Thursday, 26 May 2016

It's My Top of the Pops

So we continue to Hurlltle through 1981 at double speed and reach the end of October within the space of a week! And this time it really is goodbye to Legs & Co after five full years on the show and these re-runs just won't be same without them.

Clare bids a fond farewell to Legs & Co


29/10/81 (hosted by Simon Bates)

(2) Altered Images – “Happy Birthday”

This was Clare and the boys biggest hit from their top 30 album of the same name. And also the first of tonight's farewells from Legs & Co.

(18) Rod Stewart – “Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)” (video)
Was edited out of tonight's 7.30pm showing.

(22) The Fureys with Davey Arthur – “When You Were Sweet Sixteen”

The only top 30 hit from this group when it peaked at number 14. But edited out of tonight's 7.30pm broadcast.

(29) Olivia Newton-John – “Physical” (video)

Quite controversial at the time this from Olivia and a huge number one hit in America, but peaked at 7 here, becoming her final top ten hit apart from re-releases of Grease songs in the 90s.

(38) Trevor Walters – “Love Me Tonight”

The first of two top 30 hit for Trevor, this one being the lesser of them when it reached number 27.

(13) B.A. Robertson & Maggie Bell – “Hold Me” (rpt from 15/10/81)

This one went up two more places.

(40) Haircut 100 – “Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)”

Simon got very exited introducing the debut of Haircut 100 here, and Favourite Shirts became the first of four consecutive top ten hits for the group when it made number 4. And at this point its a final goodbye to Legs & Co, a week later there was a new dance troupe on the show.

(21) OMD – “Joan Of Arc”

Andy McCluskey is back to lead singer duties for this second single from their top 3 album Architecture and Morality, Joan of Arc peaked at number 5.

(9) Squeeze – “Labelled With Love”
A new performance of their final top ten hit which peaked at number 4.

(1) Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin – “It’s My Party” (video/credits)

Third of four weeks at number one.


Next stop then is the 5th of November 1981 with Peter 'Guy Fawkes' Powell :-)




76 comments:

  1. So, farewell then Legs & Co. In time-honoured TOTP fashion the fact this is their last show goes entirely unremarked, but at least they do feature quite a bit with some or all of them dancing with Altered Images, The Fureys and Haircut 100, and looking improbably happy while doing so!

    Clare Grogan was even more irritating in this tongue-poking performance than in the previous one. Meanwhile Rod, predictably surrounded by nubile young ladies in his borderline sexist video, looks utterly preposterous in his shiny lilac jacket and visor. Clearly he was trying to move with the times, but he's already starting to look like a rather sad old man here, and the lame, mechanically delivered song doesn't help.

    Improbably, ONJ manages to outraunch Rod with her video to Physical. This is also pretty sexist in its way, but it is funny and the song is a great slice of pop - this may have been Olivia's last big hit, but it was a good way to go out, and presumably helped fuel the keep fit craze of the early 80s. The Fureys and Mr Arthur certainly provided quite a contrast. Musically this is actually quite good, but it is also rather depressing, not helped by Davey's harsh and mournful voice - he actually looked and sounded rather like Dave Cousins from The Strawbs.

    Trevor Walters looked immaculate in his white suit, though he should really have worn a tie to complete the look. This was a very smooth reggae ballad, enhanced by Trevor's impressive vocals. Haircut 100 put on an impressively lively debut performance at the start of their short chart career, with cute Nick Heyward hogging the limelight in his casual knitwear. Their poppy, speeded up brand of jazz funk created quite an irresistible sound, and they certainly hit the ground running with this song, with only Nick's awkward semi-rap spoiling things slightly.

    OMD, however, blow everyone else on the show away with the magnificent Joan of Arc. Hard to believe really that France's national heroine should have inspired two of the greatest ever synthpop songs, but somehow she did. While not quite as sublime as Maid of Orleans (what could be?) this still has quality running all the way through it, from the eerie synth sounds at the start to the gradual build up of the verses and the superb key change near the end, where Andy's voice lets rip with passion. Just a shame some idiot thought it was a good idea to have the crowd clapping to the beat, as it just detracts from the song.

    Back to earth after that with another plod through Labour of Love (with no premature applause this time), and then a chance to see Dave and Babs in their video, a rather weird affair featuring inexplicable martial arts scenes, interspersed with a bit of dancing from the audience. Master Bates now seems to have mastered the art of the chart rundown, but remains oily and unctuous. Three times he tells us that the acts "look like this and sound like this", as if he is trying to invent his own catchphrase! Why also couldn't he be bothered to tell us what was number 1?

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    1. Rod Stewart really knows how to show off the girls, with some nice bikinis on show, and a pool party like no other. One of his best videos in my opinion.

      Olivia Newton John doing a reverse of Stewart tonight by showing off physical and not-so-physical men in her colourful video was quite a good one to complement the Rod Stewart one tonight, and really a case of one for the girls, and anything you can don But still, Rod did it better, haha.

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    2. I did of course mean to say Labelled with Love in my previous post - I must have had UB40 or Hue & Cry on my mind at the time...

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    3. john i never noticed! someone informed me the other day of something called an "eggcorn" - a relatively-new word coined to describe a word or saying that has been corrupted slightly but still bears some relevance and thus now gets accepted as correct i.e. eggcorn instead of acorn. so is this an instance of an "eggcorn"?

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    4. That's a new word on me Wilberforce, but I'd be happy to accept it as a description for my brain lapse!

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    5. If you mis-hear and erroneously spell the word Eggcorn as eg Ache Horn what do you call that?

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  2. I find OMD's other Joan of Arc much better than this which drags and forces a more emotional end when the lead up to it has plodding vocals. The best part is the synth riff.

    Legs definitely have more of a send off than expected. Even the last song they are shown doing with Haircut 100 has a shot round the back where they turn to the camera. You could say that is their goodbye shot as a group.

    Haircut 100 did the excellent Pelican West album from which that song is from.

    Physical has plenty of humour in the video. Then the transformation of the fat American slobs by the magic of the Australian singer. Fitness clearly linked to physical attractiveness and it's assumed to sexiness. One type of physical exercise leading to another.

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    1. The goodbye to Legs & Co here on Haircut 100 was somewhat of a pity, cos Rosie & Lulu were still only 21 years old at this point, and could easily have gone on right through the 80s if Legs could have been kept on, but perhaps in a away, it was the right time to go, cos the show was not giving them their own stage anymore, and being part of the studio audience dancing just doesn’t cut the same with me.

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  3. Legs & Co looked a bit past in with their choreographed routine in front of Clare Grogan's improvised pogoing, but I'll miss them, especially Gill. I'm sure Zoo will be JUST AS GOOD.

    Rod Stewart generously putting on a show for his ex-wives there, and dressed as Timmy Mallet for some reason. Bouncy little tune, but obviously a dry run for Young Hearts which I think was a bigger hit.

    Hold on to your hats, it's the hard rockin' sound of the Fureys, living up to their name with, er, this. I can hear violins, but I can only see a bunch of guitars and banjos. Jeff Lynne looks different without his glasses, doesn't he? Best thing is that Gill gets a solo for her last hurrah (she wasn't in the last ever routine).

    Seeing as how Jane Fonda never released a pop single, the world had to make do with Olivia and her intense workout. Was that really what the song was about in the first place? Yes, it's a comedy video, but TOTP left off the punchline, the cowards!

    Trevor Walters all dressed up for a nightclub personal appearance, but the song made little impression on me. OK, but I can't recall how it goes now.

    You'd have thought B.A. would have learned to clap properly by now. Not long till The A-Team took up most of his time.

    What's this racing along nineteen to the dozen, why it's Haircut 100 with their frenetic debut hit. Great little pop band, had the image and everything, so why isn't Nick Heyward still a star? Too eccentric?

    What was OMD's obsession with Joan of Arc anyway? Wistful ditty with plaintive synths, but not their most memorable moment.

    Squeeze shushing the audience not to cheer in the wrong place again. Forgot how big pastels became in fashion this decade.

    At last we see the Dave and Babs video, so that's Japanese reference, check, partygoers a bit weird, check, shop dummy, check... sorry we cut away to the audience, Johnny and Judy looked like a fun couple compared to the gurning singer.

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    1. Actually I thought Davey Arthur looked more like Bob Dylan and Kevin Godley, rather than Jeff Lynne. Anyway, it was Gillian of Legs & Co that was looking VERY pretty on this one, and could have had more in front of the camera with such a lovely dress and a figure to die for, even though it was rather covered up here.

      I remember the Haircut 100 debut and really liking it, and is my favourite of their catalogue as well as favourite shirt. So this was really THE final time we saw Legs & Co in that TOTP studio. Good Lord, they could have at least given them a better send-off and acknowledge their last five years on the show!

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    2. Yes I was about to say another far eastern reference with that gong at the start, it was a big thing back then. Of course we're in the yellow pearl era theme tune as well.

      Nick had a breakdown of sorts after 85 which put him out of the scene for a while. Far from the only one of course, Boy George and Tom Bailey (Thompson Twins) were at least a couple of others. The pressure of success and fame.

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    3. even though nick hayward was the singer, songwriter and obvious selling-point of haircut 100, he just couldn't shift copies of his solo singles in anywhere near the same quantities. although in my opinion that was because they just weren't very good!

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    4. Re OMD's obsession with Joan of Arc, it apparently stems from a tour of France where they visited a number of places associated with Joan. Suitably inspired, and having read up on her, Andy McCluskey wrote Maid of Orleans, but initially thought it didn't work and proceeded to write Joan of Arc as a replacement song. Happily, the rest of the band liked Maid of Orleans and so both songs ended up on Architecture and Morality.

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    5. Warning Sign was a pretty good Nick Heyward solo single in a lite funk sort of way.

      Thanks for the OMD info, John G. Funny what can inspire the creative urge.

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    6. Yes, I like Warning Sign. But others were fine too like Love All Day
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuflSBOe-JQ

      Also Take That Situation, Whistle Down the Wind.

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    7. Oops, I meant Young Turks not Young Hearts from Roderick. I note that wasn't as big a hit as Tonight..., maybe they should have released them the other way around?

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  4. Okay, just by reading the comments, has anyone else remembered Pamela Stephenson's "Typical" send up of ONJ's sing and video on "Not The Nine O'Clock News"?

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    1. I vaguely remember it at the time, and I think you are referring to this clip, called Typical Bloody Typical?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM_2i9CDJpE

      My word, Pamela Stephenson was one horny chick if ever I saw one, and the clip was more of a show of her hot body than anything else.

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    2. She also did an Altered Images parody too, of course, called 'Happy Crappy'!

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    3. Not forgetting 'Supa Dupa'...

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  5. Altered Images - Wow, at No.2 already, before we had time to blink. I must say I really liked Claire Grogan's choice of colours, and the cute tongue-poking at the start. Rrrrrr! With or without Legs & Co, the song was worthy of getting to No.2 for a debut hit, cos it's just sooooo good with such a cute lead vocalist. Just one thing: there was a quick flash of her white underwear at one point in the song by a high wave of her dress!

    Dave Stewart & Barbra Gaskin – I didn’t realize just how pretty Gaskin was until seeing this video, and I found it irritating that TOTP cut out from the superb video to show some studio audience dancing. Considering in those days there was no other way to see the video other than on TOTP, no-one would know what happened in the last part of it. I mean even nowadays the video is rarely shown on the music video channels for some unknown reason!

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    1. for what it's worth, i think the backing singer in the video (see my comments below) is more attractive than barbara (she's a bit too weird-looking for my liking!)

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  6. host: slimy gets off to a really good start (NOT!) by describing clare grogan as a "pop stare". and did i really hear him introduce the top 30 countdown by saying "here's the mystery voice with this week's charts"? does that mean he doesn't recognise his own voice? hardly, as i can't really imagine anyone loving that particular sound as much as he does! still, at least he seems to show some genuine enthusiasm for haircut 100 (well, as much as a guy like that can muster, anyway)

    altered images: i don't care how cute clare grogan tries to make herself, this is still rubbish to my ears. but despite that not only did she manage to go on to carve out a career in showbiz a la toyah, the bassist also went on to have lasting success with texas. i've just noticed the considerable presence of a marimba on this. but despite that, nobody takes the opportunity to "play" on one in the studio

    rod: mr stewart has obviously been studying the emergence of synth-pop, particularly that of duran duran. but despite that it's still evident he also can't quite let go of the 70's, either in sound or looks. but it's pleasant enough, and the chorus has quite a good hook

    fureys (and davey arthur): i think mr arthur was a permanent fixture rather than this being some kind of collaboration, and whenever an act has a tacked-on person on the end it can't help but amuse me. did mr arthur say to the rest "there's no way i'm going to join your band unless i get a solo credit"? slimy reads out four names, one of which is david. but there are five of them on stage. does that mean that one of the fureys has the same forename as mr arthur? and which one is him anyway - is it the air-mandolin player on the right? this anomaly would certainly not have appealed to me at the time, and nor does it do so now. and even the presence of my favourite member of legs & co (RIP) as a dancing colleen fails to raise the level of interest

    olivia: sadly DLT isn't introducing her tonight, as otherwise it would inevitably have been as "olivia neutron-bomb". however i don't suppose he would have done so in the knowledge that olivia's grandad was an atomic physisist? i remember the fuss made of this "steamy" video at the time, but i don't recall that for most of it she was surrounded by pudgy porkers rather than posturing pretty-boys. talking of which, i remember at this time she had picked up a toy-boy actor several years her junior called matt latanzi. they appeared quite frequently in the tabs as a glamourous showbiz couple a la brangelina, although his star soon plummeted once they split up. musically i think this is a really excellent piece of pop for its day

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    2. DLT WILL be introducing ONJ on the 12th Nov show when she next appears! And guess that 12th Nov DLT edition will be going up later tonight on the blog, so we get the ONJ video on two consecutive days

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    3. what i should have said about davey arthur demanding separate billing was "if you don't give it to me, then i'll be furey-ious" arf arf!

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    4. These guys come from Dublin not to far away from me a little background they where called The Furey Brothers and Davey Arthur the 4 brothers being Finbar,Eddie,Paul,George - Davy was always in the band and they just changed the name when George joined them before that they where know as Tam Linn.By the way the lead singer is Finbar. Check out some of the other stuff on youtube great singer

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  7. a bit like dave stewart with his singles collaborations, it's a two-parter:

    trevor walters: i had no recollection of this but knew he was a reggae singer, so didn't have much in the way of expectation. but i was pleasantly surprised at the pleasant, sunny nature of it. not only did it remind me of heatwave, but also an excellent track called "if" by british reggae band weapon of peace that was released the same year. in fact i wondered if they were the muscians on this, but sadly i can't glean any confirmation off the internet. as for mr walters: he may a stylish double-breasted white whistle with a rose in the lapel, but could any woman really love him tonight with a gap in his front teeth that you could drive a train through?

    haircut 100: deservedly the "poster boys" for this edition on iplayer. they may seem a bit inconsequential now with their frantic funk-lite, but at the time they really got everyone excited - i remember one of the tabs actually making a comment that they were "the new beatles"! and of course the cute, preppy and slightly geeky look of the band (especially singer nick hayward and bassist les nemes) made them a blast of fresh air at the time too, and i certainly followed them with interest as a result. many years later i watched one of those "band reunited" shows where they got back together after decades apart. and was surprised to learn that les's surname was pronounced "nemesh" (in a slavic manner) rather than "neems" as i had always assumed!

    OMD: talking of preppy types, here;s the original model! paul humphreys is back in his familar place behind a synth after his brief spell in the spotlight. this is definitely the weakest of the singles off "architecture and morality" for me. i thought i heard andy mcluskey mention the nazis at one point, but surely that was not the case?

    stewart/gaskin: many questions have to be asked here. why are there samurai warriors in the video? why is dave stewart wearing a boxing headguard? who is that woman that sings backing vocals and plays the synth (as she did when stewart appeared on totp with colin blunstone - according to discogs it's someone called amanda parsons, who like gaskin was a long-term associate of mr stewart). and why did he never cash-in on his success with an album? i also notice that "johnny" in the video was played by none other than thomas dolby. does that mean he too played on the track? and who was playing (the gum-chewing) "judy"?

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    1. They weren't samurai, they were kendo, like Roger Moore fights in Moonraker. I thought Judy was Babs in a blonde wig?

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    2. of course - i should have realised that from having watched kendo nagasaki in action on "world of sport"!

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    3. it did cross my mind that "judy" might have been ms gaskin. but if so then a case of "judy in disguise" ho ho! but bearing the weirdness of the video in mind (a guy is chatting up a showroom dummy on the dancefloor), i couldn't help but wonder if it was a transvestite...

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    4. I remember watching this bout when Big Daddy tried to unmask Kendo Nagasaki in the World of Sport ring:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5b1fjsIEIk

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    5. .....and this is 40 years later in 2015 when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1fDKiYlgeM

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  8. shaky shakerson27 May 2016 at 01:31

    So we hit the Autumn half-term and Sir once again pops off to that London and this time he's brought a couple of groups of kids with him. And the first lot are those swotty oiks from 5A who have bribed the kooky girl that every school has to sing with them. According to sir, Clare is a pop star and a film 'STIR'. Basically his first sentence on the show and he cocks it up.

    The Fureys with a slice of depresso-folk. Some say mourneful I say awful.

    ONJ forced to make an excercise video because without the gymnasium scenario, the song is just her begging to be schlupped - a song topic that would have had her banned from Radio 1, ToTP, and the entire American continent.

    Trevor Thingie with that song, you know the one, the one that sends you to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Time for another of sir's classes now - the no-hopers from 5D who have somehow managed to keep their ADHD at arms length to form a brass section and join forces with those chaps from the public school down the road. Haircut 100 (for it is they) create a party atmosphere in an excellent debut performance. It still sounds as fresh as it did back in 81, and Heywood Minor looks every inch a pop pin-up.

    Squeeze with Labelled with Love have obviously been given some royalties and spent them at Man At C&A. Nice suits apart from Chris who goes all Parisien Left Banky on us. ( And no, that's not rhyming slang)

    And Stewart & Gaskin are still crying at number one. For heaven's sake girl pull yourself together - it's over. He was never any good anyway and that Judy will regret ever having anything to do with him.

    Scores. A 3 for Sir, who really is showing no signs of improvement. He gives no sense of pace or interest in his chart rundown; he overuses certain phrase - 'looks like this sounds like this'; he's still smarmy.

    Not the best of shows this one. Marks awarded for OMD, Altered Images and Haircut 100.Marks deducted for The Fureys, BA and Bell, Trevor Thingie and Stewart & Gaskin. Marks awarded for multiple Leggers appearances. Marks deducted for not givjng them a properly namechecked goodbye. Basically I give with one hand and take back with the other. The show gets a 4.

    OMD with the brilliant Joan Of Arc - very moody; nice lighting and a more comfortable performance from them as they get used to this pop star malarky

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  9. As we say goodbye to BA Robertson & Maggie Bell on this week's show and before the slide down the chart, I found this rare video that was not shown on TOTP, and is also where the TOTP chart rundown caption image comes from:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-NBPmWvd90

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    1. Not the best video in the world but interesting to see. They have a different (taller) harmonica player and a cardboard cut out of their missing guitarist as if anyone watching would care.

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  10. This was a vintage year for classy British new wave: OMD, Altered Images, Squeeze and Haircut 100 all on the same edition of TOTP.

    Trevor Walters would eventually reach the Top 10 in '84 with his polished reggae remake of Lionel Richie's 'Stuck On You', though a smooth cover of Andrew Gold's 'Never Let Her Slip Away' would peak much lower down the chart.

    As wilberforce points out above, Rod was well into his 'Duranie' period by this time. Indeed, ex-Duran guitarist Andy Taylor would guest on his album 'Out of Order' in '88.

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  11. I know this comment's in the wrong show but, with Jim'll mispronouncing Davey Arthur's mates, I wonder if he ever got round to introducing that Welsh indie band as Super Fury Animals?

    "When You Were Sweet Sixteen" was released on the Ritz label. Anyone who bought it was crackers. Boom boom tish!

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  12. An enjoyable show I thought with OMD, ONJ, Squeeze and It's My Party.

    BA Robertson & Maggie Bell looked like they'd spent the afternoon in the BBC bar.

    The Slimy one gains points for pointing out how good the Squeeze B side was, but loses several points for his too tight trousers, not recognising his own voice on the chart rundown and not introducing the number one.

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  13. The 1982 run looks like it's starting on 17th June with the final 1981 show the same night plus a Story Of and Big Hits.

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    1. That's great news if confirmed. I wonder if the two shows a week pattern will be continued for the '82 repeats? During the Proms season I would have thought it would be one show each week at most.

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    2. Incidentally Angelo, if you're looking for a new name for the blog for 1982, I think Happy Talk would be a good choice!

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    3. Or how about Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag

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    4. Can't believe there's less than a month of 1981 left!

      Happy Talk ~ yes that's a pretty good contender :-)

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    5. It was on the official TOTP Facebook page so hopefully already confirmed. The Story Of is at 10pm so I'm guessing the 31st December TOTP is at the usual time.

      Great that the re-runs are continuing, very strange to have the Story Of showing in June! It always feels like a post Christmas treat.

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    6. As for blog names can I suggest Take It Away from Macca (though Happy Talk is a great suggestion).

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    7. I can't recall if there are that many Christmassy records in the charts at December 81, so it might not to be too jarring.

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    8. How about House Of Fun for the blog name.

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    9. I suggest Do You Really Wanna Hurll Me? Or Land of Make Believe.

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    10. anybody know which TOTP FACKBOOK SITE IS THE OFFICIAL ONE ?

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    11. I can't get the link to paste here but it's got 19,503 followers

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    12. That is indeed the official TOTP Facebook page Steve

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    13. Oh, Christ, we've got the changing of the guard while I'm on holiday abroad for a week and nowhere near a computer. Stress alert in the offing!

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    14. Do you mean the change from Legs & Co to Zoo as the changing of the guard, or are you referring to something at Buckingham Palace on this sunny Bank holiday weekend Arthur?

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    15. Sorry, I just meant changing from one year to the other. Mind you, I wish I could (ex)change Zoo!

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    16. There's a few grumbles on there about the frequency of the shows. I prefer having just the one a week but rather two than none at all.

      I did read elsewhere that BBC4 is showing pretty much wall to wall Olympics coverage so with that and the Proms we (and Angelo) should get a breather over the Summer.

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  16. Slime on presenting duties and a tightly edited show this week with lots of quick cuts from the end of each act to the giant slug in specs - the camera usually lingers longer on the acts.

    I don't think I saw this particular edition at the time. I actually prefer this performance of Happy Birthday to the last one, tongue 'n' all. I see the guitarist is wearing his glasses this time and bassist Johnny McElhone is still doing this rock and roll dance moves. Superb.

    Despite it overtly sexist overtones - ie that all Rod's fans are female and are there purely for his gratification - the video for Tonight I'm Yours has its moments. At this point in career Rod was starting to look like a rock and roll cliche with the satin jacket, tight leggings, etc, but the video works and the song was okay although I didn't buy it at the time. Before I saw this if you had asked me to whistle the tune I wouldn't have been able to.

    The Fureys share a love of folk music and home perm fluid. I remember my dad liking this one. At the time I thought they were really old but they were only in their 30s.

    So Rod loves the ladies and Olivia likes muscle men. Nothing wrong with that and I had forgotten how funny the video for Physical was. It's also clever the way that in the middle part where the action is sped-up but Olivia is still singing in sync which must have meant she was miming to a slowed down track. I like the bit where they play a Bullworker as a guitar and the bit where the fat guy gives one muscle man the glad eye.

    "Bringing the roses back to Top Of The Pops was Trevor Walters". Er I think you'll find Elvis Costello got there first but nice try. And it gave the crowd and excuse to wave roses. Trevor Walters was this years Barry Biggs but this is a nice laid back soul-reggae groove and a good performance. Today he would get his tooth fixed of course.

    Repeat from BA Robertson and Maggie Bell. This sounds a lot better the second time but BA still annoys the hell out of me with is bad miming antics, take it seriously you twit!

    Favourite Shirts - I haven't heard this song for about 30 years and I'm surprised how good it is and how latin jazz it is - Haircut 100 clearly heard Spandau's Chart No 1 and thought "We can do that" - it's there from the latin percussion, the spiky brass, the lyrics about clothes and the half-rapped last verse. I'm surprised that the Kemp brothers didn't sue. Nick Hayward appears to be wearing a jumper with another jumper round this neck as you do.

    OMD - I didn't like this as much as Souvenirs but it still makes me smile but in a sad sort of way. I didn't buy this at the time but it has a nice ghostly atmosphere, they shouldn't have let the crowd clap along, it's not that type of song.

    Whose that walking across the Topportron when Slimey is about to do the Charts?

    Squeeze - strange that despite being a country song with a pedal steel guitar no one here is playing said instrument, perhaps they could have borrowed John McFee from Elvis Costello. Although i like the song it is boring to see the band playing it and perhaps a video would work better (not that they made one

    Let's be honest at the age of 31 Barbara Gasket was a bit old to be crying at parties. The video for It's My Party is bizarre - it's bad enough that they rearranged the song with electronic histrionics but what have Japanese fighters got to do with parties, oh nothing. Almost as if they read my mind the second half of the vid is a party and we discover that Johnny is actually Thomas Dolby in a raincoat. That explains everything. I like the rippling water effect and the ending reminds me of The Beatles' Flying.

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  17. Blimey, almost at the end of 1981 already. Good news about 1982 shows being on soon, though with the Proms and the Olympics (it was announced this week that BBC4 would show that wall to wall for most of August) it will be a bit less of a mad rush through the year. Which is a good thing.

    This Altered Images performance is the one that always gets on clip shows. From that to a Rod Stewart song which I've already declared my liking for. The video is so ridiculous it almost goes beyond basic sexism.

    Mrs Noax has Irish parents so likes the Fureys but I don't. Not keen on the 'diddly-aye'. Or his voice.

    ONJ's video almost cancels out Rod's. Of course, we've all seen it enough now so I wasn't that excited by it.

    Trevor Walters - no ta. Ditto the Haircut 100 song. Going against the grain here in that I like their other singles, but not this one.

    In contrast, 'Joan Of Arc' is one of my favourite OMD tracks. Beautifully constructed, and since we very rarely mention the direction on Pops, kudos to the director here for eschewing the usual alternating close-up / long shot method and mixing in some shots from interesting angles. Nice work.

    Squeeze do a better performance this time, I reckon. Then the Dave / Babs video is one I've never seen before, stangely. And it IS strange. Babs gets 3 different hairstyles for a start - quite big hair, even bigger hair, then a white wig as Judy (that's definitely her!)

    Odder still, I found myself agreeing twice with Bates in quick succession - the Squeeze B side is great, and I too thought Laurie Anderson was going to be No.1. I was horrified when it got to No.2 as I can't describe how much I hated it and was actively offended by it being in the chart. Thank god TOTP avoided it.

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    1. Heck, if TOTP had included the Laurie Anderson video they could have stuck it on ten minutes before the end and knocked off early. I thought it was wonderfully spooky when I was a kid, and even now enjoy the thought of the pop charts occasionally embracing the avant garde or the simply weird.

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    2. The video of O Suoerman by Laurie Anderson is in fact 8-and-a-half minutes long, and would have at least had a end-credits showing at the end of the show if the It's My party And I Cry If I Want To single didn't take up the end credits.

      I purchased the Laurie Anderson video from iTunes some years back, and it is still available for a mere £1.89

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    3. They would have to give me £1.89 Dory. And even then I would want a clause saying that I didn't have to watch / hear it.

      I have nothing against odd things being in the chart but I thought 'O Superman' was talentless drivel quite honestly.

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    4. to paraphrase star trek's mccoy: "it's art jim... but not as we know it!"

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    5. As part of the 80s nuclear war obsession I really like it. Not as scary as Threads, though.

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    6. "Smoking or non-smoking?" Couldn't get away with that lyric now!

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  18. Slimes got it right with Clare’s pop stare – maybe he watched the rehearsal. The Glasgee boys scrubbed up well, but criminal misuse of Legs & Co and, if he’d known it was their swansong, Slimes was an arse not to give the Leggers a proper sendoff.

    “I just want to make love to you for 24 hours or more”, sings Rod. Get me an oxygen tent! Rod was decked out in a pink outfit even more garish than his beloved Scotland’s current away kit. I’d have preferred more close-ups on the video audience myself. Ahem!

    Nifty banjo turnover during the verses by Billy Furey (boom boom tish!), who also seemed to be singing the song and not miming, so fair play to him. Surely the only other band who would have contemplated a song mentioning a village green in the chorus would be XTC.

    Livvy, you’re meant to take your kit off when having a shower! Liked the chest expander guitar solo, though he really needed two expanders for the correct number of strings. Okay, I’ll get my coat!

    A nice slice of admittedly repetititititive lovers rock from a confident Trevor Walters. That gap in his teeth was nothing – I give you Sugar Minott as Exhibit A.

    Here comes the sound of preppy Beckenham, complete with a top splayed over a jumper! I saw Nick Heyward do a solo stint at one of those old fart “Here And Now” gigs and he was both self effacing and excellent live. Sadly, criminal misuse of the Leggers in their last gasp, and who was that fat pineapple joining in next to them?

    I enjoyed OMD’s ‘strange new song’ but felt for Malcolm the drummer who was unlit throughout.
    Chris Difford looked like a cross between Linx’s Sketch and Frank Spencer. In tribute, Glenn Tilbrook had adopted a Leggers hairstyle. Oh, I forgot – great song.

    Why did Dave Stewart have what looked like the Hai Karate logo on his singlet? And where was Valerie Leon when you needed her?

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    1. By Valerie Leon you mean one of the hot starlets in the Carry On Films? If so, a big thumbs up in approval from me Arthur. Cor!

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    2. The Kinks not only mentioned a village green in a song, they named their Village Green Society album after one.

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    3. mention of hai karate and valerie leon brings back some good memories:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWn9EmbFTRo

      perhaps not surprisingly in this era of retro nostalgia, the brand has recently been re-activated. but if you get some, then "careful how you use it"!

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    4. checking into the above led me to the this brilliant chanel no. 5 ad from the same era that i also have a memory of:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMqAN0748zQ

      does anyone know who did the music, or if a proper version is available?

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    5. Ray Davies also refers to a village green in "Victoria" - he was clearly obsessed by them in the late 60s...

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  19. I’ve missed some of the Yewtreed shows so my comments are out of running order. I will get to watch the videos on line soon.

    Altered Images – Happy Birthday – So it’s got to no.2 now eh? My word…

    Rod Stewart – Tonight I’m yours – The other week I remarked on the Rolling Stones video for ‘Start me up’ being self-parody. Well this must be Rod’s version of that; tight trousers, ‘birds’ and the usual innuendo laden lyrics.

    Fureys with Davey Arthur – When you were sweet 16 – So where did this come from? Radio play on Radio 2 presumably. It’s a pleasant enough tune with the boys miming I think, whereas you sort of expect this kind of thing to be have been performed live.

    Olivia Newton-John – Physical – 10 weeks at no.1 in the USA. Hmmmm, it’s not one of her best. Banks of the Ohio? What is love? Magic? I honestly love you? Sam? Much prefer those. The video is the polar opposite of Rod Stewart’s and really not very appealing!

    Trevor Walters – Love me tonight – Well I’ve not heard this before or if I have, I don’t recall it. Pretty non-descript.

    B A Robertson & Maggie Bell – Hold me – Just love seeing this again. A few years later B A would go on to be one of Mike Rutherford’s song writing partners for Mike & the Mechanics penning songs such as ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ and of course, ‘The Living Years’.

    Haircut 100 – Favourite Shirts – Claim to fame; at my sister’s school Mark Fox (the congo player) was a teacher…and I knew his cousin Dave. This was quite a refreshing piece of music nicely performed by the band, here getting Legs & Co. dancing away.

    OMD – Joan of Arc – So what’s wrong with this song Simon? For me this is OMD at their best, and Andy’s soaring vocals on the final ‘without you’ refrain are amazing. Great performance and boy does he strum that guitar.

    Squeeze – Labelled with love – Restrained performance again from the boys. Why does Simon like the B Side (Squabs on Forty Fab) so much? Isn’t he tired of all these medleys by now?! The picture sleeve for this single is quite rare. I’ve never seen one apart from 45cat.

    Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin – It’s my party – This works sooo much better with the video. Weird imagery that matches the weird mood of the song. I don’t recall ever seeing this before and I still haven’t seen it all thanks to the switch to the studio dancing for the credits! I’ll have to seek out on YT.

    A much better show than the other two I have watched over this Bank Holiday weekend, but I’m still behind on these shows.

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  20. So that's two in a row I've just watched and still two to go. I'll catch up one day.

    Altered Images - top notch. Notice, like so many bands of the late '70s/early '80s, that they have a very distinctive sound - even without the vocals. Electric guitar bands from the last 20 years all sound the same to me, as if they shared the same producer. Or more likely, their producers have all been on the same college course.

    Haircut 100 as well - I have to admit that this one didn't do much for me but their 1982 hits just got better and better!

    And Olivia - one of the more impressive examples of a 1970s artist 'updating' themselves for the following decade.

    Incidentally, although not as coincidental as Hazel O'Connor last year, Saturday's headline act at the Crick Boat Show last weekend was... a Blondie tribute! (Sunday's was Tom Robinson.)

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    1. i think toyah's done the crick boat show in recent times too (the only reason i am aware of it is that i know someone who used to own a canal boat). but although it's not going to give the organisers of glastonbury sleepmess night, in its own way this seems be a popular event... if a weird one with its mixture of has-been pop stars from the 70's/80's and tribute acts!

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