Thursday, 23 July 2015

Top of the Pops and Majors

Olivia Newton John is our glamorous co-host this week alongside the not quite so glamorous Simon Bates, but in any case due to 'problems at the BBC' there's no studio audience for them to interact with (although the canned applause is still there), and indeed there are no bands in the studio either, or any sign or mention of Legs & Co, just repeats and videos.....

Was it something I said?




18-9-80: Presenters: Simon Bates & Olivia Newton-John

(32) XTC – Generals And Majors (video)
A whole year after Making Plans for Nigel, XTC return with another fine Colin Moulding tune but despite Richard Branson's best acting it got no higher than 32.

 (2) RANDY CRAWFORD – One Day I’ll Fly Away ®
This eye-opening performance was a repeat from the DLT/Keegan show from September 4th, and was now at its peak in the charts.

(4) STEVIE WONDER – Masterblaster (Jammin’) (video)
This homage to Bob Marley was the first of two top ten hits for Stevie Wonder in 1980 from his Hotter Than July album. ~ Here's the Xanadu segment BBC4 edited out

 (8) SHEENA EASTON – Modern Girl ®
Now at its peak in the charts.

 (20) NICK STRAKER BAND – A Walk In The Park ®
Another song now at its chart peak. Afterwards, Simon is joined by non other than Jonathan King who has brought something back from America with him ~ a new craze called ............. a Rubik's Cube!

 (21) MADNESS – Baggy Trousers (video)
Here's another of 1980's iconic videos, maybe not for the size of the budget but certainly for Lee Thompson playing saxophone whilst flying through the air! Simon is now joined by yet another special guest, this time it's Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter, who it turns out also has a new single out.....

 (15) BILLY JOEL – It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me (video)
This one went up one place higher to peak at 14. Next stop ~ Uptown Girl...

The Top Ten rundown:
 (10) QUEEN – Another One Bites The Dust (video)
The fourth single from their number one album The Game.

 (9) CLIFF RICHARD – Dreamin’ (clip of TOTP 4-9-80)
Peaked at 8.

 (8) SHEENA EASTON – Modern Girl (clip of TOTP 21-8-80)
Now at its peak.

 (7) DAVID BOWIE – Ashes To Ashes (video)
Former number one with ground breaking video.

 (6) HAZEL O’CONNOR – Eighth Day (clip of TOTP 21-8-80)
Peaked at 5.

 (5) THE JAM – Start (video)
Had been number one for one week.

 (4) STEVIE WONDER – Masterblaster (Jammin’) (video)
Made it to number 2.

 (3) ELVIS PRESLEY – It’s Only Love (clip of Legs & Co TOTP 11-9-80)
At its chart peak and his last top ten hit until A Little Less Conversation.

 (2) RANDY CRAWFORD – One Day I’ll Fly Away (clip of TOTP 4-9-80)
At its peak.

 (1) KELLY MARIE – Feels Like I’m In Love ®
A second and final week at number one for Kelly and her golden hat.

 (10) QUEEN – Another One Bites The Dust (and credits)
Well at least the swirly effects are back this week!


The next edition then is the 25th September 1980 presented by Mike Read and Russ Abbot, but we will have to wait until the 24th September 2015 to see it, because for the next two months its The Proms.

68 comments:

  1. A weird start to the show where Bates mentions the ‘slightly new look to the show due to the small problems we’re having at the BBC’, so it seems that even in late September, and several weeks after the strike, the problems were continuing, but what problems were these? Does anyone know?

    Also, the time spent interviewing ONJ later in the show, and other guests Jonathan King and Linda Carter (Wonder Woman), was making TOTP a chat show rather than a chart show.

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    1. One of those not shown editions was more of a chat show than this was with a host of people from Diana Ross, Bee Gees and some others. This to me was Simon Bates and Olivia really.

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  2. Did anyone notice in the chart rundown, Simon Bates was correct that The Village People were up one place to No.13, but the graphics showed a DOWN arrow.

    My guess is that someone in the graphics department may have been anti-Village People/anti-gay, or it could have been a genuine mistake. But after the ‘watch your backs’ comment by Daltrey in August, my thinking is that others in the background (graphics department) were probably also having a go.

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    1. slimy (mis)pronounces the name of said act - it's VILLAGE people, as in people from a certain place - NOT village PEOPLE, as in village SHOP or village IDIOT!! but as far as i'm concerned he's an ignorant idiot himself anyway (certainly when it comes to pop music), so no surprise really...

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  3. Blimey, two long and barren months till the next edition, and yet I can wait for Russ Abbot (was he who Richard Jobson modelled himself on in the last TOTP?).

    Talking of Rubik's Cubes, they had the annual world championship a few days ago and the reigning champion kept his crown by unscrambling the cube in 5.96 seconds!

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    1. I bought a larger version of the cube - called Rubik's Revenge - in a shop in Stow-on-the-Wold in 1989. It was 4 blocks by 4 rather than 3 x 3, and I still have it - never successfully completed it though. I had the Rubik clock faces as well at one point, but those have gone missing...

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    2. We bought one of those lower-cost rip-off cubes (identifiable by the orange being a different shade) in 1981, and I still have it, together with the notes written by my sister (back in those pre-Google dark ages) on how to solve it.

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  4. The reason that the XTC video was so short on the show is because TOTP left out the intro with a close up of all the generals in turn, including Richard Branson, but also the middle chunk of the video that shows Branson having his trousers pulled down by the butler in the second and main indoor scene.

    TOTP only showed the first and third indoor scene of the video, but see the missing middle of the video and the intro in full on Utube, and enjoy the storyline, as the middle scene was too risqué for BBC family viewing showing Branson with his trousers down.

    More controversy in this video at the end of the first indoor scene when a mention in the lyrics that 'World War 3 is drawing near.' This was not however cut from the TOTP edited version.

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    1. There was a doomy undertone to the charts at the time (and I don't mean a stroppy Feargal Sharkey), with both XTC and The Piranhas mentioning World War 3 plus Hazel's Creation apocalypse.

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  5. Nice to see Olivia Newton John in her shorts as guest presenter promoting the premiere of her new movie Xanadu.

    Strange that Olivia said that Xanadu was premiering in Britain in this week of September. This AFTER releasing three tracks from it in May (I’m Alive - ELO), June (Xanadu – ONJ + ELO) and July (All Over The World- ELO). Strange timing indeed.

    Putting the pieces together, it seems to explain why we never saw any of the three videos from Xanadu on TOTP during the summer of 1980 – cos we didn’t get the movie released till September in the UK, and waiting for ONJ herself to come to Britain to release it.

    It could also explain why the TOTP strike occurred just in time for I’m Alive charting in June, and then continuing with Xanadu in charting to No.1 in July, and when the strike finished, August needed Legs & Co to do All Over The World. All three videos were not shown in Britain until after this 18.09.80 guest presenter appearance by Olivia herself on TOTP.

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  6. What no Legs & Co this week? Cor Blimey, the last two shows were Yewtreed, and the week before which was shown on BBC4 was their week off or holiday on 28.08.1980. I stamp my feet in frustration.

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    1. As an afterthought, I think the two absences of Legs & Co on 28th August and now this show of 18th September, could be what Simon Bates referred to at the start of the show as ‘slightly new look to the show due to the small problems we’re having at the BBC’.

      I wonder if Legs & Co were not popular with Michael Hurl and he was possibly trying to lessen their appearances on the show, while others were fighting to keep them very much part of the show, and there was one sort of wrangling behind the scenes? Hmmm.

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    2. I could handle no Legs and co when ONJ is in her short shorts. Double phwooar indeed.
      No apologies for effecting a 1980s sexist persona....

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    3. Well, sadly the Leggers' roles got diluted and they didn't last much longer.

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    4. I think there was some sort of strike at the BBC in the week this show was made, which precluded there being any studio performances, including a Legs dance. I don't think there was any anti-Legs conspiracy going on, but they would only last another year on TOTP and towards the end I don't think they were appearing every week.

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  7. A short clip of Simon and Olivia talking about Xanadu ,followed by a scene from the film of Olivia dancing with Gene Kelly was edited out. Simon then asked Olivia 'What's it like dancing in a skirt?'.

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    1. I wonder if this piece of the show will not be edited out in the late showing tonight. But in any case, do you have the unedited show Manorak, as I would't mind seeing the full interview with Olivia on the show, and of course her clip on this show with the great Gene Kelly.

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    2. I do have it Dory, so if it's not included on the late show, I will upload the missing bit. I won't post the full show, because I'm sure Sheena Easton will be reinstated, and everything else is the same.

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    3. Yes please Manorak, as it was not included on the late show. Do you think you could put the whole unedited show on your brilliant Vimeo site along with the other selected TOTP shows?

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    4. I decided against posting the full show Dory, but the 'Missing Bit' is up now:
      https://vimeo.com/134366483

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    5. Thanks, I guess the BBC edited this bit out last night probably because of the new environment since 2011 of not being able to show clips from Hollywood movies on this TOTP repeats without paying extra, as per the same situation last year with Grease, Saturday Night Fever, etc.

      As this clip also involved Simon Bates asking Olivia about what it was like dancing with Gene Kelly in that skirt, it was still part of the movie clip discussion, and so hence that bit was also chopped last night too from the BBC4 repeat.

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    6. Having looked at the clip, Gene Kelly was 67 when appearing in the Xanadu movie and this duet with Olivia, and his opinion on the whole movie was "the concept was marvelous but it just didn't come off."

      I agree regarding the movie, but in terms of the music, it was brilliant, with contributions from Olivia, Cliff Richard, Gene Kelly and ELO.

      There will be two more releases from this soundtrack, first a duet with Olivia & Cliff in October, and then ELO in November, which we will see on future TOTP shows before the year is finally complete.

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  8. shaky shakerson24 July 2015 at 02:27

    So, the last ToTP for a good ole while and wouldn't you know it because of some undefined 'problem' at the BBC there is next to nothing to discuss/criticise/laugh at. No audience, no studio performances, no Leggers, nothing. Oh well, lets see if we can make the most of it.

    Our hosts tonight are Simon Bates and - making a late appearance - the delectable Olivia Newton John.

    Up first, XTC and Generals & Majors. This one doesn't ring any bells, musically or visually. I presume, going by the video, that it was a vicious attack on those in higher office who lead our brave boys into battle whilst staying safely away from the front line themselves. Mucho points for the notion - nul points for the execution I'm afraid.

    Randy - Massive Gob - Crawford gets another lengthy outing before the highpoint of the evening, Stevie Wonder. Masterblaster remains one of my fave Wonder songs, and this live outing was a pure delight for me. Well done, sir - well done.

    Simes then regales ONJ with a potted history of Sheena Easton leading into a repeat of Modern Girl before Simes gives us the latest pop 'news' with The Police's new album being bracketed with tours by - contain your excitement - The Dooleys and Cliff Richard!!

    For the second week running the first 'third' of the chart rundown overstays its welcome and includes number 20, meaning the middle third is actually only 9/30ths. Those of you with a mathematical bent or suffering from OCD will be furious I know. Maybe they did it so they could link smoothly into playing the number 20 -Nick Straker.

    Of course they could have done it properly and stopped at number 21, but that would have meant playing the song that was at number 21. Which would have been madness. Oh wait. . . .

    Madness at 21 with the superb Baggy Trousers vid. I have to say - I still like this and its not hard to see why they are still a draw 35 years later.

    More boring chat - this time with Wonder Woman sans Lasso Of Truth. Then Billy Joel. Then more boring chat with ONJ and I am slowly losing the will to live.

    Top ten countdown featuring the rarely seen Queen vid for Another One Bites The Dust which raises a question. Why wasn't this shown? Last week we played out with them. This week we play out with them. Next week ( sorry, in late September) they are the subject of The Leggers performance and then it's down the charts they go. Why couldn't we have seen the vid instead of, oh I don't know, Randy Big Gob, Nick Bloody Straker, or Billy Sodding Joel for the second/third/second time ???

    Anyway. Scores. 5 for the show thanks to Stevie and Madness. 5 for Simon. ONJ fails to trouble the scorers because to be honest she was more of a persistent guest than a co-host.
    Summer break ahoy!. See you after the proms. I'm not a robot.

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    1. Wonder Woman's magic lariat would have come in very handy over the past couple of years' allegations. I wonder if Lynda still has it?

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    2. The clip of Queen on the top ten countdown was not the video for Another One Bite The Dust, but TOTP instead put images of Play The Game, which was their last previous chart offering.

      They still didn't have the Dust video the following week for its only showing on TOTP, where they used Legs & Co to dance to this. Yes Legs & Co dancing to Queen!

      The official video did not become available until after the song left the charts would you believe.
      Bad timing of the release of this song if you ask me.

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    3. i am a robot, and i have worked out a way of ticking the box that says "i am not a robot". or if they put up pictures of various things then i am able to pick out the ones of salad or whatever

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    4. Hello Robot. Are you Brian from Confused.com? Bet your fave song is Kraftwerk's We are The Robots.

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    5. yes, that is my favourite song, along with "automatic lover". also my favourite film is "forbidden planet", and my favourite tv series are "lost in space" and "metal mickey"

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  9. I was going to make a joke about a Richard Branson lookalike in the XTC video, ha ha I'm so funny, but it turns out it really was Richard Branson. Anyway, the Cold War continues its grip on the pop charts, a seriously catchy whistley little ditty.

    And a thousand Gary Wilmot impersonations are launched by the sight of Randy Crawford here, really getting into the spirit of a pretty, melancholy tune, but leaving the rest of us feeling a bit excluded when she was obviously getting far more out of the lyrics than we had noticed were there.

    I wonder if Stevie Wonder still performs Master Blaster live? And if he does, does he still include the line about peace coming to Zimbabwe? Anyway, from anyone else this would be dismissed as cod reggae, but he gets away with it.

    Sheena Easton, looking a bit of a lemon (or a tangerine?) in the instrumental break, but once you've noticed the pogoing Nazis are now appearing every week, they have become an unwelcome distraction.

    Why is Nick Straker wandering around the park in the dark? The lyrics are unilluminating.

    Madness, well, everyone around at the time remembers this video, they were masters of that medium for most of their career, and Baggy Trousers announced that. There's even a chap hit on the back of the head with a plastic cup, as per the lyrics.

    Billy Joel, was he warming up for a gig as a Butlin's Redcoat? No, he was setting his sights higher.

    Someone who is surely no stranger to Butlin's however was Kelly Marie, here sporting a plastic bowler hat I'd like to think was requisitioned from Swap Shop and covered in sequins.

    And Queen's disco record to end. But Olivia Newton John was up there with Cliff as the best co-host so far, ever the professional, though nobody was interested in her movie in September (why not release it in summer?).

    The appearance of Jonathan King means if the repeats continue we'll be seeing his weekly contributions later on, you have to assume. Cue the Not the Nine O'Clock News sketch about Rubik's Cubes.

    Lynda Carter found that people were more interested in Wonder Woman than her singing career, maybe because she didn't perform a duet with a brain in a jar. She even had an episode of WW where she became a singer, so she was serious about it.

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    1. I remember Gary Wilmot's impersonations of Randy Crawford back in the 80s! Whether he was on 'Copy Cats', 'We Love TV' or 'Tarby and Friends', he'd launch into 'One Day I'll Fly Away' in character as Randy! She was as important to his career as Corrie's Mavis Riley was to Les Dennis! "Well, I don't really know!"

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    2. Funny there should be mentions of Gary Wilmot on this thread. I subscribe to the TV Cream website (you'd probably all guessed that anyway) and, this week, one of their clip links has Gary impersonating Floella Benjamin, decades before she became a baroness!

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    3. Yes, I checked out Gary on that Copy Cats episode as recommended by TVC, though his Floella wasn't as good as his Randy (or his Norman Wisdom). Bobby Davro's Michael Sundin wasn't too bad, though (was there ever a more 80s sentence?).

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  10. Incidentally, who keeps spelling Shalamar's name wrong in the chart rundown? Was there a spell checker's strike on too?

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    1. originally a faceless disco aggregation, shalamar were apparently named after a brand of perfume that was popular at the time (shalimar) in order to convey in image of sexiness and class. however to avoid potential litigation through using a trademarked name, they had to change the spelling slightly. that probably explains the chart rundown error, as the scent was likely far better known than the act at that point. in a similar circumstance the chuck berry song "maybellene" was named after the cosmetics company and is also spelt slightly differently for the same reasons, although the etymology for that choice is quite different: the song was be called "ida may" but berry's record label boss didn't care for that. then by sheer chance someone spotted a box of maybelline product hanging around the recording studio, and as they say the rest is history...

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  11. Just checked the BBC Genome and it says Lynda Carter's singing special was broadcast here on Monday the 21st of January, right after Blake's 7, so it had been a good few months ago. Special guests Kenny Rogers and Leo Sayer! There's a poor quality clip of the first five minutes on YouTube, which she introduces as WW.

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  12. Last year on the 13/12/79 edition a very clever edit was done by a poster on here by the name of 'drykid' and he put back the edited out Barron Knights song into the BBC4 version. It was very well done and I always go for that version whenever I want to re-watch it.He did say if there were any other missing bits to edit in as long as they existed he would give it a go.Maybe he could do that with this edition using manoraks missing footage? Here's a link to his 13/12/79 version and a big shout out to him if he's reading this? http://www.4shared.com/video/Tg9jJhqPce/TOTP_13-12-79_full.html

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  13. I won't see this edition till Sunday, but a few more comments anyway.

    More Police album news? Not again! We had that from Richard Skinner last time out!

    The Dooleys were about to promote flop single "In A Riddle" - courtesy of the 45 cat website, here's the single cover, sadly relegating Tasty Dooley to the back...and look what Jim's done to his hair!

    http://www.45cat.com/record/gt283

    Lynda Carter released at least three singles - her final one, released at this period in time, was on the Motown label!

    Speaking of Motown, I heard Stevie Wonder's "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" on the radio today and always wondered who sang the first few lines as it obviously wasn't Stevie. Turns out the vocalist is Jim Gilstrap of "Swing Your Daddy " fame.

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    1. There are two vocalists who sing the opening lines of You Are The Sunshine Of My life - Jim Gilstrap and Gloria Barley.

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    2. Sorry, I meant to say the male vocal part at the start of the song. Intriguingly, I've read elsewhere that the female response is sung by Lani Groves who, like Jim, was in Stevie Wonder's backing group Wonderlove.

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  15. An observation Re: Jonathan King. I assume as he did the crime/time he is free to appear on the beeb. Is DLT still on Yewtree death row then? One rule for one if not etc...

    Linda Carter about to "delight" Birminghayyym and Nottinghayyym.

    The drone in the background when the presenter is talking?? Whats that? It has happened the last few weeks I have noticed.

    (I dont mean BA, Daltrey etc arf arf)

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    1. That's a good question - if they can show Mr King then why not DLT as his suspended sentence is now over. I think the answer is JK has better lawyers than DLT.

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    2. i think it more likely the reason they show mr king and not mr travis is because the former did time fror his crimes at least a decade ago now, whilst the latter has (presumably) only just finshed his suspended sentence. as anyone who tries getting a job after they leave prison is likely to know, the reality is that it takes a lot more time to be be pardoned by joe public than by the legal system. not that i condone the beeb's decision - i agree that he's now a free man, we should be able to watch his shows from now on!

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    3. The BBC (in the shape of the then DG, no less), did promise JK that they would not edit out his appearances in the repeats, much as I am sure that they would like to.

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    4. DLT has another year of his suspended sentence left I think, he should be done by October next year.

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  16. I don't think I saw many of the Top of The Pops from this period as I was starting college and had an evening job in my local supermarket which meant that I didn't get home until 9pm four nights a week. We had no video recorder back then so this is the first time I am seeing these shows which is probably why I never realised how bad they were.

    I have to say that this show was a huge step back. So much for the revamped look this looks like an example of an Eastern bloc county presenting pop for the kids with Uncle Simon. Or a cheesy 70s episode of The Sonny and Cher show with Simon and ONJ and Lynda Carter reading out scripted ad libs.

    I realise there was obviously some technical issue that meant the show couldn't be the same as usual but this was very flat and plodded along until the bitter end.

    I bought quite a few of the XTC singles around this point including this one. They never really received the recognition they deserved but did some great songs and the video is quite funny if only we could see the whole thing.

    I must admit I got very bored with this Randy Crawford song at the time and secretly wished she would fly away but it seems quite pleasant now. I note there is no audience present which must be due to one of the technical issues at the time.

    So Stevie finally made a video for a song that was a highlight of the Hotter Than July album which was a return to form after the disastrous Secret life Of Plants project.

    Oh no it's Sheena who was certainly not a punk rocker but still got hijacked by the pogo-ing twerps. But they are a welcome distraction from her dodgy dancing,

    Hot news from Mr Knitting Pattern - the Dooleys and Cliff are touring. Wow we can't wait. Then the first part of the chart and non mover Nick Straker repeated from two weeks ago. So not such a walk in the park then, actually quite hard to get higher than 20 in the chart.

    And then quelle surprise Johnathan King. He and Simon look like terrible twins sharing the first stupid thoughts that enter their silly heads. Simon tells Johnathan to watch out for the new Jeff Wayne single. Johnathan starts playing with his Rubik's cube. A nation nods off.

    The Chart part 2 and then brilliant Madness on video which makes up for some of what has gone before.

    Then it goes all flat again with Lynda Carter boring the pants off everyone. Okay she's a good singer, she's signed to Motown and her musical director was the great Johnny Harris who used to liven up Lulu's Saturday night TV shows in 1969, but this belongs on The Two Ronnies or Brucie's Big Night, not on the nation's number one pop show.

    That boring Billy Joel vid again, the Top Ten and Kellie Effing Marie again playing to an empty room which says it all.

    I wish we had seen XTC and Madness in the flesh then this might have been a pretty good show but as it is it's barley watchable.

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    1. I would imagine the Randy performance had been recorded ahead of the bulk of the 4th September show, hence the lack of audience.

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  17. Stevie Wonder's Secret Life of Plants double (!) album is the only CD of his I have in my collection. The film was so weird I picked it up on a whim as a souvenir.

    The strike that afflicted this episode was apparently due to an argument over a door on the Les Dawson show. And for this we had TOTP at half strength?!

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    1. "send one your love" (a failed single) from the "secret life of plants" album is one of stevie's best efforts in my opinion - far superior to the likes of "happy birthday" and "masterblaster"

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    2. Oh I'd forgotten that Send One Your Love was on that album but the rest was a bit weird and nothing he ever did after 1976 could match Songs In The Key of Life. In fact there was a 3 year + gap after that before the Sectet Life of Plants album which says it all really.

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    3. perhaps the reason that stevie ran out of steam was that even though "songs in the key of life" was a double album, he still felt the need to indulge the listener with an additional EP called "a something's extra"...?

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  18. Another week, another strike-affected TOTP. Despite the limitations imposed on the show by the behind-the-scenes problems, I actually quite enjoyed this one. Although the mere sight of Master Bates makes my skin crawl, he did a very professional job on this occasion, and conducted the interviews (of which, like the week before, there were far too many) smoothly enough. ONJ was a perky sidekick, but the appearances of JK and Wonder Woman just felt gratuitous, though I never knew until watching this show that Ms Carter was a singer. I don't think JK actually mentioned that it was called a Rubik's cube, presumably because the Beeb would have regarded that as advertising...

    The XTC video was quite fun, and like THX I thought "that looks like Richard Branson," without actually believing that it was him! I was less keen on the song itself, though, and I have never been that keen on Masterblaster, not least because the "peace has come to Zimbabwe" line really grates - it would be interesting to know if Stevie (who I think was already past his best in 1980) regrets that lyric now. At one time I really disliked Baggy Trousers, but it has grown on me a lot recently, and is perhaps the most archetypal Madness song - at least it serves as something of an antidote to the more negative view of education propagated by Pink Floyd a few months earlier!

    It seems strange to think, after the recent plethora of shows, that we now have 2 months to wait for the next one. I don't know if Angelo still has plans for a summer holiday "filler" on the blog, but if not see you all in September...

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    1. Angelo, could you do a summer filler with this Olivia Newton John TV Special from 1980, as it was very much part of the summer of 1980, and included on her show Cliff Richard, Elton John, one of the Bee Gees brothers. It would be good to get the regular bloggers reviewing these major acts of the year, who charted several times during the summer.

      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x10kqm9_hollywood-nights-olivia-newton-john-elton-john-andy-gibb-gene-kelly-cliff-richard-tina-turner_music

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    2. I've got something lined up for the summer Dory ~ watch this space ;-)

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  19. host: when slimy first started presenting totp i thought the man wasn't actually as bad as i had dreaded. but oh dear, now he's got his feet under the table the smugness is starting to show through, in this case magnified via the lack of a studio audience. it's so obvious he's interviewing his guests on auto pilot and not actually caring a jot about their responses, as all he's interested in is the sound of his own voice. at one point there were two oleaginous middle-aged men wearing wire framed glasses, and had i an opportunity to punch just one of them in the face i'm not sure i would be able to decide which one. and if i had to choose which one would get sent down for being a paedophile, i think slimy would only be saved on the basis that all shows with him as presenter would also be pulled and thus deny us more of our viewing pleasure...

    xtc: it seems funny that andy partridge is seen as the leader (or should i say
    "general" with regard to this track?) of the band, and yet it is "major" moulding who always seems to sing lead on their singles. not one of their better efforts, so hardly deserving of a higher chart placing in my opinion. i immediately recognised (the real) richard branson, but isn't that richard briars playing the doddery old CO with the 'tache?

    randy crawford: strangely enough, as yet no one seems to have noticed the startling similarities to the following act: the beaded plaits, the sightless eyes, the agonised expression, the keening vocal style - is it stevie wonder in drag?

    stevie wonder: when does cod-reggae not be classified as cod-reggae? to me this is just as cod as anything the police or 10cc did, if not more so. apparently stevie's (black american) drummer dennis davies (known for working with bowie in his berlin phase) didn't have a clue as to how to play reggae when requested to, and had to be shown. maybe that embarrassment was the reason he was hiding behind possibly the biggest drumkit i've ever seen (and certainly the biggest cymbal!)

    nick straker band: even if you take away the man's ludicrous bubble perm, nick is to be frank a very ordinary looking guy, not to mention having a very ordinary voice. perhaps two good reasons why they sunk without trace after this? the drummer is intent on playing exactly the same way as on the record, perhaps the reason for his thousand yard stare...?

    madness: classic track, classic video. every time i hear this i can't resist joining in with the "oi!s" when suggs sings "lots of smells and lots of noise". and in the video i really love the bit where suggs is looking up at the airborne lee thompson in a mixture of wonderment and glee

    kelly marie: i have to give her credit where it's due for putting her all into her performance. but it was a bit unfortunate on her part to come on immediately after the fresh-faced beauty that was olivia newton-john. as regard to the other lady guest, i actually watched some "wonder woman" episodes for the first time recently, and although lynda carter is quite engaging as the titular character (as she was here), i'm afraid to say that if you're any older than twelve then you'll probably find it beyond so-bad-it's-good!

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    1. Wilberforce, try watching the whole unedited XTC video here:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCW6Kte2o1A

      You can see the whole intro (which TOTP cut, even in 1980), and also the middle chunk of the video (also cut by TOTP in 1980), showing Richard Branson with his trousers down doing a presentation on the wall to his Majors.

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    2. Colin Moulding wrote and sang lead on XTC's early hits such as 'Making Plans For Nigel' and 'Generals & Majors', but it was Andy Partridge who composed and vocalised their later, bigger hits such as 'Sgt Rock', 'Senses Working Overtime' and the US Modern Rock No.1 'Mayor of Simpleton'.

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  20. Didn't like the XTC that much, Senses Working Overtime is their best I think, unfortunately I don't believe it got much of a video.

    I don't actually mind the Bates/Olivia partnership on this. His smooth style and her softly spoken voice work ok together. Jonathan King of course is annoying like he always is.

    A couple of cute moments with Olivia when she opens her eyes up into a stare before introducing Stevie Wonder and her bobbing her head as the No1 finishes.

    Lots of advertising (or news if you want) as The Police, The Dooleys, Cliff Richard and Jeff Wayne all get some extra promotion for some unknown reason.

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  21. Just spotted that BBC2 is showing this lunchtime at 12.10-12.45 "Gene Kelly: Talking Pictures".

    Perfect timing with the edited clip from TOTP this week of the Olivia/Simon Bates clip talking about her dancing with the great Gene Kelly in Xanadu and how nervous she was.

    Thanks again to Manorak for bringing this missing clip of this weeks TOTP to our attention, and putting it up on his Vimeo site.

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  22. Didn't Jonathan King start a regular slot in TOTP where he showed tracks from the American charts? I think this spawned a spin off show called (something like) Entertainment USA

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    1. yes, in the summer of 1981 to my recollection - thanks to that, hall and oates grabbed themselves a hit with the classic "i can't go for that (no can do)", which probably wouldn't have happened otherwise. other beneficiaries of this "showcase" included j geils band (with "centrefold") and foreigner (with "waiting for a girl like you")

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    2. At least we can rest assured we won't be getting repeats of No Limits. (Sorry Jenny Powell).

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    3. No limits?? Blimey, yes I do remember that. Late Eighties I believe. Jenny Powell a little cockney sparra....who went on to have elocution lessons so she could work on such delights as wheel of fortune ( I think).
      She had a sidekick, some peroxided early version of a chav. I wonder what happened to him?
      I seem to remember when JK appeared on the show, he was treated as some kind of all knowing God.

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  23. I just watched this episode and the missing bit is very well edited out and if I didn't know about it I wouldn't have even noticed it! Having watched the clip on manoraks site to be fair we aren't really missing a lot with a little chat about wearing a skirt whilst dancing and of course the film clip itself.I can live with my BBC4 version.Still shame the edits have to made but I can't blame the BBC for saving themselves some money by removing it.It does beg the question what we are going to miss for future episodes that feature film clips.Fame by Irene Cara springs to mind as didn't this get to number one and the video was straight out of the film? The memory may cheat though.

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    1. Let's hope it might not count if the video is edited into a montage of movie clips, because if that's not the case we're not going to get a load of videos of theme songs.

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  24. No new studio performances, no audience and lots of padding, so not much to see really. Olivia was engaging, JK was... well... JK and Lynda Carter... who??? Oh yes, she was Wonder Woman wasn't she. That series really made an impression on me - not. And Simes seemed to be much more comfortable in this environment than the usual TOTP setup of just announcing acts while being surrounded by unknown teenage girls.

    New videos from XTC and Madness saved the day - of course, the former band's record company boss was not a well-known public figure back then so nobody batted an eyelid.

    At least we'll be back on track in September. I complained last year that I had been diddled out of my summer hols, but this year is ridiculous!

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  25. If that’s the new look TOTP as Simes puts it, take me back to the Robin Nash version any day. At least we didn’t have any pogoing Nazi saluting scum this time.

    Weird that we saw way more of Olivia Newton-John in this edition than for the whole of her chart topping escapade with “Xanadu” (remember those six seconds?) – both in duration and in the legs department. Wahay! Actually, I taught ONJ did the best guest presentation yet when introducing Steve Wonder. So unfortunate to have him right next to the ‘gorgeous’ shut-eye Randy Crawford for both the preview and show clips.

    Fair play to Richard Branson for joining in the XTC video. I enjoyed that song and wish Simes’s top 20 prediction had come off.

    Simes gave a great potted history of Sheena but then got her next single’s title wrong – it was “One Man Woman”, so Simes gave us one one too many.

    How could Ottawan be the biggest climber when not the highest top 30 new entry? Well, Simes was also quoting top 75 status in the chart rundown. Ottawan has shot from 66 to 28.

    A rubbish rundown shot for Splodgenessabounds in which they lost the final “S” and about 95% of their band membership. I see non-movers are now denoted by an arrows going down and up. The double arrow had previously and very briefly been used in the Hurll era to denote the number one (it was certainly used for the first chart-topping week of “Ashes To Ashes”).

    So, what exactly was that irritating sound? The Rubik’s Cube, Jonathan King or Batesy? And were they using a crane to lift Madness’s Lee Thompson off the ground and swing him all over the place?

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    1. no arthur - lee had learned from mystic merlin how to levitate of his own accord!

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