Saturday, 3 October 2015

If You're Looking for a Top of the Pops....

Very big thanks to Manorak for making the 2nd October 1980 edition of Top of the Pops available at Vimeo. This show won't be broadcast on BBC4 next week because it is hosted by DLT.

I'd like to drive that London proof car!

Top of the Pops 2-10-80: Presenter: Dave Lee Travis

 (22) GILLAN – Trouble
His first solo top 20 hit.

 (2) STEVIE WONDER – Masterblaster (Jammin’) (video)
At its peak in the charts now.

 (38) MATCHBOX – When You Ask About Love
The third of four top 30 hits for Matchbox in 1980, and this one would become their only top ten hit.

 (18) THIN LIZZY – Killer On The Loose (video)
Soon to become their fourth and final top ten hit.

 (11) CHANGE – Searching (danced to by Legs & Co)
This cheeky Legs routine couldn't help Change get any higher than 11.

 (20) ODYSSEY – If You’re Looking For A Way Out (video)
On its way to becoming a top ten follow up to Use it Up and Wear it Out.

 (4) MADNESS – Baggy Trousers
A studio performance here which helped pull Baggy Trousers up one place higher.

The Top Ten:
 (10) BLACK SLATE – Amigo (clip of TOTP 25-9-80)
(9) ELVIS PRESLEY – It’s Only Love (clip of Legs & Co TOTP 11-9-80)
(8) QUEEN – Another One Bites The Dust (video)
(7) KELLY MARIE – Feels Like I’m In Love (video)
(6) DIANA ROSS – My Old Piano (video)
(5) RANDY CRAWFORD – One Day I’ll Fly Away (clip of TOTP 4-9-80)
(4) MADNESS – Baggy Trousers (video)
(3) OTTAWAN – D.I.S.C.O. (video)
(2) STEVIE WONDER – Masterblaster (Jammin’) (video)

 (1) THE POLICE – Don’t Stand So Close To Me (video)
The second of four weeks at number one.

 (17) BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS – Three Little Birds (crowd dancing) (and credits)
Now perched at its chart peak.


  1. a much more interesting line-up than last week's show - if only someone could step into a time vortex, go back to 1980 and ask mike read and dlt to swap places!

    1. ... or better still warn dlt that the times they are a changing so he'll have to stop presuming he has the right to fondle female groupies and hangers-on, and then we'd get to see all his shows...

    2. He didn't fondle anyone on the show. It was a kiss on the lips from each of two girls before introducing the No.1 by (wait for it!) The Police, and note that he asked the girls permission first and they gladly went with it, so no DLT sledging please anyone.

    3. We'l see what we can sort out with this one.
      Steve has made a copy of the 04 09 with an old style chart rundown to elvis. But there is no presenter links at all apart from kevin keegan introducing Nick Straker

    4. I think mike read can be arranged.

    5. dory my dlt comments do not refer to this particular show, but to his general demeanour / attitude whereby thanks to his celebrity status he could get touchy-feely with the ladies back in the days when such things were at least tolerated if not accepted. but then it seemed he presumed he could carry on doing such things in the post "pc" world... sadly to both his and our cost!

  2. I dont know - you wait weeks for a ToTP edition and then two turn up at once. This one is in the Yewtreed hands of DLT and he opens the show by introducing a mystery car hidden beneath a decorator's sheet. More of that in a minute - first we have Gillan accompanied by a bass player who looks sinisterly like mass killer Charles Bronson, who sleep walk their way through a re-hash of Elvis' Trouble. This never crossed my radar back in the day and no wonder. No charisma on show here at all.

    Back to DLT and that car, and lo and behold its not a super-dooper state of the art vehicle but some piece of tat put together back stage by somebody for some unknown reason. This has DLT's sense of humour written all over it. Cringeworthy.

    Stevie Wonder gets a repeat showing of the excellent Masterblaster before, astonishingly, Matchbox notch up another hit and another ToTP appearance - this time with a note-for-note copy of an old Crickets hit. Yawn.

    Thin Lizzy on video - or as DLT calls it 'a film'- and on a set that looks eerily like the one Michael Jackson would use for Billie Jean in a couple of years. Like their previous few singles this has none of the melodic guitar riffs or genius lyrics of their peak years.

    The Leggers don some cowboy kind of shirts to carouse their way through Change's Searching. One of favourite songs of the era - and it still pops up on my ipod shuffle from time to time. Gorgeous vocals from Luther Vandross over clattering percussion. Love it despite the poor sound quality here.

    For the second week running Toots' new album gets a plug. Why? Chart rundown part one continues to annoy the OCD and mathematically inclined amongst us by going on to include number 20 - which this week is Odyssey and a bit of a guilty secret of mine. One of the most played slowies at the parties the young Shaky used to go to. Effortless honey-soaked vocals from lead Odyssey.

    A change of pace and mood as Madness do what Madness do. Baggy Trousers still sounds great today and if you get a chance go see them live. Its a night to remember.

    Police are still number one, which leaves Bob Marley to play us out as a small section of the crowd invade DLT's personal space.

    And the scores. A good solid 7 of a programme with Madness Odyssey and Change being my highlights. DLT drops points for the whole opening car thing and for getting Billy Joel's title wrong. So a bog-standard 5. One plus point is that we seem to have dropped the co-hosts thing. Good!

    I'm not a robot.

    1. Odyssey's whole catalogue is a guilty pleasure of mind, never mind just this one. The only words to give them for their music is 'thank you' and 'forever a place in TOTP and music history.' We are not worthy of this level of music and lyrics writing.

    2. Woah, Charles Bronson's never killed anyone, he's "just" a serial troublemaker. Unless you meant the film star, in which case those were only movies.

    3. gillan (the band) released an album called "glory road" around this time, but for some reason "trouble" was not on it. what was on the limited edition bonus album was a track by keyboard player colin towns called "dragon's tongue" that my metal-loving chums brought to my attention telling me "you'll like this". and much against my expectations they were right! it's a metal-free brooding and atmospheric instrumental that signposts towns' consequent successful and long-running career as a tv series composer ("capital city", "our friends in the north", "pie in the sky", "doc martin", etc)

    4. THX - yep you are right. My bad. I knew he had spent huge amounts of time banged up and just presumed it was via the medium of killing someone.

  3. Thank G-d we have a UK Gold copy of this episode with DLT, because for one, I thought it was very good, I mean both DLT and the music on the show.

    The only downside of this change of format, is that there are a reduced number of songs on each show, in order to allow the presenters to have more chit-chat between the songs, and I thought it takes away from having a couple more songs on the show, a specially if they are not going to lengthen the show to one hour, which was the biggest mistake in TOTP history.

    However you gotta just love the way DLT asks for and gets a kiss on the lips from two girls before introducing the No.1, and calling the bloke next to the two girls a twit.

    This was merely Russ Abbot style comedy and family entertainment and nothing personal, but sadly we will not see this again in our era, where DLT seems to have been the victim of a different world 30 years later with people out for revenge, trying to rewrite history and to apply 2010 rules to a 1970 and 1980 world, and so we are not getting to see DLT shows on BBC4 in the TOTP repeats.

    Thanks Manorak for saving the day and providing the UK Gold copy. What a star!

    1. Hear hear Dory and something most of us feel I'm sure.

      No better example of how standards have changed than the featuring of Killer on the Loose and the Specials' International Jet Set, which is the track playing in the background during every break to DLT, in this edition.

      A full 3 months or so before Peter Sutcliffe is apprehended, the BBC has no apparent qualms about broadcasting Lynott's tale of his "mad sexual rapist" nor specifically the "I'm Jack the Ripper" section which bears more than a little resemblance to the Wearside Jack tapes from the previous winter, not at that time proven to be a hoax.

      Yet the flip, International Jet Set, is preferred to the true A-side of the Specials single, Stereotype (not referred to in the rundown and which will not be played when it vaults to number 6 next week) because in Stereotype the word "pissed" is referred to in the lyrics.

      Yep, totally different taboos then.

  4. Now for the music on the show.

    Stevie Wonder - great to see over 4 minutes of the song on the show, and for a video it was a good effort by TOTP not to chop it after 2-3 minutes as they usually do with videos on the show.

    Matchbox - now here is a very confident lead vocal, behaving more like the Fonz than Elvis. I mean the cute blonde on stage ogling over him like Fonzie's chicks in Happy Days.
    Remember that in 1980, Happy Days was in its 8th series and and not yet on the wane, cos it survived for 11 years until 1984 with Paramount.

    I reckon the lead vocalist on Matchbox was a regular viewer of Happy Days in 1980, and a Fonzie fan, cos he was emulating him very well on this performance in the TOTP studio.

    Change - Legs & Co with a very good performance this week. The legs were looking very good and really needed to be on our living room sofas rather than dancing on TV, but hey, it was a nice thought anyway. I did however like the Luther Vandross vocals on this track, and made for very good dancing by Legs & Co, and for me, one of their best routines for a long while.

    Odyssey - this stayed in the top ten for a very long time, as we will see in the coming weeks, and deservedly so. This tune ranks in my top ten songs of all time, and always give me the shivers remembering my childhood with it, as I was still 12 years old in1980, and looking ahead to an adult world where teenage romance seemed to be round the corner when you see and hear songs like this.

    Top Ten Chart rundown - by now they still did not receive the video for Queen's Another One Bites The Dust, and the visuals here were from the video of Play The Game, their previous hit in 1980, and this new hit performed the week before by Legs & Co, on the Russ Abbot and Mike Read presented show.

    1. had "happy days" reached the "shark-jumping moment" yet?

    2. Don't know. Is there a Happy Days blog out there similar to our TOTP one? There is 11 years of Happy Days between 1973 - 1984, similar to our TOTP run from 1976 to 1980 so far. If not, can anyone start one?

      I wouldn't mind getting stuck into that on a regular basis alongside our TOTP blog.

    3. The shark jumping episode was first shown in 1977, so still relatively early in Happy Days' run.

  5. Gillan, bog standard cover dressed up with whistles and bells on the guitars. Nothing special unless you're into twiddly bits.

    Stevie Wonder, hmm, the roller skate business wasn't exactly It's Always Fair Weather, was it? Thought the song stood on its own, really.

    Matchbox, in my memory it was Alvin Stardust who covered this, but here they are proving me wrong. Another ho hum cover.

    Thin Lizzy, were they trying to get Chinatown into every song by this point?

    Change, bit of a silly routine but the song remains superb.

    Odyssey, stuck in the Quiet Storm limbo these days, but a truly great ballad proving they weren't one trick disco ponies.

    Madness, hey, they made it to the studio for Baggy Trahsers. Would probably have made better hosts than DLT with his way overthought jokes.

    1. Yeah, I don't remember Madness being in the studio for this one, cos the famous video got so overplayed on TV, that you couldn't imagine there was any need to appear in the TOTP studio, especially when the total number of songs on the show was at an all time low, because the new producers wanted the presenters to have more chit-chat between the songs, like they do on radio.

  6. Matchbox seemed to fill the void left by Showaddywaddy who left our screens at the end of the 70s, apart from a minor hit appearing on TOTP in October 1980, where they seemed to 'come back', seeing the likes of Darts, Matchbox, and last week Russ Abbot pinching their uniforms for co-presenting with Mike Read, and on the same show Split Enz copying their colour co-ordination on stage.

    There must have still been some food on the plate for Showaddywaddy to try once more in October 1980 to salvage something out of their career, but really it didn't seem to work, and time had got the better of them in favour of Matchbox it seems who took the baton from Showaddywaddy and Racey in 1980 as the 50s style revivers.

    1. Not of course that Matchbox would have a long chart career - by 1981 Shaky and The Stray Cats would be the most successful 50s revivalists.

  7. DLT certainly seemed to be enjoying himself again on this one, though what the London-proof car had to do with TOTP is anyone's guess! In any case, my favourite song of the show by far was from Odyssey - this was their finest moment, and up there in my view as one of the best songs of 1980. A fun studio performance from Madness too - I have seen this before on TOTP2 or some such compilation show, but it's always good to see things in their original context.

    I must admit that I had already forgotten the Gillan song by the end of the show, so not the most memorable return to TOTP, after many years, for the eponymous frontman. Lizzy were also dull, and Lynott's efforts to make himself look sinister in the video failed miserably - sadly, Lizzy really were on the downward slope of their career by this time. I liked the Matchbox song a bit better than their previous efforts, but they were hardly a band who were going to set the world alight, and the singer's close-ups with that rather creepily vacant-looking blonde girl were offputting!

    Rollerskates were clearly big at this time, but the dancers accompanying Stevie Wonder just looked a bit naff, to 2015 eyes. Legs were thankfully on form, however, and seemed to be going through a few inventive gym workouts during the course of their routine. What I find interesting about these early Hurll shows is that in some respects they are harking back to earlier eras of TOTP, with the studio audience dancing along to videos and over the end credits, and awards being made for the best dancer, which had also been done a decade earlier. For Hurll, it was clearly a case of back to the future...

    1. The show was certainly slowed down by Hurll, with less songs on the show, so we were going backwards not forwards. Why they didn't move to a one-hour show is bewildering to say the least, cos it needed it for covering more of the upward movers in the chart.

      For example, the Odyssey hit on this week's show on 2nd October was not revisited until 30th October as a main play (not chart rundown appearance), i.e., 4 weeks later, and not the usual two weeks later when a record is still climbing.

      The reason is that the show made more room for presenter chit-chat, at the expense of the usual number of songs before Hurll took over, and yet Hurll couldn't get the show to one hour to allow the chit-chat without reducing the number of songs, and so some songs still going up, would not get their usual next play two weeks later.

    2. Yes, I have found the increase in presenter chatter a bit annoying in recent shows, especially when it is completely irrelevant, as is the case with the stuff about the car in this edition.

  8. Any sign of Julie J Bevan, our pop expert on this blog?

  9. Why was DLT dressed up as Elvis? And why did they bother with that “Top Gear” shite?

    Reasonable bar room blues from Gillan, with that bloke from 1776 (remember them?) on bass. Next year we’ll get the band’s top 34 hit “Mutually Assured Destruction”.

    I see Matchbox have bought their double bass back off that kid from “Jim’ll Fix It”. Extra points for the most minimalist drumkit yet on the show.

    Thin Lizzy’s film wasn’t as exciting as DLT promised, apart from our first sighting of Phil Lynott’s chinstrap beard.

    Why weren’t Legs & Co dressed as detectives for “Searching”? Still, good literal use of the torches. Some very avant garde dance moves in that routine. I wonder what max strength cough syrup Flick was on to devise them?

    Tickertape sounds for DLT’s (more) Toots news. I was hoping they’d wheel in Grandstand’s vidiprinter as well for full effect. As for Rod’s tour, I’d have thought Scunthorpe, The Scilly Isles and Dingwall would count as diverse venues and not the cities listed.

    As for Odyssey, a lovely ballad, and finally our first sighting of their replacement male vocalist. Not that we saw much of the first bloke during the chart run of “Native New Yorker”.

    I loved the way Chas Smash walked between Suggs and his mic while he was miming, but his constant interrupting DLT got boring.

    As for DLT, “Let’s see the top nine” followed by Black Slate at number 10 with their first record (no, Dave, Mike Read told us last week it was their first record on a major label – it was at least their fifth UK single). Plus, a “great move up the charts” of just of one place” for Stevie Wonder. Dear God.

    And finally, great action clip of Randy Crawford in the rundown.

    1. Indeed it was a little bizarre that after Odyssey's debut single in January 1978 with Native New Yorker, we had to wait another two-and-a-half years till the follow up in July 1980 which went to No.1, Use It Up And Wear It Out. Why so long?

      They certainly made up for this long absence by quickly releasing their third single in this week's chart If You're Looking For A Way Out, which was a rock-solid Top Ten Hit in October 1980, which we saw nicely introduced by DLT this week, and will make another appearance on the 30th Oct show.

      There was to be a another two years of regular hits from Odyssey until their final top 10 appearance in 1982 with Inside Out, and so for a 3-year period between 1980-1982, Odyssey were certainly at their prime.

      I recommend their Greatest Hits album, as I've been listening to it all week, after the excellent video last week on the BBC4 repeats.

    2. I meant to say the excellent video from Manorak's UK Gold copy, and not BBC4 repeat!

    3. regarding diverse live venues, there was a place (rather amusingly if boringly) called the west runton pavilion that seemed to be a regular part of the itinerary for touring rock bands at the time. i don't even know where west runton is!

    4. West Runton is a village in Norfolk, sandwiched between Cromer and Sheringham. I had a holiday there 20 years ago, and while very pleasant I would hardly regard it as prime rock territory! Sadly I didn't get to see the Pavilion, as it had been demolished in 1986.

  10. Sorry I've been away for a while, but I've been readjusting to the world of paid employment.

    As John G rightly states above, Shakin' Stevens and The Stray Cats would turn out to be the most successful exponents of traditional rock and roll during the 1980s. That doesn't detract from Matchbox's talent, which considerably outweighed that of the rapidly fading Showaddywaddy. I remember nominating the latter's laughable Top 30 remake of 'Why Do Lovers...?' as Worst Single of the Year in the Smash Hits Readers' Poll!

    Dory - if you visit the website, you'll see that two singles by Odyssey were released by RCA in the UK between 'Native New Yorker' and 'Use It Up'. One of these flops, 'Lucky Star' (not the Madonna song) boasted one of the longest titles in the history of the industry - though not quite as long as Fairport Convention's epic from 1970 (Sir B. McKenzie's Daughter, etc).

    Odyssey - like Shalamar and The Three Degrees, among other US soul/R&B acts of the era - proved to be more popular here in Britain than at home. Much of Odyssey's quality hit material was co-produced and co-written by Sandy Linzer, well known as a former hit songwriter for The Four Seasons.

    The controversial lyrical content of Thin Lizzy's hit may well have been the beginning of the end for the late Phil Lynott and his band as a major force in the industry. I suspect even Snowy White wasn't entirely comfortable with it, as he would leave the band less than 2 years later to embark on a solo career that would produce one top 10 hit, 1984's ballad 'Bird of Paradise'. Likewise, Mr Lynott would visit the top 10 on only one more occasion, in collaboration with Snowy's much-missed predecessor Gary Moore on 1985's 'Out In The Fields'.

    Despite some negative reviews for their third album 'Zenyatta Mondatta', Police deservedly topped the list with yet another all-time classic example of new wave pop. This was their third of five British No.1 singles.

    1. Welcome back Julie. There was a sense of something missing recently in terms of your expert knowledge.

    2. isn't the longest-titled chart single in history that one by the faces called "you can make me dance sing or anything (and then lists other things in brackets such as "walk the dog")?

  11. Hello to one and all from me and thank-you to Manorak for making this one available.

    You probably won't be hearing much more from me; I'm not a big fan of the Hurll era TOTP anyway, so therefore not much to say, but there's more to it than that.

    Another place you'll see my online moniker is on the BBC Have Your Say comments, although only on those subjects where they grudgingly remain open for comments in the evening. The other day I stumbled across this:

    It's an ultra-trivial imported story anyway, but check out the comments. Farce of the Century! How anyone can be so out of touch is beyond me. Then later in the same day I clicked on iPlayer to watch the 29/09/80 TOTP only to find the opening scene removed because it features a bloke dressed as a Boy Scout making a reference to Sooty?!

    The camel's back has been broken; the BBC has lost it (and I can't stand their new-look News website either) and I've simply lost enthusiasm. And what with the neo-fascists scoring twice in quick succession - firstly by banning you from smoking in your own car when under-18s are present (which doesn't affect me) and then the carrier bag levy (which does) - enthusiasm is not something I have in abundance at the moment.

    But I did enjoy this show :o)

    1. Stick around, 20thCR. You're one of the clan. ;-)

    2. i'm probably stirring up a hornet's nest with this, but why don't the government just go ahead and ban smoking completely, rather than do things like say you can't smoke in places like bars and restaurants, you can't smoke in shop or office doorways, you can't see the cigarettes you buy in shops, or (as now) that you "can't smoke in a car if under 18's are present" (does that mean you can do otherwise, which if so means the car will stink of stale tobacco residue which is hardly condusive to keeping our "youngsters" clean and healthy and free of the vile drug). the answer is probably because whichever government was brave enough to end the practice in one fell swoop rather than insiduous stages would not win the next election! yes, i'm being a little facetious here, but certainly as an ex-smoker who "saw the light" i would like to see the practice go up in smoke (sorry!) - even if you limited it to people smoking in their own homes, you would still notice the unpleasant stench on their breath and clothes if you had dealings with them...

    3. Thanks Arthur, at the end of the day this is the music I enjoy the most, so I'll never be far away.

      Wilb, it's a one word answer: tax. But as things stand at the moment, smoking remains a legal activity and this latest legislation places a restriction on this legal activity within one's own private property, which must be a first and therefore sets a very worrying precedent. The problem is that people say things like "good thing too" or "the children have no choice" without looking at the bigger picture. Do you enjoy alcoholic drinks or sugary food/drinks? These are very much 'work in progress', be warned, you're next.

    4. they'd probably be doing me a favour by banning sugary food and drinks!

    5. What a shame BBC4 didn't (couldn't) show this one. Really enjoyed the diverse acts on the show, but I although I appreciate the solid support for Oddysey noted above, I have never forgiven them for 'Use it up and wear it out'; for me one of the worst no1s of 1980. Thank goodness TOTP was off the air!

      Given the many snatches of 'International Jet Set' on this show, I'm surprised no mention was made of the record by DLT. Since it was 'side 2', I guess there was no video for it and Legs & Co. were much more suited to dancing to 'Searching'.

    6. For a start sct353, Use It Up Wear It Out was by far Odyssey's best achievement in the UK charts from 1978 - 1982 during their appearance chart tenure, and while 'If You're Looking For A Way Out' is technically a piece of genius songwriting, history states that chart status is generally stronger with dance tunes because of their more overwhelming play in the discos and nightclubs, rather than a ballad which may be played at the end of the night for a smooch between a potential couple about to be formed with a slow dance/snog on the dance floor, which is less prevalent than the number of people getting on the dance floor to dance in the main duration of the disco event!

      Regarding the Specials, I don't think that Legs & Co make a good match with The Specials, because the lyrics that The Specials used, would go against the grain of the image of purity and sweetness portrayed by the Legs girls suited to dancing to more conventional and more innocent sort of lyrics!

    7. i'm with sct353 - "use it up and wear it out" will always be a contender for my "top 10 worst disco records" list (along with "it feels like i'm in love", the jacksons' version of "blame it on the boogie" and more than one boney m track)

    8. I really like Use It Up too, but I'm not sure about portraying Legs & Co as all purity and sweetness when they quickly became more notorious for being kind of ridiculous given what they were made to dance to (MacArthur Park, Bank Robber, Theme from MASH, etc, etc).

    9. But that aside, it would still have been too much of a step in the wrong direction to do The Specials, considering some of their lyrics, whereas the lyrics on McArthur Park and Bank Robber were nothing different to family viewing at the time, like The High Chaparall and The Dukes of Hazzard.

      However, Theme From Mash is an interesting one, but still not as provoking as The Specials on some of their 1980 releases. Interestingly, The Specials pre-1980 and post-1980 were acceptable lyrics, and may have entertained some Legs & Co routines, had they not been available for the studio, but still I can't see the match, whatever the lyrics!

  12. I missed the Vimeo link, please could somebody let me know a new link? Thanks in advance :)