Thursday, 12 November 2015

Do You Feel My Top of the Pops?

Here's the edition of Top of the Pops, hosted by DLT, so it won't be shown on BBC4, from November 20th 1980 with many thanks to manorak for uploading this to the excellent Vimeo site.

I wish I could do the splits like Rod...

20-11-80: Presenter: Dave Lee Travis

 (15) MOTÖRHEAD – Ace Of Spades
Getting the show off to the loudest start possible is Motorhead, but Ace of Spades got no higher than 15 in the charts.

(23) THE BOOMTOWN RATS – Banana Republic (video)
DLT suggested that this single looked for a while like it wouldn't make the top 30, but now it was in there it was heading for the top 3, although it would prove to be their last top ten or even top 20 hit. But another fine video from the Rats.

(18) DIANA ROSS – I’m Coming Out
This week's Legs & Co routine sees them all frilly and white dancing to Diana's third hit of 1980, this one peaking at 13.

(30) EDDY GRANT – Do You Feel My Love?
Over a year after Living on the Front Line, Eddy returns to the charts with what would become his first solo top ten hit when it made number 8.

(22) ROD STEWART – Passion (video)
Wow if Rod did the splits any further he'd do himself an injury I'm sure! This one peaked at 17.

(12) KOOL & THE GANG – Celebration ®
On its way towards the top ten.

Unlucky Dennis keeps popping up on yewtreed editions and this single was now almost at its number 3 peak.

The Top Ten Rundown:

 (10) STATUS QUO – What You’re Proposing (video)
(8) ADAM & THE ANTS – Dog Eat Dog (still picture)
(7) BAD MANNERS – Special Brew (still picture)
(6) STEPHANIE MILLS – Never Knew Love Like This Before (video)
(5) DAVID BOWIE – Fashion (video)
(4) DENNIS WATERMAN with THE DENNIS WATERMAN BAND – I Could Be So Good For You (clip of TOTP 6-11-80)
(3) BARBRA STREISAND – Woman In Love (video)
(2) ABBA – Super Trouper (video)

 (1) BLONDIE – The Tide Is High (video)
The second and final week at the top for Blondie, their third number one of 1980.

 (11) UB40 – The Earth Dies Screaming (crowd dancing) (and credits)
This went one place higher to make it three top ten hits for UB40 in 1980.


  1. i can't say i miss seeing dennis waterman, but the fact that the greatest heavy metal track of all time never gets a showing on terrestrial tv thanks to the powers-that-be is utterly scandalous (and also the fact that it never even made the top 10 in its day). will the beeb ever get around to showing the musical performances we've missed out on (thanks to misguided morality) as host-free compilations a la "big hits from 1980"?

    "i'm coming out" was by far the best of the chic/ross collaboration - i really loved the stop-start drum rolls that tease the listener at the beginning (great for air drumming!). perhaps the reason for it's lesser success than the two previous singles was due to what could be interpreted as a still-at-the-time sensitive title (i wonder if it was adopted as an anthem by gays)? or maybe it was just because everyone who was ever going to like it had now bought the album...

    and it seems cod-reggae is alive and well, with three (yes three!) contributions by the boomtown rats, blondie and UB40). i love the absurdity of a bunch of people mindlessly dancing to a song entitled "the earth dies screaming" - were any of UB40 happening to be watching this edition, i'm sure they would have felt satisfied they were getting their point over!

    1. oh yes, eddy grant may well be black and have dreadlocks, but with its bloodless and plodding drum machine programming i think this effort has to be classified as cod-reggae as well (that makes four of 'em on the show!)

    2. At least both Motorhead and Dennis Waterman made the 'Big Hits of 1980' show. I'm really disappointed that we don't get to see 'Same Old Scene' at all.

  2. DLT starts the show slow-dancing with Toyah Wilcox, ahem, I mean “the Wife.” This was indeed the second time DLT brought a close family member onto the show with him - the first being his mum in August 1978.

    Boomtown Rats – like Blondie, they were back in the charts in November 1980, and after a long gap since their last single in the early part of the year. However, Blondie made the better return single.

    Diana Ross – Legs & Co for the second week running were being undressed in the early part of the song. Last week from a black veil, and this week from a pure white satin dress, with wonderful results with less clothes on.

    Rod Stewart – I don’t recall this one, but clearly Rod is trying to re-create the moves on the Do Ya Think I’m Sexy video two years earlier in 1978, which was his last top ten hit and No.1.
    The last couple of years since then was a dry period for Rod, with all his singles barely troubling the top 20, so you got to hand it to him for trying. Suffice to say that this effort called Passion only went up to No.17 the following week, and then tumbled quickly out of the charts, so it didn’t really bear fruit.

    Following Blondie’s final week at No.1, DLT mentions being relieved of his duties at Radio 1’s breakfast show. More politics at the BBC, in a 1980 that had a summer strike of TOTP, and the now the plug pulled on DLT for the breakfast show. What next?

    1. DLT did say he was leaving the breakfast show at his own request, though I guess that could have been a lie to save face! He would move to afternoons in January 1981, and then to lunchtimes the following autumn, while Mike Read took over at breakfast.

  3. It's sad that Motörhead drummer Philty animal Taylor has died aged 61 rip

  4. It's sad that Motörhead drummer Philty animal Taylor has died aged 61 rip

  5. Ace of spades is a class tune it's 😂 sad he passed away

  6. Thanks to Manorak, for once again stepping into a Yewtree-shaped hole and giving me something to do with my Thursday.

    Despite my constant and still-active distaste for heavy rock, there is something endearing about Ace Of Spades. Maybe its the lack of posturing onbehalf of the band, maybe its the sheer 'eleven'ness of the sound, but I sat there enjoying every second of that. Well done lads - good start to the show.

    Next - the Rats go all cod-reggae with a tune that has probably been disregarded by most people but, to me, is Sir Bob's finest bit of work; a scathing attack of the Irish Republic. And a decent vid to go with it as well.

    The Leggers get up now to dance to I'm Coming Out, channelling a bit of Princess Di. But how are they gonna' dance wearing those big ole dresses? Oh, by taking them off, that's how. No complaints here.

    Eddy Grant. Jeez he looks cool there doesn't he? Doble leather, black T shirt and a nonchalant way with the guitar. My favourite song of his as well.

    Rod on Vid. Couldn't bring this tune to mind just from the title, but it did come back when I heard it. Not a bad effort all told, somewhere between the brilliant Faces stuff and the tosh of his later stuff. The video is a standard 'on stage' one with the bass player the one member of the band who never attended the 'what shall we wear' meeting beforehand. He eschewed the 'something black' decision in favour of dressing as a Kwik Fit Fitter. The lead guitarist made the telepathic faux pax of wearing a t-shirt bearing the words Sex Police. Oops.

    And we end with repeat showings of the vids for Kool & The Gang, Dennis Waterman and Blondie.

    Right then - scores on the doors. Not a bad show this one, although it ended quite feebly. Motorhead and Eddy Grant were my performances of the week closely followed by The Leggers in their undies. Points dropped for the three part chart rundown which this week was at its most non-mathematical. So all-in-all, a fairly respectable 7.

    DLT cops for a 6 - having gained a point for not mentioning cars this week or for boring us with a 'news' section.

    I'm not a robot.

  7. Thankfully this is the last regular show of 1980 to be Yewtreed, though we will of course lose both Christmas shows, plus another 15 regular editions in 1981, unless there is a sudden attack of sanity at the Beeb. Thanks to Manorak though for once again coming to the rescue on this occasion.

    I was highly amused by the Legs performance this week - when Rodgers and Edwards wrote I'm Coming Out, I don't think they had debutantes on their mind! Still, the removal of the big skirts was a nice touch, and pre-empted Bucks Fizz by several months. As others have noted, the Rats produced another decent video here, and the song is a definite grower. However, I'm not surprised that chart success became harder to come by after this, because the Rats did seem to be finding it hard to keep a coherent musical identity for themselves by this time.

    Eddy Grant, by contrast, had by now successfully reinvented himself as a purveyor of reggae with a rock edge. He had a fine run of hits during the early 80s, and Do You Feel My Love is right up there for me with I Don't Wanna Dance and Electric Avenue - just a shame the ambient crowd noise made an unwelcome return during this fine performance. The Rod Stewart tune was new to me, but actually wasn't as bad as I had feared. The man himself looked utterly preposterous in the video though - given that he is such a notorious ladies' man, his stage persona is remarkably camp.

    All in all, a decent show, though DLT was guilty of self-indulgence at the beginning and end. He could have got away with bringing his wife (who looked slightly spaced out) into the studio for a dance, but the self-important way he announced his departure from the Radio 1 breakfast show at the end, as if it were news of national importance, was a step too far. It did remind me a bit of the way he announced his resignation from the station on-air in 1993; given the song playing in the background, I wonder if DLT thought the Earth really would die screaming at the thought that he would no longer be waking up the UK each morning...

  8. Big thanks to Manorak for this heavily (cod-)reggaefied TOTP which should really have been hosted by Althia and Donna.
    Very sad news about Phil Taylor, which made it all the more poignant watching this absolute classic on the day of Philthy’s passing, especially with the joke knife through his head and Lemmy bellowing the line “I don’t want to live forever”. Wasn’t that the weakest, ninniest post-song audience cheer for a metal anthem?
    The other classic for me in this show was the Legs routine, ditching the toilet roll holders for some tiara ta-ra to one of La Ross’s best disco efforts. I’m sure that record’s ‘garter’ go higher after that performance!
    I couldn’t work out whether the video for “Banana Republic” was artier or more pretentious than that one for “Fashion”. Eddy Grant looked like the inspiration for Lenny Kravitz, plus he was one of the only other acts on Ensign to have some hits, apart from The Boomtown Rats. Oh, and Galaxy featuring Phil Fearon.…
    We went from banana republic to banana split with Rod Stewart. Please, pan away from his arse! Why were his band members wearing Sex Police T-shirts? Were they actually a tribute band covering Sex Pistols songs in the style of The Police or vice versa?
    A cackhanded way to finish the show, really, with two repeats, two videos (one of those also a repeat) and surely the most doomladen outro song in the show’s history, preceded by DLT, soon to be the ex-Hairy Cornflake, giving us a milder version of his famous “changes are being made around here” speech. I noticed Dave missed a trick by leaning on that wee girl before Dennis Waterman sang the line ”Use my shoulder to rest on” and not after. See what I did there?

  9. RIP Philthy, the knife through the head was a nice touch. Well, "nice" isn't quite the right word, but even though most Motorhead songs sounded the same, they never quite sounded like anyone but themselves, and the drummer was a big part of that.

    Why did the Boomtown Rats think we all wanted to see them topless? Found this catchy at the time, don't mind it now though it's something the Police could have covered quite comfortably.

    Anyone remember the photo of Miss Ross dancing with the transvestite which appeared about the time of I'm Coming Out? Probably online somewhere. Anyway, great intro to a cheery ditty, peerless production, but now you half expect the Notorious B.I.G. to interrupt her. As for the dancing, well that's sweet if they thought it was about that.

    Eddy Grant, rather excellent driving reggae, wondered what he was going to do with that guitar but ah, it was for the solo of course.

    Rod Stewart legs akimbo, not the most appetising of sights, and the song did nothing for me. Was it really worth illustrating those lyrics with two second long shots of Rod out and about? Spending money like water, obviously.

    I don't remember DLT on the Breakfast Show because I was listening to Terry Wogan at the time. Did I miss much?

    1. Nothing major, and certainly no snooker on the radio, but DLT was a reasonable breakfast show host. He was definitely miles better than those balloonheads Chris Evans and Chris Moyles, whose waffle-to-music ratio ensures I never listen to them. By the way, I see Wiggy's missing out on hosting Children In Need tonight for the first time due to back problems. Is is true Terry Wogan doesn't usually host the show for free and gets a decent appearance wedge?

    2. i don't remember the picture of dian ross dancing with a transvestite, but it wouldn't surprise meif there are a few ross drag queen acts around. if so, then they wouldn't have to bother wearing fake tits!

    3. i've also heard that wigon actually gets a fee for presenting "children in need". which if true is fucking scandalous, given the vast amounts of money he (still!) gets paid for doing things that any contributor to this blog could do equally well if not better! but even if he did it for free, it still sickens me that various slebs like that just make appearances on such tv-charidee shows (amd in doing so boosting their profile so they can make even more money they don't need or deserve), exhorting the great unwashed and poor to put their hands in their (much-less deeper) pockets without doing likewise!

    4. Yes, Wogan does take a fee for hosting the show, and got very shirty with a newspaper journalist who questioned him about it a few years back - I lost a lot of respect for him after that. I also have a problem with Children in Need itself. Doubtless it does a lot of good work, but is it right that the BBC should use the might of its broadcasting empire to publicise this particular charity above a whole host of others that can only dream of a similar level of media exposure?

    5. i've never had any respect for the guy in the first place, and one reason i choose not to own a tv licence is so that i don't make any contribution to the utterly undeserved massive salaries dished out to him and his kind. if he was vapourised overnight he would just get replaced by another vacuous sleb and be forgotten about in no time, a la jeremy vine taking over from the supposedly-irreplaceable jimmy young - the king is dead: long live the king!

    6. I doubt the salaries are that massive anymore, as Graham Norton said when he took a pay cut, the BBC shouldn't be making people into millionaires. Anyway, actually getting paid a decent wage for your work is becoming a novelty in itself these days and I'm not one of those who thinks all entertainment should be free, cos if that's the case we'll just end up with endless cat videos to watch before long.

    7. thx i'm not saying that everybody should work for free, but on the other hand i don't think anyone should get paid outrageous salaries for doing something that anyone with a modicum of ability could do given an opportunity

      is "cat videos" a reference to the "talking kitty cat" series on youtube featuring steve cash, sylvester, shelby and gibson? if so, i suspect that mr cash actually makes a shedload of cash these days as a result of commercial sponsorship. by the way, i think they are brilliant and extremely well-produced, and personally given the choice i'd much rather watch them on the telly than graham norton making feeble innuendo whilst interviewing some sleb who's only there to plug their latest product (and more than likely they're someone i've never heard of either!)

    8. Nope, cat videos = videos of actual cats. I think the days of outrageous BBC salaries are over, they just don't have the money, and I also think the entertainment world is more difficult than it looks: you have to be popular (or at least inoffensive) with your target audience for a start, or you'll get nowhere. Mind you, I like Graham Norton, he makes me laugh, and I wish he wasn't a magnet for grumblers.

      To get grim (forgive me), the BBC has really proved its worth over the past 24 hours, and I don't think that should be dismissed.

  10. Bloody hell! Phil Taylor was hard. Just been reading up about him, and I didn't realise Philthy carried on playing drums in 1980 having broken his neck when a friend dropped him on his head. Apparently, you can see the neck brace in the video for “Ace Of Spades”. Phil had previously played drums with a broken hand (caused by punching someone) by sticking the drumstick to his hand with gaffer tape!

  11. So sad to hear about Philthy. All in all, an uninspiring edition this week, with Rod Stewart's fatherhood seemingly slowing him down in aesthetic terms. Happily, he would regain his form the following year with 'Tonight I'm Yours' and 'Young Turks'. As I mentioned to a cabbie driving me home from Tesco last night, Rod is currently making some of the best music of his career.

    The 'Banana Republic' of the Rats' song is actually their homeland, the Republic of Ireland. I suspect they were by now trying to keep abreast of The Clash and Police, both of whom had successfully experimented with reggae and conquered the USA to boot - unlike the Rats, who would never even make the British Top 20 again outside Band Aid.

    Still with a reggae theme, Eddy Grant pulls another well-deserved smash out of the hat, though his only No.1 would be 'I Don't Wanna Dance' in '82. Even my Dad loved his work.

    Dennis Waterman, the Dennis Waterman Band and Gerard Kenny (uncredited for inter-label contractual reasons) wind up the studio performances before Blondie's video is shown for the final time.

  12. True to form, Desmond Carrington on Radio 2 has just played Sweet People for his birds themed show. It'll be on iPlayer soon, though he said they were Swiss, not French.

  13. Sad to hear of the death today of Warren Mitchell aka Alf Garnett of Till Death Do Us Part. In 1980 while we were enjoying TOTP, his regular comedy half-hour every week was one of the finest shows on TV just for being so funny and original. Will be missed.

    1. they never seem to repeat that programme these days - i wonder why?

    2. Mainly because of Alf's racist rants and sexist remarks, which have no place in today's politically correct society.

    3. Alf Garnett's shows as well as Mind Your Language seem to get shunned these days for repeats on TV because of the change to political correctness. However, all these shows are freely available on DVD.

    4. of course i know why they won't show alf garnett - i was just doing a bit of stirring! i can't say i miss it as i never found amusing in the first place...

      of course the ultimate blacklisted (ho ho) comedy series is "love thy neighbour" - even though the black guy always wins out against the white racist every week! (and don't forget the sidekick's catchphrase "i'll have a half")

    5. Exactly. The only fools in Alf and love thy neighbour were the racists/homophobes themselves. It will never be shown again anyway, for whatever the reason.
      I just hated that recent programme on C4, "it will be OK in the seventies" (I think it was called) where various nobodies sat there with mock outrage watching progs like Alf et al.

    6. Given his birthplace and early upbringing, interesting how Spike Milligan was what you might call a 'repeat offender' in the race stakes with his comic writing and some of the characters he played.

  14. This was a bit more enjoyable than the previous edition - well, the first half was at least.

    'Ace Of Spades' is always great, The Boomtown Rats song confused me at the time (and still does) but is at least quite memorable in its oddness.

    The Diana Ross one is OK but I prefer 'My Old Piano' and unusually, my usual hatred for modern R&B subsides when I hear 'Mo Money Mo Problems' sampling it as I really like that track!

    'Do You Feel My Love?' is easily my favourite Eddy Grant track. As for Rod, well....although Kenny Everett was singing 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?' when he did his famous Rod impression, surely he was channelling this actual video?

    DLT's news probably wouldn't have meant much to me as a kid, although I came to hate Mike Read and his awful breakfast shows whereas DLT did a very good job. As he was the next time he did a 'resignation speech' - yes, he was pompous and self-important but also a bloody good broadcaster. Sadly swept away by bigheads like that ginger prick who ended up in charge of the whole station practically. Rant over.

  15. Thank you Manorak for enabling us to watch and judge for ourselves. DLT was OK on this one I thought.

    It struck me that the wonderful 'Celebration' has not been seen on the TOTP rerun by the average BBC4 punter who doesn't look on the net for these shows like we folks do. That's such a shame - I believe it may be on TOTP one more time in which case it should be seen by the masses. Is this performance is live, or part-live as it ends which I am sure the single does not?

    I enjoyed seeing Eddie Grant singing that song with the wonderful bassy riffs. As DLT says, it's a similar sound to 'Living on the Frontline' and indeed is similar to his only no1 hit 'I don't wanna dance' in 1982. But hey, why change a winning formula? It worked out for the likes of Slade, Sweet, Bay City Rollers, New World etc.

    Not too keen on Motorhead and 'Banana Republic' certainly ain't no 'Rat Trap' or 'I don't like Mondays'.

    Rod Stewart's 'Passion' track I do recall, but not in a good way. Great the way the word 'Passion' is spelt out over and over again. Really gets the message across.

    Once again, the Blondie video baffles me. I've watched the official version and I really can't see what the problem with it is. Great song, and of course the definitive version by the Kittens wouldn't see the light of day until 22 years later....

    1. OK, I think I have at last figured out why the BBC did not show the official darth vader video when at No.1, and instead used a makeshift video just in time, because the original uncut official darth vader video was too sexy for TOTP.

      If you look at the uncut original video in this link, you will see at 1:04 Debbie Harry shows her left boob as she neels down to clean the floor, and according to one of the comments under the video on Utube:

      He goes on to comment that this original video had to be recut for broadcast and for subsequent DVD and video release.

  16. I missed the Vimeo link :( Please could somebody let me know a new one?