Thursday, 5 May 2016

Under Your Top of the Pops

In true Steve Wright style were are promised a 'great show' for this edition of Top of the Pops from September 17th 1981!

You wait five years for a hit and they don't give you a microphone!



17/09/81 (hosted by Steve Wright)

(35) Gidea Park – “Seasons Of Gold”

We get underway this week with the follow up to Beach Boy Gold, featuring lead singer Adrian Baker recreating his own 1975 top ten hit Sherry, during this Four Seasons medley which peaked at number 28.

(3) OMD – “Souvenir” (rpt from 03/09/81)
Now at its chart peak of number 3. And edited out of tonight's 7.30 pm slot.

(41) Beggar & Co – “Mule (Chant No.2)”

Was it me or had someone unplugged the sound during this performance? It can't have helped sales much as this one halted at number 37.

(42) Sheena Easton – “Just Another Broken Heart”

Not a bad little tune to follow up her Bond theme from earlier in the year but this one failed to reach the top 30, peaking at number 33.

(29) The Teardrop Explodes – “Passionate Friend” (rpt from 03/09/81)
Crawling up the chart towards its peak of number 25. But edited out of tonight's 7.30pm showing.

(17) Hi-Gloss – “You’ll Never Know”

This week Legs & Co are dressed for the Hollywood red carpet but find themselves dancing amongst what looks like seaweed to this one hit wonder which peaked at number 12.

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

How could they edit this out of the 7.30pm broadcast?? Everyone had heard it on their summer holiday in Spain and now it was flying into the charts where it perched at number 2.

(30) Godley & Crème – “Under Your Thumb”

After quitting 10cc five years prior the hits had eluded this duo and they had turned their hands instead to directing videos with some considerable success ~ Fade to Grey and Girls on Film for instance, but now they had a breakthrough with this eerie song which made it to number 3.

(20) Bucks Fizz – “One Of Those Nights” (rpt from 03/09/81)
Perhaps a little surprisingly this song got no higher than number 20. But just wait until their next one though!

(11) The Pointer Sisters – “Slow Hand” (video)

Compare this grainy and somewhat unimaginative video with the one that is coming up next on the show! Slow Hand peaked at number 10.

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

Probably the best and most lavish video we have seen so far in these reruns, Adam obviously had a bit of cash to splash after his amazing run of hits over the past year. The first of four weeks at number 1.

(24) Dollar – “Hand Held In Black & White” (audience dancing/credits)

We dance out this week to Dollar and a song that would peak at number 19.


Next up is September 24th 1981 with Simon Bates, but its on next Friday on BBC4 rather than Thursday.


112 comments:

  1. Shame Gidea Park were on first as I'd rather have seen OMD again.

    Great to see Godley & Creme.

    Steve Wright was like a nervous supply teacher in desperate need of the toilet. 6/10 for the music, 3/10 for the host.

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  2. Not the greatest start with Hideous Park, this sounds like a three minute commercial radio jingle.

    OMD with their most haunting hit, but I still can't hear the double bass, xylophone or saxophone anywhere on it. A triumphant return for Miss Torquay as well.

    Beggar and Company, I suppose this is what they mean by muted trumpets because I also thought they were lost in the mix with this performance, a bit difficult to judge whether it was any good or not. So there was a Chant No. 2! They'd been taking fashion tips from Imagination, I see, but how do you play the trumpet and the keyboard at the same time?

    I recognised Wee Sheena's tune the further it went on, and it's fair, plus she's been coached in stage presence so is no longer standing there like a lemon. She's been back in the news paying tribute to her ex Prince recently, I note.

    Hans Moretti playing brass for The Teardrop Explodes, there, just before catching a bullet in his teeth. Still a joyous pop record all these decades on.

    This Hi-Gloss tune pops into my mind unbidden to this day, a slick bit of disco soul with kiss-off (or eff off) lyrics. Legs & Co battle with the Doctor Who set meanwhile.

    Ah, remember the days when oompah music could get in the charts? Nostalgia... no, wait, maybe modern times aren't that bad. Some of the rattiest costumes ever seen thanks to The Tweets, who probably weren't anticipating social media.

    Follow that! OK, here's Godley and Crème with one of those story songs you have to listen to the lyrics of all the way through. Spooky tale, starkly delivered (did Kev open his eyes once?). I preferred this duo to 10cc.

    Bucks Fizz in another repeat. It was Jay Aston's birthday this week, she's 55!

    Pointer Sisters a little less slow thanks to PAL speed-up, looking as if they'd been filmed through linoleum, they couldn't have been that old to need the soft focus overdrive?

    Adam and the Ants, I still recall how exciting this was, great video to a number one hit nobody would ever sound like again. OK, that's partly because it was a rip-off of an old Rolf Harris record, but it was genuinely different in a fantastic way back then.

    Then Steve grooves with the audience to the sparkling Dollar. Not a bad show, even with the repetition.

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  3. The Slow Hand video by The Pointer Sisters was the highlight of the show for me, and as Angelo and THX mention, the video is a bit grainy, and a bit like the same problem with the video of Sweet Talkin' Woman by ELO in 1978, and if these videos are not rescued by someone soon to restore them to a more digitalised and clearer format, these may erode further to the point where we cannot see anything clearly and they become just audio.

    The studio dancing on the end credits was a lot more poignant when you see it on the late night showing, which once again has a lot more audience dancing and for longer, which also shows the Tweets taking part in dancing to Dollar, as well the tasty girl on the right of Steve Wright at the beginning of Dollar, where I just checked, and she and her friend were on TOTP last time round on his 30th July edition.

    Good Lord, he must have given them a personal invite to come back on the show?? Mmmm, now then, now then, me thinks this is the fist time it has happened where studio audience members have been invited back on the same host's next show a few weeks later!

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    1. I think that regularly happened, I've often noticed the same faces popping up often with the same presenter.

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    2. of course mr now-then now-then not only brought his chums into the studio with him, he even let them have goes at introducing the acts! but was one of them by any chance that mancunian dj that got sent down for being a pedo recently?

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  4. shaky shakerson6 May 2016 at 02:06

    The holder of this week's lucky golden mic is Steve 'Wrightie' Wright who has been forced to perform the entire show with his left hand jammed into his trouser pocket lest it escape and do something dreadful. At least that stops him from clapping along to Gidea Park's fairly decent stab at The Four Seasons' back catalogue. The fact that I found this particular medley less annoying than all the others may have something to do with a fondness I still hold for many of the Jersey Boys' tunes.

    After a welcome repeat of OMD's Souvenir we get Beggar & Co who have gone through a Trading Places-style makeover and ditched the tatty threads for some natty threads - all leather kecks and nylon net fabric t-shirts. The static charge on the stage must have been something to experience. The song unfortunately was less electric and - as mentioned above- was not helped by the muddy mix and someone switching the volume control down to three. I seem to recall this song was helped in some way by some Spandau involvement ( in return for the Chant Number 1 collaboration) but it's hard to figure out what.

    Sheena Easton dons a Star Trek style top, cements her feet firmly into one place and sways her way through a pretty average pop song. The gurgling robotic sound effect was a bit annoying as was the hiccuping heart-a-heart-heart-heart bit. It's no Sugar Walls is it?

    The Leggers raid the evening-gown box from Come Dancing for a nice enough routine to the excellent You'll Never Know. Love the verses on this song and its another example of a piece of classy music that doesn't get played these days.

    Spanish holiday song alert!! The Godawful Birdie Song has no redeeming features whatsoever. None. Oh, and the Birdie who was playing the Sousaphone was definitely miming. He didn't have the mouthpiece anywhere near his mouth!

    From the ridiculous to the sublime now - Godley & Creme. I loved 10CC and was actually upset when they split especially as these two seemed to drop right off the musical map. But then they came up with this glorious piece and I almost forgave them. Nice staging with Lol Creme staring at his partner through the window, for some reason, but Kev's impassioned mime was a bit off putting. Includes the line 'So I rolled myself a cigarette and smoked it on my own', which these days you couldn't write because, of course, you can't smoke on public transport ( a problem that also occurs with Simon & Garfunkel's 'America' where Paul Simon asks Cathy to 'pass me a cigarette' whilst they are on a Greyhound bus). A great song. Very 10CC, very wonderful.

    The chart rundown takes us to a repeat showing for Bucks Fizz and another song where someone is smoking - although to be fair to Bobby Gee he's in his own bed so thats ok (what is decidedly NOT ok is to rhyme cigarette with 'figure it'). I might have been slightly harsh on them last week because a second hearing of this and it's not a bad little pop tune. And they were a ridiculously good-looking quartet weren't they?

    So all in all, not a bad show. The three repeats were all welcome ones, the Leggers looked sexy, Godley & Creme were a joy and it was great to hear the Hi Gloss track again - 7.

    Wrightie. He still looks unsure of himself doesn't he? He has a habit of flicking his eyes to to his right when talking to camera - did he have idiot boards out of shot or was it a nervous twitch. Also on the negative side he misnamed the title of the Buck's Fizz song and there was a touch of rambling in more than one intro. I'll be kind and give him a 6 - but next time I'm gonna go all Simon Cowell on him if there's no improvement.

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    1. Bucks Fizz were good looking and quite stylish - my brother had a cream coloured double breasted jacket which was a bit like Bobby G's but I think he may have been more influenced by John Gordon Sinclair's white jacket he wore in Gregory's Girl which came out around this time.

      Steve Wright's love of idiot boards reminded me of Tony Hancock who relied on them throughout his career and famously in the Hancock episode The Blood Donor read the whole script from them as he had had a car accident the week before.

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    2. "I must have lit my seventh cigarette at half past two,
      And at the time I never even noticed I was blue,
      I must have kept on dragging through the business of the day".

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    3. shaky shakerson9 May 2016 at 06:16

      And in a couple of editions time we will get Elvis Costello singing ' I can hardly bear the sight of lipstick on the cigarette there in the ashtray' *Good Year For The Roses*

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  5. Namechecking this year's blog, Trevor Horn breathed new life in to Dollar's career. I didn't realise that, between "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and this hit, Dollar had released four other singles, of which one reached number 62 and the others missed the chart completely.

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    1. According to Wikipedia it was only three singles but that's still quite a hit void.

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    2. Dollar's Wiki entry omits 'Love Street', an upbeat if cheesy Bugatti-Musker composition issued on Carrere in May '80, shortly before the duo left the label for Warner (who actually distributed Carrere in the UK at that time). I remember Paul Nicholas - another Bugatti-Musker beneficiary - performing that song several times on his late-afternoon ITV show in '78, but his rendition has never been released. Dollar's version was a big favourite on BBC Radio Merseyside, but its release almost coincided with that of the duo's first Warner single, 'The Girls Are Out To Get Ya'. The latter song, penned by David and Thereza themselves, was a bold move towards solid pop-rock that earned the duo a spot on 'Cheggers Plays Pop', but both singles failed to chart.

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  6. host: i'm sure the willowy blonde in the gold lame dress was hanging around with steve on the last show he presented (she stood out then, as up to this point you rarely saw talent like that in the audience). so, is she really going out with him? if so then maybe she's found mr (w)right. but i would say it's much more likely to be a case of "what attracted you to the celebrity DJ etc etc"...

    gidea park: mr baker is a an able exponent of the falsetto, but after a while it really starts to get on your nerves. and i can't say i'm a big fan of the four seasons either. this reminds me of an american album where they shared equal billing with the beatles as if it was some kind of competition, but even though i can't claim to be a fan of the fab four, it seemed like a bit of a mismatch to me!

    beggar & co: this came over as tuneless rubbish to me, although i might have found it of more interest had i been on a dancefloor. but the fact is that this lot were always a second-division facsimile of their superior american counterparts

    sheena easton: another one of hers i have no memory of whatsoever - thankfully! didn't anyone realise she just couldn't sing to save her life? here's she's drowned out by the backing track. which is a good thing actually

    hi-gloss: very similar to champaign i.e. high class mid-tempo soulful stuff that i respect but can't love unconditionally. legs look brilliant though in their blue sequinned gowns. but there seems to be more of a hint of sapphic activity going on

    tweets: i mentioned in the last edition's comments that in my old age i have softened to the point where i now don't mind the once-despised ottawan hits. but not to the point where i dislike this rubbish any less than the first day i heard it!

    godley & creme: around this time i joined the territorial army so i could supplement my miserable dole handouts without getting hassle from the dhss. and part of that meant spending a week working in the kitchens in an army camp... where this seemed to get played non-stop! it's okay, but it's no "cry"

    adam & the ants: another song with the emphasis on the wrong part of the word or phrase ("prince char-MING! prince char-MING!"). why do they do it? can't they find ways of changing the melody and/or lyrics so it's pronounced properly? whatever the reason, it's fucking annoying! surely this was what prompted "not the nine o'clock news" to come out with the parody "nice video - shame about the song"? it's utter drivel and worthless tosh (and i wasn't impressed at the time either), but proves the power of the new medium. there are a couple of blitz crowd faces from the "stand & deliver " video, but no sign of amanda donahoe. so had she left adam? if so then maybe because the starring role had gone to diana dors, who at this point was a proto-sleb of the kind that are commonplace nowadays i.e. being famous for nothing in particular. i certainly remember a big fuss being made about her appearance in the video at the time...

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    1. I think you'll find Diana Dors was famous for being a film star, the British Marilyn Monroe. Er, those days were behind her when she teamed up with Adam, mind you.

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    2. Wilberforce, I also noticed the studio audience blonde by Steve Wright's arm as the same one on his last show of 30th July, and it looked like the chemistry was growing. I wonder if she'll be in his next show as a third invitation, if they have not snogged already by then!

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    3. I saw a documentary a few years back which was looking at old British films, and someone was arguing that Diana Dors had real acting talent, citing her performance as a Ruth Ellis-style murderess in Yield to the Night as their chief evidence (strangely enough, she had appeared in a film with Ruth Ellis a few years earlier). It would seem however that the blonde bombshell image stopped anyone from taking her too seriously, and her film career faded - the only performance I have ever seen of hers was in The Two Ronnies' Worm that Turned "serial."

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    4. Diana Dors appeared in a 1970's Yorkshire TV sitcom called "All Our Saturdays" about a factory rugby league team called Frilly Things. Interesting to see a networked sitcom about a sport which was predominantly a Northern game.

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    5. diana dors started out as a busty blonde starlet in 50's films (none of which ever really made much headway - unlike her cleavage!). then as her looks faded and her weight ballooned she made a modest career as a character actress in tv (the now long-forgotten "queenie's castle") and film ("the amazing mr blunden" which is a very enjoyable fantasy tale for kids of all ages). but by the late 70's, thanks to her wit and no-nonsense personality she was more famous just for being diana dors than for anything she ever did. that included her celebrity marriage to hard-man actor alan lake, who appeared mainly as villains in the likes of "blake's seven" and was also more famous for his carousing lifestyle than his work. just before she died, i think she ended up as a agony aunt on then-new morning television...?

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    6. Didnt she have 'house parties' at one point? Sure a now deceased comedian/quiz show host mentioned them!

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    7. Yes, I think Bob Monkhouse did mention once that there was a two-way mirror in her abode...

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    8. I saw the sitcom Queenie's Castle recently and it's not too bad. She's hamming it up big time as this feisty matriarch and he reminds me of Steve Pemberton's Pauline from The League Of Gentlemen.

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    9. i have an extremely vague memory of watching an episode of "queenie's castle" - i think it was reasonably popular in its day, but never left any lasting impression and is therefore not fondly regarded as a uk comedy classic of its era a la "porridge", "rising damp", dad's army", etc. however, i've checked and it is now available on dvd for anyone interested (and there are several episodes on youtube)...

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    10. i've taken a quick look at "queenie's castle" on youtube myself - i suppose "queenie" would just have been regarded as brassy and tarty at the time, but she looks like a drag queen(ie) to me!

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    11. There's a new documentary film about British 70s sex symbol Mary Millington out at the moment that just stops short of blaming her tragic descent into suicidal drugs hell on her friendship with Dors and Lake. Some dodgy stuff going on in those notorious parties.

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    12. I have a friend who has his own publishing company. He recently released an album of Mary Millington spoken short stories on album and, at the launch party, an old friend's attractive and recently divorced female friend had invited a bloke for their first date!

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  7. Now there's a coincidence, wilberforce: my dear Dad, who was a Lance-Corporal in the Army Catering Corps during his national service, didn't care much for Godley & Creme's effort either. His reaction to Kevin Godley's melodramatic presentation on TOTP was: "Has he got a rupture?!" It seems Kevin and Lol don't appeal to military cooks! Still, I loved this single and the successful follow-up, 'Wedding Bells'. You would expect nothing but high quality from two former members of 10cc.

    Adam's 'Printe Char-MING' was misaccented in order to fit the rhythm of Rolfie-Needs-A-Cuddle's 'War Canoe', on which it was closely based. My Mum adored Adam, as I've previously mentioned on this blog - but I much preferred bands from the Mersey scene around this time. Adam came across as a post-punk Frankie Vaughan with his unabashed sense of showmanship, but lacked solid songwriting talent.

    Beggar & Co were technically very skilled musicians, but found it difficult to compose memorable tunes, with the exception of their previous hit 'Somebody Help Me Out'.

    Hi-Gloss were one of a number of post-disco acts who found greater acceptance in the UK than at home, along with Odyssey and Shalamar. 'You'll Never Know' - co-written by the seasoned Phil Hurtt - is a masterpiece, both lyrically and musically. If you've taken a wrong turning in life - and I've taken more than a few - this is the song to listen to with a shot of Johnnie Walker's and Canada Dry. No one in the recording industry can give you a dressing-down quite like Hi-Gloss's lead singer Bonita Taylor! A fine performance by Legs, too.

    The less said about The Tweets, the better - but overall, this week's show deserves 7/10.

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    1. Typo above: 'PRINCE Char-MING'.

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    2. thanks julie for giving me the chance to recommmend what i consider an all-time disco classic by phil hurtt (but sadly something very much forgotten now) called "giving it back":

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssOU8kUYHl0

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    3. it may have been "wedding bells" i was constantly hearing on the radio as i peeled spuds all day long, although it was definitely one of those two hits. to my recollection they actually had a potato-peeling machine in the kitchens. but there were plenty of other equally-onerous tasks to do!

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    4. by the way, i quit the TA the following year as there was talk of calling them up for the falklands "crisis" - that witch thatcher was doing nothing to help me get a job, so there was no way i was going to let myself be used as cannon-fodder and a pawn in her machiavellian political machinations! so i went to the company sergeant major and handed in my resignation on medical grounds, claiming my asthma incapacitated me - he tried to physically intimidate me into admitting it was just an excuse, but i just stared him out!

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    5. As The Clash said "It's up to you not to heed the call up".

      One of my Grandads was in the TA in the 1930s and the other was a cook in the catering Corps in WWII.

      Thanks for mentioning Giving It Back by Phil Hurtt(with two Ts). That was a disco single I bought around the same time as Bama Boogie Woogie by Cleveland Eaton when I was a soul boy in the 70s.

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    6. Adam Ant won an Ivor Novello songwriter of the year award in 1982, but I think it was much more for Stand and Deliver (which won a best selling UK single award). Prince Charming isn't that much of a song, I think it's more about the punchy production and performance.

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    7. I'd never heard "War Canoe" and sought it out on YouTube. Talk about rip off! I can see why there was a financial settlement.

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    8. i'd never heard "war canoe" either (or had long-forgotten it), and yes i agree it's virtually a carbon copy. as was marc bolan's "i love to boogie" (seen in earlier totp re-runs to my recollection) of webb pierce's "teenage boogie". the difference here was that bolan (laughably) escaped punishment for his blatant plagiarism because it was claimed that the riff in the webb pierce song was too generic to be protected by copyright!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA4w7vaKQ70

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    9. does anyone else remember the elastica/stranglers plagiarism claim? i was aware of it but i'd never heard the track in question before, so gave it a listen on yt after being prompted by the "war canoe" debate. the stranglers somehow managed to get a share of the royalties plus co-writing credit, despite the thing being based on a generic series of block chords rather than a riff of any real distinction!:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlOje4ly4hg

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    10. Elastica also had to settle with Wire for ripping off one of their tunes, so they had a history of this (for two songs).

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  8. This was a show that veered from the sublime to the ridiculous, beginning towards the latter end of that scale with Adrian Baker's unwelcome follow-up to Beach Boy Gold. I like very few of The Four Seasons' hits, not least as I find Frankie Valli's falsetto very irritating, so the near non-stop falsetto on this medley did my head in. Apparently Valli himself didn't like it much, but was told by the record company that he had to sing that way because it sold the records!

    The repeat of Souvenir provides a nice palate cleanser, and another chance to see PP in his party hat, before Beggar & Co once again prove that sequels are rarely better than the original with Chant No. 2. This was very underwhelming, and I thought the whole performance sounded muted, not just the trumpets - some of that dreaded ambient crowd noise was also audible. I wasn't too keen on the vests and leather trousers look either...

    Sheena's song was functional but rather anonymous pop, nowhere near as memorable as her initial hits. I imagine this must be one of her last TOTP studio appearances before she decamped across the Pond. Hi-Gloss were aptly named, as this is a very slick and accomplished song. Like THX, I thought Legs appeared to be dancing in an old Doctor Who set, but despite this peculiarity they put on a good show. Sadly, the tone then gets lowered dramatically by the dreaded Birdie Song, and I noticed one bloke in the audience turning away from the stage with his arms folded, a look of disgust on his face. I hated this as a kid, because my teachers at primary school always forced us to dance to it at Christmas parties and end-of-term discos - if they were feeling particularly sadistic, we had to do the moves to Superman and Agadoo by Black Lace as well! The Tweets must have been boiling under the studio lights in those costumes, though I noticed they were still in them at the end of the show, dancing along to Dollar.

    Godley and Creme were much classier, as were The Pointer Sisters in their soft focus and dry ice-dominated video. I think the chorus of Under Your Thumb does sound a little lightweight in comparison to the doom-laden verses, but it's still a great song, and better than anything the duo produced in their 10cc days. An original kind of staging too, though Godley's histrionics are a little distracting - he is jerkier here than Wrighty!

    The man himself starts the show very nervously, seemingly in the grip of St Vitus' Dance, but he seemed to grow in confidence as the show went on and calmed down a bit. I rather liked his introduction to Passionate Friend, where he looked right and the camera moved in the same direction, as if the band were in the studio at the same time - the discreet fadeout gives the game away, of course!

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    1. john you've reminded me of the time i was at grammar school in the late 70's, and one of the older teachers tried to make us all learn ballroom dancing. but there was no way most of the boys were going to humiliate themselves in that manner... especially when it come to doing "the gay gordons"!

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    2. Sheena does appear in 1982 with the almost eponymous Machinery (Ms-Sheena-E)

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    3. If you don't like The Tweets then be warned that we have The Hokey Cokey by The Snowmen coming up. It could be the same people dressed up.

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    4. Is it true nobody now knows who the people in the Tweets costumes were? And maybe didn't know then? Obviously they had their reasons for keeping their claim to fame quiet.

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    5. i remember that the session musicians used for the wombles' recordings (including chris spedding) turned up on totp to mime along in actual womble costumes... although it could have been anyone underneath!

      sadly i couldn't find out if whoever played on the tweets' recording did likewise, but in the course of my investigation unearthed some unexpected findings!

      1 - the b-side of "the birdie song" (called "mellow terrain") is an actually quite-listenable-if-slightly-cheesy disco effort reminiscent of eddie drennon's "let's do the latin hustle":

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MidS3s-k3ys

      2 - "the tweets" seems to an alias for an act called the JKD band, who released a disco album called "Dragon Power" (the title track is a belated and rather lame tribute to bruce lee) that also features "mellow terrain". here's another fairly decent effort from that album:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALRD-VEtCCc

      3 - "the birdie song" is actually a cover of something called "tchip tchip" that was originally released by the electric butterflies (aka the electronic system) - one of those acts that tried to cash in with novelty moog versions of pop hits in the early 70's, with a few original pieces thrown in to pad out the albums/bolster the bank account. most of the latter are twee in the manner of the birdie song, but among it all there is this brilliant spaced-out porno movie-style groove:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIwDLN2X6Rs

      they also later released this album that was somewhat influenced by giorgio moroder (or maybe he was influenced by them?):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE5rEAD-xrg

      i never thought i would say this, but i have to give thanks to the tweets, without whom this music would never have come to my attention!

      by the way, the man behind electric butterflies/electronic system was dan lacksman, who was also later part of belgian kraftwerk-style group telex that released this excellent track:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c639hksrUzU

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    6. I've just listened to 'Mellow Terrain' on YT - and it's not bad at all. Put it this way: it's PERFECT for test cards!

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    7. There's loads of versions of The Birdie Song, so for all the dislike some have for it many obviously like the tune. Wikepedia actually says "over 140 versions of it are recorded worldwide".

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    8. Bama - I've seen the Snowmen performance before. I actually don't mind that one, but I'll comment on it fully when we get to it...

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  9. I dread the presence of "The Birdie Song", and not just because it's shite - it means we're very close to the curtain call for Legs & Co. Once Zoo turn up, that's probably going to mean a fast forward of the dance routines for me.

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  12. Gidea Park are back (not that they ever went away) this time massacring Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Okay it's not that bad but the problem with medleys is that there's not enough of any song to get into it, it's just irritating, no matter how good the singer is at doing the voice. And doesn't lead singer Adrian Baker love himself.

    Nice to see OMD again - although a new performace would have been even better - but one thing that bugs me is that, as others have mentioned, surely there isn't a xylophone on the record, so the guy in the baggy jumper - with a belt - is there as pure window dressing, as was the sax player Martin Cooper as there's no discernible sax. Although he co-wrote the song, so maybe he's entitled to be there. Oh well, who cares it's still a lovely way to spent three and a half minutes.

    Poor old Beggar and Co, they gave away their best horn arrangement for the Spandau hit leaving their own 'Chant' sounding bit lame by comparison which was why it wasn't a big hit. I see they're going for the camp-butch look with the leather trousers and mesh tee-shirts.

    Then the woman with no name - this is a step backwards for Sheena, sounding very 1980 and it highlights the limits of her vocal capabilities. Her run of big hits was over.

    Another repeat with the Teardrops but a worthy one, nice to see Peter Sutcliffe on trumpet duties.

    You'll Never Know - I love bitter soul ballads. And a naughty bit of suggested lesbian action in the dance routine tonight - "You were not the first my love, don't kid yourself, you sure won't be the last" followed by the girls with arms round each other. Hearing this again bought a bit of a tear to my eye as it was at this time my fist lover and I split up and the words of this song rang true.

    Ah The Tweets with (officially) the world's most annoying song. I love the drummer Tweet in his baggy dungarees bashing away at the skins like something out of a punk band and the lead "singer"/bass player who does a Rod Stewart wriggling his backside at the crowd who love it. This was because the actual words to the song (even though no one sings them here) are "And a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, and wiggle your bum". But if they'd have sung the words the BBC would never have played it. Bum was still a rude word in 1981. As with OMD and their erroneous xylophonist I'm not sure there is a Sousaphone on this - it's synth - but never mind. Curiously the pic of The Tweets on the cover of the record shows the drummer bird had replaced a parrot - so line up changes were already taking place. How very rock and roll.

    Godley and Creme - a song that send a shiver up the spine. This was clearly recorded before the crowd arrived and they look a bit lonely sat there on their own. Not sure a man Kevin Godley's age or size should be wearing leather trousers but I like his Joe Cocker-style twitchy performace which adds to the effect. They did a similar thing when they last appeared on the show in 1977 doing Five O'Clock In The Morning which sadly didn't chart (we didn't see it as it was Savile episode).

    Then the Top 29 - eh? The Tweets inexplicably represented by what looks like a Plasticine pigeon.

    Another cigarette song at number 20 - Bucks Fizz back again with another repeat still at the fag end of the chart.

    Then the middle bit on the Chart - funny how sometimes they do a caption for the act at number 21, 20 or 11 or 10 before going into it and at other times they don't, this being the latter case with The Pointer Sisters. This soft focus performance video/film (delete as applicable) is certainly a better than the one for Automatic that was a hit a few years later where the sisters looked three aged drag queens. I like the caption with the arrows at the end.

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    1. The Pointers, while not exactly making their debut here (cos they had a couple of minor hits in 1979 which failed to make the top 30), had now truly arrived on our shores with their first 'significant' hit in the UK with Slow Hand.

      This ballad is now one of the all time greatest love songs payed on radio stations even to this day. For me, this was worthy of No.1 instead of Adam & The Ants, as it is so romantic and a perfect one to get this things going with a potential partner on the dance floor as the last song of the night. Shame I was only 13 in 1981, and too young to go to discos, as I only had TOTP.

      The Pointers were mainly known for their disco dance classics later in the decade in 1984/1985 when they peaked with Automatic, Jump and I'm So Excited - three flagship 'cheesy' 80s tunes, but good ones nevertheless.

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    2. I've always loved Jump and never thought of it as cheesy, it's just great pop-disco. As much as Flashdance... What a Feeling.

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    3. Not Lieutenant Pigeon?!

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    4. give me the "cheese" of "jump" and "automatic" over the earnestness and drearyness of "slow hand" any day of the week!

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  13. Phase Two:

    No less than three number one songs in the Top Ten this week including Adam Ant. This was Adam's first foray into panto imagery which he would return to a few times when he ran out of costumes (and ideas). Nice to see Diana Dors as a feisty fairy wielding a magic wand. Sad to think that to poor Adam ridicule did scare him 20 years later when he had an episode in a pub in Camden and he ended up having treatment for bipolar in hospital.

    Play out with Dollar which is a better to hear rather than see. Not so nice to see Steve Wright dancing but interesting to see The Tweets were still around and took part in the finale still doing that effing bird dance.

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    1. i'm guessing the reason OMD were "playing" instruments that didn't seem to on the recording was that wanted to escape what was already becoming the stereotyping of "synth" bands a la depeche mode et al...? by the way, i noticed the belt on the "vibes" player as well!

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    2. As we say goodbye to Souvenir by OMD on TOTP, now at its peak of No.3, the 'rare' video for it, and never shown till many years later when the compilation videos DVD came out is right here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDIYOiQUi2s

      Suffice to say that Andy McLusky who did not feature on vocals on this one, made up for it by being the main feature in the video, driving in his flash sportscar convertible on the country roads in England. A good smooth cool summer video nevertheless, and I have always liked it.

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    4. That OMD video is brilliant and it reminds me of the one for Forever Blue by Swing Out Sister, where they also drive a red sports car.

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    5. I also like the OMD video, though I don't like cars. Nice countryside, simple but effective like the shadows that come over in the middle section. I assume it wasn't available at the time of this release, maybe it was for the American market.

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    6. Actually we will see OMD "Souvenir" on the first Christmas show - if they show it.

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    7. Just had another thought on the OMD video for Souvenir.

      While many up and coming British bands in the 70s and early 80s had come from a working class background, it was a little odd that OMD were driving around in a such a flashy red sportscar in the countryside, so I would associate this with their new riches from their pop career, and making a statement that they were now in a higher financial status by 1981 with their pop career to date.

      On the other hand, the two other possibilities were that they were well off before starting their pop career, or they could have borrowed the car from a local dealer in exchange for showing it off in their video.

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    8. I think the Souvenir video first became available commercially circa 1988, on the OMD Greatest Hits VHS release.

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    9. Upon closer inspection of the video, it seems that it resembled a car manufacturer's promotional advert for their sports model/version. Close-ups of the gear stick, alloy wheels and chrome bumper, and you could have been excused for thinking this was a BMW promo film.

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    10. dory's description of bits of cars reminds me of the "crash" novel by jg ballard that was raved about by intellectuals and hipsters - it was "recommended" to me in the early 80's (in fact it was intimated that if i didn't read it then i would be terminally uncool). maybe it's because i've never realy been interested in cars other than getting from A to B in them, but the controversial theme of the book (car crashes as erotic fetish) didn't do anything for me. so i've yet to see the film that was eventually made of it...

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    11. The car is very nice, but a classic, rather than a current for 1981 model. It's a VW Karmann Ghia, so an upmarket relative of the Beetle/

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Karmann_Ghia

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    12. The car is very nice, but a classic, rather than a current for 1981 model. It's a VW Karmann Ghia, so an upmarket relative of the Beetle/

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Karmann_Ghia

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    13. One last thought on Souvenir by OMD, as we won't see it again, as it is now at its peak of no.3. The TOTP studio performance and the video seemed to have one obvious (or not so obvious) thing in common:

      Just as the drive through the countryside in the open-top convertible sports car in the video seemed to be at ease and peace with the world, so too in the studio, it must have been the first time the studio audience took part in slow dancing to the performer in front of them, i.e., OMD, and the lucky guy in the audience dancing with Miss Torquay in her shorts, certainly must have also felt at ease with the world right there and then!

      Whichever way you watch this single, the common link is sheer harmony, and seeing it now 35 years later gives it more meaning than it did in 1981 when the video was nowhere to be seen till years later.

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  14. A mostly enjoyable show, and kudos for Wrighty for joining in the outro dancing – along with at least one Tweet! He did get the Bucks Fizz song title wrong, mind.

    So why did Gidea Park have a full band this time? No confidence or charisma, Adrian? PS – dreadful medley. Bring back The Hollies.

    Beggar and Co had lost both their USP (tramp chic) and any semblance of a tune. Poor show.

    Was Sheena Easton taller than Prince? For some perverse reason, I enjoyed the song and thought it deserved to go at least as high in the charts as that Joy Sarney.

    I loved the fade into The Teardrop Explodes. That extra touch of class.

    Hi-Gloss, with Luther Vandross on backing vocals. The gals must have been roaming stage right to stage left for that foam jungle effect. Anita looked particularly lithe and lissom. Ahem! PS – bring back Patti! Please?
    Steve Wright didn’t look happy introing or outroing “Birdie Song”. He gets a 10 for that!

    A brilliant track by Godley and Creme. I love the railway track effect of the backing rhythm, something our Julie would analyse perfectly. Kev did have actually have a mic, over there on his keyboard. Mayb e he should have had a blindfold or, erm, a gimp mask to cover his non-sight vocals?

    Bucks Fizz. Well, really, the majesty of Jay Aston again. Not that I’m complaining.

    An almost sepia-tinged film for The Pointer Sisters’ request as to where and how, erm, fast the male hand should go towards what I’ve heard nicknamed the bearded clam. Help!

    Prawn Chow Mein again, followed by two minutes’ worth of Dollar – so is that two bucks’ worth?

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    1. Patti of Legs & Co had probably moved aside to let Anita take over the brunette role in the group, as when they were both on together, it seemed Anita had a bit more on the sex appeal front, and seemed to be revelling in her new role. I would think it gave Patti a legitimate need for a break, as Anita was performing so well, even on this Hi Gloss number.

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    2. Kevin Godley didn't have a keyboard; his microphone was actually placed on top of a high bar stool. As for the backing rhythm, I'm afraid I don't know much about drum machines - but G&C's device appears to have been programmed to produce a repeated pattern of semiquavers in 2/2.

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    3. Lol Creme was twiddling on a Roland Jupiter 4 synth, and had two Roland CR78 drum machines up top. So they may have been responsible for the driving train rhythm in the song. These were among the first programmable drum machines, we also saw Phil Collins In The Air Tonight feature one of them. It was soon to be replaced by the ubiquitous TR-808 (commonly used by Hip Hop artists) and the TR-909 (ditto for House Music).

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    4. And don't forget the mighty Roland TB-303 bass sequencer. You couldn't give them away when they came out but they became in demand in the late 1980s when house music took off.

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    5. ...and the boss dr rhythm. and the roland drummatix. and of course the crude pre-set ping pong patterns on the casio vl-tone, the world's first budget monophonic synthiser as played on totp by carrot top of depeche mode (the only half-decent rhythm was the "rock" setting which everyone ended up using, including trio on "da da da"):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNYcviXK4rg

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    6. Arthur, careful now, re: Pointer sisters comment. While I know it does feel like an all male blog sometimes, we do have Julie on board this blog, haha...

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    7. don't ladies refer to such things as the bearded clam then? it's certainly the first time i've heard such a euphemism. in fact i had to check on the internet to see if it was what i thought it might have been. and presumably arthur's not referring to this:

      http://thebeardedclam.com/

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    8. Well, Sheena Easton - one of this week's performers - seemingly prefers to use the term "Sugar Walls". This was the title of a major US smash she enjoyed soon after relocating to Minneapolis and joining the Little Purple One's (RIP) clique.

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    9. Sorry for any inconvenience caused by my description of the Pointer Sisters' song title. I'm glad someone gave me a pointer in the right direction. Boom boom tish!

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    10. maybe someone could come up with a prince/sheena parody and call it "bearded clams"?

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  15. We heard Wrighty mention that Sheena was about to go on tour, well I managed to see her on that tour at Newcastle City Hall. Oh dear what a disappointment. She just stood there rooted to the spot and sang, no charisma and no audience rapport whatsoever. Shame because I really liked most of her hits to date (save for this one). And with that her UK chart career was just about done except for the odd duet with Kenny Rogers and Prince. I think her career was taking off in the States so clearly she decided to concentrate on things over there. Didn't she also turn up in Miami Vice as an actress for a while?

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    1. i seem to remember sheena popping up on "miami vice", although i thought that was utter tripe so never saw her in action (i remember frank zappa was also a guest star in it, and maybe phil collins too?). but i hope she was better at acting than she was at singing!

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    2. To me Sheena Easton has model-like looks in the sense that I don't feel much personality there, so I don't get the fuss over her. For Your Eyes Only might be her best actual single though.

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    3. I'm pretty sure Sheena played Don Johnson's girlfriend in Miami Vice until her character was unceremoniously murdered after a few episodes.

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    4. people used to say i looked like don johnson when he was really hot at the time of "miami vice". sadly though it was always other men rather than attractive women!

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    5. Admit it, you lost your opportunities with these women.

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  16. Does anyone know what the Dollar song is actually about? It sounds good but the lyrics don't make sense: eg "Inner visions written on the wall, In graffiti winner takes it all".

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    1. I do know what it means, I solved the riddle on an edition of 3-2-1 in 1981 and won a set of beautiful kitchen appliances!

      (PS Not really)

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    2. 3-2-1! even though practically nobody understood what the hell was going on, it was massive saturday night telly entertainment around this time! i hardly ever saw it though, as apart from being mystified as to the riddles and the rules, i also never cared for host ted rogers who was in the lesley crowther "did this dullard actually once make a living as a comedian?" category. however in recent times i managed to add to my collection of "theme from shaft" covers with a version that was specially arranged for the troupe of dancers on the show...

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  17. Good to see Steve Wright back; again showing his support for the Hollies with his ‘Yes it is’ badge. A mixed bag this week.

    Gidea Park – Seasons of Gold – “Quick, let’s release a Four Seasons medley before the band get back together and do it themselves like the Hollies”. Handy that Adrian Baker (and the Tonics) had already hit with ‘Sherry’ in 1975.

    OMD – Souvenir – Great song worth seeing again.

    Beggar & Co – Mule (Chant no.2) – Not as memorable as Chant no.1

    Sheena Easton – Just another broken heart – Quite trite really. From the album ‘You could have been with me’ which I thought was a stonking title track and was released as the next single, but it bombed, so I don’t think we’ll be seeing it on TOTP sadly.

    Teardrop Explodes – Passionate Friend – Skipped through it this time. Not my cup of tea.

    Hi-Gloss – You’ll never know – One of those “I don’t remember that one” songs and it’s just nothing special despite the best efforts of Legs & Co and a ‘mysterious’ set.

    The Tweets – Birdie Song – It’s always great when TOTP can include something profound from a bunch of serious musicians and this is what we have been waiting for. Wonderful production and arrangement in this intricate piece of music. Well something like that. Actually I found myself roaring with laughter at the studio audiences rendition of the dance and how some members were really concentrating hard to get their hands ‘pecking’ correctly. Well rather this than Ottowan anyway.

    Godley & Crème – Under your Thumb – Not to be confused with ‘Under my Thumb’ from Wayne Gibson or the Rolling Stones. Kevin Godley seems to be in some kind on semi-sleepy state as his eyes are shut and he’s tossing and turning frantically as the song’s denouement approaches. Kev used to be 10cc’s drummer, but there’s no drumming on this song. Another one mentioning smoking along with Bucks Fizz….

    Bucks Fizz – One of those Nights – Definitely this song has aged well.
    Pointer Sisters – Slowhand – This song will never grow old for me. Nice to see the video which I could have sworn was never on TOTP – maybe I simply missed some shows in those days?

    Chart rundown – I miss the snippets of videos in the Top10 rundown. If nothing else, they gave us some talking points on this forum such as the great ‘Tide is high’ anomaly.

    Adam & the Ants – Prince Charming – I’m trying to understand why these songs were so popular? They have dated really badly and although not as bad as the previous efforts, this just isn’t that great.

    Dollar – Hand held in B&W Playout – Steve and the audience take to the floor with our feathered friends still in attendance. As has been noted previously, this extended playout was probably not shown in full until now.

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  18. Some more Tweeets trivia. The name behind it was a guy called Henry Hadaway. Here's a great period photo of Henry with Mike Read:

    http://www.hho.co.uk/resources/Images/Photo%20Mike%20Reed.jpg

    The four members of the Tweets were called Tricky (guitar/sousaphone/euphonium), Tweetie (dance/double bass), Troy (keyboards) and Tubby (drums) although the bird costumes featured on the records were different to the ones used for the TOTP performance.

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    1. ...and the Birdie Song was the 9th biggest selling single in 1981. Ahead of the likes of 'Ghost Town', 'Being with you', 'Green Door' and 'Jealous Guy'. Incredible.

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    2. Henry Hadaway ran the Satril label in the1970's. It managed two top 50 hits, one of those being "Ariana" by Stardust - yes, that band with the Fast Show style lead vocalist.

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    3. ah, satril - one of those obscure oddball labels of the 70's that released all manner of bizarre recordings, often in the hope of leaping aboard whatever bandwagon was rolling at the time (and usually without too much success)! among their artists (although i don't think they actually had a roster in the way EMI did, they just made one-off licence deals) were:

      telly savalas, aka kojak

      major tom, who released something called "spaceman boy" (i wonder what that could have been inspired by? sadly it's not on youtube)

      mick ford, who played the intellectual inmate who pissed the screws off in "scum"

      jeff chegwin, twin brother of keith

      mike read - yes, the DJ and TOTP presenter

      kenny lynch, an all-purpose entertainer who was best-known as jimmy tarbuck's comedic sidekick. somewhat amazingly he had a big club (if not chart) hit with this actually-rather-good dance track in the 80's:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93CVRqljpPU

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    4. Kenny Lynch! I forgot this was a chart hit for Satril. From memory, the label's chart botherers were...

      Sandpipers "Hang On Sloopy" - reached 32
      Stardust "Ariana" - peaked at 42
      Kenny Lynch "Half The Day's Gone" - made it to 50

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    5. anther trawl through the satril catalogue has revealed this pretty good slice of space disco (one of those involved was steve levine, later to find fame as the producer of culture club):

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

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  19. The video for Godley and Creme doesn't get discussed much, probably because it just doesn't seem very good. And they later developed a reputation for being behind interesting videos.

    Passionate friend has plenty of weak ba ba lyrics in it. The brass makes the end better after the weak second half to it, but I can't see this as one of his better efforts.

    Gidea Park I find sickly sweet, similar to his Beach Boys effort. The annoying intros sound silly too. It doesn't do those he is paying tribute to much justice.

    The Tweets can have done with a middle section in the song for a little more variety, otherwise I think it's ok.

    Very generic dance-pop from Sheena Easton, no doubt well produced and performed but that's it.

    Beggar and Co do a very middle of the road track, might be more popular in the US, same with Easton.

    Slow Hand is a decent song but I'm not sure I would say that it's amazing. Very smooth. The groove itself certainly isn't that slow like the lyrics say.

    Legs had good dresses and an interesting use of the set, I definitely liked those aspects more than Hands Up from the previous episode.

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  20. i don't think julian cope sang "ba ba ba" because he couldn't think of any lyrics to write - my theory is that he was apeing the sunshine california pop sound of the late 60's, where such wordless vocal lines were commonplace (and often performed by the same guys who sang on the then-recent no. 1 hit "suicide is painless"...

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    1. I think he could have put more of a melody to his ba ba ba stuff then, to me it just sounds aimless and it seemed to take over the second half of the song.

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  21. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-BZ98UrC18
    Birdie Song aka Chicken Dance on Will & Grace

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  22. Warning! I will be talking about Chart Hits 81 again. Quite a bit.

    Watching Steve Wright just makes me feel nervous. Luckily there was plenty of other stuff going on to distract me.

    Gidea Park I could do without though. I'd gladly never see Adrian 'SUCH a big head' Baker again, and I generally prefer the Four Seasons 70s output anyway (which didn't always feature Frankie Valli of course!)

    Beggar & Co were on that compilation with 'Mule'. God knows why, it's bloody awful.

    I'd never heard the Sheena Easton song before. It's pleasant enough without setting the world on fire. Clearly the record buying public of the time agreed with that assessment.

    Now for 3 in a row from my Xmas present cassette compo!!

    Hi-Gloss is that rare thing for me - a smooth 80s soul song that I actually like. A great vocal helps. The Legs routine is nice, shame about the world's worst jungle set (more Blake's 7 than Who if you ask me!)

    Ah, The Tweets. The best thing ever at the time when I was a 9 year old, very much not now.
    The Electronicas version was in the chart at the same time and was slightly better IIRC (not that this is high praise)
    Ludicrously, as well as The Tweets, Chart Hits 81 features ANOTHER version of the tune called 'The Qwaka Song' by The Waders which, you guessed it.....features duck noises. It must have been a dirt cheap 'session musicians piddling about' addition, as it turned up on ANOTHER compilation that we owned!

    Godley & Creme - Love the song, but this performance is incredibly off-putting. I prefer the video, however cheap it may be.

    What's left that's new? Ah, the vaselineonthelensmungous Pointer Sisters video. Nothing exciting here.

    Can never get enough of Dollar though. Well done that lady singing along as well as dancing. She's got the right idea!

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    1. The Electronica's, to give them their name on the labels, released a follow-up called "The Pussycat Dance" which did nowt over here. They were a Dutch group, mainly dealing in instrumental polkas.

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    2. i really wanted to give the wader's thing a listen even though i knew it would be unlistenable. but sadly there's no trace of it on youtube (maybe noax could upload it from his "chart hits 81" cassette?)

      however i have found the singing sheep "baa baa black sheep" 45 that was released around the same time and had a similar concept (the guinness book of singles memorably described the act as "electronic sheep noises", although they weren't strictly accurate as it also features electronic chicken noises during the rendition of "the 1812 overture", and there's a "cow mooing" at various points in it as well):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bopF0Cgal20

      the b-side's amusing title "flock around the clock" is also misleading in that it's just a funkier version (and i mean that!) of "baa baa black sheep":

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSxSjsO8ujk

      that also reminds me of the "loony left" haringey council of the 1980's that allegedly banned the singing of "baa baa black sheep" in schools as it supposedly offended the many black people in their constituency. but i think it was okay sing it if you changed the lyrics to "baa baa green sheep"!

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    3. ... i've just noticed on discogs that the singing sheep's producer is called "jeff mutton"!

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    4. Right, let's get to the century again! Does anyone else remember Ray Stevens' version of "In The Mood" where he sang it in the style of a load of chickens? Somehow, it reached one place outside the mugshots!

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    5. @Wilberforce: The Baa Baa Black Sheep story was an urban myth stoked up by the right wing press of the 80s. Considering the PC gorn mad stories we get now, it's almost quaint.

      @Arthur: Yes, I have the Ray Stevens clucked up In the Mood on CD somewhere. You can imagine how often that get played.

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    6. thx you may be right about the "baa baa black sheep" story. there was another one about council staff having to order coffee without milk (as opposed to black coffee) in their canteens, but that may be a myth as well. however, i did hear first-hand from someone who worked for the haringey council at the time that they had a map of the UK on their office wall, and that they were informed it was prejudiced and instructed either to take it down or replace it with one of the world!

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  23. Seeing the news today, we might have been lucky to get Wired for Sound when we did!

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    1. Indeed! It is of course perfectly possible that the CPS won't charge Cliff, but if he does get Yewtreed at least we have got to see just about all his best singles from the late 70s/early 80s. The only one I really like that hasn't been on yet is his duet with Phil Everly, She Means Nothing to Me, and even if BBC4 get to 1983 that only appears on a DLT show anyway...

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    2. Agree with you about that being his best remaining song from the 80s, though I have a soft spot for 'My Pretty One' as well.

      The South Yorkshire police are handling this one then. With their excellent track record, I'm sure Cliff can rely on a fair hearing

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  24. I quite enjoyed this one, notwithstanding the presenter. OK, I don't remember the Beggar & Co and Hi-Gloss numbers at all but I'm sure they would have been background wallpaper on Capital Radio.

    Personally I like the Four Seasons and their vocal harmonies so the opening number was fine by me. Adrian Baker can do a very good Frankie Valli.

    Sheena Easton:
    "I get the same old dreams same time every night,
    Fall to the ground and I wake up..."
    Oh, it's a different song... but when we got to the chorus it all came flooding back. One of those I don't think I've heard for 35 years.

    The Pointer Sisters video was simply good old NTSC gungeyvision, as seen on European TV. It would have looked much better in its native America back then and would look much better anywhere today. Sadly there doesn't seem to be a good quality version on YouTube. As mentioned, they came back three years later - featuring lashings of Yamaha DX synth sounds and Linn drum machine, which pinpoints such material exactly to 1984 give or take a few months. This song here sounds so much more classy and timeless! (Incidentally, I'm no expert on electronic instrumentation so thanks for the info on Lol Creme's rig seen on this show. The coloured buttons look well cool!)

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    1. The Pointer Sisters' Dare Me is a later effort that is fantastic. Automatic's no slouch either.

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    2. Spot on Relic, regarding the grainy Pointer Sisters video. I've been collecting 70s & 80s videos from iTunes since 2006 when the service became available, and Slow Hand is one that I regularly check for (and on Utube), hoping that one day a clear version will pop up to download and collect, and you're right, we will need to get the original American reel of film for a crisp copy, as this was top ten on both sides of the Atlantic, and in my view, their best tune through their career. The slick video is what made the song flourish so it is essential for pop fans that it turns up sometime soon.

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    3. I agree, THX, that the Pointer Sisters did some fine music later on. The one I was particularly thinking about was 'Jump (For My Love)' on which the synth sounds are a real period piece. But it's a great pop tune nevertheless.

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