Thursday, 3 March 2016

Top of the Pops (Till You Burn)

So we begin a very busy period of Top of the Pops 1981 re-runs with the edition from April 16th....

You know nothing, Tony Hadley


16/04/81 (hosted by Peter Powell)


(15) Bad Manners – “Just A Feeling”
With Buster Bloodvessel's best Suggs impression and Legs & Co's Hawaiian costumes Just a Feeling managed to go up two more chart places.

(18) Spandau Ballet – “Musclebound” (video)
The video stakes are upped a little further with this epic, cinematic proto-Game of Thrones offering with Musclebound still heading towards a number 10 peak.

(33) Girlschool – “Hit & Run”
Following up their huge hit with Motorhead, but Hit & Run went up just one more place. And was edited out of tonight's 7.30pm show.

(7) Sugar Minott – “Good Thing Going (We’ve Got A Good Thing Going)” (rpt from 02/04/81)
Getting closer to its number 4 peak. And also edited out tonight.

(40) Department S – “Is Vic There?”
Reached number 22. And edited out of the 7.30pm broadcast tonight.

(53) The Beat – “Drowning”
Also reached number 22, and clearly a favourite of Peter Powell.

(29) Whitesnake – “Don’t Break My Heart Again” (video)
Peaked at number 17. Not in the country so 'our cameras were sent out to catch them in concert'.

(54) UK Subs – “Keep On Running (Till You Burn)”
This was the band's final chart entry and made it to number 41. And also edited out of tonight's 7.30pm slot. But what the hell, they still get to title tonight's blog!

(4) Ennio Morricone – “Chi Mai”
Legs & Co are suffragettes for this week's routine to the theme from the tv series 'The Life and Times of Lloyd George' which won enough votes to get to number 2.

(46) The Cure – “Primary”
Peter Powell says this is the Cure's Top of the Pops debut but a whole year earlier they had appeared on the show with their last hit 'A Forest'. So Primary was their second time in the studio, but this one failed to make the top 40, peaking at 43.

(14) The Nolans – “Attention To Me”
An impressive live vocal performance from The Nolans of the fourth and final single from their album 'Making Waves'. Attention to Me peaked at number 9.

(1) Bucks Fizz – “Making Your Mind Up” (rpt from 19/03/81)
The first of three weeks at number one and the first of four top 20 hits for the band in 1981.

(8) The Jacksons – “Can You Feel It?” (video/credits)
Making for a very eye catching credits experience, Can You Feel It was now almost at it peak of number 6.

Next up for us then is the DLT hosted edition from April 23rd 1981.

37 comments:

  1. I managed to see the early cut tonight for a change, so a few random thoughts for now…

    Hmm, a ventriloquist drummer for Bad Manners. Different. Buster scrubbed up well for this edition. I barely noticed the Leggers and only caught them near the end of the song – and why were they dressed in Hawaiian gear?

    Proof that Ultravox gave us the first arty video (sorry, ‘film’) and Spandau Ballet beat Duran Duran to the first pretentious, poncey (and in this case not particularly PC) one. “Three Notes” Hadley must have been miming, otherwise his horse would have bolted at those long bum notes.

    I guess they had to keep The Beat in after Peter mentioned them in the show’s intro. I see only the bassist kept up his stupid dancing, his usual guitarist partner offering us a languid and, dare I say, in-time routine. Saxa’s crown wins Hat Of The Re-Run Award thus far by a long chalk.

    Nice to hear “Fool For Your Loving” again. Oh, hang on, it’s White Snake (as per the end of video credit) raiding their tune draw for inspiration.

    Peter, for goodness’ sake, it’s pronounced “KYE My”, not “Key My”. Arguably the most soporific dance routine ever on the show, and nice to see Gill get plenty of close-up shots compared to Sue (not). To think we get this and miss out on the full majesty of the almost-in-the-nib “Ai No Corrida” and wet bikinis “Bermuda Triangle” - unless someone’s taped the shows from days of yore...

    What a juxtaposition in the full show – UK Subs followed by Ennio Morricone. That’s what I call more music variety, so stop breaking the Trades Description Act and get a new jingle, Heart FM.

    Pete, have you forgotten ”A Forest” from last year? Mind you, following my comments re the time wasted on Lena Zavaroni’s recent showing, I’d forgotten this masterclass of round the kit drumming by The Cure's Lol Tolhurst. This was the second of five Cure ‘hits’ peaking between 31 and 44.

    Hang on, aren’t there usually five Nolans? Where’s the tasty brunette gone? Did The Nolans copyright that leg kicking part of their dance routine? They did it enough times in their appearances.

    Oooh, a video to see us out instead of some fish eye round an emptying studio. These really are changing times!

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    1. arthur, your comment on tony "foghorn" hadley's horse bolting still has me cracking up!

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  2. Bad Manners - how did they manage to get Legs & Co dancing to their single, lucky blokes? Didn’t you like the bit in the middle when the camera focused on the Legs & Co girls gyrating to the sound of Bad Manners, Rosie in particular?
    By now it was exactly a year since Bad Manners debuted on TOTP with their first single, and so I guess they had done their initial time to get the approval of Legs & Co to be anywhere near them. They had now come of age it seemed, but still, the miming was terrible this week!

    Girlschool – what made up for this dour follow-up to Please Don’t Touch by Headgirl, is that the lead singer on Girlschool had a very cute and sexy voice, that it didn’t matter what she was mumbling on this tune!

    Department S – I remember at the time that this was quite novel, just because of the way the lead singer was holding his microphone, which was like never seen before, but it was not a bad song, with the operator called in to find out if Vic was actually there.

    Whitesnake – I’m a big fan of this group, with their sound and image, and everything else. Like Rainbow, they give off a very good rock ‘n’ roll sound that appeals to all ages, which stands them out from the likes of ACDC, Motorhead, Saxon, Iron maiden, etc.

    Ennio Morricone – already at no.4! With Legs & Co dressed like suffragettes, it was a little sublime and they could have put on some body-showing outfits on this one, but it at least gave us the chance to relax and concentrate on their choreography which was very good here.

    The Cure – so this was their debut? Not a bad start, but as they were due to become a regular fixture throughout the 80s, there’ll be plenty of future opportunity to discuss their contribution to the charts.

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    1. No they debuted on the show wid a forest a year previously

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    2. But Peter Powell said they were making their debut on TOTP on this show

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    3. And Peter Powell was wrong! Funny, because A Forest is a pretty memorable, especially compared to the one on this episode.

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  3. And to kick us off in the studio tonight, The Jacksons! Oh, wait a minute, it's the businessman in his suit and tie, so who is the real sick man? It'll be Buster if he doesn't slow down. Legs & Co impersonating space invaders in the background.

    Needs more Natalie Dormer, Spandau Ballet. Can anyone follow the plot to this "film" or is Tony's town crier vocal act too distracting? Still pretty awful on a second outing on the show.

    Girlschool, sort of a NWOBHM version of The Go-Gos. Not too bad, and they had the moves and attitude, but you can hear why this wasn't a bigger hit.

    So that's where Buster nicked his bowler from. Some splendid headgear variety from Mr Minott and company.

    Ah, an Annie Nightingale favourite, Department S, wisely not going for the Jason King look. Always liked this, mean and moody but tuneful, and the answering machine message was a nice touch. But was Vic there or not?

    Pete might have liked The Beat's latest, but for me it only sprang to life in the instrumental break, not very memorable otherwise.

    Whitesnake, was hoping for an actual melody here but they were obviously too hard to bother with such frippery. Forgot how this one went within nanoseconds.

    Ah, The Spencer Davis Gr- oh, no it's this shower again. Embracing New Wave at last, but it didn't improve them much. Mr Subs looks like he has a woolly hat on.

    Congratulations on your new Oscar, Ennio, but this wasn't one of my favourites of yours. Not sure about Legs & Co's innovation of standing still dancing, either. All the excitement of a Monday afternoon history lesson. OK, you can have the vote, doesn't mean much these days anyway.

    The Cure making their second debut. Bob looks different when he's not slathered in eyeliner, doesn't he? Not their best, but OK for Goth.

    Hey, the Nolans here appear to belie what we were told a couple of end of year documentaries ago about stick mics indicating miming, because that sounded live to me.

    Then Bucks Fizz with their audio self help manual to end on. Apart from a third of the ludicrously self-congratulatory Jacksons video, hope we see it in full soon.

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    1. The full length video of Can You Feel It by The Jacksons is around 10 minutes long, so somehow I doubt it will be shown in full by TOTP. In April 1981 we were still in the pre-MTV age, where the only place you could get to see videos were on TOTP or similar shows, and the main theme was to cram as many songs into a show as possible, so this would be against the grain of getting to see a video in full, especially if they were more than 3-4 minutes in length like this one.

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    2. To YouTube I go!

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    3. OK, I went to YouTube and there are two versions, the short and the long. I imagine the short was shown on TV and the long in cinemas, because that has actual credits on it with Whackson's name all over them. Unfortunately both versions drown out the top tune with unnecessary, blaring sound effects. And it's still basically the Jacksons saying "We're great, us! Don't you think we're great?" But I do like the song.

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    4. Yes, I meant the long version which was the one played in later years by the various music video channels, but of course in 1981, The Jacksons would have put out a shorter version, and even then it was 4-5 minutes long, and still a challenge for TOTP and the like to show in full.

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    5. I think if you cut out the heavenly strings, narration and all the nations of world adoring the Jacksons you'd have a decent three minutes. Still better than Earth Song.

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  4. Again Peter Power this week refers to the video as a 'new film' by the Jacksons, so the term music 'video' or pop 'video' had still at this stage not been coined yet, as of course in 1981 we still did not have VCRs yet, and television shows had 'film'.

    It will be interesting through these TOTP time travels, as to when the first ever mention of a 'video' will come through!

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    1. Actually, I bought my first VCR in 1979 (more money than sense!). I started out recording all the TOTPs but started to overwrite them as the tapes were so expensive. To add regret to insult, the recording were all Betamax, so I threw them out a few years later - what a mistake-a to make-a!

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    2. Well, you weren't to know that the BBC would block all the DLT and Saville editions, otherwise we would have asked you to post them up for us on here!

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  5. shaky shakerson4 March 2016 at 01:39

    Ok, I have the weekend off and a plentiful supply of Red Bull so lets do this thing.

    Our first episode has old Smiley-Voice in charge and he gets us off to a decent enough start with Bad Manners miming their way thru a song which has more than a passing resemblance to Selector's 'Missing Words'. This is a gnat's hair away from being a good song - all that is missing is a more melodious verse. And, dear God, what are some of the females in the audience behind them wearing?

    Spandau on 'film'. I quite liked these kind of videos - something almost cinematic about it; better that than another 'on stage' performance.

    Girlschool. The Head Girl definitely had a sexy smouldering look going on, which almost made up for her lack of singing ability. Forgetable.

    Ah, I've been looking forward to Department S since the start of the year. Love the song, and a decent performance too, although the weird mic-holding was a tad distracting. I'd forgotten about that affectation.

    The Beat. Don't remember ever hearing this at all back in the day, so I'm wondering if the flip side was the one that got all the airplay? Can't be bothered to check it out though. Don't you realise how much ToTP footage I have to get thru this week?

    Whitesnake - luckily for us - have been caught by the ToTP cameras, according to PP. I think he doth lie too much. Yet another non-descript NWOBHM song to add to the many many non-descript NWOBHM songs we have had to endure. Next!

    Must be hot in the studio as Smiley-Voice has taken off his jacket. Although he still wants to be seen with it so he has draped it over one shoulder. Another fashion masterclass right there.

    FF through UK Subs - don't wanna listen to that.

    FF through the Leggers 'dancing' to Chi Mai. The Leggers in Edwardian long dresses? Don't wanna see that.

    The Chart rundown and PP can't quite match up to Mike Read's reading and is forced to only give Stewart/Blunstone's surnames in order to fit it in.

    Nolans. Dancing AND singing live! Take that Rihanna!.

    Top Ten countdown is this week all-action. Is that it for the still-photographs then?

    Not a bad show musically - apart from the run from Whitesnake to Chi Mai. An extra point added for 'Is Vic There?' means we are looking at a 7.

    Powell gets 6. Not at his irritating worst. Thankfully.

    Back soon.

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    1. Spoiler alert - we actually get the flip side to The Beat's single later in this run. Can't have been many songs on TOTP where you get to hear both sides.

      While I'm here, I didn’t realise until nosing around on t’net today that “Chi Mai” had been used as the theme for a different BBC series just three years previously - “An Englishman's Castle”, starring Kenneth More, set in a Nazi-occupied England in 1970 after Germany had won World War II instead. “Chi Mai” was released by Private Stock during its last year of existence in 1978.

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    2. The Jam performed both sides of the 'Town Called Malice'/'Precious' AA single back-to-back on a show in early 1982, which should be on in a couple of weeks' time at the current rate. (Mike Read was the host, so it's Yewtree-acceptable).

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  6. Normally i love these re-runs, but i thought this show had the worst selection of songs in ages.

    Comes to something when Bucks Fizz and the Nolans have the best songs on the show.

    The Jacksons were also good, but faded out and had i have caught the full version, i would have included Sugar Minott in my good list

    But the rest i didn't like or rate at all. 1981 has to get better!

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  7. this edition perhaps set a ghoulish record in that no less than five tracks on the show feature singers that are no longer with us at the time of transmission (!)

    host: pp's 80's hairstyle is finally starting to suit him, and generally one of his better presentations too. but there are still a few chinks in his armour...

    bad manners: it's funny how much was made of buster bloodvessel's girth at the time, but if he walked around in that outfit today nobody would think him looking particularly overweight. winston bazoomies is awol this week, so the harmonica job falls to the guitarist. who forgets to mime on it at least once. and why couldn't the puppet have had a drumstick of his own? and whoah! where did legs & co spring from half way through? but a rewind reveals they were there from the very start

    spandau: the spands and their chums spend time bonding in what looks like the siberian steppes, but is more likely somewhere in north wales (some might say the latter is actually less inviting). was this influenced by the conan films, or were they yet to be made? talking of which: did you know arnie has now signed up for another sequel? this one's called "conan the septagenarian"...

    girlschool: the singer has great hair, but sadly her voice doesn't match. otherwise it's fairly generic metal that could have been done by anybody. watch the other guitarist, and actually how studied her "nonchalent" manner is

    sugar minott: is there supposed to be a green hue at the beginning of this, or is that where the tape has decayed?

    department s: the tv series of the same name was probably the first action show i watched properly (i was around 8 at the time), and it still has great sentimental value for me (and of course a great theme tune). i bought the dvd boxset a few years back, and although it's a bit patchy in places plotwise it's still very stylish. unlike most fans, i wasn't so much into the flamboyant fop jason king as his clean-cut and no-nonsense american compadre stewart sullivan. presumably vaughan toulouse and his mates had similarly warm and fuzzy childhood memories when it came to naming their band? i quite liked this at the time, but it couldn't really be seen as synth pop nor new wave, which may have explained their brief career (the less successful follow-up "going left right" was better in my opinion). also the (then very unusual) telephone answer machine thing rendered it almost a novelty record, which probably didn't help their cause either. i presume vaughan's unusual microphone style is meant to imitate a telephone, although it reminds me of a similar technique employed by alvin stardust a few years earlier

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    1. Conan the Barbarian came out the following year, but there were a whole host of sword 'n' sorcery films being released during the 80s - Excalibur came out in 1981, and you had others like Krull and Legend over the next few years.

      All episodes of Department S are now on YouTube. I watched the first one the other evening, and while badly dated in many respects it was good fun. It was striking that Jason King, at that point anyway, seemed a bit of a secondary character, with Stewart Sullivan getting a greater slice of the action.

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    2. lew grade's ITC productions usually liked to cast an american as the lead player in their shows i.e. richard bradford in "man in a suitcase", stuart damon in "the champions" etc, in the hope that they would capture a slice of the international market (although ironically they usually failed stateside). so presumably joel fabiani's character fitted that bill with department s? he was certainly officially the leader of that particular team, although peter wyngarde's jason king character (who was very much the loose cannon/maverick) almost immediately became what is known nowadays as a breakout star, eventually getting a series of his own

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    3. Yes, I'm sure Joel Fabiani was there to capture the American market and bring some Stateside glamour to proceedings, but as does sometimes happen the intended "star" ends up being overshadowed by another character. I suppose one of the most famous examples has to be Happy Days, which was meant to be all about Richie Cunningham before it turned into the Fonz show.

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    4. another good case of a supporting/minor character "breaking out" (although contrary to popular belief he never actually "came out") was john inman's camp mr humphries from "are you being served". the guy who played his menswear colleague originally had a much higher profile in the show, but in the end left because his character was being squeezed out by the likes of mr humphries and mrs slocombe!

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    5. john, regarding "happy days" - what a shame it never actually got billed as "the fonz show"!

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  8. a bit like the spandau and beat singles, this is a sort-of "double "A" side" review. by the way, i still don't know what the point of such singles was - does anybody else?

    beat: i know pp probably didn't mean it as such, but his remarks in the intro suggests that the other track of this "double "A" side" was utter crap. well if this was the better one then i'd dread to hear that - reggae on autopilot (half the band are white, so does that make it semi-cod?) with nary a tune to remember. with his shades and jerky out-of-sync movements, bassist david steele looks like a blind man who's lost his cane. and for some strange reason andy cox is playing a "left handed" guitar upside down...

    whitesnake: the turgid hard rock churned out by this lot really is the pits with nothing to redeem it whatsoever, and yet it sold like hot cakes at the time. and that's despite having a pair of guitarists not exactly looking like rock gods, with one being somewhat on the tubby side, and the other always wearing a hat as if he has something to hide

    uk subs: pp says they look very different from before, but i can't say i noticed. charlie harper still has the same "black and white minstrels" hairstyle, that's for sure. the drummer (possibly the guy who was later in talk talk?) is pretty animated, so (although we don't actually see it fall) before long one of his crash cymbals ends up on the floor next to charlie (who must be close to 40 at this point!). and the electric piano used by dept s earlier is still on the stage, even though it seems surplus to requirements. musically this isn't too bad, with more than a hint of "message in a bottle" about it

    ennio morricone/legs: apparently charlie harper is still active in his 70's, but he's got some way to go to catch up to il maestro, who continues to writes and conduct - even though close to his 90's! flick colby must surely have spent less time on this "let's all walk about a bit in unison" routine than on anything else any of her troupes ever did!

    cure: hang on - now pete's telling is this is the cure's debut when we all know otherwise, so the cracks are appearing to show! this might be called "primary" but to me it's secondary compared to "a forest" (of which this has much the same feel). but still better than their later stuff as far as i'm concerned. mr smith still looks quite angelic here, although the monster that emerged later shows up a bit at the end as he starts to get bored. and why was he playing a bass guitar? out of interest, are there any contemporary pictures of him without the psycho/clown look that's become his stock-in-trade around?

    nolans: of course i hated this lot and all they stood for at the time, but i have quite grown to like them in a postmodern-ironic manner. but the problem i still have with them is that i just don't care for bernie's voice, which always seems rather weak and strained to me. and yet she always seemed to get the nod when it came to fronting their singles, which doesn't say much for the rest!

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  9. Let the marathon commence! This was another show which illustrates the growing sophistication of videos. The one for Can You Feel It is really Michael's first big statement in the genre, and also reveals that his Messiah complex was becoming well-formed long before Earth Song. The Musclebound promo was just as pretentious in its own way, though it undoubtedly looked impressive. The band seemed to be auditioning for membership of Ghengis Khan's Mongol horde...

    Back to the studio, and good to see a different performance of Just a Feeling after the previous unpleasantly sweaty one. Buster actually looks quite good dressed as a City gent, even if he becomes increasingly dishevelled towards the end! Not much love here for the Girlschool song, seemingly, but I thought it was a decent track, undermined slightly by the singer's weak voice.

    I liked the Department S tune a lot, answer phone gimmick and all, with some moody guitar work helping to give it a real atmosphere. I took an instant dislike to the singer though, his cravat, smoking jacket and annoying microphone-handling technique (as Wilberforce says, reminiscent of Alvin Stardust), making him look like a total poser. Speaking of which, David Coverdale once again illustrated how much he loves himself in this standard-issue stage performance video of a standard-issue Whitesnake song. Did PP really expect us to believe that the BBC had actually gone to a concert and filmed this?

    I also don't know where PP got the idea that UK Subs had changed their image, as it didn't look that way to me. I guess the song is marginally more tuneful than their previous efforts, with a bit of token synth thrown in, but it's fair to say they won't be missed. I can't share our host's enthusiasm for this Beat effort. It is quite tuneful, but lacks the drive and energy of their earlier hits. Did anyone notice Andy Cox was wearing a Charles & Di t-shirt? The Royal Wedding was just a little over 3 months away...

    I actually thought the Legs routine worked pretty well with this famous piece of Morricone music, and the girls looked very dignified in their Edwardian costumes. However, the very contemporary Chi Mai does seem a rather strange choice of theme for a period drama - it's quiet understatement certainly does nothing to evoke the spirit of the passionate, fiery Lloyd George. By way of contrast, The Cure give us what sounds suspiciously like a Joy Division knock-off. Not bad, but not as good as A Forest a year earlier and Robert Smith is now beginning to cultivate his annoying Goth look, though thankfully there is no make-up as yet. I thought The Nolans were far more entertaining, to be honest, with a highly polished performance of an impressive song, perhaps the best they had released up to this point.

    All in all a diverse and interesting show, and PP generally does a decent job hosting. However, he is trying far too hard to pull off that elusive casually sophisticated look, and as well as his Cure gaffe he also seemed to think Sugar Minott was a disco artist...

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    1. at one point in the chart rundown pp announces "more disco" as if it's an embarrassment!

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  10. Mixed bag tonight. PP on great form but some questionable taste perhaps?

    Bad Manners – Just a feeling – Quickly skipped this awful start to the show!

    Spandau Ballet – Musclebound – Don’t recall this elaborate video. Must have cost a bit to make, all that chopping and quite a large cast to boot as well. Doesn’t really make up for the fact that it’s not one of their better songs.

    Girlschool – Hit and run – Energetic but unmemorable. Nice to see the girls having a go on their own.

    Sugar Minott- Good thing going – Yep, still sounds good. Same performance with the quirky drummer.

    Department S – Is Vic there? – Anyone called Vic must have rued the day this was released. I used to call our Operations Department at work and there was a guy called Vic there, anyway…

    The Beat – Drowning – Blimey PP really raved about this one, but it’s as dull as a wet weekend in February. Never heard ‘All out to get you’ but this was pretty turgid and saw the Beat sliding out of the public eye until their memorable Andy Williams revival two years later.

    Whitesnake – Don’t break my heart again – Coverdale, Lord and Paice from Deep Purple belt out a standard rock track with the climax guitar solo being cut short. Surely this was the promo video not the TOTP cameras?

    UK Subs – Keep on running – Well with a title like that all I can think of is the Spencer Davis Group. New look for the Subs but same old punky sound.

    Ennio Morricone – Chi Mai – Absolutely superb. What a piece of music, and the period footage and solemn looking Legs girls in wonderful period dress really do it justice. This was just sooo good. I’ve checked on Amazon and the series ‘Life and times of David Lloyd George’ starring Philip Madoc is not available and has never been released as far as I know. The BBC could really cash in on this being in the charts at this point by belated releasing now that it’s featured on the TOTP reruns. Great to see some footage of Ennio conducting on the chart rundown.

    The Cure – Primary – Speaking of solemn. Never been much of Cure fan and didn’t realise they were a trio.

    Nolans – Attention to me – At last! After waiting weeks for a proper feature we get the girls singing live in the studio in slinky black trouser suits. Well worth the wait eh? When I worked in W H Smith Ilford in the early 80s, two of the Nolans came in to buy some bits and everybody was saying “Look, it’s them..”.

    Bucks Fizz – Making your mind up – First week at no.1 and it’s back to the skirt ripping performance rather than the minis.

    Jacksons – Playout – Hmm… Not my favourite.

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  11. Another mostly dull show - this period of 1981 really isn't the best for tunes, isn't it?

    The Bad Manners song hasn't grown on me. Weird that Peter Powell calls Buster 'Dougie' at the end as well. Were they great mates or something?

    The Spandau Ballet 'film' is extraordinary, and not in a good way. To think that people had a go at Duran Duran for being pretentious - look who got there first! I'm pretty sure that is Wales - I bet it's the same bit of Snowdonia where they filmed 'Carry On Up The Khyber' and 'The Abominable Snowmen' episodes of Doctor Who!

    The Girlschool is song is OK, better than a lot of the macho heavy metal crud we've heard recently at least.

    Department S - one of those that I know I should like, but never really have. I think he must be holding the mic like that to simulate a phone.

    The Beat, Whitesnake, UK Subs - Boring, average, execrable. In that order.

    I remember really liking 'Chi Mai' at the time, god knows why. Shame the Legs are back to dancing to slow songs again really.

    I had tried to forget The Cure being on before myself given that their performance was so awful, so I can sympathise with PP here. And I can sympathise with the studio audience for having to listen to this drivel.

    The Nolans - best thing on the show, who'd have thought! They're like the prototype Girls Aloud. Sort of. You have to give them credit for nearly always singing live.

    The correct performance of Bucks Fizz - good!

    I don't think I've seen The Jacksons video without the silly 'pshoooww!' and 'djing!' noises on before so that was a novelty at least.

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    1. 'The Abominable Snowmen' Dr Who story has 5 out of 6 of its episodes missing sadly. Just episode 2 exists.

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  12. Falling behind again....

    Don't remember the Whitesnake track at all. Presumably it has appeared on Greatest Hits, but even then it passed me by.

    Contrary to many contributors, I like the UK Subs. They are shortly releasing their 26th official album having worked their way through the alphabet.

    Interesting seeing two bass guitars for the Cure track. Seem to remember Peter Hook did that some years ago - Freebass(?).

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  13. Nice hair flicking and "can't believe we're doing this" smile near the end from the head Headgirl. Shame about the "Fool For Your Loving" style verse and weak chorus.

    No truth in the rumour Department S's follow-up was going to be a surly remake of "Hello This Is Joannie".

    UK Subs go new wave, complete with (miniscule) keyboards! Can't wait for their New Romantic leather kilt, metal wristband and velvet sash makeover.

    Finally - Noax, how dare you! Glamourpuss were the prototype Girls Aloud. Still, gotta pay attention to The Nolans' fine live take.

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  15. Bloody Hell! What did I say about UK Subs changing image? Courtesy of 45cat, here's the sleeve for this single...

    http://www.45cat.com/record/gems45#comments

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    1. Keep On Jumpin' (On That Bandwagon).

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  16. Visually Bad Manners going down the same rout Wizzard did in the 1970s, dressing up and mucking about. I seem to recall that they had a ventriloquist doll during one performance. This is a great song and the harmonica gives it that melancholy feel that still send a shiver up the spine all these years later.

    Spandex Bollox making use of the same dwarf actors as The League Of Gentlemen 20 years later and with a plot in their video that is just as odd. They really were really rather stupid weren't they. Were these their everyday clothes or were they in costume? It was so hard to tell wasn't it.

    Girlschool. I have no memory of this and no wonder it's nothing special but it's still nice to see an all female rock band.

    Is Sugar Minnott disco then? Really? Still it's a top tune and one that I bought at the time.

    Department S - I recall spying Vaughan Toulouse and his mate Gary Crowley in the audience in a show from about a year ago. And here he is a fully fledged pop star himself, not watching the stage but on the stage. I the T series Department S as a kid but I didn't care for this much at the time but it was okay.

    I could watch The Beat all day. Not their best song but a great performance that just makes me smile
    .
    Whitesnake, not really my kind of music but my dad knew their manager John Colletta and did some typographic design work on two of their albums so I can't really slag it off.

    UK Subs borrowing a bit from The Police's Message In A Bottle but a good song which was another I got at the time, heavily influenced by the people I was living with at the time. Not long after this I was dragged to a UK Subs gig and the crowd really really hated the band's new romantic image and a lot of things got hurled at the stage that night. I seem to recall that lead singer Charlie was wearing a frilly-fronted Duran Duran style shirt so he was asking for it.

    In complete contrast is Ennio Morricone's Chi Mai. I had no liking for this at the time but many years alter I got into Spaghetti Westerns and discovered his music. An interesting Legs performance but it's a shame the girls didn't dress up as politicians.

    Primary is a terrible title for a song and it's not very memorable so it's little wonder it didn't get very high in the chart with this.

    I hated The Nolans with a vengeance at the time and now it just seems like harmless catchy pop although there is something irritating about them. And the title of this - Attention To Me - is a bit too self congratulatory.

    Top Ten including a clip of Ennio Morricone conducting a completely different piece of music.

    And finally Bucks Fizz at the top spot. I had a sneaky liking for this at the time but I didn't tell anyone.

    I loved this Jacksons track but I had forgotten that it was from this time, I thought it was from the winter of '81. Funny how your mind plays tricks.

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