Monday, 28 September 2015

Top of the Pops Takes it All

I'd just like to give a huge thanks to Stephen Murphy, Alan Fish and the team for all the effort and great work they have invested to recreate all nine strike editions of Top of the Pops from the summer of 1980. We missed out on so much all those years ago but now I feel we have had an ample taste of what those missing shows might have been like.

So this brings us to the final strike edition, from July 31st 1980........

The winner takes it all, Arthur Nibble....
Top of the Pops July 31st 1980
Hosted by Steve Wright and Cliff Richard
The show begins with the Whole Lotta Love menu.....
(34) ULTRAVOX - Sleepwalk
Soon to become the band's first top 30 hit.
(2) LEO SAYER - More Than I Can Say
A big hit for Leo but it didn't quite make it to the top of the charts.
(31) GRACE JONES - Private Life
Soon to become a first top 20 hit for Grace.
(28) GENE CHANDLER - Does she have a friend
The first Legs & Co routine of this week's show.
Next we have the chart rundown from 30 to 21....
Just peaking outside the top 20.
And now the rundown from 20 to 11....
(22)  GEORGE BENSON - Give Me The Night  
This was to become the first of two top ten hits for George in 1980.
(47)  BOW WOW WOW - C30 C60 C90 GO
Looking and sounding not too unlike Adam and the Ants, this was the band's first top 40 hit when it peaked at 34.
(9) ABBA - The Winner Takes It All
About to become the new number one just in time for next week's  return of the show after the strike.
(11) UNDERTONES - Wednesday Week
At its peak.
(5) KATE BUSH – Babooshka
Also at its peak (sadly).
(53) ADAM AND THE ANTS - Kings Of The Wild Frontier
Looking and sounding a lot like Adam and the Ants, here they are with their first top 50 hit, although this song would eventually reach number 2 when it re-entered the charts in early 1981.
The Top Ten:
Had peaked at number 4.

(9) ABBA – Winner Takes It All
Next week's number one.

(8) STACEY LATTISAW – Jump To The Beat
Had peaked at 3.

(7) DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS – There There My Dear
At its peak now.

(6) BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS – Could You Be Loved
Could get no higher than number 5.

(5) KATE BUSH – Babooshka
Ditto for Babooshka.

Former number one.

(3) DIANA ROSS – Upside Down
Made it to number 2.

(2) LEO SAYER – More Than I Can Say
Didn't make it to number one.

(1) ODYSSEY - Use It Up Wear It Out
Danced to by Legs & Co for its final week at the top.
(30) ROXY MUSIC – Oh Yeah
And so Roxy Music play us out of this final special edition of Top of the Pops.
Next up, it's back to BBC4 on Thursday 1st October with the edition from the 25th September 1980.


  1. I would like to echo Angelo's comments and thank Stephen, Alan and their colleagues for creating these "shows" and making them available to us. As well as making the chart story of 1980 complete, they have served as an excellent means of fending off TOTP withdrawal symptoms over the long summer break, and have conveniently finished just in time for the resumption of the BBC4 repeats!

    This was a good show with which to end, and I thought a great job was done again in recreating the Hurll format - my only criticism would be that, when Odyssey was being introduced, the screen showing Bowie at number 1 in the background was a bit too noticeable - I don't know how easy it would be to blank that out.

    I have already commented on the vast majority of the featured songs, but it was amusing to have Bow Wow Wow and Adam & the Ants making their unofficial TOTP debuts, particularly as Bow Wow Wow primarily consisted of ex-Ants. I'm not actually sure if their single would ever have featured on the show, as it caused a furore at the time for allegedly encouraging home taping, though I'm sure Joe Public would still have merrily taped away even if this song had never seen the light of day! The Ant sound was already pretty much fully formed on Kings of the Wild Frontier, but it is darker in tone than the later hits and I can see why it wasn't initially that successful.

    Anyway, onwards now to Thursday and the return of the real shows - can't wait...

    1. Thankyou for the great review for this show.
      As for the screen. We tried to hold Leo Sayer on silent and then show the No1still while S.W Spoke.
      but it looked daft. So we decided on the fact that the screen must of gone on the blink & got stuck on something irelevent

    2. Fair enough - given that real TOTP was not above the odd gaffe, that sounds like as good an explanation as any!

  2. Not more I can add to John's comments. Thanks to all concerned for all the hard work - very much appreciated.

  3. I don't recall Bow Wow Wow in 1980, but only in 1982 when they had a bigger 'debut' hit with I Want Candy, which I thought was their debut hit, not this one.

    1. "I Want Candy" was actually Bow Wow Wow's eighth top 75 hit, but only the second to make the top 30, let alone the top 10. "C30..." was on its way to being a big hit and had been Radio 1 drivetime host Richard Skinner's record of the week when it was then banned for championing home taping. The band then had four songs peaking between 51 and 62 before "Go Wild in The Country" with its picture sleeve including a naked Annabella Lwin in an intriguing pose, make number 7. There as a top 45 hit between that and number 9 "Candy" followed by two more minor chart hits.

  4. Shame we never got that Kate Bush video on TOTP. Matchbox, that's how you treat a double bass! Still, why would a woman decide to use the Russian for Grandmother as a sexy pseudonym? By the way, loved the "BCB Four HD" logo in the top left corner!

  5. oh dear this one doesn't seem to be working on my laptop

  6. Dory bowwow big hit was go wild in the country then I want candy

    1. Oh yes Paul, I remember now. It was a 16-year old lead singer in 1982 with Bow Wow Wow, what ever her name was, and with their first real hit called Go Wild In The Country, so was she only 14 in 1980 with this failed one called C30 C60 C90 Go?