Friday, 25 March 2016

Top of the Pops in Your Lap

And so we come to part four of another epic Top of the Pops 1981 weekend. This time it is the July 16th edition hosted by Peter Powell.

I demand you bring back Whole Lotta Love!


16/07/81 (hosted by Peter Powell)

(26) Saxon – “Never Surrender”

The show opens with another metal number, and Never Surrender became Saxon's final top 20 hit when it peaked at 18.

(10) Third World – “Dancing On The Floor (Hooked On Love)”(video)

Now at its chart peak.

(19) Depeche Mode – “New Life”

Our theme tune still heading towards (almost) the top ten. And quite outrageously edited out of the 7.30pm showing :-(

(30) The Jacksons – “Walk Right Now”
This week Legs & Co do a kind of jungle clad routine to the follow up to Can You Feel It, which also made the top ten when it peaked at number 7.

(33) Dexys Midnight Runners – “Show Me”

1981 was not as successful a year as 1980 had been for Dexys and Show Me became their only top 20 hit of the year when it made number 16.

(15) Kate Bush – “Sat In Your Lap” (video)
When this song peaked at 11 it closed the chapter on Kate's initial chart career. It would be four years until her next top 20 hit.

(3) Bad Manners – “Can Can” (rpt from 02/07/81)

Stuck at number three, and despite Buster's best dance efforts, of which Legs & Co I'm sure would have been proud, it got no higher.

(18) Spandau Ballet – “Chant No.1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)”

Featuring of course the brass section of Beggar & Company, Chant No. 1 became their biggest hit to date when it made it to number 3.

(1) The Specials – “Ghost Town” (video/credits)
Second of three weeks at number one.


It's July 23rd next then with Richard Skinner.


57 comments:

  1. Third world had a top 10 with now that we've found love almost three years earlier

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  2. Third world had a top 10 with now that we've found love almost three years earlier

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  3. Biff with his sprayed on jeans start us off, the headbangers down the front are reacting with quite disproportionate excitement to a ho-hum metal effort.

    Some remarkable headgear in the Third World video. Why the safety helmet, for example? Surely Mr World wasn't worried about the crowd response?

    Depeche burble away with their electropop, you can see why heroin addiction nearly killed Dave, he looks like a stiff breeze would knock him over at the best of times.

    Great disco ditty from The Jacksons, impeccably produced and as Legs & Co prove, very danceable. It's quite a danceable show overall, actually.

    You should really hear this Dexys tune more, I know it wasn't one of their biggest hits but it's very catchy with a great brass section driving it along.

    If Kate Bush getting hysterical with Sat in Your Lap is Peter Powell's idea of relaxing, I dread to think what he does for exercise. One of her better singles, sounds absolutely nuts in a good way, and of course the regulation bonkers video - legwarmers on her arms?

    And now Pete is telling us Bad Manners arseing about it what pop music should be, hmm, maybe we should set our sights a little higher sometimes.

    The bassline on this Spandau Ballet track is just superb, you could have said it made the song only the brass section matches it. Definitely one of their best, nicely overwrought lyrics too. Wonder if their fan in tartan felt a bit behind the times when he saw what they were wearing?

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    1. yes, the brass on "chant no. 1" was excellent - maybe kevin rowland should have sent his dexy's horn section to beggar & co so they could get to learn how to play their instruments properly?

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    2. Indeed, this new fashion of headbanging this week with Saxon, and a few weeks earlier with Gillan on the show, I think arrived in 1981 for the first time, as I don't think it appeared before then. Anyone know the timing of the origins of head banging? Good Lord, I mean even Legs & Co had a go at it at the end of their routine to The Jacksons this week!

      Indeed Dexy's Midnight Runners were totally dependent on the brass section for their first two years in 1980 and 1981. However, in 1982 they dropped the the brass section and found a new direction with Come on Eileen with a different background style that gave them a new success, in order to evolve love out of the brass section dependency altogether.

      Now then, Kate Bush getting hysterical sat in your lap? What a nice thought indeed. And with that dress in Angelo's caption above, yes please! Kate was still only 20 years old in this video, with Peter Powell agreeing that "she looks terrific", but looks and figure aside, the colourful video was truly an excellent production, and looked very hard work to make, so it deserves a lot of credit.

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    3. Kate was nearing 23 actually.

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    4. I stand corrected, she was 22 when this video was made. Still, she could be Sat in my Lap way back then, but I was only 13, so another case of being out of synch with the times.

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  4. having not watched any yewtree'd editions, this is finally my chance to see the classic flying coloured vinyl intro sequence in action. the music used is a great choice too, but had i been a fan of thin lizzy i might have been a bit perturbed by phil lynott's venture into synth pop territory. pp is just the right man for the job to host the new all-singing all-dancing razzamatazz, with more effervescence than ever before

    saxon: bog-standard metal - it might now be called nwobhm, but it sounds no different to owobhm to my ears. and biff is no gillan, however hard he growls. the camera zooms straight into the (inaudible) bassist when the guitar solo starts. sadly though he doesn't do his "playing open strings whilst raising a fist" thing

    third world: it's getting a bit disturbing now that more and more things appearing here are a complete memory blank to me, including this. a good catchy chorus in this reggae-disco hybrid, and i like the squelchy synth noise

    depeche mode: did everyone called them "depech-ay mode" back then? i do remember some debate in the music press as how to pronounce their name, but i'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad one. feral face and candy floss head have cleaned up their act a bit, but carrot top rather embarrassingly persists with the leather look even those he's patently unsuited for it. i note the appearance of the casio vl-tone synth, that cost around £35 at the time (still a lot of money back then but dirt cheap compared to what else was on the market). although that was still too pricey for me i knew several other musicians who went out and bought them, so was no stranger to playing one. of course the crude rhythm machine with its "tennis arcade game" plink plonk noises later got heavily featured on one hit wonders trio's "da da da"

    jacksons/legs: another one that's fallen through the cracks for me. a decent enough groove, but not one i'll be looking to listen to again. why does wacko always take the lead now he's established himself as a solo artist - can't he give his bros a go? new legger anita makes hard work of getting down the step for her solo spot

    dexy's: more of the (at this point) flat-as-a-pancake horn sound, followed by mr rowland's "unique" vocal stylings. as usual it does nothing whatsoever for me. kevin archer (sorry - al archer, there was only ever room for one kevin in this band and it wasn't going to be him) has now departed, presumably to make the faux-folk music that rowland later admitted to ripping-off for the "too-rye-aye" sound?

    kate bush: hardly a radio-friendly effort with it's tribal sound and constantly-changing time signatures. pp points out that she has great chorography on her singles - shouldn't that be in her videos?

    bad manners: i couldn't help but watch this with head-shaking disbelief. shouldn't they have at least have done a vocal version, so buster had something else to do other than perform cartwheels in period costume? is this the first or last time someone has dragged up on totp? depeche mode's candy floss head went through a brief phrase of wearing a leather mini-skirt (something he later got rather embarrassed about), but i don't know if he wore it on the show or not

    spandau: i was a sucker for the spandau manifesto from the off, but the infatuation was wearing off fast with the rubbish that was "musclebound". but here they came back with a vengeance, with (rap apart) what i considered an irresistable track at the time. i heard it again for the first time in many moons about 10 years ago and thought how naff and cod it actually was when listened to in the cold light of day without the ballyhoo that accompanied it. now i have feelings somewhere inbetween. the rap is as cringeworthy as ever, but this was still the best thing on what was all around a pretty good show

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    1. Third World were one of those bands always welcomed on the dance floor and a favourite with many DJs in the 80s and 90s, as this one and Now That We Found Love are two of the best all time dance floor classics. The video of Dancing on The Floor was very good I thought, cos of the lush Carribean beach set. Now where's that beach towel?

      With regard to Bad Manners, they were stuck at No.3 for the whole of July 1981, i.e., for four weeks at No.3, so something must have hit with the record-buying public by now to buy this with little of no vocals from Bloodvessel. It seemed he only had to dance around stage silly, in order to have a big hit, but it was TOTP who elevated them big time with their previous hits being given centre stage on the show with that larger set by the video screen each time!

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    2. My sister had one of those little Casio synths back in the 80s - I remember her learning to play the EastEnders theme on it! It also had a pre-programmed demo tune that you could play, which I can still remember vividly to this day...

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    3. I was surprised to see the appearance of the Casio VL-Tone as early as this. I can remember playing with one in the local Debenhams and finding out that it produced an identical rhythm to 'Da Da Da', oblivious to the fact that it was actually Last Year's Thing!

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  5. So, the Yellow Pearl era slips into business as usual. PP does a generally solid job, though his overpraising of Bad Manners is a trifle bizarre - I think pop can be about more than just that, Pete! Interesting to see that we are back this week to a more in-depth, clips 'n' stills Top 10 after we just got stills and no excerpts from the records in the 900th edition. However, I think a more bog-standard approach to the Top 10 would soon become the norm.

    Saxon do their thing to start us off, with copious quantities of leather on display. This record sounds completely indistinguishable from their previous releases - no wonder their sales were falling away! Dexys would soon become famous for radically changing their sound, but they are still brass-heavy here and also still sporting that rather unappealing bovver boy look. Not a bad song, and an exuberant performance, but not exactly memorable. Legs appeared to be off on a jungle expedition this week, and did a fine job with this rather forgotten, but undeniably classy Jacksons effort. One I will listen to again later on.

    I don't think I will be listening to Kate's song again, however. One of her more experimental tracks, there's a bit too much banshee wailing and general weirdness going on here for me. The video is quite fun, though inevitably quite indecipherable - I'd love to know what prompted those dunce caps to be given such prominence! Spandau, with Beggar and Co in tow, were rather more to my liking. This was quite a risk for the band at the time, a major change in stylistic direction at a point where they were still establishing themselves, but it paid off impressively. This isn't a feelgood dance record, either - there's a spiky edge of desperation to the song which makes it, with Ghost Town, a fitting accompaniment to the social and political tensions so prominent in Britain that summer.

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    1. While it's percussive like Spellbound was I prefer Sat in Your Lap because she puts more into the vocal interaction with the drums. It's not one of my favourite tracks of hers (The Kick Inside is her best album for me) but it does have good energy. The dancing in the video was good, but the staring out a bit overdone for me.

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  6. It's easy to forget that while the emphasis was on Two Tone/ska, New Romantic and electro pop there were also other styles of music that were really popular in 1980/81 and heavy metal was one of them along with rockabilly and reggae/lovers rock which all regularly feature in the chart. Saxon's music never did a thing for me but I can see now how well done it was and why it was popular. But I think the band's image didn't help but at least Biff has dropped the shiny disco trousers which lets be honest were doing him no favours.

    Third World on video again - what a shame they never made it to the studio.

    Depeche Mode return and have mainly dropped the gay leather look opting for a smarter look with pleated trousers, braces, ties and, in Martin's case, a studenty raincoat and a fedora hat. A great tune but some of the audience are still having trouble clapping along in time.

    Never cared much for this lesser follow up to Can You Feel It which is a step backwards in style for the Jacksons, but Legs give it all they've got but I would argue that they are not walking but dancing. Interesting to hear a few of the vocal tricks here that MJ would later use in his berter known hits.

    I could watch Dexys all day long - I loved this song! I was disappointed that their previous two singles Plan B and Keep It (Part 2) didn't get in the Top 40, especially the former of which is a brilliant song. The latter song of course was the one that caused the band to split. Sadly the band's next single Liars A-E would flop as well and it wasn't until they created their celtic soul sound they would be back at number one. Here Kevin and Co had dropped the donkey jackets and wooly hats in favour of boxing boots, tracksuit trousers, hooded tops and hair in pony tails. This was a great look that I much admired at the time but I hadn't the courage to try. The drummer here is Seb Shelton who used to be in Secret Affair.

    Kate Bush's video, sorry film, scared the hell out of me when I saw it at the time. I always thought the line "I must admit, just when I think I'm king" was "I masturbate, just when I'm waking" but even when you know the proper lyrics it's not exactly clear what the song is about. I wonder if they will show Kate's next hit single (The Dreaming) the one that features Rolf Harris?

    Admittedly the more times you see Bad Manners doing the Can Can (or Can The Can as PP calls it) the novelty does wear off but they're still a good band, and unlike a lot of groups they all shared their writing royalties equally.

    Although I couldn't stand Spandau I did like Chant No 1 a lot, apart from Gary Kemp's feeble pseudo rap at the end. A lot of jazz touches here with the brass, woodwind, bongos and the guitar played in octaves, clearly influenced from other bands on the scene including Blue Rondo A La Turk. Still posing like mad, the band have dropped the silly dressing up box costumes in favour of sharp suits, except Martin Kemp who has a table cloth round his neck. The twat.

    I hate it when they end with the Top Ten and run the number one behind the end titles which means they say "goodnight" about 10 minutes early. They show the number one in full with no titles and then end the show properly with a high climber with shots of the crowd dancing. Oh well...

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    1. The Dreaming never featured on Pops but it would have been interesting if that had been edited out.

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  8. There are three interesting points to make about the image from the Kate Bush video (errm, film) picture at the top of this blog.

    1. The legwarmers on her arms - this was the beginning in effect of the era where leg warmers became characteristic of the early 80s and even now much sought after gear for those who go nowadays to 80s fancy dress parties.

    2. The two dunces on the top left hand corner of the picture - this was four years before the Pet Shop Boys arrived on the scene to make this image commonplace in their videos (ermm, films), and this Kate Bush video (film) could be the image that gave the Pet Shop Shop Boys their idea for future videos of theirs.

    3. The background with the greenish-blue swirling clouds in the image was also used a few months later in January 1982 by ELO in the video for Ticket To The Moon. Hmm, interestingly eery similarity:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXBiPY8wDT0

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    1. Yes those two characters made me think of the Pet Shop Boys too!

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  9. Walk Right Now does the same as Can You Feel It and repeats the title line in the chorus, but without the growing power that it had in the former song. A weaker chorus.

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  10. Kev rowland last major was in December 1986 wid the brush strokes theme because of you anyone remember it

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    1. I remember that, Kevin was wearing a striped shirt and a sombrero. He also had a couple of other solo singles in 1988, Young Man and Walk Away. I don't think he appeared on TOTP but i remember them showing the videos on The Chart Show.

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  11. Come on Eileen was the best selling song of 1982

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    1. despite that, mr rowland still ended up bankrupt as (quelle surprise) he insisted on doing a kate bush, insisting on pushing his "artistic vision" on his next album to completely alienate the audience he'd acquired!

      but even that didn't teach him a lesson - when he did a "greatest hits" tour in recent times under the dexy's banner, he insisted that they all be performed in completely different arrangements to the original versions that his fans loved! i can't stand the guy anyway so i was never going to present, but had i turned up to a gig not knowing that in advance then i might have demanded my money back under the trading standards act!

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    2. I don't mind Kev, and the Don't Stand Me Down album is underrated (or was - it might be overrated by now), but I remember him sitting in on Tom Robinson's BBC 6Music show about ten years ago and he insisted on singing along with the records! Started funny, then the novelty wore off swiftly. So he's a bit, um, idiosyncratic, shall we say.

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  12. shaky shakerson26 March 2016 at 17:11

    So, ep 901 and the start of a new Yellow Pearl-themed era. But it's old school heavy metal to get us on our way with the risable Saxon. I literally have no words.

    De-pesh-ay Mode get another studio appearance, this time with Martin Gore dressed as a 1940s American newspaper reporter.

    That leaves us with two ska repeats (Bad Manners & The Specials) and four newbies.

    Kate Bush. On video for the bonkers but very endearing Sat In Your Lap. No idea what she is singing most of the time,nor what the video means, but I really do like this - as I did most of her stuff prior to this.

    Dexys. Another act that - up to this point- could do no wrong for me. I have to say that I like the sound of the brass here - northern soulish. And Kev's mangled vocals - love em.

    Spandau Ballet. Yet again another act that was hitting all the right notes with me. A departure from their previous stuff, going all dancey on us, but bejeesus it doesn't half pound away doesn't it. Loads of brass and drums. Lovely. And it still holds up today.

    In between all this, The Leggers do a so-so routine to a Jackson song that I didn't recognise from the title, but did immediately the song started. I quite like this - possibly because it hasn't been played to the point of extinction by the radio.

    A decent enough start to the new era then. No light entertainment junk, no novelty songs, no flavour-of-the-month-megamixes. I'm gonna go ahead and give it a 7.

    Smiley-voice gets 4. All his usual faults are on display, with the weird pauses growing both in number and length. His chart countdown is also poor. Whilst Richard Skinner alternates the order in which he reads the number, the act, and the title, Powell sticks rigidly and determinedly to the same order; position, act and title.

    Have a good Easter.

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    1. In agreement with everyone about the breath of fresh air with this new Spandau Ballet entry Chant No.1. It was a stroke of pure genius to put Beggar & Co in the mixture here, as on their own they made no impact, and pulled together well with Spandau to knock out a brilliant number for the summer of 1981.

      However I did notice that the band member on the white drums at the front looked like George Michael, despite Wham still not on the scene yet until the following year!

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  13. I would put ghost town by the specials with it must be love by madness along others as timeless classics in my opinion

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  14. i have to laugh during the guitar solo of the saxon performance the cameraman focuses on the Bass player ;)

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    1. The BBC cameramen were famous for doing that, so much so that when Trex were on doing Laser Love bassist Herbie Flowers purposely points at the guitarist when he plays the intro riff.

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  15. As this show is the last TOTP showing of Can Can at its No.3 peak, If anyone can muster just one more performance of Can Can by Bad Manners, they had a German TV pop show appearance where Buster comes in on a bicycle as a French Waiter with French onions, and we do actually get Can Can girls on stage during the performance:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVIXraaqXPU

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  16. Chalk and cheese! What a lousy edition this was compared to the highs of the 900th edition last week. Shame that this wasn’t a Yewtree episode and not the previous weeks. There is really not much to write home about here at all, so I’ll keep it brief.

    Saxon, Third World, Jacksons, Dexys, Kate Bush and Bad Manners are all forgettable efforts for me. In fact I thought the Kate Bush track was so bad it really put me off her output for good after the highs of her fabulous debut single.

    PP mentions Depeche Mode’s (is it Depechez or Depeche?) debut single ‘Dreaming of me’ again, just as Simon Bates did two weeks ago – was it really that good as I’ve never heard it? (well I’ve just checked it out on YT after musing on this – it’s a very similar sound to ‘New Life’ really, but even after one listening I must say it’s a good single and I definitely prefer it to ‘New Life’).

    I did like Spandau Ballet’s ‘Chant no.1’ and felt it a big improvement over the ‘Game of Thrones’ themed previous single.

    Spandau Ballet were the second highest new entry at no.18. The highest new entry was Abba at no.17 with the fabulous ‘Lay all your love on me’ only released as a 12” single but this gets completely ignored here. Note also that the picture used on the chart rundown (like Rainbow) is that of the single picture sleeve.

    It was good to mix up the ‘Ghost Town’ performances and show the video again. I definitely recognised the Rotherhithe tunnel at one point but I’m convinced that the tunnel shown earlier in the video is one around the London Bridge area.

    Good to get snippets of the top 10 hits in the rundown again, and yes that ‘Yellow Pearl’ theme fits the show very well.

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    1. As this week's show is the last view on TOTP of the Ghost Town video by The Specials, it must be remembered that this was no.1 in the days leading up to the Royal Wedding between Charles and Diana, and suffice to say that their dangerous driving in the tunnel in the video, was a sad twist of fate for Diana when this dangerous tunnel driving would recur in that fatal tunnel in France in 1997 where Diana met her death.

      No-one could have imagined in 1981 in that Ghost Town video at No.1 on the week of the Royal Wedding, that we were seeing images of the future fate of Diana 16 years later. It is probably the most significant twist of fate of a music video in British pop music history.

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    2. Anyone who wants to hear 'Dreaming Of Me' can always tune into my show on Switch Radio this Sunday!

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  17. i think kate bush's somewhat experiental "the dreaming" album and associated singles put a lot of people off after the relative normality of "never for ever". but that's what happens when an artist is let loose in the sweet shop of sound to do as they please! as a result, no doubt her record company regretted their decision to let her produce the album without help. and i think even kate realised she had gone a step too far, spending three years or so in the pop wilderness as a result. so she returned to a far more accessible sound (by her standards, anyway) with the "hounds of love" album

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    1. For me her best album is the first. I like songs off her subsequent ones too, but she was getting more experimental and inevitably I feel there are some weaker songs here and there. Hounds of Love returned to the perfect consistency of quality but with a very different sound.

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    2. I prefer Kate being experimental, she didn't sound like anyone else then. I can't listen to This Woman's Work, though, I find it a very disturbing song. Let's watch the Experiment IV video instead, much more manageable!

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  18. with regard to the debut depeche mode single, let's just say that if you like the lightweight/bright/happy sound of "new life" and "i just can't get enough" then you won't be disappointed by this

    for anyone unaware, they were one of several acts that got their first break on the independently-released "some bizzare" (sic) compilation album - other acts featured that later went on to greater things were soft cell, the the and blancmange. despite remembering it had heavy music press coverage at the time, i've never heard it before so have now listened via youtube. it's very much representative of the lo-fi alternative-meets-synth pop stuff that was being recorded in cheap 8-track studios all over the country at the time:

    https://www.discogs.com/Various-Some-Bizzare-Album/release/28107

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  19. In the top ten rundown this week we see Imagination's Bodytalk at its peak at No.4, in what was for me their best single as well as their debut single. The video was not shown on TOTP in preference for three different studio performances, the last of which was in last week's yewtreed 900th edition, where they brought in the same harem girls as on the video, wearing very little, and could give Legs & co a good run for their money.

    Anyway here is the video that we never saw on TOTP strangely, except for the short clip on this week's top ten rundown at its peak of no.4, and considering the fact that it was one of the best videos of the year, I thought I could share it with us, even though TOTP didn't at the time:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Oal1DxuDqc

    Suffice to say that the video is available to download from iTunes and makes for a good addition to anyone's music video collection.

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    1. The start and end in the 'desert' as depicted is a bit iffy for me, but the main section of the video in the tent is done ok. They obviously couldn't afford location shooting like we already saw this year with Spandau. The lighting in the tent is appropriately warm and exotic, closeups and staging are ok, the dancing puts me off a bit at times though.

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  20. Laziness by BBC iPlayer, using a picture of Dexys circa “Too Rye Aye” to promote this edition, and laziness by Pete not attempting more than the first three words of Kirsty MacColl’s hit title in the rundown. By the way – ooooh! We now get new entries spelt out for us. Ambassador!

    Nice armpits, Biff. Shame about the formulaic song. I actually thought “Stand Up And Be Counted”, the B-side of “Wheels Of Steel”, was strong enough to be an A-side in its own right.

    That girl still doesn’t look impressed in the Third World video...er, film.

    Nice to see Dave and Vince Depeche dressed like Essex Kraftwerk. The less said about News Hound and Leather Casual the better. Once again, the melodic synth break straight after the harmonies got chopped.

    I liked the way the Leggers swapped rows after the first three solos so everyone got an effortless early doors star turn. I also liked the Saxon-style headbanging motif mid-song.

    Ah, Kevin Rowland with another quasi Smokie Robinson ‘tache. Okay, it’s really a George Cole pencil style, but near enough. Will Google Translate help me work out what Kev was singing?

    So Kate beats Cliff Richard (only just) to the rollerskating in video / film debut on TOTP. How much cheese did she consume to dream that video? A load of bull, literally. Seeing as the dunce caps were in triplicate, does that mean this was in 3D? Boom boom tish!

    A strong New Romantic/ North London funk groove from Spandau Beggars. Did Tony try washing his clothes with Martin’s J Cloth?

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  21. Sad to hear of the death today of Sir Ronnie Corbett.
    By 1981 he was at a peak with The Two Ronnies, and his other comedy show Sorry was launched side by side in March 1981, exactly where we are supposed to be now with the TOTP repeats. A big loss to the entertainment world indeed, and he will be missed.

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    1. Indeed. 2016 has not been a good year for musician/showbiz losses. Terry Wogan, David Bowie, Paul Daniels and now Ronnie. RIP.

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    2. A sad loss, but at least he had a good innings - Ronnie B wasn't quite so lucky.

      Let's not forget their TOTP spoofs - OK, 'The Two Jimmies' doing the presenting won't go down well today, but their Chas & Dave skit was a classic: "I wish you'd tune your bass / I wish you'd shut your face!" etc.

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  22. How great to see the new titles and hear the new theme at last.

    Shame that we then have to 'enjoy' Saxon again. Oh well.

    I have no recollection of 'Walk Right Now' from the time, and I'm not particularly enamoured by it really.

    The Dexy's track, on the other hand, is really good - the fact that you very rarely hear it compared to their 'big two' makes it even better.

    I LOVE 'Sat In Your Lap' - I must have seen this TOTP on broadcast as I remember being absolutely obsessed by it, particularly the 'Ooh ooh' sampled sound running through it. The song is still one of my favourites from her back catalogue.

    I also recall that we had one of those 'Top Of The Pops' albums with session singers doing the tracks which definitely featured the previous 2 singles. Quite a challenge given the unique vocalists involved, and I seem to remember that 'Kate Bush' did a better job than 'Kevin Rowland'. I'm pretty sure that 'Can Can' was on there too, which would have been less challenging I imagine.

    Ah, Spandau Ballet with a song that I always found incredibly over-rated (and bandwagon jumping, come to think of it) and the fact that bell-end Gary Kemp objected to the sampled bassline on Rui Da Silva's dance track 'Touch Me' pissed me off as well. When I play that song on the radio, I always try to pick the original version. Not that he's ever likely to listen to my show and get annoyed by it, of course!

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    1. i say hats off to any musician that stops rappers and suchlike trying to piggy-back on their work because they have no creative ideas of their own. sadly that doesn't seem to happen too often, as if it's not the extra cash (that the original artist more than likely hardly needs) that makes the difference, then it worrying about looking uncool because you're not down with the kidz. so well done to gary kemp for stopping such talentless twats from mauling his music! even if (ironically) he was of course responsible for one of the earliest cases of this kind of thing happening by allowing "true" to sampled by some hip hop act or other whose name escapes me!

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    2. PM Dawn sampled True on Set Adrift on Memory Bliss - Tony Hadley was even in the video!

      But I believe sample rights have been sorted now, thanks to a vast team of showbiz lawyers who probably made far more than the songwriters and musicians did for writing what was sampled!

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    3. i suppose the problem is that we usually only get to know when a writer has agreed to to a sample of their original recording being used by someone else, as it then starts getting heard in public as a result. it would be interesting to know what the ratio of agreements is against refusals that copyrighted work be used in that manner. and if there are any major artists out there who refuse point blank to allow their stuff to be sampled by others?

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    4. But 'Touch Me' is actually a good dance tune with a decent vocal, and the sample plays a lesser role in the track than in some others I could mention. It does add to it though, the version without it is not as good. To my mind, it's not much different to what PM Dawn.

      Bear in mind that 'Touch Me' was released at the height of the band falling out with each other and therefore the height of Mr.Kemp's twattiness.....

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    5. I remember being shocked and devastated when Atomic Kitten's "Be With You" released in 2001, sampled very heavily Last Train To London by ELO from the 1979 Discovery album. They even took whole chorus lines from it, and I wonder what Jeff Lynne had to say about that?

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    6. "Thanks for the royalties", probably. I think sampling's another tool in the producer or DJ's arsenal, sometimes it's inspired, enhances the song or lyrics, other times it's lazy appropriation and an insult to the fans of the original.

      Three great sampling albums:

      Endtroducing by DJ Shadow
      Since I Left You by The Avalanches
      Destroy Rock 'n' Roll by Mylo

      One track that makes you want to ban sampling forever:
      All Summer Long by Kid Rock

      Swings and roundabouts, as they say.

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    7. The Avalanches and Mylo albums are true works of art - but apparently so exhausting to put together that it seems that no follow-ups will ever be forthcoming!

      Agree with you about that awful Kid Rock track as well.

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    8. Heck, even DJ Shadow struggled to come up with a worthy follow-up to Endtroducing. But these artists aren't alone in finding it difficult to come up with something that tops a great first album, it happens too often no matter the genre.

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  23. I agree with Wilberforce - every time I hear a looped bar of something from the '70s or '80s put to another tune (and sometimes not even a tune!) my heart sinks.

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    1. thanks 20th - one that really pissed me off was about 10-12 years ago when somebody sampled "spacer", which i kept hearing on asda fm every time i shopped there!

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    2. Gawd, yeah that was terrible, they called it Crying in the Discotheque or something naff. There was one with some woman singing different words over The Backstabbers from around the same time, totally uninspired. The annoying thing was when they started you think ooh, good, I like this one - arse.

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    3. and don't forget the "are "friends" electric" one that was around at the same time. i wasn't that keen on the original, but i'd much rather have gary numan droning away than the idiots that took his place!

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    4. Ah, the Sugababes with Freak Like Me! Or whichever lineup of the Sugababes that was for that week. I quite liked that one, but it was a bit of a cheat because they were covering a mash up of two records that had been popular in hip clubs. Numan thought it was better than his own effort! Don't do yourself down, Gaz!

      Another cheeky sample/cover with different lyrics I liked about that time was The Tamperer featuring Maya with Feel It, which was good fun. Their follow up had the dubious title of If You Buy This Record Your Life Will Be Better. They sampled the Jacksons and Madonna on those, one we've seen on the repeats recently and one we should see next year at this rate.

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