Friday, 7 October 2016

Top of the Pops Two Shoes

And so BBC4 moves on to May 20th 1982, skipping the DLT hosted 13th May, despite the fact that his two years suspended sentence is now spent, and by the BBC's own rules DLT can now be shown on screen once again. He did the crime and now he's done the time, so come on BBC, the 24th June is his next show.......

Adam reconsiders his decision to be a goody two shoes...

20-5-82: Presenter: Peter Powell

(19) ROCKY SHARPE & THE REPLAYS – Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out)
Getting things off to a lively start, with pretty much the same routine we saw last time they were on when they closed the show, with their final top 30 hit now at its peak.

(8) MADNESS – House Of Fun (video)
Straight into the chart at number eight and soon to become the nutty boys' one and only number one.

(13) ABC – The Look Of Love
ABC turn boy band for this terrific studio performance of what will become their biggest hit when it peaks at number 4.

(3) PhD – I Won’t Let You Down (video)
Who would have expected such a comedic video for such a serious sounding song? And was that Jim Diamond or was it Paul Daniels stalking the mean leggy blonde in the very short skirt?

(5) ADAM ANT – Goody Two Shoes
What an epic performance this is, with Adam taking over every stage in the studio, creating what is pretty much a video in the process. And about to battle it out with Madness for the number one spot.

(14) JUNIOR – Mama Used To Say
On its way to number 7. And edited out of tonight's 7.30pm slot.

(26) IRON MAIDEN – Number Of The Beast (video)
Halloween arrives early! Maybe if they'd released this scary song later in the year it might have got higher than its peak of 18?

(11) TIGHT FIT – Fantasy Island (video)
The boy and girls sing their way around Saint Tropez with Fantasy Island heading towards a Peak of number 5.

(1) NICOLE – A Little Peace ®
Second and final week at number one.

(10) PATRICE RUSHEN – Forget Me Nots (and credits) ®
Over the credits this week is a repeat of Patrice's previous performance interspersed with some daring acrobatics from the Zoo dancers, one of whom seemed to come an awful cropper! The song went up two more places.

Next up is May 27th 1982 hosted by John Peel.


  1. Rocky Sharpe & The Replays - it was more like a replay of Happy Days with the way the studio audience were dancing around them. I mean Happy Days in 1982 was already into its 10th year with new material still coming through, and still two years away from its final curtain call in 1984.

    Madness - straight in at No.8 with a video in which I always likened the corner shop antics to that of Open All Hours with Ronnie Barker, especially with one of the Nutty Boys storming into the shop dressed as a woman!

    PHD - Good Lord, the leggy blonde with the short skirt in the video. To say she must have been a model is an understatement if ever I saw one. One could say it was not possible to be more beautiful. Anyway, the video cuts out before the end where Jim Diamond is finally fixed in his place after a number of failed attempts by his love rival to hook the blonde during the course of the video. It was a Some-Mothers-Do-Ave-Em style ending if you watch the video in full on Utube.

    Adam Ant - first time back in the TOTP studio since early 1981, having only sent out videos in the last few hits. Anyway, 9 girls on stage with him in three studio sets, including more leggy blondes to follow the PHD video.
    Adam seemed to be in a league of his own, and really raised the bar with this one, when it came to studio performances on TOTP.

    Tight Fit - really liked the video, even though I don't recall seeing it at the time. The holiday setting just made me feel like it is summer again, even though we are heading towards winter again. The background setting had elements of the video for Glen Madeiros on 'Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You' in 1988.

    Nicole - the 17 year old German Eurovision winner at No.1 for the second week, in an overall excellent show with 4 good videos among all the studio performances.

    1. eternal thanks has to go to the producers of "happy days" (or by now as i think john g put it a while back "the fonz show") for milking it to the point where the immortal "shark-jumping moment" saying was spawned!

  2. A strong show tonight, the only thing letting it down was Peter Powell's sweater. Did he borrow it from Tidybeard Edmonds?

    1. It was a bit Playschool presenter wasn't it. I think these were all the rage at the time, not that I ever wore one.

  3. ABC's star was on the ascent - but the band's gradual disintegration had begun. Out went bassist Mark Lickley and in came cod-Motown choreography, prompting Peter Powell to make comparison with Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. I'm sure that was meant as a compliment; nevertheless, this performance heralded the first stage of ABC's metamorphosis into The Martin Fry Band, which it essentially is nowadays. Drummer David Palmer would defect to Yellow Magic Orchestra at the end of '82, and would be followed out of the ABC camp by saxophonist Steve Singleton in early '84. Two non-musicians then came and went before Fry and guitarist/keyboardist Mark White settled down to work as a duo on 'Alphabet City', which proved to be their most accomplished set after 'Lexicon of Love'. 'When Smokey Sings' (well prophesied, Peter!) and 'The Night You Murdered Love' deserved to be much bigger than they were, but the momentum had been lost by then.

    Another star in crisis was Adam Ant, who had now changed his billing in an apparent effort to crack the American market. He would score one Top 20 hit over there with this very song, but his rather suggestive '84 offering 'Strip' missed the Top 40 despite a spoken-word cameo appearance by Abba's Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Still, he seems to have maintained a loyal cult following on both sides of the Atlantic, as his current touring schedule illustrates.

    1. Don't forget Adam Ant tried to forge an acting career in Hollywood as well, to middling results.

    2. My first memory of Adam Ant is his infamous Live Aid performance where he decided to perform a lousy new song, a move which probably put the final nail into his chart career.

      Re ABC, I wonder if PP's comparison of them to The Miracles (ludicrous, in my view), played any part in giving them the idea for When Smokey Sings?

    3. I saw Adam Ant on stage in a Joe Orton play some time in the 1990s and he was very good in it.

      What I liked about ABC, apart from the superb catchy songs of course - was the fact that they changed their image with each album. Their next album Beauty Stab (described by someone as Curtis Mayfield meets Hendrix) was my favourite although that's the one that most people hate.

  4. Pete at his most cheesetastic this time around, but what a good show it was, in spite of half of it being on video and some of the studio performances being repeats.

    Rocky Sharpe might as well have been a repeat, obviously honing that act for Butlin's. Simple tune, energetically delivered.

    Madness, what a fantastic video this was, I recall how exciting it seemed having no idea of what they were singing about. Probably the most music hall thing they ever did, and Britain responded because who doesn't like a knees-up?

    ABC drilled to perfection, I like songs where the singer mentions their name, and this one's a doozy. Martin well on form here.

    PhD with their wacky Looney Tunes video, as their equivalent of Wile E. Coyote tries to do in his bandmate, who's not exactly Bugs Bunny, is he? Again TOTP cut off just as the organ blast erupts - boo.

    And then the reason there weren't many artists in the studio, they were too wrapped up in staging Adam Ant's big number. What a great dancer he was, and what a terrific three minutes, insistently catchy melody set to a saucy presentation. In a really good show, this has to be the highlight.

    Junior - anyone disappointed he didn't wear his glasses in the bath? A real toe tapper, on a nostalgic trip.

    Iron Maiden get their Aleister Crowley on with one of their best singles, though the video is pretty naff, in an amusing way. Think that's a clip of Return of the Vampire we see at the start (yes, there is a werewolf in it, no, he doesn't ballroom dance).

    Tight Fit get a paid holiday to St Tropez, some nice "what fun we're having!" acting here.

    I wonder if Nicole's English lyrics were a direct translation from the German? I kind of doubt it, but it would be nice to know.

    Patrice Rushen sees us out, with some dodgy dancing from Zoo, a mix of red light district come hither shapes and clapping out of time with the handclaps on the record. Patrice deserved better! But the song endures.

  5. host: pp's starting to look a bit too old for this kind of thing now (although of course that doesn't stop the likes of simon bates, who probably looked far older than his years even when at school). but he is as ebullient as ever (was that word specifically invented for him?) and he hardly puts a foot wrong this time (amazingly he and/or the crew pick up on the "genisis" chart pic error - even if they really should have fixed that before the programme was filmed)

    rocky sharpe: the same chalk/noticeboard prop is in place, although this time they're surrounded by energetic dancers so perhaps wisely mr sharpe doesn't do the standing-on-shoulders routine like before. and i can't help think he's kevin rowland moonlighting from dexy's! his colleague mike vernon (aka eric rondo - is that a pun?) slicks his hair down at the front, but it's rather obvious it's just for show as it's far too long at the back

    madness: this really is a storming song and vies-with-but-can't-quite match "baggy trousers" which for me is their finest moment. musically it was not the first cut-and-paste job by their producers, as the band went in the studio armed only with the verses, and after recording those their label boss dave robinson insistsed they add a chorus. but rather than re-record the new arrangement in its entirety they decided to just spliced the old and new recordings together - presumably to save on costs, but if so it turned out to be a false economy as apparently it was a pig of a job (and weren't using digital technology)! with regard to the song's theme: using (or even mention of) devices used to prevent pregancy and/or transmission of disease via the act of fornication was still seen as a social embarrassment (it was only recently that the gang of four had been kicked off the show for refusing to replace a lyrical reference to such things with something more wholesome!) and it was still quite a self-conscious act to purchase "rubber johnnies" (as they were usually referred to then) in the early 80's - when i was around the same age as the protagonist (which was in the late 70's) i remember being dared by someone to go into the toilets of a petrol station and buy some from the machine, and i remember the thrill of doing so... even though i had no practical use for them! even today i suspect not everyone is comfortable with purchasing propalactics, especially from those of the opposite gender. but fortunately these days 24 hour supermarkets with self-service tills make things so much easier! another excellent video to boot, points to make are that one of the band is revealed as a baldie - something which tragically happened to several of them for real in later years. and i remember there was a fancy dress shop on camden high street in the 80's - was some of it filmed there?

    abc: mark lickley has finally left the band (although he still appears in the chart rundown mugshot) - perhaps because he was now surplus to requirements as the bass line is by a synth rather than guitar? to me this is "poison arrow" part II, and like that it's generally okay but a bit too cheesy in places for my liking. of course the band's footstepping routines are a nod to/take-off-of the legions of black vocal groups that always seemed to be on the show up until the early 80's, but one wonders how much of it was hamming it up as opposed to just not being very co-ordinated?

    phd: i couldn't help but think how excited that screaming heterosexual (© bama boogiewoogie 2016) dory was going to get about this! one doesn't really associate mini-skirts and leopard-skin tops with the early 80's, and my guess is that she would have stood out a bit if she'd been walking her dog for real. and was she deliberately cast to make jim look like a shortarse? she would have been taller than him even without the high heels

    1. There were certainly a number elements of the Baggy Trousers song and video on the House Of Fun song and video, and the success of Baggy Trousers on the British public was probably a driving force behind the production of House Of Fun which turned out to be Madness's only No.1, and indeed went a couple of places further in the chart than Baggy Trousers. Like for like songs methinks.

    2. Mr Sharpe did do the standing-on-shoulders routine again, and held it for about 20 seconds this time!

    3. sorry john - i have to admit i did move the curser along for about a minute of rocky sharpe as well as the whole of nicole!

    4. Great comments Wilby but is it that tragic being bald?! I'm a slap head and proud of it,

    5. i could be wrong, but i personally think few if any men would go for a hair-free head if they had any choice in the matter - even though it is far more acceptable nowadays than back when these programmes were made (you just have to look at reg's array of hats at the time for proof of that!). however by chance i have just read a magazine that featured a before-baldness-and-after list of sleb slapheads such zinedine zidane, bruce willis and vin diesel, and like them i had to agree that they looked better without hair than with!

    6. by the way, thanks for the praise on my comments bama - unless soneone actually responds to that effect then it's difficult to tell what people think of them. perhaps there should be a "like" facility as on facebook?

  6. part II: adam ant: modulation is actually becoming a commonplace tactic for pop songs at this point, and adam almost outdoes rocky sharpe with his multiple key changes! so if he doesn't drink or smoke, then what does he do convince people that he really is a screaming heterosexual (© bama boogiewoogie 2016) and not some kind of nancy boy? surround himself with fit birds of course! like all his stuff i never cared for this effort (rock n roll-meets-jive in this case) much, but i appreciate the work that must have gone into his performance. i didn't notice this time, but if you look closely i think one of the ladies in the middle segment loses a shoe but has to carry on regardless!

    junior: another video on the show, but a clever one with junior's cartoon house. some lazy songwriting i notice, where the word "age" is used at the end of both lines in a couplet - there are plenty of other words ending with "age" that could have been worked in instead: "sage", "rage", "cage", and "page" being just four!

    iron maiden: is this bruce dickinson's totp debut with them? prior to that he had been in another "NWOBHM" band called samson, who are probably better remembered for their drummer called thunderstick (who wore a mask and performed in a cage) than for any of their recordings. i can't claim to be an expert on metal, but this sounds okay to me if somewhat limited. i noted the female ballroom dancer had "no. 6" pinned on her back - did that mean the male one had the number 66?

    tight fit: yet another video - this is turning into "the chart show"! the heebeegeebees actually did a parody of abba, but it can't match this one! the director remembered to pack some baco foil for the trip to st tropez, so that chopper (this is probably this the last time i get the chance to refer to her in that way!) and mrs waterman could make themselves some dresses out of it

    nicole: although it wasn't all to my taste by any means, i actually watched the show all the way through on iplayer up to this point. but here i had to move the cursor along i'm afraid!

    1. Bruce had made his first appearance on TOTP with Run to the Hills back in February, but that only featured on a Yewtreed show.

    2. Wilby, your obsession with modulation is almost as bad as Dory's obsession with the ladies. Don't most songs change key at least once?

    3. ha ha bama, it will never be that bad surely? very few pop songs ever stray from the key they were written in, which was why i originally found it noteworthy to comment on those that did. but (as i say above) this practice is becoming (relatively) increasingly commonplace on this show as time goes on, but the OCD in me won't let one pass without mention if i can help it!

    4. My apologies, I didn't mean to sound judgmental. Actually I quite like deconstructing a song to find out what makes it good. I Won't Let You Down is a good example of the perfect catchy pop song - low key verses, simple bridge (the same phrase repeated twice), key change into chorus which is the same phrase repeated twice leading to instrumental crescendo (in the same key as the chorus) and ends with chorus repeated endlessly as a coda. The Human League's Don't You Want Me followed the same rules as is clearly the formula to write the perfect pop song.

  7. I thought this show was a bit of a triumph of style over substance, to be honest, featuring only two songs (PHD and Tight Fit) that I really like. PP was a suitable host, especially as his links were the most vacuous and inane that they have been for a while - the moment going into the first song where he pretends to knock himself out with his microphone was particularly cringeworthy!

    As has already been noted, they might as well have just repeated the previous Rocky Sharpe performance, though given the preponderance of videos this week I suppose they wanted to make sure they had a few new studio turns. The fact this only got to 19 suggests that the rock 'n' roll revival, Shaky aside, was now finally running out of steam. Madness next, and contrary to others here I have always disliked this song intensely. I just find it really irritating, and the self-conscious wackiness in the video gets on my nerves even more. Ironic then that it would be the band's biggest hit - it certainly shares some DNA with Baggy Trousers, but for me that earlier song clicks in a way that this one does not.

    I wonder if ABC and Adam Ant were trying to outdo each other with their studio performances this week? Fry and co's Motown homage-cum-pastiche is very effective, though I don't like the grey suits, and the guy in the middle (sorry, don't know his name), is about as far away from matinee idol material as you can get! As with their previous releases, the song itself is slick but shallow, and has always left me a bit cold. As Angelo mentions, the tone of the PhD video is remarkably slapstick for a serious song. Still, I think it is funnier than the Madness one, though it does make Jim look like a midget. Does anyone know how tall he actually was? Simon Phillips doesn't seem to appear in the video, but from what I have read about the band he was really just a supporting player, with Jim and Tony Hymas the two core members.

    Adam Ant provides another case of "good performance, song not so good," as he cavorts his way around the studio. It is an impressive spectacle, and I doubt many would have predicted at the time how quickly his star would begin to wane. Junior's video looked to have been inspired by Play School, but it was neatly done and I liked the bits with him in the bath.

    Yet more videos follow, as Iron Maiden provide us with a standard-issue metal single and promo. It does nothing for me musically, but it is all so obviously tongue-in-cheek you can't help but smile at it. Tight Fit certainly appear to have enjoyed their trip to St Tropez, and who would have thought that they would have come out with such a catchy, infectious record? We conclude, unusually, with a repeat of a previous studio performance, though it would have been better if they had just left it alone rather than interspersing those incredibly lame Zoo bits into it - they also meant that an already highly-visible Fairbrass got yet more unwarranted screen time...

    1. I think Pete's sleazy wink introducing The Look of Love would have most viewers curling their toes in horror.

  8. Whoppee it’s bouncy PP off again into a bouncy start to the show…

    Rocky Sharpe – Shot shout – This performance gives me the ideal opportunity to use a seldom heard word these days – ‘facsimile’.

    Madness – House of Fun – I recall the full page ad in ‘Record Mirror’ for this single showed the scene with Suggs in the shop. Full of puns and innuendo I don’t think anyone at the Beeb realised what this song was hinting at. ‘Featherlite touch’ indeed! It was a return to form after the drab ‘Cardiac Arrest’ and certainly one of their best.

    ABC – The look of love – Played to death at the time and since, and another chance for Martin Fry to show off his gold suit. Classy record and rendition nonetheless.

    PhD – I won’t let you down – Now who is the girl in this video and where is the park that it is shot at? I thought I recognised Covent Garden in one scene, but otherwise I’m tantalised! Great ending not shown here too, although I notice a lot of YT postings are from TOTP as the band credits appear and the song carries on to a blank screen!

    Adam Ant – Goody Two Shoes – Phew! How many rehearsals did that take to get right? It’s the best Adam Ant for me and a big improvement on Ant (c)Rap that’s for sure! Fabulous performance.

    Junior – Mama used to say – Next…

    Iron Maiden – The number of the Beast – Next… (love the ending of the video though!)
    Is there an edit here as PP seems to rush into the next bit?

    Tight Fit – Fantasy Island – Another chance to use the word ‘facsimile’ – This could not have sounded more like Abba if they had tried. Quite a contrast from the previous hit and a great video. Not heard it for many years.

    Nicole – A little Peace – Well it was getting past its moment of glory. Worse songs made no.1 in 1982 though…

    Patrice Rushen – Forget me nots – The word ‘forget’ is quite appropriate here..

    Footnote: My Box recorded a compilation of ‘Big hits 1964 – 1975’ which I enjoyed watching and featured none other than this week’s no.7 band Hot Chocolate with their most famous hit, featuring Harvey Hinsley’s trademark guitar licks. Wonderful stuff.

    Genisis indeed, and it was the ‘3x3’ EP not ‘Paperlate’. However, they did use the photo of Phil, Mike and Tony from the EP cover, so not a total disaster!

    1. Martin Fry and co were not wearing gold Lamé suits this time but grey mohair ones.

      The PhD video was supposedly filmed in Queensway and Bayswater in W London but I don't know what park that is. There is at least one full version of the video out there where Jim ends up being trapped in a car in a scrap metal yard.

  9. Anyone else see Boy George's doc about the 1970s on BBC 2 last night? Very entertaining, and a nice introduction to seeing him on the repeats soon. His pal Marilyn was on it too, we'll be seeing him soon as well.

    1. i don't know if marilyn appeared on totp until 1983, so does anyone know for sure if we'll get to see him in these re-runs yet? it looks like he and boy george have kissed and made up, and (going from the preview on yt) like the latter marilyn has got himself back in shape again having let himself go and become a bit of a porker in the post-fame wilderness years - did he follow the same diet regime as george?

      there's another clip on yt of the pair being interviewed on "loose women", one of whom being their pop peer colleen nolan who perhaps should have enquired as to their weight-loss plan (and you thought george and marilyn were bitchy!)

      also on the same show is the ageless goldie hawn, who if you didn't know better would have said was in her 40's - these days it seems if you want to tell how old a woman really is, then you have to look at their hands!

    2. I'm going to watch the Boy George doc. I'm currently looking into my family history and have discovered that the house where my grandmother was born was next tto the house whee Boy George and Marilyn used to squat in the 1970s. She's dead now and I'm glad she never knew that, she wouldn't have ben impressed.

    3. Both George and Marilyn were looking as fit as a flea, which is good considering their well-publicised problems over the years.

    4. in what way exactly would bama's nan not have been impressed with george and marilyn? in that they weren't exactly screaming heterosexuals (sorry bama!), or that they were work-shy dossers that bucked the system? or both?

      also out of interest: i hope you don't mind me asking but bama did you ever tell her you were gay yourself?

    5. George and Marilyn were screaming homosexuals (outrageous and outgoing), I wasn't, I was quiet and a bit shy. I never told my nan I was gay but I think she guessed. She wasn't homophobic as such - she used to socialiise with Kenneth William's mum Louie - but she would have referred to George and Marilyn as weirdos because of the way they dressed and behaved.

  10. Funny to think how Darts evolved out of the then Rocky Sharpe and the Razors, yet it feels aeons ago since their last chart hurrah and here are the inferior Replays still getting the last fumes out of the fifties revival petrol tank.

  11. According to the Radio Times this was shown at 7.25pm between Tomorrow's World and a repeat of it Ain't Half Hot Mum while on BBC 2 you could enjoy an Old Grey Whistle Test special of Ry Cooder in concert and later The Cambridge Footlights Revue featuring unknowns Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery and Emma Thompson.

    Peter Powell bathed in pink light so he looks like a marshmallow introduces a video-heavy show with a great line up.

    Strangely not a replay from Rock Sharpe and Co although it might as well have been because they more-or-less did the same things as before. The cheerleaders are out in force again including Craig Fairtarse in a penguin suit and former disco dance champion Grant Santino in retina-burning bright orange trousers with a matching sash and suede pixie boots - very appropriate for a 1950s revivalist tune. Not.

    Then Madness with their best ever song and the video to match,. The off licence and chemist were in Kilburn Park Road, the joke shop was Escapade in Camden High Street while the Mad Hatter bit was filmed at Denyer House in Highgate Road,, Lee Thompson used to live. The funfair sequences were filmed at Great Yarmouth.

    ABC become the Four Tops with the superb and sublime Look Of Love. Not a bad performance although sharp choreography isn't really their thing, the video is quite funny and I hope we get a chance to see it.

    Then another video filmed in London for I Won't Let You Down, I remember this from the time, I like the "don't let me outta here" bit where Jim goes in the park and is trapped behind the wire but the whole thing is very funny and I like the fact that they resisted the temptation to do a serious video to match the song.

    Poor Adam Ant looks thoroughly tired by the end of this routine whee he utilizes no less than 4 stages and 9 female dancers and I could be wrong but I think there's an edit at one point where they maybe had to do a retake (it's hard work pretending that you're al Green), but it's very impressive. I also recall Mick Jagger doing a similar routine with (much) less success for his later single Let's work. Such extensive use of the whole studio might explain why there are so many videos on this weeks show. They really wanted Adam to succeed didn't they.

    Junior on video and the style is similar to Bananarama one with live action over cartoon-ish backdrops, one of which was also used on the cover of the single. I liked this a lot at the time and still do.

    Possibly where Rod Temperton (RIP) got the video of using Vincent Price for the Thriller song is Iron Maiden's video which kicks off with a creepy spoken word horror intro. Not my type of music but this is certainly an energetic effort but not a very catchy song though.

    A suitably more exotic location for Tight Fit's video and this really helps sell the song. I must admit I had no memory of this song or video at all until I heard it again but it is pretty good even though I would never have bought it.

    A little more peace at number one (yawn) then.playout with a repeat of Patrice Rushen. She is already accompanied by numerous over-dressed cheerleaders (some sexy and groovy, some less so) and members of Zoo but it is newly intercut with even more members of Zoo doing slow pose dancing (in a sense Vogue dancing 8 years before Madonna "invented" it) and yet another group including inevitably Craig Fairtarse who can't resist stepping out of time with his fellow dancers to stsrt clapping along out of time - is there nothing this AH would do to steal the limelight ??!!

    1. Just count your blessings that our Craig couldn't sing... as far as we know.

    2. bama thanks for the confirmation on the fancy dress shop in the madness video!

      the footlights review line-up was almost the same one that appeared in the classic "young ones" university challenge sketch, with
      ben elton replacing tony slattery. like the above-mentioned marilyn, slattery had a post-fame wilderness period where he never left home and really let himself go, although in his case it lasted a few months rather than 20 years!

  12. Another good nostalgia doc on BBC 4 this time, was that People's History of Pop thing they're doing, but this one was of special interest to us because it was Pauline Black discussing music from 1976-86, basically the era we've been watching in these repeats. All from the fans' perspective, so a bit like these comments should we ever start to share our memorabilia (!), and some great clips (though some overfamiliar). Loved the comic book artist's teenage diary.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Yes, that was a good documentary. I've said it before on here, but I have a lot of time for Pauline Black - she is (and always has been) incredibly stylish, and she's an intelligent and extremely engaging presenter as well.

    3. Yeah, she really knows her stuff, I've heard her presenting on the radio and she was good there too.

  13. A hugely enjoyable show for me, with five cast iron classics and three others I also enjoyed, and only Rocky Sharpe (not a knockout in my book) and Nicole blotting the copybook. Thumbs up to Peter Powell for noticing the mis-spelling of Gineses (see what I did there?) but a big ‘boo’ for not namechecking Patrice Rushen in the outro.

    Suggs trying to buy condoms in an off licence at first? Different. The Madness blokes as women reminded me of Terry Jones’s regular unglamorous drag stints in “Monty Python”. Health and safety needed as Suggs decides to stand up in a moving rollercoaster.

    But this is Martin talking... ABC obviously weren’t Archie Bell and the Drells for starters, and the suits were a bit drab and needed some colour, but this tune and its parent album are just superb.

    Meep meep! It’s two thirds of PhD re-enacting Road Runner cartoons. The bomb needed to have the word “Acme” on it. That gal must’ve caught her death in that outfit! Why was Jim singing “Don’t let me outta here” when trying to escape from the phone booth? Some of that video was filmed in Westbourne Grove – I know because I looked up where the “Redan” pub was.

    Adam Ant with a fine routine but a sadly dated song – “write it on a pound note” indeed! Second soul singer reference of the evening with mention of Al Green in the lyrics. I loved the three bored and motionless onlookers in front of the Toppatron towards the end.

    An ultra cheap video for Junior’s sublime outing. Shoes on the bed? A teapot and cup and saucer resting on the ironing board cover? Tsk!

    I also noticed the intriguing “Thriller” style start to Iron Maiden’s tune. I take it 668 would be the neighbour of the beast?

    Too much Steve Grant in the Tight Fit vid for my liking. Good thing they didn’t strap two large onions to that baguette on his bike. Was that the Goombay Dance Band’s fire eater busking?

    1. "If you judge a book by its cover, then you judge the look by the lover"...erm, can you run that past me again Martin?

    2. It sort of makes sense if it was the other way round "then you judge the lover by the look" but then of course it wouldn't have rhymed.

  14. Not sure if anyone has pointed this out already, but 'I won't let you down' originally came out in April 1981 in a different picture sleeve. Airplay was obviously slow but it's certainly hit the big time here, and deservedly so. No follow up chart hit though.

    1. Looks like PhD only released four singles, the flop follow-ups being "Little Suzi's On The Up", "I Didn't Know" and "Fifth Of May".

    2. Little Suzi was covered by eighties hair metal band Tesla in 1986. A huge American hit and I assume gave Mr Diamond some huge dosh amounts!

  15. Some interesting stuff on this show - including a self-referential bit with PP noting what we have been commenting on for ages ie the caption writers inability to spell names correctly in the mugshots. Plus, the return of the Top 10 singles being given to the best dancer! (for the first time since the 60s? or have they been doing it for ages but not telling us?!)

    The songs then...

    Rocky Sharpe - Not exactly an exciting or memorable opener

    Madness - Sadly overplayed (in both video and song form) for me to get too excited. It was never one of my fave Madness tunes in any case.

    ABC - Whereas this one I never get bored of. And the boys attempt at Motown synchronised dancing was at least more convincing than Godley & Creme's effort not so long ago.

    PhD - What a weird stalking style video it is!

    Adam Ant - OK, here's where the budget obviously went. Except for the last backdrop (the forest one) where it looks like the set designer has given his children some crayons to knock something up quickly. Great song by the way!

    Iron Maiden - I do like some Maiden tunes, but this isn't one of them.

    Tight Fit - St.Tropez isn't an island though, is it? Still, it's an entertaining video and at the risk of 'going a bit Dory' one I examined quite closely, to the extent that my observation is that it must have been a bit cold on those rocks and that the future Mrs. Waterman may have been letting things hang loose a little at times. Ahem.
    Oh, and no-one's speculated on who the millionaire F1 driver they borrowed the boat from could be. As your resident F1 expert, I would say the most likely suspect would be then Lotus driver Elio de Angelis.

    Nicole - Bloody hell, they repeated the better one! I was convinced that wouldn't happen. Maybe she told them not to repeat the first one under any circumstances given her obvious embarrassment at getting the words wrong.

  16. Hi Lads and Lassies I know this is not really for this blog but I was looking for an old episode and have discovered i somehow managed to delete it from my Hard drive just wondering if anybody could upload 6th June 1968 show I would really be grateful if you could thanks Meer

    1. Hi, check here

    2. Thank you - can you pm me on Vimeo if you have other old shows I am missing about 5 from between 1971 and 1975 and we could trade if you want. thank you so much again Meer

  17. Yes, well, the Adam Ant Special, not to mention Rocky Sharpe & The Replays and ABC prancing around to their respective singles on playback (tho' to be fair the latter were rather polished) shows just how far TOTP has moved on from its 'serious', 'with live bits' days. OK if you like this sort of thing.

    Some cracking videos though. The Tight Fit one has a brilliant 'good time' feel but did anyone else think that the side-on shot of Julie was an ABBA rip-off too far?

  18. Shakey Shakerson11 October 2016 at 05:16

    So, thanks to a ten-day jaunt to my own personal Fantasy Island (Ibiza) I have missed the last couple of eps. Did I miss much? Sadly I missed The Associates, so lets hope they pop up next week. Thankfully I also missed the Simon Bates Live Football broadcast as well, so there is that.

    Anyway, this week.......

    Ol' Smiley Voice is still in a job and the whole washing-the-screen-in-annoying-colours is still irritatingly with us.

    Madness on vid. Probably the most-played of their songs and suffers here as a consequence. Still you have to hand it to them- they knew their routine worked and mined it for all its worth. Great subject for a song too - the pain of trying to buy birth control when you are a 16 year old boy.

    ABC. Another classic of its time. A bit embarrassing to watch now, especially Martin's horrible attempt to mime the speaky bit, and the backing group's stilted dance moves.

    PHD. Apparently 'another three' according to PP. He must have been referring to their chart position because Wiki pages definitely have them down as having only ever had the two members.

    Adam Ant. Did he really use four stages one after the other or did he use two, which were then changed whilst he caught his breath? Almost a Zoo catastrophe in the second scene where the dark haired Zoologist trips on the rug. God he loves a long ending does Adam doesn't he? That one seemed to go on longer than the rest of the song. No wonder he was blowing for tugs at the end!

    Junior. A great song - one of the very best British R&B efforts ever. Yes there are Linx influences, but my personal preferences would have it above them.

    Tight Fit. More Brotherhood OF Man than Abba and not a bad effort to be fair.

    Charts. Nicole draping her towel over the number one sun-chairfor another week and we play out with the brilliant Patrice Rushen. Not many songs can have been sampled so heavily by two separate number one songs. Must have earned Miss Rushen a couple of very nice royalty cheques.

    The scores. Ol Smiley Voice gets 4. I might still be drunk from all the San Miguels, but he wasn't as irritating as on previous shows - certainly seems to have got some control of his weird vocal tics although the inane grinning and poor dancing still remain.

    6 for the show. Not bad - and at least the footy songs are over and done with now. Aren't they?

    1. i'd much rather patrice rushen earned some nice royalty cheques as a result of her original recordings being purchased, as opposed to having them mauled by some talentless rapper or other!

    2. Both Junior and Linx's nostalgic hits sound like they owe a lot to Stevie Wonder's I Wish to my ears.