Friday, 13 May 2016

Lock Up Your Top of the Pops

And so to the final September edition of Top of the Pops 1981, which begins with a couple of escapees from the early 70's......

Is it Xmas yet?



24/09/81 (hosted by Simon Bates)

(45) Slade – “Lock Up Your Daughters”

You can always rely on Slade to get a show off to an enthusiastic start and here they are doing it again with a song that peaked at number 29.

(5) Alvin Stardust – “Pretend” (rpt from 10/09/81)
Fellow 70's glam rocker Alvin took this Nat King Cole cover up one more place to number four.

(24) Depeche Mode – “Just Can’t Get Enough”

This was the final single featuring Vince Clarke in the band, and became Depeche Mode's first top tenner when it peaked at number 8.

(36) Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin – “It’s My Party”
A future number one and edited out of the 7.30pm showing.

(18) Linx – “So This Is Romance” (18) (rpt from 10/09/81)
This one went up three more places but was the last we saw of Linx in the top 30.

(7) Diana Ross & Lionel Richie – “Endless Love”
A very different Legs & Co line-up this week ~ just girl next door Lulu and some bloke called Jeremy who slow dance to Endless Love already at its chart peak.

(39) Japan – “Quiet Life”

Edited out of the 7.30pm slot is the debut of Japan ~ Quiet Life peaked at number 19.

(52) Heaven 17 – “Play To Win”
Also edited out of the 7.30pm broadcast tonight was the debut of Heaven 17 ~ Play to Win peaked at 46.

(21) Imagination – “In & Out Of Love”

Never failing to provide some sparkle (and a harp) this Imagination tune peaked at number 16.

(22) Madness – “Shut Up” (video)

A rather arresting video here from the Nutties for what became their 8th top ten hit in a row when it peaked at number 7.

(1) Adam & The Ants – “Prince Charming” (video)

Second of four weeks at number one.

(9) The Police – “Invisible Sun” (stills/credits)

Straight into the charts at number nine for the Police, but the video was deemed too political for Top of the Pops, so we are treated here to stills of the band instead. The song peaked at number 2.


Next up then is the edition from October 1st 1981.

108 comments:

  1. My cousin was born on the day dis was broadcast

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  2. host: just before the top 10 chart rundown, slimy (who is getting ever-more odious with each appearance) tells us that "30 minutes or 35 minutes ago i promised you the number one". does that mean rather than just looking like an arse, in fact he had the amazing gift of being able to look 35 years into the future where the beeb put out edited and unedited editions of the same show?

    slade: not one i remember and it has shades of whitesnake about it, but surprisingly enjoyable despite that. the audience seemed to enjoy it too. did anyone else notice don powell's see-through drum kit?

    alvin stardust. i knew this was a cover, but presumed from the style that it was originally done by a rock 'n' roller such as buddy holly rather than a crooner like nat king cole (thanks to slimy for that information. or rather, thanks to whoever told him to inform the listeners of that fact as he would of course have had no knowledge of it himself). i personally prefer alvin's glam stuff myself, and take the opportunity to mention the b-side of "jealous mind" which is a country-style rocker called "guitar star" that features some amazing acoustic licks by big jim sullivan

    depeche mode: couldn't they have just mimed the occasional cod-trumpet lines?

    linx: sketch's beret has gone missing, so he's had to fashion his hair into one instead! i have the vaguest of memories of this, and it's pleasant enough but no more. unlike slimy i was taking little notice of the lyrics, other than noting the first couplet ended with the same word (which is rather lazy in my view)

    diana/lionel: this kind of guff still makes me want to throw up, so it's instant fast-forward time. but no doubt slimy played it to death on his radio show, and it was a staple of the sickly "our tune" segment

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    1. I also thought that Slade sounded like Whitesnake on this one, but I would go one step further to say that it was much better than any of Whitesnake's offerings!

      I can't believe this only peaked at No.29 for such a good song, but it may be something to do the un-PC song title.

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  3. like the imagination effort (in a manner of speaking), here is part II:

    japan: slimy seems surprisingly well informed about a band "that's been around for a while", and who seemed quite happy to grab a totp debut to promote a two-year old single released by their old record company ariola to cash-in on their new hip status as adopted heroes of the new romantic scene. one wonders what their then-current label virgin thought of it - perhaps as the first album recorded for them ("gentlemen take poloroids") had moderate sales and yielded no hits, they welcomed it as a opportunity to promote that and the forthcoming release ("tin drum") on the back of this? whatever the reason, i am certainly pleased to see the supposed "most beautiful man in the world" david sylvian and his stylish chums appear on the show (guitarist rob dean who was a bit of a let down in that department had left the band by now). and unlike other pretty-boy outfits like duran and spandau, this was the real deal in terms of being irrestistible synth pop with a dance edge (i particularly reccommend the 12" version). by the way, is steve janssen (sylvian's brother for those who don't know) playing the same see-through drum kit?

    heaven 17: more stylishly-dressed young men (who have been around for a while) playing synth pop with a dance edge. but unlike japan their music never lived up to the hype, and this faux-funk is typical of that. i'm sure everyone here is aware they were the other half of the human league mark 1, but did you know that glenn gregory was apparently the first choice as vocalist for that outfit? despite that, phil oakey pisses all over him in terms of both voice and looks in my opinion. shouldn't the next act have used those (inaudible) vibes for their spot?

    imagination: what is it with bassists' things going missing this week? in this case it's a strap, which could explain why ashley makes no attempt to mime on his instrument whatsoever. i'm sure others have already pointed out that this is basically a carbon copy of "body talk", a ploy which can just as much backfire as bolster. in their case it worked well enough, but i would have picked the superior and more uptempo "tell me do you want my love" as the follow-up single. and sorry to harp on about this, but my ears detect no such instrument in the recording. so why is one on stage? i did like leee and ashley's dancing routines though - a shame that errol didn't join them at the end this time

    madness: an entertaining video as usual, but the track is not one of their best and a bit plod-ding (ouch!). i see where sketch's beret has disappeared to - woody's nicked it. and chrissy-boy's half-inched dave hill's "super yob" guitar as well. what a bunch of tea leaves!

    police: i'd rather see the crowd dancing than a series of stills behind the credits to accompany this "thing" (thanks for that classy description slimy). but then again this humdrum effort isn't exactly dancing material. and it proved that even though they were possibly the biggest band on the planet at this time, they still had feet of clay as this failed to reach the top (despite slimy's assertion otherwise). but as boney m will tell you, making comment on "the troubles" is not a surefire way to achieve number one hits!

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    1. in the course of research for the above review, i stumbled across the following website which looks highly promising:

      http://thehistoryofpopthe80s.blogspot.co.uk/

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    2. The format of it is not user-friendly, and not a jot on Angelo's format which is much more user-friendly and easy to follow, and to be honest, it is time-consuming enough with one blogspot, so I'm sticking to this one!

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    3. this site does take a bit of getting used to naviagation-wise, but i worked out there is a "cloud" (topics in words of size relating to how many articles there are on the blog) on the right-hand side of the page, which is the best way to do so. although i've only skimmed it so far, i certainly intend to go through it more thoroughly when time allows as the content is excellent. the guy behind it also has sister blog sites that relate to the other musical decades that may interest those here i.e. 60's, 70's and 90's...

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    4. I had heard that Glenn Gregory was the original choice as Human League singer, and I think we can only be thankful that he was unavailable at the time, for whatever reason!

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    5. i agree with you john! apparently ware and gregory were already mates when the league was formed, but the latter had gone off to try his luck in "that london" (sheffield was not a cool place musically at that point). oakey was then recruited as he was basically a local face that looked the part, and apparently he and ware never really saw eye-to-eye. i love the eye-witness account that they were once walking down a terraced street at dawn having an argument, to the point where one of them started picking up milk bottles that were on the doorsteps of people's homes and started hurling them at the other!

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    6. further to the above, ironically oakey and ware have now apparently made up their differences and seem happy to reminisce in interviews together, whilst both their respective long-term post-split partners adrian wright and ian marsh have completely gone off the radar and seem to want nothing to do with their ex-colleagues anymore...

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    7. "a shame that errol didn't join them at the end this time"

      So long as he's not mentally undressing a member of the audience....

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    8. wilberforce - here's a tongue-in-cheek live cover of 'Don't You Want Me' by Messrs Ware and Gregory that had the crowd singing along with gusto! When I first watched it, I found myself singing Joanne Catherall's harmony part!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF7-tb-8xRk

      Similarly, it seems Benny Gallagher, of the recently reunited Gallagher & Lyle, bears no grudge whatsoever towards Graham Lyle's post-G&L hit songwriting partner Terry Britten. Indeed, Mr Gallagher actually thanked Mr Britten for sharing a particular post on Twitter not so long ago. Somehow, though, I can't imagine Benny covering 'What's Love Got To Do With It?' live...

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    9. There was a documentary about Heaven 17 a few years ago which was studiedly vague on why Marsh had left the band. Needless to say, the man himself did not participate, so it was all left as a bit of a mystery, though according to Wikipedia he now works as a music teacher. Adrian Wright is seemingly a fashion designer nowadays...

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    10. Among all of these comments, did anyone know that The Human League did a big concert in Uttoxeter on Saturday? For that matter, did anyone go to it?

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    11. wouldn't "big concert" and "uttoxeter" in the same sentence be considered some kind of oxymoron phrase?

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    12. Uttoxeter racecource is a big venue Wilberforce, and so I thought it could be deemed a 'big concert' accordingly.

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    13. apart fronm horse-racing fans, how many people actually know where uttoxeter is, or have even heard of it?

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  4. shaky shakerson14 May 2016 at 00:19

    First up on stage this week are the esteemable Slade with a slice of hook-laden rock. This is decent enough - lets face it, Noddy and Jim know how to write a tune- but the boys just don't look like a rock band. They look great, don't get me wrong, like a proper band, but just not a rock band. Maybe their glam days were too succesful for them to be seen any other way than their halycon peak.

    Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough. Well actually I can.

    Stewart/Gaskin. No love for this either. Its not the greatest song from the sixties. And this isn't the greatest cover. What did Mr Stewart have strapped to his waist by the way? It looked like two shiny red hairdryers but I presume it wasn't.

    Lionel & Diana, Lulu & Jeremy - it's like the cast names of a 1970s stage play. But it's not, its a soporific tune accompanied by some sort of bastardised ballet movements. Not the finest moment for any of the participants.

    Pretty boy pop band alert. The really rather good Japan get their chance to reach out to a wider audience. Neatly underplayed and very stylish performance but the song is not their best.

    The same could be said for Heaven 17. Only about the song obviously. They are nowhere as good looking as Japan. Or stylish. Or interesting in any way. Ill-advised pony tail as well.

    Madness. An often over-looked track of theirs (possibly because their is no mention of the title). I really like this, both musically and lyrically and the vid is entertaining as well.

    Adam holds onto the top spot and we see out with the appalling Invisible Sun - a muddily-produced one-note song that should have stayed in Sting's bottom drawer.

    Right then - the scores. Oh dear. Our Geography teacher manages to out-Bates himself tonight. That '30 minutes 35 minutes' thing. Why? And if you were going to do that, surely it would have been much better to simply say 'in around half an hour'. No one was going to be whipping out a stopwatch. Some of his links were poor, the rest weren't that good. In fact there were far too many to list here. He gets 3.

    The show. Slade and Madness were good; Japan and Linx weren't bad. Everyone else was. The dance bit was terrible and the chart rundown - although mathamatically correct - was grammatically annoying featuring, as it does, a wayward apostrophe in The Electronicas names. 4.

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    1. Slade probably thought that had to evolve into the 80s to something like Whitesnake or Saxon in order to be taken seriously, and so you gotta hand it to them with bringing out this humdinger of a tune, cos it really resonates well for 1981, even though like Wilberforce I don't recall this one at the time.

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    2. i'm presuming that the reason the band kept their shaggy manes * (and the mutton chops in noddy's case) at this time was due to their affiliation to the NWOBHM movment - the only kind of music around then where it was considered cool (as a performer or fan) to have long hair !

      * other than dave hill, who had no mane to speak of by this point!

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    3. i always thought heaven 17's ian craig marsh was a cool-looking guy, although his looks and image were better-suited to being a member of joy division or cabaret voltaire rather than a lightweight synth pop band. his ex-human league colleague martyn ware didn't quite cut it in the same manner, but at least he had ditched his dodgy tache by then!

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    4. With Bates and Stewart/Gaskin on the same show, perhaps this week's blog title should've been 'It's Simes' Party And He'll Slime If He Wants To?'

      He does that time thing quite a bit on future episodes, there's one live edition coming up where he makes a point of checking the time on his watch every few minutes as if to prove the show isn't recorded.

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    5. Even in their heyday, Dave Hill had a very interesting comb-forward :-)

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  5. Slade whip the audience up into a frenzy with a not bad rocker, not bad if you don't listen to the dreadful lyrics that is. Dave Hill really getting into it there.

    I too thought Alvin was covering Buddy Holly, so there you go, Nat King Cole, Simes isn't completely useless.

    Depeche Mode, was it hot in the studio? Jaunty little number of insatiability featuring the band actually grinning away, a facial expression they gave up soon after.

    I bow to no man in my appreciation of the late, great Lesley Gore, but Dave and Babs delivered a cover of some 60s pop fluff that really did something different, way over the top but interesting to listen to.

    Linx, was that cranberry juice Dave was pouring at the end? Pathos in waterskiing, too.

    Diana and Lionel with the treacly theme tune to one of the most ridiculous films of the 80s. The song might be straining to be romantic, but the movie is about a teenage stalker, with hilarious results. As for the routine, does this mean next week's is Legs & Co's final bow? If Lulu didn't hang around, did Jeremy? Not much of a replacement.

    Japan doing their best Roxy Music impersonation with the speedy Quiet Life, decent ditty this one, and a lot more danceable than they could often be.

    Heaven 17, as seen in A Clockwork Orange, with a whistly little pop earworm that is catchy only because of that whistly bit. The mix wasn't very good here, so they were a bit lost in the audience din.

    Imagination employing a non-instrument playing rule to their routine. The harp just sat there, ominously and portentously, without Leee placing a hand on it, and the bass was there to be danced with. Gold lame knickerbockers, they surprise sartorially with each fresh appearance.

    Madness in trouble with the rozzers with one of their neglected hits, but I really like the drama of the chorus with that classical piano riff. Video great as usual, the clown shoes on the copper a particularly nice touch.

    Adam & the Ants - ah, this is where the harp went!

    Then more Police, I kind of like their later material where they apparently grew incredibly dejected (the Radio Active parody was called Too Depressed to Commit Suicide), and I've just checked out the banned video, which looks like every grey, oppressive cliché of 80s Northern Ireland you can think of in four minutes. Were The Undertones' efforts in vain?

    Two versions of The Birdie Song in the charts at the same time?! Was that buyers wanting both or buying the wrong one by mistake?

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    1. It was a little strange to see on Depeche Mode the lead singer in a smart tux outfit, and behind him his fellow band member with bare chest/topless with only braces on. I mean come on, this was like chalk and cheese, and how could they dress at two ends of the spectrum like this?? Excellent 80s dance classic though.

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    2. had leeeee of imagination been eating a load of caramac chocolate bars beforehand? his trousers certainly looked like they'd been made from the inner tinfoil wrappers...

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    3. i loved the comment about adam's harp but i had to check the video out again as i thought thx might have been a lyre (ouch!), and i noticed that marco "plays" both a real harp and a spinal tap-style miniature one!

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    4. "too depressed to commit suicide" was another excellent parody by the heebeegeebees (under the alias "the peecees", featuring "string" as the lead singer). i know it's a piss-take, but great credit has to given to the way they've skillfully combined spot-on musical elements of "walking on the moon" and "don't stand so close to me" with the lyrical sentiment of "can't stand losing you":

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCKCVuFXQ7s

      the guy mainly responsible was philip pope who later did most of the music paarodies on "spitting image" - i don't know if sting was aware of that when he made himself available to the show to sing "every bomb you drop"?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFrvr7EB66g

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    5. Dare I say Marco was probably fond of drinking Harp as well?

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    6. This end-credits appearance of The Police was to be the only playing of this song on TOTP, as although it stormed up to No.2 the following week, it then began the slide after that.

      Having just seen the banned video, Sting was actually trying to reach out for hope in the Northern Ireland struggle for peace, and the lyrics "Invisible Sun" were reaching out for a sun to brighten up the lives of the Irish people suffering under the ravages of civil war, and looking out for this "light" from the sun at the end of the tunnel of darkness.

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    7. thx, i think marco prefers peroni...

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    8. I think Sting was getting political at this stage. Another song 'Rehumanise yourself' on the 'Ghost in the Machine' album is certainly not one to play in polite company!

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  6. It's My Party And I Cry If I Want To - this one from Dave Stewart & Barbra Gaskin while coming in at No.36 this week, had No.1 written all over it, and their version was by far better than anything like it before, and Gaskin's outfit is what is now called 80s fancy dress, which the party outlet stores today would give an arm and a leg for.

    Linx - OK, so it did what Simes asked, i.e., listen closely to the lyrics, and what did it remind me of? The Steptoe & Son movie, where Harold falls for a stripper, and she needs a break from him, and while doing so, falls for and gets married to a West Indian bloke who could provide for her.

    Lulu & Jeremy - ahem, I mean Ross & Ritchie. While this has been played over the years infinitely, the tune while being groundbreaking at the time and oh-so romantic, has a new meaning here with Lulu getting solo attention, and who wouldn't want a slow dance with her?

    It's a pity there were no more of these solo performances with other Leggers dancing with a male, over the 5 years of Legs & Co. The Beeb missed a trick here it seems.
    Anyway, thank G-d this show was not a Yewtreed one with DLT or JS, as it would have been unjust to Lulu if it was.

    Heaven 17 - this did nothing for me despite it being their debut. Indeed this song did not even make it to the top 40, and quickly forgotten. It was not until 1983 did they get any significant hit, with their No.3 hit Temptation.

    Interesting how at the end of the show that Simes did not think that Ottowan or Endless Love, or even the Birdie song could challenge Adam & The Ants for the No.1 spot, but rather only considering The Police new entry at No.9 as the only contender. Tut tut!

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    1. Excellent observation on Linx's inspiration, a spot of Harold waterskiing in the first Steptoe and Son movie wouldn't have gone amiss either.

      If Linx wanted another hit they should have performed a sad song about greyhound racing as a follow up.

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    2. Dory - The best solo 'Legs' performance for me is Sue dancing to 'I'll find my way home' on her last TOTP appearance. Coming up soon....

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    3. Although technically it's not because Legs and Co had finished two months earlier.

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  8. Good Lord, I see that later this week we'll get the first three shows of October 1981, as BBC4 are showing 1st & 15th Oct, and the yewtreed 8th Oct edition with DLT sandwiched in between has a UK Gold version, so this means three Oct 81 shows for Angelo this coming week on the blog. It will also see the end of Legs & Co, which I say with a tear in my eye!

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    1. Fear not Dory, the last show to feature Legs is actually 29 October, so they will be around for a couple of weeks yet...

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  9. Not much love on here for Heaven 17, so feel the need to balance it up a bit. Around this time in 1981I was in my local record store and they played a rather interesting song that I didn't know; then they carried on and played the whole album. To this day it is the only time I've been so transfixed by an album that I just had to stay and listen it - much to the annoyance of the shop staff. Anyway turns out is was Heaven 17's Penthouse and Pavement which this track is lifted from. And not the best track by any means but the album is just wonderful. I still find it mind boggling how the gloom-laden Human League Mk I transformed into two acts who then produced two of the finest albums of the 80s (Dare and Penthouse and Pavement)

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  10. I noticed there was a trend this week for putting Master Bates' introduction to the songs straight after their opening moment - I think it happened three times in total, but worked best at the start with Slade, Noddy's opening yell being a great way to start the show. The title may not be PC, but this is an excellent rock song, a lot better in my view than We'll Bring the House Down, and should have gone higher in the charts. You can tell the band are having a great time and clearly still enjoying their career revival, though they would have to wait another two years before returning to the Top 10.

    Depeche Mode are back with one of their most familiar hits, a perfect showcase for Vince Clarke's seemingly effortless pop songwriting skills. However, I think the braces look was ill-advised, as were the toy trumpets! I've never been that keen on It's My Party, and while Dave Stewart deserves credit for doing something radically different with it for this cover, he can't disguise the slightness of the song. This version seems to go on forever too, though at least Barbara Gaskin is nice to look at, in a kooky sort of way. Did Dave and Barbara ever tackle the "sequel," Judy's Turn to Cry, I wonder?

    Endless Love must be one of the most boring, bloodless ballads ever recorded, though that's no surprise given the involvement of Lionel Richie. It was also the very last Motown hit for Miss Ross, and really not a great way for her to go out. Lulu and Jeremy's routine was pleasant enough, however. Legs must have known by this point that their days were numbered, and I suspect Flick may have given Lulu this featured dance as a thank you for her five years of service on the show with both Ruby Flipper and Legs - Sue would of course get a solo spot shortly after the demise of Legs as a similar "thank you" gesture.

    Things then perk up with Japan's TOTP debut. They may have been around for some years, but they look and sound here like a newly minted New Romantic band. Good song anyway, though David Sylvian does look as if he desperately wishes his surname was Bowie! By contrast, I was disappointed with this disjointed Heaven 17 effort. Doubtless Ware and Marsh were delighted to get on TOTP, but they were never going to match Human League Mark 2's pop success with material like this.

    Imagination do their normal thing, this time in shiny gold and silver knickerbockers and without the adoring girls, before Madness appear with one of their lesser known tunes. The cops and robbers video was amusing enough, and the appearance of the "Super Yob" guitar was appropriate given that Slade were on the same show (a Dave Hill tribute, I wonder?), but the song itself was quite an anonymous one by their standards. Invisible Sun was a surprisingly downbeat choice for the playout, but I guess as the video was banned it would have been difficult to include it in the main body of the show. It was probably a wise decision not to get the audience to dance to it either, as it doesn't exactly fit in with Michael Hurll's new party atmosphere! I think it's quite an atmospheric song, but an odd choice as lead-off single from Ghost in the Machine - the band's next hit would surely have been a more obviously commercial first release.

    Bates was his normal creepy self, and as ever too prone to waffling on inconsequentially and embarrassingly in his links. His assertion that "True Life" was Depeche Mode's debut hit was the low point, but at least he did mention most of the song titles in the chart rundown this time...

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    1. I remember Dave and Babs did a werewolf-themed version of Walkin' the Dog by Rufus Thomas. Wasn't a hit, though.

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    2. The guitar Chrissy Boy is playing is Dave Hill's old guitar. In another video he dresses up as Gary Glitter.

      Re the solo dance spot I seem to recall that on the last show with Pans People in April 1976 one of them had a solo spot dancing to Silver Star by The Four Seasons, but I think BBC4 edited it out for some reason (it was right at the start of the run before they showed the full versions every week).

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  11. On Pointless Celebrities tonight it was a Eurovision special, and Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston, seen here recently, were knocked out in the first round. Swiz! Although Johnny Logan, also seen here recently, did very well, and didn't seem to be the arse that he was described as last year, in fact he was quite modest and self-deprecating.

    It also ended with the original Bucks Fizz lineup reunited for their winning song - I thought they'd all fallen out? And yes, they did the skirt ripping off routine.

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  12. This week's highlight, for me, was Japan's 'Quiet Life' - one of my very favourite singles from the New Romantic era. It has quality stamped all the way through, and always makes me feel good inside. To me, Sylvian and Co out-Roxied Ferry and Co on that track.

    I agree with most of the other commentators above that Heaven 17's effort was not one of their best - but their masterpiece, 'Come Live With Me', wasn't too far away.

    THX - despite what Alexander Armstrong would have had us believe, only 3/4 of the original Bucks Fizz performed on this evening's 'Pointless Celebrities'. The obstinate Bobby G's place was taken by Bobby McVay, who represented Britain at the ESC in '83 as one third of Sweet Dreams, and currently tours with Cheryl, Mike and Jay.

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    1. Must admit, the BF boys were so old I was struggling to recognise them, so the illusion was complete. Jay Aston still has the moves, I note.

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    2. i never normally watch the programme, but i felt compelled to take a look at the contemporary bucks fizz in action on "pointless" via iplayer (thanks thx!). my thoughts were that bobby had had plastic surgery, mike was disappointingly a bit portly, cheryl looked pretty good for her age but was a bit uncertain on her feet (but then again wearing 4" high heels - that make you tower over your male colleagues, unlike back in the early 80's - does not help in that regard if you're not as agile as you used to be), whilst jay (who is somewhat younger than the other original members) was sctually a bit more foxy (in a milf-meets-posh-crumpet way) than she was 35 years ago!

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    3. i'd like to put in a mention for japan's first album that i got to hear a few years back - at that point they were regarded as missed-the-boat glam rock practitioners, but parts of it are actually pretty funky, the pick being "suburban love" (even if it does sound like it should be on the "station to station" album):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY2VCgt1kq8

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    4. Quiet Life is indeed a great Japan track. Just missing the guitar solo on the single version as it's edited out...but then Rob Dean had left by then too.

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    5. Have just watched the BF boys n girls performing on Pointless. Thought they all looked good, I concur with the comments bout Jay Aston...she looks gorgeous still!

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    6. Heaven 17 - I liked (And That's No Lie).

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  13. Anybody else notice Simes' use of the past tense when referring to Alvin Stardust's hit in 1981? Quite correct when viewed today of course. Spooky. Has he been re-recording his links?

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    1. That is spooky. Also, as Wilberforce points out, he talks about the show being different lengths, predicting the 7.30 edits. The man is evil!

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  14. Haven't watched this yet, but a few comments anyway.

    Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin released at least seven singles together (this being the first to my knowledge), most of which were curious cover versions like "Busy Doing Nothing" and "The Siamese Cat Song".

    While we're on the subject of Heaven 17, my favourite of theirs is "Let Me Go".

    Only one more Legs routine before "The Birdie Song". They actually miss the episode before that completely! I wonder when Flick and the gals were actually told they were being ditched?

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  15. I'll apologise in advance for a sort of political post, especially as I'm not really politically minded, but here goes.

    I had a strange conjecture theory that the UK vote to leave the European Union could be swayed in part by how well or badly we did in Eurovision this year, as well as how well or badly England fare at Euro 2016. Interestingly, in Eurovision, the national judges placed us 16th out of 26 but, out of a total of 2,378 points in their hands, the voting public of Europe (and Australia) gave Joe and Jake just 8 points and the lads slumped to third bottom.

    Does anyone think (a) the lack of Eurovision points from the rest of Europe this year could sway the 'Leave' effect and (b) bearing in mind our efforts and results in recent years, balanced against the UK being one of the four biggest funders of the event, should we quit the Eurovision Song Contest and let the other countries get on with it?

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    1. i think if (or more likely when) "our boys" return home early from the euro 2016 football championships with their tails between their legs, there could be a knee-jerk reaction from fans (and the great unwashed in general) to get rid of johnny foreigner in the EU polls - in the same manner that idiots started destroying jellyfish in retribution after one killed that aussie adventurer guy!

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    2. Sadly Arthur (as I'm very much in the 'stay' camp) you may be correct.

      I thought the voting change, while artificially introducing suspense, was a bad idea. I also didn't like the fact that a song that basically broke all the contests rules on being non-political got to win. Much as I applaud the anti-Russian sentiments...

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    3. Germany did even worse than ours, so if the voting was political it seems the rest of Europe aren't interested in the EC and more worried about another potential war in the East. Or maybe, just maybe, those songs weren't strong enough to make an impression?

      I'm pretty neutral, but the leave camp are getting increasingly obnoxious which will probably sway me against them.

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    4. I think had the referendum been straight after Eurovision it might have had an effect ~ but as it is Eurovision will be forgotten by the time the voting happens ~ perhaps just as well :-)

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    5. I think that the UK (and the other 'big 5') are actually disadvantaged by their free passage to the final. A lot of people who vote in Eurovision make up their minds who they like in the semi-finals, and as we do not participate at this stage we miss out on all those votes. Better I think to take a chance on being knocked out in the semis rather than always coming in the bottom three in the final. But to leave the contest would be a bit sulky I think.

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    6. Interesting point about Germany, who scored no public points at all, but the judges didn't rate that song either, whereas Joe and Jake got enough judges' votes to make things look slightly more promising before the crestfall of the public vote. Also interesting to see that Poland scored a rank last 7 points from the judges but a top four 222 points from the public (possibly including a high percentage of Polish diaspora?) to eventually finish sixth.

      Quite a few countries spend huge amounts to try and win the contest (I think Azerbaijan spent £3 million on their winning effort some years back), so I'd be intrigued if the BBC said to these 'spend spend spend' countries' TV stations "We're pulling out of funding this, you obviously have enough money to be able to take over from us, good luck".

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    7. Actually, Germany got 10 points from Televoting and just 1 from the juries. They finished last.

      It was the Czech Republic who got 0 from televotes.

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    8. Close enough for me and my memory! :-)

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    9. I do suspect sometimes that the BBC deliberately sets out to nobble the British entries, so that they don't have to pay to host the wretched thing the following year! As far as the referendum is concerned, both sides are so desperate to win that they seem happy to get as far down into the gutter as possible - roll on 24 June...

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    10. I don't think we should quit Eurovision, but I would be interested to know how much money the BBC contribute to it. If it's a substantial amount, maybe it would be better spent on other music programming with the UK going through the semi finals instead.

      I quite liked our entry this year although it sounded a lot better on the radio than it did on Saturday night.

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    11. Steve I think that despite what many people say, Eurovision makes for quite a cheap night in for the BBC - costing round about the same as an episode of Dr Who for example.

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    12. Thanks Angelo. Maybe they should do a mash up of the two - an entry featuring the Cybermen and Daleks surely couldn't do any worse for the UK...

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    13. In 1974 we staged the show even though we didn't win the previous year because poor Monaco didn't have room to stage it. Bless. Bet they had the money though!

      I don't suppose they'll be in a hurry to repeat the 1967 Eurovision show which was hosted by Rolf Harris.

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  16. Hmmm….. a very ‘Police’ themed show tonight with (for me) some surprises. Don’t think I ever saw this show, hence the surprise factor.

    Slade – Lock up your daughters – My oh my, they’re back and it’s the same act as ever; Noddy belting out the vocals, Don chewing incessantly, Dave preening about and Jimmy not doing very much. I read somewhere that they don’t get on these days which is a shame.

    Alvin Stardust – Pretend – Repeated but still worth watching through.

    Depeche(z) Mode – Just can’t get enough – After “true life” comes their greatest single moment for me. Love the toy trumpets and the ‘OMD’ computer tapes whirring in the background and even the lead singer’s haircut is less offensive, although the guy in braces and no top is obviously pleased with himself. A great revival of this timeless track took place in 2009 for Comic Relief c/o Mollie, Rochelle, Frankie, Vanessa and Una and I remember well doing a ‘flashdance’ to that at work!

    Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin –It’s my Party – Try as I will I still don’t like this. Much preferred Dave’s earlier collaboration with Colin Blunstone and it’s one of those weird performances that obviously struck a chord with a lot of people.

    Linx – So this is romance – So this is a repeat, so nothing new to say about it.

    Diana Ross & Lionel Ritchie – Endless love – Hard to believe, but at the time this came out, no-one had really heard of Lionel Ritchie so it was “Diana Ross and who?”. Lovely dance from Lulu and her mate is just perfect for this smoochy track. I saw the film years later and it left me completely non-plussed. Definitely a case of the music was better than the film and the US public certainly loved it as it stayed at the top for 9 weeks.

    Japan – Quiet Life – Now this was a surprise performance; Japan were signed to Virgin at the time and had released flop singles on that label, whereas this was an older song on Hansa, their previous label. So to see them in the studio promoting it was indeed an unusual turn (did T Rex promote ‘Jeepster’, released after they had left Fly Records and signed to EMI?). There’s a guy on here who is crouching down next to Steve Jansen’s drumkit looking like he’s mending a fuse or something. Either way, it ain’t Rob Dean who played on the track but is absent…..and yes you all know that Steve Jansen and David Sylvian were in reality the Batt brothers?

    Heaven 17 – Play to win – Quite forgettable really so didn’t rise up the charts as SB suggested it might. Was it just me or was there a strange jump between Japan and Heaven 17.

    Imagination – In and out of love – As before FF….please no more Imagination!

    Madness – Shut up – Don’t get the police connection and the song lyrics? Kind of Keystone cops with the obligatory flying objects that the Nutty Boys seemed to favour in their ‘films’. Madness were on a roll still and were certainly different.

    Adam & the Ants – Prince Charming – zzzzzzzzz another two weeks to go….

    The Police – Invisible Sun – Now this must be a first; no crowd dancing, no spotlights, just stills of Sting, Stuart and Andy. Really downbeat way to end the show. I know the BBC weren’t keen on the lyrics or the ‘film’ but why not just show the usual crowd stuff and play the song over that? Obviously not one to wheel out Legs & co for nor one of the best Police singles by a long stretch, but they’d soon make amends….

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    1. The Madness song is about a crook - hence the Police outfits!

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    2. Ah thanks Noax. Perhaps I should listen more closely to the lyrics!!

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    3. I saw the Endless Love film on Channel 5 - remember when they used to show films late at night? Those were the days, perfect for insomniacs like me. It made me laugh which I don't think was the purpose, though the actual theme song doesn't make me laugh, which is presumably why it did so well.

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    4. i took a look at the film credits and noted that among the supporting cast were veteran quirky character actor james spader and hollywood superstar tom cruise. i probably won't watch it though as i have as little love for mr cruise as i have for the theme song!

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    5. It was the Cruiser's debut, and he's only in about one or two scenes. All I remember about him is how squeaky his voice sounded.

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  17. Good start with Slade as usual belting out their latest. It's a nice one that deserved to do better.

    Shame they couldn't get Alvin in for a different performance, as this is the 'crowd noise drowning out the sound' one.

    I am totally sick of 'Just Can't Get Enough' now and would gladly never hear it again. It's become that dreaded thing, a housewife classic. That means endless plays on Heart, and endless uses on TV adverts.

    In contrast, I love the Stewart & Gaskin cover - adored it at the time when I had never heard the original, and I still do now. Lovely green trews that Babs was sporting there.

    A repeat for Linx and nice that we get to hear the song on BBC4 as it's an under-rated one.

    Not so 'Endless Love' - dull, dull, dull.

    'Quiet Life' is brilliant. It's a song that I didn't really take notice of at the time and got to love when I was on University Radio as I heard someone else play it.

    I almost wonder if Virgin said to the Pops producers - alright then, you can let Japan promote their single that's not on our label if you get our new up and coming band on.
    Unfortunately the vocals on the Heaven 17 song are more of a rant and the look and sound they display here would soon be done better by their fellow Sheffield residents ABC.

    After Imagination being at least entertaining as usual, we get a largely unseen video to a largely unheard Madness song - shame, as it's one of my favourites of theirs.

    Much as I like The Police song, it's a bit pointless as a playout tune. I'd much rather have seen some dancing to Starsound (for my money, Vol.3 is the best of their medleys)

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I would agree it was the wrong choice of playout tune this week with The Police. Unfortunately Starsound's Stars On 45 Vol.3 peaked this week at No.17, with no showing on TOTP at all, as the following week it was sliding down the charts, and so no chance for Legs & Co to have a crack at this one, like the first two during the summer.

      Had this been the playout tune this week, it would have given Legs & Co the perfect follow up to their previous Stars On 45 (Vol 1 in May & Vol 2 in July, and I'm sure it would have given the record a lift into the top ten.

      Good grief, how did this new Stars On 45 release escape us completely on TOTP with no showing at all, despite getting to No.17? Wasn't it the one with the Star Wars theme and Kung Fu Fighting?

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    3. i have a guitarist mate who once performed "kung fu fighting" in a boozer... with carl douglas himself on vocals! it was claimed the guy just happened to be in the audience and was invited on stage on the spur of the moment (which sounds a bit spurious to me). but my chum also told me that carl never leaves home without his headband so he can whip it out of his pocket in the likely event he gets asked to do a rendition of his hit!

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    4. Yes Dory, Stars on 45 Vol.3 is the one with all the intros to songs - hardly imaginative but no session singers involved obviously so musically perhaps it has more merit!

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    5. It looks like Starsound moved on to a 70s medley in Sep 1981 for this Vol.3, as Vol.1 in May was 60s medley, and Vol.2 in July was Abba Medley. There was to be only one more release from Starsound in Feb 1982 with a Stevie Wonder Medley which also did not make the top 10. It seems the phenomenon was wearing off with the British public by now.

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    6. There was actually a fifth Star Sound single, with a Rolling Stones medley on the A-side and a Beatles medley on the B-side, which didn't chart at all.

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    7. So at that point they new their time was up, and to call it a day. Anyway, I would recommend everyone on this blog to get The Very Best of Stars On 45 album/CD, as it has all their releases, and it is very good I must say, especially when out on a pleasant drive on a sunny day, or while on a picnic.

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    8. My fave was the 12 inch of the ABBA medley which was preceeded by some nice 60s/70s hits including Lets Go To San Francisco, Monday Monday and Papa Was A Rollin' Stone.

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    9. I believe if I'm not mistaken that you are referring to Stars On 45 Vol.2 which got to No.2 in the singles chart in July 1981, and Legs & Co danced to this Abba Medley on the 17th July edition on the end credits.

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    10. They were combined on a 12 inch single with both medleys - I found it on You tube:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gifs4GMhic0

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  18. Welcome to a synth-led TOTP with a slightly more casually dressed but still annoying Slimes.

    Let’s get the party started with “Fool For Your Loving” by Slade. There’s Don Powell, so where’s Sue Wilkinson? I thought Slade made the transition from glam to rock quite seamlessly.

    Nice to see Dave Gahan made the effort, unlike Martin Gore, who always came across a bit of a fetishist sartorially to me, and those other two. As for the housewives’ choice mention earlier, the supporters of one of the two non-League football teams I support have re-worded this song and made it their anthem.

    According to their outro signage, it’s Dave Stewart With With Barbara Gaskin! And what on Earth is Dave wearing? Never liked this version, but kudos to the sombre nature of both the vocals and backing which suited the lyrics perfectly.

    So David Grant received a note from his cousin? It’s all texts and emails round these parts now. Last time this was on I forgot to mention the David Niven / Peter Wyngarde drummer on this “Shirley Valentine” prequel.

    I admit I’ll miss Lulu singing along, and her outfit really suited her this time round, but Jeremy’s kecks were as bad as that aural syrup oozing from my headphones.

    Japan – three smart looking chaps and a stick of celery on bass, with a snazzy tune complete with that “Planet Earth” helicopter beat. If Bryan Ferry was a new romantic, this would be his band.

    Simes was almost ecstatic introducing the fourth non-mugshot studio band of the evening. He should have started with “You may remember the all-male version of The Human League? Well, here are the ones who left along with some other chaps”. Couldn’t hear the tune properly through all that clapping, and Glenn Gregory reminded me of that joke. What do you find under a ponytail? An Ar$ehole!

    Imagination are quickly becoming the new ‘Waddy / Smokie, available at every turn. Leeeeee John looked like a dancer off that Seaside Special, and the Harp made me thirsty for an old style lager which, according to the ad, stays sharp to the bottom of the glass.

    Madness with a start which somehow reminded me of the end of The Beatles’ “Day In The Life”. Where was Chrissy’s truncheon? Nice to see him get a guitar cameo which he obviously loved, and the upside down / side-on video effects were clever.

    That was a real dirge by The Police. The mention of their track not to be played in polite company reminded me of when I was round a mate’s house listening to Ian Dury’s “New Boots And Panties” when his Hyacinth Bucket-style mum, a Brummie who put on a posh accent when she thought it was required, came in with a tray of tea and biscuits just as “Plaistow Patricia” started, with five of its first six words not fit for suburban consumption!

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  19. I see that Pop Gold is back on ITV tonight. Well in 5 minutes from now...

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    1. The highlight of Pop Gold last night was The Kinks doing Lola in 1978 on a programme called A Little Night Music, and Motorhead in 1984 on The Tube doing Overkill, where one of the captions said that doctors once told Lemmy that his blood was too toxic for other humans, and that he could never participate in any blood transfusions. He also had a heart fibrillator permanently implanted in his chest.

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    2. i seem to remember that harp lager was considered pretty lame back then (despite the adverts suggesting otherwise). another similarly weak one that was around at this time was kestrel lager (i remember someone describing it as "bird's piss"!). of course the stronger "continental"-style lagers were just beginning to make their mark around this time, both on tap and in tins - when i first started going out boozing with my chums, we used to fill the table up with tins of breaker and red stripe!

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  20. I wonder if the Super Yob guitar in the Madness video was Dave Hill's or a copy... Interesting synchronicity with Slade on the show.

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    1. Apprently it was the original loaned to Chrissy - it's now owned by Marco Pirroni from Adam and The Ants, weird that all three acts were on this one show.

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  21. I've just found the Yewtreed 08/10/81 show on Vimeo, so will look forward to watching that later in the week. We have xrayfour to thank this time:

    https://vimeo.com/166800605

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    1. Yeah, Angelo will be busy putting up three episodes this week cos of the DLT edition sandwiched between the two BBC4 editions this week.

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    2. In fact, it's probably going to be three episodes for each of the next four weeks, thanks to the way the Yewtreed shows fall! Brace yourself, Angelo...

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    3. Blimey, we'll be working overtime.

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    4. Cheers for the Vimeo link John ~ yes indeed a busy week this week following that nice little rest we had!

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    5. thanks for keeping things going angelo!

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    6. I wonder if BBC4 are to edit the 15/10/81 edition (which they probably will as the first song is Gary Glitter) there is anyway of anyone editing the song into the full episode as it's on youtube. It's not that I want to see Gary Glitter but I'm a completist at heart and would love to have these episodes as originally broadcast as possible. A very good editing job was done on an episode where the Baron Knights were edited out of the BBC4 version and someone added the song from an uncut version and put it with the BBC4 version.

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  22. It didn't sound like the single version of the Imagination track more like a re-recording, it lacked that hypnotic groove the record has.

    Add me to those who wanted to know what the attraction of The Police song is. The Madness track was also rather tuneless for me, the middle section being the peak of it.

    Not Heaven 17's best, I enjoy Temptation (like most) and This is Mine.

    I actually didn't mind Endless Love and having a different dance combo for a change made it more interesting.

    Gaskin doesn't bother with the microphone prop, giving her hands more freedom to express all that melodramatic upset. The songs arrangement gives a nice cool counter to that early 60s girl pop melodrama.

    An episode of two halves, the first half great, from Heaven 17 on not so good.

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    1. whenever pop stars feel compelled to make some political rant in song (not something i endorse - if you want to spout politics, then become a politician!), then in my view the music usually takes second place to that and simply becomes a vehicle, and thus often dull and unmemorable. and this police thing typifies that...

      personally i've never liked "tempatation" in the slightest. as far as i'm concerned it's just awful cod-soul music, with some woman screaming her head off a la aretha franklin whilst drones on mogadon repeat the title ad nauseum

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    2. 'Temptation' wasn't bad at all, but I concur that Aretha Franklin - lauded almost universally as 'The First Lady of Soul' - shouts too much. If she is truly great, then how come most of her hits have been either cover versions or collaborations?

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    3. a fan could argue that "the queen of soul" (or "the queen of scream" as i think of her) applies her particular vocal technique to take existing material into a different dimension? from my point of view, hopefully a dimension that's far away from me!

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  23. Interesting point about the covers, Julie. It could be that jazz and blues artists are more likely to interpret pop songs or, indeed, go over old ground and reinvent jazz standards.

    When my favourite station, Xfm, was shut down and replaced with Radio X (featuring two of my most hated DJs at breakfast and drivetime) and Virgin decided to link most, if not all, of their stations’ breakfast shows in between songs to the 'me me me' wafflings of Christian O’Connell, I changed my commuting listening completely – I now dabble with four indie stations I’d never previously heard of before finding them on my iPhone, and also Jazz FM. I was surprised how many cover versions are out there and played on Jazz FM – yesterday there were four jazz / blues covers in the space of 45 minutes, and today I heard a soulful re-working of Coldplay’s “The Scientist”.

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  24. Now I liked Slade a lot when I was young in the early 1970s but by this point in time I dismissed them. Although hearing it now it's actually quite acceptable even if they are in danger of morphing into a metal band.

    Alvin Stardust would be great if you could actually hear it above the crowd noise. A good performance though.

    Perhaps Depeche Mode's best song - certainly the one that most people remember - and another good performance. It's funny how quickly we all got used to seeing people standing behind synthesisers. Dave Gahan seems to have discovered uber-high wasted trousers years ahead of Simon Cowell while Martin has left his shirt in the dressing room and I bet he regetted those braces which much be playing havoc with his nipples. The thing with the trumpets would be good if Dave didn't get ready too early which spoils it.

    I had no time at all for Dave Stewart and Babs Gaskin back in 1981 and it sounds horribly dated now. Babs looks like a miniature Joanna Lumley from Ab Fab.

    Linx were a different matter and this bright, breezy outing deserved to be a bigger hit. The band seem to have yet another line up change and I wish the drummer would shave off his moustache.

    Endless Love - endless yawn. I feel a bit sorry for Jeremy, he doesn't even get a proper introduction for his one and only dance outing.

    I was never a massive Japan fan and hated some of their other songs but this song seemed to come along at the right time. Dark, moody and reflective, some of the lyrics had a significance that just happens at times - I had just left my first serious relationship and moved back from the country to London and was all set for The Quiet Life but how wrong I was.

    Heaven 17 are another group I had a love-hate relationship with. This was not one their better efforts although to be fair the sound balance is all over the place here so it was unlikely to be hit on the strength of this. But Slimey Samon says "It's in the lower reaches of the charts but keep an eye on it, it may move" - of course it will move you twit. No record stays in the same place in the chart forever.

    Imagination have very few cards in their pack put they played them well. Leeeeeeee has raided the costume box again and still looks a proper nana, We wouldn't have it any other way. Strange to think the producers of this went on to work with Spandau and Alison Moyet.

    Madness - sadly not in the studio but on video - but what a video. Nice to see Chrissy Boy with Dave Hill's "Super Yob" guitar, who just happens to be on the same show.

    Poor old Soft Cell stuck at number two when they should be number one and Adam still at the top spot selling purely on the strength of the video. The middle part of the video is exactly the same as the one for Stand and Deliver with the crowd individually turning to look up at Adam who swings in on a chandelier (as you do). And how many times does he repeat the same line at the end? Not a song I want to hear many times,.

    Weird to play out with the Police represented by a series of still pictures but I suppose you can't really dance to such a song.

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  25. With two versions of that wretched Birdie Song in the chart at the same time, it got me thinking - what was the last time two versions of the same instrumental were in the Top 30 together? Was it Let's Do The Latin Hustle in 1976?

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    1. you're probably right there bama. there were other instances of different recordings of the same things being in the top 30 at the same time in the 70's ("una paloma blanca", "deck of cards"), but they were vocal tracks and prior to that

      but this was a fairly commonplace event in the late 50's/early 60's, usually due to brits in the biz becoming aware of the original american versions before they got a release here, and cashing in with their own (usually inferior) copycat versions...

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    2. Just thought, there was Cavatina which was a hit for John Williams and The Shadows at the same time.

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    3. i think that was actually a case of triple recordings of the same song, in that iris williams had a vocal version in the charts at that time too?

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