Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Lunatics (Have Taken Over Top of the Pops)

And so as Steve Wright introduces Top of the Pops from November 19th we find we have just five more broadcastable editions of 1981 left, and a couple of yewtreed ones.

Don't you just love these latest specials effects?

19/11/81 (hosted by Steve Wright)

(17) Modern Romance – “Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey”

Getting the show underway for a second time with this song which was still conga-ing its way towards its number 10 peak.

(3) Julio Iglesias – “Begin The Beguine” (video)

Julio was there with Steve in the studio talking about his Cambridge days but for some reason we got shown the video again rather than a studio performance!

(12) Pretenders – “I Go To Sleep”

A song of course famously written by Ray Davies but never recorded by the Kinks. It became the third of six top ten hits for the Pretenders when it reached number 7.

(26) ABC – “Tears Are Not Enough”  (rpt from 05/11/81)

Edited out of tonight's 7.30pm showing.

(19) Diana Ross – “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” (video)

A cover of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers' 1956 number one, Diana dances her way around Las Vegas until this version peaked at number 4.

(30) Fun Boy Three – “The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)”

And so four months after leaving the Specials (just enough time for Terry to grow his hair) we have the debut of the Fun Boy Three, though with maybe not quite as big a hit as they were expecting ~ peaking at number 20.

(29) Trevor Walters – “Love Me Tonight”
With a little help from Zoo here, this went up two more places.

(13) Soft Cell – “Bedsitter” (video)

Following up their monster number one Tainted Love with a very messy looking London bedroom that's probably now worth about a million quid! Bedsitter peaked at number 4.

(1) Queen & David Bowie – “Under Pressure”

It had entered the chart at number 8 the previous week, and here were Zoo performing the number one song in a quite random and rag bag manner. What would Legs & Co have thought!

(31) The Jets – “Yes Tonight Josephine” (audience dancing/credits)

Managed to fly into the top 30 but landed at number 25.

Tomorrow on BBC4 we reach November 26th 1981.


  1. Modern Romance – back again with a new studio performance, but let down somewhat with an overcrowded studio audience around them doing the conga, not to mention the Brazilian carnival dancer in the green dress beside the lead singer. The video for this (which was incidentally their first video budget) was much better than both the studio performances put together, and I highly recommend watching it, as we say goodbye to it on TOTP:

    Julio DoubleGlazias – the man himself was in the TOTP studio being interviewed by Steve Wright, but could not be bothered to perform it, but instead to watch his own video and confirm to Mr Wright how to pronounce his name. I would have loved to see Russ Abbot interject at this point as his new character launch JULIO DOUBLEGLAZIAS:

    Fun Boy Three – very quick transformation from The Specials only three months earlier with Ghost Town, but in my opinion, not a good launch single, as it was very bland to say the least.

    Soft Cell – so it was St Johns Wood where this bedsitter was situated? I must say that the North West London tube station has not changed one bit in the last 35 years! Also you wouldn’t see many separate hot and cold water taps nowadays in London, cos they’re all mixer taps now, so this was really a slice of times they were a changin’.

    Queen & David Bowie – this song was so pioneering at the time, and first showing on TOTP when you’re No.1 is not bad at all. The video was not yet available at this point, but Zoo did make a good performance of it, but I’m sure that if Flick Colby had persevered with Legs & Co, they would have performed it just as well, if not better.

  2. So they start the show with Moosey again this time with a real moose on drums. The crowd erroneously do the conga again but hey who cares. I think that's the first sighting of Jeff Stuart (Reg Hollis) in the conga crowd but I could be wrong.

    I nodded off during Julio Iglesias – I wish they would end the end. Ho-hum interview with the man which ends rather abruptly like Steve asked the wrong question and had to be edited out.

    The Pretenders - I liked I Go To sleep at the time and bought it but it has a few bad memories for me. Still it is a good song and a break from their usual style.

    Nice to see ABC on the show again even if it is a repeat of the Reddy Brek performance from two weeks earlier

    I remember this Diana Ross video from the time and while it's nicely done the song is a pointless remake - a treading water affair after her recent run of decent singles. Come on Di love, you can do better than that.

    The Fun Boy Three - this is more like it even if it is rather obviously Ghost Town Part 2 with it sombre tone and hummed doom-laden backing vocals. I'm surprised that the BBC didn't ban this obvious comment on Regan and Thatcher's antics but I'm glad they didn't. Terry, Neville and Lynval drop the old rude boy look completely opting for white tee shirts and matching track suit bottoms and Terry is in the process of developing his mad hairstyle.

    While I like the gentle groove of the Trevor Walters track the members of Zoo each doing a different dance seems very incongrous and out of place here especially the Japanse bloke doing robot moves. What a plonker! They never get it right do they and I do feel sorry for gap-tooth Trevor who has to go through the entire thing with pink and silver confetti on his head.

    The charts with no less than four number ones in the Top 30 this week.

    Then Soft Cell on video. Oh I loved Bedsitter a lot. I had just moved to London and worked in Soho and was getting to know the streets well and I had to pick up and deliver reels of film all over the place. Supposedly Marc Almond bought a small flat in Soho for real at this time but I never did find out where it was. I bet it was nicer than the one in the video (which seemingly is in Soho even though Dave Ball gets off the tube in St John's Wood, note the wooden escalator which has been removed since) but I quite like some of the 1950s props and furniture which are fashionalbe now

  3. Then the Top Ten and Zoo finally do something right by performing a good dance routine to Queen/Bowie's Under Pressure even if it is faded early. The video hadn't been created yet but it was at this time that the company I worked for were asked to supply copyright free film that could be used for a video. I turned up for work one day and was told "two members of the pop group Queen are coming in this morning to talk about making a video"!!!! I couldn't believe it. But not long after the director David Mallet turned up with Brian May and Roger Taylor and made their way to our little office on the top floor at 70 Dean Street in Soho and told us what the song was about and what was needed. We were given a copy of the single which had the lyrics on the sleeve and were told that they needed the footage ASAP. My job was to make coffee for everyone and due to the cramped nature of the office and my nervoulsness I almost dropped a pot of the stuff on Brian May's lap. They all left after about 30 minutes and although we worked with the director David Mallet again we never saw any of Queen (or Bowie) again which was a shame as I was plucking up courage to ask them to sign something but to be honest it wasn't the done thing in such circumstances. You learned that very quickly. We spent the next two days hurriedly viewing and collecting together footage to use for the video and a lot of it was a compromise because there wasn't much time and it had to be copyright free and there are a lot of kisses in the finished thing from a show reel we had called "clinches" which was used a lot. From memory I think ther video had one showing at the end of the next programme and maybe at Christmas. I told all my friends about it but you could only see bits of it on the Toppatron in the background. We'll find out next week.

    1. That's a great story, it must have all been very exciting to be involved with ~ I wonder why Queen left it so late to make a video, with the song already being at number one? Perhaps they didn't expect it to be such a success so quickly?

    2. Bama, we're honoured to be in your presence on this blog with your involvement in the making of the video for this No.1. It's a good thing that the two weeks it was at No.1 were not Yewtreed shows, cos that would not have been fair

    3. According to Popscene, Under Pressure was accompanied by the audience dancing on 26 November show and by stills on the New Year's Eve show, implying that the video was never shown on TOTP. It will be interesting to see tonight if any snatches of the video do feature, perhaps interspersed with audience dancing as we have seen done with other videos in recent weeks.

    4. John, I think the video was not produced until after 1981 completed. Even though at the time, we had no other way of seeing the videos outside of TOTP, or possibly any ITV shows, the first I saw of it was some years later when we have more than three terrestrial channels, and programmes like The Chart Show on Channel 4 which had a lookback to a past No.1.

  4. Ah, the festive season is on its way so we get Modern Romance and Rudolph the Red-Nosed... Moose. Right. Is this the textbook definition of a riot of colour?

    There's an easy job, be Julio's backing singers. Just go "bah bah" once in the entire song and you're sorted. As for the man himself, oh dear, couldn't get a work permit, then? Is he performing in the studio when he reaches the top, or are we stuck with the extreme closeup video?

    The Pretenders and their invisible trumpeter with a really rather lovely Ray Davies tune. Just right for those long winter nights.

    ABC with a different set of dancers this time, and Martin in Ben Elton's Saturday Live suit. Obviously the gold lamé hadn't arrived yet.

    Diana Ross losing her shirt in Las Vegas, or her spangly jacket at least. Not sure what she was trying to prove with this 50s cover, was she trying to be the new Showaddywaddy?

    It's the 80s so here's Fun Boy Three to tell us about the imminent nuclear war in one of the most ominous Top 40 singles of the decade. Why they're dressed to go jogging I don't know.

    Kudos to the bloke doing robotics to reggae as Trevor Walters bravely battles through this ridiculousness. The dancer in the pink tutu has a face like thunder.

    So, Marc, when's the new album out? Does he go to sleep in his eyeliner, then, or does he put it on before he gets up? Anyway, top synth miserablism from Soft Cell, kidding themselves they're having fun there.

    Let's hope there were no Cincinnati gorillas among Zoo this week. I'm waiting for Alternative Car Park to make an appearance. As for the song, these collaborations don't always succeed, but they came up with something very dramatic that didn't sound like anything else in the charts, so little wonder it did the business.

    Some suspiciously overage dancers in the play out, had Zoo brought their mums?

  5. Sorry to keep on about Zoo, but the credits tell us two of them were called Foxy and Voyd. Do you think they still go by those monikers?

    1. thx are you suggesting they weren't their given names?

    2. it's a shame another zoo member wasn't called nul. if so then maybe they could have split from zoo as a duo, on the same way that tik & tok did from similar dance troupe shock...

  6. host: at least steve has ditched the geography teacher-style jackets, but having his own name on his jumper suggests he's still not all that comfortable at having to present the show. he tells us the fun boy three "used to be the specials". no they didn't steve, they used to be IN the specials - if the likes of jerry dammers and roddy radiation were watching then no doubt they would have been somewhat pissed-off at that. and the way he introduces trevor walters suggests that he and trev have got something going on with each other! still, he gets plus points for (unlike some of his colleagues) for pronouncing bowie's name correctly - something that many still do erroneously, even to this day (a bit like when people refer to the pointy-eared alien in "star trek" as "dr spock"!)

    modern romance: musically this will always be cod-latin piffle to my ears, but as sheer entertainment i can't complain. this time most of the band are swamped by zoo and/or audience members, including a carmen miranda-lookalike. and they've ditched the suits in favour of slightly-more appropriate flamenco attire (that might be latin, but not latin american!). david jaymes' fringe isn't giving him as much trouble as in the last performance, but why does he sing along in the verses when there's plainly only one voice to be heard? it's a literal interpretation and an obvious thing to do, but i found the percussionist very a-moose-ing (ouch!)

    julio: why is he in the studio talking to steve with his song playing in the background when he could be miming to it instead? i remember the talk of him being a goalkeeper for real madrid in his youth, and that others who played in that position before they became famous included the then-current pope, albert camus and salvador dali. actually i made the last one up, but had he been a goalie then he would no doubt have played for surreal madrid ho ho!

    pretenders: a quite pleasant ballad, and i always like the orchestral touches of french horn and dulcimer. there is also a piano doing most of the rhythm, but no sign of any of these things on stage. much was made of the fact that this was written by ray davies, even though his band were pretty much seen as 60's relics by then. i'm not saying that chrissie hynde is a slag or anything, but she certainly seemed to have a thing for dating rock stars, including two of her own band and mr davies himself. bassist pete farndon has abandoned his quiff, instead styling his barnet to make himself look like some weird male clone of chrissie - that's assuming that is him, as it's difficult to tell with all that hair in his eyes!

    abc: there was a bit of a vogue at this time for drumkits without tom-toms and cymbals, as modelled by the drummer (david palmer, who was the coolest-looking member of the band by the way). but it does look a bit odd without such things. i don't know who played the congas on the record, but i suspect it wasn't abc's equivalent of spandau's steve norman. i'm not sure if this is a repeat or a new performance (the sweaty guy from last time has definitely been replaced during the instrumental break). and to me it doesn't sound quite the same as the original recording - is it what was by-now a rare circumstance of a band re-recording their hit (in this case using artificial horn sounds) at the beeb to satisfy MU demands?

    diana ross: the stick insect returns to capitalise on her career resuscitation (no) thanks to chic. but neither this lame cover of an old doo wop tune and the accompanying video (where she puts on perhaps the most forced and plastic smile ever witnessed) suggest that was enough to rescue her from vegas cabaret hell

    1. You could tell it was a new ABC performance because Martin didn't blow his nose into his handkerchief at the end. Don't think this was rerecorded for the BBC, though, I think you're hearing the original version that was rerecorded for the album to make it more "of a piece" with the other tracks. That newer version is all you hear now.

    2. I was wondering if the ABC track was different to the original recording as well, there just seemed less power to it. I know it was redone for the album too. Maybe the sound quality of the TV show just lends it less power than what I'm used to.

  7. it's another two parter...

    fun boy three: since terry hall split from the specials he's started cultivating his plantpot haircut. note how the three wear slightly different white tops (sleeved t-shirt / sleeveless shirt / singlet). the visual effect used in much of this reminds me of the "smudgestick" and other artistic filters function on photoshop. i didn't particularly like this song, but even today i still find myself singing the chorus whenever i'm bamboozled by bureaucracy

    trevor walters: this time he's surrounded by dancers, but somewhat curiously it looks like a couple he's brought along himself, whilst others are supplied by the show's producers. despite that it's an improvement on him standing by himself as in his last appearance. the dickie skinner casual wear is not though. i'm sure the first line of the melody is ripped-off from something else, but although it's on the tip of my tongue i can't quite place it

    soft cell: i was getting quite sick of "tainted love", so this follow-up was gladly received as it was far superior to my ears. and unlike most pop songs, it also highly resonated lyrically with me as i was actually living in such a place at the time whilst signing on (and the poignant plinky-plonk xylophone sound was a musical reflection of that situation). unlike now where you have stuff like dvd's and the internet available, there was little in the way of entertainment back then. so whatever you did, you did it very slowly - a "skill" i still put to use today at times thanks to being a graduate with distinction of thatcher's "dole academy"!. this is the first time i've seen this (excellent) video to my recollection - mr almond's bedsit is much more stylised than mine was, although i found one good way of passing the time as well as making my room a bit more cosy was to cut out pictures of (mainly new romantic-associated) acts out of the music newspapers and magazines that i could somehow afford out of my meagre handouts, and stick them all over the walls. although i was very much a fan of that scene i never dared to start wearing make-up, so obviously unlike marc i didn't have to be mindful of the maxim that it's bad for your skin if you don't take it off before retiring for the night. also unlike him i didn't really clean my teeth that often back then, which may explain why i've got hardly any left now! seeing the fairy liquid bottle (was that some kind of in-joke by the video director?) reminds me that i have a photo of my old bedsit where there's one prominently displayed. unlike marc i did actually have a kitchen separate to my room. but as it was a communal one there was no way i was going to leave my washing-up liquid there as it wouldn't last five minutes, and the only convenient place to keep it in my room was on top of my (black & white and unlicenced) telly alongside the bog roll! by the way: although i occasionally went out clubbing to get away from the hopelessness of such a life, my main avenue of escape was playing a synth in bands... and fantasising that one day i would also be on "top of the pops"!

    queen/bowie: although like everyone else i got quite excited at the thought of these well-established musical icons collaborating, i always thought the result was disappointing to put it mildly. and even today have little retention of it other than the bass riff at the beginning. in later years i did actually play keyboards with both a bowie and a queen tribute band at around the same time in the same town. but even though i don't care for the track i tried to get "bowie" and "freddie" to get together to perform it, and was disappointed when i didn't succeed

    jets: watching the dancing going on behind the credits, apart from the professional dancers i also noticed that some of the "normal" audience are starting to look quite cool in a new romantic way - look out for the david sylvian clone!

    1. As usual, and as always, we get the full studio dancing on the playout on the late night repeat, this week The Jets, and suffice to say that even in 1981, we did not see this much of it in the one and only showing on a Thursday night early evening.

      This makes our late night repeats all the more poignant now, and the only one I record, as these are a first you could say, and never seen like this before, as even in 1981, where the picture would cut out at the end of the credits, so that the schedules could move quickly onto the next show, i.e., Tomorrows World, etc.
      But now 35 years later we get so much more dancing, well after the credits are done, and never seen even in 1981 like this.

    2. Tommorows World was still shown before Pops at that stage.

    3. So what was on the TV schedules after TOTP, that they had to fade out the playout song before the end, and play less of it than what we can see now in the repeats in 2016?

    4. "Blankety Blank", starting at 7.55.

  8. wilberforce - there was indeed a French horn on 'I Go To Sleep', played by Geoff Bryant (presumably not the Australian rules footballer), but the 'dulcimer' you mention is more likely to be a combination of lead guitar and synthesiser. Unstable though their personal relationship was, Ray Davies CBE owes Chrissie Hynde a vote of thanks for providing him with his only British Top 10 song of the 80s. ('Come Dancing', which reached No.6 in the US, peaked at No.12 on this side of the Atlantic, while The Stranglers' 1988 British Top 10 cover of 'All Day and All Of The Night' had already been a No.2 hit for The Kinks.)

    Julio - already a million-selling superstar throughout Hispanic America - would soon become a firm favourite with Mums and Dads all over the world, my own included. 'Begin The Beguine' was the first British No.1 to be sung in Spanish (save for the phrase 'When they begin the beguine').

    Soft Cell's 'Bedsitter' is, arguably, the strongest follow-up to a worldwide smash ever recorded. Marc Almond's lyrical, and indeed autobiographical, summary of a day in the life of a British art student was simultaneously upbeat and melancholy, hence its high chart placing. Award-winning journalist Jon Savage rightly described it as one of the greatest songs of the 80s.

    With an all-time classic collaboration at No.1, this edition of TOTP - while not particularly memorable - deserves at least 7/10.

  9. shaky shakerson3 June 2016 at 11:00

    Steve "Wrightie" Wright dons a bright blue self-regarding jumper, grabs a mic and gets this party started with Modern Romance's paen to nonsense Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosie. And, as if their garish costumes weren't busy and loud enough, the producers fill the screen with just about every audience member as well as all 216 members of Zoo. In fact so many people are on screen at times it is sometimes hard to actually see the band. So, well played Mr Producer.

    Hoolio on vid again before a brief studio interview with the man himself, who would later claim to have slept with over 1000 women. Hardly surprising given that he's a handsome sod and has that oh-so-sexy accent - made more handsome and more sexy merely by standing next to Wrightie.

    Next - a real treat for me; sultry Chrissie Hynd and the boys with I Go To Sleep. Love this song especially Chrissie's vocals and that 60s French horn sound. Wouldn't mind hearing the Kinks' version to compare and contrast. Oh, and a black turtle neck jumper never looked so sexy.

    One of the few upbeat songs on this week's show (ABC) is then bumped from the early show before La Ross makes another appearance in a terribly twee Only-In-America video for a by-numbers re-hash of an over-played over-familiar 50s standard. It is hard to reconcile this being released as a single after a run of much more modern Chic-produced decent songs. A waste of vinyl.

    Funboy Three. A good start to the merry funsters too-short chart career; Terry Hall still strangely reluctant to open his mouth too wide as he 'sings'.

    Lets gloss over Trevor Walters shall we and move straight on to another two belters. Soft Cell return with the brilliant Bedsitter. This is a very evocative tune with that bass-y throb and keyboard motif matched with Almond's day-in-the-life lyrics. Don't remember the video but its a decent enough effort portraying the seediness of yer average bedsit of the time.

    Queen/Bowie rocket to the top spot so fast that there is no video to play and with both acts being huge stars and unwilling to schlep their way down to the ToTP studios we get more Zooologists interpreting the problems of being 'under pressure' through the medium of dance.

    Queen are often cited as being video originators for the classic Bohemian Rhapsody and Bowie was one of the first to fully get behind the medium, so why no video for this one? Even if it was a cheap and cliched recording-studio style one, we still would have got a chance to see Bowie and Mercury together. A missed oportunity.

    Right then - scores. Wrightie gets a 6. He is slowly getting used to the cameras now, and he is pleasingly reluctant to get too involved with the audience. But he should refrain from dancing.

    Musically the show is a step-up on recent outings. Soft Cell and The Pretenders were the pick of the bunch ably supported by Fun Boy 3 ABC and the number 1. Zoo are still annoying though, and the colours used on the chart rundown were garish to say the least. I'll say a 7.

  10. There was a lot of fast forwarding going on for this one, not a great line-up though I agree with those who have said that Steve Wright is improving.

    Modern Romance - where to start? Slightly more appropriate costumes except for Rudolph the red-nosed errr...moose (obviously they were giving it an airing with Christmas on the way) a giant conga and a 'Brazilian' Lady who was probably from Romford. Kitchen sink not pictured.

    I suspect that the Julio interview was cut short as he became even more incomprehensible. I was struggling to understand his answer to the question about starting out in the UK. 'Ethetheth pethetheth sminkipinki Chris Waddle' or something like that I think.

    The Pretenders song is quite nice but her hair annoyed me then and she still sports the 'birds nest' look now!

    Diana Ross with an awful cover and Fun Boy Three with a dirge. Next!

    Ah, a great tune from Soft Cell with an interesting video which we get - shock - in full.

    'Under Pressure' is one of those songs that doesn't sound complicated but as I know from trying to sing it myself, it bloody well is! For some reason, I always forget that it was Number 1, possibly because it's so different from many other chart toppers in 81.

    1. I thought the Modern Romance guy had quite a weird top on, preferred his earlier look.

  11. I thought this was one of the stronger shows we have seen recently, give or take a couple of longueurs. Modern Romance must have been like manna from heaven to Michael Hurll, a perfect fit for his party atmosphere. Having said that, I think the staging does go a bit too overboard this time, with the serried ranks of dancers and audience threatening to overwhelm the band - the presence of the moose was a nice cheesy touch.

    I Go to Sleep is probably the best thing The Pretenders ever did, as well as being another great illustration of Ray Davies' songwriting talent. This was an appropriately slow-paced performance, with Chrissie looking very fetching in her huge jumper - I assume it must have been cold outside!

    This was definitely a new performance from ABC - I notice Popscene have already updated their information to reflect that. We then get a pleasant but lightweight rendition by Miss Ross of the old Frankie Lymon classic, which completely misses the passion and desperation of the original. This was Diana's first single release after leaving Motown, and it does not make a particularly auspicious start to this new phase of her career - tacky Vegas backdrops (it is one of the places on Earth I least want to visit) do not a good video make either.

    I was impressed by how much Terry Hall's hair had grown in four short months! Clearly he and the others were trying to distance themselves as much as possible from The Specials with their choice of clothes, but the song itself bears similarities to the creepiness of Ghost Town. I liked its minimalist feel, and it had quite a compelling beat, though better would come from the trio later on. Trevor Walters is the third act tonight to pay a second visit to the studio for his hit, though I think he looked better in a white suit rather than smart casual.

    It's always nice to hear a Soft Cell song that isn't Tainted Love, and Bedsitter is a very accomplished piece of work, both catchy and poignant. I like the chorus in particular, with its air of desperate jollity which gets pushed up a notch at the end of the song. The video is quite evocative too, though I'm not keen on Dave Ball's 'tache! For a long time I didn't much like Under Pressure, as I thought it was too weird and self-indulgent. It's grown on me in recent years, though unfortunately TOTP cut it here just as it reached the best bit. This was definitely the best routine we have seen from Zoo so far - it fitted the music well, and it looked as if some thought had actually been applied to the choreography.

    The closing crowd dance was good fun this week, with everyone appearing to enjoy themselves as they jived to The Jets, while those outsize carnival costumes provided amusement - I liked the ladybird in particular. I would agree that Wrighty seemed more comfortable this time, and he handled that rather unenlightening interview with Julio well enough, but there was still a lingering sense of self-consciousness about the way he addressed the camera. He also deserves black marks for having his own name on his jumper, saying that Fun Boy Three "used to be The Specials" and mispronouncing Julio's surname in the chart rundown, having already discussed the correct pronunciation with the man himself in the interview...

    1. I definitely liked this episode more than the next one, even with the same number 1. There's just more tunes.

  12. The Diana Ross song has a tune but lacks the soul of the original. It's the same kind of middle of the road US cover as the Manilow Let's Hang On, also without the soul of the original but at least more inventive than this Diana Ross effort.

    Bedsitter actually starts very boringly for me, it's meant to have some kind of energy but it just sounds bored. Then it turns to something completely different in the chorus and definitely more expressive and interesting. Say Hello Wave Goodbye is better.

    Fun Boy Three I started off rather diffident about, it's a mood song than a melody one. It seems perkier in the verse and more downbeat in the chorus. As it goes on they seem to give a bit more oomph to the chorus. Ok if not special.

    The Pretenders cover is ok but I remember liking the Ray Davies version more, more soul to it. This version has more sleepiness which is another way of looking at it, though it might seem less edgy and more middle of road in comparison.

  13. Good show tonight with one of my favourite hosts.

    Modern Romance – Ay ay ay Moosey – The keyboard player has the idea here; wear a moose head (wasn’t that a Canadian beer?) and the audience are in ‘locomotion’ mood. Rousing way to start the show with Steve showing his moves too.

    Julio Iglesias – Begin the beguine – Same film as before….and then he appears next to Steve looking exactly like he did in the video. ‘Inglesias’ it is pronounced….so now we know!

    Pretenders – I go to sleep – Pleasant tune with a different bridge to the rest of the song and is not sleep inducing. Chrissie looks cool in her white slacks.

    ABC – Tears are not enough – Still brilliant after all these years. Worthy repeat.

    Diana Ross – Why do fools fall in love – Hated this on release. Now it’s ok, but prefer the original. Flashy video.

    Fun Boy Three – Lunatics – If ever there was a more inappropriately named group! There is nothing ‘fun’ about this song and it reminds me of Hotlegs ‘Neanderthal Man’. Usual deadpan delivery from Tel while the other chaps wear sensible attire for a hot TV studio.

    Trevor Walters – Love me tonight – Nothing to add about this song except that Steve’s ‘Yes it is’ badge disappears at the end! He introduces the song wearing it and then it’s gone afterwards.

    Soft Cell – Bedsitter – Another one that is better given the passage of time. St Johns Wood station is of course where you alight to go to Lords Cricket ground. Prior 1979 this was part of the Bakerloo line with the Jubilee line taking over in 1979, so this video is in the ‘Jubilee’ era.

    Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure – Sublime, wonderful, superb song. What can I say that hasn’t been said already? (forget Vanilla Ice Ice Baby). The Zoo interpretation is another kettle of fish. Simply awful. Mercifully cut short before the “cos love’s such an old fashioned word..” section. TOTP let this down badly, but to be fair it’s not a dance record, so maybe a photo montage would have been better.

    Jets – Yes tonight Josephine – Another extended playout that’s probably not been seen I full before.

    Footnote – Worth watching the Carpenters Greatest Hits programme broadcast on 03/06 on C5. Yes, I’ve seen the videos before but some of the snippets on the captions were news to me. Karen dated Barry Manilow? Never knew that. Karen’s favourite track is ‘I need to be in love’ and Richard felt that they shouldn’t have recorded ‘There’s a kind of hush’ as the original (Herman’s Hermits) was so good. Maybe that’s why it’s been omitted from a lot of Carpenters compilations. Oh one goof I spotted; the caption said that ‘Hurting each other’ was the first single taken from the 1973 album ‘A Song for you’. In fact the record was released in 1972. Strangely ‘Goodbye to love’ was not featured at all.

    1. Moosehead is Canada's oldest independent brewery. Apparently, it would have been the first name of former Canadian tennis player Carling Bassett or her sister if her dad had worked there instead of at the Carling brewery at the time!

    2. I think Under Pressure is a dance song of a kind, but the dance put to it just didn't fit at all. They did at least look more like a dance troupe rather than just individuals, and the moves looked interesting if inappropriate.

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  14. Another lumpy performance from Steve Wright - hand on hip again, still nodding his head like a Thunderbirds puppet, pisspronouncing Julio’s name and apparently asking Trevor Walters to love him tonight while feeling sad by his song!

    Ooh! The rare sighting of both a double-neck guitar and a double-neck bass in the mugshot photo for Rush.

    Here come the former Leyton Buzzards in a spot of Where’s Wally. Talking of the animal costume, does anyone else remember a short-lived Milky Way-type bar in the 70’s called Super Mousse which had a laughing moose emblem on the wrapper?

    Olive oil oozed out of my set when Senor Inglesias was on. I wonder how many of those backing singers he’d, erm, done the beguine with?

    Nice box, Chrissie – erm, I meant under your foot! Who’s the Ramone on bass? Nice to see Martin Chambers’ infeasibly high cymbals again, used on a fine song emotively sung.

    Brilliance again from ABC (number 5 in this week’s album chart with “Lexicon of Love II”, fact fans) with an early Malcolm from OMD-style drumkit and the first of three acts singing into a very upright mic.

    Diana Ross. Song – tackyville. Location –Ultratackyville, recently advertised as a shag capital, claiming it as a place where your accent is an aphrodisiac. Yuk!

    Upright mics again with the FB3’s doomy “Stereotype” vibe track, plus we get to see where Beaker of the Muppets’ hairstyle and the beret from Linx’s Sketch went to.

    Right, Steve, so Trevor’s song was a reggae love song? That’ll be lovers rock, then. Yet another upright mic. Shame about the intruders stage left, right and in front – what a waste of Bacofoil.

    Intriguing to see Marc Almond’s clothes matching the wallpaper and a moody acting part for David for one of those hits where the title isn’t in the lyrics.

    The rest of the song was intriguing to me. FF for the number one and the Stray Jets.

    1. I remember Super Mousse, I basically used to exist on it because it was a cheap pudding for cash-strapped mums to buy. Don't recall it being a bar, though, it was a dessert in plastic tubs with a cardboard lid you peeled off, like yoghurt only 75% air and 25% whatever the flavourings and colourings consisted of.

    2. I forgot, there were actually two products called Super Mousse! The one you mentioned was made by Birds Eye.

    3. I used to have the Birds Eye Super Mousse for pudding. It was definitely a kind of mousse, and used to be topped with cream - or what looked like cream, anyway! Quite often we would have eaten a Findus French Bread Pizza beforehand - a more 1980s tea is hard to imagine...

  15. With thanks and copyright credits to the relevant people, here's what I meant, a Cadbury's bar...

  16. Arthurs thanks. Super Mousse bars were delicious. How can I describe the flavour in modern bar terms? Sort of Milky Way. The adverts featured a spoof comic strip of 'Mr Mousse' and the original wrappers were just the navy blue with yellow lettering without the picture of Mr Mousse. Anyone with a circa 1972/3 collection of Cor!!! comics may find these ads - I threw mine out years ago sadly.

    1. ....just found this on the net.

      So it was 1971 when these delicious treats came out and I was a regular reader of this long discontinued comic....and yes I did cut out the coupon and claim my freebie!

    2. I know we're way off tangent here (but thanks, folks!) but I love the way the SM initials are tattooed onto Super Mousse's torso - or is it (possibly opening another can of the proverbials) an Action Transfer?

    3. i have the vaguest of memories for the super mousse bar - interesting that cadburys had their own version of the milky way, as they did with with the mars bar (aztec). neither lasted very long, so i wonder if there were some legal copyright issues going on on?

  17. I don't think there's any legal issue here - just a case of company X attempting to imitate company Y's successful product and letting the public decide whether there's room for both. (Cadbury's launched Roses two years after Rowntree launched Quality Street with more success). Incidentally Cadbury's launched nd withdrew other products in this period - Country Style and Ice Breaker spring to mind.

    1. Indeed. This should jog a few memories although no Super Mousse!

    2. thanks sct for that brilliant link. i remember most of those chocolate bars and indeed ate many of them - no wonder i've hardly got any teeth left now! i'd love to try the long-since-discontinued ice breaker and bar six ones again (who made the latter by the way?). and look how cheap they all are compared to now where they're 10 times more expensive (well, if you buy them the same way as you did back then in newsagents and corner shops - i suspect many purchase them cheap in bulk in supermarkets these days, as i do) - was the average wage also at least ten times as much now as then?

      also: from memory, didn't the super mousse bar have ridges going from one end to the other on the top?

    3. Bar Six was made by Cadbury. There are some intriguing offerings here – the long-lost Weekend selection, a minty Caramac, a plain chocolate Toffee Crisp, a plain chocloate Flake, lesser efforts by Sharps and Mackintosh, and a number of bars I’d either forgotten about or never heard of.

      Right, I’m off now to play some Jigsaw and Sweet as a tribute!

    4. The jigsaw and its similar counterparts are an absolute joy to construct. Rather that than shedloads of pieces of sky and trees!!!

      Yes, I recall the Super Mousse 'ridges' too!