Friday, 8 January 2016
Just Can't Get Enough ~ The Story of 1981
The annual curtain raiser to a new Top of the Pops year is a story of hair, make-up, synthesisers, silly string in mouths, cheerleaders planted in the audience, the end of Legs & Co's clothes, the end of Legs & Co, the beginning of Zoo, the devil's chord, Brit Funk, New Romantics, amazing videos, multi-coloured flying record opening titles, riots, mass unemployment, Michael Hurll, fire-eaters, mums coming into school to take their kids to be stars on Top of the Pops, a royal wedding, getting on bikes, Mike Read not looking much older, Richard Skinner looking very much older, and horses in Covent Garden. But most of all, some quite brilliant pop songs!
1981 really is going to be a fantastic year to re-live again and as if the Story Of hadn't whetted your appetite for it enough then straight afterwards it was time for some Big Hits ~
Big Hits 1981:
Adam and the Ants ~ KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER
The Ants' only appearance in the studio in a phenomenally successful 1981.
Ultravox ~ VIENNA
A song famed for its stunning video, this looks like the studio performance from the Xmas 81 special.
Teardrop Explodes ~ REWARD
Surprisingly, this was the band's only top ten hit
Kim Wilde ~ KIDS IN AMERICA
Apparently Kim was totally in awe of being the same studio as Madness while she performed this amazing song.
Duran Duran ~ PLANET EARTH
The classic hits keep on coming, this time with a bespoke planet earth made for the band by the show.
Sugar Minott ~ GOOD THING GOING
His only top ten hit, indeed his only top 40 hit.
Phil Collins ~ IN THE AIR TONIGHT
Not a very 80's look but it certainly is a very 80's sound for Phil's mega-classic. And some similar camera effects they used for Turn it on Again last year.
Linx ~ INTUITION
The only top ten hit for this 'Brit Funk' band headed by David Grant.
Tenpole Tudor ~ SWORDS OF A THOUSAND MEN
Still flying the flag for punk! I never realised he's been in Game of Thrones!
Odyssey ~ GOING BACK TO MY ROOTS
Still flying the flag for disco!
The Specials ~ GHOST TOWN
A song that captured an era like very few others ever have, and with Terry's hair almost in place, the birth of the Fun Boy Three!
Shaking Stevens ~ GREEN DOOR
Who could have predicted what an astonishing year 1981 would be for Shaky?
Soft Cell ~ TAINTED LOVE
One of the first 12 inch singles I was ever aware of, and the second biggest seller of 1981.
Spandau Ballet ~ CHANT NO.1(I DON'T NEED THIS PRESSURE ON)
With a little help from their friends Beggar & Co in the horn section.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark ~ SOUVENIR
Paul Humphreys taking the lead vocal on this ghostly tune.
Depeche Mode ~ JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH
This was the band's final single with Vince Clarke before he left for Yazoo.
Altered Images ~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Gregory's Girl actress Clare Grogan couldn't have looked more 80's than this if she tried! And a bit of help from the last days of Legs & Co at the end.
Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin ~ IT'S MY PARTY
The only top 40 hit for the duo, but it did get to number one.
Human League ~ DON'T YOU WANT ME
We'll miss nearly all of their studio performances on BBC4 unfortunately due to yewtree, but here they are with the year's biggest selling song, and some silly string right in the cake hole!
Coming up next then is the edition from January 8th 1981 next Thursday, swiftly followed a day later with January 22nd.
Meaning that we get our first skipped show of the year, the DLT hosted edition from January 15th.
It's going to be a busy time on here!