Thursday, 3 November 2016

Strange Little Top of the Pops

July 22nd 1982 was a live edition, but there was a problem recording host Simon Bate's links, and it looked likely that this edition would not be broadcastable, until some kindly person (very recently) sent the BBC their own VHS copy of the show, which has enabled the links to be dubbed onto the master tape!

Hello mother, can you hear me?



22-7-82: Presenter: Simon Bates (Live)

(36) THE BELLE STARS – The Clapping Song
Having lost out to Natasha's version of Iko Iko, the Belle Stars had much more luck with this cover of Shirley Elis's 1965 hit. And like the original it peaked at number 6.

(6) MADNESS – Driving In My Car (video)
Revving up their video are the Nutty Boys, with their follow up to House of Fun, which parked at number 4.

(4) BANANARAMA – Shy Boy
At its chart peak and edited out of the 7.30pm showing.

(30) THE BRAT – Chalk Dust (The Umpire Strikes Back)
I guess this John McEnroe parody was seriously funny at the time, and it certainly made for one of the more bizarre studio performances helping it on its way to number 19 in the charts.

(2) TRIO – Da Da Da (video)
Someone at BBC4 really does not like Trio! Edited out again of the 7.30pm showing.

(28) JUNIOR – Too Late
A live vocal on a live show here from the confident Junior, and Too Late made it to number 20.

(35) THE STRANGLERS – Strange Little Girl
The new mellow Stranglers are back in the studio with their follow up to Golden Brown, although it was actually quite an old unreleased song of theirs, which they had re-recorded. And it worked, landed them a number 7 hit.

(21) DOLLAR – Videotheque
It looks at first like a repeat of the string vest performance, but we soon discover it's the big screen, and the real Dollar are back for a new, more covered up, performance of Videotheque, which went up four more places.

(1) IRENE CARA – Fame (video)
We get a mixture of movie clips and Irene's video this week for Fame's second of three weeks at number one.

(26) KID CREOLE & THE COCONUTS – Stool Pigeon (crowd dancing) (and credits)
Zoo get on the floor and give us a show ending routine to Kid Creole's follow up to Wonder Thing, which flew up the charts before perching at number 7.



Next up is July 29th 1982.

85 comments:

  1. Not a bad show this at all…I actually enjoyed the majority of it and was not surprised to see so many ‘Fame’ t-shirts in the audience; they were everywhere I recall!

    The Belle Stars – Clapping Song – Won’t win prizes for lyrical content but this rendition easily matches Shirley Ellis’s original from 1965 even if it didn’t rise as high in the charts. I think women with tattoos were a rarity in 1982.

    Madness – Driving in my Car – Wonderful! If one song epitomises the Madness nutty sound and visual image then it is this song and video. Nice to see ‘Rumbelows’ making a fleeting appearance – such as shame that they went under along with many other high street names from my early years.

    (Bananarama – Shy Boy were edited out of the show I have watched – a repeat perhaps?)

    The Brat – Chalkdust – Not so much a song as a sketch on the then no1 tennis player (and almost unbeatable) John McEnroe. The crowd have been well rehearsed with their moves and the whole presentation looks well executed (were they miming?). Not sure about shooting someone on stage though? A little violent?

    (Trio – Da Da Da also edited out but I didn’t miss it – No2 now – oh per-lease!!)

    Junior – Too late – The rock group Asia released a song called ‘Too late’ and I much prefer that to this which just went on and on so I reached for FF.

    The Stranglers – Strange little Girl – Second great single in a row from the boys. Nothing like their usual sound but all the better for it. Sounds very French in style which is not surprising with Jean-Jacques in the band. Has aged well too.

    Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird – A nice live performance taken from their Oakland Coliseum Stadium Gig in 1977. What surprised me about this is just how many young women were in the crowd cheering along to this magnificent anthem……..nah only kidding! Not on TOTP, but well worth a look on YT!

    Dollar – Videotheque – Enjoyed another performance from the duo with Therese treating us to bright pink lipstick and some fetching pink kisses on her arm!

    Irene Cara – Fame – Growing on me even more and this week we get an even bigger chunk of this quite lengthy track with some nice guitar work (worthy of LS!).

    Kid Creole – Stool Pigeon – An obvious dance out track. Quite a long dance out at that.

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    1. I didn't see Lynrd Skynrd on this week's show sct353, not on the early 7.30pm show, and also not on the late night full version. Are you imagining things sct353, or is it a case of making your own line-up on the show? I mean I know its a good song, and I agree that it was strange that TOTP never gave it a showing, but it wasn't on the show this week.

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    2. As we say goodbye to Dollar for their final appearance on TOTP until 1987, I thought it was quite ironic that the pink lipstick kisses on her right arm were there, as if to say a final 'kiss goodbye' for 5 years till their reunion single O L'Amour towards the end of the 80s.
      Theresa certainly knew how to dress elegantly on TOTP every time she appeared. I'm crying icicles instead of tears.

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  2. First of all, thanks to the individual who made it possible for BBC4 to show this one - it was worth having Master Bates' links just to hear him mix up Yazoo with kazoo! More than one time check as well from the slimy one - with you burbling on Bates, it's no wonder the show is overrunning!

    I suppose The Belle Stars were a kind of Spice Girls of their day, and they finally get their TOTP debut here having been previously foiled by Natasha. I've never been that keen on the original Clapping Song, and this version was even less to my liking - I can't say the group appealed that much to me in a visual sense, either. Madness next, with another annoying song that sees them drift ever further into novelty territory. At least the video is quite entertaining, particularly when the Fun Boys make their cameo - you really couldn't get them off TOTP in 1982!

    As if to prove that point, Neville appears briefly in the studio with Bates before the Nanas turn out for a new performance, complete with giant bananas in the audience - I wonder how the girls got on with The Belle Stars? I don't know how funny people found The Brat at the time, but it's fair to say this one joke novelty has not worn well - the McEnroe send-up on Not the Nine o'clock News was far funnier. "The Brat" himself, Roger Kitter, went on to become the second (and inferior) incarnation of Captain Bertorelli in 'Allo 'Allo, but only for one series - sadly he died last year.

    I have watched the cut down version this time, but the Trio video is on YouTube and largely consists of the group sitting around in a bar, so not very exciting - I'm not surprised BBC4 chopped this, but it's still weird that the studio performance didn't get an early showing last week. Junior is back in the studio for his new single, but this is one of those songs to file in the "pleasant but forgettable" drawer. The Stranglers come up with something a lot more memorable, a short, atmospheric number that serves as a worthy follow-up to Golden Brown.

    I thought Thereza looked very good in that hat, DVD less so in his white jacket and leather trousers, as Dollar treat us to a new performance of Videotheque. Thereafter the Beeb's relentless promotion of Fame continues as we get the number 1 in full to complement all those t-shirts in the audience. Kid Creole play us out with another great song, and the Zoo dance is actually matches the energy of the tune pretty well.

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    1. The Belle Stars here were 14 years before the arrival of The Spice Girls in 1996, so were we being to treated to what was later to come? Anyway, I thought when first watching this clip of Belle Stars that they were fresh meat for the TOTP studio, but still not a jot on Natasha. I mean even Natasha could have done a better version of The Clapping Song just to keep Belle Stars out of the charts again.

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    2. The concept for a Spice Girls type group goes further back in this re-run, with the forming of Glamourpuss, an all-girl five piece created by the people who brought you Guys 'n' Dolls. Glamourpuss managed an unintentionally hilarious TOTP new release spot with "Superman" in 1976 and released one more single before fizzling out.

      PS - Never thought I'd get the chance to mention them on this forum again! :-D

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    3. The Stranglers' Strange Little Girl wasn't the follow up to Golden Brown, they released another single in between, a slow dirge called La Folie sung in French by Jean-Jacques Burnel which stalled at number 47. Strange Little Girl was a non-album single released to fulfill the band's contract with Liberty Records. It was actually written in 1974.

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    4. Bama, I stand corrected. I would imagine that La Folie's chart performance was not helped by the French lyrics. That sets me thinking - how many UK Top 10 hits have been predominantly sung in French? Je t'aime and Joe le taxi leap to mind - I suppose Sunday Girl might just about count, as quite a lot of it is in French.

      Arthur - I do remember Glamourpuss from the early days of these reruns, but tried to put them out of my mind as quickly as possible!

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    5. Don't forget 'Voyage Voyage' by Desireless, which reached No.5 in '88!

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    6. Visage's Fade To Gray was half in French.

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    7. grace jones's ace disco-style version of "la vie en rose" (officially credited as a hit as a double a-side with "pull up to the bumper") is mostly in french

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    8. There was also 'Moi...Lolita' by Alizee in 2000.

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    9. How soon we forget The Singing Nun and Plastic Bertrand (together at last!).

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    10. Sore point on 'Sunday Girl'. The original release contained NO French. For some reason they interspersed French verses on the 'Greatest Hits' album version and that seemed to be the de facto version played on the radio for ever more. How I long to hear "Hey I saw your guy with another girl..." again.

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    11. i remember buying the 12" single of "sunday girl", and the french language version was on the b-side to my recollection

      and no, i hadn't forgotten the singing nun - i mentioned her in a recent post! but here thx reminds us that her and plastic bertrand have surely put to bed the myth that there are no famous belgians?

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    12. I don't think Jacques Brel ever had a hit here, did he? And Tintin didn't either, being a comic strip character and all.

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    13. jacques brel of course had a number one hit in this country - not as a singer (like most chanson practitioners, his voice had a marmite quality about it) but as songwriter of what became "seasons in the sun" as recorded by terry jacks. mr jacks followed that up with "if you go away", an english-language version of what is perhaps brel's best-known tune ("ne me quitte pas")

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    14. I wonder if Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy has any Belgian ancestry? Kiss me with your mouth indeed!

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  3. Haven't seen the full version yet but I was bored and decided to comment on the edited version.

    The Belle Stars with The Clapping Song. I remember this from the time. Back then this was the first time I had heard this song and was rightly impressed. This is a superb performance and I like all the vocal interplay. At this time a friend of mine was a big fan of the group and even joined the fan club and ended up being in one of their videos. From the way he went on about it I thought he was going to have an acting role but it turned out to be as part of a crowd in a fake live gig setting. From memory I think the song was Sweet Memory which was one of their later singles.

    I was a big Madness fan but this wasn't one of my favourites but I do like the video. There are some funny moments inc Mike playing the skeleton, the band refusing to give the Fun Boy 3 a lift and Lee dressed as a demonic traffic warden. A shame they had to clip the end early before they spelt out Ssendam.

    Oh no, it's the Whicker rap part 2 - The Brat. In reality I don't think the umpires are allowed to respond in any way which is what made McEnroe's antics so funny. I found this mildly amusing at the time but not enough to buy it.

    Junior looking laid back and relaxed again. I had forgotten just how good this was and a worthy follow up to Mama Used To Say. The dancers are back in force including Fairbrass's replacement, The George Michael Zoot Suit clone and some others.

    Another goodie from The Stranglers and a much better song and bigger hit than their last single La Folie which stalled at number 47. I really liked the band's output at the time and not after bought the La Folie album not long after but their chart career was always a bit up and down. My mum had a crush on Hugh Cornwall until I pointed out that he was a junkie who had been to jail.

    The Charts and a new performance from Dollar This time DVD has opted for leather trousers and scrunch-dried hair while Therese is wearing a black pencil skirt and a crop top. They both look dreadful. This s one of those songs that sounds better the more times you hear but it was a slow climber so clearly the public didn't like it that much.

    Slimeon charges right through the Top 20. He seems obsessed with the idea that they are going to run out of time or crash the episode of Fame, as though the BBC have never done live shows before. But it as well be an episode of Fame what with every other person wearing the tee shirt and half the cheerleaders done up as extras from the series. The theme song ("we get phone calls, its from the film!") is still at the top and this week they've combined and clips of the film and the video, but have included the extended guitar solo which I don't think was on the single.

    Playout with Kid Creole and Zoo give perhaps their best dance sequence so far. It only seems like two weeks ago that the band's last hit was in the chart but I think it dropped out the chart suddenly.

    Not a bad show as it goes despite Slimey making a few errors. And in complete contrast to last time. A good atmosphere but perhaps a few too many cheerleaders (and Fame tee shirts) to make it seem natural.

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    1. "I'm A Wonderful Thing Baby" spent 7 weeks in the mugshots, but dropped from 6 to 50 in just three weeks.

      Express delivery last night from the weekly TV Cream mail shot, which arrived in my mailbox two hours after the edition had ended and complained about Trio's second 7.30 chopping!

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    2. I think the Junior performance this week was more about the studio audience dancers in heavenly white. I mean, was anyone actually watching Junior, or like me watching instead the hottie (Zoo?) dancers around the stage? Nice move TOTP!

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  4. totp 17th June 1982 with JK section is here www.4shared.com/file/3ilQjbTFba/TOTP_1982-06-17.html

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    1. Cannot find it from your link to 4-shared. Any chance of getting it on WeTransfer?

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    2. It's m4v format, try to download this file

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    3. Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, it took me 45 minutes to get the link to work as my PC has problems with that engine. At least I managed to see those 24 seconds of Phoebe Cates' song, with a chimp closer to the screen than Phoebe ever got in that clip.

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    4. I've been trying for a couple of days to download the file for 17/6.82 but had no luck. Anyone got any ideas.

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    5. I'm also not able to download it, and would be grateful if someone could upload it on WeTransfer or Vimeo if possible

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    6. For anyone who saw the Euro countdown, I mentioned the Yugoslav number one to my wife (who's Bosnian and was 12 at the time) and it turns out the band's name had been incorrectly translated - they were called Srbrena Krila, which is Silver Wings and not Silver Rings.

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  5. Not a bad show - hadn't heard that Stranglers song in years. As for Slimey...

    - way too many timechecks (but we're used to that)
    - annoying loose handclapping at the start of the Belle Stars
    - why did he have a Golden Delicious apple on top of his microphone?

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  6. The Belle Stars, although they're not doing very much clapping, have one of those rare covers that's as good as the original. Like the growling vocal on the verses. One of them seems to disappear at the end.

    When I was a kid I absolutely loved the two sax breaks in this Madness tune, so much so that I wished the entire record consisted of them! I don't think they're actually driving that Morris Minor, somehow. Again, a song everyone could relate to.

    According to Bates, this next band is Menage a Trois, or that's what it sounded like he said. Dirty old sod. Anyway, the 'nanas, a bit more animated this time, though I spent the performance trying to work out whether Siobhan had her bare feet on or not.

    The Brat, it says something that the real John McEnroe was a lot funnier, though also that this was a lot better than any of the material he put out when he tried to be a rock star. I agree, shooting him dead at the end was a bit violent! Impressive front flip, though.

    Trio with an absurdly mundane video seemingly created with a few family and friends down the boozer. Is this situationism? Probably. You never see the female backing singers, I notice.

    Hmm, Junior sounds like he's used up all his tricks and melodies on his debut hit, nothing very memorable left here. Take your hands out of your pockets, man! You're on TV!

    Slightly eerie hit from The Stranglers, it's the electric organ that makes this, though I also like the instrumental break. No idea what (or who) it's about. Not drugs again is it?

    Then the epic widescreen sound of Dollar, this improves with every listen, it comes across like it's being beamed down from a concert in space. Nice fake out at the start - ah, not a repeat, they were live! As Simes might have referenced about fifty times.

    What was the radio comedy show that did a sketch about Fame where the Kids went dancing in the streets and all got run over? Three of a Kind did a funny parody too, who could forget Tracey with the cello? Or Lenny's "Leroy leap"? Talking of Leroy, I have little doubt his dance partner would have the Sir Mixalot seal of approval.

    Lastly Kid Creole, a stone cold classic to end on, what an inspired idea for a song, great lyrics, terrific groove, and Zoo rise to the occasion for once.

    What's on next? After all that excitement, you think they might have mentioned it.

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  7. David Kid and Slimes may have introduced Trio, but John Peel helped advertise Trio - a chocolate, toffee and biscuit combination which was brought back onto the shelves this year after a social media campaign. "No three things are quite as good together as a trio" indeed!

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    1. I hadn't realised Trio bars had come back. I used to love them as a kid, and always remember the ads in which an animated girl with a big gob would screech "trio" at the top of her voice to the tune of the Banana Boat Song...

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    2. Indeed John, this I think is the Trio advert you are referring to from 1984, two years after Da Da Da:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFoROD-sKQU

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    3. The Trio ad was a rip-off of the Stan Freberg spoof of Harry Belafonte's Banana Boat Song - which Harry despises, incidentally.

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    4. Did Harry despise the spoof, or the actual song, or both?!

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    5. Harry despises the spoof, he loves the song and thought Freberg was being appallingly disrespectful.

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    6. Harry's always struck me as being the earnest type, so I'm not that surprised.

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    7. Thanks for the link Dory, that was the ad I remembered. It sounded a bit like it was John Peel doing the voiceover at the end.

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  8. Angelo - The Belle Stars' cover of 'The Clapping Song' actually reached No.11 on the official singles chart, as featured on TOTP.

    I completely agree with John G about The Belle Stars being a prototype for The Spice Girls, who were aged between 7 and 10 at the time and would probably have seen them on TOTP and other TV shows such as 'Seaside Special'. Main singer Jennie McKeown was the brash, loud, mixed-race member, corresponding to Mel B/Scary, while redhead and rhythm guitarist Stella Barker was the Geri Halliwell of her time: the shrewd businesswoman (and nowadays a PR executive) who held the band together. There were two Baby Spices/Emma Buntons, or bubbly blondes, in the band: lead guitarist Sarah-Jane Owen (in the cowboy hat) and bassist Lesley Shone, while alto saxophonist Miranda Joyce - who handled most of the rap vocal in 'The Clapping Song' - has a pout and is nowadays a make-up artist, thus corresponding to fashion designer Victoria 'Posh' Beckham. Tenor saxophonist Clare Hirst, who was classically trained on clarinet and piano, could be regarded as a second Posh. Finally, there's the member who hints at androgyny: in The Belle Stars, that was drummer and maths graduate Judy Parsons, a forerunner of Mel C/Sporty Spice if ever there was one! Also, the way they take turns to sing phrases one after the other, during the section that begins 'Take the flats of your palms...' makes me think of 'Spice Up Your Life'.

    If Madness's 'Driving In My Car' was their equivalent of The Kinks' 'Dedicated Follower of Fashion' - the music-hall singalong - then 'Our House' would prove to be The Nutty Boys' 'Waterloo Sunset', undoubtedly. Their material would be more serious, and more melodic, from then on.

    If Madness were making a transition, The Stranglers had already made it; their earlier raw punk thrash had been replaced by a tuneful, reflective, semi-acoustic style that had already endeared them to the post-punk audience. 'European Female' was to follow!

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    1. The Madness statement in this video was as much about hats as with driving their car.
      Indeed the suave gentlemen hats were the type you see typically at Lords cricket ground every summer when England play.

      A month after this Madness hit, in August 1982, England played host to Pakistan at Lords, and got thrashed by 10 wickets, so the hats were not so lucky for Madness (or England) after all. Hmm, fashion statements...

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    3. Julie, I agree that Madness borrowed The Kinks' sense of the Music hall tradition (and continue it on their recent albums the latest of which has 1930s comedian Will Hay on the cover) but I would argue that their 1984 song One Better Day was their equivalent of Waterloo Sunset rather than Our House.

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    4. Point taken, bama, about 'One Better Day' being a perceptive, descriptive ballad, as 'Waterloo Sunset' is - but I would argue that 'Our House' is Madness's signature song, as indelibly associated with them as 'Waterloo Sunset' is associated with The Kinks.

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    5. Mohsin Khan scored a memorable 200 in that Lords Test. England had to follow on and succumbed to the deadly medium pace of Mudasser Nazar who took 6-32.

      How long until The Commentators on ToTP?!

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    6. Indeed, and to rub salt into the wounds of the England team, he went on to score the wining runs in the final innings of that match in an opening stand of 77-0 with Javed Miandad to make Lords misery for England. Hats or no hats!

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    7. sct353, we don't get Rory Bremner...er, The Commentators until summer 1985, or about 18 months' time the way we're going!

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  9. Not a bad show - hadn't heard that Stranglers song in years. As for Slimey...

    - way too many timechecks (but we're used to that)
    - annoying loose handclapping at the start of the Belle Stars
    - why did he have a Golden Delicious apple on top of his microphone?

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    1. i know we've had double entries a plenty in the past, but this is the first time one has not been submitted simultaneously!

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    2. with regard to dory's carping that we only managed to reach a century of posts a show or two back due to several double entries and removed comments, perhaps we should think of them in a cricket sense as wides, byes and no balls?

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    3. Perhaps Steve is an accountant. Double entry bookkeeping and all that.

      BTW Slimon's microphone cover was yellow to match the Brat's tennis balls.

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  10. It was good to see this one, with a pretty good restoration on the sound (just the odd glitch, and that's only because I was listening out for them!) with pin-sharp picture quality. I gather that we're getting the David Jensen one that had similar issues next week as well.

    The Belle Stars - They certainly looked pretty cool, even if I'm not that keen on the song. The girls at school did a dance to this, which wasn't want the group were doing I don't think.

    Madness - Great at the time, a very kid-friendly song. I'm less keen on it now though.

    The Brat - I think they were performing it live weren't they? And if the umpire wasn't wearing a genuine Wimbledon jacket it certainly looked pretty good. It's not the best song ever but it is at least a novelty song that you don't hear often.

    Trio - A shame that this got edited out of the early show but I suppose the video is much less entertaining than the studio performance. And they were never going to edit out the Madness video!

    Junior - Mediocre song.

    The Stranglers - In a similar vein to 'Golden Brown' but heard much less often therefore much more interesting!

    Dollar - How very meta, with their previous performance on the screen! I think I preferred that one though.

    Kid Creole - My favourite of his tunes, and sampled by The Avalanches too for extra cool points.

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    1. Wasn't every song ever recorded sampled by The Avalances. The songwriting credits on their first album go one for about 50 lines in mouse type.

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  11. The bits I missed - Bananarama wearing dresses made out of 1950s curtains. This was better than the last performance but still a bit ramshackle.
    I like the giant inflatable bananas including one being waved in the crowd.

    The Trio video shot in a dimly lit bar with the in-house band lending a hand. I like the crazy guy dancing to a different tune in the background at the beggining. The band also perform on a black and white TV in the bar, which suggests where TOTP might have got the idea from for the Dollar Toportron screen, although it was more appropriate for hand Held In Black and White.

    Also Some odd facts about some acts on tonight's show -

    Even though Madness were singing about cars in reality Suggs and Chas were cycling nuts at the time, hence the 12 inch B-side I Like Riding On My Bike. Around this time they even appeared on the cover of a cycling magazine.

    The guy who performed The Brat with impressionist Roger Kitter was actor-comedian Kaplan Kaye. Bizarrely he went on to co-write the rap song If I Were President by Wyclef Jean.

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    1. I had some similar curtains not long ago, and quite liked the banarama curtains (ahem, dresses) this week.

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    2. They're the type of curtains you used to see in mouldy old student bedsits in the early 1980s. They're probably worth a fortune on eBay today.

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  12. host: despite committing his usual crimes slimy is actually almost quite likeable tonight! his hair looks better than normal and the jacket is one of his better efforts. if only he'd done something about those nerdy specs...

    belle stars: as far is i'm concerned this might as well be called the crappy song. although it's far more nursery rhyme than actual song. the talking bit in it is particularly excruciating, although to give credit where it's due the woman concerned mimed accurately. i think this theory with them as some sort of proto-spice girls is utter bunk. first of all, this may have been a cover but they also wrote their own stuff. secondly, they could all play musical instruments to some degree of competence. thirdly, with the possible exception of the blonde guitarist, none of them would have been chosen to be groomed as pop stars on their looks! i'd say they were more a musical version of french and saunders, in that in a crowded field of big guns they were lightweights with only their gender making them stand out in any way

    madness: musically a bit of a disappointment after the classic "house of fun", but visually they are as sharp and entertaining as ever. but why does tommo emerge from the bonnet playing a trumpet when it's clearly his sax that's heard at that point?

    banarama: the dresses are a slight improvement on the rags they wore last time, but it still looks like they got them from the local charity shop (i'm talking about the tatty jumble-sale-style ones of yesteryear, not the slick "new look"-style chains of today!). i don't think i've mentioned this yet, but for many years i thought the one on the right's name was pronounced "sigh-o-ban" rather than "shivorn". but as my only irish connection at this point was a great-grandmother that i never met, i think my ignorance can be excused in this case m'lud?

    the brat: the backing track for this is actually quite funky, if somewhat clunky too. but an excellent presentation of a novelty hit that's a double whammy - seizing not only on the controversial nature of mr mcenroe, but the continued success of the "stars wars" franchise as well. one of the "ball girls" looks a bit embarrassed about it all though!

    junior: one i have certainly have no recollection of despite being a top 30 hit. the backing track is okay in post disco/club way, but junior's squawking is pretty insufferable

    stranglers: the only thing i could remember about this one was the "strange little girl, where are you going to?" refrain. but hearing it again after all these years it's actually quite listenable as a stepping stone between the well-worn "golden brown" and their finest non-punk moment "eueopean female"

    dollar: i was busy moving the cursor through this at it was obviously a repeat, and got a bit bamboozled by the change of costumes! when i got what was going on, i noticed as with other acts on the "toppotron" the playback is in black and white - couldn't the beeb afford a colour screen?

    kid creole: listening to this again, it's much funkier than i remembered it. i knew what a stool pigeon was at the time, but not why they were so-called. in fact i still don't know why they were so-called, so i've availed myself of wiki to discover it comes from an old practice of tying a pigeon to a stool, where it would flap its wings to escape in vain and attract others that could then be easily killed as result (but whether to eat or just to destroy as vermin is not explained)..

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    1. The black and white for Dollar is quite appropriate though!

      In fact, I meant to say in my review that I really like the self-referential line in 'Videotheque' where they sing "..holding hands in black and white.."

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    2. I only learnt how to pronounce Siobhan properly thanks to a Bananarama interview in "Record Mirror". Came in handy as I worked at Thorpe Park in '83 and we had a Siobhan there who was impressed at an English stranger seeing her name badge and getting the pronunciation right!

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    3. i think i was also pronouncing siobhan's surname fahey incorrectly (or more accurately thinking of it incorrectly as i'm sure i never actually said it out loud!) as "fay-hee". many years later i discovered that the actor jeff of the same surname is pronounced "far-hee"!

      has anyone else here got any recollections of reading about famous people and incorrectly interpreting how their name should be pronounced?

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    4. If only Tony Blackburn posted here!

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  13. Shakey Shakerson4 November 2016 at 12:46

    Another Top Of The Pops - this one is live, features a range of acts, most of which fail to tickle the Shakey tastebuds and is presented by one of the most respected and loved DJs of our time.

    ( Can YOU spot which of the above statements is a lie?)

    Off we go then with the Belle Stars who - as mentioned previously have a whiff of The Spice Girls about them. But whereas Scary Sporty et al look as though they formed their group at college, this lot look like they were formed in a squat. In fact they kind of look like Bill & Ted got them together by picking one member from each of The GoGo's, The Bangles, Amazulu, Banananrama etc. The song itself is little more than a school playground skipping chant, although in fairness, this is far superior to the original.

    The Brat. Dear Lord! It's not really funny is it? Or tuneful. Or memorable. It was actually quite shocking when the gun came out at the end - and yet I can remember no such concerns watching it first time round.

    Trio. I finally get to see the video. Wish I could un-see it now. The scenes in the bar/cafe kind of resemble many a German 'adult' film. (Or so I have been told)

    Junior. One of many charting singles in this year that boasted a decent chorus but nothing in the way of a verse. But he's a good singer is old Norman and it's sad he faded quite quickly from the spotlight.

    Not keen on The Stranglers' song at all.

    We close the show with the fabulous Stool Pigeon - ha cha cha chaaaa. Hopefully we get to see this performed on the show oon.

    Scores then. Sir gets a 5 - his best performance on the show so far, but still full of Sime-isms. The frequent time checks, the mistakes, the glasses, the tedious chart rundown, the off-beat hand clapping etc etc.

    Musically, the Coconuts were far and away the best on show with Dollar and Junior a distant second and third. The rest of 'em fell at the first. 4

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    1. Yeah, the bit in the Trio video where he slaps a woman's bottom in the pub, really is case in point Shakey, not to mention the old Tv sets of the early 80's being as ugly as Trio themselves.

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    2. Shakey Shakerson5 November 2016 at 13:22

      Yes Dory - the Trio boys were not what you would call 'pin-ups' were they? But they are not alone in the 'fell-from-the-ugly-tree-and-hit-every-branch-on-the-way-down' rankings. The Glitter Band, the Rubettes, and Showaddywaddy were all . . . well, lets say 'plain looking'. The apex of plainness though, must go to The Motors who were forced by their record company to remove their faces from an album cover. Harsh.

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    3. i always thought the singer and expecially the drummer from the rubettes were actually good-looking in a boyish way (putting it like that sounds like i had a crush on them ha ha). but yes the motors (with andy mcmaster to the fore) were certainly contenders for ugliest band on totp!

      my probable all-time musical hero is donald fagen of steely dan fame, who only ever appeared on the show with his (ugly) mugshot in the chart countdowns to my recollection. looks-wise he was certainly never going to give the likes of bryan ferry sleepness nights, so it was indeed fortunate for both him and myself that he began his career at a time when it wasn't really important what you looked like!

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  14. Sadly it looks like the copyright mafia have nuked Lee Nichols' TouTube Channel (there had been no new postings for three weeks prior), so I'm now left with scraps. But I did find:

    The Belle Stars - urgh! To think that this rabble rose from the ashes of the brilliant Bodysnatchers is simply depressing. I did like 'Sign Of The Times' though. By the way, the 'true' prototype Spice Girls make their first appearance on the 12/08/82 show...

    Bananarama - I agree with other commentators that they made a little talent go a long way, but they did look cute here.

    The Brat - I found a clip from TOTP2 and can't be sure whether it's from this show or the 05/08/82 one (Popscene doesn't say that the latter was a repeat). Suffice to say, I can imagine somebody who maybe hadn't seen TOTP since the '70s staring open mouthed at this, wondering what on earth they had tuned into. A comedy sketch in a pantomime setting. Weird.

    Dollar - yes, a stroke of genius having them mime to the soundtrack of their previous performance to emphasise the 'video' bit. Ironic, though, that they had a colour projection system the first time round (supplied by their management, perhaps?) but here have to make do with the BBC's venerable Eidophor in glorious monochrome. Will this thing survive into 1983?

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    1. Re: the true Spice Girls precedent, I think I know who you mean! They sprang to mind back in the 90s when I first saw the Wannabe video.

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    2. Nobody seemed to mention The Brat's summersault at the end when he was being shot by the umpire. In fact the McEnroe outburst at Wimbledon was only a month earlier in June at Wimbledon 1982, so this record seemed to be have been rolled out very quickly after, and into the charts.

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    3. The guy who played the umpire (Kaplan Kaye) said in an interview: "McEnroe hated it! It was the year McEnroe was headlining the news with his tantrums and he said we were jumping on the bandwagon, which was quite true. He wasn't impressed when we sneaked into his press party in Kensington, London. Roger went to the loo, quickly got changed and came out in his McEnroe headband. He stormed the photo shoot and started singing "You cannot be serious!" while I shouted "The ball was OUT!" We got so much press coverage the record took off and stayed in the charts for eight weeks. It was even number one in Belgium. We didn't make a follow-up".

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    4. McEnroe might have liked it better if the impression had sounded more like him? All the comedy impressions of his tantrums sounded whiny at the time, but he was actually pretty aggressive.

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  15. I've now found the Trio vid as well. This is actually a 'family friendly TV edit', the original has a rather macabre bit in it. Here's a redacted version:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVYXyxx9Deg

    And there's also a different video for the German version:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNYcviXK4rg

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  16. As this was the final showing of Shy Boy by Bananarama, with a great achievement to peak at No.4 with their first ever single alone without the FunBoy Three, I took the opportunity to watch the funny video which we did not have the pleasure of seeing on TOTP:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XPEu7G2wv4

    The girls ambush a shy boy with glasses who cannot pull a leggy blonde in his office. They take him under their wing, give him a shave and haircut in week 1, an exercise bike in week 2, followed by a fashion makeover in week 3. He then arouses the interest of the leggy blonde, who takes him away from the Bananarama girls, only for the girls to get their own back by splashing the pair with a bucket of ice cold water. Love this debut video from Banarama, and never saw it at the time.

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    1. Cute vid! I see from the YT comments that the nerd was played by the lead singer of The Adventures - was their single Send My Heart ever on TOTP? Should have been a huge hit, that, but never made it, shame.

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    2. The Adventures only made one TOTP appearance, for the politically eloquent "Broken Land". One of the band had also appeared once on TOTP as a member of Starjets, with the brilliant anti-war power pop single "War Stories".

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    3. I'd forgotten all about the Adventures! Yet I bought their single 'Drowning in the Sea of love' which I really liked at the time, but I can see only made no.44 so I guess that's why there was no TOTP appearance...although we've had a few like that in 1981/2!

      'Send my Heart' made no.62.

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  17. With Dollar's last showing of Videotheque on this week's show, somewhat surprisingly there was no video made for it, but I found this rare Cheggers Plays Pop appearance where they performed it live in the studio, with Theresa wearing a red dress this time:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHChum2-Mmc

    Suffice to say that although they made one more appearance on TOTP with a follow up single at No.36 in September 1982, it made it only to No.34, which was the first flop single by Dollar, and they subsequently called it a day, with no further chart releases till 1987.

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    1. I thought that in the pre-Trevor Horn days, Dollar had released at least a couple of singles that didn't chart?

      Everyone has different definitions of a 'flop' of course, but a Top 40 hit with the 4th single off the album isn't bad going really.

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    2. Between “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “Hand Held In Black And White”, Dollar released “Love Street” (complete flop), “The Girls Are Out To Get Ya” (complete flop), “Taking A Chance On You” (made number 62) and “You Take My Breath Away” (complete flop). Between “Mirror Mirror” and “Give Me Back My Heart” came ”Ring, Ring” (reached 61).

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    3. Was Girls Are Out To Get You a cover of the song by The Fascinations?

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    4. No, Bama, it was a David and Thereze composition - produced by The Sweet's ex knob twiddler Phil Wainman.

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  18. Considering how good the dance routine for Stool Pigeon was I thought it was unfair that Zoo didn't get their own billing in the end credits. The guy with the spiky blond hair was called Eddie Kemp and I think he choreographed some of the routines, possibly including this one.

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  19. Big thanks to whoever supplied the sound for this edition to the BBC – who’d have thought we’d be pleased for an unmuted Slimes? – and well played to the Beeb for setting his links in synch. As for Simon, probably his best showing yet and, despite two countdown cockups (“Regrets” for the downward Midge Ure), bonus points for getting the whole of the Dexy’s info into that small space.

    Some folk had either seen JK’s recent US chart countdown or been to the States, as I noticed two sets of deely bobbers in the audience near the end.

    I can imagine Natasha seeing the first act and thinking “Damn” I could have covered that and had another hit!”. I saw The Belle Stars at one of those nostalgia gigs I keep boring you about –they were first on and there were only two of them on stage!

    Points deducted for Madness kitting Bedders out in a Brazil football kit with yellow socks – Brazil’s are white! I also thought Morris cars were made in Oxford, as depicted by the ox on the badge? For some reason, this sadly brought back to mind “Stutter Rap” by Morris Minor and the Motors (no, not those Motors, though just as ugly!).

    Was Neville Staples only there to escort his girlfriend? More karaoke cackling from the Nana Three, but a catchy effort nevertheless.

    I did NOT slurp my orange juice! Great audience participation for Roger Kitter, and a great ending somersault by him. My lip reading’s not brilliant, but did he mouth “Goddamn” once and “F#cking” twice in those bleeped lyrics?

    I quite enjoyed the Trio video, what with the ancient band mimicking them, Main Trio Man’s brief robotic head movement and Arthur Von Smith actually smiling. So I guess that’s da, da and, er, da.

    Junior’s mini trampoline didn’t work very well, did it? I wonder how many previous TOTPs you need under your belt to be an ‘old friend’ as Slimes called him? Three, maybe?

    Where’s Dave Greenfield’s boiler suit gone? Jet Black looked facially liked an old Nick Knowles there. I loved Jean Jacques’ acoustic bass.

    Did anyone see that chap turning his back to camera near the start of Dollar’s tune to advertise what I think said Lynsey’s Dance Studio on the reverse of his T-shirt? Talking of clothes, I quite liked Thereze’s outfit, and she seemed to be more relaxed and happy this time. Apparently, there was a bloke on stage with her.

    Fast forward “Fame” for a Zoo routine I actually enjoyed. Very precise interpretation of Kid Creole’s lyrics there. Was that the first time on TOTP two male dancers had performed a routine that closely?

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    1. I knew there was something that I forgot to mention - you reminded me, Arthur!

      I'm pretty sure that Roger Kitter did indeed mime the F-word at least once there...

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    2. Just had a thought. If Trio had combined with The Police, you would have the original Police title De Do Do Do De DA DA DA which was top ten in 1980 I think. They didn't think of asking Trio to help them out in any post-1982 performances, did they?

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    3. Nice one Dory! And the Police were a trio. It all fits.

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