Thursday, 16 July 2015

I Want to Be Top of the Pops

Hosts Peter Powell and goofy BA Robertson are having lots of summer fun but they seem to have forgotten to bring Legs & Co with them this week as we make it to August 28th 1980......

I want to be not cut from the show.......
28-8-80: Presenters: Peter Powell & B.A. Robertson

(37) THE BARRACUDAS – Summer Fun
The one and only chart success for this Anglo-American punk surf band, now at its peak.

 (8) GARY NUMAN – I Die You Die (video)
The second top ten single from Gary Numan's soon to be third number one album, Telekon. Was it me or did there seem to be some sound quality issues with this video?

 (44) THE SELECTER – The Whisper
Here's a band that went out with a whisper, reaching 36 this was their final hit.

 (10) MIKE BERRY – The Sunshine Of Your Smile
A second performance on the show for Mike, it peaked at number 9.

 (33) THE SKIDS – Circus Games
They had the right look for the 80's here but Circus Games was their final top 40 hit, and probably the first for those kids singing the chorus...

 (48) ELTON JOHN – Sartorial Eloquence
Getting his reward for co-hosting the show at the beginning of August, Elton performs a song co-written by Tom Robinson, but it only made it to 44.

 (25) SUE WILKINSON – You Gotta Be A Hustler If You Wanna Get On
The first of tonight's 7.30 casualties, she obviously didn't hustle quite enough.

 (39) IAN DURY & THE BLOCKHEADS – I Want To Be Straight
How could they cut tonight's inspiration for the blog title? But they did.

 (17) VILLAGE PEOPLE – Can’t Stop The Music (video)
Also chopped.

 (49) JUDAS PRIEST – United
Performing their third and final top 30 hit of the year - they may have expected this black leather anthem to get higher than 26 though.
The Top Ten Rundown:

 (10) MIKE BERRY – The Sunshine Of Your Smile (clip of TOTP 14-8-80)
Will peak at number 9.
 (9) THE GAP BAND – Oops Upside Your Head (video)
Had peaked at 6.
 (8) GARY NUMAN – I Die You Die (video)
Straight in at 8.
 (7) DIANA ROSS – Upside Down (video)
Had peaked at 2.
 (6) THE PIRANHAS – Tom Hark (clip of TOTP 7-8-80)
At its chart peak.
 (5) KELLY MARIE – Feels Like I’m In Love (clip of TOTP 7-8-80)
Still heading towards the top.
 (4) ABBA – The Winner Takes It All (video)
Had been number one for two weeks.
 (3) SHEENA EASTON – 9 To 5 (clip of TOTP 7-8-80)
At its chart peak.
 (2) THE JAM – Start (video)
Next week's number one.
 (1) DAVID BOWIE – Ashes To Ashes (video)
Final week at the top.
 (30) THE BEAT – Best Friend (crowd dancing) (and credits)
A double A side with Stand Down Margaret.....
Somehow next week we reach September 18th 1980! To get there we have to miss the 9th of September (hosted by DLT and Kevin Keegan) and the 11th of September (hosted by Jimmy Savile and Richard Skinner).


  1. Elton John - was still in his stage of being embarrassed about his baldness, and continued the trick of wearing a hat when performing, in order to divert attention from his shiny top. I mean the song didn't even break through the top 40.

    The Skids - overflow from their 70s pap, which only rescued itself with the video shots in the middle of the song showing the schoolgirl chorus, and this was very welcome just to stop looking at the awful main group in the studio.

    Village People - while this was still climbing the charts here in the UK, they had just come off a humungous 5 weeks at No.1 in Australia with this song (yes 5 weeks at No.1), while here it was crawling to No.17 and did not make much headway after that.

    The Australian chart success was largely due to the fact Village People appeared in the Countdown Top Ten studio (Aussie equivalent weekly show to TOTP) to perform it with a Saturday Night Fever style dance floor, while here in the UK, they never came to the TOTP studio through their full career catalogue, never mind dancing in style. Funny that.

    1. Funnily enough Elton isn't wearing a hat or a wig in the official video for Sartorial Eloquence so we can see the full extent of his hair loss:

    2. Blimey, he really was bothered about his hair loss, bless him. Prince William who is now the age that Elton was in 1980 has less hair than Elton, but seems very happy with life.

      I guess being married with two children gives a different outlook on bald patches than a single lonely man as Elton would have been then.

  2. Angelo, I think you mean 4th September for DLT and Kevin Keegan, and not the 9th. Anyway, it seems like we will need Neil B or Steve H to come to the rescue with these two shows before next Thursday. I still can't believe we are having to blog September shows in July.

    I mean we are still supposed to be now in the TOTP strike during July, with this week's No.1 still being Xanadu by ONJ & ELO. Too much fast forwarding for my liking folks. We're still supposed to be just starting the school summer holidays, not starting the autumn term already!

    1. Yes you're right Dory it should say the 4th not the 9th! And yes mid September in July just isn't quite right - but I think it must be the final show before the Proms take over for the summer, and when the repeats resume in September we'll be back in sync with 1980 - fingers crossed :-)

    2. 11th Sep JS show is on Manorak's Vimeo site, but no sign of the 4th Sep DLT show yet

    3. Yes, we should be pretty much in sync when we resume in late September, but further Yewtreed shows mean that we will run out of episodes at least 3 weeks before Christmas.

  3. i always thought the numan video i die you die had sound issues

  4. Barracudas' songwriter / guitarist Robin Wills runs an(other) excellent music website called Purepop, which is in a similar vein to the Left And To The Back site. Worth looking at during the Proms lull.

  5. shaky shakerson17 July 2015 at 02:18

    WARNING - this edition put me in a baaaad mood and the review that follows reflects that.First up we have Smile-In-The-Voice Powell on mic duties accompanied by the singularly unfunny BA Robertson. There isn't one single second of footage involving either one of these two morons that isn't eye-closingly cringey. BA has no front-of-camera experience, no acting ability, no charisma. Peter Powell is..... well, he's Peter Powell isn't he. Oh well, let's hope the music on the show makes up for them.

    And we begin with the we-will-persist-with-this-even-though-we-all-know-it-isnt-working 'coming-up' section with PP having nothing worthwhile to tell us apart from where most of the acts hail from. The Judas Priest 'United, they're from Birmingham' being a particular highpoint.

    First act is The Barracudas - a third-rate Ramones rip-off with possibly the world's worst mimer on lead vocals. It's not the greatest song in the world. Not even close.

    Gary Numan - I Die You Die. As Angelo and anon noted above the sound quality on this is woeful, although in all honesty, the song is so poor I couldn't care less.

    Selector - they found themselves a new record label - unfortunately they have lost the ability to write decent punchy pop records. This is lacking any semblance of a hook and signals their chart demise. Weird to see the next act - Mike Berry- hanging about on the next stage during this.

    The single most appalling link in the history of ToTp leads us into Mike Berryzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    The Skids. If I was Richard Jobson I would build myself a time machine, go back to 1980 and punch myself in the face. Then I would find The Skids manager and do the same to him for allowing the band to a) release this as a single b) have a kids chorus for some reason and c) allow me to dress like a holidaying Enid Blyton schoolboy. Fine guitar work though.

    Elton John wearing a school cap and miming to a song that is several degrees south of abysmal.

    Sue Wilkinson.and a tight pair of satin kecks fail to draw the attention of the bored listless audience.

    Ian Dury & The Blockheads running on fumes now which even the presence of Wilko can't hoist above the level of mundane.

    Apparently The Leggers were on holiday this week, according to PP. Did they all go to the same place do you think? I can just imagine them sharing a six berth caravan in Talacre and coming third in the holiday camp dancing competition.

    Village People up next with You Can't Stop The Music. Actually, ifyou are Michael Hurl you can, and the Villagers bow out after just 95 seconds.

    The record for the most appalling link in history has been broken as BA plummets new depths before Judas Priest take a Eurovision Contest song add a couple of heavy drums on the top and ruin their reputation in less than three minutes. This is horrible on many many levels - a perfect snapshot of how bad this edition is.

    Ok, then, this week's scores. PP gets himself a 2 after losing points for just about everything he touched ( like some sort of reverse Midas). His interaction with BA was horrible, his constant Google-Earthing of acts' hometowns was irritating, and his habit of lowering his mic after every sentence distracting. BA gets zero - zip - nothing- zilch -nada - abso-feckinlutely nothing. I hope this was the reason for his disappearance from our lives because it really is an awful thing to behold.

    Musically the show fared little better than the presenters. When you consider that the opening act The Barracudas probably had the best song of the show then you realise how dreadful this all was. Go back - if you dare- and watch again. It is truly truly the worst show in this series of re-runs. It gets a 2. So much for a brave new world. Pah!
    I can only hope that the only way is up from here on in but seeing as next weeks co-presenters are a duo made in hell, I have a feeling a new low in Shaky Scores could be on the cards.

    See you next week - until then I'm Not A Robot

    1. I wouldn't mind being on holiday with Legs & Co especially if they were in the same place. 7 days holiday means one day with each of them plus one day to myself. What a nice thought for an end-of-August or end-of-summer trip. Now please ladies, not all at once.

      Yes, the show was a little dour without Legs & Co this week. Remember on last week's show with Steve Wright that he introduced them by saying "And now for our favourite part of the show..."

    2. Could have been worse, Shaky - had the strike finished earlier, we may have had B.A. hosting and also singing "To Be Or Not To Be" in the same edition!

      I'll admit I was never a fan of B.A. Robertson - I found him a bit too smug for his own good - but he's had a good career with hit singles and TV theme tunes, e.g. "Swap Shop". We will encounter him twice late next year, duetting with Maggie Bell, if the BBC decides to continue the re-runs.

    3. I had to look Talacre up as I'd never heard of it...I thought it was somewhere exotic and pronounced tal-akray. I didn't realise it's in north Wales! Referring back to a recent thread, I like the idea of the Leggers going up a river on a barge. Could've been a series in that!

    4. I take it you didn't like this one much Shaky? It wasn't great, certainly one of the weakest of 1980, but PP's abysmal show from 25/10/79 remains the worst of the reruns for me.

    5. shaky shakerson18 July 2015 at 00:21

      I think, John G, that my dislike of the show is coloured by my memory of 1980 being a year chock full of brilliant new artists and sounds - all of which are notably missing here. This could easily be an edition from 1978. Add to that the appalling co-hosts, and a no-show from the Leggers, and in hindsight I might have been a tad generous in my scores.

    6. The Elton John song I thought was better than Little Jeannie from a while back. Barracudas I thought were a good choice to open and had great verve.

      Most of the audience even looked bored when Geno was performed so hard to read much into that.

  6. An unusual occurrence, 4 of the top 5 were either on their way to, from or were at number 1.I didn't care much for The Skids at the time,but I think this sounds better in 2015, quite a clever song

    1. That is unusual. Once there were 7 number ones in the Top 30 but never 4 all in the Top 5.

  7. You know, we may tell some corny jokes in the comments here, but this edition should cheer us up in the knowledge that we're a lot funnier than B.A. Robertson, and we were never even on TV. I liked him when I was a kid and he was a regular guest on Swap Shop, but, um, his shtick hasn't aged well, shall we say.

    Anyway, kicking off the tunes are the Barracudas and though it's a pity we didn't get the jokey sample at the beginning of the record (which B.A. references) this is a lot of fun, with Mr Barracuda grabbing his chance in the spotlight by practically doing himself a mischief in his enthusiasm. Nothing like the Ramones of course - these guys wear WHITE denim! Big difference.

    Gary Numan, sort of lacked a hook this one though it was still a hit, going through the motions a bit, and what was he doing hanging around in the middle of the night in the video?

    The Selecter, the magic had worn off it seems because this wasn't up to their earlier hits, is this a theme for this episode already?

    Mike Berry, one for the mums and dads, must have been on Radio 2 a lot. Thought he was dressed as John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever until I noted the black trousers.

    The Skids, what was it about children's choirs in this era? Richard Jobson's version of There's No One Quite Like Grandma would have been huge, I'm sure. Verses are a but blah, but the chorus is memorable for the weird guitar sound.

    Elton John apparently clearing the studio with this one, so much for the party atmosphere.

    Sue Wilkinson, yes, audience, I don't know if anyone would know how to dance to this one. Does this count as a novelty record? Did she ever record a proper song with proper singing?

    Ian Dury and the Blockheads, another big band winding down, but this isn't too bad and probably deserved better. Like the way they introduce each other at the start, plus an interesting view of the studio as the cameraman stalks around Ian.

    Village People were truncated in the late edition anyway.

    Judas Priest with If ver Kids are United - oh, wait, it's not that one. Maybe it was a tribute to the chocolate biscuit? Rob looking very cocky here.

    David Bowie mentions he has a message from the Action Man, does this mean he had one of those with the string in the back you could pull and get it to say things? I only had the one with the eagle eyes.

    Bizarrely, the audience we see as The Beat play us out is last week's, and one of the pogoing boys definitely does do a Nazi salute, it wasn't a case of being mistaken for a wave. Great choice, Mr Producer.

    1. There is lots more to come from our pogoing friends over the next few shows, including one of them pogoing into Francis Rossi's microphone, and pushing it into his face as he is singing 'What Your Proposing'.

    2. We probably didn't get the intro to The Barracudas' single because (a) it was an advert for an American car, the Plymouth Barracuda Fastback, and the Beeb didn't like adverts at the time and (b) imagine this bunch trying to mime it anyway!

    3. We probably didn't get the intro to The Barracudas' single because (a) it was an advert for an American car, the Plymouth Barracuda Fastback, and the Beeb didn't like adverts at the time and (b) imagine this bunch trying to mime it anyway!

    4. Yes, that was definitely a Nazi salute over the end credits. Last week, my focus was on what one of the lads was saluting behind Wright and Cliff when they were saying goodbye, which was a bit more ambiguous.

    5. I thought The Selector track was catchy enough. Dury though totally bored me rigid, it didn't have the energy of the other new wavy songs let alone much of a hook.

  8. The Barracudas: a Poundland Ramones, formed at a Beach Boys Fan Club convention. Enough said.

    The Selecter's main problem was their lack of ability to match their socially conscious lyrics with memorable tunes - and by this time, the band had shed 2 members, as is evident from this performance. Even Mike Berry's near-guest appearance on stage could not reverse their decline. After one more non-chart single and a poorly performing second album, they would disband in early '82.

    Another band well on the wane was The Skids, with probably their worst single to date. Gary Numan would continue to score Top 10 hits until mid-1982, but he was already showing signs of predictability as a songwriter.

    Meanwhile, Sir Elton followed up the unremarkable 'Little Jeannie' with a polished but somewhat uninspired offering co-written by Tom Robinson - but both musicians would, happily, regain their form in 1982/83 with 'Blue Eyes' and 'War Baby' respectively.

    The late Sue Wilkinson did make a few records as a conventional singer: check out the classy 'Time 'N' Tide', which is on YT.

    All in all, an uninteresting episode this week.

    Rating: 5/10.

    1. I checked out Time 'n' Tide, and she sounds like a breathy Lynsey de Paul on it. No bad thing, of course.

      I also checked out her "rude" version of Hustler and felt the same as when I heard the uncensored version of Eminem's My Name Is. Sue was an unsung pioneer of the radio edit.

  9. Re:the Barracudas. The intro reminded me of something Mark and Lard would have recorded under the guise of the Shirehorses!

  10. Numan's 'I Die:You Die' wasn't actually included on the original Telekon LP, and like the previous We Are Glass, was advertised as such and so was snapped up by the fans the moment it came out, making chart-life short n snappy.

  11. A decidedly lacklustre show, full of songs outside the Top 30 that, in many cases, failed to get there. PP and BA's tiresome, forced banter also grated. For some reason, the BBC at this time seemed very taken with BA, and were determined to shove him down viewers' throats as some kind of "personality." Alas, he is neither as funny nor as clever as he obviously thinks he is.

    The Barracudas at least got things off to an energetic, if badly mimed, start. Just a shame for them that summer was nearly over by this point, which probably didn't help the song's chart longevity. I Die You Die is another Numan hit I have never heard before, and it does have a good sound even if Numan is breaking no new ground with it. The video definitely sounded distorted, though.

    As Julie mentions above, The Selecter really did struggle to find decent tunes, and this song is no exception. Pauline's decision to channel Margaret Thatcher's dress sense for this performance probably didn't help their cause either! As far as this viewer is concerned, they won't be missed - I wonder what Mike Berry made of them as he waited for his turn? I actually quite liked the Skids' offering, mainly for Stuart Adamson's very Big Countryesque guitar flourishes, though Jobson's rather creepy brylcreemed look probably helped to put off record buyers.

    Someone else looking creepy was Ian Dury, seemingly modelling himself on The Joker. I've never heard this before, and it was quite a diverting performance, from the introductions at the start to the 360 degree camera shot. The song itself wasn't a patch on Dury's earlier hits, though. Elton's effort was also new to me, but so dull was it that it's already disappeared from my memory - I think it's no coincidence that his slump in creativity at this time occurred while his partnership with Bernie Taupin was largely "on ice" - it wasn't until they resumed full collaboration on 1983's Too Low For Zero album that Elton would really get his mojo back.

    Judas Priest, despite their attempts to be anthemic, fitted the overall mood of the show by also producing a forgettable effort. At least there was still an all-time classic at number 1 to lift the mood, but overall this was far from representing the best of 1980.

  12. B.A. - Like your singles but your as funny as a wet trump.

  13. hosts: as far as double acts go, PP & BA actually make cannon & ball seem side-splittingly hilarious. one has to wonder: a: how much say the DJ half gets to say with regard to having his particular pop star as a partner for the show (my feeling was that PP was lumbered with his "choice" but dealt with it as gamely as ever); b: how much of it was scripted or at least rehearsed before being filmed; c: how much this car-crash panto influenced the producer to drop what was always a disaster-inviting format in the first place?

    barracudas: another one i remember being played relentlessly on the radio at the time, but all i remember about the actual recording was the ad-spoof intro where some american voiceover guy kept having to be admonished by someone else for mispronouncing the name of the band as "the bacarudas". which might have been mildly amusing the first time i heard it, but downright tedious by the twentieth. and which was then followed by some instantly forgettable thrashing noise. yes BA, you showed us all your razor-sharp wit by parodying the (unheard) intro, but doing exactly the same thing afterwards was neither smart or funny (and what exactly is that bizarre accent meant to be, anyway?). as far as the band performance goes, it all seemed a bit odd with the manic punks hurling themselves about in front of them, contrasted by the statue-like stillness of the normal-looking types behind (although someone did dare to actually slightly move one of their feet)

    gary numan: i still quite like this, but then as now i think of it as "we are glass" part 2, only not as good. as far as the video goes, it's not advisable for gary to be shot in this manner as his pockmarked face becomes alarmingly evident. also it can be seen that his expanding forehead problem (that eventually led to that thing he now keeps on his head) has already begun...

    selecter: no worse than their hit singles, although it sounded alarmingly like pub rock at times. i did like the stop-start motion of the guitarist and bassist, and the fact that the audience seemed to genuinely enjoy dancing along to it. did anyone else notice the woman at the front almost knock the keyboard player's mic over in her enthusiasm to bounce up and down, before steadying it in a rather embarrassed manner?

    skids: the musical template had now been set with muted sequenced synthetic noises punctuated by bursts of bagpipe/big country guitar. this was probably their best effort in my view, although as ever i didn't feel comfortable with the input of minors, which just makes me think brian and michael or the ramblers. also i didn't know that richard jobson had been ousted from the band at that point and been replaced by max von sydow. having caused some controversy with the nazi imagery of their last album, it seems that jobson is still not over that particular infatuation with his "i'm sitting outside a cafe on the alexanderplatz in berlin in 1938 watching the stormtroopers marching past" look...

    reg: if you can't say anything nice, etc etc...

    1. The Numan one has some atmosphere that carries it. And The Barracudas are just fun, the performance is just part of that for me. Maybe they don't stand loads of repeat listening, I don't know, but much popular music is simply about enjoying it while the pleasure lasts, and that's not always a bad thing.

  14. 2-parter alert!

    sue wilkinson: i've just realised that the guy on keyboards is the bastard love child of brian eno and jimmy s*vile! worth watching only because of sue's white spandex pants, but i can't help wondering if i were a lady wearing such a garment so figure-hugging and lightly-coloured, that i might be a tad concerned about "seepage"...

    ian d(r)ury/blockheads: hardly their finest moment (in fact i have no recollection of this whatsoever), however they're always good to watch. but rhythm & blues legend wilko johnson in the band? no! NO! it just doesn't work! wilko needs to be the centre of attention - not part of a large ensemble of offbeat characters. the same thing happened with darts at the time when mud's effeminate guitarist hooked up with them. like others i liked the 360 degree camera shot (where we glimpsed PP being "fed" his next intro cue). did the producer deliberately follow this up with the village people (that's VILLAGE people, not village PEOPLE, peter!) as some kind of joke?

    priest: not that different from the preceding village people, inasmuch as the verses are in a minor key before the choruses modulate to the same major key (think sad/happy). and also with at least one of the band members being somewhat fond of wearing leather. but probably (ironically) different in that priest's singer was actually gay whilst the village people equivalent was probably actually straight. i remember this rip-off of "we will rock you" being soundly denounced by my metal-loving chums as a commercial cop out at the time, and as such it deservedly flopped. i don't know if the drummer was a stand-in or what, but like wilko in the blockheads he looks incongruous to put it mildly. and rob halford has now been shorn but he still can't shake off the tim brooke-taylor associations (he finally managed that only through extreme methods of shaving his head, growing a goatee and wearing black eyeliner). look out for the moment where guitarist kk downing gets so carried away with posing that he forgets he's supposed to mime some backing vocals in a mic until it's too late, and has to surrupticiously creep back across stage to atone for his error!

  15. Never mind Pop Gold, I hope some of you have been tuning in to BBC Four's Rock 'n' Roll America series, it was excellent, with some fine interviews. Ben E. King's last I suspect, and Jerry Lee Lewis actually answered the questions properly for a change. OK, he was barely intelligible, and they had to put subtitles on him for the last episode, but at least he put in the effort. Check it out on iPlayer if you missed it, if only to see Chubby Checker's "hair".

    1. Yes it was good although as usual they were trying to squeeze too much in, it should have been a 6 part series. And a shame they left out so many rock and roll innovators - Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran, John D Loudermilk, Johnny Cash and Gene Vincent.

  16. I thought this was a good episode until Dury-Village People-Judas Priest.

    Annoying to see The Gap Band still in the Top 10.

    The crowd at the end still up to their antics of waving so that they think they can see themselves on camera easier when it airs.

  17. no one seems to picked up on this so far, but was BA robertson's (uncensored) "i wouldn't want to live in their village" comment with regard to the village people any less homophobic/prejudiced/uncomplementary than roger daltrey's?

    1. I noticed BA's Village People comment, but unlike Daltrey it's hard to be certain whether the subtext is homophobic - if one was to be charitable, he could have just meant he wouldn't want to live in a village where people dressed like that! One thing is for sure, I wouldn't want to live anywhere near BA Robertson...

  18. also just to say: that shot at the top makes ian d(r)ury look like he's got a pair of animal ears! maybe it was also the inspiration for the "i'm the firestarter, vicious firestarter" guy?

  19. Does any 1 have the 4 and 11 sept editions

    1. The 11th Sep show is on Manorak's Vimeo collection online, but regarding 4th Sep line-up, there is not much of interest, and like the 28th Aug show it is likely to have the same reaction of 'boring episode.'

    2. A spoof TOTP with some footage from the 9/7/80 pilot edition has shown up on you tube.
      It does include the full Legs & Co performance from the show, so what you could do Dory is mute the audio on the spoof show, and open up a second you tube page and play the Odyssey track as Legs are dancing......I didn't call myself anorak man (manorak) for nothing you know!
      Go to you tube and search for 'TOTP 26.6.80 spoof'.

    3. Thanks Man Anorak, but I thought that Legs & Co danced this to Odyssey, not Funktionale? Please let me know when you see the original pilot episode back on Utube, as I have now only seen Legs & Co in visual on this spoof show, but not with the Odyssey track as it should be. I'd like to see the whole pilot episode if possible.

    4. Did you see what Gill did at 4.38 on the spoof show?
      And I thought she was such a nice girl!

    5. Yes, I did, but bless her, she was always one of the under-rated girls in the group. The fingers were not offensive to me, considering it was Legs & Co.

    6. i've just watched the latest victorialucas38 totp spoof and it's another winner! i know it's all in jest, but seriously there's a great musical mind at work here as well as a comedy one (i really love the funktionale track - much better than that odyssey crap that legs actually danced to!). i gather most of the clips are from the "technicians pilot" episode, but surely not the brilliant "android mongoloid" skit? also, did PP & BA actually present this as well as the one above?

    7. Yes Wilberforce, PP and BA also hosted the pilot edition, and what BA really says as he introduces Legs & Co. is 'It's not much of a body but they can use it up and wear it out any time they like'.

    8. Interesting to see the pilot show footage even though it is in the form of a spoof. I wonder if that skinhead band will mind being revamped as gay?

    9. Excellent spoof! Thanks for the heads up, Manorak. Seeing more of the stagehands' footage felt like panning for gold and finding a big nugget.

      Beardy Boy in Saxon really went for it and deserved far more to be ‘leader’ instead of the speccy librarian type. Fair play to all the lads in the ‘supergroup’ as they did at least give it a go collectively, unlike the stand-in for Phil Lynott, who probably got the gig as he had dark hair and a 'tache. Great to finally see some of the Leggers' Odyssey routine, especially Patti's 'half moon' in that outfit!

  20. what a coincidence manorak: a friend sent me a "talking cat" video last week, so i've just this morning replied and in return i thought i'd give him a link to the jimmy s*vile 1973 totp that i've just watched again for the first time in ages!

  21. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.... BAd! (sic) I never stopped cringing...

    The hand bite looked real and unrehearsed - Peter Powell appeared most put out.

    Having just checked my singles, I bought the Skids 'Circus Games', but don't remember it all...

    Surprised to see Wilco Johnson on the Dury performance.

    Hard to believe all of Legs and Co on holiday the same week - they've done it often enough without all of them. The beginning of the end perhaps...

    1. Wasn't there at least one other time during these re-runs when Legs & Co were all 'on holiday'? Sounds like a euphemism for something, maybe contractual, they didn't want to tell us about.

    2. Legs and Co had just had 8 weeks off, couldn't they have taken their holidays then?

    3. I don't think B.A. bit Pete's hand, I think he stuck his tongue out and licked his palm when Pete tried to shut him up.

    4. Regarding Bama's point: if you are on a payroll by the BBC, then you still get paid annual leave (holiday) at the dates of your choosing. A TOTP strike in June and July mean that they would have been paid normal pay as if they had been performing for 8 weeks on TOTP during that strike.

      So it makes sense that the Legs ladies take other dates as holiday if they are getting paid the full 8 weeks for June and July anyway. Anyone would do the same. Simple HR stuff really.

    5. Dory, didn't know you were an arbitrator for the dancers union. Perhaps they should dance to United We Stand next week :).

      But sometimes we get two Legs routines, so presumably they are on overtime then?

    6. the fact that legs and co get paid for 8 week's worth of doing nothing and then get another week's holiday almost immediately afterwards seems ludicrous in the "zero hours contract" age! not that zero hour contracts are any less ludicrous, but as ever it seems that things swing from one extreme to the other with nary a happy medium achieved...

  22. Ah, B.A. Robertson, should be an entertaining co-host, I thought. Turned out he was a one-trick pony who quickly ran out of steam.

    Talking of one-trick ponies, the Baccarudas* gave us what I thought was one of the best singles of the year but, if you listen to their other material, they clearly lacked the songwriting muscle to follow it up. The count-in made me think "ooh, live!" but disappointingly it wasn't, and with a jarring edit towards the end. It was actually one of the first records I bought, from a clearance bin in a department store. My music-buying habits never really changed from thereon...

    Gary Numan with some nice distorted wet sock film sound. It's also a different mix to the single version and with the second jarring edit of the show, giving it a false ending.

    The Selecter may have had their last hit at this time but they carried on - I saw them play at a local dive back in the early '90s but it wasn't the orginal line-up and let's just say they were under-rehearsed. Last time I saw Pauline Black was at the Kaleidoscope Music Event in Stourbridge last year, and she looked pretty much the same as she appeared here in 1980!

    The Skids had by this time teamed up with Bill Nelson who gave them all that futuristic synth backing stuff. Some really crap direction on this show - apart from the aforementioned views of the other stages and PP 'off-camera', this performance gave us a long view of a bearded, headphone-wearing guy with a handheld camera resting on the edge of the stage prior to revealing why he was there: various shots from behind the drummer, including one of a bass drum pedal with no beater!

    The best thing about this Ian Dury single was the band introducing themselves at the start, particularly Wilko's laconic offering!

    "I'm glad I don't live in their village" - presumably subtle enough to be left in.

    And then Judas Priest with Mr. Handheld Camera behind the drummer again, this time giving us a close-up of an undersized snare drum pad.

    * - I discovered only recently that the old radio ad at the start of this record is in fact edited. The full version can be heard here:

  23. Well this was a soup of mixed emotions. On the one hand it featured two of my favourite singles of that time Summer Fun and The Whisper but on the other it was co-hosted by a complete twat

    I now record the shows and fast forwarding though the coming up bit because I really dislike them.

    As I said I really liked the Barracudas' single and bought it and still have it with the free surfing stickers intact. This was a lacklustre performance though and it's easy to see why people would be put off buying it especially as they edited out the spoof ad intro.

    PS: If you love spoof American 1950s ads check out these by Fred May and others. Danny Baker used to play them on the radio:

    I can't believe this Gary Numan single got so high in the chart, it's nothing special ad the shadowy video merely highlights his bad skin and receeding hairline.

    The Selector moved from Missing Words to a Whisper. Well I suppose it's a step in the right direction. I really liked this at the time and thought it deserved to be a bigger hit.

    Mike Berry doesn't get better with repeated hearings but it's harmless enough I suppose.

    Now I liked the Skids earlier singles but this lacked something for me and Mr Jobson really looks like an obnoxious prick here although it's always great to see the brilliant Stuart Adamson and is that Jeanette Winterson on the drums?

    How Elton can sing about Sartorial Eloquence while wearing that hideous get up is beyond me but I suppose it's a step up from the nasty green leather jacket we saw three weeks ago. This was co-written with Tom Robinson and was one a few songs they wrote together for the 21 at 33 album.

    I can live without seeing The Village People and Sue Wilkinson again.

    I Wanna Be Straight. The first time a band introduced themselves at the start of a record since The Sweet's Ballroom Blitz. This is pretty good although a long way from their big hits. I'm surprised the BBC played this with the drugs reference. Not sure why they are wearing aprons though, is it a tribute to Paul Weller? With his cropped hair Ian Dury looks a bit like The Bill-era Todd Carty.

    Judas Priest and Rob looks a lot better with shorter hair. This should have gone down well on the football terraces with its similar vibe to We Will Rock You but it's somehow slipped into oblivion. The B-side was called Grinder. Oo-er.

    The Top Ten and then Bowie again and playout with The Beat another good single from the time.

  24. Given the appalling presentation on show here, maybe it’s just as well we didn’t get to see the mythical ‘stagehands’ pilot edition, and maybe we can see why Michael Hurll got other guest presenters on first when TOTP got back on air. Annabella Lwin was right. Even my PC hated the show, crashing twice. It did get me wondering how good or bad PP and BA were in the pilot and whether they put any doubts at all in Michael Hurll’s mind about the idea.

    As for the countdown, hardly worth it with six non-mugshot songs on the show, of which only two made it into the 20’s. As for the repeated ’saluting’ at the end, who on Earth decided that was a fitting finale to the show? Bring back the fisheye lens!

    The Barracudas were beached at 37 (beached – geddit?), but their energetic showing was just right as the show’s opener. Such a shame, though, about the idiot miming the vocals. This band played the polytechnic I attended and, despite copious chants for it, they didn’t play “Summer Fun”!

    I wish Peter had used a hammer instead of a mic to hit BA with just before Gary Numan. That was a very bumpy road Gary was driving on, or did he have a flat tyre?

    Funny to see Pauline Black in red rather than black or white, and she looked too gleeful for a song about being jilted. I enjoyed this, though, and bought it at the time. The Selecter had just left 2Tone for main label Chrysalis with less than brilliant results.

    Mike Berry wasn’t the same without his “Romantic” remark to the crowd or a fistful of Blue Ribands.

    Richard Jobson looked like a cross between BA and Jeremy Clarkson, and I’ve grown to despise all three of them. What are circus games anyway? I’ve never seen any games at a circus. And how did the band re-enact that chorus at their gigs?

    How can Elton sing about sartorial eloquence in that hat? The first example of an ex-guest presenter singing in a later show. Maybe he got jealous about Cliff?

    Sue Wilkinson should have worn jodhpurs (steady on) instead of those shiny leggings which showed her large thighs off. Still, I wish they’d shown her thighs more than the keyboard player’s! Terrible camera work as Sue sings into an ‘off’ camera for large chunks of the song and, when she does find the right camera at one stage, they use a soft focus effect and almost immediately cut to the other camera! Talking of cuts, Don Powell had shed a few inches of hair in between slots.

    Great to finally see Wilko Johnson on TOTP (and delighted at his recent recovery), but surely he’s in the wrong band! Was this the first in-band intro in the charts since The Floaters? Very simple bassline work by Norman Watt-Roy compared to his usual frenetic output.

    Steve Wright was close to the truth with his recent remark about Legs & Co. Peter Powell couldn’t have been further away from the target by saying Village People were the next best thing as a replacement. Couldn’t they have borrowed Hot Gossip for a week or, even better, hired Cheery for a “Misty Blue “ style solo?

    As a final remark, what was that Judas Priest song called again?

  25. Thanks to the bespoke 45cat website, I've just discovered B.A. Robertson was responsible for writing a song released as a single by Ronnie Corbett and given a TOTP slot - it was called "Fanny"!

    1. My mistake - B.A. wrote the B-side and not the A-side of Ronnie Corbett's single, though it's rumoured he co-produced it under the pseudonym of The Flying Scotsman.

  26. This was the first one for a long time that I immediately deleted straight after watching it. I really like BA Robertson's hit singles but he was truly awful on this. That plus the array of not particularly inspiring songs killed it for me.

    Admittedly I rather liked the Selecter song, having never heard it before. Even in that atypical outfit, Pauline Black STILL looked cool - she really is an amazing lady.

    I was surprised that we actually got to hear the ridiculously titled Elton song - it wasn't as bad as I was expecting but you can see why it missed the 40!

    As others have said, the intro to the Ian Dury song is the best bit. 'United' I loved when I was a kid (well, it is structured like a children's song in many ways!) but not so much now.

    As for Jobson, he'd usually win the total bellend contest, but on this occasion he actually had some serious competition......