Thursday, 22 September 2016

Top of the Pops from a Bridge

Peter Powell hosts this week's Top of the Pops from April 22nd 1982!

Have we done enough to get banned yet?

22-4-82: Presenter: Peter Powell

(3) PIGBAG – Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag
Last time we saw these naughty boys they closed the show, this time they open it, with their record now at its peak in the charts.

(17) BANANARAMA & FUN BOY THREE – Really Saying Something (video)
This cover version of the Velvelettes non-charter from 1964 fared better for this duo of bands when it peaked at number 5.

(8) ELTON JOHN – Blue Eyes
Live in the studio and (I do believe) a live vocal too, giving the performance that extra bit of edge. Though it got no higher in the charts.

(11) ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD – This Time (We’ll Get It Right) (video)
Well they got it wrong again didn't they, and it was edited out of the 7.30pm showing!

(30) KIM WILDE – View From A Bridge
Peter was very keen to stress that this was Kim's fifth hit, wasn't he! And she'd ditched the tight jeans in favour of a little black dress too, as View from a Bridge reached number 16.

(12) HAIRCUT 100 – Fantastic Day (video)
Having fun in the haystack here on their way to number 9.

(34) PhD – I Won’t Let You Down
Jim Diamond's debut also falling victim to the 7.30pm edit.

(26) DAVID BOWIE – Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
Zoo get to clamber over a climbing frame tonight that keeps bursting into flames! This Bowie single was from the 1982 movie, Cat People, and peaked at 26.

(22) SHAKIN’ STEVENS – Shirley
Flying in all the way from Canada to do a pretty feeble cartwheel in the studio, before falling into the audience at the end, this cover of the John Fred and the Playboys Band non-charter from 1959 reached number 6 for Shaky.

(1) PAUL McCARTNEY & STEVIE WONDER – Ebony And Ivory (video)
The first of three weeks at number one for this often derided and unjustly underrated song.

(10) SHALAMAR – I Can Make You Feel Good (crowd dancing) (and credits)
Peter wishes Bardo all the best for the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, and we play out with Shalamar's first top ten hit, which finally peaked at number 7.

Next up then is April 29th 1982 with Richard Skinner.


  1. One of the best shows of 1982, just for the fun, fun, fun atmosphere on the show. The 80’s were now in full swing with the party atmosphere. Pigbag in the studio, coupled with the two videos on the show from Bananarama/Fun Boy Three and Haircut 100, not to mention Kim Wilde wearing a dress for the first time on TOTP, really made the show stand out in my opinion.

    Pigbag – Good Lord, already No.3, and only two weeks ago they were No.30! But their relentless partying on this track was a big factor in its success, which is what the British public seemed to want on a daily basis it seemed back in 1982. Can never get enough of this track.

    Bananarama & The Fun Boy Three – Love this video , showing just how well the Bananarama girls complemented the Fun Boy Three with obvious chemistry and fun ethic, including Norval’s cheeky pinching of Karen’s bottom in the video – nowadays not PC, and would not be signed off in the final edit if it was 2016. It’s partly because we have lost our sense of humour in our current PC world.

    Kim Wilde – looking absolutely beautiful, and for the first time wearing a minidress on TOTP, taking inspiration from Teresa Bazaar’s minidress the week before on TOTP, and I must say Kim Wilde looked just as sexy, but Teresa’s choice of colour put her ahead. Black for Kim was a little too safe in my opinion, and she could have splashed a bit of colour. It was also noticeable that on a number of occasions the cameraman was pointing the camera up Kim’s dress, but the disco lighting foiled our pleasure in seeing what was up there each time.

    By now there was a competition it seemed as to who was the prettiest on TOTP in early 1982 – Kim Wilde, Claire Grogan, Teresa Bazaar or Jay Aston. It’s really a close call and difficult to pick a winner, so I would opt for all of them at any one time.

    Haircut 100 – Another absolutely fun and brilliant video to follow in the footsteps of Banarama & Fun Boy Three earlier in the show. I liked the old geezer with the glasses in the rocking chair with a different girl on his lap throughout the video, rocking with him in the rocking chair. He must have felt rock hard with them in his lap and in their shorts, boom boom! He also couldn’t stop gawping at other girls nevertheless.

  2. Elton John – still here in his self-conscious stage, wearing a hat every time he performed, lest he show his baldness, and like we waited for the first time on TOTP for the term ‘video’ to be coined in 1981 by DLT, then here similarly we wait for when Elton stops wearing hats, which would only be when he got his wig/transplant later in the decade.

    Top 30 rundown – Peter Powell doing an obvious Jim’ll clinch on one of the sexy girls next to him just before starting the top 30 rundown. A bit of JS power at the BBC it seemed for Powell too with that clinch. Now then now then!

    Top ten rundown – Shalamar at No.10 and Shakatak at No.9. I always got these two similarly-spelled groups muddled up at the time, and being next to each other in the top ten didn’t help things much, but nice to see the playout this week with Shalamar to what seemed a record-breaking number of studio audience members on a dance floor seemingly packed to the hilt with no room to move.

    Paul Mccartney & Stevie Wonder – I remember thinking ‘hey not so fast’ to get to No.1, as they entered only last week at no.22, and I wanted Bucks Fizz to have at least a second week at No.1. But hey, the record-buying British public had other ideas it seemed. I expect the quality of the video and its debut the week before on TOTP sent the record-buying public into a frenzy, in which Bucks Fizz themselves must have also been taken by surprise.

  3. Shame Pigbag were faded out before the end of the tune. Also interesting that the single was a year old and had already been resident in the indie charts for that time. Anyone remember what or who prompted it to go mainstream?

  4. A strangely-directed edition tonight, with lots of camera shots that seemed to be taken very low down, and a weird-looking orangey-hue cropping up frequently.

    A decent enough start to the party with Pigbag giving it plenty, much to the obvious enjoyment of the crowd. Can't say the same for me, unfortunately - time, and the songs over-use at sporting events put paid to that.

    Bananarama/Fun Boy 3. A cartoon stylee vid. I mis-heard one of the lyrics, thinking they sang 'Although he was bald'. Talking of which. . .

    Elton in the studio. It's not a bad effort - not up there with his very best, but then his very best is really hard to beat. Live vocals, though, so a tip of the hat for that. For some unknown reason there is a piece of paper just lying on the floor beneath his piano. Can't even begin to think what it was or what it was doing there. Talking of 'what is that doing there?' . . .

    England World Cup Squad. God, they disappoint us don't they? If it's not getting beat by the chuffin' Icelandics, it's excruciating records like this. It begins like the theme tune to a computer game and then gets worse. Co-incidently, there was a doc on TV on Wednesday night about Admiral, the footy kit manufacturers who were rssponsible not just for England's kits but also those hideous jumpers on show here. SPOILER. England will fail to make it out of the group stages.

    The last time the sultry Miss Wilde was on ToTP (or perhaps the time before) I mentioned how the presenters were always mentioning how many hits she had had up to that point. Ol' Smiley Voice continues what is now a tradition. Hit number 5 for Kimmy ( as Powell calls her afterwards). This is poor and very forgettable.

    Up next the world's most useless Prison escapees. After escaping from nick by the simple ruse of pushing the back wall down, the loveable scamps get no further than a dozen yards before picking up some handily placed instruments and performing. Pretty sure the Screws would have collared them before the second verse!

    PhD - apparently comprising a Scot and a Brit (aren't Scots British as well, then Mr Powell?) I liked this song and I liked Jim Diamond's voice, but it hasn't aged well has it?

    Cat People danced to by Zoo people. It takes a while to get going, this. And by the time it does I have lost interest. At one point you can see the studio tech using the smoke machine - quite the most interesting part of the entire endevour. Thankfully it all ends fairly quickly.

    The last studio performance is Shakin' Stevens. And by 'last' I mean 'worst'.

    Somehow Macca and Stevie are side-by-side at number one, and we play out with Shalamar.

    Scores. Ol' Smiley Voice scores a record-equalling 2. This was just the absolute rock-bottom pits of a presenting job. The way he emphasises odd words has always irritated me but tonight he has taken it to a whole new level - even including it in the chart rundown.

    Musically the show gets a 4 - nothing to write home about, unless it was tell your mum how bad a lot of these songs were.

    1. Kim Wilde, like Shakin Stevens, could not repeat their successes of 1981 in 1982. This was Kim's only appearance on TOTP with View From A Bridge, and I just checked out the video which was as forgettable as the studio performance:

      In the case of Shakin Stevens, he came all the way from Canada for this week's TOTP studio performance, and did not appear again with 'Shirley'.

  5. 'Although he was bald' - ha, ha, ha! I wear my hat on the street, I believe in Malcolm, and I'm calling Cheryl Baker.

    What a joy to see and hear Sir Elton in the studio, though. A true British superstar.

    Whether recorded as a gesture of gratitude or as an inter-label contractual obligation, Bananarama's second duet with Fun Boy Three memorably launched what would be a long hitmaking career for Britain's top girl band of the pre-Spice era. The original version of 'Really Saying Something', by Motown's Velvelettes, was a Northern Soul favourite that never charted in Britain.

    The England World Cup Squad's effort wasn't bad at all; penned by Smokie members Chris Norman and Pete Spencer, and bearing a strong resemblance to that band's hit 'Oh Carol', it even features a cameo appearance by a kazoo section!

    Do you remember Kim's performance of 'View From A Pig' - as a reader of 'Smash Hits' dubbed it at the time - on 'The British Rock & Pop Awards'? She was accompanied on stage by the Irving Davies Dancers, who spent most of the song wrestling on motorbikes. Here's the proof:

    Talking of erotic choreography, Zoo's routine to Bowie's 'Cat People' saw them swinging, hanging and somersaulting from the bars of an oversized climbing frame. Both this performance, and the antics of the Irving Davies Dancers as described above, appeared to have been influenced by Hot Gossip.

    Shaky happily didn't sing to me this time, but to someone called Shirley - who, according to the lyric, married someone else behind his back. One of my aunts is called Shirley, but I don't think he was singing to her - and anyway, she prefers Vince Hill.

    At the top of the hit parade we find an example of classic McCartney: a trite lyric married to a terrific tune. Some of his better collaborations include 'The Man', co-written and co-vocalised by Jacko, and 'My Brave Face', co-written by Elvis Costello.

    1. Are you referring to Noel Edmonds as the kazoo section on the England World Cup Squad video? I spotted Noel doing a cameo in the video, or are you referring to something else?

    2. Great Kim Wilde clip! I say! Nice to hear her singing live, she was one of those pop stars who the naysayers claimed had vocals purely put together in the studio, but nope, she really could perform.

    3. Dory - in this YT upload of the England Squad's hit, you can hear kazoos from 1:05 to 1:17. I don't think it was Noel, though; it was more likely to have been the two members of Smokie who wrote the song.

    4. The Man is a brilliant song, as is 'What's That You're Doing?', the other Stevie Wonder collaboration from 'Tug Of War.'

      Ebony & Ivory isn't a bad song but I much prefer 'Take It Away', the follow up which we should see in a few weeks.

    5. It probably wasn't Noel - he'd have been too busy making motivational calls to pets, if the news reports this week are to be believed.

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    7. The Irving Davies Dancers were on Sez Les in the 1970s and did some fairly raunchy dance sequencers then.

  6. Pete puts on his dancing trousers for Pigbag, this time with an even more energetically-directed performance. Presumably even the cameramen were dancing to this one.

    FB3 and Bananarama next, jaunty little cover with a cheap and cheerful video to go with it. "He moved me tremendously" is not a great lyric, though, is it? The ladies look as if they're about to utterly corpse in every shot.

    Phil Collins has his paint can, Elton John has his bit of paper, either that or there's another strike, the cleaning staff this time. Not a bad vocal on this, Elton got more foghorn-y as he aged, but he's verging on the subtle here (for him).

    Must admit This Time occasionally pops into my head, which is weird because I don't follow football, and I'm not English. What were Noel Edmonds and Andy Peebles doing there? I know Andy's a big sports fan, but Noel?!

    Kim Wilde with her bleak ditty, don't do it, Kim, you have so much to live for! Skips along quite the thing, this, interesting contrast between the energy of the tune and the downbeat lyrics.

    Then The Farmer's Boys make their debut, oh, wait, it's Haircut 100 again, looking as if they enjoy each others' company, but we knew different.

    PhD with poor old Jim Diamond, stll sounds great this, the bit where the organ blares majestically in the second half is fantastic.

    Ah, Cat People, a really daft remake of a classic movie, but it did have Nastassja Kinski and Annette O'Toole not backward about coming forward. Or Malcolm MacDowell, if you prefer. The theme unfolds over a stylised scene of a bunch of panthers on the African plains, and fits that quite nicely, but heard away from that it drags its feet a little.

    I feel I should remember this Shaky track, but somehow I don't. Bright little number, but the singer's antics swamp it. Obviously Canada had raised his spirits significantly, his "pulled a muscle" movements after the cartwheel were particularly "interesting".

    Paul and Steve make the top spot with a song that became regarded as the naffest thing ever within a nanosecond of it dropping off the No.1 position. It's almost endearing in a heart in the right place kind of way.

    Massed dancing to Shalamar to end on. I think this show has been pretty strong over these last few episodes, overall.

    1. So if you're not English THX, are you Scottish, Welsh, Irish or other?

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    3. I'm English, but if it's any consolation, I'm an Andy Murray fan.

    4. Yeah, I much prefer tennis to football. Which makes This Time's inclusion on my mental soundtrack all the stranger!

    5. andy murray is scottish of course, which makes him as foreign as novak djokovic in my book. unless he competes in the olympics, in which case he's british and i should feel obliged to support him as a fellow countryman! only this country (or these countries, depending on the circumstances) has this ridiculous state of affairs...

    6. Really Saying something was originally by The Velvelettes written by Norman Whitfield, William Stevenson, and Eddie Holland.

    7. Love Norman Whitfield's work with The Temptations.

    8. of course norman's patented pysch-soul-funk-blaxpoitation format was also applied to his other protegees the undisputed truth, rose royce and stargard. he was unusual in that apparently he couldn't play any musical instruments nor understood the basics of music theory. therefore he would express his ideas aurally and have them translated into sonic terms by musicians and/or technicians. also (and forgive me if i've mentioned this before here) whether it was because he was a massive egotist or his record company felt he had marquee value, he was also one of the few record producers who actually had his credit on the front cover of albums. the only other one to my knowledge (certainly from that era) was robbie robertson (of "the band" fame) when he produced an album for neil diamond (i suspect the reason for that being that mr diamond was looking to expand his probably mainly female fan base by seeking some rock credibility!)

  7. Great starting lyric to the England song – “We’re on our way, we are Ron’s 22”! - but were they actually Ron’s 22? Being too lazy to check, but I wonder how many of those England players in the studio and on the record actually didn’t get picked in the squad, either through injury or due to another player being picked ahead of them?

    Reminds me of two things – 1) collecting the Esso 1970 World Cup Coins (pestering my dad to only fill the car up with Esso as a result!) and wondering who some of the players not on the coins were, 2 )the day Geri left The Spice Girls and expected to be the main news item, only for Paul Gascoigne’s omission from the World Cup Squad later in the day to usurp her, much like David Cameron’s announcement he was stepping down as an MP was completely swamped by Channel 4’s nabbing of “Bake Off!!”

    Just to round things off, The B-side of England’s single was a re-write of the “We’ll take more care of you, fly the flag” British Airways telly jingle.

    1. Presumably, given the World Cup was still a couple of months away at this point, Ron hadn't actually picked his squad yet!

    2. Had the single for many years!

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    4. It was a shoot out between the England World Cup squad and Nicole for the honour of being the 500th number one ~ and as usual the Germans won it!

    5. Somewhere I've got the 1970 World Cup Squad single Back Home which is sponsored by BOAC in a special picture sleeve.

    6. Dave Watson and Cyrille Regis didn't make the squad (though I seem to recall that the former made the Panini album!) but I'm most confused by the player with the longish blonde hair who's glimpsed a couple of times, once in close-up towards the end looking bored and chewing. Who the hell is he? Pretty sure it's not Graham Rix who was blonde but didn't look like that.

    7. the blond pretty boy in question is tony morley, who won the european cup that season with aston villa. despite that amazing feat, only he and peter withe of the 8 (yes - eight!) english villa players that started that final were picked as part of "ron's 22". among those ignored was the free-scoring golden boy (and even prettier blond!) gary shaw, who disgracefully never even played once for england!

      by the way noax, dave watson did make the 82 squad according to wiki - maybe you're thinking of the wrong one?

    8. Well, this is strange as the Wiki page I'm looking at says that neither Morley (kicking myself for not recognising him!) nor Watson made the squad and that's certainly my recollection.

      In fact, the wiki page on Morley says that Ron picked Rix instead of him (which was a bad decision, as it turned out)

    9. my apologies noax - i looked at the wrong squad (euro 80) for my info, and you are right that neither watson or morley made the cut for the 82 world cup. i was sure i'd looked up morley to that effect some time ago and he was included, but obviously i am deluded there! but it makes it even more scandalous that only one member of the european cup-winning team that year was chosen for the squad. scrutinising the list properly, what is utterly bizarre about the squad numbering system is that the goalkeepers annd kevin keegan (given his customary no. 7 shirt) apart, they were allocated in alphabetical surname order. so for example trevor brooking - who only ever wore the (most appropriate) no. 10 shirt for the irons to my recollection - was no. 3! and not only that: mcdermott was no. 10 and mariner no. 11, but in my alphabet A comes before C!!

  8. host: pp seems to have got himself another dubious jumpsuit, although with the dreadul lighting it's hard to tell. it seems they've finally found the right balance with the audience, with no sign of ringers a la cr**g f**b**ss nor people who look they've been dragged in straight off the street

    pigbag: or is it "pig bag" as i've seen them billed on this programme? i know that will keep me awake at nights for some time. the percussion bit could have been so much better than it actually was

    bananarama/fb3: i actually quite liked this at the time, and certainly wasn't aware it was a cover of some old motown thing. and it's entertaining enough now to listen to (and watch) now. if only those girls had taken their 15 minutes of fame and bowed out gracefully at this point. but sadly it wasn't to be

    elton john: where's that fast-forward button...?

    england world cup squad: as opposed to the british one eh pete? nice to see some familar footballing faces from the past, even though the tune is standard tone-deaf-footballers-shout-along-to-some-rubbish-cobbled-together-in-five-minutes: mick mills, phil neal, cyrille regis, dave watson (the first dave watson, that is), trevor "god" brooking, noel edmunds... hang on a minute, what's that beardy twat doing there?!? of course eng-er-land started that particular world cup brilliantly, seeing off a strong french team of platini and co. in their first match after bryan robson (the second bryan robson, that is) scored within seconds of the kick off. but after that it was all downhill, and the awful second-round format of three teams in a round-robin affair didn't do them or anyone else any favours either (especially the incredible brazilian team of zico, socrates et al that dazzled everybody before coming a cropper at the hands of tough cookies and eventual winners italy)

    kim wilde: her fifth hit (as pp enthusiastically notifies us) is a dull and instantly forgettable as her previous three (sadly i can't get "kids in america" out of my head as a result of watching this, even though i despise it!). all i recall was kim's feeble attempts to sound aggressive, and some way-out-of-date leaping octave disco basslines

    haircut 100: despite being a nascent art form, it's already clear from this that directors were struggling in coming up with interesting ways of filming videos of pop bands for their latest single. and (because of or maybe despite of the video) listening to the song again it is actually quite weak in places, and certainly far longer than it needed to be

    phd: that's all we need - a leo sayer clone, as if one wasn't enough already. and this one has a suspiciously combed-forward hairstyle last seen on dave hill's head circa 1973. utter drivel that i hated then and hate now. by the way that's simon phillips on drums, last seen on totp as part of toyah's band

    bowie: this show is really going down the tubes now with ("modern love" apart) one of bowie's direst efforts. i think there were actually two versions of this "theme" (presumably one on the soundtrack and one released commercially?) with both as bad as each other. i think all bowie did was sing on it and possibly write the lyrics, as it was otherwise a giorgio moroder production (and sadly a million miles away from "i feel love"). this kind of rubbish can't help but make me think what a shame the dame didn't croak in 1981 rather than this year

    shakin' stevens: as if things couldn't get any worse here's "shakey" peddling his latest pseudo rock 'n' roll-lite for the 80's. i didn't realise this was a cover either - not that it makes any difference. and can't he come up with anything better than aping the king's foot-stepping routine?

    i don't normally summerise shows, but this really has to be said that this was possibly one of the worst i've seen in the whole run!

    1. I thought I did spot Fairbrass right at the end in a hat, dancing to Shalamar.

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    3. Yeah he was in disguise in a hat this week.

  9. So what did pigbag do that made them such scamps?? Cant find anything on google!

    1. There's something about their 'incident' with TOTP mentioned on The Story of1982 aired on BBC4 a few months ago, or just before the 1982 reruns began. From what I recall, they were told to "p*** off and leave the studio as soon as they finished performing.

    2. It's because they were absolutely hammered and disrupted the show as a result.

    3. It was their performance on the 30th December show that got them escorted out of the building! It was a live show and they were the last act but they were so drunk they could barely stand up and just larked about insanely and accused of 'ruining the show'! Sadly we won't get to see it because it was a Savile edition :-(

    4. You can see the clip on YT here:

      But it sounds like a remix with added syn drums.

  10. It looked like PP had been eating his Spangles prior to this show, as he was at his most ebullient - and touchy-feely with the cheerleaders - throughout. For much of the show the musical quality just about justifies his enthusiasm, though unfortunately things go off the boil badly towards the end.

    Having already finished the show, this time Pigbag start it with another energetic and enjoyable performance - the trumpet player with the hat looks particularly well refreshed here, and I think this may have been the performance where they got in trouble for their behaviour. Bananarama team up again with the Fun Boys for this jaunty Motown cover, but this time the girls are very much centre-stage. The video is cheap but cheerful, and it looks as if they all had a good time making it.

    When PP said that Elton was live in the studio, I thought "but I bet he's not singing live!" To my surprise he actually was, and this was a tasteful if slightly dull rendition of the song. I actually think the England World Cup song isn't too bad, as these things go, though the video looks very fake, particularly those shots of footballers laughing at nothing in particular. What Noel Edmonds was doing there, God only knows, and I don't know what the flashed-up image of Macca and Linda was in aid of either. It also seems odd to me that the record was released so far in advance of the tournament, which would not begin until the middle of June. This was of course the first England World Cup single since Back Home, the team having failed to qualify in both 1974 and 1978 - in fact, it was the first they had actually qualified for the tournament twenty years, having not had to do so in '66 and '70.

    "Kimmy" Wilde looked pretty good in her cocktail dress, and the song is quite dramatic and engaging, but let down a bit by some underpowered vocals and production. I notice her chart rundown mugshot also pops up briefly during the performance! Once Haircut 100 have finished frolicking on their deeply unconvincing farm, PhD pop up with the best song of the show. This takes me to the earliest fringes of my musical memory, as I remember hearing it on the radio when I was very small, and assuming that it was a woman singing. In person, the late Jim Diamond was about as far away from looking feminine as you could get, but it's still a great vocal and like THX I like the bit when the keyboard is fully unleashed.

    After that things go rapidly downhill. The Bowie track is very dull, and Zoo's static clambering over a huge climbing frame does nothing to enliven it. Shaky then turns up with the same old moves (plus added cartwheel), allied to a song that just sounds like a xeroxed version of his previous hit. With a truly dreadful new number 1 to follow (sorry Angelo, but I still hate Ebony and Ivory), it's perhaps not surprising that the crowd seem a bit lacklustre on the end credits, restricting themselves to shuffling awkwardly and clapping along to Shalamar.

    1. There is a rare video for PHD's I won't Let You Down, where Jim Diamond is begging a tall leggy blonde model 'ex-girlfriend' for forgiveness, while a rival handsome bloke more suited to her physically is trying to set traps for him, ending in a Some Mothers Do Ave Em type ending:

    2. "Unleashed"! That's the perfect word for that PhD keyboard riff! I've seen the video before, it's very self-deprecating but good fun.

    3. Thanks for the link to the video - it gives the impression of being too frivolous for the song, which is probably why the 'dressing room' vid was done as well.

      As for the keyboard being 'fully unleashed', you need to obtain the original 45 to hear it properly. It's a quiet, 'turn me up' kind of cut until that point where the aforementioned keyboard slams in at a significantly higher volume level. They don't make 'em like that any more!

    4. I recall a friend of mine at the time saying he wanted to have that organ part on a loop so he could play it continuously.

    5. We should get to see the video (the one Dory posted) in a few shows' time.

  11. Anyone watching Keith Richards' takeover of BBC Four this weekend? Great stuff, liked the clip of the Stones arseing about to I Got You Babe on Ready Steady Go (at least that wasn't wiped!), and it's not all music based, C'etait un Rendez-vous remains an incredible short. Good music film on tonight, too, The Girl Can't Help It, which influenced a generation of rock and pop musicians. Plus he's picked The Sorcerers to end on, a terrific psychedelic horror. He's on all weekend. This and the TOTP repeats is why BBC Four is such an excellent channel.

    1. I saw bits of it and it wasn't bad. I liked the old films he chose.

      Did anyone see Bananarama on When TV Goes Wrong on Channel 5 last week. It was a clip from The Tube of the girls singing out of tune. Not good.

    2. On seeing the interview bits with Mr Richards, I became captivated by Keef's teef. Those gnashers looked in surprisingly pristine condition considering his lifestyle. Are they falsers?

  12. Great to be back after missing a week – not a bad show in places tonight, full of PP enthusiasm.

    Pigbag – Papas got a brand new bag – Different performance with no signs; so they were allowed back on again obviously. Great crowd pleasing start to the show.

    Bananarama / Fun Boy Three – Really saying something – Really high budget video…not, but it’s a big improvement on that other song with a very long title that you couldn’t dance to…

    Elton John – Blue Eyes – Class act. Faultless live singing with those eyebrow raises that he still does today.

    England World Cup Squad – This time we’ll get it right – I nearly got it wrong as I was about to blurt out that Peter Shilton was the only member of the chart topping 1970 Squad (with ‘Back Home’) who featured on this hit as well. However, although Peter Shilton sits proudly on my Esso World Cup Coin Collection card with the other 29 players, he didn’t make the final 1970 squad as the three Goalies were Gordon Banks, Peter Bonetti and Alex Stepney. I prefer ‘Back Home’ anyway. Eliminated in the second stages in 1982 we were after two goalless draws against West Germany and Spain, but won all three matches in the first group stage, so we were actually unbeaten!

    Kim Wilde – View from a Bridge – Much prefer the black dress to the jeans but the songs is a bit naff isn’t it? But hit NUMBER FIVE!!!

    Haircut 100 – Fantastic Day – Very uplifting, and another video made fairly cheaply I imagine.

    PhD – I won’t let you down – Amazing song and I just love the bit near the end where the synthesiser cuts in really loud. RIP Jim.

    David Bowie – Cat People – This subsequently was on the B side of ‘Let’s Dance’ in another form and I thought it awful then. Here it’s given a little more sympathetic treatment but cut very short despite the Zoo folk climbing all over their cage.

    Shakin’ Stevens – Shirley – Or ‘surely’? Quite a trite track really despite the hasty flight back from overseas to treat us to the Shaky gymnastics.

    Paul & Stevie – Ebony and Ivory – Cue: much derision from me…..

    Shalamar – I can make you feel good – I feel sure I would have turned off the TV in 1982 early with this as the playout and I didn’t bother watching all the playout dancing this time either.

    1. Nobody else seems to have picked up on it but "hear thr roar of the red white and blue" is a bit of a stretch given that the English flag only contains the first two colours. Lazy songwriting if you ask me.

    2. The three lions on the badge are blue.....
      and anyway, red white and blue is a nicer mix of colours than just red and white :-)

    3. don't forget that in the early 80's eng-er-lund were still (somewhat ignorantly) supported by fans waving the union jack, as opposed to the cross of st george that really only came in properly as a symbol of english support about 10 years or so ago

      by the way, does anyone else remember the incident where the mars chocolate company were sponsoring the england football team (around the time the st george flag replaced the union jack) and re-branded their mars bars "believe"? unfortunately that marketing strategy included scotland, where not surprisingly the sales dropped by 90% as a result!

    4. It was Euro 96 where the flag of St George finally supplanted the Union Jack as the England supporter's flag of choice. I think it is fair to say that English people are now less inclined than they once were to think that "England" and "Britain" are the same thing. However, for some reason both the FA and the RFU still seem to take the view that God Save the Queen is the English national anthem, rather than the British...

    5. yes john you're right there about english national football and rugby teams (still) singing the all-UK-encompassing "god save the queen" instead of something uniquely english. not only is that anthem musically a dirge compared to many others (especially those of france, italy and the states - all of which are rather rousing in my view), but as one with no allegiance to the monarchy whatsover hearing it actually makes me squirm and ashamed to be english (or british). if they have to have an anthem of that name, then at least make it the sex pistols song!

    6. What makes the attitude of the football and rugby authorities all the stranger is that the England cricket team use Jerusalem as their anthem, and both Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory have been used as anthems for the English Commonwealth Games team in the past.

    7. Reminds me of that Billy Connolly skit where he says we used to be bad at the Olympics due to having a ponderous anthem, and maybe we'd do better by adopting the theme tune to "The Archers" instead!

  13. More pink filters, more low lighting, more weird camera angles - it's The Tube. No it really is Top of the Pops!

    A fantastic start with Pigbag. This was even better than the previous performance, it's a shame we never heard more from them again.

    Nice to see the Bananarama/FB3 video after all this time. Wasn't too keen on Terry Hall's dungarees and reactor shades combo but at least he has cut his hair.

    It's odd how the last time Elton John was featured on video Slimon Bates kept using the word "hit" and now PP's doing the same thing. Perhaps it was an ego-boost for Reg, keep saying the word "hit" and maybe it'll go to number one. Sadly it didn't but this song was a guilty pleasure for me back then and a superb vocal by Elton. Nice diamante ring and matching brooch. Not sure why he looks so pissed off at the end.

    Of course England didn't get it right but it's a fair crack at a World Cup anthem but nowhere near as good as Back Home (or Back Comb as it should have been called with all the big hair and sideburns on display). Some great hairstyles on show here as well. Odd to see Noel Edmunds with a side parting and standing on a box to make himself look taller.

    Looks like Craig Fairbrass must have upset someone in charge as he was hardly featured this week and was replaced by some irritating twerp in a safari suit, however I did spot Craig wearing a hat hiding behind PP when he introduced Kim Wilde. Also disco dance champion Grant Santino was on hand staring at the camera s usual but doing very little dancing. I never really liked this Kim Wilde track, her whiny voice was starting to annoy and it's too formulaic. Nasty pink filters again too.

    Funny Haircut 100 video. I have seen this before on some 1980s video compilations and it still makes me smile. Don't know who the actor is playing the old hillbilly but it looks he drew the trump card buy having the hot panted young lady sitting on his knee. It was like a mad episode of The Dukes Of Hazard. I feel a sorry for percussionist Mark he seemed to have drawn the short straw and ending up getting a ducking or twp.

    Musically the PhD song maybe sounds a bit clunky today but it still sends a tingle up my spine even after all these years. Jim Diamond went on to do the Boon TV theme of course and Bobby G from Bucks Fizz would do the theme to Big Deal with Ray Brooks in 1983.

    I remember this Zoo performance from the time and it suits the song well. Not one of Bowie's best but not bad although I often wondered how "Cat people" could put out a fire. By urinating on it I suppose.

    I had a soft spot for this Shaky song because my mum is called Shirley. He gives a great performance employing a lot of dance moves, even if sone of them looked a bit unrehearsed. And he ends up in the audience.

    Then the Top 10 rundown and number 1. Not sure what Peter meant by "straight there" for McCartney and Wonder as it had spent a few weeks climbing the charts. "Ebony and Ivory, go together in perfect harmony". Such a shame that no one asked the elephants what they thought.

    Play out with Shalamar and lots of bizarre dance moves from the cheerleaders. One of them appears to be dressed as a camp caveman in a fur loincloth And there was some terrible "acting" on their part tonight when PP introduced some of the acts. Some of it was so fake it was laughable to watch . I think this is what put me off the show at the time. I was sharing a flat in Camden Town at the time and had some quite trendy mates who were the real deal fashion-wise. We regularly watched the show but the over-dressed, camp antics of the pretend crowd made the show look too fake and cheesy at times.

    1. Re: Haircut 100 video: It would not surprise me if the idea for the hotpants girl sitting on the old geezer's knee on the rocking chair, came from The Dukes Of Hazzard, where Daisy Duke would in every episode be wearing hot pants/jeans shorts, and in 1982 The Dukes of Hazzard was prime time viewing.

  14. This was an enjoyable episode overall, despite Peter Powell’s best (worst?) efforts.

    First up are Pigbag (or Pig Bag, or PigBAAAAAG as Peter calls them) with avant garde disco at its finest.

    Erm, that’s Neville pinching the lady’s arse in the Bananarana / Fun Boy Three vid, which was simple but effective. What would Specials fans have made of Terry Hall’s new image?

    A blue backdrop and blue shirt for “Blue Eyes”. Niiice. An exemplary live vocal from Elton and a top ten hit which would have excited Simon Bates.

    I like the way the prospective England World Cup squad had to record their single at night, probably using studio slack time or cheaper hours. That Kevin Keegan managed a top 31 smash over here. Not many footballers are cop at singing, but Martin Buchan was apparently so good he was given a solo B-side of a Man United single.

    Kim Wilde’s got legs! Quite enjoyed this, but the double track vocals highlight Kim’s thin voice again.

    A cheap and cheerful Haircut 100 vid. Loved Nick Heyward’s flashed smile and the lad slipping and falling during the prison break.

    So, Pete, what nationality was PhD’s drummer? A good visual performance from Jim Diamond, but that keyboardist couldn’t wait to be unleashed!

    What playground was Zoo’s climbing frame nicked from? I actually liked the 1983 reworking of “Cat People” so much, I bought it when it was the B-side of “Let’s Dance”.

    Who was that knob putting on stupid glasses behind Pete before the midrange countdown? Did I tell you I thought he was a knob?

    Shirley Shaky’s song wasn’t a hit. It was, and don’t call me Shirley! Actually, I liked his cartwheel and balletic duck walk. The song was shite, mind.

    What was Pete on after the number one? “A thousand homes singing that”? Really, Pete? Really?

    1. The knob with the shades looked like the guy from Zoo, at least he was in Zoo one week.

      When PP was introducing the England World Cup Squad I noticed the woman who appeared to be sitting on someone's knee pretending to be a robot and pretending to be interested in the the England World Cup Squad. Well I guess she wasn't alone there.

  15. Very late but I thought worth a mention - look at the hamster cheeks on the saxophonist in the photo above. Jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie would have been proud!

    1. it does make one wonder that he was actually playing the thing over the record rather than just miming, in which case it would have sounded even more cacaphonous to the studio audience!

      it would be interesting to know how things actually sounded in the studio, as although they went to certain lengths to mute acoustic instruments when performers mimed i.e. mufflers over drum skins, plastic cymbals etc, surely there must have been some aural overspill from things like acoustic guitars and upright basses?

    2. Interesting point Wilb - I have only noticed quite recently on these re-runs that most guitarists literally do mime and don't actually strum or pluck the strings. If you look carefully at close-ups of guitars you can see that the strings are not vibrating.

      As for upright basses, the one that the chap in the Jets was playing 'recently' had very floppy strings. I believe that this 'loosening the strings' technique is also used for bowed instruments (violins, cellos etc.) although surely they would still make a sound?

    3. yes of course 20th - loosening the strings on such acoustic instruments is the obvious way to stop them making any obvious noise! they will still make a slight sound, but nowhere near as much as when tightened. and that would easily be drowned by the record/backing track being played in the studio(presumably at quite a high volume, as if in a disco or live venue?)

  16. It’s only just dawned on me that a number of consecutive early Kim Wilde singles had really dark subject matters – suffering with tinnitus (“Water On Glass”), a relationship ending due to the effects of war (“Cambodia”), the suicide of a jilted girlfriend (“View From A Bridge”) and a girl found on a beach, the latter being the basis of “Child Come Away” which only made number 43 and didn’t merit a TOTP outing. Indeed, we’ve seen the last of Kim singing on the show until August next year – not even a re-run of “View From A Bridge”.

    1. I think after all those calamities and nightmarish episodes in those Kim Wilde singles, it comes as no surprise that that we get a long break from her till August '83. Didn't know the early singles were that morbid in nature.

    2. Yes, Marty and Ricky certainly covered a broad range of subjects in their material, as you say, often of a rather dark nature and not covered by other songwriters. Plenty of good album tracks as well.

  17. Coming late to the party and posting before I've read the other comments so apologies for any repeats!

    Firstly, what's with all the horrid lighting in this show? The oranges and purples are really distracting. The only bit that makes sense is when Elton John is bathed in blue.

    Bananarama / FB3 - A good enough cover, though the original is better and really should have been a hit. Video budget = 50p.

    Elton John - Nice live vocal, shame it's for one of his less interesting efforts.

    England Squad - I'm going to be very controversial here and saying that this is my favourite England song. Who can resist a kazoo refrain? Spain 82 was my first World Cup, I collected the Panini stickers and watched a lot of the games. As a result of their performance in the later rounds, I became a huge fan of the Italian team. Just as well, as supporting them means you get to celebrate victories occasionally. I gave up on England circa Euro 2000. Now I just laugh at the national team, couldn't care less.

    Kim Wilde - Pretty sure I liked this at the time. I'm less keen now.

    PhD - One of the best songs of the whole year and it's criminal that it's been almost completely forgotten. Evidently not liked by the BBC4 editors either, who should have chopped the housewife classic before it instead.

    David Bowie - Erm...not too keen on this one, though at least Zoo do something interesting with it.

    Shaky - Another big star with one of their duffers.

    Sorry Angelo, I don't think 'Ebony & Ivory' is under-rated at all, it's awful. Even at the time I remember being disappointed that it kept Bardo and the England song off the top.

    1. the considered wisdom is that the england 1990 world cup tune is their best, although a: that's hardly surprising given the competition, and b: it's far from new order's best in my opinion. in overall terms the best (if not only decent) football song is this which was on the b-side of a man city players shout-a-long single which is basically by 10cc in disguise - it may be creme, godley and gouldman as opposed to lee, bell and summerbee, but it's still pretty good:

    2. last night i went to a bowie tribute gig at the manchester opera house (i was actually part of the original line-up many years ago now, and the guy playing bowie kindly gave me a couple of complimentary tickets), and perhaps with good reason "cat people" was not part of the show!