Friday, 8 July 2016

Town Called Top of the Pops

Returning to host tonight's show after the best part of a year away is Richard Anthony Crispian Francis Prew Hope-Weston, also known as Tommy Vance!

Anything that Clare Grogan can do, I can do louder!

11-2-82: Presenter: Tommy Vance

(43) BANANARAMA & FUN BOY THREE – It Ain’t What You Do It’s The Way That You Do It
This follow up to The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum, and featuring the debut of Bananarama, became a big success reaching number 4 in the charts.

 (2) THE STRANGLERS – Golden Brown (video)
Had the number one spot snatched from under the nose.

 (46) BOW WOW WOW – Go Wild In The Country
Also making their debut on the show the explosively controversial Bow Wow Wow with what became their biggest hit when it made number 7.

 (50) ADRIAN GURVITZ – Classic
His only top ten hit reaching number 8.

 (11) DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES – I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (video)
They had their first top 50 UK hit as far back as 1976 with She's Gone, but this American number one was the duo's breakthrough over here and the first of their two top ten hits when it made number 8.

 (40) DEPECHE MODE – See You
The post Vince Clarke era begins but there was no stopping Depeche Mode now and See You became their biggest hit to date when it peaked at number 6.

 (26) J. GEILS BAND – Centerfold (video)
Another American number one benefitting from Top of the Pops exposure, this one peaking at number 3 in the UK.

 (53) MODERN ROMANCE – Queen Of The Rapping Scene (Nothing Ever Goes The Way You Plan)
The follow up to Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey, but not a successful, peaking at 37.

 (29) ELKIE BROOKS – Fool If You Think It’s Over ®
Slowly crawling towards an eventual peak of number 17.

(12) HAIRCUT 100 – Love Plus One
Another one taking its time to reach its peak position, number 3 for this one.

 (1) THE JAM – Town Called Malice (video)
No procrastinating for the Jam, who once again went straight into the charts at number one, this being the first of a three week run.

 (20) ALTON EDWARDS – I Just Wanna (Spend Some Time With You) (crowd dancing) (and credits)
Now at its peak.

Its February 18th 1982 next, with Mike Read.


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  2. This is something of a landmark episode, with the debuts of both Bananarama and (in the British Top 40) Hall & Oates. With their former competitors Gallagher & Lyle having split, Daryl and John - already superstars in the US - finally cracked the British market with an immaculately produced pop-soul classic that even Mick Hucknall couldn't resist sampling.

    Adrian Gurvitz, a veteran of the industry, achieved a long-deserved solo Top 10 hit with one of my favourite ballads of all time, even if it does steal one of the main riffs from 'Babe' by Styx. This man has enjoyed a quietly astonishing career, contributing to the soundtrack of 'The Bodyguard' and penning songs for some of the biggest names in the business, as you'll find out when you read his Wiki entry.

    Depeche Mode heralded the beginning of a long and internationally successful career without former main songwriter Vince Clarke, scoring an immediate Top 10 smash with a Martin Gore composition. Vince, of course, would resurface as half of Yazoo later in the year.

    The low point was Bow Wow Wow - who had sounded fresh and original on their debut hit 'C30, C60, C90, Go!' but had now degenerated into a mediocre indie band, though still signed to a major label (RCA). Not a patch on Adam!

    Modern Romance's camp approach was now starting to wear thin, too - and I suspect frontman Geoffrey Deane felt the same way, as he would be supplanted by experienced session singer Michael J Mullins in the autumn. The latter, as a backing singer for Sir Cliff many moons later, would vocally imitate the sound of a harmonica during a performance of 'Mistletoe and Wine' on TOTP!

    1. Correction to the above: Hall & Oates had previously reached the lower end of the British Top 40 with 'Kiss On My List'. 'I Can't Go For That' was their first single to make the British Top 20.

    2. Julie, I would correct you only slightly here. Kiss On My List only got to No.33 in Nov 1980, so I can't Go For That, now at No.11 this week should be their first single to make British top 30, let alone top 20.

    3. I knew that, Dory - but I didn't want to sound too pedantic. It was their first single to make the TOTP chart, which at that time was a Top 30.

    4. I wouldn't go as far as to say Bananarama were a landmark in anything. They were pretty average really.

    5. They were a landmark in girl band alcohol consumption.

    6. bananarama were a landmark inasmuch that they somehow made a little go a very long way

  3. Fun Boy Three & Banarama - so this was the debut appearance of Bananarama featured on the Fun Boy Three? Good Lord, why didn't the girls make an effort to dress accordingly? They came in what looks like afternoon casual gear at the supermarket, or leggings you would wear in the gym, and yet they could have taken fine example from one of the studio audience dancers behind them next to the studio video screen, i.e., the cute one in the evening party dress with frills.
    Come on girls, this is TOTP and your debut, so for gawd's sake, make an effort please.

    Stranglers - don't agree with Angelo on this occasion, as the No.1 was snatched from under their nose not only by the Jam but also Krafterwork and Shakin Stevens in the previous two weeks, which goes to show that Golden Brown was too morbid to be No.1 with a stoney-faced lead singer. Sorry, but I was amazed they even got to No.2 with it.

    Hall & Oates - at long last, after several 1980 & 1981 chart releases not even making top 30, it seemed that Jonathan King's plug for them two weeks earlier on the American chart rundown with the pair standing next to him, finally did the trick, and now TOTP for the first time were showing them singing on TOTP with the video at No.11 already!

    J Geils Band - wow, what a classic, and also plugged on JK's slot a couple of week's earlier. I like the lyrics "slipping notes under the desk, I was diggin' above her dress," and also "to see her in that negligee was really just too much." Suffice to say that this excellent video is available on iTunes to collect with your pop video collection at a mere £1.89, which is one of the best purchases that you are likely to make.

    Modern Romance - I don't recall this one, but about 20 years later in 2002 when I bought the greatest hits CD, this was one of my favourite tracks on it, especially with the girl rapper coming on stage, who doesn't look like a queen at all, but this Modern Romance offering probably inspired Wham later in 1982 to debut with Young Guns and copy this rapping style.

    The Jam - wow, once again straight in from nowhere to No.1, and one of the very best classics of the 80s to this day. I love the lyrics "rows and rows of disused milk"....."and a hundred lonely housewives clutching milkbottles to their hearts."

    1. I used to sing Centerfold - I sang "whilst I was thinking 'bout her dress" - prefer your lyric!

    2. I'm not sure which one of us is correct with the exact wording. I think this is a similar situation to 'rock 'n' roll and brew' on Deadringer For Love, where we would have to read the lips of the singer to find out which is correct.

    3. Struth, I just checked the lyrics online, and you are correct Charlie, but I still prefer my lyric.

      Also when this song came out, I thought they were singing on the opening lyric, "does she walk, does she talk, does she come from Leeds?"

    4. Dory - I think Bananarama's "can't be bothered" approach to dressing was quite deliberate, and designed to make them stand out at the time.

  4. Doesn't look like Tommy has had his hair cut since we last saw him. Cannon and Ball reference on the T-shirt - check, it really is 1982.

    The 'nanas and the, er, Funners, together at last in an amusing shambles covering a positively ancient tune but putting their own deadpan spin on it. Cavalier approach to mic technique.

    Ah, I was right, they did show the Stranglers video on TOTP, I recall trying to work out what it meant at the time and drawing a blank. Not too sure now, to be honest. One of those songs that didn't sound like anything else, and still doesn't, no wonder it made such an impression.

    Annabelle's hearty eff you to her hometown, they may have been controversial at the time but Bow Wow Wow look like a bit of fun now, which may be enough to damn them with faint praise. Still sounds pretty vibrant when it's on the radio, though.

    And then in a crunching gear change we get Adrian sitting his attic writing what he thinks is a classic, if indeed this song was the classic he was referring to, he could have been messing with our minds. I was convinced this was ten years older, and with his tight, shaggy perm Ade looks like something out of 1972, but this is just too mournful and "tasteful" to interest me.

    Hall and Oates providing the percussion that De La Soul found irresistible, slick and smooth pop soul though I was distracted by the grooving of the sax player in the video.

    Depeche Mode with their gentle electro sound possibly inspired by Russ Abbott's C.U. Jimmy. Or possibly not. Anyway, at least they proved they could carry on without Vince, and five years is a long time, as they say - just look at their 1987 material to illustrate that.

    J. Geils Band sexualising schoolgirls in a video you'd never get these days, but it's a mightily catchy tune with its chants and whistles. Another of those songs where once you start listening to the lyrics you have to hear them all the way to the end.

    Modern Romance, because of course the first thing you think of when you think of rap is an accordion. She wasn't exactly M.C. Solaar, was she? Ridiculous lyrics add a novelty air, but even at the time this was pretty naff. Made me chuckle, however.

    Tommy announces Haircut 100 as the biggest jumper, nice punning Tommy, and the boys have been taking notes from Imagination judging by their miming style, or lack of it.

    Straight in at number one for The Jam, when that really meant something, with a real classic, possibly their finest achievement in singles. The drumming on this is just fantastic. Angry, aggressive, but with a killer tune, I'd say this was my favourite song of theirs.

    Then Craig Fairbrass's favourite song to end on - look, he knows all the words! Bit disappointed they weren't dancing to the Theme from Hill Street Blues.

    1. The J Geils schoolgirls were mature 25-year old schoolgirls (there or thereabouts) in the video, so perhaps it was OK in this case, but agreed it was a little unexpected at the time, and later spawned similar type of videos in the mid-80s from Van Halen and other soft rock bands with teacher and class of 'sexy' schoolgirls, where by then the video era had by then fluorished to further maturity.

    2. Prime Mover by Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love reaction was probably the ne plus ultra (or nadir) of the 80s sexy schoolgirls video. Can't recall if TOTP showed it though.

    3. Just had a look at this but it's nowhere near the quality of the J Geils Band video/adult schoolgirls.

    4. At least there was the impression the Zodiac video was sending up the concept (it was directed by Adrian Edmonson) and not taking it as seriously as the J. Geils Band were. It was a weird thread in the culture at the time, probably best left behind.

    5. I would say that probably the second best effort of all time on this theme (of course after J Geils Band) would be the video for Hot For Teacher by Van Halen a couple of years later in 1984. It's kind of a cross between J Geils and Rod Stewart's Tonight I'm Yours video:

    6. Ah, that's a sexy teacher video rather than a sexy schoolgirl video, that's more socially acceptable. I shudder to think what Van Halen would have presented with the alternative theme!

    7. And don't forget the UK Eurovision entry a few years ago with the 'schoolgirls'...

  5. Great to see Tommy Vance again, though sadly for the only time in 1982. His chart rundown technique was disappointingly unimaginative on this occasion, but he still showed bags of enthusiasm and wit, and it was amusing when he addressed the Depeche Mode pronunciation controversy.

    Bananarama, who in my memory barely seemed to be off our screens in the 1980s, make their debut at last. They may be second banana (arf, arf) to the Fun Boys here, but their casual style still makes an impression, and it helps that the song is a strong, catchy one - I liked the brief attempt at uncoordinated dancing at the end! This Stranglers video is almost as striking as the song, and I like the way Jet Black holds himself so stiffly before beginning to drum politely - nicely filmed too, giving a sense of the heat and sweat of Egypt.

    Objectively, Wild in the Country is a pretty rubbish song, but there is something about the energetic delivery of Annabella Lwin that makes it very enjoyable. Great stage presence too, though why she decided to come dressed as Gandhi is something of a mystery. Given the state of his own barnet, I think it was a bit hypocritical of Tommy to cast doubt on her hairstyle! He was also inaccurate in saying that this was Adrian Gurvitz' first TOTP appearance, as he had appeared on the show as part of The Gun, performing Race with the Devil, as far back as 1968. I have never liked this soporific tune, and the "classic/attic" rhyme always makes me cringe, particularly as he repeats it over and over again.

    Hall and Oates get things back on track with this eminently sophisticated and catchy effort, aided by a simple and effective video. Depeche Mode prove there is life after Vince Clarke as they begin to adopt a darker sound, though the clean cut, suited image they continue to sport here doesn't quite match the shift in musical style. We then get a memorable video from the J Geils Band, as Jonathan King's endorsement seemingly benefits them as well as Hall and Oates. US rock was in pretty poor shape in the early 80s, but this rabble-rousing anthem is a cut above, and the video is great fun even if highly politically incorrect by today's standards. What was that white liquid on the drum supposed to be?

    Like Depeche Mode, we get a notable change in sound here from Modern Romance. Up until the proto-Wham rapping started, I actually thought this was rather good, but it went downhill rapidly after that. Was the female rapper French? The Haircuts don't quite get their colour coordination right here, and Nick Heyward's baseball cap makes him look like Kevin the Teenager, but an energetic and entertaining performance nevertheless.

    No Jam in the studio to celebrate their instant number 1 this week, but another decent video. I would agree with the view expressed above that this is probably their best song, the driving organ part really helping to make it memorable. We then get a rather lacklustre studio dance to finish off, though given Alton Edwards is providing the playout track that is not perhaps altogether surprising...

    1. I'd like to think that snare drum liquid was meant to be what it was, milk! Reminds me of a Morecambe and Wise sketch where they're dressed as orchestra musicians playing kettledrums and Eric's also has milk instead of drumskins.

      I haven't watched this edition yet but, obviously, Annabella's wearing more than she did on the single sleeve, which was controversial as I'm not sure she was the age of consent when she posed for it.

    2. Bow Wow Wow's single sleeve was actually the cover of their album, a recreation of the Edouard Manet painting "Le Déjeuner Sur L'Herbe", and Annabella was 14 when she posed in the nib.

    3. Yes, I'd like to think it was just meant to be milk too...

  6. The Fun Boy Three having all the fun with Bananarama. Not that any of them are showing signs of it. Now I don't want to be cruel to Bananarama but really it could be any three pretty girls standing there couldn't it. This is featherweight, fun pop at its lightest. Nice to see the colour wheels out again last used for Ghost Town.

    I see the cheerleaders are back in full force this week with The Fairbrass in a dinner jacket. I wonder if they chose their own clothes or were told what to wear by the producer or more likely the costume designer. Fairbrass has some serious rivals this week in the shape of the guy with a white leather waistcoat with massive shoulder pads, a bald bloke with a triangle painted on his head and a guy who has little triangles of material sewn onto his trousers so when he spins they stick out. The things you have to do to get noticed! He's going to have to up his game.

    Nice to see the video for Golden Brown. It's funny when the dubbed on applause plays at the beginning it drowns out the harpsichord and you can only hear the piano and it sound like a different song.

    Bow Wow Wow pack a real punch with Wild In The Country, shame the stage bangs go off at the wrong time

    Home perm alert. What is it about bands where the lead singer has a curly perm, another band member has to copy them? Kelly Groucutt did it with Jeff Lynne in ELO and now Adrian and his mate (the Barry Gibb soundalike) are at it.

    At last Hall and Oats on TOTP. A very simple video but it works and matches the simplicity of the song. Lyrically this is like almost a blueprint for Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad. Note to pop groups never put a sax solo on a record TOTP will ALWAYS fade when it reaches it be it Supertramp, Gerry Rafferty or Hall and Oats.

    See You. Not as immediate as Depeche Mode's earlier hits and certainly more downbeat, but a good song all the same. The video for this is really weird where Dave goes shopping and buys a copy of this record.

    J Geils Band with a song that can't fail to be a hit, certainly not with that video.

    Modern Romance and The Queen of the Rapping Scene, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.I had forgotten just how dreadful this was. It makes the Wham Rap look like hight art. No matter how hard you try there's no way a baldy bloke playing an accordion can be made to look cool. Please just go away and take your pencil moustache, your bongos, your wedge haircurts and sneers with you.

    The charts and it's interesting to note that of the acts on last weeks show only Soft Cell went up this week all the others dropped or stayed put. NB: there are no less than 6 past present or future number ones in the Top 30 this week, that must be a record.

    It's not over for Elkie Brooks and then Haircut 100 return. Nick takes off his guitar again to have a little boogie at the end, why does he do that? And why is the percussionist dressed from head to toe in lemon yellow? I see a lion has arrived expecting Tight Fit to appear, oh no it s woman with BIG BIG hair. Perhaps that IS Haircut number 100.

    Then the Jam at number one. I instantly fell in love with this at the time, a top song and a video to match.

    Alton Edwards AGAIN, he seems to have been at number 20 for about 6 weeks now. The crowd love dancing to this don't they.

    1. Lyrically Hall & Oates' tune sounded like Meat Loaf's I'll Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) to me.

    2. Yes, but Meat Loaf's effort was a lot more impactful when it came out, and spent 6 weeks at No.1 in the UK Charts in 1993.

  7. I've just realised who the dancer in the white leather waitcoat with the massive shoulder pads who stands by Tommy when he introduces Elkie Brooks, it's future Blue Peter presenter Michael Sundin. He sadly died of an AIDS-relate illness in 1989.

    1. There is an episode of 80s impressionist show Copy Cats on YT with Bobby Davro doing a cruelly accurate impersonation of poor old Michael Sundin. As if he hadn't suffered enough!

  8. Why, oh why, were we served up such meagre portions of class like Thomas the Vance and subjected to the gruel-like Simon Bates on a ridiculously regular basis?

    It’s the birth of karaoke! Green top Rama was always my favourite. I remember I used to join in the “ch” bits of the chorus back in the day. What must have Specials fans thought to see their former heroes indulging in such frothy frenzy?

    A subtle Stranglers video, and a shock to see them scrubbed up so well. I loved Jet Black’s comical face and ‘needle to the stylus’ style drumming, but he must have been double jointed to play that bass drum.

    I loved the energy in that Bow Wow Wow track. From memory the ‘snakes in the grass’ line was originally “where sex in the grass is absolutely free”, again a bit too AC/DC-like for a band with a pre-marriage age singer. Loved the three firework blasts accentuating the word ‘wild’ in the chorus near the end.

    The third non-top 40 in the first four tracks on the show now, and the polar opposite friction-wise to Bow Wow Wow. In keeping with the non-rhyming end words like classic, attic and addict, as far as Adrian Gurvitz’s song goes, I’ve had it.

    Did John Oates, the American Andrew Ridgeley, ever take lead vocals on anything? Strangely muffled sound on this vid.

    Dapper Depeche Mode with a sweet and yet somehow sinister sounding synth ballad, complete with rip-off of the “Then He Kissed Me” hook. Some very jerky camera work going on here, and what had Alan Wilder done to be kept in the dark?

    The J. Geils Band proving to Rod Stewart you can have a nubile-filled video with an underlying sense of humour.

    If Debbie Harry rapped in French on “Rapture”, Modern Romance’s nadir must surely be nicknamed “Crapture”. The Techno Twins namechecked by TV were a husband and wife duo who released electronic versions of WWII age songs, having a top 70 smash with their version of “Falling In Love Again”. Sadly, not only did Bev Sage’s husband not have the surname Onion (he was called Steve Fairnie), he died of an asthma attack.

    Does anyone have a clue what the word “Versma” on Nick Heyward’s hat meant? Haircut 100 obviously hadn’t seen The Jets wearing a similarly coloured kit the previous week. Still, fair play to them turning up and being the only studio act of the six to play a mugshot hit.

    So, The Jam go straight in at number one. It’s all right, but I’d have preferred to have heard something by Marmalade. See what I did there?

    1. I wondered about Versma on Nick's hat too. Google doesn't turn up much except a South African insurance company. Was it an anagram?

    2. Vers Ma translates as towards my in French. Any help?

    3. "Towards my jumper"?

  9. Anyone else notice Sir Cliff leaping out at Serena Williams to congratulate her for winning the Wimbledon Ladies Singles today? Obviously feeling better! Cliff and Beyoncé and Jay-Z in the same crowd, not often you can say that.

    1. I did see notice that too, and I also felt a little better to see Cliff in a jovial mood after what he has been going through recently. Suffice to say that in today's news he is suing the BBC for £1M for the turmoil they put him through recently.

    2. I would have thought it was more the fault of the cops than the Beeb, who were just following what the rozzers told them. Apparently he's suing them too.

    3. I wonder if Sir Cliff will have time to be at the Andy Murray Wimbledon final today, among the paperwork for the law suit with the Beeb and and the police.

    4. He was, he witnessed Andy's famous victory (as they say) wearing a tartan suit! (Cliff, not Andy).

    5. He didn't look very happy, whether that was due to the lawsuit or the tartan suit I don't know.

  10. Sorry if this has been answered elsewhere - I have looked :) How many shows are we due to miss this year? I'd imagine less than the higher than expected count of un-broadcastable episodes for 1981, due to all the extra hosts coming up in 1982.

    1. 13 - five Jim'll solo, six DLT solo, a group DJ ensemble featuring both, and another group DJ ensemble featuring DLT.

    2. I think there are also doubts about whether we will see the live show from 22 July, because the BBC (as with that Peter Powell live show we skipped in 1981), only has a copy with mute links. As Bates was the host, many might say that would improve the show...

    3. maybe they should employ bates to re-do his lines in the same manner that tony curtis did for the restored version of the film "spartacus", where a previously-cut scene had the original dialogue missing?

    4. It's a nice thought Wilberforce, but I think about as likely as BBC4 starting a rerun of Jim'll Fix It!

    5. I have a copy of that 22.07.82 show recorded from BBC1 on the night so I'm sure BBC could get a copy and dub back in the links not exactly rocket science if they want my son will do it for them Meer

  11. host: thomas "a" vance (as he seems to introduce himself) doesn't appear to have been anywhere near a hairdressers since his last appearance a year or so earlier, but even though he's going against the trend he looks the better for it. but despite his evident enthusiasm i still can't quite get used to him introducing the likes of depeche mode and modern romance, as opposed to say slayer or venom

    fun boy 3 / bananarama: wasn't this an old tin pan alley tune? percussion apart it's rather sparse, but still infectious despite that and far superior to the previous single. like rapping, bananarama were in retrospect a sort-of novelty that long outstayed their welcome. the first of several instances on this show where the acts make it quite clear they're not performing for real

    stranglers: i've never seen this video before - did they actually go to egypt and film this, or were they just stuck in some studio in blighty? what with the desert scenes and jet black pretending to be some kind of clockwork drum-playing marionette, i can't help but think of the vincent price classic-if-hokey horror film "dr phibes rises again"

    bow wow wow: this lot never did anything for me, and time has not endeared them a jot

    adrian gurvitz: from one extreme of raucous tuneless noise to the other of a snorefest that sounds like the bastard lovechild of christopher cross and phil collins. mr adrian and his brother (why weren't they credited as such?) look like they've spent the last ten years locked in an attic

    hall & oates: or should that be hall, oates and saxman? the latter seems to have as much input into things in the video as mr oates. and even though daryl hall was one of the coolest dudes around, it does not look cool singing whilst standing behind a keyboard. this really blew me away at the time, and still does as a true classic of the age. but sadly everything else they released afterwards failed to begin to match it

    depeche mode: i never cared that much for the twee vince clarke period, but it was preferable to the dourness that dominated their work once candy floss head took over compositional duties

    modern romance: much of their debut album was faux funk in this manner, as opposed to the mock latin of their first two singles. it's not actually too bad as far as such things go. that is until the rap kicks in, at which point it becomes truely excruciating - making debbie harry sound like queen latifah or something in comparison

    j. geils band: like hall and oates, this lot were mainstays of the american charts for much of the previous decade whilst being little more than names in the rock papers for most over here. and like h&o they got their break in blighty curtesy of mr king's now-exorcised US hits section on totp. and in both cases deservedly too in my opinion, with records that were both radio and dancefloor friendly. i always thought the band name was a bit odd given that mr geils was very much third banana behind singer peter wolf and keyboard player seth justman, both of whom did most of the band's songwriting. i remember being highly amused at the shot in the video where the snare drum turns out to be full of milk, so looked forward to watching that again

    haircut 100: bassist les nemes gets pushed into the spotlight this time - he's a cool-looking guy, but the sweater draped over him does not do any favours. and why wasn't he wearing something yellow (or is that actually lemon as in their album track "lemon fire brigade") like the rest?

    the jam: it doesn't matter what musical style he attempts to turn his hand to, my anathema for the modfather means i'll never listen to anything he's involved in for a nanosecond more than i have to

    1. 50 something here...

      The Stranglers video was a combination of stock footage of various Middle Eastern locations and film of the band made at Leighton House in Holland Park (one of those museums based on the legacy of a Victorian collector) - more details at the Wikipedia entry.

      I think Mr RACFP Hope-Weston liked to introduce himself as Thomas The Vance (apparently he was working behind the scenes at a radio station in the US which was playing countless trailers heralding the forthcoming arrival of a DJ called Tommy Vance. When this Mr Vance failed to turn up the station asked our man to step up to the microphone in his place.

    2. bearing in mind the subject matter of their hit, perhaps it would have been more appropriate to have described the j geils band as staples of the american charts?

    3. @Wilberforce: Bravo, sir!

  12. Shakey Shakerson10 July 2016 at 00:28

    TV - the man with the Grand-Canyon-deep voice follow's Peelie's footsteps onto the stage and gets us going with the combined 'might' of Fun Boy 3 and Banarama. A fairly lightweight ditty this one, very repetitive and ear-wormy. Unlike others here, I like the Nana's outfits, very 80s ragamuffin. Nice to see Terry smiling for once.

    BowWowWow. Haven't heard this for yonks, and its quite enjoyable too. Annabella was quite the front girl wan't she? And is that guitarist the one that was replaced by Gary Tibbs in Adam & The Ants?

    Adrian Gurvitz. A record that I went out and bought at the time and another one that you just don't hear on the radio. It's rather simplistic, but there are some nice touches as mentioned by others - the keyboard motif (yes,it does seem to be lifted wholesale from 'Babe') and the counterpoint backing vocals ( very Barry Gibbsesque).

    Hall & Oates. Another good un that I thought enough of to buy. Not quite up there with their golden period of She's Gone/Rich Girl/Sarah Smile allof which deserved top 5 places that they never got. This is a bit more poppy, a bit more disco-y.

    Depeche Mode. Now sans Vince Clarke and all the better for it. More melodious backing rather than the slightly industrial sound that they had before.

    J Geils Band. Loved this and it still sounds good today, although their follow up Freez Frame was even better.

    The Plastic Oh No band spoil the mood a bit with the dreadful Queen Of The Rapping Scene. Garbage. And Elkie Brooks follows them in full on 'meh' mode with 'Fool' before things get better again.

    Haircut 100 are back in the studio, and this week they are dressed in lemon. Apart from the bass player who is still wearing the jumper-draped-over-the-shoulder look from their previous outing. And boy does he look pissed off about it - sending some bad if-looks-could-kill glances at Mr Heywood.

    And while other acts fanny about deciding whether to go up a little or down a bit, the Jam steamroller their way straight into pole position with the sublime Town Called Malice - possibly their last great single. Thundering bass and drums, rolling keyboards and brilliant lyrics. The highspot of the show and up there with the very best of the year. A great way to end tonight's episode.

    The 'Hey Ma - Look at me I'm on the telly' playout is Alton Edwards and in amongst the attention-seeking dweebs is our old friend Fairbrass - this week dressed as a bouncer.

    Scores. Tommy Vance scores a creditable 7. He doesn't have no truck with the audience and is clearly as knowledgeable as they come, but a couple of links were bordering on jibberish and his countdown as boring. Still, he's not Bates or Powell.

    Musically this is the best for a while. 8 of the songs were at the very least enjoyable with The Jam being the pick. Modern Romance and Elkie, the worst. 8.

  13. Having looked further into this week's new entry by Modern Romance, it seems that after this sole TOTP studio performance, the song tumbled down to No.64, and then back up to No.37 as mentioned by Angelo.

    However I managed to find one other piece of footage of this Queen Of The Rapping Scene which looks like a less-crowded rival pop show studio, possibly Top Pop?:

    Suffice to say that this was Modern Romance's only flop, i.e., unusually not making into the top 30 with this one considering it's quite a good catchy number, but the very best was yet to come in 1982 and 1983 with a further five Top 20 hits, and I for one can't wait to enjoy them on these TOTP reruns.

  14. I enjoyed this show a lot, as there were many tracks that I like.

    The opener is one of those, though this performance isn't as entertaining as the 'opposite sides of the stage' one. The whole point of the Nanas is that they were normal and didn't dress up, but I must say that when they made a bit more effort, Keren always looked the finest to me...

    Not much love for 'Go Wild In The Country' which is a shame as I've always really liked it. An entertaining performance of it too.

    Then a real clunker with Adrian Gurvitz and a song that is a dirge.

    Hall & Oates - A good song that's obviously highly regarded given how many times it's been sampled (Simply Red & De La Soul most notably)

    Depeche Mode - Another good single, as most of the early ones were. This is the one I remember most from the time, more so than 'Just Can't Get Enough'. I wish that was still the case in terms of radio play!

    J Geils Band - Hmm...loved it at the time. Can take it or leave it now to be honest.

    Modern Romance - Oh, now this is hilarious. Yes, it's naff, but at least it's entertaining!
    The compilers of 'Chart Busters 82' clearly weren't enamoured of the rap either, as they chopped it out completely on that compilation!

    Tommy Vance mentioning Haircut 100 being the 'biggest jumper' must have been deliberate, surely?!

    The Jam - One of their very best, I'd forgotten that it had actually been No.1 for as long as it was.

    Shame about Alton Edwards being the playout track - I think we've heard that quite enough now!

    1. 'Chart Busters 82' included Queen Of The Rapping Scene without the rap, and without the busting chart placing.

  15. Another patchy show tonight….and sorry to be late to the party again. I’ll be off for a few weeks so you won’t be reading my views for a while….

    Fun Boy Three / Bananarama – Ain’t what you do – Funny we’d never heard of Bananarama, but they certainly went on to great things c/o a certain trio of writers and producers. This song was so hard to dance to! Great rendition with Terry’s deadpan delivery suiting the song well. Saw Sarah in a pub near Wadebridge, Cornwall a number of years ago, with her squeeze Mr Ridgely.

    Stranglers – Golden Brown – I’d forgotten that TOTP had shown this excellent video. My how different the boys look from their ‘Go buddy go’ debut on TOTP. Timeless song.

    Bow wow wow – Go wild in the Country – I recall at the time BWW were getting loads of press for their numerous previous singles (such a C30, C60, C90, Go!) but no hits until this screechy monstrosity. Horrible! Annabelle naked on the picture sleeve cover btw. I think that caused controversy at the time as, noted above she was under age, and I recall her mum giving interviews on a short lived ‘cassette’ magazine whose name escapes me.

    Adrian Gurvitz – Classic – I really like this and it appeared on a compilation of songs recorded on Mickie Most’s RAK label where one reviewer termed it “a hideous dirge”. Not so! The follow up, ‘Your dream’ wasn’t such a classic as it only reached no.61 but that didn’t stop one reviewer commenting “written in an attic presumably?”. Adrian wrote that sadly unprophetic 1982 England World Cup Squad song ‘This time we’ll get it right’ (nothing changes there!).

    Hall & Oates – I can go for that –
    Unbeknown to BBC4 viewers this had been launched into the British charts by the JK US spot a few weeks ago where we saw more of this video of Hall and Oates and their sax player.

    Depeche Mode – See you – Better haircut from the lead singer and great tune. The keyboard refrain always reminded me of the opening to Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Lost in France’.

    J Geils Band – Centerfold – We get another JK plugged US hit and this is well worth it too. What can one say about the video and lyrics? Interestingly the US spelling of the title persists.

    Modern Romance – Queen of the rapping scene – The lady from the Techno Twins cannot save this temporary blip from Modern Romance. ‘Best years’ were still to come…

    Elkie Brooks – Fool if you think it’s over – Third showing already and it’s only No.29. Is there another appearance to come I wonder? Still dig those leather trousers!

    Haircut 100 – Love plus one – Bananrama part 2 except for the guitarist who obviously couldn’t get his hands on a yellow top! Very popular for a short while were them Haircuts.

    Jam – Town called malice – Jam plus one with a tambourine shaking fourth member appearing in the video. This really was one of their best efforts for me, as noted by others above. Very 60s in feel. I think they perform the ‘other’ A Side ‘Precious’ in a few weeks’ time, possibly with Peter Powell hosting. This was a departure as we never got to see the likes of ‘The dreams of Children’ in the past.

    Atlton Edwards – I just wanna spend some time – Spent no time watching this overhyped single, even with the extended dance out. Please drop out of the charts soon!

    Tommy Vance – is it me or is his hair getting longer? Nice presentation style as always.

    1. isn't it keren who's mrs ridgeley? sorry - showing i know too much about bananarama!

    2. sct i'm pretty sure this is the cassette/magazine thing you've mentioned:

      i used to buy practically all the pops mags in the early 80's but never this one - maybe at 75p a copy ("smash hits" cost half as much) i thought the price was a bit steep?

    3. Yes, it's Keren who's married to Andrew Ridgeley (Lucky git!)

      I remember seeing those magazines that were 12" and came with some vinyl slapped inside the back cover, but don't remember ever seeing that cassette one!

    4. Wilberforce and Noax - thanks for the correction...ooops on my part!

      Wiberforce - yes indeed. SFX, that was it. If you look at issue 2 you'll see it contains the interview with Annabella's Mum that I recall. I definitely bought issue 5 as it has a Phil Collins interview in it. Thanks for the memory jog.

    5. did the cassettes actually have music clips on them as well as interviews? if so then maybe the extortionate price was due to royalties having to be paid to the MCPS and PPL!

  16. A so so episode, still think the episodes in a month or 2 will be absolute vintage, what with the World cup songs, eurovision etc.

    Loved the J geils vid and thought TV on the er, TV was superb as always. Other than that, completely underwhelming.

    On a side note, I detest the Jam and Weller with a passion. Completely overrated. A mid nineties career revival, thanks only to Noel Gallaghers unfathomable interest in him was Wellers biggest break imo.

    1. leetree i'm pleased to read i'm not the only voice in the wilderness when it comes to the modfather! apart from not caring for his music, i also couldn't stand his holier-than-thou attitude. that included his vehement contempt toward any suggestion that the jam be reformed, and when he appeared to be going down the toilet in the early 90's i hoped that he would have to eat some humble pie (and i don't mean steve marriott's group!) and be forced to get back together with bruce and rick and join other has-beens on the burgeoning nostaglia circuit to pay the rent. sadly though (thanks to the equally loathsome noel gallgher it seems) that never happened...

  17. No doubt the best 80's show so far