Friday, 20 May 2016

Legs & Co with Love

The return of David Jensen then coincides with the final solo Legs & Co routine, although they will still appear amongst the audience until the end of the month, after which they will have to take Norman Tebbit's 1981 advice and "get on their bikes and look for work!"

Hello hello, it's good to be back....

15/10/81 (hosted David Jensen)

(44) Gary Glitter – “And Then She Kissed Me”

We all knew this one was going to be edited out, even from the late night repeats, due to Mr Glitter currently being in prison. The song peaked at 39.

(5) Toyah – “Thunder In The Mountains” (video)

It's the Godley & Crème directed video this time with the sunrise hair. The song went up one more place to number 4.

(36) B.A. Robertson & Maggie Bell – “Hold Me”

This energetic PJ Proby cover became the final top 30 for B.A and the only top 20 hit for Maggie when it peaked at number 11.

(16) Altered Images – “Happy Birthday” (rpt from 01/10/81)
till rising towards number 2. And edited out of tonight's 7.30pm broadcast.

(2) The Tweets – “Birdie Song (Birdie Dance)”

And so to the final full Legs & Co routine and perhaps understandably they seemed a little subdued, although the choice of song probably didn't help much either. We will see them on one more show on BBC4, the October 29th edition.

(3) Godley & Crème – “Under Your Thumb” (rpt from 17/09/81)

Now at its peak. And edited from the 7.30pm showing.

(41) The Exploited – “Dead Cities”

Became their biggest hit at number 31. But edited out of tonight's 7.30pm slot.

(31) Squeeze – “Labelled With Love”
The third and by far the most successful single taken from their top 20 album East Side Story, and also their final top ten hit when it peaked at number 4.

(25) The Creatures – “Mad Eyed Screamer” (rpt from 01/10/81)

This repeat performance helped the song up one more chart place.

(10) Bad Manners – “Walking In The Sunshine”

A studio performance of the song this time, now at its chart peak.

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

The first of four weeks at number one with this Lesley Gore cover for the Johnnyless duo.

(48) This Year’s Blonde – “Platinum Pop” (+ credits????)
For the second time in recent weeks we get a studio band to play us out, together with Blondie & Co cheerleading the audience ~ but it seems someone had forgotten to turn on the credits machine. This Blondie medley peaked at 46.

The next edition, the 22nd October 1981, is hosted by Jimmy Savile, so won't be shown on BBC4. Instead we will see October the 29th with Simon Bates.


  1. A lacklustre return for the good lovin' Kid and with one or two exceptions a lacklustre show I thought.

  2. I'm sure I've seen this somewhere before, oh yeah, it was 24 hours ago. Loads of repeats, not helped by missing an episode.

    First up, Gar- oh. Never mind.

    Second up, the Mad Max 2-anticipating video for Toyah, did George Miller see this and a lightbulb appeared above his head? Was that her real hair?

    Hey, BA Robertson's back and he's brought his mum. You can see where he gets his barnet. An OK tune for a bit of fun, but it's no Theme From Taggart.

    There's a coincidence, Altered Images singing Happy Birthday and it actually is my birthday. What are the crowd waving? Did they get promotional discs as presents?

    Legs & Co putting a brave face on their final real routine by offering up their own Flick-derived interpretation of the damned Birdie Song. What a way to go, sheesh.

    Hey, punk's not dead! But it's not looking very well, more like a tribute act. Reminds me of Annie Nightingale's comment about punks sporting coloured mohawks and that they couldn't be that hard if they spent so long on their hair every day.

    Congratulations to the TOTP audience for talking through Squeeze and bursting into applause at the wrong bit of the song, no, that didn't ruin it at all. Anyway, a melancholy country tune from a British perspective, a bit repetitive, but does the job.

    Bad Manners in the studio, which as usual begs the question, who has Buster come dressed as today, and the answer appears to be Franz Klammer, well, it's the obvious choice. Not a bad skipping bit of cod reggae, but you can hear why it isn't revived that often.

    As if we were in any doubt that this was the 80s, one weird number one is replaced with another weird number one played on a keytar! Looks a bit heavy, watch your lumbar region, Dave.

    Ah, finally an episode without a medley - hey, waidaminnit! This seemed to take up half the show. Putting the "stomp, clap" beat on Blondie doesn't improve them either, who'd have thunk it?

    1. The Toyah video seemed to be inspired largely by the video for Reward by The Teardrop explodes, some 6 months earlier in 1981. There were also hints of the Musclebound video by Spandau Ballet, but we certainly had no Mad Max by 1981, and that was in the future of course.

    2. The first Mad Max film came out in 1979. The second one wasn't released until Christmas 1981, but had been filmed early that year.

    3. Shame they didn't include Toyah in the 1981 Mad Max film. I mean just look her movie-like performance in her new video. Good Lord, you'd think she was a Hollywood regular by now.

  3. host: good to see david "kid" jensen back after his sojourn, but his intro gets rather hastily cut off ("it's good to be ba....") - couldn't they edit gary gl*tter out any better than that? i love his rueful look after the birdie song, as if he's thinking "did i really come back to rubbish like this?"

    toyah: i'm not sure if this was influenced by the conan or mad max films. or both. still, it helps distract from the banality of the music (if not ms wilcox's shreiks and squeals)

    ba robertson/maggie bell: i'm presuming that mr gl*tter's effort was a cover, and if so that makes it two in the first three songs - so much for the shiny new 80's! never mind synth-pop, this is so retrograde it's as if punk never happened. and all b a can do is make faces to show how "funny" he is, as he doesn't have any "humourous" lines of his own to sing. i note the rockpile guitarist pops up yet again (dave edmunds and nick lowe must have locked themselves away to write new songs), and i think that's macca's associate howey casey on tenor sax (looking far more at home here than he did when he filled in for andy mackay with roxy). but what's the ted doing there? i wasn't sure until the end whether he was blowing a harmonica or rolling a fag...

    altered images: just to add to previous comments that singing a melody that copies the bass line does not very good songwriting make

    tweets/legs: weren't our feathered friends available this week? were they on tour or something? but if so then why didn't they play the electronica's version instead? if this is the last-ever legs appearance, then it's an ignominious exit to put it mildly. still, at least rosie has finally managed to resist the lure of the dreaded crimpers

    exploited: punk may not be dead, but it's certainly turned into a comical caricature. and i couldn't make out a single word the mohican with the microphone was shouting. but it's still highly entertaining and dare i say it, probably the best thing on tonight's show...!

    squeeze: i have to admit that i've got to like country and western music a bit more in recent times, but not maudlin dirges like this - be they real or cod. mercifully this craze for new wavers doing this stuff didn't last long

    bad manners: this improves on a second listen in a couple of days, but the fact was that ska was pretty much dead in the water by now (even if punk wasn't!). so no surprise it's their swansong

    stewart/gaskin: i completely overlooked this the last time they appeared. but like mr stewart's previous effort, the added synths and other electronic things going on in the intros and breaks sound completely at odds with what is another rather twee relic from the sixties

    this year's blonde: i was thinking this would be those 70's models jilly johnson and nina carter (aka the ex-mrs rick wakeman), but they were blonde on blonde! i'd be surprised if the woman here actually sang on this, but if not then she's doing a good miming job. and the debbie harry impression is quite good as well. but for all that, it still stinks the place out!

    1. I did think that the awful edit at the start of the show where Gary Glitter was erased forever, was very poor, and could have been done better.
      Does anyone have the original copy with Glitter in it? Just curious to see how the song was delivered on the show by Glitter.

    2. It's on youtube, I looked at it yesterday.

      Very camp, and his outfit looks ridiculous to me. Looks completely out of place. No threat to the original version.

    3. Thanks Starry, just seen it. For one thing it was good to see the introduction of it by David Jensen and how it came across before the awful edit by BBC4 this week, but in terms of Glitter's performance on a classic, it was rubbish, and I guess he came out of retirement to cash in on the medley craze of 1981 where every other song seemed to be a cover, like BA Robertson, Platinum Pop, etc. Thumbs down for this cover version.

  4. BA Robertson & Maggie Bell - the first lyrics of the studio performance were about being romantic and the conditions associated with it. Oh please, let's leave this kind of stuff to Dollar who do it so much better, not these two for Gawd's sake. I really didn't like Robertson's slimy style with his female partner here.

    Altered images - BBC4 can repeat this as many times as they like as far as I'm concerned, cos you gotta just love Claire Grogan. Happy birthday THX by the way. How old were you in Oct 1981? I was still 13.

    The Tweets - what no Sue on Legs & Co this week? This must have been the first time she was absent since the inception of Legs & Co in 1976, and as her being lead Leg I'm surprised, but it could have been that she walked out in protest to the group being axed, and also by the fact the girls this week could not dance together on the Tweets but were separated from each other and higher up than the audience, and so with audience likely to look up their skirts, they sensibly covered up with black stockings and skirts tight to the knees! Probably something that Sue would not enjoy as the lead Leg for so long.

    Suffice to say that at the end the show on the end credits with Platinum Blonde, the Leggers improved on their attire when being allowed to dance together again, but only slightly better!

    This was a show where others had improved on the non-Legs & Co legs this week, with the likes of The Creatures (Siouxie), Barbra Gaskin and Platinum Blonde taking over the role of nice legs/pins that Legs & Co were camera-shy with this week.

    1. Why thank you Dory, I was 9 at the time of these repeats, which was just about the point I was getting seriously interested in music, with my new radio. Now I'm 35 years older and no wiser!

  5. shaky shakerson21 May 2016 at 02:47

    Well hello and welcome back Mr Jensen - nice to see you again. And after a year away, ToTP must have arranged a stonker of a show in celebration, yes?

    Well, no actually.

    Prisoner W1786753 is - obviously - airbrushed out in a rather cack-handed way. No great loss as its an awful piece of vinyl anyway.

    Toyah in a Mad Max video that does little to improve on her barnstorming studio appearance a fortnight ago/last week/last night??

    BA Robertson & Maggie Bell over-selling and over-performing on Hold Me. Pity it wasn't over quicker.

    Farewell to The Leggers and what a dismal note to go out on. It's been a pleasure to ogle you again during these re-runs.

    Talking of re-runs - we get Altered Images, Godley & Creme and The Creatures once again. Acceptable back in 81, but they suffer The Curse Of The Yewtree Sandwich in 2016 and the words 'familiarity' and 'contempt' spring to mind.

    Not as much contempt, though, as I hold for the ear-bleedingly awful Exploited. Kid tells us its the shortest single on the show and, clocking in at 1.44, he is absolutely right. It is however 1.44 too long for me. Sometimes I voice my dislike/hatred for certain songs knowing that there will be someone in our midst who disagrees and rather quite likes whatever song I am dissing. Not this time surely?

    Squeeze follow Elvis Costello down the Nashville coloured road with Labelled With Love. This was the one track of theirs that I never cared for. Strange,because I really liked Elvis's Good Year For The Roses which this very closely resembles. Go figure, huh.

    It's a 'hitsound countdown' according to Kid as we peruse the lower reaches of the chart. Is this another Kid attempt at a catchphrase? If so it quite clearly - and deservedly- went the way of 'good lovin'.

    Before the middle part of the chart rundown ( sorry, hitsound countdown) Kid now tells us its been eighteen months since he last presented ToTP. Come on sunshine, make yer mind up. Have you been away a year or eighteen months?

    Bad Manners have one last day in the chart sunshine before this week's number one which is followed by a song I have absolutely no recollection of - This Year's Blonde. Now this must have seemed like a great idea - a medley of Blondie hits. Lets face it they had a ton of them, mostly well-loved. And the vocals were eerily accurate. But the execution? Awful. Just bloody awful.

    Scores then. Kid's return should have been a welcome one, but it just wasn't. Maybe it was the fault of the songs on show (The Tweets, The Exploited etc) but, to me, he seemed disinterested and unenthusiastic. Most of the links were poor and the 'hitsound countdown' thing was cringey. 4.

    Sorry about that Kid, but at least you scored dounle what the show scored. The Leggers dancing The Birdie Song was the nadir of a show which barely rose above awful and earns itself just 2.

    1. By my calculation, Kid had actually been away for 16 and a half months!

    2. I remember that he was the last presenter with a bona fide TOTP show to present which included Legs & Co doing Crown Heights Affair in their cheerleader outfits (wahay), before the 1980 summer strike that struck down the show for a couple of months.

  6. Looks like we have reached the end of the 1981 medley craze that has consumed us over the last few months, as Platinum Pop This Year's Blonde is last one on TOTP for the year and will open the next show of 22nd Oct with JS, and that's pretty much it, as having looked at the TOTP line up till Xmas 1981, there are no more medleys, and so we can now move on with a sigh of relief. Good Lord I thought it was never going to end.

  7. Got Chas and daves stars over 45 on the 17 December edition

    1. OK, then we get a two-month break from medleys

    2. When does Jive Bunny turn up?

    3. 1989 Wayne, so you only got another 8 years of these re-runs to wait, if BBC4 ever get to 1989.

    4. Your forgetting the B-side of Squeeze's labelled With Love which is a medley of their own songs - Squibs On Forty Fab. Seemingly they purposely gave promo copies of the record two A-side labels so some deejays might play the medley.

  8. While it is nice to have Kid (or David Kid, as his credit now suggests we should call him) back in the TOTP fold, and he takes to the Hurll format very readily, this was a very lacklustre show with which to welcome him back. The first performance is of course Yewtreed, though given that BBC4 correctly decided to retain the first bit of Kid's intro I'm not sure they could have made the edit any better. While I strongly disapprove of the continued airbrushing of history in these repeats, the BBC4 audience was not especially deprived at missing this third rate cover version of a pop classic. Mr Gadd sung it dreadfully, and he also looks overweight in this performance, though the costume might have accentuated that!

    After Toyah rampages through the wasteland like a post-apocalyptic Boudicca, with even bigger hair than she had in the studio a couple of weeks earlier, B.A. Robertson and Maggie Bell launch their bid for the Most Unappealing Duet of 1981 award. There is nothing especially wrong with this cover of another 60s classic, but it feels thuddingly anonymous and Maggie (who was only 36 at the time) really does look old enough to be BA's mum! At least they seem to be enjoying themselves, as I'm not sure anyone else was...

    Legs really did deserve better than having The Birdie Song as their final featured dance, particularly as they had already had to do it on the 1 October show. They give it a good go, anyway, and at least this was not their final appearance. The Exploited were highly amusing walking punk caricatures, but the "song" was totally unlistenable and at the end you could see Kid struggling to take seriously the notion that they had given punk a new lease of life. We then move on to Squeeze, with a song that tries too hard to be moving and profound, not helped by the rather strained vocals. It goes on forever as well, and I wonder if the audience started cheering too early because they hoped it was about to finish! Incidentally, does anyone know who was on keyboards, because it didn't look like Paul Carrack.

    Buster had obviously been forgiven for his Can Can indiscretion, as Bad Manners are back in the studio, complete with a saxophonist seemingly dressed in his bath robe. Buster presumably was being wilfully perverse by singing about walking in the sunshine while seemingly dressed for polar conditions...

    Regarding Angelo's comments on the credits, they did play over the longer late night version of the show, and we also got an awful lot of this dubious Blondie medley. The singer looked nice enough, though she was never going to match Debbie's glamour, and the vocal impersonation was quite good. However, hearing snippets of all those classic songs just makes you wish, as with so many of these medleys, that you can hear them in full and by the original artist. Legs were also present for this performance, but those blonde wigs made them fade into the background, just as their career was about to do the same thing...

    1. to my recollection the new squeeze keyboard player was a guy called don snow, who alas failed to make a name for himself in the way he predessessors did (although via looking him up on wiki to confirm it was him, i note he had a top three hit in germany with his "own" band the catch!)

    2. Thanks Wilberforce - Carrack certainly didn't stick around for long!

    3. carrack had previously been both the lead singer and songwriter with ace, so was probably feeling a bit uncomfortable and under-used as the second singing banana (and third songwriting banana) in squeeze. but it probably looked good on the cv!

    4. Yes, Carrack was on board for the East Side Story album, but left afterwards. I hadn't realised he'd already left by the time this single came out though (which he of course played on)

      Carrack rejoined Squeeze a decade later for the Some Fantastic Place album

    5. Yes, Carrack was on board for the East Side Story album, but left afterwards. I hadn't realised he'd already left by the time this single came out though (which he of course played on)

      Carrack rejoined Squeeze a decade later for the Some Fantastic Place album

    6. Tempted was a huge hit in America and i suspect Paul Carrack left the band to capitalise on that success with solo work and with Nick Lowe.

    7. If Carrack was uncomfortable as a supporting player in Squeeze, I wonder how Paul "Sad Café" Young felt a few years later when they were both in Mike & the Mechanics but Carrack ended up getting the lion's share of the vocal duties on their hit singles...

  9. I thought the Legs exit was better than if they had ended with that gimmicky version of Hands Up. And being each on their own podium they at least got a brief camera shot of their own as well.

    They didn't get individual name checks at the start of this last routine though, only the choreographer got that privilege.

    BA Robertson hamming it up reminded me of Matchbox and Over the Rainbow. It's as if we're not meant to take such a song seriously any more. But doing that will mean many probably won't take your performance seriously either. The record itself might even be ok, though I haven't heard it much.

    1. Perhaps we should call the Legs Exit Legxit to fit in with the Euro vote.

    2. Ok, then Legxit gets my vote.

  10. Squeeze's Labelled With Love is a country song because it follows on directly from the previous song on the album East Side Story called F-Hole - the last lines of which are:

    "We made the strangest couple,
    A Laurel and Hardy double,
    I learnt to play her favorite country songs,
    With one or two chords always going wrong".

    It then segues directly into Labelled With Love.

  11. Hey, didn't we see the girl fronting This Years Blonde previously a few weeks back? I think she's one of the singers fronting Enigma on 11th June show together with the girl we'll see again fronting Shatatak shortly. Small world, eh?

    And I was looking closely to see if any of the original Glitter Band were still with the Leader. Definitely one of the drummers, plus I think John Springate (bass) and Gerry Shepherd (guitar) but we never had close-ups. Around this time Glitter became very popular again doing Christmas shows... I missed the one he did at Newcastle Uni in 81 but those who went said it was absolutely brilliant. Just saying'...

    1. mr glitter had one more big hit in him which was his xmas cash-in effort. it was included on that mid-80's xmas compilation album with all the usual suspects on, but of course removed from consequent re-pressings once his dubious sexual leanings came to light. it has also apparently now been systematically removed from all the canned music played in shops over the xmas period too - i avoid xmas like the plague so don't get exposed to that kind of thing too often, but whenever i need to visit the supermarket over that period the subversive in me can't help but hope it might have slipped through the net and gets played over the PA by accident. it hasn't happened yet, although someone i know told me they once heard it when they were in (of all places) a daisy & tom store!

    2. Wilberforce, it did happen in one well known high street store because I had to draft the standard apology letter sent out to those unfortunate customers who'd been subjected to it!

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. It also got one or two accidental plays on the hospital radio station I used to volunteer at when presenters forgot to check the track number on that well known Christmas CD...

    5. i also have a memory of it being played in the background in an episode of "come dine with me"...!

    6. Apparently Rock 'n' Roll Part 2 is still played a lot in American stadiums on big sporting occasions. It seems they are less hyper-sensitive about these things over there, though admittedly GG's American profile has always been far lower...

    7. Gaz's Christmas tune is sampled (or re-recorded) on Jive Bunny's Christmas medley, which sometimes turns up on seasonal chart rundown radio shows to this day.

    8. purely by chance (honestly - i don't make a thing of following his career) i have now discovered that mr glitter did in fact have another totp mugshot showing in 1984 with a single called "dance me up" that got to no. 25 (and appeared on the "now 3" compilation, which was how i got wind of it). i don't know if it was played in the show or not though...

    9. You're right - just checked my copy of Now 3 and it's halfway through side 4. I can't recall what it sounds like, but as I hardly ever played side 4 I'm guessing it wasn't that memorable.

    10. You're right - just checked my copy of Now 3 and it's halfway through side 4. I can't recall what it sounds like, but as I hardly ever played side 4 I'm guessing it wasn't that memorable.

    11. GG released a medley his hits (All That Glitters) at the end of 1981 - he performed it on TV although not on TOTP. He made two TOTP appearances in 1984 with Dance Me Up and Another Rock and Roll Christmas. He also presented a how in 1995.

    12. If the BBC4 run reaches that far, I guess that's a show we definitely won't be seeing.

    13. I found this clip of Glitter presenting a TOTP show in December 1994 presenting Zig & Zag with some tasty Santa Girls as helpers:

  12. 50 something here....

    The original version of "It's My Party was recorded by our very own Helen Shapiro. Bizarrely her record company didn't see the potential leaving Lesley Gore to grab the hit. She then recorded a sequel "Judy's Turn To Cry" (check it out on YouTube) after which we have to ask why on earth she wanted him back at all.

  13. Been listening to Mad Eyed Screamer, The Crreatures debut hit, and I must say it really grows on me the more times I hear it, as its eclectic drums roll with Souixie's superb singing is just music to the ears, and pity it did not trouble the top 20, and we got both TOTP appearances in two days thanks to BBC4 missing out the DLT show in between.

    But fear not, The Creatures will be back in 1983 with two more singles, including Right Now as their best success in the charts, cos in between in 1982 she went back to more Siouxie & The Banshees singles in the meantime.

  14. Kid clearly needs a bit more practice to get back into the Pops groove sadly.

    Shoot me now, but I remember liking the Gary Glitter song at the time...

    The Toyah video is hilarious, particularly the bit with her 'sun goddess' hair!

    BA and Maggie - oh dear, looks like the Mad Auntie has been invited out, got a bit squiffy and is embarrassing herself a bit. The song is OK, nothing special.

    Legs and Co going out with a whimper and a flap sadly. Oh, and listen very carefully to the intro - you can hear what sounds like 2 Kid vocal tracks playing over each other very briefly. Presumably an editing error at the time, not down to a BBC4 cut.

    The Exploited - No, ta. The Squeeze song isn't getting much love on here but I really like it.

    Good to see Bad Manners in the studio getting to do the song in full this time.

    This Year's Blonde - Oh dear, laughably bad. Why do a Blondie Medley and miss out so many of their big hits though? Amazed that Heart of Glass and Atomic didn't make the cut. Does the lady (almost certainly not singing) turn up in another act later? Tight Fit maybe?

    1. the "this year's blonde" singer certainly didn't appear as one of the tight fit ladies for "the lion sleeps tonight" - the blonde there was julie "chopper" harris (rather amusingly nicknamed after the 70's chelsea hardman footballer)

    2. We'd already seen the blonde as part of the Enigma medley group of course, this seems like a spin off from that. From what I remember the Enigma group was Dutch.

    3. The This Years Blonde singer was called Tracy Ackerman - she was indeed also with Enigma - she went on to be a very successful song writer with an impressive list of credits including C'est La Vie for B*Witched.

    4. Oh, it was Tracy Ackerman? She sang backing vocals on a few 90s dance tunes and had a minor hit with a dance cover of 'Get Here' (credited to Q Feat. Tracy Ackerman IIRC) - well I never...

  15. Apologies if I've missed someone else's comment, but did anyone notice Mike Read's comments over the end of Altered Image... Hard to believe if you didn't!

    1. But this was David's Jensen's show, so I think you put your comment on the wrong show Charlie.
      It should be the 1st October show which Mike Read hosted that was the debut of Altered Images

    2. On the contrary - As Altered Images ended, and Kid Jensen started to speak, I heard the start of Mike Read's commentary from the first appearance two weeks earlier. The edit appeared to have been made slightly too late!

    3. Ah, that's what it was! I referred to this in my post above. I incorrectly assumed that it was a Kid link that had gone wrong and hadn't been edited out correctly or something like that.

    4. Sorry I missed your original comment. I WAS surprised no one else appeared to have commented :-)

    5. I noticed this - it would seem that the BBC was no longer making second, simultaneous recordings with mute presenter links by this time (these were made expressly for the purpose of inserting repeat performances into future shows). Some late '60s/early '70s editions exist only in this form. A particularly interesting one is 27/02/69 where the sound man got his wires crossed and started recording the presenter links (luckily a rare appearance by the late Stuart Henry) with no music! He sorted things out during Sandie Shaw's 'Monsieur Dupont'.

  16. Good evening, Kid, and good grief! Too much waffling about how long you’ve been away and what acts you’ve missed in the meantime, announcing a cringeworthy hitsound countdown with ‘the rest of the charts’ having previously announced two non-mugshot acts as if they were in it ,and announcing that number 2 of a number 2 as both The Tweet Song and The Bird Song.

    Glad I missed Gadd.

    Oooh, Toyah becomes Bodicea. Bring back Hazel.

    I take it the BA in BA Robertson stood for Bloody Awful. Was Maggie Bell really 36? She looked like The Krankies’ mum.

    What an appalling swansong for Legs & Co. Swan, bird, geddit? To think I was depressed when Cherry Gillespie resigned. If they’d known this was the end, shouldn’t alleged deputy head Legger Patti have been up front instead of Lulu?

    DAY SAY! DAY SAY! Edinburgh’s The Exploited must have been the only true punk band to appear on TOTP. Bassist Big John Duncan (born Jeff Le Rennais, fact fans!) went on to join Goodbye Mr. McKenzie, who also numbered future Garbage singer Shirley Manson among their ranks.

    Kid wasn’t all that far off with his top spot prediction for Squeeze’s almost rhyming country goodie, which I performed as a request encore in my indie-folk duo days. Yes, really!

    Interesting to hear Heaven 17 played in the background some 13 places below their TOTP appearance chart placing.

    Buster Bloodvessel would have been boiling in that jumper and those moonboots. Funny how the lads stage right as we looked were all dressed in old gold while everyone else mingled like a testcard.

    Dreadful gong mime at the start of the number one, but superb drum miming just after the first chorus. Why was Barbara wearing a Russian Doll at the front of her blouse?

    For goodness sake, man, mime the keyboards to “Hanging On The Telephone”! I could’ve carried on watching This Year’s Blonde’s singer for artistic merit (ahem) but gave up at that point.

  17. I forgot to say I liked Kid's rueful "Punk's not dead" remark and frown after The Exploited. To think they stopped one place short of Batesy having to announce them in the mugshots!

  18. Welcome back David Kid Jen-sen. Older and wider. And a carefully edited intro to avoid the Glittery One.

    I have to say that Toyah's song sounds a lot better with the accompanying video even if it is a bit silly. I like the way she climbs the stairs at the start to find the chariot and then suddenly she's on the same level again and drives the chariot through the underground car park to show off to her mates - "I've got a chariot and you haven't!". I do feel a bit sorry for that poor little horse having to cart Toyah around all day. It must be knackered, poor thing. The ending is a bit weird, several people fire arrows with messages at others and the message is - a picture of an arrow. Well that makes sense. Not.

    BA Robertson - or is it Rob Brydon - leaves the comic songs behind but still can't resist being silly on this badly mimed cover of the PJ Probably classic. I feel sorry for the little rockabilly guy in the suit playing the harmonica, he's trying to big up his part by dancing and making a great show of putting his mouth organ in his pocket and getting it out again when its time to play his part but the camera WILL NOT focus on him, not even once.

    Altered Images - Many happy returns - or a least one as it's a welcome repeat for Clare and Co. We even get a snatch of Mike Read back announcing at the end behind Kid.

    Perhaps the most embarrassing three minutes EVER on Top of the Pops - Legs and Co dancing to the Birdie song - or The Tweet Song - as Kid insists on calling it And they aren't even doing the dance. The crowd are doing the dance but sitting down which is ridiculous, and who turned out the lights? Maybe that was to help hide all the red faces.

    It's leather trousers and twitch time for Godley and Creme with another repeat. I like this a lot but hearing it several times as we have highlights a part near the end where Lol's synth does a descending scale that heard with modern ears sounds really cheap and nasty.

    Then The Exploited with "Der Ser" or Dead Cities as normal people pronounce it. I remember someone dragging me to an punk/Oi gig around this time where The Exploited were playing. Their fans had a chant which went "Spoilted - Barmy army!!". I was not a fan and couldn't wait to leave.

    This is more like it, Squeeze with the brilliant Labelled With Love. I had bought the East Side Story album and so didn't bother buying the single at the time. Many years later I found one with a picture sleeve which it turns out was quite rare. I like the bit where the audience think the songs ended and get ready to clap but the band carries on and everyone laughs.

    Bazza Manilow is the only song in the bottom third of the Chart who's going up which is a bit odd.

    The Creatures again, then part two of The Chart and I see Laurie Anderson has made an appearance. The first time I heard O Superman was on the radio on the say when was leaving the house I had been living sharing in the country with friends throughout 1981. My relationship had fallen apart, my friends had moved out, my partner had left and I was the last to leave sitting there in the evening gloom with all my possessions packed up around me waiting for my dad to pick me up and take me home. I was only 18 and I felt very sad.

    But Bad Manners would have cheered me up. This song is very unusual with its minute long instrumental break and they play the whole song this time. I see the guitarist has grown a beard making him look a bit like a serial killer.

  19. Part two:

    Odd to see Kid getting all nostalgic for a time that had only just past. Then the Top Ten and Dave and Babs at number one. Dave tries to cool by having a neck keyboard which means he is now facing the crowd but it's never a good idea because of the strain it puts on you upper torso. "Nobody knows where my Johnny has gone, But Judy left the same time" - does that actually make sense? I think not.

    A few weeks ago it was Funkapolitan playing us out, now This Week's Medley, sorry This Year's Blond. or should that have been Last Year's as Debbie Harry and Co were old hat by now. In fact Debs had just released her first solo album - the one where she has kebab skewers rammed through her chops - produced by Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards. They should have played out with Backfired from that which would have been a much wiser choice than this pap. The bass player actually looks like Les McQueen from The League Of Gentlemen's Creme Brulee and the keyboard player spends the first half of the medley clapping along with the crowd. Poor Legs are forced to work off their notice by doing Stevie Nicks style skirt dancing in the background. Not a good way to end a show, or a career. Apart from Bad Manners and Squeeze the show was mish-mash of rubbish, repeats and edited Yewtree people. Poor Mr Jensen having to front such a mess.

    1. It's possible to know that Johnny and Judy left at the same time without knowing their exact destination.

    2. Exactly it's AT the same time.

  20. I’ve missed the yewtreed show so having watched this show and the one from 1st October there’s quite a bit of crossover and sadly, little improvement…

    GG – And then She kissed me – Well we didn’t see it but I’ve had a look on YT out of curiosity. What strikes me the most is just what an awful cover this is. Artist aside, records like ‘Rock n’Roll Part 2’ were great pieces of three minute pop, but this is just not in the same league.

    Toyah – Thunder in the Mountains – Sorry, not my cup of tea at all.

    B A Roberston – Hold me – P J Proby eat your heart out. This is just magnificent! Love it! Forgotten how good it was. B A does a great performance too. A real surprise this.

    Altered Images – Happy Birthday – Stevie Wonder had a hit with the same title and there’s a very famous piece by this title too. As for Clare & Co, not sure anyone sings that on their special day?

    Tweets – Birdie Song (sorry ‘Bird Song’) – Love the Donald Duck masks and the tartan outfit Lulu is wearing. Clearly Legs & Co did enjoy dancing to this one. Still makes me chuckle. I am sure that Sebastien Faulks had this record in mind when he wrote ‘Birdsong’.

    Godley and Crème – Under your thumb – Yes G&C are talented Mr Jensen and what a shame that they couldn’t stick around with S&G longer in 10cc.

    Exploited – Dead Cities – “It’s short” said Kid. Thanks goodness.

    Squeeze – Labelled with love – Nice tune. Goes on a bit, but gets in your head. Looks like this could have been played live?

    Creatures – Mad Eyed Screamer – Eeek FF.

    Bad Manners – Walking in the Sunshine – Eeek FF.

    Dave & Barbara – It’s my Party – Not my favourite no.1 by any stretch. Better than Adam and the Ants admittedly. Barbara reminds me a little of Anneka here.

    This Year’s Blonde – Platinum Pop – Wow, don’t recall this at all. The whole record more or less on the playout. The vocalist was Tracy Ackerman and it’s not a bad effort but she’s no Debbie Harry. Interesting that ‘Call me’ is not in the medley and ‘Dreaming’ features twice. Surprised this didn’t go higher but then again the songs were all fairly recent unlike the other ‘retro’ medleys that tormented us during the summer and autumn of 1981.

  21. Yes, it was good to see David Jensen back but otherwise I'm not really sure what to make of this show.

    Gary Glitter looked as though he was still doing his 1973 schtick, thinking that an electronic keyboard was all that was needed to bring things up to date. Erm, no. I do think that he had something of an Indian summer in the mid-'80s, but that was still a few years in the future here.

    Doing the computer equivalent of swapping tapes in the VCR we next have Toyah. I've no idea what this was about but she looked like she was enjoying herself. I can only assume that the obvious multi-storey car park followed by the obvious disused airfield was an artistic statement.

    So this was the final Legs & Co exclusive performance was it? It'll be sad to see them go, having been with us since 1976/2011, but to be honest they do look somewhat anachronistic on these 1981 shows. Thinking about it, they spanned a large part of my childhood and were therefore 'my' dance troupe - I have but a vague recollection of Pan's People and today tend to associate them with stuffy early '70s rock.

    I had a mate at school who was into The Exploited and similar stuff. Dead serious it all was too, although hard to believe now...

    At the time there was a woman who lived up the road from us who bore similarities to the subject in the Squeeze song. While I have no recollection of her at all, apparently my sister would cross to the other side of the road if she was in her front garden because she thought she was a witch!

    Bad Manners have dried out their instruments and bought a new keyboard for this studio performance (that was one weird video two weeks ago).

    At last - a new number one. I've always thought that this recording only really gets going towards the end, when it becomes a rather good bouncy synthpop cover version.

    And finally - well, despite being a medley of all time fave songs from an all time fave band, even I found this wearing. Is Adrian Baker forgiven now? I wonder how much of it got played on the original broadcast - oh, and there were definitely credits shown on the iPlayer version I watched.

    1. It looked liked Toyah was inspired by the Reward video by Teardrop Explodes, as well as the video of Musclebound by Spandau Ballet, both from earlier in 1981.