Thursday, 25 February 2016

Top of the Pops of Romance

Ok so we have another little breather with just the one edition of Top of the Pops 1981 this week but it's the calm before the storm! And as this 9th of April edition gets underway host Mike Read reminds us that the show was still getting a vast number of viewers each week......

Did he really say 19 million?

09/04/81 (hosted by Mike Read)

(7) Linx – “Intuition”
Linx finally make it into the studio to perform their biggest hit but number 7 was the peak.

(2) Bucks Fizz – “Making Your Mind Up”
Fresh from their Eurovision victory with their champagne glass sweaters and ready to take over at number one next week.

(27) Saxon – “And The Bands Played On”
Became the heavy metal rocker's biggest hit when it made number 12. But the band didn't play on tonight at 7.30pm ~ they were edited out!

(39) Keith Marshall – “Only Crying”
His only hit which peaked at number 12. Also edited out tonight at 7.30pm.

(32) David Bowie – “Up The Hill Backwards”
This week Legs & Co go all Egyptian mummy for their routine to the fourth and final single from Bowie's Scary Monsters and Super Creeps album, and number 32 was as far up the hill as it got.

(12) Graham Bonnet – “Night Games” (rpt from 26/03/81)
Before the next act, Mike Read invites Rosie from Legs & Co over for a glass of champagne to celebrate her 21st birthday. He then asks her if she likes Night Games ~ which was still heading towards the top ten.

(31) Public Image Ltd – “Flowers Of Romance”
Sporting an elegant little combo of a vicar's dog collar and Ten Pole Tudor's trousers, John Lydon and the band perform their first new single for two years, taken from the album of the same name, it would make it to a somewhat disappointing number 24.

(44) Eddy Grant – “Can’t Get Enough Of You”
The first of two top 40 hits for Eddy in 1981, this being the more successful peaking at number 13.

(24) Gillan – “New Orleans” (rpt from 26/03/81)
The second of four top 40 hits in 1981 for Gillan, this one being the most successful of them when it made number 17. Edited out of tonight's 7.30pm slot.

(9) The Whispers – “It’s A Love Thing” (9) (video)
Now at its chart peak. Great 80's tune with a great 70's look.

(10) Hazel O’Connor – “D-Days” (rpt from 26/03/81)
The first of four top 50 hits in 1981 for Hazel, this one now at its number 10 peak.

(1) Shakin’ Stevens – “This Ole House” (rpt/credits)
The third and final week at the top of the pops for This Ole House. And featuring a final final farewell from Pauline!

Next week then we have no fewer than five editions to get through! Beginning with April 16th 1981.


  1. Bucks Fizz this week with no skirts to pull off. Oh well, we were lucky the first time round.

    Rosie of Legs & Co is 21 years old in April 1981, but smartly dodged Read's question of night games to say, "yes good tune." Haha, oh well, good try anyway.

    Someone please find the Capstick Come Home video, as there was a different clip shown in the top ten rundown this week, and there is nothing on Utube, so we will never know what was in the video unless someone comes to the rescue and finds a link to it somehow.

  2. Linx, do you know I don't think Dave was really playing that saxophone. I don't even think it was a real saxophone. What was up with the drummer at the end? Nice that they finally made it to the studio, anyway.

    I too wondered how ver Fizz were going to do the skirt ripping when the ladies were already in miniskirts, and the answer was... they didn't. Lots of saucy looks to the camera from Jay, here.

    Saxon with a sort of poor man's Smoke on the Water. But it would be Biff's eyes watering judging by the tightness of his trousers, that was positively obscene.

    Keith Marshall, don't recall this one, sort of a cross between a Bee Gee and Cliff Richard. Liked the mellow harmonica, but not very memorable otherwise.

    Always think this Bowie track sounds like it's escaped from the Sex Pistol's Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle album. If you have to dance to it, Legs & Co do as good a job as can be expected.

    Well, if Rosie thinks Graham Bonnet had a good tune, who are we to disagree? I think that's the first time I've heard her speak. In fact, out of all the dancers I can only recall hearing Sue and Lulu say anything, and that was in the retro documentaries. Anyway, you'll swallow that mic if you're not careful, Graham.

    PIL, very familiar with this song because it was on a compilation cassette of theirs I played to death as a teenager. Good, atmospheric tune, not sure about the dress sense, mind you.

    Eddy Grant, this seems to have done OK in the charts, but I have no memory of it whatsoever. Eddy dressed as The Fonz for some reason.

    Didn't notice this last time, but the guitarist in Gillan looks like one of the Animal Kwackers.

    Whispers, looking every inch the men at C&A, where were the colour co-ordinated three piece suits, guys? It's a good tune, but the visuals work against it, they looked very middle aged.

    Hazel doing her best Buster Bloodvessel impersonation and Shaky's House's last week at number one to finish. Is Pauline leaving or what?

    Don't know why they had the World Disco Dance Champion on and then didn't ask her to dance. Leaping into Mike Read's arms doesn't count to my mind.

    1. With Linx I think the drummer was playing on the set at the end, probably what he does on the video too at some point.

      Glad the singer didn't drop that baby sax when he flipped it up, would have had to do a retake.

    2. I also thought that Keith Marshall was imitating Cliff Richard perfectly. Like Saxon, you could say this was a poor man's version of Cliff Richard.

    3. I didn't think of the Cliff Richard comparison which is good, except I wouldn't call it 'poor man's', I thought it sounded ok and Cliff has certainly has had some bad songs in his output which I'd put it above. I think he would have been happy singing this song.

      And I'd compare Saxon more to Bonnet in this edition, much more interesting guitars and less middle of the road generic even (though the Bonnet has grown on me a bit as it's got energy).

    4. Incidentally, I did a bit of research (thanks, IMDb) and Night Games wasn't used in the rude movie of the same name after all.

  3. Can anyone confirm if THFC made a second appearance with Ossie's Dream? I was led to believe it was the 14th May ep showing next week, but they're not listed. I know about the DLT one. In case anyone didn't know 14th May is only twenty minutes long because of the FA Cup Final Replay which THFC won.

    1. It isn't so it looks like we won't get to see it at all on BBC4

  4. Mike Read is our host tonight, in a suit borrowed from Showaddywaddy. In fact there is a lot of 'borrowing' going on tonight,including Linx who have borrowed Madness' toy sax to help in a performance that is a basic re-tread of their vid. Think this would have done even better had it been released in the summertime.

    Euro Champions Bucks Fizz are up next, forgoing their signature long-skirts-over-minis look for a Playschool primary coloured knitted jumper look. A sartorial mistake that didn't stop their climb to the top. Behind them, the producers have lined up a selection of audience members to dance alongside the Fizzers - all of whom are injeans and tops. Apart, that is, from the girl on the left, who has bravely gone for a pink two piece suit accessorised with her mum's white handbag. No wonder she looks embarrassed.

    Saxon out-Tap Spinal Tap with a by-numbers rocker. They just make me laugh. And grimace. And cover my ears. Awful.

    Keith Marshall. As mentioned in other posts, he has clearly borowed all of Cliff's moves as well as Chris Quentin's hair. The guitarist behind him looks as though he wants to kill him. Maybe for forcing him to play on this limp-lettuce nothing of a song, or for having to wear the keyboard player's spare moustache. After this godawful performance, the song MUST have gone down the charts, surely?

    One of the Dame's lesser songs up next, but we get the Leggers as compensation, and what a compensation with those long, long legs in see-through, split length gossamer-thin 'things'. Extra point awarded for the lingering close-up towards the end too. As for the song, well its just a chorus hook in search of a decent song to jump on.

    PIL, borrow the set from Carry On Screaming for a turgid whine. Not their best effort with Lydon clearly going through the motions.

    On video we get one of those standing-in-a-line groups. This one is The Whispers with the really rather excellent It's A Love Thing. Not sure about their sartorial choices either, borrowing from the Question Of Sport team rather than wearing the usual
    suits. Rather ungainly dance moves as well.

    And that's it for the new stuff. Just time for our host to impeccably countdown to Shaky's last week at the top (managing to fit in the words "What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted by Dave Stewart and Colin Blunstone" in the short time that the duo's picture is on screen). As Mr Read waves us goodbye he inadvertently gives a clip round the head to the guy sitting next to him. Well, I say inadvertently, the guy DID look slappable.

    Right the scores. Not the best selection this week. Weak limp-wristed pop songs and trouser-packed hard rock songs far too much in evidence this week for my tastes. The Leggers outfits garners the show an extra point, but its still only a 4.

    Mike Read does his usual job - keeping the audience at arm's length (at least until the end), running down the charts precisely, and dropping the occasional factoid on us. He does, however, drop a point for the interaction with birthday girl Rosie and the double entendre of his Night Games question - 6.

    I guess we will be seeing a lot of each other next week, so until then, adios.

    1. Mike Read's jacket I thought was borrowed from Coast To Coast, cos of the colour, and the fact that he was dancing on the end-credits with the studio audience on Do The Hucklebuck a few weeks earlier.
      Another 'borrowing' on this show seemed to be Public Image Limited borrowing the intro for Tusk by Fleetwood Mac for their intro.

    2. The only one that tempted me to cover my ears really was PIL, pretty bad.

      The Whispers had a modern sounding song but a more 70s like video and look even (with the dance moves, one or two more individual touches but not many).

      If the Bowie song had been by anyone other than Bowie would anyone have cared? Didn't like Fashion that much either.

    3. Sorry to break this to you, Shaky, but former Hello guitarist Keith Marshall had seven weeks in the mugshots and nearly made the top ten with this single.

      Another week where Legs & Co dance to a tune outside the top 30, and "Up The Hill Backwards" was actually a non-mover. The last time I think Legs & Co danced to a non-mover outside the mugshots was their sashaying to "Maid In Heaven" from Be Bop Deluxe's top 36 EP in November 1976, when the troupe had just been re-named. I need to get out more!

  5. The Eddy Grant one while not amazing grew on me a bit as it went on, so maybe it's ok.

    Gillan has grown on me a bit (like the Bonnet to an extent), but some things feel a bit overdone still and for rock n roll Shaky does beat him here I think.

    Bowie and PIL felt the lowlights to me, though the Bowie was more listenable. I remember a drummer in the previous episode had a PIL t-shirt on, so maybe he was from their group.

    1. The PiL T-shirt wearer was one of the keyboard players with Dave Stewart and Colin Blunstone. On that evidence, I'd lay good money he wasn't in both outfits!

    2. it actually was dave stewart in the PIL t-shirt. i'm not sure that any musicians were involved at all with that PIL racket!

  6. Keith Marshall track sounded like a slowed down Hello track. Nice to see he had moved on...

  7. A high number of studio acts this time, though it was a bit daft for the last four songs on the show to be repeats or videos. Oh well.

    A couple of minor mistakes by Hucklebuck Mike Read, namely back announcing “New Orleans” from THE Gillan and saying he was the one over there wearing red shoes, which you couldn’t see. Apart from that, a fine night’s compering. Wonder what he thought of Keith Marshall imitating his old mate Cliff?

    It’s that ha-ha-hilarious bass drum again for Linx. Still, great selection of headgear.

    Bucks Fizz entering the stage after the song had started, an innovative touch, and that isn’t champagne depicted on their jumpers. The liquid’s orangey colour means it’s buck’s fizz. Not just thrown together, those outfits.

    With all that hair, does Saxon’s Biff Byford take two bottles in the shower? And are they gin and vodka?

    Nice to see Bob Carolgees’ brothers accompanying Keith Marshall on guitar and keyboards. I have to say I hated the song, even down to the ‘can’t be arsed to write any more words’ na-na-na bit.

    Music and movement in oversize doyleys from the Leggers, jerking around to a song for which finding a decent bit was like rolling a boulder up a hill backwards.

    Ah, PiL, with bassist Jah Wobble on drums, and John Lydon showing as much prowess on the violin as David Grant on the sax. Good reaction from the front line of the audience, mind. Talking of which…

    Oh dear, Eddy Grant with a three minute lecture on how to reheat part of the backing to “Living On The Frontline”.

    Great disco track from The Whispers, but sartorial eloquence courtesy of The Shadows’ Golf Dad drummer, and I haven’t seen unsynchronised dancing like that since Sheer Elegance – AND they didn’t even mime the handclaps in the instrumental bit. Careless Whispers!

    1. Talking of repeats and videos, it was somewhat strange that they did not give a third showing of Landscape's Einstein A Go Go, considering that it leapt from no.8 to No.5 this week, and it was last shown two weeks earlier when at no.11.

      Why had TOTP given up on this already while getting to top 5 this week?? I would have rather had this again, than the new PIL or Eddy Grant singles this week.

    2. I did think Living on the Frontline as well (straight away), but as it went on it sounded slightly different at least, the chorus ended up sounding a bit better than at first. Frontline does have a much more immediate hook so it's obvious why it's more famous.

      Somehow I thought with the freshness of their song here that The Whispers would look a bit younger.

    3. The Whispers were even sporting flared slacks - in 1981! I don't think we'd seen that style on the show since about 1977-era.

  8. A solid enough show, if not exactly one to get the pulse racing. Mike Read provided his usual very capable presentation, though the link with the disco dancer seemed totally pointless. It was nice to see Linx in the studio at last, performing in front of some shiny new sets - every time I see David Grant dressed like that it makes me wonder if Jacko consciously borrowed the look for the Billie Jean video. A lesser-seen performance from Bucks Fizz to follow, looking understandably cheerful after their Eurovision triumph. There was definitely a knowing grin on their faces at the usual skirt-ripping moment - they were obviously obeying the old showbiz adage that you should leave the audience wanting more, rather than always letting them see some more!

    As others have commented, Biff Byford's trousers left very little to the imagination, and rather distracted the attention from a pretty formulaic effort, albeit one with some decent guitar work. Keith Marshall put me in mind more of a manic Paul Nicholas than Cliff, though the song itself never sparked into life, other than during the rather nice Hawaiian guitar solo. Quite how this got as high as 12 is a mystery (perhaps Toyah can search for a clue), but it was more pleasant to listen to than the Rev John Lydon's shouty sermon. The only good bit about that was the ending, and not just because it was over!

    Eddy Grant gave a lively, enjoyable performance, but the song sounded a bit too similar to Do You Feel My Love to really stand out - still a good sound, though. As has been noted already, The Whispers' very contemporary sound is at sharp odds with the resolutely 70s look, including plenty of elaborate facial hair, presented in this video. Maybe they thought they were updating the whole matching clothes routine by ditching suits in favour of casual gear, but they just end up looking hopelessly middle-aged.

    Legs were on good form with a routine that was better than this rather anonymous Bowie tune deserved. Some nice atmospheric lighting too, and better yet we actually got to hear Rosie speak afterwards! This must be the first time in nearly 5 years that a Leg had uttered a word on the show, and she sounded quite posh to me. I wonder if Pauline was seething that TOTP were happy to mark Rosie's birthday just weeks after completely ignoring her departure? No credit for her again either, despite the final final appearance behind Shaky...

    1. Didn't someone once scribe the adage of 'blondes are more fun?' It seemed that Rosie was the show's favourite on Legs & Co, based on just how pretty she was (sorry other Leggers), and the leggy blonde look, and the name Rosie would have also lit up more male eyes than Pauline.

      Even at only 21, Rosie seemed to be the show's and the audience's favourite, me included (umm, sorry Sue & co), which seems to explain why Rosie got noticed for her 21st birthday, and yet Pauline's departure a couple of weeks earlier had not even a single mention.

    2. Incidentally, thanks to Mr Read for pointing out something I never knew, which is that Graham Bonnet was part of short-lived 60s duo The Marbles. I have always enjoyed their hit version of The Bee Gees' Only One Woman, though a quick bit of Wikipedia research reveals that Bonnet subsequently angered Barry Gibb by saying he thought it was "a bit boring!"

    3. I had a girlfriend called Pauline twenty years back. When she smiled, it always lit me up.

      With a name like Rosemary Hetherington, it was a good bet she sounded posh. Rosie was born in Surrey - probably the leafy ra-ra part.

      The thing about Rosie, she was usually very smiley, even with the most mundane tune, but she could still method act when needed, e.g. The M*A*S*H.

    4. @Dory, well Gill was an actual beauty queen many times over, so I'd take issue with that assessment, so ner. But it wasn't a competition.

    5. hey, maybe now pauline's gone we should have a poll of favourite leggers in order?

      mine is:

      1: gill - yes, a true deb. but also true class. one can imagine her on the arm of the sultan of suave bryan ferry!

      2: patti - shades of sultryness with her mixed ethnicity, and none can match her in the pouting department

      3: rosie - wholesome and always enthusiastic, but minus points for the recently crimped hair

      4: lulu - another enthusiastic participant with her sing-a-longs, although she's too skinny (especially up top) for my liking

      5: pauline - i liked her a lot at first, but then i realised she just wasn't up to dancing as well as the rest

      6: sue - a consummate professional, but i just don't don't find her of as much appeal as the others. perhaps it was the hairstyle?

    6. 1. Rosie - i just love the leggy blonde look

      2. Gill - not as tall leggy blonde, so she gets second place.

      3. Patti - her performance on Ruby Flipper in 1976 dancing to You Should Be Dancing by the Bee Gees (a Noel Edmunds presented show) was her finest moment, and showed her curves at their best. outdoing Sue on the bum and hot pants considerably.

      4. Sue - the energy and love for dancing she put in from the Pans People days all the way till the end of Legs & Co, was second to none, and puts her ahead of Lulu and Pauline.

      5. Lulu - a real cutie and essence of sugar and sweetness, but agreed with Wilberforce on Lulu.

      6. Pauline, did not set her stall out among the other girls and always seemed to be the sixth of the 6 girls.

      Having said all that, I would not have refused any of the girls for a date, but I was only 13 when Legs & Co finally disbanded, and so not in the right era for me, haha.

    7. I must confess that I have always struggled to tell Rosie and Gill apart, and now that Lulu's grown her hair out I have difficulty identifying her sometimes! Patti has always been my favourite, with her exotic pouting features, but Lulu certainly looked very sweet before she got that awful perm.

    8. Rosie for me every time, followed by Gill and Patti. Not keen on the others I'm afraid!

  9. host: despite now being a seasoned presenter, mr read still hasn't mastered the art of giving each act the big build-up intro a la peter powell

    linx: a good start to the show, and i'm starting to warm to this one again now. you can actually get soprano saxes with the upturned bell in the classic shape of the others in the family (as opposed to the normal straight clarinet style), but as david grant illustrates, they look really silly and hard to differentiate from toy ones!

    bucks fizz: it seems like jay aston spent a lot more time in the make-up chair than her colleagues. but despite being the baby of the group, maybe that's why she looks a lot older than the rest

    saxon: ah - i see now where zz top got the idea for the spinning guitars from. and maybe the baseball hats too? didn't their drummer used to be in the gl*tter band?

    keith marshall: i had forgotten about this one, but i now remember it got heavy radio play at the time, for which it was well-suited with it's easy-going shuffle rhythm (in 12/8 time, which was quite unusual in pop music). i don't think the sea tides sound effects helped much though. didn't his old band hello have some kind of partronage of gary gl*tter?

    bowie/legs: after three excellent singles off the "scary monsters" album, along comes this stinker! it's not even good enough as an album track in my opinion, with the musicians (including robert fripp) sounding like they're just comping and struggling for inspiration. if his record company really felt the need to squeeze out a fourth single from it, then it should have been the brilliant aggressive opener "it's no game no. 1" (and the b-side should have been the equally-good downbeat version "it's no game no. 2" that bookends it). the general concensus seems to be that bowie's albums were all classics and uniformly brilliant up to this point, and patchy at best from then on. but in my view even the best of those are inconsistent with plenty of album filler, and certainly none are listenable from end to end. is rosie from legs really only 21? then she must have been around 16 at the most when she started with legs! hopefully someone gave her a present of a trip to the hairdressers to do something about that awful crimped style?

    pil: their eponymous debut single was a post-punk classic, but this is just painful. amazing that it was even released as a 45, never mind that it made the top 30. unlike the keith marshall track, unsurprisingly this never got much daytime airplay to my recollection. in comparative terms (in contrast to the "music") john lydon looks almost normal here

    eddy grant: i was watching this with a friend with the sound a bit muted, and i honestly thought it was "do you feel my love"! a new variation on air-instrument playing - this time it's a cabasa, of which there's no sound of on eddy's simple and plodding drum machine programming

    whispers: only a couple of years earlier this lot would have been clad in the regulation soul vocal group clobber of luridly-coloured jumpsuits with tassles and bits of satin on them. but now we're in the eighties there's an attempt to move with the times with a casual look straight out of the then-popular freemans catalogues!

    1. Rosie joined Legs & Co at the age of 16 in 1976, and Lulu was also only 16 when she joined Ruby Flipper earlier in 1976 before the formation of Legs & Co, so yup, it was a sign of the times in the 70s when when 16, not 18, was the time that the BBC was ready for adult talent.

      It was the same era of Saville and Glitter after all, where most girls had left school at 16 and ready for the big time, and so this was not unusual for the BBC to get girls started off on TV very early at 16 if they were ready, whereas now you would not see them till well over 18, as college and university would generally come first, with considerably less school leavers in our midst at 16.

    2. I agree that Bowie is overrated as an album artist, it's very hard to do the kind of series of consistent albums that is claimed for him anyway. As always I think people do this as they think it increases the credibility of an artist. But he'll live on with his classic individual songs and I think that's enough. Some could argue it's as much about his theatricality and presence but playing an lp won't get you that, only the music.

    3. yes, the majority of people who left school at that time (mid-to-late 70's) were 16 (i managed to scrape to 17 having decided that sixth form further education was not for me after one term). but unlike rosie and lulu they didn't find themselves on national telly within months of leaving, but rather had to pay their dues doing low-paid shitty jobs. or sign on the dole, which was what i had to do for much of the time in the late 70's/early 80's. or do "YOPS" schemes where you had to work a full five day week just to get an extra tenner in your pocket. and it wasn't even the employer who paid your wages but the state, so in effect you were doing slave labour for them!

    4. ...oh yes, the idea with the "YOPS" scheme was that you were doing an "apprenticeship" with an "employer" whilst supported by the state for 6 months, and after that you would be offered a paid position by those you worked for. but the reality was that once the contract ended, they would just say adios to the "YOPS" person saying they had no work to offer them, and then ask the job centre to supply someone else on the same deal!

  10. Another frankly disappointing edition with some notable omissions. After brief playout dancing last week, the Nolans are still absent with ‘Attention to me’ (on next week I hear…and sorry to keep harking on about this!) and the excellent ‘Chi Mai’ – Theme from ‘The life and times of David Llloyd George’ which starred Philip Madoc in the lead role, straight in at no.19 is completed ignored too. Instead we get a few clunkers.

    Linx – Intuition – Shortage of videos tonight so David and the boys are wheeled in the studio to give us a third rendition of this OK song.

    Bucks Fizz – New studio performance, so we didn’t get to ‘see more’ due to the girls starting out in miniskirts. The chart rundown did treat us to a repeat showing of that marvellous moment of choreography however.

    Saxon – And the Bands played on – Five hits for Saxon in 1980 declared Mike - Nos 20, 13, 64, 66 and 63. Well Saxon were clearly massive in 1980. This song is awful but would turn out be their biggest hit. Never quite got the appeal of Saxon amongst the NWoBHM.

    Keith Marshall – Only Crying – Loved this, still have the single. The gentle waves are so soothing. Didn’t realise Keith was a member of Hello – I really liked ‘New York Groove’. A quick check on YT, and there’s Keith, but he’s not singing but playing harmonica and guitar.

    David Bowie – Up the Hill backwards – Legs & Co. Another one of those “how the hell do we dance to this?” records. Cut short mercifully. Not one of the man’s greatest moments.

    Graham Bonnet – Night Games – Rosie’s taste is impeccable. Great repeat showing of this stonking anthem. However after the comments on here the other week I keep singing “I have a mansion forget the price, ain’t never been there they tell me it’s nice”…

    Public Image Ltd. – Flowers of Romance – A right racket. Strange camera effects too.

    Eddy Grant – Can’t get enough of this – Same old reggae, bassy line and vocals, but just not such a great tune as ‘Do you feel my love’, and the best was still to come from Eddy.

    Gillan – New Orleans – Good song bad cover, another that could have been left out to make way for something better.

    Whispers – It’s a love thing – Whispers, Detroit Spinners, Stylistics…very similar format. Not a bad dance song however.

    Hazel O’Connor – D-Days – Ugh! Why was this repeated? Shorn of the ‘surprise’ beginning from the original show this saw me FF rapidly.

    Top 9 Rundown – A bit more of the unseen ‘Capstick’ video on offer here.

    Shakin’ Stevens – This ole House – The producers must have really liked this first outing from Shaky on the show as the crowd look really into it but at least they showed variety on this hit over the weeks by giving us two different studio performances plus the official video.

    Five editions next week eh? Should be mouth-watering but like eating too many chocolates at once, it would have been preferable to spread them out more.

    Footnote: Heard Barry Biggs’ wonderful ‘Side Show’ in a coffee shop this morning and can’t get it out of my head now. Checking the book, Barry managed a minor hit in June 1981 with ‘Wide awake in a dream’ but I don’t suppose that made TOTP?

    1. The obvious video missed out this week was Einstein A Go Go which just cracked top 5, and last shown two episodes ago, but was strangely ignored while still rising up the charts. Perhaps it's because Landscape, unlike Shakin Stevens, only put out a video, and no studio appearance, or someone at TOTP had figured out cold-war jabbing lyrics by now.

      The Capstick Come Home video at No.6 still remains a mystery, and must still be in the BBC vaults, as they showed two different clips in the last three weeks Top Ten rundowns. Let's hope someone can find this, as Capstick died in 2003, so it must have been passed on to someone else or still with the BBC, so it is probably worth some big bucks if someone can find it in complete form.

    2. the theme from "the life and times of david lloyd george" had already been written by ennio morricone several years earlier for one of the many italian films he soundtracked. not il maestro's finest moment, but still high quality. he wrote what i consider the greatest soundtrack of all time for the spaghetti western starring rod steiger and james coburn that goes under the various titles "a fistful of dynamite" / "duck, you sucker" / "giu la testa" / "once upon a time in the revolution"

    3. I love Chi Mai, an ecstatically sad tune.

      On those male disco outfits, their images I suppose were similar but they could still encompass a range of soul music across different kinds of productions.

    4. Sounds like the Capstick video and the elusive Fiddlers Dram 'Day trip to Bangor' video are top of the current wish list!

    5. Yes indeed Stephen. There is a similar situation with the Laurel & Hardy collection, where all of their films made are intact and on video, except for one called Hats Off from 1927, where is is considered missing, as no copy remains, and could make someone very rich if found and restored to video somehow. There was one other L&H film called Duck Soup from 1927 considered missing for 57 years until it was discovered in 1984 in Yorkshire of all places.

    6. 97 lost episodes of Dr Who are also amongst the 'holy grail' of potential finds. A significant discovery occurred in 2013, but nothing more since.

    7. I recall that those Dr Who episodes were some mssing Patrick Troughton episodes found in Africa, and made the main BBC news headlines regarding the find.

    8. The deleting of TV shows in the 60s and 70s was something that the BBC were renowned for, and big examples of this activity were TOTP and Dr Who. I don't think this happened with ITV, as they seem to be able to pull out now practically any ITV shows from those decades.

      Whatever the reasons, it needs to be noted that our TV license money has always gone to the BBC, yet ITV seem to be more reliable with repeats and storage of shows. Payment of the TV licence is from 'public money', and storage of shows as integral part of a 'public service' for this public money, as well as current present-day shows.

    9. Dory - you're right, the missing Patrick Troughton episodes were found in Nigeria and they were all 6 episodes of 'The Enemy of the World' and 5 out of 6 episodes of 'The Web of Fear'. Both sit in my DVD collection!

    10. Sorry, Dory, ITV did just as much deleting as the BBC did, it was partly because it was too expensive to keep these programmes and partly because they couldn't have predicted how many people would have been interested in them decades later.

    11. sct353, good and bad news about that Barry Biggs track. It did get on TOTP in late July...but it's on a Yewtreed episiode.

  11. At the end of the first showing of Graham Bonnet's performance (26/03/81) you can hear him singing out loud in the studio. Watching him again, it's obvious how this technique produces a vastly superior on-screen result. He certainly looks like he's putting all his heart and soul into it.

    Although Keith Marshall had a backing band here, I can't help feeling that the record was much more of a solo effort. The chugging harmonica sound was the same as was heard on 'New York Groove', and was presumably his own.

    Saxon's spinning guitar - how did he do that?

  12. Angelo you have 5 shows for next week that means 2 x Powell + Vance what days are they on BBC4 I can only see one show on Thur Powell + one on fri Vance

    1. The only reason I can think of as to why BBC4 doesn't have the 7th May Powell edition on this week, is because they don't want both Thursday and Friday shows this week with the same presenter, and so they have avoided a Powell monopoly for this coming week, by 'moving swiftly on' to Tommy Vance 14th May edition. Crazy, I know, as they don't have the true TOTP fans and us bloggers in consideration.

      The BBC does of course have the 7th May show, cos I recall a few years on TOTP2, they showed Legs & Co doing Stars On 45 at the No.2 position that week on 7th May 1981. Anyway, is there a UK Gold copy available?

    2. The 7th of May show unfortunately isn't being shown on BBC4 ~ it originally went out live and there must have been some technical problem recording a copy of it. If a link becomes available I will post it of course.

    3. Hopefully someone recorded the 7 May show when it was originally transmitted, as that is going to be our only hope of seeing the show in full.

    4. Yes, I particularly want to see Stars On 45 done by Legs & Co, and also the video by REO Speedwagon for their debut hit, cos the girl in it that they are doting on is quite tasty, and its a very good video from America.

      I wonder if Neil B or any of the others who have historically come to the rescue, can come up with the 7th May show. There's a good challenge!

  13. Other sites say the May 7th edition has "mute links", which is why it can't be aired.

  14. Does anyone have the 7 May edidion

    1. The only footage out there seems to be the top ten countdown from the 7th May show, here:

  15. Does any have the 23 April editon

    1. Here it is:

    2. According to the Popscene listings that's the 21st may episode.

  16. 3rd show in a row to be a bit duff, and I just know that the 3 in a row that we won't see will be much better as well......

    Glad that Linx got a go in the studio, though we'd already seen this on the 'Big Hits' show of course.

    'Ooh, a Bucks Fizz clip we've not seen before!' I thought. Then once it was underway and I realised that it wasn't very exciting and there was no skirt ripping, I realised why.

    Saxon - No.

    Keith Marshall - god, he looked smackable. To me he looked like the lead singer of Racey. The song was boring as well.

    The Bowie track I had never heard before and actually, unlike others in our group, I rather liked it! Admittedly it could have done with being a bit more memorable but it was good enough.

    Public Image Ltd - Again, no thanks.

    Eddy Grant - 'Do You Feel My Love' in a slightly different order. Nothing intrinsically wrong with that, though I have no recollection of this single whatsoever!

    The Whispers - Best thing on the show, what with the Dad dancing, the clothes and the face fuzz. The guy with the beard in particular was magnificent. As Mrs Noax said, they should have been called 'The Whiskers' based on this performance.

    One more thing to whoever was doing the chart rundown graphics - if a song is a new entry, don't put the down arrow on as well you idiot!

    1. Of course with Bucks Fizz arriving in miniskirts from the offset this week, there could be none of the same skirt-ripping performance as what won them the Eurovision, as then they would only be left with underwear if the miniskirts came off.

      Suffice to say that this was a usual occurrence in the Carry On films of the 70s where somehow even miniskirts were not immune, but it was always accidentally. Not that any of us complained of course.

    2. dory are you suggesting that mike nolan and bobby g were transvestites?

    3. Of course not, I meant only the girls in Bucks Fizz Wilberforce. I certainly would not want to see the two men in miniskirts. God, what an awful thought.

    4. it's funny how much fuss was made at the time of the women in bucks fizz getting their skirts ripped-off to reveal (gulp!) shorter skirts, and yet legs and co and even pan's people had been regularly performing in little more than skimpy knickers for several years beforehand...

    5. That is very true, and possibly the reason that Legs & Co were now winding up in 1981, because the fun and innocence of the 70s, where you could show your nickers on TV, were now making way for a more serious and PC 1980s, and the skirts had to get longer, and underwear no longer in show, as people power and feminism were starting to come out, and the good old days were coming to an abrupt end. Legs & Co seemed to have more autonomy in the 70s than at the start of the 80s based on demand for all that sort of thing.

    6. With Bucks Fizz, in the context of the big Eurovision stage and the more conservative reputation it had, it probably was a more unusual stage novelty. I don't think there was shock more it was probably just seen as a funny part of their energetic and tight performance. It was something people could remember, important in getting Eurovision points.

  17. Not every single in this chart was London-centric. Keith Marshall's effort was on the small independent label Arrival which was based in that hubbub of the entertainment industry, Harpenden, and it was distributed by Pinnacle, an electronics firm from Orpington who started their own label and branched out into record retailing.

  18. Without stealing Angelo's thunder, the 30th April Jimmy Saville edition can be found here on this link, although without the end-credits introduction and song, as the footage appears to finish at the close of the No.1 performance, so we don't know what happened after:

    1. According to the Popscene website, the number one's the final song on the 30th April edition with the credits overlaid.

  19. Don Letts just played Up the Hill Backwards on his BBC 6Music show. Sounded pretty good. Wonder if he watches the repeats?

  20. I was pleased to hear in the car today at at around 3.30pm on Smooth FM while taking an afternoon drive to the local supermarket, the 1981 no.1 from Smokey Robinson called Being with you.

    Wow, I hadn't heard this for years, but boy did it bring back memories of the summer of 1981, and it really brings out the romantic in us, well me anyway, even though I was only a growing teenager at 13 years old that year.

    It's great to know that we will be getting Smokey's big No.1 in the coming weeks at the rate that BBC4 is flying through these episodes. Bring on Smokey. Can't wait!

    1. My favourite part of Being With You I think is the atmospheric intro with the sax (which recurs mid-song). Much shorter than a later such intro on Careless Whisper but very effective.

    2. It's one of THE songs of the 80s, Being With You by Smokey Robinson. The video had a Smokey ageing gracefully with the ravages of time, but the voice was still second to none. Can't wait till we get this on the blog in a few weeks time!

  21. I seem to recall that Smokey sung as he played pool in the video for that song!

    1. Yes indeed, there was only the video available for all TV channels in Britain and Europe, with no travel by Smokey to perform it, so the video was everything. The scene with the pool table was towards the beginning of the video if I recall correctly, and to a backdrop of a beautiful sunny beach somewhere in America. Good Lord, bring on the summer already!

  22. As we have come to the final showing of Hazel O'Connor with D-Days on this week's show, with only the same TOTP showings in the studio both times, we must also consider a rare TV video clip for this song with four girls in bikinis, each in a tube of water, during what looks like an ITV or Tiswas performance, as I would not imagine the BBC showing this:

    Suffice to say that this was a lot better for the TV viewing public than that awful TOTP performance with the cheap and tacky bra, like something just pulled off a clothes line, as here in this rare TV clip, she is more modestly clothes, thank goodness.

    Also, there is an official video here, before we finally leave this number:

  23. Yes, it's a superb record from a lady of underrated talent, as these videos show. Actually, it hasn't charted yet (entered charts on 21/03/81), so we can quite justifiably continue to blast it out for another month or so even if the BBC have finished with it!

    The intro always takes me back to a contemporary amusement arcade on a seaside pier which had all the latest cutting-edge video games grouped up at one end, all making similar noises to those heard here!

  24. Sad to hear of the death of George Kennedy yesterday at the age of 91. I remember him being a regular fixture on Dallas as Carter MacKay at Southfork Ranch and trying to avoid JR Ewings crooked deals. He was the big man of Dallas in the last four seasons till 1991 when the show was finally rested. He also appeared on the Naked Gun comedy films. What a legend RIP.

    1. does that mean he's now one of the dead kennedys?

    2. I don't think he was related to John F Kennedy somehow.

  25. I was privileged to see the new Marvel film Deadpool last night in the cinema, based on the Marvel Comics original X-Men. The movie was set against a backdrop of 80s music, featuring Chicago and Wham among others.

    There was a nice touch in the movie when Stan Lee, the creator of all the Marvel Comics characters, and now 93 years old and very much still with us, was given a small cameo feature as the MC in a strip club.

    Certainly I remember as a small boy in the 70s regularly walking up to the sweetshop at the end of my road to buy the Marvel comics of The Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, the Fantastic Four and so on, and it's so good that Mr Stan Lee is still alive and well and enjoying all this new attention to his original work.

    May the great Stan Lee live and prosper to well to over 100 years old. His inception and creation of all the Marvel superheroes in the 1960s are still being sought after for new movies even in 2016, and the new Deadpool movie is one great example of this talent that is Stan Lee, and I'm sure that we shall never see his like again.

  26. Mike Read wore some funny clothes didn't he. I realise it must have been difficult to decide what to wear but he never gets it right. Who dressed in teddy boy gear in 1981?

    Nice to finally see Lynx in the flesh and this is just perfect. Superb song, stylish performance. should have been number one.

    Bucks Fizz - one of the great Brit Eurovision songs and the band were always a guilty pleasure of mine. Their later hit Now Those Days Are gone is brilliant.

    Strange how heavy metals bands suddenly adopted tight, shiny disco trousers as their own. Up to this point they were only worn by female disco dancers and The Nolan Sisters and here's Biff Byford with his meat and two veg on display. Whatever next?

    I had completely forgotten about Keith Marshall. It's one of those myriad of songs that never gets played on the radio any more but it's rather good even if Keith has the hots for himself. I like the harmonica.

    Now here's a Bowie single that I actually bought but only because it reminded me of someone at the time. Not an easy song to dance to but Bowie was never going to turn up in person was he?

    Hard not to like the Graham Bonnet track even if the lyrics are a bit dubious. "They don't use names, it says in the rules" - Must make it hard to communicate with each other then.

    Public Image Limited - I had mixed feelings about this one at the time. I couldn't help singing along even though I thought John Lydon was a bit of a twit but then you're judgemental when you're young. I like it when the drummer drops a drumstick but pretends he did it on purpose.

    Eddy Grant had a good formula but he did perhaps milk it to death. A good performance with the whole band and backing singers slightly marred by the shot of the floor manager at the back halfway through.

    Gillian again, then the charts. Visually The Whispers are stuck in the late 1970s but this is a good soul dance track with some impressive vocals.

    Another look at D-Days which sounds better with repeated viewings. I can remember being slightly drunk and dancing/singing along to this with my friends at the time although we weren't wearing bras and elbow length gloves.

    Getting silghtly sick of Shaky and so are the BBC judging by the way this runs behind the end titles.