Sunday, 29 May 2016

When You Were Top of the Pops

Huge thanks to Meer for making this edition of Top of the Pops from November 12th 1981 available on Vimeo. It won't be shown on BBC4 because the host is DLT.

https://vimeo.com/168444154

Er..anyone seen Legs & Co this week??



12/11/81 (hosted by Dave Lee Travis)

Kool & The Gang – “Steppin’ Out” (25)

Became their third top 20 single of the year so far when it peaked at number 12.

OMD – “Joan Of Arc” (5) (rpt from 29/10/81)
Now at its chart peak.

Olivia Newton-John – “Physical” (11) (video)

Olivia has a total 80's makeover for her final top ten hit.

The Fureys with Davey Arthur – “When You Were Sweet Sixteen” (14)

Now at its chart peak.

Haircut 100 – “Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)” (9)

On its way to number 4.

Jonathan King – US chart rundown:
Air Supply – “Just When I Thought I Was Over You” (video clip)
Foreigner – “Waiting For A Girl Like You” (live clip)
Daryl Hall & John Oates – “Private Eyes” (video clip)


Ultravox – “The Voice” (27)

Rounding off an amazing year for Ultravox when it reached number 16. They should have made this into a tv show....

Earth, Wind & Fire – “Let’s Groove” (20)

Two from Zoo are let loose on this final top ten hit for Earth Wind & Fire, which peaked at number 3.

Rod Stewart – “Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)” (10) (video/audience dancing)

Went up two more places.

The Police – “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” (1) (video)

First and only week at number one.

Altered Images – “Happy Birthday” (2) (audience dancing/credits)

Couldn't quite make it one place higher.


Next up then is November 19th 1981 with Steve Wright.

47 comments:

  1. It seems that Zoo were cut down to four dancers this week, and no Anita, as the end credits showed Julie, Clive, Beverley and Ruth. Where was this going? It was certainly not a continuation of their dramatic launch the week before. Bring back Legs & Co! On Kool & The Gang, Zoo were behind them dancing, and the studio audience only allowed at the front of the stage. Hmm.

    Olivia Newton John – on two occasions on the show, DLT refers to her as Olivia Neutron Bomb, firstly when introducing the video, and later in the show on the chart rundown. She was also in the US chart rundown with Jonathan King, and so she got three mentions on this week’s show, with King also letting us know that the song was banned on many radio stations in America. Good Lord!

    Altered Images - still at No.2 for yet another week, and couldn’t quite get over the line to make their debut hit a No.1, and made to feature only on the end credits this week, but still, Claire Grogan is so cute. Not much else on show was memorable though.

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    1. Was DLT the first one to call her that (whenever that may have been, I'd guess late 70s)?

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  2. Not sure why there are only four members of Zoo credited at the end when there are still bloody millions of them in the studio.

    One of Kool and the Gang's more neglected hits, but I think one of their best. Obviously aiming for the Showaddywaddy prize of most band members in a single appearance.

    Again they cut off the gay-friendly punchline to Olivia's workout.

    The trousers tucked into the socks look never really caught on, did it Haircut 100? Was that to show off yet more knitwear? Should have taken the woollen trouser gambit.

    Hello, here's a new feature we can guarantee will be edited out on BBC Four until Mr King can clear his name (or not). That Air Supply clip was awful. Nice to see the practice of looming up behind a presenter doing an OB then pulling faces isn't just a British thing.

    Ultravox anticipating that 21st century cliché of going "woah woah woah" a lot in pop and rock songs there. Don't recall this one.

    Earth Wind and Fire demonstrated by a male stripper and an Aztec - I thought the EWF boys were more into Egyptology? As the title suggests, pretty groovy tune.

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    1. other than choirs, orchestra and suchlike, don't fiddlers dram still hold the all-time totp record for most members in the band? but it sounds like zoo are now the dancing equivalent!

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    2. Surely CCS (Collective Consciousness Society) had the most band members. There were 23 of them and they weren't an orchestra. But I don't know if they ever appeared on Top Of The Pops, at least not as themselves because as session musicians some of them were also members of the TOTP orchestra.

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  3. A considerably better show than the previous week's, even though a lot of the songs had been on before. Another good hosting job too from a suave-ish DLT - by and large he was a lot less annoying by this time than he had been 5 years earlier.

    Kool and the Gang looked a bit like liquorice allsorts in those matching - and decidedly unattractive - black and white outfits, but I think this is one of their better efforts, with a decent groove. New performances from The Fureys and Haircut 100 follow, now of course without any participation from Legs - I assume from what he was wearing that Nick Heyward was setting off an Alpine hiking holiday straight after the show...

    It will be interesting to see how BBC4 handle these JK inserts once they start cropping up in non-Yewtreed shows, particularly as he has only been arrested and not charged with any new offences thus far. The feature felt rather tacked-on and unnecessary here, filling space that could have been taken by another song. The US chart rundown was extremely basic, JK's commentary being accompanied by basic captions giving the artist's name (misspelt, in Bob Seger's case) and chart position, but not for every one - JK also skipped some of the chart placings for some reason. Still, interesting to hear how controversial Physical was proving with some radio stations in the States, and Hall & Oates at number 1 was a useful illustration of how huge they were over there at this time.

    Back to the main action, and Ultravox are back in the studio with Midge posing this time as a country squire. This is a good song, probably their best release since Vienna, with nice backing vocals in the chorus and a vaguely menacing feel, especially in the verses. I'm not a big fan of EWF, but Let's Groove is probably my favourite song of theirs, and I thought the Zoo routine this week was much better than the ELO one. It helped that there were just the two dancers to focus on, even if the male one appeared to be wearing some kind of jockstrap! I was a bit puzzled as to whether the theme was meant to be Aztec or Egyptian, or perhaps a bit of both - either way, it has precious little to do with the song...

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    1. The fact that the Jonathan King section took up the space of one of the total number of songs that we would have normally had, is somewhat disappointing, at it takes away the chance of exposure to more up and coming bands, or that extra new video that could be shown.

      We had a similar laziness from TOTP the year before in 1980 when after the summer strike, the show had an extended top ten rundown with video clips as well as short interviews with guests. This was turned back round at the end of the year to concentrate on getting the music on as priority, but here we have another twist by having a USA feature clogging up the space of an extra song.

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  4. Incidentally, Ultravox were not the only band to have a song called The Voice in the charts in 1981. The Moody Blues had scored a US Top 20 hit with this excellent Justin Hayward tune, from their Long Distance Voyager album (which topped the charts over there) a couple of months earlier:

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

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    1. I've thought myself that The Voice does sound a bit Moody Blues influenced in the sound. Not a bad thing really, gives it a distinctive sound for this time. And the Moody Blues did some great atmospheric melodies at their peak, which was really more the late 60s/early 70s.

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    2. You never know, maybe there was a bit of Moody Blues influence on Ultravox - both groups certainly had a penchant for grand soundscapes. I agree that the Moodies were at their peak on the run of 7 albums they released from 1967-72; after they reformed in 1978, they were less consistent but still produced some good stuff. The first half of Long Distance Voyager (including The Voice) is very strong, but it does tail off in the secong half.

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  5. EWF definitely better than Kool and the Gang for me. I can see why it's more famous, good groove in itself but it matches into the catchy melody too.

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  6. just a few comments because (as is usual) i won't be watching this yewtree'd edition (has dlt done his time yet?):

    i don't remember the kool track, but i have no desire to hear anything they did post-"ladies night" as that was the shark-jumping moment for me with regard to them

    i well remember the jonathan king US hits section that broke "waiting for a girl like you". but others that similarly benefitted from king's endorsements included the j geils band's "centrefold" and hall & oates' classic "i can't go for that". but i'm sure the latter came out before "private eyes", so have we somehow missed it in this run?

    i remember "the voice" being the kiss of death for me as far as midge ure and co were concerned, and it departed my memory soon afterwards as a result. and a refresher via youtube merely confirms why we went our separate ways

    ew&f: although they've now acquired some acoutrements of the 80's dance sound (i.e. synth bass and crunching snare sound), unlike kool & co maurice white et al continue to cut the mustard. and in retrospect this is possibly their finest hour. this seems to actually get better every time i hear it, and i must have heard it literally hundreds of times now. although i still find it amusing when maurice urges the listener to "glide like a "seven forty seven" and to "tell the DJ to play your favo(u)rite toon", and it's only recently that i've realised that philip bailey sings "let this groove" as opposed to "let us groove"!

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    1. Same sentiments here regarding Let's Groove, which was Earth Wind & Fire's last hit of any significance in the UK and second best after Boogie Wonderland, and getting as far as No.3 I think. I especially love the line "Let me tell you what you can do with my love, my love, all right."

      It certainly still stands tall as one of the disco era's finest achievements, and Maurice White who sadly departed our world only a few months ago can be very proud in that TOTP in the sky.

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    2. I always thought it sounded like Phil was singing "Reckless groove". Don't think he was, though.

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    3. 'I can't go for that' was a hit in 1982 (at least in the UK it was!) Wilberforce.

      I remember Jonathan King going on and on about how great Philip Jap was as he did OK in the States but despite being British wasn't successful here. Mainly because his songs were crap.

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    5. Wilberforce - you don't watch the DLT editions then? I'm stunned. You do realise he was more or less stitched up. And he was charged/sentenced as a desperate measure after all the other charges didn't stick.
      Meanwhile other guilty parties continue to get away with their crimes or simply get fired/sacked - you know who I'm referring to.

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  7. shaky shakerson30 May 2016 at 12:03

    Another day, another Pops, another Yewtree'd edition.

    Kool & The Gang get the party started with Steppin' Out - a decent enough song spoiled by the synth drum. Nice choreography from the Gang - foreshadowing Bruno Mars' backing group's moves.

    DLT introduces JK in the USA with no fanfare, as though we had been having this interruption for many a week. And was King that well known to be referred to by initials?

    Ultravox and Majure has turned up dressed as The Lord Of The Manor even choosing to adopt a Lordly hands-on-hips stance at one point. A decent enough chorus but the verses were highly forgettable.

    Zoo. Not overly keen on male dancers - they seem to be more gymnastic than discotastic and yer man's first backflip seemed to me to end with him tangled in the bamboo curtain. Other Zooologists can be seen in the front row of the watching 'audience' giving it plenty of encouragement.

    Rod on vid, the Cops on top, and we play out with Altered Images.

    So to the scores. DLT drops points for labouring his Neutron Bomb 'gag', for almost strangling one girl during a link, and for making it a top 9 in the countdown. But compared to other recent jocks he was a step up. 6.

    Not the best of shows this one. Kool were decent enough; OMD, Haircut 100, Ultravox and The Police were good, but the rest were poor. 5.

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    1. Re JK - I recall some female celeb (I forget which one) once saying that she was dating Jay Kay (from Jjamiroquai) and the presenter tought they meant Johnathan King and was rightly surprised!

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  8. Thanks to Meer for this contraband. Sadly, I thought it was a particularly dreadful show – the ‘protected cassette’ message at the very start was the best bit in my opinion!

    In the countdown, why did ELO have a down arrow while staying at number 30, while Diana Ross moved up 8 places (i.e. from number 30) to number 22? Cock-ups all round, I think.

    Kool and the Gang looked more like Everton mints than liquorice allsorts to me. Way before Jimmy Somerville and Mariah Carey, Kool was causing dogs to run from all quarters with those infeasibly high vocals.

    Exhibit 1 of several bass strings played at once by OMD.

    Why did DLYT not namecheck the two Fureys hidden by the lighting? Ooh! A double necked acoustic guitar on show. Get in!

    Haircut 100 had almost as many members on stage as Kool and the Gang. Maybe they should have rocked the plus fours look instead. I forgot to say last time, great use of acuna in this track, the acuna being a drum with a stick attached to the underside of the skin which, when pulled, gives that sort of ‘oo hh oo hh oo’ monkey call sound.

    What did we do to deserve an unwanted interruption for the American chart introduced by one of the most obnoxious arses around? Did any US chart shows have a break to show what us Limeys were buying? Why did we get a top 19 rundown with several mis-spellings, a song title replacing Mike Post’s name and no number 9? And why did that twat keep saying ‘and’ instead of ‘by’ when mentioning the artist? Complete waste of time.

    Sadly the rest of the show followed the same course for me, apart from checking out Ultravox’s attire (what Haircut 100 would wear when they grew up) complete with Exhibit 2 of several bass strings played at once (Ultravox? A bass?!?). That chorus should have been the theme tune for that talent show which ITV have snatched from the BBC, lucky them. I assume it isn't already the theme tune as I refuse to watch that rubbish, or the other bilge with Slimon Cowell in it.

    I could only stomach ten seconds of the routine to EWF, ff’d Rod and The Police and only stopped to gawp and tut at the bloke dressed like a banana hogging the camera at the start of Altered Images. I wished he’d leave early, i.e. a banana split!

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    1. Sorry, got the name of that Haircut 100 latin drum wrong - it's called a cuica.

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    2. Zoo's costumes frequently annoy me so far, in your face kind of stuff.

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    3. I feel sorry for Ruby Flipper (remember them?!) they only lasted 5 months in the long hot summer of 1976 and were quickly replaced with Legs and Co and it was never properly explained why they made a hasty exit (a mix of racism and homophobia methinks). But 5 years later we finally get a new male/female dance troupe and they're shite with appalling dress sense.

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    4. Arthur,i was in America in the summer of 1989 and one show DID have a section where they looked at the UK charts! I distinctly remember the host mercilessly ripping it out of us limeys for putting Sonia at number 1. At the time I thought this was rather rude but in hindsight their mockery was justified and spot on!

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  10. As we say goodbye to the three debutant singles from Altered Images, Haircut 100, and The Fureys with Davey Arthur, all on this DLT show, as usual I like to check out their respective videos to find any interesting goings-on, and these three videos were introductory in simple terms, with Altered Images sharing birthday cake at a children's party, Haircut 100 where "Boy Meets Girl" at the local ten-pin bowling alley with their "Favourite Shirts", and then The Furey's & Davey Arthur at last reveal in their video the 16-year old girl that they fell in love with!

    TOTP didn't show any of these three videos because the bands were eager to be in the TOTP studio twice each and all on the same shows, but nevertheless the videos are worth a watch, as we take our leave of all three debut singles this week:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t1vaF50Ks0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2cat4kykzI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTNPgRK0PK8

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  11. As we also say goodbye to Joan Of Arc by OMD, there was bizarrely no video for it, considering that there was one for Souvenir before it, and Maid Of Orleans after it, so why the Joan Of Arc single in between was not given a video budget when getting to No.5 peak, is bizarre to say the least.

    However we must also appreciate that 1981 was still evolving the video concept which did not become compulsory until around 1983, but by now in 1981 more than half the singles releases in the charts were given video budgets, a considerable increase since 1980 where it was still less than 50%. By 1982 it increased further to around 75%, and then by 1983 to around 95% I would say.

    I remember in 1985 when Move Closer got to No.1 for Phyllis Nelson, there was no video made for it, so even then videos released never got to 100% but probably peaked at 95% since 1983.

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  12. For anyone remotely interested (i.e. no-one), I did some fishing using the net and discovered that the missing US number 9 was former chart topper "Best That You Can Do (Arthur's Theme)" by - or should that be 'and'? - Christopher Cross, dropping from 3, and number 20 was "Hard To Say", dropping from its peak of number 7, performed by the late Dan Fogelberg, an artist who had many hits in America, the biggest being number 2 peaker "Longer", but that was his only UK chart song peaking at 59.

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  13. I've seen it, but video now removed. It's a puzzle to me why people put stuff up on vimeo when it gets removed anyway.

    I was about to say they could have just repeated the Furies performance, but maybe they couldn't show Legs & Co now. It is better without the audience swinging in front anyway, which from what I remember was missing this time.

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    1. Fear not Starry, you can access it alternatively by this link:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Jc3KB19gXo&list=UUs-mp5VY3vMoOj4oQ3kxBAA&index=51

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    2. Yes, it would have been odd to the repeat the Furey's for their second appearance on TOTP, as we would have seen Gillian of Legs & Co on it, and now already on this week's DLT show we were already onto the second week of Zoo, so they had no choice but to ask The Fureys to come back a second time, and they could then replace Gilllian's part with one of the new Zoo performers! It was that easy, or take a chance with the video, but they went for a second studio performance instead.

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    3. Shakin' Stevens' second Green Door performance with Legs and Co behind him does get repeated in the 31/12/81 number 1s of the year show however.

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    4. I knew we hadn't seen the last of Legs. The Legs will never die.

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  14. I so nearly watched this yesterday, and now it's disappeared - mind you, it looks like I'm not missing much.

    Of the songs that are new, I can take or leave the Kool & The Gang one, I do like 'The Voice' and agree with most that 'Let's Groove' is also rather fine.

    As for JK, I remember at the time being mystified by the appearance of the US chart rundown which continued into 1983 IIRC (though not every week, I don't think?)
    It's particularly bizarre to include it at a time when British pop was experiencing a real revival. Who cares if most of it didn't export to the US? Most of their stuff stopped selling here too! (quite rightly given that a lot of it was extremely boring AOR)

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    1. Noax, you can access it on this link alternatively, so you can watch it here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Jc3KB19gXo&list=UUs-mp5VY3vMoOj4oQ3kxBAA&index=51

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    2. I think that Calvin heenderson youtube has shut down, also all of meer's shows on vimeo have gone

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    3. Good grief, does anyone know whey these disappear within days or get taken down, whether on Vimeo or U-Tube? First it was Manorak, and now Meer.

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    4. I suspect part of the problem is that as more shows get added to the individual accounts, so they become more visible to prying eyes, and then the copyright police swoop.

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    5. The uploads do seem to survive for longer on 4shared. If anybody would be kind enough to oblige. I'd really love to see this show.

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  15. I had forgotten just how good this Kool and The Gang Track was. They are the consummate professionals, a slick performance and a memorable dance track. A superb way to open the show

    OMD then ONJ - OMG

    Strange that the visuals playing on the Toppotron in the background of the Fureys performance were different to what we were seeing so they must have been playing rehearsal footage. This time round Davey reminds me of a bearded Eddie Large, so which one was Syd Little?

    Haircut 100 - the dreadful dancing antics from Zoo really distract from the song. I like the way the band persuaded the session brass players to make an attempt to dress the same as the band with one sax player wearing his track suit bottoms tucked into his socks even though they otherwise look nothing like them. Rico and Dick the brass players in the Specials had the same problem, they would wear suits but they weren't fooling anyone.

    I wonder if the Jonathan King insert (what a horrible concept!) was the counter the fact that so often they couldn't find enough rising chart acts to fill the 35-40 minute shows and so rather than relying on acts outside the Top 40 they came up with this mess. Quite why he has to be in America isn't explained and quite why he has to do his piece to camera in a crowded arena is equally mysterious. He is so obviously reading the words from idiot boards and with his eyes darting up and down ends up looking even more peculiar than he was. God Air Supply were awful with their anodyne MOR dirges, they should have been starved of oxygen. Hall and Oats on the other hand were brilliant and should have had more UK hits.

    Like Kool and The Gang I had forgotten just how good The Voice was with its Monks Of Doom backing vocals. A good solid performance from Midge and Co and I can even forgive the silly clothes and posturing. Here was the perfect place to feature Zoo dancing - the right kind of song - but they were no where to be seen.

    I would loved to have seen Earth Wind and Fire in person on the same show as Kool and The Gang - they could have had a sing and dance off - but instead we have to make so with more dire dancing from Zoo. Never did know the actual lyrics to this one until I looked them up but I still sing "breakfast groove, got you to move in all night, all right". Whenever I hear the intro to this I still think of it as part of the Donna Summer I Feel Love Megamix Tip - it kicks in at 2.01:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ0gtt7Fcc8

    Rod on Vid. This sounds better the more you hear it even if the video is an a little un-PC these days. One of the dancers is Deborah Jenssen who released a couple of singles herself.

    The Police at Number and play out with Altered Images with Happy Birthday. It's my grandmother's birthday today.

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    1. Hall & Oates released three singles in the UK a year earlier in 1980 but none of them made top 30. The best was No.33 in Nov 1980 with Kiss On My List, so I'm not surprised that 1981 saw no singles releases for them in the UK. Their fortunes were to change on our shores in 1982 though.

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  16. Because they sold so fast and got in the chart so quickly and then dropped down The Police released three singles in less than three months, next up is Spirits in The Material World.

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  17. My fault for being behind the clock, but I cannot access this one at all :(

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    1. Same here. I'm very thankful that this was made available, but dismayed that it has been removed so soon - a matter of 2 days. ("This video was removed on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 At 12:16 PM.") Is there any chance of a re-upload, to a different server maybe? I'm sure that there are many who have missed it.

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    2. 4 shared is a good place to upload to. Less chance of getting taken off again.

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    3. Looks like I am not going to get to see this show right through unfortunately. I was interested in the JK US chart rundown, in particular the Air Supply song which was entitled 'Here I am (just when I thought I was over you)'. This really was a great song and due to the previous release, 'The one that you love' having the refrain "Here I am the one that you love", I guess that was why the parenthesis title was added to this Norman Sallit penned tune. Air Supply notched up four No.5 hits in the US, interrupted only by 'The one that you love' which topped their charts. Over here, their hits were rare sadly.

      I checked out Ultravox 'The Voice' on YT from this edition of TOTP and it's there, complete with DLT referencing the JK section. A much better single than 'The Thin Wall' and even better if you check out the longer album cut which was also the 12" version. Midge looks very smart here as he boogies along during the instrumental break.

      I also found the EWF / Zoo performance which was worth seeing. DLT's chart rundown from 30 to 20 is there at the start "Laurie Anderson and that strange 'O Superman'" indeed - well how would anyone watching TOTP know? Back to Zoo, well there's not the crowded masses that greeted 'Twilight' last week, but instead it's a duo with a strange curtained set. I can't help think Legs & Co would have done this classic dance track better justice.

      I also managed to find the Kool and the Gang performance of 'Steppin out' on YT from this show. KatG seem to suffer the same fate as the Human League in being featured on Yewtree shows as I don't think we got to see 'Celebration' on BBC4. This is standard fare for them and is energised by all the dancing going on around them. I do much prefer 'Steppin' out' by ELO though.

      Finally, I found what must be this TOTP performance (it's not credited as such, but the caption appears at the end) of The Fureys and Davey Arthur. It's very underlit with only Davey really visible but it does fit in with the feel of the song quite well.

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  18. Probably should have posted the links. Here we go:-

    Ultravox
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iKBVyGVOkA

    EWF / Zoo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLl-f1gGLTg

    Kool and the Gang
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=962IRcU11Oc

    Fureys & Davey Arthur
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onI__4xkcc8

    Enjoy...

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