Friday, 20 January 2017

Top of the Pops Where We Belong

Top of the Pops January 27th 1983 was watched by 10.45 million viewers, making it the 5th most popular BBC programme of the week.

Hey George, we are the new Legs & Co!

27/01/83 (Simon Bates & Richard Skinner)

Level 42 – “The Chinese Way” (35)
After nearly three years of knocking on the door, Level 42 finally got their debut top 30 hit when The Chinese Way peaked at number 24.

The Belle Stars – “Sign Of The Times” (5) (video)
The latest technology lasers in this video obviously impressed Richard Skinner, and Sign of the Times went up two more places.

Central Line – “Nature Boy” (40)
Became the band's only top 30 hit, peaking at number 21 ~ but edited out of tonight's 7.30 slot.

The Beatles – “Please Please Me” (29) (video)
The plan was to re-release all the Beatles singles on their 20th anniversary, but only Love Me Do and Please Please Me made the top 30, this one got no further.

China Crisis – “Christian” (42)
Another victim of the 7.30 pm edit ~ Christian was their breakthrough hit and made it to number 12.

Wham! – “Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)” (34)
This swift re-released follow up to Young Guns peaked at number 8 ~ and its another highly energetic dance routine they perform here, on Andrew's 20th birthday.

Bauhaus – “Lagartija Nick” (44)
Going from sounding like Bowie to sounding like Iggy Pop here, with a 'Spanish' themed song which got no higher in the charts.

Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – “Up Where We Belong” (25)
Making his first appearance on the show since October 1969 with Delta Lady is Joe Cocker, performing this Officer and Gentleman duet live with the much cruelly parodied Jennifer Warnes. An American number one, Simon predicted the same here, but number 7 was where it finally belonged.

Dire Straits – “Twisting By The Pool” (17) (video)
Making a splash in a 1950's style with their follow up to Private Investigations. Even Legs & Co never (quite) performed an underwater routine! It peaked at number 14.

Men At Work – “Down Under” (1) (video)
Here they are at last then, this was number one in America too at the same time, with the first of its three week run.

Eddy Grant – “Electric Avenue” (3) (video/credits)
Went up one more place.

It's February 3rd 1983 next.


  1. An enjoyable show this one and the Bates/Skinner double act worked quite well, although Slimes loses marks for his ill advised leather jacket.

    This seemed a video heavy show though and until the camera swung back to Slimes I was convinced the Cocker/Warnes performance was a clip from another show.

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    1. The ones chosen by BBC4 to edit out of the early evening showing is always in the early part of the show, because it is not possible to edit the songs in and around the top 30 rundown, as it would then make the show even more disjointed, so it is not a case of what songs they like or do not like, it depends on which portion of the show the songs are on, and it makes more sense to do a cull before, and not during, the chart rundown section.

    2. I've deleted my previous comment, but I still regard 'Twisting By The Pool' as sexist.

      I'm looking forward to the full edition, as China Crisis's 'Christian' is one of my favourite singles ever - not just by a Mersey outfit, but by any act. I loved Central Line's cover of 'Nature Boy', too; there was a underrated Brit-funk band for you.

    3. although "twisting by the pool" might well be sexist (and is certainly dire in my view), it is notable in that (other than on compilations) it never appeared on a dire straits album

    4. I rarely disagree with you Julie, but there was no sexism in my opinion on Dire Straits. I had another watch of this, and it is merely some sexy girls in bikinis and swimsuits enjoying life and enjoying their bodies and being young. I'm sure that these girls now in their fifties are delighted to show their children this video, and how much fun life was in the 80s. Did anyone call Rod Stewart sexist when his video for Tonight I'm I'm yours had a similar pool/bikini environment a couple of years earlier, or is only OK for Rod? For one thing, Twisting By The Pool was one of my favourite videos of the 80s, and would watch again.

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    6. Julie - I saw your original post and see what you mean. Whether the video makers intended it or not, I do wonder whether the way women were sometimes presented in some music videos of that time contributed to an air of misogyny and sexism around women. I'm reminded of a band I would listen to a little later in the decade, whose stance on music videos was 'no girls will appear who aren't in the band'. When they eventually broke their own rule, it was not to titillate or demean.

    7. was the band in question motley crue?

    8. No. It was Sonic Youth. Can't remember any Motley Crue videos offhand. Did they have the same stance? If so, unusual for a band of that type from that era.

    9. i'm just joking teaurn - they were the kind of band that went out of their way to feature gratuitous titilation in their videos!

    10. Ah, thought so. I have vague memories of something called Girls, Girls, Girls. Not my sort of music, really.

  3. I completely agree with you Julie, why would they cut China Crisis out of the Prime Time show? It might not be a party starter but it was certainly a winning charter :)
    It's a stunning moment of subtle Eighties pop, I was too young to appreciate it at the time but very soon caught up the Crisis properly.
    At first I though Central Line's effort was a rather dull but I soon realised it grooved along very nicely and had a nice little shift near the end, so it was a shame this was cut too.
    Level 42 were the polar opposite of the China Crisis 'less is more' approach, throwing in every sound effect along with the kitchen sink into this effort. Good to see them in the charts and on the Pops at last though. Lots more thunderthumbs to come....?
    Apart from those I also appreciated the laser blue light laden Belle Stars vid and Bauhaus' rock n goth party posing (NB I'm contractually obliged to like this one for geographical reasons), but I couldn't care a fig about the rest.
    That said it was a pretty good top 13 in the chart this week though, including the Stranglers, U2, the Bunnymen, the Maisonettes, Joe Jackson, the Belle Stars and the rather wonderful Wah, although as the latter is now falling down the charts I guess we missed the one chance to see it on BBC4? Or did I fall asleep somewhere?!
    We end up with Down Under which almost certainly would would have been reverberating around my young head at the time. It would be another year before my cousin 'leant' me Dare, Happy Families and Madness' 7 and started me off in my own world of mystical appreciation.

    1. We missed Wah! on BBC4. The song shot up the chart but was only shown once in a show co-hosted by Mike Smith, who either signed a form preventing re-runs of his shows or didn't sign a form consenting to re-transmission, so they're as good as Yewtreed.

      The only Spanish references I can find in Bauhaus' lyrics are the word lagartija, which is Spanish for lizard and (Leopold von) Sacher-Masoch, an Austrian author who wrote romantic stories about life in Galicia in north western Spain.

    2. Wah! could have appeared again on the 20 January show, when they peaked at 3, but apparently they had upset Michael Hurll on their previous appearance and he banned them.

    3. Sacher-Masoch also wrote Venus in Furs, which inspired the sadomasochist sex movement (hence, masochism)

    4. i remember being interested in watching the original (and supposedly much-more erotic) film version of "venus & furs" at the cult scala cinema in king's cross circa the late 80's, but then they had to pull it at the last minute for copyright and/or obscenity reasons, and replaced it with a film of the same name (directed by jess franco) that had nothing to do with the original book! so for that reason i never bothered in the end, and i still haven't seen the first film version (i later saw the franco film on dvd, which is okay as a 60's alternative/cult thing, but hardly a hotbed of eroticism)...

    5. Didn't a version of the Wah appear later in the eighties? I seem to recall some controversy over John Peel threatening to break wind in viewers kitchens if they didn't make number one.

    6. Being lazy but that was probably for "Come Back"by the renamed Mighty Wah!, with yet more shouty vocals by Pete Wylie but I thought it was great and deserved higher than number 20.

  4. Has Richard Skinner stopped dyeing his hair or is working with Bates taking its toll?

    Level 42 with the Kung Fu Fighting of the early 80s, only more touristy than combative. You could tell they were on course for bigger things.

    Nothing says 1983 like a laser light show. I see the Belle Stars are still wearing their white suits. Love the guitar riff on this.

    Had a weirdly vivid flashback when Bates introduced Central Line, because I strongly recalled him pointing out the "serpent". Which the lead singer brandishes throughout but only plays for about twenty seconds and when he does he's miming to a synth. What the hell?! Anyway, not a bad effort musically, but George Benson had beaten them to the punch on this classic standard.

    The Beatles, well, it's the Beatles, innit? Like the way the verses are all one note. This concert footage featured in the recent Eight Days a Week documentary.

    Aaaand relax... it's China Crisis with a subtle, enigmatic little number that brought a touch of class to the 80s pop charts. Really needed Mark King to mime the bass parts, though.

    Wham! celebrate the life of the doleite and make it sound like an endorsement of Thatcherism, a neat trick if you can pull it off. Sounds a bit silly now, but that might be the espadrilles.

    There might have been a tune in this Bauhaus number, but I didn't spot it. Not sure what the Spanish connection was aside from Pete's matador outfit. Jumping into the audience at the end seems to be their "thing".

    As noted above, everyone recalls the Three of a Kind spoof with Tracey Ullman cross-eyed and David Copperfield walloped by the big rubber eagle. But who wouldn't want Richard Gere to turn up at your workplace, scoop you up in his arms and take you away from all this while Up Where We Belong blared? No? Please yerselves. A few bum notes on the piano here, incidentally.

    What's this floating in the pool? No cause for alarm, it's Dire Straits with their baffling throwback to Chubby Checker and Frankie Avalon Beach Party movies. It's all right if they really had to do this, but it's the odd one out in their canon.

    Anyone fancy a bowl of Vitos E? I looked it up, it's a muesli. No idea why it's called that. Presumably sales only went up in Australia, because it was the only place you could buy it.

    Eddy and his washing problems to end on. Surely he could afford a tumble dryer with his money?

  5. Dickie Skinner makes a welcome return to hosting duties, though he draws the short straw of having to partner Master Bates. In fairness, the latter is on pretty good form here - it's Dickie who makes the most glaring error, when he gets the title of the Dire Straits song wrong. Overall they make for a steady if unspectacular pairing, with a decent rapport - they were actually perfect hosts for this show, as the music is for the most part similarly competent but uninspired.

    Level 42 had been on the show once before, nearly 2 years previously, but this is the point where their career really took off. I have never cared that much for their brand of jazz-funk, and this effort sounds lyrically clunky to my ears, but better would follow from them. Despite the song title and the Chinese props in the crowd, the only thing that sounds the slightest bit oriental about this are the occasional weird synth noises that punctuate it. Dickie is full of enthusiasm for The Belle Stars' lasers, but they look rather less spectacular now than they probably did back then. Even so, they do enliven what would otherwise be a pretty basic video.

    I've never heard of Central Line before, but this was a nicely executed dance version of a great old standard. Never heard of the serpent before either, but it certainly looked impressive - anyone know of any other records that it appeared on? I liked the appropriate tube map-style graphic incorporating the band name at the end, too. The Fabs next, with another rerelease and a similarly nostalgic video to the one for Love Me Do a few months earlier. This was really their first classic single, heralding the start of Beatlemania, and an endless source of controversy for quiz question compilers as to whether it was their first number 1 (it was in the NME chart, jointly with Frank Ifield's version of The Wayward Wind).

    I'm afraid I can't share the love expressed above for China Crisis. I thought this was deeply dull, the duo's very ordinary appearance, particularly Gary Daly's sensible overcoat, reinforcing that impression. Happily Wham then come along to liven things up, with a performance very reminiscent of the one for Young Guns. This is a better song overall, with a catchier chorus and lyrics that are not afraid to tackle what was then the very current issue of high unemployment, providing an early hint of George's more serious side.

    Bauhaus follow up their ultra-faithful Bowie cover with this forgettable original effort, which sounds very post-punk and therefore about three years out of date. Just as there was very little Chinese about Level 42's offering, so the only thing Spanish about this is the singer's matador get-up! Cocker and Warnes hit the studio, but despite Bates' evident hope they would fail to reach the top. I actually thought this live performance sounded better than the record, which has always been a bit bland to my ears, but the best version of the song is by its co-writer, Buffy Sainte Marie. Thankfully, Joe just about keeps his normal frantic arm movements under control...

    I agree with Julie that this is one of Dire Straits' lesser efforts, a lightweight ditty which leaves little impression behind it. The synchronised swimming makes the video a bit more memorable, however, and the sight of the strawberry split being consumed by the woman on the lilo made me recall that it is many years since I last had one - I assume you can still buy them? After all these new records, it's back to the repeats as Men at Work ascend to the top and Eddy Grant plays us out. The most eye-catching dancer over the end credits is the female Boy George impersonator, who also appears behind the hosts in an earlier link. I think quite a lot of girls copied George's style at the time, though I'm not so sure that they ever regarded him as a sex symbol...

    1. Agreed regarding Wham. This new follow-up single Wham Rap was a lot better and more fun than Young Guns, and in a way showed them evolving nice and gradually into our living rooms and hearts even though it only peaked at No.8 eventually, and unusually Young Guns faired better, with a peak at No.3.

      It's interesting that Dee C Lee was the lead female with Shirlie Holliman in Wham, and no sign of Pepsi just yet.

    2. I think Pepsi came on board by the end of '83, but we might not see her on TOTP until Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

  6. China Crisis's Christian was used very effectively later that year in a BBC TV supernatural thriller that year starring Peter Egan, called The Dark Side of the Sun

    1. i can't say i'd heard of "the dark side of the sun" before, but having looked it up i do remember enjoying watching another of the michael j bird mediterranean-set mini-series called "the aphrodite inheritance" in the late 70's that starred alexandra bastedo (of "the champions" fame) and brian blessed. i'd love to watch it again, but although both these series are now on dvd they aren't cheap!

    2. 'The Aphrodite Inheritance' is one of my favourite dramas ever. Just love the mood and scenery and the late Alexandra Bastedo looked wonderful as she flitted in and out of the plot.

      Wliberforce - You must splash out and watch it again (or put it on your Birthday/Christmas list). It features Jean-Michel Jarre's 'Oxygene Part 3' in one of the later episodes (uncredited). Took me ages to work out where I'd heard the music before.

  7. Strawberry Split! I remember those, I thought that lady's lolly looked familiar.

    If Joe had done his usual arm movements he would have knocked Jen flying.

  8. hosts: wouldn't it have been great if the continuity guy had announced "tonight's show is presented by two dicks"? i don't know much say they had in the new pairings policy, but apparently slimy was not very popular among his fellow jocks. whereas in contrast skinner always came across as a decent guy who would put aside any personal feelings in order to take one for the team

    level 42: what an excellent way to start the show - not only with one of my favourite acts from the era (although mike lindup still looks a bit of a prat with his afro and tache, and the kaftan does him no favours in that respect), but one of my favourite tracks of theirs as well. although i didn't actually get into them until a couple of years later than this, by which time i had picked up the even-better extended US remix as a bonus track on the cassette release of the "world machine" LP. note that mark king doesn't actually play any slap bass whatsoever on this, and it's none-the-worse for it. by the way, the theme and lyrics supposedly came as a result of their collaborator/"fifth member" wally badarou (who was also associated with M and grace jones among others) suggesting the at-that-point instrumental jam had a "chinese" feel about it.

    central line: i first became aware of this hoary old standard in the 70's via george benson's jazz-funk version, at which point he was becoming better-known for his singing than his instrumental prowess - thus echoing nat king cole who'd had the original hit. i remember seeing a photo in "blues & soul" magazine showing george with the song's composer who was a scruffy old white guy, but thought no more of it at the time. then in later years i discovered the guy in question (known as eden ahbez) led an extraordinary life as a proto-hippy in the first half of the last century, where he grew his hair long and lived as a virtual itinerant in the hills under the "hollywood" sign existing on little more than nuts and berries along with a few like-minded souls (actually known as "the nature boys"). and even more extraordinarily, he wrote this song and then hung around outside a theatre cole was appearing at to persuade him to record it! sadly the tale was marred somewhat by later accusations of plagiarism, but it is still remarkable all the same (he maintained his spartan alternative lifestyle to the end despite his success, and died in his 90's after a car knocked him down!). as for this version, it's quite good and i like the sound of the serpent (assuming that wasn't just used as a prop) - does anyone know any other recordings that feature such an unusual instrument?. and the groove gets really interesting at the end, suggesting that they might have been better-advised to have used that as the base for own of their own songs

    beatles: pointless anachronism alert - next!

  9. pt ii...

    china crisis: apparently their name was at least partly-inspired by the guitarist having a "chinese" look about him (see level 42 above). i remember their debut single "african and white" (which i liked when i heard on the radio at the time, but was less impressed with later on) but not this, even though it was a top 20 hit (the album it comes from is a contender not just for the lengthiest title ever, but the stupidest one as well!). it's pleasant enough but no more really, so maybe no surprise i can't recall it. i thought it just had to be pino palladino playing the bass, but it turns out to be andy pask of landscape instead. but whoever it was, they could have benefitted visually by having a rhythm section on stage with them. i remember once being told i looked like the singer, but although it wasn't meant to be a flattering comparison i took it as a compliment as i thought the guy was actually quite good-looking in a boyish way. he was certainly one of the more attractive slebs i've been told i resemble over the years - at the height of the popularity of "the office", several people seriously suggested i should consider becoming a professional david brent lookalike! although i've played in one or two tribute bands in the past, that's not something i'd ever seriously consider unless i was really desperate...

    wham!: i spent a couple of years on-and-off as one of thatcher's army of dolies after i left school. but although i was never had any shame or guilt, my experience wasn't the good time that george makes it out to be - thanks mainly to lack of money and like-minded souls to hang out with (although when i moved town and started playing in bands, the latter situation improved somewhat). ironically i had just started my first proper job after a lengthy spell of signing on when i picked up the original 12" release of this in a bargain bin (despite much acclaim in the press it was a flop chart-wise). i was quite impressed at the time and still am in terms of it's funkiness, although like any (c)rap i now find the vocals quite tiresome. i see george's pretty-boy chum david austin is now one of the "backing singers", and i presume that's andrew ridgeley's brother paul next to him? so although being officially part of the "band", ridgers himself isn't even a backing singer here - just a sort-of backing dancer!

    bauhous: although i would never rush out and buy something like this, i wouldn't mind if i heard it in a pub or club. and it's certainly an improvement on a note-for-note cover of one of the dame's less interesting tunes! i note the drummer uses the "traditional" grip which although seen as cooler than the "matched grip" (as usually used by rock drummers) by sniffy jazzers, was only ever designed as a means to play in marching bands. and therefore utterly pointless for use with a standard drumkit!

    cocker/warnes: nauseating power ballad alert - next!

    dire straits: after a rare glimpse of quality with "private investigations" it's back to the usual banal pub rock fare - good job i've still got my hand on the fast-forward button!

    men at work: just to say here that if you like marmite, then i recommend the aussie vegemite version (now available in most stores, which probably wasn't the case at the time of release of this single) as a milder and less-runny alternative

    1. I would agree that the 12 inch of Wham Rap is very good, and through the years I have preferred it to the 7 inch. In fact, on the radio, they generally play the 12-inch more often I think, as it was quite a stir at the time as to just how good it was. Certainly DJs at discos seem to also prefer it.

  10. Can I just say this forum's a fount of knowledge. I never knew about the origin of the word sadomasochism, nor did I know about the nature boys, or even Wah! being banned. On the negative self-effacing side, I misread Wilby and thought he said he was one of Thatcher's army of dollies!

    1. is "dolie" a proper word? i've used it for years and i've heard other people using it, but i can't find any reference to it on the internet. nor "doleite" as proffered by thx (is that the scottish equivalent?)

      of course i might also have been perceived as one of "thatcher's army of doilies"!

    2. I've heard dolie as a slang term. No matter that it isn't in the dictionary.

    3. I would favour the spelling as 'doley', but whatever. As another who had an active UB40 card for a couple of years I remember getting £21/week while I was on unemployment benefit, but then it dropped to £19/week when the dole took over. Never did understand the difference..

    4. i remember when i first signed-on as a a dolie/doley, i received the princely sum of £11... £9 of which was taken off me by my parents - not only to "make me pay my way", but also to act as an "incentive" to make me find a job!

  11. A show presented by TOTP’s reservoir dogs, Mr. Grey and Mr. Beige, the latter getting actor of the year award for pretending to be delighted at metion of Peelie on the next show.

    Naughty Wah! – if only they’d behaved and their song stayed steady at 3, surely they’d have replaced one of this show’s five non-mugshots.

    Ah so! Eat that, Kajagoogoo! Level 42 with a song whose ‘secret knowledge’ in the lyrics reminded me of my favourite (and sadly, of its time) Benny Hill joke, in his guise as Chinese character Chow Mein –
    “I come to see knowledge”
    “Did you find it?”

    The Belle Stars’ laser video immediately reminded me of that one by Holly Valance for “Kiss Kiss” (nurse, cold shower!). Bauhaus could have done with some of the gals’ Hispanic clothing. Oh, and my fave in the group is Guitar Spice.

    I much preferred George Benson’s take on “Nature Boy”. Here’s the second naff perm and bumfluff ‘tache combination, but a neat end logo in correct Central Line red. As for unusual instruments in hits, how about the cor anglais? Surely used a few times.

    A pointless video for The Beatles, apart from seeing how bouncy Ringo’s drum riser was at the end.

    I remember seeing China Crisis first on the bill at one of those Here and Now gigs where they introduced themselves with “We’re from f#cking Liverpool!”. This track was too Horlicks-like for my taste but tastefully mellow at the same time.

    Wham! Doing Zoo’s job for them, and you can already tell this is a one-bloke duo. Did Andrew ever sing lead on any tracks? I didn’t know from George’s thigh slap you could get mini hi-fis back then. I thought it was all ghettoblasters round these parts.

    Bauhaus’s S&M lyric references and yelps make perfect sense after the info earlier in this thread. Big hit then, ay, Dickie? And surely you pronounce it “la-gar-tee-hah”? He probably thought this track was the dog’ cojones but I thought it was just cojones.

    Fine live vocals but no chemistry at all for the big movie ballad. For God’s sake, Joe, stop acting like a Woodentop in a straitjacket and look at Jennifer! I remember she released a very good album of Leonard Cohen covers, “Famous Blue Raincoat”, a few years later.

    Oh, and Dire Straits? Pointless retro rubbish in my view. That strawberry water ice / vanilla ice cream concoction was called a mivvi in my 'hood. I think Lyons Maid made them.

    1. never mind did andrew ridgeley ever sing lead on any wham tracks - did he ever sing on them period? or even play any instruments? to give him some credit, you could say he was years ahead of his time in that he was a sleb who became famous without actually doing anything of note to merit that status...

    2. Arthur, what was it exactly that made Wah! naughty and told to get lost by Michael Hurl, hence not getting a slot on this week's show at No.3 while still climbing the charts? I'm still in suspense on this one.

    3. So am I. No idea. I assume they were awkward in rehearsals and / or probably got drunk and / or had a bad attitude.

    4. My source didn't specify what the issue was, so I can't help with that one either, I'm afraid.

    5. Right hand Saxophone Spice was the best Belle Star, I'd say. She seems to be a bit shy, though.

    6. pete wylie was well-known for being a loudmouth, so probably no surprise that he fell foul of the totp powers-that-be...

  12. It seems like I'm the only person on here who actually likes that Dire Straits track. I saw them live in 1983 and 'Twisting by the pool' was one of the highlights.

    I've always assumed they released it to prove they weren't as humourless as songs like 'Private investigations' might suggest. (In fact, most Dire Straits albums include a novelty/comedy song, eg 'Les boys' on Making Movies, and of course 'Money for nothing' on Brothers In Arms.)

    When Wham released 'Wham rap', it occurred to me that they presumably signed on at the same dole office where I went to claim my Supplementary Benefit (available to students during holidays at the time, provided you claimed to be looking for a job). It was at the top of Water Lane in Watford, on the ring road - but don't go looking for it now, as it's long since been demolished and replaced by flats.

    1. I'm firmly in your camp TimT on Dire Straits, and although it was agreeably a diversion from the mood in Private Investigations late in 1982, it was the new video for Twisting By The Pool that made me like the song more.

      I mean those lovely girls in swimsuits getting wet and sporty. Just love it, and the other girls in bikinis doing those wiggles in between. Good Lord, in my opinion I think we were being spoiled this week by TOTP, and definitely the highlight of this week's show, along with the brilliant Wham Rap featuring Shirlie Holliman, erm, I mean George & Andrew.

  13. Quite a fun edition this, despite the horror of Bates and the presenter who single-handedly turned me away from the Top 40, Dickie S.

    Level 42 - I'm no fan of their early stuff really but time for me to roll out my anecdote once again of the time I interviewed Mark King for my radio show (by phone sadly, not in person) and he was so cheeky and rude that I had to edit half of it out! He was great fun.

    The Belle Stars - So I've found out that it's Miranda who is the one I like. She looks good here!

    Central Line - Hmmm...I'm no fan of this kind of 'sound' (as the presenters like to say) but it's OK. Nothing can beat the Nat King Cole version really.

    The Beatles - Good song that obviously wasn't given as much of a push on re-release as 'Love Me Do'.

    China Crisis - A little slow and meandering perhaps, but I love it. This is partly - as with other songs from this period - because it was included on the 'Chart Runners' compo that I got for my birthday!

    Wham! - Utterly ridiculous but great fun! I still can't get my head around the fact that George is no longer with us.

    Bauhaus - Ermm, no thanks.

    Cocker & Warnes - Awful sludge. I too remember the Three Of A Kind parody, weren't they billed as 'Joe Cock-Up and Jennifer Prawn'?

    Dire Straits - Chalk me up as another who actually quite likes this, probably because I'm not a big fan of their more credible stuff.

    1. mark king's exhuberant and larger-than-life personality (he was apparently nicknamed "joe king" at school) served his band well as a live draw, especially in their late-80's heyday when they could easily fill wembley arena (i saw them there two or three times). but it also created friction between him and the much-more-reserved but equally-strong-minded drummer (and king's songwriter partner) phil gould, which was a factor in the latter leaving the band at the height of their success

  14. I don’t think anything could live up to the previous week’s edition but this was pretty good. The Richard and Simon double act worked well also.

    Level 42 – The Chinese Way – Relatively unknown at the time and more of a cult band really, the Level 42 hallmarks are all here to see on this lively opener. The contrasting double vocals of Mark and Mike work well as they did on many of the later smashes.

    Belle Stars – Sign of the Times – ‘On tour’ and ‘lasers’ had me expecting stage effects a la 70s rock bands but it’s quite tame really. Another outing for the white suits.
    Central Line – Nature Boy – Don’t recall this. Quite pleasant really.

    Beatles - Please please me – Some more timeless archive footage for this timeless track. Did it get to no1 or not? Certainly not in the ‘Guinness books’. Nice to see that the chart rundown synched up with a ‘Sgt Pepper’ photo!

    China Crisis – Christian – Who was the girl that was beside Simon for the intro and then waltzed off for dance? Looks very familiar. Great smooch track which I first heard on ‘Pebble Mill at One’ although I can’t find that performance on YT.

    Wham – Wham Rap – Prefer ‘Wham Rap 86’ which contains the immortal line “Hey everybody don’t need this crap”. Great showing from the boys and girls nonetheless.

    Bauhaus – Lagaritja Nick – Hmmm….never that keen on Bauhaus.

    Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up where we belong – Didn’t they do well? Great live rendition which stayed largely faithful to the original but contained a few nuances in the vocals. 15 years since Joe Cocker was last on TOTP…must have seen a long time then….but 15 years now? Nah, still recall 2002 pretty clearly. “Time goes by…” indeed.

    Dire Straits – Twisting by the Pool – ‘Extended Dance EP’ was the title. A bit like Genesis’s ‘Paperlate’ which was always referred to rather than ‘3x3’, the EP title. In fact most EPs lost their names apart from (say) Tom Robinson Band’s ‘Rising Free’. I bet loads of folks rushed out and slapped this on their turntable only to hear Mickey Mouse rather than Mark Knopfler as they forgot to change the speed to 33! I believe ‘Twisting by the Pool’ was an old track that was rerecorded by this line up to release alongside the excellent ‘Two Young Lovers’ and the not so excellent ‘If I had you’ on this EP offering which, given the lack of single material on the ‘Love over Gold’ masterpiece, was a shrewd move. Not seen the video before actually, so quite enjoyed all the underwater stuff.

    Men at Work – Down Under – So we’ve just beaten the Aussies at cricket then had we? I don’t recall us winning much on that tour (save the Melbourne Test by a narrow 3 runs) but a quick check and yes, Mr Bates is right, a fairly hefty One Day win in Sydney with Botham scoring a two ball duck!

    Eddie Grant – Electric Avenue (playout) – Don’t recall a video being used on a playout other than for a number one (E.g. Pussycat, Smokey Robinson) but the crowd seem to enjoy a boogie to Eddie.

  15. Level 42 - Chinese way - never heard it before. Won't be upset if I never hear it again...

    Central Line - ditto! (Was that Barry White on keyboards :-) )

    Please Please Me - Being out of country for 1983, I completely missed this Beatles reissue campaign - be interesting to see how long they continue to chart. That video wasn't on the recent 1+ DVD, so presumably it was a BBC special...

    Christians - oh dear, that makes 3...

    Even the Wham track is not one of their best

    Bauhaus - I've got a compilation with this on, but again it hasn't stuck in my head.

    Dire Straits - I was wondering why people were complaining about the video, enjoying the aerobics, then the ice lolly came on... Oh dear.

    Well overall it's a pity this wasn't a Mike Smith show!...

    1. Let's put this in perspective. Dire Straits put out a fantastic video with Twisting By The Pool. The video was played regularly in the 90s by VH1 and MTV Classic, and is still a regular video on Vintage TV since its brilliant launch in 2010, something must be good about it, don't you think?