Friday, 17 March 2017

Glory Glory Top of the Pops

Well, the scenes here are really quite incredible! It's 6.55pm on 26th May 1983 and Top of the Pops has just broken out on the television. Peter Powell and Pat Sharp are setting their stalls out and doing their level best to officiate the proceedings, and I'm hearing some news just in that it will be a shortened edition this week to make way for the FA Cup final replay. It really is quite incredible!

And things are really starting to kick off in the studio tonight...


26/05/83 (Peter Powell & Pat Sharp)

Big Country – “In A Big Country” (34)
The whistle blows and Big Country get us underway with their theme song which peaked at number 17.

Manchester United Football Club - "Glory Glory Man United" (13) (video clip)
Over the years they've actually managed four top ten hits including a number one ~ but this one peaked at number 13.

The Style Council – “Money-Go-Round” (12) (video clip)
Not getting too much extra time here with this clip, but the song went up one more place.

Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Buffalo Soldier” (11) (video clip)
The first of four posthumous top ten hits for Bob, he had his full team out in the field here and this one peaked at number 4.

Hot Chocolate – “What Kinda Boy You’re Lookin’ For (Girl)” (10)
They'd enjoyed a good run in the top division and now this was the peak for the band's final top ten hit.

The Police – “Every Breath You Take” (7)
Playing in their new kits in the studio and headering straight towards next week's number one.

New Edition – “Candy Girl” (1) (video)
The first and only week for this high pitch number one.

Forrest – “Feel The Need In Me” (20) (audience dancing/credits)
Went up three more places before the final whistle blew.

Today's BBC1 line up


Next in line is June 2nd but unluckily for Tony Blackburn his co-host was Jimmy Savile, so BBC4 will skip on to June 8th 1983.

77 comments:

  1. Excellent punning, Angelo!

    Big Country with their majestic In a Big Country, Stuart even cracks a smile a few times, as if he knew how good this sounded. Does this still count as an act which had a hit with the name of their band? I mean, it's no Doop...

    MUtd, stodge, not interested in football so glad this was brief.

    Style Council, should really have been the theme tune to a Radio 4 advice programme, and about as exciting as that sounds.

    Bob Marley and the Wailers, the video, which presumably the late Bob had nothing to do with, is reminiscent of the film Glory with dreadlocks.

    Hot Chocolate fighting a losing battle against the glitter shower, nice to see my favourite Zoo dancer, the Chinese girl, in prominent position. I say Chinese because she looks it, she was probably from Croydon or something.

    Always found it difficult to get excited about The Police's Breath, a well crafted and atmospheric record, but it's a stalker's anthem and that makes me uncomfortable, especially when so many thought it was romantic. It's also a bit of a plodder.

    Then the MmmBop of its day at number one, except MmmBop was a hundred times better if you really need a helium-voiced ditty in your life.

    Forrest with another perfunctory cover to end on, oh, there's the Chinese girl again. I wonder who she was?

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    1. Thanks THX, I was on the ball tonight :-)

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  2. You certainly hit the back of the net with your puns tonight, Angelo! Another year, and yet another shortened Cup Final replay TOTP, though I'm sure everyone except United fans ended up enjoying this show more than the one-sided thrashing that followed it at Wembley. PP and Pat Sharp make for a jolly enough pairing, though their awkward, self-conscious attempts at dancing on the final link are unintentionally hilarious. Good to hear PP inject a bit more variation into his chart rundown technique, though Pat undoubtedly has the edge in that department.

    You couldn't ask for a better opener than Big Country's rousing, soaring, near-eponymous hit, with some sensible knitwear to accompany it on stage. A mercifully short extract of Man U's hit next, back in those distant days when winning the FA Cup was a very big deal for them, as they kept falling short in the League. Then we get some brief snatches of the Style Council and Bob Marley. I have never heard the former tune before, and this excerpt did not exactly make me keen to listen to the whole thing. Buffalo Soldier is a bit of a plodder, though the Rasta division of the Union Army helped to make the video quite entertaining.

    Hot Chocolate are back in the studio and crammed on to a small stage, but neither the glittery confetti or the attractive Zoo dancer THX mentions could stop my brain from switching off during this one. I assume this Police performance was recorded when they were in the studio the previous week. Like True, this has of course been played to death over the last 34 years, and that's before we count the mawkish Puff Daddy rewrite. However, in this case I think the song still holds up extremely well thanks to its creepy atmosphere and that insistent guitar riff. Forrest to finish, with another dubious cover which just about justifies its existence by going at a considerably faster tempo than the original - it's still inferior, though.

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    1. I must say that I used to have similar knitwear and jumpers knitted for me by my mother when I was a child, so I could really associate with Big Country's choice of clothing this week.

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    2. john those days of united being grateful to win the FA cup are very much back again now. and this time they had to pay wayne rooney £50 million in my estimation to finally get a piece of (rather shabby) silverware in their trophy cabinet again!

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    3. True enough Wilberforce, though I fear that this time around it probably won't take United 26 years to regain the title!

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  3. Such a shame Prince wasn't on singing "I just want your extra time and your kiss", and we were six months too early for Grandmaster and Melle Mel's "White Lines", marking the pitch out!

    Looking at the programme listing, I'd have watched "Question Time" if they'd swapped David Penhaligon for Susan Penhaligon. Eat my goal!

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  4. I think we're done with Cup Replay TOTP's now aren't we? 1990 the next If memory serves.

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    1. Yes, 1990 is the next one. As a Palace fan, the memory of Mark Hughes' late equaliser in the first match is still painful, 27 years on...

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    2. Sheer agony that was John after 'Wrighty's stunning goal!

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  5. I see DC Lee was on the new Style Council video at No.12. But how could she be at the same time on Wham at No.5, as she was still one of the two front girls in Wham? Was this sort of thing allowed in those days? Also someone mentioned before, that DC Lee is married to Paul Weller. On the back of this Style Council video, I'm not surprised at all.

    Hot Chocolate's time in pop history was nearing its end, despite Powell reaffirming that they have had hits every year for the last 13 years, i.e., since 1970. There would be only two more songs from Chocolate before the end of an illustrious career for them.

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    1. Dee C Lee was divorced from Paul Weller in 1998 - see his Wiki entry. Her last stand with Wham would be her appearance in the promotional video for 'Club Tropicana', shortly after her association with Style Council had begun.

      Hot Chocolate would bow out of the chart in style in '84 with 'I Gave You My Heart (Didn't I?)', which was the only hit single of theirs on which guitarist Harvey Hinsley played saxophone.

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    2. OK, so I guess what you are saying is that DC Lee had a solid overlap period appearing on both Style Council and Wham between Money Go Round (Style Council) and Club Tropicana (Wham), i.e., between May-Sep 1983? Oh what a summer of '83 we have ahead of us then in her dual roles!

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  6. Good Lord, four shows next week to blog, cos of JS and DLT on two different shows around the two shows that BBC4 will be showing. Well, at least we will have the entire 4 weeks at No.1 by The Police across these four shows. Angelo, I hope you have four good blog titles at the ready, cos you're going to be busy again.

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    1. Hoping to get the Savile one in the back of the net this weekend if the link becomes available :-)

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    2. indeed, that would be a huge relief to get one of the episodes out of the way this weekend, so that we only (he says only) have three episodes to do next weekend. The Police at No.1 for all four June episodes. Love it!

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    4. Any news Angelo, i.e., any chance of uploading tonight the 2nd June edition with the two over-40s presenters JS & Tony Blackburn on this show? It will then relieve by one episode the hard work of having to blog four episodes on Thurs/Fri this week.

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    5. There's no link for it yet Dory ~ as soon as one becomes available I'll post the blog :-)

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    6. Thanks, apparently it was shown on UK Gold if anyone has that recorded, and also it features both JS and JK, so it is a much hated episode by the BBC all these years later (but not back then).

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  7. Short one this time with only one real high…

    Big Country – In a Big Country – Sort of like ‘Visage’ by ‘Visage’ or ‘Living in a box’ but not quite. The bagpipes are there again and it’s OK but not quite ‘Fields of Fire’.

    Man United – Glory glory indeed. Cup success followed…

    Style Council – Not ‘A’ patch on the debut single.

    Bob Marley – Buffalo Soldier – (Sigh) I knew we’d get this soon…

    Hot Chocolate – What kinda boy – Pleasant enough but no ‘Emma’.

    Police – Every breath you take – The one highlight of this show. Never realised the boys performed this in the ToTP studio as I only recall the b&w video being shown. I wonder if this was recorded on the previous week’s show when the boys did their ‘interview’?

    New Edition – Candy Girl – Thank heavens for the timing of Sting & Co’s superb new release. The Guiness Book of No1s remarks that this was “one of the more unexpected no1s”. Indeed.

    Forrest – Feel the need in me – In early ’73 when I was still in Junior school I remember being fascinated that there were two ‘Detroit’ bands in the charts at the same time, and I loved ‘Feel the need in me’. I don’t think Forrest managed to do this as much justice as ‘Rock the Boat’. Looks like we had a minute added on for ‘stoppage time’.

    Regarding the ‘Yellow Pearl’ Theme tune; it sounds more stripped down now and I don’t care for it as much as the original mix. I wonder what prompted the change?

    Has anyone noticed that on the TV listing above it shows ‘Question Time’ with one of the guests being Tony Benn. Shown earlier in the day was ‘Mr Benn’!

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    1. what i find amusing about the new intro sequence is that they added a tv screen to try and make it look more up-to-date, and yet with flat screen technology around it now really makes that look hideously dated!

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    2. If the Polis were wearing the same gear as in the interview, then we can safely assume they recorded the performance then too. I'd forgotten about the TOTP appearance as well, only recall the video.

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    3. Oh, and the new title sequence was to commemorate the 1000th episode. Just wait till Paul Hardcastle gets his mitts on it!

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    4. This really was a rare visit to the TOTP studio by The Police which I also don't remember outside of the video, but nevertheless we should savour it as one of TOTPs feathers in their cap for getting them to perform in the studio.

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    5. I always thought The Wizard was a pretty feeble theme tune compared to Yellow Pearl, though I was already prejudiced against Paul Hardcastle as I hated 19...

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    6. Tubular Bells fan, then, John G?!

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    7. I am a Tubular Bells fan, though to be honest I have never noticed much similarity between it and 19, perhaps because I have very rarely heard the latter since 1985! I think it only turns up on Mike Smith-hosted show, but if we do continue into '85 I am looking forward to hearing The Commentators' N-N-Nineteen (Not Out), which passed me by at the time...

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    8. i thought "the wizard" was okay as a replacement for "yellow pearl" - in fact it's much better when used as a 30-second theme than the single itself, which somehow stretches itself to 3 minutes despite running out of ideas very early on!

      the massive success and blanket media coverage of "19" (not to mention the excessive use of cut-up and sampling techniques) did probably turn a lot of people against mr hardcastle. but as i'm not sure i'll still be doing this if and when we get to 1985, i'll put in a good word for him now and say i think this mix of "rain forest" is really rather good:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5sTr8DXZhU

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    9. i've only ever heard bits and pieces of "tubular bells" (which i gather is a medley of several different compositions under one title a la genesis's "supper's ready" or kate bush's "the ninth wave", rather than one continually-evolving piece of music) and have certainly never listened to it in its entirety. thus have no idea what the supposed "19" rip-off is. so if anyone can direct me to the relevant bit on youtube that would be appreciated, thanks

      by the way, does anyone remember that cover of what i presume is considered the main theme from "tubular bells" by an act called the champs' boys? as i recall, ruby flipper (or it might even have been pans' people) were dancing to it in in park or ornamental gardens!

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    11. I collect foreign language versions of songs by the original artist, and have 19 in German, Spanish and Japanese. These are all different mixes, and the Spanish version is quite different.

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    12. The bit from Tubular Bells that Paul Hardcastle had legal difficulty with (I believe) was the melody that goes "Daa, dadada da da da dadada!" when the singers start going on about "All those who remember the war..." It's the same melody as part of TB, but I'm not sure how I could point to it without listening to the whole thing!

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    13. thanks thx - i'm not sure i want to go to those lengths to find out!

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    14. Wilberforce - yes, that Champs Boys cover was primarily a discofied version of the main Tubular Bells theme, as used on The Exorcist, though some other parts were also included, notably the "Piltdown Man" sequence from side 2. Ruby Flipper were in the Blue Peter garden for that routine, in the long hot summer of '76.

      I think it's fair to say that Tubular Bells is a collage of different musical pieces and styles all strung together, but somehow it works - you even get the sailors' hornpipe at the end!

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  8. another review cobbled together from youtube clips, so no comment on the hosts again. and to be honest, theres not much else to comment on here either

    big country: this sounds exactly the same as their last hit to me

    bob marley: did whoever wrote the "banana splits" theme sue mr marley (or rather his estate) for the "yay yay yay" rip-off?

    police: another one of those "i've got it in my mp3 collection but never play it as i hear it so often elsewhere anyway" songs a la "bohemian rhapsody", "true" et al. i thought it a bit basic at the time and hardly arresting (arf, arf!), but it's grown on me a bit since (the atmospheric keyboards help a lot in that respect). however there was much better stuff on the album it came from in my opinion. when i was at university i once did a police tribute gig in the student union cafe (i was "sting"), and beforehand the guitarist told me and the drummer (who was dubbed "student copeland" ho ho) "everyone always plays this too fast, so let's make sure we don't". of course as a result we made it sound like a real dirge! the real police play it surprisingly straight here given their antics on the show in the past, and mr copeland in particular is taking it seriously to the point where he mimes every fill exactly as on the record!

    forrest: this isn't the first cover of this tune, as the original artists the detroit emeralds themselves did a re-recording of their hit a few years later in a slightly more groovesome manner in order to cash in on the burgeoning disco market. and a fine job they did of it too, so i'm certainly not going to make myself listen to this prat making a mess of it!

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    1. Was he called Forrest in reference to his facial furniture?

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    2. as forrest was his birth name that's unlikely, although perhaps it inspired his look? for some bizarre reason this seems to be a very popular male forename in the united states - there are about 80 listed on wiki alone!

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    3. ...in fact, i suppose you could say it was a whole for(r)est of forrests?

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    4. I suppose the most famous Forrest is the film star Forrest Whitaker (who I saw in the street once - big guy).

      If you wanted to cancel out Forrest's singing, you could always play a Star Trek episode with DeForrest Kelley's dialogue.

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  9. RIP Chuck Berry, we didn't see him in these repeats (thus were spared My Ding-a-Ling, I suppose) but we certainly heard his influence.

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    1. he had actually recorded a new album very recently (that will now ne released posthunously) - surely the oldest-ever musician to still be doing such things?

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    2. I don't believe there are any surviving artists from that era of Chuck Berry, apart from Fats Domino who is still with us and just celebrated his 89th birthday about 3 weeks ago, maybe even on Blueberry Hill.

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    3. Vera Lynn is shortly releasing an album on her 100th :-)

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    4. There was an excellent programme about Dame Vera on BBC2 last night, but it also demonstrated why she won't be doing any new singing on her new album, her voice is too cracked with age, though she was bright as a button (a hundred year old button, granted).

      @Dory: Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis are still alive, so the rock 'n' rollers are not quite gone yet. And Tommy Steele and Sir Cliff are still with us!

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    6. They must be all around 90 years old. My dad is 86, and I hope he makes it to 90 if not 100. Suffice to say that my dad (and mum) is also celebrating a 53rd wedding anniversary this week!

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    7. Hated the gushing praise for Berry. Let us not forget that this wanker was a pedophile and deviant!

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    8. funnily enough by chance earlier today i was finally putting together some compilation CD's of obscure rock n roll tracks i had promised for a friend, and was thinking that some may have even preceded chuck berry. but if so then sadlt is often the case the real innovators never actually get the credit, and more likely those that first followed in their wake...

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    9. Marty Wilde is another rock 'n' roller still around.

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    10. Tony Bennett jerry Lewis and jerry lee Lewis are still alive

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  10. RIP Chuck, though whoever thought it was a good idea to play My Ding-a-Ling as a tribute on the radio station I was listening to this morning should be shot! While he wasn't exactly versatile musically, every rock guitarist that has followed owes something to him. It's also nice to see a rock star reach a ripe old age before falling off their perch...

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    1. It was all about those riffs, wasn't it? He could play a guitar just like ringing a bell, indeed he could. I'll say this for MDaL, it's infernally catchy.

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    2. My favourite of his was Roll Over Beethoven which ELO subsequently made into a hit of their own in 1973 with this rare promo video:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uk84icbn78

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    3. Hated the gushing praise for Berry. Let us not forget that this wanker was a pedophile and deviant!

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  11. Hi all.

    Some of you may be wondering where I’ve gone, as I’m even later with my comments this week. Well....

    I’m having to cut back most, if not all, of my participation on the forum immediately and for the foreseeable future.

    My dad underwent an emergency op last Monday (which has caused a huge amount of family stress) and, seeing as I work 30 miles from the hospital, I’m not getting home until nearly nine at night, by which time I don't have the time or moodset to watch TOTP, let alone write up about it as well.

    I was hoping to catch up this weekend but, without going into detail, what should have been a chance to try and unwind turned out to be the most fraught part of the week.

    I’ll chip in with facts and question answering when I can (most likely at work, furtively!).

    In the meantime, try not to miss me too much, and good love.

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    1. Don't worry about the forum Arthur, it'll still be here, just concentrate on helping your dad get better - with all our best wishes!

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    2. All the luck in the world, Arthur...

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  12. Sorry to hear that Arthur - I hope your dad is feeling better soon.

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  13. If we're doing reviews in footballing terms, then this show was the TOTP equivalent of the Vanarama National League - mostly poor fare that has already been forgotten by me (ie deleted from the Sky box!)

    I do feel sorry for Pat Sharp - just the 3 appearances, the first one being an introductory affair where he didn't get too much, and the last being a truncated edition! It's a bit weird that they had Cup Final replays on Thursday back then, why weren't they on Wednesdays I wonder?

    Big Country - I think I've said before that I find them vastly over-rated and this song is a bit plodding.

    Man Utd - No thanks. Musically or in 'ace goals' form.

    Now for the Top 12. Hmmm...

    Style Council - A really boring track, glad we didn't get any more of that than was necessary.

    Bob Marley - Alright I guess, but not his best.

    Hot Chocolate - Another dull choice.

    The Police - I too had no recollection of them turning up in the studio. This song is now Sting's pension plan of course, nothing wrong with that but I'm in no hurry to hear it ever again.

    Forrest - I said previously that I actually like his take on 'Rock The Boat, syndrum break and all but I'm less keen on his version of 'Feel The Need' as it does nothing exceptional with the original tune.

    I do have the next edition recorded off UK Gold but it's sitting on a hard drive that isn't easily connectable to a computer so that doesn't help the rest of you very much I'm afraid!

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    1. Pat did make one further appearance, but that one is Yewtreed.

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    2. Does anyone have any guidance for Noax to upload the 3rd June edition for us to watch?

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  14. Me on the train home, and having to rub out and re- do the last post!

    The bespoke Popscene website suggests the man born Patrick Sharpin made 7 appearances on TOTP, though whether the three where he appeared on on the show as an 'artist' isn't fully clear.

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    1. Those are just his appearances as a presenter - 6 in 1982-83, and then one further appearance on the last regular show in 2006. Quite why he turned up on that one, when he was only a regular presenter for a very short period, is a mystery...

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    2. He had the same hairstyle for thirty years though.

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  15. Link for the 2nd June show

    https://we.tl/5Ixk9346vW

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  16. No chance of me catching up four new editions this week (topical that, bearing in mind the number one in this show!) and not sure if / when I’ll see the show before this one but, seeing as this TOTP was tiny I managed to watch all I wanted, probably not even ten minutes’ worth, during lunch by watching it on my work phone (and still getting interrupted by one of those f#cking PPI calls which I never answer!).

    Picture the scene in the record company – “The good news, lads, is that you’ve made the top 30. The bad news is that they’re only covering the top 13 and some bagpipe rock this week due to a football match”.

    So, Pat, the show will fit in as many of my favourite tunes? I only enjoyed the first one, complete with lost Showaddywaddy fan in a Teddy Boy suit immediately beforehand. So, Stuart, don’t dreams stay with you in countries like Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, then? Really? Was bassist Tony Butler wearing a headband in tribute to Brighton’s Steve Foster?

    I can’t stand Moan U and had no intention of listening to a second of their effort, though I recall reading that one of their singles featured defender Martin Buchan singing and playing guitar on his own.

    With DC Lee in tow, Paul Weller understandably looked Cosmo Smallpiece-style sweaty and really alluring for his future wife in the vid for that awful row.

    I wonder how relaxed the outdoor smoking scenes really were in the Bob Marley video?

    It’s Hot Chocolate’s Errol Brown in a Bournville wrapper coloured coat. Go Harvey go, play that guitar like ringing a bell – without its clapper!

    Here come Slappable, Yankee Slappable and Young Blakey with an FF for me, followed by an FF for a dreadful rip-off which somehow reminded me of those stupid kids in Kris Kross (Mac Daddy and Daddy Mac!) who wore their trousers back to front. The proper new edition tonight was the hastily produced programme for the cup final replay!

    And we finish with a relegation certainty. Nottingham Forrest, anyone? Harrumph!

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    1. Nice to see you taking part Arthur, hope your dad's okay.

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  17. andy cole released a record under his name whilst at united, although i don't think it was this one:

    http://i.imgur.com/HLdSl9d.jpg

    bearing in mind his fellow striker from that era ian "wrighty" wright also dabbled in releasing music commercially, perhaps they should have got together and recorded a duet called "we can't hit a barn door when we play for england"?

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    1. the full title of their duet being: "we can't hit a barn door when we play for england (unless we're up against non-entities)"...

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  18. Shakey Shakerson22 March 2017 at 04:24

    Not the best edition to review, this one, is it? Truncated because of the football, and with Messrs Sharp and Powell at the mic, I can only imagine the disappointed faces of those people who had spent five years on the waiting list for tickets only to be given this show as their reward.

    Just two studio acts. Hot Choc do a so-so performance of a so-so song that neither raised spirits nor lowered them. Big Country on the other hand were great. Stuart Adamson, with his face like a Poundland Patrick Swayzee, bips and bops and sings and 'SHA's his way through what would become the group's signature song. I fast forwarded through the rest of the show, then went back and watched this song over again.

    Just for the sheer caber-tossing, haggis-munching, kilt-whirling, bagpipe-sounding joy of In A Big Country, the show racks up a scarcely believeable 6.

    The DJs cop for a 4 apiece because even on FF they both managed to irritate me.

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    1. Never a fan of PP or PS this was the double hate whammy for me but I watched through gritted teeth.

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  19. Hardly worth commenting on this 21 minute show but here goes:

    Unlike The Fun Boy Three last time who were squeezed on a tiny stage here Big Country are given room to live and breathe. Great song, brilliant to see this again. An image change for some of the band here, gone are the lumberjack shirts and in come Fairisle jumpers and suits.

    Straight to the Charts, then a clip of a dreadful football record which isn't worth commenting on.

    Then the Top 12 in video form, oh no hang on, just two of them. Wasn't so keen on Money Go Round as I was on Speak Like a Child and the video is a bit yawnsome, I liked Buffalo Soldier and Marley was re-launched this year via the classic Legend album and video.

    Last time it was rain on the chart rundown now its fog and glittery snow for Hot Chocolate although it clears by the end. I had forgotten about this song completely and while it is certainly catchy the lyrics are a bit naff in places but the tune holds it together.

    Then the Police which was clearly recorded last week judging by their clothes. This was probably my fave Police track and it has stood the test of time unlike some of their earlier singles. Interesting that they got to play the whole song right to the fade on the year's shortest show.

    Horribly annoying number one, where's that fly swat when you need it? Come back True all is forgiven. Not really.

    Playout with pointless cover of a soul classic putting the tin lid on what was a a very poor show.

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  20. Still an enjoyable show despite its 20 minute duration, only Candy Girl was duff. The video clips from 13-11 could have well inspired the Breakers section that was brought in at the start of 1985.

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