Friday, 4 March 2016

Top of the Pops and Deliver

And so we come to the fifth and ultimate instalment of this mammoth Top of the Pops weekend, and most aptly it is the Cup Final edition from May 14th 1981.

Is Ricky Villa there?

14/05/81  (Cup Final Special hosted by Tommy Vance)

Thin Lizzy – “Are You Ready?” (24)
Peaked at 19 to become the band's 11th and final top 30 hit.

Sheena Easton – “When He Shines” (23) (rpt from 30/04/81)
This may well be one of Sheena's least remembered hits but it did manage to get to number 12.

Department S – “Is Vic There?” (22)
22 was the peak for Vic.

Kim Carnes – “Bette Davies Eyes” (20) (video)
This American number one became Kim's only UK top ten hit when it peaked at number 10.

Tenpole Tudor – “Swords Of A Thousand Men” (10)
A second studio performance, helped out by Legs & Co in their pirate gear of course, for this rousing tune about to reach number 6.

Tommy then treats us to quite an extended top ten rundown where we do at least get to see a few of the songs from the shows that BBC4 has skipped this week, including Chas & Dave's cup final song!

Adam & The Ants – “Stand & Deliver” (1) (video/credits)
Second week at number one, and a great video, a shame its first showing on BBC4 was this truncated version that finished in time for kick off at Wembley ~ Ricky Villa just warming up and soon to score THAT goal!

Would you believe that the next edition, the 21st May 1981, is a DLT one! So the next we will see on BBC4 will be the final May show from the 28th May. But that can wait till next week. Because right now, I'm off for a beer!


  1. Just want to say a big thank you to Neil B for all the uploads of the missing episodes tonight.I really did think we were going to have to miss out on the 7th May and the 23rd April editions.Im currently converting them to my ps3 so I can enjoy them all tomorrow night on the big telly with a few beers.Enjoy your beers too Angelo. .you've earnt them tonight for sure!

  2. Legs akimbo, it's Thin Lizzy (and the writing goes thin to indicate that, cheers). Pretty much the same as their last appearance, only this is live (and seemingly mimed).

    Did Sheena really rhyme "gentleman" with "mental man"? Doing her best Babs here, before Prince got his mitts on her.

    Department S, with Mr Department dressed not as Jason King but as David Essex. In fact the whole band had gone to town on their wardrobe.

    Kim Carnes borrowing Ultravox's partygoers for her video. With her 20 Capstan Full Strength a day voice and that great synth riff, how could this fail to be a hit? Originally a country song, too.

    Let's play Spot the Legs & Co with Tenpole Tudor. Didn't notice any kettle drums on this record before, I must admit.

    In fact, the Tenpole Tudor video for Swords of a Thousand Men was not dissimilar to Adam and the Ants' Stand and Deliver one, from my memory. I recall hearing Adam in the 90s on some crap Radio 4 comedy show being forced to sing the Kwah-diddly-kwah-kwah bit at the end and it was truly cringeworthy. How the mighty had fallen. Let's remember him this way, as Dick Turpin.

    Hah! Done it! Five TOTPs in twenty-four hours! Thanks to the uploaders for making it possible, and special thanks to Angelo, a true gent, you went above and beyond the call of duty this week!

    1. A look at the BBC Genome reveals that comedy show was called The Skivers. Adam must have enjoyed it because he was back six months later on the same team's show The Slavers.

    2. Am still in recovery position!
      But here's another huge thanks to Neil B for making those three missing editions available to us!
      But I think it may have melted his Dropbox!

    3. Take a well deserved break Angelo, cos you got three more episodes to post up between now and Friday.

  3. Kim Carnes - this superb video can still be purchased in full from iTunes, and was one of my first video downloads when I first started on iTunes and my iPod in 2006, so I've had it for 10 years in my music library, and still love it!

    Top Ten Rundown - we see here a Legs & Co routine to Stars On 45, not previously shown in the last few weeks, and somewhat strange that we could never see this routine in full with these outfits, and only a small clip of it on the top ten rundown, with no audience around them strangely!
    Certainly the costumes here were much more sexy than the other two previous dances that Legs & Co did on 23rd April and 7th May.

  4. Says toyah Wilcox is on this edidion she's on the 21 May edidition

  5. toyah is shown in the pic for this edition on iplayer, and she's listed in the write-up. but for some reason she doesn't appear on the actual show. why was that? all i can say in response is "it's a mystery"!

    host: tommy does his usual bombastic thing, but i'm not sure about the militia-meets-kung fu jumpsuit

    thin lizzy: the camera zoom-in exposes a painfully thin (unintended pun) audience, but whilst snowy white seems rather conscious of it scott gorham doesn't seem to care. quite a good number i thought, certainly one of their better efforts. why they bother with the (air) keyboard player though is beyond me. modulation alert when snowy has his solo!

    sheena easton: one i can't remember at all, and i'm very glad of that. sheena obviously already has an eye on the vegas supper market, but this dreadful dirge is rendered even worse by the clumsy lyrics ("sometimes a dude"!). you don't usually notice a woman's voice making a transition from chest voice to head voice, but at one point here it's painfully obvious. i had to give up on this half way through, even though we get our first glimpse of sheena's sexy satin strides at that point (i once kept a picture of her on my bedroom wall, simply because she was wearing such a pair!)

    department s: the keyboard player looks very cool with his floppy hair and ferry-style cod-military clobber. but he's obviously not too happy being relegated to the back as he spends much of his time talking to a cameraman and/or audience member. i've just discovered that an album featuring this and their follow-up singles was finally released 20 years afterwards - sadly too late for singer vaughan toulouse, who had died from an aids-related illness 10 years previously...

    kim carnes: along comes another contender to challenge bonnie tyler as current holder of the "female rod stewart" title. and like bonnie's music this is also pretty tedious. why is bette spelt that way if it's pronounced "betty"? i didn't know beforehand and always thought it was pronounced "bet"! and what was all the fuss about bette davis anyway? she's wasn't much of a beauty in my eyes...

    tenpole tudor: if it wasn't for the vocal this could easily be confused for the stray cats in my book. not a favourite of mine, but a good energetic performance. and i always had a soft spot for the mutton-chopped simian-featured guitarist. oh, look! legs have popped up in the audience! well, gill has anyway

    adam & the ants: the sony walkman that dandy highwayman adam relieves his male victim of was the very latest in music technology at the time! i'm pretty sure the extras in the banquet scene were blitz club regulars, although i don't know if any of them (like adam's then-girlfriend amanda donohoe who played the lady victim) later became famous in their own right?

    1. Bette Davis may not have been a classic beauty, but she did have that sheer force of personality that made audiences sit up and take notice, she was going to be a star if they liked it or not. She could be a brilliant actress, so don't judge her attractiveness on her Baby Jane or whatever, look at her 1930s and 40s films and you'll see how compelling she could be (looking at a photograph wasn't enough). Also, she was a riot when playing the bad girl.

  6. Already looking forward to three episodes this week on the blog, 21st May, 28th May, 4th June, which sees the welcome arrival of Smokey Robinson, Champaign, Vangelis and Imagination, while Shaky and Adam & Ants were battling it out for the No.1 over those three weeks, resulting in all three episodes this week having Adam & The Ants at No.1, and indeed their first No.1.

  7. shaky shakerson6 March 2016 at 03:13

    Even less to say about this truncated affair than the previous edition.

    Tommy Vance. For some reason TV has come dressed as a Kwik Fit Fitter. Sartorial error my friend.

    Lizzy - just realised that there is little sign of their patented dual-guitar sound. It really is like they have lost interest.

    Kim Carnes. American singer with an American band singing an American C&W song. And yet they could not have looked more cutting-edge British if they tried - very New Romantic. Surely the trend hadn't crossed the Atlantic so soon?

    Chart Rundown. Again the only one of the ten not to be shown in video form is Sugar Minnot. Can anyone suggest a reason why he is so treated?

    No point in scoring given that it has taken me longer to write this than to watch it.

    Many thanks to Angelo, Neil B and Meer for their resourcefulness in getting these eps to us. Much appreciated guys

  8. I just want to add my thanks to Angelo for his sterling work in getting these latest five shows up on the blog so quickly - you deserved your beer! There's not much to say about this edition, given its brevity and the lack of new songs. However, Tommy gave his normal enthusiastic performance and it was nice to be reminded of a time when the Cup Final was such a big deal that a popular show like TOTP could be branded as a lead-in "special."

    I've never liked Bette Davis Eyes much - it's a boring song, and Kim Carnes' croaky voice (which makes Bonnie Tyler sound like Julie Andrews) does my head in. Still, it must be one of the first American hits to fully embrace a synthpop sound, so is at least notable for that. I did initially think Legs had been given the week off, but then up they popped in the Tenpole Tudor performance. It was pretty blink-and-you-miss-it though - perhaps another sign that their days were numbered?

    Another strange thing was the extremely abbreviated credits at the end. I know it was a short show, but they could surely have fitted in more credits than this!

  9. Managed to tuck this in before the missus got home. Actually a pretty good show.
    Didn't know bette Davis eyes was a cover - off to YouTube later!

  10. Just want to add my thanks to everyone involved in loading and blogging. Really enjoying it. Just wish BBC would slow down :-)

  11. I've yet to watch the three-tier contraband meat within the layers of BBC4 bread, but huge thanks to those behind the scenes for getting the shows on the forum and for indexing them lovingly.

    How can a truncated show be a "special"? Similarly, why are "fun size" bars of chocolate miniscule compared to the regular size? Surely fun size should be about three times bigger than the normal bar!

    Had most of the audience got a bus to the Cup Final instead? Almost more people in Thin Lizzy than watching that lyrically bankrupt effort. I yearned for the spark of a lyric like "tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak / somewhere in this town" (i.e. at the jail).

    Department S's keyboard player seemed happy to be there at the start and consequently out of character with this mob. I always thought the lead singer's name "Vaughan Toulouse" was dreadful as it sounded like "born to lose".

    Shame Kim Carnes wasn't one place lower in the chart to give us a consecutive 24-23-22-21 set of acts on the show. Very much a one-eyed (truncated) video with D'Artagnan on front guitar. Could someone please help with the name of those metal cylinders held horizontally, more likely used in jazz tunes, held by the female band member?

    Wahay! It's Legs & Co's patented Puss In Boots look, and they should have been in front of Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary. Still, hey, love this song.

    As for the rundown, is Kim Wilde singing "Chegger Love" and showing a hankering for Keith Chegwin? And saucy of the BBC to show Man City's goal in the cup final over Spurs', erm, singing. Mind you, their equaliser was a Tommy Hutchison own goal, so fair play for not embarrassing the lad again front of 19 million or so.

    1. arthur, the department s singer's name was an intentional pun! sadly for him it came all too true...

  12. After a quick check on Google, that cylindrical percussion might be a pair of ganzas...unless anyone knows different?

  13. Hey Angelo, looks like the comments on these 5 episodes have now dried up, so any chance of getting the 21st May up already, as in three days time BBC4 will be showing 28th May? Although there is a 21st May edition floating on Utube, it is not complete, because it misses out the last two songs and the end credits, i.e., it cuts out during The Beat with still two further songs to go, so it may need Neil B once again to come to the rescue this week.

    1. D42 has the 21 May 1981 edition

    2. I've just watched D42's version - it lacks the intro, the number 1 and the end credits, but is otherwise complete.

    3. Hope it's gets put up on here at some point

  14. Incidentally, a great article on Tony Blackbun here from Pete Paphides:

    I usually support the BBC, especially when it's so fashionable to slag them off these days, but they got this dead wrong. I hope they see sense and put Tony back on Pick of the Pops, because I miss him there.

    1. Great article THX - thanks for the link. It just goes to prove that the Beeb hung Tone out to dry to distract attention from the rest of the Smith report - I do hope he wins his case.

  15. With Starsound now at it's peak and about to begin the slide down the charts at No.3 this week, here is the official video which was not shown on TOTP, in favour of having Legs & Co to do the honours, which was was also good of course:

    Some great footage of Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin on this original video for the Stars on 45 radio edit of 4:49 length, so enjoy.

  16. As we also say cheerio to Department S on this edition with 'Is Vic There?', now at its peak this week at no.22, there was one other performance done by Department S on Cheggers Plays Pop, which by now in May 1981 was already itself four years into its stride as a regular weekly show since 1978:

    Suffice to say that there was no budget for a video for them, so TOTP and Cheggers Plays Pop are the only performances I am aware of.

  17. this is nothing to do with these old totp's as such, although related in terms of time period:

    i've been watching the (most interesting) "back in time for the weekend" tv series where a contemporary family experiences changes in life and culture from the 50's to the 90's. in the 70's episode, there are a couple of funky tracks playing in the background that i can't identify, one at around 5 minutes in and the other at around 15 minutes - can anybody help?:

    i'm please to say a recognised a third funky track at 37 minutes as labi siffre's "i got the..." - featuring none other than chas & dave as backing musicians!

    1. I think the one at 5 minutes is Rose Royce, but don't know the one at 15 minutes

    2. A bit of detetctive work confirms the track at the 15 minute mark as "Gimme Some More", a single by James Brown's backing band the JB's in 1972.

    3. thanks arthur - one down, one to go. the other one sounds much too early (circa 1970?) to be rose royce

    4. Wonder no more, Wilby. I played the 5-minute section on my iPhone to a soul mate at work who stuck it in Shazam and the answer is... "Wiggle Waggle" by Herbie Hancock!

    5. thanks arthur - and i've already got that one in my mp3 collection (the shame of it)! i suppose it's good to hear some less-than-obvious stuff being played as background music in these shows, rather than just the usual suspects...

  18. Finally got around to this one today, what there was of it. The most memorable thing was Tommy Vance's outfit - had he been taking fashion tips from Peter Powell? Whoever it was, a very bad idea that!

    Just one new track, and although I like 'Bette Davis Eyes', Mrs.Noax very much doesn't for some reason.

    The Tenpole Tudor performance wasn't as good as the other one sadly.

    That's about it then -on to the next one!

  19. Are You Ready To Rock - a title nicked from glam band Wizzard. A good solid rocking number from Phil and the Boys - the lead guitarist in full Phil Tufnell mode. I had no memory of this song but it seems perfectly acceptable even if it does lack that lyrical hook.

    Calming things down is Sheena Easton in MOR territory already using a mid Atlantic accent on certain words. When He Shines is a slightly odd title, implying he was made of metal and could be buffed up with a bit of Brasso. Sheen's pretty shiny herself in those gold lame disco trousers (don't let Biff from Saxon see 'em).

    Posing like made are Department S who utilize every cliche including holding the microphone in a strange way, dressing up, an androgynous guitarist, wearing cool dark glasses and looking into the camera. This is a lot better than I remember it being and they should have had some more hits. Maybe they should have changed their name to Jason King.

    Bette Davis Eyes. I remember me and my friend being slightly worse the wear for drink and doing that dance where they slap the floor. I always thought the lyrics were "take to make a crow blush" but it turns out to be "pro blush".

    I always thought Tenpole Tudor were making lots of cheeky references to felatio - from the name Tentpole chewer and the titlw Swords of a thousand men but perhaps I was wrong.

    Interesting clips in the Top 9 including Bucks Fizz shopping at Harrods, a shirtless Suggs from Grey Day and Legs doing Stars On 45 which segues perfectly into the Shaking Stevens Song.

    "Stand on the liver" as we used to say, fools that we were. Adam and Co still at number one with that superb funny video, albeit edited. There was an interesting documentary about highwaymen on BBC4 recently which dispelled a lot of the myths about Dick Turpin and others.