Thursday, 1 October 2015

Top of the Pops so Close to Me

It's a welcome return to BBC4 then of Top of the Pops 1980, in what will prove to be a momentous final quarter of the year, and for the first time since the Spring we are (almost) back in sync with 2015!

Whatever happens Mike, don't do your Cliff Richard impression.....

25-9-80: Presenters: Mike Read, Leo Sayer & Russ Abbot

(35) BLACK SLATE – Amigo
Mexican flavoured Amigo would make it into the top ten but it was the band's only top 40 hit.

 (22) SPLIT ENZ – I Got You ®
Another band who only had the one top 40 hit, and this is it.

(13) DIANA ROSS – My Old Piano (video)
The follow-up to Upside Down, and the 11th top ten hit for Diana since leaving the Supremes. Nice of her to make a proper video for this one ~ but seeing she was in the TOTPs studio as a guest just a couple of weeks earlier, maybe she could've recorded a performance then?

 (7) QUEEN – Another One Bites The Dust
Legs & Co look dressed to kill for this week's routine, with Another One Bites the Dust at its peak.

 (8) OTTAWAN – D.I.S.C.O. (video)
The first of two top ten hits for the energetic duo from Guadeloupe.

 (16) SHALAMAR – I Owe You One (video)
Their biggest hit to date when it peaked at 13. And edited out of the 7.30pm showing!

 (43) LINX – You’re Lying
The first of 3 top 30 hits for David Grant and the boys from their upcoming debut album, Intuition. This somewhat echoey version must have been a re-recording for the show.

 (10) HAZEL O’CONNOR – Eighth Day (video)
Had peaked at 5.

 (9) SHEENA EASTON – Modern Girl (video)
Reached number 8.

 (8) OTTAWAN – D.I.S.C.O. (video)
On its way to number 2.

 (7) QUEEN – Another One Bites The Dust (video)
At its chart peak.

 (6) ELVIS PRESLEY – It’s Only Love (clip of Legs & Co TOTP 11-9-80)
Got to number 3.

 (5) MADNESS – Baggy Trousers (video)
Also a number 3.

 (4) KELLY MARIE – Feels Like I’m In Love (video)
Former number one.

 (3) STEVIE WONDER – Masterblaster (Jammin’) (video)
Peaked at number 2.

 (2) RANDY CRAWFORD – One Day I’ll Fly Away (still picture)
Didn't quite make it to number one.

 (1) THE POLICE – Don’t Stand So Close To Me (video)
Straight in at one, and Mike Read making a big deal of that (only the 7th act ever to do it!) the first single from their third album, Zenyatta Mondatta. Least said about the lyrics the better given today's climate!

 (24) CHANGE – Searching
This follow up to A Lovers Holiday became the band's biggest hit when it made it to 11, and Mike, Leo and the crowd are joined in catastrophic fashion by 'Cooperman' for a spot of over the credits dancing.

Next week should have been the 2nd October 1980 with host DLT, but it will be skipped in favour of October the 9th with (a guest presenterless) Peter Powell.


  1. So the TOTP Game is finally over, and we can now settle into the final furlong of the 1980 year with BBC4.

    Queen - Legs & Co were too heavily clothed-up this week for my liking, and missing their skimpy outfits that were so welcome during the summer.

  2. This was the first time watching the Police video that I'd noticed the humorous dog Latin verse on the blackboard:
    Caesar adsum jam forte
    Brutus aderat
    Caesar sic in omnibus
    Brutus sic in at

  3. Well, its been a while. How have you been? Had a good summer? How are the kids? Good, good. Ok, then, wells lets do this thing.

    Continuity announcer woman mentions 'You asked for it' in her annoucement. Does that mean BBC4 actually listens to the public? If they do, can they please stop Yewtreeing the DLT editions? Please?

    Into the show proper and immediate sound problems on the later edition with Mike Read's voice being absent at the start and truncated during the mention of Ottawan's hit which is nowjust D.I.S.C.

    Musically we are up and running with Amigo by Black Slate featuring Speedy Gozalez on vocals. Decent tune - and I like the stone-dead stops in the middle. Even if it was a bit cod-reggae ish for me. And then Read introduces his 'Amigo' Leo Sayer for a very unfunny, and faintly embarrassing link. Mike Read; cod-reggae; unfunny and embarrassing - ring any recent bells?

    A repeat show for Split Enz before that rarest of things - a Dians Ross video. Decent song this one, hardly surprising as it comes from the pens of the super-hot Chic Organisation. Video looks as though it was shot for about fifty quid in the function room of whatever hotel she was staying in at the time.

    All through the summer, The Leggers have been slowly losing their clothes. But now with the first hint of Autumn in the air the girls are dressed more sensibly. Fair enough I suppose - wouldn't want them catching a cold or nothing, but its still a shame.

    Pop news now featuring a gig/live album feature by Toots & The Maytals and a Marvin Hagler/Alan Minter fight. What the average teenage pop fan watching ToTP in 1980 thought of those two items I have no idea.

    More unfunny stuff with this week's nominal side-kick Russ Abbot before the chart rundown which once again contiunes on to number 20.

    Boney M rip-off merchants Ottawan are up next with the appalling D.I.S.C.O. This has nothing to recommend itself at all.Lyrically, musically, performance-wise, originality. Nothing. A song that the fast forward button was built for.

    Shalamar giving it some live action on some stage somewhere. Big mistake. These guys could sing and we all know about Jeffrey Daniels and his dancing but this looks like a mid-concert wig-out with all the verses physically ejected from the building along with a good fifty percent of the melody. Can't have done much for next weeks sales.

    Now, weird moment of the week. I thought I knew Linx - You're lying. Turns out I was wrong. Yeah, I knew the chorus hook, but the rest of it? Nothing. It got to number 15 so must have been around for a while and yet it meant nothing to me hearing it again. Its like a jazz funk doodle that just ambles on and on and no one is listening, they are just waiting to get round to the 'You're Lying' bits.

    Sting & Co parachute straight into number 1 with the Yewtree applicable Dont Stand So Close To Me. Probably the only record to mention Nabakov - shame it is then rhymed with 'shake and cough'.

    All three presenters on stage to end the show as the Luther Vandross-led Change see us out with the brilliant Searchin'.

    So first day back at school after the summer hols and its a case of it all seems the same. I wonder what they did to entertain the audience here because the only studio acts were Black Slate and Linx - everyone else was on vid or a repeat. 4 for the show and 5 for Mr Read, 4 for Leo and 3 for Russ.

    Oh and welcome back Angelo - missed ya.

    I am not a robot.

    1. Gosh, Alan Minter and Marvin Hagler? Now that is a blast from the past. Wasn't Minter the one that shook up Hagler with a punch that nearly felled the iron defence of Mr Hagler? Or was it someone else that gave Hagler a scare?

      Whatever, I remember that Hagler seemed to be World Middleweight champion for an eternity, and normally you would lose before you even stepped into the ring with him, right?

  4. Black Slate, a great hymn to Jah but what was written on Mr Slate's massive hat? Like the bits where it goes quiet for a second and the band plays statues.

    Split Enz, what was with all the policemen's helmets in the audience? Were they trying to put the wind up the presenting team? I say it was Split Enz, but they looked more like Showaddywaddy. Great song, anyway, I prefer them to Crowded House.

    Diana Ross dancing with actual piano there. Basically Chic with Miss Ross singing, and that's good enough for me, though why are these shot on film videos always looking so battered? Is it because they had to make the journey from America?

    Legs & Co pose to Queen, not sure of the significance of the gloves, though. I believe this song was a popular choice on jukeboxes when Freddy passed away, which is a bit cruel.

    Ottowan, I remember this video, pretty ridiculous but a lot of fun, and one of Daft Punk's dads was behind the scenes.

    Shalamar, don't recall this at all, and it didn't make much of an impression here. They looked a bit lost on that huge stage, Earth Wind and Fire would show them how to do it.

    Linx, was that Mike Berry on keyboards? Nice, slick sound, not one of their more memorable tunes but not bad.

    The Police, oh no, Sting's taking his shirt off again. Pretentious reference to Nabokov? Check. This song was used in a deodorant ad, the chorus, not the verses obviously.

    And Russ Abbott's presence is entirely justified by watching him dance to Change in his Cooperman outfit. Finally a guest presenter makes me laugh.

    1. Re the policemen's helmets - the Split Enz performance was a repeat from the 11 September show, where Ian Dury and the Blockheads had dressed up as policemen and the spare helmets were distributed around the audience!

    2. Of course, I remember now, thanks.

  5. I remember the deodorant ad with that Police song – it featured a referee holding a winning boxer’s arm up and wincing at the BO. We almost have another deodorant on this show – if only the band’s name had been spelt Lynx! Apparently they started out with Junior on backing vocals. Bassist Peter Martin went by the unusual pseudonym of Sketch.

    Going back to referees, I always though the lyrics to “Amigo” mentioned Jennaro, one of the “Fils Rouge” adjudicators in the contentinal heats of “It’s A Knockout”. I always thought the other bloke Guido must have felt a bit put out.

    Only another five years of repeats to go before we see Russ Abbot in pop star mode, modelling an eyecatching jumper in the video for his majestic smash “Atmosphere”. I can hardly wait!

    1. sting so objected to the use of "don't stand so close to me" for a deodoarant that he managed to get it stopped. sadly the same thing didn't happen when another of his no. 1 hits was desecrated by some talentless rapper...

    2. I did like Russ Abbot's brand of comedy and humour, and preferred his shows in the 80's over other rival comedians like Little & Large, Jim Davidson and Kenny Everett, although I didn't think that Russ was on our screens as early as 1980, and presenting TOTP in October 1980 with Mike Read!

  6. There was definitely a cut right at the start here - we missed Mike Read's introduction, which must have featured Russ Abbot in the scout uniform pictured above, as he wasn't dressed like that in the links that we did see. Presumably something decidedly un-PC and probably Yewtree related was said - does anyone have the full, unexpurgated version of this show?

    This wasn't one of the best instalments of 1980, and not really worth a 2 month wait, but it was good to hear Split Enz again and My Old Piano is, as far I'm concerned, the best single from the Diana album. I once heard Ottawan's effort described as the final nail in the coffin of disco, the moment when it finally ate itself. I think this is a little unfair, as it's a perfectly serviceable dancefloor filler, but there's no denying that disco was now approaching its last knockings.

    The rest of the show was rather yawnsome. Black Slate were pleasant but dull, though I liked the singer's sombrero. Shalamar were just dull, and while the Linx song had a decent groove it ultimately left me cold. I am not a great fan of the new number 1 either - dodgy lyrics aside (inspired by any of Sting's experiences as a teacher, I wonder?), the song always sounds a bit unfinished to me. At least the video is amusing, particularly when Copeland chucks a bit of paper straight at Sting's bonce - I bet he enjoyed that!

    While Legs were more fully clothed than usual, and were dancing to another boring song, the brightly lit set and the power dressing left the viewer in little doubt that the 80s had arrived. The same could be said for Russ Abbot's presence, though as I think he was an ITV star at this time it seems a bit odd that he should pop up on TOTP. As a kid I always found him as funny as diarrhoea, so it was something of a relief that his presence was a limited one - admittedly, the group dance at the end was mildly amusing. Little Leo did a good job with his couple of links, as you would expect given he was presenting his own show at the time, and the "Cliff" interview raised a smile, thanks to the marked resemblance between Mr Read and the Peter Pan of Pop. However, the guest presenter gimmick was wearing very thin by this point, and it's a relief it got dropped after this show.

    Incidentally, we won't see Mike Read again now until March 1981 - it seems that he had a falling out with Michael Hurll over his lack of punctuality, and got dropped from the roster for a few months...

    1. The full version of the show may be available on a UK Gold copy, or if Manorak or one of the others has a copy, we may then get to see what BBC4 had cut which is not PC in 2015.

      Any volunteers to post this show up in full so that we can think for ourselves?

    2. I agree that disco was by now on its last legs, and I always put 1980 as the last full year of disco with The Gibson Brothers and Ottowan being really the last ones in the era to have a disco offering, cos 1981 saw synth pop taking the baton from disco for good.

      In a way, you could say that groups like Odyssey and the Pointer Sisters evolved in 1980 from disco to a more ballad-type sound like Slow Hand, which gave many traditional disco acts of the time the same idea, like Earth Wind & Fire and many others who did the same transition, as disco was no longer the prime sound by 1980.

    3. disco didn't really die as such: with mainly black practitioners (as opposed to the synth pop brigade) it just mutated, got more sophisticated thanks to the new technology, and became a generic brand of "dance" or "club" music (now retro-dated with the horrific term "boogie" by da kidz). change are an excellent example of this as they were active well into the eighties with such dance/club classics as "change of heart" and "mutual attraction"...

    4. the above comment reminds me that around this time i was on the dole, living in a tiny hotel room and subsisting on a diet of kentucky fried chicken (a local branch had just opened in my hometown). i was still spending much of my time listening to radio 1, and heard what i thought was a great dance-style groove called "love meeting love" by somebody called level 42. but although it got regular airplay it only scraped the bottom regions of the chart, and after that they seemed to disappear without trace... of course they returned with a vengeance two or three years later with what i consider their "half-way house" sound between synth pop and the generic club music of the 80's (and i don't care what anyone says, i loved them then and i still do now!)

    5. Disco lived on in gay clubs in the early 1980s as Hi NRG.

      Level 42 make an appearance on TOTP in early 1981 although we're unlikely to see it as it a DLT show.

  7. Re Police: although the only No 1 to mention Nabakov, it was the second number one to refer to the book in question - Mungo Jerry's Baby Jump from 1971 mentions the title as well as the male protagonist.

    1. You learn a lot on this blog :-)

    2. You could also add "True" by Spandau Ballet - apparently Gary Kemp was partly inspired by reading 'Lolita'.

      As for Russ Abbot's "Atmosphere" - nice try but I think the Joy Division version has an extra edge.

    3. At the time my friend and I used to sing "knackers off" instead of "Nabakov", which ironically is what they'd probably do to the old man today.

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  9. Does this mean I've got to record the weekend edition now as well, if the Thursday late night edition is cocked up?

    If there isn't a weekend repeat, what's the best way to edit the 2 together, the early & late shows?

  10. I have downloaded the 7:30 one off i player and the intro is cut off that 1 too

    1. The intro seemed to have been cut from all three showings, i.e., the Thursday short version, and the two late night repeats.

      Angelo, in your caption above, is it the clip at the beginning of the show which was cut out by BBC4, because in the rest of the show and from the beginning, Russ Abbot wasn't wearing the above costume, but only a Showaddywaddy style costume, and then a Cooperman one at the end?

      Can someone please come up with the original footage at the start of the show, or we will never know what was said by Russ Abbot that BBC4 felt the need to remove and may not be PC today. And please, when will they stop treating us like idiots?

  11. yes! back to the real action again at last!!

    hosts: why does mr read try and look so contemporary with his clothing, and then ruin it all with his hideously outdated haircut? leo is cheerful enough although he doesn't really add anything of note (but rather him doing that than singing). as for russ abbot, like john g i always found him utterly unfunny (my choice of unfortunate ailment comparison would be piles) and obviously only of appeal to the great unwashed, but i have to admit that his line about his rock n roll shoes not being "crepe" was quite amusing

    black slate: shakey shakerson mentions "cod-reggae", but strictly speaking shouldn't that term only be used if whiteys are involved? which doesn't seem to be the case here (i think they were british of west indian origin). like most reggae, to my ears it's pleasant enough but nothing to write home about. but who or what was gennaro? someone watching this with me said it was a total rip-off of bob marley's "jamming" but i couldn't particularly see that - in my view there's far more serious plagiarism going on later in the show...

    split enz: always thought this okay but no more at the time, but in the 90's i got seriously into crowded house, and listening now it's obvious this is a taste of what was to come. the guy in green (noel crombie) pre-dates the bez "what exactly do you do in the band?" syndrome by about 10 years

    diana ross: better than "inside out" but not a patch on "i'm coming out", the best bit by miles being the ivory tinkling at the end. i always thought of her old piano being a battered upright joanna stuck in a darkened corner of a room (or in the hallway or even garage or shed) with half the keys out of tune and one or two missing - not some steinway grand like in the video! miss ross never did much for me looks or voice wise, but obviously to get on in this line of work it helps somewhat if you shag your boss...

    queen: i recently read the nile rodgers autobiography and he went into some detail of how the chic organisation encountered difficulties in getting royalties from the sugarhill gang for nicking the riff to "good times" (including being visited by a couple of "heavies" and advised to not take things any further). but i don't recall any mention of trying to do likewise with queen, where the bass line is obviously plagiarised from said track (and without that there's not much else!). maybe because it wasn't quite note-for-note, or maybe because queen's people were even tougher than sugerhill's?

    1. On the subject of Diana Ross, it has always been said that Florence Ballard had the best voice in The Supremes, and I think she was the lead singer originally, but once Berry Gordy laid eyes on Miss Ross her demotion followed rapidly!

      The lyrics of My Old Piano do refer to a "baby grand affair," so to that extent I suppose the choice of instrument in the video is justified...

    2. and florence was a better looker to boot! what a shame she not only got relegated to backing duties, but eventually got the heave-ho too (possibly because miss ross saw her as a rival?) and then an early death in obscurity and poverty. i know they later made a musical that was loosely based on her tragic demise but it's name escapes me at the moment...

    3. It might have been Dreamgirls, as that is loosely based on the Supremes' story.

    4. yes, i think that's the one - thanks john. but in that i think the tragic heroine was sidelined from stardom because she was a bit of a porker, whilst flo was only "fatter" than miss ross in the sense that she had womanly curves and didn't look like a stick insect!

  12. yes, it's another two-parter...

    ottawan: i hated this with passion at the time, and my chums and i poked much fun at their expense by rewriting the lyrics ("she is D - diabolical, she i I - irritating, etc). and we found the woman's mushroom barnet of great amusement too. but even though i still think it's cheese i don't mind it too much these days. and at least unlike what followed it had a tune!

    shalamar: i don't know if it was because it was live, but this utterly humdrum effort left me totally cold, and lead singer howard hewitt's keening style started to grate after a bit. still, it could have been worse - it could have been the awful jody watley singing the lead! third member jeffrey daniel (who never sang lead on anything i've heard by them) has an already-outdated afro at this stage - rather absurdly he was still sporting that look a couple of years later for the "friends" LP cover shoot (along with even more ridiculous flying V guitar), whilst at the same time appearing on TOTP as a moonwalking new romantic

    linx: even more disco, which i wouldn't usually complain about, but like shalamar this is pretty much tune-free and instantly forgettable. an early example of an act presenting itself as a "duo" for interviews and promotional work rather than solo singer or band, which became very fashionable in the 80's (even though the other guys here also appeared in their videos). i'm guessing at least the vocals were re-recorded as the "other half" guy on bass clearly can't sing to short order. and singer david grant (who later did the sensible thing and went solo) clearly forgets to mime at one point

    police: i think this one of their better tracks, although it always gets overlooked in the great scheme of things, possibly by dint of taking so long to get going (they probably got to no. 1 with this just because of their general reputation at the time, not due to the greatness of the single itself), and possibly due to the (if-anything-even-more-today) dubious lyrical theme (when i was at school in the 70's i remember a pair of teachers publically "going out" with a pair of twins who were in the 6th form - i shouldn't think that kind of thing were condoned these days). i remember at the time when i watched the schoolgirl pushing her way past summers and copeland in her pleated mini-skirt thinking it looked a bit retro as schoolgirls didn't actually dress that way then (skirts were at least knee-length, and trousers had just been allowed so some took advantage of that), and yet nowadays that skimpy style seems de rigueur (and as such i'm glad i'm not a sex-starved pubescent boy at school now!)

    1. Agreed with your take on the Police No.1 Wilb.
      By 1980 they were so big, and after only one year of seeing them for the first time on our screens in 1979 with Roxanne, that they could release anything and get to No.1 with it, like we see now with the current crop of pop music in 2015 when the media take over and create enough hype to project people to No.1 simply by breathing before starting to sing.

    2. but unlike now when you only have to sell a few hundred copies to get to no. 1 in whatever passes for the charts these days, back then you had to shift tens if not hundreds of thousands!

    3. should also be pointed out that Don't Stand So Close To Me was the best-selling single of 1980, so it was widely liked.

    4. you're probably right david, but if you did a survey now where you asked people to name five police hits, i doubt very much that would be one of them!

  13. If anyone wants to watch the Yewtreed 2nd October edition, Manorak has kindly made it available on his Vimeo channel:

    I notice he also has the next two DLT shows (23 October and 20 November). Thanks Manorak!

    1. Thanks for coming to the rescue Manorak. I would buy you a beer, or even lunch, but we are all in a virtual world where we are never likely to meet outside of this blog, so please accept our thanks and gratitude for your efforts to get these shows out to us in a difficult BBC and PC climate we are in of rewriting history.

    2. Thank you John G. and Dory for your comments, I do appreciate them. I would also like to thank Neil B. in particular for uploading those ultra rare editions in the past, and hopefully in the future too!

    3. Indeed - I don't think the 6 November Savile edition was ever shown on UK Gold, so hopefully Neil B will be able to help us out with that one!

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  15. This feels weird, getting back into the swing of analysing a proper episode, albeit in truncated form.

    Mike Read did a good job, with points gained for mentioning the previous week’s non-mugshot positions but a point deducted for thate Cliff impersonation, Russ Abbot was a waste of space, and Leo Sayer had a better hairstyle than Diana Ross and came across as a confident presenter.

    I wouldn’t say Black Slate were cod reggae, they were probably one step up from Janet Kay-style lovers rock. Fantastic sombrero, mind you – Jamiroquai, eat your heart out!

    I’m afraid the Legs & Co routine, complete with its costumes, special FX and a song I can’t stand, did nothing for me. Just as bad was the start of the chart rundown, with an awful ‘pic’ for Change and another occasion where the first ‘ten’ stopped at number 20 instead. Even worse was “S-H-I-T-E” by Ottawan.

    That David Grant did well for himself, didn’t he? Who’d have thought from this show this outing he’d have some decent hits with Linx, a couple of good duets with Jaki Graham, and then become a TV celeb vocal coach?

    For the record, Leo’s single ‘going that way’ as described by Mike Read was the first of a clutch of complete chart flops. Russ Abbot’s space invader / purple people eater single also stiffed while Hazel O’Connor and Elvis Presley had something in common as their next releases both stalled at number 41.

    1. The female lead on Ottowan did look very fertile in that tight green number!

  16. for some unknown reason on sky catchup the late showing for this episode isn't present, Stephen has tried to download the 7:30 one, it keeps failing. All other programs he's tried have downloaded without issue. So it aint Sky or the internet. Can anybody help us out with a copy of this show on 4shared.

    1. It's working fine on iplayer, Alan ~

    2. Yeah i have a 30 day copy on my phone. But it's Steves Sky we need for Archiving

  17. I was forced to look up Russ Abbot's single on YouTube (I know, I don't have a life). Not surprised it wasn't a hit - includes the crepe shoe joke!

  18. Somebody (it might well be Neil B) has made the introductory segment of this show available. Why BBC4 cut it off I don't know, as it looks perfectly harmless to me.

    1. Thanks John G. Also I cannot see any problem with it.

      I would guess that the people at BBC4 responsible for chopping parts of the show like this, are likely to be in the 30-40 age group who were probably only just born in 1980 and do not associate with the TV comedy of the time, and they probably look down at people like Russ Abbot and others with a similar style of comedy, and don't have a sense of humour themselves.

      Pathetic really, but thanks Neil B for once again bucking the trend and giving us a full picture of the puzzle.

    2. It could be because Russ says that in the show coming up, we won't be grabbed by The Dooleys (which is obviously a take on being 'grabbed by the gooleys').

      Anyway Editors, please have a sense of humour and respect for a fine comedian called Russ Abbot who gave us lots to laugh about in the 80s, and yes, some of us still like his fun style of comedy!

    3. Dory, I hope you have complained formally to the BBC against this incessant editing. It's wholly disrespectful to the intelligence of licence payers.

    4. If they can show Johnathan King., a convicted sex offender, why can't they show Russ Abott's

    5. My guess is that whoever at the BBC is doing the editing out of parts of the show, such as the Russ Abbott harmless intro, I can only put it down to the next generation coming through now, and allowed to work in the BBC vaults, who were born in the 80s and after, and would not remember 70's & 80's music, and the editing is a jealousy of the freedoms enjoyed by the public then, which are no longer available to the next generation, so instead of enjoying things as there were then, they are trying to hide them from us.

      My preference is that the BBC has someone over 45 for the job of the TOTP repeats, who would remember the 80s music and tv comedians of the time, and I think you would see a different result with no editing!

    6. thanks for the upload here but i am having problems seeing it how do i get into dropbox" is it available on say utube?

  19. May I add my derision to the already loud chorus here for Ottawan. I can think of no redeeming features for this dreadful record other than it ends.

    I didn’t realise Sting was a fan of the Beat? What’s his favourite Beat track I wonder? ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’, ‘Hands off she’s mine’ or perhaps ‘Can’t get used to losing you’ which isn’t a million miles from ‘Can’t stand losing you’….

    Really liked Split Enz.

    So what was Leo Sayer’s ‘Going that way’ single? I can’t find it listed anywhere. Perhaps it was actually the Alan Tarney penned, non-charting ‘Once in a while’ which Leo couldn’t even find space for on his Greatest Hits album (although the B Side ‘Living in a Fantasy’ co-written by Alan and Leo did feature). Fortunately Leo wasn’t done with chart success but that’s another year to paraphrase Johnny…..

    1. Correct, Leo's flop was "Once In A While", which sounded a bit too close to "Dreaming " in sound and structure for comfort. "Living In A Fantasy" was his fourth consecutive flop before Leo made the top ten again with a Song For Europe finalist.

    2. Arthur thanks for that...yes, and what a great song that Song for Europe finalist was - I have the original by Paris (featuring Ian Bairnson's guitar) and the two versions compare very nicely.

  20. Hey everybody I’m back! What do you mean who are you?

    I've been on holiday, then preoccupied with other stuff, but back in time (just) for the return of the BBC4 shows.

    I have just remembered that during this time I had just started college and had an evening job working in a local supermarket and I’m sure this included Thursdays, so I don’t think I’ve ever seen this or any of the other shows in late 1980 before.

    The missing link at the start is decidedly odd. Having just viewed this on DropBox it seems perfectly harmless to me too so it is clearly just the BBC being uber-PC not showing a grown man dressed as boy scout. Maybe that’s why we don’t see The Krankies on our screens any more.

    But it's nice to see Russ Abbott but they could have tried to link his comedy characters into the music a bit more. And while I quite like Leo Sayer but I’m not sure I want to see him doing feeble comedy skits with Mike Read.

    Black Slate Amigo. I have this single in my collection somewhere, on Ensign Records if I remember correctly, and had forgotten how good it was. Whether it was the band’s idea to dress the lead singer up in a Mexican sombrero or the BBC costume department we shall never know, but I suspect the latter as it is the sort of obvious cliched thing that they would go for in those days. A good tune and the crowd seem to like it, well apart from the bored ones sitting on the bonkettes in the background.

    Split Enz. Another good tune that I know well but I had forgotten that it had charted back then. They are doing a Showaddywaddy with different coloured suits but with bum freezer jackets.

    Diana Ross has made a video. Well knock me down with a feather. Not a very good video but it is a video. You can just imagine the director running the idea past Di. “Well basically love you’ll be prancing round a piano while we intercut it with close ups of piano wires and keys”. But it makes a change from the usual thing we see to accompany her songs. This is a strange song with just the same verse repeated 5 or 6 times with no real chorus and no middle eight but a long coda but it works.

    Ottowan’s DISCO is one of those songs that I want to hate but it is very catchy. Strange performance though, I had to check to make sure it wasn’t speeded up because that was some insane shimmying the female half was doing at the end.

    Legs and Co dance to Queen. Not bad but this one time I’d like to have seen Freddie and Co.

    I had a friend who was a massive Shalamar fan who dragged me to one of thier concerts in 1982. They were a stonking live act but Jeffrey Daniel is a better dancer than he is singer as proved by this performance. Their later singles were better including I Can Make You Feel Good and There It Is.

    You’re lying by Linx is another song that had slipped from my memory. It’s not as instant as Intuition but it’s pretty good. That’s a massive shoulder synth the keyboard player has round his neck. I bet he’s regretting that now, probalby still has whiplash.

    The Top Ten - They had Randy Crawford on thes how a couple of weeks ago so why don't they show a clip of that insteasd of a still pic?

    Nice to hear the original of Don’t Stand So close To me which is so much better than the 1986 remix, and a good video too. The problem when a song goes straight in at No 1 is that it can only go one way after that and doesn't get as much exposure as other songs.

    Of course it’s Luther Vandross doing the vocals for the Change track and very good it is too which is more than can be said for the dancing. It’s saying something when Russ Abbott dressed as Tommy Cooper dressed as Superman looks more cool than Leo Sayer and Mike Reid. I was more distracted by the people in the background who looked more like they were waiting for a bus than being involved in a television broadcast.

    1. i seem to remember that the police had some kind of reunion in 1986 and decided for some strange reason to re-record "don't stand do close to me", and then the night before the session stewart copeland broke a finger or something and couldn't play drums so they used a drum machine instead. which rendered the whole thing a pretty redundant exercise in my opinion. however, kudos to them in that when they reformed properly for a tour a few years back, unlike most reuniting once-successful bands they didn't test our patience by writing and releasing new material that everyone knows (including the artists themselves) will never be a patch on the old stuff!

    2. i remember in the early days of "the tube" that at one point shalamar (and their backing band) appeared almost weekly with live renditions of songs from their "friends" album - i remember being impressed at the time, and that was probably a good reason why they had several hits from the album...

  21. I was 12 at the time with blinkered and not very mature tastes and remember very well hating this episode. Smash Hits used to run copies of two charts in their fortnightly editions – the indie chart, and the disco chart, the latter of which embraced, it seemed, all black music, including reggae. My recollection is that everything in this program apart from Split Enz and the Police, but including both Black Slate and Queen, featured in that disco chart that week.