Thursday, 11 June 2015

Just Can't Give You Top of the Pops

Not many people could have known it at the time but the 29th May 1980 was truly an end of an era edition of Top of the Pops. A ten week strike by the Musicians Union was about to keep the show off the air for the whole of June and July, and when it finally returned on the 7th August things would never be quite the same again.....


No doubt about it




29-5-80: Presenter: David Jensen

(22) ROBERTA FLACK & DONNY HATHAWAY – Back Together Again
Playing over the charts this week is the second of three top ten hits for Roberta Flack, and her first since 1973.

(52) LIQUID GOLD – Substitute
Performing the follow-up to Dance Yourself Dizzy ~ Substitute became the band's second and final top ten hit ~ note the drummer wears a few more clothes than last time but still can't resist abandoning his drum kit to get up and dance.

(2) HOT CHOCOLATE – No Doubt About It ®
Finally making it onto the 7.30 showing on BBC4 now at its peak in the charts, shame it didn't go one place higher, it would have made and out of this world number one :-)

(44) ELTON JOHN – Little Jeannie
A studio performance here from Elton, but the very early 80's were not a successful time for him, and Little Jeannie didn't make the top 30.

(17) CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIR – You Gave Me Love (danced to by Legs & Co)
This week the Legs are wearing cheerleader style outfits and surrounded by a pom pom waving crowd as they help Crown Heights Affair on the way to their only top ten hit.

(13) DON McLEAN – Crying (video)
The log fire in the video made me wonder if this song was originally meant as a Christmas time release, but anyway it became a surprise summer number one, but we'll never get to see it top the charts.....

(37) THIN LIZZY – Chinatown
A good solid rocker here from Phil and the boys ~ David Jensen predicted a top five hit but it made it to 21.

(6) ROXY MUSIC – Over You ®
Over You was now the seventh of ten top ten hits for Roxy Music, and it peaked at number 5.

(26) ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK – Messages
The first edit on tonight's 7.30 showing.

(21) JERMAINE JACKSON – Let’s Get Serious (video)
The videos were still mostly quite simple at this time, this one is Jermaine with mic in hand and a couple of dancers either side ~ and he mimes the part in the middle hat was actually Stevie Wonder.

(36) STIFF LITTLE FINGERS – Nobody’s Hero
With their gravel voiced follow-up to At the Edge, but this one didn't do quite as heroically and failed to make the top 30.

(23) MYSTIC MERLIN – Just Can’t Give You Up (video)
BBC4 just couldn't give us this one at 7.30pm.

(NEW) LENA ZAVARONI – Jump Down Jimmy
Sadly, Lena was also cut from the 7.30pm show with this non-charter.

(1) MASH – Theme From M*A*S*H (Suicide Is Painless) (danced to by Legs & Co) ®
Now the end credits thanked 20th Century Fox for Mash excerpts, so I'm guessing we didn't get this repeated Legs & Co performance originally?  But anyway, perhaps it was apt that a song from the 70's topped the charts just as the show went off air. The 80's would begin on August 7th.

(9) LIPPS INC – Funky Town
Plays over the credits, and David Jensen doesn't mention anything about Top of the Pops being back next week ~ did he know something? And talking of end credits - had they changed this week? Had the orchestra and resident backing singers already been given the chop?


If the next scheduled show, 5th June, had gone ahead it would have been hosted by Simon Bates. But there was no Top of the Pops until Peter Powell and Elton John jointly presented the show the 7th August 1980.
However, during the strike there was a pilot edition made that has never been broadcast, the 9th July hosted by Peter Powell and BA Robertson. So I will put up a blog for that one since the wonderful Popscene has the running order.

So what happens next then? There is no Top of the Pops on BBC4 next week, but I believe that the repeats will resume the week after, on June 25th, with a showing of the edition that launched the new era, the 7th August 1980........

109 comments:

  1. flack/hathaway: got a lot of play in discos i hung out in at the time, but although i did like it i didn't really appreciate just how good it was then. in fact this gets better with age

    liquid gold: ...unlike this. "dance yourself dizzy" part 2, and that was bad enough

    elton john: musically as turgid as ever. with regard to the lyrics, i know he didn't actually write them as such, but as a then-closet homosexual wouldn't he have felt a bit of a fraud singing the praises of "jeanie" (or any other woman for that matter)?

    crown heights affair: this is more like it! a enthusiastic intro from kid, enthusiastic moves from legs, and even some enthusiasm from the audience. all that and a storming disco outing to boot! i'd never totally lost touch with disco, but it did take somewhat of a back seat in my musical affections as time went on. then in the late 90's i heard this being blasted out in a shop, and it almost single-handedly got me right back into it again. and i've never let up since. so thanks guys - to paraphrase the song, you gave me love of disco back again! if you own a car, then my advice is to find an open road, then play this at ear-splitting volume and try and sing along with the "woo hoo" falsetto chants!

    don mclean: you can't really do a song as good as this badly, but i'd still much rather hear the "big o"'s original. probably the first-ever song i did as karaoke, and still one of the few where i can sing the lyrics all the way through without having try and remember them

    thin lizzy: can't say i remember this, but definitely one of their better ones. however it's quite samey to their earlier stuff, which might explain its modest chart placing

    roxy music: pleased to see this after being denied its first appearance by the thought police. as i said before it's not one of their best, but still better than the likes of reg by miles. gary tibbs seems to overdoing things (which might explain his imminent departure) and andy mckay is AWOL, being replaced by some very uncool-looking geezer who rather uncouthly chews gum when not pretending to play sax. that's paul carrack of ace/squeeze/mike & the mechanics fame on keyboards. but does he really need a massive grand piano on stage for what turns out to be only a few notes? i'm sure the stagehands wouldn't have thanked him for that

    jermaine jackson: i find myself thinking "i should like this, but i don't very much too be honest". not as bad as liquid gold though

    stiff little fingers: not a good idea to put the drummer at the front and then zoom in so as you can't actually see the singer's head when he starts miming. this is the second week in a row i've quite enjoyed a no-frills punk effort

    i watched the early edited show for once, so i've yet to see the mystic merlin video and arthur's warned-of "WTF" moment. but hopefully will get the chance later...

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    1. I don't have a problem with Elton singing about women, it's not as if his whole catalogue is a series of autobiographical confessionals, and gay actors play straight characters all the time (and vice versa), so why not singers?

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    2. True. Luther Vandross was another good example.

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    3. i hope nobody is thinking i'm being homophobic here, i'm not (i am being a bit regophobic though as i just can't stand the guy!). however, i do feel in general that singing love songs that explicitly refer to the other gender when it's known that's not the singer's actual sexual preference is a case of hypocrisy. like reg, neil tennant of the pet shop boys came out as gay several years after he had established himself, but although his lyrics were usually about personal relationships, the gender of the other party was always ambiguous. so they could be interpreted in any way one liked, regardless of which way the singer swung. as for luther vandross, as far as i know he never came out of the closet in his lifetime nor has been outed since (although his wiki page states that he "never married" which one can certainly interpret as a euphemism)...

      by the way, when i watched this show again on iplayer and fast-forwarded through reg to crown heights affair, i noticed at the end of his turn that the audience looked rather restless, with virtual thought bubbles saying "thank god that dirge is
      over!"

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    4. i've put the phrase "the other gender" above - with reference to the recent media frenzy over the sex-change of olympic decathlon champion bruce jenner, maybe i should have put "another gender"?

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    5. Wilberforce, words fail me. Elton came out in 1976 but actually said he was Bisexual at the time so he could rightly sing love songs about either sex. Not that it matters a hoot. Are you thinking this IS 1980?

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    6. ooops, looks like i'm stirring up a bit of a hornet's nest here! without trying to dig a deeper hole for myself, this is not about criticism or judgement of homosexuality. i'm just saying i'm personally not impressed nor convinced of the sincerity of this guy apparently professing his love for the ladies, when it later became evident that was not the case. i wouldn't feel any different if it was some straight guy singing of his love for another geezer...

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    7. Well Elton did marry a woman. For a while. I remember a radio interview when he was asked "What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?" and the scamp replied "A clitoris".

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  2. the sax player with roxy looks like howie case, famous for playing on numerous wings albums including band on the run.

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    1. i have now had confirmation it is indeed howie casey on sax with roxy - he moved to bournemouth in the late 70's, where perhaps somewhat appropriately he formed a band called "the slobs"!

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    2. i saw the slobs many times, but never knew at the time who Howie was, or his history. In the mid to late 90's he used to play at a Swiss restaurant in Charminster called Helvetia. His solo stuff was amazing but the keyboardist/singer he played with was very cabaretish and so made for a very mixed evening.

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    3. i lived in charminster (which for the uninitiated s a suburb of bournemouth) in the 80's and have a vague memory of helvetia (i looked on googlemap, and the premises are now called havana!). never went there though, nor did i ever see the slobs as (as you say) they were a covers/cabaret outfit and that was never my bag...

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  3. Lucky that they had the Legs routine to replace the M*A*S*H excerpts. Strange they didn't bother editing out te reference to the movie in the credits, which they used to do for Grease (or Saturday Night Fever or both). Now, . Xanadu's no 1 during the strike, so it's academic, but are there any more Number Ones coming up that used movie clips? (The only one that so far couldn't use a Legs substitution was Bright Eyes, which had to be cut to less than a minute to avoid the royalties)

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    1. How is it on one had that in the 90s when UK Gold repeated the TOTP episodes of 70s, and even uo to 2010 on BBC4 re-cap shows, that they showed the episodes exactly how they were broadcast originally, and yes I mean Grease, Bright Eyes videos as they were, but in the re-runs by BBC4 since 2011, they suddenly have to replace the video footage with other stuff in order to avoid paying more fees/royalties.

      We appear to be going backwards, not forwards here. People want to see nostalgia, not a re-writing of history, so please. What are they achieving by taking away from us now in 2015 what was not even touched or tampered with 10 years ago?

      Nothing in the music vaults has changed, but only the greed of those people suddenly wanting money for broadcasting what was free until this decade since 2010 onwards. Pathetic.

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    2. BBC4 showed a repeat of the TOTPS 2 Summer Special last Saturday (its still on iplayer) which includes the Summer Nights movie clip!

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    3. I recall that BBC4 showed as recent as 2008 the Christmas 1978 show introduced by Noel Edmonds. and they did not substitute the Grease and Saturday Night Fever clips for Legs & Co, so I believe that this new stance on cutting out the movie clips came in at around 2011 when the current reruns TOTP began.

      I think what probably happened is that when these shows were 'occasionally' shown such as in 2008 by BBC, and in the 90s by UK Gold, then no-one batted an eyelid.

      But when these shows were becoming weekly reruns AND three showing every week, i.e., Thursday plus two repeats on Thursday and Saturday, then this must have prompted an idea to generate more cash by these supposed film companies, and the knock-on effect is that we the viewers are not getting the true feel of the shows every week, and it really is a shame.

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  4. shaky shakerson12 June 2015 at 02:26

    Well here we go then. . . the (gulp) end of an era, and we are in the safe Canadian hands of the Kid as Flack & Hathaway countdown the charts. A good, solid piece of Disco this - kind of 'of-its-time' but nice to hear again. Oh and the names, this week, are rendered in perfectly acceptable (and readable) font.
    Liquid Gold are back with a re-hash/re-imagining of Dance Yourself Dizzy. This is a weaker effort that never registered with me, and I get the sense that the group were not convinced about it either as their performance is noticeably more restrained than their Dizzy days I mean the drummer was even dressed!
    A re-run of Hot Choc's 'beam me up Scotty' performance of No Doubt About It with that exceptionally long nothing-happening intro that bored the audience into staring away from the stage and into the camera.
    Kid then links us into Elton John and 'Little Jeannie' in the company of four girls, one of whom has taken to wearing a Sunday School bonnet for no apparent sartorial reason.In fact, with the studio light glaring on it, it looks more like a pith helmet, which possibly would have been more acceptable. This is a rather useless song that sounds like he ripped it off from his last hit (Song For Guy). And why does he want little Jeannie to be his 'acrobat'? Elton has had a remarkably yo-yo kind of career, coming in and out of fashion over and over. Here he is going through a fallow phase which will last at least another year or two.

    The Leggers up next in a Cheerleader-y routine to Crown Heights Affair. Some of the gals facial expressions were a tad baffling, and the hop-hoppiness of the routine was less than graceful. Good song though and nice to see the props department earning their corn by handing out 'things' to the audience to shake.

    Don Mclean and Cry.......................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Can't hear this without either a) falling asleep or b) remembering the Only Fools episode with the singer who couldn't prounounce his arrs. "Cwyingggggg".

    Thankfully this ( like most records this week) was cut short and we are soon into Thin Lizzy and Chinatown. Oh God, this depresses me. Lizzy were one of my favourtite acts through the last half of the seventies and I had all their albums from Jailbreak onwards. But over the past year their output had been ropey to say the least. Phil had lost his way with the lyrics, the tunes had been getting less and less memorable, and the constant changing of second guitarists wasn't helping either. This is a poor couldn't-be-arsed performance with no hint of the gleeful swagger they had a couple of years ago. Sad.

    A chance to see Jermain Jackson do his thing now on what looks like an American show of some sort. Its bad enough that he mimes his part without doing Stevie's bit as well. And why did Kid refer to him as the Runaway Jackson? Wasn't it the other Jacksons who left Motown while Jermaine stayed put ( wasn't he married to Berry Gordy's daughter or niece?). Anyway, a good tune sadly cut short.

    Stiff Little Fingers. Surely this was the dying light for the punk movement. Its a bit sad that this lot didn't adjust and move with the times.

    And The Mash climb to the top of the tree and because there is no video, nor any discernable group to fly over and perform live. we get a re-run of Legs doing their stuff from the other week. Surely it would have been better to use this as the playout track and ditch Funky Town altogether - that way we could have had all the other songs played in full?

    A poor show this one - far too reliant on disco and acts who if not over the hill were certainly approaching it on a galloping horse. OMD were the only ones who could be classed as 'modern' and so for that reason its a 3. Kid drops points for Mystic-Megging it on Lizzy's future chart placing and for the weird laugh/pause thing when introducing SLF, but other than that it was a safe handling job and earns him a 7.

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    1. thankfully i never saw the episode of "only fools and horses" where a jonathan woss-alike mangled "crying", as i'm sure it would also affect my liking for it. although not my favourite bacharach track, alan partridge's serenading of "close to you" (and finding it keeps going beyond his range) certainly put the kybosh on whatever appeal it had for me!

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    2. shaky shakerson12 June 2015 at 04:31

      Close To You also suffered at the hands/tonsils of Marge Simpson. The question for Mr Bacharach is do the royalties earned for these two mashings outweigh the direpute they may have brought to the song?

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    3. The drummer with Liquid Gold, Eddie Rothe, went on to drum with the Searchers. Always in a smart suit whenever I saw them. He is now engaged to former cruise ship singer/ loose women, Jane Mcdonald. (I bet with riveting info like this your all glad I don't post on here very often).

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    4. Great stuff Anonymous ~ that's the kind of info we always like on here :-)

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    5. i'm not sure if mr bacharach would be affronted by those interpretations of his work or not - i think on the one hand he's always been pretty keen on the lucre, but on the other he's also a massive egotist! i don't suppose he's heard that many of the hundreds of recordings done of his songs? i remember once reading that isaac hayes was completely ignorant of the fact that there were dozens of cover versions of "theme from shaft" knocked out on the early 70's, and somewhat surprised when informed so many years later...

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    6. talking of burt: a while back i was watching a youtube video of sheryl crow singing his songs before a select white house audience, including president obama and the man himself. some poster was moved to remark on the octagenarian songwriting legend: "that old guy can't sit in his chair properly"...

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    7. as i've mentioned before, jake burns of SLF later became a producer for radio 1. so was probably already mates with kid at this point. hence the corpsing/in-joke intro...

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  5. Liquid Gold came up with an adequate follow-up to their No.2 smash, but were too lightweight to sustain a chart career. Only 3 more chart entries, all minor, would follow before they disappeared from the hit parade indefinitely in late '82.

    'Little Jeannie' was typically melodic, but probably too similar to 'Daniel'. Sir Elton would not find inspiration, or major chart success, again until 'Blue Eyes' reached the Top 10 in '82. Like the Bee Gees, Tee-nah, Neil Sedaka and even Jacko, he went through a period of uncertainty but would bounce back with renewed confidence.

    During Legs' routine to 'You Gave Me Love', I noticed the audience waving those streamer wands that hadn't been seen in the TOTP studio since 'The Floral Dance'!

    Jermaine Jackson did indeed stay put at Motown when his brothers headed Epicwards in '76, but would rejoin the fold in '83 after leaving Motown. He signed a parallel solo deal with Arista around the same time, and would enjoy his biggest British solo hit on that label with 'Do What You Do' in '85, which remains one of my favourite soul ballads of all time. He was married to Berry Gordy's daughter Hazel from '73 to '87.

    Andy Mackay's absence from Roxy was, thankfully, temporary - but Gary would soon depart to appear in the film 'Breaking Glass' before reaching new heights as one of Adam's Ants. Paul Carrack would also leave shortly afterwards to join Squeeze before reaching a wider audience as one of Mike Rutherford's Mechanics.

    As for Stiff Little Fingers, they belong in the same category as UK Subs, Cockney Rejects and Angelic Upstarts: unmusical, unimaginative and talentless. I remember a reviewer comparing "singer" Jake Burns' voice to a "rusty drainpipe" in an issue of 'Smash Hits' circa '81 - and the band didn't even write their own lyrics, which were supplied by journalist Gordon Ogilvie. 'Whizz Kids', an album track by the talented Undertones, is a jibe at SLF.

    This week's episode was a mixed bag overall, but it was a joy to hear 'Back Together Again' over the chart rundown.

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    1. i'd have said that jake burns had a voice like cut glass myself... that is cut glass as in a broken bottle being used in a bar room brawl! definitely the singing equivalent of ian paisley...

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    2. P,S. I'd forgotten what a fine post-disco offering Mystic Merlin's hit was!

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    3. Stiff Little Fingers did write a lot of their own lyrics. Song credits are "Burns", "Burns/Ogilvie", and "Fingers/Ogilvie", and in fact, their only top 20 hit "At the Edge" was credited to Fingers only. Sorry to disappoint you.

      And to me, they were musical, talented and imaginative. The first concert I ever went to was SLF in 1981. But you have to be into that type of music to appreciate it.

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    4. I saw SLF last year at The Forum (supported by the Godfathers) and, while I agree with the comments about Jake Burns' voice, they're a fantastic live band.

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  6. I liked the Liquid Gold track it grew on me as it went on. The drummer was ridiculous at the end but it was funny.

    Loved the Legs and Co routine, the best one from them for a while. The disco was a big highlight of this episode (apart from Jermaine who bored me). The audience taking part enlivened it even more, though if you look closely they have the look of having been pressganged into doing it.

    The rock stuff I found boring, and Elton was sadly off form.

    Watching on youtube the song from Lena has a schlager feel to it, it could have been a hit in Germany at the time. Definitely worse songs in the program even if some would consider it too old fashioned.

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    1. We welcomed the hop, step and jump of Legs & Co in their new dance routine this week, and what made it more special is the introduction by Kid Jensen who seemed to enjoy introducing them.

      Indeed the track by Crown Heights Affair had no video or TOTP footage available, and Legs & Co made their mark very nicely to take this track to the top ten.

      A first observation is that the intro for the track appears to have been lifted from KC & The Sunshine Band's track called Shake Your Booty, which funnily enough was danced to by Ruby Flipper on TOTP in 1976, which included Sue, Patti & Lulu before forming Legs & Co a year later in 1977.

      I wonder if the three Legs girls realised now in 1980, that they danced this intro before as Ruby Flipper in 1976 on a Jimmy Saville TOTP show introducing KC & The Sunshine Band?

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    2. i've listened to the KC track and i can't say i think there's any plagiarism going on. yes, they're both grooves with the same repeated switch from the tonic chord to the subdominant chord of the diatonic scale, but that's where any similarity ends.they are completely different arrangements, especially the bass lines, and the CHA track has a lot punchier feel than KC's. and there's no way you can claim credit for writing a 2-chord jam anyway, any more than you can for writing a 12 bar blues. as for patti and co thinking it's the same intro, they probably wouldn't have noticed any supposed similarity if they'd danced to the KC track 4 months earlier... never mind 4 years!

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    3. Whatever the conclusion, this Crown Heights Affair track was a moment of disco genius, and if we ignore the KC intro similarity, it was for me at No.2 in what was for me the top 5 disco intros of all time:

      1. Cuba - Gibson Brothers (1980)
      2. You Gave Me Love - Crown Heights Affair (1980)
      3. Boogie Wonderland - Earth, Wind & Fire (1979)
      4. I Was Made For Dancing - Leif Garrett (1979)
      5. Shake Your Booty - KC & The Sunshine Band (1976) - (very similar intro to Crown Heights Affair)

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    4. Fifty Something Here.

      Call me a cynical old curmudgeon but is it a coincidence that Miss Zavaroni had a BBC1 series on air at this point in 1980. Far be it for me to suggest that there might have been a cotractaural obligation to give her a slot on TOTP and that, with the MU strike looming, this would be the last opportunity for some time.

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    5. Wilby, hark at you! You knowledge of scales and modulations reminds me affectionately of the Jazz Club sketches in The Fast Show!

      PS. Typing this from the hotel lobby. Back properly this weekend.

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    6. arthur, it seems that my otherwise not-worth-the-paper-it's-written-on music degree has come in useful after all!

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  7. I am going to wait until the full-length version is broadcast before commenting on the show (thanks, Mr Packham, for making us wait for that until Sunday), but I thought I would respond now to a couple of Angelo's questions. On the original broadcast, the Legs dance to Suicide is Painless was repeated, but interspersed with clips from the film - you can see the UK Gold broadcast on Youtube, which retains the clips. As for the credits, I didn't notice anything different apart from the MASH acknowledgment - Johnny Pearson, Derek Warne and the Stredder Singers were credited as normal.

    It's also worth pointing out that this show will be the last we see of Kid until autumn next year, assuming that we get 1981. As he mentioned at the end, he was about to leave Radio 1 for a year-long sojourn at the fledgling CNN...

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    1. Here's the link for the UK Gold broadcast showing how the Mash No.1 was shown originally on this TOTP episode, and not the BBC4 which sadly removed some film clips from it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUyydFqm5-s

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    2. Ah that makes sense about the movie clips - and having watched the end credits again they hadn't changed at all! Must be all that hypnotic swirly mindbending stuff they used to do with them :-)

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    3. But the film sequence is less than a minute long, which makes it OK doesn't it?

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    4. "Kid" became more formal at CNN, going by his real full name...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZjrWav7oGs

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    5. Dory - I am a bit behind on my TOTP viewing for various reasons and have just watched this today. I knew there was something not right about the M*A*S*H film as I recalled the film clips and then saw the 'credit' at the end. Thanks for pointing everyone in the direction of the UK Gold version on YT. Presumably UK Gold had no worries about copyright?

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  8. Here's an idea for you Angelo for filling the missing two months until the August shows resume the BBC4 repeats.

    Why not prepare a TOTP 'that would have been' if there was no strike, I mean we have videos on Utube for virtually every chart hit, and perhaps what Legs & Co 'would have' danced to, which is in general the tracks where no promo video was made or no TOTP studio performance.

    In this way, all of us can still comment on for example ELO''s only No.1 with Olivia Newton John on Xanadu, Don McLean also going on to be No.1 during this strike.

    If you could rustle up a likely line up for each Thursday in June and July 1980, then we can still have a weekly blog, and why not?

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    1. Well as far as I can make out so far BBC4 will be showing the 7th august edition in two weeks time., on June 25th. The break will come when the Proms start in July. Maybe I'll put up a blog in that time for episodes that could have been :-)

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    2. yes, i think it's a good idea to post some kind of filler on this blog if there's going to be several weeks of TOTP inactivity, as otherwise readers and contributors might start drifting away. i remember that the original TOTP reruns host simon used to put up some posts that related to a particular topic that was relevant at the time (i think one such post was all about the "joys" of cod-reggae!). maybe readers can suggest similar ideas for angelo to start up a few posts with?

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    3. Yes, and perhaps that 7th Aug edition to be shown on 25th June can be put up after these fillers by Angelo (thank you Angelo), and a week before BBC4 show the 14th Aug edition, so that we move in sequence, and catch up again in August after the Proms, otherwise I agree that with no blog during the proms season, our regulars may drift away.

      For my part, I am a big ELO follower, and the fact that such a world class group had only one No.1 with Xanadu, albeit with the help of Olivia Newton John, I can only feel dismay that there was a BBC strike in June and July 1980 while they were at the top.

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    4. I third the motion. Maybe show us each week's top 40 with the climbers and new entries highlighted for fantasy TOTP stakes?

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    5. Can I suggest a 6th June 1980 TOTP blog this Thursday Angelo, as I believe it would have been Simon Bates presenting if there was no strike, and looking at the climbers of that week's chart, I predict that Legs & Co would have been given Back Together Again by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, having surged into the chart at No.14 with no available video to this day and I could not imagine them appearing the TOTP studio either.

      We would also have likely been shown on video the Theme from Mash still at No.1, Lipps Inc with a huge jump to No.3, ELO new video at No.22, The Specials at peak position No.5, and in the studio Matchbox and Jona Lewie for a final time, and new performances by The Korgis and others.

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    6. Mr Gravity - I'm sure the Jermaine Jackson clip was from Euro pop show Top Pop. Are there any of those full shows available from mid 1980 (or even clips) which you could use to fill the gap? Okay so they would probably include Euro disco and schlager stuff as well but that can't be any worse than Lena Zee can it?

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    7. I must say that is a very good idea, because Top Pop was the equivalent of our TOTP, so you could use any TOP Pop or Soul Train studio performances as well as promo videos, so that we get as near as possible to a TOTP feel to these shows, rather than just all promo videos.

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  9. I just found this clip of The Benny Hill Show broadcast on Thames TV in, would you believe it, June 1980 while TOTP was off the air for two months!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6X2LrdMxloA

    The ironic thing here is that Hill's Angels perform summer 1980 with two disco tracks back-to-back in one piece, the second track being Boogie Wonderland. Does anyone know what the first track is before it rolls into Boogie Wonderland?

    In the hot weather we are having now in summer 2015, let's look back at summer 1980 with Hill's Angels and Benny Hill doing their bit to console us while having no TOTP, and I must say the Hill's Angels girls on this are just tremendous while Legs & Co were off our screens. Sit back and enjoy!

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    1. It's a cover of "Let the music play" by Arpeggio, a studio band assembled by Simon Soussan who also wrote this and many other disco songs. I have it on CD.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nqzkli-29Ys

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    2. Thanks, I didn't know that. I still like the Benny Hill cover better!

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    3. My eyes thank you for that Hills Angels clip. What a wonderful start to a Saturday!

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  10. I think a return of 25th July is unlikely as there are only fourteen shows available for broadcast.

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    1. Top of the pops from 7/8/1980 will be on bbc 4 on Thursday week.

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    2. It looks as if we will get the first 3 or 4 post-strike shows before the Proms start, and then I would imagine we will have a 2 month break before resuming in late September (probably on the 24th). There will then be just enough "legal" shows left for BBC4 to broadcast to take us up to Christmas.

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    3. shaky shakerson14 June 2015 at 11:10

      According to today's Media Guardian BBC4 has "dutifully complied with the enforced break, to the consternation of regular viewers, but will resume airing those shows, free of Jimmy Saville and DLT, in August."

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    4. They could at least put the DLT shows back on, but they appear to be unflappable at the moment. Someone please take in a box of chocolates in to thes decision makers to soften them up a bit.

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    5. Shaky - I think the Guardian have got that wrong. We now know the first post-strike edition will be broadcast on Thursday week, and as BBC4 are showing that they will most likely show at least a couple more before we reach the Proms.

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  11. I would like to see those 3 of David Hamilton's home recorded shows which pre-dated the current run (one of them by only a week) - any chance of this happening I wonder?

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    1. David's debut appearance on TOTP from 22/1/76 is in circulation - I have it posted on my Vimeo page - I have not seen the other two shows he did prior to April 1976, but I'm sure they are out there somewhere. I hope they turn up.

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    2. The link for the above edition from 22/1/76 is :
      https://vimeo.com/117970915

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    3. Manorak,Do you have 15 03 79 and 03 01 80 editions to add to your excellent vimeo page ? I haven't seen these !

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    4. Yes, I do Chris, and I will post them for you - if vimeo allow me to. They sometimes block editions if there is a copyright claim.

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    5. 22/01/76 - just watched this, many thanks for the upload.

      Not easy to define, but it exudes a kind of higher quality compared to the 1980 shows. Even the presenter got a No. 1 prediction right!

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  12. So, farewell then to Robin Nash, Johnny Pearson and co, Maggie Stredder and her singers, start of show chart rundowns and end of show kaleidoscopic effects, plus a temporary au revoir to the America-bound Kid. In truth, this show made for a slightly underwhelming end to an era, but it wasn't bad.

    There is a certain grim irony about the title of Back Together Again, as Donny Hathaway had committed suicide back in January 1979 (which also makes the identity of this week's number 1 rather unfortunate). A nice song to start the show, though, and I must confess Liquid Gold's effort is also OK, if distinctly similar in sound to Dance Yourself Dizzy. The group themselves are beginning to get on my nerves, though, with their seemingly constant upbeat cheeriness, and the drummer most certainly needs a tranquiliser dart! I liked the group of punky-looking boys standing at the front of the stage (were they there for Stiff Little Fingers?) who were keeping their backs resolutely turned to it during the performance. Incidentally, the SLF drummer also seemed determined to make a spectacle of himself, though not to the same irritating degree.

    Little Jeannie really is a standard-issue Elton John ballad - pleasant, but utterly forgettable. It's no wonder really that his chart fortunes were in decline at this time, with uninspired fare like this, but perhaps Watford's heady rise up the Football League was too much of a distraction. I just hope that he is less wooden co-hosting the next show than he was when we last saw him presenting in 1977. Far better was Don McLean, with a relatively rare example of a cover that is better than the original. While I am a great fan of the Big O, I have always thought the tempo on his version was too fast - slowing it down really brings out the emotion of the song, and Don sings it beautifully. Even better would be Orbison's subsequent version with kd lang, which slows the song down in the way that McLean did, to even greater effect. I am not clear why Don's version was released as a single at this time, as he had recorded it back in 1978 for his Chain Lightning album.

    Thin Lizzy were very much past their peak by this point, and the dull, plodding Chinatown proves as much - I assume the blonde guitarist was Scott Gorham, but it didn't look like him with that slightly shorter haircut (incidentally, I didn't recognise Paul Carrack the first time I saw the Roxy performance). Jermaine Jackson was fairly lively on Top Pop, with a decent stab at a soul-funk workout, though he did look a bit stupid when miming the Stevie Wonder bit! It was interesting to finally see Mystic Merlin, though their look appeared to owe more to the Arabian Nights than it did to Arthurian legend - the drummer had clearly been studying Stewart Copeland, as he was merrily bashing his sticks against the bed rail.

    I suppose it was quite appropriate that the last studio performance of the Nash era should be a light entertainment number watched by a bored-out-of-their minds audience. In fairness, Lena's song wasn't as bad as some others of this kind that we have seen during the rerun, but it was hopelessly out of sync with the 1980 music scene. The audience also didn't look too happy during an otherwise very lively Legs routine, though I'm not sure I would have been too keen on having to keep moving my arms up and down. Maybe the production team were anticipating Michael Hurll's "you must have fun" ethos, or were just inspired by those ever-cheerful Liquid Gold party animals...

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    1. thin lizzy's latest "other" guitarist was snowy white, i think soon to be yet another leaving through the revolving door to make way for... midge ure! the ever-faithful scott gotham had recently been to the hairdressers, which may be what's causing the confusion?

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    2. Apparently it was Dutch radio that took a liking to Don's version of Crying earlier in 1980, and after it had become a hit there EMI decided to release it in the UK too.

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    3. Wilberforce - thanks for confirming that Scott Gorham had been shorn, I didn't recognise him with that shorter cut!

      Angelo - many thanks for the info on Don McLean. It's always interesting to find out why singles were released for no immediately obvious reason...

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    4. Snowy White had actually replaced Dave Flett, who played guitar for Lizzy around the same time Midge briefly handled keyboards in the band. Snowy would himself make way for John Sykes, formerly of Tygers of Pan Tang, in '82.

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    5. The punky boys refusing to watch Liquid Gold included future deejay/TV presenter Gary Crowley and Department S lead singer Vaughn Toulouse.

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  13. got a chance to catch up with what was chopped from the edited edition this afternoon...

    OMD: the plentiful electronic visual effects can't hide the fact that there's a painfully thin audience for andy mccluskey to dad-dance in front of (if he had a pound for every time he'd heard or read that...!)

    mystic merlin: an amusing bunch of oddbods in their ali baba outfits. the baritone singer obviously didn't feel as comfortable doing choreography as his vocal colleagues. could anybody see the wires when that rather hot-looking lady levitated?

    lena zavaroni: sounds like a mixture of "chirpy chirpy cheep cheep" meets "jambalaya", neither of which scream 1980. but for all that i didn't find this the worst thing on the show (step forward reg!). lena's suffering from the bill wyman/debbie harry "head too big for their body" syndrome, but in her case it was probably due to the anorexia nervosa which she already suffered from. by the way, this song modulates (changes key) not once but twice (the old cabaret trick of taking the whole thing up a semi-tone when running out of ideas). having watched hot chocolate on the edited show i noticed their song does as well at the end. and there have been several more examples on the show this year - perhaps in the TOTP lull angelo should do a special on modulation?

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    1. Thanks Wilberforce ~ I'll bear it in mind ;-)

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  14. Well, an end of an era and I had to wait for Sunday to see the whole thing. Liquid Gold: I do remember this, I quite liked it at the time though the chorus needed to be in it more. The dreaded drummer missed a trick with the glockenspiel solo, he could have come up with a bit of business for that.

    Hot Chocolate: Errol dressed as one of the Kelvin from Battle Beyond the Stars, there. Good choice, they're my favourite aliens too. OK, two of them.

    Elton John, as the audience waft away the dry ice with a vengeance, Reg finds the bossa nova beat on his keyboard. It's very Elton by numbers. What was that on the back of his jacket?

    Crown Heights Affair, a sign of things to come with its party atmosphere, though spot the audience member who tires long before the end and gets out of step with the actions. As for the song, overexcited it may be, but it doesn't half stick in the mind.

    Don McLean, weirdly I used to think he had the first number one with Crying and Vincent was his second. Not as good as the original, and not as good as the version from David Lynch's weirdfest Mulholland Drive, it's all very easy listening. Don should have sat in a rocking chair.

    Thin Lizzy with the most Phil Lynott-esque way of saying Chinatown ever. As you would expect. He looks a tad out of it at the beginning of this performance.

    Roxy Music: I really like the instrumental breaks between the verses, or are they the choruses? Is it all just breaks and choruses? Do we get to hear Same Old Scene? That's their best single from this era.

    OMD, has a really nice swing to it, this one, doesn't it?

    Jermaine Jackson, prototyping the Paul Weller mimes to Bono on Band Aid fiasco of four years later. Great track, this, the bassline is a killer.

    Stiff Little Fingers winning the battle of novelty drummers with Liquid Gold hands down. Tune sounds a lot like Ready Steady Go by Generation X.

    Mystic Merlin: anyone here ever seen the movie Stunt Rock? It's a half concert movie/half stunt showcase, where the band are a heavy metal act who perform magic tricks. Reminded me of these guys, though I guess they got in there first? Song features most generic soul lyrics evah.

    Lena Zavaroni, hm, can't really make jokes here when she ended up so tragically, but records five years out of date like this couldn't have helped her career. Also the last ever chance to hear the TOTP orchestra and Maggie Stredder singers.

    Then The MASH, weird how such an aggressive, cynical comedy movie ended up with such a gentle, mournful title tune, but that was the 70s I suppose. And goodbye to them!

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  15. So this is it then, things will never be the same again. The funny thing is, I don't remember the strike and TOTP being off air for so long, I guess I simply thought that, like other programmes, it was simply taking a rest before the start of a 'new series'...

    Liquid Gold with a surprisingly common song title. Unlike the other two identically-titled Top 10 hits, this one failed to 'click' with me.

    A pleasant enough effort from Elt (miming to the record, tut tut) but like Julie I found it very reminiscent of 'Daniel'. It would have been much better without the 'bongo box' kicking in for the second verse and clattering away for the rest of the song, in my opinion.

    Not impressed with Legs & Co this week - we've seen that fabric more than once before, recycled into shorter and shorter dresses.

    Major lighting/camera angle cock-up in the Thin Lizzy performance - towards the end you can see the drummer's stick through the cymbal!!

    It seems that OMD got their way with this second performance, looking far more 'futuristic' and 'electronic' than their previous appearance.

    Never knew that Stevie Wonder sang on Let's Get Serious. You learn things from this blog!

    SLF with a good example of their brand of melodic punk but oh dear.... You put the front man at the front - that's why he's called the 'front man' - and the joker at the back. The BBC got what they asked for here...

    At last we finally get to see the mystical Mystic Merlin - and a funny lot they were too. The smoking saxophone tickled me. Don't remember this at all from 1980 but latterly became familiar with it once into the age of 'hits of the '80s' CDs.

    A somewhat ignominious swan song for Johnny Pearson and his band - it would have been nice to have a contemporary, funky number for them to give their best shot but I suppose that there's a certain appropriateness in having a flashback to the mid-'70s pre-punk style of TOTP.

    Looking back at this, with recycled costumes, translucent cymbals, Lena Zavaroni and a saxophone on fire (though to be fair the last mentioned was not the BBC's doing!) it seems that the show could do with a refresh. It will be interesting to see what the coming weeks have in store for us.

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    1. i have to confess that although i listened to radio one a lot (including for three days a week at work) i don't recall being an avid and regular watcher of TOTP at this time, so i don't remember the strike either. what i do remember was that i went to discos on a regular basis back then, and i'm pleased to say that the disco-oriented tracks that have been on the show this year are bringing back some good memories for me...

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    2. ... talking of which, does anyone remember the goodies "saturday night grease" episode (featuring "tim revolta") that was shown around this time? for the nightclub scenes they actually filmed in two of the discos i used to hang around in... although i wasn't actually there at the time! the front entrance of one of them is at the end of this clip, although it was actually called "nino's" - not "disco"!

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    3. oops - i forgot the youtube link:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Invc4F6J_kQ

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    4. I just watched this thanks, but I wish Tim Brooke Taylor would have shown us his disco moves, but the video cut out before that.

      I assume the Goodies sketch would have also had a disco/dance floor scene, and not just the famous getting-dressed and streetwalking scenes?

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    5. yes they did strut their stuff in those discos later in the show, but despite it being shown in its entirety on one of the bbc channels not that long ago, sadly it seems no-one who might have recorded it has bothered posting on youtube...

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  16. Not a bad show for the last one in its current form. As a kid, I'm pretty sure that I was watching TOTP regularly at this stage (see previous posts for why I think this is true!) yet I don't recall being upset at the time about the show being off-air for 2 months, and before the repeats started, if you'd have asked me when the Michael Hurll era began, I'd have guessed 1982 so I obviously didn't notice a radical difference when the show came back either!
    But that's the thing with your average viewer (maybe less so these days admittedly) : they don't always notice stuff unless it's blatantly flagged up, and it's therefore only obvious with hindsight. Anyway, enough of philosophy today....

    Liquid Gold - I have no recollection of this from the time. The first time I heard it, was I think (god help me) when Dale Winton played it on Pick Of The Pops. I actually really like it, though the group really are bordering on smackable with their 'we're mad, us!' schtick by now.

    Elton John - Not his best. Seemingly he agrees, as it's never appeared on any of his hits collections to my knowledge.

    Crown Heights Affair - With this song, I only grew to like it after Utah Saints spliced it with 'Love Action' for their song 'Believe In Me'. The Legs routine is OK if not that inspired.

    Don McLean - Thank god it's this and not bloody 'American Pie' which for me is the single most over-rated song of all time. Having said that, it's not very exciting and it still amazes me that it got to No.1.

    Thin Lizzy - Oh dear. One of the bands whose progress we have been able to chart pretty thoroughly on these repeats, and this is a far cry from the vibrant performances of 2 or 3 years ago, when even if I didn't like the song, the band were worth watching. It's all lacklustre, and not a good tune either.

    Roxy Music - A good one, and I too hope we get to see the even better 'Same Old Scene'. I think that charted towards the end of the year, so we'll be fine if so.

    OMD - Definitely a better performance this time. I bought CDs of their first (self-titled) album and 'Architecture and Morality' in a charity shop recently and despite the acclaim for the latter, I actually preferred the former. Until I listened to it I had no idea that the album version of this track was different.

    Stiff Little Fingers - Truly awful. I remember something vaguely musical that they released in about 82. Everything else was dire.

    Mystic Merlin - I'm afraid I couldn't stop thinking about Tony Le Mesmer from 'Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge' throughout this performance.

    Lena Zavaroni - If we hadn't got something like this for the last of the 'old' Pops we'd have been disappointed, wouldn't we?
    Definitely some 'Jambalaya' in there, but I also detected some 'Little Willy' too. That's the song by The Sweet, you can stop those filthy thoughts!

    A very rapid exit both by Kid and the post-credits light show, are we absolutely sure they didn't know what was coming?!

    Next for the 'New Wave' then - I must admit I was hoping that (for once) they would give us an extra big break rather than a fortnight for that extra 1980 feeling.

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  17. Late again.

    Half-hearted rundown this week. Dexys have missed a bit of their T in Midnight and the cheering comes in too early so it fades by the time we see The MASH caption at number 1.

    I spotted a very young Gary Crowley at the front of the crowd with his mates during Liquid Gold's performance. The camera wisely zooms back when the drummer starts wiggling his bum about, in that horribly tight jumpsuit.

    I liked the spooky empty stage intro to Hot Chocolate, I thought for a minute we'd jumped a week to the pilot show. a shame this missed the top spot thanks to the Mash record. I bet Errol and Co were pissed off.

    Elton doing Daniel Part 2. A rather ho-hum performance and not a very good song. Not sure about the Bontempi rhythm track which has shades of John Shuttleworth. Karen's Tangerine anyone?

    Legs dancing with the crowd to Crown Heights Affairs reminded me of the routine to KC and The Sunshine Band from a few years ago with and equally uncoordinated crowd with party shakers. No wonder all this came to and end. Good track though with a nice groove although like a lot of dance records it's the bits in between the choruses that are memorable.

    Don Mac covering Roy Orbison, can't fail really. I remember my mum singing along to this at the time. This video looked like it was from some cheesy US TV special the sort of thing Johnny Cash and The Carpenters used to do.

    Gary Crowley's back watching Thin Lizzy this time standing next to his mate Vaughn Toulouse (R.I.P) (he was later in indie group Department S). Another strong song and good performance from Phil and the boys and I notice they've got the old star filters out again which were used last time they were on. Well they were stars weren't they.

    Roxy Music with Bryan showing off his teeth again. A nice song though which is hard not to like. Nice to see Paul Carrack on piano who would be in Squeeze by the end of the year.

    OMD. Nice orange die-cut front panels to their synths which match up with the cover of their album. I see Mr Crowley's there again.

    Jermaine Jackson awkwardly miming to Stevie Wonder from Euro Top Pop show. And he can't dance for toffee can he?

    Stiff Little Fingers have a lot of energy and a good sound but the song is lacking something and small wonder it wasn't a hit

    Must admit I wasn't expecting to see Mystic Merlin in the flesh. Now I'm not sure I wanted to. This looks like the sort of thing you'd see on Britain's got Talent and musical magic show.

    Poor old Lena Zee (R.I.P) bringing up the rear. She gives a good vocal delivery but does sound a bit dated for 1980 (although having said that not a million miles away from Sheena Easton who was waiting in the wings to steal her crown)

    The MASH. Here are the same vocalists working on a Ray Conniff record in case you wondered what they looked like:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg9GG4V5EJY

    So Kid was leaving Radio One but he would be back by 1983. Did he go to Capital Radio?

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    1. i noticed a "top pop" sign somewhere around the fireplace in the don mclean video, which ties in with the comment somebody made above about that single becoming a hit in the netherlands prior to taking off here...

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    2. Kid was heading off to join CNN, but it was only a brief sojourn as he would be back on both Radio 1 and TOTP by October 1981.

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    3. Good star spotting there, Bama! As for Elton, I'd have preferred to see him tackle the John Shuttleworth classic "I Can't Go Back To Savoury Now".

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  18. R they gonna show the 9 July 80 edition

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    1. I think not, but I have put up a blog for it anyway :-)

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  19. Hi folks! Good to be properly back on the forum after ten days in Croatia. Thanks to changes made by my company, I had no roaming facility on my phone over there and there was very limited wi-fi in the hotel lobby, but I’m back refreshed and ready with this week’s essay.
    Shame that poor Roberta and Donny were represented in the countdown by a “Shalamar” style painting.
    “My Sweet Rosalie” moment number 1 with Liquid Gold (i.e do a ‘Brotherhood of Man’ and follow a big hit with a near facsimile resulting in a lesser hit), which had no Clout (see what I did there?) and didn’t deserve a medal placing, especially with the return of Wally Pratt on drums. At least the strike stopped us suffering his antics any further with this song.
    Elton John, sponsored by Casio VL Tone, singing a song where he wants his amour to be an acrobat, which I assume is a euphemism for contortionist, ready to adopt any position. Erm, sorry about that! “Danielle” reminded me of a slow version of that other John Shuttleworth classic “Pigeons In Flight”.
    A great tune by Crown Heights Affair, accompanied by an enjoyable bout of bunny hopping by Legs & Co which was sadly over-pixellated on my PC.
    I agree Don McLean’s slower version of “Crying” beats the version by Roy Orbison – or should that be Woy? Due to the full line of the title lyric, they should have followed “Crying” with “Over You” . See what I did there? Ahem.
    A strange dirge by Thin Lizzy in comparison to their pomp, with the drummer taking fashion tips from “Rat Trap” era Bob Geldof. I’d have preferred seeing those stagehands have a go at this instead. Oh well.
    OMD were the show’s highlight for me. The drummer seemed perkier this time. I wonder how many other acts performed a song on TOTP with traditional drums one week and electronic drums the next or vice versa?
    An intriguing Top Pop set for Jermaine Jackson who, I thought, did a good job in the Stevie Wonder miming stakes but excelled in the sort of dancing I do when really tired, i.e. swaying about without moving my feet from the dance floor!
    “My Sweet Rosalie” moment number 2 for Stiff Little Fingers with a song I enjoyed. Jake Burns was obviously proud of his Northern Irish roots as he wore the current NI football squad shirt. “Norn Iron” failed to make the 1980 European Championships which took place the following month but they’d done well, finishing second to England in a five-team group, in the days when only eight teams played in the finals, the hosts and the group winners.
    Now for the biggest hash pipe in the world - Mystic Merlin’s sax! Was their follow-up a break-up song where Merlin gets to saw the girl in half? Anyone notice how her bored look changed at 31:44 to a wide-eyed worry that he was going to drop her? The band’s magic routine reminded me of Mrs. Merton asking Debbie McGee “What first ever attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”
    I detected a soupcon of Sweet’s “Little Willy” in Lena Zavaroni’s song. She looked like she wanted to be in The Dooleys. A former Opportunity Knocks winner, which reminded me of that squirmworthy rant against strikers that Hughie Green boomed out at the end of one edition of the show – it then got a release on the Philips label! Dreadful – and I mean that most sincerely.
    Well then, ta ta to Robin – let’s see what “Batman” Michael hurlls at us. See what I… I’ll get my coat!

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    1. arthur, good to see that you're still able to make a (late) contribution despite your recent excursion into the internet boonies! that mrs merton/debbie mcgee thing is a true classic, and having just watched the clip on youtube again (any excuse!) i love kris akabusi's reaction as well. i'm old enough to remember "opportunity knocks" (kids it's the original "x factor", and former totp car park residents showaddywaddy also catapulted to fame via that), but didn't hughie actually say (in what was actually the most insincere manner possible) "and i mean tthat most sincerely, folks"?

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    2. Furthermore, kids, the weekly winner of "Opportunity Knocks" was decided by viewers writing to the show (ON A POSTCARD, if I remember correctly!) saying who they wanted to win. How times change.

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    3. arthur didn't they also have the audience "clap-o-meter" to measure the results?

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    4. Indeed they did, but that audience reaction machine was fixed - so some things don't change!

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    5. although "opportunity knocks" started off years before "new faces", there was a period in the mid 70's when these two talent shows were on concurrently on itv. in relative terms i always thought the latter was superior, both in its format (with tony "hatchet man" hatch savaging hapless hopefuls years before that prick simon cowell did) and in the general quality of the acts. what does anyone else who is old enough to remember them think? (you see, i'm doing whatever i can to make the magic three figures!)

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    6. And how many "Opportunity Knocks" acts did a 'Lenny Henry' and become a future knight or dame?

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    7. Surely Dame Victoria Wood can't be far away?

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  20. i note that for the first time since angelo took the helm of the retro totp blog that we are now in the "nervous nineties" with regard to comments. i for one should like to see another rare century being knocked off (the first one only happened due to extraordinary circumstances), so how can it de done without being contrived?

    my suggestion is that those who follow this blog but don't normally contribute now make the effort to do so, whether it be about this edition of the show in particular, or on anything relating to the blog in general...

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    1. How about a quiz question to push is over the century? Which other 1970s film starring Donald Sutherland prominently featured a British number one chart hit?

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    2. No idea, but Donald played a character called Homer Simpson in "Day of the Locust", fact fans.

      Standing ovation from the pavilion!

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    3. Hooray! Er, anyway, it was an instrumental if that's any clue. Massive hit you never hear now.

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  21. blimey that's a hard one thx - as the only 70's instrumental no .1 hit that comes to mind, would it be "eye level"?

    let's go on to 150 now!

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    1. There was also "Amazing Grace" by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, and Lieutenant Pigeon's "Mouldy Old Dough" might count as an instrumental, though I term that sort of song with a smattering of lyrics as a "most-rumental". I love the thought of Donald Sutherland appearing in a film with "Mouldy Old Dough" in the soundtrack! Mind you, the tune in question might have come from the 50's or 60's, and I'm still none the wiser.

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    2. Arthur has it - Mouldy Old Dough plays over the shock ending of Don't Look Now.

      Ah, no, only joking, it's Amazing Grace, which plays over a key scene in Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (the bit at the docks where he thinks he hears signs of humanity when the strains of bagpipes drift across the night).

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    3. Phew, bit of a lucky strike there! Going back to Wilb's instrumental guess, he reminded me that my paternal nan had one of those absolutely massive radio / phonograph cabinets in the 70's and she owned just two singles - "Eye Level", and Glyn Poole's "Milly Molly Mandy"!

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  22. As this is Robin Nash's last show, I was interested to find out what his first was, and it turns out that it was none other (according to the RT Genome site) than that Kenny Everett edition from 11/10/73 that was shown a couple of years back, which means we have seen both the beginning and the end of this production era on BBC4.

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    1. Not exactly true as Robin Nash was producing editions of Top of the Pops back in 1972 and also made a return to the programme in January 1981

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    2. I was aware that he did return briefly in 1981, but it still holds true that his era as permanent producer was 1973-80.

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