Thursday, 3 March 2016

And Top of the Pops Played On

The second edition of our five show marathon is the 23rd of April 1981 hosted by DLT, so it won't be shown on BBC4. So it's a huge thanks to Neil B for making this one available at Dropbox.

And many thanks to Meer the show is now also available on Vimeo ~

You don't need nobody else but me......and Freddy, Brian and John.

23/04/81 (Dave Lee Travis)

(48) Level 42 – “Love Games”
Making their debut on the show, a band who went on to have six top ten hits in the 80's ~ this one though peaked at 38.

(49) Matchbox – “Babes In The Wood”
Unable to repeat their success of 1980, this tune peaked at 46.

(22) Eddy Grant – “Can’t Get Enough Of You” (rpt from 09/04/81)
Heading towards number 13.

(55) Roger Taylor – “Future Management”
Taken from his top twenty album 'Fun in Space' this first solo single from Queen's drummer made it to number 49.

(18) Gillan – “New Orleans”  (rpt from 26/03/81)
Went up one place higher.

(23) Barry Manilow – “Bermuda Triangle”
I think this routine by 'AquaLungs & Co' might have sent BBC4 into meltdown had it been shown! As for the song, Bermuda Triangle became Barry's biggest UK hit since Mandy six years earlier, reaching number 15.

(12) Saxon – “And The Bands Played On”  (rpt from 09/04/81)
At its chart peak now.

(21) Keith Marshall – “Only Crying” (rpt from 09/04/81)
Still rising towards number 12.

(45) Freeez – “Flying High”
The follow up to Southern Freeez, but not as successful peaking at 35.

(1) Bucks Fizz – “Making Your Mind Up”  (rpt)
Second of three weeks at number one.

(17) Starsound – “Stars On 45” (Legs & Co/credits)
The first of many medley hits in 1981, this one being the first of two number 2s for Starsound. And after a quick rub down with a towel, Legs & Co dance over the credits this week.

Its April 30th next, another not to be shown on BBC4 because the host was Jimmy Savile.


  1. aaargh ! I can't use the link to find Neil's upload.Help !!! It just comes up with error 404

    1. Try this one:

    2. There's no point now with dropbox, cos we also have the Vimeo link from Angelo.

  2. what a bummer that level 42's totp debut was hosted by dlt. i know they are seen as uncool in some quarters, but i had more recordings of them in my collection than any other act of the eighties, and went to see them live several times (mostly at wembley arena - not a place i would visit nowadays!). the reformed lineup featuring mark king and mike lindup has just announced a tour of the uk later this year - i originally thought there was no way i would see them again unless the original quartet reunited, but the fact is that lindup and (especially) king are the core of the band, with the others easily replaceable (especially the guitarist, who i always thought a relative lightweight). and as i still love much of their music i'm now tempted to see them again for the first time in over 25 years...

  3. ... it's also a shame that we don't get to see roger taylor in what was presumably his only solo performance in the studio, as even in his 30's he was still a real pretty boy - unlike nowadays, where for some curious reason he chooses to wear an edward VII-like beard! roger has been somewhat disparaging of queen's early totp studio appearances on more than one occasion in the various documentaries that have been made about the band in recent times (carping about the plastic cymbals for example). and yet when it came to much-needed exposure of his solo work it seems he wasn't too proud to appear on the show...

    1. I thought his beard more resembles the beard on Buster Bloodvessel on Lorraine by Bad Manners.

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  6. Angelo, further to your description of Legs & Co here and having just watched the clip on YouTube (cos I still cannot download on Dropbox), I wouldn't mind being a beach towel this week. Certainly you could see Rosie's bikini top could not hold in her breasts, as the bottom part of them were hanging out. Ooo err!
    But wait, no Gill this week? I always thought she had the best chest on Legs & Co, so this bikini show would have been an ideal opportunity for her to get some limelight.

    1. Sorry about the link not being quite right ~ hopefully all fixed now, plus Meer has also provided a Vimeo version too :-)

  7. Matchbox - wow, still going, and this one didn't even make top 40. Come on guys, move aside.

    Freeez - lead female singer now replaced. This new one seemed a lot more fun than the last one on Southern Freeez.

    Bucks Fizz - this week we get half studio performance and half video, which was featured in the top ten rundown of recent weeks. The part video shows them also tucking into a ham salad, so we get to see them out at lunch too!

    Starsound - Stars On 45 is just brilliant, and I just love the way Legs & Co lead us out of the show with their sequence moves, and slight covers over those bikinis, with DLT also taking part in the dancing with them. Now where's that beach towel?

    1. I shudder at the thought of "Stars On 45". The first football team I used to watch frequently ran out to it for about three seasons. Talk about putting fear in the opposition, it put the wind up the spectators!

  8. Phew ! Huge thanks to Neil and to Meer.Keeping the run going.Excellent.

  9. I didn’t realise until checking today that Roger Taylor had five top 30 / 40 hits and three other chart entries, either solo or as collaborations. Funny enough, there was a piece in the “London Standard” yesterday about his model daughter Tigerlily, who had the mickey taken out of her at school for listening to Queen. I’d also forgotten her mother was probably the most famous Cadbury’s Flake girl!

  10. Many thanks for posting this.
    The legs and co slot was surreal - even DLT couldn't believe it.
    Birthday boy was a bundle of joy...

    1. DLT did seem to be moving closer and closer to Lulu and her bikini on the end credits dancing.

  11. Level 42, one of the sounds of the 80s, seen as a bit naff now thanks to their decline into tune-free light funk, but this isn't too bad, a nice mix of bass and keyboards that became their trademark.

    Matchbox, here's hoping they're Dukes of Hazzard fans, though all those Confederate flags might ensure this is never repeated in the future even if we do forgive DLT. As for the tune, better than the Garland cover, but undistinguished otherwise.

    Roger Taylor's solo single, and it just had to be cod reggae. With cameo appearances from the alien on the album cover. Not too impressed.

    Barry Manilow, rhyming triangle with my angle, full marks for effort. As for the dancing, they were almost drowning out the track (literally) with their splashing about. Were they meant to be synchronised swimmers?

    Now there's enthusiasm, Freeez going nuts with their instruments. What is it with tiny brass in this show recently (er, 35 years ago)? Must have taken them ages to learn the words.

    Starsound, and to think people complain about sampling these days. Jive Bunny was taking notes.

    1. i'm sure i was one of many who thought it was the beatles themselves singing on the stars on 45 record! i have to say that it introduced me to a couple of their better efforts that i had never heard previously ("no reply" and "drive my car"). on the original canadian bootleg recording that was actually the case as it was a primitive form of sampling (it must have taken ages to cut and splice the tapes), and when it came to the attention of one of the copyright holders of one of the tracks used ("venus"), he just got one of his producers to recreate the whole thing hook line and sinker, and the rest is history!

    2. If you listen closely to the Stars on 45 record the vocals do sound a bit Dutch accented.

    3. yes, if you listen closely you can tell the difference (maybe mike myers studied it for "goldmember"?), but the only time i ever listened to it was when it was played in discos, and i although it wasn't much to my liking i did think "john lennon" was excellent!

    4. Very Dutch in some places! Especially "Thish happened onsh before" on 'No Reply'!!

    5. Wasn't the Starsound producer one of Golden Earring, who we saw a few years back?

    6. Yes it was Jaap Eggermont, but I believe he had left the band by the time of 'Radar Love'.

      I can remember hearing many moons ago that he deliberately picked singers with a limited command of English for this project, the idea being that they would simply do phonetic emulations of Beatles material without adding any style and interpretation of their own.

  12. Trying to download the 23/4/81 episode...

    Permission Denied

    Sorry but you do not have the proper permission to access this area of Vimeo.

    1. That's what I got. Had to download from Dropbox instead!

    2. Funny that. I got vimeo straight away, but could load onto my dropbox account.

    3. no problem geting it from Vimeo maybe just the traffic at the time but do persist with the link as it has the full end credits with Legs & co - Thanks for that one Meer

  13. shaky shakerson4 March 2016 at 15:18

    Straight in on this one to the sound of The Isle Of Wight's favourite - only?- sons Level 42. Only vaguely familar to me, it is however a decent, if lightweight tune. Not sure about Lindup's tache though.

    Matchbox. Can't believe the record buyers of 1981 were still wasting their hard-earned on this pile of junk. Thankfully their chart-bothering days were reaching the end.

    Rog eschews his drum kit to try and pretend he is playing guitar on a song which, quite frankly, is a bit of a nothing. Doesn't look at all comfortable in front of stage does he?

    The Leggers wearing skimpies and dancing in two inches of water. Visually a treat. Unfortunately the music is less so. Manilow is definitely an acquired taste but is almost - ALMOST- acceptable on his big ballads. This cheesy Mom-And-Dad-dancer is teeth-grindingly awful. As for the lyrics! 'Bermuda Triangle - it makes people disappear'. Thought provoking or what.

    Freeez ditch one female singer for another, and then compound their error by ditching all semblance of a song as well.

    Starsound. A novelty when it came out and much admiration for the Beatle soundalikes, but they were directly responsible for a whole slew of cash-ins including Hooked On Classics and the abomination that was Jive Bunny. Shame on you.

    Top ten video clips, except for Sugar Minott who gets just still photos for some reason. And the clips seem to be a lot longer this week.

    Scores. 5 for the show. Far too many repeats and songs that will never ever grace anybody's Best Of list. It only got that many ,thanks to a double dose of The Leggers in skimpy attire.

    DLT cops for a 5 - dropping points for that jumper, and for overrunning on his chart rundown.

    1. I liked the Manilow ballad a few weeks back, and Could It Be Magic is a sure classic. His uptempo stuff though can sound a quite corny

    2. What's wrong with his jumper?

      It's only a spoof of the BBC1 logo of that time, saying "DLT 1" and printed in Ceefax blockiness.'s.png

  14. First of all, big thanks once again to Meer and Neil B for coming to the rescue with this and the next two shows. A sober presenting performance from DLT this week in his BBC1 globe jumper, but all of a sudden he is starting to look very middle aged, with hints of grey noticeable in his hair. As already mentioned, he also struggled a bit to keep up with the chart rundown, and didn't namecheck Stewart and Blunstone as a result!

    Level 42's debut appearance makes for a pleasant opening to the show. Even though I don't generally care for jazz-funk, and disliked the scat singing interlude, this had a nice sound and Mark King's distinctive bass playing was to the fore. Matchbox proceed to get the full Shaky-style audience participation treatment for their performance, but the rhythmic clapping almost drowns out the song. Perhaps that explains why this mediocre effort stiffed, or perhaps the record-buying public had wised up to the fact this lot were a one-dimensional bunch of chancers...

    There was a bit of a trend in 1981 for drummers to launch solo careers. Roger Taylor's foray in this direction would be nowhere near as successful as that of Phil Collins, but this wasn't as bad as I feared, a surprisingly moody number which compensated in atmosphere for what it lacked by way of a memorable tune - I liked the sinister red eyes as well. Legs lighten things up by getting their bikinis on again for a fun routine to one of Manilow's naffest singles. I trust there was a strong health and safety presence in the studio, not just because of all that water but to ensure the crew didn't get overcome by the girls' appearance!

    The chap in red who "helped" DLT introduce Freeez looked like he would rather be anywhere else. I can sympathise, as this was a very poor follow-up to Southern Freeez which just looked like an excuse for the group to mess about on stage. I'm not sure what that woman was doing there either, as there were no discernible female vocals on the record and she just spent most of the time playing around with that silly little clarinet, or whatever it was. On to the number 1, and I assume the video bits in the Bucks Fizz performance came from their introductory sequence at Eurovision, as they definitely had that kind of feel.

    Finally, the dreaded Starsound to play us out, with the deadening beat that succeeds in draining the life out of all the classic songs featured. At least Legs provided another decent routine for this, and DLT mercifully, if only just, resisted the temptation to join in with them! I notice the girls did not get individual credits this week - was that because Gill was away?

    1. I thought Freeez was way better than Level 42 who were dull. Freeez definitely put in a performance and the groove was ok. The shock is how different they now look to a few weeks ago but that shows variety and ability to change.

  15. Big thanks to Meer for letting us see this episode with DLT’s BBC pastiche jumper. There are certainly some good bits on here.

    Level 42 – Love Games – Don’t remember this but all the Level 42 hallmarks are there with Mark King’s unmistakable guitar technique and Mark and Mike Lindup sharing vocals. Took a while for Level 42 to hit the big time but when they did they certainly released some crackers.

    Matchbox – Babes in the wood – A performance that I’d happily have not seen thank you.

    Eddy Grant – Can’t get enough – Still plugging that bass line sound and creeping up the charts.

    Roger Taylor – Future Management – Now this really was worth seeing and I can recall this episode because of it (even though I’d forgotten some aspects – see later….). From the ‘Fun in Space’ album, this pleasant little song stalled in the 40s. I like the way they superimposed the alien from the album cover over the performance a couple of times. Very collectable single now for Queen fans.

    Gillan – New Orleans – Third time we’ve seen this. Arghhhh!

    Barry Manilow – Bermuda Triangle – On the much played double CD ‘The Songs 1975 – 1990’ that I have had for many years. However, I’d forgotten this memorable Legs & Co routine but will never be able to listen to the song without thinking of it again! Wow, just amazing!

    Saxon – And the bands played on – Still not grabbing me this.

    Keith Marshall – Only crying – Enjoyed seeing this again.

    Freez – Flying High- Is it just me or was this just really boring? Not a hit and we’ll have to wait for the superior ‘IOU’ now.

    Chart rundown. Great to see a good chunk of the excellent Nolans video for ‘Attention to me’ being shown here. The video really has to be seen to the very end to be fully appreciated and get to the point where the guy sitting in the armchair really does give some attention!

    Bucks Fizz – Making your mind up – Now the mini skirt performance is back but this time with some sympathetic weaving in of what is probably the promo film for the group shot for the Eurovision Song Contest. Cheryl wearing some particularly fetching gold trousers.

    Starsound – Playout. Say what you will about these medley records, but these were damn fine impersonations of Beatles tracks. At the time I’d not heard ‘No Reply’ and ‘I’ll be back’ before as I hadn’t bought the albums that they were on. To top it all, Legs & Co are back dancing in their ‘Bermuda Triangle’ bikinis underneath clear rain macs?!

    1. The Bucks Fizz promo film included tucking into a ham salad, so I think this was a first for TOTP!

      With regard to the Starsound playout, I bet the girls on Legs & co just loved getting their bikinis on screen for the second time in the same show, as they seemed really comfy with the attention studio audience participation, especially from DLT himself on the end credits dancing next to Lulu.

    2. thanks sct for reminding me of "i'll be back" - another good early beatles non-single track i'd never heard prior to stars on 45

  16. So after predicting that the Yewtreed shows would be corkers, it turns out that this one is not that great. The best bits being the 2 Legs routines. Saxon & Gillan in the same show was not appealing!

    I don't mind a bit of Level 42 now and again, though this is not one of their best. I've probably mentioned this before, but in my days as a commercial radio presenter I got to interview Mark King and he was a lovely and very funny guy.

    Matchbox - No ta!

    Roger Taylor - Ditto. I know he has his fans, but I was never fond of his solo stuff.

    'Bermuda Triangle' is the only good song Barry Manilow ever did if you ask me. The Legs routine is obviously ridiculous but great.

    The Freeez song is an example of the awful noodling that didn't endear me to jazz-funk at all.

    Stars on 45 - I loved all of the Starsound medleys at the time (particularly Vol.3 with all the intros to songs!) but I do acknowledge now that they inadvertently created a monster with medleys of all good and bad varieties yet to come....

  17. I forgot to mention that they were playing the 12" version of the Stars on 45 song, because the radio edit missed out the non-Beatles tracks at the beginning as I recall.

  18. Here goes with catch-up number 3 of 5, which I thought was one of the poorest editions of the re-run thus far yet, apart from a certain routine! Thanks to Neil and Meer anyway for letting us see this again.

    Top afuché action in Level 42, and nice to see they gave Super Mario a job on keyboards.

    If I have to watch Matchbox again, I’ll go on strike! Matchbox, strike, geddit? Harrumph.

    It’s Eddy Grant followed by Eddy Grant! Er, no, hang on, it’s Roger Taylor pretending to be Eddy, though there was a clear Steely Dan influence in the backing vocals and overall vibe.

    Do press-ups to that Gillan song, eh, Dave? What sort of superhuman are you to do press-ups at that speed?

    If you thought Freeez’s vocalist looked bored for their last song, what facial expression would she have (not) pulled at this? It reminded me - what do jazz funkers order at a Chinese? Noodles! Boom boom tish!

    And finally…Bikinis & Co. Wahay! Shame Gill wasn’t there as well (in a nice yellow or orange number to balance the colours – steady on!) and the routine immediately reminded me of that outtake of Little Nell’s bikini top falling off when performing “The Swim”. As for the song (somehow I was paying attention to it) I liked the way Barry used the ‘people disappear’ reference to his gal running off with another bloke, but then he contradicts it by singing ‘not so bad’. Make your mind, up, Baz!

    Talking of making your mind up… nah, more interested in the Leggers before that weird guard of honour featuring what looked like failed contestants from the World Disco Dance Championship, a decorator and a typist.

    Right, one more to do tonight, the other one maybe on Wednesday – by which time the stockpile will be ready again!

    1. arthur, i thought i knew a bit about percussion, but i've never heard of an afache before! i had to look this level 42 performance up on youtube to find out what the hell it was (turns out to be an alternative name for a cabasa). they never used a percussionist in any of their live shows that i saw, and going by the miniscule contribution from the one here i can see why (what a waste of time lugging all those congas and timbales about!). by the way, i don't think the percussionist is "fifth member" wally badarou, and mike lindup looks a bit naff here - fortunately his hideously outdated afro 'n' tache look didn't last much longer!

    2. after various comments on the roger taylor effort i had to look this one up on youtube as well - yes, there's a definite (cod) reggae feel about it, but it's far superior to anythnig eddy grant ever did in my opinion. roger has a great voice and was a capable multi-instrumentalist and established songwriter, so no surprise he wanted to stretch himself beyond queen. and mention of steely dan reminds me that their classic "haitian divorce" - can that be dismissed as "cod reggae"?

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