Thursday, 28 May 2015

You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Top of the Pops

It's the 8th of May 1980 and this edition of Top of the Pops sees the debuts of two of the biggest electropop acts of the decade.........


................and Jona Lewie


MYSTIC MERLIN – Just Can’t Give You Up
Plays over the charts with their only hit, which peaked at 20.

 THE HUMAN LEAGUE – Rock And Roll
They clearly weren't quite the finished article yet, and two of them would soon leave to form Heaven 17, but brave of the Beeb to include this Gary Glitter cover, which failed to make the top 50, in the 7.30pm showing.

 JOHNNY LOGAN – What’s Another Year?
was edited out of the 7.30 showing.

 PRELUDE – Platinum Blonde
A band clearly refusing to let go of the 70's, there was no place for Platinum Blonde in a 1980 top 40.

 MICHAEL JACKSON – She’s Out Of My Life (video)
Seemingly doing a bit of a Leo Sayer here, this was the 4th top ten hit from his Off the Wall album.

 MATCHBOX – Midnite Dynamos
A mix of the video and a Showaddywaddy style double studio performance helping Midnite Dynamos up to a peak of 14 in the charts.

 AVERAGE WHITE BAND – Let’s Go Round Again (danced to by Legs & Co)
It must've been very hot in May 1980 as Legs & Go get down to the beach for this week's routine, bringing Peter Powell out into a bit of a sweat.

 JONA LEWIE – You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties
The first of two top 20 hits for Jona in 1980, both of which being quite memorable. One of the girl backing singers on show here is Kirsty MacColl.

 COCKNEY REJECTS – The Greatest Cockney Rip-Off ®
Were ripped out of the 7.30pm showing.

BONEY M – My Friend Jack (video)
Also edited out was our final look at the original line-up of Boney M, whose chart career was now over.

 THE RUTS – Staring At The Rude Boys ®
The final hit for the Ruts, peaking at 22. Singer Malcolm Owen died in July 1980.

ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK – Messages
Unlike the Human League, OMD arrived at Top of the Pops fully formed and Messages became the first of 15 top 20 hits for the band.

 THE UNDERTONES – My Perfect Cousin
Chopped from the 7.30 show, now almost at its peak in the charts.

 DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS – Geno ®
A second week at number one, having held off Paul McCartney last week, and Johnny Logan this.

HOT CHOCOLATE – No Doubt About It (and credits)
Over the credits this week is Hot Chocolate rapidly rising towards the top two.

Next week should be the edition from May 15th, but the BBC are still not showing DLT episodes, so instead we will move on to the 22nd May 1980.

83 comments:

  1. Human League - this was their debut on British TV and the pop charts, and I must say that I was impressed by the all male band here, before the famous story of of 1981 where Phil Oakey met two girls at a Leeds nightclub and asked them to front the band with him. What would the band have been like if he hadn't met those girls a year after this debut on TOTP?

    Frankly I think the band looked better with the all-male line up on this showing, as they all had the alpha-male style, and it was an interesting decision to change the look of the band a year later to feminise it, when this cover of Gary Glitter was done so well here on their debut.

    Prelude - absolutely loved this song, even though I don't remember it at the time, but the female lead on this was superb, and reminds me of the Fleetwood Mac sound which this very much resembled, but without the intense instruments in the background. Lovely colours and fresh look by Prelude, and just what the doctor ordered.

    Average White Band - seemed like Legs & Co in the last few weeks were gradually getting more and more seductive with less and less clothing, and I must say they could not look more fertile than on this showing with their underwear/swimwear. Brilliant, and keep it coming girls!

    Jona Lewie - nothing less than genius. Interesting that the two front girls on this performance was the style that the Human League were later to adopt for their own band, and I wonder whether this Jona Lewie line-up on the same show gave Phil Oakey the light bulb idea to copy it for his own band. Hmmm.

    OMD - followed Human League and Jona Lewie as the third debut electropop band on the same TOTP show, but the first two were better methinks.

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    1. The Human League did appear on 'Mainstream' in October 1979 and sang 2 songs. They were 'The Path of Least Resistance' and 'Empire State Human'.

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    2. Phil Oakey's thought bubble..."Hmm, I've nicked the idea for our gear off that duo over there with the bassist who looks a bit like Keith Harris, now I like the idea of Jona Lewie's backing singers...maybe I can pop down t'disco and turn this outfit into the Electro Regents!"

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    3. Joking aside, there is a good possibility that this is where Phil Oakey got the idea, and I wonder if this is documented anywhere, or whether he would admit it if it was indeed the case, but it looks too coincidental to me.

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    4. There is another possibility here. The male backing singers here on this debut hit by Human League appeared to almost outflank Mr Oakey somewhat with their confidence on stage, and I must admit that watching this again, I was watching them as much as Phil on this performance.

      This could have inspired Phil to switch them later to his two nightclub girls where Phil would stand out more as the lead, and he could have been feeling this outflanking on this first hit, which the Jona Lewie formula could have been a good light bulb for him, and this may explain why the rest of the male outfit on Human League very quickly moved to Heaven 17 to make way for the two dolly birds the following year.

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    5. human league main-man martin ware's first choice for vocalist was glenn gregory (who he and ian marsh later used with heaven 17), and phil oakey was only asked to join as gregory was unavailable at the time. a baffling decision for me, as to my ears phil was a far superior vocalist. but then again he wasn't a mate. in fact phil and martin didn't get on too well with each other which eventually prompted the split (i remember once reading or hearing that one was hurling doorstep milk bottles at the other as they walked down the street!)

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    6. Dory - Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh were the founders of The Human League. As Wilberforce says, they recruited Phil Oakey to the band, so they were all very much equals. It was the commercial failure of their first two albums, plus tensions between Ware and Oakey, that caused Ware and Marsh to split away and form Heaven 17.

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    7. However it was Human League that was far more successful than Heaven 17, so Oakey was the winner in the end.

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    8. i remember smash hits or a similar pop magazine once doing a cartoon strip featuring "the human league story", whereby the "musician" members of the band leave vocalist phil and slide operator adrian wright in the lurch, and how they then went about recruiting replacements (including the two girls from a local disco called "the crazy daisy" to my recollection) before unexpectedly trumping their old bandmates/ rivals commercially. although the heaven 17 duo lost in terms of relative chart success, apparently a condition of the split was that they received 1% of any monies the human league made... which probably meant they earned more from that than their own activities!

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    9. Surely Phil got the tall bloke flanked by two birds idea from - wait for it - The Dooleys. I said as much the first time I saw them on the re-runs.

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  2. The Ruts did actually have another hit, though admittedly not a mugshot one, with "West One (Shine On Me)", which made number 43, but I think singer Malcolm Owen had died by this time. The band continued for a while as a three-piece and renamed themselves Ruts DC (the "DC" stood for "da capo" - from the beginning) and released an excellent debut single but went downhill quickly.

    Boney M's publicity department did a brilliant job to get the video played for a single way outside the top 30, in fact at number 64. It climbed a whole place in the chart after this showing.

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    1. In general, TOTP would only show promo videos once inside the top 30, and any new releases not yet in the top 30 would only be shown as TOTP studio performance, so yes, this Boney M video seemed to be an exception, as by now I guess the beeb had figured that Boney M were on their last legs and were never going to appear in the TOTP studio ever again.

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    2. Just watched this 'video' on the late night showing, and it was likely to have been a pop show studio performance in Germany, so it didn't look like a conventional promo video.

      In response to Nibble here, I'm not surprised that this only climbed one place from No.64 to No.63 after this showing on TOTP, when the main lyrics are 'My friend Jack eats sugar lumps.'

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    3. The lyric is not as puerile as it sounds - it actually refers to LSD! That didn't stop it being featured on BBC1's 'Little and Large Show' around the same time that this edition of TOTP was first aired, but Boney M's reputation by now was in ruins following the revelation that only two of the band's members performed on its records. The disco backlash and overexposure on 'Seaside Special' (dubbed 'The Boney M Show' by an angry reader of a leading tabloid) were other contributory factors in Boney's rapid decline; they would enjoy only one more British Top 40 single, in the shape of 1981's environmentally conscious 'We Kill The World'.

      It was in this country that Boney M enjoyed their most fervent popularity; so well loved were they by the BBC that they even managed to appear on TOTP in '77 - and reach the Top 10 - with a song about the Troubles.

      History would repeat itself for Boney M producer Frank Farian when he was forced to admit that his Grammy-winning late 80s protegees Milli Vanilli did not actually sing on their records, following their infamous performance in Bristol, Connecticut on an MTV tour. Do you remember that? Of course you do! "Girl you know it's...girl you know it's...girl you know it's..."

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    4. My Friend Jack was originally a minor hit for obscure York group The Smoke in 1967 - Boney M were clearly trying to replicate the success they had enjoyed with Painter Man (another cover of a psychedelic number) the year before. The Smoke's version is far superior - I always suspected it was about LSD...

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    5. it seems a bit odd how german producer frank farian was so familiar with obscure/flop british pyschedelic acts. but then again his drummer was brit keith forsey who i believe started his career playing in similar bands...

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    6. The Smoke's basssit Zeke Lund who co-wrote "My Friend Jack" went on to be the sound engineer for Boney M which is why they recorded it.

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    7. thanks for that info bama! as one probably frustrated by lack of success for many years in the music biz, no doubt zeke was thinking he was finally onto a winner when he persuaded frank farian to do one of his own songs...

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  3. Having just watched the Platinum Blonde single by Prelude again on the late night showing, I am hearing a resemblance to the War Of The Worlds soundtrack by Jeff Wayne a couple of years before in 1978.

    The track on the War Of The Worlds soundtrack that I am referring this resemblance to is called The Spirit of Man (parson Nathaniel), which is where I'm almost sure the inspiration of Platinum Blonde came from. Perhaps Julie Joanne can check this out and give us her opinion!

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    1. Geordie trio Prelude - most famous for 'After The Goldrush' and for backing Ralph McTell on 'Streets of London' - did appear to have been influenced by Jeff Wayne in terms of arrangement when they wrote 'Platinum Blonde'. Both songs feature a male lead vocal in the verse and a female lead in the chorus, but they are quite different from each other melodically. Irene, Brian and Ian have made some very fine albums, and are still active as a band on the cabaret and folk club circuits.

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    2. Prelude were the only other act apart from Mungo Jerry to have a hit single on Pye's 'progressive' label Dawn.

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  4. It appears that the Popscene website has been blocked??!!, and I wonder if this why Angelo has for the first time not been able to put the chart positions of each performance on TOTP in his summary at the top.

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    1. Popscene's back up and running so, with apologies to Angelo for treading on his patch (I'm only trying to help, really), here are the positions of the runners and riders...

      (30) MYSTIC MERLIN – Just Can’t Give You Up

      (72) THE HUMAN LEAGUE – Rock And Roll

      (2) JOHNNY LOGAN – What’s Another Year?

      (51) PRELUDE – Platinum Blonde

      (25) MICHAEL JACKSON – She’s Out Of My Life

      (67) MATCHBOX – Midnite Dynamos

      (28) AVERAGE WHITE BAND – Let’s Go Round Again

      (73) JONA LEWIE – You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties

      (23) COCKNEY REJECTS – The Greatest Cockney Rip-Off

      (63) BONEY M – My Friend Jack

      (27) THE RUTS – Staring At The Rude Boys

      (53) ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK – Messages

      (10) THE UNDERTONES – My Perfect Cousin

      (1) DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS – Geno

      (9) HOT CHOCOLATE – No Doubt About It

      I was slightly wrong about Boney M's single. It had actually gone up from 64 to 63 this particular week (so even better work by the publicity department to get it aired on TOTP) and it climbed to a peak of 57 the following week. Boney M reached the top 40 three more times (7, 38 and 22 respectively) after "We Kill The World" with re-issuesin the 90's, the last one being a mash-up with some act called Horny United. Oh dear.

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    2. Thanks, Arthur - I should have stressed that Boney M's 'We Kill The World' was their last Top 40 hit with new material, not their final chart entry overall.

      P.S. I'd forgotten what a fine disco offering Mystic Merlin's hit single was! Like Earth, Wind & Fire in their heyday, Merlin treated its concert audiences to onstage illusions.

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    3. Popscene is partly back up, but the episode guides are currently still unavailable - hopefully this is just a technical glitch which will be sorted out soon...

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    4. Yes that's right it had suddenly disappeared! But I've found where it is now :-)

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  5. And thank you, Julie, for the Boney M info. I didn't realise they had a second 'Bobby' in the singing stakes!

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    1. The male voice on Boney M's hits actually belonged to their producer, Frank Farian.

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  6. shaky shakerson29 May 2015 at 08:27

    Right then, here we go -another ToTP with Peter Smile-In-The-Voice Powell. Lordy lordy lordy what the hell is he wearing? A green jumpsuit! Surely that was never a thing was it?
    Merlin accompany the charts with a yawn-inducing slice of cool jazz funk.

    Human League without the girls and a cover of Rock N Roll which did nothing and went nowhere. This doesn't seem to sit well with the rest of the canons of either of the groups that these two split into. Maybe it was something they played in concert in a post-ironic way.

    Johnny Logan looking smug with himself after winning Eurovision.

    Prelude. Dont recall this at all. It smacks of Smokie in the verses (a bit like I'll Meet You At Midnight) and of some sort of sub-standard War Of The Worlds during the chorus.

    Michael Jackson wearing the jumper his Auntie knitted him for Christmas. Miming and over-emoting for all his worth in a simple but effecting video proving that you don't need to spend a whole chunk of change to make a decent vid. Like the way his voice cracked on the final note, like he really was heart-broken at losing the girl. (Maybe he could act after all)

    Matchbox. I was convinced this lot were one-hit wonders but they seem to be popping up with a new song every couple of weeks - even if they are all very similar. Unusual shot of their white-suit performance from behind the drum kit. It worked well as well.

    Legs dancing to AWB. I was a big fan of the AWB around this time, if not of this particular tune. The Legsters, as noted above, are wearing less and less each week. My by reckoning they will be completely nude by June. Unfortunately THOSE performances nver reached our screens.

    "Who said 'You'll always find me in the kitchen at midnight?" asks Peter. Er, noone actually Pete. Jona Lewie can, however, be found in the kitchen at parties. A good performance this one and - again as mentioned above- you can only assume that Phil Oakley was watching this from the wings in admiration.

    Powell then tries to get out of his horrible mangling of Lewie's tune's title by saying all the good parties go on till midnight and thats where you'll find Jona Lewie. It really was a hand-over-the-eyes moment.

    Boney M - from a band that brought you singles about gun-wielding female mobsters, Russian sex-hungry priests, and the Irish Troubles, comes a tale of. . . . I have no idea. A horse perhaps?

    OMD - a classic of its kind here. I thought Electricity should have been a hit, but the moment I heard this I knew the band were going places. Still think this sounds good too.

    This week the title of Top Of The Pops was pushed to its very limits. Excluding the intro and outtro songs and Dexys at number one, we had a round one dozen songs. Fully half of them were songs that were positioned outside the top FIFTY. A further four songs were from acts placed between numbers 20 and 30, leaving just The Undertones and Johnny Logan to represent the top twenty. So for that reason, and despite the efforts of Dexys, AWB, and OMD this edition earns itself a measly 5 out of 10.

    As for presenter PP. I have previously noted how much his style grinds my gears. On this occasion he wasn't too bad actually. He does drop points for the jumpsuit, obviously, and a further point for the colour of the aforementioned garment too. Then there is the whole 'In the kitchen at midnight' debacle. SAo points lost there too. On the plus side, he was (compared to most presenters) almost sage-like in his predictions that MJ would be one of the greatest soul singers in the world and that Messages would be a smash hit. So, all in all he deserves a 6.

    In a break from tradition, this week I am also awarding Flick Colby a 9 for Legs & Co's choreography. Well, not so much the choreography really.

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    1. In terms of TOTP being pushed to its limits, it appears that show was moving from 40 to 45 minutes, as pressure was growing on TOTP from a surge of new bands coming through in 1980, and this Human League outfit at No.72 in the charts to be shown this early on TOTP, well they must have been scraping the barrels by now.

      Also, agree regarding Legs & Co. In April and May of 1980, they were testing our resolve with their gradual undressing and sultriness just short of appearing nude.

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    2. I agree it's weird that, for starters, this edition had no songs between numbers 31 to 50 in the chart and it contained loads of lower register chart material though, as we now know, some of those were pop nuggets.

      PS - From what I remember of the brief BBC 4 snippet at the start of the year, Legs & Co were back to being fully clothed in the 'stagehands' edition. Bangs goes a particularly enjoyable theory!

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    3. I think the BBC strike in June and July 1980 came just in time to stop us seeing Legs & Co down to having nothing on at all, cos by this week's showing, we were all wondering just how far they would go!

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    4. In that case, the fleas from a thousand camels upon the instigators of the strike.....

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  7. host: if you wanted to look cool in 1980 then obviously multi-zipped jumpsuits were the way to go. sometimes i think myself lucky that i was not trendy back then!

    mystic merlin: a classic track signposting the no-name post-disco/pre-house dance genre that was about to happen (i had to listen to it whilst writing this!). now that we all have access to most music ever released via youtube and whatever, i sometimes check out the albums that disco/dance singles i loved came from... and almost inevitably find the rest is just 5th-rate copycats of the hit and/or filler!

    human league: a faithful and rather pointless cover of mr glitter's opus (as someone else said, probably done for a postmodern ironic laugh), although no doubt the man himself will be grateful for a few royalties to come his way as he has now otherwise (deservedly or not) been expunged from the face of pop music. what people may not know is that the original version (literally) used cutting-edge technology of the time as the drums (played by co-writer and producer mike leander) were simply a few bars that were looped. did anyone get to notice what the back of phil oakey's head actually looked like when he had the asymetric hairstlye? after the internal factions went their separate ways shortly after this, i remember the classic NME (or it might have been sounds) headline: "league division one"!

    prelude: thanks to pp's garbled intro i couldn't actually make out the name of this act. but whoever they were it was obvious to me they were at least five years out of date with their tedious soft rock. and the male singer's combover made him look somewhat older than he probably was (time to check out some millinery sir!). and didn't the lady singer (another jumpsuit alert!) later play miranda's mum?

    matchbox: what? this was a top 20 hit? unlike "rockabilly rebel" i have no recollection of this whatsoever. and rockabilly isn't really my thing, but it was entertaining enough with the clothes changes and three guitarists doing their shadows/yellow dog routines

    AWB: sadly absent from totp for several years despite consistantly churning out quality soul and funk grooves in the interim - it took hitching a ride on the disco bandwagon to get them back into chart contention. far from their best but still better than a lot of similarly-pitched stuff around at the time. call me a prude but i felt a bit uncomfortable watching half the legs ladies cavorting about in nothing more than skimpy bra and panties

    jona lewie: yet another song title screw-up by a presenter! mind you, they have a lot to think about in those few seconds they link the acts... in pp's case he must have been thinking about the "r white secret lemonade drinker" ads where elvis costello's dad plunders the fridge for his favorite tipple in his jim jams. this is rather lo-fi and jona can't sing for toffee, but unlike most music from those days the lyrics had some resonance for me (apart from the last verse of course - yes, back then i would be also be hanging around in kitchens at parties with the tins of party 7 and bottles of cinzano!), so i have a soft spot for it

    boney m: although bobby grabs the highest platform half way through this "knock on wood" knock-off, you can see he's struggling a bit for inspiration... no doubt wishing he could be rasputin again!

    OMD: some nice clean-cut young men in shirt and ties, some futuristic synthesizers and a decent danceable record to boot. yes please i think i'll have some more of this thanks. i remember watching the synth britannia bbc doc where andy mcclusky revealed that the track was all about production as the gear they used was in fact pretty basic (and boy could you tell when they played it without all the effects!)

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    1. damn! the one time when i had a proper "2-parter" comment planned ("just like the original version of "rock and roll..."), i didn't write enough stuff to make it happen!

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    2. I don't think most people were uncomfortable watching Legs and co in their underwear. Far from it, I felt it was the highlight of the show, and most welcome on a Thursday night after work.

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    3. I dunno, it was a bit of a cynical move to keep people watching in a show with so many not-so-well-known acts.

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    4. shaky shakerson29 May 2015 at 13:02

      Clearly cynical - especially considering the two Leggers who were always front and centre throughout the performance were the only two in bikinis!

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    5. Yes, I wouldn't mind being a beach towel for Sue and GillIan on that performance!

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  8. The Human League, I like the early stuff as much as the hits, but I'd have rather heard Empire State Human than this. I suppose now the Beeb has shown it, if we get that far we'll have Doctorin' the Tardis too.

    Johnny Logan, at least he has discovered the art of wearing a jacket properly now. Unlike the sax player who hasn't bothered dressing up in the slightest.

    Prelude, not only looking like a band of dads, but sounding like them too. Check out the barmy lyrics: the daughter goes off to star in a show against her parents' permission, so her ashamed dad tracks her down to the stage door and shoots her dead! Then it turns out she was on her way home anyway! And the moral is... your guess is as good as mine.

    Michael Jackson before he adopted the cosmetic surgery horrorface as his look - didn't he look so much better? Never noticed this before, but hearing them in such close proximity this does sound a lot like Johnny Logan's Eurovision winner.

    Matchbox, the fifties revival continued well into the eighties, at least until Back to the Future, but this sounds exactly the same as all the other songs we've heard of theirs. Health and safety would have conniptions at their method of travelling in a car.

    Average White Band, top flight optimistic disco soul from - oh, nobody was listening to the music, were they? Legs & Co very much in need of hula hoops. And cardigans.

    Jona Lewie, a fantastically bored sounding record, it really does sound like its lyrics if you see what I mean. Jona spoils it a bit by cracking a few smiles. Kirsty's debut too, so a little bit of history.

    Cockney Rejects, the only band who thought the Pistols' Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle was worth copying.

    Boney M, when this started I thought ooh, this sounds nice and futuristic. Then the vocals began and spoiled it. Frank sounding as if the ideas had run out by this point.

    The Ruts, not much different from the Rejects, but somehow so much better. It has an actual tune, for a start.

    OMD, hooray for the student teacher's disco favourites. They knew their way around a good melody, and they're also a great interview these days if you manage to hear them.

    The Undertones and the Human League on the same show! Were they rivals or friends? Difficult to tell from these lyrics.

    Those lurid trouser suits were all the rage in the early 80s, of course. Not on men, mind you.

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    1. Doctorin' The Tardis in 1988 was the next time eight years after this Human League performance to cover Glitter's Rock 'N' Roll, that much was the appeal from 1973 to 1988 of this classic glamrock track.

      Indeed the all male set up of the early Human League were probably the best positioned to cover this, and hell they did a good of job of it, despite the backing singers outflanking Phil Oakey by moving around the stage behind him, which was probably not in the script, and what probably urged Oakey to follow Jona Lewie's success to try two females who would not rock the boat like that.

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    2. Just heard the Platinum Blonde track again just to hear the lyrics and concentrate on the story, and God how tragic a story this is of the Platinum Blonde, yet it is another example of the individuality and flair that music bands could achieve in those days, which would nowadays never be signed off as a new release by today's so called music industry managers.

      Prelude, we salute you on your flair and autonomy that the music industry gave you in those days to write your own choice of lyrics, and make a story for us to follow. The pop charts nowadays do not have this autonomy for songwriters, for fear of outrage and shame and the need to be politically correct.

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    3. speak for yourself dory! i can't say i noticed or took in a single word of the prelude track, and for me the music was a snorefest too...

      i normally have at best a superficial interest in lyrics in popular songs. however ironically this week's show featured two tracks (by jona lewie and the undertones) where for me the lyrics were as interesting as the music, if not more so!

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    4. I must say that I don't normally concentrate on the lyrics, but more on the tune as to whether I like it, but having seen THX comment above, I thought I would have a complete listen on the lyrics to judge for myself

      It was certainly in the pedigree of The War Of The Worlds, and Jeff Wayne would have lapped this up if he could see two years into the future into 1980 and made stars of these guys with Platinum Blonde. Just listen to The Spirit Of Man from War of The Worlds and this Platinum Blonde is the same level of lyric genius.

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    5. Good grief, the lyrics to platinum blonde really are tragic aren't they. Irene had a stunningly effective voice, Agnetha like I would say.

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    6. THX not everyone was watching Legs for the same reason, some of us appreciate the male form. Not that there were any worth appreciating on this show.

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    7. Come on, Bama, weren't Phil and Andy prime electropop beefcake?

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    8. i never "fancied" him, but i always thought phil oakey was prettier than the girls in the human league!

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  9. I couldn't help but just watching The One Show tonight on BBC1 where the lead guest was Elvis Costello, and how fitting that while he was in our current May 1980 chart with High Fidelity, he was here again in May 2015 on the sofa with Chris Evans & Co and playing out the show with "Every Day I Write The Book." Simply brilliant on the 35th anniversary of the May 1980 TOTP!

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  10. It appears that the UK Gold airing of TOTP 15.5.80 with DLT in his beachwear (perhaps still drooling over Legs & Co's beach performance the week before) is now uploaded by Steve H on this link if Angelo is ready:

    http://www.4shared.com/video/zeGYmU0pce/TOTP_15580.htm

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    1. Thanks for the link Dory (and of course to Steve H for uploading) - I have just watched it, but will wait for Angelo to post before commenting.

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    2. Many thanks for this ~ blog now up :-)

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  11. Has Popscene website been changed? I had the episode guide main menu page for each decade saved as a bookmark and now it just says not available? Iv searched around the site but can't find it.Anyone else having this problem or is just me? I enjoyed looking at the listings for each episode as I watched them so I could see if any songs had been skipped and whether they were repeats of earlier episodes.Surely they haven't all been removed as a hell of a lot of hard work has obviously been put into that website over the years collating all the information!

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    1. I was also saving each year as bookmark, in order to use alongside the TOTP repeats by BBC4 every week, and suddenly this morning, the contents of the pages have disappeared, asking now for an account username and account password!

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  12. It appears to be fine if you register with a username, password and valid email address, as I did today. Although, it did take an hour or two to have my account validated.

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    1. Thanks manorak. .I just saw your post after I posted mine! Yep all working and didn't take very long for it to be validated.Also if your the same manorak who kindly uploads episodes to Vimeo let me take this opportunity to say a big thank you as it's been wonderful to watch episodes that would no doubt never see a tv screen again! Keep em coming mate! Good love to you too!

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    2. Do you know why suddenly only now they are requiring a username and password after so long without one?

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    3. Yes, it does seem odd, when they have been available for anyone to view up until now - other parts of the site are still viewable without signing in.

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    4. Just want to echo Wayne's comment. I was particularly delighted to see the video that Manorak had last week uploaded of The Charlie Daniels Band. I never knew in all these years that a video existed for The Devil Went Down To Goergia.

      This superb video set in farm was certainly never shown on British TV, cos there was only one studio performance on the Terry Wogan show, and bizarrely no TOTP appearance for a top 20 hit that it was.

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  13. Undoubtedly a seminal show, and the last four tracks featured are all superb. OMD are my favourite group of the 80s, chiefly on the strength of their first three albums, and Messages is a superb song. The single version is actually a rerecording, with a much more beefed up production compared to the lo-tech album version, and it works a treat. Just a shame the song got cut off half way through, when Prelude's snoozesome and rather morbid offering got played in full. Having only known them through their slightly dull cover of After the Goldrush, I can't say this has encouraged me to find out any more about them!

    The League got the show off to a great start, with a far more dynamic performance than Matchbox's self-proclaimed "Midnight Dynamos." Rock 'n' Roll was released around the same time as the League's second album, Travelogue, and both album and single demonstrate how they were already moving towards a more commercial sound, even before the original band split. Ironically, the thoroughly uncommercial Being Boiled, their 1978 debut single, would become a Top 10 hit at the start of 1982, after the new line-up had become huge stars.

    Jona Lewie's effort is fun, if slight. I hate to be pedantic, but he had been on TOTP once before, as a member of Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs back in 1972. This is definitely the much-missed Kirsty McColl's first appearance, though, and hopefully the repeats will last long enough for us to see her again - interesting coincidence that she and Jona both went on to perform famous Christmas hits.

    Although PP made rather a mess of some of his links, particularly the Jona Lewie one, he was spot on about Jacko's vocal credentials. She's Out of My Life is one of the best tracks from Off the Wall, and Jacko does the emotion of the song full justice - the sparse video also suits the song. Let's Go Round Again is another great track - I must confess I didn't realise until watching this show that it was an AWB track, as you would think it was a black group performing it. Just a shame the song got overshadowed a bit by those gratuitous bikinis and swimming costumes - not that I am complaining too much...

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    1. i remember buying an original copy of the human leagues' "being boiled" off a school chum in the late 70's. partly because thanks to kraftwerk i was already getting into the electro-synth sound, but also because because it was released in limited quantities on the legendary indie label fast records, so its rarity would probably make it highly collectable and valuable in the future. sadly that turned out not to be the case!

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  14. Just to update my previous post..Popscene is working..you just need to sign up with them (which is free) so have gladly done so as it's such a lovely site for all the TOTP history and info and I see they have now added screen grabs of each episodes presenter under the listings where before you had to click on a link to see it (to be fair it might had been like this all the time but as I was viewing the site as a Guest it didn't appear).Well..going to pour myself a nice glass of red wine and sit back and enjoy this week's episode as it looks like a good one! Good love everyone!

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    1. Yes, I have signed up and can now see all the listings again - still can't understand why they have been hidden from general view, but it's nice to have the presenter images added.

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  15. A great show this week. I really enjoyed the variety even if I had to whizz through Michael Jackson and the Cockney Rejects.

    Human League – Never heard this version of ‘Rock and Roll’ before. Always my favourite of GGs hits, it is indeed surprising to see its inclusion here – Doctorin’ the TARDIS anyone? Note to Phil; the silly haircut is clearly not practical given the continual flicking back throughout the performance.

    Johnny Logan – Who was singing the female backing vocals near the end? Clearly a live performance as you could see the orchestra being conducted in the background.

    Prelude – Just great! Don’t really remember this but it was a really wonderful song and very different…and yes, a throwback to the 70s and all the better for it! Only no.45 in the charts, so surprising to see it in the show, but this was quite a long edition. The keyboard player seems to be very unhappy, scowling at the camera as it pans and the drummer disinterested, but the lead singers tuck in with relish.

    Matchbox – Not a band to rank up with the great and good, but this is the song that did stick in the mind. A number 22 bus features in the video clips in, what looks like the West End which is given away by the brief glimpse of the sign for the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square. Did anyone spot the advert with the caption ‘What a saucy faggot’ as the boys disembarked from their limo? Was that deliberate?

    Average White Band (Legs & Co) – Didn’t Louise do a version of this song many years later? I don’t think she performed it in a bikini!

    Jona Lewie – A prelude (if you pardon the pun) for (italics) that Christmas hit. Very unusual sound at the time from Jona (or should I say John Lewis). Love the bit near the end where the tune speeds up a bit and the girls do a very exaggerated bit of dancing and Jona’s keyboard playing is great where he just dangles his hand out and (mime) tinkles. As John G has pointed out, Jona’s TOTP debut (now wiped of course) was on ‘Seaside Shuffle’ as Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs, a no.2 hit in 1972 only kept off the top spot by Alice Cooper’s ‘Schools Out’. A minor hit ‘On a Saturday Night’ did follow and that is available on YT (although not from TOTP).

    Boney M – Why, why, why did they have to record this? And why, why, why did it have to be on the show when it staggered to a peak of no.57? The 1967 original by the Smoke was banned by the BBC due to drug connotations I believe, but still made no.45. Not much male vocal in evidence here, so all the guy does is his ‘dance’.

    OMD – Just fabulous. I believe this was a last minute addition to the show but what a song. I went out a nbought it on the back of this performance. Such was the instant impression it made on me at the time. The high tech/synth feel of the track is definitely enhanced by the computer tape drive spinning even if it looks hopelessly dated now!

    Dexys – Still not getting the popularity of this one. Much preferred their second no.1.

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  16. A show heavy with low chart placings and notable for the debut of the tape recorder brigade. Despite being fresh and innovative music at the time (and indeed still is), when you consider that, for example, the Eurovision Song Contest is now built entirely around this technique (although I'm sure that they haven't used magnetic tape for years), it doesn't bode well for the future. OMD must have been the better quality of the two because of the higher tape speed...

    Prelude was a typical 1970s-type prog band with rather more guitarists than necessary, but with one of those story songs where you knew something was going to happen in the third verse but couldn't tell what. Bit of a downer as it turned out.

    As for Matchbox, I found it hard to tell if this was a studio performance intercut with the promo or the promo itself. Although it appeared to be the TOTP set it looked a bit 'filmic' to me. Maybe it's just iPlayer. Notice that the bass player is now playing an electric bass, having donated his previous instrument to that young lad on Jim'll Fix It.

    Yes, it's been a long time, if ever, that Legs & Co have worn as little as this. Obviously a summery beachy kind of atmosphere but I didn't get what the 'snow' was all about.

    Does anybody know who Jona Lewie's other backing singer was?

    Boney M - oh dear. Like 'Painter Man' apparently was, here is another example of lyrics translated into (presumably) German then back into English. In the original Smoke song it's not 'sugar lumps' but 'sugarlump' which, as Julie points out above, is something else completely. I was told that by someone who was 'there'!

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  17. Ah. Peter Powell’s off to a fancy dress party later as a Kwikfit fitter!

    The return of those bloody phasing rundown titles, and a mis-spelling for Mystic Merlin. Mystik indeed! I bet if they’d had another top 30 hit, that band with the Keith Harris lookalike and the open fret bassist would have been renamed New Music!

    I was daydreaming about The Human League covering another Gary Glitter song, “I Love You Love Me Love”, which would have been great – imagine Phil tossing his mane to the line “They didn’t like my Hair”. Still, this was a fine start.

    Was Prelude’s Irene going to the same fancy dress party having followed Pete’s fashion tips? Probably the same one as that chap front row in the sailor outfit. I agree with the Agnetha comparison, and I enjoyed this song after its slow build-up, but could you really hear all those three guitars? Do not feed the keyboardist! Are you looking at my pint?

    Michael Jackson was never my cup of tea, what will all that “hee hee jam roll” nonsense, but I agree with the thumbs-up for his perfect emotive end to the song.

    And Matchbox return the favour to Human League by singing about the future of electronic music…Oh. Just look at that behaviour on the road with open doors and sitting outside the back windows. Call health and safety!

    I’m seeing the doctor for a review of my recently prescribed blood pressure tablets tomorrow, in which case I shouldn’t have watched Legs & Co’s show stealing turn. Christ on a bike! Imagine the carnage if DLT had been presenting this! Surely Rosie should have been in a bikini instead of Sue, and couldn’t we have had the 12 inch version of this song instead?

    “Call My Bluff” award of the night for use of the word ‘rebuffed’ by Jona Lewie. Why the walking stick, though? Had he hurt his leg? And was that Lena Lovich’s other half on keyboards?

    Boney M obviously nicked the cane idea off Jona Lewie. Boooo! Terrible, terrible song which would have been livened up if (a) they sang about Sugar Puffs instead and (b) if it had lasted a minute. What an awful way to leave us.

    Bloody Andy McCluskey, with his dad dancing. Never forget, he was Atomic Kitten’s Svengali. Never forget! Superb kit work by OMD’s drummer, though he’s run close in the performance stakes by The Undertones’ bassist with his Jimi Hendrix flourishes and his gurning to the camera behind Feargal.

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    1. if mystic merlin formed today, then no doubt it would get spelt "mystik"!

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    2. Blood pressure aside Arthur, I agree that Rosie in a bikini would have been more appetising.

      However, I have noticed that through the career of Legs & Co, it was always Sue as the longest running on TOTP, and oldest one on Legs & Co, that took on any new or daring routines ahead of the other girls, and still wanted the most attention on camera, even though her skin was closer to the bone than the other girls, who in my opinion were more supple in the right places, i.e., Patti and Rosie, and then Pauline, Gill and Sue in that order.

      However, Sue is the one who has kept her looks the best of all, 35 years on from this appearance!

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    3. thanks to their appearances in one of the totp year reviews i know what sue (pretty good for her age) and lulu (not so good) look like these days. but i have no idea about the rest. can anyone puts links here to contemporary photos of the other leggers?

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    4. Wilberforce, Google Images "Rosemary Langhorn" and Rosie 2013 should be the first picture you see, next to a guy with a comical combover.

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    5. thanks for that shaky slade - i'm not saying she hasn't aged well, but she looks like a completely different person to that who was on totp 35 years earlier! the same thing happened to eric idle of monty python. can anyone else think of once-familiar faces whose appearances have changed as they've aged to the point where they are now unrecognisable compared to their younger selves?

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    6. friom what i can remember of seeing her, i think you can put lulu of legs alongside eric idle in the "unrecognosable from their famous youth" category! another case in question was david hemmings who went from this:

      http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5011/5389602591_5e29e2dc76_z.jpg

      to this!:

      http://www.celebs101.com/image-197624--3353--David+Hemmings+Picture+Gallery.html

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    7. David Hemmings yes is an obvious one, David Soul I've always thought as well - the lower half of his face has gone from serene and sultry in the 70s to the almost comical thing it is today. Also poor Helmut Kohl, in the news today, is an unrecognisable shadow of the man he was - with good reason though.

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    8. Billy Joel and Peter Gabriel are the first two that come to mind.

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  18. A couple of other random thoughts...

    Firstly, how much more would a double bass have cost than a bass guitar for Matchbox? Surely the record company could have given them a new one following the then positive Jim'll publicity? (Great "Fix It" fact in the first place, by the way.)

    Secondly, that was a Hell of a postal service for Prelude's song. The actress / victim writes a letter about her last performance that evening, posts it the same morning or afternoon, and it gets to her parents the same day. Eat that, Adam Crozier!

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  19. i would have thought that acoustic/upright double basses would have been quite easy to pick up relatively cheap second-hand at that time, as they were then considered old hat and hardly any rock musicians used them. does anyone remember sting using one for effect in the later police videos? somehow i don't think he played it on the actual recordings...

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  20. I was totally blown away by this episode, it's brilliant! I don't remember seeing this at the time so maybe I missed it and was on holiday.

    I don't care much for PP's Radio 1 turquoise flying suit but his presentation style still works.

    There were still a lot of soul-funk-disco tunes in the chart but I don't recall Mystic Merlin at all but it's pretty good. I had moved on from soul-disco to new wave and ska by this time.

    Ah The Human League fronted by former hospital porter Ploakey the tall blokey. This is top notch synth pop at its best and I have never seen this clip before. It's very close to Gary Glitter original (which was the first single I ever bought) although of course when that was a hit it was the instrumental flip that was played.

    Johnny Logan this time with jacket fully on and sax player more in evidence popping up at the right moments.

    Prelude - the first of two acts on tonight who haven't been on the show since the early '70s. This group look and sound firmly in the 70s but it's a very catchy song although I have no memory of it from the time. The moustached synth player looks a bit of nit sat at the front.

    I have never seen this Michael Jackson video before. It's not up to much as a video just a straightforward performance with a seated Jacko attired in a C&A jumper and trousers (and with a weird bit of bum fluff on his chin) but it's such a moving song with his voice breaking up at the end it couldn't fail to succeed.

    I quite liked this Matchbox track. I was always partial to a bit of rockabilly music and I love the way this flips from studio to video (filmed in The Kings Road), they should do that more often. I bet they wouldn't get aways with driving like that now. Health and safety and all that.

    And then that fab AWB track, with the Legs girls attired in very little bringing the summer a little early to 1980.

    Then Jona Lewie, like Prelude last seen in 1972/3. This still impresses today and is a faultless performance. I like the walking stick, the playing-the-keyboard-without-looking, the new way of dancing, the bored audience and the fact that Kirsty and her mate do the twist but no one seems to notice. Classic.

    The fly in the ointment is the Cockney Rejects but there's always one. Sadly this is so short there isn't even time to go an make a cup of tea..

    Back in time for Boney Maroney with their cover of My Fiend Jack. A brave choice for a single but it works for me and should have been a bigger hit. Unlike Jona Lewie here the whole band have walking sticks and Liz and the other girls look very dykey in their dinner suits.

    A welcome repeat of The Ruts. Malcolm Owen fully embraced the then on trend skinhead look while the rest of the band seem to be stuck in the seventies but it's a great sound. I boought their album and played it a lot at the time. West One is the best track but this comes a close second,

    When I first heard of OMD I somehow thought they were called Orchestral Manoeuvres and the song was called In The Dark but it seems they were called OMD from the start. I didn't actually get into them until the following year but I bought both their first two albums and a lot of their singles. Electricity and Red Frame White Light seem to stick in my mind. Superb stuff.

    I could be wrong but that looks like a young Danny Baker sporting eyeliner at the front of the crowd watching Derry's finest. Fergal seems to have changed his trousers but everything else is the same as last time. Strange that no members of The Human League make an appearance at an opportune moment, I wonder if they minded being name checked?

    Then a repeat of the be-towelled Dexys, faded a little early.

    And then Hot Chocolate before bedtime with a song that really grows the more times you hear it. I love the way Errol sings "I was scared". Pure magic.

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    1. bama you've reminded me that when up in "that london" in 1979 i went to the then mega-trendy kings road, and ended up buying a very tight-fitting and shiny animal-print (tiger, i think) t-shirt with a peter powell-style zipper in it serving no purpose whatsoever. so i was actually trying to be trendy at the time. but sadly i don't think i ever got up the nerve to wear it in the west-country town i lived in at the time for fear of being targeted by the local knuckle-draggers!

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    2. there were two guys called malcolm on this show - the other one was the drummer in OMD. probably mainly due to the vicks sinex ads ("oh mum!") malcolm was a hideously uncool name even then!

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    3. Re OMD's name - one of the earlier groups Humphries and McCluskey played in was called Hitler's Underpants!

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    4. you are right john, apart from the spelling - it was in fact" hitlerz underpantz"!

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    5. A very Sladeish touch with the spelling there!

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    6. Incidentally, McCluskey was also briefly in a group called Dalek I Love You.

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