Friday, 6 January 2017

The Story of Top of the Pops

Top of the Pops returns to BBC4 tonight with The Story of 1983 at 9pm followed by Big Hits 1983 at 10pm. Of course, one of the stories of 2017 is that we won't be seeing any editions where Mike Smith was a host, unless someone at the BBC can sort that particular mess out, and that includes this very first show of the year, from January 6th 1983.

So a huge thanks goes to Robert Thompson for uploading it here to WeTransfer

And an alternative link can also be found here also at WeTransfer

Hey ~ why didn't they just edit out the Mike Smith links and just show Tommy Vance's? 


06/01/83 (Mike Smith & Tommy Vance)

Joe Jackson – “Steppin’ Out” (50)
Became Joe's second and final top ten hit reaching number 6.

Phil Collins – “You Can’t Hurry Love” (2) (video)
Went up one more place to become the first of three number ones for Phil.

Ultravox – “Hymn” (12) (rpt from 16/12/82)
This double-whammy yewtree victim went up one more place.

Bucks Fizz – “If You Can’t Stand The Heat” (13)
Still slowly feeling its way to a peak position of number 10.

Malcolm McLaren & The World’s Famous Supreme Team – “Buffalo Gals” (11) (video)
Scratched its way up two more places.

Wah! – “The Story Of The Blues” (34)
Became their only top ten hit reaching number 3.

David Essex – “A Winter’s Tale” (3) (video)
Another one that has missed out on a BBC4 showing, although it was featured on the recent Christmas Hits compilation show ~ it went up one more place.

The Stranglers – “European Female” (40)
A rare chance for JJ Burnel to take lead vocals and it made it to number 9.

Dionne Warwick – “All The Love In The World” (10) (US TV clip)
At its peak.

Renee & Renato – “Save Your Love” (1) (video)
Final week at the top.

Madness – “Our House” (5) (audience dancing/credits)
Now making itself at home in its peak position.


Back to BBC4 next week for January 13th 1983.

104 comments:

  1. I like the new blog title, Angelo - I wish I'd thought of it! I'm also looking forward to 1983, as this was the first year that I really started to become conscious of pop music, and my earliest memories of TOTP come from this year.

    This isn't a bad show to get us underway, even if the usual post-Christmas leftovers are lying around. In his wisdom, Mr Hurll had evidently decided that two hosts would be better than one from this point, and we begin with the somewhat unlikely pairing of Smitty and Tommy. They actually work quite well together, though TV is easily the more natural and likeable of the two. While competent, Smitty tries a bit too hard to be funny here, and generally seems overanxious to please - I must admit, however, that his ET and Orville impressions are pretty good! Strange also that he gets to do all the chart rundowns, given that TV was the Top 40 man on Radio 1 at this time.

    Joe Jackson gets the year off to a classy start with his last hit of any significance. This is a smooth, polished effort with some nice keyboard work, and I find it's a song that actually improves the more you hear it. It's a shame that the fine follow-up single, Breaking Us in Two, only managed to limp to 59. Bucks Fizz are back, with the girls turning in another alluring performance, but other than their dresses being different there's not much to distinguish this from the group's previous studio appearance.

    Wah! were not mighty at this stage, and I'm afraid this rather overwrought, tuneless effort does very little for me. The David Essex video was much more appealing, the man himself looking pensive in suitably wintry landscapes with his faithful hound by his side. The Stranglers then turn up for the second show in a row, seemingly not put off by their ordeal-by-balloon the week before. The crowd are much more restrained this time, but that's no surprise as the song is a bit of a plodder that never really comes to life. We conclude with bits of the Madness video being clumsily interspersed with shots of the dancing audience.

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    1. Cheers John! I think 1983 could be the best year yet - I really enjoyed watching the curtain raisers tonight, and I thought every song on the Big Hits compilation was a real humdinger.

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    2. Agreed here with John about this Joe Jackson number, which in my opinion is an absolute classic of the entire 80s. While most of his work came in the late 70s, this late effort in 1983 came on the back of his American success with it on the JK insert in Dec 1982. However, it was the iconic video set in the humdrum of New York's busy busy nightlife (and not this TOTP studio appearance this week), that sticks with the memory for me of how this song was remembered through time.

      The song itself over the last 34 years whenever I hear it, always give me an uplift, and its words when you listen closely are so moving and encouraging of us people to make the most of our short lives, getting out there to make this happen. This, coupled with its superb musical score and keyboard work, make for an absolute humdinger of a sound, and really makes my day, even now in 2017. Never loses its appeal in my opinion!

      With regard to David Essex, at the dizzy heights of No.3 this week, would you believe it, the song was just perfect for a video, and came off much better here than his previous appearance on TOTP with it, by means of a studio appearance in Dec 1982 when it just started off in the chart.

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    3. well done angelo on digging up the title of this year's totp blog - you obviously kept that one under your hat, and it's much more suitable than the suggestions i came up with. however i have to say i have no memory of the tune in question whatsoever - probably because i thought everything abc did after "the lexicon of love" was not very good!

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    4. "That Was Then..." features the wonderful couplet of "Can't complain, must grumble / Help yourself to another slice of apple crumble"! Superb title for this year, Angelo!

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    5. at the risk of being pedantic, i have to point out that apple crumble doesn't really come in slices. more like scoops actually...

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    6. Have to admit that I also didn't recognise the title and had to look it up, even though it got to No.18. My only memories of ABC are being the Big Thing in 1982 and then one more hit in 1987.

      Actually, I immediately thought of the identically-titled song released by the reformed Monkees (well, three-quarters of them) in 1986, which achieved the dizzying heights of No.68. Ah, the vagaries of local radio airplay!

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    7. I'll bear the Monkees effort in mind if we make it to 1986 :-)

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    8. I do know the ABC song in question and I think it's really good and never gets much attention, so it's a thumbs up from me also Angelo!

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  2. Joe Jackson first up, with his smooth, resonant and irresistibly tuneful Steppin' Out. For some reason my main memory of this isn't from 1983, it's from a few years later as it was the record Simon Mayo played immediately after Adrian John's final show on Radio 1 - but weirdly, I can't remember what the final record Adrian John played was.

    Why does Tommy introduce Hymn by calling it "Him?!" Is he getting mixed up with the Rupert Holmes minor hit?

    "If you can't stand the cold, don't sleep on the floor" say Bucks Fizz, but why would you be sleeping on the floor in the first place? Have the bailiffs been round?

    Ah, the third member of The Crucial Three makes it to the charts at last. Story of the Blues was a majestic pop anthem that threw everything but the kitchen sink at its mournful mindset, one of the most over the top expressions of being a bit down ever.

    Hmm, pity that stock footage of landscapes blanketed in snow couldn't have hung around to grace David Essex's countryside walks. He looks like he's auditioning for his own BBC Four series thirty years early. Or maybe a spot on Countryfile? One Man and His Dog, even?

    The hushed tones of The Stranglers with one of their moodiest tunes, quite a pleasant, if muted, number. And the European female was...? That's right, Angela Merkel.

    Then a bunch of repeats to end on, with Renee and Cornetto's last gasp at the top. Mike Smith's Orville impersonation was very good, but so was everyone's at the time!

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  3. before i start reviewing the first show of 1983, i'd just like to say that particular year was a really significant one for me. i had spent the last 18 months or so playing keyboards in a couple of local bands, and as a result i was invited to participate in a new one with well-established musicians that was managed by a guy with supposed links to the music business. so i spent that year not only working hard on what i considered an extremely high standard of music (mostly influenced by the grace jones compass point sound), but also convinced that it was only a matter of time before i could ditch my hated 9 to 5 job to become a pop star! to that end we rehearsed twice a week without fail, and god forbid anyone who didn't turn up as they would then get the chop and thus miss out on their perceived chance of glory. and one of those rehearsals was on thursday evenings. so it meant that despite being a more fanatical follower of pop than ever before, i probably never saw a single episode of TOTP that year (i certainly couldn't afford a VCR back then)! having said that, i was probably already of the belief that TOTP was now old-hat compared to the hip new shows "the tube" and its beeb-copycat "the oxford road show" where you were only going to see the acts that mattered, and certainly not novelty shit like renato and orville (you have to remember that postmodern-irony did not exist back then). and unlike on TOTP, some of them even played live. but anyway, now onto this show's review, that like many nowadays is cobbled together from youtube scraps:

    joe jackson: after his initial post-punk breakthrough things went a bit cold for jackson, which presumably influenced this attempt to hitch a ride on the synth pop bandwagon? i always liked the sequenced bass line (so what exactly is the guy with the macca-style bass guitar doing on stage? or the drummer come to that when it's plainly a drum machine also being used?) but never cared much for the actual song itself. and the same applies now. so why does joe stare down at his keyboards when he's not actually required to play them properly? all it does is show everyone just how big his forehead is! out of interest, who is the lady also on keyboards?

    bucks fizz: did they ever release a single that didn't modulate? i always thought "land of make believe" was by far their best, but this firmly puts that into second place now. i just wish it had been someone a bit more credible that had done it. i couldn't find the second totp appearance on youtube, but there is one on the german equivalent "music laden", where they're all in black leather. i'm not sure dory should watch it though, as he might not be able to contain himself as far as jay is concerned!

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    1. Regarding Bucks Fizz, 10 of their 20 British chart singles did NOT change key: 'Piece of the Action', 'Now Those Days Are Gone', 'London Town', 'Talking In Your Sleep', 'I Hear Talk', 'You and Your Heart So Blue' (one of their best!), 'Magical', 'New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)', 'Love The One You're With' and 'Heart of Stone'.

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    2. julie i was being a touch sardonic regarding bucks fizz modulating, and certainly wasn't expecting such a detailed reply to the contrary! presumably you've listened to all these tracks in their entirety in order to be so certain? most of these i've never even heard of, never mind listened to. so maybe changing key was the key to chart success for them?

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    3. Bucks Fizz used to be one of my favourite bands, believe it or not. They may not have been The Velvet Underground, but Andy Hill's protégés made a string of perfect pop singles, many of which have undeservedly been forgotten.

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    4. Indeed Wilberforce, watching the Musik Laden TV show performance by Bucks Fizz, I noticed that Jay Aston not only wore black leather, but it was also like a swimsuit with the bottom part so high up that her buttocks were coming out of them. Hmm, now there is a sight. Oh, and erm sorry Julie, close your eyes on this one, it's aimed at the men on this blog.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5aur6XEfz0

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    5. good for you julie for going against the grain of "approved" listening - given the choice, i'd much rather listen to bucks fizz than the velvet underground any day of the week!

      talking of "approved" listening: pete wylie of wah!'s main claim to fame was his credited related (if not identical) theory called "rockism", in that (to paraphrase wiki) "certain forms of rock music were deemed as superior by the arbiters of taste, as opposed to other types of music such as disco"...

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    6. I bloody love Bucks Fizz, then and now. (Still I was the guy buying Smokie and Abba singles in 1977 when my brother was buying God Save The Queen!). My favourite is next up I think, 'Run For Your Life'. Apparently there's two blokes in the band, but I've never noticed them... ;-)

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    7. so you're to blame for smokie!

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  4. pt ii...

    wah!: or "wah! heat" as they were formerly known. thanks to the national music press's obsession with bands from industrial northern cities i was already well aware of pete wylie, if not his actual music. even to the point where he was fabled for being in a group with fellow scouse-scene legends ian mcculloch and julian cope... despite the fact that they never actually did a gig! of course the latter had already made the totp/chart breakthrough, so when wylie finally managed to do likewise i was curious to see what all the fuss was about. and as far as this track is concerned it's a big song and dance about nothing, as not only is it more vapid 60's-soul influenced stuff (complete with supremes/vandellas-style backing vocalists) a la mari wilson, maisonettes etc, it was also clear to me that the guy had some difficulty holding a tune!

    stranglers: like joe jackson they got a second chance after their punk beginnings to impress with more sophisticated material, and i think this is the best from that phase. despite the synth pop feel of the track jj's growling bass is still in evidence, and it all meshes together quite nicely. presumably burnel is singing as he wrote it, although to be honest it was always hard to tell him and hugh apart in that respect. as ever dave greenfield mimes immaculately (watch his solo!), but the rest all do so likewise this time too. which suggests they also thought it one of their best efforts

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    2. I agree with you about Pete Wylie, whose main problem was that he lacked focus and true artistry. Even the assistance of future Spitting Image fixture Kate Robbins - one of the backing singers on the disc - could not disguise the half-baked effort that was 'Story of the Blues'.

      Pete was signed at that time to WEA's Eternal subsidiary, which had been set up initially to handle Scouse post-punk outfits such as Wah! The imprint was retired soon afterwards, but would be relaunched as an outlet for electronic releases in the mid-1990s, Dario G's 'Sunchyme' being one of its biggest successes.

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  5. Is that Jay Aston on the Mature Ladies Dating ad on the left?

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    1. Now it's telling me Beautiful Russian Women Want to Date You. Can't think of any Russian pop stars apart from TaTu.

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    2. thx i think these ads are in some way "personalised" with regard to one's recent websurfing. so what exactly have you been looking at lately? mind you the current ad on my screen is something called "world first" which i assume is something money-oriented (interest rates are mentioned), and as i have none to speak of it's hardly relevent to me!

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    3. i've now seen an ad for "oak furniture land", so presumably they think i am middle-aged and afluent? the former certainly applies, but as far as the latter is concerned i recently reached the age of becoming eligible for sheltered housing, and in my (cheap and worn-out) shoes i might need to take advantage of that one day in the near future!

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    4. Wilby, do you support Burnley by any chance? Oak Furniture Land were recent shirt sponsors of theirs!

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    5. right colours but wrong team arthur! despite being a mockney (i still get people asking me if i'm a londoner despite living in manchester for nearly 20 years), i (ableit nominally these days) support the irons!

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    6. Now I have an ad asking me which language I want to speak. Maybe I should try Russian? I wasn't aware of visiting any especially singleton sites, so I'm not sure what they're trying to tell me.

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    7. thx, someone's trying to tell you something...

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    8. I think I have enough scary ladies in my life right now...

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    9. I always set browsers to delete cookies on exit, so ads are quite randomised for me.

      Firefox has a wonderful add-on called 'I Don't Care About Cookies' which gets rid of that stupid banner always at the top the page on Blogger sites. Unfortunately, it also prevents me from signing in, so in order to post a comment I have to use Avant, which has the benefit of being shit hot at blocking ads. Six of one and half a dozen of the other I guess...

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  6. A couple of points about "The Story of 1983"...

    1) Having seen The Leyton Buzzards (from east london) we finally get a band actually from Leighton Buzzard, unsuccessful as a four piece, who make the big time through hyping and getting a lead singer, then they think they'll do just as well without him. We'll get back to you on that one.

    2) Why was Gary Kemp sitting screen right looking further right for his vox pops? Was he trying to look arty or different? I thought he came across as a bit of a knob.

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    1. Yes, GK didn't come over that well. Like Angelo, I thoroughly enjoyed both the doc and the compilation, though the emphasis given by the former to the 1000th edition was rather ironic, given that we won't actually get to see it on BBC4! At least they included Sweet Dreams on Big Hits, given that all the shows it featured on are either Yewtreed or Smiffed...

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    2. Another great TOTP doc to start us off on another year. Personally, I thought it was nice to see Tracie, she's looking well and had some top anecdotage.

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    3. Well, I've been saying since Spandau were first on that Gary Kemp is a bell-end so you're preaching to the converted on that one Arthur!

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    4. Good girl is Tracie, now on local radio round here.

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  7. Not sure where to post this nudge, but here is as good as any place.

    John G put a link on to a clipped bit of Renee & Renato for the 25/12 show. When I navigated to YT it gave me a list of suggested videos on the right, and listed there was, to my surprise the ‘wiped’ 22/11/73 show! Wow what a treat! Never thought I see this again. Host aside, every song is fantastic and brings back so many memories from my childhood. I must have seen this edition at the time as some bits certainly ring bells. I had a schoolboy crush on Lyn Paul and there she is, just as I remember her, singing live with the New Seekers. Roxy Music I won’t spoil it by revealing who else is featured…

    There are some interesting comments on the video and the guy is hinting that he has more wiped shows to post. So here’s hoping!

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    1. ..and of course, it might help if I had posted the link! Sorry!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl5xMSRQA-U

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    2. I'm glad my link led you to this great find, sct! Looking at the poster's YT page, I notice that last month he also posted up the wiped show from 31/1/74.

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    3. Yeah, John...I've just gorged myself on that one too! That's around 2 hours 'plugged in' to the PC now! What a great way to spend a dreary January, Saturday afternoon!

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    4. the host rang some bells as well on the 22/11/73 "wiped" edition! thanks sct for bringing this to my attention - it brought back a lot of good memories also. i don't remember the intro with all the dolly birds, but i remember the "two towers" logo for no. 11 in the chart countdown (what was woody woodmansey doing there between that and no. 13?)

      i certainly remember "dyna-mite" as the moment mud really struck gold - their previous two chart hits were rather forgettable even though they were quite heavily hyped at the time, but this one rocked! and the visuals are also now firmly in place with the left-right-left-left dance routine (including the roadies/fans doing it), and the rock n roll drapes (plus rob davis' pseudo-transvestite version!)

      i also remember barry blue with his glitter-lite routine (look out for the soon-to-be-a-rubette drummer, who allegedly also played on heatwave's disco classic "boogie nights" that blue later produced)

      and pan's people of course (including "beautiful babs - i don't know her name!), dancing here to some brilliant boogie by eddie kendricks (why was there a gong on the single edit but not on the full-length version?)

      and as an 11 year old, alvin stardust was the real deal to me with his leather catsuit, moody stare, sideburns and unique way of holding a microphone

      also this was the first roxy single i saw on the show (apart from thinking they were pretty cool, i remembering wondering if the singer's brother was on sax!)

      and finally "the leader", who really was my hero at the time! a couple of duffers by the new seekers and cliff, but overall a true treat!

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    5. i can't seem to find the 31/1/74 edition on youtube - can someone add a link?

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    6. by the way: when i said mud's first two singles, i meant their first two singles on the RAK label - they had previously been signed up to CBS as a hippy act several years earlier!

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    7. Wilberforce...my pleasure:-

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw1CnLQQHfk

      Mud's first two RAK singles being 'Crazy' and 'Hypnosis'.

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    8. Very interesting all this. I wonder how these 'wiped' editions are surfacing all of a sudden. In those days there were no VCRs, so I wonder how they could have been recorded, or captured from the BBC somehow, or how anyone could record TV programmes in those days.

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    9. according to the above yt link, copies of the recordings were handed out to those who participated on the show. presumably on tape of some kind, although most probably didn't have the means to play them at the time ! however with these "lost" shows comingh to light it the savvier ones kept the recordings stashed away somewhere in the event there might be an interest in them again some day. if so, then hoorah for them!

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    10. thanks for the 31/1/74 link sct, but sadly the show's not a patch on the first one. the only things of interest were a bizarre cover of "satisfaction" by mr smug chops j king esquire under the alias bubblerock, and mud's immortal "tiger feet". what is curious is that the links of host DLT have been chopped out, presumbly for yewtree reasons (was the uploader worried they might pull the plug on it otherwise?). and yet he appears with mud pretending to play the fiddle!

      getting back to mud, i re-listened to their first two RAK singles, and now as then thought they were fairly bland mid-tempo numbers very typical of their era. then they unleashed the holy trinity of "dyna mite", "tiger feet" and "the cat crept in" that really got me hooked at the time, and i still love them now. but after that they released something called "rocket", which was the equivalent of the south sea bubble for me as they had metamorphosised into a fifth-rate version of elvis presley backed by quo!

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    11. Well, we're well and truly side-tracked from 1983 here, but hopefully in a good way! Yes Mud declined after their 1973/4 heydey but let's not forget the immortal 1974 Christmas hit!

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    12. Just watched the 22/11/73 show - thanks, that's awesome! The highlight for me must be Barry Blue with a bespoke backing tape. Interesting how he debuted with this very Glitteresque style before moving to a more mainstream and generic 'glam rock' sound the following year.

      In answer to Dory's question, this would appear to be a film recording made for internal reference purposes (film recording didn't work so well in colour so it wasn't used for overseas sales like b/w material was).

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    13. Mud had number ones in Holland with "Dyna-Mite and "Tiger Feet", and here's a YouTube link to a Dutch TV performance without audience where Ray the bassist goes left when he should go right mid-song.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7KxCCti4Nw

      For the record, "Dyna-Mite" was the first single I ever bought, and I still think it's ace.

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    14. arthur and myself are peers as far as i can tell, but my memory of the first-ever single i bought is a bit more hazy. i do remember either "caroline" by status quo and "ballroom blitz" by the sweet being the first full-priced ones i owned. but there was also a brilliant little shop in my town called "dave's disc den" that sold ex-jukebox singles (you also got given triangular spindles to insert in the middle), and i may have bought some from there prior to that. what i seem to remember about my copy of "dyna mite" (that i picked up second-hand) was that there was a chunk of it missing at the edge!

      thanks for the video link arthur - it's great that this stuff survives in such good quality. all the band were great sports when it came to sending themselves up (something that again only crystalised once they got the first couple of RAK singles out of the way), but i always thought ray was the most engaging in that respect. and despite his error, like a true pro he takes it in his stride. he also does the arm pump in opposite directions to les at one point (like the fans/roadies do in the totp clip of "tiger feet" they usually show on the telly), and les goes the wrong way to the others right at the begining too. but we'll forgive them all thatas they gave us such great entertainment

      there is another clip of them performing with what seems a slightly routine (which couldn't have helped with remembering the choreography!) - watch out for some geezer in a suit strolling past them in the background at one point:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSuA_km4-bE

      ps - sorry to our younger readers and contributors for this continued stroll down the memory lane of the early 70's when we should be focusing on 1983, but as a pre-pubescent just starting to get into pop music back then it holds a special place in my heart...

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  8. Wilberforce, it's on vimeo.com/178514067

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  9. The chart rundown here shows that Mike Smith was still an ILR jock through and through at this time - he would quickly have this knocked out of him I guess!

    The first performance of 1983 sums up 1980s TOTP for me - a simple (but top-notch, as befitting Joe Jackson) keyboard-and-drum-machine ditty which he most likely created on his own, so what do we see here? A band, including bass guitar and drum kit. The truth was that 1980s music wasn't very telegenic so it had to be made so. In the years to come we will see all manner of instruments being mimed to increasingly sophisticated electronic keyboard sounds. Fake, fake, fake.

    On the other hand, while watching the No.1 I was amazed how such a bizarre throwback to 10 or 15 years previous managed to top the charts. Unlike the Maisonettes, Phil Collins, Shakin' Stevens and others of the time, who were very much pastiches, this sounded for all the world like the genuine article without the slightest hint of irony. Except the video. Even without the comic sound effect, the scene where he throws the rose up then cut to a close-up of her catching it (oldest trick in the book) was made for parody. And as we all know, Kenny Everett took the bait.

    So we're into 1983, who'd have thought we'd have got this far? I won't be watching and commenting on a lot of shows myself, but I'll never be far away. May I wish you all an enjoyable year!

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    1. I would have said Renato was more a throwback to Al Martino where it all started!

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  10. Does anyone have an alternative version not on WeTransfer? I've tried six times (six f#cking times) to download this show in the last hour using either link. On four occasions it crashed mid-download and wouldn't carry on downloading despite my trying to troubleshoot the problems, and on the other two occasions it failed to open the show on my PC as usual and the downloads had been sent to my Word file and they couldn't be encrypted or whatever the phrase is.

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  11. Anyone see the Bowie doc on BBC 2 tonight? Highly recommended, nominally about his last five years but of course it skipped around his career with lots of rare footage. I'll say no more, but even if you're slightly interested in him, you'll find it totally absorbing.

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    1. There is a Bowie exhibition today called "Bowie At 70" at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, if anyone is interested. Tickets are a snip at £12.

      https://www.vam.ac.uk/shop/whatson/index/view/id/4362/event/Celebrating-Bowie-at-70/dt/2017-01-08/free/2

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  12. Dory, did you get to see the full length version of 30/12/82,including Rockers Revenge?If not it's at vimeo.com/user58379025

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    1. Thanks brie, this is the first time I have seen it with Rockers Revenge on it.

      Angelo, please could you put this 30.12.82 Vimeo link from brie instead of your WeTransfer link, because yours is an avi.file which requires another 'gate' on computers, which my mac could not open. Avi. files are bad news for most computers, even if put on WeTransfer.

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  13. Has anyone got the full length editions of the following shows, all of which had acts edited out when shown on BBC4? They are 29/4/76,15/7/76,8/12/77,15/12/77,25/5/78,21/9/78,9/3/79/13/12/79 and 15/10/81.All except 8/12/77,9/3/79 and 15/10/81 were shown on UK Gold. Also has anyone got 14/1/71,27/7/78 and 3/8/78 which all appeared fleetingly on Manorak's vimeo page before it was taken down.

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    1. I think he is still around.
      Try contacting him on vimeo.com/manorak

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    2. His page is still active but he's not uploaded any videos for ages. I'm hoping one of the other vimeo subscribers or the 4shared guys could help me.

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    3. I sent him a message on vimeo recently and he was able to assist me with some missing shows. Worth a try.

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  14. Shakey Shakerson8 January 2017 at 04:58

    Against the odds and all known laws of physics we have (with the aid of many embargoed episodes) found ourselves once more re-watching the show in, more or less, the week it was broadcast. Now we are a mere 34 years apart.

    First out of the traps for the New Year is Joe Jackson with the toe-tappingly good Steppin' Out. I think we can all agree that this was probably recorded by Joe on his own, but that would not have made particularly interesting viewing so we get a couple of randoms added to the bill. The song still sounds good to me, especially the piano.

    Majure, looking more 'normal' than his past appearances, strums his way through Ultravox's fairly lumpen Hymn. Is that the keyboard riff from Enola Gay that I hear? And a Human League drum-machine salvo? Oh and what was Billy Currie doing? A dance? A march?

    I have a cheeky admiration for McLaren's musical output - Double Dutch was one of my favourite songs of this year and while Buffalo Girls isn't quite as good, it still has a certain charm.

    Of all the punk bands to have more than a couple of hits, The Stranglers were the ones I disliked most. I never really liked them in their punk days, and their later stuff, like this, sound monotone and depressing. FF.

    Wah. Finally Wylie follows his erstwhile bandmates into the charts, with a fairly decent slice of 60s cod-anthemic pop. It was to be a short-lived pop career though, based on the fact that he wasn't as interesting or talented or musically-admired as Julian Cope or McCulloch. For all that - I still love this song.

    The rest of the show is a slow painful, drawn out slide down the greasy pole of godawfulness.

    Scores then. As we are about to enter the two-handed era, it would seem only right to score the presenters as a duo. So Smith and Vance cop for a 4. They added nothing to the show, there was no chemistry between them or the audience, and Smith's chart countdown was dull dull dull.
    The show. No Zoo - so that's a bonus and Wah, Joe Jackson, and McLaren were all good to hear again, but the rest of the show was like your kitchen cupboard in the days between Christmas and New Year; full of stuff but none of it what you really fancy. 4.

    Not a great start to the year, but there is much better to come soon.

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  15. I'll ask again. Can anyone please help? For some reason, I can't get this show to play. It downloads to my Word folder (as an Internet Explorer 'VOB' file, whatever that is, complete with opening BBC1 logo) and then won't play because it's bigger than 512 megabytes (I think that's what it says). I've tried downloading recommended systems like 7-Zip to try and transfer the info but to no avail. I have no idea why the WeTransfer files are converting to Word files instead of opening as videos like last week. I've now tried 18 times to open the file for this show.

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    1. Hi Arthur, I have a 602mb version that I can put on 4shared if you like.(Also a 932mb version both mp4)
      To use we transfer you need an email address to send to

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    2. That would be great. Thank you! Just out of interest, if I logged into WeTransfer, would I get free access to files or would I be liable to pay for the Plus version in the future?

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    3. I have never joined or paid on we tranfer,
      just clicked on the download link or enter email to send.
      Link for the file is :
      http://www.4shared.com/video/V1X-XE2Yba/TOTP_060183.html

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    4. WeTransfer is a free service, in case anyone is not familiar with it

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    5. Hi Arthur ~ this edition is up on YouTube now via Calvin henderson ~ https://youtu.be/ZuM0XXPhBb4

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    6. And a very good copy it is too Angelo. What is amazing is that it was only uploaded to Utube a few days ago, and it already has over 750 views. No doubt, all by Wilberforce I should think!

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    7. nope, not me - i've just watched it for the first time now, just to see how the new double-act host routine worked. or to be more accurate not worked, as intro apart there was no interaction between the pair whatsoever. surprisingly i found vance more annoying that smith - especially the extremely peculiar way he pronounces the year "1983". yes, i know it was a new year, but that's no excuse!

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  16. Thanks to those who put up this show on WeTransfer, but a lightning quick and heroic effort from Anonymous to install a 4shared link get a massive thumbs up from me. Big thanks, Anonymous! I still had some strange technical difficuIties but finally watched your version by linking it to my Facebook account. I noticed your 4shared link shows your tag, and I know you helped provide another show recently which was a big help, so I’ll retain your privacy.

    Not the hugest chemistry between presenters here, though I think Tommy Vance was happy for anyone other than Roger Daltrey. Were Mike Smith’s impersonations the first in a chart rundown? Interesting that he was allowed more time to read out the longest song and act combos at numbers 21 and 11.

    “Stepping Out” was and is class. By this time, Jackson had only retained bassist Graham Maby from his original band. Award for the simplest drum kit of 1983 so far, and I liked the way the drummer hit the snare with alternate sticks. The single actually made number 6 in the Billboard chart, Tommy’s number 4 US position being the peak on the alternative CashBox chart.

    Why so many far and long camera shots for Bucks Fizz? That was the best Cheryl had looked so far, and don’t you love the way Jay’s head turns in close ups but her eyes stay fixed on the camera? It never lies, you know. Talk about chalk and cheese – compare this set of Eurovision winners to Brotherhood Of Man from seven years beforehand. Can’t imagine Nicky and Sandra bending down in the chorus like that.

    Wah! / Pete Wylie had a very shouty vocal style and he was the least photogenic of The Crucial Three, but he gave a confident, strident TOTP debut, and I love both this song and future top 20 hit “Come Back”. I think the B-side of “Blues” was continuation of the hit side but with fruitier lyrics. Thanks to Julie for the info on the Eternal label which I didn’t know. Font of knowledge, that lady.

    A nice, mellow and well crafted video for David Essex’s tune, but it didn’t half make me feel bloody freezing!

    Jean Jacques was back on lead vocals for the first time on a Stranglers single since his Gallic turn on “La Folie”, the thudding flop follow-up to “Golden Brown”. The band are all grown-up and miming properly now, but surely Jet should have had an electronic snare drum?

    A silky turn vocally by Dionne Warwick, but her smooth backing band looked too scampi-in-a-basket cabaret style for my taste.

    I’ll miss that boing rose effect for Renee and Renato. The only bit of the song I’ll miss, mind you!

    We finish with a sneaky dance director credit for Flick Colby, despite there being no Zoo (hooray – big credit for that alone!).

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  17. I forgot to say in a post yesterday... in the 1983 Big Hits show, was that Blondie's Clem Burke on snare and kettledrum behind Eurythmics?

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    1. I also thought it was Clem Burke...

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    2. yes it was. also another two musicians on stage who had no. 1 hit singles: eddi reader of fairground attraction and mickey gallagher of the blockheads. bearing in mind the main duo also had a chart topper as well (and annie had one solo), this must be some kind of record?

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    3. Clem Burke would later play on Annie and Dave's 1986 album, Revenge. I thought the backing singer looked familiar, but didn't twig that it was Eddi Reader until the caption came up.

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    4. I don't think Annie Lennox did bag a solo No.1, did she?

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    5. my apologies noax - the nearest she got was no. 2 with "no more i love you's". i thought it was "why" that got to the top, but i'm now surprised to find out it only reached no. 5!

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  18. I see that Peter Sarstedt has become the first notable musician to shuffle off this mortal coil in 2017. I've never liked his big number 1 very much, but the lesser played hit follow-up, Frozen Orange Juice, is a nice little tune. Orange Juice of a different kind will soon be featuring on these repeats...

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    1. So sad to hear about Peter Sarstedt. His '82 ballad single '(Build A Brand New) Love Among The Ruins}', which was rotated on Liverpool's Radio City, deserved to be a huge hit.

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    2. Sarstedt's big hit had a whimsical charm about it. There were two verses chopped from the single vesion (which was already long) that you don't hear on the radio or find on compilations:-

      "You go to the embassy parties
      Where you talk in Russian and Greek
      And the young men who move in your circles
      They hang on every word you speak, yes they do".

      "You're in between 20 and 30
      A very desirable age
      Your body is firm and inviting
      But you live on a glittering stage, yes you do, yes you do".

      RIP Peter

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    3. it has to be noted that peter sarstedt was one of three brothers (including robin sarstedt, who was featured early on in these re-runs) that had top 10 hits - not only that, but two of them had chart toppers as well! i certainly can't think of any other siblings managing that feat...

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    4. Eden Kane; "Well I ask you" in 1961 was the other one...

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    5. Donny, Marie and Little Jimmy Osmond all had top ten hits, and Donny and Jimmy both topped the charts too, as did The Osmonds collectively. Robin and Andy Gibb both managed to reach the Top 10 with solo records, in addition to The Bee Gees' massive string of hits - mind you, Andy did have his brothers to thank for his success...

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    6. i had guessed the sarstedts might not be the only siblings to achieve the above feat. but what makes them more impressive than either the osmonds or the gibbs is that professionally they seemed completely independent contractors (i would guess most had no idea that eden kane and peter sarstedt were related)... and that they weren't giving each other a leg-up!

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    8. what i didn't know about the sarstedt brothers up til now was that eden kane (known as richard to his mum!) appeared as a guest actor in several episodes of the "star trek" franchise. and that his sister-in-law is stephanie powers of "hart to hart" fame, which of course was highly popular circa 1983. it was a crime series typical of the era in that it was glossy schlock, but what always amused me about it was the voiceover by their butler in the title sequence: "when they met, it was moider!"

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    9. getting back to siblings having separate number ones: i don't think three ever managed it, but apart from donny amd little jimmy osmond (the former was also involved with the osmonds for their chart topper, so either that or his solo ones don't count), those by two also include the mccartneys (macca with the beatles et al, and mike mcgear with the scaffold). can anyone think of any others?

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    10. The Minogues come close - Kylie has had several chart toppers, but number 2 is the highest that Danii has managed.

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  19. Given how annoying Mike Smith was in this show, I'm tempted to say 'glad we can't see him on TV' but then of course we are missing out on lots of good tracks in his shows.

    Joe Jackson - I've always found this song a bit average, actually. I admire it, and wouldn't switch it off, but I can't rave about it either.

    Ultravox we've lost 3 times, haven't we, if you include the video?

    Bucks Fizz - All I could think of while watching this performance was how excited Dory must have been getting at the outfits!

    Wah! - I believe that like Ultravox, this is one that we won't get to see on TV. Surprised that it's taking quite a battering here as I thought it sounded brilliant at the time (I wouldn't have known about the songs it was trying to sound like!) and I still have a fondness for it.

    The Stranglers - Slinky is the word I would use to describe this tune. Again, not a lot of love for it here but I have to say that it's one of my favourites of all their singles.

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  20. Excitingly, we start a year of TOTPs that I missed whilst in the States. After a Christmas when I've ploughed my way through a backlog of 12 episodes (and 3 to go) I shall try to keep up to date this year.

    Joe Jackson - saw the video on heavy rotation on MTV, but never seen a studio performance before now. I suspect the bassline wasn't played on a bass guitar...

    Ultravox - never seen this live either. The keyboard riff sounded a bit like another recent tune - soft cell?...

    Wah - another premier live viewing for me. The video featured every week on an MTV indie programme called 120 minutes, which resulted in me buying this on import.

    Stranglers - never realised that JJ sang the vocal. This was the start of my 'going off' the group (although they made a spectacular return to form a couple of years ago with Suite XXIV)

    Didn't recognise the Dionne Warwick song, but my wife assured me it was big hit...

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    1. Ultravox nicked that keyboard riff from OMD's Enola Gay.

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    2. Thank you, Yes. Have to admit, it has been bugging me :-)

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  21. i've finally got around to watching "the story of 1983" this afternoon, and a couple of thing to make mention of:

    1 - it seems paul gambaccini has patched things up with the beeb. but although he was seen in the kajagoogoo segement, he failed to mention that limahl was his boyfriend at the time...

    2 - i never realised that john shuttleworth played drums in the smiths!

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  22. two more things to comment on with regard to "our house":

    1 - i think the bit where suggs does a counter-melody in the chorus is really clever

    2 - i really hate it when there is more than one song of the same title that has become well-known! in this case it's the crosby stills nash & young one, that only became familar to millions via an advert some years after the madness track, so perhaps they weren't aware of it at the time? you could say the same applies to "don't go breaking my heart", as the bacharach/david composition of that name written 10 years or so earlier sadly never became a hit (i consider it the great lost burt tune!). i love it so much that i sometimes try and search for different recordings of it on youtube, but whenever i do o almost inevitably come up against a wall of fucking reg!

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    1. with regard to my complaint about different songs with the same titles, i remember in the guinness book of hit singles there were two titles vying for the record with about 25 (!) separate songs of each that charted! but i can't remember what they were now - can anyone help?

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    2. We have got the bizarre situation coming up in 1984/85 (if we get that far) of three entirely different songs called "The Power of Love" all making the Top 10, and in two cases reaching the top!

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    3. There have been 20 UK chart singles called "Crazy".

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    4. A standing ovation from the pavilion for the century!

      A bit more digging reveals the title "Stay" has been used for 22 UK chart entries, "Angel" for 16 and "I Believe" for 15, though there are some song repititions here, the last song having been a hit for Frankie Laine, David Whitfield and The Bachelors for example.

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  23. Thanks to Steve HH and others for making this available. A fabulous edition where I liked every single single bar the number 1!

    I won’t go into detail as I am so late to the party after getting everyone time-warped to 1973 a week ago!

    A few thoughts:-

    Joe Jackson – Steppin out – Prefer this to the hit of the same name by Kool and the Gang. But best of all was the ELO’s ‘Steppin out’ from ‘Out of the Blue’ in 1977 which Jeff Lynne still includes in his live set.

    Ultravox – Hymn – So that’s three times on TOTP now and zero showings on BBC4. The chart run for this hit is peculiar – 28 – 16 – 14 – 13 – 16 – 12 – 11 – 18 – 27. This shows it was a good seller rather than a flash in the pan like some other hits.

    Wah – The Story of the Blues – I always thought this had the Phil Spector production about it?

    Phi Collins – You can’t hurry love – Mark Jones’s excellent Charisma Discography book mentions that “…after a worrying flop with his fourth single (Thru these Walls), You can’t hurry love got to number 1 and the hits continued throughout the rest of the decade. In fact Richard Branson cites PC as one of the artists who saved Virgin from liquidation in the early 80s”. This ultimately led to Virgin swallowing up Charisma records who Genesis were signed to, as was Malcolm McLaren.

    David Essex – A Winter’s Tale – Not one of my favourite videos. Reminds me of early 70s ‘films’ where the artists just wandered around staring into space. A good example of that was the ‘film’ for ‘Have you seen her’ by the Chi Lites which actually I’d quite like to see again as I’ve not seen it since 1972!

    Stranglers – European Female – Forgotten how good this one was. Shades of their early material on Dave Greenfield’s keyboard solo. First release on the Epic label for them after being on UA/Liberty for years.

    Thank goodness there was no Orville….

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    1. For sure sct353, that ELO's Steppin' Out from 1978 was a humdinger of a tune and in a different league to Joe Jackson, but Jackson's tune here in 1983 was itself an absolute gem in my opinion, and captured the era perfectly in the lyrics, by means of encouraging young people to go out and not stay in:

      "Weeeeee are young but getting old before our time"....we'll leave the TV and the radio behind....don't you wonder what we'll find.....stepping out tonight".

      Every time I hear these lyrics, it almost brings a tear to the eye, that's how good this composition is by Joe Jackson, and the iconic video on New York's Manhattan skyline was much better and more memorable than any studio performance, which I must admit I don't recall Jackson in the TOTP studio with this one.

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  24. "Stepping Out" is currently being used as background music in an ad for P&O Ferries.

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    1. How right you are Arthur, and here is the advert:

      http://tvadsongs.uk/pando-ferries-advert-music-po-singer/

      I must say though, that Joe Jackson's song refers to stepping out into the nightlife on offer, whereas P&O cruises are a daytime activity on the whole. I think P&O were too quick choosing this song, and had not listened closely enough to the lyrics.

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