Thursday, 14 April 2016

Rainy Night in Top of the Pops

A very big thank you to John G and Neil B for making the DLT hosted edition of Top of the Pops from August 20th 1981 available on WeTransfer ~

This is quite a hot and sweaty show overall so that little bit of Georgia rain must've been very welcome!

It's party time!

20/08/81 (hosted by Dave Lee Travis)

(25) Enigma – “I Love Music”

Another disco medley to get the show underway with Legs & Co leading the audience participation. This record peaked at 25.

(3) The Human League – “Love Action (I Believe In Love)” (rpt from 06/08/81)

Unlucky Phil & Co are yewtreed again, with Love Action now at its chart peak.

(36) U2 – “Fire”

Making their debut on the show here are what would become one of the most successful bands ever, though Fire only went up one place higher.

(32) Siouxsie & The Banshees – “Arabian Knights” (video)
Despite her magic carpet, Siouxsie can't fly this one any higher into the top 30.

(16) UB40 – “One In Ten”

Performing what would be their only top ten hit of 1981 when it peaked at number 7.

(30) Randy Crawford – “Rainy Night In Georgia”
Legs & Co take a break from medleys and go dancing in the rain this week helping Randy up to number 18.

(20) Tenpole Tudor – “Wunderbar” (rpt from 06/08/81)

With their final manic top 30 hit, which made it to number 16.

(10) Lobo – “The Caribbean Disco Show”

Still in the grip of medley fever, and the sun shined on this one all the way to number 8.

(1) Shakin’ Stevens – “Green Door” (rpt from 23/07/81)

Fourth and final week at the top.

(2) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – “Hooked On Classics” (audience dancing/credits)

And we dance out with medley number three, which couldn't quite make it to number one.

The next edition is August 27th 1981 back on BBC4 with Richard Skinner.


  1. And so the medley craze continues through the summer of 1981. Starsound, Startrax, Tight Fit, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and now Enigma!
    Did anyone spot Legs & Co dancing behind Enigma? Minus Lulu as she did not seem to be there.

    Siouxie & The Banshees – the new video was a cross between the videos for Bodytalk by Imagination, and Being With You by Smokey Robinson, both of which were in the charts only a matter of weeks beforehand. Siouxie must have led an interesting life.

    UB40 – top stuff by the boys from Birmingham, as One In Ten rates as one of their very best tunes in my opinion.

    Randy Crawford – Legs & Co featuring Anita as main girl this week, I must say that she performed excellently and was coming through as best legs of the week here.

    Playout/End credits – did anyone spot the fact that the Hooked On Classics playout was not the actual single at No.2, but rather a different track from the Hooked On Classics Album or it could have been the b-side of the single in the charts? Anyone know which it was?

    1. Legs & Co dancing minus rosie behind Enigma

    2. The Hollies jumped on the Medley bandwagon around this time releasing 'Hollidaze' themselves. A case of if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

      Meanwhile haven't managed to download this show successfully yet. I'll try again tomorrow.

    3. If you can't download it, the bulk of the show is also on YouTube, but the last few minutes are missing:

    4. having left the hollies for american folk rock supergroup superstardom over 10 years earlier, graham nash temporarily rejoined his ex-colleagues for their medley effort - apparently that's due to be on totp soon (unless the curse of yewtree strikes!)

    5. Unlucky, Wilby! The Hollies medley is indeed Yewtreed.

      The band are still gigging furiously in their 55th year – two gigs in Sweden this weekend, and a 17 date UK tour in October and November – and they now include Mud's bassist Ray Stiles among their ranks.

    6. bummer arthur! it's funny how ray stiles has now been with the hollies for over 30 years... which is probably twice as long as he was in mud!

    7. I'm actually really surprised at just how many Yewtreed episodes there are in 1981. I would have thought that by then the likes of JS and DLT were rather 'old hat' and the new breed of DJs were ruling the roost, but obviously not so.

    8. John this is now also on

  2. shaky shakerson14 April 2016 at 11:17

    The Yewtree'd Cornflake is this week's host as Britain swelters in a sort-of summer heatwave reflected, quite adequately, in the choice of songs and in our host's less-than-flattering outfit. This show could very well have been banned for those shorts alone!

    And up first is ANOTHER medley - this one seemingly put together during someone's lunch break. The two girl 'singers' are very pretty - suspiciously so, and they may well have not been the actual singers on the record. These are quite decent - and recent- songs and I suspect the reason it didn't get as high as other medleys is that people still had the full length originals available to chuck onto their music centre turntables.

    U2 debut. Bono keeps messing with his hair. The Edge can't believe he still HAS hair, while Adam Clayton. . . his hair has it's own postcode. A meh song that is so 'meh' it doesn't even merit inclusion in the band's compilation CDs.

    Siouxsie in a video that looks like how Game Of Thrones would have looked if it had been shown on RTE in the 70s.

    UB40 accurately take the nation's temperature with the obscenely excellent One In Ten. I love that deep sax motif. Three of the most enjoyable minutes I have spent in front of the telly.

    The Leggers don their waterproofs to literal-dance their way through the Gladys Knight classic Rainy Night In Georgia. But don't they realise they haven't got their kecks on? They'll catch their death.

    Up next Lobo with a contender for the worst medley of all time. I'm just gonna go right ahead and suggest that the weather in 1981 Britain was vital to this pile of junk's chart career.

    Scores. The Human League were good, UB40 were excellent and erm, that's it. I would have added 2 extra points for The Leggers but I really am concerned for their health so they contribute just 1 to a total score of 4.

    DLT gets 5, dropping points mainly for his shorts.

    1. I'm relieved it's not "DLT gets 5 points, mainly for dropping his shorts".

  3. DLT was evidently keen to remind everyone this week that it was the summer holidays, and presumably he had been asking Jim'll for fashion tips, given the shortness of those shorts! Despite his appearance he actually plays things fairly straight for much of the show, his only real blunder being to claim that Shaky was in his third week at the top.

    Getting the medleys out of the way first, with Lobo they would have done better just to repeat the Legs "video," as this was a snoozesome performance that helped make the record seem even longer than it really was. At least Enigma, despite serving up another turgid disco megamix, had the visual appeal of the female singers, not to mention Legs cavorting in the background in shiny hotpants! Incidentally, I had no idea Paul Simon moonlighted as the group's frontman...

    Given their future megastardom, it's amusing to hear DLT say "and now, from Dublin, a group called U2," reminding us of a blissful time before the world had ever heard of Bono. What's striking about Fire is that the familiar epic U2 sound is already largely in place, but still a bit rough around the edges. Though it would take them another couple of years to really break through, you can see from this performance why they did so. The much more established Siouxsie and her cohorts up next, with a video containing some seriously dodgy CSO that would have been deemed unacceptable in early 70s Doctor Who! Thankfully the song is a good 'un, with some great drumming, but perhaps it was a bit too similar to Spellbound to get into the Top 30.

    I would agree with Dory that One in Ten is one of UB40's finest moments, along in my view with Food For Thought. Unusually for them, this is a song with some real passion and lyrical bite, and perhaps if they had done a Specials and broken up straight afterwards they would be much more highly though of today! I wonder how the tambourine player's "marijuana" t-shirt got past the BBC censors?

    Given they were confined to a small stage in a BBC studio, I thought Legs and their set designers did quite a good job of convincing us we really were watching a rainy night in Georgia. A nice routine to another classy Randy Crawford single, though I must admit I found it very hard to tell Anita and Patti apart under their sou'wester hats...

    1. Yes indeed, that singer in the green outfit on Enigma had some hot body, didn't she?

      Agreed regarding Legs & Co with Rainy night in Goergia. I think it was Anita, not Patti as lead Legs this week in the purple miniskirt, and wasn't she looking very hot under that umbrella. Rrrrr, yes, yes, yes, yes Anita. Where are you going with that little suitcase? Looking for a place to stay?

    2. Food For Thought for me has a better hook and the vocal definitely uses that to be more expressive too.

    3. I think the sax playing on Food For Thought is superior, so that just about lifts it ahead of One in Ten for me.

  4. So, where was Rosie this week? Had she got wind of the imminent ditching of Legs & Co and gone for that audition with Guys ‘N’ Dolls?

    Two early examples of shorts you can’t dance in – no ballroom (yes, that joke again and so soon – with DLT and the West Ham United fan playing bass in Enigma. Actually, I enjoyed this medley more than I expected or wanted to. A bit fast in places, and wrong phrasing of the title in “Turn The Music Up”, but it was a good effort and I liked the fact there were four different vocalists.

    An archive moment with U2, with Bono already showing a hit of the smug overblown chap he’d become, though I liked his bow at the end as if he thought this might be his lot. Not my fave band by any stretch (I only own one single of theirs –“I Will Follow”) and I can see why this rambling track stalled outside the 30 but it was hooky enough.

    The “Arabia Knights” film started like a punk advert for Fry’s Turkish Delight. Love the song, though, complete with Siouxsie’s “hop-hop-hop-hop-ho” chant.

    “One In Ten” is the only UB40 single I bought. Excruciating sixth form poetry in parts, but deftly performed, though you couldn’t hear that tambourine in the mix. Liked seeing Brian Travers centre stage.

    Very short (pervy?) macs for The Leggers in the Randy Crawford routine – they’ll catch their death in that rain. That routine included a Hot Gossip lite solo outing for Anita, who I mistook for Patti at first having forgotten she’d recently changed her hair colour!

    I’d have preferred the Legs & Co outing to Lobo’s dreadful outing than see him. I fast forwarded most of the medley but caught the phantom pogoer at 26:15.

    Once again, Dave, we won’t see you on Radio One tomorrow. We’ll hear you. Get it right!

    1. Souixie & The Banshees kept singing "I heard a rumour, what have you done to her?" What on earth was this song about, and what was done to who?

    2. Those lyrics referred to the abuse of women in that part of the world.

    3. Good grief, just read the lyrics to this, and you wouldn't think that in a simpler, more naive 1981, people were thinking that morbidly when writing lyrics, in a pop music era which was still just dancing around to simple music fun, but if anybody was to bring it to our attention, it would be Souixie, whereas now, 30-35 years later, it is more politically relevant with what is going on in that part of the world.

    4. The lyrics may be hard hitting, but I didn't find the music to be.

    5. That would explain why it managed to get shown on TOTP, as no-one had likely noticed or listened to the lyrics in the first place, and enough to get the nod ahead of Phil Collins and The Nolans who entered at higher positions in the charts this week, and no first showing on TOTP yet.

  5. Onwards into 81 with Top of the Medleys, and Enigma refusing to go away with another compilation of various tiny bits of other people's songs strung together. I don't imagine those models sang on the track, but you can bet the chap with the guitar and receding hairline did.

    Bad luck again to The Human League, Phil with his jacket and no shirt and Suzanne with her Mr Tickle arms getting no showing on BBC Four. It's a real pity this one was missed, I thought.

    Even at the time I had no love for U2's overearnest rock, and time has not mellowed me. Now Bono is universally beloved we can look back and laugh. Ahem.

    Siouxsie and the Banshees restage an episode of Mahabharata, well, they had about a million to choose from. I'm guessing the band did not make it to the Sahara to film their shots, but they made it to the seaside, so that's OK. The song is not as memorable as their previous effort, but they continued to singlehandedly pioneer Goth with wild abandon.

    UB40 and I Have a One Inch Head, the sax player looking very 80s indeed, as sax players must. Nice to see Mr Hurll displaying a relaxed attitude to the promotion of herbal cigarettes.

    Randy Crawford's chicken in a basket cover next, great song but this doesn't add much to it. Another Legs & Co try and making their own videos, reminded me of the Morecambe and Wise Singin' in the Rain sketch. Anita pole dancing with a lamppost, too.

    And the act most in need of a pair of maracas is... Lobo. He certainly changed his image when he became a popular DC comics character.

    There goes Shaky. But he'll be back. Meanwhile here's a mass stomp to classical cut-ups.

    1. Couldn't recall Human League got as high as No.3 with this, but Love Action remains one of their top hits of all time.

    2. the prick that bono has become is certainly not beloved by me! my "shark-jumping" moment for U2 was "the joshua tree" album where i realised that empty posturing stadium-bombast had taken the place of actual songs. it was also around this time that the self-appointed political-ambassador-for-the-world version of bono began to take form, so i wasn't bothered that their music had become an embarrassment as well. but the problem for me is that i can now no longer listen to what i previously considered some glorious early 80's rock i.e. "i will follow", "new year's day", and most of the "live at red rocks" album!

    3. @Wilberforce: Well, I was being sarcastic, he seems to be one of the most hated high profile celebs on the planet now.

  6. I didn't like this episode much.

    Randy Crawford had a better song than her previous effort, it flowed well enough to showcase her voice.

    The best medley was arguably the classical one at the end, but I don't think I even heard it introduced.

    U2 provided some energy at least, though the 2 flashing lights were distracting for me. The flames rising up the screen were cliched but at least not annoying.

    I still don't really get Siouxsie & The Banshees. Not that much energy or atmosphere for me. The main interest was the video rather than the music.

    The UB40 track is ok for the atmosphere, but I'm not sure it would bear lots of listening as not much to it maybe.

  7. Best show in the Yellow Pearl era so far, amazing debut from U2, Siouxsie and the Banshees just continue to get better with The Human League completing my top 3. Even the medleys were not bad with Randy Crawford being the only duff track of the night. The party look is really starting to get going again after a quiet period since the second show of the new era. Extraordinary to believe that the show was still in its light entertainment phase only 15 months earlier with the music undergoing a dramatic change in the same period!

  8. Well I had to resort to the YT version to watch this and it took me no more than 15 minutes to skim through most of it. Gosh what a rotten show and after JS in shorts we get DLT in shorts this time. Ugh!

    So what did I like?

    Human league obviously, although it’s ironic how they’ve been on all the Yewtreed editions with ‘Love action’.

    Randy Crawford / Legs & Co – Rainy
    Night in Georgia. Love this song. Also liked Brook Benton’s version from years before and it’s nice to see the Legs girls dancing in the pouring rain in their nice macs.

    Shakin’ Stevens – Green Door (missing from the YT version so I didn’t actually watch it again).

    Can I just ponder why the record buying public were so mesmerised by medleys in 1981? Two of those on show this week were dreadful with Enigma’s effort I don’t even remember, and Lobo’s I just want to forget (this got to number 8 for goodness sake!!!). Me and you and a dog named boo this ain’t!!! Actually I’ve just strayed onto 45cat to see what else ‘Lobo’ released and the only other single in December 1981 was, wait for it, a medley! This time it’s called ‘Lobo’s Gospel Show’ featuring such classics as ‘Oh Happy Day’, ‘Cottonfields’ and ‘Michael row the Boat ashore’. I think the medley craze must have died out by then as it didn’t trouble the charts.

    As for U2 with ‘Fire’, well let’s just say that I prefer the ‘Fire’ recorded by the Crazy World of Arthur Brown but it made a nice contrast to Randy’s rain. Like Arthur Nibble, I’m not a U2 fan but do profess to owning a copy of ‘All I want is you’.

    My appetite was much more whetted by some of the chart climbers not featured on the show, so hopefully they’ll keep climbing and be on future shows.

  9. Not the best show ever, the biggest crime with it not being on BBC4 meaning that we miss 'Love Action' again.

    Enigma - well, one of the members may be wearing the shirt of my favourite football team, but not much else to endear me to this. It's not the worst of them (hello, Startrax) but the songs come and go far too quickly!

    U2 - A favourite of TOTP2 IIRC, it seemed to always be on. God knows why, as it's hardly their most exciting song.

    Siouxsie & The Banshees - Amusingly bad CSO, not particularly interesting song.

    UB40 - One of their last good songs before the covers arrived en masse. I loved the 808 State remix in 1992 as well!

    Randy Crawford - Dull, as per usual.

    Lobo, in person! - scarily enough, I think I remember this from the time. Though I don't know why it stayed with me particularly.

  10. Just heard the news that Axel Rose will take the role as lead singer on the AC/DC Rock Or Bust world tour currently on the road. It seems he has replaced lead vocalist Brian Johnson who's hearing has deteriorated significantly, and cannot continue the tour.

    This seems to be the result of years for loud, heavy metal, head banging music spanning two decades and more for Johnson.

    1. ...and who says rock n'roll ain't noise pollution?! I think Phil Collins suffers similarly.

    2. Almost four decades for Johnson, Dory! Time flies!

    3. Just seen this new link today regarding ACDC fans demanding refunds when hearing of the replacement of Brian Johnson by Axel Rose.

  11. Looking at this week's top 30 chart rundown, it was a little surprising that Siouxie & The Banshees were played on the show at No.32 ahead of Abacab by Phil Collins and Chemistry by The Nolans who both entered the top 30 at No. 27 and No.29 respectively, and still waited for their first airing on the show, and who clearly had more family viewing appeal by means of non-controversial lyrics!

    Perhaps at the time, the BBC didn't listen to or closely monitor the lyrics before airing videos or inviting bands to the studio, or did they think that no-one would notice or would listen that carefully to the lyrics by Siouxie?

    1. Siouxsie admitted being thrilled at getting the word 'orifices' on TOTP and Radio 1.

  12. Suely it's about time we had another appearance from Gillan? Haven't seen hide nor hair of them since 'No laughing in heaven' on 25th June.I'm getting withdrawal symptoms.....

  13. If we thought the medley craze of 1981 was Britain-specific, we were wrong, cos looking at the same week's top 10 in Australia from Countdown Top 10 (similar show to TOTP), we can see that Stars On 45 was now at its 6th week at No.1 by mid-august 1981.

    1. At least a couple of those doing medleys were Dutch, so that would suggest anyway that it was as much something on mainland Europe at least.

    2. i think i've mentioned this before, but the original "stars on 45" medley (that was a bootleg cut 'n' splice job of the original recordings) was canadian. it later came to the attention of the dutch copyright owner of one of the tracks ("venus" by dutch act shocking blue) who (rather than sueing for non-existent royalties) realised it would be a good idea to cash in on its popularity on the club scene by getting an associate of his to re-record the whole thing as an official release. and as eveyone knows, once something takes off then uncle tom cobley and all jumps on the bandwagon!

    3. Stars on 45 also reached the summit in the States. There it was bizarrely listed as 'Medley...' with, wait for it, the entire list of songs! I'm not going to type them in here as we all know that they start with 'Venus' and end with 'You're gonna lose that girl'.

      Speaking of Beatles medleys, we have 'The Beatles Movie Medley' still to come in 1982 which really is the Fab Four.

  14. Legs & Co sponsored by Coca-Cola. Hmmmm....

    There's a Wikipedia entry for Enigma, yes, they were quite real (albeit 'put together') and yes, they had Shakatak connections.

    Such a shame that the BBC doesn't show DLT editions because he really does a good job and fits in well with the general atmosphere of the show, more so than Savile who had lost his 'Mr. TOTP' crown for some years by this time. I wonder what BBC4 would have done if Tony Blackburn was still presenting shows in 1981?

    1. If Blackburn was a presenter of TOTP shows in 1981 BBC four would have shown them as he was not charged with anything at all -If BBC Four show the 1983 shows we will see if they air his episode co-hosting with gary davies(no chance for his other 1983 episodes as he co-hosted with jimmy savile and DLT)

    2. Yes, by the time they get to the 1983 shows it would have all blown over, but I wouldn't have thought that the BBC would be all that keen on giving him exposure in the wake of the infamous 'fall out' a couple of months back.

    3. Ironically, just before the Blackburn story broke, he appeared on an episode of the series 'Back in time for the Weekend'. This was the one for the 60s where, playing '45s' on an old record player he alluded to his much publicised taste in soul music.

  15. Really sorry to hijack this week's blog (long time lurker here), but I am watching the programmes more or less at the right time and am planning to watch the 30 April show next - but the vimeo link has been taken down.

    Anyone know of another way to view??? soz

  16. Seconded! Would be hugely grateful if this show could be re-upped somewhere. Many thanks if anyone can oblige ...

  17. With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at No.2 for the second week this week, I just found in my copy of The Week magazine from 2011, that the lead trumpet James Watson died in February of that year, aged 59, so he would have been 29 years old on the Hooked On Classics performance reaching No.2 in August 1981.

  18. Thirded (is that a word). Even the you tube link has gone. .,