Friday, 4 November 2016

Me and my Top of the Pops

Well its the end of July 1982 already with this edition of Top of the Pops from the 29th!

'Ere, hold on Terry ~ we're not due on till next year!

29-7-82: Presenter: Mike Read

This week's show begins with the record that was about to take over the number one spot and become the biggest selling single of 1982.

(3) YAZOO – Don’t Go (video)
A somewhat silly Halloween video here to accompany Yazoo's second top ten hit of 1982 which was now at its chart peak.

(7) HOT CHOCOLATE – It Started With A Kiss
Sorry Kevin but Hot Chocolate got the nod for the white suits this week and It Started with a Kiss went up two more places.

(14) CLIFF RICHARD – The Only Way Out ®
Went up four more places.

(33) ELKIE BROOKS – Nights In White Satin
At its chart peak but edited out of tonight's 7.30 showing.

(28) THE FIRM – Arthur Daley (‘E’s Alright)
Another comedy record that was (perhaps) funnier at the time, featuring the chap who really sang on the Rubettes records, Tony Thorpe. This Chas & Dave soundalike tune peaked at 14 but a much bigger hit was a five year mission away.....

(20) PAUL McCARTNEY – Take It Away (video)
A terrific video from Macca here featuring enough star names to fill Adam Ant with envy. The song made it to number 15.

(15) DAVID ESSEX – Me And My Girl (Night-Clubbing)
A second studio performance from David to help him and his girl up two more places.

(1) IRENE CARA – Fame (video) (and credits)
And we end the show with a third and final week of Fame.

Next up is August 5th 1982.


  1. Going over some old ground on this one it feels like but some good stuff none the less.

    Dexys Midnight Runners – Come on Eileen – With no1 written all over it this was simply irresistible. Kevin looks full of beans as always.

    Yazoo- Don’t go – Yazoo meets Scooby Doo. What’s the connection with the lyrics to this video?

    Hot Chocolate – It started with a kiss – Much better performance for not having that multi coloured suited guy dancing in the background and don’t the band look smart? HC had a hit every year so says Mr Read. Yes, maybe but only just, as 1979 saw minor placings for ‘Mindless Boogie’ and ‘Going through the motions’ at nos 46 & 53 respectively whilst 1981 was a mere no52 for ‘You’ll never be so wrong’. The run would last until 1984 with ‘What kinda boy you looking for girl’.

    Cliff Richard – The only way out – Mike Read introduces…..himself!

    The Firm – Arthur Daley – Only vaguely recall this and it’s not a fond memory.

    Paul McCartney – Take it away – Repeat for that video….well I guess it cost a bit to make. Not one of his best and it didn’t make the ‘All the best’ compilation either.

    David Essex – Me and my Girl – Pure entertainment. Sad that he’s quitting touring as his back catalogue is varied and enjoyable.

    Fame – Irene Cara – Those t-shirts again!!! This must go down as my “I have changed my mind about this big time” record of 1982. One of the rare end credit showings of the no1.

    I’ll have to hold fire on commenting on Elkie Brooks as she’s not on the showing that I have just watched.

    1. sct353 - Hot Chocolate's final hit, in '84, was actually 'I Gave You My Heart (Didn't I?)', but I know where you got your wires crossed: both singles, unusually, featured band members playing wind instruments. On 'What Kinda Boy', the late Larry Ferguson played melodica, or keyboard mouth-organ, while guitarist Harvey Hinsley - also a saxophonist and flautist - was responsible for the soprano sax solos on 'I Gave You My Heart'. Along with two other original members, bassist Patrick Olive and drummer Tony Connor, Harvey is still performing today as a member of the current line-up of Hot Chocolate.

    2. Julie - thanks for the correction. I goofed big time there with the last Hot Chocolate hit! Both have bits in brackets, so that is my only excuse for crossed wires! Harvey Hinsley did contribute to some compositions for Hot Chocolate - the excellent - 'A Warm Smile' - B Side of 'You Sexy Thing' is good case in point.

    3. Hot Chocolate this week with their white suits were looking more like Milk Chocolate. Compare this with their appearance two weeks earlier to start the show on the 15th July edition, when they were dressed as Plain Chocolate. Still whatever your flavour preference, this is still a Cream Egg of a performance at no.7!

    4. Yeah, the end-credit showing of Fame this week, played the video in full, up to the final hand-wave by Cara, which we didn't see the previous two weeks at no.1. Still, not bad for appearing four weeks in a row on TOTP, i.e., a new entry at No.4, followed by three weeks at no.1. Ironic that the wave goodbye at the end of the video, was now that Cara was to make way for Too Ray Yay for the coveted No.1 slot for the whole of August of '82...

    5. oh dear, now mr essex has quit touring, what are those ladies of advancing years going to do as means of occasionally getting away from their hubbies as a girls' night out?

    6. PJ Proby's still touring!

    7. perhaps said ladies will now have to join their older sisters (or mums) at neil diamond gigs?

  2. I'm getting the comments in early this week as I won't be around for most of the weekend, though the lack of new songs on this edition means there isn't a great deal to talk about anyway! Mike Read was his normal informative self, though he did convey a slight air of wanting to be somewhere else, and indeed he would not host the show again until May 1983. He should have left the crap Cockney accent at home too...

    Dexy's give us a performance practically indistinguishable from the previous one, which is also the case with Hot Chocolate. At least we get to see the video for Don't Go, which is both highly amusing and appropriate viewing in Halloween week - I thought Vince made quite a convincing vampire, and I liked Alf baring her fangs near the end!

    We don't get to hear anything new until Elkie Brooks comes along, and even then it is only a deeply inferior cover version of a very famous song. Anyone who tries to cover Nights in White Satin is on a hiding to nothing in my view, as the original is so perfect, but this version doesn't even come close. The backing is all over the place, and what possessed Elk to let out that ear-splitting, prolonged scream at the end? Incidentally, Mike Read neglected to mention that The Moodies also charted with the song for a third time in 1979, as seen on BBC4 a couple of years back.

    Things don't improve much with our next track. I am going to confess here and now that I like Star Trekkin' and always have, but this attempt at out-cockerneeing Chas & Dave makes for an excruciating listen. Still, it's another reminder of how popular Minder was back in the day, as the show was responsible for propelling at least three singles into the charts. This performance is impressively staged as well, I must admit.

    After that it's back to the familiar, with just David Essex dressing down a little from his last appearance to relieve the sense of deja vu...

    1. This was largely a repeat of the 15th July show with the abundance of 70s bands, now including Elkie Brooks for good measure. It seemed that the heat of the new wave 80s bands earlier in the year, like Spandau Ballet, Haircut 100, Modern Romance, etc, were on summer break in mid-1982, leaving the 70s bands a chance to impress with their new material, i.e., Hot Chocolate, Cliff Richard, Elkie Brooks, Paul McCartney, David Essex. Good Lord, it was like we were travelling back to the 70s again in July 1982!

    2. With regard to The Firm, this was only one of two tracks in their career, here with Arthur Daley in 1982, and then Star Trekkin' in 1987. I wonder why it took 5 years for a follow up single? Anyway, I did like the girlie standing next to Mike Read when introducing this song, as she seemed to borrow the curtains dress from Banaramama the week before, only it was a lot shorter to mini-dress size, and very nicely fitting for her in those pins! Highlight of the show for me, for what was I agree with John G, not a great show by any means, what with a 70s feel to it.

  3. Not much to say about this very middle-aged edition since most of it had been seen very recently.

    Dexys well on their way, but how did Kevin keep his hat on?

    Yazoo, yes, it's a silly video but it's still more entertaining than Dracula Untold. Wonder who played the monster? I suppose it would have been ungallant to get Alf to play it, though she does get to be a vampire.

    Very dapper Hot Chocolate - of course we remember you, Errol! Don't fret!

    Cliff Richard with his pointy dance.

    Worst thing on by miles is Elkie Brooks, what a terrible racket. I'm not a huge fan of the original, but it's a classy record, this sounds like a pub band showing off however. Seems to drag on for about an hour too.

    The Firm, finally something new, well, unless you've been paying attention to Chas and Dave recently. Bit of a bandwagon jumper, I'm always a bit wary of cash-in novelties, they're pretty cynical oftentimes, but the lyrics are a real mouthful so all credit to them for keeping up the pace. TOTP goes to town on the staging, too.

    Still love this Macca track, the video is a bit oblique, though. About getting a record contract from John Hurt... but if Paul's playing a show that big, wouldn't he already have one?

    David Essex looking louche...

    Irene Cara to finish, not her only big movie tune either, she had Flashdance to come. I suppose this made up for the songs on her hit film Sparkle getting rerecorded for the soundtrack LP by Aretha Franklin.

    1. I very much liked the Yazoo video, and clearly a lot of hard work went in to producing it. It seemed to be inspired by the the film Carry On Screaming (1966) with the Frankenstein character called 'Odbodd'. He certainly crashed through the wall in the same way as in the Carry On film, but alas no Fenella Fielding in this Yazoo video unfortunately. Nice touch by TOTP to play the video in full, and right down to the fade-out of the music at the end.

    2. Is it weird to say I was scared of Oddbod when I was little?

    3. It isn't, cos I was the same too, yeah when I was little.

    4. That said, Kenneth Williams' reaction to the naked Oddbod Jr is hilarious.

    5. I think I found 'Carry on Screaming' a little scary when I first saw it aged about 9. However, it's now firmly in my top10 ever films list. The bit with Fenella Fielding "mind if I smoke?" never fails to move me!

    6. You reminded me of one of my favourite Morecambe and Wise sketches, where Eric tries to chap up a comely young woman, she says " Do you mind if I smoke?", Eric says "No", and she lights up a pipe!

  4. Incidentally, there was someone else brandishing a gun in the studio (at Mike's head), that's two episodes in a row!

  5. host: same old diffident mr read shot through with lame attempts at humour. thankfully we were spared his cliff impression tonight, although he "treated" us to those of cockney spivs and canadian DJ's. did anyone else notice the prat standing next to him for one link (auditioning to replace cr**g f**br*ss as the "audience" member we all want to smash in the face with a lumphammer) with a tight crotch-revealing proto-onesie costume enblazoned with the word "bitch" on it? i'm surprised he wasn't told to change into something else...

    dexy's: when they were in their unsuccessful "phase II" mr rowland apparently tried to get his horn section to learn to play fiddles and suchlike virtually overnight, perhaps unsurprisingly without any success. so in desperation he went to the local music conservatoire, where he hired a couple of toffs and then got them to pretend to be gypy-types with cod-oirish surnames! oh, and has anyone else remarked that the phase III concept was in fact stolen from his ex-colleague "al" archer (whose given name was also kevin, but of course there was only room for one person of that name in mr rowland's band!). rowland actually owned up to that years later and in guilt gave archer some of the royalties from the phase III era as a result. by the way, there is modulation going on in this, but rather clumsily in my opinion as the verses and choruses sound like two completely different songs stuck together!

    yazoo: despite her best efforts, alf's voice seems somewhat drowned in the mix here. and the video seems to have no connection whatsoever with the song, and is perhaps the most redundant and pointless one we've seen so far. what a waste of money!

    hot chocolate: i have to admit this is quite getting under my skin now, even though i tend to think of it coming from the late 70's rather than the early 80's

    cliff: so how come he's allowing the beeb to show his old performances whilst he's currently suing them for defamation of character? its certainly a kind-of prophetic title given what's currently going on. with regard to the yewtree argy-bargy: for what it's worth (and cliff can sue me for this as well if he wants, as i have nary two pennies to rub rogether), my belief (partly based on what a mutual acquaintance once told me) is that he was almost certainly an active if closeted homosexual in his youth (and perhaps engaged with adult guys under the then-legal "age of consent", which might be where the pedo angle comes in?)*, but after he got religion he was too ashamed to admit to his sordid-in-the-eyes-of-the-lord past. or possibly as such even now deludes himself that such activity never even took place. whatever, i don't suppose he'll ever spill whatever beans are in his closet until his dying breath (which can't be that far away now). but after that it will be interesting to see what the muck-rakers dig up...

    * i have to pose this question: if a guy aged 21 or above had had sex with another aged 20 before homosexuality was initially decriminalised, would that have made the older guy a pedo?

    1. I don't know why Clifford is asking for a million pounds from the police AND the BBC, the Beeb were merely there at the cops' request, so it should be the cops who take the blame. Paul Gambaccini really has it in for the police now, too, justifiably if what he says is correct. They were more intent in getting big scalps than they were about checking the facts.

    2. Cliff found God in 1964, so if he had been enjoying himself with other men before then it would have been entirely illegal. Homosexual acts between consenting men over 21 were legalised in 1967, with the age of consent reduced to 18 in 1994, but I don't know of any cases involving someone being convicted of having sex with a 20-year-old during that period.

    3. I take it that you're not a Cliff fan Wilb ;o)

      In answer to your question: no. An ephebophile, perhaps.

    4. i've never heard the denomination "ephephile" before - nice one 20th!

      i just find it a bit irksome that cliff makes out that he's as straight as an arrow, when i've heard testimony to the contrary. other pop stars who have come out of the closet in more recent times (reg, george michael, neil tennant etc) have certainly not fallen from grace as a result, and if anything they have gained more popularity and respect through being upfront and honest and not trying to hide anything. in cliff's case, if he does have any sexual skeletons in his closet then i think it's his religious beliefs that really make it difficult for him to do likewise...

    5. Shakey Shakerson7 November 2016 at 13:20

      I think, for Cliff, the time for confession has passed. With fifty years of celebrity under his belt he probably can't see any up side to coming out. And - unlike other gay pop stars - his audience is undoubtedly of an age that would react unfavourably to such news.

    6. Noel Coward decided not to come out of the closet even after homosexuality was legalised, reasoning he still had a lot of little old lady fans who carried a torch for him romantically, and he didn't want to hurt their feelings. Might be the same with Sir Cliff.

    7. yes that's probably true about noel coward. but back then such old biddies would probably have been genuinely unsuspecting and completely ignorant of closeted gay pin-ups like him and ivor novello, who were discreet enough to keep their true sexual leanings under wraps in an era where celebrities' private lives (ho ho) were far less scrutinised. but would he have felt differently about continuing to hide his sexuality from his fans if he'd the equivalent of the yewtree squad on his tail? and (assuming he once was an active homosexual) does cliff or anyone else really think that his own fans are equally naive in the much more media savvy 21st century?

    8. I would say if you were that big a fan of Cliff, you wouldn't be bothered either way, whether blocking the information out as "does not compute" or just accepting it and not letting it bother them. It's his private life, after all, he's under no obligation to share it with anyone else as long as he does no harm, which seems to be the case given the cops abandoned the investigation.

      I note the police are under a lot of criticism today in a report on their handling of celebrity sex abuse cases that had no truth to them. It's a tricky area, but I agree they approached it badly.

    9. Let's face it, certain Police forces - The Met, South Yorkshire, West Midlands - have a poor record as it is so no surprise that they were at the forefront of the 'Grab supposedly dodgy celebrity first, go to papers THEN work out if he's guilty' Yewtree led extravaganza.

      What happened to Gambaccini, Freddie Starr and others is discgraceful quite frankly.

  6. pt II:

    elkie brooks: another of those songs you've heard a million times and where you get to the point where you neither like or dislike it but just tolerate it. but i don't ever remember hearing her take on it. most of her band are refugees from the mid-70's, and that instrumental bit in the middle was really weird with no bearing to the rest of the song. i always feel a bit sorry for elkie as she never really had what it took to be a pop star looks-wise, but despite that kept on going rather than throw the towel in and become a housewife. but i have to say that note at the end was pretty impressive

    firm: ah, it's the debut of guitar god (and known pedo by the way, although for some reason he never seems to get on the yewtree radar) jimmy page with his new project fresh from the ashes of the legendary led zep... oh no, it's another novelty cash-in record by a bunch of opportunists. although having said that, i think i'd much rather listen to this than anything mr page might proffer my way! i thought i recognised the main fridge (freezer - geezer, cockney rhyming slang fans!) as the speccy guy from the rubettes. like last week's novelty item by the brat, this is a well-staged piece of entertainment. but not something i would ever listen to voluntarily on musical value alone

    macca: i realised that in the first few bars of this that (like the lovely linda with her suzy and the red stripes thing) he has made his own contribution
    to the immortal cod-reggae canon!

  7. The Firm -
    I thought the singer looked familiar, and looking it up, he turns out to be Tony Thorpe from The Rubettes - last seen on the Pops with 'Baby I Know' in 1977 (he wore big glasses at the time).

    1. it's the return of daf! i was saying just the other day that i looked at the comments for the first-ever show and that i was one of four who contributed. and another was daf, who we haven't heard from for quite some time. so how weird is that?

    2. Well, I always drop in to the blog for a read, but as I usually find anything I was going to say has already been covered (like my fascinating Rubettes nugget - if I'd bothered reading Angelo's crib sheet before I posted!) I tend to keep my P. very D.

    3. Fridge freezer eh? Now there's one which has been cooked up by Leon Griffiths or John Sullivan for certain. See also Ruby Murray = curry. The thing about Cockney rhyming slang is that the boundary between the terms used by the Victorian dockers and those which originated in 1980s TV has become totally blurred.

    4. yes 20th, i'm well aware that "fridge-freezer" isn't genuine cockney rhyming slang as used by the victorian underclass. i suppose you could call it "minder-speak", but at least it's using the vernacular properly. unlike even more recent cod-cockney rhyming slang a la "it's all gone pete tong". used correctly it should merely be "it's all gone pete"!

    5. I could never understand the Cockney rhyming slang for arse, which is aris (Aris = Aristotle = bottle and glass = arse) as it sounds so close to the word it's trying to mimic!

  8. With this week came the last showing of It Started With A Kiss, one of Hot Chocolate's finest flavours, and we never got to see the video, which included lots of old movie clips of men fighting amongst each other to win the girl, i.e., classic early 20th century movie scripts.
    Another one of those classic 80s videos of which we will never see their like again.

    1. I know, I talked about it last time they were on. The film company I worked for supplied a lot of the old clips which were housed on reels called "clinches and kisses" and "Fighting and swashbuckling". They were all from silent films of the 1920s and were out of copyright, which is why they used them.

  9. Elkie scored some good hits in her time though they were mainly covers her last hit was in 1986 with the exellent no more the fool which was in fact her biggest hit

    1. Yeah I liked 'No more the Fool' a lot. It was one of the very first CD singles that I ever bought.

  10. Her version sunshine after the rain was covered by berri hitting no 26 in 1994 before climbing 22 more places higher almost a year later

  11. Dexys and a great way to start the show. This so quickly became a classic. The accordian player Micky Bilingham always looked like he was about to burst into tears although with Kevin being a bit of a hard taskmaster that's not surprising. A note of what's to come I see that some members of the crows are wearing Arthur Daley tee shirts.

    While the lyrics of Don't Go suggest an obsession with a new lover the video director has interpreted it as a horror film and it's quite funny but not particularly memorable which is probably why I didn't remember it.

    As if he were pre-empting these repeats 34 years later Mike tels us that it's 1982 and that Hot Chocolate have had Top 30 hits every year. Not in 1978 they didn't. That year they were replaced by Coco (that was a joke by the way before you start correcting me).

    Then Cliff again and it's getting a bit samey. What we long for is something new and different. Oh shit. Why was it that so many MOR artists had hits with new versions of old songs at that time. Barry Manilow, Dave Stewart and Barbara Gasket and now Elkie Brooks massacring a 1960s classic. I'm not quite sure what the joke was but the band seemed to be laughing about something. Possibly the drummer/percussionist's ludicrously tight leather trousers. That final note Elk does was impressive but was equally a bit silly bunged on the end for no obvious reason. At one point I thought she might burst.

    Riding on the back of the last series of Minder which was by this point a TV classic comes The Firm. The bloke the lead singer is talking to doesn't seem to have a purpose other than to mug to the camera and pretend to listen to him miming. A sort of static version of The Happy Mondays' Bez. They still show reruns of Minder on ITV3. My favourite from this era was the one with Richard Griffiths that took place in a mansion and the one with Gareth Hunt and Burnside from The Bill in it.

    That glossy, expensive Paul McCartney video again. A strange one this, while it was obviously popular it was a slow climber. It went up just 5 places each week for the last three weeks and would do the same next week and then stall at 15.

    A new performance from David Essex not a lot different from the last. Unlike some songs which grow on you this one is having the opposite effect, the more I hear it the more I dislike it. Both David and his band all look like they're slightly bemused by the fact that they're in the chart.

    The Top Ten and then IC still there. You can always tell when the BBC are bored by a song at number one, they run the end credits behind it. The public usually get the hint and it drops down next week, but not always.

    No Zoo dancers this week but bizarrely Flick still gets a credit. There were a lot of very camp and androgynous looking cheerleaders this week which suggests that the TOTP studio was a very gay-friendly place even if some are very inappropriately dressed.

  12. Shakey Shakerson6 November 2016 at 11:52

    A very boring edition this one. Not much to say that hasn't already been said, but here is my tuppence worth.

    Dexys - the obvious start to the show, and a much tighter, more focused performance than their previous one. I reckon Kev thought he had a good chance to make it to the top and has hit the rehersals room.

    Yazoo. Clearly the era of video-making had shifted slightly from its use primarily as a replacement for a studio performance (when the artist was too busy or couldn't be arsed) to one where it ran side-by-side with studio visits, mainly to fill-up MTV's schedule. I can't recall seeing this one in 82, but it's not a bad effort - certainly better than their studio appearances at any rate.

    Hot Choc might have benefitted from a video. Maybe the sight of cheeky schoolkids in the back row of the classroom (with Errol as teacher) would have helped sales further?

    Cliff. Boring the first time. More so the second.

    The Firm. This lot released a number of singles, but the only two to chart were this and Star Trekkin' - both of which relied heavily on catchphrases and sayings from popular TV shows. Unlike a lot of novelty songs, there is something approaching a decent tune buried here, even if it is a bit Chas And Dave-y.

    The one decent song on the show - and one that has earwormed its way into my head is David Essex. Another good performance. He was a handsome so-and-so wasn't he?

    4 for the show.
    5 for Mike Read.
    Hoping for better next week.

  13. The best thing about this show is my introduction to the word ‘ephebophile’!

    An imperial performance from Dexy’s in complete contrast to their stage gear.

    Vince Clarke seemed really happy making that Yazoo video.

    Never really scrutinised the lyrics of that Hot Chocolate hit before. It appears the eight-year-old object of Errol’s desire was wearing perfume. A bit young for that sort of thing, surely?

    I agree with Wilby about that knob during the Cliff intro in the lace up white trousers and shirt calling Lauren a bitch.

    If you want a cover of “Nights In White Satin” which does something different, try the cover by punk band The Dickies. Elkie looked anything but like a housewife on the cover of her album “Rich Man’s Woman”. Her last note had small dogs running to my house.

    Up next, a Firm favourite! I watched this twice as I appreciated the cigarette paper tight miming of Tony Thorpe. Talking of which, use of non-smoking cigarettes, another airing for the Toppatron, and a mock Chas and Dave band which needed a bassist for full effect.

    Final note for David Essex, the Adam Ant for 50-year-olds wit an unusual arm mime for the phrase ‘light fantastic’.

  14. I've just heard that Jimmy Young's died. Not only a famous broadcaster, of course, but also a double chart-topper in 1955 with Unchained Melody and The Man From Laramie. TTFN Jim!

    1. Yes, a sad loss at the age of 95, and who worked into his 80s, such was his popularity with the public. Just seen the tribute on the BBC News At Ten tonight. A true gentleman.

    2. RIP Jimmy. I recall very well him coming on at 09:00 on Radio 1 after Tony Blackburn. That must have been around 1972.

    3. RIP Jim. I believe that he once said he would like to end his days suddenly on air, in the middle of an interview (or am I thinking of somebody else?). Sadly it was not to be as the BBC dispensed with his services when he was a mere 80. Desmond Carrington has just retired at 90 and there are rumours of Brian Matthew retiring at 88.

    4. David Jacobs was still broadcasting until he retired at the age of 87.

  15. There aren't many shows that I definitely remember watching at the time, but this is one of them as I distinctly recall seeing it while we were on holiday in the Isle Of Wight. That said, it's the first edition for ages to get instantly wiped from my Sky box after watching it as almost everything had been on before.

    Of the 2 'new' tunes, there is no need for Elkie Brooks's awful cover of a great song. I only heard Giorgio Moroder's bonkers cover for the first time yesterday, but at least that's interesting (He spells it 'Knights' rather than 'Nights, mind...)

    The Firm's song was mildly entertaining at the time but I remember the joke wearing thin pretty quickly even then.

    Mike Read wasn't exactly with it for this edition, was he?

  16. Never knew that the chap who sang 'Baby I Know' back in 1977 was the face of the Firm (if not the voice). An interesting gender reversal prototype of those 1990s bedroom producers churning out that blippy bloppy stuff - they found themselves a female vocalist but then had to find a good looking female to mime to it on telly!