Friday, 2 December 2016

Top of the Pops Comin' at Ya

Phew! So here's the final installment of this run of four editions of Top of the Pops over the last two days! John Peel rounds off what he started as the host on BBC4 once again with the show from October 14th 1982.

Hat'll do nicely!





14-10-82: Presenter: John Peel

(8) MARI WILSON – Just What I Always Wanted
Third time on the show and now at its chart peak.

(36) BARRY MANILOW – I Wanna Do It With You (video)
Amazingly this was Barry's only top ten hit in the UK! This clip is from the Late Late Breakfast Show, and the song peaked at number 8.

(38) TEARS FOR FEARS – Mad World
Making their debut on the show with the first of seven top ten hits, Mad World peaked at number 3.

The JK edited out bit:
(US 9) OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN – Heart Attack (video)
(US 8) AMERICA – You Can Do Magic (video)
(US 2) MEN AT WORK – Who Can It Be Now? (video)
(US 1) JOHN COUGAR – Jack And Diane (video)

(27) THE PINKEES – Danger Games
On its way by hook and by crook towards the top ten. And edited out of tonight's 7.30 slot.

(37) MELBA MOORE – Love’s Comin’ At Ya
Melba brings her shoulder pads into the studio and Love's Comin At Ya peaked at number 15.

(30) THE PRETENDERS – Back On The Chain Gang
Zoo do a chain gang routine and the song peaked at number 17.

(20) ULTRAVOX – Reap The Wild Wind (video)
Went up eight more places.

(14) THE BEATLES – Love Me Do (video)
Marking 20 years since the first Beatles single, it originally peaked at number 17 but this time around made it to a more impressive number four.

(1) MUSICAL YOUTH – Pass The Dutchie (video)
Final week at the top.

(12) CARLY SIMON – Why (crowd dancing) (and credits)
Went up two more places.

14th October 1982


October 21st 1982 is where we go to next week.

108 comments:

  1. Another marathon, but I did it! Muahahahaha...! Let's not do this too often in the future, though, eh?

    Hmm, I'm not entirely convinced the names on the Wilsations' name cards were accurate. Looked Americanised.

    The reason this was Bazza Mazza's biggest hit in the UK is obviously because he made a funny in the Late Late Breakfast Show performance, you know, the saxophone bit. I remember it well. His band and backing singers look like people he'd recruited at a dinner party. As for the song, thanks but no thanks, Barry. What an image!

    Appropriate this Tears for Fears debut should come up at Christmas, because the cover from the Donnie Darko soundtrack that slowed it right down was one of the last festive number ones not to be a charity or Cowell show winner single. It also ushered in the 21st Century's terrible trend of making pop and rock "classy" by slowing it down and making a sensitive cover. The original Mad World is much better, a strong shot of angular pop with a heavy dose of angst.

    Then the forever tainted Pinkees, one of them reminds me of George Formby. Yes, him.

    Melba Moore, like Evelyn King, a bit lost on the empty stage - they give her a couple of dancers, but they seem to be metres away. The song's nondescript, too, nothing really stands out except her waitress outfit.

    Love this Pretenders track, but the Zoo staging, ouch! I see the Legs & Co days of over-literal performances are not quite behind us.

    Well, they bowed to pressure and showed the whole Ultravox video, so we could finally see what they were constructing, and - what the hell is it?! I remain none the wiser. Nice enough tune, though.

    The Beatles on anniversary form with a song I believe was number one back in the 60s - just not in the chart used by the Guinness Book of Hit Singles. I saw that Eight Days a Week film recently, which uses some of this footage, pretty good doc if not exactly anything anyone here wouldn't have known. Biggest crime: colourising certain black and white clips! That looks awful. Not a clever idea to use Lennon's dodgy facial expression here.

    Is it true Musical Youth weren't allowed to perform on the show because they had school the next day? They were on Blue Peter enough, so maybe not.

    Pity we never saw a Carly Simon video, if there was one.

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    1. 'Love Me Do' only reached No.17 on its initial release; however, 'Please Please Me' peaked at No.2 on the BMRB/Music Week chart and No.1 on the NME chart.

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    2. Love Me Do did reach number 1 in the USA in 1964. There is a video for Why, featuring Carly in the streets of New York singing at people and getting them to go "la de da de da." It's on YouTube - not sure why it was never shown on TOTP, but perhaps it was made too late.

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    3. In lieu of a video for Carly Simon, I quite liked the fact that on the playout with the studio audience dancing, we got so much more of it on the late night repeat, and likely that we didn't see this much of the playout when originally broadcast in 1982, so well done again on these repeats charting new ground for us.

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  2. THX - all the Wilsations' names were fictitious. The Marines were Hank B Hive, Kurt L'Amour and Wilbur G Force, while The Marionettes - recruited soon after the success of 'Just What I Always Wanted' - were introduced on stage as 'Cinderella and Barbarella'. The instrumentalists, meanwhile, were billed as Harry, Barry, Larry, Gary, Cary...and Jim. Only Neasden's Queen of Soul herself retained her real name.

    Bazza, so long an easy-listening favourite, aimed at the soft-rock audience with 'I Wanna Do It With You', which could have come from a Fleetwood Mac album. It would prove to be his only British Top 10 single, despite his phenomenal album sales and sold-out tours in this country.

    How The Pinkees - seemingly left over from the mod revival of 1979/80 - managed to score a Top 10 hit in '82 with such a mediocre song was beyond me at the time. I subsequently discovered that the single had been, shall we say, HELPED up the chart.

    Having lost guitarist James Honeyman-Scott for good - and with future supergluing revolutionary Natalie Hynde Davies on the way - Great Pretender Chrissie Hynde turned out one of her most memorable, albeit restrained, compositions. Meanwhile, Ultravox were as strong as ever, reaping their only US Hot 100 hit with 'Reap The Wild Wind'.

    At last, the Top Ten reserves a place for 'Love Me Waah Waah Waah' - which is Steve Winwood's favourite track by the Fab Four. I remember the Brummie prog-rock and soul legend choosing it on Radio 1's 'My Top 10' or a similar programme back in the late 80s.

    Melba Moore's effort wasn't too bad, but there were more deserving post-disco offerings in and around the chart at that time. Hurry up, Raw Silk!

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    1. Thanks for the Wilsations info, you have to warm to that level of dedication, haven't you?

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    2. for those wondering: i didn't nick my name from that wilsations guy!

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    3. Fret ye not, Wilby. There's an amateur football team thirty yards from my 'hood called Wilberforce Wanderers!

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    4. I meant to say thirty miles from my 'hood. It's midnight and I've been down the pub, okay? ;-D

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    5. Can I just say while I loved Mari Wilson and the whole sixties vibe, I hated the Wilsations name. Surely they could have come up with something better than that after Lee John nicked their original name.

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    6. I'm sure I read in 'Smash Hits' around that time that a Wilsatian [sic] is a cross between an Alsatian and one of the terrier breeds.

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    7. i'd started buying and collecting "smash hits" religiously by this point in time. sadly though like most of my other music papers and magazines i'd hoarded over the best part of 20 years, they ended up being either thrown or given away due to going through an enforced "jesus in the wilderness"-style period in the mid-90's... not long before the bloody things started having retro resale value!

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    8. I just found a stack of old music papers and Smash Hits (or Sma Shits as we called it back then) at my mum and dad's house. I was going to sell them but they bought back too many memories. I've got the first Face mag as well.

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    9. i was particularly irked when my copies of (early editions of) "the face" and "new sounds new styles" (that was only active for a year or so in 81/82, and that i think i had the complete run of) disappeared having left them in the care of a less-than-reliable acquaintance! however, as i've probably said already on this blog, in the last couple of years i've bought copies of most editions of NSNS off ebay. and having enjoyed re-reading them and then scanning items of interest have sold them on again for pretty much what i paid...

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  3. Re the Pinkees: The 1999 Martin Clunes TV drama Hunting Venus is very loosely based on them, it concerns a one-hit wonder band whose sole hit in 1982 had its chart sales exaggerated. In reality, a member of staff at the BMRB was dismissed and (unconnected i think) the contract for the charts went to Gallup as from January 1983. The record did spend 3 weeks on the NME top 30 peaking at 13 as opposed to the 6 weeks on BMRB peaking at 8.

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    1. i remember waiting to watch "hunting venus" with much anticipation when it was originally scheduled for broadcast, and my feelings about it were fully vindicated as it was an excellent comedy-drama that strongly evoked fond memories of my time spent playing in 80's synth pop bands. but even though the nostalgia ticket is far more stronger now than it was then, it hasn't been broadcast since or even released on dvd to my knowledge. someone did have the sense to record it at the time, and have now put it on youtube - which is not my preferred viewing format for tv shows, but better than nothing i suppose:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBmC3G2nvWM&list=PLPtAcEM86bWcwOTTTFIG7ht8oaCWt2Dtv

      personally i think the problem with its disappearance lies with the star martin clunes, whose own production company were responsible for it and are now only interested in pushing his mainstream cash-cow series "doc martin" (which as far as i'm concerned is telly for people who don't like telly very much... along with the likes of "midsummer murders" and "broadchurch"!)

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  4. part ii

    ultravox: i thought i'd overcome my prejudice and try giving this another hearing. and grudgingly admitted that the chorus wasn't too bad, and was relieved at the absence of whiny guitar. but i shall still never listen to it again through choice. note to drummer warren cann: slicking your hair back for this battle of britain pastiche does not disguise the fact that it's too long for the era - get it cut, you 'orrible little man!

    beatles: with regard to them at no. 14 in the charts and the equally anachronistic animals at no. 13, all i really wanted to say here was the title of the record at no. 12 - why? however i will add that the pinkies were (allegedly) not alone amongst the acts on the show in getting a chart hit with a bit of illegal aid, as it was rumoured that the fab four's modest debut single benefitted somewhat from their manager having a chain of local record shops wherein he could "sell" them to stooges and phonies! if that was true and they wouldn't have got their first break otherwise, then lennon would probably have spent a lifetime signing on the dole as a social misfit whilst macca would have been destined to become just another office wallah trying to make his way up the greasy pole...!

    musical youth: i wondered this at the time and now find myself doing so again: what exactly is a "jammo" that one of them keeps harking on about? and the judge looks like a familar face, but is it terrence hardiman who used to play nazi officers in world war ii drama series back in those days?

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    1. Yes, it did seem quite interesting that the No.14 and No.13 in a Oct 1982 chart and ending up side by side on this week's chart rundown, were The Beatles and The Animals who's hits were actually from the early 60s.

      OK, so I understand that Love Me Do was celebrating 20 years since its debut and The Beatles debut, but I don't understand for what reason The Animals got theirs released 18 years after 1964.

      This newly compiled Beatles video for Love Me Do, had shades of the video for Hooked On Classics which got to No.2 the previous year in Aug 1981.

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  5. An enjoyable show, with Peel enhancing proceedings as usual. I wonder if the "Culture Clubs" thing really was a joke, or a gaffe he was trying to cover up?

    Anyway, Mari is back once more with an even more glamorous gown, while her backing singers helpfully have their supposed names attached to the mic stands. Evidently feeling they have to top what has come before, their arm waving movements are even more frantic on this occasion. JP can't resist a snarky intro to Bazza. It is all too easy to mock the man, but he has produced some great records, Could it Be Magic in particular. This offering is far from his best, however, and the icky title invites a resounding "no" in response! I wouldn't have had this down as a clip from the Late Late Breakfast Show, as it feels more like an American TV performance to me. Peel was of course involved in the LLBS initially, but I think he fell out with Noel after a while.

    Good to see that our host likes Tears For Fears. Mad World is one of the great synthpop records, and indeed all of Curt and Roland's early singles are unimpeachable. Good performance too, with Roland indulging in some of the weird dancing he also gets up to in the video. Curt of course has the singing duties to himself at this stage of their career, though I can't believe that even at the time anyone thought his "rat tail" hair looked good.

    As Peel alludes to, The Pinkees' lead singer appears to be trying to mimic moptop-era Macca in this performance, though I couldn't imagine any girls screaming for him! Did he do it because he knew Love Me Do was on the same show? Some six years on from her big hit This is It, Melba Moore makes an unexpected return to the charts with an updated image and sound. Unfortunately, this post-disco effort feels rather generic and anonymous, and I'd forgotten it as soon as it finished.

    Zoo naturally pretend to be a chain gang in this likeable routine to one of The Pretenders' best hits, released a few months after the death of James Honeyman-Scott and a few months before that of Pete Farndon. We get some familiar clippage of the Fabs to accompany the Love Me Do reissue; it was of course session drummer Andy White who actually played on this record, as George Martin didn't think Ringo was up to it. Finally, after the number 1, there are some pleasingly smooth Zoo and audience movements to enjoy.

    Right, I'm going to have a lie down now...

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    1. Baz's bit was indeed from the LLBS, he was beamed in from the USA via satellite because Noel liked the technological innovations.

      Peel and Noel parted company when a car stunt went wrong, injuring the Whirly Wheeler and making Peel's family watching on live TV believe he had been killed in the accident!

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    2. i agree with your view on curt's rat tails - i thought it looked really stupid at the time. obviously he didn't though, as he persisted with them until around the mid-80's... by which time his partner roland had cultivated an equally misguided "judge's wig" hairstyle!

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    3. I also hated their OTT barnets. They should have renamed themselves Hair For Dare.

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    4. Thanks for the info THX, that explains the American feel of that performance. Michael Hurll was both producer and director of the LLBS, which doubtless helps explain why the clip ended up on TOTP. In retrospect, the BBC should really have abandoned the Whirly Wheel after that car stunt went wrong, given what happened to poor old Michael Lush later on.

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    5. Wilberforce - "judge's wig" perfectly captures the nature of that Roland hairstyle!

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    6. It appears Teras For Fears were originally called History Of Headaches!

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  6. Anybody got the JK bit ?

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    1. Yes, my thoughts too Anonymous, and I also spotted the awful BBC4 edit after Tears For Fears and before The Pinkees, where they had snipped out the JK slot. It didn't seem to come off very well, did it?

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  7. the first part of my review keeps disappearing! does anyone know why?

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    1. I'm finding the message section on every blog post very temperamental over the past 24 hours.

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    2. phew, it wasn't just my inagination then? i was getting paranoid to the point of wondering if a certain yewtree-targeted peter pan of pop was getting his people to keep wiping my entry out every time i submitted it...!

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    3. Cliff moves in mysterious ways...

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  8. okay, i'll have another go...

    before i begin: many thanks to angelo for keeping up with the deluge this week - i'm sure i am not alone in being appreciative of your unflagging efforts as our host...

    host: at one point mr ravens... sorry "peelie" bemoans that no one from liverpool has appeared on the show. that obviously includes himself, despite the affected pseudo scouse-style accent (unless you include the posh part of merseyside that is the wirral). it sounded like he was making references to someone called pete, and when he did so for the beatles single it had me wandering if it meant poor old pete best. but then i realised it was another in-joke for the benefit of his radio show listenership (none of whom were watching the show of course) as it was actually "pig", which was apparently his affectionate-if-unflattering nickname for his wife

    mari wilson: why does the trumpet player have a stopper in the bell, when the sound of it is obviously not a muted one? it's not like he had to actually blow into the thing and make some noise. visually they pull out all the stops here, although it doesn't endear the music to me any more than it did before. and i can't help noticing that some of production is very contemporary-sounding given that it's pushed as some kind of retro throwback. after a comment made by arthur on her last appearance, i kept looking at mari's midriff to see if there was a noticeable bulge or not (the answer was a slight one, but hardly surprising given the unforgiving cut of the gown...)

    barry manilow: here we have an aging (if still quite youthful-looking) closeted gay guy making out like he's some kind of ladies' man with his bland pop offerings. does that remind you of anybody? at least barry (unlike harry) has had the grace and honesty to admit in more recent times where his true sexual feelings lie. the bit where bazza made it obvious he wasn't really playing the sax was quite amusing, but might it have been better had he played some air sax instead?

    tears for fears: was peelie really a fan of theirs? i certainly can't imagine he stayed one for long if he was. i thought they were okay if nothing special to start with, and it was only when i saw them perform live (and that was only because a guy i had played in a band with was in the support act) a year or so later doing stuff that was later released as "songs from the big chair" that i really got into them. the best thing about this is the jangly bit at the end, otherwise it gets a bit tedious. there's not a guitar to be heard thoughout to my ears, and halfway through roland suddenly seems to realise that as he puts his axe behind his back and starts throwing awkward and self-conscious shapes with his free hands before politely holding one of them to his mouth when he inadvertantly coughs (he is from bath, you know)

    melba moore: i share julie's view in that although this has all the required elements of the post-disco sound present, there's nothing memorable about it at all

    pretenders: i remember there was a running joke around this time that it was not a good career choice to join the pretenders! it was already basically chrissie hinde and helpers by this point (the mugshot choosers obviously concurred), but it took her another 30 years to actually admit that and perform as a solo act under her own name. i quite like this jangly piece of pop (other than when it goes into the minor mode), but it's patently unsuited for zoo!

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    1. *puts hand up* I listened to Peel and watched TOTP, sir, so that's at least one on double duty. He broke so many acts that it was great to put faces to the songs when they made it onto the show. His wife was nicknamed the Pig because of her snorting laugh.

      Who was it who warned about The Pretenders "No one ever leaves...!"?

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    2. were there any others here who both listened to peel's radio show and watched totp? of course i can't prove anything, but i suspect thx was in a very small minority...

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    3. I didn't in 1982 but I did from 83 onwards and discovered many new musical delights that way (and a lot that weren't so delightful).

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    4. i have to admit that i tried listening to the peel radio show in the early 80's, as a result of both media and peer pressure. but i soon realised it wasn't for me!

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  9. Blimey October already - don't the weeks fly by!

    Mari Wilson opens the show again even though she's a non mover. Not quite as good as the first performance, this is slightly spoiled by the antics of the backing singers who are overdoing it a tad. Still a top tune though and has prompted me to dig out my Mari Wilson CD.

    Bazza Manilow - not a bad tune and he plays a mean sax. Who knew? I have zero memories of this from the time but if I had been watching at the time I would probably have gone to make a cup of tea at this point.

    Peter Kaye making an early appearance as a sailor. Not seen so many jolly jack tars on the show since the JS shows were banned.

    When Peelie said that other jocks had been playing Tears For Fears for ages he was probably partly referring to their previous incarnation as Graduate who issue a superb album and two singles in 1980 which I remember buying. I liked this song at the time even though I hated the band's image. Not sure what Roland O has going on at the front of his trousers but I like his air punch dancing. Interesting shot of a cameraman setting up the next piece to camera with Peel in the background.

    The Rutles, oh no its the Pinkies - nice slice of powerpop that I had forgotten about, shy bassist hidden in the shadows at the back or is he just ashamed of the rigging antics that got this in the chart. Strangely (or maybe not) this wasn't the first time Creole Records were involved in a char scandal. Back in 1976 the m&O Band got into trouble when they were accused of "sampling" the original of Eddie Drennon's Lets Do The Latin Hustle for their cover. It actually turns out that they had done no such thing but had simply recorded a note for note backing track. But they were forced to re-record it and it was removed from radio airplay and promptly dropped out of the chart.

    Talking of 1976 I loved Melba Moore's hit This Is It when I was 13 but I had forgotten that she had a return to the Top 30 six years later. This is a pretty impressive dance tune and she gives an effortless stylish performance.

    The Pretenders Chain Gang was another song I liked at the time but the Zoo dance routine doesn't quite work with the stage looking too bare and the lighting too harsh. Not sure if the guys on the chain gang are dancers or just random extras dressed up.

    Charts - interesting to see The Clash with Should I Stay Or Should I G at number 24 taking the title a bit literally by being a non-mover.

    Ultravox with meaningless although expensive looking video probably directed by Midge Ure (he had done a couple of the Visage videos). Peel promised us the whole lot of this but they still end it before the end and I am none the wiser.

    It was at this point in time that EMI launched their "It was 20 years ago campaign to re-promote The Beatles and it worked and has never really stopped. This video was of course created from various sources and works well. We were starved of old footage in those days so it would have been nice to see this.

    Top ten and Musical Youth. At the time a lot of people didn't know what a dutchie was (thankfully it wasn't Jimmy Savile's mum) but equally a lot of people didn't know what version was until the band went on TV to explain.

    Playout with Carly Simon, cue more dire dancing from Zoo.

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    1. Actually Bama, I thought the Zoo trio worked very well on that stage, and reminded me of Queen's 1979 video for Crazy Little Thing Called Love where Freddy Mercury had a similar routine, also as a trio with two girls dressed in leathers. Did anyone else spot this similarity?

      Also, did anyone spot the black guy smooching on a white girl behind John Peel when introducing the middle section of the charts from no.19-no.10. He seemed to look into the camera in a slimy way to embarrass the poor girl he was nibbling at. Surprised that BBC did not edit this out, cos I would have. How awful!

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    2. The routine for Back On The Chain Gang was okay but the setting seemed wrong, like there was something missing or the camera was too far away. And after weeks of dance routines with low lighting they seemed to make up for it this time by having the lights on full beam.

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    3. now, then, now then, the duchess! i wonder what happened to her clothes (that long outlived her and were fastidiously dry-cleaned on a regular basis) after her son died? that reminds me of 50's pop diva alma cogan - after her early death from cancer, her extravagant gowns were sold off to a drag queen!

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  10. Shakey Shakerson4 December 2016 at 11:16

    Late on parade for this one. Pops overload.

    Barry Manilow. Cringe Factor 10. He's not a natural stand-up-with-a-mic-and-sing performer is he? Nor does he really look like he really wants to do it with you, or me, or indeed anyone. At least there was a bit of 'humour'in his fake sax solo. So there is that.

    TFF. I really liked these, and bought Songs From The Big Chair when it came out, but they had much better material than this. Pale Shelter, which I think was a flop before this, was prime 80s pop. Interesting one-handed drumming there. Any drummers amongst us who can explain the reason?

    Nasty cut into The Pinkees.

    Melba Moore. A bit too weak and powder-puff for me.

    Zoo dance to the Pretenders, and go all-literal on us.Now imagine you are one of the male dancers of this lot. You've been dancing since you were 10, probably. You've withstood all the catcalls and bullying from your football-playing girl-chasing schoolmates to follow your dream. You've spent three or four years at Dancing University and then after a couple of years working in bars and restaurants you land a gig on ToTp. And they make you stand stock-still and hit a polystyrene rock with a hammer. Are you re-evaluating your life yet? Oh, the music? A decent jingly-jangly bit of pop which is third on my Pretenders hit list (behind Kid and I Go To Sleep incidently).

    Beatles. Even back in 82 this had been played to death. Interesting footage though.

    Scores. Peel does what Peel does and nabs an effortless 9.

    Musically TFF and The Pretenders top the bill with able support from Carly Simon. Barry Manilow gets bottom billing in a font-size barely bigger than that warning that tells you that taking photographs is forbidden - 6.

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    1. regarding one-handed drumming, the person to ask is the guy from def leppard!

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  11. Slightly off topic but just noticed the TOTP facebook page is saying that Mike Smith's TOTP's won't be shown as he didn't sign a licence extension and the BBC are respecting his wishes. :-(

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    1. Thanks for the update Steve; I think this message came direct from the BBC, so it's official now. It still seems odd to me that a presenter can block the Beeb from repeating their own programmes, but there's nothing we can do about it. It may also be that the family would have been upset if these shows had gone out, and I can understand the decision if so.

      It is of course very disappointing, but we will not lose any more shows because of it than we have missed thanks to Yewtree, so I guess that is some consolation...

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    2. It is but understandable if the family don't want them going out. At least we should get more shows back when DLT's time as presenter ends in 1984.

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    3. I'm afraid Mike hosts 16 shows a year from 1985-87.

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    5. Shakey Shakerson5 December 2016 at 12:37

      Steve. Understandable maybe, but if all families of deceased celebrities acted similarly then television would be a drab, empty place. Imagine - no more Royle Family, Porridge, Morecombe & Wise, Only Fools, John Peel ToTPs, Father Ted, Fawlty Towers, the list is literally endless.

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    6. I've just been totting up how many shows BBC4 will now skip in 1983. Thankfully Smith only co-presented 5 editions that year, though unfortunately that includes the Christmas Day show and two in August, which means 3 of the 4 August editions will not be shown. Add in the Yewtreed shows, and 16 will be skipped altogether, which is on a par with the number we have missed over the last few years. I think we can live with it, therefore - hopefully "the usual channels" will continue to fill the gaps for us...

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    7. Looking at 1984 (I'm assuming BBC4 will continue to broadcast two programmes a week) we'll lose 14 shows, two of which are Savile/Smith pairings we'd have skipped anyway. As John says, on a par with recent years.

      What was Mike Smith like as a TOTP presenter? I can remember him being on various things with Tidybeard Edmonds but not on TOTP.

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    8. Even though I watched TOTP regularly during his time, he doesn't stick in my mind as much as other hosts of the era like Janice Long or Steve Wright. He did seem to be on loads of shows in the late 80s, however, and as far as I remember he was very much in the "affable but bland" category. He chiefly sticks in my mind as the host of the panel show That's Showbusiness, which featured the unlikely pairing of Gloria Hunniford and Kenny Everett as team captains!

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    9. I'd forgotten about that! I know he had one of the shorter tenures on the Radio One breakfast show - I can remember listening to Mike Read and Simon Mayo, but not Mike Smith.

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    10. i found him somewhat odious to be frank - like tidybeard, it was obvious from the off that he was far more interested in using deejaying as a stepping stone to become a tv personality, rather than having any real interest in pop music (i suspect the only thing that stopped slimy bates doing likewise was that he had a face for radio!)

      if we're going to miss 16 shows a year thanks to what in my view is an(other) asburd reason, then it will likely stiffen my resolve to call it a day with watching these shows up to the end of 1984...

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    11. This is very sad if true that Mike Smith's TOTP shows will not be shown. I was watching Open All Hours this afternoon on BBC2, and seeing Ronnie Barker in action was indeed an honour, even though he, like Mike Smith, is no longer with us. I think these TOTP repeats that we have been enjoying have been jinxed, with a further complication aside from the Yewtree one that we have somehow got used to.

      The four problems:

      Jimmy Saville, Dave Lee Travis, Jonathan King,
      and now Mike Smith. Soon we'll need a We Transfer link on an almost weekly basis just to see the full shows, instead of BBC4 lighting up our evenings with joy.

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    12. If it's any consolation Dory, we will lose the Yewtree problem after October 1984, though unfortunately Mike Smith's increased presence in 1985-87 means that we will still lose roughly the same number of shows as we have from the Yewtree years, assuming we get that far. BBC4 will still be able to show plenty, however, and hopefully the WeTransfer links will keep on coming!

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    13. On a positive note, two of these problems will be no more if we reach 1985 and one of the others will be edited out.

      I got the Christmas Radio Times today and there's a double bill of 82 editions on the 23rd and 30th December, but no Thursday shows. I also see that Tidybeard has a show called Sell or Swap on over Christmas which appears to be Swap Shop for adults.

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    14. I also bought the Christmas Radio Times this evening (before seeing your comment Steve), and I was astonished that it is £4.50 already.

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    15. doesn't everybody just check the internet or their actual telly for tv listings these days?

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    16. one thing i remember smith (no "mr" for him, as i'm still quite irked that the beeb are allowing his shows not to be broadcast!) for was some dreadgul late 80's itv game show-type thing that he co-hosted with julian clary - talk about the odd couple! i did actually watch a bit of the first one shown, probably only because i thought clary was quite amusing at the time. but it was obvious he was a fish out of water, and as a result rather excruciating. he probably did himself a favour not long afterwards with his infamous norman lamont/fisting remark (which consequently saw him practically disappear off the screen for several years) as he was quite clearly not cut out to be a mainstream entertainer...

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    17. In my case no Wilberforce, as I prefer every Christmas to get the bumper issue of Radio Times, as I have been doing since the late 70s, when I had enough pocket money as a little boy to afford it.

      Even though at the time it was to see if there were extra helpings of Yogi Bear and The Hair Bear Bunch, and so nowadays, even though I am not looking out for cartoons, there's nothing like opening up the bumper Xmas double-issue every year, to see what Father Christmas brings down the chimney from the BBC vaults, including TOTP repeats, new TOTP2 compilations, and the usual library of Carry On Films that never fail to return at Christmas time.

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    18. Normally I wouldn't buy a listings mag but we always make an exception in our house for the the Christmas RT out of tradition. Interesting there's no new TOTP2 Christmas show this year, I wonder if they'll just repeat the TOTP Christmas compilation that's on BBC4 in future years instead?

      The only things I can remember Smith for from the eighties is being married to Sarah Greene and liking helicopters. His presenting skills (or otherwise) didn't make an impression.

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    19. How very disappointing this is, even if we don't miss too many there are always some great performances that only ever appear on shows that we're not allowed to see.

      As for what he was like on TOTP : extremely bland. Just like he was on the radio. As for his motor racing career, let's just say that he managed to wind up most of his fellow drivers....

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    20. Oh, and I see that's yet another Christmas show gone as a result of Mike Smith's decision!

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    21. i think what irritated me about the guy was that he made himself out to be a everyone's mate (he used to refer to himself as "smitty" as if it was an affectionate nickname you'd given him), but it was patently obvious to me that his attempts to endear himself to his listeners were contrived

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    23. One of 'Smitty's' appearances next year is a double header with Master Bates. That's one episode I'm happy for BBC4 not to show.

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    24. I remember seeing "Smitty" and Julian Clary hosting part of a very early Red Nose Day from the Telecom Tower, which was a highly favoured location for Beeb live broadcasts in the 80s - it was a bizarre combination, and I don't know how they came to be paired in the first place.

      As for helicopters, he of course nearly killed both himself and Sarah Greene when he managed to crash one in a field. I have a vague recollection of Sarah being interviewed about in from her hospital bed by Philip Schofield, her Going Live co-host.

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    25. The Telecom Tower was a favourite with Tidybeard too for his Christmas broadcasts, I seem to recall.

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    26. my suspicion is that once julian clary's star rose beyond the alternative scene he originally made his mark in, it was decided by the powers-that-be to give him a minder to try and keep what they saw as a loose cannon in check. and who better for the job than the bland but reliable "smitty"? but whatever my theories, it would certainly be interesting to know what they themselves thought of their peculiar pairing. so over to you, mr clary...

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    27. Funnily enough in one of the interviews he gave later, once he was no longer "famous", Mike Smith said the thing he most missed was presenting radio shows. I liked this Radio 1 Breakfast Show, for the record, and remember his quiz Factasia plus the time Madonna phoned up and he wasn't convinced it was her, and neither was anyone else. It was Madonna, wasn't it? Simon Mayo basically bulldozed most memories of him out of the way shortly after, however, by being far more of a personality and building a great team around himself.

      As for the Christmas Radio Times, for a lot of us it's nice not to be staring at a screen every waking hour - even thought the magazine invites you to do just that!

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    28. From the start I thought Smith had a boring name and was a boring person.

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    29. Mike Smith was the breakfast presenter on Capital for a time, replacing and being replaced by Graham Dene. I'm guessing that he finished in 1982 when he moved to Radio 1, and started in 1980, since before then he was the 'stand-in' jock and I have a tape of him standing in for Roger Scott (now there's a superior radio DJ, greatly missed) and presenting the 'Hit Line' from May 1980. It's been some years since I've played the tape but I recall he was a 'typical DJ type' talking over every intro and, more annoyingly, talking over the ends of records, even those with a 'proper' ending. As others have noted, he sold his soul to the 'idiots' lantern'.

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  12. Another top notch hosting by Peelie, though I can’t be sure his wife (or that at girl in front of him at the start) appreciated him using his affectionate nickname for her, “Pig”!

    The least best of Mari Wilson’s three outings for me, with no mic, no mink and some oafing about with name boards. Great song, though, and her best outfit.

    Erm, no, Baz, back off!

    High praise indeed before and after Tears For Fears, and I agree this is superb. Strange to see Curt wobbling a cable-less mic throughout like a salt shaker, though, and what were those arm shapes Roland threw during the instrumental break?

    From the sublime to the dreadful, with The Pinkees’ Beatles-cum-Squeeze sludge. How on Earth did this jump 19 places the next week? Ah.

    This week’s Evelyn King award for female disco singer marooned on stage goes to Melba Moore, channelling Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” look for her outfit.

    When Boystown gang – er, Zoo – were walking up those stairs early doors, they should have flashed a photo of Peelie on that ToppatronTM at the line “I found a picture of you”. Those little touches.

    Viewer power! We get the full video of epic proportions for Uretravox.

    I’m knackered from watching so may shows in a week again. Do you remember at the start of this run when we used to complain at missing TOTP due to “The Sky At Night”? Back in the days when there were Beatles videos on the show...oh.

    Hmm, the show fizzles out with a less than auspicious dance routine, three videos and some crowd dancing. Peelie definitely rates Musical Youth, doesn’t he?

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  13. If anyone’s interested, none of those four snipped US chart songs made much of an impression in our charts. ONJ’s effort made 3 in America but only 46 in the UK. America’s peaked at 8 in, erm, America and stiffed at 59 here. Men At Work’s single topped the US charts but stalled at 45 in the UK and, as previously mentioned elsewhere on this blog, “Jack And Diane” peaked at 25 in our mugshots.

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  14. Neil uploading totp 14 October 1982 with JK section on his page:z6.invisionfree.com/popscene/ar/t14084.htm

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    1. Nice one gia, and good to see our first glimpse on either side of the Atlantic of Men At Work. The track here at No.2 in America called Who Can It be Now, and featured here on JK's slot, was a flop debut single here and only made it No.45 in the UK following JK's plug for them on this week's TOTP. It wasn't until a couple of months or so later, that they well and truly arrived in the UK with their follow up single Land Down Under in January 1983, making it to the dizzy heights of No.1 with that vegemite sandwich.

      Also, it was great to see the John Cougar video from the beginning, including all the childhood mugshots, and then Diane sitting on Jack's lap, which was even mentioned on the lyrics. Talk about a pop video mirroring the lyrics!

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    2. Nice comment Dory, thanks!

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    3. Thanks gia, downloaded and looking forward to watching (as others on this blog know, I don't have a TV licence and don't have anything to do with the BBC!).

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  16. I'd also like to say thanks to gia for the US chart clips, and thanks to Angelo for ploughing through another relentless week of TOTP scheduling!

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    1. I would echo Arthur's thanks to both gia and Angelo. I'm not sure why JK decided to dress like that, but presumably he was hoping to take part in the Columbus Day parade! Incidentally Jonathan, that Joe Cocker song was Up Where WE Belong - he also forgot to mention Jennifer Warnes.

      There were two great songs in the Top 15 in the shape of Fleetwood Mac's Gypsy and Flock of Seagulls' I Ran, the latter one of the first real MTV hits. Both songs should have been big hits over here, but sadly never were. It's a pity we didn't hear either of those instead of that awful ONJ track, which looked like a deeply misguided attempt to turn her into a synthpop diva. America were a band who always contrived to sound like other acts rather than developing a distinctive style of their own, and this bland effort conforms to that pattern. I think this is the first time I have ever heard a Men at Work song which isn't Down Under, but can't say I was too impressed - still, the Yanks couldn't get enough of them for a while...

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    2. The entire video collection of Flock Of Seagulls (9 videos), including I Ran is available for download and keep on iTunes. Flock Of Seagulls actually started out in March 1982 here in the UK with their debut single I Ran, followed by Space Age Love Song in June 1982, which both failed to trouble the top 30, but it seemed Flock Of Seagulls fared better in the US, and the song I Ran finally made it there in October 1982.

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    3. george martin produced almost as many albums for america as he did for the beatles!

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    4. For those unwilling or unable to view the clunky missing section...

      ONJ's song sounded dreadful from the snippet we heard, America sounded like they had two stringed instruments at most instead of the four on show, the caption compiler misspelt Jackson Browne's surname in the rundown, and John Cougar's video didn't always mirror the lyrics - that tree had no shade at all (in fact, barely any branches), and we didn't see the hand between Diane's knees!

      The reason for the awful John Peel edit was that he said one more line after Tears For Fears ('on the fringe of the chart') and after JK he gave us an anecdote about the band America and then went straight into The Pinkees with no frills as you heard it.

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  17. This was another show where the picture quality was strikingly good for something so old - I'm guessing this one stayed on the shelf and was never repeated or plundered for TOTP2 then..

    Mari Wilson - I have to say that I'm impressed that the 3 routines are all quite different and entertaining.

    Barry Manilow - Unbelievable that this was his only Top 10 hit when it's so forgettable. I've probably said it before, but I only like 'Bermuda Triangle'.

    Tears For Fears - No-one has spotted that Roland's dancing matches exactly his moves in the video. He became a bit of an arse later on, didn't he? I love this song, but detested the cover version - I don't care how cheesy it was, The Darkness should have been Christmas No.1 that year.

    I didn't think the JK edit was that bad, other than it being the shortest link ever as a result! FWIW I really like the Men At Work, and since 'I Ran' was mentioned above - that's one of my favourite songs ever!

    The Pinkees - Such an engaging performance of an excellent song that thousands of singles were subsequently bought by the public.
    Sorry, that should read 'record company staff'.

    Melba Moore - God knows how it got to No.15. The awful placement of dancers makes this one of the worst pieces of direction on TOTP ever to boot.

    The Pretenders - Good song danced to by Hot G...I mean Zoo.

    The Beatles - At first I wondered if the video was put together by the BBC but it soon became clear that there was some good editing and video effects employed so clearly not. Not one of the Fabs best but I remember singing it a lot back in 1982.

    Carly Simon - I echo those above who said it's a shame that there was no video. This song and Rockers Revenge really missed out as a result.

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    1. i can't say i was ever a fan of a flock of seagulls (they came over to me as opportunists a la classix nouveaux), but i did think "i ran" was much better in comparison to their only major UK hit, the plodding (to put it mildly!) "wishing (i had a photograph of you)"

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    2. We'll be seeing the Flock very soon now, with the latter song.

      Noax - I did mention in my comments that Roland was doing the same dance as in the video! I think he did develop megalomaniacal tendencies later on.

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    3. I think those tendencies led to Tears For Fears essentially becoming Roland in the early nineties. I saw them at Knebworth in 1990 when they opened a Silver Clef concert, the bill mixed the likes of Macca and Pink Floyd with Cliff Richard and Status Quo (by then beyond parody).

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    4. as i've said above, i really got into tears for fears when i heard them playing live what were to be "songs from the big chair". that was a brilliant album in my opinion, as was the much-delayed and much-anticipated follow-up "sewing the seeds of love". by which time as steve points out they had essentially become roland and session musos (ironically the only song where curt sang lead was my faviourite: "advice for the young at heart"). by this time i was perceiving roland as the british version of donald fagen i.e. an extraordinary talented and visionary musician who did whatever it took to achieve perfection, but as a result probably not a very nice person to know either! getting back to steve's comment, i saw them live again circa 1990 at the wembley arena, which (even though they tried as hard as they could to put on a show, given the dourness of their personalities) convinced me never to see a live band in such circumstances again!

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    5. Orzabal and Smith had a massive falling out after The Seeds of Love album, in no small part because Curt had effectively been relegated to session musician status by the all-controlling Roland, who then continued to use the band name during the 90s. They did eventually reunite in 2000, and a new album is apparently due next year.

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    6. Thank goodness to hear that. I always felt that Tears For Fears losing Curt Smith was as much a body blow to the fans as Chicago losing Peter Cetera. However, the difference was that by 1991 when Curt Smith parted company, Tears For Fears's heyday was already behind them after the Sowing The Seeds Of Love album, whereas Chicago in 1985 were still very much on the climb when their own bodyblow was actioned. In both cases, Curt Smith and Cetera now a couple of decades later are very much in reuniting mode with their bands, so time does heal wounds you could say.

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    7. I think the Mad World cover did better than the film it came from! But I'd say The Darkness were more cynical and mercenary than cheesy, so I'm glad it didn't make Christmas no. 1. They're on the list of those ten punishingly overplayed seasonal songs now anyway, so they got their wish for annual royalties.

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    8. Talking of which, RIP Greg Lake, singer of one of my two favourite Christmas songs.

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    9. Sorry to hear that - yet another 2016 musical death, and it means two thirds of ELP have gone in the same year. He was a great rock singer, and I agree that his Christmas song is one of the very best.

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    10. Interesting point THX - I loved that Darkness song at the time but its appeal burned out quickly for me. Same with Mistletoe & Wine.

      On the subject of Cliff, the evergreen seasonal hitmaker has a festive mix of his current single available. He must have enough Christmas songs now for a box set.

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    11. Interesting point THX - I loved that Darkness song at the time but its appeal burned out quickly for me. Same with Mistletoe & Wine.

      On the subject of Cliff, the evergreen seasonal hitmaker has a festive mix of his current single available. He must have enough Christmas songs now for a box set.

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  18. Just got round to watching this today (these four on the bounce weeks do me in – especially at this time of the year). I was amused to read the BBC iPlayer caption:-

    Featuring Mari Wilson, Tears for Fears, Pinkees, Barry Manilow, Olivia Newton John, America, Men at Work, John Mellencamp, Melba Moore, Ultravox, The Beatles and Musical Youth.
    Ho hum….

    John Peel is amusing as ever with his opinion on some the acts being very evident.

    Mari Wilson – Just what I always wanted – Third outing for Mari and her backing vampires. Vey committed.

    Barry Manilow – I wanna do it with you – Hmmmm forgotten all about this one as its not featured on the superb ‘The Songs’ compilation….I wonder why. The quote from 45cat sums it up for me and I couldn’t have put it better myself; “Musically, this is just dull tripe and lyrically about as adventurous as a mouldy tea bag”. Very casual looking Barry and band in this video. Definitely not ‘magic’….

    Tears for Fears – Mad World – Peelie mentions having been playing their records for ages. Presumably he is alluding to ‘Suffer the Children’ and ‘Pale Shelter’ which were the first singles from the album ‘The Hurting’? Fine recordings they were too as is this debut hit. I much prefer this original version to the later cover played at half the speed. The look of the band are just as I recall them. Very distinctive, but not necessarily in a good way!

    Pinkees – Danger Games – Did Peelie really not know where Romford and Basildon are? This is still pretty non-descript to my ears. Not surprised to read the reason why it was a ‘hit’.

    Melba Moore – Loves coming at ya – Don’t recall this at all. Not one for me.

    Pretenders – Back on the Chain Gang – No Chrissie but Zoo do it justice quite well. Good song.

    Ultravox – Reap the Wild Wind – Nice to see the denouement of this video with the ‘Monument’ at the end. ‘Monument’ was the instrumental B Side of the next single ‘Hymn’. As for ‘Reap the Wild Wind’ it’s a good song but the 12” mix is particularly worth a listen with a much more prominent bass line in evidence.

    Beatles – Love me do – Topped the US charts at the height of Beatlemania somewhat incongruously in between ‘Can’t buy me love’ and ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. Someone has taken time to assemble a nice selection of clips for this, which as mentioned above are also featured on the excellent ‘Eight Days a Week’ DVD which I got for my Birthday a few weeks ago. Released as an Anniversary series of Beatles singles I believe with picture discs.

    Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie – Pass. Don’t share John’s enthusiasm for this at all.

    Carly Simon – Why – Extended dance out with Zoo enjoying themselves.

    As noted above by Paul, Arthur and John, RIP Greg Lake. Only missed out on the No1 spot due to a certain masterpiece being in residence for 9 weeks.

    Speaking of No1s, I was listening to an old Tom Browne show from December 1972 and No1 was ‘My ding a ling’ by Chuck Berry. How come the BBC didn’t ban that one? Awful record for a chart topper and reading of Greg’s sad death made me draw the comparison with the very wonderful ‘I believe in Father Christmas’.

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    1. i remember when chuck berry was no. 1 (for what seemed for ages) with "my ding-a-ling" (and the live concert footage of it), and as a 10/11 year old already aware that the guy was a rock 'n' roll legend, my thoughts were that this rubbish didn't sound very rock 'n' roll to me!

      amazingly unlike younger rock stars like mr lake et al chuck is still with us, but is he still performing? he used to get flack for not doing gigs a minute longer than what he was contracted for, but in how many other lines of work do you hear of people carrying on working for nothing after the time they get paid for is up?

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    2. Yeah, Chuck Berry turned 90 a couple of months ago, and his famous hits Jonny B Goode and Roll Over Beethiven are priceless classics that live on forever. I mean even ELO covered Rollover Beethoven in 1973 in celebration of Chuck Berry, making it a hit all over again, and this clip is just a masterpiece:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uk84icbn78

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    3. dory as you know i'm not a big fan of ELO, but in my opinion their version of "roll over beethoven" is an all-time classic! and a few years back i finally got to hear what i never previously realised was the full-length version... although it did explain the rather odd sudden changes on the single!

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    4. according to wiki, chuck is just about to release a new album... surely making him the oldest rock star ever to do so?

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    5. i've given others the opportunity, but none have taken it. so i'm now going to bring up another century (even if there are a few extras) with a valid comment:

      as a pre-pubescent, i realise now that the reason i thought "my ding-a-ling" was crap was because i was too old to be into nursery rhymes, and too young to get the euphemisms!

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    6. I still think My Ding-a-Ling is crap, even when the adult subtext is understood!

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    7. agreed john. but it had come out a couple of years later, i'm sure i would have been guffawing away with all my adolescent chums... regardless of it's worthlessness in musical terms. i do remember that the b-side of jasper carrott's novelty hit "funky moped" that came out a few years later (called "the magic roundabout") had similarly suggestive lyrics that had everybody sniggering at the back of the classroom!

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    8. Don't forget Chuck was at no. 1 in the era Benny Hill made it to the top spot with Ernie. Which has far wittier innuendos than anything Chuck dreamt up, legend or not.

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  19. Thanks guys for mentioning that Chuck Berry is still with us. I had assumed (without checking) that he had passed away a long time ago.

    With regards to 'Roll over Beethoven', its one of those songs that was better as a cover. The Jeff Lynnes ELO concert that I went to earlier in the year featured it in the encore and by then a lot of people had scooted off to catch their trains, so missed one of the highlights.

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