Monday, 17 August 2015

Could You Be Top of the Pops?

Here is the third of Stephen Murphy's resurrected editions of Top of the Pops 1980, this time the 19th of June.....

Bob hears that MASH is no longer number one
Top of the Pops 19th June 1980
Hosted by Tommy Vance
(22)  SPLODGENESSABOUNDS - Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps Please
Is this week's chart rundown selection, the band's only top ten hit.
(51) BAD MANNERS - Lip Up Fatty
On its way to becoming their first top 20 hit
(29) UB40 - My Way Of Thinking
The follow-up to Food for Thought, and a second top ten hit.
(28) BA ROBERTSON - To Be Or Not To Be
This was to be BA's final top ten hit
(26) SURFACE NOISE ~ The Scratch
The first of this week's Legs & Co routines.
(12) JUDAS PRIEST - Breaking The Law
Already at its peak in the charts.
The second single from the movie and this one was heading for the top.
(4) ROBERTA FLACK & DONNY HATHAWAY - Back Together Again
The second of this week's Legs routines, the song would peak at number 3.
(40) SAXON - 747 (Strangers in the Night)
This became the band's second biggest hit when it made it to 13 in the charts.
(53) PAUL MCCARTNEY ~ Waterfalls
The follow-up to Coming Up, and another top ten hit for Paul.
(6) KORGIS - Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime
Their one and only top ten hit, which peaked at number 5.
(46) BOB MARLEY ~  Could You Be Loved
His first top ten hit for more than two years, and his final one before his premature death.
(1) DON MCLEAN – Crying
The first of three weeks at number one for Don.
(24) ROD STEWART - If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Want To Be Right)
The third of this week's Legs & Co routines is also the song that plays over the credits, and this one would peak at 23 in the charts.


  1. An interesting line up with some great videos and better than my prediction. I did wonder how Stephen was going to get round the lack of footage for Splodge. I assumed he would overdub 2 Pints over the footage of them doing Two Little Boys but he used it for the chart which works well. But he then overdubs Lip Up Fatty over footage of Bad Manners singing Ne Ne Na Na Na Na Nu Nu bizarrely also works really well but was unnecessary when there is a performance of Lip Up from a few weeks ago (and let's be honest the BBC were bound to have repeated it). Then that great UB40 video which I haven't seen before which has spurred me on to dig out my UB40 albums and play them again.

    I see there's no footage available of to Be Or Not to Be as we're back to more overdubbing but it's no great loss as this wasn't a patch on BA's earlier hits.

    Then the Legs girls getting itchy for The Scratch, the first of three Legs performances. THREE?!! Come on Stephen play the game, three is a bit much and hardly following the rules (wouldn't they have to be on overtime to do three performances which would in turn lead to another strike?). Re the second Legs routine, due to the lack of footage of the late Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack wouldn't the BBC be more likely dig out some old footage of them plus a few photos which they can pan in and out of and run the track over it like they do whenever Diana Ross has a hit. Just a thought.

    Then we have a lot of videos and I do mean a lot (don't tell Dory as some of these are outside the Top 30) which is a shame because in reality some of these acts would have been in the studio (Saxon, Judas Priest and The Korgis certainly).

    Nice to see Xanadu on its way to the top but seriously would they really show ELO's next single (albeit with ONJ) which was only at number 39 in place of I'm Alive was still charting? I'm not sure. And then Don McLean at the top followed by Legs AGAIN accompanying the footage-less If Loving You In Wrong (I don't Want to Be Right).

    I don't want to be right but surely Stephen is breaking his own rules several times here not least with the length of the show. The Radio Times listing indicates that the show was 40 minutes long but this is 45. Naughty but nice.

    1. UB40 made the least impression on me (best part was the sax), compare it to Bob Marley and the greater soul and energy.

      Nice to have The Scratch in full this time.

      To Be or Not To Be and Waterfalls are both memorable melodies of the time for me. Though at the time I would have only have known the McCartney one by name, BA definitely must have had some decent radio play for his hit too though.

      I have seen a video of some performance of To Be or Not To Be in the past.

  2. About half the show seemed to be Saxon! Also, there is a video for To Be or Not to Be, it's on YouTube, albeit it's the one with the rather gay-unfriendly lyrics.

    The Judas Priest video for Breakin' the Law never gets old, with that favourite image of 80s video directors, the bloke whose glasses have shattered with the noise holding his ears.

    I'm beginning to think you could put any music over footage of a Legs & Co routine and it would fit perfectly. Not surprised there's no footage of Donny, considering his untimely demise a year before.

    Waterfalls is a very pretty, sad-eyed song, not sure about the tank top, though, Sir Paul.

    1. Judas Priest were funny with the guitar opening the safe and retrieving their gold record. The track grew on me more as it went on. Saxon rocked more.

      I've always liked Waterfalls. I remember someone saying it was like he was trying to look his younger self in the video and the nostalgic air of the song seems to go with that.

    2. in my opinion "waterfalls" was a real let down after the perky dance-pop of "coming up"

    3. But they are totally different types of song. Waterfalls fits into the nostalgic ballad style that McCartney's voice seems to fit so well.

      Coming Up is a nice melody but I find the vocal production distracting. So I'd probably prefer another perky track like C-Moon to it.

  3. I would have thought that, if this show had been made for real, Splodge would have been in the studio and either Surface Noise or Roberta/Donny confined to the chart rundown. I don't think we would have had artist captions at the end of each performance, either, given that Robin Nash was still in charge at this point.

    Another good line-up, though, once Splodge's irritating noise had finished. I was a bit uncertain about the UB40 track at first, but it got better as it went along and the sax playing was just as good as on Food For Thought (though that remains the superior tune). The Bob Marley track is one of his best, and Saxon weren't bad, though it seemed to go on forever. I liked the Priest video, but I've always thought the song itself is rather weak, and BA's low-key effort amply demonstrates the law of diminishing returns.

    Out of the "new" tracks, however, Xanadu stands out as a feel-good piece of summery pop, and it was a deserved chart-topper, even if the film did stink the place out...

  4. My favourite part of Xanadu (though the opening is fine) is where the voice excitingly goes higher in pitch, appropriately with the lyrics, at

    A million lights are dancing
    And there you are, a shooting star
    An everlasting world and you're here with me

    The chart rundown track was an ok choice as it had some energy and with it's repetition I probably wouldn't want to hear the whole thing lol.

  5. I’m quite enjoying these “lost” TOTPs. Good work, Stephen.

    I think Starry might be right, regarding Macca intentionally looking like his youthful self in the Waterfalls video – contrast it with how he looks in the Press promo just six years later. They look decades apart, or maybe the critical reception of Give My Regards to Broad Street in the interim aged him somewhat...

    I disagree with most on here regarding To Be or Not To Be. It is the BA Robertson song I remember the most from the time (I was seven) and I can understand why it reached the Top Ten.

    Finally to Don McLean, and the second Number One in a row (after M*A*S*H) that was years old, only to be made a hit when lone DJs started championing them. The next time both songs returned to the chart was in 1992 (by Roy Orbison/KD Lang and Manic Street Preachers respectively).

    1. I heard the Manic Street Preachers one recently and I quite like it right now, definitely feels better than the original (though maybe I've head that too much).

    2. a rare case of a post-beatles macca not affecting a mullet of some kind! but don't forget he'd also played his younger beatles self in the "coming up" video that was probably filmed at the same time...

  6. Roy Orbison original version was from 1961

    1. by coincidence i watched an episode of "heroes" a couple of days ago (called "1961") that featured both the big O's original version of crying, plus his 80's re-recording duet with kd lang...

  7. Thanks again for this.

    I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever of that Rod Stewart song... no great loss though.

  8. i've tried watching both this and last week's edition on someone else's laptop, but sadly i appear to have the same problem in that it won't stream a la youtube. i'm not prepared to risk downloading for fear of viruses, so unless someone can upload them to youtube or another easily accessible site than sadly it seems i shan't see any more of them... however, to be honest all i'm missing that i haven't seen already and/or can see via youtube if so interested are the DJ links, and going by the first edition that's no great loss!

    1. Wilberforce, Stephen has managed to upload some clips of his shows at his Youtube channel ~

    2. thanks angelo - it seems they're all individual clips rather than the complete shows, but at least i've seen/heard a few of the cut-and-paste presenter links. i don't know if there's technology out there now that does voice recognition so you can sound like anybody you want to, but the added voice sounds like those scary on-the-telephone disguisers that are frequently used in american action/crime films and tv series!

    3. Same here. I can't help feeling that it's because my PC is now too geriatric to handle it. I tried to download the programme but was informed that I needed to install a downloader, at which point AVG sprang into action so I took it no further.

      My main concern is that I will be unable to see future DLT and JS shows (at least until next year where there are tentative plans to invest in a smart new Windows 10 machine!), but what with the BBC making noises about closing the 'iPlayer loophole' it looks like the end of the line for me is on the horizon anyway....

    4. I feel embarrassed to say that as soon as I clicked the link at the top of this blog from Angelo, it played perfectly for me. I didn't even need to click download or play. I just started automatically.

      I use a Macbook Pro, so I don't know if Apple has an edge over regular Microsoft PCs, but why not try asking a friend who has an Apple PC to find this blog, click on the link, and watch from their PC.
      It's not rocket science of course. I mean you can even pop into your local Apple Store and watch it from there!

    5. like 20th century relic i don't currently have a tv licence (partially through penury, partially through resentment of contributing to the unjustifed massive salaries of the likes of graham norton), but even though you don't apparently need one to watch iplayer in your home at the moment, i've only finally overcome the paranoia of being caught out in some way in the last couple of days thanks to my addiction to the world athletics championships and the sprawling coverage that entails. prior to that, the few programmes that have interested me (including archive totp) have been short enough to watch at the local library (for free), so 20th maybe you could do likewise? although when the beeb push through the iplayer licence, i wonder how that will affect access in public places like libraries and internet cafes?

    6. Interesting thought Wilb, I haven't been to the library for years and have certainly never used their computers! I would think that these places have a TV licence anyway, so any change in legislation will make no difference. My local library in the early 1980s had a TV with Teletext, so the situation existed long before the Internet video streaming era.

  9. Two important observations with this line up chosen in this particular order for the final version:

    Chart rundown with Splodgeness Abounds was probably the best chart rundown tune you could have. I mean it blended so well with the countdown at the start of the show, and I didn't realise that it could come off so well for this purpose. Brilliant!

    Secondly, the superimposing of Bad Manners using the TOTP footage of their debut hit Ne Nee Nee Na Na Nu Nu for their new entry Lip Up Fatty, also came off very well. I noticed that the two solo saxophone sessions on Lip Up Fatty seemed to blend with the same on Ne Nee Nee Na Na Nu Nu.

    Lip Up Fatty is my personal favourite of the Bad Manners catalogue, and it deservedly did very well during the summer of 1980, being in the charts for a long time, and was still climbing the charts by the time TOTP was back on air in August!

  10. I have downloaded a lot of these episodes onto my old samsung galaxy. But you have to know what you are doing. There are a lot of ads saying download flashing download keep away from these. The actual download button is blue within the video window at the bottom. Click this it then asks you do you how do u want to download. Free or premium if you download free you can download through a facebook twitter or googleplus. Or through a 4shared account which is easy to set up

  11. Has this episode been removed from 4Shared ? I can't find it anywhere :-(