Thursday, 17 December 2015

Feels Like I'm Top of the Pops

Once more a huge thanks to Manorak for uploading this final instalment of Top of the Pops 1980 to vimeo. Again, it won't be shown on BBC4 because one of the hosts is Dave Lee Travis.

Though watching this you wonder if BBC4 could have edited DLT out. Tommy Vance does introduce quite a few of the acts on his own. But there you go.

It feels like 1981

1-1-81: Presenters: Dave Lee Travis & Tommy Vance

 (-) STATUS QUO – What You’re Proposing ®
We get underway with a repeat showing of the Quo's recent number 2 hit which was also the year's 31st best selling song. But at least we do have a new studio audience for our presenters!

(73) OTTAWAN – D.I.S.C.O. (video)
Still in the top 75 at the time and the 5th biggest selling single of 1980, though it never quite made it to number one.

 (67) MADNESS – Baggy Trousers
Also still in the charts and the 13th biggest selling single of the year, peaking at number 3. And a new studio performance here from a snowy Madness.

 (-) THE JAM – Going Underground
A big fuss was made of this going straight in at number one in the spring, though it was (only) the 16th biggest seller of the year. Another new studio performance here, there's no pinny this time but there is a guitar seemingly predicting the rise of Wham!

 (-) BILLY PRESTON & SYREETA – With You I’m Born Again ®
Had peaked at number 2 at the beginning of the year. A repeat but a tremendous live rendition. One last hurrah from the TOTPs orchestra.

(-) THE DETROIT SPINNERS – Working My Way Back To You – Forgive Me Girl (Medley)  ®
A repeat showing of the Legs & Co routine from earlier in the year. And that's it for the Leggers in these festive specials ~ this time next year they would be but a memory.

(-) UB40 – Food For Thought
1980 was the breakthrough year for UB40, and appropriately enough this was the 40th biggest selling single of the year.

 (-) KELLY MARIE – Feels Like I’m In Love
This may be a much maligned song but it was the 3rd biggest seller of the year, only Barbra Streisand and The Police outsold this. And the final new studio performance of this edition.

 (-) HOT CHOCOLATE – No Doubt About It ®
Another number 2 hit from the spring. It's a shame this can't be shown one more time on BBC4 in the year of Errol's death.

(-) THE BOOMTOWN RATS – Banana Republic (video)
Perhaps something of a surprise inclusion this one. It had recently peaked at 3 but wasn't one of the years top 40 best sellers.

 (-) STEVIE WONDER – Masterblaster (Jammin’) (video)
This number 2 hit was the 25th best selling single of the year.

 (-) ABBA – The Winner Takes It All (video)
The band's penultimate number one from the late summer was the 18th best seller of 1980.

 (-) THE PRETENDERS – Brass In Pocket ®
The first new number one of the 80's was also the years 35th biggest hit.
Then comes a crowd invasion and the return of the swirly camera effects over the credits!

So that's it for 1980, arguably one of pop music's best ever years. On Top of the Pops the transition from the 70's to the 80's was there to see and it left a fair few casualties behind, especially at the end of the bitter Musician's Union strike in the summer, after which the show was revamped. But even bigger changes were on the way in 1981...

On BBC4 over Xmas this year there are repeat showings of the Christmas Day editions from 1978 and 1979, and for the first time, 1975.
And also over on BBC1, proving the old show still isn't totally dead, there's Christmas Day 2015 and New Years Day 2016!

I'd like to thank everyone for all their comments and input this year, including Stephen Murphy and his team for filling in those strike filled nine weeks in the summer with Game of Top of the Pops, and here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

See you in 1981!

As a late Xmas present for you all, here is the 1980 strike Xmas Special from Stephen Murphy and team ~ how many of your suggestions did they include? find out here at 4shared:

or here at Dropbox;

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Top of the Pops Another Year

Huge thanks goes to Manorak for uploading this Christmas Day 1980 edition of Top of the Pops to vimeo. It won't of course be broadcast on BBC4 because one of the hosts is Jimmy Savile. So obviously do not click on the link if you are going to be offended.

All I want for Xmas is....

Top of the Pops 25-12-80: Presenters: Jimmy Savile O.B.E. & Peter Powell

 (-) THE NOLANS – I’m In The Mood For Dancing
Kicking the show off with their biggest hit, which made it to number 3 at the beginning of the year. Like last year, there's no studio audience present. And best not to say too much about what happens at the very end...

The first of their two number ones. And a new look for the band for this Xmas performance.

 (-) BLONDIE – Atomic (video)
1980 was a great year for Blondie, three singles and three number ones. Nuclear explosions ~ happy Xmas!

 (-) PAUL McCARTNEY – Coming Up (video)
A good year for Paul too, with three top ten hits (if you include Wonderful Christmastime). And what a video this is too!

 (48) BARBRA STREISAND – Woman In Love
The number one hit from her Bee Gees flavoured number one album, Guilty. This can't have been the one Legs & Co had been rehearsing for the other week, because its a repeat showing from earlier in the year.

(-) LIQUID GOLD – Dance Yourself Dizzy
Had peaked at number 2 in the spring. Looking very festive here but the least said about the drummer's ribcage the better!

 (-) DAVID BOWIE – Ashes To Ashes (video)
This great song had become David's second number one of his career back in the late summer, and the video was of course ground breaking and game changing.

 (-) MARTI WEBB – Take That Look Off Your Face
This Lloyd Webber tune from Tell Me on a Sunday got to number 3 earlier in the year.

 (-) THE POLICE – Don’t Stand So Close To Me (video)
The biggest selling single of 1980. Its a video but not the one set in the school. This time they are up on the de doo doo doo ski slopes being chased by Santas!

 (-) FERN KINNEY – Together We Are Beautiful
Perhaps a bit of a surprise number one, from before the summer, performing here surrounded by flashing hat stands.

 (-) JOHNNY LOGAN – What’s Another Year?
1980's Eurovision Song Contest winner.

 (5) ABBA – Super Trouper (video)
Abba's final number one hit, still in the top ten on Christmas Day.

 (-) LIPPS INC – Funky Town
So this is the one Legs & Co had been rehearsing! And it shows, what a gift of a routine surrounded by lots of Xmas toys! Funky Town made it to number 2 during the nine weeks summer strike when Top of the Pops was off the air.

 (-) LEO SAYER – More Than I Can Say
This one reached number 2 during that summer strike. Great to see it performed in the studio at last.

 (-) SHEENA EASTON – 9 To 5
 What a year for Sheena, here she is performing her Big Time breakthrough hit.

 (-) PINK FLOYD – Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) (video)
Last year's bleak Xmas number one couldn't contrast more to this years, even though both feature a children's choir. But at least it didn't put Legs & Co off their chocolates.

 (1) ST. WINIFRED’S SCHOOL CHOIR – There’s No-One Quite Like Grandma (and credits) ®
In some ways maybe it was better that Starting Over wasn't at number one on Christmas Day to remind us of the sadness of John Lennon's murder.....

Next up then is the final instalment of Top of the Pops 1980 (or is it the first instalment of 1981?) with the edition from New Years Day 1981. Again, it won't be shown on BBC4 due to one of the hosts being Dave Lee Travis.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Too Nice to Top of the Pops

And so all too soon we arrive at the final regular edition of Top of the Pops 1980 ~ the 'last Christmas Top of the Pops before the Christmas Top of the Pops' as Simon Bates introduces it....

So whose Xmas jumper is the most special?

18-12-80: Presenter: Simon Bates

(31) THE BEAT – Too Nice To Talk To
A good year for The Beat - this became their fourth top ten hit when it made number 7. Can you spot the imposter from the Specials?

 (2) ST. WINIFRED’S SCHOOL CHOIR – There’s No-One Quite Like Grandma ®
Surely they wouldn't dare to knock John Lennon off the top of the charts for Christmas, would they? So sad, but it was cut from tonight's 7.30 edition.

 (27) THE BARRON KNIGHTS – Never Mind The Presents
It's nearly Xmas so here's another comedy medley from the Barron Knights - but this one was their final top 20 hit. And also cut from the 7.30 edition. But we do get to see 'special' guests Little and Large reminding us how un-pc 1980 comedy still was.

 (34) THE SPECIALS – Do Nothing
Sporting very fashionable Xmas jumpers and having seemingly mugged Madness of their tartan trousers, Do Nothing became the fourth top ten hit of 1980 for The Specials when it reached number 4. Can you spot the imposter from The Beat?

 (35) GARY NUMAN – This Wreckage
Taken from his number one album Telekon, but the single did't do as well, peaking at 20.

 (33) ROBERT PALMER – Looking For Clues ®
Second time on the show but still couldn't make it into the top 30. And cut from the 7.30 showing.

 (18) CHAS & DAVE – Rabbit
Turning the studio into a warren tonight, Rabbit became the boys' first top ten hit when it peaked at number 8. (Rabbit and pork = talk)

 (39) THE NOLANS – Who’s Gonna Rock You
Helped by Santa on the drums, this song became the third hit from their Making Waves album, reaching number 12.

 (3) JONA LEWIE – Stop The Cavalry ®
Couldn't quite march all the way to number one.

The Top Ten Rundown:

 (10) ADAM & THE ANTS – Antmusic (video)
(9) THE STRAY CATS – Runaway Boys (video)
(8) SPANDAU BALLET – To Cut A Long Story Short (video)
(7) THE BOOMTOWN RATS – Banana Republic (video)
(6) MADNESS – Embarrassment (clip of TOTP 11-12-80)
(5) THE POLICE – De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (video)
(4) ABBA – Super Trouper (video)
(3) JONA LEWIE – Stop The Cavalry (still picture)
(2) ST. WINIFRED’S SCHOOL CHOIR – There’s No-One Quite Like Grandma (clip of TOTP 4-12-80)

 (1) JOHN LENNON – (Just Like) Starting Over  (and credits)
Starting Over had originally peaked at number 8 at the end of November, and had dropped down to last week's 21. Here, Legs & Co pay tribute to the recently murdered John Lennon in a way that only they can, with a final frame over the credits of a shining star on top of a Christmas tree.

Next up should be the two Christmas specials, but sadly both will be skipped by BBC4 because of the presenters involved.

So then instead we move on to 1981 on Friday the 8th of January with 'The Story of' followed by 'Big Hits'.

And don't forget the annual Xmas edition of TOTP2 on BBC2 Saturday 12th December!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Imagine Top of the Pops

He left England on August 31st 1971 for a new life with his wife Yoko Ono in America, to try to help win custody of Yoko's daughter Kyoko, and having maybe fallen out of love a little at the time with his homeland, and although he never returned to us it wasn't until December 8th 1980 that we finally lost forever our unique musical magician that was John Lennon. This edition of Top of the Pops was recorded two days after he had become one more victim of New York gun crime.

Imagine there's no Top of the Pops....

Top of the Pops 11-12-80: Presenter: Richard Skinner

(16) ADAM & THE ANTS – Antmusic
As soon as Dog Eat Dog left the top 30 in came Antmusic which marched on all the way to number 2. There's even a large screen with the lyrics to sing along to, years before karaoke!

(32) SHOWADDYWADDY – Blue Moon ®
At its peak of 32 and cut from the 7.30 edition. But before the next act along comes special guest Jermaine Jackson, who is handed a cake for his 25th birthday. Richard Skinner also informs us there's no Legs & Co this week because they are rehearsing for the Xmas Day and New Years Day specials, neither of which we will get to see on BBC4 sadly. (Instead, they are showing Xmas Day 1975).

(4) MADNESS – Embarrassment
John Lennon had mentioned being a fan of this group in the interview he recorded for Radio One on December 6th, even doing an impression of 'don't listen to that, listen to this.....'
Good to see the nutty boys make it into the studio, seemingly paying homage to the Bay City Rollers, with Embarrassment now at its chart peak.

(17) STATUS QUO – Lies (video)
With a video that was hard to distinguish from a TOTPs studio appearance, this follow up to What You're Proposing made it to number 11.

(31) MATCHBOX – Somewhere Over The Rainbow
1980 had been a very good year for Matchbox but this would prove to be their final top 20 hit. It wasn't a good 7.30 edition for them tonight though, they got the chop.

(9) THE POLICE – De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (video)
The second single from their number one album Zenyatta Mondatta made it to 5 in the charts. Judging from the video, it looks like they turned up for Wham's Last Xmas party about four years too early!

(20) QUEEN – Flash (video)
Taken from their soundtrack album for the Flash Gordon movie, this was perhaps their most peculiar hit, peaking at number 10.

(10) THE STRAY CATS – Runaway Boys ®
The first of their two top ten hits, both of which peaked at number 9.

The Top Ten Rundown:

(9) THE POLICE – De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (video)
Straight into the charts.

(8) EDDY GRANT – Do You Feel My Love? (still picture)
Peak position.

(7) BLONDIE – The Tide Is High (video)
Not the 'Darth Vader' clip!

(6) SPANDAU BALLET – To Cut A Long Story Short (still picture)
Down from number 5.

(5) THE BOOMTOWN RATS – Banana Republic (video)
Down from number 3.

(4) MADNESS – Embarrassment (clip of TOTP 11-12-80)
It got no higher.

(3) JONA LEWIE – Stop The Cavalry (still picture)
Might have got to number one had events in New York not taken place.

(2) ST. WINIFRED’S SCHOOL CHOIR – There’s No-One Quite Like Grandma (clip of TOTP 4-12-80)
Nothing and no one would stop this lot from grabbing the Christmas number one spot.

(1) ABBA – Super Trouper (video) (and credits)
The final week at number one for Abba, ever.

JOHN LENNON – Imagine (live clip)
A sombre Richard Skinner introduces this Top of the Pops tribute, taken from the April 1975 tv show A Salute to Sir Lew Grade, filmed in New York, this was John Lennon's last ever public performance.

Next week then is the final regular edition of Top of the Pops 1980, from December the 18th.