Thursday, 21 May 2015

This World of Top of the Pops

May 1980 arrives which means just five more editions left (and one of them is a DLT) until the strike which took the show off the air for ten long weeks throughout the whole of June and July. Tonight's show is from the time of the Iranian embassy siege in London and it also marks the debut of a new presenter ~ Tommy Vance........

er..... why wasn't I introduced last week like everyone else?

Top of the Pops 1-5-80: Presenter: Tommy Vance

(12) LEON HAYWOOD – Don’t Push It, Don’t Force It (and charts)
Playing over the chart rundown this week is Leon Haywood's only hit, now at its peak.

(38) NEW MUSIK – This World Of Water
The men in white are back in the studio though this record didn't go quite as swimmingly as Living By Numbers and peaked just outside the top 30.

(19) NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN – I Shoulda Loved Ya (video)
This was to become the first of American producer (Whitney Houston, Starship) Narada Micheal Walden's two number 8 hits, though oddly he would have to wait another 8 years for his second one.

(57) THE CHORDS – Something’s Missing
This was the second of four singles in 1980 from Jam wannabes The Chords, but all of them were missing from the top 30.

(13) RODNEY FRANKLIN – The Groove (danced to by Legs & Co)
After checking out the groove the other week, Legs & Co now check out the sofa for this week's groovy routine.

(30) WHITESNAKE – Fool For Your Loving (video)
Fool for you Loving became the first top 20 hit for the sons of Deep Purple, making it to 13.

(36) JIMMY RUFFIN – Hold On To My Love
Written by Robin Gibb and Blue Weaver, Hold on to my Love was to be Jimmy Ruffin's final top ten hit in the UK, reaching number 7.

(20) SAXON – Wheels Of Steel ®
The first of five Saxon singles in 1980, now at its peak in the charts.

(31) HOT CHOCOLATE – No Doubt About It
How could they even think of editing out this one?

(23) MOTÖRHEAD – Leaving Here
Also cut from the 7.30pm broadcast.

(25) THE NOLANS – Don’t Make Waves
And the Nolans also went under the editor's knife.

(58) THE BEAT – Mirror In The Bathroom
Perform perhaps their finest and best known hit with both Dave Wakeling and Rankin Roger taking turns on lead vocal, although I think in reality it was Dave's vocals we heard.

(29) KATE BUSH – Breathing (video)
Breathing was the first single to come from Kate's third, and first number one, album Never Forever. It peaked at 16 in the charts.

'A deserved' number one for Dexy's Midnight Runners who surprisingly replaced Blondie's Call Me after just one week, and they celebrated by performing beneath a big number 1 sign.

(15) JOHNNY LOGAN – What’s Another Year? (and credits)
Playing over the credits and heading to number one is 1980's Eurovision winner.

Next week then takes us to the 8th May 1980 and one week closer to the strike.


  1. Nerada Michael Walden - the 70s disco era seemed to be hard to shake off, even by May 1980, as Nerada and his group continued the shiny disco outfits and colour-laden sets. I always liked the American footage from Soul Train that TOTP had to procure in order to keep us music fans well nourished.

    Rodney Franklin - two weeks in a row that Legs & Co danced to a song with the word "groove" in it, and two weeks in a row that they delighted us with their increasingly shapely legs, this time six pairs of legs delightfully sprawled across those very long sofas.

    It reminds me of a few years later as a teenager bringing home my date and hoping to be asked in for a drink on the sofa in the lounge, after the parents had gone to bed. Suffice to say that my date/dates never looked as sultry as Legs and co did on this week's show's sofas.

    Whitesnake & Saxon - we were lucky to be treated with two good heavy metal bands, but Whitesnake edged it for me by means of their superb video which I remember a couple of years ago purchasing from iTunes, and this was my best £1.89 ever spent in my ever growing collection of 70s and 80s music videos from iTunes.

    Hot Chocolate - suffice to say that whoever at BBC4 who edited this out of the 7.30pm show, probably was not aware that we lost the great Errol Brown last month, and it would have been a good mark of respect to show this new entry by Hot Chocolate, but hey, nobody is perfect.

    Kate Bush - this 'video' as such with Kate mimicking an embryo in a mother's womb, deserved a big hit just on the basis of bothering to dress up as an embryo, and her soft 20-year old skin came to light by means of this video where most of her body was undressed, so well done Kate, no-one was interested in the song, but only interested in your freshness.

    Dexys Midnight Runners - thoroughly deserved No.1 in only their second release, after the flop of their debut single dance stance in January. The boys were just superb with those trumpets and TOTP studio performance, and for me their career-best hit, even ahead of Come On Eileen two years later which also got to No.1.

    All in all, an excellent show, and excellent debut of Tommy Vance as presenter, as the month of May and the British summer of 1980 were just beginning with a brand new, and fresh sound at No.1.

    1. But for The Great Strike, we would probably have had Legs & Co dancing to a third song with "Groove" in the title - Teena Marie's wonderful "Behind The Groove", which made number 6 during that blank summer. Teena just about made the top 30 again late in 1980, but that single never made it onto the show either.

    2. did "behind the groove" really get that high in the chart? my memory has it being a minor hit at best, but i'm sure if arthur doesn't already know then he's consulted that chart website for confirmation

      of course, teena was notable as being one of the few white acts to be signed to the motown label - i'll leave it to others to guess/mention the rest...

    3. The Planets (of "Lines" fame) had an album released on Motown in the States.

    4. Kiki Dee and R Dean Taylor are the two that leap to mind.

    5. apart from r.dean taylor, the two i had in mind were rare earth and (somewhat bizarrely) charlene who was a one-hit wonder in the early 80's with the sickly ballad "i've never been to me"

    6. R Dean Taylor had problems in the USA with his single "Indiana Wants Me" as many people thought the intro was a real police transmission.

    7. I'd forgotten about Charlene, probably because I try to banish all thoughts of that ghastly song from my mind! If the repeats keep going into 1982, my thumb will be hitting the fast forward button when that one comes along...

    8. Chris Clark was a white vocalist signed to Motown in the 60s (she was nicknamed 'The White Negress'), Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) did a Motown single in 1980 (Johnny Harris was her musical director) and Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons were on Motown offshoot label Mowest circa 1972.

    9. I can't see any point to the 7:30 BBC4 broadcasts - they leave bits out, and the show didn't used to start at 7:30 anyway!

  2. A quote taken from today's BBC News wesbite...

    "You weren't taken seriously by the UK - the establishment, not the people. In '87, there were ads on the underground with artists they wouldn't play, and they included Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, myself… Why bang your head against a wall? Germany welcomed me with with open arms. I've sold something in the region of 16 million records.

    I never got that involved [in Eurovision afterwards]. I've always found it a bit embarrassing, it's as if people think I'm a fountain of knowledge on Eurovision".

    Anyone hazard a guess at the bitter little gobshite who said this?

    1. Haven't got a clue. Please put us out of our misery and tell us.

    2. Johnny Logan?

    3. As Tony Green used to say in "Bullseye" one!

    4. I told you he was a tit!

  3. I was listening to a song by another Eurovision winner - "Mamma Mia" by Abba - on the radio today, and it always amazes me that the drummer only uses a hi-hat cymbal and no splash, crash or ride cymbals in the track. It's almost as if he was bet he couldn't use them or the studio forgot to set them up.

    It looks like the programme editors had spliced Hot Chocolate from the show before Errol Brown's passing, but wouldn't you have thought they'd re-edit the show and include the band as a tribute to Errol?

    1. Probably would have cost too much to re-edit the re-edit. With any luck they'll be on again. I rarely watch the 7.30 show anyway.

    2. when peter gabriel recorded his early "eponymous" albums, for reasons i don't know of he insisted that any drummer he employed be forbidden from using any cymbals other than hi-hat. as one of them, in the recent genesis documentary on bb4 phil collins told an amusing anecdote where they put tom toms in place of where the cymbals would usually be, just in case he couldn't help himself trying to hit (an imaginary) one!

    3. Can't say I've ever listened closely to the drumming on Mamma Mia before, but yes, the way the accents on the hi-hat replace the more usual crash cymbals is one of those hard-to-spot pieces of musical brilliance. A fine example of 'less is more'.

      The one I noticed right from the start was the 'hitmaking' incarnation of Adam & The Ants. Despite the visual line-up of two drummers with full kits, their recordings feature no cymbals or hi-hats whatsoever.

    4. the drummer in a band i played keyboards in in the early 80's was instructed by our manager not to use any cymbals other than hi-hat (no doubt influenced by peter gabriel), nor toms toms either - it was a bit weird at first but we soon got used to it, and we were playing dance-oriented music anyway so crashes and things weren't that essential. that also reminds me of when i once helped out a heavy metal band by playing (borrowed) drums for a gig, and i only got provided with one crash cymbal that i also had to use as a ride by hitting the bell of it (as they say, necessity is the mother of invention)!

  4. For me Tommy Vance's greatest moment outside of the Rock Show was appearing as the DJ in the Slade movie Flame, the bit where the band visit the offshore radio station and get shot at. So it was nice to see him here, and more importantly hear that superb voice, especially when he was introducing the rock acts with relish.

    New Musik: bleak, panicky lyrics over a quirky melody, with the Smurfs on backing vocals? Yes please! Should have been a bigger hit, but maybe the public noticed what they were singing about. Or maybe it was the flailing of the keyboard player that put them off?

    Singing drummer (not many of those) Narada Michael Walden: now that's a bassline! Great stuff, not sure why NMW was dressed like Timmy Mallet though.

    The Ja- sorry, The Chords, or was it a windmilling Pete Townshend? Someone was playing the imitation game, anyway, though perhaps what was missing was a decent chorus?

    Hey, Legs & Co, Doctor Who is on Saturdays, get out from behind those sofas! Now they're jumping on them! Would you do that at home?

    Whitesnake, with David Coverdale belting it out for all those ladies in the audience. Well, he would be if there were any ladies in the audience. First case of what does the T-shirt say on this episode.

    Jimmy Ruffin, he's so cool he doesn't dance under the glitterball, he dances OVER the glitterball! Slightly overdoing it with the dry ice, I wouldn't have liked to be in the audience below that one. Bog standard soul disco otherwise.

    Saxon, cruising down the highway to, er, Barnsley.

    Hot Chocolate, enough with the dry ice! OK, it's a scary, cosmic song, but still. Love the lyrics to this one, one of the best songs about UFOs along with, um, OK I can't think of any other good ones.

    Motorhead, could it be, yes, a trio of headbangers actually headbanging? Did they show up just for that? Or were they headbanging for the Nolans too, only we didn't see them? Second instance of what does the T-shirt say.

    Speaking of which, the Nolans, resplendent in silver bomber jackets. Can you still get those? Asking for a friend. Pleasant enough tune, but not in their front rank.

    The Beat, a real classic, everyone on this is on full power, menacing lyrics, insistent rhythm, hard to shake melody, the whole kit and caboodle.

    Kate Bush in a song about what it's like to be a hamster inside one of those plastic balls they roll around the nation's living room carpets in. Probably. Not one of her more memorable ditties.

    Dexy's, were they running late? Could have shown up a bit earlier for your first number one, lads. The bit where the horn section throws itself into the instrumental break is truly majestic.

    1. Re good songs about UFOs, "Longer Boats" by Cat Stevens is a very nice little tune, from his classic Tea for the Tillerman album.

    2. Depends on your definition of a good UFO song, but there's always that Carpenters one with the John Noakes soundalike in the middle.

    3. Yeah, the Carpenters one was OK. I have thought of another which is good, though it wasn't a hit single: Motorway to Roswell by Pixies.

    4. Starman ~ David Bowie ~ can't think of many more!

    5. Erm, that Christmas single by Chris De Burgh?

    6. shaky shakerson27 May 2015 at 13:40

      I believe Phil Taylor's T-shirt reads Whale Oil Beef Hooked. (You need to say it out loud to get the proper effect)

  5. host: i always liked tommy vance even though i didn't really share his taste in music, nor also that that his looks never matched his bombastic voice. despite also referring to himself as "thomas" at times, that wasn't actually his given name, just that of another DJ whose show he had to cover where the jingles had already been recorded (to my knowledge history has never recorded what happened to the original tommy vance). i suspect the fact that he appeared on an edition that featured three heavy metal acts may not have been a coincidence. there was a guy at school who was so obsessed with his radio show that he ended up being re-named tommy, and we still call him that even now!

    new musik: to my recollection this got quite a bit of airplay on radio 1 despite it's lowly chart placing. i quite liked it's quirkiness then and still do now (much better than "living by numbers") with it's speeded-up vocals that are presumably meant to sound as if they are underwater. someone watching with me commented that the singer looked like both paul simon and chevy chase (he wasn't aware of the video for "you can call me al")

    narada michael walden: there was another guy at school who had a similar name to him, so inevitably ended up being called "narada" (obviously bestowing nicknames on peers was a great way of passing the time in the 6th form common room!). singing drummers just don't work for me, especially when you've got a million other people on stage with you. neither do guitarists playing funk chops using a double-neck guitar (leave that kind of thing to jimmy page). quite a good groove though, and one that surprisingly isn't in my 70's disco collection (yet!)

    chords: something's missing alright - a tune for a start!. also originality or even anything resembling quality music. a poor man's jam and the modfather & co are pure anathema to me. so in my view utter bollocks, but i did feel a bit sorry for the bassist who for no good reason was stuck way in front of the others

    rodney franklin: i now realise why i don't like this very much any more - it was obviously the inspiration for shakatak and all the other much-derided smooth/cocktail jazz that littered the 1980's

    whitesnake: plodding hard rock on autopilot, with nothing to make it stand out whatsoever despite mr coverdale's muscular attempts to do otherwise. did they really need 6 members in this band? as usual jon lord might as well be playing air-keyboards! and i remember that one of the guitarists always wore some kind of hat, which like others of his kind suggested to me that he had something to hide underneath them...

    jimmy ruffin: in it's own way as equally banal as whitesnake. i seemed to recall it was a bee gees-related thing, but the fact that it was robin rather than barry involved explains its duffness

  6. contd:

    hot chocolate: a strange choice as a single as it takes so long to get going, but despite that it still nearly made it all the way. for me as usual they're trying hard but it just doesn't quite sit right with my ears

    motorhead: i was salivating when they appeared, but sadly it was with something that wasn't "the ace of spades". hopefully that will be upon us soon...?

    nolans: my younger self would have been astonished had they heard me think "i'd rather hear them do "i'm in the mood for dancing" than this"! apparently despite being at opposite ends of the music spectrum the nolans and lemmy were chums. sadly though they never collaborated on anything musically (i'd love to hear motorhead doing "i'm in the mood for dancing"!)

    beat: classic, classic, classic. my only complaint is that they focus more on ranking roger "singing" more than dave wakeling, even though it's actually the latter who really does it

    kate bush: i really liked the choruses and the breakdown in this. also the fretless bass-playing, which i discovered was by a guy called everhard weber. i recently had access to some of his own albums so gave them a listen in expectation of similar great ideas, but all i heard was unlistenable self-indulgent noise!

    dexy's: i liked them coming on stage whilst being introduced as if they were either doing a live gig or emerging from the tunnel for the FA cup final. i don't know if this was the original recording or not, but horns still sound as flat as pancake to me - they wouldn't get through the first stage of auditions for the likes of earth, wind & fire or tower of power!

  7. shaky shakerson22 May 2015 at 10:59

    Hello and welcome to the deeply masculine-voiced Tommy Vance as he intros the chart rundown for the first time. Leon Haywood sings over the same annoying Dr Who-type lettering that we had last week.

    Setting the bar fairly low this week is New Musik featuring a young Keith Harris (sans Orville) on lead vocals. A fairly decent effort this one with the manic keyboardist making up for the static rhythm section.

    Narada Michael Walden. Haven't heard this for years and surprised to say it still sounds good today.

    The Chords are up next introduced by TV from what looks like the set of the Wogan show. This lot passed me by completely and little wonder as they sound (as mentioned previously) like a very lightweight Jam without the benefit of anything like a decent song.

    Legs & Co.Oh so that's what the couch was about. The girls appeared to have turned up without their kit this week, so are forced to perform in their underwear. No complaints here. They also seem to have forgoten their hand-puppets as well but I think they got away with it.

    Whitesnake on vid. Another decent song this one and a good 'performance' vid although Coverdale looks a tad underdressed.

    Jimmy Ruffin. One of my all-time favourite voices but not shown at its best on this so-so effort. An awful lot of smoke coming from his trainers there.

    Saxon who are, apparently 'well in the charts'. The question that arises here is why the singer has been positioned behind the drummer.? Does it have anything to do with the extremely tight white pants he's wearing? Is he too much of a man for tea-time viewing?

    Hot Choc, and the recently-departed Errol Brown. An unusual subject for a dance song - alien visitation, but its a fine tune to be sure. Very mellow. Unlike Lemmy & Co who barnstorm their way through a live performance of Leaving Here. Performance of the week - by a mile.

    Tommy is now flanked by two trios of young girls boasting some of the most glorious fringes I have ever seen in my life. Did girls really look like that? Really ??

    Also singing live - albeit at a much lower level - are The Nolans in matching bomber jackets and dance moves. One for the mums and dads watching, but props to them for the live vocals.

    The Beat, and probably their signature song. Ranking Roger seems to be miming Dave Wakelins vocals.

    Tommy now with a diferent trio of fringes introduces the gloriously mad Kate Bush and a song about a baby in the womb worried about nuclear attack! What were these songwriters taking in 1980? Alien invasions, un-born babies, the earth under water, oh and a love letter to Geno Washington. Dexys end the show with their finest three minutes.

    You know what? Looking back at the past 40 mins that wasn't half bad. Apart from the appalling Chords and the laughable Saxon my fast-forwarding finger hardly twitched. Highlights were Kate Bush and Dexy's at number 1, so it gets a 7. TV gets a good solid 7 as well. His links were occasionally naff but delivered in that voice gives him a fair amount of leeway.

    1. i noticed something was attached to the legs ladies' belts, cut couldn't work out what they were - presumably the hand puppets mentioned above? but if so why didn't they make use of them? maybe they did and i just didn't notice...

    2. I thought they had posies on their belts?

  8. An excellent show, with a real feeling of energy and excitement in the studio, unusual for this period. Tommy Vance took to the hosting duties like a duck to water and, as mentioned above, clearly relished all the hard rock acts he had to introduce - as Wilberforce says, it may not be a coincidence that he was the presenter this week. It was also a poignant edition, thanks to the appearances by the recently departed Jimmy Ruffin and Errol Brown. No Doubt About It is one of Hot Chocolate's finest moments, and a fitting tribute to Errol. Ruffin's effort is not exactly What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, but it is a pleasant tune and he delivers it like the pro he was - that glitter ball under his platform did look rather wobbly, mind you!

    I must say I had trouble distinguishing the New Musik effort from Living By Numbers, until the wobbly vocal effects kicked in - it sounded a bit like a trial run for the treatment of Cher's voice on Believe some 18 years later! The NMW tune was OK, though I share Wilberforce's reservations about singing drummers. Still, a typically vibrant Soul Train performance, and the saxophonist had most impressive hair on his head and face.

    The Chords are getting a lot of stick, but I actually quite liked this one - they were clearly trying very hard, and were not so derivative of The Jam this time, but the something missing was a truly memorable hook. David Coverdale is a great rock singer, and this is one of Whitesnake's best efforts, from the days before they joined the ranks of the American poodle rockers. No surprises from Lemmy and co, but those headbangers were very entertaining.

    Mirror in the Bathroom was probably the best song on display (along with the number 1), an incredibly catchy and urgent record which underlines how dynamic the pop scene was at this time. I am not very familiar with the Kate Bush song, but it is pleasant enough - the video put me in mind of the giant inflatable plastic balls my nieces recently played in at a funfair!

    Finally, I think it is fair to say that Flick came up with a rather better sofa based routine on this show than she did for TVC15 four years previously. The bit where Lulu crawls cat-like across the furniture certainly got my temperature rising, despite that appalling frizzy hair...

    1. other singing drummers that come to mind are those in the eagles, paper lace and jigsaw. can anyone else think of more? obviously phil collins is a singing drummer, but i don't think he ever actually sang lead vocals whilst bashing the skins at the same time, so he doesn't count!

    2. Phil did mime to 'Paperlate' on TOTP in 1982 whilst playing the drums.

    3. The drummer in Lieutenant Pigeon? Okay, he didn't have to sing much.....

    4. shaky shakerson23 May 2015 at 04:46

      Karen Carpenter sat behind the drums as did Mickey Dolenz who probably sang lead on more Monkees songs than any of the others.

    5. Gerry Polci was the drummer in The Four Seasons and sung lead on a couple of their singles - Silver Star and Down The Hall.

      Plus Robert Wyatt and Ringo Starr of course.

    6. Paul Sordid in The Banned (for the first half of the song!) and, erm, Glenn Tilbrook.

    7. Lulu's feline crawling had a similar effect on me, John, but I like her hair - prefer it to her style in 76 and 77.

    8. When it comes to Lulu's hair, I am very much in the 76/77 era camp, but each to their own!

  9. i was thinking that tommy vance looked very similar to another well-known face, but i couldn't put my finger on it - it's finally just come to me that he's a ringer for robin nedwell from the 70's "doctor in the house" comedy series!

    1. Watching the Saxon performance this time, I thought the singer did have a superficial resemblance to Francis Rossi - incredibly, we still haven't seen a Quo studio performance yet after four years of these repeats, though I know one will be coming up later this year.

  10. Hot Chocolate - I have a memory of DLT introducing this song with the lines "not many people realise this song is about a UFO"

  11. 50 something here.

    Singing drummers - guy in the Four Seasons springs to mind. Re Lemmy/Nolans mashups. Seem to recall them in a charity video ( You'll Never Walk Alone?)

  12. Well I liked this show with its curious mixture of heavy rock, jazz funk and ska. I always had admiration for Tommy Vance even though he didn't play my kind of music and he looks very comfortable presenting the show. I can forgive the satin tour jacket.

    I bought the first four New Musik singles including this one although I don't recall this performance. Nice to see the bass player doing the one fingered playing again. The crowd seem strangely uninterested.

    Narada Michael Walden. Nice braces sir. And nice to see them still using Soul Train clips.

    The Chords appear to have fallen victim to the Showaddywaddy double performance which is always a bit unnerving. Feel a bit sorry for the bass play who's stuck at the front miles from the other band members and all the crowd are staring at him expecting him to be the lead singer and not the leopard skin clad Martin Freeman look-alike hiding at the back.

    Legs dancing to Rodney Franklin. The first time we've seen a dance troupe cavorting on sofas since the guys from Ruby Flipper did something similar to Bowie's TVC15 in those pre-Yewtree days.

    My dad worked with Deep Purple and Whitesnake manager John Coletta in the 1970s when they were both at the same design agency and he had the dubious honour of doing the typography for the covers of some of their albums (albeit uncredited). My dad had no interest in music at all even though he was in a skiffle group when he was a teenager and later told me that Deep Purple were always hanging around in the foyer of the design agency where he worked until the owner had a word with their manager and asked him to leave but her still kept in contact and got my dad to do bits of design for them on the QT. Of course I found out all this out ages after it was too late to benefit from it at school, but that's my dad, he's the least star stuck person I know.

    The backing vocals on Jimmy Ruffin are a bit loud in the mix and a bit shouty, I don't remember them being like that on the record but this was a great song and it's a deserved return to the charts for Mr Ruffin.

    Only Tommy Vance can say Wheels Of Steel like that and get away with it. Saxon's bass player looks like he wants to be in his own band, possibly one with Freddie Mercury.

    The long synthy intro to the Hot Chocolate track sounds like one of the links on James Last's Voodoo Party album.Great to see Errol and Co again. I don't recall this song as strongly as their others but they proved they could still come up with the goods in the 80s.

    Motorhead benefit from another dual performance, the group of head bangers and a lot of close up hand-held camera work with the bonus of lots of tongue work by the drummer, as they did the last time they were on the show.

    Only TOTP could follow Lemmy with The Nolans. Don't Make Waves eh? Try telling that to rent-a-gob Coleen.

    Another sterling performance by The Beat. I have seen this clip quite a few times as it's included on the free DVD with their re-issue albums. Nice reflection effects and camera work and dual vocals from Roger and Dave.

    I remember this Kate Bush video well from the time although we all sang "Breathing my knickers in". This was really far to ploddy and weird to be a massive hit but somehow made it but luckily they fade before the long instrumental coda.

    Dexys celebrate their number one by stutting onto stage as though they were performing live and hurling their towels into the crowd, one of them hits a girl who looks less than pleased by being struck with a sweaty cloth. Bet she wishes she's picked it up now as she could sell it on eBay for a fortune.

    1. bama was your dad responsible for any of this?

    2. Sadly not. No it was just some of the type on the covers of the first two Deep Purple albums and the first Whitesnake album. As I said my dad cares so little about music when I pressed him for details he was a bit vague about it. I was hoping that he might have had some original artwork tucked away somewhere but he didn't.

  13. i knew tommy vance's given name was posh, but (as listed on wikipedia) i didn't realise it was quite this posh:

    Richard Anthony Crispian Francis Prew Hope-Weston (!)

    also, i don't know if any of the presenters have watched the bbc4 re-runs since they've been showing them, but sadly poor old tommy is the first who never got a chance to do so as he died in 2005...

  14. is anyone else aware of the death of terry sue-patt who played tucker's mate benny in grange hill? even though i'd just left school myself when it started (in 1978) i was a big fan and watched it regularly well into the 80's. why can't the beeb show that on re-run like they do totp? i say bring back the flying sausage on a fork!

    1. I did hear that, he was the first person to appear on Grange Hill and it was must-see viewing for me when I was little. Finding out he died all alone is very sad.

      They repeated the series back in the 90s on Sunday mornings. By the time it got to the donkey I was losing interest, mind you.

    2. He was also in the 1980s series Big Deal with Ray Brooks.

      1960s singer Twinkle also died this week. She had two hits, Terry and Golden Lights, the latter which was covered by The smiths.

    3. I didn't realise Twinkle had passed on. I found some concert footage of her on Youtube once, performing with The Four Pennies (of "Juliet" fame") long after their 60s heyday. I say "performing," but she had a backing singer with her who looked to be doing most of the actual singing!

    4. contrary to dory's hope, they're starting to drop like flies now! louis johnson of brothers johnson fame (who were on totp 1980 very recently) died on the same day as twinkle. i remember the latter appearing on what i think was the first of dennis norden's long-running series "it'll be alright on the night", lying on the floor in a swimsuit pretending to swim - unfortunately as a result of her actions the costume kept riding down thus revealing her breasts!

    5. just to link the guy who played benny from grange hill into our totp re-runs world, he was also the cover star of a tom robinson band single:

    6. Was it not Little Nell singing 'Do The Swim' who had the swimsuit malfunction?

    7. yes manorak, you are right now i think about it! i must brush up on my 60's/70's female pop singers without surnames!

    8. No problem !
      On a general note, I see that Steve H. has uploaded the DLT edition of TOTP from 15/5/80, which is the one after this weeks BBC4 edition, so it's ready to go!
      I did try to upload it to Vimeo a while back, but they blocked it due to a copyright claim on behalf of 'Crown Heights Affair', who are played over the chart rundown.

    9. what do people who hold copyright to old songs hope to gain by blocking the use of them on the internet? surely it would be to their advantage to have the music exposed, as it is then more likely that somebody will listen and think "i haven't heard that for years - i must get a copy" or similar thought, and then order the mp3 through amazon... which wouldn't have happened otherwise!

    10. Does anyone else feel that copyright should lapse immediately upon the death of the composer/author? As it stands it's legalised extortion and it stinks. And extending the copyright on sound recordings from 50 to 70 years so that the 'industry' can continue to fleece the music loving public for Beatles etc recordings (which have paid for themselves hundreds of times over) is despicable beyond description.
      [rant mode /off]

    11. YES, I DO!! but then again i think that ALL inheritance should be made illegal (with the money going to the state), so everyone has an even start in life and gets where they get through their own efforts and achievements... not that of their forebears! but i'm probably in a small minority in that respect as greed will always taint humanity (and no doubt those with money will always find ways of getting around such laws if they were ever introduced)! it wouldn't surprise me if those who own sound recording copyrights are already working on getting the rights extended to 100 years...

    12. is anyone else aware that "happy birthday to you" (which most believe to be some kind of "traditional" tune) is STILL in copyright? therefore every time it is sung in public (which is often the case) then somebody should cough up royalties! for the descendants of those who wrote it (or whoever holds the copyright now), i would imagine that every day is like having a birthday!! i remember reading that the producers of star trek next generation once planned to have "happy birthday to you" sung in klingon to worf at his surprise birthday party, but when told they would have to fork out considerably for the use of it, they used the melody to "for he's a jolly good fellow" (or some other tune that was out of copyright) instead...

    13. Happy Birthday To You is owned by one of Rupert Murdoch's companies, which is enough to make you never sing it again.

    14. i've just checked wikipedia with regard to the "happy birthday to you" copyright, and not surprisingly there are a lot of legal battles going on over it! apparently one of the sisters credited with composing it didn't even write the "happy birthday" lyrics - they replaced the original ones written by her ("good morning to you") some time later by persons unknown. so as the other sister died nearly 100 years ago, surely the thing should now be out of copyright anyway? but sadly not. anyway, if the dirty digger does own the rights to it then here's hoping he loses them soon one way or another...

  15. The late Tommy Vance, one of the more highly respected members of the Radio 1 line-up. I remember him primarily from his stint on the Sunday Top 40 show circa 1983 and have to admit that I found him a bit too 'American' for my taste, even down to his slightly silly (from a UK point of view) adopted name which he retained when he returned to these shores. Never realised how old he was - he was just short of 40 as seen here.

    You can tell it's the school holidays because a new release from New Musik is playlisted on Capital Radio. By the beginning of May it has entered the charts and a TOTP performance beckons. Unfortunately they just look like session musicians trying to make their mark visually - which of course they were!

    Narada Michael Walden was, I seem to remember, another Capital Radio fave, but not as clear in memory as New Musik.

    It's interesting to see just how much exposure the Chords got in '79/'80 because unlike many other bands who may have been no more successful than them, they seem to have been completely and comprehensively forgotten. Nothing to remember them by - no 'USP' - I guess.

    Legs & Co with what was presumably something from a chat show set - does anyone remember a contemporary chat show which used a long, curving sofa? Shame that all bar one hid behind it towards the end.

    Two orchestra turns on this show, for Jimmy Ruffin and The Nolans. The latter did rather well here I thought - their live efforts over the last six months have been somewhat variable.

    We'll never know what Errol thought about being cut short with a pan straight across to Motorhead. With Saxon and Whitesnake in the same show this lot looked like a parody act - especially since they opted to set up all their gear with its custom stencilling. VROOM!

    I too thought that it was some impressive camera work showing Rankin' Roger's face in the mirror - must have taken a fair bit of rehearsing and setting up. Meanwhile Dave has learned how to finger a couple of chords.

    I had forgotten about this Kate Bush single. To be fair it was eclipsed by its far more memorable follow-up.

    And finally Dexy's. Since they were always ready for a studio appearance the BBC never showed their fascinating promo with its glimpses of contemporary Birmingham in all its original 'greyness' - exactly as I remember it when the family relocated to the Midlands later in the decade. Although I'm against the destruction of perfectly good buildings less than 40 years old, I have to admit that Birmingham is now a much more vibrant and colourful city than it used to be.

  16. This show was not one of my favourites although it had its moments. A few thoughts…

    Hot Chocolate. This was so appropriate following the recent sad passing of Errol Brown. It’s actually one of the few hits of theirs not written or co-written by Errol; instead it was penned by Mike Burns, Steve Glen and Donny Most, apparently after a UFO sighting down Finchley Road. Ironically their biggest hit ‘So you win again’ which topped the charts in 1977 was also not written by Errol – that was written by the prolific Russ Ballard. The second of two no.2s for the Chocs…you all know what the first one was.

    The Nolans. One of my all-time favourite albums is ‘Making Movies’ by Dire Straits. At the same time as this was in the album charts, a similarly titled LP ‘Making Waves’ was also hovering around. Suffice to say ‘Don’t make waves’ demonstrates why this album is not so fondly remembered (although I must confess that the fourth single from it; ‘Attention to me’ was a real belter).

    Rodney Franklin/Legs & Co. Well, I this certainly grabbed my attention (if you pardon the pun from above!).

    Whitesnake. DC seemed to get younger and this in fabulous video of a great song that I have in my collection in one of those picture sleeves that glow in the dark if you shine light on it first.

    Kate Bush. Weird weird weird. Not one of my favourites from her at all. What was this all about.

    Dexys. A lot of people seem to like this one. Personally I found it unremarkable. Why does Kevin Rowley roll his r’s in so many songs?

    Tommy Vance was a great host btw.

    1. Kev borrowed the rolling Rs from General Johnson from Chairman Of The Board.

  17. It was great to see Tommy Vance in action. He seems at ease introducing the many different types of music (albeit with tongue firmly in cheek for the Nolans intro!) and you can see why they gave him the chart show. He was really good at it too (in the early 80s at least, when he came back to fill later on he'd chop all the dance songs in half!)

    There must be something about DJs who like rock music that makes them thoroughly decent types. A presenter of a rock show at my student radio station wrote to him asking for some voiceovers and he did them for free (as did Alan Freeman!)

    The only criticism I have is not at him, but whoever did is mic levels as at times he's far too quiet.

    New Musik - probably my least favourite of the 4 singles but as it's New Musik, that still makes it good. Given that all 3 up to this point had been featured (with 2 in an opening slot) it's a crying shame that my personal fave 'Sanctuary' came along during the strike as it would surely have got an airing.

    Narada - A decent tune, but not as good as 'Divine Emotions' which had one of the finest lyrics of all time, namely "I look at you and I go 'boing boing boing'".

    The Chords - NEXT!

    Legs & Co were dancing around the sofa that later appeared on Breakfast Time, surely?

    I remember that Whitesnake track being all over the radio at the time, yet you only hear the tracks from their 'rock ballad' years these days. I may remember that one fondly but I don't remember the Jimmy Ruffin song at all and I'm not surprised as it's so bland.

    'No Doubt About It' was also all over Radio 1 and I absolutely loved it then. Less so now, and the slightly naff UFO theme doesn't help. I suppose it fitted in with the times though, and probably also would have done in the mid-90s during the popularity of X Files. They missed a remix opportunity there!

    Motorhead - Wow, is all I can say to that. A not particularly great song enlivened by a fantastic and truly live performance which even the director seems to be working with and not against as is so often the case. The Nolans were always going to appear a little bland after that, but to give them their due, they were singing live again.

    Unlike everyone here it seems, I am not particularly fond of 'Mirror In The Bathroom'. The Kate Bush song is an odd one, sometimes I enjoy listening to it, sometimes I can't bear it.

    Then onto a brilliant Number One, and a giant bighead to finish. Well, I say that, but as soon as I heard the first bar I turned it off.

  18. Thoroughly enjoyed this edition, despite a number of tunes not to my taste, including the outro song. Tommy Vance was definitely one of the better hosts – authoritative, knowledgeable and seemingly with the female audience members in the palm of his hand – but rubbish at song titles.

    NMW’s song was re-named “I Should have Loved YOOUU”!, Tommy teased us by not telling us the chart topper’s title in his intro, and The Chords’ single was apparently called “Well, You’ve Bought It, Here It Is” even though not enough of us bought it to get it into the top 40.

    At least the chart rundown lettering wasn’t phasing like last week, and there was a rare sighting of Bad Manners (maybe the band’s only TOTP mugshot like it) with Buster Bloodvessel’s head unshaven.

    Did New Musik’s keyboardist think he was a wacky Rick Wakeman? I actually enjoyed this track, the first of two agonisingly close-but-no-cigar number 31’s for the band.

    NMW’s stocky bassist needed a darker shirt for that frame, and the prog rock guitarist needed a fretboard sawn off.

    Terrible staging and splicing for The Chords. A better version of this song exists on YouTube – taken from “Cheggers Plays Pop”!

    Apparently, there was some muzak in the background while those ‘night birds’ in Legs & Co did all they could to make a settee incredibly auctionable. Sofa so good! You never saw anyone perform Lulu’s Kate Bush / ‘movie’ actress poses in DFS, did you?

    Absolute classic rock from Whitesnake – now, I wonder what the band’s name symbolises?

    Sadly, Jimmy Ruffin left me as cold as that dry ice.

    With his hair, gum and facial posing, did Saxon’s drummer fancy himself as Don Powell?

    It felt very weird seeing the recently departed Errol Brown on this show, obviously singing along and not miming as seen by the copious dry lips licking.

    Brilliant headbangers for Motorhead. At last, the TOTP audience does something better than Soul Train’s! Great scenic backdrop for the band, too.

    Unusual effects work to make the audience disappear during the Nolans’ chorus. The orchestra’s backing reminded me of that famous sketch on Saturday Night Live - “more cowbell”!

    Nice to see Saxa back for The Beat, and great mirror work, even though we should have had more Dave and a bit less Rog.

    I’d have loved Kate Bush to have re-enacted her video live in the TOTP studio so we could see the reactions. I’d also have loved to seen the audience throw Dexy’s props back at them during the song to see how they liked it!

  19. i've just remembered tommy vance's moderately amusing strapline when he did his rock show: "TV on the radio"!

    1. Also I remember Chris Morris used to play a soundbite of Tommy saying "Welcome to Berkshire!".

  20. Talking of the impending number one back in 1980, was last Saturday's Eurovision the first time the reigning champs and host country scored nil points?

    1. I believe so, Arthur. The fact that both Austria and Germany got the big fat zero meant that I would have got a free bet (as I backed a loser) had I placed it on Saturday night. That offer had disappeared by Sunday when I actually did it!

      So they must have had some idea that it was going to happen - it was the first time in over a decade that the nul points has actually occurred I believe!

    2. I watched some of Eurovision on Saturday, and loved it when the synthetically emotional Russian singer was interviewed halfway during the voting when she was leading and started blubbering and doing her 'Oscars' speech as if she'd won, only for the Swedish Russell Howard lookalike to win instead!

    3. Yes, that didn't go down well with the audience either!
      My money was on Italy incidentally - they had a good start but faded away somewhat.
      Sadly the winner these days is that with the most promotion + biggest budget for staging, choreography etc. I mean, the Swedish song was OK but nothing special (nowhere near as good as Loreen's 'Euphoria')

  21. I can hear Harry Hill now...

    "So, two open string bassists on the same show, New Musik’s and Saxon’s, but which is better? There’s only one way to find out…."

  22. Wasn't 1980 a vintage year for Narada Michael Walden as a songwriter? Only weeks after his own debut hit, he would score again as co-author and producer of Stacy Lattisaw's 'Jump To The Beat'. He would be more consistently successful as a producer in later years, however, with Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Starship and even Jermaine Stewart (remember 'We Don't Have To...'?) among his beneficiaries.

    This was also a vintage year for HM, with Whitesnake, Saxon, Motorhead and Judas Priest all scoring substantial hits during a hard rock revival that would also usher Slade back into the hit parade before long.

    At the time of their chart success, New Musik were described in the A5-size magazine 'Chart Songwords' as being 'so ordinary they almost hurt'! They're not the most exciting act to have appeared on TOTP, I agree, but they were harmless enough. Like Narada, frontman Tony Mansfield would find his niche as a producer rather than as a performer; his impressive CV includes The B-52s and Mike Oldfield as well as Captain Sensible, with whom he would co-write 1984's anti-war offering 'Glad It's All Over'. As I mentioned a few months back, that song bore some melodic resemblance to New Musik's 'Living By Numbers' - as did, come to think of it, The Boss's 'Dancing In The Dark'! Maybe Brooooce, as a CBS (now Sony) act, popped into the offices of CBS-funded GTO Records one day and overheard a demo of the New Musik hit?

    Dexy's Midnight Binmen - as my dear Dad called them - deservedly hit No.1 with 'Geno', but keyboardist Andy Leek would swiftly exit the band soon afterwards for a solo career, thus giving Kevin Rowland a warning of what was to come. Like Ray Davies, Mr Rowland may not be the easiest person to work with - hence the countless personnel changes that have taken place within the Dexy camp - but there is very little to dislike about his output. His solo recording of 'Concrete and Clay', which combined the Latin-American fire of Unit 4+2's original with the slickness of Randy Edelman's subsequent MOR rendition, should have been a smash.

    1. i can't say i liked any of mr rowland's output to be honest. but did anyone here like the solo stuff he did in the late 90's when he decided to show his "feminine side"?

    2. whoops - i looked up the album in question and "concrete and clay" was on it, so at least someone here does! i remember reading that when he appeared as reading festival in ladies' clothing he was pelted with (no doubt piss-filled) bottles by the audience...

    3. can anyone think of other musicians that acquired reputations as "difficult to work with"? names that spring immediately to mind for me are james brown and stan getz...