Thursday, 16 June 2016

All You Need is Top of the Pops

Many season's greetings to SB for making this Christmas Day 1981 edition of Top of the Pops available on Vimeo. It won't be shown on BBC4 because one of the hosts is Jimmy Savile, so do not click the link if you wish to avoid him.

Top of the Pops is all you need

25/12/81 (hosted by Radio 1 DJs)

The Teardrop Explodes – “Reward”

Julian gets the show underway still wearing his nightshirt!

Ultravox – “Vienna”
Midge goes all leather and chains to impress the ballerina!

Kim Wilde – “Kids In America” 

Tony Blackburn returns to introduce Kim who has got her band and her tight jeans back.

The Human League – “Love Action (I Believe In Love)”
Phil's got his long hair back and John Peel makes his first TOTPs link for eleven years.

Godley & Crème – “Under Your Thumb” 

The boys seem to have developed a smoking problem!

Kirsty MacColl – “There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis” 
Adrian Juste makes a rare appearance and Kirsty gets on the show despite this one not even making the top ten. Not that I'm complaining.

Dave Stewart & Colin Blunstone – “What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?” 

With the way the DJs are individually introducing each act, you do wonder if BBC4 couldn't have easily edited out Jimmy Savile and DLT?

The Jacksons – “Can You Feel It?”
The Kids from Fa.... ~ no it's Zoo dancing to the Jacksons.

Linx – “Intuition”

I wonder if Carrie was in the studio?

The Beat – “Too Nice To Talk To” 

That's one busy stage!

Spandau Ballet – “Chant No.1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)” 
Paul Gambaccini introduces the leather clad Spandau Ballet.

Toyah – “It’s A Mystery” 
What has she done to her hair this time?

Laurie Anderson – “O Superman”
A chance to see a song that wasn't featured on the show at the time ~ and it is given quite an extraordinary performance by Zoo.

Altered Images – “Happy Birthday”

John Peel predicts they will be the 'biggest band in 1982' .....
Great song though.

Depeche Mode – “Just Can’t Get Enough” 

Vince is still with the band then. But why couldn't they have performed New Life to compliment the blog 35 years later?

OMD – “Souvenir”
Another chance for Paul to shine.

Shakin’ Stevens – “You Drive Me Crazy” 

Shaky's wondering where Legs & Co have gone.

Everyone – “All You Need Is Love” (+ credits)
This amazing show ends with an almighty sing along to the Beatles classic ~ was the music supplied by the return of the TOTPs orchestra?

Next up then is New Years Eve 1981.


  1. regarding the "offending" hosts, it offends me that this isn't being broadcast when they're merely two of many presenting the show, and as angelo suggests thier 30 seconds or so contributions could have been easily cut out!

    but as i've said many times before, i don't understand why they don't show edited compilations of the editions featuring "offending" hosts, so we can still see the musical performers? in a way i'd rather not see these old epsiodes at all, than be subjected to this maddening manner of censorship!!

    1. I don't agree on this occasion with you guys on just editing out the offending DJs, as on this edition there was a fantastic, some would say glorious, playout with All You Need Is Love, where JS & DLT are all over this playout, and you would have to cut out the whole playout, so the show would have ended on Shakin Stevens with no goodbye to the show from Jim'll.

      It would have made no goodbyes to a Xmas TOTP show, which would have been absurd on this type of seasonal send-off.

  2. Shakey Shakerson17 June 2016 at 03:09

    Not sure about all of this. We are barely half way through June and here is the Christmas ToTP. I need to get in the Christmas mood. Maybe I should spend an hour trying to get batteries into some kids toys and then have a blazing row with Mrs Shaky about the gravy?

    Agree with Wilberforce, above. 15 mins in the edit suite and any work-experience kid could have dashed out a Yewtree-free edition that would have offended no one.Oh well.

    On every level this was a more like the Christmas ToTPs of my memory. Chock full of the year's best songs (most of which were by relevent current performers) and without a novelty or medley act to be seen.

    Teardrop Explodes gave a brilliant opening performance followed by a swathe of great (mostly new) performances. Dull moments included Kirsty, Shaky, and Zoo dancing to The Jacksons. But all in all that was a fine hour, well spent. A 9.

    With virtually the entire Radio 1 roster on display no one had too much time to irritate, although Sir went close with his Adam Ant interview and Paul Burnett looked a proper dick standing in between The Blue Jays (why where they there, by the way?) Adrian Juste should never appear in front of a camera again, but it was nice to see the laconic John Peel once again 8.

    Now to look forward to tonights 1982 double whammy of 'Story Of...' and 'Hits Of....'.

    1. I'm guessing the Blue Jays may have been there because the Moodies had had a number 1 album in the States during 1981.

    2. Shakey Shakerson17 June 2016 at 07:18

      If the Beeb keep on keeping-on with these re-runs, then we will slowly but surely have less and less Yewtree'd editions to contend with. 1982 has 13 eps, 1983 we're down to 10, 1984 takes it to just 8 while 1985 is completely clear of any 'infamous' presenters. UNLESS new accusations crop up of course.

  3. A great UK Gold version of this festive cracker, albeit the quality of the film was grainy to say the least, but hey, we should be grateful to SB for putting it up for us in the absence of BBC4 showing it.

    Ultravox - one of the highlights of this show for me. To relive the instrumental ballerina part of the video in the TOTP studio I thought was a stroke pure genius, and I commend the effort of Midge Ure to add this in, when he clearly didn't have to go to all that effort.

    Adam Ant interview - it seems that Adam Ant has retired from performing in the TOTP studio, and instead he comes for interviews or videos only since the success of Stand And Deliver. He didn't have much to say on this interview, did he?

    The Jacksons - if ever the ghost of Legs & Co had been put to rest, it was here on this show with this performance, and all my nagging doubts in Nov & Dec since the Zoo debut on the show replacing Legs & Co, had now been put aside, and I was convinced that Zoo had made their mark and proved their worth. The speed and quality of dancing, and the costumes on this were out of this world.

    The Beat - This was their last major hit and from the end of 1980, as their string of hits in 1981 & 1982 were all flops, not making the top 20 or top 30, so this, bar a surprise later hit in 1983, was their last release of any significance, and probably their best one, and it seemed like ages since we saw them in the TOTP studio with it at the beginning of 1981.

    Paul Gambaccini - I believe this was the first time he appeared on TV in Britain, so we could actually now see what he looks like, with no internet at the time. Interesting that Chant No.1 was the DJ's choice of Spandau Ballet hit for the show, when they had a number of other hits throughout the year.

    Toyah - overload already by now, with so many appearances on TOTP in 1981, and like Bad Manners, I'm beginning to tire of her antics on stage.

    Peter Powell - he couldn't resist grabbing Theresa Bazaar in front of her boyfriend in front of the camera, wishing for her through the chimney as his present from Father Christmas. Yeah right, and thousands of others across the country watching on TV, including me!

    OMD - my favourite track of theirs in 1981, and their biggest hit of the year. It was nice to see the slow-dancing couples from Zoo this time round, replacing the studio audience couples on the original performance in October, just before the launch of Zoo.

    Shakin Stevens - was that the lead singer of Linx dancing behind Shaky? It certainly looked like it. OK, here I must admit that I would rather have seen Lulu of Legs & Co going gaga over Shaky, as in when he performed it in the summer of 1981 with help from Legs & Co. The Zoo members could not emulate the Lulu eyes on this one!

    1. From memory I think there were photos of the 4 authors of The Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles. so we did know what Gambo looked like at this point.

  4. Teardrop Explodes: have you just got up, Julian?

    Ultravox: Was Midge taking fashion tips from Judas Priest?

    Kim Wilde: Funny how she never came across as the most natural of performers, but had a glum charisma that complimented the tunes.

    Human League: Phil would be delighted to grow his hair back this quickly these days.

    Godley and Crème: Smokin' performance from the boys. Someone on Eurovision tried the same trick this year.

    Kirsty MacColl: good on Adrian Juste for picking this one, assuming he actually did and it wasn't assigned.

    Stewart and Blunstone: odd they chose this and not the number one from Dave. Maybe they were both available.

    Zoo dance the Jacksons: I'm glad I recognise Anita, because the others aren't making an impression. Could be the effects of hyperspace.

    Linx: David Grant underrated when it comes to the great spectacles wearers in pop, I feel.

    The Beat: Father Abraham makes a triumphant return to the Pops on sax.

    Spands: oh dear, a shirt off moment from Martin. Have we learned nothing from Depeche Mode?

    Toyah: nice thing about her is that she was always game, plus she really knew how to use the entire studio.

    Laurie Anderson: brave attempt to visualise O Superman, with a judge but no Superman as far as I could see. Looks a bit Spinal Tap in retrospect, and spectacularly point-missing otherwise. But great to imagine experimental avant garde over the Christmas pud.

    Altered Images: Clare liked to barge people out of the way, didn't she?

    Depeche Mode: see, Spands? Shirts on!

    OMD: are we keeping you? Not staying? You'll feel the benefit if you take them off.

    Shaky: Do you know, I don't think his mic was plugged in by the way he pissed off at the end.

    And to finish, a pub singlalong of the Fabs. Must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but what a racket.

    Bob Stanley calls 1981 the greatest year in pop music. If it isn't, we've seen a strong contender on this show.

    1. What was it about blokes called Martin going topless on TOTP in 1981? At least Martin Fry kept his spangles on.

  5. Picked some interesting info today that Jonny Rotten's Chelsea flat is up for sale, and some info on the flat:

  6. It's a great shame that BBC4 wouldn't show this - it's by far and away the best Christmas edition we have seen in the period covered by these reruns, and indeed one of the best editions since 1976 full stop. The fact it breaks with tradition and doesn't feature any chart toppers actually helps, as it creates room for other, slightly less familiar songs, but first and foremost the featured hits are mostly excellent and are backed up by plenty of new studio performances. It was also a canny decision to use a variety of Radio 1 DJs to host, giving us the chance to see some lesser spotted figures like Andy Peebles (for the first time since 1979), Paul Burnett (ditto) and Gambo. John Peel (first time since 1968), makes the biggest positive impression with his two deadpan links, and his performance here presumably helped ensure his regular presence on the roster for the next few years. At the other extreme, we can only be grateful that Adrian Juste was never entrusted with hosting the show...

    Running briefly through some of the performances, I thought Julian Cope had just come from playing a shepherd in a school nativity, judging by his get-up! Midge's bizarre Village People get-up aside, that is a class turn from Ultravox, and nice to see the League with a new performance of Love Action, though it means they get Yewtreed for the eighth time in '81.

    Kev and Lol were certainly never short of ideas for their appearances, though I did worry that Kev was about to spontaneously combust as the smoke poured out of him! Clare Grogan had a stupid big bow in her face again, and Martin Kemp was showing too much flesh for my liking. At the other extreme, OMD were well covered up in chunky jackets (in fairness, December 1981 was very cold), while Vince Clarke makes what may well have been his last TV appearance with Depeche Mode - Yazoo's TOTP debut was a few short months away.

    Dance-wise, Zoo provide a typically anonymous routine to The Jacksons (sadly for Master Bates, the memorable intro he enthuses over gets lopped off), and then a rather more interesting attempt at interpreting O Superman. The routine tries hard to be as weird as the song (which is deeply irritating and borderline unlistenable), and I assume those pulsating blobs were found in the Doctor Who props cupboard. Interesting that we get a judge and a mum and dad as per the lyrics, but no Superman - presumably copyright didn't allow it!

    The studio guests were an eclectic bunch, from Hayward and Lodge to Van Day and Bazar, with Modern Romance looking like nightclub bouncers. Only Adam Ant gets the honour of a proper interview, with Bates presumably asking the questions because he had proved marginally better at this sort of thing than his colleagues during the earliest Hurll episodes in 1980. It's disappointingly gaffe-free and unenlightening, though sadly for Adam and his high hopes for '82 the new year, despite one further number 1, would also see his career start to falter...

    We end with Jim'll (in a rainbow jumper we've seen before) lead a very good-natured singalong to All You Need is Love. I can't stand the song normally, but here it rounds off a cracking hour's entertainment in perfect fashion, underlining the real feeling of a special occasion that this show manages to generate. Shame though that we aren't told who is performing the song - as Angelo mentions, did Stredder and Pearson turn up to make one last, uncredited, contribution?

    1. This was the show were Zoo cemented their place on TOTP in my opinion, as the dance routine to The Jacksons hit Can You Feel It was just so good that I was no longer longing for Legs & Co to come back, even though I still rate them above Zoo.

    2. what with ripping-off other's tunes ("prince charming") and releasing a single without one in sight ("ant rap"), surely it was no surprise that adam ant's star was soon to fall! i for one won't miss what was a minor talent at best (and certainly a case of style over content), although he managed one more solo hit in '82 before his 15 minutes were up...

    3. See, when I was a kid Adam Ant was THE pop star of '81, and I still think his records sound great today. Maybe it's the nostalgia, but I think he really tapped into something innovative that because it was never repeated in sound since remains of its time and distinctive to this day.

    4. Style over substance maybe, but this (then) 9 year old fell for it completely. I loved Adam Ant, and to be fair to him, weren't there 2 hits in 1982? (Goody Two Shoes and Friend Or Foe, both of which are great!)

  7. The "busy stage" during The Beat's performance included Cathal, Chris and Mark from Madness for some (presumably alcohol-fuelled) reason, followed by them distracting Steve Wright during his link later on.

  8. I agree that this is the best Christmas show we've seen in the repeats, the absence of chart toppers helping immensely given that most of them in 1981 were rubbish anyway. A good idea to use all the DJs as well though poor Adrian Juste couldn't have looked or sounded any more nervous! John Peel was clearly showing why he would soon be back (semi)permanently, on the other hand.

    I also agree with the many who have said that we could have easily seen this one with a bit editing. And (sorry Dory) I wouldn't have been bothered about missing the slightly odd idea of a sing-song to an old song at the end.

    Some of the tunes sounded slightly different from their 7" versions as well, Toyah's song particularly.

    Highlights for me were Ultravox (a performance we happily saw on the 'Big Hits' show) The Human League, Linx, OMD and Shaky.

    Not really sure how that Beat song got in there, or - though I like it - Blunstone and Stewart (was Colin Blunstone wearing a Jacko t-shirt btw?) and though I'm not a fan of 'O Superman' I think it's fair enough that it finally got an airing.

    One of the best shows of 1981! Next - one of the worst and dullest I expect.....