Monday, 21 September 2015

Oops Upside Your Top of the Pops

As we reach this bumper penultimate edition and Stephen Murphy's 'strike' episodes of Top of the Pops, the charts are beginning to take on a look that we were familiar with when the show returned  to our screens on August 8th....

Only two more weeks to go and then it really is the Big Time!
Top of the Pops 24th July 1980
Hosted by Mike Read and Tommy Vance
This one hit wonder chart run down tune was now at its peak.
(50) BODYSNATCHERS - Easy Life
The follow-up to Lets Do Rock Steady which got no higher than 50.
(8) DIANA ROSS - Upside Down
On its way up towards the top two.
(9) ROLLING STONES - Emotional Rescue
A big leap up the charts this week but number 9 proved to be its peak.
(21) BAD MANNERS - Lip Up Fatty
This is the way to get lots of appearances on the show, have yourself a very slow climber.
(23) GIBSON BROTHERS – Mariana
With their final top 20 hit, and a little help from Legs & Co.
(14) CHANGE - A Lover's Holiday
The first of two Legs & Co routines on this week's show, with Lover's Holiday now at its peak.
(38) JOHN FOXX - Burning Car
His third top 40 single of 1980, all narrowly missing out on a top 30 place, though his album Metamatic did make the top 20.
(33) TOM BROWNE - Funkin' For Jamaica
This would become Tom's only UK top ten hit.
(22) BLACK SABBATH - Neon Knights
At its peak.
(19) THE GAP BAND - Oops Upside Your Head
A big summer hit, and their first of two top tenners, though they would have to wait another six years for the second one!
(25) HOT CHOCOLATE - Are You Getting Enough of what Makes you Happy
The follow-up to No Doubt About It, this one reached 17.
(12) DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS - There There My Dear
Still heading towards the top ten.
(26)  WHISPERS - My Girl
This 70's style cover of the Temptations song was already at its peak in the charts.
(29)  SHEENA EASTON - 9 To 5
Fresh from appearing on the Big Time tv series and straight into the top 30 as a result.
(31) NEW MUSIK - sanctuary
This proved to be the band's final hit, and like their previous single it fell just one place short of the top 30.
(1) ODYSSEY - Use It Up Wear It Out
The second Legs & Co routine this week as Odyssey knock Olivia and ELO off the top of the chart.
(5) BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS - Could You Be Loved
Playing us out is Bob Marley who had just got as high as he could with this song.


  1. Well, that was certainly a bumper edition! I thought The Bodysnatchers' single was better than their previous effort - the singer also gives off a distinct Amy Winehouse vibe in this performance footage. The Legs "beachwear" routine was a fitting accompaniment to the Change tune - I wonder if Madonna was listening to this at the time, by any chance? John Foxx, meanwhile, was perhaps a little bit too robotic on this offering, although there were some very nice waves of synth.

    My Girl is a song that I've long found dull and overplayed, and while this version tries to be uptempo it still fails to lift it for me - The Whispers clearly also still thought it was 1974, judging from their outfits! New Musik were altogether more contemporary, but this sounded too much like their previous hits to make much of an impression on me, pleasant though it was.

  2. Yellow Magic Orchestra - did this really get to no.17 this week.
    What a load of rubbish. It is more like an entry into a Chinese nightclub with it's Chinese style rhythm. Thank goodness there was a BBC strike in July 1980 that we didn't have to endure this!

    Diana Ross - shame that she came to the TOTP studio too late in September after this track had tumbled out of the charts. I recall seeing her in the TOTP studio in one of the Sep 1980 shows already repeated on BBC4 or Yewtreed shows already put up.

    Bad Manners - it seems we are still pinching the TOTP footage of Ne Nee Nee Na Na Nu Nu as there is was no video made for Lip Up Fatty, and they only appeared in TOTP studio for Lip Up Fatty after the strike was over, i.e., in Aug 1980, so was it too early to use it for our July made-up show?

    But wait, how come Marianna by The Gibson was able to get the Aug 1980 TOTP footage into this July made-up show, i.e., why not for Bad Manners too?

    Change - A Lover's Holiday with Legs & Co in their bikinis? Bring it on. Brrrrrrrrr! Keep climbing up the charts please.

    Dexy's Midnight Runners - why are we using the TOTP footage from their debut single Dance Stance, two singles ago by Dexys, much earlier in 1980? There is a superb video for There There My Dear in the absence of a TOTP appearance during the strike. More on that video later.

    Overall a good effort to make this 24th July show available a la 2015 effort, so thanks again.

    1. coming from the land of the rising sun, i don't suppose YMO would be too pleased to hear their music descibed as "chinese". the tune was actually written by american martin denny of exotica legend, who probably went for a generic oriental sound rather than a specific country. i totally disagree with dory and have always thought this excellent, regardless of whatever ethnic traits it may have (genuine or otherwise).unlike "japanese boy" by aneka which really was utter tosh(iba)! when that failed to take off in japan the bemused record company asked why as they thought they had a total winner on their hands, and were informed that "it sounds more chinese than japanese"!

    2. I should have said Japanese then, I guess it all sounds oriental to me, and I can't tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese music.

    3. Too right, Wilberforce, also YMO were fantastic, with at least two great albums to their name and Ryuichi Sakamoto is a genius, one of the most chill guys ever. I hope he's feeling better now.

    4. I mentioned a couple of their better songs on the previous episode thread.

  3. Although we didn't use the Dexys video for There There My Dear in this 24th July chart at No.12, I made a point to enjoy the video myself, so there!

    Two points to note here. I think this was the first appearance of Kevin Rowland's unique salute-and-march posture at different points in the video.
    The other point to note is that there is an Italian flag in the background of the video/ band playing on stage.

    Did Mr Rowland or the band have any Italian roots? He certainly has an Italian look, so I was wondering if he's supporting any ancestral link with the flag in the background?

    Plus his new 'rrrrrrrrr' and 'yes yes yes yes' chants before some of the lines in the song. Well that in itself deserved top 5 status if not No.1.

  4. I think we should still have the project for this one. So i might take the studio dexys out and put the vid in instead. And also put Joy Division in aswell.
    Because surely it would of got a second showing

    1. Bravo Alan, let's get the best out of Dexys, as there were no studio performances of There There My Dear, and the excellent video more than made up for it!

    2. So Dexy's i'm assuming wouldn't of been available to appear in the studio for There There My Dear. I just hope Stephen has a copy of the video because i had to have a de clutter of my PC. Running to slow,

    3. I'm sure they would have been available, but I meant that during the BBC strike, there was no call for them to appear in the TOTP studio, and I don't think they appeared on any ITV shows in June/July 1980, and so the video should be centre stage.

  5. thanks again to the team for another great fantasy edition - i like the "& introduced by tommy vance" credit!

    john foxx: this starts off so well, and then there's a complete anti-climax when the vocals kick in. not surprising therefore that like his other singles it failed to crack the top 30. i checked out "metamatic" as a result of re-exposure to the early foxx singles, and "plaza" is the pick of the bunch (maybe that would have got foxx a mugshot if released as a single?)

    tom browne: interesting to see a video made for this. there's no sign of the keyboard player in it (who also produced), probably because it was middle-aged whitey dave grusin. but compared to his colleagues mr browne actually looks white himself. fortunately most of the tiresome street jive was cut for the 45 release (gap band take note!). singer toni smith has a strong voice and a good look about her, so a bit surprising that she never managed to carve out some kind of solo career as a result of this

    the whispers: oh no, another identically-dressed overmanned soul vocal group with one singing whilst the rest do oohs and aahs and throw shapes alert! still, at least they've made good use of the physical stature of the group by aligning them in a short-tall-short-tall-short formation, with the walrus twins as bookends. after the class of "and the beat goes on" they've taken a real backward step here - no amount of studio wizardry can turn this mawkish relic into a hot disco number!

    new musik: all their singles from their first album had glimpses of potential but were ultimately disappointing. so i checked out the rest of their oeuvre and discovered that the second album "anywhere" has several examples of masterful synth-pop, none of which sadly got anywhere near the charts

  6. I'm pleased to say that tomorrow is the first pre-order date of Jeff Lynne's ELO new album for 2015, called Alone In The Universe. It was previewed this morning on Radio 2 with Chris Evans promoting ELO's new album, and first new album release for 10 years!

    Thanks to the resounding success of ELO's comeback concert last year at London's Hyde Park, there has been enormous pressure for Lynne to produce a new album with new music for 2015.
    The new album will be released on 13th November, and is available for pre-order from tomorrow (Friday 25th September).

    Highly recommended, and thanks Jeff for being a regular on the TOTP repeats on BBC4 in the last few years where we have reached your Xanadu effort and being a big part of the 1980 nostalgia at present on BBC4 with these repeats. Roll Over Beethoven!

  7. This 1 doesn't seem right still being in the old style. Especially with the gibson brothers and the other 1s from the 7th August. I think it's time this 1 &
    A 17th should B remade in the Hurll style