Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Bucket of Water Top of the Pops

The edition of Top of the Pops from the 15th May 1980 will be skipped by BBC4 because it was hosted by DLT. But a big thanks to Steve H who has put the edition online at 4Shared.  And thanks also to Sean for putting it up at Vimeo

For me there's three standout performances on this show ~ Squeeze with their excellent follow-up to Another Nail in my Heart, seemingly a perfect song for the summer but amazingly it failed to make the top 40, so wasn't on the show again; similarly Peter Gabriel's follow-up to Games Without Frontiers, which also marks an ultra-rare studio appearance; and lastly of course the Tiswas invasion....

They let us use real buckets of water on ITV!

15-5-80: Presenter: Dave Lee Travis ~ Watch on

(25) CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIR – You Gave Me Love (and charts)
(47) SQUEEZE – Pulling Mussels (From The Shell) WATCH
(18) ROXY MUSIC – Over You WATCH
(7) JIMMY RUFFIN – Hold On To My Love ® WATCH (Tommy Vance)
(24) MYSTIC MERLIN – Just Can’t Give You Up (danced to by Legs & Co) WATCH
(6) HOT CHOCOLATE – No Doubt About It WATCH
(26) THE FOUR BUCKETEERS – The Bucket Of Water Song WATCH
(20) WHITESNAKE – Fool For Your Loving (video) WATCH
(13) THE NOLANS – Don’t Make Waves WATCH
(4) THE BEAT – Mirror In The Bathroom ® WATCH (Tommy Vance)
(19) KATE BUSH – Breathing (video) WATCH
(44) PETER GABRIEL – No Self Control WATCH
(8) NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN – I Shoulda Loved Ya (video) WATCH (Tommy Vance)
(1) JOHNNY LOGAN – What’s Another Year? WATCH
(23) MASH – Theme From M*A*S*H (Suicide Is Painless) (and credits) WATCH


  1. the lost booty for me this week is the appearance of roxy music in the studio - not one of their best, but the sight of the sultan of suave and his chums is always a welcome one. i would also have liked to have seen what legs and co did with the mystic merlin track (hopefully a bit more clad than last time!) but as i refuse to watch "banned" editions on the internet i don't suppose i will now...

    does anybody know what's happening with the DLT situation? has he finished his suspended sentence yet? and if so will the beeb start showing the editions he hosted again? after all, they let a gary glitter tune appear last time, and as far as i'm aware he's now currently banged up (again) for far more heinous crimes!

    1. Indeed this was a rare TOTP studio appearance for Roxy Music, and I think the first one since Love is The Drug or Virginia Plain from the early 70s. Why the sudden about-turn to come back to TOTP for the first time in years instead of offering their video as usual, is still somewhat baffling.

    2. I think DLTs suspended sentence will last until October 2016 ~ it was two years. It would have been better for us if he'd got 3 months inside ~ he'd be out by now sentence served! Don't suppose DLT sees it that way though!

    3. Regarding Mystic Merlin, apart from the Legs & Co thrill for yet another week, this tune was interesting by the fact that it starts disco-like in the first minute, and then you get a Charlie’s Angels type of interlude at about 0:55 to 1:10 into the song, and then the rest of the song has an eery likeness to You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine performed by Ruby Flipper (precursor to Legs & Co) on TOTP 9th September1976, and then it finishes up again with the Charlie’s Angels sounding theme!

    4. yes, i've always been aware of the rhythmic shift about half way through the full version, and that it sags a bit at that point. but still a great track despite that

  2. Crown Heights Affair – one of the greatest disco intros ever seen in the history of pop music that will resonate forever on the dance floors if doesn’t get forgotten in the ravages of time. Simply brilliant!

    Hot Chocolate – they (and the audience) were simply being ‘beamed up’ on stage like in Star Trek, and it seemed to work, as they were quickly ‘beamed up’ to No.2 the following week after this TOTP performance.

    The Four Bucketeers – apart from Sally James superb gym-fit body on view here, we also got to see John Gorman who appeared on that now-famous video of Lily The Pink, which got to No.1 twelve years earlier in 1968 thanks to his antics on the video. Not to mention an early Chris Tarrant before he became very rich as one of the highest paid DJs in the 80s and then hosted Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in the 90s and 2000s

    The Beat – can’t get enough of this superb 80s phenomenon that did not last very long, but in the short time they were frequenting our charts, how brilliant they were with Mirror In The Bathroom which thoroughly deserved the No.4 position this week.

    Jonny Logan – can’t stand this song, but the best part was at the end when Logan got a kiss on the lips from Gillian of Legs & Co when collecting his birthday cake from her in the audience. I’m jealous.

  3. shaky shakerson31 May 2015 at 07:09

    One of those 'treading water' editions this one with a lot of stuff that we've seen before. Quite clearly the country was in the middle of a decent spell of hot weather for a change which DLT conveys by the simple use of an Hawaiian shirt and a sun on his head. Oh, and many mentions of heat, and summer, and cooling down etc.

    The rather excellent Squeeze start us off with a summer-based hit - Pulling Mussels. Love this song and all the summer holiday references in it - especially the line 'about a boy who 's gone away down to next doors caravan' - something that the 18 year old Shaky did on a regular basis. (Thanks Mr & Mrs Parsons!)

    Roxy Music. Never 'got' this lot and - Oh Yeah, apart - never really cared for their songs.

    The Leggers don Angel & Devil costumes for some reason. DLT calls them pussycats, for some reason.

    Our fade out tune is Theme From Mash which is on its inexplicable way to the top spot. The music is, of course, well known to those of us who watched and loved the tv show, but the lyrics did appear on a different version in the original movie when the camp dentist -Painless Pole- is considering suicide. Director Robert Altman asked his 14 year old son to come up with some suitable lyrics to go with the music. As a result Altman Junior would go on to make more money from the song than his dad would make from the film. Or so it is claimed.

    Anyway a pretty 'meh' kind of show for me earns it a 5 and DLT gets a 4 - dropping points for puting ona German accent - for some reason- and a black American one during his links.

  4. I agree with Angelo that it's odd Squeeze didn't do better with this one - it's a lovely melodic song that to my mind is far superior to Cool For Cats or Up the Junction, but clearly the great British public did not agree! No Self Control should certainly have been a bigger hit. Another classic from Peter Gabriel's "melting face" album, the record features Phil Collins on drums and Kate Bush once again doing backing vocals, which means she appears on two consecutive songs on this show. I wasn't sure if Gabriel recorded this performance in the TOTP studio or if it was some kind of promo - it didn't look like the TOTP set, and there was no audience.

    Roxy certainly were in the studio, but were evidently pre-recorded given that there was no audience for them either. Over You is a decent enough tune, but not one of their best. I'm assuming John Gorman had quite a lot of influence on The Bucket of Water Song, as it did have a marked similarity to Lily the Pink. Doubtless if you are old enough to remember Tiswas, this would have had some fun nostalgia value, but as I was only 2 when it ended the song did nothing for me! What a shame Noel Edmonds wasn't hosting this show...

    I can understand why DLT said Legs looked like cats, as that's what I thought when watching the performance! Looking at it again, I can see that they were meant to be devils, but I've no idea why - presumably Flick had an idea for a routine like this in her head and thought this song was as good as any other for making it reality. I'm pretty sure I caught one or two of the girls, still in costume, in the crowd for the Hot Chocolate performance - I liked the way the band "materialised" on to the stage during the intro, which well suited both the sound and the subject matter of the record.

    Overall, this was a pretty good show, if not in the same league as the two previous weeks. I think the sun must have got to DLT's brain though, as he was the most irritating he has been for a while - if I were Johnny Logan I would have been tempted to shove his face in the birthday cake...

    1. despite (or maybe because of ) its anarchic reputation tiswas never got shown in the itv region where i lived (south west - no doubt they would show their own farming programmes instead as "entertainment" on a saturday morning!), so i had to make do with the comparatively staid "swap shop" instead. sally james was never really my cup of tea as a youth (although i never saw her show, her profile meant i got to see plenty of her in the press), but i did catch her on a recent edition of "celebrity pointless" (i was just channel-hopping, m'lud!) and i have to i was impressed that she's hardly changed at all since her tiswas days...

    2. We were lucky enough to have Sally James a couple of years before "Tiswas" in my ITV region (London and the home counties) as she fronted "Saturday Scene" for LWT before she got snapped up by Tarrant and Co. . One of my early crushes, to the point where she released a dreadful single ("Isn't It Good" on Philips) and I simply had to buy it!

    3. It occurs to me that we still have the delights of Brown Sauce (i.e. the Swap Shop team) performing I Wanna Be a Winner to come in about 18 months' time. Can't wait...

  5. Oh dear, just as I was getting into the start of this DLT show with the brilliance of Crown Heights Affair as the chart rundown track and new entry this week, I've just realised that the intro before the main 'Woo-Hoo Woo-Hoo' chorus, is resembling and identical to the intro for Shake Your Booty by KC & The Sunshine Band in 1976.

    If you watch here this KC track on TOTP in 1976, you would be listening to what looked likely to become lifted from it to be the intro for You Gave Me Love - Crown Heights Affair in 1980. I wonder if anyone or KC himself spotted this at the time in 1980?

  6. Hi anybody else having trouble playing this file on 4shared ? it just wont play is there a link to another site
    thanks Jayne - good work Angelo just love this Blog

    1. It can be quite temperamental that site ~ I've put individual youtube links next to each performance though on the blog which cover most of the show :-)

    2. I must say that for me on the same computer, I had problems opening the 4shared uploads of Neil B, but with this week's episode kindly uploaded by Steve H, also on 4Shared, I had no problem, and it opened up immediately.

      My suggestion for anyone using 4shared to upload videos is to use We Tansfer instead (hope that Neil B and Steve H see this). We Transfer is a less complicated application, and should work for everyone.

    3. Jayne
      I put it up here for you
      TOTPFAN - Sean

  7. I know that many songs with far more nonsensical lyrics and far worse tunes and musicianship have made the charts, but my theory about Squeeze's surprise minor hit is that the lyrics are a bit too complicated and 'in joke' (e.g. the references to William tell and Maid Marian) to appeal to the masses.

    1. Could be but do people listen that closely to lyrics? I think it's just that cats weren't quite as cool in 1980 as they had been just 12 months earlier.

    2. Generally, no, most people don't listen closely to lyrics, and the attention span is fairly short and we tend to get pulled in by the chorus or intro.

      Last week was a case in point. The Platinum Blonde single felt no more like a cute female voice soothing the track over the male intro, and only when someone had mentioned the tragic end to the song, did we then listen to the lyrics from start to finish, which nearly brought a tear to the eye I must say.

      We always want to find out for ourselves about any story lines when lyrics are involved, and even any small sniff of something unusual with any lyrics will quickly change our attention span.

      I'm not surprised that Platinum Blonde didn't make the top 40 chart, because chorus or intro did not trump the general folk element of the song, whereas take the Geno song at No.1: both the intro and chorus stood out over the general lyrics, and hey presto, we had a No.1 from an unlikely band at the time.

    3. Funny things, lyrics. It strikes me that standout lyrics are a result of (a) enunciation (allied to which, of course, is recording quality) and (b) accessibility (ie, keep it simple). I'm sure that even those who say that they don't pay much attention to lyrics will have something from their younger days (perhaps something they detest!) to which they know the lyrics by rote, simply because it fulfils the above criteria.

      Think about Paul McCartney's 'Yesterday' and compare with, say, Dexy's 'There There My Dear' (a solid block of prose put to song with Kevin Rowland's highly stylised vocals). Which one has the undoubtedly more skilful wordsmanship, but which one can you recite?

    4. i've never been into lyrics in pop music, and certainly don't ever recall acquiring a recording for that reason. however as 20th cent says, it can't be helped that some of them seep into your subconscious whether you like it or not. i like to think i have a power of recall beyond most, but probably for the above reason there are few if any songs that i could sing at a karoake without referring to the screen. i remember when i had to learn the lyrics for "one more night" and (another time) several guns n roses things in order to sing them for music college assignments, and the only way i could get them into my head without having to think about it was to play them over and over again whilst driving around in my car (i remember having to keep the windows shut and turning it down/off whilst waiting at traffic lights, lest passers-by thought i was actually listening to that stuff for pleasure!)

  8. Watching DLT's shows over the last four years it has struck me how variable he was. Sometimes he could be quite serious, other times were as if he was stoned. This show veers very much towards the latter.

    One of my 'pairings' - two numbers I always associate with each other - are featured here: Over You and No Doubt About It (another two are Wishful Thinking and Feels Like Heaven from 1984). Nice bit of 'production' for the latter performance but it's nothing special - it's how they have made the TARDIS come and go over the previous umpteen years.

    A touch of ATV at TVC, but DLT wouldn't have been able to say as such, hence the barbed comment about "20 places lower and deservedly so". Wasn't it about this time when Tiswas broke out of its regional Brummie shackles and became national (well, London at any rate)? I see that the appearance of Sally James has been eagerly awaited by those slightly older than me - personally I could never see what all the fuss was about. I always thought that Maggie Philbin was the thinking adolescent's crumpet (18 months to go...).

    Shouldn't this Kate Bush video include a warning about playing with plastic bags?

    Peter Gabriel, looking like a grotesque hybrid of Gary Numan and Ian Dury. Weird. I'm surprised it actually made it into the Top 40.

    Well here it is, the very last Number One to be performed live with the house orchestra. And I bet Johnny Logan was pleased about finally being able to shed the jacket!

    Once again, many thanks to those who have made this edition available.

    1. I wondered about DLT too being a bit "trappy". I have found him to be his usual bellend self this episode, much as he was on the radio. That whole cosy DLT, Simes, et al really thought they were indestructible eh.
      Not just on the radio either as we have since found out. Well, DLT anyway.

    2. sally james vs maggie philbin? the expression "two bald men fighting over combs" comes to mind. sorry, but i really can't think of any 70's/early 80's adolescent telly "crumpet" that floated my boat (and anyone else?)

    3. Sally James beats them all hands down

  9. Not a gold medal standard show, but I’m very grateful for the opportunity to see it again. I see someone had obviously noticed the Mystic Merlin spelling mistake from last week.

    You can imagine the Squeeze meeting – “Okay, Jools, you were on screen for two seconds for our last hit, so we’ll release that track with the piano soloas the next single. You’re bound to get three or four cameos during the chart run”. Interesting upward hitting of the cymbals by Gilson and use of the Abba trademark singers at right angles.

    Was that the same drumkit for Roxy Music? And why did that stage have that massive gap for the steps in the front? Surely they could have been put on one side.

    Legs & Co were enjoyable, but they were so far from the camera I couldn’t tell one ‘pussycat’ from another. While I’m at it, the Close Encounters effects for Hot Chocolate were clever but overdone.

    I borrowed the Four Bucketeers song for my Ice Bucket Challenge last year. I sang the first verse before being pelted (twice, the second time unexpectedly) by my sister-in-law’s brood. Given the stage props for this appearance, this was more like “The Bucket Of Tinsel Song”. Shame there wasn’t just one bucket of water to throw over DLT.

    I hadn’t noticed from the video’s first showing that Whitesnake’s drummer was left handed (hi-hat to his right, unlike the norm).

    What on Earth possessed DLT to choose such an uncommercial track as a record of the week, and what would his listeners have made of it? Peter Gabriel still reminds me of Simon Day’s rockumentary pastiche Brian Pern, and I’m also amazed this got as high as 33. Eleven places higher than Squeeze!

  10. I couldn't help but enjoy DLT's comment when introducing Whitesnake. "Do you fancy a bit of Whitesnake? I'll take you to the canteen after the show."

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  12. Thanks to the 45cat website, it appears there was a previous Tiswas single from 1978 (billed as Sal, Chris 'n' and Trev - the latter being ATV presenter Trevor East)..."The Dying Fly, nee The Typewriter". Yes, that old typewriter and strings tune, whereby people in the studio lay on their backs and flailed their arms and legs in the air when it was played. There was also a sequel to the hit, with the young lad in the rabbit costume murdering "Bright Eyes", followed by a final release, "Water Is Wonderful", which failed to sell bucket loads. Boom boom tish!

  13. I was far too late to the party for the previous show to have anything worthwhile to say so here's a couple of 'fascinating' facts for you -

    1) I don't know why I remember this, but this edition may well have been one of the first TOTP that I watched properly (as opposed to playing and watching bits of it) as I remember writing all the acts down on a great big pad that I had at the time. Well, the ones I knew the names of anyway. I only recall this because I am absolutely certain that 'Mystic Merlin' was in the list. So it's probably this show (although possibly the last I guess, given that they were on over the rundown)
    Not very exciting but true.

    2) Possibly even less exciting than that, my Stepdad's Niece's Husband's Dad's second wife is Sally James. I've never met her though, and I was a Swap Shop kid so I didn't have a crush on her was a kid either. Clare Grogan, on the other hand...

    I haven't got much to say about the actual music on this show, it was all a bit blah for me with the exception of Squeeze and Roxy Music.