampered with video shows members of the backing band and to have coloured lights from the TOTP studio in their place is bonkers!
      UFO; agree that this song wasn't great, but checkout the awesome live album 'Strangers in the Night' that was out the year before.

    5. Ah, "Quadrophenia". The first time I was aware of Leslie Ash, as I didn't recognise her as a toddler in those Fairy Liquid ads. Does anyone know if she's had that unfortunate injection trout pout corrected?

    6. i was very familiar with lesley ash pre-"quadrophenia", due to reading my younger sister's "jackie" mags when i thought no-one was looking... where she was their number one model! by the way, i still don't know the meaning of the word/phrase "quadrophenia" - can anyone enlighten me?

    7. The lead character in the film, Jimmy, had four different sides to his personality, which symbolised the different members of The Who. Instead of being schizophrenic, he was 'quadrophenic".

    8. I think it was also a play on quadraphonic sound, as the band recorded the album in a self-built "quadraphonic" studio in Battersea.

  8. A friend of mine at University loved UFO but I was never won round to their 'charms' and their lumpen effort on this show hasn't helped either.

    The Joe Jackson song is brilliant, as is 'Spacer' and although I hadn't seen the video for that in years I was suddenly getting flashbacks to being 7 so it must have sunk in when I was watching it then.

    The Skids - nice song, shame about the prick. As per. Even the cameraman didn't seem to want to get too close at the beginning of the song. Perhaps that's why the steadicam footage was there, to make sure he got a close-up.

    The Nolans get some pre-recorded footage too, I see. Well worth it for some of the 'interesting' dance moves on display. And they're singing live again, fair play to them. Eat that, Jobson.

  9. UFO - I prefer ELO, still in the chart but going down with Confusion/Last Train to London.

    Rose Royce - I just love the colours in this video and also the cute lead singer, and yes It Is Love I'm After.

    Sheila B Devotion - I'm pleased that it appears everyone is giving praise for this track and video, and I add my admiration too, for this is one of the great spillover tracks from the 70s disco era, song released in 1979, but charting in 1980. I've tried get hold of this video for ages, but it's still not on iTunes and the U-tube versions are not of great quality, so this TOTP cut seems to be the clearest resolution of the video available.

    KC & The Sunshine Band - I agree with Wilberforce that if KC was in the studio he should be performing the song, and not commenting on how good Legs & Co were to dance to his track. However, Legs did look divine in those white outfits.

  10. Highlights for me were Joe Jackson (musically) and Sheila (visually). No surprises there then.

    Otherwise there was a lot of stuff which we've already heard. Thinking about it, I Have A Dream was probably the one which made me realise that ABBA were no longer 'cool', or maybe I had just grown out of them. Certainly, their subsequent hits did nothing for me until the rather good Under Attack during late '82, by which time of course it was all over. It would have been interesting to see what ABBA would have subsequently done had they stayed together, since by that time they had progressed into a synthpop tour de force. Check out 'I Am The City', one of the last things they recorded together and unreleased until 1993 (on the More Gold album) - it's stunning.

    That Rose Royce promo also seems to have become a TOTP fixture, but this time I am finding it increasingly endearing. Whilst the music is highly contemporary with those syndrums/electronic bongos, the picture quality is straight out of the 1960s when colour TV was new and primitive.

    Looks like a serious chunk of the budget was spent on the Nolans, recording a second performance of them miming to what they had already done and splicing the two together. Reminds me of Showaddywaddy back in 1976 with those black and white suits. So this was the third show (and counting) on which both the Nolans and the Skids appeared - you have to take these stories with a rather large pinch of salt. And I don't know if they were truly live this time, it didn't sound as 'live' as their previous performance.

    As for UFO, while this is eminently listenable today I agree that by 1979/80 standards it didn't stand out at all. Maybe that's why I remember the name more than the music.

    1. Did UFO stand for something rude in their case or was it plain old Unidentified Flying Object?

    2. i think they started going at around the same time as the ace gerry anderson sci-fi tv series of that name. but i don't know if that was coincidence or not...?

    3. From wikipedia:- "...Originally taking the name Hocus Pocus, the group changed their name in October 1969 to UFO in honour of the London club where they were spotted...".

    4. From 'The A-Z Of Names In Rock' by Mark Beech:

      "... the best-known UFO inflicted hard rock on the world. "It means Unidentified Flying Objects," they said. "What else?" Suggestions have included Utterly F*****' 'Orrible and Unbelievably Fantastic Operators."

  11. Surprised no one's commented at how retro glam UFO seemed, both in sound and (drummer at the front) stage layout..

    Delighted by all the "good love" for Spacer which has stuck with me down through the years, as had the snotty nosed kid in I Have a Dream (but not the kid with the cold sore).

    Check out the Sparks cover of I Want To Hold Your Hand if you are looking for a decent version.

  12. Kid overload. Good welcome. Good love. Good night? Good grief! And were UFO really just outside the charts at number 63? I didn’t think The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was quite this early, and this effort started in pedestrian manner but got better near the end to my ears, though I was thrown by the sloppily tied tie / blue ‘Waddy jacket / Debbie Harry red blouse get-up of 60 per cent of the band. By the way, I think UFO’s best song was “Doctor Doctor” – no, not the Thompson Twins tune!

    I saw Rose Royce’s ‘rather stunning’ Gwen Dickey do a solo turn at one of those 80’s disco gigs about 15 years ago. She was superb. I saw quite a lot of those “Here And Now” gigs at the time – many acts were enjoyable, some were excellent (some surprisingly so, like Kim Wilde and Nick Heyward), some were shorn of a few previous members (e.g. a two-piece Belle Stars), one or two were shambolic (e.g. a clearly stoned and tramp-styled Visage) and one was guaranteed to clear the venue for a rush at the bar (Curiosity Killed The Cat).

    Sheila B. Devotion and the lads looked like the Hot Gossip your mum and dad would like. Class tune, but hated those hand statues with hooks on the knuckles. Muuuum!

    Best song on the show was undoubtedly Joe Jackson’s. Simple, effective, heartfelt and just brilliant. Loved the three-way “You’re All The Same” vocals. Loved Joe’s focus on the audience and minimal camera staring. Loved the guitarist’s totally out of context with the song horsey prancing moves for some reason. Turns out bassist Graham Maby was lead vocalist on the title track of the next album and it was also released as the lead single. Weird decision. I loved both Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson at this time and thought Joe’s tunes were just that bit more filmic, if you get my drift.

    Richard “Cock” Jobson never danced in time, did he? All over the place like a bladdered Scot on Burns’ Night (topical? me?). If ever Village People needed a deviant chauffeur as a seventh member, he’d have been a shoe-in with that garb. Talking of which, why were the two ‘defenders’ at the back in red compared to the others in black?

    Sorry, more costume chatter. Haven’t we seen Legs&Co’s saucy bridal wear before, about 18 months back? Not that I’m complaining! If Gene Farrow could share the stage with the gals for some mugshot avoiding disco-lite shite, I’m sure someone could have persuaded Harry Casey to get amongst the ladies for a plaintive rendition. I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded too much.

    Dollar’s Beatles deconstruction was awful. They should have taken a gamble and had a crack at “Revolution” or “Day In The Life” instead. Still, at least they hadn’t rehashed an Oxo jingle for a flop, unlike their old employers.

    I don’t remember that much uncovered chest in The Nolans on TOTP. As mentioned before, I’d seen a theatre’s double-life size advert of Linda Nolan in a red basque (not unpleasing to the eye) on a day out in Blackpool 20 years ago. I didn’t enjoy that two-tier presentation. They should have at least made them play instruments, like Squeeze’s swap in “Up The Junction”.

    Were Booker T and the MG’s sloshed when performing that classic? If so, they should have called it “Pickled Onions”. Boom boom tish!

    1. "Where were you in '79 when the dam began to burst?" (Denim and Leather - Saxon). The term NWOBHM first appeared in Sounds mag in the summer of 1979 and referred to new emerging bands playing hard/heavy rock/metal. Established bands like UFO, Sabbath and the like, got a boost from this movement when it was seemingly out of fashion. Of course rock n roll will never die!

    2. What makes Sheila B Devotion's Spacer a class tune is the Nile Rogers composition who made this all possible for her. Nile is just brilliant in whatever he does.

    3. the UFO track that was raved about at school (and was considered super heavy) was "rock bottom", recorded when michael schenker (with his iconic "flying V" guitar) was still with the band - i had my own disco then and remember having to play it to sate the metal-heads. it was quite good actually, especially the guitar solo. however, i listened to it again in much more recent times and was surprised at how weedy it sounded. by the way, i agree with arthur that NWOBHM had yet to get under way... and UFO were hardly part of that anyway, having already been going for a decade...

    4. what instruments would the nolans have played: my choice would be: linda (guitar), maureen (bass) and ann (drums)...

    5. on the NWOBHM front i will concede to "anonymous" that the likes of iron maiden, def leppard, samson and the tygers of pang tang were probably already active at a local level if not further afield, but i don't think any of them had signed major record label deals by this point. i remember having an old edition of the guinness book of hit singles, and being rather amused at a NWOBHM act called angel witch being bestowed the title of "least successful chart act", thanks to their single "sweet danger" spending one week at what was then the lowest chart position!

    6. It wont be long now until "Maiden" are included on the metal for muthas album/ tour (true title, believe me) and the eponymous album release is around the corner, propelling them to massive fame and fortune. Tho the lead singer wouldnt last long.......

  13. Surprised no one's mentioned the curse of the repeats has struck again: the Roussos Phenomenon is no more! Rest in peace, big guy.

    1. We've lost quite a few artistes during this four year run. Sadly, time takes its toll. Without meaning to get heavy or political but, purely as an example, there were 1,500 Auschwitz survivors attending the 60th anniversary of its liberation and only 300 were still with us for yesterday's event.

      Getting back to the previous message, hopefully there's someone somewhere in the world watching "Abigail's Party" and digging the soundtrack.

    2. demis' demise is therefore not a case of "forever and ever" then...