Thursday, 19 February 2015

So Good to Be Top of the Pops Again

I'm not able to be in front of a tv set this Thursday to watch young Steve Wright make his 7th February 1980 hosting debut on Top of the Pops, so I'll have to cheat a little by using the running order (thanks so much as always to the wonderful Popscene website) to write this post before the edition goes out on BBC4. I don't know what will be edited out ~ it could be the Rats since we've seen that one before, and maybe the Nolans, the Regents and the Buggles.......

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7-2-80: Presenter: Steve Wright

(30) JEFFERSON STARSHIP – Jane (and charts)
They began life as Jefferson Airplane back in 1969 but had become a Starship by the time Jane became their fist hit single, peaking at 21.

 (46) THE TOURISTS – So Good To Be Back Home Again
This follow up to I Only Want to Be With You was the band's second and final top ten hit.

 (27) CLIFF RICHARD – Carrie (video)
This was the first of two top ten hits for Cliff in 1980.

 (18) THE WHISPERS – And The Beat Goes On (danced to by Legs & Co)
Something for them to shout about here, this was a number 2 hit.

 (8) THE BOOMTOWN RATS – Someone’s Looking At You ®
Though it seemed unlikely at the time, this was in fact the penultimate top ten hit for the Rats.

(3) THE NOLANS – I’m In The Mood For Dancing
The sisters now at their peak in the charts.

 (44) THE CHORDS – Maybe Tomorrow
This one could fall victim to the 7.30 edit, at 40 this was The Chords biggest hit.

 (11) THE REGENTS – 7 Teen
Now at its chart peak.

 (20) QUEEN – Save Me (video)
A second single from their forthcoming number one album, The Game.

 (21) THE SELECTER – Three Minute Hero
The follow up to On My Radio, peaked at 16 in the charts.

 (47) AC/DC – Touch Too Much
The first of seven singles released in 1980 by the Aussie Rockers, though only the very last of them made the top 20. Back in Black was a big number one album though in the summer.

 (28) BUGGLES – The Plastic Age
On its way to number 16 in the charts.

 (1) THE SPECIALS – Too Much Too Young (video)
Final week at number one.

 (5) JOE JACKSON – It’s Different For Girls (and credits)
His first of two career top ten hits, now at its chart peak.

Next week is a Sky At Night Week, so Top of the Pops returns in two weeks time with the edition from February 15th 1980.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

If You Like Top of the Pops at Midnight...

So we've escaped to the final evening of January 1980.....

Welcome to 50 Shades of Top of the Pops
31-1-80: Presenter: David Jensen

(29) THE SELECTER – Three Minute Hero (and charts)
(56) THE REVILLOS – Motorbike Beat
(10) KENNY ROGERS – Coward Of The County (video)
(19) AZYMUTH – Jazz Carnival (danced to by Legs & Co)
(47) JOHN FOXX – Underpass
(3) MADNESS – My Girl ®
(52) THE SHADOWS – Riders In The Sky
(27) RUPERT HOLMES – Escape (The PiƱa Colada Song) ®
(36) THE RAMONES – Baby I Love You
(15) JON & VANGELIS – I Hear You Now (video)
(46) BILLY OCEAN – Are You Ready
(20) NEW MUSIK – Living By Numbers ®
(40) KEITH MICHELL – Captain Beaky
(1) THE SPECIALS – Too Much Too Young (video)
(30) QUEEN – Save Me (and credits)
The Selector ~ play over the 'colourful' chart rundown with their follow up to On My Radio
The Revillos ~ were first seen on the show two years earlier singing a song called Top of the Pops, although they called themselves the Rezillos back then. Motorbike Beat wasn't quite as successful and stalled outside the top 40.
Kenny Rogers ~ straight into the top ten and soon to be the next number one, and co-written by Roger Bowling who'd also co-written Kenny's 1977 chart topper, Lucille.
Azymuth ~ it's ironic that Legs & Co would be replaced a year or so later by a troupe by the name of Zoo - for here they are as a menagerie escaping from their cages.
John Foxx ~ no he's not singing 'underpants' - but the original lead singer of Ultravox made it to 31 in the charts with his first solo single.
Madness ~ another showing of their 3rd January performance with My Girl now at its peak.
The Shadows ~ were the first victims of tonight's 7.30 edit.
Rupert Holmes ~ David Jensen pointed out that this had been a number one hit in the USA but it ultimately peaked at 23 in the UK.
The Ramones ~ were over from New York for a rare visit to the Top of the Pops studio to perform what would become their only UK top ten hit ~ and was that a 'Blitz Kid' we saw dancing in the audience?
Jon and Vangelis ~ I thought we were going to get nothing but the transparent dancing man all the way through this video so was relieved when Jon popped up to do a bit of singing. Maybe if Jon had left Jon & Vangelis we'd have got Trevor & Vangelis?
Billy Ocean ~ it had been going on for 3 years now since Billy's last hit, the excellent Red Light Spells Danger, but the top 40 was not ready for this latest effort, indeed Billy would have to wait another four years for his next success.
New Muzik - were edited out of the 7.30 show thereby cruelly scuppering my plans to call this post 'Top of the Pops By Numbers'
Keith Michell ~ I can't believe they edited out the bravest animals in the land after Legs & Co had gone to all that effort earlier.
The Specials ~ and now we have one of those 'revealing the new presenter' moments ~ and it's a very thin and slightly sardonic Steve Wright to introduce the Specials at number one.
Queen ~ play us out this week with Save Me, the first of four top 20 hits for the band in 1980.
Next week then it's February 7th 1980 and our host is Steve Wright.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

The Top of the Pops Age

Mike Read is the host this week for the 24th January 1980 edition of Top of the Pops. The big changes are yet to happen but the show is already beginning to hint at the direction in which the new decade is heading .....

The 80's are all about having your name in lights
24-1-80: Presenter: Mike Read

(21) AZYMUTH – Jazz Carnival (and charts)
(54) BUGGLES – The Plastic Age
(4) THE NOLANS – I’m In The Mood For Dancing
(45) THE BOOMTOWN RATS – Someone’s Looking At You (video)
(16) THE BEE GEES – Spirits (Having Flown) (danced to by Legs & Co) 
(12) JOE JACKSON – It’s Different For Girls ®
(50) SUZI QUATRO – Mama’s Boy
(9) DOLLAR – I Wanna Hold Your Hand
(15) THE SPECIALS – Too Much Too Young (video)
(53) BARBARA DICKSON – Caravan Song
(30) MATCHBOX – Buzz Buzz A Diddle It
(20) SHEILA B. DEVOTION – Spacer (video)
(22) THE REGENTS – 7 Teen
(1) THE PRETENDERS – Brass In Pocket ®
(29) KOOL & THE GANG – Too Hot (and credits)
Azymuth ~ from Brazil give us quite a chilled chart rundown this week with their only UK hit.
Buggles ~ are in the studio to perform their follow up to Video Killed the Radio Star, it wasn't as big a hit but did still make the top 20. Weirdly, lead man Trevor Horn and keyboard player Geoff Downes would soon join the band Yes, now that Jon Anderson had run off with Vangelis.
The Nolans ~ look most at home with the TOTPs orchestra behind them, with I'm in the Mood for Dancing just one place below its peak in the charts.
The Boomtown Rats ~ go for an army look for this noisy rocker interspersed with a freaky green eyed vampire Bob swinging around in an office chair.
Legs & Co ~ are delicate spirits this week swirling around to the no show Bee Gees.
Joe Jackson ~ this repeat showing was edited out of the 7.30 BBC4 broadcast.
Suzi Quattro ~ was also sadly edited out but you can watch it later tonight on BBC4 or on iplayer.
Dollar ~ a new performance of I Wanna Hold Your Hand from the lovey dovey couple, and brave of BBC4 not to edit out Mike Read's Jimmy Savile name check.
The Specials ~ this live video of Too Much Too Young was recorded at London's Lyceum, and was now poised to take over the number one spot.
Barbara Dickson ~ was edited out at 7.30 so you'll need to stay up late or catch it on iplayer.
Matchbox ~ perform a double bass leaping cover version of Freddy Cannon's rock n roll number Buzz Buzz A Diddle It.
Sheila B Devotion ~ another showing for the Spacer video, and Mike introduces her as Sheila and B Devotion, she seemed to go with both versions of her name at this time.
The Regents ~ had been slowly climbing the charts for over a month and now here they were for a second time on Top of the Pops with their only hit 7 Teen.
The Pretenders ~ and a final week at number one for Brass in Pocket.
Kool and the Gang ~ are Too Hot for the credits this week, on their way to 23 in the charts with this follow up to Ladies Night.
Next week then we reach the 31st of January 1980 in the company of David Jensen.