Monday, 2 November 2015

I Could be so Top of the Pops for You

Our thanks goes here to Robert Thompson for uploading the November 6th edition of Top of the Pops, which won't of course be broadcast on BBC4 due to it being hosted by Jimmy Savile. I've found the best way to access the file is via the 4Shared app for phones, it works without any bother at all on there.

er.... how tall do you think I am?

6-11-80: Presenters: Jimmy Savile O.B.E. & Richard Skinner

Or use this alternative link thanks to Neil B:

 (33) KOOL & THE GANG – Celebration
A studio appearance for this classic song soon to become their second top ten hit when it made number 7.

 (2) STATUS QUO – What You’re Proposing ®
Now at its peak position.

A fine live vocal from Dennis here with the theme tune from Minder which became his only top ten hit reaching number 3. Then comes a guest appearance from a somewhat unenthusiastic Robert Palmer giving away his latest record to a very polite girl.

 (18) STEPHANIE MILLS – Never Knew Love Like This Before (video)
Making its way up the charts towards number 4.

 (NEW) NEIL DIAMOND – Love On The Rocks (video)
A taster from his movie The Jazz Singer, this became Neil's final top 20 hit.

 (29) ROXY MUSIC – The Same Old Scene
A very sparkly dressed Legs & Co do Bryan and the boys proud here with their routine.

 (25) UB40 – The Earth Dies Screaming
Another 1980 nuclear bomb song which gave UB40 their third top ten hit of the year.

 (21) MOTÖRHEAD – Ace Of Spades
Perhaps their best known tune, though surprisingly it only made it to number 15.

The top ten rundown:
 (10) OTTAWAN – D.I.S.C.O. (video)
(8) DAVID BOWIE – Fashion (video)
(7) ODYSSEY – If You’re Looking For A Way Out (video)
(6) MATCHBOX – When You Ask About Love (video)
(5) BLONDIE – The Tide Is High (video)
(4) ADAM & THE ANTS – Dog Eat Dog (still picture)
(3) BAD MANNERS – Special Brew (still picture)
(2) STATUS QUO – What You’re Proposing (clip of TOTP 23-10-80)

 (1) BARBRA STREISAND – Woman In Love (video)
The final week at number one for Barbra.

 (30) JOHN LENNON – (Just Like) Starting Over (crowd dancing) (and credits)
Oh boy, it's that time already. But we'll have to wait a little longer to hear this one as its missing from the end of this recording.


  1. Kool and the Gang were about to hit their stride here in Britain with 'Celebration'; many more smash hits would follow over the next half-decade, along with a coveted appearance on the original Band Aid single.

    Dennis Waterman's performance of his only Top 10 hit on TOTP featured co-writer Gerard Kenny - also known for 'New York (So Good They Named It Twice)' and 'I Made It Through The Rain' - on tack piano. With the 'feem toon' receiving regular exposure on both the ITV and Channel 5 versions of 'Minder', not to mention the BBC's 'Little Britain' (as rendered by a falsetto David Walliams, with lyrical variations), the American expatriate is quite probably the only songwriter on the planet to have had a song featured regularly in three separate series, on three different British terrestrial broadcasters.

    1. Yes indeed, this was Kool & The Gang's first ever appearance in the TOTP studio, as their previous top 20 hit Ladies Night at the back end of 1979 was only shown on video, but as mentioned by one-of the co-presenters on TOTP, Kool & The Gang were on a UK tour in Nov 1980, and so it was easy to schedule in the TOTP studio for this one.

  2. Angelo, alternatively to accessing the show only on mobile phones through Robert T's 4-shared page, I would suggest that for those who want access on their computers or laptops to make sure you first have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player, and then access this show from Neil B's 4shared page, and then it works a treat on your computer.

  3. Well now, this is better. Although, to be fair, it would have taken an edition of monumental awfulness to bottom last week.

    With the ever-cringey Saville in charge ( does he still have his OBE or was it posthumously wrenched away?) we are up and running with a live Kool & The Gang performing that staple of wedding DJs 'Celebration'. I hate this song but fair play to Mr Bell and colleagues - they performed it with energy and vim and no lack of ability. It's still 'Celebration' though.

    Next up, the superflously named Dennis Waterman With The Dennis Waterman Band. Also live - not quite as good.

    Robert Palmer pops in to plug his new single which Saville Mystic Megs as next week's number 1. Nope. Though it might have helped if either of these two now-deceased Yorkies could have been arsed to mention the title. (Johnny & Mary? Clues?) Never before has a pop-star guest looked so unhappy to be in front of a camera.

    Middle of the show - middle of the road time. Steph Mills high-pitches her way through a 'meh' kind of song followed by Neil Diamond sleep-walking through a Jazz Singer film tie-in. I've got a soft spot for a bit of Neil - stuff like I AM I Said and Coming To America, but this is yawn-inducing.

    However, we then get a trio of belters. The Leggers give it their all to Roxy's Same Old Scene. Shame about the ghosting effects used. Reminded me of the seventies when our old telly used to go on the blink whenever we switched to BBC2.

    UB40 become the third act in the charts with a war-based tune. The Earth Dies Screaming is certainly in the top five of UB40 songs for me.

    Then Motorhead produce another barnstorming, breakneck performance with, basically, their signature song.

    So much, much better then. Saville wasn't as annoying as he usually is and gets a 4; Skinner was non-descript and brought little to the party apart from not being Jimmy Saville - 5.
    The show started in ok fashion, dipped a bit in the middle before recovering to finish in a bit of style. Thanks to the final three, the music scores a Len Goodman-style 7.

    I'm not a robot.

    1. Oh, and big thanks for Robert Thompson and Neil B for bringing this show to me and helping wipe last week's edition from my mind.

  4. I cannot imagine for the life of me why the new entry by Blondie was not shown among the main line-up this week.
    It goes straight in at No.5, and the video was clearly available to TOTP because it appeared in the top 10 chart rundown, and not just still images.

    I would have swapped the Neil Diamond track in the line up, cos Neil had not even entered the top 75 by this point, so why leave out Blondie coming straight in at No.5?

    Even I could have been a better producer on this week's show to avoid such an unfair line-up, and it is very unlike TOTP to behave like this with such a big new entry in the charts, especially from someone like Blondie.

  5. Thankfully the ambient audience noise wasn't present on this edition, and after a couple of repeat-heavy weeks we at last had plenty of new songs to enjoy (or not). Strange that The Tide is High only got played in the countdown, given it was straight in at 5 that week - we will of course be hearing it regularly on the next few shows.

    Kool and the Gang get things off to an upbeat start, but their vibrant performance can't disguise the fact that the song is weak and tedious, and fit only for the most lukewarm of celebrations. I prefer the dreaded Waterman theme tune, to be honest, and he gives it his all here even if he is never going to be the world's greatest singer. It's a blatant cash-in, but perfectly listenable, and certainly a lot better than some of his later TV songs - anyone remember (shudder) On the Up?

    Stephanie Mills seemed to be wandering around some kind of park. It's a boring video, but a very pleasant tune and I'm surprised that with her voice she didn't enjoy more success. Neil Diamond was coming to the end of his era of greatest sales and acclaim, but there is some good stuff on the Jazz Singer soundtrack and Love on the Rocks is up there as one of his finest ballads. In the featured clip, the chap in the red top behind the glass is none other, rather improbably, than our old friend Paul Nicholas. Just after the point in the clip where TOTP cut back to the studio, his character tells Diamond to piss off - I wonder if Neil had vetoed Reggae Like it Used to Be from appearing on the soundtrack...

    The Same Old Scene is a fantastic song, very evocative of the New Romantic era, and I thought this rather shiny and blurry Legs routine matched the music perfectly. UB40 then bring proceedings down to earth with a bump, thanks to a song that makes nuclear war sound like the most snoozesome thing ever. Even at this early point, despite the heavy subject matter, they are already showing signs of transmogrifying into the most boring band in the world. While I am no fan of Motorhead, at least they did proceed to get the energy levels up with a storming performance of their most famous tune, though of course it is really the only tune they had!

    The Savile-Skinner partnership did another fine presenting job, and it will be good to see Skinner host the show on his own in a few weeks, as I think he is very impressive - I'm sure he can't wait, as it means BBC4 will finally start giving him some repeat fees! He also gave us some interesting news, with the report of the break-up of Dexy's Mark 1. I thought Jim'll handled that Robert Palmer interview quite well, considering how ill-at-ease Palmer seemed to be, rather like his former bandmate Elkie Brooks when she was interviewed a couple of weeks previously. The new single must have been Looking For Clues, which would rise to the dizzy heights of number 33 over the next few weeks. The excellent Johnnie and Mary had already been and gone, surprisingly only reaching 44 earlier in the year.

    I wonder what those colourfully attired girls thought of the Liquid Gold albums Jim'll gave them as prizes...

    1. "johnny and mary" became much more familiar to joe public in later years when used in a series of renault car adverts. surprisingly though palmer's record company never cashed in on that by re-releasing it as a result (or if they did it flopped again!)

  6. A heads up for next year - there are quite a few 1981 shows on YouTube including two DLT hosted shows and at least one JS hosted show plus the Christmas show. Just in case these don't turn up on Vimeo or 4Shared it might be worth checking them out.

    1. Manorak already has a large number of 1981 shows on his Vimeo channel, including many of the Yewtreed ones.

    2. Oh good, the only problem is you can't download and save from Vimeo. I keep asking how to do it but no one seems to know.

    3. I'm afraid I can't help there - when I try to download anything it always goes wrong!

    4. I have no problem downloading and saving from Vimeo - you just click the "Download" button.

    5. Yes I can download it but then it won't play. It always says the file is corrupt.

  7. Blondie cover of John jolts reggae tune the hide is high was out of nowhere into the top5 it wud get the no 1 posising the following week it wud be their last no 1 for over 18 years coincidentally scouse wannabes atomic kitten (managed by Andy mcclusky) version wud hit no1 sum 22 years later Kool and the gangs celebration hit no 7 it wud hit no 20 in 92 for kylie

  8. Robert palmers lookin for clues did not hit no 1 it got as far a no 33 but it's a gr8 song and Robert was a fab artist sadly he died 12 years ago but this and his other hits were good gud to. His biggest uk hit was addicted to love no 5 May 86

    1. His other big hits were his cover version of some guys have all the luck no 14 March 82 and his three other top 10s I didn't mean to turn you on July 86 she makes my day October 88 his cover version of I ll be your baby tonight (with UB40) November 90 and mercy mercy me/ I want you January 91

    2. W8 that's four of his other top 10 hits

  9. it always puzzles me that if artists have the time to turn up at the totp studio to plug their new single (even if rather ineffectively, as it seems in robert palmer's case), then why couldn't they have spent a few minutes miming to it? if the single was "looking for clues" then it's rather sad that was an opportunity missed, as i loved it back then and still do now - had it been a big hit perhaps i might have got the opportunity to dance to it in discos at the time

    unfortunately "celebration" did get played at discos i went to an awful lot back then, but once i heard it a few times i realised how dreadful it was (and strictly for the plebs) and it would send me straight to the bar rather than the dancefloor. the most vomit-inducing bit is where it goes "it's time to get together, it's up to you - what's your pleasure" - urrgghh! i hope (like george benson) that kool is now sitting in his mansion such 80's sellout drivel bought feeling guilty about the punishment he inflicted on fans of the funk!

    i can't believe "the ace of spaces" only reached no. 15 in the charts as that really is an all-time classic that is probably bigger than ever now - probably just my luck that it's only showing on totp coincides with the hosting-of by the evilest man born to have never been convicted of anything...

  10. Robert appeared three weeks later to preform lookin for clues on totp

  11. Robert also part of the short lived but successful supergroup power station with John and Andy Taylor (Duran Duran) and Tony Thompson (chic) they had two brilliant singles some like it hot no 14 and their cover version of T. Rex's get it on no22 both from the power station lp in 1985.

  12. Before his solo success he was in a Scarborough band mandrakes in the mid 60s then joined Alan brown set before forming dada in the early 70s the latter also featured another great artist Elkie brooks who was coincidentally in the totp studio a fortnight ago talking to DLT both Robert and Elkie formed vinegar joe before disbanding in 1974 and both had successful solo careers Elkie is still with us sadly Robert died in 2003 aged only 54

  13. Oh I found that I didn't mean to turn you on was a Cherrelle hit any way his music still with us

  14. Does anyone remember that dayglo, flashing, headache inducing advert for Golden Wonder Pot Noodle which used "Ace Of Spades"?

  15. I cannot get this to download. I have created an account, I wait 20 seconds and the screen fills up with half a dozen 'downloads' - I don't know which is the correct one, but my browser keeps stopping me downloading most of them. The odd one I have accepted has tried to download files that are nothing to do with TOTP. anyoneknow which download is the correct one?

  16. I've managed to get this to play on my iPad, so many thanks for getting in online for us :-)

  17. Good evening, everyone, and how are you today? Thank you.

    Big thanks to both contraband entrepreneurs for the links, though it was Neil’s version which worked on my PC (and first time too).

    I can’t stand acts who make the audience clap their hands (I’ll do that after a song if I like it), but a fine (as) live performance from Kool and the Gang, complete with “Yahoo” jump end. By the way, sorry to lower the tone, but there’s an act on the live circuit who sings X-rated material and he goes by the name of K##t and the Gang.

    Robert Palmer seemed really happy to be there. Note the excitement in Jim’ll’s voice when Robert mentioned his parents lived in the same seaside town where Jim’ll and / or his mum resided?

    Stephanie Mills’s track sounded like it was coming off the tide via Radio Luxembourg with interference from Hissing Sid, but nice teeth and plenty of them and some great method acting, especially the finger twirls on the line “turned my world around”. I can see why Jeffrey Daniels liked her.

    Richard, “Love On The Rocks” isn’t in the chart so it can’t be Neil Diamond’s latest hit. And while I’m at it, no-one would give an orchestral direction (“Real strong here, please”) during a live studio take, but still another fine vocal in any case.

    Another crap chart rundown, still not in its proper thirds, plus horrible blue on black for the middle bit, and still no names or numbers for most of the top ten, and no name for OMD due to a Jim’ll cockup…and, despite hating the song, I agree – where the Hell were Blondie in this show?

    Dennis Waterman was no overnight chart success – this was at least his sixth single, and I couldn’t stop hearing David Walliams’ “MacBeth was a naughty man” version of this in my head, but we were spoilt for rollicking live vocals in this show. I reckon Dennis could have been another Paul Jones if he’d wanted.

    Whoa, it’s Frizz & Co! Even Sue’s got in on the act, and it suits her. However, why employ a ghosting effect when the Leggers not only look like but dance like Hot Gossip for a change, and not during one of the pony efforts instead? Same old scene? No, great routine. Excellent tune to match.

    Nice bit of afuche action on UB40’s slower companion to “One In Ten”. Not one for the dancefloor, mind. Unless you think it's going to be your last dance. Ever.

    I loved the juxtaposition from Motorhead to Barbra Streisand in the show. "Ace of Spades" knocked the Quo into a cocked hat, what with menacing Lemmy in his Girlschool T-shirt, Fast Eddie ready for a showdown at the saloon, and Philthy looking like a cross between The Muppets’ Animal and Wolverhampton Wanderers legend Kenny Hibbitt.

    Was Barry the Bag TOTP’s response to Bernie the Bolt from ATV’s “The Golden Shot”? I didn’t realise you could get Tommy Cooper hats in yellow. Spoon jar jar spoon!

    Hooray! We don’t get to suffer La Barbra or John Lennon (with Yoko Ono, according to that Richard). Even more reason to thank you chaps for this deluxe edition of one of the better shows in recent months (let’s say six months including the strike!).

    1. For me the best show since the summer strike was the DLT 23rd Oct edition. I mean his wisecracks were just unique and really funny, like when he told the new Dr Who companion Matthew that he should only shake hands with the kissable girls cos he was too short to kiss them and that DLT would do it instead.

      Classic TOTP from the that era, and they decide that they don't like DLT now. The same show ironically with Legs & Co in schoolgirl miniskirts dancing around DLTs sports cars to DISCO by Ottowan, summed up this one as the TOTP show of the year.

  18. Kool and the Gang offered up a very respectable live rendition, but I've never really been won over by the forced jollity of Celebration.

    Dennis Waterman was more successful at the rock game than John McEnroe, Keanu Reeves or Johnny Depp, think on that. Nice to hear the middle eight, you never got that on Minder.

    Serena Williams - er, Stephanie Mills with a pretty little disco ditty, though a bit foolhardy going for a walk in the park in those heels.

    Neil Diamond with an earnest tune from a terrible film that wowed middle aged ladies across the world, for some reason. If you thought Neil was miscast, check out Paul Nicolas as Johnny Rotten and Sir Luvvy Olarrier rending his garment: "I haff no son!"

    After a quiet patch, Legs & Co get a tune worthy of them and a robotic routine to match. This is my favourite Roxy song from their later years, fantastic record (and also on the Times Square soundtrack, in your face Suzi Quatro).

    Then probably my favourite UB40 track, a terrific bit of sinister British reggae with a title lifted from a sci-fi B movie of the 60s. It wouldn't be the 80s without a nuclear Armageddon reference.

    Ace of Spades, well, all Motorhead tracks sound the same pretty much, and I have heard this one too many times, but it is a great song.

    Strong episode for music, this one.

  19. thanks for this blog, its the best, and to Niel also on fourshare. Top of the People !

  20. UB0 didn't really click for me but I did quite like 'I'm a prima donna', sorry ' Food for thought'. However, why was 'King' (the first listed 'A' side) not the featured single on TOTP in the same way as this double A side featured the first listed song 'Earth dies screaming' rather than (for me) the superior other 'A' side 'Dream a lie'.

    1. Sorry...missed a '4' out on the above - that will teach me to preview before pressing publish!