Thursday, 7 May 2015

Top of the Ne Ne Na Na Na Na Nu Nu

In a sad week where we said goodbye to the wonderful Errol Brown, who we've seen performing with Hot Chocolate several times during these BBC4 reruns and who we'll see again very very soon, we arrive at April 24th 1980.....

Honk if you're a sax maniac!

24-4-80: Presenter: Steve Wright

(27) RODNEY FRANKLIN – The Groove (and charts)
Playing over the chart run down is the only hit by Rodney Franklin

 (50) SMOKIE – Take Good Care Of My Baby
Covering Bobby Vee's 1961 hit here are Smokie with what would become their last chart hit for 15 years.

 (7) PAUL McCARTNEY – Coming Up (video)
Love this video in which Paul simultaneously plays parodies of various pop legends including Hank Marvin, Ron Mael and himself as a Beatle. Coming Up was a song that is said to have impressed John Lennon so much that he decided to come out of retirement.....

 (41) THE CURE – A Forest
With their first hit and no big hair in sight just yet, A Forest peaked just outside the top 30.

 (30) ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS– Hi Fidelity (video)
A lively song and video from Elvis but it got no higher in the charts than 30.

 (11) SKY – Toccata
Was edited out of the 7.30pm show this week.

 (14) SAD CAFÉ – My Oh My ®
Was also edited out.

 (47) COCKNEY REJECTS – The Greatest Cockney Rip-Off
Straight off the Upton Park football terraces and into the charts with the first of two top 40 oi hits.

 (26)  Legs & Co ~ this week dance to BOBBY THURSTON's very aptly titled, considering what they were wearing and some of the camera angles, Check Out The Groove. Presenter Steve Wright himself joins the girls for the final move of the routine, but thankfully, he wasn't wearing what they were wearing.

 (36) BAD MANNERS – Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu
The studio debut for Bad Manners, shaking the stage with the first of their nine top 40 hits

 (6) DAVID ESSEX – Silver Dream Machine (Part 1) (video)
Still racing up the charts.

 (21) THE UNDERTONES – My Perfect Cousin ®
Another victim of the 7.30 edit, but we have seen this one previously.

 (NEW) JOHNNY LOGAN – What’s Another Year?
This year's Eurovision Song Contest winner, sitting down with jacket draped over shoulders, performs this future number one hit.

 (1) BLONDIE – Call Me (video)
What do we see here? A video from a movie being aired on BBC4! Well, it did only spend one week at number one but even so it was nice to see the original clips from American Gigolo.

 (2) DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS – Geno (and credits)
The Dexy's play us out this week on their way to being next week's number one.

Next week is a Sky At Night Week, so we return in two weeks time for the edition from May 1st 1980.


  1. Chart debuts this week for Bad Manners and The Cure, and how nice to see Cure lead singer Robert looking normal for his TOTP debut, where I must admit I don't recall the Cure arriving in the charts as early as 1980.

    Paul McCartney - if I'm correct, it was also Paul McCartney's debut as a solo singer, as this seemed to be his first hit after 1979 with Goodnight Tonight, which was the final outing for Wings.

    The Cure - my earliest memory of The Cure was in 1983 with their huge top 5 hit The Love Cats, where by then the lead singer was already looking sinister and gothic with regular lipstick, which was to remain as their image right through the 80s.

    Cockney Rejects - why were they trying to be like the Sex Pistols in every way shape and form in this performance?

    Legs & Co - a case of nice legs on show, and very fresh performance, particularly as there is no know footage of Bobby Thurston. I'm sure that Thurston would have been impressed with the grooves on these girls as Angelo points out, and I too liked the camera angles in the right places. Bravo!

    Bad Manners - Buster Bloodvessel was truly a freak of nature, but such a good performer and original concept in pop music, and it seemed to be the start of a good couple of years in our charts with his brand of mayhem or entertainment as some may put it.

  2. Admiral Halsey7 May 2015 at 16:11

    I think Macca's first solo hit was Another Day in 71, then of course post-Wings he recently had Wonderful Christmastime in 79.

  3. I suspect that up to but no more than a minute of a film at any one time is allowed as reasonable usage without paying fees (Watership Down last year cropped to 60 seconds length), and the clips of American Gigolo came to less than this so didn't need to be excluded.

    Who was Macca representing as the manic drummer? Keith Moon didn't have a beard so might not have been him.

    1. I think it was Keith Moon, he did have a beard at times. Can't find an image of a bearded Keith looking quite like that, mind you. Reminded me of David Bellamy.

    2. Not seen this edition yet, but could the drummer have been Mick Fleetwood?

    3. Don't know if Mick did all that much leering over the drums.

    4. I thought maybe Ginger Baker?

    5. The drummer is a spoof of Ringo surely or possibly Mick Fleetwood.

    6. according to what i read a while back, macca didn't portray any particular drummer, just a generic manic/eccentric one. so he probably had fleetwood, baker and moon in mind. but not ringo

    7. But Ginger Baker has red hair, Macca's drummer has dark brown hair. I

    8. Just read that apparently it's John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, who worked with Paul on Rockestra. looking at footage of him on YT that could be right.

      Anyone know who the brass players are supposed to be?

    9. Surely it was mick Fleetwood as drum kit said 'the plastic macs'

    10. well spotted with the drum kit anonymous! i would have thought the horn section was modelled on either chicago or blood, sweat and tears (or tower of power as an outside bet as they used to do sessions for acts other than their own)

    11. Plastic Macs from McCartney / Macca and a cheeky nod to The Plastic Ono Band, nothing to do with Fleetwood Mac.

    12. bama you've blown the supposed ID of the drummer wide open again! don't forget that his old mucker lennon also had a pick-up supergroup (with keef and clappo as i recall) called "dirty mac", which adds weight to bama's theory...

  4. Straight out of the time capsule, it's Smokie, with a chicken in a basket version of an old tune, although perhaps more disturbing was the topless man standing at the back. Had he wandered in from somewhere else by mistake?

    Paul McCartney with the famed video for Coming Up, funny how he still looked unchanged from his Beatles days, especially when he was dressed as an actual Beatle. Catchy little number, anyway.

    The Cure, with Bob Smith appearing too nervous to move, and also one of the few chart hits to start with the word "A", which was either tres pretentious or appropriately Gothic. Nice, menacing ditty, makes Smokie sound a hundred years old.

    Question: Is Elvis Costello's Hi Fidelity as good as the Kids from Fame's Hi Fidelity? Answer: No. But it's all right, though I did spend most of the video trying to work out the geography of the location - what was that place?

    Then Sky with Tomato. Something like that, eh, Steve?

    Did Sad Cafe's guitarist tell the rest of them, "We're going to Top of the Pops!" so they answered, "Wear the fox hat?"

    I think the Biggest Cockney Rip-off was of Sham 69, they'd copied their whole act.

    Legs & Co on the catwalk, don't recall this tune at all, though the ladies' fixed grins at the end suggested they were either exhausted or not so happy so see Steve.

    Bad Manners, ah, they don't write exquisite lyrics like that anymore. Was Buster Bloodvessel a big fan of Mork and Mindy? Not sure if the synth break was really in keeping with the rest of it. Buster wasn't the topless man behind Smokie, was he?

    Check out Shane MacGowan's version of What's Another Year for a different, more dissolute take on the tune. Nice enough, but apparently Johnny wasn't even that keen on it, as hinted at by his one word reply to Steve's interview.

    Blondie, looks like the Beeb cobbled together some clips and a few stills to make their own video. I notice among those clips there was also the last scene of the movie! Spoilers! At least they didn't include the bit everyone was talking about at the time, not before the watershed, thanks.

    1. Maybe the bits added by the BBC were covering up the naughty bits in the film clips?

    2. Heh, I doubt it, nowadays a quick Google search will get you to those scenes but back then you had to actively seek them out by going to see the movie (or renting the video, I suppose that was catching on in 1980). The studio wouldn't
      release those parts for that kind of use.

      I suspect the Beeb had a montage maybe from the trailer, maybe from an existing video, because on YouTube the official video is apparently a series of random bits of Debs arseing about without actually miming to the lyrics. They probably never filmed a proper video.

    3. I checked the American Gigolo trailer, and it's obvious the Beeb didn't use it for their montage because it's a bit saucy, so presumably other footage was supplied to them by the record company and they beefed it up a bit with pics and the inevitable Legs & Co.

  5. I really wish Steve Wright would stop wobbling his bloody head around, it's incredibly distracting.

    What's this over the rundown. Jazz-Funk? NOOOOO!!!!!!

    I can't believe that they chose Smokie to open the show. It's not 1977 any more guys! Moribund.

    Paul McCartney - Blimey, I used to hate this song and I'm not really sure why. As a consequence, I don't remember the video as well as others here. So both song and video were a pleasant surprise.

    The Cure - well....was this nerves? It looks like they couldn't be arsed to me. They're one of those bands who a lot of my friends REALLY love but for me, I only like a few of their songs. This one is alright I suppose. A bit like the Elvis Costello track - pleasant but not a stunner.

    As for the Cockney support the right football team at least! (and one of them had the Hammers logo on his back)

    The 'ba-da! ba-da!' bit on the Bobby Thurston track has been sampled by about 1000 dance tracks I should think.

    For me, the Bad Manners performance was the best on the show. The track is a good laugh as well - surprised they bothered re-recording both the music and the vocal for the show though!

    Johnny Logan is a big-headed prick. That is all.

  6. Smokie were on their way out by this time; their previous single 'Babe It's Up To You', which would have sounded fine in '77, had not charted at all. Their former writers Chinn and Chapman would also part company within 2 years following the failure of their Dreamland label.

    It was a joy to see and hear The Cure, though they would have to adopt a pseudo-swing style, complete with double bass, in order to penetrate the Top 10. This they would do in '83 with 'The Love Cats'.

    The Cockney Rejects, like the Angelic Upstarts and UK Subs, had no talent whatsoever. All they did was chant raucously like a football crowd, and somehow operate musical instruments without making any music.

    This week's show, somewhat confusingly, featured two disco favourites with 'Groove' in the title: Rodney Franklin's 'The Groove' and Bobby Thurston's 'Check Out The Groove'. To complete the coincidence, the former was issued on CBS and the latter on sister label Epic. If you collect disco classics from the late 70s/early 80s, these two singles MUST be added to your hoard. To me, they've stood up well - though they don't get too much airplay on oldies stations.

    Johnny Logan - who would win Eurovision for the 2nd time in '87 with 'Hold Me Now' - is a likable MOR crooner. As support to The Barron Knights in Southport in 1990, however, he ruffled my dear Dad's feathers on a Bevan family night out by overrunning in order to celebrate a christening on stage, complete with champagne! The Knights consequently had to cut short their set; unlike Doddy, they are aware that there are such things as last trains (23:16 in Southport) and buses, and full hotels. After that, whenever there was a delay, Dad would dub it "Johnny Logan time".

    1. cbs released a compilation album called "grooves" to cash-in on the fact that two of their artists had recently had hits with that word in the title. sadly they couldn't find any other tracks in their catalogue with the same word in it, and what they did fill the rest of the album with was insipid jazz-funk/disco-lite, so i guess noax won't be looking to add it to his collection:

    2. No wilberforce, I won't be adding that to my list. Nice to see Julie confirming that Johnny Logan is indeed a massive Bighead above.

  7. P.S. Bad Manners' debut was also welcome, as they would bring some showmanship back to the charts. Winston Bazoomies, on cowbell here, would display his talent as a harmonicist on Manners' follow-up hit 'Lip Up Fatty' and most of their other chart entries.

    1. is winston bazoomies his given name?

    2. No - his real name's Alan Sayag. If I remember rightly, he moved to London from Northern Ireland.

    3. I saw Bad Manners live in 1981 and Winston Bazoomies did a fantastic version of Tequila on the harmonica.

  8. rodney franklin: i quite liked this at the time, but it's a bit too cocktail jazz-like for my taste these days. it got played a lot in discos, but i can't remember if dancers froze or whatever in the silent breaks. he was touted as the new ramsey lewis, which in retrospect seemed a bit odd as his label cbs still had the old ramsey lewis on their roster at the time

    smokie: i thought we'd seen the back of this lot, but sadly not the case. whatever they'd been doing since their last appearance, it obviously didn't include paying any attention to musical or (singer's skinny tie apart) fashion changes in the interim

    macca: the nearest a beatle ever got to being funky, and his best solo effort by miles. i used to love hearing this on the radio, and of course watching the video when it appeared on the telly (presumably the long-haired guitarist is generic rather than anyone in particular?). and yet i never considered buying (or even taping) it for a nanosecond. did anyone else have a similar stance on certain records, and if so can they explain why?

    cure: the best thing they ever did, and a shame it wasn't a bigger hit. before adopting the clown-meets-serial-killer look i thought robert smith was quite a good-looking young man. not as good-looking as bassist michael dempsey though (who after he left the cure later performed on totp with the associates, roxy music and the lotus eaters - does he holds the record for appearing with the most different acts?). as for drummer lol tolhurst, he was not good looking by any stretch of the imagination, and seemingly not very musically talented either - after being replaced on drums, in sympathy (as an old school chum) smith allowed him to continue for a while as an andrew ridgeley-like synth player before giving him the boot altogether. that didn't stop him trying to (unsuccessfully) sue smith for the rights to the cure name though!

    elvis costello: up to what point does one tolerate a whiny singer? i suppose to some extent that's influenced by the quality of the music backing them. fortunately for me robert smith's whininess increased just as my liking for his music decreased, whilst costello's whine was always full-on but i never cared for his material anyway

    1. Long haired guitarist looks like Neil Young to me...

    2. i see what you mean charlie, but "like a hurricane" apart neil young can't really be seen as your archetypal guitar hero. one of those guys out of lynyrd skynyd doing "free bird" might have been an inspiration? whoever it's meant to be they are playing "left handed" (as macca usually does), but maybe that was done in that way just to emphasise the differences with "hank marvin"?

    3. I noticed the guitarist was left handed, and one reason I picked Neil Young was because I I thought Neil he also was. Looking at photos on google he isn't. Rats! Good fun this...

    4. It might just be because Paul McCartney is a left handed guitarist, so Neil Young may be the man in this case.

  9. two-parter alert!

    cockney rejects: i wonder if they had to cough up royalties for the use of "maybe it's because i'm a londoner" (it's still in copyright as the composer only died about 10 years ago)? i remember this bunch of reprobates (wasn't one of them called stinky or sonething?) being championed by (pre-"scum") music hack garry bushell in "sounds" magazine as part of his self-invented "oi" genre. bushell was actually very readable and humourous as a scribe, but sadly as evidenced here his taste in music was execrable

    bobby thurston/legs: the legs ladies prove you can't go wrong with a pair of shiny knickers. but why exactly was our host wearing a fake grey moustache as part of his catwalk routine? as for the music, one of the first examples of what rather annoyingly later got tagged "boogie" by postmodern youths, although it had no name as such at the time other than dance/club music. i prefer to think of it as "the space inbetween" i.e. post-disco and pre-house sounds made by (mainly) black people using the latest shiny technology and production techniques of the era. i liked this at the time, didn't care for it much on first listen here, but am now getting into it again...

    bad manners: bandwagon jumpers they may be, but give me this over the bodysnatchers any day of the week. the latter's gimmick was that they were female, whilst the former's was that they had a bald fat guy fronting them - unusual at the time, but nowadays you see bald fat guys all over the place! the synth solo might have seemed a bit odd in this context, but i loved it, along with the sax player's take on "the laughing policeman" (like "maybe it';s because i'm a londoner" it's still in copyright if the owners wish to sue for plagiarism - that happened with the sax solo in men at work's "down under", years after it was a hit, plunging the guy who came up with it into a deep depression, and probably-not-by-coindicence he died not long after!)

    blondie: where did this spring from? "atomic" was only on a month or so earlier! a middling effort by them that gets more interesting as it goes on. was that legs and co in brief snatches? if so were they doing a special routine or was it archive footage? whoever it was they didn't seem to bear any relevance to either the song or the film. i noticed bill duke briefly appearing in the video, who is probably most famous for being one of arnie's oppo's in "predator" (the bald black guy who's screaming his head off whilst they're mowing down half the rain forest trying in vain to kill the predator, continuing to fire his massive machine gun even when the bullets have run out - you may not be surprised to hear that's one of my favourite movie scenes!)

    1. The Legs & Co sections crudely inserted into Call Me were from last weeks show (17/4/80) when they danced in full to the Blondie song. Call Me went 21-2-1 in the chart before its started falling so not much chance to see it on TOTP. For some reason BBC4 never showed last weeks episode...!

  10. i forgot to mention: what did macca and the undertones' drummer have in common? they were both erroneously reported to have died by the music press! rather sadly i remember the latter's apparent demise being reported in "sounds" of another of those music mags from back then...

    1. what i should have put was: "i remember reading of the latter's apparent demise in "sounds" or another of those music mags back then", but presumably unless you become a member of blogspot there's no way you can edit previous entries?

    2. i like this new way of verification by ticking what looks likes pizza (even though they look like someone's been sick over them!) so i'm adding this post purely for that reason!

  11. shaky shakerson10 May 2015 at 04:31

    Steve Wright -still wearing his ill-advised under-chin beard - hosts and the chart run-down features a brand new set of letraset letters which makes deciphering the words so much more fun.

    Smokie try for one last day in the sun with a dull run-of-the-mill crawl through Take Good Care Of My Baby.In their day - and thats a while ago now - these were a decent effective pop outfit noted for Chris Norman's gravelly thirty-Capstan-Full-Strength-per-day voice. Unfortunately, the hits (mostly Chinnichap efforts) had dried up and they were on their way to the chicken-in-a-basket clubs.

    Macca's vid for Coming Up was probably seen as ground-breaking at the time and it certainly would go on to be imitated ( OutKast, Phil Collins among others). As for the drummer, I'm gonna go with Ginger Baker as the most likely target for Macca's impression.

    The Cure before Robert Smith found his sister's make-up box. Not sure whether he can actually play the guitar or not as he didn't seem to be forming any chords. Seems like they were still struggling to find their sound.

    Elvis. Possibly his weakest single to date and the low tech, low spec video didn't little to help it.

    Sky looking as smug as they did last time out. Oh and while we are at it, it kinda looks cool to play the guitar whilst sitting down. It does NOT look cool playing the bass that way.

    Cockney Rejects. Oh Jeez, make it stop. Shouty lyrics, no tune, and West Ham scarves - this could only be made worse if they added a chorus of 'Maybe Its Because I'm A Londoner' . . . .oh!

    Legs & Co with the camera crew literally checking out the groove.

    Bad Manners and the peak of London's attempt to cash in on the Ska revival. Woeful.

    Johnny Logan. I remember picking this out as the winner of Eurovision ( a trick I only ever repeated with Abba) and quite liking it. Unfortunately this hasn't stood the test of time. It's kind of like a Glen Campbell song but one that Glen would have rejected for not being good enough. Never got the whole jacket on the shoulders look either - not a good look.

    A so so effort from Blondie, but in a week with little competition they still make the top spot. And we end with Dexys who are girding their loins to make it to the top themselves.

    Four for the music and four for Steve Wright who drops points for his cringy links, the weird moustache, the weird beard, the weird jacket - oh well just for being weird.

  12. by chance i've been watching all the old bowie videos in the last couple of days, and (as seen on totp "last year") he'd already done the multi-personas-on-screen-simultaneously thing in "boys keep swinging" (as the three drag backing singers), so macca wasn't the first!

  13. A fairly enjoyable show, with plenty of new songs and musical variety, though Steve Wright spoilt things rather with his desperate attempts to appear funny and his tendency to hold the girls in the audience in headlocks. Shame also that the director though it was a good idea for him to spoil the end of a good Legs routine by swanning down their catwalk as if he was some kind of top-class variety entertainer!

    I certainly didn't expect to see Smokie again in these reruns, but here they are with a redundant cover which simply underlines the fact that their time had gone - at least Chris Norman's hair looked a bit better by this time! I have never seen the Macca video before, but it was good fun, especially the Ron Mael impersonation. The song itself is a typically slight effort, however.

    I am not generally a fan of The Cure, but I actually thought this debut hit was rather good - nice to see Robert Smith looking normal as well, rather than sporting his stupid Goth look. A pretty forgettable effort from Elvis Costello meanwhile, highlighting the fact that his purple patch was coming to an end. As mentioned above, The Cockney Rejects were obviously desperate to be the new Sham 69, but they make Pursey and co look like towering musical geniuses in comparison! Bad Manners were much more enjoyable, thanks both to Buster Bloodvessel's stage presence and their strange but likeable musical brew.

    As for Johnny Logan, I actually think What's Another Year is one of the better Eurovision songs, and one of the few that still sounds OK now, but the suit jacket draped over shoulders look is not a good one. Also, why was the saxophonist placed so far behind him on the stage?

    1. Because Johnny Logan's ego is so big that it has an exclusion zone perhaps?

    2. Logan seems to be the new Jobson egotistical hate figure. There's always one.

  14. A few thoughts from me:-

    Smokie. Not heard this version for years as it’s not on my ‘Greatest Hits’ album for some reason. Not a bad cover really with some nice harmonies. The boys proved they could score with covers in 1977 when their version of the Searchers ‘Needles and Pins’ made no.10 and don’t forget their most famous song ‘Living next door to Alice’ was actually a cover of the song originally recorded by New World (but did not chart amazingly).

    Bad Manners. Well really. A definite novelty piece this one. The image, the lyrics and the song structure. What was surprising was that the novelty lasted for eleven more hits (some minor admittedly). One of their last singles to chart was ‘Samson and Delilah’ which only reached no.58 and proved a real ‘vote loser’ as a single title as Middle of the Road similarly failed to make much impression with their different song of the same name in 1972 – although they did reach no.26

    Bobby Thurston. A very eye- catching dance routine!

    The Cure. What was the obsession with the word ‘cure’ in the early 80s? Steve Hackett released an album called ‘Cured’ in 1981 whilst Rainbow released ‘Difficult to cure’ in the same year. This song from The Cure I found difficult to listen to.

    Cockney Rejects. This is dreadful! Did this lot support West Ham by any chance? The next song they released would certainly suggest that they did.

    Johnny Logan. Was this performed live? I think it was. A lady appears in silhouette at the end to sing the refrain “for some who is getting used to…” and it doesn’t sound as strong as the recorded version.

    Blondie. A real hotch potch of a video this is. Looking on YT there appear to be two official videos. One is cut short and shows Debbie on the beach with sub-titled lines from the lyrics. The other has a few movie clips from American Gigolo and shows bits of the ‘Dreaming’ video. So is there a ‘proper’ official video and if so I wonder why it was not shown? Not one of my favourite Blondie songs I have to say.

    Sky and David Essex have been on the show before and it was great to see them both again.

    1. "Samson And Delilah" had to be re-recorded and re-named. Originally, it was "Rub It Up Delilah"!

  15. I was getting close to my monthly data allowance (all this damn streaming!) so opted to watch this show after midnight when I got back from the pub - and it kept freezing. Looks like everybody else had the same idea!

    So out of the chart rundown and into... Bloody hell I remember these guys! Not exactly 1980 but nice harmonies - and that recent analysis of the Billboard Hot 100 since 1960 commented that harmonies have died a death. I like harmonies....

    Great Paul McCartney video which probably cost quite a bit more to make than the sound recording did. Setting a precedent?

    Never been 'into' the Cure so I can't pinpoint the exact years of their singles, but today Boys Don't Cry from 1979 seems to be recognised as their first 'hit' even though it didn't chart.

    Elvis Costello - suffering form the 'too much like the previous single to be memorable' syndrome.

    Interesting that Wilberforce should mention the "sham Sham 69" with none of the original members last week - it looks like they were around in 1980. Sadly that was what punk had become by this time. Next up: Splodgenessabounds.

    I wasn't ready for Steve Wright to appear on the stage at the end of the Legs routine. Just because DLT once did it Steve thinks he can do it better. Typical.

    Bad Manners was one of those outfits who had such a charismatic front man that we never really got to know the band behind him (apart from the aforementioned Winston Bazoomies). I believe the line-up changed during their chart career but suffice to say that they appeared to be highly accomplished musicians.

    I have mentioned previously that I found this Johnny Logan Eurovision winner to be a 'grower' - and it is also extremely rare. After his second win in 1987 he re-recorded this song with all the tinkling keyboards and aural sweetening in vogue at the time - and that's the version which always appears on compilation CDs. I agree that he looks a right prat with his jacket draped over his shoulders (at least there's another performance to come), but if the start-of-year documentary is to be believed then it's because some bozo manager told him to.

    And at Number One - although we didn't know it at the time this was to prove to be Blondie's last great 'power pop' hit, after which they diversified into all kinds of different genres before breaking up. Until 1999...

    1. Bad Manners' line-up did not change until after the hits had dried up, though Winston Bazoomies dropped out for a few months in '81 due to illness; his part in 'Just A Feeling' was mimed on TOTP by guitarist Louis Alphonso on a harnessed harmonica. By the time 'Can Can' stormed the hit parade in the summer of that year, in the process becoming THE party platter for Royal Wedding celebrations, Winston was back in the band - miming the high staccato keyboard part on a lyre while Buster did his somersaulting drag act on TOTP.

    2. I uploaded the 'Can Can' edition from 2/7/81 on to my Vimeo page yesterday.

  16. Seems like a thumbs-up from most people on Bad Manners debut in the charts. I must say that I didn't remember this as their debut hit, but when you watch it now, it stands out a whole lot more as something really special - mostly by the fact that Buster Bloodvessel was just different - and likeable - considering the fact that everyone else on the show seems to be slim like Feargal Sharkey and Robert Smith of The Cure, and practically everyone else.

    But there was something very watchable with a bald, fat man just having fun by making funny words and sounds - things that many of us only do in private in front of our own mirrors, so bravo to you Buster, and I look forward to the rest of your song collection and funny antics on TOTP till 1982.

  17. I still haven’t watched the latest edition - hopefully tonight - but I’ll take on the mantle of this week’s dissenting voice regarding Bad Manners. Obviously an entertaining live band, but I couldn’t really stomach Doug Trendle (whereas, obviously, Doug could stomach a lot) and the only two singles of theirs I liked were “Special Brew” and “Lorraine”.

    Elvis Costello’s single was a rare case in those days of a song bombing the week after TOTP exposure. “Hi Fidelity” had just about flopped over the line into mugshot territory and crashed to 56 the following week. Personally, I’d have thought the very short but catchier “Love For Tender” would have made a better album cut to release as the follow-up to “I Can’t Stand Up…” . .

    Not sure how I’ll cope with a sudden paucity of programmes I enjoy(ed) watching on iPlayer. No TOTP this week, no more Football League Shows now the season’s finished (and Channel 5 have won the contract for next season, so goodness knows what we’ll get), Pop Gold expired without a whimper, and only three episodes of Car Share left.

  18. Seeing as we’re getting near to the big strike and the end of “Old formula Top of the Pops”, I decided to do some lunchtime delving and discovered the 1980 NUM strike robs us of the entire UK top 30 careers of Stacy Lattisaw, Teena Marie, and Surface Noise (a Brit funk band who made number 26 with “The Scratch”).

    Special mention goes to Splodgenessabounds – not only do we miss the chart run of their top ten double ‘A’ side (which got a still caption in the ‘stagehands’ edition), but their only TOTP appearance gets a double red card for being a Rolf cover version on a show co-hosted by Jim’ll!

    1. only a single red card I think, because I doubt if Human League's debut will be banned for being a Gary Glitter cover

    2. I'd like to think so, but let's see what the thought police get up to.

    3. two things about splodgenessabounds (who sadly we won't ever get to see): i remember their hit actually being played in discos, and a friend of mine who owned a recording studio once had them as clients...but long after they'd entered the "where are they now" category! apparently they had to record an entire album in a day (at a rate of probably less than £10 an hour) for contractual reasons - i don't know if it ever got a release or not

      by the way, in the unlikely event that a backing track exists, i have an ambition to do "two pints of lager" at karaoke...

    4. I remember listening to John Peel one evening when he said he had just had a phone call from Splodge who were recording Two Little Boys and couldn't remember the last verse. John asked asked if anyone knew the lyrics to phone him. Ah, the fun we had before the Internet...

  19. I am actually wondering if, for some mad reason, they may show the 'stagehands' edition. After all, we know it exists.

    It would be totally mad to show it, but on a channel that gave us a real time journey along a canal last week, stranger things have already happened. If they bunged it out in the late night slot only (obviously showing at 7.30pm would be truly insane) and explained beforehand what was going on, it would be truly awesome.

    Yes, I know, dream on....

  20. Lots of FFWD in this edition for me, I’m afraid. As in 1980, there were really only three songs (and one other performance) that caught my attention.
    Someone please put Steve Wright’s head in a brace to stop him impersonating the Churchill dog! Terrible chart rundown effect - they could at least have made the ripple effect letters a different colour from the ‘main name’ to make it stand out, and all this over a Shakatak prototype.
    Smokie managed to Smokify a bouncy, uptempo Bobby Vee song and turn it into their standard mid-range plod. Not surprised this stalled at number 34. Move that trilaer out of the car park while you’re at it.
    Amazing how many instruments were on the “Coming Up” video compared to on the weedy sounding single itself. Still, it was catchy, and another vote for the Ron Mael impersonation.
    Great guitar playing and top hi-hat cymbal for The Cure. I liked the way Robert Smith stopped performing immediately after the line “Suddenly I stop”. Touch of class, that.
    Sky, number 11, in the top ten next week? Ooh, Steve, you outrageous gambler! Not my cup of tea, but still miles better than The Cockney Rejects, who were so bad they almost made me pine for Simon May. Almost.
    Glad I wasn’t at the front of the audience for Buster Bloodvessel’s sweat fest. Yum yum!
    A terrible collage for Blondie, no outro mention for Dexy’s, David Essex’s single mistitled “Silver Dream Racer” - and Johnny “Balloonhead” Logan too. Dear oh dear. Still, at least Legs& Co livened up proceedings. Those camera angles reminded me of the biology lesson that masqueraded as the Andrea True Connection promo video. I wonder if Sue deliberately asked for less revealing black shorts? Also, don’t know why I noticed this amongst everything else, but was that Patti’s first frizzy outing?

  21. I wonder at what stage Buster Bloodvessel decided to have some topiary done? The single cover seen on the 45cat website (just about) shows him with hair; better demonstrated if you click on the single cover image to enlarge it - if you dare!

    1. He's like Harry Hill.I saw some old performances of his recently and he had a bit of fuzzy hair before he wisely shaved it all off.

  22. This debut single appears not to have done so well for Manners, as it only had one appearance on TOTP, and I don't exactly remember it at the time, because in early 1980 there was a whole raft of new British bands arriving to replace the American dominance of 1979 in the UK charts, that I must have overlooked Bad Manners right up until the end of 1980 with Special Brew which made top 3.

    Certainly in April 1980 it was not yet clear who would sustain a longer chart longevity from Bad Manners, Dexys Midnight Runners, UB40 and The Cure, who all arrived at around the same time at the start of the decade in one batch.

  23. 6 days later but never mind...

    Steve Wright only seemed to have one set of clothes, always the same striped blazer and blue jeans.

    The Smokie song seemed very old fashioned by 1980s standards but it's a good song although it now looks wrong seeing it at the start of the show.

    I remember everyone talking about the video for Coming Up the next day at school. How did he do it, who were the characters, why is Linda wearing a tache, etc. It still looks good today although I bet Denny Laine was pissed off as he had clearly been painted out of the group by this point and replaced with a video replica of Macca!

    I remember seeing The Cure for the first time on this show and thinking they were weird and odd but that seems very tame now, a shame they had to fade it early as it was just getting going.

    This was the Elvis Costello single that got me into his music. And I bought it largely because of the Barney Bubbles-designed sleeve. I have seen this video many times as I bought his greatest hits comp on both video and DVD. It's very funny in its simplistic tongue-in-cheek way and Elvis is wearing his rent-tinted specs that he wears on the font of his next album Trust which he was in the middle of writing. The video was filmed in Nice in the south of France at the same time as the I Can't Stand Up video. High Fidelity sadly drops out of the Top 30 next week (it actually drops 26 places to 56 then up again to 43 and then out of the chart altogether- why?!) so we won't see this again and next up is the equally excellent New Amsterdam but that didn't chart.

    There were some extreme close-ups going on in the Sky performance, I'm not sure I want to see John Williams' nasal hairs thank you and poor Herbie Flowers hardly got a look in. And someone tell Steve it's Toccata not Toccato (you say Toccata I'll say Toccato).

    I like the way the screen shot of Steve doesn't quite match up with quartered screen of Sad Cafe, these early days of video imaging were clearly a steep learning curve but I bet we didn't notice at the time. I must admit that this sounds a lot better the more times you hear it.

    Just as Sham 69 move away from herbert punk, The Cockney Rejects enter into the same arena and fail. This was just a dreadful mess. I thought so at the time and it's still bad. Two weeks later their next single I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles entered the chart while this one was still rising which was a bit weird.

    In complete contrast to the Rejects were Legs attired in wet look knickers bopping out to Rodney Franklin. Steve Wright briefly tries turning into his idol Kenny Everett at the end of the routine but fails. And I guess he's wearing the false white moustache because it's given him something else to hide behind while he's being zany (he's actually quite shy).

    I loved Bad manners but I did think Ne-ne Na-na Na-na Nu-nu was a bit silly even at the time although it didn't stop me buying it. I thought it was influenced by Mork and Mindy but I now see that it was a cover of Dicky Do and The Don'ts song.

    David Essex sounds better the more you hear it. The film still looks a bit naff though.

    The Johnny Logan performance is so cheesy it's frightening, from the polyester hair, the jacket casually placed over the shoulders, the dreadful shrug he gives halfway though the song and the long low stage bow at the end. Plus the way the camera zooms up reveal the sax player hidedn behind him is almost comical. Why did we not laugh at the time. Perhaps we did.

    The Bondie 'video' reminded me of the one they did for Diana Ross' Love Hangover back in 1976. Take a few old photos and zoom in and out and spin them round, etc, etc. You can do the same thing yourself by keep pressing the aspect ration and or zoom buttons on your remote in time with the music.

    Seems odd hearing Geno over the end credits, some songs just don't work there.

    1. i don't remember thinking this at the time, but it wouldn't surprise me if i too had thought the bad manners effort was some kind of cash-in on the success of "mork and mindy" which was popular in blighty at the time. i certainly didn't know then (and only now thanks to bama) that it was a cover version

      i remember watching mork and mindy back then and thinking the woman who played mindy was pretty in a girl-next-door way, but feeling a bit sorry for her in that despite her equal billing she did little other than play the straight (wo)man to the scenery-chewing williams (they really should have called it "mork from ork" or something). the other thing i remember was that i thought the guy who played her dad looked too young for the part... until he took his hat off to reveal a buster-bloodvessel-type shiny pate!

      i concur with bama regarding the end credits: like the chart rundowns, the producers should have picked up-and-coming stuff and/or that by artists unavailable to appear in person (and of course disco music was sell-suited to the format)

    2. Elvis Costello’s “New Amsterdam” peaked at number 36. A lovely, lilting tune which might have been a bit too slight to make the top 30, though the Popscene website suggests there was a video insert ready for TOTP which missed out due to The Great Strike.

      If you think the video idea for a non-mugshot tune sounds presumptuous, not long from now we’ll see a video for a single at number 63, which had climbed a whole one place from the previous week and which managed to miss the top 50 by a good fistful of places.

  24. the probable reason for the sudden appearance of "i'm forever blowing bubbles" so soon after "the great cockney rif-off was the fact that their cherished irons (who were languishing in the old second division at the time) had unexpectedly made that year's FA cup final to face the mighty gooners, for whom a trip across north london to wembley was practically an annual event at the time. two things of note happened in said final: the winning goal being a mega-rare header from trevor brooking (still probably my all-time favourite footballer), and a foul by gooners defender willie young on paul allen when he was through with only the goalkeeper to beat - young's consequent mild rebuke prompted much outcry, and led to the introduction of automatically red-carding players for committing what is now known as "the professional foul"...

  25. Really sad to hear of the death of B.B.King today at the age of 89. Who could forget the legendary singer's collaboration with U2 in 1988 with When Love Comes To Town?

    It's been a torrid couple of weeks with the passing of Ben E King, B.B.King and Errol Brown of Hot Chocolate, all in the same month, and I dearly wish that no more sad news of such great pop icons reaches us in the near future.

    1. According to TV Cream, it looks like Hot Chocolate have been edited out of next week's 7.30 edition!!!

    2. If that is correct, then it is very poor treatment for BBC4 to do so, and I'm not impressed. They should give Hot Chocolate a little more respect considering Errol passed away this month.

    3. i've forgotten "when love comes to town" - well, the tune anyway. but then again u2 were already well past the shark-jumping moment for me by then (and bono's efforts to "make poverty history" whilst adding to his offshore banking accounts make me wish i could also forget their early stuff that i liked at the time!)

    4. Sadly we're going to hear of a lot more deaths in the near future. Most of our 'great pop icons' belong to the 'baby boomer' generation and have lived hard and fast lives (in many cases subjected to alcohol/smoking/drugs) with the result that they will fall short of the average lifespan. Thankfully their music will live on forever and they'll never be forgotten.

    5. that reminds me of the woody allen quote: i don't want to achieve immortality through my work - i want to achieve it through not dying!

    6. another thought on this subject: i have a friend who believes that in a hundred years time only the true giants of 20th century popular music will still be familiar to those living then i.e. the king, the beatles, and maybe one or two others - the rest will be eroded by the sands of time! i don't think that will be the case myself due to the internet, and my belief that popular music as a force will become even more feeble than it is now, thus emphasising the achievements of the past. but i somehow don't think that someone like errol brown will be remembered in 50 years time, never mind 100. but what do others here think?

    7. I would tend to agree Wilberforce, although I would like people to remember The Village People and Bad Manners, alongside The King and The Beatles.

    8. in response to my friend's comments, i debated that people would still be singing "YMCA" in a hundred years time!

    9. Well, you never know, cos they still do YMCA in club nights and fancy dress nights in 2015

  26. As we wait yet another week for the next TOTP 1980, due to The Sky At Night, I looked at the April 1980 Australia top 10 chart countdown:

    Interesting that while we in the UK were seeing the arrival of UB40, Dexys Midnight Runners and Bad Manners all in one batch in the early spring of 1980, the Australians were about 2-4 months behind us by having in their April chart the likes of Fiddlers Dram, Pretenders Brass In Pocket, Kenny Rogers Coward Of The County, Pink Floyd Another Brick In The Wall, and Queen's Crazy Little Thing Called Love, as some of our end-of-1979 hits were April 1980 hits in Australia.

    I particularly liked the No.10 sound of Day Trip To Bangor with a video clip not seen in the UK but only for Australian TV. My feeling is that this was not a promo video as Fiddlers Dram did not do one, but because the only worldwide footage of Day Trip To Bangor was their TOTP studio performances which were not given to the Australians, me thinks that Australia made their own little clip using Australian landscape and boats to replace Bangor in Wales!

  27. While this week's TOTP featured David Essex in promo video only to take him up to a peak of No.4 the following week, it appears he did make s studio performance for ITV only, for the Kenny Everett Show which I guess in 1980 would be a good avenue for performers not appearing in the TOTP studio for whatever reason. Anyway, here it is:

    I'm sure there were many more cases when performers did not come to TOTP and may have been regulars on ITV shows, but we can no doubt find these along the way., in the absence of Pop Gold.