Wednesday, 9 March 2016

You Top of the Pops Me Cwazy

It's May 21st 1981 and another edition of Top of the Pops that won't be shown on BBC4 because the host this time was DLT..

Adam & the Ants drive me cwazy!

21/05/81 (hosted by Dave Lee Travis)

Part One ~

Part Two ~

(21) The Undertones – “It’s Going To Happen”

Now almost at it chart peak of 18.

(2) Shakin’ Stevens – “You Drive Me Crazy”
Held off the number one spot of course by a highway man!

(23) Smokey Robinson – “Being With You” (video)

Soon to become something of a surprise number one hit.

(13) Toyah – “I Want To Be Free”

Following up 'It's a Mystery' with another top tenner, this one making it to number 8.

(5) Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup Final Squad/Chas & Dave – “Ossie’s Dream (Spurs Are On Their Way To Wembley)”  (rpt from 07/05/81) 

Now at its Cup winning peak.

(18) The Teardrop Explodes – “Treason (It’s Just A Story)”  (rpt from 30/04/81)
Now at its peak.

(11) Stray Cats – “Stray Cat Strut” (Legs & Co)

Legs & Co in denim shorts this week strutting around to another record at it peak in the charts.

(15) The Human League – “The Sound Of The Crowd” 

Went up three more places in the chart.

(4) Kim Wilde – “Chequered Love” (video)

Another one now at its peak.

(25) The Beat – “All Out To Get You” (rpt from 30/04/81) 

Number 22 was its final destination.

(37) Duran Duran – “Careless Memories”
The follow up to Planet Earth got no higher than 37.

(1) Adam & The Ants – “Stand & Deliver” (video)

Third of five weeks at number one.

(14) Quincy Jones - "Ai No Corrida" (audience dancing/credits)

Number 14 was as far as it went.

Back on BBC4 then we get the 28th May 1981 with Simon Bates.


  1. Shakin Stevens – what a transformation over 1980 where he could only barley make the top 20, and so due to his success with This Ole House having made No.1, this follow up was relatively easy to make it to No.2, and only missed the No.1 spot due to the strength of the Adam & The Ants Stand & Deliver.

    Smokey Robinson – ah at last, the heavenly voice of Smokie reaches us in the summer of 1981, and just the sight of that seagull in the blue sky on the video, means I will need to get cracking and book my summer holiday already! Pity they only played the first two minutes of the video, but we’re in for the long haul with this one, and I’m sure we’ll get to see more when it reaches No.1, after Adam & The Ants eventually slings off with his dandy highwaymen at the end of May 1981.

    Toyah – I was never really a fan of Toyah, but I must say that I always thought this was her best one, and I actually quite like it a lot.

    Totting-ham Hotspur FC – this was quite lame compared to what Fat Les came up with, some 17 years later in 1998 with Vindaloo, as the England FC World Cup Squad. Oh boy, had times changed or what!

    Stray Cats – well hello lead cat Patti of Legs & Co…..Brrr, yes, yes, yes, yes! I just love the way she slings out Sue at the end of the video to show who’s the boss, and the lead Cat. I was always a fan of Patti on Legs & Co, especially on this Flintstone costume-heavy performance by the girls. Wilma!!!!!!!!!

    Human League – with the girls first single for Human league in the new mixed male-female group, they were still as two brunettes at this stage, and Human League with no video for this one, as the video budget was still empty at this point in time for them.

    Kim Wilde - Kim in the bathroom on this video, and this was better than the studio performance a couple of weeks earlier, so hot was the bathroom. Still, it somehow got to No.4, which was perhaps a bit of a surprise for many people.

    Top Ten Rundown – still that elusive Stars on 45 clip with Legs & Co in sexy green outfits, yet never shown in full for some bizarre reason and only in short clip on the top ten rundown. That is another one to add to the missing Capstick Comes Home video still to find by someone.

    1. Maybe that Legs & Co routine for Stars on 45 Dory was intended for the 14th may show but they ran out of time to include it ~ it looks a bit like the rehearsal - perhaps they just ran out of time for it on the live show?

    2. The live show with Peter Powell on 7th May had Legs & Co on the main line up list, but with different dresses/costumes, and then on the 14th May, it would not have been main line up because it slid down one place to No.3, hence only the clip on the top ten rundown.

      My thoughts on the new green outfits seen for the first time on the 14th May top ten rundown is that it looked like a rehearsal on the main stage because there was no studio audience around them, and that it was possibly abandoned for the costumes blue and red costumes on the main line up on the live show 7th May.

      Any other theories out there, cos it would be great to see the whole song with those green outfits, and not just the small clip shown on the top ten rundown?

  2. Nice use of the spotlight for the Undertones' brass section, their mums must have been so proud.

    Shaky without Legs & Co this time, but the audience make up for it. Shouldn't that girl be dancing around her handbag?

    Smokey Robinson not being with anyone at all as far as I could see, apart from the friendly seagull perhaps. Slick, middle of the road soul, not a patch on his 1960s Motown but it's what 1981 wanted.

    Toyah stomping about like a toddler tantrum, turning suburbia upside down for some reason (what ever happened in suburbia? Unless you were in an episode of The Professionals?). Really like the daft lyrics to this, regardless.

    Legs & Co bringing up the question, where did you ever see one of those fish that are just bones with a head and tail on, except in cartoons? And here was one, was it the real thing or was it made for the show especially?

    Wouldn't like to be The Human League's keyboard players considering they're swamped with dry ice for most of this performance.

    Kim Wilde proving cleanliness is next to Godliness as she spruces herself up in a huge bathroom. It's basically the Kids in America video, only with tiled walls and a shower cubicle.

    Duran Duran apparently performing Ultravox's All Stood Still, only that wasn't out yet. Bit of a timewarp. Funny, Spandau Ballet followed their debut hit with a flop too.

    1. The Freeze did at least make the Top 20 though, which is more than Careless Memories managed...

    2. The undertones giving a solo spotlight to the sax and trumpet section was a sign of the times where after the success of Geno by Dexys Midnight Runners a year earlier, everyone was getting in on the act by bringing in some trumpet, like Bad Manners, Madness, Spandau Ballet etc. It was now the turn of the Undertones to muscle in on this formula for chart success, and it seemed to work a treat, as this trumpet solo in the middle of the song was somewhat special and very catchy!

    3. Wrong THX, Smokey WAS with someone in the video, hence "Being With You". It was just that TOTP unfairly only played the first half of the video where Smokey appeared to be alone, but the second half of the video shows his girlfriend looking out of the beach villa window onto him strolling on the beach.

    4. OK, Dory, I suppose we'll see his bird later in the repeat run. No, wait, we've already seen his bird. Um.

    5. Which one, the seagull?

    6. thx's comment on the fish head and tail with bones reminds me of this classic:

    7. Just seen this - Wilb you need to get out more

    8. @Dory: That's the one!

      @Wilberforce: An Annie Nightingale classic! I have a whole CD of Barnes and Barnes somewhere, every song ends in "Yeaaaah!"

    9. "fish heads" came to my attention via "the old grey whistle test". but i did listen to annie nightingale's weekend show fairly regularly around "this time" i.e. 1980 - i remember being in the habit of taking a bath whilst i did so, so it must have been broadcast on sunday evenings!

      by the way, does anyone else know that one half of barnes and barnes was bill(y) mumy aka will robinson from kitsch 60's sci-fi series "lost in space"? and also that the video for "fish heads" features and was directed by future hollywood star bill paxton?

    10. dory if you think that's weird, then watch the full-length video:

      i think mr paxton may have been somewhat influenced by "eraserhead"...

    11. Listened to All Stood Still and I think the Duran's song is much better, for atmosphere and energy.

    12. Can I just say that for me it's the first time I've heard this (studio) version of 'Careless memories'? I heard the live version on the B Side of 'Hungry like the Wolf' and thought, what rubbish, no longer it didn't get very high in the charts...

  3. A good edition this one, marred a bit by DLT feeling it was high time he got "zany" again. I wonder where he got that ludicrous hat and pipe combo from? Although a lot of the songs had been on before, at least we got quite a lot of new performances, while the Kim Wilde video was suitably steamy! Mind you, it did seem a bit icky having her brother and the rest of the band staring voyeuristically into the bathroom...

    Out of the new stuff, I liked Smokey Robinson the best, despite the very dull video which just seemed designed to show off his beach condo. While not quite in the same league as his 60s output, this was still a classy and welcome comeback from one of the soul greats, and I think it deserved to get to number 1. Toyah's offering didn't appeal to me at all. Although she certainly has presence, and can work a stage, the song just felt like hackneyed stage-school punk to me. One chap in green down the front seemed to like it anyway, bouncing around enthusiastically even when it came to an end! I can't say I'm surprised that Duran Duran flopped with this one, as after Planet Earth it feels very anonymous, despite using the same Moroderesque ticking synth. Nevertheless, it wouldn't be long before they turned into bona fide superstars.

    I think this was my favourite Legs routine of the year so far, an appropriately slinky affair with both Patti and Lulu shining in cat mode. They were certainly getting some better material to dance to by this point, after the bland ballads they were force fed in the early weeks of the year. I'm just amazed Ai No Corrida only got to 14, after that routine from a few weeks previously...

    1. Might have gone higher than 14 if they'd repeated THAT routine instead of sticking the song on as the outro.

    2. I'm pretty sure The Hairy Bastard must have been pipe smoker of the year at some point. He used to have one when he presented The Golden Oldie Picture Show.

    3. Too true Arthur, too true...

    4. Not a big fan of the Stray Cats song. Legs do some slinky moves nearer the start crawling on the ground that could have been from the Ai No Corrida they did, but that song was so much more exciting.

    5. There's a magnificent photo of DLT with pipe in Simon Garfield's book 'The Nation's Favourite'.

      And of COURSE he won pipe smoker of the year at least once!

    6. The Toyah song for me was pop, and much better than the Kim Wilde one for instance.

  4. I see the gutter press is today accusing Tommy Vance of being supplied with prostitutes by record companies in return for playing their product. It's so convenient that the dead can't answer back...

    1. John, wrong place for posting this. It should go on last week's edition (14th May) hosted by Tommy Vance.

    2. I don't think it really matters Dory - I posted it here as more people are likely to look at this thread today.

  5. shaky shakerson10 March 2016 at 05:19

    DLT dials up the zaniness again with his 'hilarious' hat as he fronts a show which can only be described as 'meh'.

    The Undertones. Not my favourite band, and not their best song either. The brass section portion of the song seemed to go on and on for no particular benefit.

    Shaky gets to make another studio appearance and ONCE AGAIN gets the special audience-involvement treatment.

    Toyah displaying all the symptoms of an ADHD toddler, and none of the symptoms of a genuine singer.

    Nice strutting from the Leggers in their cutdown jeans. Ding - and indeed - dong.

    Duran Duran. No surprise that this failed to trouble the top thirty. It sounds like an Ultravox reject and nothing like the rest of their ouvre.

    DLT gets a point awarded for his chart countdown - adding the song's movement to both song and singer and all within the allotted space. But he drops a couple of points for his hat. 6

    A 6 for the show as well. Smokey Teardrop Explodes, The Stray Catds, and The Human League being the pick.

    1. Stray Cats got the audience surround as well, maybe they just decided on it for this rock n roll stuff. No Legs and Co around Shaky this time though.

  6. This edition was broadcast on the same day as Bob Marley memorial funeral who died ten days earlier

  7. This edition was broadcast on the same day as Bob Marley memorial funeral who died ten days earlier

  8. i think i may have mentioned this in the past, but i've been waiting for this toyah effort simply to relate the tale of when she appeared on "never mind the buzzcocks some years back: in a rare moment of funniness, host mark lamarr introduced her saying "she once released a "single called i want to be free" - well, she's now nearly achieved that ambition as you can pick it up at a charity shop for 10p"! even though toyah laughed along, her eyes said otherwise...

    and as for duran duran, i thought this was actually better than "planet earth" and was a bit disappointed at its lowly chart placing. but probably nowhere near as disappointed as le bon & co, who probably thought their 15 minutes of fame was up!

  9. also on my vimeo site - I added in the no.1 - Meer

    1. Fantastic Meer, thanks for all your groundbreaking input!

  10. The Kim Wilde video seems to suggest that film classic Psycho and it's shower scene. Instead of knife the intruder has a camera. The song still feels a bit 'pop by numbers' to me, a bit cobbled together.

    The Toyah one grew on me as it went on, the chorus could get infectious maybe.

    Duran Duran have plenty of energy.

  11. Some great stuff on this show - typical that the Teardrop Explodes and Human League songs have been Yewtreed twice!

    The Smokey Robinson song bored me as a youngster, and it still bores me now. I have no idea how it got to No.1 quite honestly.

    The Toyah song I do like however! It's the one that everyone remembers I think, with all the jumping around. It also always reminds me of her appearance on the Kenny Everett show when Ken did a (very good!) impression of her then Toyah returned the favour by linking out of the song dressed as Kenny.

    The Legs & Co routine almost made The Stray Cats bearable for me. Almost.

    I think 'Careless Memories' is pretty decent. It's certainly about 100 times better than bloody 'Musclebound' even though that got 27 places higher in the chart. Mystifying.

  12. This week, DLT is the prat in the hat. I wish he’d pipe down. Geddit? His attempt at a Kenny Everett-style link into Smokie Robinson was just painful. At least he was different and namechecked both sides of Thin Lizzy’s hit.

    Real shame we missed a huge chunk of The Undertones with Feargal in plugged-in mode, all of Quincy Jones’s outro, and nearly all of Adam and the Ants with a frightening cut straight to Bates.

    I thought Toyah’s effort was Violet Elizabeth doing some third form angsty poetry. I’ll thcream and thcream until I’m thick!

    Watching Legs & Co, I immediately thought of a cartoon series looking at Patti... Top Cat!

    Interesting to see the Human League gals moved closer to front stage. Phil, do your top up, son. You’ll catch your death!

    They should have matched the song title and had chequered tiles for Kim Wilde’s backdrop. Her band looked a right shower (geddit?). A truncated song this time – had they run out of hot water?

    Another song where the title isn’t in the song, as Duran Duran sing “careless memory” and not “Memories”. Just careless if you ask me!

  13. Is there another link to this as YouTube has been deleted

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. I'm watching the current BBC Four weekday rerun, adding in the missing editions. I'm missing this edition. Please can anyone provide a download link?