Friday, 23 December 2016

Top of the Pops Surrender

Peter Powell hosted Top of the Pops on December 2nd 1982, but 9.9 million viewers also got to meet three future hosts tonight ~ Gary Davies, Janice Long and Pat Sharp!

Paul looks forward to a long, hot summer

2-12-82: Presenter: Peter Powell

(35) KEVIN ROWLAND & DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS – Let’s Get This Straight (From The Start)
So they were allowed back on again after 'Jockey-gate'! With their third hit of 1982 which was on its way to number 17.

(2) THE HUMAN LEAGUE – Mirror Man ®
At its peak now.

(34) WHITESNAKE – Here I Go Again
Got no higher until 1987! When a new version of it peaked at number 9.

(37) BUCKS FIZZ – If You Can’t Stand The Heat
The girls take the lead vocals for the first time and it must've been pretty hot in the studio judging by the outfits! Peaked at number 10.

Merry Christmas :-)

(17) MADNESS – Our House (video)
Made itself at home at number 5. But sadly edited out of the early showing.

(18) MODERN ROMANCE – Best Years Of Our Lives
Our 1982 theme tune on its way to number 4.

(10) DURAN DURAN – Rio (video)
Simon and the boards go all aboard in Antigua and Rio went up one more place.

(1) THE JAM – Beat Surrender
Straight in at number one for The Jam's final single.

(3) WHAM! – Young Guns (Go For It) (crowd dancing) (and credits)
Now at its peak.

Next up is another triple bill next Friday with December 9th, and December 23rd on BBC4, with the JS hosted December 16th sandwiched in between.

Until then here's wishing everyone one of you a very Merry TopofthePopsmas!

p.s. Xmas Eve at 9pm BBC4 are showing 90 minutes worth of Christmas Hits.


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  2. Merry X-mas 2016 And A Happy New Year To All.Let's Dance Top Of The Pops 1983

  3. As 2017 approaches, and TOTP approaches 1983, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who comments on this blog. I confess that I am very wayward in my posting, but appreciate all the postings and downloads.
    I spent the entirety of 1983 living in the States, and only saw 1 in 4 of the episodes recorded on a VCR by my lodger, so looking forward to seeing all the missing episodes.
    Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year, to all the viewers...

    1. So therefore I take it that these repeats are more interesting and new for you than for all of us, whereas I probably got to see about three out of four episodes at the time, and would probably remember most of them but not all. Indeed this episode of 2.12.82, I definitely don't remember seeing, and so it is new for me too!

  4. I thought I would squeeze all my comments in tonight before I become distracted by festive preoccupations - thanks Angelo for being so diligent in getting all three shows blogged so quickly. PP is our MC this time, occasionally hesitant but doing a fairly efficient job overall. The interviews with his new R1 colleagues made for interesting contrasts. Gary Davies seemed curiously stiff under PP's interrogation, while Janice Long was much more chatty and personable - doubtless for fear of cries of "nepostism," no mention is made of the fact that she is Cheggers' sister! A pre-mullet Pat Sharp looks impossibly young, but already seems pretty self-confident in front of a camera.

    Music-wise, Dexy's are back without Jocky Wilson this time, but with a decent song that clearly fits the description "Celtic Soul." Little did Kevin Rowland know it at the time, but his Top 10 career was already over. Coverdale and co also return to the studio, with the original version of a song that would sound much better when overhauled and rereleased five years later. This original version is quite plodding, and I'm not surprised it failed to make the mugshots.

    Nice to see Cheryl and Jay finally get to take the lead on a Bucks Fizz release, though this is another song of theirs which suffers a bit from overproduction. Not bad though, and the group have some more impressive choreography to show off. Is Our House the definitive Madness hit? Quite possibly, although its evocation of everyday life, while well executed, has always seemed a trifle calculated to me. The brief appearance in the video of Buckingham Palace is ironic in retrospect, as 30 years later they would actually perform the song on its roof!

    Modern Romance turn in a new performance which is chiefly distinguishable from the previous one thanks to John du Prez dressing a bit more conventionally this time. We then get pretty much the whole of the famous Rio video, which has now become so synonymous with 80s aspiration and excess. The fact that so much of the show was given over to this fairly lengthy promo is I think indicative of how much videos were now starting to become events in their own right.

    The soon-to-split Jam crash in straight at number 1, and celebrate with their last-ever TOTP performance, and a live one at that. I say "celebrate," but I wonder what Bruce and Rick were thinking at the time? Even more so than with the previous single, it sounds as if Weller has jumped the gun here and already joined The Style Council. This was not really a worthy send-off for the band, and this version sounds quite ragged and messy as well. We then go from the Jam to Wham, as the audience get their chance to dance to the latest pop sensations, finishing off a fairly enjoyable show.

    I won't be back on the blogs now till Boxing Day at least, so may I wish everybody a very happy Christmas!

    1. I certainly don't remember Whitesnake ever appearing in the TOTP studio, or even if I did at the time, the group were of not much significance, as they were not regular top ten achievers in 1980-1982 where they had some minor hits.

      You're right, this original version is probably best forgotten due to its plodding nature, and it was much more recognised in 1987 with that mammoth video with the sexy girlfriend, and the song with its slightly sped up tempo which had much more appeal to pop fans.

    2. We definitely saw Whitesnake in the studio on one of the 1978 shows, and I think they may have appeared there on one other occasion in these reruns.

    3. 'Fool for your loving' perhaps?

    4. Just checked Popscene, and they performed Bloody Mary on that first performance in June 1978.

  5. What better way to spend Christmas Eve morning than with three TOTPs back to back?

    Dexys to start, with a song that sounds oddly like the theme to Steptoe and Son. It's all right, but Come On Eileen would be very difficult to top - presumably people were still buying it at the time?

    Whitesnake with a song whose time would come five years later, when Dave had even bigger, more tousled hair, if you can believe that. Tawny Kitaen awaited, but for now we get a very unsteady electric organ and a bog standard guitar solo.

    See, they did allow the Bucks Fizz girls to sing the lead sometimes. It does sound a bit clunky away from those vocal harmonies, but they were having a fine run of pop singles this year, and it was a good way to finish.

    First of two classic videos this episode, Madness with another slice of nostalgia, in the middle of their street (not at the side with everyone else's houses, as Danny Kelly pointed out). I swear Madness dressed up as middle aged women more often than the Monty Python team.

    Modern Romance, and the singers don't seem to have changed their suits from last time they were on. The dancer on the right: trying too hard, mate.

    Classic vid 2, I forgot how messy the Rio shenanigans were. They boys certainly looked to be enjoying themselves, and as with Madness we get the whole thing.

    Then The Jam bid us farewell, I know it's popular to say this was a Style Council tune in all but name, but take away the female vocals and I think it fits into The Jam's discography quite neatly. Some fans have never forgiven Weller for splitting up the band, which I think is an overreaction.

    The audience groove to Wham to end on, and we get the whole song on the late night showing. Like the girls who suddenly realised they were on TV!

    Oh yeah, and those new DJs, two of whom would do very well at Radio 1 and the other would naff off pretty quickly. I remember listening to Gary and Janice, at least, though were they all wearing the same R1 bomber jacket and just swapped it between takes?

    Lastly, compliments of the season to one and all, and I hope Santa's good to you.

    1. Interesting that Powell introduced Modern Romance as having three songs in the top 20 this week in central America. It's hardly surprising, cos their sound is very carnival-like, and the trumpeting of the Sheffield 'giant' John Du Prez was second to none in British pop at the time, and I could just imagine the Mexicans taking Modern Romance to their hearts, so well done on this achievement.

      It's great that Du Prez has been on our journey through 1981 and 1982, and persevered with the group for another year till the end of 1983, despite the memorable suave lead singer Geoff Deane leaving after their previous hit Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, as Du Prez for me was the best performer on Modern Romance.

      I was reading his the Du Prez impressive profile on Wikipaedia, where it says he had worked with Eric Idle for 30 years from 1976-2006, including some of the music scores for Monty Python, and his impressive academic qualifications and reign as Oxford Scholar. Suffice to say that Du Prez turned 70 last week, and can now enjoy his retirement watching these TOTP repeats I hope. Thanks for the entertainment Mr DP, and see you in 1983 for more Modern Romance nostalgia.

    2. mexicans digging modern romance's mariachi-style trumpets is surely a case of taking coals to newcastle?

  6. Apologies for my recent absences, but I've been busy visiting relations and exchanging presents, as well as making notes on 'A Christmas Carol' for my forthcoming GCSE English Literature exam.

    Dexys for starters, with a soulful acoustic number in swung 4/4 that somehow always reminds me of Stealers Wheel's second and final Top 30 hit 'Star' - possibly because of its prominent use of woodblock and tack piano. Motown remains one of Kevin Rowland's primary influences, though; whereas 'Eileen' used a similar riff to The Jackson 5's 'I Want You Back', this offering is more obviously indebted to The Temptations' 'The Way You Do The Things You Do'. His fixation with Sir Van Morrison is more obvious, too, right down to the way "Rolo" (as he was known in his youth) growls the line "'Cause I WANT to get this straight from the start" towards the fade. Was he really playing harmonica, though? Northern Soul legend Jimmy Thomas and future Londonbeat mainstay George Chandler, both in Steinbeckian attire, provide honourable guest vocals.

    The Human League were already showing signs of aesthetic burnout with this melodic but somewhat uninspired effort. 'Fascination' and 'Louise' would both restore their audience's faith temporarily, but the Sheffield-based sextet would shed two members before achieving their second and final global smash, the Jam & Lewis composition 'Human' (aka 'Mama' for all you Spice Girls fans out there) in '86.

    Whitesnake and Duran Duran were already on the threshold of superstardom, while Madness's signature song 'Our House' was on its way to international Top Ten success, including a No.7 placing in the US. This was a fine year for British chart regulars who went on to dominate the world's charts; even Dexys would reach the very top in the US with 'Come On Eileen'.

    One highly popular British band that never managed to win over the Americans, however, was The Jam. You can sense the tension in the call-and-response verses sung by Weller and Foxton, who are clearly no longer getting on, while Rick Buckler just gets on with his drumming. Paul Weller's solo work, to be fair, deserved wider recognition on the other side of the Atlantic, in particular his Britpop-era masterpiece 'Stanley Road'.

    A merry Christmas to you all, and a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

  7. Incidentally, I don't know if anyone else here watches the repeats of The Good Old Days on BBC Four, but if you do, see comedy strongman Ted Durante who's been on a couple of shows this year? He's Jay Aston's dad. And her mum was his assistant.

  8. Utterly shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Rick Parfitt today. The rock behind Status Quo is dead, and has made for a sad Christmas for true pop fans. It was the same week last year when we lost Lemmy of Motorhead, and it seems some of these rock icons are going just short of 70, like Bowie, Greg Lake, and now Rick Parfitt. A sad day indeed.

  9. Just wanted to wish Angelo and everyone who contributes to this blog a very happy Christmas. Thanks for being so entertaining and informative!

  10. Another good show with Peter Powell on good form, feel a bit sorry for him having to interview the new deejays, especially airhead Gary Davies who always was a bit of a plonker. Can I add that I hate those horrible logoed jackets that they made therm wear. They smack of Radio 1 Roadshows of the '70s.

    Things kick off to a good start with Dexys with a song that wasn't on their Too Rye Ay album. Here a very animated Kevin, in a fine feathered cap, shares vocals with George Chandler and Jimmy Thomas who were credited as The Brothers Just. Chandler had sung with Gonzalez among other acts and would go on to front London Beat. There was also another singer credited on the record who wasn't present here. I like the band's stripped down instruments including a teachest bass and wood block in place of drums.

    Then a welcome repeat of The Human League which one can't have too much of. I have seen the video many times so it's nice to see them n the flesh. Had no idea it was the bass player who provided the bass vocal "mirror man" line at the end.

    Although never a fan of Whitesnake I did like this song a lot. Many years later my dad told me that he used to work with Whitesnake's and Deep Purple's manager John Colletta at a design agency in London. Sadly I learned all this too late to gain any brownie points when I was at school.

    Bucks Fizz getting hot in the kitchen. Not sure I care for any of the outfits they are waring, all of them looking they had wandered off the set of a dodgy West End musical. Not a bad song though but the days of the big hits were over.

    What's not to like about Our House. Madness were at their peak in 1982 and could do no wrong although The Rise and Fall was not as successful as their previous albums.

    The Charts and then Modern Romance back for another bite of the cherry. Not a lot different from the last appearance but once again the crowd loved it.

    Le Duranies on video with Simon in danger of morphing into Rod Stewart here. Feel sorry for those models having to sit motionless while they have paint and coloured water chucked over them.

    While I liked The Jam's Beat Surrender a lot it was one of those songs you had to check out the lyrics of in order to find out what the hell Weller was singing about. Interesting to see Tracie Young sharing vocal duties with Paul and Bruce, she would of course go on to have her own career as Weller's protege in 1983.

    Playout with Wham and more mad dancing.

    1. Hmm, Bucks Fizz getting hot in the kitchen? Good Lord, I don't know about you, but I was getting a little hot myself in the lounge watching this new studio performance. The two girls in heavenly white, but particularly Jay Aston's short top to go with the rest of the outfit, plus her dance moves just about made my Christmas Day.

      I thought after the show two weeks earlier with Shirlie Holliman also in glorious brilliant white matt on Wham, it was a hard act to follow, but full marks to Bucks Fizz this week who easily made up for Holliman being sidelined to the playout this week on Wham. I'll take a cold shower shortly.

  11. The playout with Wham, and what a disparity between the early evening showing with only 30 seconds of it, and the late night repeat with the full three-and-a-half minutes of the song, up until the final note where the studio audience had no more to dance to.

    This seems to be happening on a weekly basis, and I am having to watch the late night repeat every week to see the playout in its full glory, even though originally in 1982 we also never got to see all this footage due to the tight early evening schedule on BBC1. Bravo BBC4 now in 2016!

  12. host: is pp starting to lose his hair? it certainly looks a bit frazzled here. i must have whizzed past the pat sharp interview (presumably the horrendous mullet was yet to come?), but gary davies was certainly a lot harder work than janice long (who surprisingly actually looked quite hot here!)

    dexy's: or rather "kevin rowland and dexy's midnight runners" as they appear to be billed here - was there no end to the man's ego? and to give himself another shot of street-cred he's now roped in a couple of lumberjack shirt-wearing black dudes on backing vocals. but all to no avail as far as i'm concerned thanks to his "unique" vocal style

    whitesnake: yes they may have their followers, but in my view they really have no place on this show

    bucks fizz: more than a hint of cod-reggae about this, but despite that it is really impressive musically. and if it were a more credible act than bucks fizz then i would probably feel moved to give it at least another listen

    madness: i prefer their more upbeat tunes than their mid-tempo ones, but this is very clever and well laid out musically. and i love the way the chorus modulates. visually as stunning as ever, but that kitchen looks way too large to be inside one of a row of terraced houses! of course one of them could be like the tardis. or maybe it's the row that freddie mercury bought and then knocked into one?

    duran duran: if i had a pound for every time i've seen a clip of this video. however for me it always had a basic flaw, in that the woman featured in it wasn't actually as pretty as most of the band

    jam: i was going to mention the modfather's protegee tracie who went on to have her own 15 minutes of fame, but bama beat me to it! post-jam bruce tried to launch a short-lived solo career before finding regular employment as bassist for stiff little fingers, and then playing himself in the modfather-less kind-of tribute act "from the jam" (as did rick for a while). they seem to be doing okay for themselves, so presumably many jam fans don't feel the same antipathy the modfather himself does towards his original band?

  13. George Michael? ! 2016 is never ending

    1. Jawdropping, really. We've only just started the Wham! story and George has gone. What with Greg Lake and Rick Parfitt this month and David Bowie at the start of the year, and goodness knows who I've forgotten in between, it's been a sobering twelve months.

    2. I keep thinking I'm too old to be shocked by the News, and I keep being shocked. John Peel was the first to play Wham!, they had credibility before the "real music" bores started writing them off, and they were more than just any old pop band, they were one of the brightest of the 80s. I didn't really get on with George's solo stuff, but the more I read about him today the more he seems like a great guy. Troubled soul, but great guy.

      Not music, but I'm hoping Carrie Fisher pulls through and doesn't make 2016 even worse.

    3. Oh yeah, and not TOTP material but the entire Red Army Choir died in a plane crash yesterday. 2016 is just taking the piss, now, isn't it?

  14. Another cracking edition to boot with much wonderful stuff on display. Don’t recall a couple of those new DJs they introduced which is weird!

    Dexys – let’s get this straight from the start – Case of diminishing returns after their massive no1 this. Kevin looks like he’s sporting Robin Hood headgear!

    Human League – Mirror Man – Shame it’s not a new performance or the video but it’s still a mighty fine song. I noticed, as did Bama, that the deep voice ‘the mirror man’ vocals near the end are sung (mimed) by the bass player. I wonder if this was just for the benefit of the performance here?

    Whitesnake – Here I go again – A double A side with the charmingly titled ‘Bloody Luxury’, this is not a version I have heard for years. The remixed, Americanised version was a massive hit a few years later with a great video featuring a girl on the bonnet (hood) of a car as I recall! Good to see this again.

    Bucks Fizz – I f you can’t stand the heat – Sheeesh, those outfits, especially Jays!! Wow, what an image! I recall seeing BF a few years later at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet and this one certainly stood out in the set. Co-written by ace guitarist Ian Bairnson from many bands including Pilot and Alan Parsons Project, and who memorably played the wonderful extended playout solo on Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’.

    Madness – Our House – The Madness image and style epitomised in the glorious, timeless song. Love the ‘tennis racket’ guitar playing; something I often did in front of the mirror!

    Modern Romance – Best Years of our lives – This time the audience look really engaged and into the part feel of the song. A better studio outing all round with the trumpet player dressed more appropriately, the singers not looking much different from previously and an all-round, feel-good atmosphere.

    Duran Duran – Rio – Ahhh that video at last! It just sums up Simon and the boys as they reap the rewards of their success somewhere exotic with some beautiful girls to keep them company on their yacht. Hope the crab wasn’t injured during the making of this video!

    The Jam – Beat Surrender – I’m not a Jam fan by any stretch, but I do have a grudging admiration for their other chart toppers, especially ‘Going Underground’. However, I never really liked this and always felt it was carried straight into the charts on the back of massed fan nostalgia that this would be the last single. We then had a period where practically every other Jam single charted in the lower regions on the back of the sadness of their split. I checked how high this one got in the US charts just out of interest and as Julie notes above, found that Weller, Foxton and Buckler registered no hits over there at all. Very strange.

    Wham! – Young Guns – Well with the very sad news we woke up to today, this was indeed a poignant record to play out with. The BBC even treated us to the entire song which, as previously noted on other shows (and mentioned above by Dory), was probably never fully broadcast. A nice crowd pleaser to dance out to. RIP George.

    I also noted that Japan had entered at no29 with the sublime ‘Nightporter’ from the previous album ‘Gentlemen take Polaroids’. A shame this wasn’t featured as it’s my personal favourite Japan song and would probably have benefitted (like ‘Ghosts’ did) to a bit of wider exposure.

    Hope everyone had a great Christmas and all the best for 2017. Thanks Angelo for your always reliable postings and for the guys who let us see those episodes that would otherwise be denied to us.

    1. regarding the bass voice on the human league record, i must point out that phil oakey had a pretty impressive lower range himself - as evidenced in the league unlimited remix version of "hard time"!

      i'm not surprised the jam never meant anything in the states, as their sound (especially the modfather's bellowing!) was certainly too harsh for US radio airplay. and their fanbase was mainly english middle-class angry young men who probably had no substantial US counterpart...

      i agree that "nightporter" is a class track (if more-than-a-little influenced by erik satie!). but probably not warranted as a single release (both on the grounds of being uncommercial and from their previous album that was already two years old at this point), so it was a miracle it got that high! it seemed even their current record company was prepared to put out re-heated scraps in the hope of clawing some of their investment back - not just their old one! which in turn somewhat tarnished their legacy in my opinion...

    2. Sct353, it was a little unfortunate even in 1982, that if you were at No.3 in the charts, that you would be the playout song with studio dancing, instead of being invited for a second time on TOTP to perform.

      I can only imagine that TOTP with a debut hit by Wham, never imagined that they would be big, and could have been a one hit wonder, but I did like the studio audience dancing at the end of the show to Young Guns on late night repeat where we got the full song down to the last note, which made it all the more poignant that this was broadcast a couple of days before George Michael's sad passing.

  15. the first time they showed the wham video i queried who the pretty-boy guitarist backing them might be. i never got an answer, nor ever expected to find out. however, george's shock death got me finding out a bit more about him and in doing so have now ID'd the guy in question. he is david austin, who like ridgers was a long-time friend and associate of george. not only was he in george and andrew's pre-wham group the executive, but also had george's patronage and help when attempting to launch a solo career of his own after wham's breakthrough. and when that failed, he then collaborated with george as a songwriter for many years after...

    1. i checked out mr austin's first single on youtube, and here on "cheggers play pop" george even introduces him. and in doing so we get to realise many years later that they were as literal as life-long friends could be:

  16. I hope old George has gone to Club Tropicana. (where all the drinks are free) All the stories coming out about his generosity make it all the more sadder. :(

    1. there is now an 80's-style club in the manchester gay village called "club tropicana" - although i doubt the drinks are free!

  17. While we're mourning poor old George Michael (sadly, this really was his Last Christmas), this is as good a time as any to roll out my tenuous Wham-related claim to fame.

    Picture the scene. It is autumn 1982, and I'm in my first term at Cambridge. One evening, in the queue for dinner, I bump into a bloke called Dave Coombs who was in the same class as me at junior school, but went to a different secondary school. I happen to have the new NME under my arm and I show him the cover.

    "You know we thought we'd done pretty well, getting to Cambridge?" I said. "Well, check this out."

    And I showed him the cover of the NME, featuring rising stars Wham, one of whom was our old classmate Andrew Ridgeley.

    I should say at this point that Andrew was one of the more forgettable alumni of Ashfield Junior School, being neither good at sport or particularly clever. In fact, his younger brother Paul was more memorable, chiefly because he was pushing six foot tall by the time he was 11. (I seem to remember he tried to forge his own pop career on the back of Wham's success, but got nowhere.)

    Anyway, the Ridgeleys lived just down the road from us, in the house next to the local park. For the next year or so, when I was home for the holidays and took the family dog for a walk, there would often be a gaggle of teenage girls at the end of their drive, wearing short skirts and too much makeup and clutching gifts for their hero.

    As a rather surreal postscript, 10 years ago or so I was visiting my mum, who still lives in Bushey, and we went to an event in the park. Mum spotted a woman walking towards us. "Oh look, it's Mrs Ridgeley." It turns out they were on various local committees together.

    The conversation went something like this:

    Mum: "This is my son Tim - he was at Ashfield with your Andrew."

    Mrs R: "Oh really? What do you do now?"

    Me: [Mutters something about my mediocre career in journalism] "And what's Andrew up to these days?"

    Mrs R: "He lives with Keren [she clearly assumed I knew he was married to one of Bananarama] in Cornwall, near the beach. He does a lot of surfing."

    Like I say, surreal.

    1. i didn't realise that andrew ridgeley's brother also tried piggy-backing on wham to fame. according to discogs all he did was some backing vocals on the first wham single "wham rap" (along with david mortimer, later to become the above-mentioned david austin) before drumming on a few tracks on his brother's much-derided solo album several years later. i do remember that yet another wham friend or family member that followed them into the pop industry was george's cousin andros, who had a late 80's hit cover of the bee gee's "jive talkin" under the alias boogie box high (his album fearured contributions from both david austin and george!)

    2. tim your tale of teenage girls hanging around outside ridgers' house reminds me of the oft-seen footage where the same thing happens with dave hill of slade:

      presumably this practice of young girls loitering outside pin-up stars' abodes (or young boys for that matter - i remember george o'dowd recalling he once hung around outside bowie's south london home in his youth) has been an occupational hazard throughout the era of pop music. but how did they and/or those that lived with them deal with it?

    3. A few years ago, we spent Christmas in Cornwall. We went out for a meal one evening in a pub near Wadebridge and who should pop up and seamlessly integrate with the Locals but Andrew and Keren. On the wall in the pub was a gold disc for (if my memory serves me well), US sales of 'Everything she wants'.

    4. Wilberforce - I think the story about Paul Ridgeley's band was in the Watford Observer, so it may well have been a short-lived venture. I did find one reference to him leaving pre-Wham group The Executive to join a jazz-funk outfit, so it may even have been that.

      As for Dave Hill, he did bring it on himself by buying a house next to a girls' school at the height of Slade's fame!

    5. thanks for that tim. with regard to young girls hanging around outside pop stars homes, i seem to remember reading that the more sympathetic mums would give them cups of tea and suchlike. but had i been mrs ridgeley, i would have reported them to the police to get them moved on!

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    7. My dad, bless him, once spent a whole day talking to Andrew Ridgley when he and my mum were on holiday in Watergate Bay, Cornwall without realising who he was. Even when he told my dad that he used to be a pop star and had been in Wham! my dad was none the wiser.

  18. i know this will seem like pouring oil on troubled waters, but when lamenting the tragic loss of all these recently-deceased rock stars, bear in mind that: all had reasonably good innings, all led lives of privilege (and excess!) that most could only dream of, and arguably all were well past their creative peak. i certainly would have been happy to have swapped places with any of them!

    1. I have some sympathy with your argument, Wilberforce, but I can't help feeling particularly sad about George's demise. As I've said before, I think he was a big talent who could have given us much more great music than he did if drugs and depression had not intervened. If the newspaper reports that are emerging of his last days are in any way accurate, it paints a very sad picture of a smack-addicted recluse who had badly lost his way. I gather that George himself envied Andrew Ridgeley for being able to count his royalties in peace and quiet for the last 30 years - personally, I would much prefer to have led Andrew's charmed life than George's tortured one.

    2. someone mentioned above that george michael was a troubled soul. i certainly concur with that, and as someone known to be introverted and very unsure of himself even before he became successful (in contrast to most wannabe pop stars whose self-belief probably far outweighed their talent - yes toyah, i'm thinking of you!), i suspect that the mantle of fame always sat somewhat uneasily on his shoulders. and especially given his closeted sexuality that he probably agonised over for many years as a celebrity - especially when he was practically every teenage girl's heart-throb in the wham days!

      and whilst i always considered him an excellent singer, i don't think he was anyway near the great songwriter he was made out to be (and certainly was not a prolific one). so therefore may have felt that others' unrealistic expectations of him in that department put a lot of pressure on, and a sense of failure and letting others down when he was unable to come up with the goods. he may have even have felt guilt that his riches and reputation came to him all too easily without having to work as hard as he thought he should have done to have justified it all?

      in contrast, i'm sure that the happy-go-lucky andrew ridgeley is well-aware that he was fortunate to be able to hitch a ride to fame on the back of his relatively much-more-talented friend and partner. and no doubt despite that still counts his royalies (when he's not surfing) without losing a wink of sleep. but then again someone like that would have been no different had his bid for pop fame failed and he'd consequently lived the humdrum existence that most do instead...

  19. Has anyone watched the new Christmas ToTP Compilation? A chronological romp of Christmas hits, from 1967 to 2010, though not necessarily seasonal flavoured hits. A few stood out for me:-

    St Etienne – I was born on Christmas Day - don’t even recall this, but I like it.

    David Essex - A Winter’s Tale – live performance and we’ll be seeing it soon on the 1982 reruns. I wonder whether it was from a Yewtree show?

    Girls Aloud – Sound of the Underground – phew! Forgotten this performance. What a song to launch their career!

    Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah – Great performance and rendition and particularly poignant now

    Dollar – Mirror Mirror – Just great seeing the duo with the Kid (soon to become David) dancing in the background!

    Frankie goes to Hollywood – The Power of love – Has aged well. Much prefer this to the cover.

    1. I watched the show, but the most interesting clip for me was that recently recovered Stones performance of 2000 Light Years From Home in 1967. The make-up and lighting make the band look very sinister!

    2. I watched it last night ~ yes the Rolling Stones clip was quite something - great slice of space rock too! I think this show has replaced the annual TOTPS2 Xmas offering ~ it made a nice change even if we did still get Slade!

  20. Big thanks to Angelo for grafting away furiously and doing double time in 2016, and thanks to everyone for putting up with my prattling for another year. Thanks also to TOTP for yet another Zoo-less show.

    Part skiffle group, part gentle soul, but no part top ten hit for the young Alan Sugar riding through the glen. The backing singer stage right very similar to Tony Jackson, who’d teamed up with a controversially blacked-up Polly Brown to have a top ten hit in 1974 under the name Sweet Dreams. You can see a Jim’ll clip of the duo on YouTube - watch if you dare.

    Gary Davies – Thunderbird Woodentop. Janice Long – chatty and informative. Pat Sharp – a Yorkshire terrier on his head.

    I agree, the reworked version of Whitesnake’s tune was better than this plodding original.

    Jay Aston. Yes please. Just like the Christmas turkey dinner – would you prefer breast or thigh? I always thought it was very suggestive when the girls sang “If you don’t want to know what you’re missing” while getting very close to giving the lads a ‘noshing’.

    Another enjoyable video from Madness, which reminded me of a tale when a mate’s team, Cardiff City, played away to Aarhus in a European competition. The Danish city’s pronounced “or-hoose”, hence the away fans sang “Aarhus, in the middle of our street” on the terraces.

    Was John Du Prez really only 36 back then? By ‘eck! I take it Modern Romance’s drummer didn’t have enough time to get dressed up as smartly as his bandmates.

    Duran Duran, like a four-minute slice of smugness.

    Here come The Jam Council with the multi-talented Tracie and Paul Weller sans guitar but still with a gobful of chew. The ‘beginning and end’ lines in the song must have stuck in Bruce’s and Rick’s craws.

    If I’m too tardy to get my critiques of the next shows here in time, Happy New Year to you!

    1. Re Janice Long, this was not her first tv appearance, she had appeared as a contestant on 3-2-1 back in 1978. Worth watching for her reaction when they win the silver tea service. Happy New Year everyone.

  21. swotting up on the polly brown "blackface" affair as a result of arthur's comments above has revealed more interesting info:

    1 - although she apparently blacked-up (as "sara leone") when appearing on other tv shows, she toned the look down to a dark straight wig and slightly darker shade of make-up (that made her actually look more asian than black) supposedly due to the objections of show producer robin nash

    2 - the black guy was a predecessor of bobby from boney m, in that he was brought in to mime to the white producer's vocals that recorded in the studio!

    3 - ms brown was supposedly mr as it appens fiancee at the time, but later claimed (according to wikipedia): "she had no idea that he was using her as a cover for his paedophile activities"...

    1. In 'Smashey & Nicey - End Of An Era' there's a bit where they reminisce about an 'all black Top Of The Pops' in 1974 and a scene showing them presenting the show with blacked-up faces. For years I wondered what this was referencing and even today I can only assume that it's a send-up of Polly Brown's appearance in that year. Quite obscure if it is.

      Incidentally I much prefer Sweet Dreams' version of 'Honey Honey' to the original, particularly the ending.

    2. amazingly it seems "smashie & nicey - end of an era" has yet to be released on DVD. i enjoyed watching it immensely when it was first shown on the telly in the early 90's, and managed to get hold of a copy on commercially-released video off ebay about 10 years ago - it's always worth a another look if you're stuck for something to watch!

    3. I was never a big fan of Harry Enfield, but I must admit the Smashie and Nicey special is something close to a masterpiece in its big laughs and cold eyed skewering of its subject. The Blue Peter section is hilarious!

      More recently, Enfield and Whitehouse's similar spoofing of the entirety of BBC2 for their anniversary was absolutely superb as well.

  22. As there is no Thursday TOTP this week, you may like to know that tonight at 11.40pm on the Yesterday Channel (19 on Freeview, 537 on Sky, and 245 on Virgin) there will be Top Of The Pops: The Story of 1978, so a nice Thursday alternative until tomorrow where BBC4 resumes with a further two episodes from 1982.

  23. Has anyone got the JS 16.12.82 edition for tomorrow night's blog? Crickey, I see that Renee & Renato will be on three shows tomorrow night, i.e., 9th, 16th, 23rd Dec.

    Apparently we will need 5 shows on the blog tomorrow night if you include the two Xmas shows of 1982 which BBC4 will not be showing because of DLT and JS across both of them. What a mess!

    Anyway, I managed to find one of the Christmas shows, i.e., 25.12.82 where it seems BBC4 have showed this already, even with DLT in it. Thanks to Glen Marshall's Vimeo page here:

    1. Just to add to this, the 30 December show is in 4 parts on YouTube, with Part 1 on this link:

      I think Angelo can post blogs for these Xmas shows at his leisure, as after tomorrow there won't be another show until 13 January, when we will get the 13 January 1983 edition 34 years to the day of first transmission. The Story of 1983 and Big Hits are being shown on the 6th - the 6/1/83 show was co-hosted by Mike Smith, so alas will be skipped.

    2. I'm lucky regarding the two christmas shows as I recorded both back in 1982! It was the first year i'd had a video recorder and I continued to record every Christmas show until 1999. Unfortunately I've got no idea how to upload them.

    3. Three blogs tonight ~ the two Xmas shows will follow over the next few days.

    4. Erm John, so that means we also need 6th Jan 1983, cos it has Mike Smith, and so BBC4 will not show it. I make that a total of 6 blogs required (this weekend?), i.e., 9,16,23,25,30 Dec, plus 6 Jan, i.e., an average of one show every two days till 13th Jan when BBC4 are back up with 1983. Angelo, what's the plan?

    5. Thanks Angelo, our posts seemed to cross.

    6. Dory - yes, there are 6 shows to blog and get through before BBC4 shows its first instalment from 1983. The point I was trying to make was that Angelo will have two weeks in which to post up the Xmas shows and the edition from 6/1/83, so no need to blog all 6 this weekend!

  24. I didn't realise that Debbie Reynolds was a chart artist until I read her obit today. Closer checking reveals she had a big US no1 with 'Tammy' in August 1957 and reached no2 over here with the song also - kept off the top spot by 'That'll be the Day' by the Crickets.

    Never heard of, nor heard the song until now, having checked it out on YT.

    RIP Debbie and Carrie

    1. Debbie's smash hit was the theme tune to her film Tammy and the Bachelor, also a big hit - and her leading man was Leslie Nielsen!

  25. totp 16 December 1982 is here:

  26. Dexy's - Not a particularly exciting way to start the show.

    Whitesnake - God, this version takes forever to get going! The remix is much better and also uses the word 'drifter' instead of 'hobo' for some reason.

    Bucks Fizz - Not one of their finest singles, but the Fizz are always welcome.

    The Madness and Duran vids are both very good of course, I've just seen them too often now.

    The Jam - Average really. As others have said, fan power alone got it to the top.

    Overall, would rather have seen the DLT show!