Friday, 15 July 2016

Some Guys Have all the Top of the Pops

I'm having to write up this edition before I actually get to see it this week, due to going out tonight to watch a school production of Grease! Shame it couldn't coincide with the 1978 re-runs but it's equally fitting anyway now to be way out of sync!

From the start, Martin wanted to be remembered as a golden oldie

18-2-82: Presenter: Mike Read

(26) MADNESS – Cardiac Arrest
This ended a run or nine consecutive top ten his for Madness when it peaked at number 14.

 (14) GEORGE BENSON – Never Give Up On A Good Thing (video)
Oddly enough, this one also peaked at number 14. And my first guess to be a victim of the 7.30pm edit!

 (42) UB40 – I Won’t Close My Eyes
Their least successful single to this point, peaking at 32.

 (52) ABC – Poison Arrow
This follow up to Tears Are Not Enough became the band's first of three top ten hits to emerge from their huge number one album, The Lexicon of Love, when it made number 6.

 (28) THE JETS – Love Makes The World Go Round ®
Cruising towards a height of number 21 in the charts ~ and my second guess for the 7.30pm edit.

 (47) ROBERT PALMER – Some Guys Have All The Luck
A breakthrough at last for Mr Palmer, this record became his first top 30 hit and it peaked at number 16.

 (6) TIGHT FIT – The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Not quite a week away from the number one spot. A week away? No, two week away.

 (24) TONI BASIL – Mickey
Dancer Toni Basil was pushing 40 years old when she took this Racey cover (originally titled Kitty) to number 2.

Now, for one week only, we get a late 1980 style top ten rundown:

 (10) XTC – Senses Working Overtime (clip of TOTP 21-1-82)
(9) MEAT LOAF – Dead Ringer For Love (video)
(8) CHRISTOPHER CROSS – Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) (video)
(7) SHAKIN’ STEVENS – Oh Julie (video)
(6) TIGHT FIT – The Lion Sleeps Tonight (video)
(5) KRAFTWERK – The Model (video)
(4) ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK – Maid Of Orleans (The Waltz Of Joan Of Arc) (video)
(3) SOFT CELL – Say Hello Wave Goodbye (video)
(2) THE STRANGLERS – Golden Brown (video)

 (1) THE JAM – Precious
(1) THE JAM – Town Called Malice (and credits)
And so not only had The Jam entered the chart at number one last week, they also get the ultra rare honour of performing two songs on the same show! When was the last time that had happened? And when would be the next?

The next edition is February 25th, but that one is hosted by DLT so will be skipped by BBC4.  So next up then is the live edition from March 4th 1982.


  1. Madness - I couldn't figure out why the studio audience were reading newspapers while dancing behind Madness. Was there any connection to the title of the song? Erm, I don't think so.

    George Benson - Alas, Angelo had got it wrong in that this was not edited out of the 7.30pm showing. Anyway, I was wondering why George was riding all alone on a choochoo train in the American countryside in this video. TOTP left the video short (tut-tut) when we got to the waterfalls part, and then curiously I turned to Utube to watch the whole video but alas it's not there, so anyone in possession of the entire video, please come forward and give us a peak of it.

    Tight Fit - I don't know about you guys, but I'm enjoying the evolution of Julie "Chopper" Harris from Zoo to Tight Fit incarnation two. It's a pity that ladies nowadays are losing height and are not growing as tall as the previous generation like Julie Chopper Harris, cos I like the tall full-bodied curvy type of woman, which in today's technology generation no longer exists.

    Toni Basil - then we get the small light petite figure of Toni Basil, which did you know she was already a very grown up cheerleader at the age of 38 in 1982 in this week's studio performance? Yes, 38 years old and playing the part of a teenage cheerleader. Good Lord, no-one would notice the difference on this studio performance! To think she is now 72 and still performing. I wonder if she still dresses like that now?

    Top Ten Rundown - wow, we get a one-off 1980-style TOTP video rundown. I guess it was cos Meat Loaf had no showing of his video during the two weeks he was stuck at no.5 with it, and this week was the first tumble down to No.9 for him, so TOTP got it in one final time.

    The Jam - I have the same check shirt as Paul Weller and have not worn it for a while, but as it looked so good on him this week in the studio, I'm gonna get it out of the wardrobe this weekend. Yes, Precious indeed!

  2. Hmm managed to watch the 19:30 showing… Not the best show really but I loved the top10 video rundown..

    Madness – Cardiac arrest – Must admit this was always a clunker for me from the Nutty Boys. Somehow I was never comfortable with the subject matter.

    George Benson – Never give up on a good thing – Great video for train enthusiasts.

    (Missed UB40, ABC and the Jets repeat) UB40 was no great loss but would have liked to have seen ABC and the Jets we’ve seen before.

    Robert Palmer – Some guys have all the luck – Lucky for Rod Stewart a few years later he managed one place higher than Robert managed.

    Tight Fit – Lion sleeps tonight – More prancing and preening – why not edit this out and show something that has not been seen previously Mr Editor!?

    Toni Basil – Mickey – Well well well, Chinn/Chapman return to the charts with this piece of cheerleader bubble-gum. Amazingly given its US feel it didn’t enter the US charts until later in the year when it hit the top spot there. The outfit worn by Toni appears on the cover of the picture sleeve. Blimey, doesn’t she throw herself around performing this with all the other pom pom waving audience members!

    Top 10 Rundown – Some real treats here. XTC with for me, the definitive one-two-three-four-five camera shots. Shakin’ Stevens and ‘Oh Julie’ video not seen previously; shame ‘cos it’s quite good. Tight Fit and ‘The Lion sleeps tonight’; well maybe this will get shown, but it’s hilarious in this clip when the ‘lion’ wags its tail! Best of all, the video for OMD’s ‘Maid of Orleans’ which is superb – I’d love to know where it was filmed. Nice history lesson from Mr Read too.

    The Jam – Precious – I knew they performed this, but thought it was Peter Powell, not Mike Read. Ah well, it was 36 years ago since I watched it! Not so strong a song as ‘Town called Malice’ which, as noted by Angelo, surprisingly gets played as well! How many other double A Side No.1s would have been worth doing this for? How about:-

    Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields forever
    I don’t want to talk about it / First cut is the deepest
    Bohemian Rhapsody / These are the days of our lives

    Funnily enough, the Beatles got to perform ‘Revolution’ on TOTP when ‘Hey Jude’ was No.1 and that was not a double A Side.

    1. Maths boy - 34 years - duh!

    2. It would have been nice if the double A side Ticket To The Moon/Here Is The News had got to no.1 (and not peak at No.24), then ELO would have probably come into the TOTP studio if they knew they could perform both songs. Wishful thinking!

    3. The Maid of Orleans video was filmed, according to Wikipedia, at Brimham Rocks and Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, with the Manor studios being used for the interiors.

    4. But where did Andy get his jumper from? Was it a Christmas present?

    5. I don't know but it was Made of New Wool. See what I did there?

  3. Very pleased to say that the 25th Feb DLT edition has already been put up on Glenn Marshall's Vimeo page, so when you're ready Angelo:

  4. Dory - Madness's song begins with the phrase 'Papers in the morning' and subsequently mentions a crossword, hence the newspapers among the studio audience.

    I will forever associate that song with 'the change', which I endured back in 2010. Most of you commentators won't know what it's like, as it only affects us chicks - but, as much as I love Madness, I could not bear to listen to that particular song during my 6-month period of oestrogen depletion. I look back on it and laugh about it now, but it was no joke at the time.

    Elsewhere in the chart, ABC hit their stride with the first of three smashes produced by Trevor Horn CBE, while Toni Basil's 'Mickey' proves to be a tricontinental triumph, being the work of a British lyricist (Nicky Chinn), an Australian composer (Mike Chapman) and an American cheerleader (Toni). The chant 'Oh Mickey, you're so fine' was her own addition, but she did not receive a co-writing credit for this. Chinn and Chapman had originally penned the song under the title 'Kitty' for former RAK Records hitmakers Racey.

    1. Also, the Madness video has Chas Smash trying to complete a crosssword while on a bus.

    2. If only this blog had predictive text - only two "S"s in crossword! As for Toni Basil, I hope she doesn't wear the cheerleader cossie these days - and thanks to Angelo for a bit of trivia I didn't know about "Mickey" being a Racey re-tread.

    3. Also the cover of the Madness single was a crossword.

  5. Madness to start with their sad tale of the cost of the rat race, with the businessman (in his suit and tie) proving to be the real sick man. I liked this at the time, but now I'm older it's more difficult to laugh it off! They certainly got use out of those plastic bowlers.

    Vintage steam trains aren't the first thing that springs to mind when I think of George Benson (or George "Bad" Benson as Mike introduces him, despite the fact he hadn't called himself that in ages). Still, I suppose a relaxing journey through the countryside (with rainbow) isn't the worst thing to accompany the smooth soul sounds.

    Then the mood changes with a high octane, ripsnorting performance from UB40, slow down guys, you'll hurt somebody! What did it say on the keyboard player's T-shirt? Night something?

    ABC ramp up the melodrama with Poison Arrow, I think it's the grand piano that makes this memorable. Also note the dialogue exchange to hark back to the old movies such a cinematic album alluded to.

    Robert Palmer, all he needed was the gimp mask and he'd be sorted. Think he looks better in a suit. Singing live too! Which makes the strange vocals of the verses even more striking.

    I suppose we should be glad there's no gun in that holster Mr Tight Fit is sporting. We get a glimpse of the ridiculous video later on, which I think we saw when this made No.1.

    Who's this dynamo? It's Toni Basil, under a ton of makeup to conceal her advancing years, and ensuring this was a big hit. She'd already danced with Elvis Presley (in Viva Las Vegas) and The Monkees (in Head) back in the 60s, appeared with Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces, even done a topless scene in acid western Greaser's Palace because those were the days when you let it all hang out, man. So all praise to her longevity, you could tell she knew she finally had her time in the spotlight and was going to make it count.

    Gotta say, this Jam song Precious sounds a heck of a lot like Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag. Another Monkees connection: Paul Weller has written a new song for their Good Times album.

    Then A Town Called Malice to end on, for ages I thought Paul sang "Struggle after struggle, Rear of the Year!" Is that still an award? Didn't Frank Skinner win it once?!

    1. Suffice to say that Toni Basil is the same age as my mum, but my mum did not dress like her in 1982 when rapidly approaching 40. She was too busy raising children.

      When hearing Precious on the show by the Jam, I also thought I was hearing Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag. Strange coincidence that Pigbag got to No.3 with their hit only a couple of months later in April 1982. Hmmm...

  6. Mike Read finally makes it back to the studio, but despite his usual solid performance (bad singing along to Tight Fit excepted), this was the first of just two shows he would host in '82 - presumably relations with Michael Hurll were still fractious...

    Madness rather suit the businessman look, but while this is an entertaining enough performance the song is not that great, and it's no surprise to me that it ended their run of Top Tenners. Quite why a scenic train journey was thought to be the best means of promoting George Benson's latest hit I don't know, but it does at least mean we have some pleasant visuals to accompany the song's laid back sound. There is precious little visual excitement to be had from UB40, but there is something faintly menacing about this effort that stops it from being just a plodding dirge - would that the same could be said about many of their later releases!

    ABC moved decisively into the big time with Poison Arrow, and Martin's microphone works with the gold lame suit to enhance his matinee idol image. It is smooth, impeccably produced pop, though as with so much of their work I find it a bit too superficial for my tastes. Perhaps trying to avoid competition with Mr Fry, the normally super-smooth Robert Palmer opts for a rather bizarre leather look, though it does perhaps complement this weird song, the nice catchy chorus interspersed with all kinds of strange vocal noises in the verses. Not one of his best, to be honest, but still preferable to his former bandmate Elkie Brooks' then current single - I saw a BBC4 documentary recently where Elkie slagged off Palmer, claiming he quit Vinegar Joe because he was jealous of all the attention she was getting. Sadly for Elk, I think the Addicted to Love video alone will ensure RP is remembered long after her solo career is forgotten...

    Tight Fit's new performance wasn't much different from the previous one, though at least we were spared the animal costumes this time - the "lion" we saw later in the video clip was even worse than the one that had been in the studio! Toni Basil next, looking mad as a box of frogs but with a great, well-choreographed performance of an excellent bit of frothy pop. The cheerleaders get to properly play that part for once, and Fairbrass clearly basks in his moment of glory as Toni (who also wore this outfit in the video) presses on his chest.

    Not sure why we got the return of clippage to accompany the Top 10 this week, though the assertion that it was a "video show" was immediately undermined by the use of a studio clip of XTC! Great to see quite a large chunk of that highly atmospheric OMD promo, anyway, but a shame that they didn't use this slot just to show the whole thing, now the song had climbed to its chart peak.

    Finally, The Jam get the rare honour of performing both sides of their number 1, the first time I think this had happened on TOTP since the Fabs were in their pomp. Precious isn't as strong as A Town Called Malice, but its edgy funk stylings constitute a striking, and largely successful, musical departure for the band, who look very cool here. Incidentally, Mike Read's intro to Toni Basil was edited to remove a reference to Jonathan King, proof (if any more were needed) that for the BBC he is now officially persona non grata once again...

    1. The video for Hey Mickey was actually a clip from a performance on the BBC sketch show Three of a Kind, presumably filmed at the same time she was over here for TOTP, hence the same costume. Why do I know so much about Toni Basil?!

    2. I thought the Mickey video was from a TV special she did.

      John - why did Mike Read had a fractious relationship with Michael Hurll, did I miss something?

    3. I think there are at least two acts who performed not one, not two, but three tracks on the same show! But who were they?

    4. Bama - apparently Mike Read turned up late to the recording of one show, after which Hurll dropped him from the roster for a while. Given the infrequent nature of his appearances since Hurll took over, I am guessing that relations were still tense, though it is also possible that Read's burgeoning TV career (Pop Quiz had started in 1981, Saturday Superstore would launch later in '82) may have played a part in restricting his appearances.

      Angelo - Elton John performed three songs on the 04/02/71 show, Your Song (which was currently a hit), and two further tracks as part of the short-lived album spot that was running at the time. Thanks to that album spot, artists as diverse as Cleo Laine, Marvin, Welch and Farrar, Tom Paxton and The Four Seasons all ended up performing three songs on one show. Contrary to what I sais my earlier post, having looked into a bit more I think the last artist to perform both sides of a hit single was David Cassidy with Daydreamer/The Puppy Song on the 500th show in 1973, which he did on an airport runway for some reason.

    5. Apologies for the typos in that last post - I sent it in a bit of a rush!

    6. Yes 1971 was definitely a good year for multiple performances, shame they have all been wiped ~ here's the line-up for that Elton John show -

      4-2-71: Presenter: Tony Blackburn (Wiped)

      (26) TONY CHRISTIE – Las Vegas
      (30) JACKIE LEE – Rupert (video)
      (NEW) MARVIN, WELCH & FARRAR – Faithful
      (NEW) THE TREMELOES – Right Wheel Left Hand Slam
      (9) ASHTON, GARDNER & DYKE – Resurrection Shuffle (danced to by Pan’s People)
      (13) ELTON JOHN – Your Song
      (ALBUM TRACK) ELTON JOHN – Ballad Of A Well Known Gun
      (ALBUM TRACK) ELTON JOHN – Where To Now St. Peter
      (3) THE SUPREMES – Stoned Love (crowd dancing) (and charts)
      (23) CLIFF RICHARD – Sunny Honey Girl
      (1) GEORGE HARRISON – My Sweet Lord (video)
      (5) BADFINGER – No Matter What (crowd dancing) (and credits)

    7. According to the 45cat website, the Tremeloes track is called "Right Wheel, Left Hammer, Sham" and it was a phantom top 50 hit, apparently reaching number 46 but not listed in the Guinness Book of Hit Singles - possibly because there was a postal strike affecting chart return details (yes, sales figures were posted in back in 1971!) and there may have only been a top 40 for the week this made the top 50.

    8. don't forget session singer tony burrows, who appeared more than once on several editions of totp as a result of having sung the lead on single releases by various faceless studio-manufactured "groups" (edison lighthouse / white plains / brotherhood of man)...

    9. ...and who got banned from TOTP for appearing as lead singer of those very three bands in the same edition back in 1970!

  7. host: mr read shows us his own falsetto's not-too-bad as he introduces tight fit, but is that a mr now-then impersonation he does afterwards? and if so, why wasn't it cut out in the same manner as the reference to jonathan king?!!!

    madness: this song is seeming to get a bit of hard time here, as it did in comparitive terms of chart success at the time. i suppose it must be the subject matter that was to blame, as the tune is one of their more jolly and catchy ones. although i had heard of the expression "cardiac arrest" via a cameo album released several years earlier (also rather morbidly it had songs on it called "post mortem" and "rigor mortis"!), i still don't think i knew what a cardiac arrest actually was at this point. but regardless of that, wouldn't it differ from the spelling of the american car in having an "r" rather than a "d"? another excellent studio performance by the band, although lee's laboured striptease routine doesn't appear to have any point or relevance. did anyone notice the (transvestite?) nurse at the back on the left? (s)he's possibly the most unco-ordinated dancer on the show since the girl in the sailor suit ("dancing" to bobby goldsboro to my recollection) several years earlier

    george benson: or rather george "bad" benson as our host introduces him - i don't think he'd been billed as that for several years by that point. i always used to think that everything he did after "give me the night" was unadulterated drivel, but this is a bit better than i remember it. i wonder if there were punters sitting on the steam train waiting for a ride, and then george and his people turfed them off in order to film the (rubbish) video? if so then his nickname would have been justified! one other thing: modulation alert half-way through!

    ub40: their drummer has been listening to sly dunbar's experiments with syndrums (or maybe it's the other way around?!). but that apart this is a real two-chord dirge - no wonder it performed poorly. whoever owned their new label should have told them to put out something a bit more lively than this - oh hang on, they owned the label themselves, so obviously all objectivity went out of the window!

    abc: i know i'm probably going against the grain here, but i never thought anything abc did post-"tears are not enough" was as good. i thought bassist mark lickley had been jettisoned prior to this, but apparently not. does anyone know the reason he jumped ship / walked the plank (delete as appropriate) soon afterwards, just as the band were going mega? and was martin fry's gold lame suit some kind of post-modern tribute to "the king"? i remember reading an interview with him around this time where he said he wanted to hire the same guy who had arranged the strings on adam faith's early 60's hits, as if it was some anonymous white-coated boffin and record company employee who had since retired and disappeared into the mists of time never to be heard of again. it was actually some guy called john barry, who of course went on to greater things and was still very much active at this point. but nowadays it seems strange that mr fry was referring to a past only 20 years earlier where everything was conceived as hazy and sepia-tinged, and yet over fifty years on it seems much more like only yesterday!

    1. I was going to post that John Barry would have been glad of the money, but a quick look at his IMDB page reveals he'd got past the difficult "OK, I'll score Starcrash, just pay me" stage of his financial difficulties. Can't imagine Raise the Titanic gathered much in the way of funds, mind you.

    2. i'd read the "raise the titanic" book by this time and thought it was brilliant (in fact i eagerly devoured the adventures of dirk pitt and his chums throughout the 80's and 90's), but like most i never went to the cinema to watch the film version as (like its subject matter at the time) it sunk without trace

    3. john barry may have gone through a thin time career-wise in the late 70's after the massive success of his james bond scores, but he managed to recover after that with oscar-winning soundtracks for "out of africa" and "dances with wolves". my view on him is that his bond-era work was phenomenal and ground-breaking, but also that he was a bit of a one-trick pony as everything that came after that was bond-lite. for example: the theme from his last film "enigma" (2001) although good, could easily have featured in any of the connery-era bond films:

    4. Barry might not have had much range, but he was fantastic within that, and it's no bad thing to have a signature style, especially if it's widely liked.

      It guarantees you'll be hired because a lot of people dig your stuff, though you might go out of fashion and have to wait for a nostalgic revival to get back in vogue again (that said, Barry couldn't understand why bands like Portishead were being compared to him!).

    5. I think that Mike Read was doing a (not very good) Tarzan impression into Tight Fit rather than the tracksuited one.

  8. pt II:

    robert palmer: mr p finally gets some luck chartwise after the frustrating performance of the far-superior "looking for clues". the chorus of this isn't too bad, but replacing that with various vocal noises over the same chord sequence does not a decent song make. i think the guitarist on-stage may have been david rhodes of peter gabriel fame?

    tight fit: the jungle is back, but sadly this time no sign of the tribal drummers or the lion. and (most disappointingly for me) the gorilla - even though he has nothing to do with it all really! it may or may not surprise you that the "singer" was actually gay (and therefore would have been impervious to the charms of chopper and mrs waterman)

    toni basil: at the time i knew she was a choreographer (for bowie anong others) and was no spring chicken, but i never realised she was pushing 40 even back then. so i suppose if i'm going to use farmyard animals as mataphors then it's a case of mutton dressed as lamb. unlike others i'd like to see her do the same dance routine now she's in her seventies, but i'm perverse in that way (is it right that arnold shwarzenegger is considering making another "conan" flick? if so then it should be called "conan the septagenarian" ho ho). i actually quite liked the cheerleader chant bit, but found the rest of it unlistenable (i didn't know this before, but it comes as no surprise this was written with racey in mind!)

    jam: not surprisingly "precious" was little-played on the radio compared to "town called malice" to my recollection, although there was a buzz over the modfather and his chums getting funky. as such it's preferable to their other stuff. and despite it being somewhat ripped-off from santana's "jingo", had anyone else done it i might have had some time for it nowadays

    1. Is that a fact regarding the singer on Tight Fit was gay? Good Lord, if I was on stage there instead of him, with those two scantily dressed girls tickling my chest like that, I would have got an immediate buzz, to put it lightly, and then the song title of ACDC's single in the same chart would have then had some real meaning!

    2. I'd also add that what you are referring to regarding Toni Basil is nowadays called Milf, which sounds like it rows your boat Wilberforce.

      With regard to Precious by The Jam, your conclusion is about right, and which is probably why Pigbag leapt onto the scene shortly after February 1982 to exploit the background rhythm of Precious to launch their one-hit wonder called Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag, which went all the way up to No.3 in April of the same year!

    3. dory i had no idea which way the "singer" of tight fit swung at the time (i did think he was extremely good-looking, which of course was why he was chosen to front the act - regardless of his sexuality), but i'm sure i read or heard of his preferences in more recent times (i gather since their reformation that tight fit are a big draw on the gay scene)...

    4. yes dory, i don't deny i like the concepts of "milfs" (and gilfs these days - i love the way jane fonda looks now, despite being well into her seventies). i remember when i was about 17 (in the late 1970's), and myself and the older guys in a shop i worked in used to get excited at the occasional sighting of a woman who owned a fashion boutique about three doors away - she must have been at least 40, but was always provocatively dressed with big hair and more make-up than max factor (as was the saying back then). but of course she was in a minority, as most women of that age acted and dressed very conservatively in those days. which was perhaps another reason we found her so alluring?

      the original pop milf was of course debbie harry, of whom it came as a great shock after blondie broke through that she was already in her 30's - which was considered positively ancient back then!

  9. Having seen from The story of 1982, that Craig Fairbrass was regular member of the TOTP audience/Zoo, each week, I now look out for him. And this week, he was they guy that Toni Basil pushed back. What will he do next time?

    1. I feel you're playing right into Mr Fairbrass's hands here...

  10. I've seen two videos for Mickey - one with a bunch of cheerleaders, one where she's goofing around with a 'band'.

    Ms Basil will always hold a special place in heart. She was the first woman off the telly I remember fancying (at the age of six).

    1. I notice she did the song on Kenny Everett's show too, albeit in a different costume:

      I was interested in THX's comment above that the video originated from Three of a Kind - was that the one with the cheerleaders (which is the one I was familiar with), or the band?

    2. I noticed in the 'band setup' video for "Mickey", the percussionist plays Toni's arse with his sticks at least twice. Eat that, Liquid Gold!

    3. That sounds like the one taken from her TV special which called Two For England broadcast on BBC 2 on 19 January 1982 and repeated on 16 March.

      Now we know why it got in the chart, it was plugged by a TV show.

    4. The white background/cheerleaders/same TOTP costume performance is definitely on my Three of a Kind DVD. A look at BBC Genome reveals it was from the 1st of July episode, 1981.

  11. Shakey Shakerson17 July 2016 at 12:01

    On paper this had all the makings of 40 highly enjoyable minutes, what with Mike Read on mic duties and a line-up that included Madness, UB40, Robert Palmer, ABC, and a double helping of Jam. Unfortunately, as we all know, ToTP is not played on paper, its played in the studio.

    Madness. Strange idea for a song, might have been a bigger hit if they could have managed to fit a chorus in somewhere.

    George Benson. Good song but a video that first teetered and then fell over the bordeom cliff.

    UB40. Dear God! Following Madness's footsteps in not being arsed about a chorus, the Brumsters go one step beyond by eschewing any thought of a tune at all. First single on a new label? Bet the accountants were chuffed with this.

    ABC - is all about Fry's gold suit isn't it? It must have seen a great gimmick at the time and it WAS highly effective. Unfortunately it had the drawback of removing any and all attention from the rest of the band. I mean, can you name them without Googling them? Could you pick them out of a police line up?. Every other band of their prominence, you could name one or more band members and recognise their photos.

    Robert Palmer. At last a bit of class. A weird one this, but one that I loved and still like now. Lots of percussive bangs and that odd vocal for the verses. And he sung it live. Nice one. (Although, ditch the leathers.)

    Toni Basil goes all cheerleadery on us with the annoying Mickey, and if the song wasn't bad enough she goes and gives extra screen time to Fairbrass. As mentioned above this was intended for Racey which meant it would have been a man singing 'You take me by the heart, when you take me by the hand'. Ahem.

    Enjoyed the 'top ten video show' mainy due to the fact that it was top-heavy with decent tunes. There have been many weeks in the past couple of years when this would have been torture.

    And we finish with not just 'Malice' but Precious as well. A glorious ending to a show which started off less than promisingly.

    Mike Read. Not his usual self this week. Some of his links were baffling and/or pointless. He sounded bored during the chart rundown and then there was the 'singing' intro to Tight Fit. Not his finest display in a ToTP shirt. He scores 5.

    Musically -a game of two halves. Robert Palmer and ABC were candidates forMan Of The Match, but that award goes to The Jam with their two excellent number ones. Take your pick for stinker out of Madness, UB40 and Toni Basil. The show cops for a 5 too.

    Right Im off for a post-match warm-down before I gird my loins for the Yewtree'd edition that is up next including possibly the greatest song of the entire decade!

    1. I guess you are referring to the Hill Street Blues theme here for greatest song of the decade? Hmmm?

    2. If Racey had done Toni's tune it would also be a man singing the line about "I'll take it like a man!" which when Toni sang it gave rise to a very rude urban myth (of sorts).

    3. perhaps rather sadly shakey i think i can actually name the other members of abc without reference: stephen singleton (sax), mark white (piano), mark lickley (bass) david palmer (drums) - is that right?

    4. Shakey Shakerson18 July 2016 at 12:10

      Wilby. As an inveterate quizzer, lots of names of group members are familar to me, even if I cannot always put the group's name to them. But if you are right, and I have no reason to doubt you, then it proves my point re ABC; I am sure I have never heard any of these names before.

    5. shakey i've checked and i'm correct about the other abc guys... as i knew i would be! i wouldn't say i was eidetic but i certainly have a better recall than most. and i spent (wasted?) my youth voraciously reading all the rock and pop papers and mags, which is how i got all the info into my head in the first place...

      i once remember my mother lamenting that i never made use of my ability to soak up such details to benefit career-wise. but i did manage to cash-in quite a bit on the trivia boom of the late 80's/early 90's, where for a while the pub machines were almost the equivalent of bank cashpoints!

  12. This was one of the best shows in ages. A lot of good acts and a great atmosphere not too overtaken by dancers and cheerleaders.

    Madness kick things off with a song that I really liked at the time but I must admit I haven't heard in a while. It's actually a lot better than I remember it and the band's performance, and the cheerleaders in the background joining in with the fun, really help sell the song. It's a shame it stalled at number 14 but I guess the subject matter isn't to everyone's taste. Maybe they should have done Jam's trick and made it a double A side with In The City. that song would certainly have made the Top Ten.

    While I quite liked the George Benson song I have no memory of the video at all. It's not a particularly good video but it does the job.

    Mike Read makes the mistake of saying that UB40 were signed to a new label, they weren't it was the same as before. While I liked all of the band's output up to this point this song did nothing for me at the time and I didn't buy it. But it's nice to see it all these years later.

    ABC's second single from The Lexicon of Love. This was real beauty, such a great song and a polished Trevor Horn production. A good performance all round only let down by the camera missing vital parts eg focusing on the percussionist when he hits the kettle drums but completely ignorimng his sterling work miming the xylophone parts and showing the pianist instead.

    The Jets still advertising BP petrol with their yellow and green cardigans (or are they Norwich City fans?).

    I loved this Robert Palmer track to bits at the time it was just weird with the discordant noises and grunted/growled verses. I seem to recall that I had this on a picture disc which had that odd horse sculpture on one side. Robert appears to be doing a live vocal here.

    Tight Fit are back with a better second performance but I still can't stand this all these years later. I like the song but knowing that they are miming to someone else's vocals makes a mockery of what is already very cheesy and thin idea.

    I had a love-hate relationship with this Toni Basil song, I liked it a lot when it came out but grew tired of it very quickly. I remember seeing her US TV special around this time where she performed this and other songs with her "band". It's funny how easily the UK record buying public took to the US high school cheerleader thing without question, pom-poms 'n' all. Talking of which while all the other dancers have two different coloured pom-poms, guess who has two THE SAME COLOUR? Yes, it was Craig "look at me" Fairbrass. What a plonker he was, albeit a lovably vacuous one.

    Interesting to see the Top Ten in video form, even if XTC don't have one (although a quick check on YouTube shows that they did, oh well) so we get to see a glimpse of the Tight Fit video where the miming trio's "acting" skills are put to the test. Oh dear. I wonder if that was Pete Waterman in the lion skin or more likely a young Simon Cowell? Not sure I can bear Mike Reid giving us a history lesson about Joan Of Arc.

    And then a double helping of Jam. Bad for you? No way. While the dances/cheerleaders in the background take to Precious like a duck to water (and having rehearsed it must have helped) the real crowd aren't too sure as it's not really the A-side and they bop from one side to the other is a slightly confused state. Weller gets all angry with the mic stand but still manages to chew his Wrigleys all the way though it and Town Called Malice that follows. I like his English Rose, sticking out of his guitar. This was a beautiful moment on British television which is brilliant to see once more.

  13. Quite good fun this show, with a good start from Madness. Famously, one of the Radio 1 DJs (pretty sure it was Peter Powell, which would make sense as he's an idiot) 'banned' it which scuppered its sales somewhat.

    UB40 - Errrmm....I think you've forgotten about that thing called a tune.

    ABC - 'Poison Arrow' is my least favourite single of the 4 from 'Lexicon Of Love'. I'm not sure why really.

    Robert Palmer - Blimey, a live vocal! Not many of those to the pound in this era. A song that's grown on me over the years, and this is definitely the best of the 3 80s hit versions.

    Toni Basil - Nobody's mentioned it, but that sounds awfully like a re-recorded version to me (the instrumentation at least, if not the vocals) which is a little odd when hardly anybody's doing that any more. Fair play to her for doing the splits at nearly 40, I lost the ability to be that dextrous before I was 30 I think!
    Loved the song then, and I still do. Joining in the girls cheerleader routines at school made me quite popular, but now I realise I was obviously the Fairbrass of my day. For shame.

    The Jam - Had they been listening to lots of Beggar & Co the year before? That's what 'Precious' sounds like and I'm not keen, sorry. The flip is still ace though.

    1. I thought Mickey sounded a bit different, and indeed Johnny Pearson's old mucker Derek Warne did appear in the credits - perhaps an MU rep was hanging around that week?

    2. "Cardiac Arrest" got limited Radio One airplay partly because the BBC thought some of the lyrics were too dark and painful for daytime listening, and partly because two Radio One DJs had just suffered family bereavements which had an in-house effect on whether the song should be aired.

    3. It likely explains why Peter Powell was absent from the show from early January to late March as I read somewhere else he was one of the jocks affected.

  14. Hurrah! A genial and informative host, the strongest studio selection for ages, and no Zoo ruining a chart toon!

    Very unusual brolly wearing by Suggs and Chas at the start of a song called good fun by our host, who’s probably forgotten the subject matter.

    George Benson with the very definition of a steamy video. Did he have BO or had he let off a ‘taster’ and emptied the carriage? I think George had one mugshot hit when he was ‘Bad’, the number 30 “Supership” which I loved.

    “I Won’t Close My Eyes” – what an ironic title for UB40’s first venture into curing insomnia. See most of their cover versions for further proof.

    ABC, lamé but not lame by any means. The line “She comes when she comes” reminded me of an old joke about a posh woman in the throes of physical ecstasy shouting “I’m arriving”!

    Robert Palmer, alternating between grunting like a wrestler and competing with Mike Read for the best Jimmy Somerville impersonation.

    Wahay! Fine moves by Chopper and the future Missus Waterman. Apparently, there was some bloke in a teabag top on stage as well.

    I felt giddy just watching the pre-vocal start to Toni Basil’s tune. By Heck, she had some energy! Awful drums on that instrumental break near the end. Didn’t match the single’s drums at all.

    Some meaty chunks of a load of great films... er, videos before we get to Pigbag – no, apparently not, it’s that bloke from The Jam showing us the gum in his gob again. Yuk!

  15. i never thought much of george (bad) benson's "supership" (and still don't - it sounds like a very hasty attempt to cash-in on disco to me), but in contrast i always thought the b-side "my latin brother" was excellent:

    ps - i've never heard the full-length album version with brilliant electric piano solo on it before - so thanks for that arthur!