Thursday, 1 September 2016

More Than Top of the Pops

No fooling about, it really is April 1st 1982 already! The eve of the Falklands War no less.'re standing on my foot!

1-4-82: Presenter: John Peel

(33) MOTÖRHEAD – Iron Fist
Only Motorhead could get the show off to a start this loud ~ and was that a live vocal from Lemmy in amongst it? But sadly it was the band's final top 30 hit when it peaked at 29.

(2) IMAGINATION – Just An Illusion ®
Now at its chart peak.

(18) ROXY MUSIC – More Than This
'Live in the studio for the first time in over a year' with what would become their final top ten hit when it made it to number 6.

(16) CLASSIX NOUVEAUX – Is It A Dream ®
Getting closer to its number 11 peak.

(15) DOLLAR – Give Me Back My Heart
The first of tonight's 7.30pm edits, but we'll see it on the 15th April edition .......... probably.

(14) LEO SAYER – Have You Ever Been In Love (video)
Also edited out of the 7.30 slot.

(NEW) BARDO – One Step Further
As was 1982's rather good Eurovision entry, though again it pops up on April 15th.

(NEW) CHAMPAGNE D’ORANGE – C’est Seulement Une Wynd Oop (video)
It's April 1st and this song translates as 'its only a wind up'...... but it was edited out of tonight's 7.30pm showing! Maybe at the insistence of Buck's Fizz!

(25) STATUS QUO – Dear John
Taken from their number one album, 1982, Dear John became the Quo's 15th top ten hit when it peaked at number 10.

(9) JAPAN – Ghosts ®
The first of two top ten hits for Japan, this one being their biggest hit reaching number 5.

(1) GOOMBAY DANCE BAND – Seven Tears ®
This was actually their second week at number one, but they will still be there for one more week.

(37) SHAKATAK – Nightbirds (and credits)
Taken from their top four album of the same name, this became the first of two Shakatak top ten hits, both of which made number 9.

Next then is April 8th 1982.


  1. The bassist in the photograb reminds me of said 'musician' in the recent Simon Day mockumentary when he performs the Peter Gabriel rip-off... erm, inspired "Spirit Level".

    1. the bassist in the photograb (is that a spelling mistake or an actual word now?) was actually peter gabriel's usual bassist of choice, so perhaps the presence of a lookalike in the simon day pastiche was more than coincidental?

  2. The members of the Bucks Fizz spoof "Champagne D'Orange" were of course Zoo dancers Bee, Bunty, Radford and Wesley.

    I read that C’est Seulement Une Wynd Oop (It's Only a Wind Up) was written and composed by David Mindel, jingle writer and composer of many theme tunes including Jim'll Fix It and last year's UK song entry for Eurovision "Still in Love with You". Mindel did an English language version of "It's Only a Wind Up" under the name of "Brown Ale" which can be viewed in the following link.

    1. David Mindel also produced the two solo singles released by my favourite TOTP dancer (deep sigh....), Cherry Gillespie.

    2. My favourite of Cherry Gillespie's performances was also one of her last on TOTP:

    3. Anonymous - What do you mean "of course"? How is anyone supposed to know that 34 years after the event, and how did anyone know who was or wasn't a member of Zoo. Even the members of Zoo didn't know who was a member!

    4. The dancers from the spoof line-up can be seen dancing as the end credits roll. Their names are credited.

      Has anyone noticed the Top of the Pops roundel at the end? The last time the roundel was seen was on edition #899 (tx. 02/07/81) before the Yellow Pearl look, although it was the older '73-'81 logo.

    5. I hadn't noticed the dancers names at the end but to be fair they were singing not dancing. However with Zoo the credits were often confusing because it was always hard to tell who was or wasn't an official member.

      Regarding the TOTP roundel logo it is still used on the Yellow Pearl opening credits but you mean this was the first time since July 81 that it was used at the end. I think you're right but I seem to recall it being on the Toppatron screen in the background a few times. Old logos never die, they just get redesigned.

    6. bama: like yourself i had no idea who the members of champagne d'orange were, as the only zoo member i'd recognise is julie chopper harris (who of course had jumped ship by now to join tight fit)

    7. Craig Fairbrass is saddened by your comment, Wilberforce.

    8. it would be funny if mr fairbrass was actually reading these uniformly negative comments about him. i overlooked him as (like michael sundin) i don't consider him as a member of zoo, but as a "ringer" brought in to pretend to be an audience member. i did look him up as a result of what gets said about him, and i was suprised to read he was still only 18 at this time (two years younger than me!), although he made his acting debut two years earlier in an episode of "shelley". i also found out that whilst scratching about for work as an actor he had jobs as a roofer and (not surprisingly) a bouncer...

    9. I honestly believe Mr F to be a pretty good actor, if a tad typecast. His performance in Rise of the Foot Soldier was nothing less than terrifying.

    10. whatever his acting abilities (i don't suppose he and julian clary ever bump into each other at auditions?), in my view like russell brand, chris evans, simon cowell, quentin tarantino et al he's got one of those faces that is asking to be smashed in with a lump hammer... although in his case i don't suppose you'd get much opportunity to do that!

  3. Very enjoyable show, this one, maybe it's the host giving it an extra lift? First up, apparently playing so hard they've started to combust, are Motorhead. Their songs tend to sound the same to me, but I'm by no means averse to them. Was this named after the comic book character (Marvel?)?

    Imagination repeating on us next, is that a cummerbund, Leee?

    A holdover from the previous show, Bryan has a bowtie on. Nice, wistful tune, superbly produced to sound as slick as possible, though I'm never sure if the lyrics are exultant or melancholy.

    Screamin' Sal Solo and chums, is this the first time we've seen those hexagonal drums on the TOTP stage?

    Then Dollar, plunging into dream pop about as far as they could go, real candyfloss melody, sweet and barely substantial but it makes an impression.

    Leo Sayer next almost but not quite dressed as Biggles for his plaintive ballad. The rule of Chekov's football dictated that he would boot said sphere before the end of the video, but frustratingly we never got that far.

    I think I'm right in saying Bardo's Eurovision entry was John Peel's favourite ever, as far as the UK went anyway, and it is seriously catchy and inanely bouncy in a winning way. Shame it didn't ultimately win, though.

    Ah, April Fool! Wait a minute, if it's after noon then you're the fool, TOTP! If they really had to do this, it was fairly ingenious, like the accordion carrying the tune.

    Status Quo, now if this had been the theme song to ace sitcom Dear John I might have been more interested. As it was, same old same old.

    Japan in another repeat, with Dave looking like a phantom, appropriately. But it's April Fool's Day, not Halloween, so he should have been wearing a red nose or squirty flower or been harvesting spaghetti.

    Wishful thinking on Peel's part that the Goombays were in their third and final week, perhaps. Bent has the look of Joe Bugner about him, I've noticed.

    Shakatak, must admit I rather warmed to this, it's very pleasant in a session musicians let their hair down way. Must be the influence of all those hours watching pages from Ceefax waiting for the programmes to begin.

    1. Indeed, "One Step Further" was Peelie's fave Euro song. It was expected to come first or second in the grand final, but a poor performance (by the orchestra and a duo no doubt knackered by the pre-vocals dance routine) saw the song finish 7th. Bardo had a child together, and they only recorded six tracks (three singles) before being dropped but, thanks to various remixes, these six tracks multiplied and became a 'best of' compilation!

    2. talking of "dear john": unlike "only fools and horses" which seems to run ad nauseum, other john sullivan comedies such as that and "citizen smith" never seemed to get reruns - does anyone know why? the classic line from "dear john" i remember was where john looked in his wallet where he found a condom and a kidney donor card, and wondered which one would get used first!

    3. I suppose there's only a certain amount the BBC can repeat, though they have given Just Good Friends an airing recently. I don't have UK Gold, but I imagine there's plenty of sitcom repeats on there, or ITV3 for the other side.

    4. Citizen Smith did get a full rerun on the BBC back in the 90s, which is when I saw it. I remember watching Dear John when it was first broadcast, though I was quite young at the time and I think a lot of it just went over my head. However, the wistful theme tune has stuck in my brain to this day.

    5. I absolutely loved Dear John and wouldn't mind seeing it again. You can get it on DVD I think. I remember Ralph doing the disco nearly gave me an asthma attack - 'Boogie on down now....yeah'

    6. I watched the Dear John DVD box set last December, because it ends on a Christmas episode and I like to be seasonal. Well worth it, it's really funny and nicely observed.

  4. thanks to the government now closing the iplayer loophole (bastards!) i was forced to go around to a chum's to watch this episode, so i wasn't able to devote my usual scrutiny to it. by the way, does anyone know how the licence authorities are going to be able to monitor this development, or how they can prove that iplayers are watched illegally?

    repeats apart, most of what was on this show was dire and unworthy of comment. the exception and a pearl among swine was roxy music (the performance features tony levin of king crimson/peter gabriel fame on bass, and phil gould of level 42 on drums) with what is perhaps my favourite-ever track of theirs. although relatively simple chord-wise, the playing and production make it irresistible and the definition of sophisticated 80's pop that you can dance to. my favourite bit is the extended instrumental fadeout that adds ever-more interesting textured layers, before finally revealing an unexpected ethereal and almost subliminal reprise. i discovered the reprise after i bought the album, but found my enjoyment of it (albeit it was only a few seconds long) spoilt by pop and crackle. so i took it back to the shop and asked for a replacement copy, but it sounded exactly the same. i ended up getting another couple of replacements before i realised they were probably from the same batch of pressings and therefore had the same problem (an early taste of what was later diagnosed as OCD!). and it wasn't until 20 years later than i finally got a nice digital crackle-free version of it!

    1. Can you not watch it at a library, or have the government managed to close down those as well? I imagine they can better trace who's been watching the iPlayer than they could who was watching TV in the old days, the internet being easy to track down who's doing what, so don't risk it, Wilberforce! You'd end up paying the equivalent of six or seven TV licenses in one year!

      In the VHS days, you could have just got someone to tape it for you. So much for progress!

    2. i've managed without a tv licence up til now since i moved address a couple of years ago (saving £300!), and i certainly don't feel my life is poorer for it as the reality is that most programmes made these days don't interest me in the slightest, and i can pretty much get what i want to watch by borrowing/hiring/buying and then selling dvds. but although my meagre means mean that even paying £3 a week for one might be a stretch, my real beef is on moral grounds in that i now can't legally watch the odd programme that interests me on iplayer without having to pay for all the other shit! surely the time has come for the tv licence in its present and antiquated catch-all form to be abolished and replaced by pay-for-view systems instead?

    3. The whole concept of sitting down to watch the TV at a specific time for the show you want to see being broadcast seems to be on the way out anyway. Apart from sport, I suppose. So the iPlayer with paid content would appear to be the way forward. It's still a hell of a lot cheaper than Sky, plus I get my BBC radio too, couldn't live without that.

    4. Just heard a DJ on Jazz FM (yes, really!) say he missed "Poldark" on telly night and, without advertising the brand, confirm he was going to watch it on "that playback catchup catchy thing'!

  5. It seems that BBC4 always edit out the three or four songs just before the top 30 countdown, and in one fail swoop, so Angelo, it's nothing about Buck's Fizz insisting on editing out the spoof French performance of their Eurovision song, but in order to fit a 45-minute show into 30 minutes for the 7.30pm show, this is how they do it.

    In fact the only 4 tracks I really like on this week's show were the four edited out!:

    Dollar - I always have time for this pair, as that look of being in love has never been matched by anyone in the history of TOTP, not even Bardo who came close this week to matching Dollar's 'in love' look.

    Leo Sayer - the only video on this week's show, but a great one. It's a shame TOTP left the video before the last major verse. One of Leo's best songs here.

    Bardo - I always liked this one, even though it did not win Eurovision, just for the fact that they coupled up very well, and looked like a perfect match. Didn't know that they had a child together as Arthur Nibble mentions above.

    Champagne D'Orange - nice addition to the show, and I just love the assortment of colours, the girls' fine pins in those miniskirts, and the way the two guys literally rip off the girls' skirts, instead of gently pilling them off in the original Bucks Fizz TOTP performance the year before. Also had no idea that this was Zoo performing!

    Shakatak - a very good way to end the show, and once again the late night repeat had more of this performance and the playout dancing.

  6. War might have been about to break out in the South Atlantic, but it was business as usual for TOTP this week, with an added April Fool twist. John Peel adds his normal pleasingly sardonic touch to proceedings, though he did make a couple of mistakes. The Goombays one has already been touched upon by others, but he was also wrong to say that Shakespeare's birthday was April 24th - we don't actually know for certain on what day Shakespeare was born, though historians generally think the 23rd is the most likely. Sadly for JP, the Quo were all younger than him as well...

    Motorhead kick us off with, inevitably, yet another very minor variation on the same theme. Lemmy must have given himself a cricked neck, given the way he always angled his mike high above his head! Now nearing the end of their career, Roxy Music return with a seriously classy record, though the effect is spoilt slightly by the billowing bedsheet strangely positioned above the stage and by Andy Mackay's hideous mullet. Not sure why Bryan felt the need to have a toothpick sticking out of his mouth while playing the keyboard, either.

    After the bouncy pop of their previous two singles, I found this Dollar effort rather insipid, though I noticed that DVD did seem to be trying (and failing) to mimic Art Garfunkel's vocal style in one or two places. Bardo were much better, with a nicely energetic routine and a fine song which deserved to win Eurovision - it's a great shame they only finished seventh. The ensuing April Fool was highly amusing, and I liked the discomfited look on the girls' faces when their skirts were rather brutally ripped away!

    Quo make their first TOTP appearance with new drummer Pete Kircher, and while the song hardly breaks new ground it does have quite a catchy chorus. Shakatak once again prove how untelevisual they are on the playout, singers aside, but this sophisticated tune is a step up in quality from their previous single, and makes for a pleasant way to end a pretty decent show.

  7. Motorhead - I have no recollection of this at all. It's really Ace Of Spades Part II but it's a fair performance, enhance by a couple of stage explosions. I notice there's no sign of any of the usual dancers prancing about in the background. I can't imagination how Michael Sundin and Philip Tann would interpret this.

    A worthy repeat of the Imagination air keyboards performance from a few weeks back. As there's been such a gap because of the Olympics hearing the songs again doesn't seem so bad now it's not so soon.

    Roxy Music were coming to the end of their life but what a way to go with two superb hits, Avalon and More Than This - a magical song and a terrific hypnotic performance. I love the way the second half of the song is vocal free and the way Bryan shoves that toothpick he's been holding in his mouth and takes over on synth duties staring at the crowd menacingly. I note the presence of Level 42 and M drummer Phil Gould even though he didn't play on the record which is a bit weird.

    More repeats with Classix N, the a newie from Dollar. I never had much time for them but I did love this to bits at the time, it being a guilty pleasure especially the a capella bit at the end which they didn't have time for here. The fact that neither Theresa or David's vocals are not quite up to the job in hand actually makes it better.

    Then little Leo on video which is a bit disappointing and faded early.

    "Not in the chart" are Bardo with the UK Eurovision entry. It's no Making Your Mind Up but it's desperately trying to be. The guy looks like an undernourished Veron Kaye and the whole thing is a bit too over-choreographed.

    Then the Bucks Fizz spoof which was a bit disappointing, I was expecting something a bit more adventurous than that. It was so obviously fake that people must have reaslised it was a joke. I don't really see the point of doing it if it isn't done with conviction.

    Just when I thought this was a Fairbrass-free show there he behind Peelie wearing a cummerbund of all things and whooping at the prospect of Status Quo, of all things. Of course the Quo weren't as old as Peel they just looked as though they were.

    The third repeat of the night from Japan, the Top 8 and then Seven Tears which I'm beginning to hate now.

    Is that Janice Long I spy standing next to Peelie at the end? She looks a good ten years younger than on her appearance as a Liverpool housewife on the game show 321 four years earlier.

    They're back to ending with a non-charting acts in this case Shakatak (has anyone worked out what a Shakatak is yet?) with the pleasant but ultimately forgettable tinkly jazz funk tune. It gives the cheerleaders a chance to strut their not-so-funky stuff and for the various members of the bad to stare at the cameras. A long show this week, nearly 41 minutes.

    1. I believe that Shakatak took their name from their favourite music shop in London, The Record Shack.

    2. I have the very vaguest notion that the name comes from the sounds made by the backing singers, in the same way that Showaddywaddy got their name.

    3. That would make sense I suppose. Their style reminds me of those late 1960s Brazilian jazz albums by Sergio Mendes and Walter Wanderley where anonymous female vocalists sing (often just the chorus) of a song played by a slick jazz band led by a keyboardist.

    4. bama i have quite a bit of sergio mendes (& brasil '66) and walter wanderley in my collection, and i have to disagree with the above: sergio's recordings usually had (mostly female) vocals pretty much all the way through, whilst walter's were mainly (organ-led) instrumentals. by coincidence both were on the A&M label that was capitalising on the popularity of bossa nova and easy listening in general in the US in the 60's, and their labelmate was burt bacharach whose recordings did actually often feature the mostly-instrumental-with-anonymous-female-vocals-on-the-chorus format you describe...

    5. If that is Janice Long - and I'm pretty sure that it is - she also stands next to him when he's introducing a song (can't remember which) fairly near the start.

  8. the drummer on the recording of roxy's "more than this" was andy newmark, an in-demand american session player who was presumably unavailable for the show. roxy seemed to have a habit of recruiting respected musicians for their totp appearances, even though they weren't on the original recordings - howie casey once actually filled in for absent core member andy mackay, and when they did "avalon" they borrowed all the associate members of the associates!

    1. It's certainly fun spotting those faces who sit in but there's never any explanation as to why they do it, you'd think union rules would insist that the original musician is present if they are miming.

    2. further to my original post, the bassist on the recording of "more than this was" was alan spenner - not tony levin! but presumably tony was there depping as he was with king crimson who shared the same label (EG records) and management as roxy? one does wonder though why the acts concerned didn't just get their mates in to mime in the background rather than use session musos or guys from other bands, although i suspect the musicians union may have put pressure on totp (and the beeb in general) to make sure any vacancies were filled by their members - even if they weren't actually playing for real!

  9. Does anyone have a definitive list of TOTP episodes prior to April 1976 that are surviving (and not wiped), i.e., episodes before the BBC4 reruns which started with 1st April '76, as I have only been watching the episodes in BBC4's weekly repeats, and I would like to watch all the other episodes from the launch of TOTP in 1964 to March 1976 that have not been part of these re-runs, but remain in the BBC archives intact.

    1. The episode guides on Popscene specify which episodes survive and which were wiped - they also highlight performances which survive from shows that were wiped. There are a handful of complete pre-1976 shows on Vimeo, courtesy of Glenn Marshall and "aud meer".

    2. This is an excellent site which should contain all the information you need:

  10. A much better episode with just a few skips..

    Motorhead – Iron Fist – That was one of the skips. Never ‘got’ Motorhead myself.

    Imagination – Just an illusion – No.2? Didn’t realise it got as high as that. One week behind the Dance band at No.1.

    Roxy Music – More than this – Pleasant track but not classic Roxy. What’s Brian got in his mouth at the end when he moves to the keyboard?

    Classix Nouveax – Is it a dream – No it’s a bloody nightmare….sorry I stole that line from Record Mirror but I can’t resist repeating it!

    Dollar – Give me back my heart – Wow Trevor Horn, take a bow. You are a star! Terrific song, nice looking duo and a nod to 10CC. Great record.

    Leo Sayer – Have you ever been in love – It’s a great song and production from Arif Mardin but the video is as interesting as fish and chips every night (although it gets a little more interesting later on). The vocal on the single cut is obviously superior to the live TOTP rendition from a few weeks ago but that was a more interesting viewing than this.

    Bardo – One step further – You can tell that John Peel really likes this song! Sally-Ann Triplett and the guy’s name escapes me, but they managed 7th in the contest so quite respectable.

    It’s only a windup – Presented as deadpan by JP so you had to think carefully when watching on September 3rd as to what on earth this was all about!

    Status Quo – Dear John – Same old green guitar from Francis Rossi but new drummer. The record sounds a lot like the Status Quid ‘Boring Song’ released at around this time. Catchy but predictable.

    Japan – Ghosts – Spooky repeat very unusual chart record. David Sylvian was great wasn’t he?

    Goombay Dance Band – Seven Tears – Next…

    Shakatak – Night Birds – Pleasant background music. The band are all having a great time performing this with the dancing audience.

    1. Bryan has a toothpick in his mouth, he was holding it all the way through the first half of the song. It never really caught on though did it.

    2. Maybe Bryan had recently watched Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde?

  11. Well, I finally caught up, having watched the previous show to this one perhaps with not enough ceremony on the evening of 31st August, but this is where I get off. As I have said, I would have liked to have got to the end of 1982 but it was not to be. It's a completely unenforceable law but I'm an honest person and will comply with it (funny how I'll still watch YouTube clips and Yewtree'd editions though...).

    To be honest, I think I've seen enough already. I've said before that I'm not really a fan of the Hurll era and the show has now reached the stage where visuals and 'image' are taking precedence over music, as a result it's losing much of its appeal for me. But I must say that the last five years, having taken me through the best bit of my childhood and undoubtedly a golden era of music, has been an absolute blast.

    May I make a request? If the BBC sees fit to continue these repeats into 1983 and beyond, could this blog include a chronicle of 'Peelisms'? A few, such as coming to break wind in your kitchen, have entered into folklore but there must be hundreds more that have been forgotten in the mists of time.

    1. Thanks for all your input up to this point 20th Century Relic, and we will continue the journey with you having got off the bus at this point.
      Who else is thinking of getting off. I'm staying on for now, although I do agree that 1976-1981 have been the best reminisce on these repeats, and we have reached the heavy video era by now in 1982.

    2. Well I'm definitely staying on the bus.... 81 to 84 was the best period for me. Looking forward to seeing: Yazoo, Simple Minds, Wham, Tears For Fears, Style Council, Eurythmics, more classic ABC, Haircut, Duran and Spandau, The Smiths, Big Country, Shalamar, Howard Jones, etc etc. Oh and Renee and Renato!

    3. Sorry to see you go, 20thCR, and thanks for all your input. Please feel free to pop back if you get the urge.

      I'm sticking around for now, though I'll probably ring the bell if we get to that bloody Tony Dortie "Laters" era!

    4. having discussed the change of law regarding iplayer with others, i've already heard that the internet providers are not prepared to give IP addresses to the government so they can prove someone has been watching it illegally. if that's true, unless you're dim enough to have the iplayer active on your computer and then answer your front door to the tv licence authorities, then surely the chances of being "caught" must be slim-to-none?

      having said that, certainly for the moment i'm not watching iplayer - not because i'm honest like 20th cent, but (as i've experienced in the past when resisting draconian government directives) because of the mental stress that comes from breaking the law - however unfair you feel it may be!

      fortunately i live only five minutes walk from my local library that is well-stocked with internet portals. so although it will be a bit less convenient than before, hopefully i can continue watching these rereuns without too much of a problem. for what it's worth, i've always intended watching these reruns up until the end of 1984, at which point thanks to "band aid" things were never quite the same again. so assuming they keep showing these old shows, that's another 18 months to go!

    5. If the repeats stop at the end of 1984, I'll have seen all that I really want to see, though if they carry on beyond that I will probably cling on until 1987, as I watched TOTP regularly at that time and have a lot of memories from that period. After 1987, I will definitely be jumping off the bus!

    6. I might have a struggle when the awful Ride On Time is at number 1 for umpteen weeks, and the early 90s were pretty bad for me when I couldn't find much I liked listening to, but I'll watch for as long as the repeats continue. We might not get that far anyway.

    7. THX - gosh yes....please don't remind me of 'Ride on Time'! On a (low) par with 'Jack your Body','Pump up the volume' and 'Theme from 'S'Express'. That is when, for me, music really started to go downhill. Horrible memories. I think I'd even prefer the Goombays to those dreadful recordings!!!

    8. Well, if it goes on long enough, I am thoroughly looking forward to the Britpop era 1995-96. Finest era of music imo.

    9. Thanks for the kind comments; I'm not going anywhere, in fact you'll probably be hearing from me more often since it's no longer a case of going on holiday and having four shows to catch up on, by which time there are another two plus a Yewtree'd edition to watch, by which time... and so on. It's simply the other way round now - read this blog then go off and see what's on YouTube. And it looks like I'm not going to miss much (thanks Lee Nichols and Glenn Marshall, keep up the good work!). Totally outside the BBC's jurisdiction, ha ha!

      Looking into the future, '83, '84 and '85 will still have some nostalgic interest for me; '86/'87 was my own personal nadir (it's a long story!) and by the time I left it all behind in the summer of '88 (new job, new town, new people and the start of the life I'm still living today) music had moved on, and few chart singles had any appeal to me - I had entered my 'album phase'...

      Regarding this show (what I've seen of it), Lemmy used to sing by stretching his larynx, hence the high level mic. It definitely wasn't live, as given away by the ridiculous noise the drummer made right at the end. Status Quo, on the other hand, appeared to have a live hi-hat, which would have cut through a treat on the average TV speaker of the day. Every band should have had one! And yes, 'One Step Further' is my fave UK Eurovision entry as well - pity it was over-choreographed.

    10. @sct353: I actually really like those dance records! Hit me at the right age, I suppose.

      What I couldn't support was Jive Bunny and Ride On Time, the really lazy material, plus I always hated Loleatta Holloway's vocal on Love Sensation, it sounds like she's gargling razor blades and being sampled then unconvincingly mimed to by an Italian model didn't improve it one jot.

    11. contrary to what don mclean sang, the day the music died (well, at least the charts and the commercial end of it) for me was some time around the end of the last century - the rot setting in when sampling technology advances made it all-too-easy for idiots without an ounce of musical talent in them to make recordings using others' creativity rather than their own...

      however, although i really despised "ride on time" when it was in the charts, nowadays (perhaps in the wake of what followed?) i don't mind it too much at all. the same applied to "body talk" and i'm sure at least a few others we've already seen in these re-runs, although they escape me for the moment. can anyone else think of records they hated as hits but grew to like to some extent afterwards?

      by the way thx, the model used to front black box was french rather than italian... and (like the blonde in bananarama) was rumoured to be a transexual!

    12. French, sorry. I actually remember the rumours about her gender now, didn't she protest loudly that she was born female and threatened to pose nude to prove it?!

  12. A really nice episode I felt with plenty of top notch tunes and performances. Mind you on further analysis there were a lot of seasoned guests on this show: Peelie's first show was 1968, ditto Status Quo. Then we had Lemmy who was first on in 1972 with Hawkwind, likewise three fifths of Roxy Music with Virginia Plain in 1972. Leo Sayer came along in 1973 and of course David and Therese debuted in 1975 when part of Guys and Dolls. Even Sally-Ann Triplett from Bardo had been on with our 1980 Eurovision entry with Prima Donna.

    Some highlights for me: Definitely Dollar, the production and arrangement on this is superb courtesy of Trevor Horn, who of course was also steering ABC at the same time. Pity we didn't get to the very end of the song when it finishes with Therese singing some kind of nursery rhyme, check it out if you get chance. Agree with sct353 about the nod to 10cc.

    Bardo's song was dead catchy, pity about their name. Shame it was beaten by a peace-loving German. Mind you I thought the aforementioned Prima Donna was a pretty good slice of Eurovision too.

    Now Roxy Music were interesting - I'm surprised no one's mention Phil Manzanera's white jumper. Dear oh dear what a let down from one of the previously coolest dressed guitarists in town. And Andy Mackay sporting Chis Waddle's future mullet.

    Even though its a repeat the Japan performance is still stunning. That's how to captivate an audience even with a slow number. They always looked and sounded the part, pity David Sylvian decided to branch out before they had fulfilled their potential.

    Leo Sayer - another great song (perhaps his best?) but agreed about the dull video. Also warming to the Shakatak song. Even the Quo song wasn't as bad as I'd remembered in fact it sounded like all the Quo songs. Bring on next week....

    1. Funnily enough I was watching that 10cc documentary that was on BBC Four recently and who should pop up as a talking head but Trevor Horn to praise I'm Not in Love as one of his favourite records, production-wise. You can definitely hear that in Dollar.

    2. i think the name "bardo" was a nod to the french model/actress of the 50's/60's - even though by now (the early 80's) she'd already become a shrivelled old prune, her younger self was still very much seen as a cool and glamourous icon

  13. After last week's useless edition, I approached this week's much in the way I used to watch Dr Who in the 70s; from behind a cushion with a pack of Spangles close to hand. Luckily its John Peel on mic duties, so we are already looking at a better programme.

    Two three-piece bands start us off and they could not be more different. Motorhead were loud and scruffy, and unwashed and unkempt and, if they weren't live, they at least gave a passable imitation of it. Imagination, by contrast, were perfumed and primped and glammed up and couldn't be arsed to even have microphones. Neither song floated my boat; the Motorhead performance was better, but the song was strictly album-filler.

    Roxy Music. Strange staging for this one what with the Bedouin-tent look, and Bryan's odd choice of attire. The song is one of the least-annoying of Roxy's post-Eno canon. Listening to it is ok, but watching Bryan's 'dying-for-a-poo' grimaces as he sings are very off-putting.

    A repeat showing for Classix Nouveau, which reminds me - C4 are broadcasting a one-off revival of The Crystal Maze next month.

    Next up Dollar copy/pay homage to (delete where applicable) 10CC's 'Im Not In Love'. I recently watched a 10CC doc on BBC4 in which Trevor Horn gushed eloquently about his love and admiration for I'm Not In Love. That will be the same Trevor Horn who co-wrote and produced this Dollar track.
    Its the usual Dollar stuff - pleasant and frothy, a decent pop song in truth.

    Leo Sayer's decent Have You Ever Been In Love gets rewarded with a video. Unfortunately its a proper boring travelogue-style one which wouldn't have helped sales much.

    A real-life Eurovision song followed by a not-so-real April Fool's one, followed by the Quo being all Quo-ish. A waste of ten minutes of my time.

    The fabulous Ghosts gets a repeat as do The Godawful Dance Band still at number 1, and we play-out with Peelie's mate's band Shakatak - the very definition of lift music.

    So, yes, we have been watching a much better edition. Overall better songs and a much better presenter. 6 for the music and 7 for Peel.

    But, unless there is a whole slew of modern new entries, next week could be a new low. We shall have to wait and see.

    1. Sorry, I just noticed I made the exact same comment about Trevor Horn above! Well, it is a blog about repeats...

  14. The first time I’ve watched a programme on BBC iPlayer, and I got asked “Have you got a TV Licence?”. Answer- “Yes – now f#ck off and leave me alone!”

    We kick off with Lemmy, the first of two high mic vocalists on the show (the only other one I can think of is Liam Gallagher – can anyone think of any others?) and Fast Eddie Clarke with three plectrums on show and looking facially like Jasper Carrott. Sadly, “Iron Fist” was too derivative of “Ace Of Spades” to form its own identity.

    Somehow I missed the first showing of Leeee John’s back-of-the-head mask and Ashley’s Zorro cape.

    Sorry, Bryan, the bow tie and leather jacket don’t go, and neither does that toothpick. You should have got that bit of cabbage out from between your teeth before going on stage. For some reason Bryan reminded me facially of Vic Reeves, but that didn’t distract me from a fine smooth song.

    If only I had met a girl that gave me the looks Thereze Bazar gave that undeserving David van Day at 12:32 and 12:42 in the show! A thin yoghourt weedy song but still catchy. Loved the drummer going for a big ending.

    I much preferred Leo Sayer’s video for “Thunder in My Heart”. This was just bland.

    So, Sally Ann Triplett’s ‘done a Cheryl’ and got into the Eurovision final with another act following her attempt with Prima Donna. This is probably my favourite UK Euro song (apart from use of the word “Tooken” near the end!!), but still eclipsed by “Waterloo” internationally. I’m surprised Bardo were able to sing live at the event after all that doggy style dancing before starting the vocals. Showing the programme’s age, part one – mention of telegrams in the lyrics.

    If Champagne D’Orange were Zoo, the girl to our left looked like she’d won a raffle to take part – a couple of faux pas from her in that routine, the first at 22:53.

    Francis Rossi with high mic number 2, but not as majestically tall as Lemmy’s. Obviously their usual warehouse was shut so they couldn't record a video.

    Showing the programme’s age, part two – John telling us Liverpool are top of the league (when did that last happen?), and it’s called the first division!

    Was there a clause in John Peel’s TOTP contract that he wouldn’t do the show unless his old mate Bill Sharpe was on?

    1. 'One Step Further' hasn't dated too badly apart from the reference to telegrams - but that could be updated thus: "If you'd read my letters or my email or text/You'd have got a good idea of where I'm going next..."

      As for 'tooken', that is an urban form of 'taken' used chiefly in the Southern USA. The song's composer, Simon Jeffries, was previously a member of classic soul revival outfit The Step(!), who recorded unsuccessfully for Epic, the same label that released Bardo's hit.

    2. Clever, Julie! I guess you could also update those Bardo lines as "If you read my emails or my latest text, then you'd realise I'm desperate and I'm oversexed"! :-D

    3. Are you sure it wasn't "toucan" and a thinly veiled reference to Guinness ads?

  15. A couple of extra thoughts -

    The teenage Arthur Nibble would have been pleased with the lack of Zoo in this edition but unhappy with three minutes wasted by a Eurovision pastiche.

    I did think at the time of watching that Phil Manzanera channelled the essence of Golf Club Dad (Shadows' drummer Brian Bennett circa "Ghost Riders in The Sky" for those who remember way back).

  16. Why was Lemmy so cross with his microphone? Was it all a Metallica-style hardman act or was it really faulty? I could hear him just fine.

  17. A bit late on the comments here but I really enjoyed this one. Plenty of my favourites on.

    Not Motorhead though, even if this would appear to be a live performance.

    Late 70s / early 80s Roxy Music is all gold to me. Bryan should have swapped his toothpick for a toasting fork and gone for that giant marshmallow above them.

    I have always loved that Dollar track, shame we didn't get the lovely ending. It's their 'All Of My Heart' of course. I wonder which was recorded first?

    Leo Sayer's videos were never great. Wait until 'Orchard Road'!

    Bardo were ace, though doing that dance routine and singing live was never going to work was it? Mind you, as I've said before, I like the winner that year anyway.

    The spoof is surprisingly good and the French lyrics that I could translate were quite funny. It probably went on a BIT too long though. They were lucky to have Peely presenting. Bates would have given it away AND explained the joke at length.

    Status Quo is...about the same as ever.

    Shakatak again... the best I can say is that this is the least awful of their singles.

  18. Aha! More on those Bardo lads. It appears Stephen Fischer was originally wanted in Buck’s Fizz but couldn’t make it due to being contracted at the time to appear in the musical “Godspell”. He and Sally Ann Triplett were an item at the time of “One Step Further” and the son they had took on the surname of Sally’s future husband – the young lad’s Max Milner, he appeared on “The Voice“ and made number 63 in the UK chart four years ago with a cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’”.

  19. Has anyone been following the Meat Loaf interviews this week while he is London for the release of his new album and first time back with Jim Steinman in 20 years.

    I picked up this interview on Radio yesterday on Steve Wright In The Afternoon, and does not sound well:

    Suffice to say that he will be signing copies of his new album tomorrow at HMV Oxford Street in central London! Anyone care to visit, and possibly get a picture with the big man?

    1. i'll pass on that one dory, thanks very much! i think i've made it quite clear here that i can't stand the guy's music, but even if he was my all-time favourite i wouldn't be interested as (unless perhaps if following in their footsteps) i don't think it a good idea to meet one's heroes in the flesh...

    2. He was just on about 15 minutes ago on BBC Breakfast being interviewed about his new album Braver Than We Are, which is released in Britain on Friday. In the interview we got to see a clip of Deadringer For Love, a big No.5 hit in February 1982, which we have recently been seeing and blogging on this site.

      We beg to differ on Meat Loaf Wilberforce, cos I think his music is superb and when combining forces with Jim Steinman, it reaches a completely different level of red hot music writing.

    3. He was on The One Show on Tuesday. Not looking at all well. Big fan of Meat and Jim. The album was accidentally released for day a month or so ago and I had the chance to hear it, so looking forward to Friday!

    4. I found this excellent Jim Steinman solo performance on German TV in 1981, at around the time that Meat Loaf's album Deadringer For Love was released:

      Suffice to say that Meat did his own version of this Steinman track 12 years later in 1993 for Bat Out Of Hell 2.