Thursday, 30 June 2016

Waiting For a Top of the Pops Like You

They certainly kept us waiting for the 7.30pm show tonight after it was put back an hour without so much of a mention due to some tennis match that BBC2 knocked into BBC4's court at the last second......

You can not be serious!

21-1-82: Presenter: David Jensen

(36) GILLAN – Restless
Became Gillan's final top 30 hit when it peaked at number 25. Still, a nice career awaited him as presenter of that Coast programme years later :-)

 (6) JON & VANGELIS – I’ll Find My Way Home ®
Now at its peak. And edited out of the 7.30 8.30pm showing.

 (14) PHIL LYNOTT – Yellow Pearl (video)
This is as high as the new theme tune got. And they also edited this out too.

 (13) THE MOBILES – Drowning In Berlin
Went up four more places. And edited out of the 8.30pm slot.

Flick Colby's Zoo donned their Starship Trooper outfits for this routine and Ticket to the Moon rose two more places.

 (7) MEAT LOAF – Dead Ringer For Love (video)
A big leap up the chart and a first top ten hit for Meatloaf peaking at number 5.

 (41) XTC – Senses Working Overtime
This represented a real chart peak for the band becoming their only top ten hit when it reached number 10 and taken from their top five album English Settlement.

 (31) ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK – Maid Of Orleans (The Waltz Of Joan Of Arc)
Became the band's fourth (and possibly greatest) top ten hit in a row when it 'maid' it to number 4.

 (18) CHRISTOPHER CROSS – Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) (video)
This American number one, from the Dudley Moore hit movie Arthur, was Christopher's only top ten hit in the UK reaching number 7.

 (8) FOREIGNER – Waiting For A Girl Like You (video)
The band's first top ten hit now at its peak.

 (1) BUCKS FIZZ – The Land Of Make Believe ®
Second and final week at number one for this well disguised anti-Thatcher song.

 (22) SHAKATAK – Easier Said Than Done (crowd dancing) (and credits)
On its way to number 12.

Next up then, tennis permitting, is January 28th 1982.


  1. ELO – they just keep the hits coming, don’t they? However, this one if you read the lyrics is one of the most heart-stopping stories of a man with a ticket to the moon who doesn’t want the journey and wishes he could go back to the 1980s “when things were so uncomplicated” and his love was there for him.

    It really does bring a tear to the eye when you read the words of the song, and pity that this tune, like Twilight, had only one appearance on TOTP, both times with Zoo dancing to it. However, Ticket To The Moon saw Zoo doing a typical Legs & Co style performance. Weird, but I would have preferred Legs & Co on this one.

    Meat Loaf – only the first half of the video was shown this week, ie, only the first two minutes, but Meat and Cher really made the whole concept of the pop video and the fun of the 1980s what it was remembered for, and credit to them for reaching the top 5 the following week with this energetic number.

    Bucks Fizz – worthy second week at No.1, but I don’t understand why Cheryl was wearing a Flintstones cartoon outfit which contrasted too much with Jay Aston bridal outfit.

    Blog title alternatives this week:
    1. Top Of The Pops Working Overtime (it really is with two shows per week on BBC4)
    2. Ticket To Top Of The Pops
    3. Top Of The Pops And Brew (lyrics from Deadringer For Love)

  2. Top of the Pops Working Overtime is a very good one :-)

    1. Great, so perhaps we could have that title for the 4th Feb show with John Peel, as XTC will be back for their second appearance!

  3. With the sparse arrangement and slight reggae beat in the verses, I suspect that XTC had been listening to Police - but Andy Partridge, the Angel Clare of new wave, was more like his usual self in the memorable chorus. The Byrds appear to have been another influence on this well-crafted offering, with Dave Gregory's 12-string Rickenbacker a key feature of the single. As some other internet users have pointed out, Mr Partridge is vocally akin to former Sailor frontman Georg Kajanus.

    OMD are so melodic, aren't they? Teardrop Explodes' mainman Julian Cope actively disliked them, dismissing them in the press as "Leo Sayer with synthesisers", which suggested that he liked neither the duo nor the diminutive Australian (as he is now). Although I admired Teardrop, they did not have that gift for consistently turning out instantly likable pop songs that OMD had - hence the latter band enjoyed a much longer string of hits. Even my dear Dad loved 'Maid of Orleans' - though coming from Hoylake, which adjoins OMD's home village of Meols, he may well have been a little biased.

    Also on tonight's bill are two acts who have become firm favourites with Dame Shirley Bassey: Christopher Cross and Foreigner. The Tigress has frequently covered both 'Arthur's Theme' and Foreigner's other big British hit 'I Want To Know What Love Is' in concert. ("I love Lou Gramm to bits, but he doesn't have the range! I WANNA KNOOWWWW what love IIIISSSS...that's how it should be sung!")

    At that time, the chart was full of quality music to suit most tastes. That is why the re-runs of TOTP are a joy, week after week.

    1. Interesting point you make about OMD, as my thoughts were the same. However, Maid Of Orleans was supposed to be a follow-up to Joan of Arc as two separate singles releases at the end of 1981 and beginning of 1982, but on Maid Of Orlean they sing about Joan Of Arc, so please can someone clarify for me as I'm totally confused on how Joan Of Arc was sung about on both singles.

      Suffice to say that Joan Of Arc had no video made for it, but the follow-up single Maid Of Orleans did have one, considering that Joan Of Arc was the Maid Of Orleans. Totally confused now. Help!

    2. I read on another site that Andy McCluskey wrote both songs after a visit to Orleans. He considered scrapping one of the songs, but apparently his bandmates - and Dindisc/Virgin Records - thought both songs deserved to be recorded.

    3. P.S. I omitted to mention above that 'Maid of Orleans' was subtitled 'The Waltz Joan of Arc'.

    4. Maid of Orleans was the first of the two songs to be written - apparently on 30 May 1981, the 550th anniversary of Joan's execution - but Andy didn't think it would work and wrote what became Joan of Arc as a replacement. As Julie mentions, the rest of the band persuaded him that Maid of Orelans should be recorded as well, and thank goodness they did!

    5. Thanks John, it's beginning to make some sort of sense now.

    6. After Maid of Orleans, OMD took a break, then launched 'Dazzle Ships', and promptly sank for a while!

  4. Nice touch from Flick Colby to have two of her Zoo staff dancing on the instrumental break for Jon & Vangelis. I'm now beginning to see the benefits of how Zoo was a positive move for TOTP, for in this weeks case, we had a male-female dance couple taking on the instrumental break of Jon & Vangelis, and then at a "Flick" of a switch, we had 7 other girls from Zoo dancing to Ticket To The Moon by ELO in a Legs & Co style routine, to show that Zoo had now fully and completely covered the void by Legs & Co, plus the added benefit of the male-female dancing combination possibility at any time should they so wish.

    As Julie says, these reruns are a joy to watch, week after week, and this manoeuvring of dance troupe staff to suit any song on TOTP was something that could not automatically be done with Legs & Co with no male dancers in the group, and it really came at a good time in TOTP history, so let's embrace this stroke of genius by TOTP and look forward to more of what Zoo had to offer until 1983.

  5. Shakey Shakerson1 July 2016 at 02:29

    David Kid gets his inverted commas back and starts the show off to the left of camera to allow us a good look at a new ToTP sign on the wall.

    'Mike Read can't be with us' says our Canadian friend. Was he supposed to be? Was this supposed to be the start of the twin-handed era?

    Anyway it looks like a less-populated studio this week as we cross the floor to have a good look at Gillan's new song. God this is pants. It's nowhere near fast or hard enough to merit Gillan's head-throwing, and in fact after the initial squeaky-vocalled verses it breaks down into a kind of American soft-rock load of bollocks. It's weedy and lacks any kind of tune or hook and Gillan's high-pitched squeals grate on the very last of my nerves.

    Yellow Pearl. At last a video instead of endless bits of Zoo-dancing. Anyone else get a bit of racist-vibe from this. I know the title is a pun on Yellow Peril and the lyrics and video compare the 80s march of Japanese technology to the WW2 fears of actual Japanese invasion, but it seems a bit too unPC to be screened in these ridiculously PC world.

    ELO. Oh wow - don't remember this, but what a song!. Starting off like an homage to Jacques Brel before sliding gorgeously into the chorus and then a section that sounds like it's come from the middle of a concept album. Nice bit of ethereal dancing from the female Zooologists as well.

    Oh look. This week's Fairbrass is the cowboy version.

    XTC. Like the verses to this, but the chorus, not so much. Nice to hear again though. Good performance.

    Blimey - all in the one show we get ELO, XTC and now OMD. Its like a round of Countdown. Maid of Orleans is just great to listen to - not to dance to as proved by the audience.

    Oh gawd the 'hitsound countdown' is back, and the first part takes us down to 18 and Christopher Cross. Now I'm going to nail my colours to the mast on this guy. I love him. I had his eponymous debut album and played it to death. I even got it again on CD a few years back and once again played it to death. It's a fantastic collection of pop music and instantly brings back my youth. This Arthur theme tune isn't quite up there but it's still great.

    We end with a repeat of the Christmas studio visit from Bucks Fizz and a playout from Shakatak.

    So to the scores. David Kid was his usual relaxed authoritive self. He does, however, drop a point for the return of his 'hitsound rundown' and for the unmathematicalness of that rundown. Still cops for an 8 though.

    Musically this was pretty good. Christopher Cross and all of the three-initial bands ( is that an Albert Hammond song?) were my picks whilst Gillan's opener was the only black mark. 8.

    1. As it was a Phil Lynott solo song, and not listed as Thin Lizzy, it could be why he may not have liked to appear in the TOTP studio since it's first line up list appearance on the 10th Dec 1981 show with Saville.

      I wonder if Phil Lynott was more comfortable appearing in the studio as Thin Lizzy, and not as Phil Lynott solo, as we had to make do with Zoo for the first two showings, and then the video this week for its final one.

    2. Mike Read was listed in the Radio Times as the host for this show, so presumably he must have been ill or otherwise engaged...

  6. That tennis match would have been far better if Jo Konta had won. Jo! *shakes fist*

    Maybe we could have had John McEnroe's band on instead of Gillan, it would have been more appropriate? Does he have to wear those trousers that tight to reach the high notes? The musical equivalent of a mug of builder's tea.

    Looked like a new dancey bit in the middle of Jon and Vangelis's tune. Probably wise.

    Oh, would this be the TOTP theme then? You should have said. Anyway, I suppose Walkmen looked pretty hip and happening back in 1982, but that's the risk you take when you introduce up to the minute stuff in your video, they get dated very fast. We are now living in a situation where that self-same situation depends on the yellow pearl, of course. Makes perfect sense, Phil.

    They might as well have just repeated the previous Mobiles performance for all the difference it made. Apart from one thing: the robot dance in the middle has been replaced with skipping. Someone must have had a word.

    Not a very distinguished ELO track, Jeff Lynne feeling sorry for himself didn't make for his best work. How does that ticket machine work then?

    Meat Loaf and Cher cut off in their prime before we clapped eyes on the saucy oil painting. Is the big man still in hospital, anyone know?

    XTC, this one always made me think of The Kinks, what a terrific tune, this was the band at their finest, melodic, eccentric, they really should have been bigger than they were. Andy Partridge's new song on that Monkees album isn't too bad either.

    OMG it's OMD, still musing over poor old Joan in one of their moodier numbers, with the keening synths contrasted with the military drums. Rather good, but surprised they kept in the long, buzzing intro.

    Christopher Cross with the Burt Bacharach-penned theme to a comedy about the lighter side of alcoholism, with dear Sir Johnny turning the air blue for laughs. Weird, I was convinced this video featured Christopher at the piano, but I don't think you see one piano in the whole thing! Wistful ditty that suits his plaintive vocal style.

    Yeesh, they should have asked Christopher Cross to sing the Foreigner song too, those are some ropey vocals there.

    Then Bucks Fizz's other crowning achievement to end on, followed by a bit of grooving to the dentist's waiting room sounds of Shakatak.

    1. Watching the same tennis match, it was Eugenie Buchard's devastating display of tennis that knocked out Konta in the deciding set.

    2. Well, Jo was pretty devastating in the second set, she just couldn't keep up the standard. Eugenie is definitely on the comeback trail, though - aged 22! I'm so old...

    3. Watched another promising tennis player on TV today, and her name always makes me think of that Tight Fit tune: Coco Vandeweghe. A-vandeweghe, a-vandeweghe, a-vandeweghe, a-vandeweghe... well, you get the idea with that.

    4. Isn't 'Chalk dust' coming up soon?

    5. Yeah, I remember that spoof TOTP studio performance of Chalk Dust with tennis rackets and tennis balls, with the main chorus being "chalk flew up."

      Hope everyone is enjoying Wimbledon and supporting of Andy Murray in today's quarter finals, as the last Briton standing.

    6. "The Brat" had a pretty cheap video to go with it, too. A pity the real McEnroe won't be in the country when the TOTP repeats schedule it, I would be interesting to gauge his reaction. Bet nobody does a Nick Kyrgios song.

    7. If they did one for Kyrgios, it would be something like...."Who cares about Stan Wawrinka when my friend Kokkinakis banged Stan's girlfriend..."

    8. Yeah, it's probably for the best hardly anyone makes novelty records anymore!

  7. Did anyone notice the TOTP snip at the beginning of the Meat Loaf video between where Cher presses the jukebox button till Meat starts the first verse?
    In the official video, Cher after pressing the jukebox button, walks up to the bar towards her girlfriends, but for some reason this 10-seconds or so of film was not on the TOTP version??

    Also the last minute of the video was not shown on both TOTP outings, where Meat Loaf and Cher walk out of the bar together arm in arm while the boy and girl dancers have their own stage of more-raunchy-than-Zoo type dancing which was probably too racey for TOTP family viewing.

    Anyway, here is the full 5-minute video in all its original glory, including the introductory part, and the racey dance-out at the end:

  8. A diverse and enjoyable show, with Kid as professional as ever, despite the annoying cheerleaders constantly clustered around him - the woman in the spotty dress and pigtails was especially annoying! I groaned inwardly when Gillan were announced as the opening act, but actually I thought this was a bit better than most of their stuff, with a chorus that actually had a bit of melody to it. I see Ian was in his usual denim - didn't he have any other clothes in his wardrobe?

    After two from Zoo provide us with a somewhat stiff mini-routine during the instrumental bit of I'll Find My Way Home, we finally get to see the Yellow Pearl video. As has been mentioned, the emphasis on walkmans and other cutting-edge 80s technology make this seem rather dated now, though the oriental imagery is quite striking. I was intrigued by what Shaky writes above about the song being an implicit warning about Japanese tech taking over the world - if so, that went completely over my head! The Mobiles are back in the studio for a superfluous second performance, and then Zoo turn out in force to dance to this little-heard but rather good ELO tune. The routine was certainly more impressive than Zoo's previous attempt to interpret ELO, but I still have a problem with the faceless, anonymous nature of the troupe.

    This is definitely one of XTC's best songs, catchy with good lyrics, and Andy Partridge's vocals aren't too mannered on this occasion. Watching him here, I thought he looked rather like Steve Harley from certain angles. The highlight of the show follows, as OMD unleash their finest work. If I was allowed to take one 80s song to the proverbial desert island, Maid of Orleans would have to be it. Everything about it is stunning, from the haunting choral sounds on the introduction to the majestic instrumental climax, as the quavering sounds of the mellotron weave in and out of Malcolm Holmes' superb martial drumming, building to a tremendous crescendo before fading away. Somehow, given all the modern technology being utilised, it manages to perfectly evoke the Middle Ages, and it was fantastic that we got the whole song in this performance.

    Christopher Cross did some decent stuff - I particularly like Ride Like the Wind - but I have never understood why this rather mournful tune was considered suitable as the theme to a comedy film. Not half bad anyway, though seeing the rather unprepossessing Mr Cross in the flesh, it is perhaps not surprising that his time in the spotlight was brief! We finish with some bopping to Shakatak, which works much better as playout music than as part of the main bill...

    1. There was a video available at the time for ELO's Ticket To The Moon, and I remember it being shown on Swap Shop on a Saturday morning as a new release:

      I can only think that the Beeb felt that the video was too bland to show on TOTP and would be a perfect one for Zoo to quieten their doubters once and for all ,and do a Legs & Co style routine this one, and by golly they certainly matched them if not did it even better!

    2. John please don't compare Andy Partridge to that one trick pony AH Steve Harley. Andy has more talent in his little finger than Harley has in his whole hair-transplanted body.

    3. Bama, I get the impression you may not be all that keen on Mr Harley...

  9. Forgot to mention, they did include a photo of the original Human League in the "hit sound countdown" this week, when they got to Being Boiled.

    1. Yes it's unusual for them to get details like that right.

  10. Another misheard lyric this week. For years I thought there was a line in XTC's fine song which went "It's just for me to kick his face". It turned out to be "It's just for me to kick in space". Still can't understand how their classic "Mayor Of Simpleton" didn't even make the top 40.

    1. Agree with you there Arthur, it's a fantastic song. I first got into XTC when 'The Disappointed' came out a few years later.

      There's a good book out at the moment where Andy Partridge talks about how his songs came about.

    2. "And all the world is football shaped, it's just for me to kick in space!" makes more sense than "And all the world is biscuit shaped, it's just for me to feed my face!" which is where the face bit comes in earlier in the song.

    3. Not to mention Peter Pumpkinhead, Love On A Farmboy's Wages and the Dukes Of Statosphere's Mole From The Ministry - check out the video on Youtube:


    4. As well as Dear God, Wrapped In Grey and No Thugs In Our House!

      English Settlement is reportedly being reissued this year, my copy (taped off a friend at uni) islof in need of replacement.

  11. This was a good one, the picture quality was very sharp too so the film can with this one obviously wasn't propping up any doors!

    Obviously Gillan doesn't come under the 'good' category - I'm glad that the run of hits for him / them is ending.

    I think it was a good move (for once) to have some Zoo dancers in the middle of Jon & Vangelis as that previous selection of stills was a bit tragic.

    We finally get to see the video for 'Yellow Pearl'! (though not if you saw the edited edition, I notice)
    I didn't detect any racism at all to be honest, just an attempt to be arty. I rather enjoyed it all.

    The Mobiles with an almost identical performance, and it's finally struck me who the main guy reminds me of. I think he may be ripping off Klaus Nomi's look.

    I love ELO usually but 'Ticket To The Moon' doesn't do a lot for me, sorry.

    XTC - I can't tell you how much I loved this at the time. It's good to see that Andy Partridge seems to have overcome his nerves to give a good performance of it.

    OMD - A brilliant song, and fair play to producer / director for sticking with the 1 minute plus intro to it.

    Christopher Cross - A funny one this. I liked it when it was out, then like many AOR songs I had to play it on the radio dozens of times. Now I rather like it again. I prefer 'Ride Like The Wind' though.

    1. The Mobiles bassist is supposed to be Joel Gray's Master of Ceremonies character from Cabaret.

  12. Going way off tangent here but, seeing as ELO are from Birmingham, here are s couple of facts I found out this week about fellow Brummie bands.

    While Carl Wayne was the main lead singer in The Move, drummer Bev Bevan took the mic occasionally. I dare you to check out his remarkably low voice on "Ben Crawley Steel Company,

    City Boy's big hit "5-7-0-5" had to be re-written. It was originally called "Turn On To Jesus" and told the tale of the band's night in a Christian bar which had topless dancers! Their label loved the tune but said the mention of Jesus in the title and the unusual subject matter would stop it fro being a hit, so the title and nearly all the lyrics were changed.

    1. One of The Strawbs' earliest singles was entitled The Man Who Called Himself Jesus, and I believe ended up being banned by the BBC. The man speaking over the song's introduction was none other than Richard "Victor Meldrew" Wilson!

  13. host: were there people actually looking forward to seeing mr read presenting this edition? i somehow doubt it. but david "kid" jensen is the obvious man to turn to when your scheduled presenter can't make it. a shame in retrospect though that it wasn't mr now-then or dlt who went awol, as we might have had another show available to watch on the telly

    gillan: sounds like they've been taking notes of rainbow's "heavy riffs-meets-melodic-chorus" formula to try and get a hit. the riff part was quite good, the melodic bit not so good. i wish ian had done something with his barnet, but as this is apparently their totp farewell we'll never get to see his consequent hairstyling experiments

    phil lynott: was he coerced into doing what is effectively a midge ure solo effort? was the rest of his solo album like this, or more in the lizzy mode? and would this have even been released as a single were it not for being chosen as the new totp theme? the geisha girl images remind me of the east asian (apparently you can't use the expression "oriental" any more as the pc brigade have deemed it racist!) ladies appearing on the big screens in the murky futuristic los angeles landscapes in "blade runner", which was of course also released in 1982 - was director ridley scott watching this video? as for "mr thin lizzy" (copyright j. savile) himself, in keeping with the futuristic theme he's got himself a snazzy thin-lapelled whistle and skinny tie combo. but a trip to the barber's wouldn't have gone amiss, and a shave too

    mobiles: why are there two guitarists here? why is there a guitarist at all? the fairground bit actually modulates, so the first of several instances of that happening on the show tonight (see below)

    ELO: jeff lynne just keeps churning it out, doesn't he? he had practically become a solo act by this time having given the string section their cards and stopped touring. so a shame it wasn't released under his own name, as we could then have referred to him as "mr ELO"

    meat loaf: i couldn't be bothered reaching for the fast-forward controller this time so sat through it. i have to admit that even though i don't care for his music this is probably his best effort, and the video is quite watchable. it did actually seem like meat and his chums (who to be honest don't really look like the kind of guys someone like him would hang around with) are singing "rock n roll and brew", however strange that may sound. so i had to look up the lyrics to confirm that is indeed the case. it seems what he (or rather writer jim steinman) is rather clumsily inferring is that the delights of music and alcohol don't match up to his love interest - a shame he wasn't scottish, as the lyrics could then have gone "rock n roll and booze, rock n roll and booze, they don't mean a thing when i compare them to youse"! also i had forgotten about the cod-latin bit in it, although perhaps mercifully the beeb pulled the plug at that point

    1. Regarding 'Rock N Roll and Brew" in the lyrics, it was obvious when reading the lips of Meat Loaf and Cher in the video, in case anyone still had any doubts, and I was most disappointed that TOTP showed less of it at no.7 than they did two weeks earlier when at no.30!

      Suffice to say that because of only showing two minutes of the video this week, it then went down two places to No.9, before going back up to No.5 at the start of February 1982. Good God, no wonder Kid Jensen introduced the video this week as "here's something meaty (Meatloaf), beady (Cher) and bouncy (Meat Loaf getting it on with Cher)." Haha, Kid you got it perfect this week.

      With regard to a Scottish rock 'n' roll and brew Wilberforce, it could just see Meat Loaf in that American video with a kilt on instead of his tuxedo outfit walking out of the bar at the end of the video while the rest of the boys and girls were getting it on with their raunchy dancing on top of the bar.

    2. Kid described Meat Loaf as "meaty, beaty, and bouncy", for reasons best known to himself a reference to the compilation album The Who put out which was called Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy.

    3. Yep, Meaty, Beaty Big, and Bouncy were the nicknames of the four members of The Who. Can you guess which was which?

    4. Roger "Meaty" Daltrey, due to his muscular frame, drummer Keith "Beaty" Moon, John “Big” Entwistle (aka “Ox”) as he had the build of a bouncer, and Pete “Bouncy” Townshend who was the hyper stage member.

  14. like the jeff lynne-free version of ELO (that i presume is still doing the rounds of the retro circuit despite the man himself now gigging again), this is part II:

    XTC: i don't know how long this track actually is, but it seems to go on interminably. also (as seems customary with them) there are jarring moments, as if they are are trying to shoehorn two songs into one - perhaps a reason why i never seem to get around to watching their "at the manor" bbc doc that's on youtube? there might be some transposition thrown in among it all too, but i can't be bothered to analyse it that closely to find out. visually i like the moodiness of colin moulding and the business of drummer terry chambers. of course it was shortly after this that the band stopped gigging due to andy partridge's stage-fright meltdown, prompting the latter to depart as he "didn't have much to do". as a consequence he emigrated (not a term one hears often these days) to australia where he apparently still resides. although i know "where is he now", i wonder how he spends his time these days?

    OMD: it seemed they had a thing about indulging themselves with strange synth noises at the beginning of their tracks at this point (like on the show, they never cut the intro from radio airplay either to my recollection). once this gets going it becomes quite glorious (especially when it transposes for a second time), and compelling to listen to despite its oddness and the fact that it's a semi-instrumental. and it's certainly far superior to the previous "joan of arc" track. i really like the way that paul humphreys just can't help but bob up and down to it!

    christopher cross: another case of transposition going on as it's one of those things where the verse is in a minor (sad) key and the chorus in the same key but with a major third (happy) - is there a technical name for that? i had a vague memory that burt bacharach had some hand in it, but although he is one of my musical heroes he was obviously a spent force by then (i agree with whoever preferred "run like the wind"). with his chubby features and bum fluff, mr cross (like his ultravox namesake, presumably not his given name) really should be heard and not seen in the video

    foreigner: it no doubt seems i'm getting obsessed by this, but i'm pretty sure this track modulates too

    bucks fizz: ...and this one definitely does! so perhaps as many as half-a-dozen modulating songs on one show, which is quite an achievement!

    1. erratum: of course when i put "transposition" i meant modulation. and it was the busyness of terry chambers!

    2. "Bum fluff" - haven't heard that in years, but well used at school and an accurate descriptor of what it is describing. Yes I agree with most people that Christopher Cross sounds great but doesn't look too appealing. My vote goes to Sailing as his best song.

      There's a lot of love on here for OMD's Maid of Orleans, and yes it is a great song once it kicks in but the first minute of weird noises still jar. Why couldn't they just have edited that bit out on the single? But I'm still an Enola Gay fan!

      Must mention the ELO track, Ticket To The Moon. For those who don't know it comes from their 1981 album Time which is a concept album about a man who goes forward in time (to 2095?) and lives on the moon or something like that and really doesn't like it. He finds it all cold and unfriendly with Androids and IBM computers everywhere. Anyway it is a magnificent album with a great set of songs and just about pips their other worthy albums as my favourite. Funnily the biggest hit single from this LP (Hold On Tight) is the one that fits the least best with the flow of the rest of it. The other singles picked were Twilight and Ticket To The Moon but in all honesty they could have picked any of the others as they are all equally strong.

      But we are definitely well into the period where the quality of 'pop' music was consistently high. In fact I would rate 1982 as the best year of the lot (slightly ahead of 1973, 1978/9, 1983/4 for me!)

    3. Yes indeed Wellieman, I collected all the ELO albums ever since Discovery, and when I bought the Time album in 1981, I was obsessed with Twilight and Yours Truly 2095, which are the first two tracks on the album.

      Interestingly, although Ticket To The Moon was the third and final release from this album, they also did a video for Here Is The News, which was the double A-side to Ticket to the Moon, but I don't think was played in the charts on TV and radio as Ticket To The Moon was preferred by TOTP.

      Anyway, here is the video for Here Is The News, where Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan (and the whole group) unusually take to the keyboards, as well as Lynne playing newsroom manager with obedient office secretaries on hand:

    4. Having ben a fan of ELO in the 1970s I had stopped buying their albums by this point but I discovered the later ones a few years later. Secret Messages is the best later album but Here Is The News was my fave from the Time album.

    5. Dory - check out 45cat and you'll see that 'The way life's meant to be' was also released from the 'Time' album, but sadly didn't chart.

      The two non album B sides 'When time stood still' and 'Julie don't live here any more' (both on the CD reissue) are well worth a listen, and lyrically are in tune with the 'Time' concept.

    6. To be clear, I love ALL the tracks on the Time album, and I bought the album in 1981 in all its vinyl glory for my record player. I still have the pristine original, and yes I agree with you that the other tracks are very good, but somehow and unfortunately, it didn't make it as big as their previous albums up until Discovery and Xanadu which was probably when ELO were at their very peak.

  15. We will not see ELO now on TOTP until the summer of 1983, as this final double A-side release from the Time album, Ticket To The Moon/Here Is The News went up only two more places to No.24 at the end of January 1981.

    ELO will be back next time in July 1983, with a new album, and the brilliant first release from it called Rock 'n' Roll Is King which fared a lot better, peaking at No.13 in an eventful summer competing with Rod Stewart (Baby Jane) and Paul Young at the top of the charts.

  16. Surprisingly catchy Gillan track utilising that same descending chord sequence from ELO's 10538 Overture. Never really a fan of his work but this is quite acceptable andf band look like they're having fun.

    At last we see the video for Yellow Pearl and it's got all the components you'd expect about a song about Japan plus the bonus of Midge Ure in silhouette playing the drums. I read that the video cost £20k to make so it's sad that it got no higher in the chart, they could have saved themselves the money and just got Zoo to prance about again.

    I had forgotten that The Mobiles got this high in the chart. This gets better the more times you hear it but I don't care for the band's image.But even with heir Cabaret meets Duran Duran look The Mobiles - and in fact most of the pop groups here - are really struggling to stand out, usually it's only them wearing the funny costumes but now half the audience are as well. Today I spotted a sailor, a girl in a wedding dress and Craig Fairbrass in a Robin hood leather jerkin. Added to this are pseudo goth girls in lace gloves and black lipstick and camp guys in velvet tunics with silver facepaint. Talk about being upstaged!

    Zoo perform a more traditional style TOTP dance routine to ELO, this could be Legs and Co. Jeff Lynne's song has now come true we do remember the uncomplicated 1980s and you can now buy a ticket to the moon. Oo er.

    If only life were like Jim Steinman songs life would be a lot more complicated but a lot more fun. One of Meat's buddies looks like Lee Mavers the lead singer of the La's but it can't be him. They're being a bit mean with the videos today showing none of them in full.

    Writing about football, England and WWI - Andy Partridge proved to be very topical 34 years ahead of time. I loved this XTC track at the time. The first verse is very weird but turns into a perfect pop song. I remember going to HMV in Oxford Street at his point and seeing the massive window display for the English Settlement album. Such a shame that it all went wrong for them after this.

    I must admit I didn't get this OMD song at the time but I do now and that intro is so weird. A solid if slightly static performance from the band and luckily the dancers in costumes are kept out of the way (you can't be zany to a song about the death of Joan Of Arc).

    Some curious chart action this week with Imagination bouncing back into the Top 30 and The Tweets still clinging at number 29. And in the Top Ten the are 4 number ones in the Top 5. Phew!

    I really liked the Christopher Cross song called Ride Like The wind but it was never a hit in this country. This is a nice song and a nice video combining clips from the film Arthur and CC performing. Still cut short though

    Then the dodgy Foreigner video again and Bucks Fizz (or Bucks Fizz Fizz according to the caption) getting into the panto season mood with thier own funny costumes. Is it me or does Mike look slightly out of it, possibly stoned or merry on something (not just success). His face seems to feature a fixed grin and he can't quite keep up with the dance steps.

    Play out with Shitattak thankfully faded early.

    1. At the time of this Meat Loaf number, I tried to get into Jim Steinman's music a bit, and apart from the album Bad For Good, I couldn't really find any other Jim Steinman solo stuff.

      I pick this number from a German TV performance by Steinman himself which is nothing less than pure genius, and which gives a indication of why Meat Loaf was so successful in his career with Steinman partly or wholly to blame for his success:

    2. i noticed some guy dressed in (what the costume department probably thought was) a typical new romantic look. and did anyone notice the blonde woman in the red and black leather getup? as kid ends the show she claps and then starts dancing. but rather than it happening naturally, it looks fairly obvious that she's taking cues!

      also regarding costumes, i can't say i was very impressed with cheryl baker's pixie outfit - was that all that was left in the totp dressing-up box by the time she got to the studio?

    3. Pointed out to me last night: If Jim Steinman was such a great songwriter, what about the lines, "I don't know anything about you baby, but you're everything I'm dreaming of!" Doesn't make any sense, unless everything he's been dreaming of is nothing. Not much of a compliment.

    4. Those lyrics are typical of the Steinman/Meat Loaf world, which was about boy meets girl, thrills and high testosterone lives. Just listen to several of the tracks from the two albums Bat Out Of Hell and Deadringer For Love, and a girl could be everything Meat was dreaming of, even he if didn't know anything about her!

    5. Men can quite easily know nothing about women and yet still fancy the arse off them, isn't that what Jim was saying.

    6. Indeed it was, and the lyrics on Deadringer For Love for Meat Loaf were along those lines of fancying Cher, albeit for Cher she did the usual female gatekeeping role first and then decided to "give it a shot and get ready to go" in her part of the lyrics. You got to admire the style of Jim Steinman with all of this.

    7. But if Meat didn't know anything about this woman, he wouldn't know what she looked like either. He wouldn't even know if the person was a woman.

    8. As mentioned THX, Meat and Steinman were in a fantasy sexed-up world, and this was key to their success with the first two albums Bat Out of Hell and Deadringer For Love. Cher was the icing Meat's cake, and you don't get to No.5 if the single is not good and doesn't resonate with the record-buying public. He doesn't have to know anything about her, but she's everything he's dreaming of!

      For one, I'm a big fan of Meat Loaf (and Jim Steinman who was pivotal in Meat's success), and it's a pity that there was no significant follow-up after Deadringer For Love, and nothing really significant until 11 years later when I'd Do Anything For Love got to No.1 for 6 weeks at the end of 1993.

    9. The lyric should have gone "I'm aware of the barest minimum about you in order to draw a conclusion about how attractive I find you, baby, and you're everything I'm dreaming of!" For accuracy's sake.

  17. Lots of mentions of Christopher Cross's Ride Like the Wind, which always reminds me of this SCTV spoof:

    More of a Michael McDonald pisstake, but still hilarious!

    1. thanks for the link thx - yes, most amusing. did anyone post the similar (and famous) spoof on blue oyster cult "don't fear the reaper" on here when it was a hit?

      probably like many others, it was always the wordless chorus of "ride like the wind" that i liked. by the way, did spinal tap base their song "break like the wind" on that?

      regarding the unique vocal sound of michael mcdonald (who i had forgotten contributed to "RLTW"), he is also quite prominent as a backing vocalist (if that makes sense) on some of the late-70's steely dan sessions...

    2. another michael mcdonald reference: by the early 80's he had joined the doobie brothers, and they had a couple of massive stateside hits with "what a fool believes" and "minute by minute", although they were only minor successes here. a friend of mine bought the album they were on and he showed me the inner sleeve that had a photo of what we recognised as a giant spliff, and we both sniggered accordingly. but what neither of us realised at the time was that the american slang for it was a doobie, and that was why the band were so-named!

  18. One for the long-time forum members this (especially Arthur!) and nothing to do with the 82 repeats but I thought it worth sharing.

    I was flicking through one of those 'bookazine' things in Tesco earlier. It was about James Hunt, and extraordinarily the first double page spread is a picture of James Hunt being held horizontally aloft by all the ladies from....Glamourpuss!

    Sadly I can't find the picture on the interweb. I really can't do justice to its magnificence by description alone...

    Now place your bets on how many of the group James had 'relations' with....

    1. He probably left Noel Edmonds' favourite, the mumsy one, to last!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Looks like Kid’s ditched his classic outro punchline for good. Poor show. Still, at least he recognised Cher in the Meat Loaf video, unlike Peter Powell.

    We’ll actually see Gillan twice more – a repeat of this performance, and an outing for their final (only just) top 50 single. Quite enjoyed this, and I loved John McCoy’s jacket. I also enjoyed the behind –the-scenes shots near the song’s end.

    So, Phil Lynott going all OMD and Human league with those tape machines. Those Walkmans were the future then but just see how far we’ve travelled since. I had a Sharp ghettoblaster which had two cassette players, one of which you could eject to become a Walkman. Ambassador!

    Mobiles vocalist Anna Garrett ended up marrying guitarist Russ Madge and eventually the band downsized to just the two of them. They then changed name to The Avengers with nil effect.

    So, Jeff, this is what you get for ELO not turning up to the studio – all your hits ruined by Zoo!

    I loved the way XTC’s Andy Partridge grimaced at hitting a wrong chord while miming! The emblem on the bass drum face is the Uffington White Horse, a 360 ft chalk landmark carved into a hillside 12 miles from the band’s home town of Swindon.

    Time to brew a cuppa while OMD’s song gets fully into gear. Never mind the band’s two ’faces’, for me the star of the outfit’s been Malcolm Holmes since his stroppy performance with a tiny drum kit on “Messages”.

    It’s James Corden! No, hang on, apparently it’s Christopher Cross. Enjoyable enough song from an enjoyable enough film, but it only reminded me of the classic Pete and Dud “Are you enjoying that sandwich?” sketch.

  20. "Remember the good old 1980's, when things were so uncomplicated, I wish I could go back there again, and everything would be the same."

    Word perfect Mr Jeff Lynne for these TOTP re-runs, and we have indeed got more complicated in 2016 where we now have removed from TOTP the JK American chart rundowns, any footage of Gary Glitter, Jimmy Saville, DLT, and some of the The Barron Knights performances. Oh, and for a while we could not see the Grease and Saturday Night Fever movie clips from the original TOTP shows, but that has now been resolved and put to bed.

    Ahem, I've been listening to the brilliant Ticket To The Moon all weekend, and I wonder how many of us back then in 1982 would have thought we would be blogging 34 years later and having our own reminisce, and whether we are thinking now what Jeff Lynne was thinking back then as he was setting off to the moon with his prepaid ticket, which back then could not be purchased online you know.

  21. i bought a sharp GF-555 double tape recorder in the early 80's, initially as a: it meant i could copy music from one deck to the other to make up my own compilations, and b: it had what was at-the-time cutting edge technology that could automatically fast-forward through up to 11 tracks, so you could pick and choose what you wanted to hear without the tiresome business of manually stopping and re-starting the tape. but then i discovered that i could make use of the mixer slider (located behind a little door that flicked open) and a jackplug input to make basic sound-on-sound home demos of my own compositions! i still have it now, although the decks have long since packed up. but apart from sentimental value it also comes in handy as a monitor for my mp3 player:

  22. Another good selection on here this week.

    Gillan – Restless – Ah they’re back again! One of their better efforts I have to concede although the foldout poster that came with the single is one to be avoided!

    Jon & Vangelis – I’ll find my way home – Nice touch to put the Zoo couple in the instrumental break rather than the studio stills. Jon seems to have an aura around him.

    Phil Lynott – Yellow Pearl – Don’t remember this video. Quite sinister in look and feel.

    Mobiles – Drowning in Berlin – Has the pasty faced, lipsticked guitarist been taking lessons from Ron Mael? Very jerky performance from the singer.

    ELO – Ticket to the Moon – See them on Glastonbury? Great show as were Coldplay. This is one of their lesser known hits but I love it. A double A Side with the completely different ‘Here is the News’ it would prove to be the last single to chart from the ‘Time’ album as ‘The way it used to be’ sadly did not. Not a bad effort from Zoo, and great to see most of the song was played rather than cutting short.

    Meat Loaf – Deadringer – Great video…. Timeless.

    XTC – Senses working overtime – I always liked the way the one-two-three-four-five showed different shots of Andy Partridge. Probably the best XTC single for me.

    OMD – Maid of Orleans – The Waltz Joan of Arc so it was subtitled, but was it a waltz? If so it had to be a very fast one-two-there, one-two-three etc. but I always felt it was in a slower four/four time i.e. one…….two…….three…….four. Great single regardless and impassioned performance from Andy.

    Christopher Cross – Arthur’s Theme – At last the UK had woken up to the talents of CC after this excellent single had topped the US charts back in October 1981 (he also topped the US charts with ‘Sailing’). This was no doubt helped by the film’s success over here but it is a superb song in its own right and I love the drumming.

    Foreigner – Waiting for Girl like you – Same live clip as before shorn of the first part of the song and with Lou Gramm not singing too well on the high notes.

    Bucks Fizz – Land of make believe – That first performance again and it’s not my favourite. Checking the US charts, Bucks Fizz managed zero hits there. Actually ‘Physical’ was STILL No.1 there!

    Playout Shakatak – Appropriate playout music.

    1. sct the time signature you're describing is 12/8, which means 12 quaver notes to a bar, and therefore 3 quaver notes to a beat. faster songs based on three-note patterns are usually scored that way (or as 6/8) rather than 3/4 (the traditional waltz time) as it's easier to read/notate. but it's still broken down into groups of 3 rather than 2 or 4, so i suppose still technically a waltz time signature

    2. I did (ahem), of course mean 'The way life's meant to be' above. How could I have got that wrong?!

      I always felt that track sounded a bit like Lobo's 'Me and you and a dog named Boo'.

    3. The Time album had only three singles releases from it:

      Hold On Tight (reached No.4)
      Twilight (reached No.30)
      Ticket To The Moon/Here Is The News (reached No.24)

      You could say that for ELO standards and previous history, that apart from Hold On Tight, this album failed to deliver for the group, and had the 2nd and 3rd release done better at the turn of 1981/82, then I'm sure that we would have seen the rest of 1982 littered with more releases from this album which did not happen.

      It was a sign of things to come, as the pipeline of top ten hits had run dry by now, and the story goes that Lynne wanted to disband ELO after the relative flop of the Time album, but was contracted to Sony to produce a further two albums between 1983-1986, which they had to go through the motions unenthusiastically, so the 'effective' end was here with the Time Album despite two more mediocre albums up to 1986 which also failed to ignite the public.

  23. Check out:-

    I have posted the Press Release on 45cat as well.

    1. By the time this was released as a single, there seemed to be no point, after their last two hits could only get to No.30 and No.24 in the charts, so it's hardly surprising that it didn't even make the top 40, a rare occurrence for ELO.

      It's a good song though for ELO fans and the Time album as it fits nicely with the general theme of the album, and I must admit I like it too.

    2. Dory - I used to buy Record Mirror every week at the time. They published the full top 75 chart and what they called 'bubbling under'. This single 'bubbled under' for several weeks before sadly running out of gas. I was willing it to overflow into the chart proper every week!