Thursday, 2 February 2017

Top of the Pops on Your Side

It's February 10th 1983, and tonight's edition of Top of the Pops was the eighth most watched show on BBC1 this week, with 11.75 million viewers.

Good news lads, we have a booking tonight!

10/02/83 (Janice Long & Pat Sharp)

The Belle Stars – “Sign Of The Times” (3)
The girls get the show underway but Sign of the Times got no higher in the charts.

Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – “Up Where We Belong” (7) (video)
At its peak. But the first victim of tonight's 7.30 edit.

Thompson Twins – “Love On Your Side” (27)
Making their debut on the show with what would be the first of three top ten hits for the trio in 1983, when it peaked at number 9. But edited out of the 7.30 showing.

Depeche Mode – “Get The Balance Right” (32)
Made it to number 13. And also edited out.

Toto – “Africa” (19) (video)
With their first hit since Hold the Line in 1979, (and seemingly with Chas from Chas and Dave on lead vocals!) Africa became Toto's biggest success peaking at number 3.

Level 42 – “The Chinese Way” (24)
Got no higher than 24.

Michael Jackson – “Billie Jean” (17) (video)
For many people, this is the point where Michael Jackson's career really took off ~ an all time classic video and soon to be number one hit.

Central Line – “Nature Boy” (21)
At its peak.

China Crisis – “Christian” (18)
On its way to number 12.

Men At Work – “Down Under” (1) (video)
Third and final week at number one.

Elvis Presley – “Jailhouse Rock” (29) (audience dancing/credits)
A number one in 1958, this 25th anniversary re-release peaked at 27. And provides a chance for the studio audience to show off their rock n roll dance moves!

Next up is February 17th 1983


  1. At last, we can hear China Crisis's superb 'Christian' on prime-time TV. There's a single that deserved to reach No.1; alas, it did not.

    Toto's 'Africa', one of the most accomplished soft-rock singles ever released, has since been covered by Chris de Burgh - remember him? I wonder if he named his daughter, the former Miss World Rosanna Davison, after Toto's other big hit from the album 'Toto IV'?

    1. Toto Africa was a great tune and the follow up was rosana

    2. Toto with a iconic comeback video, and after a three-year absence since the brilliant Hold The Line, as Angelo mentions, was a very welcome chart entry into the top 20 this week, and like Cocker & Warnes, successfully made the transition from JK's USA insert into our British chart. The video was my memory of a cold winter in early 1983, and also of turning 15 years old in Feb '83, and where birthday parties were starting to mean something to a growing young adult.

    3. Africa - my BEST single of 1983 - see my comments later, but just wanted to chip in here!

    4. By coincidence, I saw a photo of Chris de Burgh with his daughter just the other day. She was towering over him, even though she is apparently only 5 foot 8 herself. Admittedly, she was probably wearing heels too!

  2. Another very good show this week, with a perfect balance between some excellent new videos from America, and some great studio performances with new studio sets, especially on The Thompson Twins and China Crisis. Still no sign of Zoo at this juncture for at least a couple of months since Christmas 1982, now that more regularly-produced pop videos were taking over the vacant TOTP slots.

    The Belle Stars - third appearance on the show, but I didn't like the black outfits, especially as we had already got accustomed to their lovely coloured clothing on previous TOTP appearances up to this point.

    Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes - really liked the video, if only because of the movie footage in it, and the fact that it was played from start to finish, even up to the last frame-freeze of the video, although we also saw this with Michael Jackson's new video Billie Jean this week.
    This new Cocker/Warnes video was a similar situation to Survivor's Eye Of The Tiger, where after it left the charts we would only ever see the video without the movie footage and only with the group singing it, but the video comes across much better with the movie footage kept in, and this is really where TOTP comes into its own. There is a lot of kissing by Richard Gere on this video, isn't there?

    The Thompson Twins - at last their debut in the pop charts and on TOTP, and as everyone knows by now, they were not really twins, but named after The Thompson Twins in Herge's Adventures Of Tin Tin, which was one of my childhood reads in the late 70s, and when comics and the like were the recreational norm for kids, just before the video games era of the early 80s took over. I have always loved the intro on Love On Your Side, and this record ranks among their finest releases, even as a debut single here in Feb 1983.

    Level 42 - early chart success but not yet in their prime as chart regulars. The only comment I would make is regarding Mark King's top, which I liken to a surgeon's top in the operating room. Not that I am familiar with that setting, thank goodness. Quite surprising that Level 42 tumbled down the charts after this second studio performance, and when only at No.24. This slot on the show would have been better taken up by the video for 1999 by Prince, also a chart entry this week in the top 30, but was not featured on the show this week. Or even Wham Rap, still rising at No.9, and not featured on the show for a couple weeks.

    1. It was a bit odd to see 'The Prince' in the the top 30 at this point wasn't it? 1999 peaked at number 25 here. Strange that it made it into the top 30 but then stalled, surely it was an obvious big hit. It would be a further year and a half before he finally broke through with When Doves Cry. The British public must not have been quite ready for him just yet, and went with Michael Jackson instead.

    2. Yes, and I also noticed that as early as January 1980 Prince peaked just outside our top 40 in the UK at no.41 with I Wanna Be Your lover, and did not get a play on TOTP in 1980, as he would have had to be inside the top 30 to have his video played.

      With regard to entering the Feb 1983 chart at No.25 this week with the song 1999, and stalling there with no TOTP feature in the playlist for 10th Feb, I think you're right that he was not a familiar name even at this point, and certainly I don't remember hearing about him until 1984 with When Doves Cry, so we were still about a year so away from the new Prince phenomenon that arrived in the UK in the summer of 1984 with a top 5 hit at the third attempt/single release in the UK since 1980.

      Who knows, if TOTP had played his video in Feb 83 on this week's show, and not ignoring it for the likes of Level 42, we could have been gripped by Prince as early as Feb 1983, and there would have been a different course of history, but unfortunately for him, he coincided with a rampant Michael Jackson this week with the excitement around the new video for Billie Jean.

  3. If you ever felt the TOTP presenters were looking down on you, then they literally were in this episode. Not quite on a mountain high, but still.

    The Belle Stars enjoying their flush of fame, with a slightly chaotic performance (or it might be the direction). Was that a snood singing Belle Star was sporting?

    Cocker and Warnes with clips of the movie this time, and appropriately Joe looks like a giant gerbil. Ah, no, let's not go there. Nice to see they spoiled the end of the film too.

    Here's some fresh faces, The Thompson Twins with their particular brand of synth pop. Always thought the riff where Tom plays his favourite records sounds a bit inadequate. Otherwise, very well produced.

    Depeche Mode, and Pat actually pronounces their name correctly, praise be. A forgotten single maybe, and it is a little undistinguished, but perfectly fine while it's playing. Are you not staying, Dave?

    Pretentious, moi? Ah, it's Toto with their most AOR of AOR tunes, and take a good look at this video, because there's an actual library in it: you might have to explain them to the kids watching.

    Level 42: now, is Mark really short or is the guitarist really seven feet tall? Why is he wearing a Japanese top when the song is about China?

    Michael Jackson, must admit this was the only thing I FF-ed in the whole show, just seen it too many times. Might give it another look when it hits number 1, for old time's sake.

    Central Line, and Mr Central is still hanging onto that "serpent" like grim death, and it still sounds like a synth to me when he plays it.

    China Crisis, straight from the accountancy firm apparently, brings down the mood with their mellow tune. He should really invest in a pair of nail scissors, mind you.

    Do you think Men at Work were big fans of The Monkees? I could imagine the Pre-Fab Four getting up to similar antics.

    50s nostalgia hanging around with Elvis, I prefer the single version of this to the movie one because the latter has the dancers going "ROOOOOOCK!!!" during it which doesn't sound right at all.

    1. Indeed, the Men At work piece of the video at the end walking down the desert with a large casket, was a bit like the Monkees piece of desert footage in the iconic intro for their episodes, of which you can see a similar piece in the first 5 seconds of this Monkees theme song:

    2. That riff that Tom Bailey plays in the second verse of 'Love On Your Side' is a reference to one of the Twins' earlier singles, 'In The Name Of Love', which had been a Dance No.1 in the US.

    3. Men at Work were successfully sued in 2010 over the flute riff in Down Under sounding too much like 'Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree' !

    4. Cool fact, Julie! I should give that a listen if it's on YT.

      I should say the Monkees would never have celebrated beer in their TV shows the way that Men at Work did in their video! I think the "casket" is the case for their instruments.

  4. Top use of the new studio set in this episode, with Pat regularly peering down from the gantries in the way that the presenters would still be doing at the end of the decade. Let's see what 'new' stuff we have here then....

    Thompson Twins - A great tune, and not as overplayed as some of their later stuff is on 80s stations now. I like it when bands stick in a bit of self-reference as they do here with the 'In The Name Of Love' riff. Incidentally, although that track wasn't a hit, it became a bit of a favourite with the rave crowd later in the decade and was remixed by Todd Terry in 1988 (but still wasn't a hit!)

    Depeche Mode - One of their lesser remembered tunes, but I actually really like this one.

    Toto - In contrast to the previous 2, a bit overplayed these days but I don't mind it. Chalk me up as another who prefers 'Rosanna' though.

    Michael Jackson - Same situation here, both video and song played a lot. It still doesn't lose its lustre though, and I clearly recall how exciting the video seemed at the time.

    Elvis - Good idea to place this at the end for the dancing.

    Of the rest, I enjoyed 'Christian' again and for those Doctor Who fans here, that serpent thing that Mr. Central Line has was also featured on Carey Blyton's um.....idiosyncratic score for 'Doctor Who And The Silurians' alongside other obscure instruments such as crumhorns.

    1. Toto's long awaited return to the charts after three years (in tandem with Fleetwood Mac in the same situation), saw a change of lead singer. The last single for Toto called Hold The Line in 1979, had the familiar dark-moustached lead singer on the video bursting out of his shirt which was a size too small by the looks of it:

      But now with 1983 in full swing, they returned with Africa, and a change in lead singer duties, putting two other members on lead vocals and the original lead from 1979 now relegated to chorus duties in the background, but still very much with the band at this point.

    2. Not sure how this relates to my comments above, but thanks anyway Dory!!

    3. I was watching The Silurians on DVD just a few weeks ago, but had no idea there was a serpent on the score! Despite the idiosyncrasies of the incidental music, I think it is one of the best ever Doctor Who stories.

    4. John G - Great to see you're a DW Pertwee fan! Yes indeed this story (unique for having the 'Dr Who and the...' in the title) is a cracker. Seven episodes where you don't get to see the full Silurian revealed until the end of episode 3. Fulton McKay is in it, playing a character not unlike his famous character in 'Porridge'. The BBC junked the colour episodes but were able to re-colourise as technology advanced.

    5. The Hartnell years are my favourite era of DW, but Pertwee's first season is superb, and The Silurians is the pick of his stories for me.

    6. not surprisingly for one of my age, it's a toss-up between jon pertwee and tom baker as favourite doctor. i always liked it when the doctor would bring in/get involved with "the unit" as commandeered by the brigadier, and my favourite scary moment was when some monsters emerged from the sea en masse! i'm not sure i could watch any of it these days though...

    7. I think a lot of the old stories still hold up well, and credit the viewer with a degree of intelligence. The scary moment you are remembering there is from The Sea Devils, which was the sequel to The Silurians, though in my view not as good overall.

  5. hosts: rather an unfortunate combination height-wise - maybe janice should have been paired off with someone like peter powell? i'm fairly sure i was still listening to radio 1 on a regular basis at this point, and yet i have no memory of hearing pat sharp whatsover. in fact i only became aware of him in any way much later on in the decade when he had the awful mullet and released pointless retreads of old disco records. did he ever actually have a show on the radio, or was he just retricted to totp?

    belle stars: milking their 15 minutes for all it was worth, and (thankfully in my view) their time was soon up it was all downhill from here

    cocker/warnes: the odd couple! i wonder which one felt the more uncomfortable having to perform together?

    thompson twins: i think i liked this at the time (and was mainly disappointed with what came after as a result), but i certainly love the 12" version that i discovered on an 80's CD comp a few years back. i think tom and (the always annoying) allanah were already lovers, which puts joe in a bit of a "spare prick at a wedding" scenario. my guess is that he was retained when they cut loose the other members on the basis of being black, and therefore lending them some street cred?

    depeche mode: seemingly mining much the same seam as the previous act, and yet this doesn't interest me in slightest (despite both singers having rather shouty vocal styles)

    toto: at least two of this lot spent time as sessioneers for steely dan, and yet it seems they learned nothing from "the don"! however, in the manner that good footballers rarely make good football managers, it also proves that being excellent musicians doesn't necessarily equate with being decent songwriters

    level 42: two totp appearances with a pretty good dance-oriented tune, and yet they still can't break into the top 20? maybe people were put off by the dodgy afro and tache...

    wacko: unlike bono, in his case i have managed to overcome the "pop star ruins pleasure of listening to their earlier good stuff by turning into a prat" syndrome. but so far that has been restricted to the "off the wall" recordings. will i manage to do likewise with the "thriller" tracks? the jury is still out...

    central line: see level 42 comment above

    the king: first the beatles, and now this - piss off out of the 80's and back to where you belong, you anachronistic relics!

    1. Pat Sharp was a big name on Capital back when it was just a radio station in London rather than a brand across the UK, in the late 80s / early 90s.

      Agree with you re Alannah Currie btw, don't know if you saw the interview that Classic Pop Magazine last year but sadly it was one of those where she seemed not to want to talk about the music but instead tell boring stories about her bohemian lifestyle / art / radical feminism / assorted bollocks.

    2. Pat sharp was very ubiquitous in the late eighties (with Mick Brown) and released a ton of shite. But at least it was all for charidee I suppose...

    3. does releasing shite in the name of "charidee" really make it any more acceptable? i'm sure it won't surprise readers that i've never bought such a recording in my life, nor ever will. if one feels disposed to trying to help those one considers being worse off than themselves (and despite my own pecuniary problems i sometimes give what i feel i can afford without suffering the consequences accordingly*), then i think one should give via the traditional collection tins - not by buying crappy records!

      *that is other than "children in need" or other charities promoted by vastly-overpaid slebs - i leave that to their conscience to make a donation out of their personal fortunes to the causes they purport to support... not that any ever seem to do so (at least not publically anyway), but just urge others far less fortunate than them to empty their pockets!

    4. i didn't see the alannah currie interview (unlike numerous male slebs, there are very few of the female variety whom i'd feel the urge to smash in the face with a lumphammer - but i would certainly be tempted in her case!), but regarding her not feeling disposed to discussing her music, i remember when tom bailey was featured in (i think) one of those excellent channel 4 "top ten" list shows from a few years back and he pretty much admitted that in retrospect the thompson twins were not that great and very much one of the lightweight acts of the era!

    5. Wiberforce - Pat Sharp hosted the Sunday breakfast show on Radio 1 the same time he did TOTP.

    6. thanks for that info zenon - i was probably still snoring away in bed at that time having been out carousing the night before! what i do remember listening to on a sunday (around noon-ish?) was the steve wright show, and practically falling about at the comedy routines such as "mr angry from purley" and "david bowie" singing "tell me what the time is! tell me what the!"...

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  7. Shakey Shakerson3 February 2017 at 11:54

    Sister Cheggers gets another moment in the sun and is, again, teamed up with another of the newbies, and again is by far the more comfortable and at-ease of the two. Pat Sharp would soon grow into this presenting malarky, but for now he has the startled expression of a hotel maid walking in on a middle-aged buisnessman 'enjoying' himself with the hotel porn channels.

    The Belle Stars continue their prototype wacky girl-power girl-gang thing but its about to peter out. Still finding it hard to think of anything positive to say about this.

    Jenny & Joe. Proper singers, these two, but not exactly great on screen. The song's not bad, but I'm pretty sure it's success had more to do with Richard Gere in his dress whites than anything else.

    Thompson Twins. One of those 80s acts that did nothing for me really. I quite liked In The Name Of Love, and admired the reference to it in this, but the rest of it didn't really go anywhere.

    Depeche Mode had a band meeting and decided to see what would happen if they released a single with no discernible tune. And this is the result. Twitchy FF finger, but I hunkered down and got through it.

    Toto. Yes, I think we can all agree that Rosanna and Hold The Line were superior songs, but this is all right as well. If, like me, you struggle to name any other Toto songs, then stand by to be amazed. This lot have had 18 - EIGHTEEN- greatest hits/Best Of compilations!!

    Level 42. Another one of those 'yes- we can all play our instruments brilliantly but we have no stage charisma' bands. They do have a couple of great singles laying in wait for them, but this is not one of them.

    Billie Jean. Everything that can be said about the song and video has already been said. Over familiarisation brings on the FF button.

    Central Line. George Benson's version is far superior. And that squiggly woodwind instrument the singer plays? Surely it should have an oboe-like mouthpiece to produce that sound?

    China Crisis. One of a number of Liverpool groups having decent chart careers in the 80s, and one of the most under-rated as well. A nervous, can't-believe-we're-on-ToTP performance, but maybe that added to the charm of this summery, delicate little tune.

    Scores then. Pat Sharp drags Sister Cheggers down to a 6 when she probably deserved more.

    Musically this was only average. The guest list reads well, but they didn't really bring their A game to the studio, so its a 5.

  8. I guess Janice may find it slightly ironic that, just as her career on BBC national radio has been abruptly terminated, BBC4 are looking back to her early days in the spotlight. She has become increasingly assured with each performance so far, and is very good again here, despite the dodgy fashion choices. Pat is more self-conscious, but not as much as he was on the Christmas show, and he acquits himself pretty decently - in fairness, he was only 21 at the time.

    The Belle Stars ditch the all-white suits for black in this new performance, and the singer seems to want to get something of a Grace Jones vibe going by covering up her head - she's nowhere near as scary, though! Cocker and Warnes reprise their Beauty and the Beast act next, the film clips confirming my view that Richard Gere is much more smug than he is handsome.

    I saw Tom Bailey on the revived Pop Quiz over Christmas, and thought that he had aged extremely well - he looks better to me now than he did back then. This debut hit has a good, driving chorus and some interesting instrumentation, but Tom's whiny vocals do undermine it a bit in places. Alannah Currie comes over as far more intimidating than the singing Belle Star, and would do so even more when she changed her look later in the year. Depeche Mode then return with yet another understated number that is perhaps marginally more memorable than some of their 1982 hits, but still very much in the same musical vein. I still don't think at this stage that they had fully got over the loss of Vince Clarke, though it wouldn't be long before they returned to the Top 10.

    Africa has to be, for me, the absolute epitome of bland, corporate FM rock. It is undeniably melodic, but it's also a song that has always left me totally cold. Nice to see that the video has a library setting, as I am a librarian myself, though given the predictable stereotyping going on here I should emphasise that we don't all wear glasses! A new performance from Level 42 to follow, though the only thing notable about it, as already mentioned above, is the guitarist's puzzling decision to don a Japanese rising sun top - perhaps he thought it was OK as it was still "oriental"...

    Billie Jean and Beat It must have been the first Jacko songs I ever heard, though I can't remember in which order. In any case, the big hits from Thriller are an integral part of my early musical memories, and Billie Jean has to be the pick of the bunch, a song that stands up no matter how often it gets played. The video, which has to rank as one of the most significant ever made for the way it broke down the racial barriers on MTV, also still looks pretty impressive. Interesting to see Prince sneak into the Top 30 for the first time this week - he was by now establishing himself as a major star in the States, but would have to wait a bit longer for his big breakthrough over here.

    Central Line give us a pretty much identikit performance to last time, with serpent present and correct, before Gary Daly sheds his overcoat and dons a tie for this new turn from China Crisis. Sadly, the change in look only serves to make him appear even more boring. I was amused by the dancers swaying on the balcony, as their antics seemed completely unsuited to a song as quiet as this! There are far more suitable moves on display as we play out to Jailhouse Rock, now almost 60 years old but still very much an evergreen.

    1. i never understood all the fuss over richard gere - there was a guy in my year at school who resembled him facially with the same beady eyes and sunken cheekbones, and he cetainly never got the ladies' hearts a fluttering. in fact he somewhat crually got nicknamed "monster"!

    2. John, interesting comment about the librarian wearing glasses in the video for Africa. Given that it is a female librarian, it reminds me of a joke that I heard someone saying once:
      'You know what they say about a girl with glasses - it's the last thing she takes off at night.'

  9. Another show I remember well, mainly because of a certain fantastic single. Janice certainly chose a bright frock for this one…

    Belle Stars – Sign of the times – Again? Still going up? No white suits this time.

    Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up where we belong – Another rendition that is not the same as the single – were they singing live? Nice to see the clips from the film in full. Great film actually.

    Thompson Twins – Love on my side – I saw the twins live at Selhurst Park on Peter Gabriel’s outdoor gig later in 1983. Maybe that’s why I developed into a Palace fan which is something not many people will own up to after today’s result!!

    Depeche Mode – Get the balance right – Just dreary for me….

    Toto – Africa – No plaudits are too great for this single for me. My favourite single of 1983 I just loved it and still do. The shared vocals between David Paich (who co-write the song with Steve Porcaro) and Bobby Kimball work so well on this sublime piece of music. The video was pretty cool too and captured the mystique of the lyrics and the laid back feel of the track. I could never understand why the single cut was faded out early rather than flow back to the basic instrumental track as it did on the album ‘Toto IV’. Toto were THE best session band at the time and featured heavily on another big album of 1983 – ‘Can’t slow down’ by Lionel Ritchie – checkout ‘Hello’ and ‘Running with the night’ which we’ll be seeing soon. Julie mentions Chris de Burgh’s cover from the ‘Footsteps’ album of covers (such as ‘Without you’, ‘Sealed with a kiss’ and ‘American Pie’); it’s not bad, but not a patch on the original even though the arrangement is virtually identical bar the sudden ending.

    Level 42 – The Chinese way – We’re reminded that 42 is 24 backwards. So ‘Level’ is ‘Level’ backwards too! Nice performance.

    Michael Jackson – Billie Jean – So Jacko’s arrived. We’ll be seeing much more of him in 1983. Played to death this and I soon lost interest.

    Central Line – Nature Boy – Reached the siding.

    China Crisis – Christian – Sublime, beautiful and timeless. Just love this track and its augmented well by the audience smoochers.

    Men at Work – Down Under – Yep, again. Still good but that video is getting over familiar now.

    Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock playout – Nice to see Janice bopping to this.

    1. I'll confess to being a Palace fan too, but after that Sunderland result I am now convinced the only way is down...

  10. Some oh so 80’s clothing adorning the ever informative Janice and Pat, who needed his surname written on his top to remind him who he was.

    Here come The Belle Stars dressed as Milk Tray Women. Anyone else think the bassist’s a bit scary?

    Another lack of chemistry between Jennifer and Joe, the later shown mainly in head and shoulders shots to avoid seeing his windmill arms.

    The Thompson Twins (featuring the multi-talented Alannah Currie) with haircuts better than A Flock of Seagulls but worse than Tears For Fears. Tom bailey’s another of those people born in a town with a Football League team who supports a more prestigious one – he was born in Chesterfield but reworked a later hit for his beloved Sheffield Wednesday.

    Yes, pat, every Depeche Mode single’s made the chart – even debut “Dreaming Of Me” which stalled in the 50’s. The first sighting of electronic drums in the band?

    Toto’s singers stole the limelight, making the other band members seem like bookends. See what I did there?

    All level 42 needed was a Leyton Orient shirt and an advert for Hai Karate to complete the erroneous stage garb.

    Here we go, the beginning of the Michael Jackson years where he appears to sing “hee hee” and “jam roll” and make that strange “dap dap” noise on every record. From memory, the budget for this video only stretched to 17 luminous steps, so Michael worked his dance routine out so he only cavorted on those steps.

    Central Line remind me I’m glad the tube strikes are off this week. Not so glad at the horrible serpent / synth miming combo. He may as well have brought in a completely different instrument like a tube for all it was worth.

    Hot rocking tonight with China Crisis, where the young Michael McIntyre lookalike about to cry laughing in disbelief at any stage, bless him.

    I’m going to miss the kangaroo hop part of the man At Work video. I think it’s really quite sweet and patriotic.

    Did Flick Colby really (deserve to) earn her dance director end credit solely for that audience Elvis turn? Makes me all shook up. Sorry, wrong song!

    1. Sorry for the appalling spellings (e.g. tube instead of tuba) and lack of certain capital letters in the above post. I must remember to spellcheck my critiques before posting them. Good moaning!

    2. most of the (ironically-named?) belle stars are pretty scary in my view... especially the drummer who looks like an extra from "mad max"!

    3. Tough girls singing - ye cannae beat it! As Michael Jackson once observed.

  11. Never really watched the Africa video closely before - I actually enjoyed it. Loved the Land of the Giants shot on top of the book.

  12. It's funny how I can remember some of these videos/performances as if I'd seen them yesterday. The human brain is amazing.

    Definite change of style this week with lots of hand held cameras and shots of the acts from the crowds on raised gantries/platforms, very much influenced by The Tube which started a few months earlier on C4.

    Belle Stars - a good way to kick off the show. This one really reminds me of my partner at the time who was a big fan. Little did I know that the words of the song would come true for us aa few months later. Sob.

    Up Where We Belong. Never saw the film but I liked the song and love Joe Cocker's voice but hate his jerky arm movements.

    Not sure why the twit in canary yellow has decided to start dancing before the song starts playing but that's the cheerleaders for you, always primed to go, usually wearing yellow bat wings and leg warmers. Loved this Thompson Twins track a lot at the time, I like the way they include a bit of their previous single In The Name Of Love in the second verse.

    Wasn't over keen on this Depeche Mode effort at the time which sounded like a treading water exercise but it's pleasent enough. Don't care much for Dave G's toffee-coloured pleated leather strides. He should fire his costume designer. Martin Gore has yet to discover leather bondage gear.

    Toto were nothing to look at (like a lot of American acts) and the lead singer should NEVER be shown in close up (shiver) but they made some great singles and this is the best. Okay their sense of geography is rubbish but what a song. Still sounds good today. This is another one that is seeped into my psyche from the time and hearing again really takes me back there.

    I got into Level 42 in a big way a bit later on but I much admired their early stuff and this is a corker and their geography sense is better than Toto's.

    Hard to believe that Michael Jackson was only at number 17 and hadn't gone straight to number one but that's often the case with songs that go on to be classics.

    Looking at the chart rundown this week I don't there is one song I dislike, the first time in a long time that that happened.

    Level 42 and Central Line on the same show, we only needed I Level for the complete brit funk trio. I was really into this sort of stuff back then. I had started to go to a lot of clubs and bought a lot of dance music.

    While I loved China Crisis I always thought this song was a bit too minimal for its own good, their next album was a lot better but it's nice to see it.

    The Top Ten and MAW (again) and play out with Elvis of all things. I have left the building.