Thursday, 25 February 2016

Top of the Pops of Romance

Ok so we have another little breather with just the one edition of Top of the Pops 1981 this week but it's the calm before the storm! And as this 9th of April edition gets underway host Mike Read reminds us that the show was still getting a vast number of viewers each week......

Did he really say 19 million?

09/04/81 (hosted by Mike Read)

(7) Linx – “Intuition”
Linx finally make it into the studio to perform their biggest hit but number 7 was the peak.

(2) Bucks Fizz – “Making Your Mind Up”
Fresh from their Eurovision victory with their champagne glass sweaters and ready to take over at number one next week.

(27) Saxon – “And The Bands Played On”
Became the heavy metal rocker's biggest hit when it made number 12. But the band didn't play on tonight at 7.30pm ~ they were edited out!

(39) Keith Marshall – “Only Crying”
His only hit which peaked at number 12. Also edited out tonight at 7.30pm.

(32) David Bowie – “Up The Hill Backwards”
This week Legs & Co go all Egyptian mummy for their routine to the fourth and final single from Bowie's Scary Monsters and Super Creeps album, and number 32 was as far up the hill as it got.

(12) Graham Bonnet – “Night Games” (rpt from 26/03/81)
Before the next act, Mike Read invites Rosie from Legs & Co over for a glass of champagne to celebrate her 21st birthday. He then asks her if she likes Night Games ~ which was still heading towards the top ten.

(31) Public Image Ltd – “Flowers Of Romance”
Sporting an elegant little combo of a vicar's dog collar and Ten Pole Tudor's trousers, John Lydon and the band perform their first new single for two years, taken from the album of the same name, it would make it to a somewhat disappointing number 24.

(44) Eddy Grant – “Can’t Get Enough Of You”
The first of two top 40 hits for Eddy in 1981, this being the more successful peaking at number 13.

(24) Gillan – “New Orleans” (rpt from 26/03/81)
The second of four top 40 hits in 1981 for Gillan, this one being the most successful of them when it made number 17. Edited out of tonight's 7.30pm slot.

(9) The Whispers – “It’s A Love Thing” (9) (video)
Now at its chart peak. Great 80's tune with a great 70's look.

(10) Hazel O’Connor – “D-Days” (rpt from 26/03/81)
The first of four top 50 hits in 1981 for Hazel, this one now at its number 10 peak.

(1) Shakin’ Stevens – “This Ole House” (rpt/credits)
The third and final week at the top of the pops for This Ole House. And featuring a final final farewell from Pauline!

Next week then we have no fewer than five editions to get through! Beginning with April 16th 1981.

Friday, 19 February 2016

My Mum is One in a Top of the Pops

So remind me, where did March go?

Yes, I'm not fooling about, its April 1981 already in BBC4 land and Simon Bates is the host of tonight's multifarious edition of Top of the Pops....

Have those pesky kids gone yet?

02/04/81 (hosted by Simon Bates)

(47) Stiff Little Fingers – “Just Fade Away”
This week's show gets off to a punky start, but punk had had its day by now and the aptly titled Just Fade Away got no higher than 47.

(17) Dave Stewart & Colin Blunstone – “What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?” (rpt from 19/03/81)
Getting close to its peak of number 13. And edited out of tonight's 7.30 pm slot.

(45) Light Of The World – “Time”
A double A side with 'I'm So Happy' became their biggest hit when it peaked at number 35. Also edited out of the 7.30pm broadcast.

(44) Liquid Gold – “Don’t Panic”
Liquid Gold lost out to Bucks Fizz in the recent Song for Europe contest, and to rub things in a little further their contender failed to make the top 40.

(4) Stevie Wonder – “Lately” (video)
Went up one place more.

(23) The Jacksons – “Can You Feel It?”
Legs & Co are jolly pirates for this week's routine, and shiver me timbers, this Jacksons tune that had been very slowly walking the plank was now propelled towards the top ten.

(27) Children Of Tansley School – “My Mum Is One In A Million”
Our host Simon explained that last week had been Mothers Day, and this record (by the same writer as There's No One Quite Like Grandma) is what all the nice children had been buying for their mums, hence it suddenly appearing at 27 in the charts, but perhaps unsurprisingly it got no higher. Still, I expect it raised a few quid for the school.

(31) Sugar Minott – “Good Thing Going (We’ve Got A Good Thing Going)”
This cover of a very early Michael Jackson song would become Sugar Minott's only top ten hit when it made number 4.

(new) Lena Zavaroni – “Roses & Rainbows”
The BBC were still doing their best to promote Lena, but there was no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, it failed to chart. And edited out of the 7.30 show tonight.

(53) Spandau Ballet – “Musclebound”
Musclebound, produced by the main singer from Landscape, became the first of two top ten hits in 1981 for Spandau Ballet when it made number 10. It has a great video too if I remember rightly.

(5) Bucks Fizz – “Making Your Mind Up” (rpt from 19/03/81)
Now just two days away from winning the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest.

(1) Shakin’ Stevens – “This Ole House”
The second of three weeks at number one for Shaky and a new performance here again with mass audience participation and a Paulineless Legs & Co who this week each have some very lucky boy to dance with.

(21) The Nolans – “Attention To Me”  (credits)
Became the sisters' final top ten hit when it peaked at number 9.

Next up then (on Thursday) is the edition from April 9th 1981.

Friday, 12 February 2016

This Ole Top of the Pops

Already then we reach the final edition of Top of the Pops of March 1981, how time flies, eh? And what a particularly bouncy show this one is, it certainly has got a real 'spring' in its step :-)

What you talking about, Pauline's left?

26/03/81 (hosted by Richard Skinner)

(36) Polecats – “John I’m Only Dancing”
The show gets off to an energetic start with the Polecats leaping about with this rockabilly Bowie cover and the now Paulineless Legs & Co doing their audience cheerleading again ~ but despite all this effort the song only went up one place higher in the charts.

(2) Kim Wilde – “Kids In America” (video)
At its peak now and edited out of the 7.30pm show tonight.

(43) Graham Bonnet – “Night Games”
This was also edited out but we will get to see it on a future edition because it made it to number 6.

(23) Hazel O’Connor – “D-Days”
Not many performers turn up disguised as one of the girls (or granny!) around the presenter but Hazel soon reveals herself and is quickly outbouncing the Polecats with her rendition of D-Days, which peaked at number 10 and was the first of two top ten hits for her in 1981.

(10) Tony Capstick – “Capstick Comes Home”
The bouncing takes a bit of a break here as popular Radio Sheffield DJ and comedian/actor/folk singer Tony Capstick does one of those records that the kids of today just don't understand... and it would peak at number 3.

(37) Gillan – “New Orleans”
The show cranks up a gear or five now as Gillan offers this heavy rock version of New Orleans, taken from his number 2 album Future Shock.

(53) Lene Lovich – “New Toy”
Edited out of tonights 7.30pm show ~ and it got no higher than number 53.

(13) Linx – “Intuition” (13) (video)
Linx were still stealing apples and bouncing towards the top ten.

(54) Bad Manners – “Just A Feeling”
Looking alarmingly like a hotdog about to have a heart attack, Bad Manners up the bouncing stakes with their first of three top 20 singles in 1981, this one peaking at number 13.

(20) The Whispers – “It’s A Love Thing”
So Legs & Co are reduced to five members for the time being, and that time ended up being about two months before Anita joined them. Dancing here to the second and final top ten hit for the Whispers, Its a Love Thing made it to number 9.

(11) Landscape – “Einstein A Go-Go” (video)
Soon to become the band's only top ten hit when it peaked at number 5.

(1) Shakin’ Stevens – “This Ole House” (rpt from 05/03/81)
And so the Shaky phenomenon begins with his first of two number ones in 1981. And look ~ Pauline's back already!

(24) Bucks Fizz - "Making Your Mind Up" (credits)
Sounding promising for the Eurovision Song contest, which would be held on April 4th in Dublin.

We get a little bit of a breather next week because Thursday has a Sky at Night episode on BBC4, but we're back on Friday with Top of the Pops from April 2nd 1981.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Top of the Pops Your Mind Up

There are lots of big changes to Top of the Pops coming up during the course of 1981, and tonight's edition sees one of them (though not a mention is made of it by Peter Powell) ~ after nearly four and a half years on the show we come to the end of the original line up of Legs & Co, with Pauline Peter's final (two) performances..

So if you want to see some more of Pauline, tonight's your last chance....

19/03/81 (hosted by Peter Powell)

(28) The Jacksons – “Can You Feel It?” (background)
Whilst Peter introduces the show we get a few seconds of Can You Feel It, which was the third single from The Jacksons late 1980 album 'Triumph' and became by far the most successful of the three when it peaked at number 6.

(33) Sharon Redd – “Can You Handle It?”
The question is can that podium handle Sharon's gyrating? And around her we also see Legs & Co in their new regular role of audience cheerleader dancers. The song peaked at number 31 for Sharon, though eleven years later she would re-record it and take it to number 17.

(2) Shakin’ Stevens – “This Ole House” (video)
Shaky packs his things and prepares to move into the number one spot. But he was edited out of the 7.30pm broadcast tonight.

(30) Dave Stewart & Colin Blunstone – “What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?”
The first of two top 20 cover version hits for keyboardist Dave Stewart in 1981, this first offering, featuring Zombie Colin Blunstone on vocals, making it to lucky number 13....

(9) The Who – “You Better You Bet”  (rpt from 05/03/81)
Now at its peak, the first single from their number 2 album Face Dances.

(18) Stevie Wonder – “Lately”
Quite an appropriate goodbye song for Pauline's final Legs & Co performance, which later made it to number 3 in the charts.

(14) Phil Collins – “I Missed Again”  (rpt from 05/03/81)
At its peak. And edited out of the 7.30pm showing.

(New) Bucks Fizz – “Making Your Mind Up”
And now we introduce The UKs Eurovision song contest entry for 1981 ~ fingers crossed.......

(24) Visage – “Mind Of a Toy” (video)
The follow up to Fade to Grey peaked at number 13. Somewhat disappointingly, this was edited out of the 7.30pm slot tonight.

(20) Duran Duran – “Planet Earth” (rpt from 05/03/81)
Still heading up the charts on its way to number 12.

(8) Toyah – “It’s a Mystery” (8)
A new performance of Its a Mystery from Toyah on its way to a high of number 4.

(1) Roxy Music – “Jealous Guy” (video/credits)
The second and final week for Roxy's only number one hit. And looking down the credits it seems the Maggie Stredder Singers were back again tonight, backing Sharon Redd maybe?

Next (tomorrow!) we move on to March 26th 1981 with Richard Skinner.

Friday, 5 February 2016

(Top of the Pops) Help Me Out

Well bless my cotton socks Top of the Pops certainly needed helping out on March 12th 1981 because everyone had downed tools again ~ all except that is for Tommy Vance who got to present his very own strike edition....

A Game of Top of the Pops, anybody?

12/03/81 (hosted by Tommy Vance and invisible audience)

(13) The Teardrop Explodes – “Reward”  (rpt from 19/02/81)
Two consecutive showings then for the Teardrop Explodes, but it works out quite well for us because this clip is from a yewtreed DLT edition so hadn't yet been shown on BBC4 :-)

(6) Kim Wilde – “Kids In America” (video)
The video that was purposely made to look a bit like her recent Top of the Pops appearance, where she was nervous of being in the near vicinity of Madness!

(41) Linx – “Intuition”  (video)
A lucky break this for Linx, without the strike it was unlikely they would have been on this week's show ~ afterwards Intuition leapt up the charts and became their only top ten hit making number 7. Not so lucky tonight though ~ edited out of the 7.30pm broadcast.

(22) Kelly Marie – “Hot Love”  (rpt from 26/02/81)
I make this the third time on the show for Kelly's final top 30 hit, now at its peak. But also edited out.

(8) Freeez – “Southern Freeez”  (rpt from 12/02/81)
Also now at its chart summit. And edited out of the 7.30pm slot.

(9) Status Quo – “Something ‘Bout You Baby I Like” (video)
And again, a song at its chart peak that was edited out of tonight's 7.30pm showing.

(15) Beggar & Co – “(Somebody) Help Me Out”  (rpt from 12/02/81)
Guess what? This one had now reached its chart peak. But it was left in the 7.30 show!

(38) Landscape – “Einstein A Go-Go”  (video)
Another band perhaps benefitting 'relativity' well from the strike, Einstein was about to a go-go towards the top ten, making it to number five. And its easy to see why they chose to show this genius video!

(14) Talking Heads – “Once In A Lifetime” (rpt from 19/02/81)
Two shows on the bounce for Talking Heads too, but again it means we get to see this previously yewtreed Legs & Co routine on BBC4 ~ but despite their best efforts Once in a Lifetime somehow got no higher in the charts.
(17) Kiki Dee – “Star”  (rpt from 26/02/81)
Still heading towards its high of number 13.

(5) Coast To Coast – “(Do) The Hucklebuck” (rpt from 12/02/81)
One more showing for Coast to Coast now at their peak.

(1) Roxy Music – “Jealous Guy” (video/credits)
A fine cover of this John Lennon album track from Imagine, which must have been put together very quickly, and now here was becoming Roxy's only number one hit.

Next up then is March 19th with Peter Powell, notable for being the final time we will see the original line up of Legs & Co.....

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Planet Top of the Pops

BBC4 really are 'marching' through these editions this year aren't they, with a sixth of 1981 already gone! Indeed, these shows are loading faster than a Sinclair ZX81 computer - which came out the week this edition was first broadcast :-)

Today Top of the Pops - tomorrow the world!

05/03/81 (hosted by Mike Read)

(47) Duran Duran – “Planet Earth”
A major debut on the show tonight with a song that made 'new romantic' an official term, and also the first of four top 40 hits for Duran Duran in 1981, this one peaking at number 12.

(14) Talking Heads – “Once In A Lifetime” (video)
Now at its chart peak. But edited out of tonight's 7.30pm showing.

(6) Adam & The Ants – “Kings Of The Wild Frontier” (rpt from 19/02/81)
1981's chart kings were heading towards the number 2 spot with this re-issue of the first single from their album of the same name.

(16) Toyah – “It’s A Mystery” (rpt from 19/02/81)
The first of three top ten hits in 1981 (and ever) for Toyah ~ this one made number four. But where was she on tonight's 7.30pm broadcast?? - it's no mystery, she was edited out.

(29) Shakin’ Stevens – “This Ole House”
Who could have foreseen the phenomenal success that was about to come Shaky's way? This would become the first of four top ten hits, including two number ones, he would have in 1981. But not on tonight's 7.30 showing.

(5) Headgirl (Motorhead & Girlschool) – “Please Don’t Touch” (rpt from 19/02/81)
This Johnny Kidd and the Pirates cover was now at its peak. It's good this one was shown tonight, because last time it was on a yewtreed DLT show.

(45) Phil Collins – “I Missed Again”
The follow up to In the Air Tonight was perhaps a more conventional sounding song, and not as big a hit, but still got to number 14. And he's still got that tin of paint with him, maybe for a second coat?

(31) Kool & The Gang – “Jones Vs Jones”
The first of four top 20 hits in 1981for Kool & the Gang provides this week's Legs & Girl routine, with three of the girls as brides and the other three as their bridegrooms!

(25) The Teardrop Explodes – “Reward” (video)
Became the band's only top ten hit. Here they drive around a very bleak looking seaside town trying to cheer things up by playing their trombones.

(35) The Who – “You Better You Bet” (35)
About to become this legendary band's 14th and final top ten hit, when it reached number 9, but sadly they never managed the number one they surely merited. And this was their first studio appearance on the show since 1973, and I do believe it was also their last?

(1) Joe Dolce Music Theatre – “Shaddap You Face” (rpt from 05/02/81)
The third and final week at number one for Joe's only hit.

(7) Coast to Coast - "(Do) The Hucklebuck (credits)
Mike Read displays his dance skills with the audience as Coast to Coast edge closer to peak position.

Next up is the 12th of March with Tommy Vance, and there's something just a little unusual about this edition.....