Thursday, 22 October 2015

Top of the Pops Eat Dog

We have seen some decade milestone debuts so far in 1980 ~ the Human League, OMD, but could it be that this edition from October 16th is where the 80's New Romantics movement truly went mainstream, with the debut of Adam and the Ants......

Well I certainly didn't expect Michael Palin

16-10-80: Presenter: Tommy Vance

(3) MADNESS – Baggy Trousers ®
Now at its peak in the charts. Then along comes the first of tonight's special guests, Suzi Quatro, to plug her new song, Rock Hard, which just about made the top 70.

(36) SHOWADDYWADDY – Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts
For a moment it looked like Dave Bartram had joined the 80's with a mullet haircut, but it turned out to be only a wig! Maybe that's why this was their final top 30 hit.

(9) BARBRA STREISAND – Woman In Love
Six Cinderellas in the shape of Legs & Co do their routine to what will be next week's number one.
Then along comes the second of tonight's special guests, Michael Palin, to plug the new banned Monty Python album, and to introduce.....

(37) ADAM & THE ANTS – Dog Eat Dog
Tommy Vance predicts this band will do quite well. Dog Eat Dog became the first of 7 top ten hits for the band over the next two years, and the sound of the early 80's has well and truly arrived.
Then along comes Dollar to plug their new song, Takin a Chance on You, which didn't quite make the top 60. Thereza was also keen to show Tommy her ring. She'd just got engaged to David.

(21) GEORGE BENSON – Love X Love (video)
This became George's second top ten hit of 1980 when it peaked at number 10.

(10) MATCHBOX – When You Ask About Love
This was the band's biggest hit by far, making it to number 4.

(25) BAD MANNERS – Special Brew
Fell victim to the 7.30 edit!

The top, er... 9 rundown:

 (9) BARBRA STREISAND – Woman In Love (still picture)
(8) DIANA ROSS – My Old Piano (video)
(7) ODYSSEY – If You’re Looking For A Way Out (video)
(6) STEVIE WONDER – Masterblaster (Jammin’) (video)
(5) STATUS QUO – What You’re Proposing (still picture)
(4) SWEET PEOPLE – Et Les Oiseaux (And The Birds Were Singing) (still picture)
(3) MADNESS – Baggy Trousers (video)
(2) OTTAWAN – D.I.S.C.O. (video)

 (1) THE POLICE – Don’t Stand So Close To Me (video)
Final week at number one.

(2) OTTAWAN – D.I.S.C.O. (crowd dancing) (and credits)
Penultimate week at number 2.

Next up on BBC4 should have been October 23rd, but it is hosted by DLT, so instead we will move on to October 30th with Peter Powell and Colin Berry.


  1. Interesting show in that we see Showaddywaddy and Matchbox, as ironically it was a changing of the guard right here on the same show.

    Showaddywaddy had originally finished up at the end of 1979, but having seen Matchbox taking over their mantle throughout 1980, it looked like the Waddys had something to prove, and perhaps felt they should continue if Matchbox were somehow able to keep the doo wop sound going into the 80s, especially using one of Fonzie’s doting chicks on stage. But the Waddys were well and truly finished up with this one, and their last top 30 hit.

    Barbra Streisand – a gem of a single and breathing fresh air into a somewhat overcrowded year of wannabes and newcomers such as Bad Manners, Ultravox, Dexys, UB40, OMD. Barbra really put any doubters aside, and could come back in 1980 in such a manner to stampede over the rest.
    It was certainly her year in the end, but hey could have shown more of Legs & Co, as it seemed to be only about half of the song on this new entry at No.9.

    Someone in the audience was yawning profusely behind Tommy Vance while interviewing Monty Python just before Dog Eat Dog by Adam & The Ants.
    Dollar certainly looking happy at their engagement. Mmmm Theresa Bazaar!

    Bad Manners – with their third and most successful hit, but no video yet, as by 1980, videos were still not compulsory and Manners made it to No.5 and first time in the top ten with only studio appearances, so this was a fine achievement.

  2. For the second week running we are catapulted into the ToTP studio mid-D.I.S.C.O, and (again for the second week running) we will leave with the self-same song. Now I can kind of see that the theory is to engender a party atmosphere but why the same, godawful song to top and tail TWO shows!

    Anyway on with the show, this week in the company of baritoned voiced Tommy Vance. A repeat showing of Baggy Trousers is first out of the gate before we shudder to a halt for a dull interview with Suzi Q plugging her new single/album.

    Showaddywaddy have ditched their kind-of-matching multi-coloured drapes for more modern black threads -apart from lead Waddy Dave Bartram and drummer Waddy. Unfortunately they haven't ditched their fifties obsession. Barrel scraping.

    The Leggers dance to Streisand,seemingly in a different studio. Nice gypsy style outfits for the gals, but they are not at their best on slow numbers.

    Another break in the music this time for some Python chat with future globe-trotter Michael Palin.

    Dandy Highwayman alert!! Adam and the Ants hit the ToTP studio and even in this early appearance you can see the star quality radiating from Mr Ant. Great song and an eye-catching performance which was the talk of schools and offices the next day.

    Then even more excitement because Dollar are getting engaged to each other!!! No, really they are!! And if that wasn't a publicity stunt I'll chuck it.

    The 'great and fine' George Benson on vid for Love X Love. Love this song and nice to see ol' George in his prime. If I'm right, I think this was the start of a good run of hits for him.

    Matchboxawaddy up next. Yawnnnnnnnnnnn. And the Police close us out once again.

    Okay, scores. TV scores points for his predicting a starry future for Adam & The Ants and for doing a proper three part chart rundown ending, correctly at numbers 21, 11 and 1. But drops points for his interviewing technique. And for missing number 10 out completely. So its a 7.

    The show gets a 6, thanks mainly to Madness and Adam & The Ants.

    I am not a robot.

    1. Having started with four hits in the 21-30 range and then two top tenners between 1975 and this point, George Benson managed 14 more UK chart entries up to 1988. Of these, "In Your Eyes" made the top ten peaking at number 7, three more reached the top 20 and three more made the mugshots, with five of these seven hits in a row. The rest peaked between 45 and 60. George finally reached 68 and 22 with two collaborations in the 90's.

    2. after "love x love" all his singles were complete lightweight pop rubbish from then on - a real shame given the quality material he had produced before, but no doubt he's sitting pretty in a big mansion somewhere as a result of selling out! ditto kool and the gang after "ladies night"...

    3. Adam and The Ants were still pirate rockers at this point, the Dandy Highwaymen look was for Stand and Delivery.

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  4. First up, Dory is spot on about Matchbox stealing Showaddywaddy's audience. Although the Leicester-based octet specialised in remakes from 1956-64, Showaddywaddy's style was essentially glam-rock - but they somehow managed to outlast their contemporaries such as Mud, The G****** Band and The Rubettes by more than 2 years. By 1980, however, both Showaddywaddy and Darts had dropped off the record buying public's radar - and both Shakin' Stevens and The Stray Cats were waiting in the wings. (Rocky Sharpe and The Replays - remember them? - would re-emerge briefly in '82.)

    Both George Benson and Miss Barbra Streisand lent the programme a touch of transatlantic class this week - but with top-drawer British songwriting assistance from Rod Temperton and the brothers Gibb respectively. Legs' polished if unspectacular routine to 'Woman In Love' reminded me of a regular feature carried in 'Abba Magazine' around that time, in which band member Anni-Frid Lyngstad promoted the benefits of exercises based on jazz ballet. Maybe that was a precursor to the 'Shape Up and Dance' LPs and Jane Fonda's series of 'Workout' videos? As Ronnie Corbett CBE used to say, I digress.

    The talented Dollar's 'engagement' turned out to be a publicity stunt - see Wiki. At this stage, the duo desperately needed renewed TV exposure following the total chart failure of their last two singles, 'Love Street' and 'Girls Are Out To Get Ya'. The former was a Bugatti-Musker composition originally recorded by Paul 'Vince Pinner' Nicholas, the latter song a raunchy self-penned departure for the duo that deserved to fare better than it did. Still, Trevor Horn CBE would revitalise their career in '81 with a string of synthpop gems. Whatever anyone says about David Van Day, he and Thereza made some very fine singles.

    Adam Ant - whom my dear Mum adored - rescued an unremarkable show with his swashbuckling debut appearance. Fellow North Londoners Madness, though exuberant as always, would not reach their full musical or performing potential until the release of 'It Must Be Love' in late '81.

    Overall score: 7/10.

    1. jane fonda certainly seems to have benefitted from her "shape up and dance" aerobics sessions - she's now in her mid-70's and still looking pretty fab (although i suspect that's due to a bit more than just keeping fit!)

  5. Tommy was keen on promoting that party atmosphere, wasn't he? Anyway, Madness up first with Patrick Moore's xylophone well to the fore. Can't say I've ever noticed a xylophone on Baggy Trahsers, mind you.

    Showaddywaddy looking past it, frankly, though I do remember this song so they must have made an impression. Romeo still chewing.

    Bog standard slowie dancing from Legs & Co, and the backing vocals are about the most we'd hear from the Bee Gees on TOTP for years from what I recall. Tommy seems very keen on Babs, very keen indeed.

    Still sounds great, Adam and the Ants, no messing about, fully formed as their own men of pop. I hesitate to call it iconic, but they really did look to have beamed down from a flying saucer, there was nothing much like them, even since.

    Who's this handsome chap? Why, it's Billy Dee Williams, fresh of The Empire Strikes Back and - oops , no, it's George Benson, dropping the "Bad" and it's not often you see a soul man playing guitar while he sings. Nice tune, very slick.

    Matchbox, whoa, slow down lady, with those wild moves you're going to do yourself a mischief. Brave to play the pink trouser gambit.

    Then playing the no trouser gambit, Bad Manners with the finest hymn to alcohol since Little Ole Wine Drinker Me. Rivalling Adam and the Ants in their energy, but more of a novelty band.

    Funny how Sting's angel wings and carpet beater chic never caught on. I'd have liked to have seen him climb to the top of the ladder and glide off around the room.

    As for the guests, Suzi was plugging her single from Times Square, which was another of those 1980 music based movies that flopped, and the soundtrack album did better I think. It's now a cult film, naturally. Trini Alvarado, where are you now?

    Then Michael Palin, didn't realise the Contractual Obligation LP had been banned from the radio, though after hearing it I'm not surprised. Didn't stop them playing a track from it under the interview, with Mike almost drowned out by it. Couldn't work out which it was, maybe I'm So Worried?

    1. THX - The track was their new single release, the PC and highly topical 35 years later, I like Chinese. Perhaps they could re- release it with a guest vocal from Cameron ? !!!

    2. "They only come up to your knees!" Thanks for that. If it had been Here Comes Another One they could have got the audience to dance to the disco remix.

    3. I remember this edition so well due to the appearance of Michael Palin promoting ‘Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album’ not ‘The Contractual Album’ as announced by Tom. At the time I used to buy ‘Record Mirror’ which contained a review in the usual format but with a great big black box over whatever the ‘review’ was. A later Charisma/Sounds sampler album featured the track ‘Rock notes’ and in the blurb stated that they’d like to say more about this amusing item but had been banned from doing so.

      I could never understand whether the album genuinely had been banned or whether it was a Python publicity stunt which Palin, with his mock sadness and hardship here did much to perpetuate. Certainly the mystique didn’t do sales any harm as the album (with all new sketches and songs) achieved the team’s highest chart placing at no.13. Listening to some of the tracks, you can see why a ban could have been real as ‘Sit on my face’ (‘sing as we go’ with revised lyrics), ‘Medical love song’ and ‘Never be rude to an Arab’ could never be played in any polite company. There was a short piece called ‘Farewell to John Denver’ featuring a brief snatch of ‘Annie’s Song’ which I believe was subject to a lawsuit and later removed. At the time of release, the single ‘I like Chinese’ was presumably deemed Ok, but now, my goodness certainly not!

      There are however some very funny, non-offensive sketches on the album. I particularly like ‘The Bishop’ (an advert for ‘Treadmill, the mighty lager’), ‘I’m so worried’, ‘Here comes another one’, ‘Bookshop’, ‘Muddy knees’ and Palin’s own ‘Finland’ which he treated us to a brief rendition of on one of his ‘Travels’ programmes when in that country.

    4. i never really got monty python i'm afraid, unlike many of my male peers in the sixth form at school. i once came into the common room to find several of them sitting in a row, chortling and guffawing to a python album that was being played. i immediately turned around and left again!

  6. host: i do like tommy vance, but it's so obvious he's a fish out of water doing this. the interview with suzi quatro was not for the squeamish, plus he gets the name of the python album wrong. and as for a gentleman called "adam and the ants" (?)

    madness: good to see their studio appearance after the last showing got sidelined by the goon squad. this really is a classic and it dumbfounds me that it never made the top of the charts. i love it when guitarist chris does a fist pump to the line "back of the 'ead with a plastic cup"

    showaddywaddy: singer dave and drummer romeo seem to be flouting the new biker dress code. dave because he's the main man, and romeo because he wears whatever he likes and no-one's going to argue with him! but at least one of the excess members had made the effort to actually mime playing the sax for a change...

    barbra streisand: not one of the greater efforts in the continuing barry gibb masterplan for world domination. it sounds like barbra's been listening to barry's original demo to the point where she actually sounds more like him then her!

    adam & the ants: a rather inauspicious intro ("a thing called "dog eat dog"") for one of the defining acts of the early 80's. i never cared for their rather sparse sound myself (although this is one of their better efforts), and it certainly bothered me that they were seen as in the vanguard of the new romantic movement when there wasn't a synth to be seen (or heard) in sight. but give them credit, they look good. and along with duran duran lucky to be there at the right time when promo videos were becoming more important than the records themselves. oh, and some credit to mr vance too for correctly predicting they would be big

    george benson: another gem from the pen of rod temperton, and a track that's as home on the radio as it was on the dancefloor. but with his lipliner tache and eyelinered minces george looks like he's auditioning for a little richard look-a-like contest. and with no band backing him (playing live or miming) the video's rather dull to put it mildly

    matchbox: is this the 80's? what with showaddywaddy and this lot churning out covers of 20-odd years old songs on autopilot i'm not yet convinced. and do they really need three guitarists? they're still numerically lacking though compared to madness, showaddywady and and bad manners (i think the latter won the contest for most band members on this edition, but they were still well short of the all-time record held by fiddlers dram - that is if you discount large choral ensembles such as the ramblers). and that singer's old enough to be that girl's dad!

    bad manners: at the start i was thinking "it's just not as much fun with buster sitting down - had he injured himself in the warm-up like one of the stylistics did in one of the very first shows in this run"? but even the hula skirts and speeded up bit can barely keep my interest i'm afraid. however i did manage to spot some air-violin playing going on...

    police: good to see a bit more of the video than usual. also good to see the intercut audience dance scenes with the credits, although sadly there's no sign of tommy boogieing on down to ottawan!

    1. The 'number of band members on stage' question reminds me of a very early edition of "Never Mind The Buzzcocks" (when it was funny) when the teams had to guess how many members of Earth Wind and Fire were on stage in a video for one of their singles. The answer was 13!

    2. I also remember a rare Kool & The Gang studio performance on TOTP where they had about 10 or 11 band members on stage, but I can't remember which song though.

    3. Oh yes, I found it. Ooh La La, it was Kool & The Gang with 9 band members on this TOTP stage in October 1982:

    4. arthur it was "boogie wonderland" also featuring the emotions, which swelled their usual line-up by an extra three bods. although there were actually nine regular members of ew&f, plus the phoenix horns section which had at least three people in it. which means there really should have been a minimum of fifteen people on stage!

    5. earth, wind & fire actually released a double LP called "faces" in 1980 - like the beatles' white album, in my opinion the best might have made for a decent single LP. but obviously the success of "i am" had gone to their heads, and perhaps as a result of that this album yielded no hit singles whatsoever! as you can see from the sleeve, the nine full-time members are shown in a pyramid, with head honcho maurice white at the apex, then bassist brother and fellow-songwriter verdine white on the next level with the other lead singer philip bailey. then fred white and al mckay. and then the rest along the bottom - keyboardist larry dunn (who like guitarist mckay was a regular songwriting contributor) must have been a bit miffed that fred white (who did nothing other than drum, and that was probably only when maurice was singing) was deemed higher than him in the pecking order. but as they say "blood is thicker than water"!

    6. actually it might have been al mckay who was relegated to the bottom level rather than larry dunn. but whichever one it was, they certainly made a far greater contribution to the band than maurice and verdine's kid brother!

    7. Kool & The Gang also had nine members on stage, and Steve Wright on TOTP2 jokingly introduced their TOTP studio appearance in Oct 1982 as 'here is a group with about 1000 band members'

    8. I don't think any TOTP appearances survive but Alexi Korner's CCS had 23 members as did Philly outfit MFSB in the US.

  7. There's just not enough songs on the show like before the summer strike, and frankly the whole format of the show appears to have been slowed down to something like The Old Grey Whistle Test, or an episode of Terry Wogan.

    Without looking forward, I wonder when they speed up the format once again, but soon I hope.

  8. I did wonder at the start of the show if the audience had been locked in the studio dancing to Ottawan for the whole of the previous week - certainly our "friends" in shamrock t-shirts were still hanging around, doing their normal Nazi salutes. This was a textbook early Hurll show, crammed with bad edits, boring interviews and weird treatment of the chart rundowns (what happened to number 10?). At least Tommy Vance was enthusiastic, and the famed early 80s party atmosphere did appear to be gathering steam by this point. Publicity stunt or not, has there been a less appealing couple in pop than obnoxious David and simpering Thereza? In fairness though, they did release some fine singles.

    Music-wise, the debut of Adam and his Ants was clearly the main event here, though who would have thought Michael Palin, of all people, would be the man to introduce them to the British public? I am not much of a fan, and this particular song doesn't do much for me, but watching this performance in context does emphasise how fresh and original their look and sound was at the time, and it is no surprise that they would quickly rocket to fame. By contrast, Showaddywaddy were very much on the way out, though their half-hearted attempt to update their look makes this an amusing outing for them. The song is very much in their usual vein, but they do it well and appear to be having a good time.

    The best song on display was Woman in Love. I have never really understood the appeal of La Streisand and her nasal vocals, but this is a classy effort from the Gibbs and a deserved chart-topper, complemented by a suitably restrained Legs routine. The rest of the show was fine, but not especially exciting. George Benson'e effort was slick and impressive, though as Wilberforce notes above he seemed to be cultivating a Little Richard look in the video. Special Brew has a pleasant sound, and Buster looked amusing in his grass skirt, but it did go on a bit and I was losing interest by the end.

    Yet more Ottawan to play us out - how long did it take the audience to get it out of their heads, or were they traumatised for life?

    1. John, I've never been a fan of Streisand by any stretch, but this song oozes class. I think the Legs and Co. routine was very appropriate and it's one of my favourites (not taking into account outfits!).

      Could never understand the Ottawan obsession that TOTP had - one of life's great mysteries!

  9. There is a short edit at the end of the show where Tommy congratulates Dollar, wishes Suzi Q well with her record and tour, and announces that DLT will be hosting next week's show.

    1. The BBC are certainly nothing if not thorough in their airbrushing! Still, at least through your good offices Manorak we are able to watch the 23 October show, which I have just been doing on your Vimeo channel. Thanks again!

    2. The 23rd October show was probably the best of the year so far, simply because of the level of fun that DLT injected into the show, which everyone around him responded to.

      Yet paradoxically, we seem to be moving backwards 35 years later where the BBC feels that they must even edit out Vance's mention of him at the end of the show. Good grief. What will life be like in 35 years from now?

    3. Yes it is unbelievable that they edited out a mention of DLT, I had no idea that letters were so dangerous! Also the BBC is committing gross double standards. Jeremy Clarkson was supposedly sacked from Top Gear but now seems to be on our screens more than ever.

    4. manorak thanks for the 23/10/80 show - any chance of putting up the "full" version of this show with edit in thanks paul

    5. My copy of the full show is not good enough for a full upload paul - so I have only posted the end with the edit included.
      It's at

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    7. My thanks to manorak too. I absolutely deplore these edits by the BBC of 2015. We're all licence payers - don't forget to complain at

  10. It seems that Michael Hurll's latest try-out in this edition was to dub on ambient crowd noises during the studio performances. Because nothing conveys excitement more than the sound of people straining to hold conversations over music.

  11. The so-called 'party atmosphere' still isn't really working, there's too much chit chat and not enough music.

    Madness are always good value and are a terrific way to kick off the show even if it is a repeat. I always did admire the band's stage antics and the way they made it obvious they were miming and just had a good time.

    Not sure I care for Tommy's faux fliting with Suzi Q but it's harmless enough. I don't suppose she sold many albums on the strength of this.

    There is a very shap cut into the new look Showaddywaddy suggesting something was snipped out. I must say I don't like the band's new look very much. I certainly don't want to see close ups of the maraca shakers bum's encased in tight trousers and what the hell has Dave B done to his hair? Oh it's a wig, great gag guys. The song is almost a note-for-note reworking of Why Do Fools Fall In Love and was originally written as a tribute response to Frankie Lymon.

    Poor Legs are forced to interpret in dance the work of Barbra Streisand wearing what appears to be designer bunting. At the time I misheard the line "it's a right I defend" as "it's a ride out of here" but to be honest none of the lyrics make sense. It's as though Barry Gibb took random phrases that sounded good and joined them together eg - "We may be oceans away, You feel my love, I hear what you say, No truth is ever a lie, I stumble and fall, But I give you it all". What does any of that actually mean? Answers on a postcard.

    Ah Michael Palin talking about Monty Python. Great fun but a bit out of place on a pop show and was that an excerpt of the album they were playing in the background. A shame we couldn't hear either properly.

    The crowd we saw at the beginning get their first chance to dance to something NEW but aren't anywhere to be seen when Adam Ant appears which suggests the performance was recorded earlier and perhaps the business with the sword was a health and safety issue. I always thought it sounds like he was singing "Doggy doggy doggy" in the chorus but it's a fantastic debut. The dual burrundi-style drummers, the surly bassist, Marco on guitar and Adam having raided a theatrical costume box for the ultimate pirate look. Brilliant.

    I like the skinhead yawning behind Tommy V when he starts talking about Dollar, it would have had the same effect on me at the time.

    I had completely forgotten this George Benson single. Nicely produced with a good sound but it lacks the punch of some of his other songs. His voice sounds like Michael McDonald at times so perhaps it was him on uncredited backing vocal duties pre-empting Yah Mo Be There by several years.

    More rock and roll revival from Matchbox and we finally get to see the crowd again including those irritating pogo-ing prats in their shamrock teeshirts (why are they always present?). A good cover of a lesser known Buddy Holly song but the lead singer is doing himself no favours by wearing those massive specs and looks a good twenty years older than he probably was. And we can't read the box-shaped Matchbox caption at the end as it's in black on a dark background.

    Oh Tommy's back flanked by the two obvious smiling BBC employees in TOTP tee shirts. Then Bad Manners who win the show where their beyond-bonkers routine in tuxedos and grass skirts and Buster in a rocking chair. Can't say I recall the band having a violin player but he's there, is there a violin on then track? The crowd don't quite know what to make of it but it's great fun.

    Did anyone else notice that Buster had hair at the start (before the grass skirts) but was shaved by the end.

    1. I thought the non sequitur intro to Bad Manners was really funny, took about five seconds of screen time but must have taken far longer to set up. How pointless, apart from the "Did he just...?" laugh of it. Maybe it was Dave Bartram's wig?

  12. Keep It Part Two (Inferiority Part One):

    The Top Ten minus one with a still photo of Status Quo even though they have footage of them from last week's show (why do they keep doing that) and then the Police vid again. A shame we didn't get to see them in the studio but that's the power of videos.

    And play out where we came in with that bloody Grottowan disco record again. I bet some of these waving buffoons were faded out when this was first shown in 1980 so they've had to wait 35 years to see themselves on the telly.

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  13. No you re wrong the police appeared five times on the pops the preformed Roxane may 79 can't stand losing you July 79 spirits of material world Dec 81 every breath you take may 83 and wrapped around your finger July 83

  14. I’m beginning to dislike these ‘new era’ re-runs immensely. Too many guests, too many plugs for singles and albums (and beer this week in the case of Tommy’s outro to Bad Manners) and nothing like enough ‘Pops’. It reminds me of my dilemma listening to music on the way to work these days – too many DJs who like the sound of their own voice (Chris Evans, Chris Moyles, Christian O’Connell – it appears, never trust a DJ whose name begins with ‘Chris’) limiting the choice of stations to my taste with a decent music to waffle ratio.

    Keep a space free in the car park this week – Showaddywaddy are back. Oh, and Matchbox and Suzi Quatro will need spaces as well. Almost like old times. Mind you, what was leather clad Judas Priest’s Rob Halford doing singing backing vocals for the ‘Waddy? That tune was too high for Dave Bartram’s vocal range. The sound of the sea about to wash over the ‘Waddy’s career sandcastle. Hark at me, how poetic!

    While I’m at it, Legs & Co’s outfits were the same colours as the ‘Waddy’s ensembles. They should have been on stage with them rather than doing music and movement to a Gibb composition I’ve never been fond of.

    After a ‘ humourous’ interlude with Michael Palin, we get to the star(s) of the show. I bet Bow Wow Wow’s Annabella Lwin was shaking her fist at the telly saying “Curse you, Ant, that stage should be mine! Mine, I tell you!”. Here we really had the sight and sound of things to come.

    A(nother) Bazar interruption to the show followed by a poor start to the rundown with Gilbert losing his apostrophe and The Specials losing the titles of their single, followed by the start of the slide into pop MOR for George Benson, all alone on a massive stage and cultivating a daft dot of facial hair under his bottom lip.

    I had to laugh at Matchbox’s singer trilling the line “Rely on someone who’s older”. Older than Matchbox’s singer? Like, maybe, a pensioner?

    So, Bad Manners have had countless hit records at this stage, Tommy? In which other countries, then? I guess Buster had grown his hair (he had some on early picture sleeves for “Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu”) for the blink-and-you-miss-it first take, then had it shaved off to regain his usual look for the grass skirt version. I don’t recall seeing his tongue come out as far or as often as The Vance had us believe.

    And finally for this show – Sweet People…How? Why?

    1. Sweet People here at No.4 already this week, and no video or studio footage anywhere.

      While I don't remember this song at the time, there were a number of examples in 1980 of high chart achievement, with not a view in sight of the band by any means or form, with the pop video concept still not fully utilised until 1981 or 1982, where by then it was mandatory to release a video in order for a chart release.

      So the likes of Sweet People, Crown Heights Affair, Coffee/Casanova, and International Jet Set by The Specials, were able to get away with laziness in a recording studio somewhere, and not even show their faces to an eager like-to-get-to-know-you general public who actually made the effort to but their records in 1980. Not so Sweet People!

    2. At least we know what Sweet People look like now, and not one of them was Percy Edwards.

    3. i actually have a memory of the sweet people track somewhat bizarrely being regularly played in a disco i frequented at the time! presumably it was one of those novelty things that a particular radio DJ took a fancy to a la captain beaky?

    4. i always used to get percy edwards (bird mimic extraordinaire) mixed up with percy thrower (the original alan titchmarsh) as both were still just about mildly famous at the time

    5. regarding arthur's prosaic description of the decline of showaddywaddy, i have a friend that insists that the only pop acts not washed away by the tides of time in 100 years will be the king and the beatles. i disagree myself, as pop music from the past is seen as more important culturally than ever before and i think will continue to do so. but sadly unless someone invents a time machine, a successful cryogenic process or immortality, none of us will be around to see it (i wonder will someone read this blog in a hundred years time, and think "how quaint and innocent they were back then?" in the same manner we think of the victorians?)

    6. ...that should have read "none of us will be around to find out"! hope that helps explain things for those around now, and those reading this in 100 years time...

    7. Do you remember the song "In The Year 2525" by Zager and Evans in 1969? I was only one year old at the time, but I remember in the late 70s that this was a regular track on Alan Freeman's Pick of The Pops.
      The song looked ahead of time to a world where no-one would remember the 20th Century.

    8. Zager and Evans followed their big hit witth "Mr. Turnkey", a song about a convicted rapist killing himself in his cell. Strangely, it didn't chart over here.

    9. The Sweet People track (Et Les Oiseaux Chantaient) was originally released in Europe in 1978 but was a hit in Holland in 1980 and was then played on Radio 2 (James Last's Seduction is soon to follow and was a hit for the same reason). There was a vogue for combing music with exotic bird calls back in the 1950s with artists like Les Baxter and Martin Denny and I guess Sweet People were reviving that tradition.

      Funnily enough the B-side of the single was called 'Perce' so maybe it did feature Percy Edwards

    10. Not forgetting Minnie Riperton's big hit "Loving You", consisting of vocals, synth, guitar and bird song.

    11. of course, martin denny did the original version of (dory's favourite) "firecracker" by yellow magic orchestra...

    12. My favourite bird tweeting is on the intro to 'Close to the Edge' by Yes.

  15. Re the shows uploaded by Manorak on Vimeo, they are downloadable but after downloading them I can't get them to play on my computer. Does anyone know how you can do this? I want to save a copy of them in case they are removed from Vimeo.

  16. Angelo, are we going to get the 23rd Oct edition put up, using Manorak's UK Gold copy, as the following 30th Oct edition is already on BBC4 this Thursday?

  17. Yer it has to be put up on here coz it will get missed out despite it shown by DLT

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  19. Here's the place to lodge an online complaint with the BBC, against their incessant editing bits out of these shows:

  20. Here's the place to lodge an online complaint with the BBC, against their incessant editing bits out of these shows: